Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cinnamon buns.


Ever had vegan-friendly cinnamon buns that are dry and taste like utter shit? Me too. These are quite the opposite, rest assured. Make these a few times, and you'll have the process down flat. Add caramelized fruit, nuts, raisins.. or make a savoury version (don't fret, that recipe's comin..) Easy peasy.

Read the steps over a few times, it's not too rough. In short, you're going to make your dough, let it rise, prep your caramel in the mean while, roll up the dough and bake. Including rising time, this takes about 70 minutes from start to end.

Ingredients I
3 cups white flour
1 tbsp white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 packet quick rise instant yeast*

Ingredients II
1 cup almond milk
3 tbsp plant based butter

Ingredients III
1/4 cup plant based butter, at room temperature
1/3 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

In a medium bowl, mix together all of Ingredients I*. I used this yeast:

In a sauce pan (or nuke it), melt the butter, and pour into a small bowl with the almond milk. Stir and assure the overall temperature of Ingredients II is something as warm as bath water.

At this point, turn your oven onto 250F. This will soon be turned off, for the dough to sit in for an hour.

In your mixer, pour your wet mix in. Pop that dough hook on. With your mixer on a medium speed, begin pouring in dry mix, one cup at a time.

Mix until a dough is formed. Once the dough is formed knead a few times by hand on your floured table top.

Grease up the mixer's bowl and throw the dough in it. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.

Turn your oven off. Place the dough + bowl + towel/cling wrap in the oven with the oven door cracked open. Set the oven timer for one hour.

Before your oven timer goes off, turn on your stove top(or nuke the butter and mix the rest in) and create your caramel sauce for the base. 

Quick caramel
3 heaping tbsp plant based butter
1/4 cup brown sugar, loosely packed
2 tsp ultra fine flour
1 tsp vanilla or caramel extract

Pour this melted mixture into an 8x8 or 9x9 glass baking dish, but reserve about 2 tablespoons in the bowl to brush the buns with later. Cover this sauce with nuts/fruits/raisins/coconut. I used 3/4 cup toasted pecans.

Now that your dough has risen for the first round, flour up the table top and roll the dough to about 16" long by 9" wide. This is where Ingredients III comes in handy.
With a glove, cling wrap, or your bare hand if you're full of piss + vinegar.. spread the butter across the whole top of the dough. Evenly displace the brown sugar and spice of choice.

Heat your oven to 350F. This will be the temperature you're baking your cinnamon buns at.

Roll up tightly into a log. Cut into three even pieces. Cut each of those pieces, into three pieces - you'll have 9 total pieces.

Place swirled-side-up buns into the glass dish.

Your dish should start as the caramel sauce -> then nuts/fruit/etc -> then buns -> brush the buns with the reserved caramel sauce.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned.

Let cool for about 10 minutes. Flip the whole dish onto a serving plate, or keep as is and frost (as pictured. 2 tbsp water + 1/3 cup icing sugar, mixed and mixed until thick and creamy). 


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cheesy broccoli rice casserole.

Kicking that neon-casserole-with-mushroom-soup-shit-from-your-childhood into the ground. The cheesy sauce is made up of a few things.. cashews, nutritional yeast, salt and some yams. Not bad.

This recipe is a wee bit involved, but to be frank (Okay.. Can I still be Garth?) it's not so tough. You'll want to cook your rice, boil up things for your sauce, as you saute the vegetables. The rice and sauce prep don't heaps need your attention.

Step One:
Preheat your oven to 350F. Stick that oven rack on the highest position. Throw 1 cup basmati rice in your rice cooker. Let your rice cooker do the work with 2 cups water added to it.

Step Two:
Boil up a pot of water. Add in 1/2 cup raw cashews + 1/2 cup chopped raw yams. Boil for about ten minutes.

Step Three: Saute the following..
  • 1 cup broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped / matchstick carrots

Step Four:
Drain cashews and yam. In a wee blender, blend these up with 1 1/2 cups almond milk, 1/2 to 3/4 tsp salt1/3 cup nutritional yeast. Add pepper if desired.

Step Five:
Either layer your casserole (vegetables, sauce, rice, sauce, x2) or mix everything together and place in your casserole dish that ought to be ~8x12". 

Step Six:
Melt 1 tbsp butter and stir in 1/2 cup panko. Spread on top of casserole.

Step Seven:
Bake on the top rack for 20 minutes on the nose.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Baked fusilli.

I don't remember heaps about Pizza Hut in the mid '90s. Primarily Treatza Pizza during the lunch buffet, free POGS on the table, getting TMNT I and II on VHS on two totally separate, blissful occasions...and that baked pasta on the edge of the buffet table. Crunchy on top, cheesy everywhere else, and knowing one bite can and would completely obliterate my wee lactose-intolerant digestive system. At the time, not really worth it, but the POGS were, sure as sugar.

Ingredients I
2 cups dry fusilli
5 cloves garlic
Water, for pasta
Pinch of salt

Ingredients II
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
6 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 roma tomato, chopped
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper 

Ingredients III
12oz (1 1/2 cups) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup non dairy cheese - I used a blend of Daiya mozzarella and cheddar

Ingredients IV
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup panko
2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Optional: flat leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 415F.

Oil up the inside of your dish, which ought to be about 8x12".

In a pot, boil water with salt for your pasta. Once boiling, drop in your garlic and pasta. Bake for ~7 minutes, or until 3/4 way cooked through.

Saute all of Ingredients II while the pasta is boiling.

Once your pasta is al-dente, drain and place in the frying pan with Ingredients III

Stir together and pour into your baking dish.

Top with more cheese if you fancy.

Mix up Ingredients IV and dollop onto your dish. It'll look a little mushy at first, but it crisps up real dandy in the oven.

Bake for 30 minutes on the button, and let cool for 10 minutes or so before serving. Top with parsley if using.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Chickpea appreciation post: Chickpea salad & mocha PB cookies

Mocha peanut butter cookies. Chickpea salad sandwiches. These two recipes have very little in common.. minus splitting a can of chickpeas between the two. If the thought of that gives you gut rot, eat glass and/or read into the "methods" involved in chicken farming. These two recipes will use up one $1 can of chickpeas - juice and all. Making both these recipes? Scoop that chickpea liquid out once you crack the can open. The chickpea liquid act as a protein-rich liquid that helps bind the dough. 

Mocha Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup chickpea-juice (yep, that opaque juice you typically rinse from your chickpeas)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup super strong coffee (I used KRAKUS from Bulk Barn, to make it caffeine-free)
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp flour / alternative 
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
Vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F on the middle rack.

Starting with the PB and baking soda, flour & sugar, mix for a few minutes on medium speed. Add in the remaining ingredients. 

Bake for 11 minutes, let sit for five before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Chickpea salad sandwiches
1 cup Chickpeas, rinsed over
~3 tbsp vegan mayo
1/2-1 tsp. old bay seasoning
1 scallion, sliced

Pumpernickel bread
Non dairy butter
Fresh spinach

To prep the sandwiches, place the chickpeas on a plate and start mashing them. I used to mash them in a bowl but they didn't spread out nicely, and would fly all over the place trying to mash them with my fork. Add the mayo, old bay, and mix up. Stir in the scallion.

Butter your bread like a good Mennonite and place some spinach atop the pumpernickel, and top with chickpea mixture.

I didn't need to add salt because the old bay took care of that nonsense.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

One pot fajita pasta.

In celebration of falling victim to my first Pinterest fail, I've prepared a no-fucking-fail one-pot pasta dish that feeds six.

Ingredients I
3 1/2 cups water
1 x 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup oil

Ingredients II
16oz pasta
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring to a boil all of Ingredients I. Slowly incorporate all of Ingredients II. Stir slowly, and often, while this cooks through in 12-15 minutes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thanksgiving poutine.

Rough on the eyes, easy on the belly.

French fries

1/2 cup cranberries
3/4 cup / 10 brussel sprouts
1/2 cup chopped turkey-seitan (homemade seitan, Field Roast, Tofurkey, etc)
2 tbsp white sugar

Mozzarella style shreds - I used Daiya

3/4 cup brown gravy

Bake fries as directed. Prepare your gravy and set aside.

In a frying pan, sautee cranberries,brussel sprouts, and seitan. Sprinkle the sugar on, and squish the cranberries once they're cooked through enough to do so.

Once the fries are done, layer the sauteed mixture, cheese, and pour the gravy on top.

Sunday, March 1, 2015


Easy peasy minestrone soup recipe. Maybe a little sad I'm posting a recipe for this, but maybe you forgot all about making a vat of soup on the cheap.

2 carrots, peeled + sliced
6 stalks celery, sliced
2 zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 onions, chopped
40 oz canned diced tomatoes
15 oz canned, drained white kidney beans
1 cup mini shell pasta
2 litres (~8 cups) water
1 tsp basil 
2 tbsp oregano
Celery salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Bring water to a boil. Stir in tomato paste and tomatoes. Add in everything but the shell pasta. 10 minutes before serving, add in the shell pasta and serve when the pasta is cooked to your liking. Be prepared to add a little more water, if the starchiness of the pasta soaks up a heap of the liquid.