Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Best Blog Tips We, like many others on either coast, have had company all week-- visitors from land-locked Michigan (not counting the lakes!). They loved our area and we got to do some sight-seeing, which one rarely does in one's home region. Anyway, not much time for blogging, so here's a bit of this and that, including a recipe:

My Seitan "Ham". I wanted my guests (Lydia is a vegan personal chef) to try my vegan seitan "ham", so I made some and served it in the traditional manner. (Update:  I'm still planning a seitan cookbook and this recipe will be in it.)

Snap peas from our garden, stir-fried with Soy Curls (see here for info). The recipe, which I made for a casual lunch for our guests one day, is adapted from the Tofu with Snow Peas recipe in my book "Authentic Chinese Cuisine for the Contemporary Kitchen".

Strawberry Crepes or Blintzes. Blintzes are crepes (my vegan Tofu Crepes from my book "Soyfoods Cooking for a Positive Menopause", in this case) filled with cottage cheese and are supposed to be folded into bundles and browned in a bit of butter, but I usually bake them instead. I make my own Tofu Cottage Cheese . For fancier filled crepes (like the bottom photo), I use my Tofu Cashew Ricotta from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". You could also use a commercial tofu "cream cheese", such as Tofutti or Sheese brands (or my new Okara/Cashew Ricotta).

My low-fat "Corn Butter". After the excesses of this last week, I'm trying to stay on Weight Watcher's Core Plan as much as possible, so I made some of my "Corn Butter", so I don't have to feel guilty when I "butter" a piece of DH's fresh-baked wholewheat bread!

I have fooled around with low-fat "fake butters" for years. This is my current favorite (Update, 2012: it still is!)-- tastes very good, melts and only 13.5 calories per tablespoon!  NOTE: Don't try to use this for baking or frying, etc., instead of butter or margarine, though-- it's only meant for spreading, topping potatoes, etc.

UPDATE, 2011: To make this spread richer, but still fairly low-calorie, add 1/2 cup of your favorite vegan "buttery spread" (see the recipe for my homemade vegan palm oil-free "Buttah") to the full recipe (or 1/4 cup to the half recipe at the end).  Add it after you have blended it smooth and blend a little more.  Then refrigerate as usual.  This makes a spread with about 40 calories per tablespoon instead of about 100 for butter or margarine.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S COCONUT-CORN SPREAD (butter substitute for spreading on breads, potatoes and vegetables, etc.)
Yield: about 2 cups
This spread is easy, inexpensive, and needs no exotic ingredients. It can be soy-free. It melts when spread on hot food and has a clean rich taste.

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup cold water
2/3 cup hot water
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup finely shredded UN-sweetened coconut
1/3 cup nondairy milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Mix in a microwavable bowl or a small saucepan, mix the cornmeal and 1/3 cup of the cold water and then the hot water. Stir well

Cook in a double-boiler-type arrangement (with the saucepan inside of another pan of simmering water) for 10 minutes, OR MICROWAVE on high power in the bowl for 1 minute, whisk, microwave 1 minute more, whisk, and microwave 1 minute more.

Place this in a blender along with the warm water, coconut, lemon juice, and salt. Blend for several minutes, until as smooth as possible (this is important). Be patient! It may have a bit of graininess from the coconut, but should not have much.

Place in a covered container in the refrigerator. It firms up nicely, but remains spreadable. It's good on veggies, too, and you can add garlic and broil it for garlic toast (maybe with a sprinkle of vegan parmesan).
Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per 2 tablespoons): 27.8 calories; 53% calories from fat; 1.7g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 151.9mg sodium; 27.3mg potassium; 2.8g carbohydrates; 0.6g fiber; 0.2g sugar; 2.2g net carbs; 0.6g protein; 0.6 points.



Anonymous said...

ohhh...I can't wait for this seitan ebook. All your lovely seitan recipes in one place!

harlemgrrl said...

mmm, seitan ebook... crepes... ::drools::

by the way bryanna, i've written your name in on the vegnews favorite vegan stuff survey and this blog entry is exactly why :0)


Kate said...

It all looks amazing, I love oyur blog!

Anonymous said...

I had to use fine-ground cornmeal instead of cornflour, so my first attempt at corn butter turned out rather dry. (Still tasty, though.) Then I tried it using fresh kernels without added water. Great result! Creamy, sweeter than the original recipe, and seriously delicious.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

anonymous, that sounds fantastic! we have local corn coming on now-- how much did you use?

Danielle said...

(This is "anonymous," I may as well use my name. Hi :)

I had about... maybe 1/3 cup of corn? Plus pinch of salt, about 1/4 cup coconut, a squeeze of lemon, 2 or 3 Tbsp almond milk - though skipping the milk might achieve a thicker consistency. Next time I'll probably combine the cornflour and fresh corn methods.

Also, I don't know if cooking the corn - or how it's cooked - makes a difference; mine had been roasted, frozen for a while, and defrosted in the fridge. I imagine freshly steamed corn would give the best result.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Thanks, Danielle! I'll give it a whirl and let you know how I make out! Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

I made this first with the coconut, and then substituting tahini for the coconut, in order to reduce saturated fat. It turned out almost identically, the difference being a faint whiff of tahini versus a faint whiff of coconut. Both very good.

Daniel said...

Hi, thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!

I have just made garlic butter with this butter, and enjoyed the most wonderful low-fat vegan toast. Wow :-D

Have you tried making this butter with rice flour, instead of cornflour?

Kind regards

Anonymous said...

Hi, Bryanna, Have you (or has anyone out there) tried this with rice flour, as Daniel asked in January, or with any other substitute? I am allergic to corn and soy.

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

Daniel and Anonymous, no I haven't tried it with rice flour. The cornmeal gives it that "buttery" taste and color. You could try other flours, like, say, millet or sorghum, but the taste will definitely be lacking.

Anonymous said...

Wow I can't believe I just found this! It was so easy and cheap to make and tastes great! Thank you so much for sharing!

Unknown said...

I LOVE it; probably my favourite recipe ever. Thank you so much!

mothersson2002 said...

How about on popcorn?

Bryanna Clark Grogan said...

I haven't used it on popcorn. It doesn't melt exactly like butter and may make the popcorn soggy. I make popcorn in a microwave popcorn popper using this formula: 1/2 cup popping corn, 2 tsp. water, 1 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pop for about 4 minutes or til it stops popping. I eat it plain; my husband sprinkles it with engevita yeast.