Lavender-Earl Grey Layer Cake with Lavender-Earl Grey-Cointreau Cream Cheese Frosting and Lavender-Blueberry Preserve Filling (vegan & plant-based)

Lavender-Earl Grey Layer Cake with Lavender-Earl Grey-Cointreau Cream Cheese Frosting and Lavender-Blueberry Preserve Filling

I created this cake today for my sister’s birthday. I live in Virginia, she lives in Mississippi, so we celebrated long distance. As a high school art and art history teacher with schools ordered closed by our Governor, I have been trying to work about 5 hours and then treat myself with some other activity. Today, it was baking, a second set of dog walks, and Prosecco sipping while bundled up on the deck.

Yield: one two-layer 6 or 7-inch cake

Note: an 8- or 9-inch pan is more traditional, but I like a smaller taller stack. If you only have an 8- or 9-inch pan, you will need to increase batter by about 1/3 or so.

1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
2 generous tablespoons Lavender-Earl Grey loose tea
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons vegan sour cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Optional:1/2 to 1 teaspoon lavender extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup natural sugar
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
3/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lavender-Earl Grey-Cointreau Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
1/4 to 1/3 cup lavender-blueberry preserves (or plain blueberry with optional 1/4 teaspoon lavender extract stirred in)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 6- or 7-in round cake pan or spray with non-stick baking spray. Pour non-dairy milk into a small saucepan or microwave-safe cup or bowl. Stir in loose tea and heat stovetop or in microwave until simmering, steep a couple of minutes, and then strain through a fine strainer into another cup. Cool.

Whisk together 1/2 cup tea-infused milk and remaining wet ingredients in large mixing bowl. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients in thirds. Whisk just until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 25-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in cake pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around edges, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. While cake cools make Lavender-Earl Grey-Cointreau Cream Cheese Frosting.

Lavender-Earl Grey-Cointreau Cream Cheese Frosting

3 tablespoons vegan butter, softened
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 tablespoons vegan cream cheese, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons tea-infused milk
1 tablespoon Cointreau or Triple Sec
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon lavender extract
3/4 pound confectioners sugar (3/4 one-pound bag)

With an electric mixer, cream together vegan butter, shortening, cream cheese, tea-infused milk, Cointreau, vanilla, and lavender extract. Beat in confectioners sugar, a half cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half crosswise. Spread 1 tablespoon frosting on cake plate and center bottom layer over it to anchor in place. Spread about 1/3 cup frosting on bottom layer. Place all but about 1/3 cup frosting in piping bag fitted with a large star tube and pipe a ring around the edge as a dam. Fill with blueberry preserves. Place top layer over and press down gently. Frost top with remaining 1/3 cup frosting in bowl and decorate with piped frosting swirls.

Refrigerate until serving time, but allowed to come to room temperature before serving for best flavor.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #lavenderearlgreycake

Herb and Garlic Lentil Soup (what to make in a pinch during a pandemic)–vegan and plant-based

I am cooking the pantry and fridge amidst the Coronavirus pandemic trying to make the cheap staples last, but spiffing them up with judicious amounts of garnishes: garlic-herb lentil soup with homemade line crema, Chimichurri, halved grape tomatoes, and smoked almonds.

This isn’t much of a recipe; more of an approach: when Bob went to the grocery store–what I am starting to call the fringe of the frontier–he found a bag of brown lentils, rather than the red ones I had requested, that came with a little vegan herb and garlic pack. (We may have strong supply lines in America, but the runs on the grocery stored are making it look and feel an awful not like food scarcity.)

So I just cooked about 1/3 to 1/2 cup each diced celery, onion, and carrot in a tablespoon of olive oil, added the rinsed lentils and 10 cups of water, cooked them until they were soft, then stirred in four handfuls of baby spinach and about a couple of tablespoons of ketchup because I didn’t have tomatoes. Oh, and a little white wine went in with that broth. They are honestly delicious.

To serve, I dolloped a little vegan lime crema on top along with hree dabs homemade chimichurri, a halved cherry tomato, and a sprinkling of smoked almonds.

Here’s to not hoarding but having plenty!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #lentilsoup #coronavirus

No-Knead Naan (vegan and plant-based)

It turns out my new recipe for No-Knead Homemade Boules makes beautiful naan!

As the recipe indicates, you can store the dough in the refrigerator covered for days. When you are ready to make a piece of naan, simply do this:

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat, and melt about 2scant tablespoon of vegan butter in it as it heats, swirling it around. With flowered hands, pinch off a golf ball piece (or slightly larger) of dough, form into a ball, and then press, pat, and pick up and gently stretch it into an oval or round shape–irregular is great–about 1/4-inch thick. Don’t even worry if it tears, as you can just press it back together. Gently lay the shaped dough into the melted butter in the skillet and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until puffed and golden brown. Repeat for additional pieces of naan. Keep warm inside a folded dish towel or napkin.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegannaan #indiannaan #naan

Homemade Boules (No Knead!, Vegan/Plant-based)

This is the easiest bread I have ever baked, and tastiest I have ever eaten. I can’t wait to experiment with flavored oils and vegan butters to serve with it.

Homemade Boules

Yield: 2 loaves (each serves approximately 4)

2 cups lukewarm water (100°F)
1 tablespoon natural sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon coarse sea or kosher salt
Optional (but recommended): 1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups all-purpose flour

In an 8 cup or so bowl, mix together water, sugar, and yeast. Stir in sea salt and garlic powder if using. Stir in flour, 1 cup at a time. The dough will be somewhat wet. Let rise, loosely covered (so gasses can escape), in a warm place for 2 hours. (To create a warm place, I preheat my oven to warm, turn it off, and let it sit while mixing the dough. Too warm of an oven will kill the yeast.)

When ready to bake a loaf, generously flour your hands and lightly flour a board or work surface. Scoop out half the dough onto the board. No need to knead. Just gather the dough together, turning it once or twice and then gently pull dough from the bottom over the top to form a round domed disk shape. (This is called gluten cloaking.) Refrigerate remaining dough, loosely covered.

Tear off a piece of parchment paper large enough for your pizza stone or baking sheet, place the dome of dough on it, and let it rest for 40 minutes. It will puff and fill out just slightly.

Preheat oven and pizza stone or baking sheet to 450° and maintain that temperature for the remainder of the rest period. Just before baking, with a VERY sharp knife, a straight razor blade taped to a popsicle stick, or a French lame (“lahme”), cut simple marks or a design into the dough about ½-1 inch down. The sharper the blade, the less drag, and the cleaner the cut. (There are YouTube tutorials if you want to get fancy.)

To bake, place 1 cup ice cubes in a metal baking sheet or pan on the rack beneath the pizza stone. (Glass could shatter.) This will create steam while the loaf is baking.

Carefully transfer parchment paper with rested dough onto pizza stone. Bake for 20 minutes, slide parchment paper out from under loaf so that bottom crust can fully crisp, and bake 10 more minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire rack. Let loaf rest for 5 to 10 minutes to avoid gumminess. Brush with olive oil, if desired, and slice with a serrated knife. Serve warm with flavored or plain olive oil and/or vegan butter.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #homemadebread #boules #nokneadbread

Chocolate-Chili Layer Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

This cake is as delicious as it is beautiful. Its dark, rich, and tender layers, redolent of chocolate and coffee with notes of cinnamon and chili (which can be omitted)–are perfectly paired with a gorgeous wedding-pink berry-kissed cream cheese frosting.

If chili and fruit seems like an odd pairing, think BBQ or mole sauces and be prepared to become a believer.

Chocolate-Chili Layer Cake with Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: one two-layer 6 or 7-inch cake

Note: 8- or 9-inch pans are more traditional, but I like a smaller taller stack. If you only have 8- or 9-inch pans, you will need to increase batter by about 1/3 or so.

1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder infused with ground chilis, cinnamon, and sugar (if this is not readily available, simply add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ancho chili powder and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon, along with increasing slightly the amount of sugar as indicated below)
1/2 cup natural sugar (or slightly more If cocoa powder is not sweetened)
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 6 or 7-in round cake pans with non-stick spray. With a pencil, trace around the bottoms on parchment paper, cut out, line bottoms of pans with circles of parchment paper with the pencil side down, and spray bottoms again with non-stick spray.

Whisk together all wet ingredients in large mixing bowl. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients in thirds. Whisk until batter is very smooth, up to 100 strokes if necessary. Divide batter evenly between pans and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in cake pans on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around edges, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. Frost with Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Buttercream

The night before frosting cake, sprinkle 6 ounces fresh raspberries with 2 tablespoons natural sugar, cover, and refrigerate
4 ounces (1 stick or 1/2 cup) vegan butter, softened
4 ounces vegetable shortening
4 ounces vegan cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners sugar
1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips

With an electric mixer, cream together vegan butter, shortening, cream cheese, jam, vanilla and half of raspberries until smooth. Beat in confectioners sugar, a half cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Spread 1 tablespoon on cake plate and center bottom layer over it to anchor in place. Spread about 1/3 cup frosting on bottom layer. Place about 1 cup in piping bag fitted with a large star tube and pipe a ring around the edge as a dam. Fill with remaining half of raspberries. Pipe stars of frosting between berries if desired. Place top layer over and press down firmly. Frost sides and top with remaining frosting in bowl and decorate with piped frosting stars and chocolate chips as desired.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #chocolatecake #raspberrycreamcheesefrosting

Simplest Red Lentil Dal-Spinach Soup… Ever! (vegan and plant-based)

A one bowl wonder that is just what the doctor ordered…

I am home sick from school today with a cold but, by noon, I was just a tiny bit hungry and wanted something nutritious, light, and satisfying made from ingredients in my pantry.

I wasn’t too hopeful, but I found about a half cup of red lentils in a bag–which, as you probably know, cook up to a beautiful golden color and creamy texture–and a can of coconut milk. Hot soup sounded perfect and like it might ease my sinus congestion (which it did!).

Once I had cooked the lentils, they were just beautiful as they were and I was happy to forgo all of those calories from the coconut milk. I cooked the lentils in the microwave and even went back to bed while they cooked, stirring into the bowl in which I cooked them a very few ingredients. And just like that, my soup was finished and so delicious.

Here’s my simple recipe and method:

Simplest Red Lentil Dal – Spinach Soup

Yield: 1 serving

1/2 cup dry red lentils, rinsed and sorted

1 and 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 small handfuls fresh baby spinach or other tender greens

1 teaspoon garlic puree

1 teaspoon ginger puree

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

In a medium to large bowl–because the water will bubble up–cover lentils with water and add salt. Cook on maximum power for about 15 minutes or until very tender with plenty of broth. Remove from heat being careful not to burn yourself and stir in remaining ingredients. Enjoy immediately.

Note: if you are serving for company or even your family, you might want to garnish with cilantro sprigs, roasted and lightly salted chilies, and even seated and very thinly sliced chili peppers.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #soup #indiandal #lentilsoup #quickandeasysoup #lowcaloriesoup

Chimichurri with a Twist (vegan/plant-based)

A simple chimichurri, but I went off script a bit…

I wanted to use juice from fresh limes instead of red wine vinegar, which is traditional. I did, but the flavor needed more depth, so I added just one tablespoon red wine and a tiny bit of natural sugar because it was quite tart,

Oregano is also traditional, but I had none. So I added two rounded tablespoons of Greek seasoning that contains spearmint, oregano, and dehydrated onion. I thought that would be nice, as my friend makes hers with mint. It was perfection!

1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed,
1 large bunch cilantro, rinsed, patted dry, stems removed, and leafy stalks torn in half
Juice of 1 to 2 fresh limes (start with 1 and taste)
1 tablespoon red wine
1 shallot, cut into small chunks
3 to 4 large cloves garlic, quartered
2 rounded tablespoons Greek seasoning (with spearmint, oregano, dehydrated garlic) or 2 level tablespoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon natural sugar (or 1 1/2 teaspoons if only using 1 lime)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 to 1 cup olive oil

Process all ingredients except olive oil until minced. Scraow down sides of bowl. With motor running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning. Store covered in refrigerator.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #chimichurri

Confetti Queso (vegan, plant-based, and low calorie)

This entire delicious, nutritious, and beautiful recipe is only 1,000 calories. It is irresistible served with raw vegetables or chips as a dip, served over Fritos like a Frito Pie, or used as a filling for quesadillas (as photographed) or enchiladas.

I typically make my queso with cauliflower only, but I happened to have a bag of both cauliflower and broccoli. Since I was going to be stirring in spinach and other goodies, I figured the green flecks would not be a distraction.

I was right!

12 ounces cauliflower and broccoli florets, steamed or microwaved covered with water until tender; reserve at least one cup cooking water
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons light miso
1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
1/2-1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1/2-1 teaspoonChipotle chili powder
1/2-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 can diced tomatoes with cilantro and lime
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chopped steamed spinach
1 can hominy or fire roasted corn, rinsed and drained

In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process steamed cauliflower and broccoli, nutritional yeast, miso, mustard, both chili powders, smoked paprika, and garlic and onion powder until smooth, adding about 1 cup cooking water, 1/4 cup at a time, to achieve a thick sauce like consistency.

Transfer to a large saucepan, bring to a simmer, adding more water if necessary, and stir in all remaining ingredients.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #queso #lowcalorie #quesadillafilling #enchiladafilling

Best Ever Vegan Chicken Salad (plant-based)

Who knew that tofu was going to end up being the protein of choice for my ultra easy, ridiculously tasty, nutritious, and beautiful vegan chicken salad?

I teach high school art and art history and school lunches are always tricky. I never have an opportunity to leave my classroom, so it needs to be something that can be eaten room temperature or cold out of my lunch bag. And it needs to be filling, but not make me sleepy, and it’s best if I can nibble on it for a while. I keep a bottle of mouthwash in my cabinet so that I can eat spicier food, but it’s best not to permeate the room or myself with strong and potentially offensive aromas.

This chicken salad is delicious at school, at home, or even for company. You can add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning if you like, but I feel the flavor is a little overpowering. So I keep it really simple. I have spiced it up a touch with some ancho chili powder or smoked paprika, but I think plain is my favorite. My partner, Bob, loves Chicken sandwiches with mayonnaise and capers. I thought about adding some, but after I sniffed the capers, which I actually like, it just wasn’t the flavor profile I was going for. As for texture, definitely mash the tofu rather than dicing it.

I would recommend trying it as published and then playing with it to your heart’s content.

Best-Ever Vegan Chicken Salad

7 ounces baked tofu (I use Nasoya brand)

2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I use no calorie mayonnaise from Harris Teeter unless I have made some of my 8 to 10-calorie Blooming Platter Mayonnaise which is only 10 calories per tablespoon, but use Vegenaise or whatever you prefer)

2 tablespoons vegan sour cream

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

10 to 12 firm green grapes, quartered

1 celery heart sliced lengthwise into quarters and then finally diced

4 to 5 very thin green onions very finely sliced (used two to three if thick)

2 tablespoons roasted and lightly salted sunflower seeds

8 to 10 plump pecan halves, roasted or not, broken into pieces

Using your fingers, crumble tofu into a medium bowl. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold in remaining ingredients, taste, and serve immediately or refrigerate. This salad is delicious served with fresh vegetables as scoops, on a toasted whole wheat sandwich with curly lettuce, stuffed in a tomato for a truly vintage presentation, perched stop crackers, etc.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganchickensalad #plantbasedchickensalad

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