Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Soft Pretzels

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6 cups flour
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 tsp baking soda + 4 cups water

Mix flour and salt together, I use a Kitchen Aid mixer. In the 2 cups of warm water, dissolve the yeast and sugar and let stand for 5 - 10 minutes until slightly bubbly. Mix dissolved yeast into flour and knead for 10 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise until double.

Once doubled, remove dough and punch down. Pull off fist-sized ball of dough, into 12 - 14 pieces. Roll pieces into ropes about 18 inches long. Twist.

In a large saucepan, boil 4 cups water and the baking soda. Drop 2 to 3 pretzels in at a time, let boil for one minute or until they float. Remove from pan, drain, and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven at 475 degrees F for about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with coarse-ground salt if desired.

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Foccacia

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2 cups white flour
3/4 cup water (about 200 ml) (warm, but not uncomfortable, to the touch)
7 g active dried yeast (1 typical packet)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil
half a cup chopped olives (cans black, kalamata, green)
Sea salt (optional) and fresh rosemary to garnish

Mix the sugar and yeast into half of the water, then leave to sit for 5-10 mins, until it looks foamy and smells of yeast.

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the yeasty water and add 2 tbsp (half) of the oil. Mix everything up into a dough, adding the rest of the water. You may need to add more water to get the right consistency; there should be no dry bits, but it should form a proper ball that is not excessively sticky.

Knead the dough for about 10 mins, until it feels smooth and elastic. Be tough with it; fold it over and punch and slap with both hands to knead. If it keeps sticking to your hands, it is too wet. Add more flour to your kneading surface, to dry it off. Near the end of the kneading process, fold in the chopped olives.

Let the dough rest for 5 mins, while you oil the tray that you are going to use.

Form the dough out into a rough rectangle just over 2 cm (about an inch) thick.

Put the dough on the oiled tray, cover (a damp towel is ideal), then put in a warm place to rise for about an hour, until it doubles in size. It should feel soft and pillow-like.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F

Use your finger to make evenly-spaced dimples in the dough, then insert a sprig of rosemary into each one. Drizzle the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, if using.

Bake the loaf for 25 mins, until it is golden brown all over. Ideally, remove from the tray after 20 mins and bake again directly on the oven shelf for 5 mins, to brown the bottom. Don't bother if its too much trouble.

Next time am going to add cloves of garlic to make a garlic foccacia.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Coffee Cake

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Topping:
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup margarine, chilled

Batter:
1 1/4 cup soymilk
3 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix topping, cutting in the chilled margarine with a pastry cutter, fork, or any tool you have. Set one cup of it aside. Mix the remaining portion with the batter ingredients to make the batter. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 6-inch cake pan. Sprinkle reserved crumb topping on top of the batter. Cook for 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hot Fudge Brownies

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar (white works too)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water

Mix first five dry ingredients together, then add soy milk, applesauce, and vanilla. Mix well. Spoon or pour into an 8x8-inch greased pan.

Mix the remaining cocoa powder, brown sugar and hot water in a bowl until the sugar is dissolved making a nice chocolaty syrup. Stir it to mix well. Pour this over the brownie batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving or the chocolate will burn your mouth and be too runny otherwise.

The beauty of this recipe is that the chocolate syrup on the top of the batter will "fall" to the bottom of the pan while its cooking so you have a nice brownie on top, but a thick fudgy layer now on the bottom that has thickened up due to the flour.

This is by far my favorite brownie recipe in the world :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Curry Potatoes and Carrots

(or curry potato mash with carrots and chickpeas . . .)

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2-3 medium red potatoes, cubed
2 carrots, coarsely sliced
1 onion, diced
1-3 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 tsp garam masala
2 tsp curry powder
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
Pinch dry mustard or mustard seed
1 can/cup chickpeas (rinsed if canned aka garbanzo beans)

Cover potatoes and carrots with water and boil until soft, about 20-30 minutes. While these are boiling, put all the spices, onion, garlic, and oil in a sauce-/fry-pan and fry, stirring frequently, until onions start to turn translucent.

When potatoes and carrots are done, drain off excess liquid and reserve for later. Mash with a potato masher or fork, adding reserved liquid as needed to resemble mashed potatoes, but leave it a little chunky. Add the onion mixture and chickpease to the potato mixture. Mix well.

Serve with a side of vegetables, something green. I really like serving it with shelled edamame. A nice side salad would be awesome, too.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pea and Potato Curry Bake

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3-4 small to medium red potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, I peel)
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
8-12 oz. package frozen peas and carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp better than bouillon (or ~1/2 cube bouillon cube)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water

Cut potatoes into 1 to 2 inch cubes and place in 1 quart casserole dish (all I had was a cake pan!). Add onions, peas and carrots, oil and spices. Mix together. Add water, cover with aluminum foil or a lid, then bake at 375 degrees F for an hour (or 425 degrees F for 45 minutes) until potatoes are tender.

Serves: 3-4

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes

Next time I might serve with a side of jasmine rice cooked with bouillon (note that there is no sauce). The potatoes were super moist and good. Might add more peas and carrots next time. Otherwise great as is!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Shepherd's Pie

Mashed Potatoes:
4 red potatoes, cubed
2 Tbsp vegan margarine
Splash plain soymilk to taste
Salt to taste
optional vegan bouillon cube (I used better than bouillon)

Filling:
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 pounds carrots, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 can vegan Lentil Soup
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp plain soymilk

Boil potatoes until tender, remove most of the liquid and add remaining mashed potato ingredients. Mash with a fork for lumpier potatoes or a potato masher for creamier ones.

While potatoes are cooking, put carrots in a small pan with some water to boil and cook until tender.

Next put onions in a frypan with the margarine and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Add soup to begin warming. In a seperate container combine the flour and soymilk (I blend them in my Magic Bullet blender) then add to frypan with the soup mixture and bring to a boil before simmering to thicken - don't forget to stir! Add cooked carrots.

Once soup mixture is done, put in the bottom of a casserole pan. Top with mashed potatoes and cook in the oven for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. Will probably boil over so is good to put on a large cookie sheet.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ghetto Chana Masala

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2 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 medium onion, chopped
1 - 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 - 1 Tbsp curry (pinch garam masala if available?)
2 Tbsp tomato paste (or alternatively ketchup, its what I use)
15 oz can chick peas, undrained: reserve liquid
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (or alternatively apple cider vinegar, used once and was fine)
1/2 tsp salt
fresh black pepper (optional, I leave out sometimes)
crushed red pepper, optional to taste
1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat margarine on medium high heat. Saute onions until slightly translucent. Add garlic and cook for one minute longer. Reduce heat to medium. Add curry and tomato paste. Stir and simmer about 2 minutes. Add chick peas with liquid, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Simmer 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add red pepper to taste. Add oil. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes more or until peas are softened and dish is hot. Serve over rice.

Makes: 2-4 servings, Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 15 minutes

Monday, August 30, 2010

Mushroom Gravy

3 Tbsp vegan margarine
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp flour (I used whole wheat flour but it doesn't matter)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 cups vegetable broth (I used Better Than Bouillon vegetable base - 1 tsp per 1 cup of hot water)
1/2 cup plain soymilk (I prefer to use unsweetened soymilk)
8 oz. baby portobella mushrooms (1 package), sliced and coarsely chopped
1 tsp Bragg Amino Acids/soy sauce
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp cold water

Melt margarine over med-high heat in a large saucepan. When hot, add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add garlic and saute another minute. Quickly stir in the flour and nutritional yeast until a thick, pasty roux has formed. This happens in a matter of seconds, so be sure not to over cook it.

Pour in the vegetable broth slowly and in small increments, whisking constantly, until it has thickened up. Whisk in the soymilk. Add the mushrooms and Braggs and bring to a low boil. Turn heat down to a good simmer and allow to cook until mushrooms are tender and done. If you want a smooth gravy, transfer gravy to a blender (I use my Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth before returning to the saucepan.

Stir in the pepper to your liking. Mix the cornstarch and cold water together and whisk quickly into the gravy until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

This gravy is versatile. If you keep the cornstarch out, it can be used as a cream of mushroom soup.

Makes: About 3 cups, Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Microwave Brownies for One

These got me thru a summer of living in a trailer in the middle of no-where with no options for buying vegan baked goods and little time or space to really oven bake my own!

1/2 cup flou
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 banana or 1/4 cup applesauce (I prefer the apple sauce)
2 Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together dry ingredients, then add in wet and optional ingredients. Mix until all flour is incorporated, will seem dry. Add to greased microwave safe container, if using plastic ones, square ones that hold 2.5 cups are good. Microwave uncovered on high for 4 - 5 minutes. Let cool before enjoying.

I tend to eat mine with soymilk as they can get a little dry if you microwave them for too long.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Potato Soup

Got this recipe from my friend Jordan. I think its good, but the meat-eating boyfriend gave it a solid "m'eh" as a meal, but loved it as a side! :)

4 medium pototoes, yukon gold in this case
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Cube, cover just barely with water, and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1/2 hour or until soft. While the potatoes are cooking, in another sauce pan make a roux by combining over medium heat:

2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp margarine
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Slowing whisk in 1 - 2 cups plain soymilk to make a white sauce. At this point I also added:

1 vegan boulion cube
Dash Salt and Pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder

When pototoes are soft mash with a fork leaving chunks then stir in the white sauce. Add soymilk to desired consistency if too thick.

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Next time I think I will add carrots and saute some onions to go in it.