Multigrain Pancakes


Happy Father’s Day!
Apparently no Father’s Day would be complete without the all loved flapjack.
Just ask any kid what they’d like to make for a Dad’s Breakfast?

VEGAN MULTIGRAIN PANCAKES

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups soy milk
1 large banana
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons maple syrup plus more for serving
1 t vanilla (optional)

Pulse the dry ingredients in food processor.
In a large, pour able measuring cup, mash the banana* well and combine the soy milk, 2 tablespoons of the oil, maple syrup and vanilla to blend.
With the food processor running on low, pour the wet into the dry ingredients; mixing until just blended.
Heat griddle or heavy large skillet over medium heat.
Once flicked water spatters, brush the pan with some of the remaining oil.
Working in batches, evenly space about 1/4 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake.
Cook until golden, about 2 minutes per side, or until batter begins to bubble.
Brush griddle with more oil as needed and repeat.
Serve with syrup, cooked berries.

Makes 16 – 20 pancakes.

*When bananas begin to brown, put them in the freezer. Frozen bananas mash really easily and are perfect for recipes like these. When ready to use, simply defrost the required amount in the microwave for about 30 seconds or leave it to thaw first, while preparing the other ingredients.

Grilled Vegetable Streudel



I had been gearing up to post about what I call Market Mystery. This is either the new or unexpected produce that turns up at the market or in your CSA box that you would never dream of buying out of your regular habits. Turns out, this event coincided perfectly when I invited my neighbour over for dinner.

I had thrown together some basic menu ideas and headed out to the grocery store to pick up some last minute things – shamefully the same things I seem to grab every time I’m out. Yes, staples are one things but redundant patterns are another. I began to think I should practice what I was about to preach.

Passing through the produce aisle, I realized I was about to ignore the fennel the same way I have done about one thousand trips before. Looking at the round white bulb and the bright green feathery fronds, I realized I’d never even tasted it. I actually think I might have been a bit intimidated on what to do with it exactly. I took the plunge, altered my menu plans and picked one out. Once I’d returned home with my fennel, I wanted to see what I could find out about my new vegetable. I knew the basics already, the other name of Anise gave away it’s licorice like flavour undertones. I’d previously seen it in salads, thinly sliced, usually served with orange segments but when I tasted it I thought I might go for the alternative of a roasted flavour. All around the fennel bulb is a combination of licorice, cabbage and celery flavours but the licorice tends to mellow when it’s cooked.

Since it’s summer, I opted for grilling instead of roasting. Not only did I want to keep the extra heat out of my house, I thought the smokiness might be a nice addition. Fennel, as intimidating as I first thought, is very simply to prepare. The bottom root end, the stalks and fronds need to be removed, but not discarded – I ended up using practically everything here and there. I sliced the bulb down the centre and tossed over the marinade.

Other than the time taken to grill, this recipe was a snap. My guests were impressed and I have become a fennel convert.

Now onward to Jerusalem artichokes, golden beets and kohlrabi. Which are the vegetables, you’ve eyed, but not tried?

GRILLED VEGETABLE STRUDEL

1 Bulb Fennel
1 Zucchini
2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Orange Pepper
1/2 Red Onion
3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Vermouth (optional)
1 Tablespoon Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped (optional)
Crack of Black Pepper
1 Sheet of Puff Pastry*

Heat the grill to medium.
Remove the top fennel fronds and reserve.
Cut the base from the fennel, slice down the center.
Remove the ends from the zucchini, slice lengthwise.
Slice the onion into 1/4″ rounds.
Toss the fennel, zucchini and onion in the balsamic, oil, vermouth and pepper.
Add the vegetables, along with the pepper to the bbq and grill, turning regularly, until the vegetables have even grill marks and have softened.
Place the pepper into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam.
Remove the skin and pull the stem from the pepper to remove the seeds.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Roll out the puff pastry to a 10″x10″ square.
Chop the vegetables roughly.
Add garlic, parsley and reserved fennel fronds, if using, salt to taste and add pepper if necessary.
Spoon and evenly distribute the grilled vegetable mixture to the center of the pastry to form a line.
Pull the first side of the pastry over the vegetables, roll the pastry and vegetables over into the remaining pastry. Dot the end with water to seal. Flip the pastry so the seal is on the bottom.
Transfer the strudel to a non-stick baking dish or cookie sheet. Score the top.
Bake on the center rack for about 25-30 minutes. Remove once the pastry is golden and crisp.

* As to date, Tenderflake in Canada and Pepperidge Farms brands of puff pastry are vegan.
However, As with any prepared food you should be prepared to read the label.

Serve with a drizzling of Roasted Red Pepper Purée.

Serves 4-6

Vegan Crêpes With Bananas Flambé


A gift of the French culinary experience, it is said that these thin pancakes originated from a lack of wheat to bake bread.
Also of French cooking tradition, it’s believed that it is difficult to make. I thought so myself for quite sometime as there are only three main ingredients, eggs, milk and flour. Not exactly vegan.

I’ve wanted to serve these for many brunches as the batter rests well or the crêpes themselves may be made ahead.
Crêpes are come in two varieties, sweet and savory and match wonderfully with guests. Served as an appetizer, a dessert or for breakfast, with a bit of practice, crêpes may be made large or small and stuffed with a variety of fillings.

So pretty, formal, but really quite easy to make. Try them at your next brunch.

VEGAN CRÊPES

Recipe makes six to eight 8″ crêpes

1/2 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cups Soy Milk
Replacer for One Egg
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Margarine or spray oil as needed, for cooking

Combine the flour. salt and egg replacer in a large bowl or blender. Whisk to sift.
Add the milk and oil. Whisk just to combine.
Do not over blend.
Refrigerate while you prepare your filling, or over night.
Preheat an 8, non-stick pan to a medium high heat.
Once a drop of water spatters, spray to coat the pan or add 1/2 teaspoon of melted margarine.
Ladle in about 2 Tablespoons of the batter. Swirl the batter across the pan to form a thin, round layer.
Flip the crêpe over once it begins to appear dry on the top. The other side will be done when you see some light browning on the edges.

For Todays Filling:
While the batter was cooling, I opted for the ripening bananas on my counter top.

BANANAS FLAMBÉ

2 Bananas
2 Tablespoons Margarine
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Brandy
1 Match (These last two are optional for breakfast, but make a blast of an impression for dessert.)

Peel and slice the two bananas on the diagonal, about a 1/4″ thickness.
Heat a large skillet to medium high, melt the margarine then add the bananas.
Toss to coat and cook to soften slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes.
Add the syrup, covering the bananas evenly.
If using, pour over the brandy, stand back and touch a flame to the edge of a soaked banana. This is best done with an audience, and a lid for the skillet close by.

To wrap, add a few spoonfuls of the filling to the center of each crêpe.
Fold over opposite sides toward the middle then roll upward from the bottom.

Eggless Rapini & Roasted Red Pepper Strata


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A strata is traditionally an egg custard/bread pudding casserole served up savoury and scrumptious for brunch.
It makes a perfect brunch centrepiece since it’s quick to prepare and can be made the night before. In fact, doing so will make it more custardy and delicious.
I suppose, for some, the issue here would be that eggs are the main ingredient but not a problem. I’d almost go on a limb to state this is a better version than the “Original”, not to mention healthier.

After trying to feed Rapini to my kids, I couldn’t help but have a bit left over. Quite alright as I already had my sights set on what to do with it. With any holiday weekend, let alone Sunday, brunch is definitely in order.

Serve it for your next Sunday brunch, or as a lighter dinner fare along with a salad.
Fear tofu no more.

RAPINI & ROASTED RED PEPPER STRATA
1 Package Medium-Firm Tofu
1 1/2 Cups Soy Milk
2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Mustard Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
Dash of Cayenne Powder
Dash of Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Fresh Chives, Chopped
1 teaspoon (4-5 leaves) Fresh Basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Oregano, chopped
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Cup Steamed Rapini, chopped
1 Roasted Red Pepper, diced
1/2 Cup diced Tomatoes
1/2 Loaf Day Old, Rustic Farmer’s Bread, about 6 Cups, 1″ cubes (I used Olive Bread)

With a food processor combine the tofu, soy milk, arrowroot powder, salt and spices.
Once smooth, combine the chopped herbs and lemon zest, then add the rapini, red pepper and tomato.
Lightly spray a shallow baking dish with oil.
Add half of the bread and half of the tofu and vegetable mixture.
Grind a small amount of black pepper and repeat with another layer of bread, filling in any gaps, finishing with the tofu.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours and up to over night.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Let strata stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Bake strata, uncovered, in middle of oven until puffed, golden brown, and cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I found the Tuesday Night Leftovers challenge over at Project Foodie This is a must list to bookmark!