Sunday, October 21, 2007

Diner Style Dinner and a Fancy Dessert

Sunday dinner was a down home diner style meal. I made Individual Bean Loaves using a recipe very similar to Laura’s Grillable Black Bean Patties. I haven’t had a lot of success with bean loaves, so I thought the smaller size would cook better, that is not fall apart and be mushy.

I’ve had a strange craving all week for green beans and onion rings. I’ve never craved o-rings before and haven’t had them in forever, and I've never even made them before, but it seemed like a combination I needed to prepare. I found a recipe for beer battered onion rings that are fried briefly in a tiny bit of oil, then baked in a hot oven until crispy. These did indeed turn out crispy and delicious. After Chase had a bite of the beans and rings, he said “This tastes like something I’ve had before.” Yep, green bean casserole without the cream of mushroom soup, and no canned onion rings. Here’s the nice firm loaf with the green beans.

I was looking for a new way with broccoli and figured I would take my turn at healthifying a Paula Deen recipe. I saw her recipe for Broccoli Salad which includes, along with a head of broccoli and a half cup of tomatoes, 6-8 slices of bacon, ¼ cup sugar, 1 cup of mayonnaise, 8 ounces of cheddar cheese, and a half cup of raisins. I totaled up the calories and it came to over 3400 for the whole recipe. The recipe serves 6. That’s about 565 calories per serving!

My Healthy Broccoli Salad:

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 T. vegan bacon bits
½ cup chopped red onion
¼ cup craisins
2 T. vegan mayonnaise
1 t. cider vinegar
½ cup chopped tomato
salt and pepper

Mix together the broccoli, bacon bits, onion, and craisins in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the mayo, vinegar, tomato, and seasoning. Mix the mayo into the broccoli.

We sprinkled on some of Crystal’s Vegan Parmesan. (It’s 44 calories per tablespoon and it is great!)

My Healthy Broccoli Salad is less than 100 calories per serving, so we had two servings! Actually Chase went nuts for it and there were no leftovers. He also declared Crystal’s Parmesan the only cheese we ever need. Now this plate with the salad looks perfectly healthy.

I’ve been making mayonnaise using the Vegan World Fusion recipe, which you can find here. I have never liked mayonnaise, and I really really don’t like any of the soy versions, but I think this one tastes fabulous. It’s a little sweet and I like to add a clove of garlic to it. It whips up super quick in the blender. If you make it, remember to keep your blender on low and for some reason, it only turns out right if you use low fat soymilk and make it during daylight. I swear I tried to make it twice at night using almond milk and it just wouldn’t get thick. Here’s a shot right out of the blender. It could have posed on that spoon forever it was so thick.

Fearing failure of my fancy dessert, I made Celine’s Oatmeal Cookies. I used brown rice flour instead of whole wheat since that’s all I had. They are fabulous! They are really oatmeal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I made them into eight cookies. Celine made her batter into three cookies. They must have been monsters!

Okay, now for the fancy dessert that is actually easy to make. First make Almond Cookie Baskets. This is an accidentally vegan recipe from Better Homes & Gardens. The baskets will keep in an airtight container for a week.

¼ cup brown sugar
3 T. melted margarine
2 T. light corn syrup
1/3 cup ground almonds
¼ cup AP flour

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and oil the paper. Have 6 to 8 six ounce ramekins on hand.

Stir together the wet ingredients, then add the dry until combined.

Baking only 3 at the time, drop batter by tablespoonfuls onto baking sheet and spread to about 3 inches in diameter. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until bubbly and deep golden brown. Here’s how they look just out of the oven. Mine kinda ran together.

Let stand for a minute or 2 until soft but still pliable. Quickly remove the cookies to the ramekins and shape into baskets. Cool completely in the ramekins. Here’s a 1 minute how-to camera/video clip (not professional quality!).

When cool, fill with your favorite ice cream and add a chocolate heart garnish before serving your loved one.

Make one for yourself with extra chocolate sauce.


urban vegan said...

How amazing is that dessert? You could impress the hell out of anyone with that concotion.

What a great fest you've made from the vegan blogosphere.

I had to laugh at your "healthifying" of a Paula Deen recipe. I worry about her health soemtimes--as well as Nigella's.

Thanks for the tip on the contest--I did enter. We'l see what happens!

Ashasarala said...

Those almond cookie baskets look great! They look like something that would be just perfect for parties or get-togethers.

Thanks for sharing, I'm definitely saving this recipe!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Although I enjoy all your blog posts, it's your Sunday Dinners that seem to be EXTRA special!!

Your Individual Bean Loaves, with the green beans & onion rings, look spectacular!! yum!! I would LOVE to make those loaves for one of my Family Dinner Nights!

Kudos to you for healthifying a Paula Deen recipe - as much as I like her down-to-earth, fun persona, her recipes are a heart-attack waiting to happen!! your rendition of the broccoli salad recipe looks light and delicious! Oooh and Crystal's parmesan sounds like a great topping - I've seen her recipe before, and now I KNOW I need to try to make it!

ahh, between Celine's Oatmeal cookies (I like your addition of the peanut butter!), and your almond-cookie-basket-ice-cream-chocolate dessert (WOW!), I'd say you had a perfect, sweet ending to an already perfect dinner. Bravo, Diann!

Kati said...

OK, thanks for the onion ring craving! Those almond cookie cups look professional - I'm impressed, especially with the chocolate hearts. You've outdone yourself again!

Ruthie said...

You are so cute with your little video. :-)


Anonymous said...

i love the video!!

that looks so fancy and good.

Anonymous said...

I wonder just how long it will be before Paula Deen has a heart attack. Her food has got to be some of the unhealthiest on tv. Way to go with your changes though. Personally, I think yours sounds so much more flavorful.

I'm glad you liked the cheese. I wish I could take credit for the great recipe but I cannot. It was someone elses. It is so awesome though. The more you use it, the more you'll find you can put it on just about anything savory.

The almond cookie baskets are awesome. I made ice cream this weekend and we ate them in plain cake cones that were on sale at the health food market. Yuck! I forgot how bland they are. I'll take your cute baskets any day.

Olivia H. said...

I always LOVE looking at your desserts! And this one is amazing! Yum!

JENNA said...

I've been craving (and eating) string beans all week but not onion rings. Now i'm craving them. Perhaps with tonights dinner.

I love your cookie baskets. It reminds me of a dessert I made in school. A orange cookie basket with citrus-cardamon ice cream! YUM!

Mihl said...

The almond cookie baskets look amazing! Thanks for sharing the recipe and the instructions.
As I don't live in the US, I never heard about Paula Deen until Eric Marcus mentioned her a couple of times. Then I had a look at one of her videos. I don't know why, but I couldn't stop laughing. It's just so ridiculous. The whole woman should be healthified methinks.

Sheree' said...

Hi Diann,
Where to begin. I am so happy to have internet again and have missed everyone so much. I want to make the bean loafs for dinner. Can you share the recipe? Before my vegan days I had a broccoli salad similar to Paula's and it was great, although I did pick out the bacon. I will have to try your version. Those cute little desserts are adorable. Way to Go!!! I think Hubby will want those cookies for dessert tonight. Guess I better get cooking.

Kumudha said...

That dessert looks so beautiful.

Thanks for sharing the recipe of Almond Cookie Baskets.

Vegan_Noodle said...

Those almond baskets are so fancy!! I would definitely be adding lots of extra chocolate sauce to mine as well :-)
I haven't had onion rings in ages...used to be something we'd always get after a long day kayaking in Galveston from Sonic...not sure they're vegan so I haven't had them in quite awhile. Yours look yummy and are probably so much healthier!

aTxVegn said...

Sheree, I'll email you my recipe.

bazu said...

I want - I NEED to make that dessert! You've blown my mind again, Diann!

Amey said...

wow... where have I been?? This is a great post. even though I just woke up... I am ready to eat it all! ha ha. Of course the almond cookie cups are so beautiful, especially with the chocolate heart... but I'm equally enchanted by the brocolli salad and the bean loaf. Hm! I love your blog!!!

erica said...

Hi Diann! This is in response to your question on my blog: they say at curezone that it's estimated everyone has an average of 2000 stones. Unless you have a contraindication (which you'd have to check for, just search for "liver flush"), I don't see how it'd be a bad idea if you can deal with the unpleasantness of the cleanse itself.

I ate an apple today. Apples have been giving me heartburn for as long as bananas. NO heartburn! (I did get it from mexican food though, but one step at a time...).

I'm SOO impressed that you made onion rings from scratch! You are a QUEEN!

erica said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BLASe said...

Yummmmm... All of the pictures are making me so hungry. I am getting started tomorrow on some of those :)


Vegan Meet

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

That loaf looks great-- I love loaves! And the dessert is so elegant!

Doodleyboo said...

Hey! Thanks for the post on my blog about the vegan mayo :o)

I really like your stuff too - especially the dessert baskets and the idea for the vegan parmasan - I made something like it a few weeks ago but with sesame seeds.

Quick question - is your mayo lower in fat? The recipe I found uses quite a bit of oil...

aTxVegn said...

doodley - the recipe I used has the same amount of oil and milk as yours. I guess we'll just have to control ourselves on how much we use!

Anonymous said...

those patties look awesome, and wow! for your dessert making skills! wow, i say!

Monika K said...

That dessert has so many possiblities for fruit toppings, nuts, chocolates and caramel etc. Mmmm...must go eat something!

P.S. The pretty bread post was so creative - I really want to give it a try.

laura k said...

Those fancy dessert baskets look gorgeous--almond baskets always make a glamorous presentation. I've made those before, but forgot that they were accidentally vegan--I'll have to do it!!

Your bean loaves look so good--I might have to try that too. I've recently learned that while I always hated meatloaf, the vegan alternative is actually quite good.

Would you care to share your onion rings recipe? I have always loved onion rings but I steer clear of them because of their obvious unhealthy qualities. Yours sound just lightened up enough that they would be a viable occasional munchie. Heehee.

Anonymous said...

Those baskets are soooo cool! Next time I make ice cream I'll have to try those -- thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.

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