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Vegan Koulourakia (Easter Cookies)

Over the last month, Facebook has been abuzz with talk of using the liquid from a can of beans (Aqua Faba) to make meringue. (totally works!) Last week, Somer, from Vedged Out, tested the liquid as an egg replacement in baking, and made the best vegan chocolate chip cookies. Her success inspired me to try making koulourakia, an old favourite. I haven’t had them since going vegan, and am so happy with the results.

If you want to try Aqua Faba in your favourite recipe, 3Tbl liquid = 1 egg

If you want to check out all of the amazing things people are doing with Aqua Faba, visit the Vegan Meringues Facebook page.

Vegan Koulourakia

This recipe makes 5.5 dozen (I quartered the original recipe).

Ingredients:

1C Sugar

2tsp baking powder

1/4tsp salt

1/4tsp cinnamon

3C flour (you may need up to a cup more)

Juice of 1/4 orange

1 stick butter (Earth Balance), melted

1/3 shot brandy (Metaxa if you have it)

1/2C + 1Tbl Aqua Faba

Olive Oil

Sesame seeds

Combine sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon. Add butter, orange juice, and brandy, mix well. Add Aqua Faba. Add flour. You want this dough to be dry enough to roll into a snake. If your dough is still sticky after you’ve added 4 cups, put the dough in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.

Roll into snakes, and twist them in half, then twist again. I fit 4×4 cookies on a cookie sheet (average size). Brush with olive oil and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Bake at 350*F for 18 minutes, or until slightly golden.

IMG_3722

 

VeganMoFo Sweet Focaccia

I love focaccia, but have never made it myself. When I heard of sweet focaccia, I decided I had to try it myself. It’s a thin, sweet focaccia topped with fruit. Currently fresh in my yard are peaches and apples. So, I made a ginger peach and a cinnamon apple focaccia.

focaccia on kohlrabiandquince.wordpress.com

 

For the bread itself, I used the sweet focaccia recipe from the cookbook Focaccia by Carol Field.

For the apple topping:

4 cups chopped apples per 12″ focaccia round

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp olive oil (enough to brush the edges of the bread)

To assemble – spread apples over dough. Be sure to drizzle any remaining liquid over the apples. After you pull it from the oven, brush edges of bread with olive oil.

 

For the peach topping:

1 C sliced peaches per 12″ focaccia round

a sprinkle of nutmeg

a sprinkle of ginger

1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of your peaches)

2 tablespoons olive oil

To assemble – brush olive oil over dough. Place peaches in a spiral on dough. Sprinkle nutmeg, ginger, and sugar over top. Once you pull the bread from the oven, brush olive oil over edges of bread.

peach focaccia slice on kohlrabiandquince.wordpress.com

Vegan MoFo: Thankful Thursday

Happy Thursday! For my first Thankful Thursday, I want to express my gratitude for the food growers of the country. They’re passionate about what they do, they don’t get nearly enough love and they work harder than most of us could ever imagine. Please, go to your farmers market or your local farm, and thank a grower.

I’m completely spoiled. I live just outside California’s Central Valley, so I have the opportunity to eat local and have a relationship with growers in the area. I try to hit the farmer’s markets as often as I can, I try to visit local farms in the area, and, lucky for us, Fresno State has an amazing farm on campus with a fantastic farm store.

During the long, fruitless winter months, I long for summer produce. It doesn’t matter what the calendar says, summer starts when cherries are in season. From there, I look forward to tomatoes and corn (Fresno State grows the best. It’s not organic, but it is GMO-free). Then summer squash and peppers. I know the end of summer is near with the Fay Elberta peach crop. They signal the beginning of peach season, and my favourite time of year. Around the beginning of August, the Fay Elbertas are available. They’re only around for about a week, and they can be hard to find, but, they are the best peaches on the planet. If you can find some, it’s worth the hunt. Once peach season begins, I have about 6 weeks to gorge myself on locally grown peaches. So far this season, I’ve had 6 different varieties (and still, there are more to be had!). I eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. One of my favourite desserts is pandowdy. Mostly because halfway through baking, I get to smash the crust into the pie.

Endless Pandowdy

Endless Pandowdy

Tonight, instead of the traditional pie-shaped pandowdy, I made a 9×11 massive pandowdy.

Summer Peach Pandowdy (adapted from my peach pie filling recipe)

4 lbs peaches

3Tbl tapioca starch

1/3 C sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

a shake of nutmeg

Your favourite pie crust (I can’t lie, I was too lazy to make my own tonight. I used a frozen one)

Mix filling ingredients and add to pan. Lay your crust over the filling and bake at 425 for about 20 minutes. Pull the pan out of the oven and turn the oven down to 350. Slice the crust into 1 inch diamonds (like baklava!). Take a spoon and smash (gently) the diamonds into the filling.

Return it to the oven and bake at 350 for 28 minutes.

Cucumber Ice Cream

Right now, my most prolific garden plant is the cucumber. I’ve been eating them (and drinking them) like crazy.

This means I’ve felt the need to get creative with them, so, today, I made ice cream. It’s awesome. Sweet and cucumbery with a hint of ginger and vanilla. Next time, I’ll make sure I have candied ginger in the house and I’ll throw a handful of it into the ice cream instead of the ground ginger.

Cucumber Ice Cream

2 6inch cucumbers

2TBL powdered sugar

2TBL Dark Agave Syrup

2tsp ground ginger

2C non-dairy creamer (I actually used 2C of Rich’s Non-dairy Whipped Topping, and liquid Soyatoo would work just fine too)

Blend cucumbers in food processor until you have a smooth, thick liquid. It should be 1-1.5 cups of thick liquid. Process powdered sugar, agave, and ginger until mixed well.

Fold in whipped topping. (You can whip it up a bit, which will make for an awesome fluffy ice cream)

Add to ice cream maker for 30ish minutes, or until frozen.

VeganMoFo – IRON CHEF CHALLENGE!

It’s the weekend, and it’s VeganMoFo, which means, it’s IRON CHEF WEEKEND! I missed the last one because I was camping, but, this is my favourite VeganMoFo event. I love a good food challenge.

 

This weekend’s ingredients – coffee and bananas.

My dish – Mocha Banana Bread Pudding

Happily, this dish has enough coffee in it to please coffee lovers, but not so much that it’ll scare away coffee haters. If you want it to taste more like coffee, it’ll taste great with more added.

Ingredients:

1Loaf Sweet French bread

2 cups of your favourite vegan creamer (I actually used some Rich’s vegan whipped topping, un-whipped. If you like Soyatoo or can get your hands on Rich’s use it)

2 of your favourite plant milk

1C sugar

1/4C Earth Balance, melted

2T EnerG + 1/2C water (mixed)

3tsp instant espresso, dissolved in 1/2C water

2 bananas, sliced into coins

1 scant cup of vegan chocolate chips

Cut french bread into cubes. Put them into a bowl and keep overnight to get a bit stale.

The next day – put bread into 6qt crock pot.

In a separate bowl, mix creamer, milk, sugar, Earth Balance, EnerG mix, and espresso. Pour over bread and let sit for about 15 minutes. Gently mix in bananas and chocolate chips.

Cook on high for 2-3 hours. Low for 4-6.

Try not to sneak too much of the bread while it cooks. 🙂

 

 

VeganMoFo Day 3 – Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Soup and Crock Pot Crisp

Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Soup

Warning, this feeds a LOT of people. I had a big serving and have enough for probably 6 more servings.

Ingredients:

Broccoli – about 3 Cups

4C Nutritional Yeast

about 2tsp salt

1 1/2 C flour

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp mustard powder

6C water (you may need to add more, depending on how much your soup cooks down. Just add it in a bit before you serve it – I added two more cups)

4T margarine (I used Earth Balance)

a splash of lemon juice

4tsp prepared yellow mustard

a few shakes of cumin (I didn’t measure this one)

about a half bag of Daiya Mozzerella shreds

2C macaroni

Throw your broccoli in the slow cooker on high for 20-30 minutes to cook a bit. Add everything but the macaroni to the slow cooker and mix well. Cook on low for 2 hours. Add the macaroni, cook on high for another hour. Add extra water if necessary.

 

Crock Pot Berry Crisp

Okay, maybe this is more like a cobbler, or a pie. The top wasn’t as crispy as I had hoped. No big deal – it was delicious.

Berry ingredients:

1lb strawberries, greens removed, roughly chopped

3C boysenberries (or use whatever you have locally available)

1/3C sugar

1T Sugar

1 1/2T cornstarch

Mix ingredients in crock pot

 

Topping Ingredients;

1/2C Flour

3/4C Oats

1/2C Brown Sugar

a few tablespoons Earth Balance (mix it up and use their new coconut spread!)

mix everything but the margarine in a separate bowl, spread evenly over berries. place bits of margarine over topping. Cook on high two and a half hours. Uncover and let sit with heat off for about a half hour before serving.

Eat with vegan ice cream.

Next time I make this, I think I’m going to throw about a half cup of chopped pecans into the topping.

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