Oh my. So this was my first real experience with vegan baking. The deal is that I can come up with “cooking” recipes. But I do not claim to understand the scientifics behind baking and therefore leave recipe concoctions to the professionals. I have made a vegan chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It is generally my go-to, because it is always good and people really enjoy it, vegan and omnivore alike. So I purchased the Joy of Vegan Baking cookbook and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World from half.com (buy used!). Now it was a little tricky because the food stores that are close to me do not have stick form of Earth Balance. I already had a tub of the wonderful stuff so I used the displacement method of measuring and apparently that worked well for the icing. The cupcakes themselves are perfect. The strawberries did not give as much flavor as I had wanted, but it is still there. I only had my vanilla soymilk so the icing is a bit overpowering with the vanilla. But, putting the icing together with the cupcakes is pretty much perfect. I am so proud! This strawberry cupcake recipe comes from the Joy of Vegan Baking.
The brown rice pilaf turned out excellently. I only cooked mine for about 32 minutes and then covered it and let it sit for about 10 minutes to let the flavors blend and ensure that the rice had absorbed all the water and broth.
The whipped beans worked really well also. The white acre peas did well, so I’m pretty sure that any white/tan bean would work well. Next time, maybe blackeyed peas? Or even butter beans? I did saute the mushrooms with the leeks and blend everything together. I love mushrooms though, so it doesn’t bother me to have the earthy flavor throughout the whipped beans. See previous post for recipes.
In health news, I went to the gym this morning and hopped on the stairclimber. Since my little incident (Reader’s Digest version – hospital visit due to tachycardia, discovered low potassium, followed a strange incidence of tachycardia after a light run), I have not been running. I am a little scared to honestly. So I have been doing various walking workouts, which annoy me because I really just want to take off and run. The stairclimber was sort of a compromise between walking and running. My heart rate gets higher on the stairclimber than with walking, but I have some assistance from the machine instead of my whole body doing all the work. Everything went fine, no jumping of the heart rate, so perhaps next week I will try a little run. The bloodwork at the hospital also revealed an unsettling LDL number. Not ridiculous but enough to really reevaluate my diet and start to cut back on things that could be elevating that number while trying to nosh on things that bring the HDL up (remember folks, L is for lousy, so LDL is the “bad” cholesterol). I am hoping at our next destination to return to teaching group exercise classes or training, but only on a part time basis. I miss Pi-Yo, cycling, and step classes.
Next week will include more baking and possibly some other new recipes. I do not really have time to cook during the week, so normally I make everything on Sunday and Monday for my week. So we will see how this goes!