Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

January 9, 2012

Vegan German Chocolate Cake

I wanted to bake a cake as a thank-you to Desi and Rubin’s house for hosting me for nearly a month now.  I like to bake vegan, and my favorite cake is German Chocolate, so I found the following excellent recipe.
















Vegan German Chocolate Cake
recipe courtesy of Morrow Cookbooks/HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

3½ cups all- purpose flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups soy milk

1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder(we recommend Hershey’s)

1 cup canola oil

3 cups real maple syrup

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut- Pecan Frosting
½ cup soy milk

¼ cup cornstarch

1 pinch kosher salt

2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar

1½ cups coconut milk

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 cups sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Vegan Chocolate Ganache
½ cup soy milk

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate

¼ cup real maple syrup


1. To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350°f. Have ready two 8- inch round nonstick cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan to slightly bubbling, and then add the cocoa powder. Remove from the heat and whisk well.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, maple syrup, vinegar, and vanilla. Whisk well. Pour in the soy milk–cocoa mixture, and whisk until smooth.

5. Using a mixer or by hand, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth.

6. Pour the batter evenly into the two cake pans, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Set the cake aside to cool thoroughly.

7. To make the coconut- pecan frosting, whisk the soy milk, cornstarch, and salt together in a small bowl.

8. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the brown sugar in the coconut milk. Cook, whisking, until the mixture comes to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

9. With the mixture on the stove still over low heat, pour in the soy milk mixture and stir continuously until the mixture is very thick and smooth. Remove from the heat and beat in the vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Cool before using.

10. To make the chocolate ganache, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat, and stir continuously until the glaze is smooth. Remove from the heat, stir for another 2 minutes, and then cool to room temperature.

11. To build the cake, place 1 cake layer on a cake plate or stand, and spread a layer of the coconut- pecan frosting over the top (but not the sides). Place the second layer on top of the first, and spread a very hearty layer of the frosting over the top. Using an offset spatula, ice the sides of the cake with a thick layer of ganache. Then warm about ¼ cup of the ganache in a small saucepan, or in a micro wave oven, and drizzle it across the top of the cake (or use a pastry bag to pipe it).

It came out superbly, though not exactly as the recipe describes!  We didn’t have 8 in. cake pans, but we did have two 8 in. pie pans, which are not as deep as cake pans and also have slanted sides (the sides on cake pans go straight up so that you can stack the layers and they’ll fit together!)  I poured a good amount of batter into the two pie pans, but still had quite a bit left in the mixing bowl.  The only other round bakable dish I could find was a large cast iron!  So the cake ended up being three layers, and they were slightly different sizes.  But covered in frosting no one can tell (nor do they care!)

Also, the “ganache” (chocolate drizzle) didn’t become thin enough to drizzle, so I served it on the side.  Delicious.


August 24, 2011

Apple Cider and Blackberry Wine

We’ve been having some fun fermenting various beverages on the bus. There are larger fermenters of mead (honey wine) and a beer in the back, but we decided we wanted to experiment with some other alcohols in smaller batches. Seeing as how we have a limited kitchen on board (no running water, a fairly small stove, small space), we thought we’d stick to the really simple.

First, a cider. There’s really no getting simpler than this. We saw one of those big gallon jugs of apple juice on sale for really cheap and bought it. All that was left was adding a packet of champagne yeast and putting in a cork and an airlock (fancy plastic thing that lets Co2 escape, but keeps air from getting in).

Second, a blackberry wine. We biked out to a beautiful spot on the river the other day. I went  swimming and while I was drying off I walked around collecting blackberries. Its fun as we’re highly evolved to pick berries. Anyways, I ended up picking at least a few pounds of blackberries. To make wine, we put the blackberries in water in a big pot, mashed them up with our hands, added about 2 pounds of white sugar, and then poured in some of the cider (which was full of yeast as it was very actively fermenting at this time). We let this whole combination sit 24 hours in the pot with a cotton cloth covering. The next day we poured the mixture through a sieve into another 1 gallon jug and put another cork and airlock into it. And to top it all of we ended up with 2 big jars full of blackberry mush. Its not quite blackberry jam (a lot of sugar and flavor left and went into the wine), but its delicious with peanut butter. In a week or two we’ll be able to report back as to how the wine is!


June 26, 2011

Moontime Meal

I just started my moontime, so I came up with this delicious four-course meal that’s full of ingredients that are especially good for you when you’re bleeding.


Stir fry:

potatoes (potassium)

onions (vit. A)

garlic (vit. A)

ginger (an analgesic = relieves pain)

dark leafy greens (B6, A, iron, potassium)


Cook a pot of lentils (vit. A) (we cooked brown rice with the lentils cuz we like those two together).

Combine the lentils with the stir fry.



chamomile tea (sedative, intestinal tonic) or echinacea tea (anti-inflammatory).  Both are calming, hydrating, and good for relieving cramps.



chocolate (cuz you’re on your period)

and/or fruit salad with bananas (potassium), oranges (vit. A, potassium), melon (vit. A, potassium), Brazil nuts and/or almonds (calcium)


Happy bleeding!    😉


June 26, 2011

Japanese Cucumber Salad

When you dumpster a bunch of cucumbers, you don’t have a refrigerator, and you don’t want them to go bad…

2 cucumbers, seeded

1/4 c rice vinegar

1 T soy sauce

1/4 t salt

1 T sugar

nori and/or sesame seeds for garnish

Mix it up and enjoy!

June 14, 2011

Strawberry Ginger Lemonade

Every once in a while, a Trader Joe’s will have an empty dumpster, or it will be locked or guarded by security (eugene!! arghh), but that’s pretty much the exception. We showed up in Portland and that night made ourselves at home with a pretty excellent dumpster map.

We scored 25ish lemons and four boxes of strawberries from TJs, so I spent at least an hour squeezing lemons and we chopped up the strawberries and some ginger and made ourselves some delicious strawberry lemonade.

25 lemons

4 boxes of strawberries

a bit of ginger

Squeeze lemons, add strawberries and ginger. We put them into a 1 gallon glass jug, topped off the lemon juice with water and then added a bunch of fructose (a sugar) that I had dumpstered in Boulder last summer. yummmm

May 17, 2011

Butter Making!

So what do you do with a case of heavy whipping cream? Well we tried ice-cream, but we didn’t have any other milk products and ended up basically with frozen whipped cream. It was ok, but bordered on unbearably heavy. Luckily someone mentioned that you can make butter and that he’d seen people making butter by shaking mason jars. About 20 minutes of shaking a glass jar full of heavy whipping cream, VOILA! we had made ourselves some butter. An incredible amount really–I’d say that out of a pint of heavy whipping cream we got ourselves a cup (and a half?) of butter and a cup of milk. So without further ado, here are some instructions to make butter:

Pour one pint of heavy whipping cream into a quart mason jar. Close the top and shake vigorously for 20 minutes. You’ll see the cream go through a bunch of stages. At some point it will be whipping cream and you may get disheartened because it doesn’t look like its turning into butter. Don’t despair, just keep shaking. At some point, it will become very clear that the cream has turned into butter surrounded by milk. It will be very very obvious that you’ve got butter. If its not, keep shaking. Once you have butter and milk, pour off the milk into another container to save (this is just whole milk). Then add cold water to the jar, shake for a minute or so, and then pour off the water. Repeat this until the water you’re pouring off is mostly clear. This rinses off the rest of the buttermilk from the butter. The buttermilk could potentially go sour and ruin the butter much earlier than the butter might go bad. After you’ve rinsed it a bit, dump the butter out, put it in a container and eat it! (or add salt and herbs, but thats up to you)


April 26, 2011

Vegan Gravy

Incredible on corn bread!!

1/2 c veggie oil

1/3 c chopped onion

5 cloves garlic

1/2 c allpurpose flour

4 t nutritional yeast

4 T light soy sauce

2 c veggie broth

1/2 t dried sage

1/2 t salt

1/4 t ground black pepper

Heat oil on saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, ~5 min.  Stir in flour, nutritional yeast, and soy sauce to form smooth paste.  Gradually whisk into broth.  Season with sage, salt, pepper.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, stirring constantly, for 8-10 min, or until thickened.  Eat with corn bread, seriously!!!

March 3, 2011

Sweet Spiced French Toast

We are currently crashed out at Jacob’s house (Jacob lived with the TTT at the old house), taking full advantage of his kitchen.  The question, as always, is “How do we use more of these dumpstered eggs?!?”

6 eggs

1 c soy milk

2/3 c maple syrup

1 t vanilla

dash of nutmeg

1 t sugar

country buttermilk sliced bread

Mix the ingredients in a bowl, dunk the bread slices in so they’re saturated (the particular kind of bread we found is great cuz it’s so absorbent), and place the soaked bread on a greased/buttered pan.  Flip to the other side when ready, serve, and eat!

January 25, 2011

Vegan Potatoes Au Gratin

You might have noticed how many potatoes we scored on our last dumpster run.  Given that we almost always have plenty of nutritional yeast, this seemed like a logical dinner idea.

several green onions, chopped
2-3 squash/zucchini, sliced

several potatos, sliced
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup flour
3 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
a pinch of tumeric
1/4 cup oil
1 cup nutritional yeast
Pre-heat oven to 350°

Pan fry the squash and the green onions until just cooked.  Set aside.

Put potatoes and onion in pot of water, bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt margarine over low heat. Beat in flour with a wisk, continue to beat over medium flame until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Whip in boiling water, salt, soy sauce, garlic powder, and tumeric. Beat well to dissolve the flour mixture. The sauce should cook untill it thickens and bubbles. Whip in oil and nutritional yeast.

In a casserole dish put a layer of potatoes/squash/onions. Spread cheese sauce on top. Add another layer, add more cheese, repeat ’till you are out of potatoes/onions and cheese.  Bake for ~30 min.

January 23, 2011

Apple Crumble

We traveled to Seattle with a huge bag of questionable apples left-over from Food Not Bombs in Davis.  Once settled at my parents’ house we decided to make apple crumble, and it turn out great (sorry, we ate it before a picture could be taken).

Filling: chop the apples into pieces, put them in a pot with a little water, cook them (covered) on medium heat until they’re nice and mushy, add some brown sugar and cinnamon

Topping: mix some brown sugar, cinnamon, oats (or in our case, granola), flour, and butter/margarine

Put the filling in an oven pan, top with the topping, and bake for a while.  That’s all you need to know!