Saturday, July 20, 2013
This is a newly revised version of my low-fat vegan mayo recipe that appears in several of my cookbooks including my newest one, "World Vegan Feast", and elsewhere on this blog. I have used, and refined, this recipe for years because I am a mayonnaise lover. When I use it, I like to slather it on liberally! Hence, my preoccupation with a very lowfat vegan version of it that comes up to my taste standards. Of course, as a baby vegan, I tried those recipes where you blended a stream of oil into some soymilk (which contains lecithin, an emulsifier, as egg yolks do). They usually worked well, but were just as high in fat and calories as the original. So, for years I made tofu mayonnaise, and I still like it, but my husband never really did, and silken tofu, the main ingredient, makes it more expensive. We both prefer this recipe, and it is very inexpensive. Four Hellman's fans of my acquaintance loved this (and were surprised that they did). It’s smooth and creamy, and just tangy enough.
This recipe is a child of an old-fashioned salad dressing recipe, called a "Boiled Dressing" (a bit of a misnomer, since it was actually cooked gently in the top of a double boiler). "Boiled Dressing" was made with ingredients available to common people or farm folks, who did not have access to, or could not afford, vegetable oil. Olive oil was not available to any but the wealthy until the late 19th century, so only they could enjoy vinaigrette and oil-based mayonnaise. Oil-based mayonnaise was not available commercially in the USA until 1907, when Mrs. Schlorer's mayonnaise hit the shelves in Philadelphia. I looked it up and it is still available! Hellman's followed in 1912.
"Boiled dressing" would usually contain a tablespoon or two of butter, and the water, milk or cream (or a combination) base would be thickened with flour or cornstarch and an egg yolk or two. Sometimes it contained a bit of sugar (especially when used on coleslaw) and sometimes not. (I suspect that the sweeter type is the prototype for Miracle Whip.)
You will find recipes for "Boiled dressing" or "Cooked Salad Dressing" in early North American cookbooks, and in some Southern and Mid-Western cookbooks. I started out by veganizing a recipe in a Mennonite cookbook called the "More-with-Less Cookbook" (first published in 1979), and refined it over time.
As you might deduce, I'm forever trying to improve upon this recipe. This time, even though it is already a very low-fat recipe, with just enough oil to make it pleasantly creamy, I was trying to revise it for those who do not eat ANY extracted oils. I decided to try using raw cashews, measure-for-measure, instead of oil. A few whole nuts are allowed in some versions of a no-oil vegan diet, so I thought I'd give it a go. (See the calorie comparisons in the introductory text in the recipe below.)
It worked beautifully-- beyond my expectations, actually. It is very creamy and I didn't even have to add the tiny bit of guar or xanthan gum that I usually do as a stabilizer when I use oil. (It has held up well in the refrigerator for about a week and a half so far. Without the vegetable gum, the oil version tends to get a bit runny after a while.) I will make it this way from now on, unless I run out of raw cashews!
For those who are allergic to soy, prefer not to use oil, do not like tofu mayonnaise, or the commercial "light" mayos (most are not vegan, anyway), this is a delicious (and inexpensive) solution.
For those allergic to corn and or gluten: It's harder to find than other starches, but wheat starch can be used like cornstarch more easily (tsp. for tsp.) than, say, arrowroot, which I have never had success with. Wheat starch is easily available from amazon.com and it is gluten-free! (See http://www.glutenfreeliving.com/gluten-free-foods/ingredients/new-word-on-wheat-starch/ ) I have also purchased it in Asian food stores and the International sections of some supermarkets. Food Scientist Shirley O. Corriher (who I will mention more about below) says: "Asian grocery stores are a great place to buy starches. They have arrowroot, potato starch, rice starch, tapioca starch (a powder), wheat starch, etc. at a fraction of their cost in regular stores."
I use cornstarch because it works well in this recipe, is cheap (even organic is relatively cheap) and is easy to find. Wheat starch works the same way. Corriher explains why in this short article: http://www.splendidtable.org/story/tips-vegetable-cookery-starch-shirley-corriher
For more detailed information on starches and how they work, here are two more articles by Corriher: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2006-05-18/features/0605160149_1_starch-sauce-tablespoon and http://seattletallpoppy.blogspot.ca/2009/01/schoolin-in-starch-from-food-sleuth.html
I experimented ALOT over the years with this mayo recipe and I definitely recommend corn or wheat starch for best results.
I can't stress enough that this recipe is EASY TO MAKE and takes only a few minutes of your time! You will save money and calories. And you can use the type of nondairy milk that suits you. (I've used hemp milk with good result, BTW.)
BRYANNA’S CREAMY LOW-FAT VEGAN MAYONNAISE WITH NO EXTRACTED OIL (can be soy-free)
Servings: 32; Yield: about 2 cups
There are about 90 calories in a tablespoon of regular non-vegan mayo and also in Vegenaise Original or Earth Balance Mindful Mayo. There are 45 calories per tablespoon in Vegenaise Reduced-Fat, 35 in Spectrum Eggless Light Canola Mayo, but only 12 calories per tablespoon in this mayo-- so you can indulge yourself! NOTE: This was calculated using my homemade soymilk, but I calculated it (with Living Cookbook software) using various nondairy milks and they were all in this range-- except when made with canned full-fat coconut milk, which resulted in a count of 35 calories per tablespoon.
NOTE: If you are allergic to nuts, use my original recipe here. You can see photos of the process there, too.
1 cup any non-dairy milk (if you use canned full-fat coconut milk the calories will triple) you like to drink, Original type-- doesn't have to be unsweetened
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (my favorite), plain rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or lemon juice (or a combination of any of these)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (mustard powder)
1/4 cup raw shelled Brazil nuts (roughly chopped before measuring), raw macadamia nuts, or raw cashews (soak cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes and drain)
OPTIONAL (for a slightly "eggier" flavor): 1 tsp. The VEGG powder (vegan egg yolk sub)
10 tablespoons cold water (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon agar powder (NOT flakes)
3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (or use wheat starch--do not substitute other starches! Wheat starch is GF! See paragraph above the recipe for more info. PS: You can buy organic cornstarch in health food stores and online.)
NOTE BEFORE YOU START: This mayo does not thicken as you blend it, like egg mayonnaise or soy mayonnaise made with lots of oil, so don’t blend it and blend it, thinking it will thicken as it blends-- it won’t!! It will thicken in a few hours in the refrigerator.
Place the Mix A ingredients into your blender jar and have ready. In a small saucepan or microwave-proof bowl, mix together the water and agar from Mix B, and let sit for a few of minutes. Add the cornstarch and whisk well.
If making in the saucepan on the stovetop, stir constantly over high heat until thick and translucent-- not chalky white. OR: Microwave option (my preference): Use the microwave-proof bowl for the mixture, and microwave on 100% power for 30 seconds. Whisk. Repeat this about three times, or until thick and translucent- not chalky white- using a silicone spatula instead of a whisk after the first time, to scrape the bottom of the bowl of any cornstarch that gets stuck and mix it in with the rest of the mixture.
Scrape the cooked Mix B into the blender (using a spatula so that you get as much of it as you can out of the bowl or pot) containing Mix A. Blend until the mixture is very white and frothy and emulsified,
Pour the mayo into a clean pint (2 cup) jar (there may be a little bit over, which you can pour into a tiny jar or sample cup), cover and refrigerate for several hours, until it is set. It should be firm enough to stand a knife up in. Keep refrigerated. It will keep for about 2 weeks.
MISO MAYO VARIATION: Omit the salt and add 3 tablespoons white miso.
ROASTED GARLIC MAYO VARIATION: At the end of blending, add 1 head of roasted garlic, squeezed out of the skins.
ANOTHER VARIATION: Do you prefer a Miracle Whip-type spread to mayonnaise? Try this:
Use 3/4 to 1 teaspoon mustard powder and add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon organic sugar or agave nectar to the recipe (sugar levels in this type of recipe vary, so start with this and then let your taste dictate).
For more variations see this blog post.
Nutrition (per tablespoon): 12.0 calories; 42% calories from fat; 0.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 92.6mg sodium; 9.1mg potassium; 1.4g carbohydrates; 0.1g fiber; 0.2g sugar; 1.4g net carbs; 0.4g protein; 0.3 points.
1.) This mayonnaise, with the addition of herbs, garlic, etc., can be used as a savory vegetable and toast topping.
2.) If you leave out the agar in the basic recipe, this makes a good base for cold savory sauces.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
(OR 1 lb. fresh baby spinach, steamed, chopped and squeezed well)
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Easy Three-Berry Vegan Frozen Yogurt
I had to laugh after I told my husband that we were trying out a rather unusual sorbet after dinner. he said, "It's not avocado is it?" (He had seen it, evidently.) I said, defensively, "It's lime!" Which was true, up to a point. So, I served it (as pictured above and below) and he loved it, at which time I confessed and he admitted that he should be more open-minded.
I've been getting out the ice cream machine lately for experimenting, since it's suddenly full summer here. I have had two successes with my first two tries, so far. The Three-Berry Vegan Frozen Yogurt was a riff on an old recipe from my book "Soyfood Cooking for a Positive Menopause", and it is very low in fat (as long as you don't use a vegan yogurt made from full-fat coconut milk!), and so refreshing and beautiful! Using frozen berries to make the mixture means that you can start freezing it in your ice cream machine immediately, instead of having to wait for it to thoroughly chill.
The second (referred to in my first paragraph), came about simply because I had two large ripe avocados to use up and I had been wanting to try an avocado frozen dessert for some time. I try to keep the fat level down in most of my cooking, so I wanted to make an avocado sorbet with only the avocado providing the creaminess. (Many recipes I have looked at also call for full-fat coconut milk, which would raise the calorie level considerably.) So I started out with a simple recipe from The Savvy Vegetarian. She didn't specify the size of the 3 avocados called for, so I assumed she meant medium ones. I had 3 large ones, so that's what I used. I also added some lime zest to pump up the lime flavor-- the zest adds so much flavor compared to using the juice alone. It's higher in calories and fat than the berry dessert, but well worth it once in a while!
Thursday, July 4, 2013
This salad is one of my favorite recipes from my book "World Vegan Feast", and a great one for any summer celebrations, picnics or potlucks.
(July 1st/Canada Day; July 4th/USA)
This recipe is from my book "World Vegan Feast" (Vegan Heritage Press, Woodstock, Virginia, 2011), and I have added some new information about cooking potatoes in this version of the recipe.
NOTE ON COOKING POTATOES: Use waxy potatoes for potato salads, rather than baking potatoes. Waxy potatoes contain less starch and hold their shape better after cooking. Steaming is the preferable method of cooking, and also microwaving (instructions in recipe), especially for blue and purple potatoes, which I find tend to get mushy when boiled. Common white waxy potatoes in North America are round whites and long whites-- they have very thin skins.
1/2 cup vegan broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, crushed
freshly-ground black pepper to taste (Note: I like this with plenty of pepper!)
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 large green onions, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 cup crumbled extra-firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup vegan parmesan substitute (such as my "Walnut Parm" from "World Vegan Feast"; or Parma!; or Go Veggie! Grated Parmesan Flavor Cheese Alternative, formerly known as Galaxy Vegan Soy Parmesan; or my Okara Parmesan; or Parma Zaan Sprinkles )
Transfer them to a serving bowl.