Friday, October 10, 2008

The Return of Muffins

Before summer, I made a batch of muffins at least once a week so that Phil and I always had something to munch on in the morning, but once the heat hit I avoided the oven like the plague (especially if preheating was involved). Well, upon purchasing a secret ingredient that I promised Phil I would make muffins with, I decided yesterday that I might as well start.

What is the secret ingredient, you ask?

Many of you no doubt recognize this, expecially if you read VeganYumYum, since she made "cupcake pies" with these in September (I discovered this after Googling them today to check some last minute facts). Phil and I, however, did not know what they were. We saw them at a small farmers market, and upon asking what they were, we were given a little sample. Hmm. Weird, fruity, tomato-ey, sweet, savory, acidic-- all these things in one little grape-sized berry enveloped in a papery husk.

I didn't think they were quite sweet enough to replace just any fruit, but after looking through my recipe books for a basic muffin recipe, I thought they might do well in a slightly modified version of VWaV's Ginger Raisin Muffins... and I think I was right.

Personally, I think I modified this enough for it to be a different recipe and to share it, so I will. And on the off-chance that someone (like Isa, though she'd ever read this blog) is offended, please alert me promptly and I will remove it. Additionally, if you don't own VWaV, you probably already know that everyone else does and loves it, so you should, too.

Ginger Almond Groundcherry Muffins (i.e. Physalis)
Makes 12 standard-sized muffins


  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger*
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. oat flour**
  • 1 c. rice milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. rinsed groundcherries
  • 1/4 c. raw almond slivers, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and oil your muffin tin or line with papers.

Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and the oat flour. Make a well and add the liquid ingredients. Mix until combined, but be careful to not overmix. Fold in the groundcherries and almonds.

Distribute evenly throughout the muffin cups, garnish with almonds, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!

* Dry, ground ginger. I noticed someone else made this recipe and used fresh ginger, probably microplaned. If you choose to do that, increase the amount accordingly... not sure what the equivilant would be, though.
** Throw some rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder and go crazy.

I think these would also be good in an orange or lemon muffin, too...

I'll leave you with what was an awesome lunch:

Hot veggie and tofu hoagie, kale chips and quinoa with corn and peas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food, food, everywhere...

I guess I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping up with Vegan MoFo, and frankly, I probably won't get better. But, we have been cooking a little bit more lately. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of Phil's latest batch of chili, but believe here are some other things I've been making:

Mac 'n Cheese from Vegan Vittles, with peas and sauteed shrooms. I've been in a mac 'n' cheese mood lately-- this was the second time in a week that I made this! This time I baked it, as called for, and found it to be a little dry. Next time I will either use less pasta or make more sauce.

We got a surprise (but very welcome) visit from Phil's brother, Sean, late Friday night. That's Phil with the guitar and Sean with the coffee on Saturday morning.

In honor of his brothers appearance, Phil made his famous brunch for us: breakfast taters and a tempeh scramble with toast. Phil's the only person I know that make a tempeh scramble instead of tofu. He simmers the slab of tempeh in broth and spices beforehand, to keep it moist and flavorful. Anyone else ever try it?

Last but not least was our pre-debate dinner last night. The picture is horrible-- sorry-- but we made a simple stirfry over quinoa with more tempeh and fresh produce from the Tuesday Farmer's Market.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vegan MoFo 1 & 2!

No, I just couldn't watch everyone else do it and not join in (that's right, I'm one of those). Actually, I had every intention of doing my first entry last night, but it sort of sizzled out after I watched this really mediocre movie called Smart People. Heard of it? It was OK... but it fizzled, and I fizzled, and you know. I went to sleep.

So, as a result, this post is going to be filled with food and pictures. Part of the reason for that is because I think Phil and I spend too much on food, so I've decided to start making as many things from scratch as I can. Mind you, I go through this phase fairly often and it usually fizzles, too! But I'm hoping this will stick for at least a little while. Because I'm broke. At any rate, this decision means that I have a lot of cooking/ baking to do, so I started today after work, and I'm pretty proud of the results.

But first I wanted to share another Phil Meal, made and eaten last night:

Fancy pasta by Maestri Pastai, which is made in Italy and therefore is super expensive. Well, the bag (1.1 lbs.) was $5.50 or so, so I guess that's expensive but not super expensive. Phil made the marinara, and "meat"balls from GimmeLean, ground beef style. If you're interested in making meatballs from this stuff, I suggest heavily seasoning it and maybe adding some bread crumbs, or something that will give some variation to the texture!

And then I made a salad:

Using a dressing on the back of an Eden Soy carton of soy/rice milk. Not bad: walnuts, pepitas, cremini schrooms and dried Turkish apricots over a bed of fresh spinach.

So, what did I do today? Well...

I made granola:
Rolled oats, rolled rye flakes, cashews, almonds, pepitas and dried Turkish apricots, with very little sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and a wet mix of molassas, juice, applesauce and water. Most granola is so sweet, but this is not, and that's great by my book.

... dinner tonight:
Mashed potatoes, frozen chopped spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil, and the Southern Fried Tofu from Vegan Vittles. This was awwwwesome.

And my biggest achievment today:

Vegan Dad's Farm-Style Whole Wheat Bread. Just as his recipe/blog entry boasts, this loaf is light, soft, and versatile. The dough was really easy to work with, it rose beautifully, and the end product is great (even if my loaves aren't perfect!) I'm looking forward to making this bread often and mastering it (and maybe adding some yummy seeds, too)! I'm freezing one loaf, and eating the other this week.

Happy MoFo, y'all!