25 March 2009

Brown Rice & Apple Muffins

I enjoy getting and reading the Vegetarian Times and sometimes I use their recipes. Mostly, I use their recipes as a 'jumping off point' to do my own version of their recipes for various reasons. In a 2006 issue, they published a recipe for Apple Oat Muffins. It turned cold today and muffins seemed like a good idea. I glanced at the recipe and saw the ubiquitous 'quick-cooking oats' as a major component.

I have a thing about quick-cooking oats as well as 'instant' oats. The 'manufacturers' of these things take an excellent food, remove whatever they can for convenience, and ruin it. Anyone who has had proper oats would never eat the stuff. So, there is no way I'm going to buy quick-cooking oats to make muffins. I do have some multi-grain cereal flakes, but that would be too easy to substitute.

While perusing recipes, I vaguely remembered seeing a recipe for cornbread that added cooked quinoa to it. So, not having quinoa, but having brown rice, I decided to experiment.

The results were excellent. The brown rice keeps everything very moist and soft.

Brown Rice & Apple Muffins

Servings: 12
Approx 170 calories per muffin

2 c medium apples, peeled and finely diced
1 1/2 c flour, all-purpose
1 c Brown Rice - Cooked
1 c brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 c Soy Yogurt - plain unsweetened
1/4 c soy or almond milk
2 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (see note below)
1 Tbs Flaxseed Meal
3 Tbs water

Preheat oven to 400F
Spray muffin pan with baking spray
In a small saucepan, heat 3 Tbs of water. Add 1 Tbs flaxseed meal and cook 3 minutes until thickened. Set aside to cool.

Combine remaining dry ingredients in a bowl. Add diced apple and mix.

Combine remaining wet ingredients in bowl, add flaxmixture and mix.

Add wet to dry and stir until just mixed.

Add batter to muffin pan. (The individual muffin cups will be very full, but do not rise enough to overflow when baked)

Bake for 20 minutes or until centers pop back when pressed

Note: I'm not a big fan of vanilla, so only put 1 1/2 tsp in. If you like the taste, you might increase that to 2 tsps.

19 March 2009

Fham (aka Fake Ham)

I'm one of the possibly 5 people in the world who actually likes tofu. I wouldn't choose it over, say, chocolate, but it's ok. Some of the commercial baked and smoked varieties are downright good. I have not had much luck duplicating the baked flavored and smoked tofu, so when I discovered seitan, it filled me with new hope. Here was a product in the store that, supposedly, I could duplicate at home.

All the seitan recipes I found produced pretty decent seitan by simmering the 'dough' in flavored liquids for an hour. I mostly used the recipe from Veganomicon. A few times, however, the texture wasn't quite right. So, I started simmering the seitan for a while and then baking it for a while. The texture got better, but as I was experimenting, I found this posting on Post Punk Kitchen, called Seitan O' Greatness.

I tried the recipe and, although I didn't particularly like the flavor, I loved the texture. And it was sooooo easy to make. So, I started using the basic concept of baking, but developing my own flavors. A few of them might get posted here, and we'll start with Fake Ham Seitan. Tae insists that I call fake bacon 'facon', so I'm guessing she'll complain unless I call this one:

Fham (aka Fake Ham)

1 1/2 tsp hickory smoke powder (NOT hickory salt)
3/4 c gluten
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp roasted garlic granules (or garlic powder)

3 oz water
1 1/2 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 325F.

Mix dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl.
Add wet to dry and mix well until all is damp.
Knead by hand for a minute or two. (I knead 60 times because I find that easier than timing it)
When the 'dough' is firm and not grainy, roll it into a log about 6-8 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.
Wrap in parchment paper. (You can wrap it snugly, but it doesn't need to be tight)
Then wrap again in aluminum foil. (Again, snug is good enough)

Bake on the oven rack for 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven, unwrap and cool on a wire rack.
When totally cool, wrap in plastic and refrigerate

Slice thinly and pan fry for a more bacon-like product.
If you aren't a fan of salty ham, leave out the tsp of salt.
I bought my hickory smoke powder from AmericanSpice.com and was pretty happy with the delivery and the product.