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Thursday, September 22, 2016

MY NEW BASIC HOMEMADE VEGAN BURGER MIXTURE (FOR BURGER PATTIES, VEGGIE CRUMBLE & "MEATBALLS")

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Homemade veggie burgers, veggie "meatballs" and veggie "crumble" ready for the freezer









Homemade veggie burger cooked in a counter-top grill
I have been working on this burger mix for a while now, and I am now confident that it's ready to share!

We are not really fond of soft, not to say mushy, veggie burgers.  We like them "meaty" (and I've been a vegan for about 27 years).  Sometimes we buy veggie burgers, but I wanted to invent an easy and inexpensive homemade mixture that could also be used to make a "veggie crumble" for things like Shepherd's Pie and taco filling, as well as veggie "meatballs", which I have always been fond of-- there are so many ways to sauce them and flavor them.  It seems that all the world loves meatballs!

I started with an old recipe from one of my early books, but simplified, multiplied and amplified (in terms of taste).  The results were excellent in the end, and I love having tasty homemade vegan burgers, "meatballs", and veggie crumbles in the freezer for quick meals.

The recipe looks long, but that's only because I've given directions for forming and cooking each type of product you're making, as well as three different cooking options.  It's really a very simple recipe.


Veggie "meatballs" simmered in vegan broth with tofu sour cream and homemade pesto

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S BASIC HOMEMADE VEGAN BURGER MIXTURE (FOR BURGER PATTIES, VEGGIE CRUMBLE & "MEATBALLS")
Servings: 14-16
Yield: about 61 ounces
The mix (before cooking) weighs about 61.4 ounces.  This amount can be made into eight 4.5 oz. burgers + two 12.6 oz. bags of burger "crumble" OR 24 meatballs (1 oz. each)-- or 1 bag of "crumble" and 12 "meatballs". OR you can make it all into 60 "meatballs", OR approximately 5 portions of "crumble", OR 13 large burgers. The recipe can be multiplied.

3 cups dried textured vegetable protein granules (TVP, or textured soy protein granules, or soya mince) 
3 1/3 cups boiling water
Flavoring Mixture:
9 Tbsp (1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs)  soy sauce or Tamari (TIP: I prefer not to use Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which is overly salty and expensive, and lacks the umami kick of a real fermented soy sauce/shoyu, or tamari)
4 1/2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire Sauce
4 1/2 Tbsp ketchup
3 Tbsp oil
1 Tbsp dried marjoram (or 1/2 marjoram and 1/2 basil)
1 1/2  tsp onion powder (TIP: I grind dry onion flakes in a spice grinder-- tastes better, lasts longer and doesn't go rock-hard like purchased onion powder)
1 1/2 tsp garlic granules
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Last Additions:
1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten powder
1 1/2  cups cooked or canned (rinsed and drained) black or pinto beans, mashed coarsely with a fork (NOTE: I haven't tried brown lentils yet, but they would probably work as well.)

To make the Basic Burger Mixture:

In a large bowl, mix the textured soy protein granules with the boiling water and let set while you organize the other ingredients.

Whisk together the ingredients for the Flavoring Mixture.  Stir into the soaked soy protein mix. To thoroughly cool the mixture (which is necessary to prevent the gluten from clumping into "strings"), spread it out on a shallow baking pan and refrigerate until cool.  If you are in a big hurry and have a large freezer, pop the pan in there, but check it regularly to make sure the mixture doesn't freeze.

When the mixture has cooled off so that it is cool to the touch (it doesn't have to be cold), add the vital wheat gluten powder and the mashed beans, and mix well. (I use my hands.)

NOTE: This Burger Mixture can be refrigerated for several days, or even frozen for a few weeks, if you aren't ready to form and cook it.  You can multiply this recipe as you like to make larger quantities for the freezer.

Forming the Burger Mix:

The mix will weigh about 61.4 ounces.  This can be made into eight 4.5 oz. burgers + two 12.6 oz. bags of burger "crumble" OR 24 meatballs (1 oz. each)-- or 1 bag of "crumble" and 12 "meatballs". OR you can make it all into 60 "meatballs", OR approximately 5 portions of "crumble", OR 13 large burgers.

Form the burgers by weighing out 4.5 oz. portions, forming them into balls and then pressing into burger shapes.

Form the "meatballs" by weighing out 1 oz. portions and forming compact balls.

To make the Veggie "Crumble", press each portion of the mixture flat onto a parchment-lined pie plate.

COOKING THE PRODUCTS:

I prefer to cook the products in the microwave oven-- it saves energy. I place the products in parchment-lined Pyrex pie plates or square Pyrex baking dishes. Cover with a Pyrex pot lid that fits (they are easy to find in thrift stores).  But you can also bake or steam the products-- see the directions for different methods below.

Method #1, Microwave:
FOR BURGERS:  I microwave 3 or 4 burgers at a time for 4 minutes, then flip them over using a small silicone cookie spatula (see photo); cover and cook 3 or 4 minutes more.


Carefully use the small spatula to transfer the burgers to a platter or cookie sheet to cool.  They are delicate at this point, but will firm up when cooled.  Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze.  Cook refrigerated or thawed burgers in a lightly-greased skillet, or on an outdoor or counter-top grill, using medium to medium-high heat.

Before cooking

After cooking
FOR "MEATBALLS":  Cook using the same method as for the burgers, keeping a bit of space between the "meatballs".  Cook for 3 minutes on one side, turn over and cook for another 3 minutes.  Transfer the balls to a platter or cookie sheet to cool.  They are delicate at this point, but will firm up when cooled.


When cooled, compress the balls further with your hands-- they will expand when cooked in liquid or a thin sauce.


Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze. I coated the 12 meatballs lightly in flour and simmered them in about 1 cup of "chicken-y" broth at medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the broth reduced to about 1/2 cup; then added vegan sour cream and some homemade pesto-- delicious!







The "meatballs" are tender and moist. You can use your imagination when saucing them-- or improvise using the recipes of many cuisines.

FOR THE VEGGIE "CRUMBLE": This is great to use in "meat loaves"; chile (which we had tonight), taco filling, Shepherd's Pie, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, etc., in place of commercial vegan hamburger replacements, such as Yves "Ground Round".  Press about 12 oz. of the Burger Mix into a parchment-lined Pyrex pie pan, cover and microwave as for the Burgers.  When thoroughly cool, crumble with your fingers and Keep refrigerated for several days, or freeze.

Before cooking

After cooking
Crumbled and ready to cook with or freeze













Method #2, Steaming:
FOR BURGERS AND VEGGIE "CRUMBLE: Steam the burgers, or large "patty/ies" of Veggie "Crumble" (see above), on metal or bamboo steamer baskets over simmering water for 20 minutes. (Make sure to spray the steamer basket with oil first, or line with cooking parchment with a few holes poked in it).  Handle and cool as directed above under microwave directions.

FOR "MEATBALLS": "Meatballs" should only take about 10 minutes steaming, as directed above. Handle as directed above under microwave directions.

Method #3, Baking:
FOR ALL THE PRODUCTS: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place a shallow pan of hot water on the lowest rack. Place whichever shape or product you are making on parchment-lined baking sheets. Cover loosely with foil, not touching the tops of the patties, but sealed around the edges of the pan(s).  When the oven comes up to temperature, bake for 20 minutes. They will cook in their own steam. Handle and cool as directed above under microwave directions.


Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 149 calories, 27 calories from fat, 3g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 604mg sodium, 143.8mg potassium, 12.6g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 18.2g protein, 3.9 points.

NOTES:

BRANDS OF REASONABLY-PRICED ORGANIC TEXTURED SOY PROTEIN AVAILABLE IN BOTH CANADA AND THE USA (try amazon.com or .ca)
(This type of product is called "Soya Mince" in the UK and other British Commonwealth countries.)

Bob's Red Mill Organic TSP

Now Foods Textured Soy Protein Granules-Certified Organic

***If you live in Canada, in a city with a "Bulk Barn" (a Nova Scotia-based bulk food store chain), you can order 10 kg bags of "Minced TVP" at a very reasonable price (even if your store doesn't stock it), and it keeps very well.  It is a product from Grain Process Enterprises in Scarborough, Ontario, which was listed on the "Oh She Glows" blog under "Organic Wholesalers": http://ohsheglows.com/2011/03/06/how-to-save-money-on-your-grocery-bill/

Enjoy! 


Sunday, September 4, 2016

PENNE WITH SPICY VEGAN TOMATO-CREAM SAUCE AND ROASTED CAULIFLOWER

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You might have noticed that I've taken a break from blogging recently.  This was primarily due to a summer of many visitors, but also some lack of inspiration.  However, I hope that the autumn will bring some of that back.  To be truthful, I've been working on a few cooking projects, which I will be reporting on soon-- an easy homemade hamburger replacement that can be made into crumbles, burgers and "meatballs"; an easy, creamy homemade soy yogurt; some bread discoveries.... stay tuned.

*************

We had the following dish for dinner tonight.  It's an old favorite that I somehow have never posted before. It's a one-dish meal that's creamy, spicy and delicious. I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do.

















Printable Copy

BRYANNA'S PENNE WITH SPICY VEGAN TOMATO-CREAM SAUCE AND ROASTED CAULIFLOWER
Serves: 6

1  lb dried penne rigate
2 lb. cauliflower, trimmed and cut into small florets
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp chile flakes
28 oz can tomatoes in thick juice (whole or diced-- if they are whole, mash them up roughly)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups vegan cream (So Delicious Original Coconut Coffee Cream is my favorite, or sometimes I blend 3/4 cup silken tofu with 3/4 cup vegan milk until smooth)
vegan parmesan substitute, homemade or storebought (I like Go Veggie! brand)

Boil the penne in plenty of salted water for about 10 minutes or til al dente.  Drain and cool with cold running water. Set aside.
NOTE: We save energy by boiling water in an electric kettle and pouring it over the pasta in a large pot.  You only need about 2 qts.  Bring it back to a boil, turn off the heat, cover and let sit 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Place the cauliflower florets on a large cookie sheet and spray with a bit of oil; sprinkle with salt. dribble about 1/2 cup water into the pan.  Place under the broiler on the third rack down.  When the florets begin to brown turn them over, spray with a bit more oil and sprinkle with a bit more water and broil again until they are just tender.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or stir-fry pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile flakes and turn the heat up to high.  Stir the garlic briefly (don't burn it!) and then add the canned tomatoes and thick juice, and the salt.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium and cook for several minutes, until they reduce a bit.  Add the cauliflower and stir.  Then add the vegan cream and stir thoroughly.  Simmer gently for a few minutes, then stir in the drained penne and heat gently.


Serve immediately with vegan parmesan.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 436 calories, 64 calories from fat, 7.1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 374.7mg sodium, 770.7mg potassium, 73.9g carbohydrates, 7.9g fiber, 11.5g sugar, 13.8g protein, 11.4 points.

Enjoy!



Monday, August 15, 2016

SPICY INDIAN-STYLE GOLDEN PLUM CHUTNEY

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There is an abundance of yellow plums on our island right now, it seems.  I was gifted with a bag of them and we couldn't eat them all.  I decided to make chutney out of the remainder, but I didn't really want to make the usual British/American-style sweet and vinegar-y type with dried fruit in it. I wanted one that had Indian spices in it and a little heat.

I came up with one that we really love!  It's easy to make and is a great accompaniment to samosas, dosa (Indian grain and bean crepes) and any number of other yummy, snacky items. It contains NO vinegar-- the acidity in the plums is just perfect.

I cooked down the chutney in an open Pyrex batter bowl in the microwave. I've made small batches of jam and marmalade this way and it worked well. It also saves energy (appliances like microwaves take less energy than stove burners). But you can cook it on the stovetop if you prefer.

I'm sure that purple plums and other soft fruits could be used in this recipe, as well.


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S SPICY GOLDEN PLUM CHUTNEY
Yield: 5 half-pint jars
The flavoring is a tadka-- tempered spices quickly in hot oil. Oil-fried spices are said to have a brighter and fresher aroma than dry-roasted spices. PS: Next time I'm going to try adding the tadka after cooking down the chutney and see if it makes a difference in flavor.  Will report back.

Tadka:
1/4 cup liquid oil of choice
1 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
3 Tbsp chopped pickled (sliced) jalapeno peppers
Other Ingredients:
6 cups chopped pitted golden (yellow) plums
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/2  cup light-colored organic unbleached sugar
3 Tbsp grated fresh ginger root
1/2  Tbsp salt
1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the mustard and fennel seed.  When it begins to pop, turn heat to Low and add the cumin seeds and chopped jalapeno peppers.  Cover and cook for about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.


Mix together the chopped pitted plums and both kinds of sugar in a microwave-safe  2 qt. batter bowl.  Stir in the ginger, salt, turmeric and the tadka.



Microwave the mixture on High for about 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture and microwave for about 10 more minutes, or until the mixture has thickened, the seeds are suspended evenly in the mixture (rather than mostly floating towards the top), and the level of the mixture is at about 5 cups.


IF YOU PREFER TO COOK THE CHUTNEY IN A POT ON THE STOVETOP, heat to boiling in a medium pot, then turn down to a simmer. Simmer the mixture until it has reduced to about 5 cups and has thickened.

Pour into sterilized half-pint jars and screw on the caps. I froze mine, but they can be water-bath canned for 10 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 2 Tbsp. serving): 41 calories, 14 calories from fat, 1.6g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 96.3mg sodium, 56mg potassium, 7.1g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 6.3g sugar, less than 1g protein, 1.2 points.


Enjoy!



Friday, July 29, 2016

A NEW, COLORFUL BROCCOLI AND WHITE BEAN SALAD

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Golden oregano in flower
***

While I was picking oregano, I spotted this little green tree frog nestling in an old oyster shell on the deck railing.  He has since been spotted there (and under the shell, as well) several times.



****
This salad was was made with ingredients that I need to use up. I wanted to make a luncheon salad for the two of us, plus a visitor. In the refrigerator I found small amounts of my favorite homemade balsamic vinaigrette and homemade low-fat vegan mayo left, some leftover lightly-steamed broccoli, a few slices of veggie "bacon", a couple of little mini English cucumbers, 1/2 a red onion and slightly less than 2 cups of home-cooked white beans. I also had a jar of pitted Kalamata olives, which I love. I had fresh golden (miniature) oregano (which was flowering nicely) and chives out on the deck, and a few handfuls of grape tomatoes left. It all sounded like it would make a great, crunchy, colorful new  salad, and it did!  I'll be making it again, and I hope you'll enjoy it, too.


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S BROCCOLI AND WHITE BEAN SALAD
Servings: 4

1 1/2  cups (or 1 15 oz can) white beans (white kidney, Great Northern or cannellini), rinsed and drained
2 cups lightly-cooked broccoli (al dente), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
2 small edible-peel cucumbers, sliced
8 to 12 red grape tomatoes (or more to your taste) cut into quarters
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 slices veggie "bacon" or "ham", slivered (your favorite)-- you can leave this out if you prefer
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves (NOT powdered)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dressing:
6 Tbsp of your favorite vinaigrette-- I like a balsamic vinaigrette (See my favorite vinaigrette recipe below)
1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise (See my delicious low-fat oil-free homemade version and a link to a nut-free version here.)
Garnish (optional)
chopped fresh chives or the green part of green onions/scallions
chive flowers

Place all of the salad ingredients (except the Dressing ingredients) in a salad bowl.

Whisk together the vinaigrette and the mayonnaise until smooth.  Pour the dressing into the bowl of salad ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly.  Serve at room temperature or slightly cold.  Garnish each serving as desired.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 268 calories, 72 calories from fat, 8.2g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 692.4mg sodium, 778.5mg potassium, 33.9g carbohydrates, 11.5g fiber, 3.4g sugar, 18.3g protein, 7.8 points.

Auxiliary Recipes:

Bryanna's Favorite Low-Fat Balsamic Dressing:
(Yield 1 3/4 cups)


1 cup aquafaba (chickpea cooking water) or Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings (see recipe below)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar (Costco's Kirkland brand is an excellent supermarket version)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt

Whisk, shake, or blend the ingredients together well, bottle and store in the refrigerator.


Bryanna's Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings:
(Yield: 1 cup)


Use this simple mixture in place of oil in salad dressing recipes. Unlike plain juice or water, it will help the dressing stick to the greens. This recipe is easily multiplied. NOTE: Other options instead of this mixture-- cooking liquid from cooking chickpeas or white beans.

1 cup water
1 tablespoon low-sodium vegetarian broth powder
2 teaspoons cornstarch (organic variety is available)

Whisk the broth powder and starch into the cold water in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and clear.

Microwave Option: In a microwave-safe pitcher or bowl with room to bubble up (4-cup capacity), whisk the ingredients together.  Microwave on High for 1 minute.  Whisk and repeat twice, or until the mixture is thickened and clear.

Use immediately in a salad dressing, or store in a covered jar and refrigerate.

Enjoy!


Monday, July 18, 2016

MY VEGAN CHORIZO RECIPE AND VEGAN CHORIZO & POTATO TACOS

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Once again, I apologize for posting so infrequently.  I guess I'm being a lazy cook these days!  In my defense, however, we have had some exciting family times lately-- I just became a great-grandmother for the first time! Here is my great-grandson Westen, at just a day old:


Mama (my granddaughter) and daddy and baby are doing wonderfully well, I'm happy to say, and have lots of family support on all sides.

Now that things are settling down, couple of days ago I decided to make some of my homemade vegan chorizo, and I realized that I've never posted the recipe.  It's pretty easy to make and you can freeze excess for another meal-- something I do whenever possible.

I know that commercial vegan chorizo is available in many places, especially in the USA, but, where I live it's hard to find and expensive when we do find it.  I use delicious and spicy Field Roast Chipotle sausages when we can get them, but I don't always have them on hand.

My recipe is not gluten-free or soy-free, just so you know. (I developed a Tempeh chorizo for a magazine article, if you would prefer that.  See http://www.alive.com/recipe/tempeh-chorizo/) I generally use Yves Veggie "Ground Round" (the plain variety) for this recipe, but other varieties would be fine, I'm sure. Using vegetarian “hamburger crumbles” in the recipe gives this vegan chorizo the "coarse grind” feeling that I remember from eating chorizo in California when I was growing up.

BTW, I chose to form the chorizo into patties rather than "links" because it seems to work better.

I made some easy and delicious Potato-Chorizo Tacos with some of the chorizo, which we enjoyed two nights in a row, and froze the rest for another meal.  I'll give the general recipe for the tacos below the chorizo recipe, and also how to make a delicious vegan Mexican-style Crema.


Printable Copy

BRYANNA’S VEGAN "CHORIZO"
Yield: Makes 14 pattiesGreat with scrambled tofu and many other recipes.

4 cups vegetarian “hamburger crumbles” (such as  2 pckgs. Yves “Ground Round”) OR use crumbled veggie burgers of your choice (the more "meaty-textured" variety)
12 oz firm tofu, mashed
6 Tbs red wine vinegar 
2 Tbs dry red wine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cornmeal
Seasoning Mixture:
8 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbs paprika
2 Tbs pureed or mashed canned chile chipotle in adobo sauce (See my note and photo below about how I store leftover chipotles from a can.)
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cinnamon

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together well with your hands.  



Form into about 14 patties. (I use an English muffin ring to form mine.)


Cook the patties in batches in a covered, preheated large heavy skillet (I prefer well-seasoned cast iron), or pancake griddle (stovetop or electric), or in a roomy electric skillet, over medium heat for about 5 minutes per side. (Don't crowd them.) Carefully (the patties are rather fragile when hot), remove the patties to a platter and refrigerate to firm them up.

To store for later use
, layer them with cooking parchment in a rigid container and refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze them. To eat immediately (with scrambled tofu, for instance), quickly heat them up over medium heat in a heavy preheated skillet.  Break them up with your scramble, if you like, or serve intact, as you would any sausage.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per patty): 91 calories, 14 calories from fat, 1.8g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 655.2mg sodium, 340.6mg potassium, 9.1g carbohydrates, 3.7g fiber, 1.4g sugar, 11.6g protein, 2.7 points.

NOTE:
To store canned chipotles in adobo sauce for future use,
I freeze each chile with some of the sauce in a section of an ice cube tray. When they are frozen solid, a loosen them and remove them from the ice cube tray and store them in a freezer container or zipper-lock bag in the freezer.





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TO MAKE THE POTATO-CHORIZO TACOS:



Tacos de Papas con Chorizo are common in Mexico and there are many recipes for it.  I made a very simple version.

I used two soft, warm corn tortillas for each taco. The following made 8 tacos.  

For the Filling, I sautéed a medium onion, chopped small, in a little dark sesame oil and then added 8 of the cooked Chorizo patties, crumbled coarsely, and a couple of tablespoons of chopped pickled jalapeño peppers from a jar, and kept sautéing for a few minutes.  Then I added about 3/4 lb. of diced thin-skinned potatoes which I had briefly microwaved until firm but cooked through.

Toppings: I had no avocado or red salsa, and we had a big salad on the side, so I didn't add extra vegetables (such as shredded cabbage).  For the only toppings, I used some homemade green salsa that a friend had made from her homegrown tomatillos (I added some of the pickled jalapeño brine to make it a bit spicier) and some homemade vegan Crema.

Mexican Crema is runnier than sour cream and not quite as sour.  I used half my recipe for Tofu Sour Creme (made with extra-firm silken tofu) with 1/2 cup added soymilk and another 1/2 tsp organic sugar.  You could also use my recipe (the whole recipe) for Cashew Sour Creme, if you prefer.  I love this Crema-- so rich-tasting and smooth, and not loaded with fat.

Delicious and messy!

Enjoy!


Sunday, June 26, 2016

CREAMY VEGAN LEMON ICE CREAM WITH WILD PLUM JAM SWIRL (with nut-free alternative)

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I do apologize for blogging do seldom lately!  A combination of lack of inspiration, attempting to sort through the accumulation of belongings after being in this house for 18 years and get rid of what is not needed, and various family stuff (including, I'm so sorry to say, a death in the family) has kept my cooking to a fairly simple minimum.

I'm happy to say that the early summer produce available locally and the need to use up bounty stored in the freezer and in jars from last year has inspired me  somewhat. This last is what inspired me to make this ice cream.

My granddaughter and her partner and her dad are coming over today for lunch (my husband is doing a photo shoot of her because she is due to have her baby in about 2 weeks!), and I wanted to make a nice dessert to come after the vegan chile, cornbread and salad.  I immediately thought of something lemony because I had 5 lemons that I needed to use up and lemon ice cream came to mind-- creamy, slightly tart. Just the thing.  But then I remembered the jar of my homemade Italian Wild Plum Jam (recipe here) in the refrigerator that I had made last year. I thought it would be perfect swirled through the ice cream, a color and taste contrast. (There are some suggested alternatives in the recipe if you don't have anything similar, BTW,  so don't let not having plum jam handy put you off!)

So, here is the result and very fine it is, in my opinion.  Let's see what my guests think...


Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S CREAMY VEGAN LEMON ICE CREAM WITH WILD PLUM JAM SWIRL (with nut-free alternative)
Servings: 10
This is easy to make, creamy and  refreshing!

1 cup raw cashews (see Tips below for nut-free alternative)
2 1/2 cups creamy non-dairy milk (I prefer Silk original Organic Soy Milk)
1 cup unbleached organic sugar (light-colored)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup grated lemon zest
NOTE: I used 5 medium lemons in total
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum OR 2 1/2 tsp. Instant Clear Jel (use only the instant)
OPTIONAL: 2 T. vodka, white vermouth-- the alcohol prevents the ice cream from freezing rock solid
For the Swirl:
1/3-1/2 cup wild plum jam (see Tips below for alternatives)

Cover the cashews with boiling water and let stand for at least 10 minutes, while you prepare the other ingredients. When you are ready to mix them with other ingredients, drain them well.

Combine all of the ingredients (EXCEPT the jam) in a high-speed blender, including the soaked and well-drained cashews. Blend at high speed until very smooth and creamy.

Chill until the mixture is very cold.  Freeze according to the directions for your ice cream maker.  (I use a Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet, and Ice Cream Maker and it took about 20 minutes freezing time.)

Have ready a 2-quart rectangular glass, metal or ceramic baking pan (9 x 13"), or a rectangular 2-quart freezer storage container, which you have placed in the freezer while the ice cream maker does its work.

When the mixture is creamy but frozen, spread it into your frozen pan or container. For the swirl, drop blobs of the jam in two lines down the length of the ice cream.  Take a table knife and swirl it into the ice cream. Cover and freeze for several hours before serving.



Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 219 calories, 60 calories from fat, 7.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 77.8mg sodium, 208.4mg potassium, 35.9g carbohydrates, 1.4g fiber, 28.7g sugar, 4.4g protein, 6.3 points.

Tips
NUT-FREE ALTERNATIVE:

Omit the cashews and the non-dairy milk and use instead 3 1/2 cups of your favorite dairy-free creamer, but don't use a sweet or flavored variety.  My favorites are So Delicious Original Coconutmilk Creamer and Silk Original Soy Creamer.

ABOUT THE JAM:
You can use any not-too-sweet plum jam, or other not-too-sweet dark-colored home-style fruit jam if you have no wild plum jam. If your jam is very solid, you may need to water it down a little so that it swirls nicely.  You could use water or even a little plum slivovitz or schnapps to thin it out, if you like.

My Italian-Style Wild Plum Jam recipe is here: http://veganfeastkitchen.blogspot.ca/2007/09/jewel-like-tangy-sweet-italian-plum-jam.html
and there is a recipe for plum jam made with any type of plum here:
http://pickyourown.org/plumjam.htm
This Canadian website shows some types of commercially made home-style jams of a less common type than are generally available: http://edelweissimports.com/specialty-food/jams-spreads.html?p=1 ,  including Bonne Maman Mirabelles Plum Jam
I have seen these jams in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty stores. Amazon also carries various gourmet plum jams.

Enjoy!


Saturday, June 11, 2016

VEGAN QUICHE LORRAINE

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I've been working on this recipe for weeks now (which is one reason why I haven't blogged lately) and I think I have finally nailed it.  Quiche Lorraine (made with eggs and milk and bacon or ham) was one of my go-to dishes many years ago.  We always had it for Christmas breakfast, and on many other occasions.   It was great warm or cold and you could easily take it for a packed lunch.

I have made many vegan quiches over the years that we have enjoyed, some my own inventions, some from others, but I still have a hankering for Quiche Lorraine.  It's French, of course. North Americans often add cheese and/or onions to his quiche, but the classic version does not contain either, and that's what I was after.  In any case, I found that adding vegan cheese to the filling mix didn't really add much in the way of flavor and it stiffened up the filling too much.  I have also found that in many vegan quiche recipes result in a filling that is too thick, grainy or paste-y, so I was going for a more silky, delicate texture.

I tried several times with my own homemade Tofu Bacon, which we love, but the flavor was just too overwhelming for this quiche.  That is why I recommend a commercial vegan "bacon" or "ham" (or a homemade seitan "ham"), lightly sauteed in a little dark sesame oil, instead.

**I may cut down the amount of agar powder next time I make it (I added that option to the ingredient list) just to make the filling a bit more delicate, and I'll see which we prefer.**


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BRYANNA'S VEGAN QUICHE LORRAINE
Makes one 9" quiche     Serves 4 to 6



9" pie shell (recipe below)
3 oz. thinly-sliced vegan "ham" or commercial vegan "bacon" product
2 tsp. dark sesame oil
1 1/4 cups creamy non-dairy milk (I prefer soymilk)
1 cup medium-firm tofu or extra-firm Silken tofu (2/3 of a 12 oz. tetra pak)
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp. "chicken-style" vegan broth powder or paste
1 1/2 T. Bird's custard powder (no vanilla!) OR 1 1/2 T. cornstarch plus a pinch of turmeric for color
1/2 tsp. agar powder (If the quiche is too firm for your liking, use a little less agar next time.)
1/2 tsp. salt or Indian "black salt" (which has an egg-y flavor)
a pinch of ground nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 400°F.

Pre-bake the crust (prick the dough all over with a fork) for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven to a cooling rack.


Cut the vegan "ham" or "bacon" slices into about 1" pieces.  Brown the pieces over medium-high heat in the sesame oil until lightly browned, but not crispy. 



Blend the remaining ingredients well in the blender and pour over vegan "ham" or "bacon" pieces in the crust.  

Bake for 10 minutes, then cover the whole pie with a piece of baking parchment cut to fit (this keeps the top of the quiche from getting too brown and prevents the crust from burning) and bake 25 minutes more. Remove the quiche from the oven to a cooling rack and remove the baking parchment.



The quiche needs to be cooled down a bit before slicing-- we prefer it at room temperature.  It can be refrigerated for several days, if necessary.

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BRYANNA’S LOW-FAT OIL PASTRY
Makes one 9" crust
Although this crust does contain fat, it has about half that of ordinary pastry, and it uses oil rather than hard fat.  Divided into 8 servings, each piece with either a bottom OR a top crust (not both) and a fat-free filling will contain 5 g of fat.
The pastry flour and soured non-dairy milk make a tender crust that no one will guess is low-fat.

1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. MINUS 1 T. (7 T.) whole wheat pastry flour
3 T. oil (I like olive oil)-- if you have time, measure it & freeze for an hour or so.
3 T. plain soy, nut or hemp milk (or a plain vegan creamer) with 1/2 tsp. lemon juice added
3/8 tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. baking powder
3/8 tsp. sugar

Mix the flours in a medium bowl with the salt, baking powder and sugar.  Drizzle the oil into the flour mixture and cut the oil in gently with a fork so that it “beads up” with the flour (see photo).


Add the milk/lemon juice mixture:


and stir gently with a fork until it holds together in a loose ball.  (If it's too dry, sprinkle with a TINY bit of water.)  


If you have time, place the dough in a plastic bag and refrigerate it for an hour before rolling out, but it works fine without chilling.  Roll out on a silicone mat, using as little flour as possible,  and bake as you would an ordinary crust.






Enjoy!