pita bread

Pita bread is another one of the little glories of life…and it’s incredibly fun to watch in the oven as the air bubbles start to form in it. It also tastes much better and fresher than the store-bought stuff, no matter how natural and organic….nothing ever beats fresh, home-made goodies.

1 packet yeast
1 1/3 c warm water
1 1/2 T agave syrup or other liquid sweetener
1 c whole wheat bread flour
2 c all-purpose unbleached flour
pinch of salt

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the agave syrup and let sit for 10 minutes. If there is no foam on the top, discard and start again, it means that the yeast is dead.
2. Sift together the two flours and make a well in the centre.
3. Pour the yeast mixture into the flours and mix together.
4. Kneed the dough for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dough feels like your earlobe.
5. Cover with olive oil and let rise for an hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F
7. Divide the dough into 8 balls and roll each one out into flat rounds that are about 5-6″ in diameter.
8. Place the rounds directly on the oven rack for about 1-2 minutes, or until they puff up. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

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chocolate almond biscotti

Wow, I haven’t written on here for a while. I’ve been to busy cooking and baking. I have taken some pictures but (obviously) haven’t posted them yet.

Here’s the story for today’s recipe: I was hankerin’ for some biscotti, but noticed that we didn’t have many of the items in the house that all of the recipes that I was looking at called for, so I decided to create my own simple recipe. They came out really well, especially since this was only my second time making biscotti (my first successful attempt was made with the aide of a recipe).

1/2 c non-GMO canola oil
1/4 c non-dairy milk
Egg replacer for 2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 1/2 t almond extract
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
semi-sweet chocolate for dipping

Heat the oven to 350 degrees
1. Combine the canola oil, non-dairy milk, egg replacer, sugar, and almond extract.
2. Sift together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, and salt and add to the wet ingredients.
3. Form the dough into a block about 5×11 inches and 1/4-1/2 inch thick.
4. Put the block in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes.
5. Let the biscotti cool down. When they’re cool, cut diagonally into 1/2 strips and place them each an inch apart.
6. Heat the oven up to 375 degrees F and bake the biscotti for an additional 20 minutes. When you remove them from the oven, they will not be as hard as biscotti tend to be, but they’ll harden up.
7. Once the biscotti have hardened, heat up the chocolate and dip the ends of said biscotti into the chocolate. Wait for the chocolate to harden, and you’ve got yourself some great biscotti!

Note: If you want, you can throw in some almond slices, I just didn’t have any on hand.

Chewy Oatmeal Rasin cookies

Sorry for the long period of no posts (that is, if anyone is really reading this), but I’ve been cooking up quite the storm. Anyhoo, here’s something I did finally manage to get the time to chronicle and write down.

Vegan Oatmeal Raisin cookies

1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 -1/2 c brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups oats
1/2-3/4 cup raisins

Mix together the applesauce, canola oil, and sugars. Then add in the flour and baking soda, and next the oats and raisins. Stir all together and put in an oven heated to 350 degrees for 10 minutes. This should make about 5 big, chewy cookies

today’s numerous adventures

Brunch: vegan blueberry pancakes
Mid-day cooking adventure: home made tofu
Latter day cooking adventure: pretzels
Dinner: Tofu-veggie dumplings

I had some extra blueberries left over from the other day so I decided to make blueberry pancakes for brunch. I just love the taste and softness of cooked blueberries, not to mention their nutritional value! The pancakes were pretty good, though I really recommend cooking them on a low heat so that you can heat them all the way through without burning the faces. I don’t remember the last time I made pancakes without them being vegan, so I’m not sure if the problems I’ve had with them cooking all the way through is just a vegan thing or not. But onto today’s largest adventure….

For the second time, I made tofu from scratch. It’s really quite fun and rewarding, and I’d recommend it to all vegans, vegetarians, or anyone who likes it. I got the recipe and instructions for it from “The Book of Tofu,” a marvelous book from the 1970s that I found. Another great thing about this is that you don’t just get tofu, but you also get okara, which are the solids from the tofu and contain all the nutrients that soybeans have that you loose in the tofu. I’m going to experiment with that later and will post the results.

Pretzels were fun to make and pretty good as well. A lot better than the stuff you buy in stores, laden with preservatives and usually some sort of modified corn product.

I’ve yet to make the dumplings….dinner will commence in a few hours, but when made, I’ll tell everyone how that went.

Vegan chili

This is a chili recipe that I’ve been making for as long as I can remember, and it was really easy to veganise, all I had to do was substitute tempeh for the regular meat I used to use. I personally love kidney beans. They have got to be one of my favourtie beans. Something about the way they just ooze into your mouth. The texture of the tempeh compliments it really well, giving this dish a marvelous texture.

Makes 2-3 servings

1 can kidney beans (not drained)
1 can tomato sauce
1 small or medium onion
6 oz shredded tempeh
1 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
oil

1. Chop up the onion and put it into the oil, heated up, in a medium-sized saucepan. Saute until soft and somewhat translucent.
2. Add the tempeht and cook with the onions for about a minute.
3. Add in the kidney beans, tomato sauce, and spices. Let simmer on low for 20-40 minutes.

This is best served with crackers.

puttanesca

Tonight I made a vegan puttanesca from one of the new cookbooks that I bought the other day. It was very good. Unlike some other puttanescas that I’ve tasted in the pre-vegan days, it wasn’t too salty, which, as much as I do enjoy salt, was a definite plus. The diced tomatoes added a nice flavour and a good texture as well. And don’t you just love the way that capers taste when they pop in your mouth?

I made some banana bread again. The recipe for this one was relatively similar to the one I already posted on the blog, this time I added a bit of ricemilk and used baking powder instead of baking soda. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t taste or notice anything different from the previously posted recipe. The texture was moist and chewy, which is what is to be desired from a banana bread, in my opinion. Anyway, that’s all for tonight, more coming soon, as always!

Cinnamon buns and jambalaya

Today I made some cinnamon rolls. (Picture coming soon). They rose really well, and were quite good. I had made a few batches before which came out pretty well, but none as well as these. The dough was very light, springy, and appropriately chewy, and this time I added walnuts which gave them a nice crunch. They were also nice and filling, which, although they’re still tempting, helps you resist the urge to eat the whole batch. I haven’t yet gained control over yeast recipes yet, so sadly this wasn’t one of my own creations.

For dinner I made something else from a cookbook. (The other day I went to the bookstore and bought two new books!) This was a jambalaya, which had a very nice texture and taste. There were some green chilies in it, which gave it a nice bite, and I found some really old (but not too old) Jamaican jerk sauce in the fridge which went extraordinarily with this. The rice got very well seasoned by the vegetable broth in addition to the actual vegetables.

carrot cake

I went shopping the other day and got some carrots. So this time when the desire to bake came along, I decided to make some carrot cake. There was no sugar in the house, so I had to use agave, which doesn’t give these the same crumble that sugar-sweetened goods possess. Anyway, here’s the recipe. Just a note, this tastes much better once it’s cooled down a bit.

Vegan Carrot cake recipe:

3 Tbs margarine
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 + 1 Tbs agave syrup
1 cup ricemilk
2 cups whole what pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
carrot shreddings from 2 decent sized carrots

1. Combine the margarine, applesauce, agave, and ricemilk.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir.
4. Add the carrot shreddings to the mix.
5. Heat up to oven to 325 degrees F and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean

sweet potato pie

Today’s adventure resulted in sweet potato pie.  I like to use thickened up ricemilk instead of silken tofu put into the blender, so here’s my recipe for it.  It’s also a lot better if you use fresh sweet potato and just bake it and then add it to the blender with some water to make it a good consistency. Sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene, which is a form of Vitamin A, so this is a very healthful treat!

about 2 cups of sweet potato (you should be able to get this if you buy a potato that’s about one pound)
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups rice milk
about 4 tablespoons of corn starch or arrowroot powder (enough so that the milk is eventually approximately the consistency of condensed milk)
egg replacer for one egg (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer)

1. Bake or microwave the potato until soft.
2. Add it to the blender with some water and blend away until it has the right consistency (like the canned stuff). You should have about two cups worth.
3. Put it in a mixing bowl and add the spices and sweetener
4. Add a bit of water to the cornstarch or arrowroot and stir it up.
5. Heat the ricemilk up so that it almost begins to boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and slowly add the cornstarch or arrowroot and stir until the milk becomes the right consistency. Add it to the sweet potato mixture.
6. Mix up your egg replacer and add it to the whole mixture. Put the mixture into a pie crust.
7. Cook at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes and 350 degrees F for about 45. The pie will probably still be very wiggly, but that’s normal. Let it cool down for a little while and then put it into the refrigerator until it’s firm. Enjoy!

Vietnamese spring rolls

Last night I made some delectable Vietnamese spring rolls. They’re pretty simple, really good, nutritious, and vegan. What more could you want? Anyway, here are the ingredients that I used, and some other suggestions:

*note* everything should be chopped up julienne style

  • Rice paper (you need this to wrap them all up)
  • 5-spice tofu
  • carrots
  • daikon radish
  • Vietnamese basil
  • pickled daikon radish (I haven’t been able to find any that aren’t marinated in saccharin or use FD&C dyes, so I stayed away, but if you can find a natural version, they’re great!)
  • vermicelli noodles

So basically what you do is soak the rice paper in some hot water until it becomes soft and then put in everything that you want in it and then roll it up like a burrito, and violĂ !

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