Vegan Elixir of The Dude (AKA a Vegan White Russian)

Man… sometimes you just need some existential contemplation while ponderously crunching ice flavored heavily of coffee, drenched in a creamy flavor, and backed up by the liberating aspects of a good vodka.  Therefore, after trial and error, I bring you The Dude’s favorite beverage cast into a vegan form.  Polymorphed, if you will, but not transmogrified.

It’s simple, man.  Instead of cream, use Silk soy-milk.  It is, like, thicker than other soy-milks so it makes that creamy goodness that is enjoyable in a white russian.  My preferred mix is 1:1*, coffee liqueur to vodka, and then put in whatever amount of Silk I want which is usually at least twice the mixed amount.

Remember not to drink and adventure.  And, above all, remember… The Dude abides.

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Spiced Oatmeal Cranberry Cookies (of enduring tastiness)

For a long time I made my grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal cookies.  Recently I started wanting crispier cookies and then we tried this vegan experiment which demanded finding a different recipe.

This recipe is almost certainly a lingering winner.  I am even experimenting with a protein-like bar variation.

  • 3/4 cup margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 cups quick cooking or rolled oatmeal
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Cream together the margarine and sugars until smooth. Add vanilla and soy milk and mix well.

Add flour, baking soda and spices until well mixed, then stir in oats and cranberries.

Spoon 1 1/2 inch balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees, or until done.

But, of course, I’m not posting here just because I like to use copy/paste.  My first modification to this was to find a way to increase the crispiness.  I tried baking for 20 minutes and that didn’t do it.  My attempt to bake for 25 minutes failed due to “I’ll remember” as apposed to using a timer… oops.  What I also did on that attempt was use vegetable oil instead of margarine — which I think helped.  The cookies did come out crispy, but some were a tad scorched.  I do also notice a huge difference depending on the pan used… so, as they say, ymmv.

My next, measured, test will be to follow the same second modification but to definitely time them for 25 minutes.  There is a chance I cooked them for 30 minutes which is why they were overly crisp, though still edible.

Protein Bar Attempt #1

This is a relatively easy variation.  Changes and additions were…

  • +1 cup flour (so, 2 cups)
  • 2oz (basically, two servings) protein powder of choice (mine was one soy, one rice)
  • +1/2 cup soy milk (so 1 cup)
  • Optionally, replace cranberries with another berry mix like an anti-oxidant mix

I then spread this out on a cookie sheet to get it as flat as possible.  Bake the same way.

Results:  It was edible, in a good way.  It wasn’t as dense as I wanted nor as protein-like.  It was also more moist than I inteded.

Next time:  an additional scoop of protein, 1/2c less flour (so 1-1/2c), and +5 minutes cook time.

Tomato Soup of Vegan Defiance

I found some vegan cheese in the hopes of having a good old grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch.  My bread is vegan [1] and I reckoned that tomato soup would be as well.  HA ha HA ha HAaa…  Most tomato soups have some form of milk in them.  Sitting right next to my tomato soup is cans of stewed and diced tomatoes (T is for tomato, after all…).  So I declared “Oh, yeah?!” at the pre-packaged soups, grabbed a large can of tomatoes and headed for my modern fire pit.

The list of ingredients for this was rather random.  As I recall, it went something like this:

Can ‘o tomatoes; that’s a good start.  Milk kinda creams this so how about some Silk soy milk.  But then we need some flavor.  What do I like with tomatoes?  Basil and oregano should work.  Perhaps a little salt and pepper as well.  Oh, and garlic is nice too, so garlic powder, come on down!

What I should have done was check tomato ingredients for salt.  Many canned tomatoes have salt added.  Thankfully, I did not add too much.  Having selected my components, now came the mighty incantation.

Empty can of tomatoes, juice and all into a 3+ quart pot.  The pot should have enough room for the contents and enough depth to withstand splattering.  Add 1/4c soy milk (SWAG).  Break out the magic wand [2] and transform the chunky puddle into a creamy puree (could also do with a blender).  Set pot on burner at medium heat and add remaining spices “to taste”.  If I was to guess at the amounts, I probably added 1/2t basil, 1/2t oregano, 1/8t salt, 1/4t pepper, 1/2t garlic powder.

Stir occasionally until steamy hot.  Serve and enjoy.

It was good enough to try again; definitely good enough and fast enough to make to consider skipping canned tomato soup altogether.  I need to work on the slight sharpness of the tomatoes without adding sugar.  I know that works, but I dislike the idea.

Some slight changes I would try would be (a) use minced garlic and puree it with the tomatoes and soy milk, (b) add 1T of of olive oil, (c) experiment with other spices such as celery seed, cumin, and onion powder.  Perhaps if I were very clever I might sauté some onions and then puree those with the liquids.