Mittwoch, 12. Oktober 2011

vegan pancakes

One of my biggest and most pleasant surprises when doing the Vegan Pledge was how easy it was to make vegan pancakes without egg-replacer that were simply amazing. Of course I knew the South Indian Dosa, which is normally vegan, comes in a thousand local varieties and is utterly delicious, but normally rice-based. Plus, most varieties need to ferment at temperatures not reached in our parts of the world.
The following is a savoury adaptation of the pancakes in Vegan with a Vengeance and should roughly feed 4.

300g chapati flour or plain wholemeal flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 tbsp oil plus extra for frying
300 ml soy milk
300-400ml water, depending on whether you want thick (American) pancakes or thinner ones.

Mix all. Allow to stand for 10-30mins before frying. I kind of assume you know how to make pancakes, so I'll skip the rest. We had some leftover veggie bolognese with it last night, but any savoury filling is nice. Or just plain with a knob of butter.

Montag, 10. Oktober 2011

Curried fried rice

With my nose in a vegetarian Thai recipe book and my hands in our almost empty veg box, this was the result.

2 leeks, trimmed and cut into thin slices
2-4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp oil
cooked rice for 2 (1 cup uncooked), fragrant Thai, jasmine or basmati would be best
2-4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp grated palm sugar
3-4 tbsp soy sauce
dash of pepper
3 tbsp desiccated coconut

Heat oil in non-stick pan or wok. Fry the leeks and garlic until leeks start to soften/brown. Add rice and curry powder, fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the rest of ingredients and stir till heated through.
If you´re feeling fancy, dry roast the coconut until slightly browned and sprinkle over rice before serving.
Decorate servings with rings of spring onion and thin slices of cucumber. Though I have to say that I´m not a great food decorator unless it is cupcakes…

Vegan ginger cake

Plummeting temperatures and cold winds have me yearning for warming foods. Uncomplicated cakes like this one. Adapted from the "Veggies Scoffer".

375g plain flour or mix of wholemeal and plain
2 tsp baking powder
230g muscovado sugar
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
180ml sunflower oil
1 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla essence
400ml soya milk

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Mix both together, pour into square cake tin and bake at 175 degrees for about 40 mins.
Cool and frost with vanilla frosting (see vegan chocolate cake). Decorate with glacé ginger pieces.

Dienstag, 4. Oktober 2011

Squash and savoy cabbage with pasta

I wasn´t sure the combination would work, but we thought it did rather well. Fitted the autumnal day.

Squash and savoy cabbage

1 onion, chopped (actually, this is entirely optional)
3 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic (always tastes lovely with squash)
1 medium onion/acorn/hokkaido squash or butternut, cubed (you would need to peel the bn but not the onion squash)
1 medium head savoy cabbage
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil and gently fry the onion. Add the garlic and gently fry that, too. Add the squash pieces and fry some more. Add the cabbage (you may have to do that in batches), continue stirring. Add salt and pepper and possibly a dash of water to get the cabbage fully cooked. Serve over farfalle with some ricotta, crumbled feta or parmesan, if you like.

Sonntag, 2. Oktober 2011

vegan chocolate cake with vanilla icing, easy veg chilli

So, here's another cake we made for yesterday. I am really pleased to have acquired the skill of making egg and dairy free cakes without egg replacement that are light and lovely. Thank you, Vegan Cupcakes take over the world!

For a small square cake tin:
2 cups soy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract or chocolate extract
2 cups plain flour
2/3 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 175 degrees and grease/line your cake tin.
Mix the soy milk with the apple cider and keep aside to curdle. Then mix in the oil, sugar and extracts with this.
Sift all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl. Pour in the liquid and mix until well combined. Do not overmix, a few lumps are ok!
Bake for 45 mins or so until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the icing:
1/4 cup veg shortening
1/4 cup margarine
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup soy milk

Beat the softened fats till combined and fluffy. Add the sugar (best done in batches), continue beating. Add vanilla and soy milk and beat for another 5 mins or so. Spread onto cooled cake. I decorated this with some toasted desiccated coconut.

I really did not feel like making a fuss of cooking tonight, so I put some spuds in the oven. The kids just want butter with them, but I wanted something a bit more substantial (they tend to eat so many potatoes that mummydaddy need some add-on). So I made the easiest chilli ever. I usually cook with fresh ingredients, honestly!

 2 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sambal oelek (I didn´t even bother to chop a fresh chilli)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1/2 can sweet corn
salt to taste

Sweat the onion in the oil. Add the spices until fragrant. Pour in the entire contents of the cans (i.e. do not drain the beans). Bring to the boil and simmer until potatoes are done. This made my chilli nice and thick, but top up with water if you are dealing with giant spuds or want a thinner consistency.

Stuff of Life: Sweet Bread (sunwheel) and Apple Flan

Every year, there is a festival in the park where we live. It is a wonderful celebration of the community we have. Yesterday was glorious, such a warm and sunlit day! There always is a breadmaking competition, because the park used to be the site of a bakery, and though my spelt sunwheel did not win, I am posting the recipe, plus the cakes we made for the Residents' Association Cafe.

The bread is based on Ingrid Früchtel´s Grosses Vollkorn Backbuch. She never uses sugar, though, but I don´t like to bake with honey, as I believe it is not good to heat honey too much (Ayurveda). And of course I mess around with the recipes... But this is what I did.

Sweet Spelt Bread

3 tsp dried active yeast
200ml lukewarm milk
150g soft butter
100g sugar
1 egg
grated zest of 1 lemon, or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
250g wholemeal spelt flour (I love to grind spelt freshly in my kitchen mill, but spelt grain is hard to come by in this country)
250g plain or strong white flour

Mix dry ingredients including yeast. Add milk, butter and beaten egg. Knead into a dough. Actually, I did follow the recommendation and put it in the fridge overnight. This lets the dough rise ever so slowly, resulting in a nice, fine-pored dough that is easy to manage. Whatever way you do it, once it is risen, form into whatever shapes you fancy. The book has some really nice ideas for ancient bread-shapes. Bread magick!

These were the sunwheels and yulebread we made for christmas last year. I`ll supply a drawing of the sunwheel at some point...

Brush with a little beaten eggyolk mixed with 1 tbsp water and drizzle with slithered almonds or poppy seeds if you fancy. Oh, and bake at 200 degrees in a preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes or until lightly browned on top and sounding hollow if tapped underneath.

The Apple Flan is based on a recipe from the same book. Roughly.

Apple Flan
150g plain flour
100g porridge oats
100g coarsely ground hazelnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
100g cold butter
170g sugar (demara for a fancier taste)
600g cooking apples, peeled, cored and finely sliced
300g quark, fromage frais or curd cheese
2 eggs
grated zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground vanilla (or use 1/2 tsp essence)

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Grease a deep baking sheet (dripping pan).
Mix Flour, oats, nuts, 100g of the sugar and cinnamon. Put the butter in flakes over this mix and knead in quickly with cold hands or two spoons. The mix should be a proper crumble consistency. Chill crumbles until ready to use. Arrange the apples neatly or randomly in the baking sheet. Mix the quark with the eggs, the remaining 70g sugar, lemon zest and juice and vanilla. Pour over the apples then arrange crumble mix on top. Bake for about 35 mins.