Hummus


hummusA bunch of us are heading up to my family cottage for the weekend to get outside, enjoy some fresh air and fires to warm up the chilly evenings, oh, and eat.

I make this for just about every gathering, family birthday party or any other excuse snack.
I’ve tried others and this one is it. Simple, light and perfect.

Since there’s company, I’ll pretend I’m fancy and liven this super easy appetizer up with homemade Furikake and a light olive oil.

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning (Furiakakeru which means sprinkle) is meant for sprinkling on rice and other dishes. Mine is a combination of roasted nori, toasted sesame and wasabi powder.

 

CLASSIC HUMMUS

1 15oz Can Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas), drained and rinsed
3 Garlic Cloves, small & finely minced
1/3 Cup Tahini, roasted sesame paste
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1/4 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Combine the drained beans with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. If you find it thick, add 1 tablespoon of water and combine. Taste and adjust your salt as necessary.

FURIKAKE
1/2 Cup White Sesame Seeds
3 Sheets Nori, roasted seasoned
1 teaspoon Dehydrated Onion Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Wasabi Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Sugar

Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat and add the sesame seeds in one layer.
Shake the pan regularly to toast to a medium tan and the seeds become fragrant.
Remove from heat and pour the seeds into a bowl. Add the wasabi powder, salt and sugar, tossing well to coat and cool.
Break up the nori sheets and in the bowl of a food processor, (or just cut the nori into small pieces) combine the nori with the onion flakes and cooled sesame seeds until everything is small and sprinkleable.

Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

To serve, spread the hummus in a wide, shallow bowl or plate. Using a spoon, create a few swirls and pour over the olive oil. Sprinkle over the furikake.

Versatile Meatless Meatballs


The other day, my friend dropped me a line asking if I had any meatball recipes.
You see, she was off to a Holiday potluck and being vegetarian, her and her husband wanted to offer something familiar on the carnivorous table, as well as have something to satisfy themselves.

I suddenly realized that the site was a bit lacking on the soy and meat replacement type options. I’d decided I was long overdue. Since the whole point of this site is to satisfy (everybody) I figured I’d better get cracking.

One option, other than just removing meat, is to just use breadcrumbs but since most meatballs are held together with eggs, I had a little more of a challenge ahead to make them stick. However, my biggest concern was, of course flavour and texture. With a combination of finely chopped mushrooms, crumbs and a glutenous flour to hold them together, they turned out pretty great, if I may say so myself:)

Hence the name, this recipe is pretty versatile, good for either marinara sauces or gravies.

MEATLESS MEATBALLS

1 Cup Breadcrumbs, coarse
1 Cup  Minced Mushrooms, I used crimini
1 Clove Garlic, finely minced (or 1/2 t garlic powder will do in a pinch)
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast Flakes
3/4 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten Flour
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, vegan
1 Tablespoon Tamari or soy sauce
3 Tablespoons finely chopped baby spinach leaves*
1 Vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 Cup Hot Water

Dissolve the bouillon cube in the hot water. Add the worcestershire and tamari and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, mushrooms, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, and flour.
Pour over the liquid and spinach.
Knead the mixture together to form a firm dough.
Pinch off 1 inch sized pieces to roll into balls.

Either heat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) or heat a layer of vegetable oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
If baking, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and evenly distribute the meatballs so they aren’t touching.
Bake for 15 minutes then roll each of the meatballs over to brown the other sides, baking for an additional 15 minutes.

If frying, (I liked this version better) add the meatballs to the heated oil to fill the pan, without overcrowding.
Fry the meatballs, moving occasionally to evenly brown them on all sides.
Remove from the pan and allow to drain on a paper towel while you finish up any remaining meatballs.

*Depending on the end dish, you could choose to add additional seasoning such as parsley, thyme, oregano or basil for tomato sauces and rosemary or thyme for brown (mushroom) gravies.

Crispy, Roasted Kale


I’ve heard them called kale chips too. They can be roasted or dehydrated raw to get this crisp, practically preserved autumn leaf.

I grew a few plants in my new garden and now that the season is starting to chill, I couldn’t resist picking the biggest one. I know I was supposed to wait for the first frost, at the very least, but these were so worth the sacrifice. They literally only took minutes to prepare just to simply be left in a low oven.

Since NO ONE in my house would eat them but myself, I carefully dropped them into an oversized bag and brought them to my brother-in-laws birthday party last weekend. They were quickly identified and inhaled by the other guests, which certainly made up for my households curled noses.

Perfect as a snack but I could see these garnishing soup or even getting crushed and stirred into a fresh pot of mashed potatoes.


CRISP, ROASTED KALE CHIPS

1 Large Bunch Kale, stems removed
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Zest of ONE Lemon
Sea Salt

Pinch Sea SaltPreheat the oven to 250ºF.
To remove the stems of the kale, hold it up side down, stem side up with one hand and pinch the stem with your other thumb and forefinger to tear it up and away from the leaf.
Toss the leaves with the oil and lemon zest in a large bowl to coat evenly.
Lay the leaves out in a single layer on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until crisp.
Cool on brown or  paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Jerusalem Artichoke Chips


It’s April and finally graced with a nice day which was missing the typical showers.
I got excited and took to my garden to harvest the first of my fruits of labour.
(Well, some baby carrots were first, but they weren\’t exactly, you know, edible.)

The first things to come from gardens are often the last to go in. Things in the fall like garlic and these, Jerusalem Artichokes.

Also known as Sunchokes, they are tubers from the Sunflower family. They are quite hardy and easy to grow. Perfect raw or cooked they are an overlooked superfood. With lots of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium, Jerusalem artichokes contain are also a very good source of iron. The taste is similar to that of a water chestnut or a potato, which makes it perfect for sautéing, soups and what I\’ve just discovered — chips!

Easy to make, all they need is a good scrubbing and a thin slice.
Heat a few inches of a versatile oil (I used Safflower) to 350ºF in a large saucepan. Working in batches, begin adding the sliced Jerusalem Artichokes. With a slotted spoon, occasionally flip them, cooking until they are lightly browned and crisp. Drain and cool on a paper towel.

I served mine with a quick mix up of \”Veganaise\” with a pinch of dried thyme and fresh lemon zest.

Know what? Even the kids ate them! How about that?

Pancake Day!!!


Is this an *official* Hoilday yet? If anyone’s counting, it should be judging by the celebrations around this house.

There were stuffed crêpes for breakfast, multigrain blueberry pancakes for lunch and our favourite, savoury pancakes will be headlining dinner. Packed with wild rice, mushrooms and leeks, the pancakes are hardly lacking in flavour. With a few extra mushrooms saved to the side, you’ll never miss your syrup for this quick and savoury (Holiday) dinner.


SAVOURY PANCAKES

1 Leek, white & light parts only, diced & divided
2 Cups Sliced Crimini Mushrooms, divided
2/3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Unsweetened Soy Milk
1/3 Cup Cooked Wild Rice
2 Tablespoons Safflower Oil, plus more for frying

Finely dice the leeks and slice the mushrooms.
In a lightly oiled,  large frying pan, sauté the mushrooms until soft and golden.
Remove mushrooms from the pan and reserve.
Add the leeks to sauté until softened.
Roughly chop 1/2 cup of the mushrooms then add to the leeks.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder and salt. To it, add the wild rice and 1/3 of a cup of the mushroom leek mixture stirring to coat with the flour.
Add the milk and oil just mixing until everything is just wet and combined.
In a clean, hot frying pan, add a small amount of oil.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the pancake mixture into the frying pan and cook over a medium-high heat.
Once the edges are firm and golden and the batter starts to bubble, flip each pancake to cook the other side until golden.
Serve hot with a spoonful of the remaining mushrooms and leek mixture.

Best Vegan Visitor Recipes of 2008


ytd2008

JANUARY

The citrus obsessed that I am decided away with diets and and that pink grapefruits were way underused:
Red Grapefruit Curd Filled Donuts

Every winter likes the cold and every winter I battle it with something extra warm:
Creamless Potato Leek Soup


FEBRUARY

This Chili continued to warm + what would the Superbowl be without it’s tailgate chili?
Superbowl of Chili

And this was just goood:
Cape Gooseberry & Raspberry Clafouti


MARCH

Daring Baker’s sent me the perfect gift. Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for my own birthday cake:
Perfect Party Cake

A March break get-away might have almost gotten me trapped by a snowstorm, but it was Montréal. I was hardly complaining:
Maple Madeleines


APRIL

It’s my daughter’s birthday in April and it just wouldn’t be tradition if she didn’t get her “Favourite Things Dinner”.  She’s six, I’ll give you one guess what her favourite thing is to eat:
Cheeseless Macaroni n’ Cheese

Spring and weeds. If you can’t beat ’em, EAT them:
Warm New Potato & Dandelion Salad

After breaking out the BBQ for the first grill of the season, I discovered one of the best soups ever with the leftovers:
Cedar Smoked Asparagus Soup


MAY

A peanut butter cookie bomb became one of my favourite desserts:
Peanut Butter Caramel Tarts

Mother’s Day brunch wouldn’t be complete without cake. And what better one than this coffee cake developed from my Nana’s own recipe box:
Also Goes Great With Tea Coffee Cake

JUNE

Squeaking it in for the last of the school year. I couldn’t resist buying more snacks for lunches, so I replicated them instead (even though I was made fun of for it):
Chewy Nut-Free Granola Bars

Getting sick of watching countless sandwich crusts go to waste, I came up with a solution. I saved the crusts and made bread pudding. Waste Not:
Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding
JULY

Summer’s in full swing with heat beaters and last minute evening parties. I took full advantage of the garden’s offerings with these easy recipes:
Rose Infused Strawberry Sorbet
Scape Salsa Verde Potato Salad
AUGUST

This was time consuming, but boy it was good:
Summer Pea Ravioli

The cherries were awesome this year, sweet and almost never ending. When I *almost* became tired of spitting pits, I decided I could finally bake with cherries more instead:
Cherry Streusel Muffins
SEPTEMBER

One of my favourite times of year. You know it, when there are too many tomatoes to eat at once. Never a fan of it as a kid, still I tried my own swing at it and will forever be changing my tune about tomato soup:
Heirloom Tomato Soup

Tree-fruit season YAY:
Gingered Peach Shortbread Bars
OCTOBER
Have I not yet mentioned how much I like autumn and the tree fruit? This was so easy, especially when tearing through a freshly picked bag of apples before our vacation:
Apple Upside-down Cake

Super good, super easy and quick autumn-y gnocchi with one of my most favourite flavour combinations:
Gnocchi with Butternut Squash & Spinach
NOVEMBER

Move over Charlie Brown, I’m the pumpkin patch junky. Never fails, ever November I find myself with, well, enough pumpkins to last me until next Halloween. This year I FINALLY made this:
Maple Pumpkin Butter

Everyone needs a quick go-to recipe to use up those browning bananas, and this one is it for us:
Ultra-Quick Banana Bread
DECEMBER

I took a scoop of that long over due pumpkin butter and added it to my favourite brownie batter. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?:
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Honestly one of the best gingerbread men I’ve ever bitten the head off of:
Classic Gingerbread Cookies

Wow. What a year! Wishing you and yours the happiest 2009!