Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Rosemary Lavender Galette Filled with Pears, Walnuts and Herbed Vegan Cheese

This galette is both savory and sweet. A flaky rosemary and lavender crust. The sweet pears compliment the salty herbed vegan cheese. The walnuts add a nice crunch. A drizzle of vegan BeeFree Honey is the perfect finishing touch.

For the crust:

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped lavender leaves
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
16 tablespoons vegan butter, cubed and chilled well
1/2 cup ice water

Combine flour, rosemary, lavender, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Add in the cold cubed vegan butter. Pulse about 15 to 20 times till butter is cut in and mixture is crumbly. Slowly add in the ice cold water while pulsing till dough forms. Wrap in plastic wrap and let chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

For the filling:

1/4 to 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
2 pears, thinly sliced with skins left on
2 tablespoons vegan herb cheese (I used TreeLine and KiteHill which I get at WholeFoods)
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoons chopped lavender leaves
salt and pepper

Roll out the chilled dough into a large 1/4 inch thick circle. Spread vegan cream cheese in the center of the dough, leaving about a 1-inch ring around the edge free of cream cheese. My favorite vegan cream cheese either the Trader Joes brand or the KiteHill brand. Sprinkle half of the crushed walnuts over the cream cheese. Arrange thin pear slices over the cream cheese starting in the middle. Sprinkle the rest of the crushed walnuts along with the chopped herbs over the top of the pears. 

Drop small little spoonfuls of the vegan herb cheese over the tart. Begin to fold up the edges of the tart, slightly overlapping itself. Leave about a 4 to 5 inch circle open in the middle so you can see the pears.]

Vegan pie crust tends to not brown that much so my vegan egg wash really helps with that! I use equal parts of The Vegg vegan egg yolk replacer powder, soy milk, melted vegan butter, and sugar. I whisk them together and brush over the crust before baking.  Finish off with some more fresh cracked pepper over the whole tart. 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes till browned. Let cool slightly before serving. Drizzle with vegan BeeFree Honee made from apples. 

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Sautéed Kale and Vegan Apple Sage Sausage over Creamy Polenta

Garlic and white wine, sautéed kale, broccolini, tomatoes, and Field Roast vegan apple sage sausage on top of creamy polenta, finished with a drizzle of basil lemon olive oil. Vegan cream cheese makes the polenta creamy without watering it down. The vegan apple sage sausage adds a nice heartiness to the dish. And a drizzle of citrusy basil oil helps to brighten up this warming dish.

For the polenta:

3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 cup organic cornmeal
2 tablespoons vegan cream cheese (I prefer Trader Joes brand)
1 tablespoon vegan butter (preferably palm oil free)
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring vegetable broth or water to a boil. Slowly whisk in organic cornmeal. Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often. Turn off heat. Add in vegan cream cheese, vegan butter, salt and pepper to taste. 

For the topping:

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add in about 1 cup of chopped kale, a few bunches of brocollini (thicker stems removed), 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (whole), and 2 to 3 roughly chopped Field Roast apple sage sausages (I used to mini ones). Sauté for a couple of minutes till the tomatoes start to blister slightly and the sausage starts to brown. With the back of a wooden spoon, gently squish each tomato. Add in 3 cloves of chopped garlic. Cook for a minute or so. Add in 1/2 to 3/4 cup vegan white wine. Continue to cook till the wine is reduced a bit. Season with salt and red pepper flakes if you like a little heat. 

Spoon polenta onto a dish and top with the sautéed mixture. Spoon the sauce over the top. And finish with a drizzle of basil lemon olive oil. (Simply the juice of 1/2 a lemon mixed with a few tablespoons of olive oil and some chopped basil).

Miso Tofu and Vegetable Brown Rice Bowl

White miso, tamari, and coconut sugar glazed tofu, sautéed baby bok choy, red cabbage, and sugar snap peas serve with brown rice, topped with chili lime cashews! This recipe makes about enough for 1 person but adjust according to how many you want to feed! 

For the tofu:

1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon coconut sugar. 
4 ounces organic non-GMO extra firm tofu

Whisk together the miso paste, soy sauce (or tamari), and coconut sugar to combine. Cut tofu into 1-inch thick slices. Place tofu into the miso mixture and let sit for about 5 minutes. Remove from mixture and using side of bowl, scrape off most of the miso mixture from the tofu pieces. Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick skillet and brown the tofu on each side. 

For the veggies:

1/4 cup roughly chopped baby bok choy
1/4 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
1/4 cup sugar snap peas
1 tablespoon white miso paste
1 to 3 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari (depending on how salty you want it)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

For the veggies, heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Add in baby bok choy, red cabbage, and sugar snap peas. Add in the white miso paste, soy sauce or tamari, and sesame oil. Cook the veggies over medium heat until cooked through and lightly browned. 

For the cashews:

1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 teaspoon chili paste
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime zest

 Toss raw cashews with the chili paste and lime zest. 

For the brown rice, cook according to package directions.

Place rice and veggies in a bowl. Top with the tofu, chili lime cashews and some sesame seeds. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Vegan French Toast with Blueberry Maple Syrup

This french toast is not only vegan, but free of refined sugars. The batter is made from coconut milk, The Vegg egg yolk replacer, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. I like the texture of fresh and cooked blueberries so I combine the two with maple syrup and coconut sugar to make the topping for the french toast. You can use any bread that you want. I used a homemade french baguette for this but any bread will do as long as it isn't too soft. 

1 can coconut milk (Both full and low fat works)
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon of The Vegg egg yolk replacer (can be purchased here)
1 to 2 tablespoons water (if needed)

Combine the coconut milk, coconut sugar, and vanilla in a blender. With the blender running on low, slowly drizzle in The Vegg. Adding The Vegg in with the mixer running ensures you don't get any clumps and it mixes in evenly. Let this mixture blend for about 30 seconds. Check the consistency. If it seems too thick you can add in some water. You just want it thin enough to it will soak into the bread. 

Slice your bread of choice. You can do thicker slices like I did or thiner slices. 

Pour the mixture into a shallow dish and soak the bread slices for a few minutes. This all depends on the thickness and type of bread you use. I used a thicker cut french baguette so I let them sit in this mixture for a good 3 to 5 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a small amount of oil. You can even use a paper towel to get out most of the oil to leave a thin layer. Cook your french toast on each side till browned, about 4 minutes each side. Place brown french toasts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. This part is especially important if you have used thick slices. This ensures that the insides are fully cooked through. This makes for a crunchy outside and soft inside. If you used really thin slices you may be able to skip this step entirely. 

For the blueberry maple:

I take 1/4 cup of blueberries and 1/4 cup maple syrup and cook them in a small skillet over medium heat until soft and like a compote. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup fresh blueberries and 1 teaspoon of coconut sugar.

To serve, place french toast on a plate. Top with vegan butter and your blueberry maple sauce. You can dust with powdered sugar if you aren't avoiding refined sugars. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Garlic Ginger Jackfruit Steamed Buns

Steamed buns filled with sweet garlic ginger jackfruit, quick kimchi style napa cabbage, and Srirach mayo.

My inspiration and guide in coming up with this vegan recipe was this recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

For the quick kimchi:

1 head napa cabbage
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 tablespoons hot chili sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Wash and quarter the napa cabbage. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle the salt over the cabbage. Let the cabbage sit for at least 1 hour, tossing occasionally. I do this first and then let the cabbage sit while I prepare everything else.

After about an hour, squeeze the now slightly wilted cabbage to remove the liquid and rinse. Roughy chop the cabbage.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ginger, garlic, scallions, chili sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and vinegar. Add in the cabbage and toss to coat. 

For the jackfruit:

2 15-oz can of jackfruit (in water, not syrup!)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoons mirin
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 tablespoons vegan store-bought BBQ sauce of your choice
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoons vegan mayonaise 

Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Usually it comes in triangular like shapes. Each triangular piece of jackfruit has 3 textures. The tip of the triangle is stringy. The wider end of the triangle is more solid and inside the wider part of the triangle, there are round seed pods. I shred the stringy parts with my fingers, and chop up the wider solid part, particularly making sure to chop up the round parts simply because they are kind of strange looking and I find it more appetizing to chop them up!!

In a medium sized skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add in the ginger, garlic, and scallions. Cook about a minute, careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the jackfruit and cook for a few minutes. 

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mirin, liquid smoke, BBQ sauce, chili sauce and sesame oil. Add into the jackfruit and let the liquid kind of caramelize. Stir and continue to cook until the jackfruit softens a bit and all the flavors soak in. Stir in the vegan mayonnaise to add richness.

Spread the jackfruit in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and broil for about 10 to 15 minutes till nicely browned. You want some of the edges to get a little crispy, almost charred. But watch carefully to make sure it doesn't brown TOO much! 

For the buns:

1/4 cup vegan sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted

Combine the sugar, warm water, and yeast in a small bowl. Let sit 10 minutes till foamy. Stir in the melted vegetable shortening.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and baking powder. Add in the yeast mixture and mix till combined. You want a soft but not sticky dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead till smooth, about 10 minutes. 

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let rise for a couple of hours. I turn my oven to low and set the bowl right on the stove top and this shortens the rise time to only an hour.  

Divide risen dough into 32 equal pieces and roll into balls. Let rest for 10 minutes. Flatten and gently roll each ball into an oval shape about 3 inches by 4 inches. Gently fold over to make the bun shape. Place each prepared bun on a small piece of parchment paper.  You will steam them on the parchment to ensure they don't stick.

To steam, use a bamboo steamed or a regular pot with a steamer rack placed inside. As long as its pretty flat, you are good. Fill pot with water for steaming. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Place a few of your prepared buns into your bamboo steamer or on your steaming rack. You will need to cook these in a few batches. Place lid on pot. Steam for 15 minutes. 

To fill, carefully open your steamed bun. Spread some JustMayo brand Sriracha mayo on one side, add in some jackfruit, kimchi cabbage, and top with some sliced chili. 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Easter Carrot Bundt Cakes with Coconut Macaroon Nests

For the carrot cake:

1/4 cup ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 of a banana)
1/2 cup vegan butter (preferably palm oil free)
1 cup vegan sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 cup peeled and grated carrots
(optional:1 cup of walnuts or raisins)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour whatever baking dish you are using. I used 6 mini bundt pans but you can also use two 8-inch rounds or a 13 by 9 rectangle. 

In a stand mixer, cream the banana and vegan butter till smooth. Add in the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes till light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and orange zest. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking powder, cinnamon, and flour. 

With the mixer running on low, alternately add in the dry and wet ingredients, starting and ending with dry. Scrapes sides of bowl. Add in the grated carrots and walnuts/raisins if using. Mix just to combine. Divide evenly among pans. 

Bake in preheated oven for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on which size pan you are using. Let cool completely. 

For the macaroons, I used this recipe from VeganBaking.net.

I followed the directions exactly, I just made small foil balls, lightly greased them, and pushed them into the macaroons before baking. Let them cool and then gently remove foil ball.

For the buttercream:

3/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese (I prefer Trader Joe's)
3 powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
Pink or red organic all-natural food coloring (I get mine from WholeFoods) 

Cream together the butter and cream cheese till smooth. Add in powdered sugar, vanilla and food coloring. Beat till smooth. Add in non-dairy milk if necessary. Place into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip.

For the eggs, I used Satin Ice brand white fondant. They specifically state on their website that it is vegan. They use only plant based ingredients and their sugar is not filtered through bone char! I color small amounts of the fondant with all natural organic blue and green food coloring. I rolled the fondant into small egg shapes the right size to fit into my macaroon nests. I mixed some red food coloring with the green to create a brownish color and using a small sturdy brush, flicked some onto the little eggs to make them speckled.

To assemble, I piped the buttercream around the top of the mini bundt cakes. Then placed a coconut macaroon nest on top. Fill it with a little shredded coconut and placed 3 eggs in each macaroon nest.