Friday, May 23, 2008

A Temporary Herbivore in Chicago

Jezebel.com reports that Oprah Winfrey is planning to spend the next three weeks as a vegan. The Queen of America, who’s referring to the diet change as a “cleanse” and an “inner makeover,” is blogging about her newest weight-watching scheme.  Here’s what Winfrey wrote on Sunday:

[T]his first day wasn't hard at all. For breakfast, I had steel-cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries, strawberries, chopped walnuts and a splash of soy milk and some agave nectar. For lunch, chunky mushroom soup with wild rice and pecans. As a snack, a handful of roasted almonds. And for dinner, a baked potato drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper with a salad of shredded lettuce, cranberries, pine nuts and tiny orange slices with a vinegar and oil dressing.

Yes, well, I might have found it easier to stay vegan, too, if I had had a personal chef and an infinite staff of attendants.  My vegan days were a little different. I recall eating a lot of cold cereal with soymilk and spending all of my free time experimenting madly in the kitchen with margarine and egg replacer, trying to create palatable cookies and cakes. 

Even though I’m well aware that this three-week cleanse will soon be tucked away in the back pages of The Many Diets of Oprah Winfrey, I applaud Winfrey’s efforts to raise awareness for what she refers to as “the animals whose lives are sacrificed in the name of gluttony”.  Perhaps she’ll inspire a few millions to try giving up animal products.  For them, and for any vegans out there without personal chefs to present them with a dazzling array of healthy dishes, I’m posting the pièce de résistance from my vegan days (with American measurements).

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

-1 package active dry yeast

-1/4 cup warm water

-1 cup potato-cooking water

-½ cup mashed potato

-½ cup plus 2/3 cup organic sugar

-½ tablespoon salt

-¾ stick (6 tablespoons) vegan margarine, plus one stick (½ cup) margarine, softened

-1 ½ teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water

-4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

-1 tablespoon cinnamon

-2 cups organic powdered sugar

-one to two tablespoons soymilk

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract, if you so desire)

Combine yeast and warm water; let stand for a few minutes.  Add potato-cooking water, mashed potato, ½ cup sugar, salt, ¾ stick margarine, and egg replacer; combine well.  Add flour, a little at a time, until dough forms; knead dough until elastic, then let rise for an hour or until doubled.

Punch down dough and roll into 14x8-inch rectangle; spread remaining margarine (1 stick) onto the dough.  Combine 2/3 cups sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over the buttered rectangle.  Roll up dough lengthwise, and cut into twelve rolls; place rolls in a greased 9x13-inch pans and let rise until doubled.  Refrigerate overnight.  In the morning, remove rolls from refrigerator, preheat oven to 350° F, and bake rolls for 30 to 40 minutes.  Combine powdered sugar and soymilk until smooth, and stir in the vanilla or almond extract.  Drizzle slightly cooled rolls with icing. 

Makes 12 rolls.

1 comment:

beartoe said...

I'm having a little trouble squaring the concept of "diet" with the concept of "cinnamon rolls", but I bet Oprah wouldn't. :)

I've had these rolls before, and they're great.