rants & recipes

Archive for the ‘cream cheese’ Category

Cheesecake Brownies

Posted by trktos on 10-May-2010

This year, I made a triple-batch of vegan cheesecake brownies for the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. They turned out okay … the recipe is from Bryanna Clark Grogan’s Vegan Feast newsletter (Dec ’03 – Jan-’04) , so I’m not at liberty to post it. Sadly, she’s no longer publishing her newsletter but back issues are still for sale. And who can ever have too many tried-and-true vegan recipes?

Anyway, I said they were “okay” … here’s what I learned and what I did differently from the recipe.

I used Silk Coffee Creamer for the soy milk in the cheese filling part.

I omitted the orange zest.

Because the coffee creamer was so much sweeter than soymilk, I attempted to cut back on the sugar in the cheese part, only to add some powdered sugar because the filling wasn’t sweet enough.

I used parchment, liberally. There is no way I could have de-panned them, had I not.

A triple batch is the perfect amount for two 9*13 and one 8*8 pans. I swear, pan sizes in Canada are screwy … don’t think I’ve ever seen a 9*11 pan.

I thought I had way too much cheese and I couldn’t bring myself to use it all. This was a mistake. Note to future self, trying this recipe again – use it all. The brownie part will rise up through some and the cheese filling will set. I repeat, USE IT ALL!

Another note to future self – maybe it would be wise to invest in one of those special “brownie pans” before trying a gooey brownie recipe again. This recipe, like many others, suffered from the “perfect on the outside, ‘raw’ in the middle” syndrome. I baked it longer than called for. I ended up saving out the middles (they were too gooey to send off for the bake sale) … these middles received a second baking in our new convection microwave and I feel a little guilty to confess – I think they were the best of the bunch!

Advertisements

Posted in 0: Recipes, brownies, cream cheese, dairy subs, desserts | Comments Off on Cheesecake Brownies

Vegan Key Lime Pie

Posted by trktos on 11-April-2010

Perhaps I should preface – as far as I know/remember, I’ve never had key lime pie so I don’t really know what key lime pie is like. But this turned out pretty well. Based on this recipe and previous vegan cheesecake experience.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ~12 ounce box Mori-Nu silken tofu
  • 1 8-ounce container vegan cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 2 tsp key lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 and a generous 1/2 tbsp of cornstarch dissolved in:
  • 2 tbsp soy milk (I used 1/2 tbsp Better Than Milk Powder and water)
  • 1 cookie crumb crust (the recipe I used just plain sucked, you couldn’t do worse if you used rocks, I won’t bother to post)

Instructions:

  1. Blend all ingredients (besides zest and crust!) until smooth.
  2. Stir in zest.
  3. Bake in a 9″ spring-form pan, in a preheated-to-350-degree oven for about 30 minutes.
  4. Decrease heat to 325 and bake an additional 10-20 minutes. When done, cheesecake begins to pull away from pan.
  5. Remove from oven and cool in pan. Then cool in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

Yeah, it cracked. But who cares, I’m going to chew it anyway, right?

Posted in 0: Recipes, cream cheese, dairy subs, desserts, pie | Comments Off on Vegan Key Lime Pie

Cashew Ricotta Lasagna

Posted by trktos on 28-November-2009

Ok, I’ve had my eye on this lasagna recipe for a while. I wanted to make it for Vegan MoFo, but like a lot of recipes, I never got around to it during October but I finally made it yesterday.

I should note that imprecise recipes annoy me just a little and I’d usually pass up on a recipe that calls for “2-3 jars of sauce” – did you use 2 or 3? what size?? – but check out that original picture – it looked way too tasty to pass up. So I compared the ingredients with a lasagna recipe I’ve made a few times, and came up with a game plan concerning what tomato products I was going to use.

One thing I was really suspicious about, though, in the original recipe, was the pan size. 11 x 7 pan for all that food? You’ve got to be kidding me. I’m no great judge of volume, but, but – that’s smaller than a sheet of paper?! I suspected there was no way all that food would even fit in my standard 9 x 13 pan. And I was right. I purchased a 10 x 14 deep dish pan – sadly, plentiful this time of year for turkeys and roasts – and even though I didn’t use quite all the ingredients compared to the original, the new pan was full to the brim.

So, here’s what I used. Please see notes, below, for future improvements.

Ingredients, cashew ricotta:

  • 3/4 cup cashews
  • 1 14oz tub extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • ~ 1/2 tsp soy sauce

Instructions, cashew ricotta:

  1. Soak cashews (I used raw, unsalted cashews but roasted, unsalted would probably be good, too) – for an hour or two in cold water and drain. (I added this step because my food processor has problems and I was hoping it would do better with softer nuts).
  2. Blend ingredients in food processor, until smooth.
  3. Set aside.

Ingredients, other cheesey filling:

  • 1/2 pound carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ~ 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 8-oz container vegan cream cheese
  • approx. 1/3 cup diced, reconstituted dried mushrooms and the approx. 1/2 cup water from reconstituting them (in place of vegetable broth, in original)
  • 1 14-oz container extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (argh, I forgot this. Will add next time!)

Instructions, other cheesey filling:

  1. Saute carrots and garlic in some olive oil for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add parsley, mushrooms and “mushroom-recon” water.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, crumbling tofu.
  3. Cook until cream cheese melts.
  4. Set aside.

Other Ingredients:

  • 8 oz spinach
  • 12-14 lasagna noodles
  • 1 25-oz jar pasta sauce (I used Roasted Garlic)
  • 1 15-oz diced tomatoes (I used Fired Roasted tomatoes)
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • optional – vegan shredded cheese to top

Other Instructions:

  1. Wilt spinach in microwave or on stove-top. Set aside.
  2. Combine all tomato ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Cook lasagna noodle until nearly done, remembering they will cook more in the oven. Rinse in cold water. Set aside.

Assembly Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees (at some point during noodle-boiling stage).
  2. Spoon a small amount of tomato sauce into the bottom of a 10 x 14 inch (4 qt) casserole dish, to keep first layer of noodles from sticking.
  3. Start layering with noodles.
  4. Make sure each layer gets one of the cheeses and tomato sauce. I only added spinach to two layers. Top with noodles and repeat.
  5. End with noodles and pasta sauce and/or vegan shredded cheese, if using. (I used about half of a block of FYH mozaralla but I could have used more. I even tossed the shredded cheese with a little oil, but it did NOT melt, at all. Big disappointment. Oven must’ve needed to be hotter. It melts on pizza but that’s baked at 450 degrees!)
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour, 1 hour 20 minutes. (Another draw back of a recipe calling for impossible amount of food to fit in a small pan – cooking times are likely to be off!)

Notes for next time:

  • I could have used a little more veggies. I’ll try to use the 16 ounces of spinace the recipe called for.
  • I’ll make up my half-pound of carrots with onions, carrots and fresh mushrooms. (Not half-pound, mind you. But about 2 cups’ worth?)
  • This could have been a little less-soupy. Next time, I will squeeze “other cheesey” tofu in a cheese cloth.
  • I will use petite diced tomatoes next time, and drain them. I will probably use 2 jars of pasta sauce and 1 can of tomato sauce, plus the drained tomatoes, because I could have used a little more sauce – yes, while simultaneously needing to be less soupy. This is not a contradiction! =)
  • I will plan to cook at 350, covered, for about an hour. Maybe uncovered, 375, for another 30 minutes (checking frequently.)
  • I might also try 2 recipes of cashew ricotta and leave out the other cheesey tofu mixture. (Still using spinach and veggies, of course.)
  • If I want *melted* cheese on top next time, I’ll either go pick up some Daiya from Pangea or melt the FYH on the darn stovetop first, and pour on during last 15 minutes or so of baking.

Posted in 0: Recipes, cashews, cream cheese, dairy subs, grains, starches, italian, lasagna, main dish, pasta, soy cheese, spinach | Comments Off on Cashew Ricotta Lasagna

Creamy Spinach Soup

Posted by trktos on 16-September-2008

I’ve been wanting to make creamed spinach soup for a long time and finally, last night, with a huge tub of spinach that needed to be eaten, I finally managed to give it a try. The following recipe is just a compilation of lots of recipes I found online. If you’re not sure you will like creamed spinach soup, halve this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 1/2 carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • generous amount olive oil
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 vegetable cube (I used Rapunzel no-salt)
  • about 2 tsp vegetable bullion (I used Better Than Bullion, Chick’n)
  • black pepper, red pepper
  • about 10-12 ounces fresh spinach
  • about 3 tbsp Earth Balance
  • dash soy sauce
  • dash Indian curry powder(I used Frontier brand)
  • about 2 tbsp Tofutti Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups plain, unflavored soy milk
  • pinch nutmeg, optional

Instructions:

  1. Sauté onions, carrot and garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add water, potatoes, vegetable cube and bullion.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are almost done.
  4. Add spinach, peppers, soy sauce and Earth Balance.
  5. Cook until spinach is wilted. Lower heat.
  6. Add soy milk, curry, Tofutti. (Don’t boil after adding soy milk and Tofutti.)
  7. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.
  8. Serve with extra Tofutti cream cheese, if desired

Notes:

  • My goal with this soup was to make a blended soup that was satisfying and a meal-in-itself … lower-fat versions would make a wonderful side dish.
  • Two onions would be better, I only had one.
  • Evin, an ardent blended-soup hater, said this was “better than he expected” – high praise, indeed!

    Posted in 0: Recipes, cream cheese, dairy subs, grains, starches, main dish, potato, soup, spinach, vegetables | Leave a Comment »

    Apricot Cream Cheese Brownies

    Posted by trktos on 9-September-2008

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 cup applesauce
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1/2 cup soy milk
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • about 1/2 cup apricot preserves
    • about 1/4 tub Tofutti Cream Cheese

    Instructions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Grease and line with parchment an 8*8 baking dish.
    3. Mix flour and baking powder in a large bowl.
    4. Mix together preserves and cream cheese in a separate bowl.
    5. Mix remaining ingredients in a third bowl.
    6. Add cocoa mixture to flour and stir until combined.
    7. Pour about half the brownie batter into the baking dish.
    8. Spread the preserve/cream cheese mixture on top.
    9. Cover with remaining brownie batter.
    10. Bake about 30 minutes or until brownies test done.

    Notes:

    • Modified from the first review (Duckbill’s) of this recipe.
    • The total weight for the filling ingredients was 210 grams, which was just enough.
    • Once cool, the filling in these was plenty sweet, so more cream cheese, less preserves would probably work, as well as preserves/jam from fruit that more traditionally mixes well with chocolate – cherry or raspberry come to mind.
    • These were wonderful, warm, out of the oven … but once they cooled, they were very sweet. Next time, I’ll use more cream cheese and less jam. Cream cheese and peanut butter would be good, too. (With maple syrup to taste, if using unsweetened peanut butter.)
    • These were also really good with the following for filling (omit apricot and cream cheese from ingredients list, of course): about 1/2 tub Tofutti Cream Cheese, about 1 tbsp Earth Balance, about 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger and 4-6 tbsp powdered sugar – soften ‘cheese’ and Earth Balance in microwave. Stir in ginger, add sugar to taste.
    • Also very tasty – about 1/4 tub of vegan sour cream, 2 – 3 tbsp cashew butter and powdered sugar, to taste.
    • Basically, this would be good with about a cup, to a  cup and a half, of any-flavored filling that goes well with chocolate. You want the filling to be about the same consistency as the batter, maybe a little more “spreadable”.
    • Don’t worry if the filling’s a little lumpy – it’ll even-out as it bakes.

    Posted in 0: Recipes, brownies, cream cheese, dairy subs, desserts, fruit | Leave a Comment »