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.

MACADAMIA NUT GREEN TEA MEGA BITES


Were you thinking of giving up sugar too? What happens when you give it up and the 3 o’clock crave still hits? Well, I was just asking myself that too…
Since, overconfidently, I thought that giving up sugar resolution would be relatively easy. The quick convenience of sweetened baked goods are so thoughtless and everywhere. Plus, I not the biggest sweet tooth anyhow, and my constitution for perseverance has always been pretty good – however I’ve never tested it for weeks on end.
I’m not sure if it’s the subtle sweetness or the little crunch of nuts, or even the fact that’s these are healthy. They are satisfying and go perfectly with an afternoon tea, or anytime.

Indulgent and decadent these don’t feel guilt-free, but they are.
The first trial batch was Matcha Macadamia with Maca — Mmm.
We all know how great green tea is. Filled with antioxidants, it can help detoxify and elevate your mood.
Maca is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids. It’s said to help balance hormones, and promotes energy.
Collagen is great for your joints, your skin and healing your gut.

See. Healthy treats!

If this wasn’t reason enough, we found a version of these pre-made in the local coffee shop. $1.25 a piece and these are just too easy to have someone else make them. img_0282

MACADAMIA NUT GREEN TEA MEGA BITES

1 Cup Macadamia Nuts
12 Dates
2 Tablespoons Matcha Powder, Green Tea
Scant 1/8 tsp Himalayan Salt
1 teaspoon Maca Powder
1 teaspoon Collagen Powder
1 teaspoon Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup Unsweetened, Flaked Coconut – for rolling

In a food processor or a powerful blender (vitamix), add the nuts and pulse to loosely grind. Add the dates and blend until finely ground, then add the coconut oil to combine.
Add and blend the matcha, salt, maca and collagen powder.
Roll by hand into 1″ balls, then roll to top in the flaked coconut.
Chill for about 30 minutes and store in the fridge.

Makes 12-15

 

 

Holiday Kourabiedes – Walnut Sugar Cookies


Tis the season to learn of new traditions. When I first heard of these I couldn’t help but be excited.

Greek Kourabiedes are popular special occasion cookies. They are often served at weddings, christenings and of course, Christmas. You might also find them on an Egyptian cookie tray for the similar celebrations. There, they are called Kahk.

They remind me a bit of what a cross between a shortbread and a sugar cookie.
They’re simple, nutty AND they use some of my orange blossom water I coveted for recipes past.

Kourabiedes are subtle and not too sweet. The seasonal walnuts may be traded for almonds, but I love the combination of the bitterish walnut and bursts of salt with a hint of citrus and the warming, sweet and intriguing fragrance of orange blossoms. They’re perfect for the Holidays. I hope you try them.

KOURABIEDES – WALNUT SUGAR COOKIES

3/4 Cup Walnuts
1 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) (vegan) Butter, like Earth Balance, softened
1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar, plus more for dusting
1 Tablespoon Cointreau
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
2 Tablespoons Orange Flower Water

Toast the walnuts in a 350ºF oven, until golden brown, about minutes.
Pulse about 1/4 cup of the nuts in a food processor until finely ground.
Add the flour, baking powder, remaining nuts and salt. Pulse again to mix everything together and roughly chop the remaining nuts.
Meanwhile, beat the butter, sugar,  Cointreau, orange zest and vanilla extract together with an electric or stand mixer until and fluffy.
At a low speed, stir in the nut/flour mixture to make a crumbly dough. Bring the dough together with your hands (it IS crumbly). Flatten it into a disk, like pastry dough, and wrap it in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate dough for about half an hour.

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a silicone liner.
Unwrap the dough and cut into 20 pieces. Roll into balls between with your hands. Flattening to shape each piece into a round   disk.
Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake until the cookies are golden, about 15 minutes.
Remove them from the oven and lightly brush the orange blossom water over the tops of each cookie.
Transfer to a cooling rack and dust with additional confectioners sugar.

Celebrate Life With National Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Day



Who knew?

When I saw that reminder on Twitter, I couldn’t help myself but to think that I may not have been celebrating enough lately.
How about you?
Life a little busy? Preoccupied with everything?

I had a pineapple sitting, waiting for someone to enjoy it, so when I saw this, I just couldn’t help myself… plus I made it small. Perfect for date night or a celebration of one.

Every time I think of pineapple upside-down cakes, I think of my nana or some other 50’s era mom baking this for some backyard bbq but apparently this cake has been around for at least another generation than that. Either way, it’s quick, it’s retro and it’s fun.

Why not celebrate?


VEGAN PINEAPPLE UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

1/4 Cup Vegan Butter, like Earth Balance – softened
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice
1 Cup Self-Rising Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1 teaspoon White Vinegar
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut, optional
1/2 Cup Fresh Pineapple, thinly sliced, about 1/8″thick
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
Lightly spray one 9 inch or two 4 inch spring form pans.
Evenly sprinkle over the brown sugar and fan out the pineapple slices in one layer.
Sprinkle over coconut, if using.
Meanwhile, cream the butter with the granulated sugar, then add the juice.
In a pourable measuring cup, combine the soy milk with the vinegar and stir.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the batter.
Pour the batter over the prepared pineapple pans, dividing batter equally, if using the two 4 inch pans.
Set pans on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes for the 4 inch pans and 40 minutes for the 9 inch or until a cake tester comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
Cool, invert and release from the spring form pan.

Oh, and just to be interesting, I made these cupcakelettes for the kiddies. Same idea, only easier.
Sprinkle of brown sugar on the bottom of the mini- silicone “papers” with a thin slice of pineapple.
Topped with the same cake batter, I just lessened the timing and baked these for about 12ish minutes.
Way more kid friendly and so fun for party popping.

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?

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!