Tonight we are having some yummy California TLTs because I am craving avocado and we have lots of tempeh to use.
6 slices of tempeh bacon
4 slices good white bread, cut 1/2-inch thick
4 tablespoons reduced fat vegenaise
4 to 8 tender green lettuce leaves, washed and spun very dry
1 ripe Hass avocado
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 large ripe tomato, sliced 1/2-inch thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place a baking wire rack on a sheet pan and arrange the tempeh bacon on the rack in a single layer. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, until the tempeh is browned and crisp.
Place the bread slices on a sheet pan and toast them for 5 minutes. Turn the slices and toast for 1 more minute, until all the bread is evenly browned. Place 2 slices on a cutting board. Spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of vegenaise. Cover the slices with a layer of lettuce. Peel the avocado and slice it 1/2-inch thick. Toss the avocado slices gently with the lemon juice, and arrange on top of the lettuce leaves. Place 3 slices of tempeh on top of each sandwich and then add a layer of tomato slices on top of the tempeh. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Spread each of the remaining 2 slices of toasted bread with 1 tablespoon of vegenaise and place, vegenaise side down, on the sandwiches. Cut in half and serve.
Yesterday was as very ambitious cooking day and I actually made a ton of things. It’s been awhile since I have had a good cooking session and so far I am very pleased with my creations, I say so far because we haven’t tried the cakes yet.
For dinner last night I made three types of frites:
White and Red Potato Frites baked with safflower oil, salt and pepper.
* 4 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into sticks
* 2 teaspoons mashed chipotles in adobo sauce
* salt to taste
* a dash of olive oil to coat
I cut the carrot into thin fry-size sticks and then tossed them with the chipotle and the olive oil. There’s no need to use much oil, just enough to coat the carrots. Then I spread the carrot sticks on a baking sheet in one layer, and sprinkled them with salt. I baked my carrots in 200 degrees Celsius on the upper rack of the oven: first for 35 minutes, then tossed them around, and then another 10-15 minutes until slightly charred here and there.
Curry Tofu Frites (adapted from Have Cake Will Travel)
16 ounces (454 g) extra-firm tofu (thoroughly pressed), or super firm tofu even
1 tablespoon (6 g) curry powder
1-2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon (15 ml) agave nectar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) safflower oil
Cut tofu into sticks, like you would cut potato fries: the less “girth” they have, the less amount of time will be required for them to get crispy.
Place tofu sticks on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Whisk marinade ingredients together in a small bowl, and pour onto tofu sticks, using your fingers to make sure they’re completely slathered.
Broil as long as it takes for the tofu to be crispy: it took 10 min on high in the oven.
We had Tempeh Buffalo Wings with Ranch Dip and Celery to accompany these (recipe adapted from 28 Cooks)
1 (8 oz) pkg tempeh
1/3 c soy milk
1/3 c flour
2t Montreal chicken spice
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 c Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 tbsp margraine
1 tbsp ketchup
Bring 4 cups of water to boil over high heat. Meanwhile, remove tempeh from package. Slice into 8 strips. (If you are a first time tempheh eater and have texture issues, I recommend slicing into 10-12 strips) Once water is boiling, lower heat to medium high, add tempeh, and boil for 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Set out 3 bowls. In one, pour in soy milk. In the second, combine flour and seasonings. In third bowl, add bread crumbs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place each strip in milk. Coat in flour mixture, then briefly re-dip into milk. Toss with bread crumbs, coating well. Set on slightly oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tempeh strips. Once all are coated and on baking sheet, lightly spray all “wings” with cooking spray. Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes. Flip “wings” over and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
While they are baking, place wing sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover with Saran wrap and heat in microwave on medium high setting for a minute and a half. Remove from heat and whisk ingredients together.
When wings are finished baking, toss with sauce. Serve immediately.
Lastly I made two cakes: 1 cake for my aunts birthday which is today and 1 cake for Neil’s birthday which was the 5th but he never got to have a birthday cake and we are going to visit family for the weekend so we can celebrate both their birthdays with yummy (hopefully) cake.
-1/4 cup sugar
-1/4 cup light brown sugar
-2 cups unbleached flour
-1 cup unsweetened soy milk
-1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tbsp maple syrup
-2 tbsp agave syrup
-1 tbsp brown rice syrup
-1 tsp vanilla
Cream sugars and margarine together; then add the remaining wet ingredients. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Pour into a 9inch baking pan and bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean. To make the frosting combine all ingredients and beat until light and fluffy. Once cake is cooled then I made a dark chocolate and white chocolate ganache frosting topped with chopped pecans.
Chocolate Ganache (Recipe adapted from Vegan Visitor)
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate mini chips
1 Tablespoon Margarine
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Cherry Brandy
Melt the chocolate pieces in a double boiler or in a heat safe bowl fitted over a pan of simmering water.
Stir in the margarine.
Whisk in the milk and liquor, combining until smooth.
I repeated this same method for the white chocolate ganache however used 1 extra tablespoon of soy milk and omitted the cherry brandy.
I then poured the chocolate ganache on to the middle of the cake and spread to coat the top and sides. Then I poured the white chocolate on top letting it drip over the sides. Lastly i sprinkled chopped pecans over the top of the cake. Hopefully auntie will like it!
For Neil’s birthday cake I made a Vanilla Caramel Macchiato Cake:
Lightly oil a round 11-inch spring form pan and set aside. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the sugar and margarine, and cream together until light and fluffy. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy milk, and continuing to beat the mixture well between each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat the mixture an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
For the Espresso Frosting:
1 cup soy margarine, softened
1/2 cup strong coffee or espresso
6 cups Powdered Sugar
3 t. vanilla
Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the soy margarine and espresso, and cream them together. Add half of the sugar, and beat well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.
For Caramel Topping (Adapted from Vegan Visitor)
1 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, like Earth Balance
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
Pinch of Salt
Make sure to have everything ready… mise en place, as they say.
Melt the sugar in a large saucepan over medium, heat.
Remove the sugar from the heat once it has liquified and has become a light amber colour.
Note that it may take a bit to get things melting, but once it gets going, keep a keen eye on it as the sugar will go from ligt to amber to burnt quickly.
Add the margarine, whisking while it melts.
Sprinkle over the pinch of sugar.
Finally, add the soy milk. Take caution as it will spatter and bubble. (Sugar is much hotter than water when it boils.)
Whisk the caramel until it’s smooth. Transfer it to a heat resistant container like a mason jar or a Pyrex measuring cup. It will continue to thicken as it cools.
Refrigerate until you are ready to use. Warm briefly prior to serving to liquify.
It will keep for up to two weeks.
Remove the cake from the pan and with a serrated knife even the top of the cake out attempting to get as flat as possible. The on the side cut through the middle of the cake leaving you with two layers. On the first layer top with about 1/3 of the frosting then place the second layer, top side down, on top. Dump the remaining frosting onto the middle of the cake and then begin to spread it out working your way from the middle down onto the sides until the entire cake is frosted. Once the caramel has cooled and thickened (yet still thin enough to drizzle) Drizzle a desired amount over the top of the cake. Around the edges of the cake I decorated with dark chocolate covered espresso beans.
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