gingerbread is my life

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Happy New Year! As we ring in 2011 I have mixed feelings...slightly let down from the excitement of the holidays but also looking forward to a clean slate in the new year. This is the first year that I haven't written down any resolutions...I guess I couldn't think of one specific area to focus on in the upcoming months. Last year my resolution was to shop less. That lasted about four months...so this year I've resolved not to make any promises that I can't keep. But, I can help all of you out there whose resolutions pertain to diet. Vegan recipes are very healthy and can make you feel better and drop a few lbs that you may have piled on during cookie season (even vegan cookie recipes can be healthy!) December is such a busy time with Christmas shopping, family gatherings, and for me at least-two shows a day of Nutcracker. Barely any time to blog! So I saved some holiday recipes that I wasn't able to share-just in case you didn't get enough of the special treats that are always readily available during Christmas time. I'll start with a simple gingerbread cookie recipe that I sent out in some of my Christmas packages. Its very classic and reminds me of my mom's molasses cookies. One batch I used a cute little gingerbread man cookie cutter and another I made cookie sandwiches with peppermint frosting.

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (white)
  • 2 teaspoons ginger, ground
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg substitute (I used one tablespoon flaxseed meal with 3 tbsp warm water)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon vegan margarine, melted
  • 2 cups flour

They are from vegalicious...the method can be found here (http://www.vegalicious.org/2010/12/10/vegan-gingerbread-cookies/)! I used a different frosting recipe for the cookie sandwiches though.

Peppermint Frosting

Melt one tbsp of vegan margarine in a small bowl. Add one cup of powdered sugar and a dash of non-dairy milk (I used low-fat vanilla almond milk). Add additional milk and powdered sugar until your desired consistency is reached. Add 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and all natural red food coloring if you desire.

One of my holiday traditions is making fudge for one of my besties Jennifer Ham. She has a thing for dark chocolate and reminds every year that she is expecting a tin full of my fudge for Christmas. This year she was particularly concerned about it since I am now vegan...would I still make her fudge? Duh. So I attempted to make vegan fudge in the hopes that it would live up to the fudge of Christmas' past. I think it did! I little harder to eat perhaps as it was not a firm but I plan on perfecting it for next year!!

Vegan Fudge Ingredients

4 cups powdered sugar ½ cup cocoa powder ½ cup nondairy milk 2 tablespoons nonhydrogenated margarine 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

½ cup Ricemellow Creme

The method is from Cuisine Junction (http://www.cuisinejunction.com/vegan-fudge) I added extra dark chocolate and held out on a little of the powdered sugar! So Yummy!

Another dish that I have been making a lot lately is tofu scramble. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner-it works. Christmas morning my sister made a particularly exceptional batch. It was filled with onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, cumin, paprika, spike, heirloom tomatoes and perfectly crumbled extra firm tofu. But there was some other magical ingredient that separated this scramble from the ones I make at home...nutritional yeast flakes. These powdery yellow flakes give the tofu an almost cheesy texture and an extra punch of flavor.  Scrumptous! I usually pair the scramble with tempeh bacon strips or whole wheat english muffins!

Now onto some good recipes for the new year! If you want to eat better its hard when you are at work or want to grab a quick bite. I try to make things in the morning and bring them with me to rehearsal or the theater. Usually some type of high protein grain topped with veggies, or a salad with tofu or tempeh. I recently made this tabouli salad:

Tabouli Veggie Pile

Ingredients

broccoli

onions

carrots

tomatoes

greens beans

spinach

pre-made tabouli

You can make your own tabouli but they sell vegan tabouli at most healthy markets and it's easy to throw in wraps or on a salad like this. I started by lightly steaming the  green beans, carrots, and broccoli. Wash and dry the spinach and place in a bowl. Thinly slice the onions and add to the spinach. Throw the cooked veggies in. Slice grape or cherry tomatoes and add. Squeeze some lemon juice and olive oil over the top. Add plenty of tabouli and mix well! This salad is also good with quinoa if you want to add more protein.

And finally a starchy snack that is my most recent obsession. Purple mashed potatoes. I saw some purple potatoes at the farmers market recently and couldn't resist. A restaurant in Malibu called Coogies used to serve purple mashed potatoes with steak and I was always baffled by the color! My method is very simple...just cut the potatoes into large cubes and boil until tender. I leave the skin on because I like it but you can always peel it if you prefer. Drain the potatoes and mash adding dashes of non dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk) to soften the mixture. Add sea salt and garlic powder to taste. And that's it! A mouth watering pile of purple potatoes!

More to come soon! Next post: enchiladas and twitter! Stay tuned!