Archive | February, 2014

5-Minute Masterpiece: Thai Sweet Chili and Lime Edamame

It’s a rare dish that hits the culinary trifecta of being savory, spicy and sweet all at the same time. It’s even rarer when such a treat is also good for you. And rarer still  for it to be a 5-minute masterpiece! My friends, today is a day for rejoicing since we’ve hit the foodie mother load! Behold the awesomeness that is Thai Sweet Chili and Lime Edamame:
Thai sweet chili and lime edamame
What could be tastier than the slightly sweet and spicy flavor of Thai sweet chili sauce combined with fragrant garlic, tangy lime juice and the salty goodness of edamame? It’s the perfect appetizer or snack for those who want big flavors but have little time to cook. This unique edamame dish is literally finger-licking good and packed with protein.  It’s especially great when you’re starving and need something fast (like I was when I created this appetizer), or when friends pop by and you want to watch them turn into human vacuums.
As for the carnivore approval rating for this vegan, gluten-free, low-calorie delicacy, John gives it two chili-sauce-coated thumbs up. He loves this appetizer so much that whenever I serve it, he acts like he’s going for the gold medal in a speed-eating contest. The bowl empties so fast that I’m convinced that an edamame-eating monster is stealing it. Make some today and see if the edamame-munching monster will show up at your house, too!
Edamame monster
Thai Sweet Chili and Lime Edamame
From fridge to table: 5 minutes
Serves: 4
1 pound of frozen edamame (in pods)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
2 tsp lime juice
salt, to taste
Boil salted water in a large saucepan and cook the edamame until tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and stir for 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the Thai sweet chili sauce, remove from heat and stir in the lime juice. Drain the edamame, then toss it with the sauce mixture and add salt to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
But beware the edamame-eating monster…
Advertisements

Vegan Valentine’s: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

IMG_1987

Rejoice! There’s something awesome to celebrate this Valentine’s Day: Vegan Molten Chocolate Lava Cake!  If you want to detonate a depth-charge of love for your taste buds, make this oooey, gooey, chocolaty, moan-worthy vegan delicacy. I guarantee that it will totally blow away carnivores and veggies alike.

It took me 7 attempts to perfect the recipe for this decadent dessert, but all the work and determination was worth it! I didn’t want to just match the intense flavor and alluring texture of the butter- and egg-laden version of this iconic gourmet dessert; I wanted to best it with a truly world-class, connoisseur version that also just happens to be vegan.  And oh man, this melt-in-your-mouth lava cake totally does it! It explodes with the smooth, rich flavor of high quality cacao, and the silky texture will make you scream out “Oh God!! Yes, yes, yes!”  The chocolate lava oozes through dense, velvety cake and beckons you to lick to the plate clean.

This vegan recipe for Molten Lava Cake isn’t only better than all those versions with animal products, it absolutely crushes them!  This is an especially great dessert to make for those who mistakenly think vegans have to deprive themselves of decadence to eat an animal-free diet. And if you’re really nice, you can even invite them to lick the batter with you – it’s vegan, after all, so indulge!

Cimeron’s Vegan Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Serves: 2 (or 4 if you share – this makes two individual cakes, but they’re huge and very filling)
From fridge to table: 20 minutes

6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tsp cornstarch
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup silken tofu
7 oz. Scharffen Berger bittersweet chocolate*, chopped
4 tbsp coconut oil

Vegan ice cream (optional)
Raspberries (optional)

* I highly recommend using Scharffen Berger chocolate for this recipe since its quality and flavor is truly unmatched, and it’s vegan. I tried all kinds of other chocolates for this recipe and none came close to incredibly complex flavor of Scharffen Bergers.

Preheat oven to 425. Generously grease two high-sided ramekins.

In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar and cornstarch and then whisk them to blend. Set aside.

Blend together the soy milk and silken tofu (I prefer using a stick blender for easy clean-up). Set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring constantly. Once fully melted, remove from heat and whisk in the soy milk/tofu mixture. Then pour the chocolate mixture into the mixing bowl and whisk together with the flour, sugar and cornstarch until silky smooth.

Divide equally between the two greased ramekins. Bake for 14 minutes. (If you prefer less lava, bake for 15-16 minutes). Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around inside edge of the ramekins so cakes will release smoothly. Place a plate atop each ramekin and then invert the cakes onto the plates. Top with vegan ice cream and raspberries and serve immediately. Then bask in the symphony of “om nom nom nom noms” that will accompany each bite of this delectable cake!

With this lovely molten lava cake, every day is Valentine’s Day for your taste buds.

Vegan molten lava chocolate cake

Roasted Red Pepper Footuccine

Behold this toetally toeriffic new chopping technique:

Toeriffic new chopping techniqueI don’t recommend trying this method unless you too have broken your hand mountain biking and can’t grip a damn thing in your left hand/club. It also helps if you do a whole lot of yoga and have freakishly good grip with your toes. (Can you hear the gasps from friends who have eaten at my house recently? “You chopped my veggies with your feet?! Oh my God – EW!”) (Heh heh heh heh)

Which brings us to the yummy vegan recipe of the day: Roasted Red Pepper Footuccine. (Well, I used penne pasta, but footuccine sounds much more spectoecular!) Pan-roasting the onion, red peppers and tomatoes brings out a deep, smoky, caramelized flavor that is so satisfying on a cold winter night. The cannellini beans add a kick of protein, and they soak up the rich, savory goodness of the white wine sauce as it reduces. Be sure to finish with toasted herbed breadcrumbs and pine nuts to add a nice crunch to the dish.  This meal so easy to prepare that you can make it with one hand tied behind your back (or encased in a cast).

roasted red pepper penne

Roasted Red Pepper Footuccine
From fridge to table: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-6

3 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped into thin strips
1/2 of a yellow onion, chopped into thin strips
large handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt (preferably a flavored salt, like porcini salt)
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
red pepper flakes, to taste
10 oz fresh penne pasta, or about 3/4 pound dry penne
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
a handful of toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup toasted herbed bread crumbs (I like using panko since it’s so crunchy)

Preheat oven to 425. Toss the red peppers, onion, tomatoes and rosemary in 1-2 tbsp olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast – stirring a couple times while cooking – until veggies are very tender and red peppers start to blacken, about 25-30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large chef’s pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic until fragrant and tender, about 2 minutes. Add wine, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and beans; cook for a few minutes until the wine reduces to about 1/2 cup. Cook and drain the pasta. Toss pasta with roasted veggies, wine sauce and fresh basil. Spoon into pasta bowls and top with toasted pine nuts and toasted bread crumbs. Then high five yourself with your foot and enjoy!

Roasted red pepper pasta