Sunday, November 4, 2012

Funky Monkey Cheesecake

When we say "we love pie" - it's an understatement.
Any kind will do.  Berry, Rhubarb, Apple, Pot (no, not that kind of pot), Pumpkin, Shepherd's, Chocolate, Pizza...the list goes on and on.

But what about cheesecake?  Is it even a pie!? This question is a moral dilemma we all must face.  And while you're pondering whether cheesecake falls into the major food group that is pie, go ahead and make this simple and delicious creation!  It is a chocolate chip banana cheesecake, for when you feel like monkey-ing around!

Funky Monkey Cheesecake

1 package (12 oz) Silken Tofu
1 tub (8 oz) Vegan Cream Cheese
1 cup Banana, mashed
1 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Chocolate Chips
Premade Pie Crust

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
2. Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips and pie crust in a food processor or a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer

3. Fold in chocolate chips and pour the filling into the premade crust.
4. Bake for 50 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before chilling the cheesecake in the fridge overnight.  The wait will be hard, but worth it!

Now that you've got your cheesecake, it's time to make the this dessert a pie or a cake?
OH WHO CARES, let's just eat!!

Peace, love, and bananagrams
Pam and KT

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!

It's time for a Pizza that holds a very special place in our hearts...IOWA!
KT here: Before I moved to Southern Minnesota, I didn't even realize what a magical place Iowa is.  A few weeks into my stay in the Midwest, my good friend Gary took me on a drive to the magical land of Decorah, Iowa.  Since then, I travel there about once a week (don't worry, it's only about 45 minutes away, and with Carla in tow it feels like 5 minutes at most). I can't stay away! Who knew that in Iowa I would find Middle Earth (the hiking trails), a mecca for vegan goodness (the Oneota Co-op), my new favorite coffee shop (Magpie, of course!) and a best friend (I'm looking at you, Sarah).  Therefore, Iowa is now incredibly near and dear to I knew this particular pie had to be extra special. 
KT and Pam, praising the vegan paninis in Iowa!
We put our heads together and came up with something fantastic! The inspiration for this pizza comes from Iowa corn casserole - a potluck staple chocked full of creamed corn, bacon, onions, and bell peppers. What's more, Iowa is full of beautiful cornfields, which KT drives through on her way to Decorah every week. The sauce for the pizza is actually Roasted Corn Chowder (recipe below), which you could eat as is or turn into Iowa Corn Casserole! 3 different meals from the same recipe!
Nifty Pizza #15 - IOWA!
For the Roasted Corn Chowder
4-5 ears of Corn
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2 ribs of Celery, sliced
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups Vegetable Stock
1 cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
Salt and Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. 
2. Pull back the husks of the corn and remove the corn silk.  Then bring the husks back up over the corn.  Place the ears of corn on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning a couple of times during the roasting process.
3. Remove corn from oven and let cool.  Remove the  husks and, using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the cobs and collect in a bowl.  Set aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery, cover, and cook until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the potato and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes).  Uncover, add the corn, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, ladle 2 cups of the soup into a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.  Stir the puree back into the chowder, add the soy milk, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the Nifty Iowa Pizza
Dough for 1 Pizza Crust
2 cups of Roasted Corn Chowder
1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 package of Tempeh Bacon, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Corn Kernels
Vegan Cheddar Cheese (Daiya works best!)
Vegan Parmesean Cheese
Creshed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste.

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare pizza dough.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and cook to soften.  Then add in bacon and brown it slightly.  Lastly, add in green bell pepper and corn kernels.  Let everything cook just enough to caramalize slightly. 
3. Unless your chowder is particularly thick, give it a little drain so that your pizza crust doesn't become soggy.  Spread the chowder over the pizza dough.
4. Top with the slightly caramalized bacon and veggies. Sprkinle on the Daiya Cheddar and vegan parmesean.  Add a dusting of crushed red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning (if desired).
5. Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack and 10 minutes on the bottom rack.
6. Remove from oven, slice, plate, and convince your mother to move to Decorah.

Peace, Love, and Water Street
Pam and KT

Monday, October 15, 2012

I love to eat Apples and Bananas...

IT'S FALL!!! (The best season of them all...I made a rhyme)

And after a romp around the local orchard, KT had a bounty of fresh local apples to bake with!  She decided to whip up some delicious banana bread, with an autumnul flare!

Autumn Spice Banana Bread

1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup Sugar
2 cups Flour
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 and 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 very ripe Bananas, mashed
1 Apple, chopped
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon to taste
Nutmeg to taste
Ginger to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a mixing bowl, mix Earth Balance and Sugar.
3. Stir in Flour, Baking Powder, and Paking Soda.
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
5. Pour batter into an oiled bread pan.
6. Bake for 50 minutes, and let the fall aromas fill your kitchen!

This recipe is incredibly simple but incredibly delicious.  Plus, what is better than fall-time food?!
The answer is nothing.

Peace, Love, and Cider
Pam and KT

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Nifty Pizza #14 - Indiana!

Even though it is known as the "Crossroads of America," Indiana tends to get overlooked.  At least in the Food Universe (aka - our universe), it's hard to pinpoint what exactly this lovely land is known for.  Since you can't really put a hoosier on a pizza, we had to hit the books and do some research.
We learned that The Indiana Foodways Alliance is currently seeking to brand Indiana foods the way Southern foods have been.  This way, people from other areas of the U.S.A. (like us), can become aware of the traditional Indiana fare that we have been missing.  These specific foods include Onion Pie, a pie of sweet onions, bacon, eggs, and cheese.  With this in mind, a delicious breakfast pizza was born!!
Nifty Pizza #14 - INDIANA!

Pizza dough for one crust
"Cheesy" Sauce (You can find the recipe here)
Your favorite Tofu Scramble recipe (You can find the recipe we use here)
Browned Vegan Bacon
Caramalized sweet onion
Vegan "Cheese" Shreds (we used a mix of mozzarella and cheddar Daiya)
A sprinkling of Vegan Parmesean
Ranch Dressing (recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Assemble by spreading the "cheesy" sauce on your pizza crust.  Cover with tofu scramble.  Scatter the browned vegan bacon and vegan cheddar/mozzarella shreds.  Sprinkle with just a little parmesean. 
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven, and let sit for 5 minutes (try to restrain yourself) before slicing, plating, and drizzling with ranch dressing.
5. Enjoy a slice any hour of the day.  It is totally acceptable for any meal or snack!

Vegan Ranch Dressing
1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise
1/2 Cup Vegan Sour Cream
1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley, chopped
1/2 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Ground Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Mix all ingredients together!  Drizzle over your delicious slice of Indiana Branded Pizza!!

Peace, Love, and Hoosiers!
Pam and KT

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nifty Pizza #13 - Illinois!

I can't believe we've made it all the way to lucky number 13 (and that is with us living in two different states no less)!!  Of course when we got to Illinois on our list of pizzas, we knew we had to go big or go home...deep dish style!
We decided to wait until we were together to create these monster pies, so on Pam's latest visit to Minnesota (this time with Beth in tow), we had a deep dish extravaganza!  The great city of Chicago is known for these doughey masterpieces, overflowing with delicious ingredients.  These over the top slices were the perfect thing to fill our bellies after a day full of summer fun. 

Nifty Pizza #13 - Illinois
Chicago-Style Deep Dish: This recipe makes two 8 inch pizzas.

Pizza Dough (We used about 1 and 1/3the amount of dough we would use for 2 traditional pies)
Vegan Shortening and Cornmeal (To grease the cake pans)
Deep Dish Tomato Sauce (Recipe below!)
2 cups Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
1 and 1/2 cups Vegan Sausage, crumbled and browned (in a skillet) OR Vegan Pepperoni
Baby Spinach
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesean Cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Grease cake pans and sprinkle cornmeal into each.  Divide the pizza dough in half and roll out two portions to fit the pans. 
3. Sprinkle some Vegan Parm and Daiya Mozzarella onto the crusts. Follow with the sausage/pepperoni, spinach, and tomato sauce.

4. Sprinkle the remaining Daiya on top and finish off with some more Vegan Parmesean.
5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until crusts are nicely browned (not charred).

Deep Dish Tomato Sauce (Enough for two 8-inch pies)
1 28 oz. can Italian Plum Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Dried Parsley
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
Pinch of Fennel Seeds
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes
2 - 4 Cloves of Garlic, grated
1/4 tsp Salt
Pinch of Black Pepper

1. Put the tomatoes into a medium sized pot and break them up with a spoon or spatula.  Add in all the other ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and let it continue to simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes. Let cool a bit before putting on the pizzas. 


Peace, Love, and the Chicago Cubs!!
Pam and KT

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A VegBerger Friendly Cupcake!

As vegans, we know what it's like to have limited options.  Even though we whole-heartedly believe that cruelty free is the way to be, sometimes you just need a cupcake! Luckily we are the cupcake queens, so that has never really been an issue...but can you imagine living in a world where you can't?!  That's exactly the situation that KT's Aunt Sally, who is gluten intolerant, believed she was in...before we got a hold of her!!
Chocolatey and Gluten Free!!

Uncle Eric and Aunt Sally visited our humble abode all the way from New Mexico, and on their visit they feasted on Isa's Gluten Freedom Chocolate Cupcakes.  To the tasty cakes, Pam added 1/2 cup of chocolate chunks and Uncle Eric frosted them with chocolate buttercream frosting.  Because what does our family love more than anything else? That's right...CHOCOLATE!
Aunt Sally, Uncle Eric, Andy, and Beth
These cupcakes were a dessert that everyone could enjoy.  Vegan, gluten free, and just the right amount of chocolate (even though if KT where here, she would probably want a little more thrown in for good measure.  She was the one who ate chocolate donuts for lunch the last time we visited the New Mexico clan...).

Aunt Sally - Back in dessert action!
Peace, Love, and Freedom!
Pam and KT

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Work of Rhub-ART

Before KT moved up north, she had never had rhubarb pie.  Little did she know that at the height of rhubarb season, the town she now resides in hosts a festival dedicated to all things RHUBARB!!  Thankfully, before the festival was underway, she had a very special person teach her the ways of this tart, stalky fruit.  Here's the story...take it away KT!

This is my friend Stef, aka one of the coolest people ever, aka The Queen of Rhubarb Pie.  When I came to the theatre, she was assigned as my mentor, and little did I know that she would also be teaching me The Ways of the Rhubarb.  She makes the perfect one sunny afternoon we dedicated the day to my new favorite dessert! 

Stef's Perfect Rhubarb Pie
For the Crust:

2 cups Flour
1 tsp. Salt
2/3 cup Vegan Shortening
5 to 7 Tbsp cold Water

For the Filling:

4 cups Rhubarb
1 and 2/3 cups Sugar
1/3 cup Flour
Dash of Salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix together the Flour and Salt, then cut in the Shortening
3. Sprinkle in Water and toss with fork.

4. Roll out two crusts -- one for the bottom, one for the top! Place bottom crust in pie pan.
5. Mix together the filling and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Spoon mixture into the pie crust. Top with the remaining dough.
6. Bake for 50 minutes.
7. Let cool (it's difficult), keep the kitties from eating your masterpiece (even MORE difficult), and try to only eat one slice (the MOST difficult).

Pie Toppers: "S" for Stef and "K" for KT!!

Our perfect Stef and KT pie!!  A true work of Rhub-art.

Who would have thought that when I moved to MN, I would not only gain theatrical experience, I would also gain a new favorite pie.  I have successfully had pie every night for about the past 3 weeks...I just keep making more!  Stef and I have made pie together twice. My friend Carla and I have even started making Cup-Pies (think a cupcake, but a pie!) as well as a few delicious Pear Rhubarb Crumbles (yep, that's plural. We've made at least 3). We might be addicted. All I know is that Rhubarb Pie is amazing, and I'm going to eat as much of it as I can until Rhubarb season is over...and then there's always that stash in the freezer....

The good stuff.

Peace, Love, and Rhubarb Divas
Pam and KT (and special guest star, STEF!!)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Nifty Pizza #11 - Hawaii

It's that time of year again.  Temperatures are rising, kids are getting out of school, and people everywhere are dreaming about their summer vacation destination.  Some lucky individuals will be packing up their bikinis and flying to the beautiful, pristine beaches of Hawaii.  But what about the rest of us?!  Well don't worry...Nifty Pizza #11 should hit the spot!

We took the traditional "Hawaiian Pizza", made it completely vegan, and added a few extra ingredients to take this tropical pie to the next level!

Nifty Pizza #11 - HAWAII!

Dough for 1 Pizza Crust
1/2 cup Pizza Sauce
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
6-8 Pepperocini, sliced
5 slices Vegan Ham, quartered
1/2 cup Pineapple Chunks
1 cup Vegan Mozarella Cheese
1/4 cup Vegan Parmesean Cheese
Sprinkling of Dried Marjoram and Dried Basil

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Assemble the pizza by layering the sauce, peppers, pepperocini, vegan ham, and pineapple.
3. Cover the toppings with vegan mozarella and parmesean cheeses.  Sprinkle with marjoram and basil.
4. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes.
5. Turn on some ukelele music, put on a flowered shirt, and slip on some flip flops before serving yourself up a few slices of Hawaiian Heaven!!

Looking for other Pizza vacation destinations?!  We highly recommend taking your tastebuds to either sunny Florida or California!  If beaches aren't your thing, why not try a gastronomical getaway in Arizona? No matter where you decide to travel this summer, we hope you have a good one...full of pizza!

Peace, Love, and Surf's up dudes!!
Pam and KT

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Sammies

Once upon a time there were two crazy vegans who happened to be mother and daughter.  After 21 years of never living more than an hour and a half away from eachother, the littler of the two packed up her things and drove 700 miles to a new adventure.  Although they were very far away, nothing could stop them from swapping recipes with eachother:  2 delicious from each of us!

First, from KT: this sandwich was inspired by the BBQ Chicken Panini at the Oneota Community Food Co-op in Decorah, Iowa.  The awesome Co-op employees are happy to make any of their Paninis completely vegan!  This sandwich comes complete with BBQ tofu, vegan cheese, red onion, and cilantro mayo.  This is by far the best sandwich I've ever eaten.

BBQ Tofu Panini
1 container Firm Tofu, drained, cut into 1/2" slices, and pressed for 20 minutes
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 Red Onion, sliced thin
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup Veganaise
Generous handful of Cilantro, stems removed
Slices of Vegan Pepperjack and Cheddar style slices
Sourdough Bread

1. Marinate tofu in about 3/4 cup of BBQ sauce for at least 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Remove tofu from sauce and place on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until tofu is browned and very firm, turning once about halfway through (about 1 hour total).
2. While the tofu is baking, combine the veganaise with the cilantro in a food processor and pulse to blend well.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the sliced red onion and saute until it begins to caramelize.

4. Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the Cilantro Mayo on one slice of bread, and BBQ sauce on the other.  Layer on the vegan cheeses, 2 - 3 slices of tofu, and a smattering of red onion. Put the sides together and grill on a panini press or a grill pan. 

Second, from Pam: This sandwich is a Chicken-less Salad Sandwich!  After hearing dozens of people raving about a certain store-bought brand of Chicken Salad, I decided that I could make something that was not only better, but completely cruelty free!

Chickenless Salad Sammie
1 can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Celery, finely chopped
1-2 Scallions, finely sliced
1 Tbsp Parsely, minced
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Slivered Almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup Veganaise
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Paprika
Freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
Slices of Vegan Provolone style Cheese
Whole Wheat Bread

1. Put chickpeas in a bowl and mash about half of them with a fork or potato masher. Add celery, scallions, parsley, dried cranberries, and almonds. 
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the veganaise, soy sauce, lemon juice, paprika, and pepper. Pour over chickpea mixture and stir to combine.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or longer for flavors to marinate. 

3. Assemble sandwiches by toasting whole wheat bread, spread a generous amount of the chickenless salad on one slice, top with the vegan cheese, and second slice of toasted bread. 

No matter where you are or what you pair with it, nothing satisfies quite like a delicious sandwich. We hope you try one or both of these delicious sandwiches and continue to live happily ever after. 

Peace, Love, and Diagonally cut please!
Pam and KT