Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Vegan MoFo! I is for...

While I love pizza and calzones, I'm not a big fan of too much dough - if I want lots of bread I'll make a sandwich thanks very much! So when setting out to make calzone dough, I wasn't interested in making regular pizza dough, I needed something thinner and crispier. As usual when I'm recipe brainstorming, I headed for Veg Web and found this recipe from Love Joy Harvest which is more of a pastry than a bread dough, and looked really promising. Of course I made a few changes lol!

This is what you'll need...
  • 1 2/3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons ice cold water (or more of needed)
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
Throw everything except for the water in a food processor and mix well. Add the water one tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Wrap dough in plastic wrap until you use it as it dries out very easily.

How many you make out of this is up to you - I usually make three big calzones, but you could easily get five or six smaller ones out of it. Just roll out the dough to about 3 mm thick, fill with whatever you have to hand (I usually do Daiya cheese and vegetables with pizza sauce) and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 minutes. Another easy recipe, that the whole family loves so that makes me a happy momma!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Vegan MoFo! H is for...

When I was brainstorming what to do for Vegan MoFo, I came across a recipe for hoecakes by Paula Deen. I'd never heard of hoecakes before, but I loved the name (which has nothing to do with ladies of ill repute and everything to do with garden tools), and thought if anyone needs to be veganized, it's Paula Deen! The recipe looked pretty easy to switch from the dark side, and the family likes cornbread so it looked like a win-win situation. But sadly I forgot to take photos of the endeavor... so picture if you can, a steaming bowl of homemade veggie chili, with lovely crispy-on-the-outside-soft-on-the-inside corn pancakes on the side and we'll be good to go.

You will need...
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup self raising cornbread
  • 2 egg equivalents (I used Ener-G)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • oil for frying
Mix the soy milk and vinegar together and allow to curdle for for a few minutes, then add to all the other ingredients except for the frying oil. Heat the frying oil in the frying pan and drop the mixture into it. I used a 1/4 cup measure for each pancake. Wait until the underside is browned and crispy then flip to cook the other side. When you take them out of the pan, place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil then munch away merrily!

Here's a pic of Paula's hoecakes... mine looked better ;o)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Vegan MoFo! G is for....

Yup, I'm still here! After being sick for a week (bleh), and sorting out my gorgeous daughter's 7th birthday party, there wasn't too much room for Vegan Mofo. I guess I'm a bad moFo-er haha!!! Alright, enough of the bad jokes and on with the show... my faux chick'n of choice used to be Quorn, until I went vegan that is. All those egg white laden goodies don't cut the mustard in our house any more and so I was a happy camper when the Gardein products came to West Michigan! I've made quite a few dishes with it, and it never fails to please. From curries to pot pies (which my husband said was just like the real version!), it works every time AND the whole family will eat it so another huge bonus. This recipe was adapted from one at Eclectic Recipes, who adapted one from Martha Stewart. I made it for the first time the week before last when I was having a friend round for dinner, and it went down really well. Hubby even took leftovers to work and it was still good!
Here's what you need...
  • One bag of diced Gardein Chicken Scallopini
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • 1 diced bell pepper
  • 4 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
  • 8 sliced green onions (I lost these on the way back from the store so didn't add them lol)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 3/4 cup water or vegan chicken stock (I used Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • rice of choice
Start cooking the rice. The actual dish doesn't take too long, so start cooking it when the rice has about 15 minutes to go.
Heat a skillet then heat the oil over a low-medium heat. Add the peppers, garlic and cashews and cook, making sure you don't burn the garlic. Add the Gardein and brown gently. Meanwhile, mix together the cornstarch and chicken stock/water and add to the skillet. Add the hoisin sauce and vinegar and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the green onions just before serving, and serve over the rice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Vegan MoFo! F is for...

The first time I ever had falafel, I was living in London, and working on a market stall on Portobello Road. If you've ever been to the Portobello Road market, you'll know that the antique-y type stalls are at the beginning down by the Portobello Star and the Earl of Lonsdale (both awesome pubs!), while as you go towards Portobello Green, you get the more diverse stalls. I was right under the flyover, next to Portobello Green and at least was protected from the rain, but it could get incredibly cold there! Over the road from my stall, was a food store called 'Pita the Great' and the smells from there were AMAZING, so my nose led me to find out what the fuss was about. I bought the fresh falafel, in a pita with salad and tahini sauce, took a bite and was forever smitten. The taste was fabulous and since that day I have been a falafel lover. For this I decided to make a larger patty and have it in a bun instead of smaller balls in a pita. I'm feeling like poop at the moment (bloody cold!), and didn't feel like making pita bread but had some skinny bagels on hand which looked perfect enough to slide a falafel burger into!

So! You will need...

  • 1 can of garbanzo beans (chick peas), or 4oz dried, soaked, cooked and drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon flour (I used whole wheat, but all purpose would be fine too)
  • oil for frying
  • salad
  • some kind of bread to house the patties
Through all the ingredients up to and including the flour into a food processor and blitz. You want everything to be mixed together, but make sure you still get some chunks of chickpeas left. Put in a lidded container and leave in the fridge for an hour or so. I'm not sure why but it makes it less likely to break up in the frying pan if you do this! When your belly is rumbling and you can stand it no more, heat up the frying pan, add the oil, and when it is hot take some of the falafel mix in your hand, shape into a patty and cook it. It will take a couple of minutes to brown, then flip that baby over and cook the other side. Easy peasy! Repeat with the rest of the mix. I made 4 big patties with this recipe. And this is what one of them looked like...

Delicious, no?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 5! E is for...

Or if you live in my native land, an aubergine! I love them whatever they're called and today I wanted to try one of Susan Voisin's recipes from Fat Free Vegan. Called Creamy Creole Eggplant Casserole, I followed the recipe except for adding mushrooms. My daughter hates mushrooms and will practically refuse to eat her dinner if she suspects they are in there. Very straight forward to cook, very yummy to munch on, and you can't ask for more than that lol!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Mofo Day 4! D is for...

Daiya... I was so excited when I found out Daiya 'cheese' had arrived in our local shops, that I phoned the store and asked them to put some aside to make sure I got some! It is by far the best and most versatile vegan cheese substitute that I have tried (although I haven't tried them all I admit), and most importantly in this house, it passed the hubby test. My gorgeous husband is a non-vegan and what is always the most important when I cook anything is that the whole family likes it. If one person hates it then it doesn't usually get made again. I had tried other vegan cheese, and when he ate a piece he made 'that face'. You know the one? the one that looks like someone just chewed a wasp? I get it from my 6 year old too lol.
So, he likes the Daiya, my wee one likes the Daiya, and I'm a happy momma.
I use it anywhere that someone would use regular cheese, and it works pretty well most of the time. It doesn't brown I find, but it does melt and stretch and all that good stuff. Here's a recipe that I wrote up a little while ago that uses it.

If you haven't tried it before, check our their website and try and get hold of some.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 3! C is for....

Let's clear a couple of things up before we start - firstly, chocolate should be a food group all on its own, it's THAT good. 
Second, in case you didn't realize, I'm from England and over there, if you cover a biscuit with gravy and serve it with mash potato you're going to look pretty silly. An English biscuit is sweet, preferably chocolate (in my book anyway!) and needs to not fall apart when we dunk it in our coffee. My all time favorite biscuit is the humble Bourbon. Pronounced Bore-bun, not Bur-bun, it has nothing to do with the liquor of the same name, but is named for a European aristocratic family, the House of Bourbon. Here in Michigan, to buy a packet of bourbons I have to lose an arm and a leg at World Market so today we are going make our own. Hurrah!
I found this recipe from Sailu's Kitchen and set about veganizing it. Easy Peasy! Ready? 

You will need...
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of your fave vegan margarine
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 teaspoon agave
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegan milk of choice
  • sugar for sprinkling
For the filling...
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • few drops vanilla essence
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa together and put to one side. In a separate bowl, cream together the marg and white sugar until well blended, then add agave and vanilla essence and mix again. Add the dry ingredients to the marg mixture to form a soft dough. Add a little dairy-free milk if needed (I needed to use 2 tablespoons).
Roll the dough directly onto some greaseproof paper or plastic wrap, and shape into a large rectangle. I had to put another piece of greaseproof paper on top of the dough to stop it sticking to my rolling pin. Roll to about 3 mm think and score the dough into rectangles about 1 inch by 3. Prick the tops with a fork and dust with sugar. Cook for about 15 mins - they'll still be soft when you taken them out, but they'll harden up as they cool.
Cream all the filling ingredients together and when the biscuits are cool, start making little sandwiches! Cool huh?

Wanna see what they look like? Okey dokey!

Vegan MoFo Day 2 - B is for...

Beans, beans good for your heart,the more you eat, the more you... well you get the idea LOL! Beans are little powerhouses of nutritional goodness, all wrapped up in a convenient package.
Although you can obviously buy beans in tins at the stores, I prefer to buy them dried in bulk and cook them myself. That way, you're not having to deal with any salt, sugar, preservatives or any other added nasties that might be lurking, and it's also much cheaper which can't be a bad thing! Stored in airtight canisters they can last for ages, although the longer you have them the longer they will take to cook as they will be drier.
To use dried beans, firstly pick through and discard any bits of grit, dust and pieces of broken beans. Usually I then soak the beans overnight, replace the water out the next morning, then bring to a boil and simmer until the beans are soft. (adding more water if necessary). How long they take depends on the size of the bean you are using - chickpeas which are larger will take a few hours, while split peas and lentils will next next to no time. If you want to add salt to the cooking pot, wait until the beans are tender or it will harden the outside of the bean and prevent them from softening.
Half a pound of dry beans, when cooked, will yield just over 1 lb and will keep for a few days in the fridge, or they can be stored in freezer bags and frozen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

First Vegan MoFo Post! A is for...

How can I live in Michigan and not dedicate the Letter A to the humble apple? Raw, baked, steamed, under a pie crust or crumble topping, apples are delicious. For todays post, I'm just going to subject you to some vegan food porn... the mouth watering pic below is of Zel Allen's (Vegetarian Paradise) Apples n' cream pie which I tested for her not long ago. With a nutty pie crust, slightly crunchy apples with moist raisins, topped with a tofu 'cream', it was a huge hit and will be made again very soon.
I can't divulge the recipe, as its not mine to give, but when the cookbook comes out, go rush and buy it! Meanwhile, just dribble over the pic...

It's World Vegan Day! Have you got your MoFo on?

Happy November!!! So much is happening today that it's silly. It's World Vegan Day today and the beginning of Vegan MoFo, organized by the lovely folks at Post Punk Kitchen. It's my first time for this and I'm very excited, and wondering how I'm going to fit my life around reading the 556 blogs that have signed up for it so far. No that's not a typo, 5-5-6 blogs filled with vegan loveliness and guaranteed food porn! How can you resist?
If you're thinking, 'I want to do that!' there's still time! The final blog roll is up on the 3rd (Wednesday) so click on the logo above and sign yourself up.
I decided to do a theme for my MoFo, and starting later on today am going to be blogging on my A - Z of vegan awesomeness. There'll be recipes, food tips, and plenty of pics to drool over. Aren't I good to you?