"The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine."
- Hippocrates

March 18, 2010

Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce

It's Friday!! You know what Friday means in my house? Pasta night!! Yup, for the last few years we've been having pasta dinner every Friday night and still look forward to our end of the week meal!

Now, I'm a fan of simple pasta sauce. No big chunks of veggies or fake meat in my sauce...just a simple and tasty tomato sauce that's great for dipping your garlic bread in. Sometimes I even forgo the pasta and just have garlic bread and sauce...yes, it's strange...but sooooo good!!

After seeing all the added crap that goes into store-bought sauce I started making my own every Friday. It's really only a couple more steps than just opening a jar and heating. Try it out tonight...maybe you'll start a new tradition too!

1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans tomato paste (just the regular small size)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp
agave syrup* OR 2-3 tbsp sugar (to taste)
2 tsp dry basil
2 tsp dry oregano
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

* You can find agave (a sugar substitute) in most grocery stores, if not, check your local health food store.

In a blender or food processor, blend diced tomatoes, paste, and garlic. While it's blending, add the olive oil. Place blended sauce in a saucepan, add remaining ingredients and heat slowly until simmering. Serve when hot! That's it!

I recommend cleaning up any leftover sauce with some toasted garlic bread...mmmm...yum!

Enjoy everyone

March 5, 2010

Double Layer Chocolate Cake with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

Ok people, who doesn't like chocolate cake? Right, just as I expected...no one! Good! Let's get on with this post then...

There's a common misconception that vegan baking is similar to eating cardboard...bland and dry. Well, as a lover of all things sweet and dessert-like, I'll be the first to tell you that that's completely untrue. I've made countless desserts using no eggs, butter, or milk and they always turn out fantastic!

This double layer chocolate cake with chocolate frosting is moist, flavourful, and very easy to make! It's one of my all-time favourites! And there's a fun secret about the frosting that will shock anyone who tastes it...it's made with tofu!! Yup, the frosting is the best part of the cake and it's simply tofu and melted chocolate! Your party guests will NEVER believe you! Make sure you get the
SILKEN tofu though, rather than the usual block tofu you might fry up in a stir-fry, this stuff is soft and creamy when blended, and it's specially made for desserts! You can usually find this stuff on the shelf at your grocery store and natural food store, just ask if you're unsure.


Cake Batter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups unrefined sugar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups water
2 tbsp rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup canola oil

2 pckgs (349-g) SILKEN extra-firm tofu, patted dry
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (generous) non-dairy chocolate chips

For the cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda, then add in sugar and salt and mix well. In another bowl, combine water, vinegar, extracts, and oil. Add wet mixture to the dry, and stir until well combined. Pour into 2 lightly oiled round cake pans, distributing batter as evenly as possible. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack.

For the frosting
In a food processor (don't use a mixer, it won't smooth out the tofu), combine tofu with maple syrup and vanilla, and puree until very, very smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Meanwhile, melt chocolate in a bowl fitted over a pot with simmering (not boiling) water. Pour melted chocolate into food processor with tofu mixture, and puree again until well incorporated (again, scraping down sides of bowl). Transfer to a container and refrigerate until cool (will thicken as it cools). Once cool, spread frosting on cake layers, then refrigerate cake for a couple of hours to set.

This recipe is from Dreena Burton's
The Everyday Vegan.