May 27, 2014

Ultra Fudgey Okara Brownies

OK, brownies are my favorite dessert (especially with a scoop of vanilla So Delicious and some chocolate syrup), and there are probably a million variations of brownie recipes on this blog. Here's another, one that is decidedly on the fudgey side of the spectrum.

fudgey okara brownies

In a bowl, mix thoroughly (it's easy not to):
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
pinch salt

On the stove top, in a small pot over low heat, melt together
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick, or 2 oz.) Earth Balance
1 Tablespoon (1/2 oz.) coconut oil
2/3 cup sugar

and whisk together until ingredients are well incorporated and smooth.

NB: If you don't like the taste of coconut oil, feel free to substitute it with more Earth Balance or a more mild-tasting oil.

To the chocolate mixture, add
1/4 cup okara
1/3 cup almond milk (I'm sure other non-dairy milks will work fine)
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoons cocoa powder

and whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated, with no lumps. Turn off heat and add
1 tsp. vanilla
and whisk into chocolate mixture.

Add the chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and stir together until incorporated. Scrape batter into a lightly oiled 8"x8" pan (I used a Pyrex pan). Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 28 minutes. Allow to cool.

fudgey okara brownies

February 18, 2014

chocolate rum muffins

This recipe makes 16 muffins, so if you don't have two muffin tins, you might want to cut it in half. Although I have no idea how to measure 1/6 cup of something; hopefully you're smarter than me!

The below recipe has been edited to take into account one eagle-eyed reader's astute observation about salt!

chocolate rum muffins

In a bowl, mix (or sift, if you're not lazy!) together
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder

In a separate bowl, whisk together
9 oz. okara
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup rum
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

until well emulsified.

Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until "just mixed." Then fold in
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Divide batter evenly into 16 wells of lightly oiled muffin pans. Bake at
325 degrees Fahrenheit
for 23-25 minutes. Allow to cool for at least a few minutes before removing from pan.

February 9, 2014

Graham-cracker-style pie crust

Do you like Graham-cracker pie crusts, but hate trying to find vegan Graham crackers? Or do you simply hate going through the bother of smashing up a bunch of Graham crackers just to put together a simple crust? This recipe replicates the taste of the Graham-cracker crust using common pantry ingredients (plus okara!). The secret: toasting the flour first!
pie crust
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
in a large baking pan and spread it out evenly. Bake at
350 degrees Fahrenheit
for 20 minutes.

1/4 cup okara
and place it in a saute pan over medium heat. Keep it moving so it does not burn or stick too much to the bottom of the pan. The idea here is to dry it out. By the time you're done, you should be able to cut its volume in half, to about 2 Tablespoons of dry okara.


Place the okara in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and pulse it several times.

Then, after the flour has toasted, put it into the food processor along with
1 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
pinch salt

and process until the mixture is well incorporated. Scrape it into a lightly oiled 9" pie pan and shape it into a pie crust.

Bake the pie crust for 12 minutes in the 350-degree oven. Remove from oven and set aside. Allow to cool while you prepare a pie filling that is cooked over the stove and set in the refrigerator (i.e., not something you'll be putting back into the oven, as the pie crust has already been baked!).

February 8, 2014

macaroni and cheese

Even though I am too afraid to share it with an omnivore, I have long had a fascination with vegan mac and cheese recipes. I've tried quite a few, and am always interested in new strategies. I've been playing with this recipe for a while. I like that it has cashews and miso in it, which at least allows me to pretend it's healthy. (It is healthy in comparison with my favorite mac and cheese recipe, the one from the New Farm cookbook, which has an embarrassingly high amount of fat.)

macaroni and cheese

First, cook
12 ounces whole wheat macaroni
according to the package's directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. (OK, it doesn't have to be whole wheat, but they have made great strides in whole grain pasta lately, and I prefer it. It also helps with the conceit that this is healthier mac and cheese!)

While the macaroni is cooking, prepare the "cheese" sauce. In a food processor or high-powered blender, liquefy
1 cup cashews (raw or roasted -- I've done it both ways)
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. turmeric
3/4 tsp. agar powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. onion powder
2 1/4 cups soy milk
1/4 cup okara
1 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup miso paste (yellow or white)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Pour the liquefied mixture into a medium pot and whisk or stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens.

macaroni and cheese

Once it has reached maximum thickness, pour the sauce over the macaroni and stir until it's all incorporated and ready to eat. Stir in steamed broccoli too, if desired.

January 25, 2014

okara chocolate pudding pie

A simple cornstarch-thickened pudding pie recipe. I still think that other chocolate pie recipe is the best ever, but if you don't want something quite that fancy, this is for you.

chocolate pudding pie

First, prepare one pre-baked Graham-cracker pie crust.

Then, in a blender or food processor, liquefy
1/4 cup cornstarch
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons cocoa
1/4 cup okara
3 cups unsweetened almond milk (not soy!)
1 tsp. vanilla
pinch salt

and transfer contents to a small pot. Heat over medium-low heat on the stove top, and add
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Stir contents with a whisk until mixture has thickened. This can take a while (probably about 20 minutes for me), so just keep stirring until it becomes quite thick and doesn't seem to be getting any thicker. At this point, turn off the heat and pour the chocolate pudding mixture into the pie shell.

chocolate pudding pie

NB: If you used a store-bought Graham cracker pie shell instead of making your own crust, you will probably have too much pudding mixture. Those store-bought things are pretty dinky. You can always put the excess in separate bowls, chill, and enjoy as pudding later, maybe with some sliced fruit.

Some people like to put plastic or parchment paper over the top of the pie filling, which apparently keeps it from cracking. I've never tried that, but I probably should.

Allow pie to cool in the refrigerator for at least five hours, but preferably overnight. It needs this time to set, or else you'll be digging into a really splooshy mess.

January 21, 2014

chocolate chip oatmeal bars

chocolate chip oatmeal bars

In a bowl, stir together
2 cups quick-cooking oats
pinch of salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup hot water
1 cup okara

and mix until the okara is well incorporated. Pour this mixture into a lightly oiled 8"-by-8" pan and press down until you have flat oatmeal layer.

chocolate chip oatmeal bars

In a bowl (the same bowl as before, if you like), mix together
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts, pecans, or a combination of both
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tablespoon corn starch

and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Transfer this mixture to the pan and spread it out over the oatmeal layer to create a second, chocolate/coconut layer.

chocolate chip oatmeal bars

Bake for
350 degrees Fahrenheit
for 20 to 22 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into squares while still warm. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

chocolate chip oatmeal bars

January 20, 2014

apple muffins

These muffins are kinda bland. I think the spices should be at least doubled, and maybe other things, like cloves and ginger, should be added. The reason I'm putting this recipe up as-is is because I doubt I'll make it again, as I'm not a huge apple fan in the first place, and I think it's a good template anyway. Amp up the spices, add some sugar if you like sweet muffins (these aren't very sweet either), and maybe double the nuts as well. If you have success, please share your methods in the comments! Your fellow apple lovers will thank you.

okara apple muffins

In a bowl, mix together
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 Tablespoon corn starch
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
pinch salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, whisk together
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup soy milk
1/4 cup apple juice concentrate (let it thaw first, of course)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons okara

until well incorporated.

Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until "just mixed." Then fold in
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped finely (peeled first if desired)
1/3 cup chopped pecans

and stir until evenly distributed.

apples, chopped

Divide batter evenly into the 12 wells of a lightly oiled muffin pan. Bake at
350 degrees Fahrenheit
for 24 minutes. Allow to cool for at least a few minutes before removing from pan.

Verdict: The person I live with didn't think these were bland at all. For my part, I was able to "dress them up" by cutting them in half and spreading some apple butter on each side! Much better.

I still think the nuts should be at least doubled. The only reason I put in 1/3 cup is because it occurred to me that I had an opportunity to use up some pecans, and that just so happened to be the amount I had to finish off.

January 12, 2014

lemon poppy seed muffins

I like these better than the lemon poppy seed muffins I made a few years ago, and found them to be the exact right amount of tart ... though you might want to add more sugar if you have a serious sweet tooth. Additionally, if you are juicing fresh lemons, you can zest one of them first and add that to the batter as well.

Also, this yields a total of 16 muffins, so if you don't have more than one muffin pan, you might consider cutting this recipe in half. If you do that, remember that half of 3/4 cup is 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons.

lemon poppy seed muffins

In a bowl, combine
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds

and stir until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, whisk together
1 1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup okara

until oil is emulsified.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until just mixed. Distribute the batter into 16 wells of two regular-sized muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 21 minutes. Allow to cool for at least a few minutes before removing from pan.

January 11, 2014

single-serve fudgey okara brownies

I've been on a quest to make single-serve fudgey brownies (as opposed to cakey brownies) for a couple of months now. While the chocoholic in me thinks that I might try doubling the semi-sweet chocolate next time, these are pretty great.

okara brownies

In a bowl, combine
1/4 cup flour (all-purpose, white whole wheat, or a combination)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

and stir until integrated.

In a microwave-safe bowl, place
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 cup soy milk

and heat (around 1 minute at 70% power on my ancient microwave) until hot enough for margarine and chocolate to finish melting when you whisk the contents. After ingredients are whisked together, add
1/4 tsp. vanilla
3 Tablespoons okara

and whisk until blended.

Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir with a spoon until just mixed. (Overmixing might result in rubbery brownies.) Divide batter between two lightly oiled 8-ounce ramekins and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 26 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before inverting brownies from ramekins.

okara brownies