Friday, July 31, 2009

Green Chile Stew

One of the greatest things about New Mexico is the cuisine. Cody & I absolutely love spicy food, so when the waiter asks us if we want green or red, we're on top of it. There is so much to choose from in the ways of traditional Mexican food, but there's also New Mexican food.

My brother-in-law, Chuck, joins us in our love for spicy, so when he asked me to figure out a way to make Green Chile Stew, I was up for the challenge. I did a little bit of research and looked at a few different recipes to find the best ingredients and the most authentic taste. The first time I made the stew, it was quite tasty. The second time, however, rocked my socks off.

Green Chile Stew
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: At least 45 minutes

2 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, diced
2 onions, chopped
1 can beer, stirred up to flatten
5 bay leaves
dash of vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp. cumin seed
1 to 2 Tbl. leaf oregano
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 potatoes, cubed
2 cups roasted green chiles, try Bueno brand
salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
enough stock to cover well

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions start to get brown around the edges. Add the beer.

2. Add bay leaves, vinegar, cumin, oregano, black pepper, and potatoes. Pour in enough water to cover the potatoes and bring to a boil.

3. When the potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork, add the green chile. Add about a tsp of salt (or to taste), a tsp of sugar, and some vegetable stock. (I added another cup of water and just put in a bouillon and a half). Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 30 more minutes. For a better flavor, simmer longer.

I put the stew on around 5:00 pm when Cody left for band rehearsal. When he came back around 9:00, we dug in and it was super tasty. The potatoes fell apart and the flavor was outstanding. Last night we had leftovers and I decided to make homemade beer bread to go along with the stew. That recipe will be coming shortly! Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bean & Potato Casserole

Today's recipe, my friends, is neither fancy nor difficult. You're not going to have to splurge on ingredients, and I'm pretty sure even Cody could cook it. There aren't any special cooking terms that you might need to decipher and I don't think you can make it incorrectly. It's something I feel like my mom would have cooked us growing up. Tasty, but it doesn't break the bank. It's perfect for BBQs or if you're short on dinner supplies and don't feel like going to the store.

Even just writing about the awesomeness that is Bean & Potato Casserole, I'm starting to crave it. Maybe I'll make it for dinner tonight...which would be plenty easy since I always have the ingredients on hand.

Bean & Potato Casserole
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

4 to 5 medium size potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 1-lb can of vegetarian baked beans
1-2 tbsp dijon mustard (or something similar...nice & spicy)
Ground black pepper to taste. I use a lot.
Veggie cheese shreds

1. Preheat oven to 350° F In a large saucepan, boil potatoes in salted water until easily pierced with a fork.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the baked beans, mustard, and pepper. Mix well.

3. Lightly oil a large casserole dish. Layer the potatoes, baked beans, and a small amount of veggie cheese. Repeat this process until everything is gone then cover with more cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.

That's it! Super easy, super tasty...Cody likes to say that it tastes like baked beans...and potatoes. I'd be worried if it didn't! It's even better as leftovers because the potatoes absorbs more of the baked bean flavor. Yumm!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sushi Rolls

I'm pretty sure everyone knows that I had three things I ate constantly while in Japan. CoCos Curry (yummmmm), TanTan noodles, and sushi. I have a feeling I could live on those three items alone. I found a recipe in Veganomicon for Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls. Obviously I had a try it! I trust (almost) everything Isa Chandra Moskowitz makes, plus she has really good instructions.

I had purchased loads of veggies, as I always do, so I figured there would be loads of variety. Plus, I had the tempeh in my fridge...waiting to be used in my first tempeh experiment. Cody was a HUGE help throughout the process; he decided to call it "food engineering".

Spicy Tempeh Nori Rolls
Total time: 40 minutes

For the rice:
1 cup sushi rice
2 tbsp rice vinegar (do not use regular white vinegar!)
1 tbsp sugar

Spicy tempeh filling:
1/2 (4-oz) package tempeh
2 tbsp prepared vegan mayonnaise
1/2-1 tsp hot chile-sesame oil
4 sheets nori seaweed
1 scallion, white part discarded, sliced lengthwise into narrow strips
1 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/4-inch wide strips
1 tbsp toasted or black sesame seeds if used inside the foll, or 1/4 cup if used as a coating for inside-out rolls.

(Note: I was able to find a sesame seed spice made up of sesame seeds and sea salt that was loads cheaper and had three times the amount. I'm pretty sure it was in the asian section of the supermarket.)

(Double note: I added matchstick cucumbers and carrots. Plus, Cody wanted tuna in his and found a can of crab meat so switched to crab.)

1. In a heavy-bottomed, 2-quart pot or saucepan with a cover, combine the rice plus 1 1/4 cups cold water. (I used my rice cooker, so you can do that, too.) Turn the heat to high, bring the water to a boil, and stir the rice just once. Lower the heat to low, cover the pot, and steam the rice for 20 to 22 minutes, until it is tender and the excess liquid has been absorbed. Or, prepare the rice according to the package instructions. Cook until the rice is tender but slightly firm, and remove from the heat.

2. Empty the hot rice into a large glass or plastic bowl. Sprinkle with the rice vinegar and sugar, folding in the rice gently with a large spoon or rice paddle to mix thoroughly. The rice should be moist and have a very mild vinegar flavor. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. When the rice is slightly warmer than room temperature (but not completely cold), it's ready to work with.

3. While the rice is cooling, prepare the filling by steaming the tempeh. Allow the tempeh to cool for 10 minutes, chop into small cubes, and place in a medium-size bowl. Add the mayonnaise and chile-sesame oil and mash until chunky; taste and add more chile-sesame oil if desired.

4. Fill a shallow cup with about 1/3 cup of water and a tablespoon of rice vinegar, and keep near your sushi workstation (unless you have an amazing husband who will stand on guard at the faucet!). Follow these steps to the perfect nori roll:

--Place the nori sheet on the bamboo mat (my mother will vouch...I couldn't find one, so I found a bamboo PLACE mat at Walmart. Worked just fine!). With wet hands, take a snowball-shaped handful of rice, about a cup's worth. Gently pat onto the bottom two-thirds or so of your nori sheet. The layer of rice should be less than 1/3-inch thick.

--Place a small amount of the fillings across the center of your rice. Lay or spread them horizontally to each side of the nori to create a straight line of filling-the less filling, the easier the sushi will be to roll. Aim for about 1 1/2 tbsp of Spicy Tempeh, three strips of avocado, and some scallion strips. You'll figure it out.

--Using the mat, gently roll up that sushi starting from the rice-topped end; try to keep your grip relatively tight, for a firm roll. When you've reached the seaweed-only end, pat gently with a little bit of vinegar water to seal the roll.

--Slice your roll into 1-inch pieces with a sharp, serrated knife. That's it! Make a hundred of 'em.

Inside Out Rolls
Maybe you've been rolling your own for a while, or you just need to look like a master sushi chef right now! Then inside-out rolled nori rolls will get you the attention you so deserve, and with way less stress than you might expect.

Simply prepare your nori roll as directed, spreading the seasoned rice onto about two-thirds of the toasted nori sheet. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top, gently slide your hand underneath the bamboo mat and rest your other hand on top of the plastic wrap. Then in one quick motion...flip everything upside down. Remove the bamboo mat from underneath and place on your countertop. Place the nori and rice-plastic wrap side down-on the mat. Place fillings as usual on the edge without the rice underneath it. Then, carefully roll everything up, using the bamboo mat to firmly push everything together and being careful to peel away the plastic wrap as you go.

For best results, roll your spiffy inside-out rolls in fun things like toasted sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, toasted nori flakes, or Japanese ground up red pepper.

After preparing and slicing all the rolls, I placed them on our wooden cutting board. It looked oh-so-Japanese! I had some wasabi powder in my cabinet, so I mixed it according to the container and made plenty of wasabi. Cody didn't like his crab roll so much, but he loved the tempeh roll! I had a lot of fun making these and can't wait to make them again! It was surprisingly easy...and they looked so impressive that I just kept smiling!

For the first time out, this went really well. I just pretended I was in Japan, where you don't really want to look at anything you eat; just toss it down the hatch and hope for the best! Not to say that this looks gross, because it didn't. But who knows what's going to happen when you put the words "vegan" and "sushi" together. In a rather odd chain of events, the non-vegan sushi ended up being WAY worse. I was like, "Oh! Old crab in a can! That sounds like a great ingredient to put in my sushi!" NOT. It was not good, to say the least. The main ingredient in the vegan sushi was awesome because it tasted like Tan-Tan Noodles. I do loves me some spicy noodles. I do have to say that what impressed me the most was the inside-out rolls. It was culinary engineering at its finest. Try this one out...but don't use shitty crab by-product thinking that you're going to beat the system.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Black Tie Affair

When my wonderful sister-in-law, Deidra, told me that her vegan friend, PATRICK was coming to visit, I got really excited. Then I got really nervous. Sure, it'd be nice to have another vegan around to lessen the blow of the constant "you're such a hippie" remarks, but what if he didn't like my cooking? (I half joke about the hippie remarks. They're really not that bad. Anymore.) I started thinking about what I was going to make and how it should be presented. Then I wondered if there were things he didn't like or was allergic to. Then I realized he was coming to Albuquerque and getting homemade vegan cooking, so he would probably just be grateful.

He told Deidra that he wanted a black tie dinner. Am I really one to pass that down? Absolutely not. We did the BBQ, which included Boca burgers with grilled pineapple and avocado, bean & potato casserole, the all-time favorite asparagus, and chocolate cupcakes for dessert. I might throw the cupcakes up because they were super dense & rich & to die for.

What do I know about cooking fancy food? Aside from Thanksgiving, I'm all about ease.

Once again, thank you Robin Robertson. You are my hero.

Dinner consisted of Chickpea Cutlets, Brown Gravy, Garlic Smashed Potatoes, Green Bean & Broccoli Casserole, Drop Biscuits, Cranberry Sauce, and Pumpkin Cheezecake for dessert. It took quite a few hours, but it was well worth it.

Chickpea Cutlets
Prep time: 15 minutes (I made these hours in advance, you could probably even do the day before!!!)
Cook time: 15 minutes

2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 15-ounce can)
4 tbsp olive oil
1 cup vital wheat gluten (sounds fancy, but I found it for $2 at WalMart.)
1 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 cloves of garlic, pressed or grated
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
Olive oil for panfrying

1. In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas together with the oil until no whole chickpeas are left. Add the remaining ingredients and knead for about 3 minutes, until strings of gluten have formed. You'll know when this happens!

2. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, divide the cutlet dough into equal pieces. To for the cutlets, knead each piece in your hand for a few moments and then flatten and stretch each one into a roughly 6x4-inch rectangular cutlet shape. (NOTE: I had leftover mixture today and shaped them into patties and made paninis. They MIGHT go well on the grill, too. If you try it and they aren't, I am not responsible. :D)

3. Add a moderately thin layer of olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Place the cutlets in the pan and cook on each side for 6 to 7 minutes. Add m ore oil, if needed, when you flip the cutlets. They're ready when they're lightly browned and firm to the touch.

Rumor has it you can bake these, too. 375° F for 20 minutes on one side, then flipped, and cook for 10 minutes more.

The potatoes were boiled with four cloves of garlic, then mashed with a touch of cayenne pepper, Earth Balance, and soy milk.

I had some extra broccoli, which is another favorite of ours, so I decided to steam that and add it to the green bean casserole. I used fresh green beans for the first time in my life. Some of you may be shocked at this, but for those of you who have lived in Okinawa, you know why. It seriously made a huge difference. Instead of using Cream of Mushroom goo, I followed one of Robin Robertsons recipes. The homemade mushroom gravy was amazing. I put the mushrooms in my food processor for a while so Deidra would eat them. (Love you!)

Now for the dessert.

Pumpkin Cheezecake
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50+ minutes

1 ½ cups vegan ginger snaps or graham cracker crumbs (most ginger snaps are vegan, so don't spend too much!)
¼ cup vegan margarine, melted

2 (8-ounce) containers tofu cream cheese (I like Tofutti!)
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
¾ cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Place a baking pan on the bottom rack, just in case some of the butter leaks out of your springform pan. I learned this the hard way. Lightly oil an 8-inch springform pan or coat with nonstick spray. Place the crumbs directly into the pan, add the melted margarine and toss with fork to combine. Press the crumbs evenly against the bottom and side of the pan and set aside.

2. Place the tofu cream cheese in a bowl and mix with a handmixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin and mix until blended. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg and mix until well blended. Spread the filling evenly into the prepared crust. Bake for 45 minutes, or until firm. Turn off the oven and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 15 minutes to an hour without opening the oven door.

3. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

I put some walnuts in my food processor and chopped them up to sprinkle around the outside edges. It looked great and also added a nutty goodness to the pumpkin flavor. I really loved this cheezecake and can't wait to make it for Thanksgiving!

Aside from the fact that yesterday was the hottest day yet in Albuquerque AND it coincided with our swamp cooler wanting to quit, cooking & baking all day was a blast. Deidra said the Chickpea Cutlets were her new favorite, and I'm pretty sure Chuck had seconds. Hearing that from the carnivores was almost as satisfying as the dinner....and pleasing my new vegan friend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

I would like to smooch the person who decided that peanut butter & chocolate, together, sounded like a good idea. I mean, seriously. There are few things in life that are more perfectly made for each other. From cakes to ice cream to cookies to candy bars...AMAZING. I wish everything in life was as tasty as this perfect pair.

I have made these cookies before, but this time they came out much better. Cody & I were watching Lost (thank you, Deidra) and in between episodes, he said, "I think you should make me cookies". So I did.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

Chocolate dough:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp soy milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/3 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder, plus 2 tbsp
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup natural salted peanut butter
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
2-3 tbsp soy milk (start with 2!)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, soy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.

2. In another mixing bowl beat together the peanut butter, confectioner's sugar, 2 tbsp of soy milk and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough (you're going to have to roll it into balls, so make sure it'll hold!). If peanut butter dough is too dry, stir in remaining tablespoon of soy milk. If dough is too wet, knead in a little extra confectioner's sugar.

3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Create the centers of the cookies by rolling the peanut butter dough into 24 balls. Scoop a generous tablespoon of chocolate dough, flatten into a disc and place a peanut butter ball in the center. Fold the sides of the chocolate dough up and around the peanut butter center and roll the chocolate ball into a smooth ball between your palms. Place on a sheet of waxed paper and repeat with remaining dough. You can flatten cookies a little, but I didn't & they came out perfect.

5. Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2" apart. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven and let cookies cool for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. These cookies are great warm, so you can microwave for 10 seconds before serving.

Just another way for me to get fat & happy again. These cookies are definitely not good for you, as most cookies are not. They're a great treat, though. Great for anyone! You don't have to say, "Oh, these are Vegan..." because no one will ever know.

Out of all the hippie cookies that she has made thus far, these are the best. Super chocolate-peanut-buttery and super sweet. I guess that is a Vegan's one weapon of mass destruction against tastelessness. "If I can't add a pound of delicious lard, I'll just load it up with sugar." Well, works for me, these things rock. I'm still living life by the philosophy that I've never met a cookie I didn't like, and these are definitely no exception!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What do you eat...lettuce??

For the 4th of July, Cody, Deidra, Chuck & I went with our friend, Nolan, to Oklahoma. Nolan's family is from a very small town there...I'm talking no cell phone service we decided to join him & his family for some down time. We had such a blast! It was a little too hot for my taste, but everyone was so nice...the scenery was great...I got to meet a former Patriot...and we woke up to cinnamon rolls in the morning. One night we were talking about my crazy idea to go Vegan. Our plans were to go to breakfast in the morning, then Cody realized there might not be much for me to eat. Adam responded with, "Pancakes." I shook my head no: there are eggs in pancakes. He looked at me all crazy and asked, "What DO you eat?? I just couldn't be full on lettuce and nothing else."

In my kitchen, it's soooo easy to show people what I eat. I love cooking up delicious, hearty meals that even meatatarians devour. I always feel accomplished when I use ingredients people wouldn't dream of to replace ingredients that people didn't think they could live without. This is a prime example.

Cody is in an 80s metal band called Mister Scary. Once or twice a week, he heads out to go rehearse. I usually eat by myself, enjoying leftovers or something heated in the microwave. This past week, I had some leftover fried rice (so delish!) and a grilled cheese sandwich.

Did I just say grilled cheese sandwich???
Yes. That's right. I did.

Most bread is accidentally Vegan. I always check the ingredients because sometimes "whey" and "eggs" will be hiding on there. Most of the time, though, bread is on the ball. As I've mentioned a million times before, I love Earth Balance Natural Butter. It's got a nutty, buttery flavor that I would eat even if I wasn't Vegan. My sister, Miranda, found out she loved Earth Balance at my mom's house (Yes, my mom had Earth Balance and Boca Crumbles in her fridge! Woo hoo!). Plus, the Light Blue Bonnet says VEGAN on the back...and it's about $3 cheaper than Earth Balance. Then there's Veggie Cheese. I have to admit, it doesn't quite have the same flavor of real cheese. However, it's a great substitute. I was craving a grilled cheese sandwich, and that's exactly what I made myself.

I don't really feel the need to put cooking instructions up for a grilled cheese sandwich. Even my husband knows how to make them...which is really saying something. So there. Vegans eat grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Red Hot Chili Tofu

If you haven't noticed, I've had a lil' poll up on the side of the blog to determine which appetizer I should put up. Red Hot Chili Tofu is on of the options. Even though it's not in the lead, I made this for dinner last night for our friend, Autumn. Also, when I made it for our House Warming party, it was literally the first thing gone. I'm posting it because it's sooooo tasty! I have to give props to Robin Robertson...she has been a huge inspiration and I love her recipes!!!

Red Hot Chile Tofu
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons sake or dry white wine (I'm a wino...I always have wine on hand!)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 tablespoons cold-pressed canola oil
1/4 cup minced scallions
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (or more, to taste)

1. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, water, soy sauce, sake, and sugar. Mix well and set aside.

2. In a shallow bowl, combine the cornstarch and salt. Dredge the tofu strips in the cornstarch mixture, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in batches and cook until golden brown. Transfer to a platter.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, and chili paste, and cook, stirring for 15 seconds. Add the reserved tomato paste mixture and stir until well blended.
Add the reserved tofu and toss gently to coat with the sauce, cooking until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve hot & enjoy!

I've definitely made tofu before and thought, "Seriously? People eat this stuff?!" However, I'm getting the hang of it now and I always have tofu in my fridge.

For those of you who don't know, Cody & our brother-in-law, Chuck, built a beer pong table a few weeks back for our party. For the past week, we have done nothing but work on it; from staining and painting to sanding and lacquering, it's been a lengthy process. Cody is sitting on the couch now, beer in hand, relaxing. I have been instructed to let everyone know that Cody finds this dish TASTY. The end.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tantanmen Noodles

I owe a lot of my awesome experience in Japan to my best friend, Tina. I'm pretty sure she showed me something new on a weekly basis, whether it was clothes shopping or good eats. Somehow she always knew the hidden spots out in town. One of my favorite things to do with her was grab some Chuhai and head to Chula-U for some sunbathing. My memories with her are some of the best I have.

One of the great spots she introduced me to was Ichibante. It's a little noodle shop that serves some of the best noodles and gyoza ever. We would meet up for lunch, go out to dinner with the husbands, and start off ladies night there. When she left the island (far too long before I did!), she told me she really wanted the recipe. Lucky for me, I made some amazing Japanese friends while I was out there as well, and I was able to get it.

Tantanmen Noodles
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

(I make this recipe X2!)

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chili oil (I add a little extra for heat!)
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon white sesame paste
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon doubanjiang (Chinese spicy bean paste)
2 teaspoons tenmenjan (Chinese sweet miso)
2 tablespoons finely sliced scallion, for garnish
About 1 cup of pasta or noodles for each bowl

1. Heat the sesame and chili oils in a pot. Add garlic, ginger and doubanjiang then fry until fragrant.

2. Next add sesame paste, tenmenjan and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer.

3. In a separate pot, cook pasta or noodles until done. Drain.

4. Combine noodles and broth in serving bowls and sprinkle with scallion garnish. Eat hot.

I could seriously eat this every day of the week. As it is, I think I've made it weekly since we got all the ingredients. The spicy bean paste and the miso won't go bad for a very long time, so we always have some on hand. It never fails to hit the spot and make me miss Tina more than I already do!

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

For those of you who don't know, my husband is a cookie monster. He used to charge his Marines a Cookie Tax when they got cookies in the mail from their moms or girlfriends. He could eat a whole box of cookies...for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's one of the most insane things I've ever seen.

Yesterday, he was having a not-so-good day. Everything was going wrong for him. On days like that, I try not to talk to him much. Lovingly, of course. So I spent most of the day cooking (we had the fam over for dinner!) and I thought that maybe a batch of cookies would help cheer him up. Sure enough, it worked.

Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/3 cup brown rice syrup
1/3 cup soy milk
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/3 cups unbleached flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup vegan chocolate chips or carob chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or line with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oil, brown rice syrup, woy milk, brown sugar, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Continue to beat just until a dough begins to form. Fold in the oats and chocolate chips.

3. Roll the dough into 1 tbsp-sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Press the cookies down lightly with your fingers or the bottoms of a glass dipped in water (to prevent sticking!). Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies have spread and are lightly browned.

4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on their baking sheets for about 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Feed to your local cookie monster.

These cookies are even softer the next day. I absolutely love them; they're just sweet enough and I don't feel too bad about eating them. They're not super good for you, but few desserts are!