Isa Does It, VCIYCJ and Vegan with a Vengeance recipes

I’ve made a few more recipes by Isa Chandra M. over the past month but have been a bit slack with posting, so here they are all in one go.

Peanut Butter Criss Crosses from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.  I won’t ever eat peanut butter on bread or toast but in biscuits I love it:

pbcrisscrosses
The Curried Peanut Sauce Bowl.  Yummm:

peanutkaletofubowl

After trying the roast veg soba bowl at the Corner Hotel back in March, I had to make it at home.  This time I followed the Isa Does It instructions to the letter and I was rewarded with the same delicious meal.  I used both the lentils in the actual recipe but the next day I went for marinated tofu instead.  I’ve also made this with more veggies added in:

misotahinisobacauli

Isa’s Vegan With a Vengeance is a great book but admittedly, not one I have used all that much.  Not because there’s something wrong with it, more because I tend to stick with the latest cookbook purchases.  You know, shiny new toys and stuff.  Last week I decided to break out VWaV and I made the Ginger Macadamia Coconut Carrot Cake.  Deeeelicious!

gingermaccococarrotcake

Some weeks ago I made the Marbled Banana Bread from Isa Does It.  Clearly, my family need more practise with the marbling bit:

marbledcake

marbledcake2

 

As I’ve cleaned up my eating (again) I won’t be doing much baking and I will be adapting recipes I use to be lower in fat, or making substitutions outright.  I like that I can still use Isa’s recipes as a base and end up with something that is still super tasty!

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Vasilopita: New Years bread in the bread maker

Vasilopita is a cake, or a bread, served on New Years Day in many Greek Orthodox homes.  A Vasilopita is named in honour of St. Basil and St. Basil’s name day is celebrated on January 1st.  A coin is placed in the Vasilopita and whoever gets the piece with the coin is said to have good luck for the year.  My grandmothers always made a Vasilopita and we nearly always celebrated New Years Day at my Papou (grandfather) Basil’s house, which was more a celebration of his name day than the first day of the year 🙂  Husband and I do not observe religious events, but this was a very important day for my grandparents and so I like to make a Vasilopita to teach Arthur and DeeW about their family’s history.

Last year, I  made my Vasilopita as a cake:

vasilopita2

This year, I used this recipe I found at http://vvoc.org/2012/01/03/new-years-bread-vasilopita/

I followed the recipe pretty exactly as stated though I had a 7g sachet of dried yeast (the recipe states 8g).  So I will paste the recipe here but with ingredients and instructions based on what I did. All credit for the recipe goes to the authors of that link, not me!

BREAD MAKER VASILOPITA

from http://vvoc.org/2012/01/03/new-years-bread-vasilopita/

3 teaspoons of orange zest

2 Tablespoons of orange juice

Egg replacer (Made up to be equivalent of one whole egg and one egg white.)

65ml soy milk

6 Tablespoons of Nutellex (or other vegan margarine)

2 teaspoons of aniseed juice (see below)

90g caster sugar

425g plain white flour

1 x 7g sachet of yeast

3 Tablespoons of warm water

Method

  1. Prepare the aniseed juice I bought a packet of star anise, measured out a tablespoon in a teacup and covered it with boiled water, just enough to touch the tops of the anise and I let it sit for a few hours. I used this liquid in the recipe.

  2. Finely zest enough orange to make 3 teaspoons.  Set aside.

  3. Juice the orange and set aside.

  4. Prepare the egg replacer as per instructions on packet and set aside.

  5. Prepare yeast by placing the 3 Tablespoons of warm water in a glass bowl and dissolving a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the contents of the sachet into the water, swish about a bit then cover with a cloth and set aside out of drafts.

  6. Measure out milk and set aside.

  7. Measure out margarine, melt and set aside.

  8. Weigh the flour and set aside.

  9. Weigh the sugar and set aside.

  10. By now, the yeast should have started to activate (It will look a little bit fluffy/frothy.)

  11. Place ingredients into the bread machine in the following order:

    1. zest

    2. juice

    3. aniseed juice

    4. egg replacer (you may need to whisk as it may have settled)

    5. margarine

    6. soy milk

    7. caster sugar

    8. flour

  12. Make a small well in the top of the flour and tip the yeast on top.

  13. Place pan into bread maker and select the sweet bread setting.

 

Ha!  You whacky Veganopoulous!  As I pasted in this recipe I just realised I did not melt the Nutellex!  Yep, I missed that bit and added it in unmelted.  It didn’t cause a problem luckily:

bread maker Vasilopita

The Vasilopita bread turned out great.  Nice and sweet and the Greeks that ate it said it tasted like tsoureki (a sweet egg-rich brioche-like bread often served at Easter).  I think I’ll use this dough to make my tsoureki at Easter.  Perhaps I can have it rise in the bread maker then transfer it to the oven in the traditional plaited shape.

bread maker Vasilopita

I’m so pleased to have a Vasilopita recipe for the bread maker that turns out so well! I think I will make this when my mother and her Greek friends are fasting during Lent, to amaze them with this I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter-and-eggs tsoureki!

Veganissimo! for NYE: scallion pancakes, Lancashire Hotpot and Lemon Self Saucing Pudding

I’m really enjoying Leigh Drew’s Veganissimo!  I’ve already blogged about the Chocolate Mousse Tart (YUM) and today I made a few more recipes.

First up were the Scallion (spring onion) Pancakes.  Very easy to make and I halved the recipe as I only had a few skinny spring onions.  I didn’t make the suggested dipping sauce, instead I mixed up some soy sauce with kecap manis.  Yum!

scallion pancakes

For dinner I made the Lancashire Hotpot, using the suggested tip for a ‘hotpot pie’ by putting some pastry on top.  I had some puff pastry to use up.  First you cook everything up in a pot: carrots, celery, leek, onion, mushrooms then add your extra bits and some canned beans (I used butter beans).  Easy!  Here’s the hotpot before I put the pastry on:

vegan lancashire hotpot

Cooked!

vegan lancashire hotpot

2 4 6 8 bog in don’t wait:

vegan lancashire hotpot

Truthfully this is the second time I’ve made the Lancashire Hotpot, the first time was without the pastry top but my photos turned out so terribly bad, worse than usual, that I decided to make it all over again  😉

 

I’m a sucker for self saucing puddings.  I think they’re the reason why I am so slack with giving up sugar.  I was happy to see this recipe in Veganissimo! because I LOOOOVE lemon saucy puddings.  Again, this was very easy to make.  I did have the “am I doing something wrong here” moment when I made up the batter because it was way runny compared to every other self saucing pudding I’ve made.  I cooked it for about eight minutes longer than suggested (and the pudding sprang back, as the recipe says).  The bit between the cakey part and sauce on the bottom worried me for a minute because I wasn’t sure if it was uncooked batter, but after about forty minutes in the oven and the batter being not-high to begin with, it was certainly cooked.  Any longer and the sauce would have really dried out.  I’m wondering if I actually overcooked it.  Oh well, I gobbled it down regardless.  I think it would go so well with coconut icecream which alas, I don’t have:

lemonsaucepudding

Thanks Leigh, if you ever read this!  I’m loving these recipes 😀

We’re not doing all that much tonight (New Years Eve), the plans are for the kids to stay up late watching a couple of movies then we will go fireworks hunting.  Which means we’ll probably end up in a shabby suburban park somewhere, watching silly people set off pissweak fireworks.  Our house is at the higher point of a hill and we get a good view of the city, so hopefully we can just walk to the end of the street and see the official, legal fireworks there.

So long (for now) and have a fab New Years Eve!

tsom

 

Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Muffins from ‘Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free’

I’m pleased to share today’s baking adventures with you.  Because of THIS:

nsagf

My copy arrived a fortnight ago and I swear my eyes just kept popping out a little more with every page.  Although I’ve blabbed on about going gluten free on my blog before, I have slacked off but Ricki’s book and blog have really made me sit up straight and make more of an effort.  Ditto for changing the way I use sweeteners, and what sweeteners I use.  I use white sugar rarely but there are times when I’ve used white caster sugar.  I use more brown sugar and raw sugar but again, I want to move away from those. I’ve fallen in love with coconut sugar though, so I have to be mindful not to start baking too much!

Ricki is the author of the blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, though her site is now found at http://www.rickiheller.com.  In the past I used Ricki’s walnut-cauliflower ‘meat’ recipe in my vegan moussaka. From there I was sold and Ricki’s recipes have worked out well for me since.  Although I tested negative in all my coeliac-y tests I do sometimes feel blergh after gluten (and sometimes outright sick after eating something with vital wheat gluten) but the most important consideration here is my children and I would like to improve their diets further.  I would like to bake a couple of times a week but even then I’m mindful of that they’re eating.

I was also super pleased to see fellow Melbourne veg blogger Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe post up an interview with Ricki. And to add to the excitement, Johanna has made the exact same recipes I bookmarked to try first!  During the past week I shopped and waited for deliveries to arrive and now everything is here, wheee!  I went down to Naturally on High in Thornbury to get some supplies:

naturallyonhigh

From there we drove down to Fruit Pedallers.  I wish I had more time to look around but Husband and kids were in the car and the shop was packed so I decided to get out of there as soon as I could (because I was hungry and the very glutteny Lord Of The Fries was a ten minute drive away):

fruitpeddlers

I really like this part of Melbourne:

highst1

highstreet1

When we got back home it was baking time.  I had previously cooked, pureed and frozen some sweet potato so I had it ready to go this afternoon.  The rest of the ingredients were easy to get together, including Ricki’s own flour mix (there’s a recipe for that at the start of the book). One of the flours in Ricki’s mix is garfava flour, which I’d never heard of before and briefly worried about how I’d get it in Australia.  I then discovered it’s garbanzo (chickpea) and fava bean, whew!  Bob’s Red Mill garfava flour is sold in Australia.

Enough chat.  How did the muffins turn out?  Good!  And blurry:

sweetpotatochocchipmuffins

Now ah, you may notice the choc chips are white choc chips.  That’s because I can’t find Sweet William small dark choc chips anywhere.   I have found the white choc chips and buttons and the dark choc buttons but not the dark choc chips.  So this part of the muffins was probably using refined sugar, gahhh.  And I guess the dark choc chips would be the same, right?  I don’t like carob chips so if anyone can suggest another vegan choc chip, please leave a comment!

For me, the muffins didn’t have that strong taste of bean/chickpea like some “I swear you can’t taste the beans!!!” recipes have. You can’t taste the sweet potato either, if you’re worried about that.  I was surprised at how light and delicate they were, I was expecting something more dense, like every other sweet potato baking recipe I’ve tried.

The flavourings (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, vanilla) in my opinion are just right.  I found these helped to disguise the taste of the flours.  Husband said he would have preferred them sweeter and he found the aftertaste a little strange, however that’s how I felt when I started using things like besan and millet flour.  The kids liked them but I think next time I will make them in the mini size.  I suspect the regular size resulted in too much “strange tastes”.  I’ve used things like millet and quinoa flour before but not in things they liked, so I think they need to get used to the taste.  Arthur absolutely hated soy milk and tofu once upon a time, now he asks for tofu, or stuff made with soy milk, or vegan ham and cheese pizza.  I confess I must also get used to the gluten free flours and different sweeteners, though it’s easier for me now as I know what is better for me.

I’m looking forward to making more recipes and sharing them here (like the marbled halva and brownies, yummm.  And I don’t even like brownies much)  😀

Home made pizzas: I love this recipe

Husband and DeeW are off in Apollo Bay, staying with some relatives at a holiday home.  Naturally, the car boot is taken up with all the stuff DeeW absolutely MUST take.  And of course, she doesn’t even look at any of it during the holiday.  Yes, those are ski boots heading for the coast:

packing

Arthur and I will bum around at home and see if we can catch some of the free kids activities in the city (though we just missed the last tram that would have got us to ‘James and Giant Peach’ in time, so we had to trudge back home from the tram stop.  You know those moments where you turn a corner and see your bus or tram sailing past?  Yeah, that!)

Last night was movie night for Arthur and I so to celebrate his first ever viewing of Star Wars, I made us some pizza.  I used a Jamie Oliver recipe for the dough and it’s my favourite go-to pizza base because it just turns out so nice!  I halve the amount to make two medium sized pizzas.

Arthur’s only pizza preference is Hawaiian (aka Tropical or Pineapple pizza in restaurants around the country).  It’s ham, pineapple and cheese.  I use Redwood Cheatin’ Ham slices and Notzarella which I had frozen in portions, defrosted and squeezed a bit to get excess water out.  For the tomato sauce on the base I use the Aldi ‘Just Organic’ pasta sauce for a little extra flavour and I prefer this than regular plain tomato paste.  Oh, you may notice this pizza base is really thick.  That’s because I thought I stretched it out enough but obviously didn’t…

pizza3

A friend had given me a bunch of portobello mushrooms the other day that she picked up from Coburg Market but didn’t think she’d use them in time before they went bad.  What a score!  They’re about $10 a kilo in the supermarkets.  So my pizza was mushroom pizza.  Lurking in the back of the fridge was one of those jars of antipasto strips of capsicum, eggplant and possibly artichoke so I used that too, plus the Notzarella:

pizza4

I held my breath when Arthur tried his pizza because I wasn’t sure how he’d take the ‘ham’.  He asked for a second piece, and a slice for breakfast today so that’s a big win folks!  It means I can make him vegan pizzas at home and hopefully this will significantly reduce the occassions where he has the non-vegan version when he goes out.

My pizza was really nice too and made for a good breakfast this morning.  We’re a pizza reheating family.  Cold pizza, blergh!

Jamie Oliver’s Pizza Dough (the semolina flour version.  Shown below is the full recipe, but I halve it and it turns out fab) from ‘Jamie At Home’

800g bread or pizza flour (I use the Lighthouse brand)

200g finely ground semolina flour (I used a packet labelled “fine semolina”)

1 level Tbs fine sea salt

2x 7g sachets of dried yeast

1 Tbs golden caster sugar (I used regular caster sugar)

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

650ml lukewarm water

* What I did (as I can’t make the dough on a table top/ work surface like the recipe states but if you can, great! These directions are pretty much word for word from the Jamie recipe)

– In a large bowl, sift the flours  and salt and make a well in the centre.

– In a jug, mix the yeast, sugar and olive oil in to the warm water and leave it for a few minutes then pour in to the flour well.

– Using a fork, bring the flour in gradually from the sides and swirl it in to the liquid.  Keep mixing, drawing larger amounts of flour in.  When it comes to together, knead until you have a smooth, springy dough.

– Put the dough in a clean, large flour dusted bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Place in a warm spot for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size:

pizza1

(this is where my photo of the recipe instructions got cut off so here’s what I do)

– when the dough has doubled, give it a good punch.  Or maybe that’s just me?  I don’t know, it’s very satisfying to see it go all deflatey:

pizza2

– knead a little then divide in to quarters.  Roll a ball out, do your pizza topping thing, then cook until you know it’s done  😛

I’ll stick with this recipe as it has worked so well 🙂