I feel like I’ve been cooking all day! Unfortunately, swimming was out today, due to weather. But that is ok, because we really need the rain. I was super lazy this morning after a 0545 wake up call from J. I did eventually get up and get ready for the day. After several errands, it was food time.
First thing I made was chocolate chip cookies. The recipe is from The Joy of Vegan Baking but they didn’t look like the picture. They still tasted delicious and are in a box for a certain someone whose birthday is coming up soon! While they were baking, I made my lunch which was a VBAT (soy bacon, avocado, and tomato) with smoked salt (yes!) on whole wheat bread with a diet ginger ale. One of my vices is diet ginger ale. I enjoy the fizziness of soda not the sweetness, so this is perfect, plus it is caffeine free!
Then the real baking/cooking began. No-Bake Chocolate cookies for the potluck; followed by Mediterranean Potato Salad; followed by Orzo Salad and sauteed veggies; followed by chopping watermelon and grapes; followed by Chocolate Oreo cake. On to the recipes:
No Bake Chocolate Cookies–
2 c. sugar
1/2 c. plain soy milk (I used 8th Continent’s Light Plain soy, so it was a little less fat and calories)
1/2 c. non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (I used Earth Balance sticks which I finally found at Whole Foods!)
3 c. quick cooking oats
1 c. flaked coconut (you could probably get away with some that is not sweetened here)
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp vanilla (I would omit this if using vanilla soy milk)
Prepare cookie sheets with wax paper. Combine sugar, milk and margarine in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for two minutes stirring constantly to ensure that the mix doesn’t scorch. Mix oats, coconut, cocoa, and vanilla and add to boiled mixture after the two minute boiling time and remove from heat. Working quickly, drop by rounds on wax paper. Let stand 1 hour until set.
Notes! Ok, so this is similar to candy making, so have your ducks in a row before boiling the first few ingredients. Pre-mix the oats, etc, so that when your boiling time is over, you can just dump it in. Also, have two spoons ready to make dropping the cookies easier. Mine sat out for the hour, but are now in the fridge as they were a little sticky. I’m hoping that they harden a little more before popping them in containers. I would probably suggest keeping these suckers in the refrigerator just so they don’t get super sticky. I am not sure where this recipe came from, but I cannot take credit for it :).
Mediterranean Potato Salad
2 lbs. red potatoes (I used white because I’m a rebel)
1/3 c. olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 1/2 c. chopped Calamata olives (make sure you buy ones that are already pitted)
1/3 c. finely chopped red onion
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
In a large pan, cover potatoes with 1 inch water and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and cut into chunks. Whisk oil, vinegar, olives, and onion. Add to potatoes and top with parsley. Serve warm or at room temp.
Notes! I peeled my potatoes prior to boiling, because that’s just how I do potatoes. You could also leave the peel on if using red potatoes. I added probably two more tablespoons of vinegar, because the oil was really overpowering everything. I’m sure you could mix the parsley up and add some basil. Make sure that you do not cook the potatoes to mush. They should be tender, but able to hold their shape in the salad. I would also suggest letting the salad sit overnight so that the flavors can develop. Not sure where this recipe came from either, but not mine.
Chocolate Cake with Oreo Buttercream Icing
First off, this came from Yeah, That Vegan Sh*t which the icing was also an small adaptation from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
6 tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c. water
3/4 c. veggie oil (I used olive oil, because I don’t mind the flavor)
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. non-hydrogenated veggie shortening (I used Spectrum)
1/2 c. non-hydrogenated vegan margarine (again, Earth Balance sticks)
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 c. plain soy milk (again I used the 8th Continent light soymilk)
1/2 c. crushed vegan oreos (I used Newman O’s)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix dry ingredients well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into cake pan and bake 40 minutes (I used a 9×13 pan and it took about 45 minutes, but the recipe would also make two 9 inch round cakes if you wanted to layer them).
For frosting, beat shortening and margarine until smooth. Add powdered sugar until well incorporated. Add vanilla and soymilk until smooth. Stir in oreos.
Notes! Ok, like I wrote, I made a 9×13 cake, mainly for transportation convenience. I have no clue where my round cake caddy is, but I do have a 9×13 container readily available. I haven’t iced it yet, as it is still cooling, but I plan to decorate it with more Newman O’s. The batter for the cake is really soupy, so don’t let that alarm you. Other than that, I should have feedback on it tomorrow.
8 oz orzo (if you’ve never used it before, they are small oval shaped pasta; some people think they are more in the rice family, but no, definitely a pasta)
2 c. veggie broth
1 red onion diced
1 tomato, chopped
2 cucumbers, chopped
1 c. nuts, such as walnuts, pine nuts, or slivered almonds
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
Cook orzo according to package directions, but use veggie broth instead of water. Whisk oil, vinegar, mustard, and basil. Drain orzo and bring to room temp. Combine orzo, nuts, and veggies toss. Add dressing and stir to coat. Serve cold.
Notes! So this one is my recipe. You can vary the vinegar, if you prefer something else over red wine. I find that red wine vinegar is my go-to for cold things and balsamic is my go-to for cooking things. You could also add other things, like a pepper or fresh basil or spinach to make it a little more nutritious and bump the flavor up a bit. I really like a cold orzo salad in the summer, especially when the good veggies are in. The nuts are optional, if you want this as a side, as they just add some protein so that you can eat it alone. I have another recipe for a roasted veggie orzo that will probably be a winter style salad.
Whew! Ok, I am thinking about making some potato bread this week with the left over potatoes. Or I may just indulge and make oven potato fries with one of my exotic salts :). Luckily I was able to get two recipe card holders and 600 index cards to continue my recipe project. Now I need to go check on the cake and think about getting on the treadmill tonight! Look for reviews tomorrow and Wednesday.