Sunday, December 14, 2014

Peppermint gingerbread drop cookies.

Amy from @TheVeganRunnerGirl is at it again with #TheVeganCookingClub, featuring holiday cookies as a theme this round. I haven't made gingerbread cookies for a month of Sundays so I figured it was about the right time to sort out gingerbread drop cookies. These have an optional bit of crushed candy canes that get baked on top, which nicely accompanies the rich, gingery, molasses drop cookie. 

Makes 24 3-inch cookies

Ingredients I
1/2 cup vegan butter
1/2 cup molasses
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp freshly grated cinnamon

Ingredients II
2 cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

optional - crushed candy canes, on a plate, to top before baking

Preheat oven to 350F.

In your mixer, cream all of Ingredients I together for 2-3 minutes on a medium speed.

In a small bowl, whisk together Ingredients II and slowly add into your mixer.

If topping with crushed candy canes: Using a 1-tbsp ice cream scooper, scoop dough and release dough into your hand. Lightly dunk the the cookie's top into the candy cane mixture, and place on the cookie sheet, candy-side-up. Arrange 3 x 4, totaling 12 cookies to a sheet.

If nixing the candy cane topping: Using a 1-tbsp ice cream scooper, scoop dough and release dough onto the cookie sheet, arranging cookies 3 x 4, totaling 12 cookies to a sheet. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. The cookies will be a little darker on the bottoms, and the candy cane topping will have melted into the crevices of the cookies, and will harden upon cooling. Let cool on the cookie sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vegan vegetable korma.

Holy smokes. A vegetable korma recipe that actually tastes like vegetable korma. No dairy here, just coconut-cashew cream. Serve alongside basmati rice, top with slivered almonds. This recipe serves 6-8.

Ingredients I - curry paste 
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp coarsely ground pepper
2 tsp masala
2 tsp white sugar
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 garlic cloves or 2 tsp minced garlic from the jar
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp canola oil
1 green chili, seeds taken out
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup water

Ingredients II
2 tsp vegan butter
1 onion, diced - about 3/4 cup
1 red pepper, julienned
1 white potato, cubed into 1/2" pieces (steam beforehand to save you some time later on) 
1/2 cup carrots, sliced/cubed/etc (steam with the potatoes)
1/2 cup snow peas
3/4 cup broccoli, cut into florets 

Ingredients III - cashew cream - soak these together overnight/at least 3 hours
3/4 cup raw cashews
1 - 14oz can coconut milk


In a small blender or food processor, puree all of Ingredients I

In a small pot, add in the butter from Ingredients II. Once the butter starts to sizzle, add in the paste you just made. Allow the flavours to come 'round for a few minutes, then add in your vegetables. 

Stir occasionally for 5 minutes while you make your coconut cream.

To make your coconut cream, throw the coconut milk + cashews in a blender until smooth and creamy. I used the same blender for my cashew cream, as I did to make the paste. Nothing to it but a quick rinse. Add coconut cream from Ingredients III to your pot, stir, and serve once the vegetables are thoroughly cooked through. 

Serve with rice, quinoa, couscous, etc. Top with some slivered almonds.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Pumpkin sugar cookies.

Remembering I have a pretty dandy mixer, I was on the hunt for a real decent sugar cookie recipe. My pal Dana posted a recipe some time ago for Pumpkin Sugar Cookies on her blog, that I've had bookmarked for a little. Sure enough, it was a winner! I followed this recipe to a tee, and added in 2 tablespoons fresh, grated ginger. This recipe made 18 cookies, and while there's not heaps left, they keep very nicely.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Vegan friendly egg nog : 2 ways.

Real 'nog is kinda fucked up. Drink cashews instead.

Method One

4 pitted medjool dates + 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in 1 can coconut milk for 30+ minutes
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1 cup water 

optional - 1 tbsp agave
optional - dash of turmeric, for colour

Blend. (sorry pals, that's really all there is to it.) Add the one cup water last, and blend more to incorporate. Chill before drinking.


More reminiscent to the So Delicious variety.

Method Two

1 ripe banana, chopped into coins
2 cups sweetened vanilla almond milk
1/4-1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

optional - dash of turmeric, for colour

Place chopped bananas on parchment paper and set in the freezer until frozen. Pop in a blender with remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve ice cold.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rejulelac : a step-by-step guide

I've recently received Vegan Artisan Cheese by Miyoko Schinner in the post, and have been clearing out the cashews from every Bulk Barn in the city since. Most recipes in the book call for an ingredient called rejuvelac, which is a fermented grain water.The instructions, while short, still seemed a bit intimidating. Here's a step by step guide to making rejuvelac.

You will need:
1 cup millet
1 large mason jar, that holds at least 6 cups 
Cheese cloth
1 rubber band

Day 1:
Place the millet in the jar, and cover with just enough water to cover the grains. Cover the top with cheesecloth, and stick a rubber band around mouth of the jar.

Day 2:
Remove the cheese cloth, drain & rinse the millet. Again, cover with just enough water. Repeat this 2-3x a day.

Day 3:
Repeat steps from Day 2, until you can see the millet sprouting (they'll look like they have little tails)

Day 4 (optional):
If on your third day, the millet hasn't sprouted, repeat steps from Day 2.

Once sprouted, drain all water out. Then, add 4 cups of cold water. Let sit out on the counter for 2-3 days. After 2-3 days, little bubbles will form, and the liquid will become cloudy looking, meaning it's fermenting like a champ. 

Drain the cloudy water into another clean jar, and cover with a regular mason jar lid, so it's sealed as best as possible. Discard the millet.

As is, it'll taste a bit tart and lemony. Some folks drink it as is. I use it for my vegan cheeses, which typically ask for about 1/2 cup rejuvelac per recipe.

Rejuvelac will last in the fridge for a little over a week.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Curried yam and peanut soup.

Snagged from the Winnipeg Free Press 12 years ago, tweaked considerably.

Ingredients I
1 yam, peeled and cubed into ~1/2" pieces
1 onion, chopped
3/4 cup carrots, chopped

Ingredients II
1-28oz can of whole tomatoes
1 can of coconut milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp red curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2-1 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper

Optional: squeeze of lime juice

In a soup pot, boil all of Ingredients I. Once fully cooked through, drain and return to pot. Add in Ingredients II (and optional lime juice), whip out the immersion blender. Blend until smooth. Taste test for seasoning, adjust accordingly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Cranberry pecan banana bread.

It's banana bread and holy shit is it finger lickin decent. Adaptable, easy, with minimal ingredients. Split in half and douse in Earth Balance. 

Ingredients I
2 tablespoons flax meal + 6 tablespoons water, combined (let sit for 5+ minutes)

Ingredients II
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Ingredients III
3 large overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup apple butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup oil
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Almond Extract

1 cup Add-Ins: Cranberries, nuts, seeds, etc. I used 2/3 cup pecans and 1/3 cup fresh, chopped cranberries.

In a mug, mix together Ingredients I.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray or line a 12-count muffin tin.

Sift together Ingredients II in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, mash your bananas with a fork. Incorporate the remainder of Ingredients III with the fork. Stir in Ingredients I to this bowl.

Create a well with your dry mixture, and slowly stir in the wet mixture. Once evenly combined, stir in your add-ins.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into your muffin tin.

Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out the centre cleanly.