Some Borrowed Recipes

Today’s run: 5 miles; Brahms and Elgar.

I love looking at vegan websites and vegan (or mostly vegan) food blogs. I only follow a few, but I follow them pretty faithfully. One of my absolute favorites is VeganDad http://www.vegandad.blogspot.com/; in fact, I think his is the first blog  I ever read. He has fabulous recipes, fabulous pictures, and is just a wonderful writer. I’ve never disliked any recipe of his that I’ve made.

I tried his vegan doughnuts recipe this weekend. Vegan doughnuts have eluded me for years now. When I lived in Boston, I could find vegan doughnuts at the Whole Foods that was just a few subway stops away. Here, vegan doughnuts are somewhat harder to find. 🙂 I have tried several times to make them, but I can never get them quite right. First, I’m not good at frying. I’m a Northern city girl; frying is just not in my blood. It’s not the fat content that scares me – I’m a-okay with fat. It’s the bubbling vat of hot oil that spatters and sizzles that scares the ever-living crap out of me. Terrifying. Second, I remember loving the dense, cake-y doughnuts that were all over the little mom n’ pop stores in Boston where I grew up (Linda’s doughnuts, anyone?). Most recipes are for a yeast-based doughnut, and they just aren’t dense enough. I’ve tried making a baking-powder based cake-like dough, and it’s been okay, but not great, and certainly not replicative of the doughnuts of my youth. Sadly, the only way I can get the baking-powder dough to taste even remotely right is by baking the doughnuts, not frying them, and heck, I want my doughnuts good n’ greasy!

So, this recipe from VeganDad is a good resolution of my problems. http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2010/05/vegan-chocolate-glazed-donuts.html

It IS a yeast-based dough, but it’s not too airy and fluffy. I’ve never had a Krispy Kreme doughnut in my life (I’ve been a vegan for long before even hearing about Krispy Kreme), but I was fearful that a yeast-based dough would be too much like a Krispy Kreme. People describe them as ‘melt in your mouth…..light as air…..’ etc., and that is NOT what I want in a doughnut. I want a dense, flavorful, substantial, toothy bite, with a soft but nicely-browned and slightly-oily crust. I do not want air that melts in my mouth. Bleh.

VeganDad’s yeast doughnuts are still nice and dense. I followed the recipe pretty much exactly. The only change I made was using half whole wheat flour instead of all white flour. He uses metric measurements, which is good for me – it makes me do math in my head because I’m too lazy to find pen and paper to figure it out 🙂 Basically, you want 2.5/3 tablespoons of shortening (or margarine) and about 3 cups of flour.

I fried some and baked some. He has instructions for both. http://www.vegandad.blogspot.com/2012/02/baked-yeast-donuts.html  Both versions were delicious. I did a simple vanilla-confectioners’ sugar glaze (and a painfully-spicy, wonderfully-creamy, sweet and salty peanut butter/sriracha topping, about which I will post later). VeganDad does a chocolate glaze.

As always, his pictures are about 100 times better than mine, so I’m just going to refer you back to his recipe and post. Suffice it to say, these are doughnuts that are worth making. They are surprisingly quick, not TOO unhealthy, and pretty darn tasty.

Oh, and I did figure out the frying thing…..it’s important to get the oil hot (if it’s not, it will seep into the dough….icky) but not TOO hot (or else you get the scary sputtering stuff).

Another recipe I made was from a blog I just discovered this past week. http://www.joannavaught.com/

This is the only recipe I’ve made from this site, but it was so good I’ve already made it twice. It is that good. The 1-year old likes it; the 3-year old wasn’t interested, but she eats plenty of tofu and broccoli so I’m not worried about it 🙂

http://www.joannavaught.com/2009/08/27/nuggets/

The first time I followed the recipe pretty much verbatim. I let the dough sit a few minutes after mixing it; it seemed to liquidy to form into ‘nuggets’, but as some of the comments indicate, it ends up working out.

The second time I made it, I made a few minor adjustments. I reduced the oil just a tad (not because of fat issues, but just because the dough seemed too oily to me the first time around), and also reduced the nutriotional yeast by about half in the dough. I looooove nutritional yeast, but the flavor here was a bit too strong to me. I also used just seasoning salt instead of the specified seasonings.

The breading mixture made enough for two recipes’ worth of nuggets.

This is a high-protein, FAST, delicious treat. I’m hoping to cut down on our Boca burger consumption with this recipe.

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