Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Happiest of holidays to you! Are you ready for some easy vegan gingerbread cookies and/or dog pics? Great! Keep reading.easy vegan gingerbread cookies kbaked

Finals are over which means it is BAKING SEASON (cue creepy Pillsbury dough-boy laugh). If I am ignoring your calls and texts and have seemingly disappeared into the abyss, assume it is because my hands are covered in (vegan) butter and cookie crumbs until further notice.

delicious easy vegan gingerbread

As much of a pessimistic Pauly as I can be, I really love the holidays. And the excuse to bake in excess is among the many reasons I relish this season (I also love being cozy, drinking copious amounts of hot chocolate, spending time with fam, and watching The Santa Claus and Home Alone 2).

Presently I’m watching Relationsheep (#Bravofan5ever) as I quickly type up this post. Then it’s back to cleaning, gift wrapping, and doing a bunch of work (non-school related) that I pushed onto the back burner until finals had ended.

delicious vegan gingerbread cookies

But I thought I’d take a pause from my grind to share these easy vegan gingerbread people. These literally took about 10 minutes to throw together, and an additional 8-10 to bake. They were almost too easy making them the perfect cookie to whip up last minute for a gathering, and/or the perfect treat to satisfy a random gingerbread craving (which, personally, I have on occasion).

gingerbread people easy vegan

If you’d like to dress them up with some icing, by all means do your thing. I’m currently digging them plain, paired with a wicked cup of cocoa or a alongside a cold brew iced coffee. Mmmm.

super simple vegan gingerbread

If you don’t want the fuss of rolling out cookie dough, you can certainly bake these in dough balls with a dusting of raw sugar. This is a delicious option and gives the cookies a yummy chewy tummy middle.

easy vegan gingerbread people

I hope you give these cookies a whirl and love them as much as I do! If you make them, tag me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I’d love to see them IRL!

EASY Vegan gingerbread_

Many more posts coming your way this weekend/upcoming week! In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of my dog in a Mrs. Claus outfit her grandma bought her from Walgreens. Happiest of holidays to you!

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Easy Vegan Gingerbread People

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 8-10 people, depending on the size of your cookie cuter

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup softened vegan butter (I like Earth Balance baking sticks)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup + 1 additional tablespoon molasses (note: these are molasse-y cookies, since I love the taste of molasses. If you want them a little less molasses-heavy, sub the additional tablespoon for water)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat baking flour (can sub additional all-purpose, if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place flax and water in a small bowl and allow to thicken, at least 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cream together softened butter and brown sugar using an electric mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add molasses and flax egg and mix again.
  4. Combine flours, baking soda, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together.
  5. Fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Form dough into a ball and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes for ease of rolling (optional, but highly recommended; you can also pop it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes if you’re short on time).
  6. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters as desired. Place shapes on a lined baking sheet. For non-shaped cookies, you can also roll dough into balls, sprinkle with raw sugar, and place onto a lined baking sheet.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes until just golden. Allow to cool before eating or icing.
  8. Enjoy!

PS – If you want more gingerbread goodness, try this yummy Nutty Gingerbread Granola!

Soy Ginger Maple Baked Tempeh

This right here is my recent go-to baked tempeh recipe. It’s the perfect combination of savory umami flavor, with a hint of maple sweetness, and a bit of heat from ginger. You can up the spice level with some Sriracha, but more on that later.Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 11.37.38 PM

Never had tempeh? Well perhaps you should give it a try.  Two important things about tempeh: 1) tempeh is made out by fermented soybeans into a weird dense cake thing, and 2) tempeh is way better than I just made it sound.

When I try to describe tempeh to people, I usually go with “it’s kinda like tofu, but heartier and with a toothier texture.”  If you’re looking for a cheap ($1.99 for an 8-ounce package at TJs!), versatile protein, give tempeh a try. It’s great on salads, in grain bowls, or in tacos.

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Someone recently asked me on Instagram how I make my tempeh, and actually this is a question I get a lot when I recommend it to people: “Like, what do I do with that log thing made of soybeans?”

Personally, I love tempeh so much, I can eat it cold, plain, and with salt. But for those less obsessed than I, here is one of my favorite ways to prepare it:

Prep Time:  5 minutes + at least one hour to marinate
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: at least 90 minutes, the longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce, liquid aminos, or tamari
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sesame or other neutral vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (depending on desired level of ginger-heat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Sriracha (optional)

Method:

  1. Cut tempeh into slices, cubs, or triangles (however you desire it)
  2. Mix soy sauce, maple syrup, oil, ginger, and Sriracha in a small bowl.
  3. Place tempeh in a small shallow dish and pour marinate evenly over the tempeh.
  4. Place tempeh in the refrigerator for at least 40 minutes, up to 24 hours. The longer it sits, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  5. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 F.
  6. Place tempeh on a backing sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour extra marinate from the pan over the tempeh.
  7. Bake for 22 minutes, then flip, and bake an additional 18-25 minutes, until desired texture is reached.
  8. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu

All aboard the hot mess express! Choo-choo we’re chuggin’ along. What mess, you ask? Well, let’s see. I move across the country in 5 days with zero help, I haven’t packed (but I did do some laundry! – #win), I don’t have an apartment to move into when I get there, AND I have about a million things to do before I leave, including work on Saturday. Heyyyyy reality, it’s really nice to ignore you.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu-Vegan

Also, a massive wrench was just thrown into my life and everything is more complicated now. People keep asking me “What are you going to do?” to which I respond, “Go get an iced coffee and chill.” And that’s about all I can handle right now. Hi, adulthood, you scare me.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Soy Tofu - Vegan

Anyways, when it comes to crazy times, nothing comforts me more than baking, and/or making a nice home-cooked meal. Home-cooked meals = comfort x 20. Even when you cook it yourself. It can’t be beat.

So the Recipe Redux challenge for August was, “Back to the Table,” and asked contributors to share a recipe that was either an old family favorite or a current family favorite – just something that brought or brings your family together as school and fall and reality sink back in. Speaking of school, hellooo graduate school at Columbia University, I’ll see you Monday! And hopefully maybe I’ll have an apartment by then…

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu - Vegan .

Anyways, my mom used to make the most amazing home cooked meals ever! Favorites were always her pastas and soups (she kicks BUTT at those), and other dishes full of perfectly cooked or roasted vegetables nd homemade salads with homemade dressing and berry crisps for dessert. Yum. You raised me well, mama. Thanks.

Life is much different now than back when I could sit with a family of four and eat. Lots has changed. And family meals have taken on a new meaning. I did actually live with my mom this year, and we actually did share a lot of dinners. But now-a-days with a different family structure and just the two of us, “family dinner,” has a much different meaning.

Ginger Miso Soba Noodle Soup with Wasabi Tofu - Vegan

My mom isn’t really  able to cook much anymore, so we made a lot of simple things and/or went out to sushi. Every Monday and Tuesday is half-price sushi and hibachi and ramen and noodle bowls an excellent Japanese place nearby. So right now, to me, family meals mean Japanese.

No complaints; I love Japanese food. It’s simple, clean, and allows flavors to speak for themselves. The weekly-Japanese dinners inspired this meal, as now I associate Japanese food as mommy time.

Miso Ginger Broth

So here is a big bowl of delicious soba noodles in an umami ginger miso broth. I bought mine at Trader Joe’s. I then added some marinated Wasabi Baked Tofu because marinated baked tofu is delicious and I just found wasabi paste on clearance at Target for $0.84 and felt like I won the lottery. WHOO! I love wasabi. #feeltheburn.

This dish probably is not in anyway authentic Japanese cuisine (just like chicken parmesan is faux-Italian), but hey – it’s inspired by Japanese flavors and my current definition of a family dinner. Hope you enjoy! And if you like Japenese-ish things, check out this Miso Ginger Baked Tofu, this Miso Hummus,  or these Soba Noodle Asian Kale Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing. Yums.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Level: Easy

serves 2-3 as entree, 4 as side

Ingredients – Ginger Miso Soba NoodleSoup:

  • 32 ounces (1 box) Ginger Miso Broth (from Trader Joe’s – you can substitute other miso broth and add additional ginger) with 1/2 cup reserved for tofu marinade.
  • 4-ounces soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 scallion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (can substitute dried ground ginger)
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup sugar snap peas or broccoli (or both!)
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions

Ingredients – Wasabi Tofu:

  • 1/2 cup Ginger Miso Broth
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2-4 teaspoons wasabi paste, (depending on desired level of spice ~ I tend to like things really hot)
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice (can substitute one tablespoon sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

  1. Drain as much liquid from the tofu as possible by pressing gently with a paper towel. Prepare marinade by combining Ginger Miso Broth, Soy Sauce, wasabi paste, freshly grated ginger, orange juice, and Sriracha. Whisk well.
  2. Slice tofu into bite-sized pieces and place in a low baking dish (a 9×9-inch or similar baking tray should work). Pour marinade over tofu. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator, at least 30 minutes (ideally 2-3 hours)
  3. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare soba noodles according to directions on package, drain and rinse in cold water and set aside.
  4. Place tofu in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until firm, browned, and crispy around the edges, flipping halfway through if desired. When finished, remove from oven and allow to cool. While it’s baking, you can prepare the broth, below.
  5. Dice scallions and garlic. Dice green onions and set aside. If using broccoli, wash and cut into bite sized pieces. Wash and dice mushrooms.
  6. In a large skillet pan over medium heat, warm oil with scallions and garlic and allow to simmer until scallions become translucent. Add freshly grated ginger and allow to simmer. Add broccoli and/or snap peas and mushrooms and cook until vegetables become slightly tender, 4-6 minutes. Add broth and allow to warm and simmer, about 15 minutes.
  7. Add soba noodles to broth and warm for an addition 2-3 minutes.
  8. Serve in bowls and top with tofu and green onions, and Sriracha if desired. Serve with this Asian Kale Salad.

For more Recipe Redux Back to The Table Meals, click around below:

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Ginger Miso Baked Tofu

I have been on a several-year-long quest to make drop-dead delicious tofu. You know, tofu that has that perfect texture with the crispier outside and chewy inside, and that’s full of flavor that would even leave even a vegetarian-hating-carnivore begging for more.

Miso Ginger   Tofu Vegan

Over the 15 years of my vegetarianism, I have had myself quite a bit of tofu. Baked, fried, made into pudding, in salads, stirfrys, noodle dishes, etc etc etc. I like tofu. Heck, I’d even say I love the stuff. I even eat it plain and cold and straight from the fridge from time to time. Some people turn their nose up to it without ever giving it a shot. Major bummer/loss for them, because as many vegetarains, vegans, and meat-eaters know, the stuff can be crazy delicious.

Ginger Miso  Baked Tofu Vegan

I’ve read all sorts of things about how to make to-die-for tofu happen. After years of experimenting, I think I finally a method that makes me sing. This is a multi-step process, but if you’re crunched for time or lazy, you can easily skip parts and your tofu will still turn out okay. Honestly, I think one of the most critical steps is freezing the tofu before reheating. It sounds strange, but the tofu seems to adapt a new texture and chewiness as a result. It’s nom-tastic.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

The whole freezing/reheating thing was actually something I discovered by accident while in college. I used to buy myself a block of tofu, and would often eat only half. As I’m a paranoid freak about food safety, I felt uneasy leaving it the fridge for a few days, so I’d pop it in the freezer. After a while, I came to the conclusion that I actually liked it better reheated out of the freezer. Googling lead me to find that this wasn’t just in my head, but an uncommonly known method that people sometimes use to achieve chewy-texture-tofu.

Ginger Miso Tofu Vegan

One of the great things about tofu is that not only can you manipulate the texture to suit your palate, it’s also a blank canvas for flavor. When presented with the Recipe Redux April challenge – “Spring Cleaning” – to go through your pantries and use something you haven’t used in a while, I saw a perfect opportunity to make use of the White Miso Paste I bought at Trader Joe’s a few weeks ago, but haven’t yet played around with.

Miso Ginger Tofu Vegan

I’ve also been on a super sushi-and-Asian-flavored-kick lately, which has resulted in me dragging my mom to half-price sushi on a weekly basis. We even went for Easter dinner b/c we’re so #fancy. No matter what night of the week it is, I always order a couple rolls and a house salad. The house salad comes with this amazing Carrot Ginger Miso dressing stuff dumped all over it, and it has been infatuation from the first bite. I always lick up every last drop. I hoard the freakin’ bowl when the waitress tries to politely collect it when all the lettuce is gone, so I can use it as a dipping sauce for my sushi. I’m insane. Go ahead and judge.

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

Anyways, such a flavor inspired me to glaze my tofu in a miso-ginger marinade of sorts. Ginger Miso Baked Tofu resulted. I was extremely pleased with the results. A lovely umami and subtly spicy flavor and a to-die-for hearty chewy texture, this recipe is a keeper for me, and I hope you’ll give it a whirl and find it to be the same. You can cut the tofu into whatever sized pieces you fancy; I made little nuggets and found them perfect for topping salads, stir-fries, and dipping straight into Sriracha as a snack. No matter how you slice it, it’s gonna be delish. Happy tofu-eating!

Miso Ginger Tofu  Vegan

 

Prep Time: 1-8 hours (depending on how long you let the tofu drain and/or marinate)
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

Ingredients:

  • 1 14-ounce package Extra Firm Tofu
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey ??
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice or water

Directions:

1. Drain excess water out of tofu by removing from package, and wrapping in a paper towel, and pressing gently on block of tofu to squeeze out liquid. For best results, place a weight (like a book or block) on top of covered tofu and allow to press out liquid for a few hours or overnight.

2. Meanwhile, prepare marinade by combining miso paste, soy sauce, brownu sugar/honey, freshly grated ginger, garlic and OJ or water in a small dish and whisk with a fork to combine.

3. Slice tofu into cubes or large rectangles, depending on your preference. Lay flat in a baking dish. Pour marinade over tofu, cover, and allow to marinade for 1-3 hours.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper. Transfer tofu from the baking dish to parchment paper. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Flip tofu halfway through cook time if desired. Allow to cool and enjoy! 🙂

Ginger Miso Baked Tofu Vegan

For more recipes inspired by the April Spring Cleaning Recipe Redux Challenge, click around below: 🙂

Soba Noodle Asian Kale Salad with Soy Ginger Dressing

The April Recipe Redux challenge was to make a dish, and repurpose the leftovers of that dish for another meal. It’s like double the yummies with one grocery trip. Win.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

I’ve been wanting to play with Soba noodles for a while now. There’s something I love about the idea of a cold soba noodle salad.  I also love anything covered in gingery-soy dressing. Which is why I go to half price sushi every week with my mom and order a salad just so I can DRINK the ginger dressing they put on top. And then when the server comes to clear my bowl I hoard my bowl like “NO! I NEED THAT DRESSING!” so I can dip my sushi into it and soak up every last drop. I’m boarderline insane. Or just really weird. Or both. Anyways, SOBA:

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

I used my leftover Asian Kale Salad, added it to some cooked soba noodles, used the same dressing, and threw on some tempeh (could sub tofu or omit completely), and viola! Meal 2.0 was born, drenched in soy gingery goodness.

Asian Kale Salad Edamame Soy Ginger

Okay so I need to relax about my dressing obsession; regardless, this is a healthy, refreshing, yet filling and nourishing meal. The soba noodles were a welcome change of pace for me. I actually really loved the unique buckwheat flavor. They have a bit of a heartier feel to them than regular noodles, yet all the slippery slidy mouthfeel. Another bonus was that they cooked in 4 minutes are a source whole grain. Yay whole grains! #carbs5ever

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan tofu

Combine with the crunch from the Asian Kale Salad, the edamame, and the tofu, it makes for a power-meal that will keep you going for hours wtihout feeling icky or weighed down. This is like a bowl of power noodlez, y’all.

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame Vegan

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4-5 minutes
Level: easy

serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups soba noodles, cooked (about 4″ in diameter, uncooked)
  • 1 cup Asian Kale Salad
  • 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing
  • 3/4 cup tempeh or tofu, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro or green onions (optional)
  • hot sauce or Sriracha (optional)

Directions:

1. Cook soba noodles according to direction on package. Drain and allow to cool. Transfer to bowl.

soba noodles

2. Pour 1/2 cup Sesame Soy Ginger Dressing on noodles and stir until noodles are lightly coated. Add Asian Kale salad and toss again.

Soba Noodle Salad  Vegan

3. Cube tempeh or tofu and use to top noodles. Chop cilantro or green onions and add to noodle bowl. Add hot sauce or Sriracha as desired. Enjoy~!

Soba Noodle Salad Edamame  Vegan

For more make one, eat twice ideas, click around below! Happy eating :-).