16 December 2015

Moussaka!

I absolutely love this vegetable packed layered style casserole.  It freezes and travels well too! 


Photo cred



Ingredients:

2 large potatoes
1 large eggplant
2 small zucchinis
Olive oil for roasting

1 medium onion
1 big garlic clove
2 cups of cooked brown or green lentils
Fresh oregano, thyme or basil
Pinch of ground cinnamon

3 cups tomato sauce

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Daiya cheese (optional)



Pine Nut Cream (adapted from Veganomicon)
Blend the following ingredients until smooth:

1/2 cup raw pine nuts, could probably sub cashews or sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
12oz pack silken tofu
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp arrowroot powder
1.5 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
White or black pepper to taste



Directions for moussake
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- You'll need an 8x8" glass baking dish for the casserole and a couple baking sheets lined with parchment for roasting the vegetables.
- Slice the potatoes, eggplant and zucchini lengthwise into 1/2" strips.
- If your eggplant is large and/or old, you may need to salt and drain the sliced eggplant to remove bitterness. To do this, generously salt the slices and allow the bitter juices to drain in a colander in the sink for about 20 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
- Place the veggies on the baking sheets and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with a small amount of salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely browned!
- Next, fry onion and garlic until browned and add the cooked lentils and fresh herbs. Add a few tablespoons of tomato sauce and continue to cook 10 or so more minutes. Set aside.
- Time to start layering! This is how I layered it all:
Tomato sauce, eggplant, tomato sauce, bread crumbs, potato, tomato sauce, pine nut cream, eggplant, tomato sauce, all of the lentil mixture, tomato sauce, potato, zucchini, tomato sauce... the rest of the pine nut cream!
- Top with tomato slices, some whole pine nuts and Daiya cheese!
- Bake for about 30 minutes, you should start to see the sauce bubbling up along the sides of the baking dish and the cheese topping will get melty!
- Try to let it cool before digging in! It'll hold its shape better.

ENJOY! :)





05 December 2015

Bread: The minimum effort, maximum result way!

No kneading bread baking will absolutely revolutionize your life! Well at least your bread baking life. The no-knead method yields a chewy, thick crusted and full flavoured bread. Not to mention that it's a very low impact activity for those of you with wrist injuries! :) Bellow are 2 varieties.


Multigrain dough at hour 24



Multigrain bread



Basic French white bread
Ingredients:
3 cups unbleached bread flour (I like Robin Hood best)
1.25 tsp fine sea salt
.25 tsp active dry yeast
1-1.25 cups room temperature filtered water



Multigrain loaf
Ingredients:
2.5 cups unbleached bread flour (I like Robin Hood best)
.5 cups whole wheat flour
.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats (or try steel cut)
.25 cups flax meal
.25 cups sesame seeds
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp brown sugar
.25-.5 tsp active dry yeast
1-1.5 cups room temperature filtered water



Method:
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Stir in enough of the water to make a very sticky dough. It will look lumpy. Resist the urge to knead or to over mix the dough since this is after all a knead-free recipe! Too much gluten development will prevent the loaf from reaching its full rising potential later on.
- Cover the bowl, and allow dough to rise for 18-25 hours at room temperature or until 1.5-2 times its original volume. The amount of time is dependent on room temperature and on the quantity of yeast used. (For the multigrain, I used .25 tsp of yeast and allowed it to rise in my relatively cold kitchen for about 24 hours.)
- Once you're ready to bake your bread, grease and flour a medium size loaf pan. Generously flour your dough and shape it to fit into a loaf shape. It will be sticky.
- Preheat your oven to 450F.
- Cover loaf pan with a dish towel and allow to rise a second time for 1-2 hours or until almost doubled.
- Score loaf with a very sharp razor blade or pairing knife.
- Bake loaf for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190F and crust is a nice deep brown colour. And try and allow the bread to cool before slicing into it! I know it's hard!! :) This is all to make sure that you won't end up with a gummy, low flavour bread!



03 December 2015

Vegan English Cream Scones

These are some of the easiest and tastiest scones that I have ever made! And that is saying a lot. They have a slightly sweet yet savoury flavour, and a dense but light texture! The secret? Omitting the butter and replacing it with lots of fatty coconut milk! Here's the recipe:






Ingredients:
2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1-1.5 cups full fat coconut milk, chilled


Method:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment paper.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir to evenly combine ingredients.
- Slowly mix in 1 cup of coconut milk, adding more if necessary. Batter should be slightly tacky yet manageable. Be careful not to overmix!
- Shape dough into a disk or into a rectangle and cut into 8 pieces.
- Brush tops of scones with a mix of coconut milk and maple syrup and sprinkle with a little sugar.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the scones comes out relatively clean.








23 July 2014

Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Oh. my.

This is the best idea ever and I want these so badly! An ice cream sandwich made from tradional Italian pizzelles waffle cookies. They look amazing!

And so begins my new obsession... hunting down a vegan version of these fabulous cookies. Any leads or ideas?  I guess I could always MAKE them myself since I'm pretty sure that someone in my family has a pizzelle maker!

Has anyone ever tasted pizzelles? Or made them from scratch (vegan or not)?