Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tomato-basil hand pies.

My pal Amy (@theveganrunnergirl) just started a monthly vegan cooking club which I'm super stoked to be a part of. Today was the day we posted our tomato based goods, while hashtagging #thevegancookingclub. I went to Bulk Barn, nectar of thy gods, to get my usual supply of sundried tomatoes for some biscuits I was thinking up. But they quit selling them. God, that blows goats. I have proof. Anyhow, I decided to whip out the $2 pocket-pie press from my recent trip to America and give it a go. The results were solid, I don't look forward to the sleepless nights to follow the god-forsaken day that press bites the bullet. Until then, I'll be utilizing this thing regularly.

I'm using tomatoes and basil, both fresh from my garden. Oh, by the way, I garden. Don't get me wrong, the walls were gyrating thanks to DRI this whole while, and I spent a little while in a few dumpsters just last week.. but nothing beats garden fresh herbs and vegetables.

Yields: 5

Ingredients I
2 1/2 cups white flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
2 tbsp canola oil
~1 cup warm water

Ingredients II
Tomato paste
Basil, roughly chopped or pulled apart
Olives, pitted and quartered
Himalayan pink salt
Freshly ground pepper
--optional, other fillings of your choice 

Preheat oven to 400F.

For the dough, whisk together all dry ingredients, then add in your wet ingredients. Roughly mix with a fork, then get those hands in there. The dough should be a little sticky, but not so much it sticks ruthlessly to your hands. If that's the case, add a little more flour. Add your ball of flour to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes. Ensure the dough remains a little sticky or it won't stick together nicely when you press the edges together.

I Pam'd the press, after learning the tough way it's for the best. Add your ingredients into the press, being mindful of the edges. Add your seasonings on top, the tomato paste doesn't have the high sodium content like premade pizza sauces. The edges best stay clean so the guts don't spew out during pressing and baking. I pressed the edges together, and used my finger to push away the excess dough, which I added back to my dough ball.

Bake at 400F for approximately 12 minutes. The pies are ready when you tap on the tops with a utensil and they sound a little "hollow", and the bottoms will be browned nicely. Let stand for 5 minutes before gorging. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Spicy chai-coconut cake with pistachios.

Baking with tea is not only a flavourful alternative, but cheaper than milking almonds, and hip enough to get this reblogged by folks wearing cool glasses from Zenni Optical. 

Ingredients I
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup white flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
3/8 cup quick oats

Ingredients II
I cup strong brewed chai tea, cooled
1/3 cup unsweetened apple butter
3 tsp white vinegar
Almond extract
Vanilla extract

Ingredients III
2/3 cup pistachios, chopped
1/3 cup slivered almonds, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease up your 8x8" baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together all of Ingredients I. In a separate bowl, stir together Ingredients II and add into your dry mix bowl. Fold in Ingredients III. If desired, shove a few tablespoons of coconut and/or nuts on top of the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes, rotating in between, or until a toothpick comes clean out the centre.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Bean stew with toasted buckwheat and wild rice.

Holy smokes, my friend Jenna (@rawmissoulamomma) is having a 6k Vegan Buckwheat Competition in celebration of nabbing 6,000 followers. High fives all about to Jenna, she's a real peach, she is. Check out the latest entries on Instagram by searching up #buckwheat6k and immediately watching this:

For my entry, I made bean stew with toasted buckwheat and wild rice. It's real filling, and you can make it on the cheap, about $6 for a massive soup pot. Be warned, the buckwheat expand to at least 4x their original size, so don't be a turkey, practice that mise en place. 

2 tbsp dairy free butter
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch celery, chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, quartered
1-19oz can black beans, rinsed
1-19oz can butter beans, rinsed
3/4 cup toasted buckwheat
1/2 cup wild rice
6-8 cups water
Seasonings -- salt, pepper, cumin, coriander
Optional -- fresh dill

In your large soup pot, melt your butter on medium-high heat and add in all your fresh, chopped vegetables. Pop a lid on it for around 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.  Add in the remaining ingredients. Check up on your stew in ten minutes, and add in additional water if needed. Around 20 minutes in, your stew should be about ready. Serve with buttered bread, or crackers if you're ages 4-12 or 55+.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Homemade Clif/Simply Bars? No bake Maple almond protein bars with hemp + chia seeds.

Going to Bulk Barn is a thing all us Canadians do. With coupons in hand, and the very "secret" sampling, Bulk Barn in an investment of hard earned time, money, and metabolism. Everyone knows to start off at the farthest aisle, the snack aisle, and work your way toward the spelt flour and hemp milk, and all that other hairy, scary hippie munch. Well, that hippie munch section is my favourite section. Between the obnoxious assholes with oxblood lipstick who developed their severe gluten intolerance last month, to the old folks with legitimate life long food intolerances that I would love to gently high five and provide top notch pericare to, that section's got my name plastered all over it. Around this section, you'll swim through a big ole scene of energy bars. Some are vegan, others have those damned modified milk ingredients snuck into the midst of the listings. I love Simply Bars. I love the occasional Clif Bar. I love Lemon Luna Bars. I don't love spending $3-4 on them. I mean, I still will, when push comes to shove, but I ought to whip something similar up in the kitchen on this rainy day off, no?

1 cup rice cereal, smashed quite a bit
1 cup soy crisp cereal, smashed quite a bit
1/2 cup oat flour (or blend large flaked oats in a blender until a flour-like consistency is reached)
5 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp cashew butter (blend roasted cashews on their own for several minutes, until you get a natural nut butter consistency)
2 tbsp raw, shelled hemp seeds
2 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
Optional: protein powder of your choice

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, and place into an 8x8" baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Press down with a spatula. Place plastic wrap over top of the whole shebang and smash it all down, compact and flat. That last manchild you datedbabysat for a while? SMASH IT UP. Your extended family who prepared you salmon sandwiches because they've well-versed in the wonderful world of veganism? Elbow drop those corners. That one (of many) dude who seems to only dig your once-in-a-blue-moon portraitures on Instagram, but doesn't give a hoot about your cookin'? Give'r, give'r, down the river!

Once pressed down a heap, refrigerate for at least an hour. The more you compact these fellas, the easier they will be to slice up, and the less likely they will be to fall apart. Rad refrigerated or frozen. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Natural vegan peanut butter cup smoothie.

Caffeine doesn't kick it in the sandbox with me, I'm vegan, and I like peanut butter cups. Enough to make your head spin, no?

2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
6 ice cubes
2 tbsp natural nut butter
1 tbsp carob power
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp unsweetened, flaked coconut

Blend for 2 minutes, let sit in the fridge or freezer for 5-10 minutes, top with more coconut and chia seeds.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Spicy citrus roasted brussel sprouts, cubed tofu & potatoes.

Underrated and easy peasy. Spicy citrus roasted brussel sprouts, cubed tofu and potatoes.

1 dozen brussel sprouts, halved
1 dozen baby new potatoes
1/2 block pressed tofu, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp orange juice
1 clove garlic, minced
Celery salt 
Crushed hot pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 400F.

Mix together everything in a bowl and place on a baking sheet, flat-sides down for potatoes and brussel sprouts.

Bake for 30 minutes. Flipping the tofu the about after 20 minutes.

After the 30 minutes, increase the oven's temperature to 450F and bake for another 15 minutes.

Everything will be done at the same time, promise. Crispy, citrusy, spiced quite alright.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pumpkin cinnamon cloverleaf rolls.

Spiced and sweetened lightly with maple syrup. Much like a bread roll, but made with pureed pumpkin.

Ingredients I
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast - I used Fleishmann's quick rise yeast
1/2 vanilla almond milk, warmed - not hot!

Ingredients II
1 cup pureed pumpkin
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp crushed sea salt
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 cup white flour

Ingredients III
2 cups white flour

Maple butter
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp dairy-free butter, melted

Cinnamon Sugar
1/4 cup fine white sugar
1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 375F.

In your stand mixer, place all of Ingredients I and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Using the paddle attachment, add in all of Ingredients II and beat until smooth.

Next, switch to the hook attachment, and slowly add in the two cups of flour from Ingredients III. Mix on medium for about 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl easily. If it's a bit wet, add in some more flour.

Knead by hand for a few shakes on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 36 pieces (Divide into 4, then divide each bit of dough into 3. Divide each of those balls into 3). Roll into tight spheres and place 3 in your lightly greased muffin tin. Cover up the tin with Saran Wrap for 30 minutes while they further rise. 

Bake for 16-20 minutes - or until the tops are golden brown. 

Optional: Mix up your maple syrup and butter to make your maple butter, which you can brush/dunk on the tops. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar