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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Banana Corn Fritters for One



These substantial cakes could serve for breakfast with a sweet topping or dinner with a savory one. They’re savory on their own, though, and I like them just drizzled with vinegar for a lunch that will keep me going far into the night.

2 teaspoons flax seed meal
3 teaspoons water
2 TBLSP yellow cornmeal
2 TBLSP unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch garum masala (or ground curry)
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground ginger
2/3 of a single banana
Squirt of lemon juice
¼ cup cooked corn
1 ½ teaspoons almond milk
1 TBLSP canola oil 
  1. In a small bowl, combine the flax seed and water. Give it a good stir and then leave it alone to get all gloppy.
  2. In a cereal bowl (or there-about in size), combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and spices.
  3. In another cereal bowl (or about that size), mash the banana with a fork and squeeze the lemon juice over the top.
  4. Add the corn, flax seed glop, and the milk to the banana, and stir to combine well.
  5. Combine the banana mixture with the cornmeal mixture and stir until just barely combined. It should be a lumpy bumpy batter
  6. Heat the canola oil in a skillet, and when it’s hot, drop the batter in two TBLSP at a time to make nice little patties. Let them brown on the first side and then flip them with a spatula. Don’t cook ‘em too hot or they’ll just burn to the pan and be hard to manipulate.
  7. When both sides are browned to your satisfaction, let them rest on a paper towel to soak up some of the oil while you finish cooking the rest of the batter.

I like to put it over a simple salad, sprinkle it with pomegranate (or balsamic) vinegar, and salt and pepper and call it a meal.

These can be served for breakfast with syrup, as a filling for a sandwich, or broken up on your ice cream. They’re savory, but they go nicely with sweet too! 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Banana Ketchup for One



Did you know that ketchup doesn’t only mean a sweet tomato condiment? It’s a Chinese word, thought to have originated in Malaysia in the earliest decade of the 18th century and meaning “pickled fish sauce.” It now means “any of various piquant sauces containing vinegar” and that’s what this recipe is all about.

Slosh of canola oil
¼ cup white or yellow onion, chopped
½ teaspoon ginger, minced
Pinch salt
Pinch allspice
1 banana, mashed
2 TBLSP cider vinegar
½ TBLSP rum (dark, if you’ve got it)
¾ teaspoon tamari (or soy sauce)
Pinch ground turmeric
1 TBLSP water 
  1. Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Sauté the onion, ginger, and salt, covered, and stirring often, until brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the allspice and cook uncovered until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add in the banana, vinegar, rum, tamari, and turmeric. Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer, stirring often.
  4. Reduce to low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is very thick, perhaps 15 minutes.
  5. Take it off the heat. Using an immersion blender or waiting until it’s cool enough to place in a food processor or blender, whirl away until the sauce is a smooth puree. 

 Use on meatless burgers, dip chips into it, or try it as a sandwich spread. In the image, you see banana ketchup sharing space with a Banana and Corn Fritter (recipe coming shortly), Plum Sauce (recipe here), and, in the bottom-most image, with Banana and Orange Relish (recipe coming shortly)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Savory Banana Tofu for One



You know that tofu has very little flavor on its own, right? This is going to sound crazy, but if you put savory flavors with the gentle and creamy sweetness of a banana, you really have something. You can buy plum sauce in the Asian section of most grocery stores, but try making your own: Plum Sauce while plums are in season.
7-ounces of firm tofu (about half a block)
2/3 of one very ripe banana
2 TBLSP dry white wine
1 clove garlic (more if you’re brave)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ teaspoon garum masala (or curry powder)
Salt to taste
½ TBSP peanut butter
½ TBSP plum sauce
2 ½ teaspoons vegan sour cream
2 TBSP water
  1. Slice the tofu so that you have two long slabs about 1-inch high each. Press them between two plates (put a can or more plates on top of the stack) for about 15 minutes to reduce the amount of water in there.
  2. Meanwhile, heat your waffle iron (yes, your waffle iron) and spray it well with cooking spray. Cook the tofu in there until it’s slightly golden and quite firm to the touch. Slice it into bite-sized pieces and set it aside.
  3. In a food processor, whirl the banana, white wine, garlic, pepper, garum masala, and salt until it’s fairly smooth. Add the peanut butter, plum sauce, and sour cream and whirl again. Don’t taste it. It’s pretty weird at this point. Don’t worry. Cooking changes everything.
  4. Empty the sauce into a skillet large enough to hold the tofu (don’t put the tofu in yet, though). Add the water to the empty food processor, and whirl just enough to clean the remaining bits out of it. Add that to the pan. Heat it through. It doesn’t need to be sizzling or boiling. Just hot.
  5. Plop the tofu pieces into the sauce and heat until just cooked through. It’ll only take five or so minutes.


Serve over rice or pasta. I like it with some fresh sprouts or other greenery, but you play around, see what suits you best. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Peanut-Butter Banana Pancakes for One



Everyone like peanut butter and bananas, and everyone like pancakes. So rush into the kitchen right now to make these and start your day with a happy dance!

1 teaspoon flax seed meal
1 1.2 teaspoon water
½ banana, mashed
4 teaspoons (or a loaded TBLSP) of faux cream cheese
A splash of vanilla extract
½ TBLSP (or 1 ½ teaspoons) of peanut butter
1 TBLSP almond flour (you could also use oat or coconut flour)
½ TBLSP whole wheat flour (you could use all whole wheat, all oat, or some other kind of flour and they’ll still be yummy. Even gluten-free!)
A heavy sprinkle of ground cinnamon
A pinch of baking powder
  1. Combine the flax seed meal and water in a small bowl. Set it aside to become a gooey mess.
  2. In another bowl, stir together the mashed banana, cream cheese, vanilla, and peanut butter. It may take some effort. Then add the flours, cinnamon, and baking powder. Add in the glop that your flax seed meal has become and stir until it’s well mixed.
  3. Scoop half the batter into a greased and hot pan. Let it cook for about 4 minutes, until bubbles have popped all over the top. These may take a little longer than you expect because they’re quite thick. Then flip it and cook the other side, until golden brown, about another 2 minutes. Repeat with the other half of the batter.

Serve warm with extra peanut butter, sliced banana, and maple syrup.
Variations:
  • You could toss in a handful of chocolate chips or raisins. Or peanuts! Go crazy! Candied ginger is nice too!
  • You could top them with jam or a variety of fruits.
  • You could drizzle chocolate sauce over them instead of syrup.
  • You could use agave nectar instead of syrup. 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

Peach Crumb Muffins for One



This recipe combines one of my favorite stone fruits and a quick bread, which is my favorite thing to eat for breakfast. If you don’t have any peaches in your house right now, rush right out and stock up!

1 ½ TBLSP flax meal
½ teaspoon water
5 ½ TBLSP all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
2 shakes of cinnamon
2 teaspoons coconut oil or vegan butter, melted
2 ½ TBLSP non-dairy milk (I like almond)
Squirt of lemon juice
2 ½ TBLSP pitted, peeled, and chopped peach (about 1/3 of a peach)
2 TBLSP all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 TBLSP granulated sugar (or try it with brown sugar for a caramel twist)
1 teaspoon vegan butter, softened.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two spots in a muffin tin.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flax meal and water, stirring until it’s all wet. Let it sit for a few minutes to become a nice viscous glop.
  3. In another small bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Add in the coconut oil or vegan butter, milk, and flax glop. Give it a good stir and then gently fold in the peach pieces.
  5. Fill the muffin tin about ¾ of the way up.
  6. In a small bowl (you can re-use one of the others, if you like), mix the flour, sugar, and butter together with a fork until it’s crumbly.
  7. Sprinkle the crumbly topping on top of the peachy batter.
  8. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden.
  9. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before decorating with a slice of peach and a blop of faux cream cheese and devouring.


In the photo, you can see that I paired these tasty muffins with a left-over Angeled Non-Egg. Yummy!

Variations:
  • Try it with a nectarine instead of a peach.
  • Put about half of the batter into each muffin tin, blop in some peach jam and then cover with the rest of the batter for a nice peachy surprise inside.
  • Put the whole batch into a single (greased) mini-loaf pan and top with crumble for a more dessert-like treat. 




Monday, July 20, 2015

Sour Cream and Onion Dip for One



Sometimes, you want to have a quiet night at home with a movie or a book. But that doesn’t mean you have to eat plain old popcorn or maybe a piece of celery dipped in peanut butter. Nope. Go ahead and make up this little treat and feel spoiled and pampered.

¼ cup vegan sour cream
¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
2 TBLSP finely chopped cilantro (you can use parsley if you’re cilantro-averse)
2 TBLSP finely chopped green onion
½ lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Hefty pinch of celery salt
½ teaspoon grated yellow onion (or diced tiny)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Doubles well.

Variations:
  • Add roasted garlic if you want the dip to bite back a bit.
  • Add chili flakes or sliced fresh spicy peppers for zing. (I’m allergic, so you’ll have to tell me if that’s good.)


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Faux Crab Cakes for One



The only thing this recipe has in common with crab cakes is, well, everything but the crab. If you wanted to make it taste a bit more like crab, you could sprinkle in some flakes from that spice that’s rather vaguely called “Crab Boil,” but I like these just fine. The tofu will take on any flavors you want it to, so you could also easily go Italian, Chinese, Mexican, or anything you can imagine!  

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 slice yellow onion, diced
¼ carrot, diced fine or shredded
8 ounces firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and crumbled (about a cup)
1 ½ teaspoon cornstarch
1 TBLSP nutritional yeast
½ rib celery, diced small
Slosh of dry white wine
Sprinkle of salt
Grind or two of black pepper
Squirt of lime or lemon juice
1/3 cup breadcrumbs, finely ground
Another sprinkle of salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup almond milk (any non-dairy milk will do)
Oil for frying
  1. Sauté the onions and carrots in olive oil until they’re soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, until you can just begin to smell the garlic. Place it in a bowl (it’s going in the refrigerator).
  2. To the onions and carrots, add the tofu, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, celery, wine, salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and mix until thoroughly combined.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Put the flour in a plate or small, low-edged bowl.
  5. In another small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and salt.
  6. In another small bowl (perhaps your measuring cup), pour the milk. It needs to be shallow enough that you can get most of your hand in there along with the patty.
  7. Form a small patty and coat it with the flour. Then dip it into the milk. Finally, coat it in the breadcrumbs.
  8. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.
  9. Heat the oil to medium-high, and then fry your little patty first on one side, and then, flipping with a spatula, on the other. Try to only flip it the one time, as it will be fragile.


Serve atop greens, between buns, or snarfle them down sauced and alone with all the mad fervor of a thousand rabid dogs.
 In the photos, you can see that I’ve served it with sides of banana ketchup (recipe coming), plum sauce, and carrot and rice sauce (also coming soon).