Cherry-Strawberry Couscous Layer Cake

May 7, 2008 at 7:24 pm | Posted in Vegan Recipes | Leave a comment
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I’m entering a contest! I saw a post on vegan planet about a contest to create a variation on a couscous cake. I’d never heard of making a couscous cake before, but it sounded fun, so I gave it a try! I’ve been waiting for just the right inspiration to strike me, and strike me it did, when I came across these fresh, luscious, local strawberries and cherries at a roadside produce stand!!

To make the couscous cake, I cooked whole wheat couscous (2 cups) with a combination of two different fruit juices (total of about 2 1/2 cups). I used strawberry lemonade and pineapple coconut juice.

While the couscous was cooking, I washed and sliced the strawberries, and washed and pitted the cherries. (I probably used about a cup and a half of fruit.) Then I mixed the fruit with about 2 Tbsp. of powdered sugar. When the couscous was ready, I pressed half of it into a cake pan, spread the fruit mixture on top, and pressed the remaining couscous on top of the fruit. I refrigerated it for about an hour to chill. Then, I had some for dessert, and it was delicious!

Vegan Dinner

March 29, 2008 at 7:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I had such a great time last night! I was back at my sister Karen’s house, after spending a few days at home with my parents. My cousin Lauren was here also, and we all decided to cook a really good dinner. Fortunately I had brought some cookbooks with me, and we decided to make the Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls from Veganomicon! I was so excited, because I’d been waiting to try that when I could cook for more people than just Scott and myself. We made both the regular recipe and the variation with the Asian Tempeh-Pear Salad, and we all agreed that we much preferred the variation.

I also made oven-fried purple potatoes, rutabaga, sweet orange peppers, and onions (with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper). I had never realized how hard it is to split open a rutabaga– I think I ended up getting the knife stuck half-way through, and I pried the rutabaga open with my bare hands!!

My cousin Lauren made a really delicious main course: black bean cakes (beans, cumin, tomato paste, and corn flake crumbs) and portobello mushrooms, topped with a vegan sun-dried tomato cream sauce (from La Dolce Vegan, but we added mustard powder). We also had extra grated soy mozzarella to sprinkle on top. It was delicious!!

My sister Karen made a luscious strawberry-rhubarb pie, drizzled with chocolate sauce. It was so incredible!!! And it looked really easy to make, too. She used a store-bought frozen spelt pie crust (vegan), and then just sliced up the strawberries, rhubarb, and added sugar and flour. It did turn out sort of runny, so I think if I were to make it I’d use a little more cornstarch instead of the flour. She made the chocolate sauce by melting a vegan chocolate bar with some Earth Balance. It was delicious! And we topped the whole meal off with some Sierra Nevada pale ale.

I was so happy that they all were so willing to cook a vegan meal with me; it was so much fun! Karen eats meat, and so does her boyfriend Matt, but Karen’s roommate is vegetarian, and Lauren is “locatarian.” She describes it as a combination of locavore (only buying meat/produce from local farmers at farmer’s markets or directly from the farms), and freeitarian– vegetarian except for when you’re someone else’s guest and they feed you meat.

I think the funniest quote of the whole evening was Karen’s boyfriend, Matt, arguing that soy milk is a deceptive term: it should be called soy juice! “Find me a nipple on a bean,” he argued!

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