I astounded my very own self when I woke up in the middle of the night with a solution to my Iron Cupcake challenge. The secret ingredient was cheese! The only stuff I could think of involved Tofutti Cream Cheese, which while delicious, didn't offer a lot of revolutionary options in my mind. I remembered seeing something a while back about Mac & Cheese Cupcakes, so I decided to take it a step further and build a vegan version of my favorite meal! Hence we have the Vegan Dinner Cupcakes! They are made of a cornbread cupcake, mashed potato and gravy frosting, mac & cheeze topping, and a little piece of cooked carrot to finish things off!
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Now for the recipe!
The base is a vegan cornbread recipe, courtesy of Vegan Explosion!
1 1/4 Cup White Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
3/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
2/3 Cup Soymilk Generous 1/2 teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Vegan margarine (melted)
2 Ener-G Egg Replacer Eggs
3/4 Cup Canned 100% Pure Pumpkin
OPTIONAL: 1/2 Cup Corn
OPTIONAL: 1/2 Cup Seeded Jalapenos, diced
Sift together: Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Coriander in a large mixing bowl
Stir-in Cornmeal and mix well.
Make vegan buttermilk by combining soymilk and vinegar. Set aside.
In a separate bowl: Combine Brown Sugar, Agave, Melted Margarine, Egg Replacer Eggs, Pumpkin
Add Vegan Buttermilk to Brown Sugar Mixture.
Combine wets with dry ingredients. If adding corn and jalapenos, do this now.
Mix thoroughly but do not over mix.
PREHEAT 350 F
Pour batter in baking pan.
Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted comes out clean and the cornbread is golden on top.
The "frosting" is homemade mashed potatoes (no recipe...just hand-mashed potatoes, soymilk, and Earth Balance with a minced clove of garlic or two) mixed with gravy. The gravy is from Vegan With A Vengeance and it's delicious!!
Punk Rock Chickpea Gravy
1/4 C all purpose flour
Approximately 2 1/2 C water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium sized onion, quartered and sliced thin
2 tsp mustard seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 C cooked chickpeas, or 1 can, rinsed and drained
2 pinches ground cumin
2 pinches paprika
1 pinch dried rosemary
1 pinch dried thyme1 pinch dried oregano
1 pinch dried coriander
3 Tbs soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C nutritional yeast
Mix the flour with 2 cups of water until the flour is mostly dissolved. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions and mustard seeds; cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are browned and the mustard seeds are toasted. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes more. Add the chickpeas; use a potato masher to mash them -- you don't want to mash them into a paste, just make sure each one is broken up although if there are a few whole ones left, that is ok. Add the herbs and spices, soy sauce, and lemon juice. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits of onion. Lower heat and pour the flour mixture into the pan. Stir constantly until a thick gravy forms. Stir in the nutritional yeast. If it looks too thick and pasty, add more water and mix well. It may look like it doesn't want any more water added to it, but just keep mixing and it will loosen up. Keep warm until ready to serve.
The Mac & Cheeze topping is my most favorite vegan mac & cheeze recipe yet. It's so awesome we call it "Sexy Mac" at our house! The recipe is originally from vegweb.com, but I always reference the RecipeZaar site, as that is where I found it.
1 1/2 cups plain soymilk
1 cup water
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
3 ounces firm tofu
1 cup canola oil
1 1/2 lbs macaroni noodles
2 teaspoons mustard (optional)
1Preheat oven to 350°F.
2Boil water in a big pot for the pasta.
3All of the ingredients sans pasta can easily go in a blender (liquid and powdered) -- this is by far the easiest way.
4Once pasta is cooked, drain and put it in the baking pan pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. I like to sprinkle Kellogg's Cornflake crumbs over the top for some nice texture.
5Bake until the top of the pasta looks slightly browned and crispy about 15 minutes.
The topper is just a little cooked carrot, but so important, as carrots are my #1 favorite treat!
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