As I type this, I am preparing myself for the impending blizzard that is supposed to happen tonight. I have some movies picked out on Netflix, my coziest sweater on, and Bane has been getting my bed warm for me all day. In a bit, I'll get started on some snow cooking or baking. I am not a fan of snow or cold, so the best way I deal with a snowstorm is so get in the kitchen and keep my hands warm. If you have the same mindset, or if you could just use a delicious treat after your snow-ventures, get those ovens pre-heated because these cookies are perfect for the occasion.
I made these cookies a few different times this winter in an attempt to perfect the recipe. One night, I was on my way home from a friend's house who lives outside the city. I took the train and, on my return, I noticed (read: smelled) there was a Cinnabon in the station. The scent of warm cinnamon baked goods haunted me on my walk back to my apartment and, once there, I decided I needed something cinnamon-y. When I was baking artisan breads, I also prepared the pastries, which included cinnamon rolls. I perfected the art of tightly rolling and cutting cinnamon rolls, so that wasn't a problem. I didn't have any yeast. So it dawned on me.. I could probably make something similar, but in cookie form. They won't be the soft, pillowy deliciousness that is a warm cinnamon bun, but a nice, slightly crisp sugar cookie instead. Well, it fulfilled my cinnamon craving the first go, but there was still some work to be done before I considered the recipe 'blog-worthy.'
I had put off the recipe testing for a bit, until my roommate told me he had a dinner party to attend. The party was hosted by vegans, and asked if I could bake something for him to bring. Of course, I was delighted to test a new recipe on strangers and fellow vegans, so I agreed. I decided to give this recipe another go and they turned out great. He came home and told me that everyone loved them, there wasn't a single cookie left on the plate. I took that as a victory, mission accomplished. So now, I bring this vegan-dinner-party-approved recipe to all of you. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Roll Cookies
For some insane reason, I used to hate mushrooms. Crazy, right? Especially looking through my recipes.. there are mushrooms everywhere! Clearly, my opinion has changed. Now, I can't get enough of them.. I want to put them in everything. I actually have noticed a trend that I've been putting them in recipes too frequently and I'm trying to stray away from that. I know there are plenty of people who don't like mushrooms, so I'd like to take a bit of a break from them for the site. However, before we do that, I have to post a recipe where they are the focal point.
It has officially begun snowing here in Philly. Bane is thrilled. I'm miserable and decided I need soup. There was really no better thyme to make this super earthy, warm, delicious soup. Of course, I first needed to lace up my boots and trek through the snow. Totally worth it. This soup has an incredible flavor, thanks in part to the use of porcini mushrooms. Though they are more costly than other mushrooms, they really do take the average mushroom soup to the next level. I would not recommend omitting them.
If it isn't incredibly obvious, I love deep, earthy flavors in my food. The porcini mushrooms, my gosh, really transform the flavors of what is usually a pretty good soup into something much more. I've also added parsley and lemon to give some contrast. Keeping with tradition, I stuck to barley as the grain for this soup. It has a lot of minerals and I feel it's highly underrated. When the soup has come together, I also like to puree a small portion of it to add back in, or give a quick whirl with an immersion blender. It gives a luxurious base thanks to the fiber in the barley. In sum, if you're feeling a bit under the weather or in need of a warm up, this soup is calling your name. Make it, eat it, take a shot of whiskey.. you'll be feeling better in no time!
Mushroom Barley Soup
This is officially our first breakfast post. While I can't believe it's taken me this long to post something breakfast-y, it also makes a ton of sense. When I first started my 'official vegan transition,' breakfast was the most difficult meal to tackle. Being a vegetarian for about a decade prior, I never ate meat in the mornings. However, I did like to make sure I was getting a protein-rich breakfast. I ate either a greek yogurt or eggs every morning. When I looked into veganism, I had no clue how to eat a protein-rich breakfast. To be honest, I also knew I'd really miss eggs. Most people hold onto cheese for as long as they can, but for me.. it was all about the eggs.
Eventually, I did figure out a go-to breakfast that contained enough protein and was also very filling: oatmeal with hemp seeds and flaxmeal. Plus, some dried or frozen berries, a dash of cinnamon, or some maple syrup to sweeten things up. That's what I eat for breakfast on the daily, but that doesn't require a recipe and it's really quite boring. On my days off, I've been trying to get a little more experimental. Expect some pancake recipes, cinnamon buns, and maybe even a few interesting oatmeal dishes in the future, but for now.. we'll make a nice little tribute to my pre-vegan breakfast: a veganized omelette.
Most egg substitutes for vegans at any brunch spot is tofu scramble. Not only do I try to avoid eating too much soy, but come on.. tofu scramble is boring! I had heard of chickpea flour omelettes before, but I never had chickpea flour around when I was feeling adventurous. So, I set out on a mission. I made this recipe 3 or 4 times before I made one I really liked. Calling it an omelette, of course, makes no sense. Really, it's a chickpea flour pancake. Much like tofu scramble, though, it's yellow and tastes a little bit eggy, so.. we can get away with calling it an omelette. Plus, it still has plenty of protein from the chickpea flour. It's very simple to throw together, contains very few ingredients, and doesn't take long to make. I now make chickpea flour a staple in my pantry.
Basic Vegan Omelette
My favorite variations are pepper and onion with fresh cilantro, or tomato and mushroom with shredded kale.
This recipe is for the basic omelette. I plan to come up with some more interesting versions, but for now, get experimental!
My name is Ellen Jane and I spend my free time doing vegan experiments in my kitchen so you don't have to. Take a look around.