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Pancakes

November 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Life has been busy lately.  I’ve taken on a restaurant management job with a major hotel chain, and as ironic as it is, I’ve had very little time to get into the kitchen (the SwapMeat kitchen that is).  This pattern will hopefully change now that I’ve got my bearings. I still have a plethora recipes to veganize from my trip to Spain, not to mention some of the favourites from my restaurant.

Since I’m working the closing shift in the restaurant tonight, I figured a carbo-load is in order .  It’s Friday night and we will be running!  I had yet to try out our new griddle, so I thought I’d whip up a batch of vegan pancakes this morning.  Coffee helps too.

Yields:  8 x 3″ sized pancakes (2 substantial servings)
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  approximately 6 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour (I’ve used spelt flour)*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons agave

*spelt is actually a derivative of wheat and of course contains gluten.  You can substitute kamut flour here to avoid wheat all together.  These pancakes are not gluten-free.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil and agave.  Cooks tip:  use the same measuring spoon for the agave after using it for the oil, and the agave won’t stick to the spoon!

Heat a griddle to 350F, or alternately heat some oil in a saute pan. If using a non-stick griddle like I am, no oil is required.

Pour the batter onto the griddle in 1/4 cup portions.  As the pancakes cook, tiny bubbles will begin to form.  When bubbles reach the center, the pancake is ready to flip. 

This pancakes is ALMOST ready to flip. Wait until the bubbles fully burst and the top of the cake isn't so wet.

Cook for another 3-4 minutes (until golden on the opposite side) and serve hot with Earth Balance and maple syrup!

Recipe adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

That’s a hot stack!

Foodbuzz 24×24 Vegan and Gluten Free Brunch

May 1st, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

A couple of months ago, Jason and I were relocated to a hotel after our condo was flooded due to a fire in a neighboring suite. Eight weeks later, it’s great to be back, enjoying our neighborhood, home and refurbished kitchen! While considering ways to celebrate our homecoming, I stumbled upon the Foodbuzz 24×24, and put together a meal submission. Loving a challenge, I not only decided to submit a vegan and gluten-free brunch menu but also compiled a guest list consisting of friends who aren’t necessarily “sold” on vegan and/or gluten-free fare! My goal was to put together a winning menu with beautifully flavorful ingredients that squash the misconceptions of vegan and gluten-free cuisine. It’s not cardboard, people! Seriously!

On the menu:

Banana Bread French Toast with Coconut Whipped Cream
Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche with Slow Roasted Garlic Cherry Tomatoes
Country in the City Sausage Links
Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and Sweet Yams
Pecan Shortbread with Fresh Fruit Salad
Blood Orange Champagne Cocktail
Spicy Bloody Mary

Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and Sweet Yams

May 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Breakfast just isn’t complete without hash browns.  I love them.  For brunch I decided to make them a little special by adding some sweet yams for both flavour and colour.

Ingredients

5-6 waxy potatoes
2 large yams
1 onion
3-4 cloves garlic
grapeseed oil for roasting
fresh parsley

I prepped the potatoes and yams the day before brunch by peeling, washing and cutting them into about 2″ cubes.  Boil the potatoes until tender (about 6-8 minutes).  Drain the water, cool the potatoes and cut into approximately 1/2″ cubes.

Dice the onion and mince the garlic.  Toss with the prepared potatoes and spread into a roasting pan.  Drizzle with grapeseed oil and bake at 400F for approximately 30 minutes, turning 3 or 4 times to brown all sides.

When the potatoes are cooked and golden, sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley and serve aside your breakfast favourites.

Wild Mushroom and Asparagus Quiche

May 1st, 2011 § 10 comments § permalink

The original recipe for the Quiche’s batter can be found at Vegalicious Recipes.  I’ve altered a few things from the original recipe and added a few of my favourite Quiche vegetables. I’ve also used a vegan, gluten-free pie crust.  I found it really difficult to develop a gluten-free pastry recipe that was similar to a wheat crust (and tender and flakey like a wheat crust).  In the end, I chose to use a flour mix from the Gluten Free Pantry that was formulated for a pie crust.  It worked beautifully and took the guess-work out of the flour ratios.
1 x 9″ wheat free pie crust
1/4 cup pesto
2 cups wild mushrooms
1/2 lb fresh asparagus
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
8 tablespoons chickpea flour
5 tablespoons non-dairy milk (I’ve used unsweetened almond)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tomato, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Daiya cheddar cheese

Slow roasted Garlic Cherry Tomatoes for the top

Preheat the oven to 400 (F).

For the slow roasted tomatoes, slice 2 baskets of sweet cherry or grape tomatoes and place in a roasting pan.  Chop 6-8 cloves of garlic and toss into the tomatoes with a little olive oil.  Slow roast at 250F for about 2 hours.

In a saute pan, saute the asparagus until al-dente. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Santee the mushrooms until they start to sweat and lose their liquid.

In a blender, mix the chickpea flour, water, soy milk, vinegar, salt and pepper, nutritional yeast, and tomato.  Puree until it is a smooth batter.

Cover the bottom of the raw pie shell with a layer of fresh pesto. Place the sautéed vegetables in the bottom of the pie shell and sprinkle with Daiya cheese.  Pour the batter over the vegetables.

Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the batter becomes solid.

Top with roasted cherry tomatoes and enjoy!

Banana Bread French Toast

May 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s just a good idea.

Ingredients

1 loaf of Banana Bread
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
pinch of salt

Place all ingredients (except the bread) into a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a large shallow bowl and set aside

Slice the bread into 10 medium slices.  I find that this recipe is hard to make in a pan.  I have used a non-stick griddle which browns the toast perfectly and you can make several pieces as once.  Submerge the bread slices in the batter and place onto the hot griddle.  Cook until golden brown, flip and cook on the reverse side.  Serve immediately with sliced fresh banana and coconut cream (and maple syrup if you so desire).

To make the coconut cream:

The trick to whipping coconut milk is to make sure the cream is very cold.  I placed two 15oz cans of premium coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.  Scoop off the solid coconut cream and place in your mixer bowl.  I set aside the un-solidified coconut water/milk and used it in the batter recipe above.   In a mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the cream with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 8-12  of stevia (depending on how sweet you like it).

*Original recipe for Vegan French toast was reference from the Rebar modern food cookbook.

THE BEST Gluten Free Banana Bread

May 1st, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

My original plan was to use a vegan and gluten-free brioche with a French Toast Recipe. After several attempts, I kind of threw in the towel, discovering that brioche is incredibly labour intensive and not easily replicated with gluten-free flours. I won’t call myself defeated as of yet; I’ve simply put the brioche challenge on the back burner for a little while.
This being said, I began searching for a different bread to use in the recipe. Remembering a version of Banana Bread French Toast on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, I figured that I’d give it a whirl.  Luckily, I found a great little recipe for Brown Rice Flour Banana Bread in La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer. It bakes up beautifully!  By doubling the recipe, adding xanthan gum to avoid it crumbling to pieces, increasing the amount of baking powder I think it’s just right.  Brioche shmioche. Banana bread is where it’s at…

For the Banana Bread:

2 over-ripe bananas
1/2 cup grapeseed oil or coconut oil
2/3 cups maple syrup
3 tsp energy egg-replacer
4 tbsp water
4 tbsp non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups brown rice flour (you could also use an all purpose gluten free flour here)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350F.  This loaf will take about 50 minutes to bake, so you want to make sure you allow yourself enough time in order to get French toast on the table.  I made mine the day before and stored int he fridge until it was time to make the toast.

Place the first 7 ingredients in the food processor (up to and including the vanilla) and blend until smooth.

In a medium-sized bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.  Chop the pecans and combine well.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir until JUST combined.  You do not want to over stir this batter as it will create tunnels in the bread when baking and you’ll end up with a heavy loaf.  If you have a few uncombined flour bits…that’s ok.  The secret is minimal stirring.

Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown and if you insert a knife into the center it comes out clean.

Cool for at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan, and another 15 minutes before slicing!

Country in the City Breakfast Links

May 1st, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I am often inspired by the Food Network’s tv show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. One of my favourite episodes is when the host visits a restaurant in Hawaii that is solely devoted to hot dogs and sausages.

While there are many vegan sausage products on the market, several contain red dye #1 and/or have the consistency of rubber. My version, however, stands a chance.

 

15 oz can of black-eyed peas washed and drained
1/2 cup rice flour
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 or 2 dashes crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon basil (or 5 or 6 leaves of fresh basil)
1 or 2 sprigs parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon sage
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Combine everything in a food processor and only half the rice.  Pulse until the ingredients are just combined.  you don’t want to make the mixture totally smooth.  Add the remaining rice and combine until well mixed.  Taste and season with salt and pepper as necessary.

Portion the batter into 1/4 cup portions and roll on a cutting board into sausage-like cylinders.

Cook in hot oil in a fry pan, turning until all sides are golden brown.  Serve with your breakfast favourites.


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