Monday, May 21, 2012

Vegan Cranberry & Lemon Bread

This month's Secret Recipe Club assignment was awesome. I was given Christina's blog Mele Cotte (Baked Apple in Italian). Christina blogs about a lot of desserts which is right up my alley and her pictures really show off all the beautiful things she makes. I highly suggest you head over to her blog to check out all her awesome stuff. Plus if you want to learn a little Italian she give you all the recipe titles in Italian as well!

I was really excited to cook something from Mele Cotte and after much debate I decided to try this cranberry bread but with my own twist. Christina uses orange and walnuts in her bread but I had a whole bag of Meyer lemons in the fridge and no walnuts. So this became a vegan Cranberry and Lemon bread. It was very delicious and not to sweet. Good alternative to banana bread.

Vegan Cranberry & Lemon Bread
Adapted from Mele Cotte

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
Zest of one lemon
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 Tbsp of water
½ cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy milk
1 ½ cup fresh/frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, salt, and zest. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and add juice, flax seed mixture, oil, and milk . Mix only until combined, being careful not to over mix.

With a wooden spoon, stir in cranberries. Transfer into the prepared pan. Bake for about an hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out almost clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing the bread from the pan. Allow to cool completely on the wire rack.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Homemade Vegan Artisan Bread

I am not sure if there is anything more satisfying than making your own "staples". These are the things that you would normally buy at the store for convenience sake but when you make them at home I feel a real sense of accomplishment.

I had tried making bread before a few times but it never turned out or rose properly. Finally I threw my old yeast out and got some new stuff. Worked like a charm! I found this recipe on Ethnic Vegan and it turned out pretty well.

Artisan Bread
Via Ethnic Vegan

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet yeast (~ 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups organic, all-purpose unbleached flour (if using whole wheat or bread flour, increase the amount of water by 1/4 cup) plus a bit more for dusting
3/4 Tbs. coarse kosher or sea salt
Olive oil

1. Mix 1/4 cup of the warm water with the yeast and sugar. Let stand for about 8 minutes until yeast is foamy.

2. Add remaining warm water. Mix flour and salt in until well incorporated (try adding the flour 1 cup at a time). Dough will be "wet" or rather sticky. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp dish towel, and let rise for 2 hours in a warm, draft-free area. (I turn the heat on my oven for a minute or two then turn it off and let it cool a bit while mixing the dough then let the dough rise in the oven which is warm and draft free)

3. After the dough rises, place it on a tabletop lightly dusted with flour. Divide dough into two small rounds if desired, or just make one loaf. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky and hard to work. Sprinkle flour on top of dough, and tuck sides under to create desired loaf shape(s). Place dough on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Allow it to rest for approximately 40 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 450° and bake for approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown.The bread should sound hollow when you tap on the bottom. Enjoy!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vegan Lemon Curd

I came across this Vegan Lemon Curd recipe on the blog Lunch Box Bunch.  It came together really quickly and was super tasty. P could not stop talking about it and we ate it on some home made bread, on pancakes and just out of the jar. I think mine was a bit firmer and next time I would cook for less time but other than that it turned out great.

Vegan Lemon Curd
Via Lunch Box Bunch
makes 1 1/4 cups

1/2 cup soy milk, plain
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp corn starch
6 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
5 Tbsp vegan buttery spread
pinch of salt
optional: 1/8 tsp lemon extract

In a soup pan, dissolve the corn starch in the cold soy milk and water.

Turn heat to medium-high and continuously stir the mixture. Add in the buttery spread, lemon juice and sugar and continue to stir until mixture starts to bubble and thicken.

Reduce heat to low and beat with a hand-held beater for about 90 seconds.

Transfer mixture to serving dish and refrigerate until chilled. Store in fridge and eat within 2-3 days.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vegan Split Pea Soup

This split pea soup is really tasty and super comforting. We are working on a pretty tight budget right now and until our CSA basket starts up again we are trying to use up some pantry ingredients. I had two big jars of split peas in the cupboard so I made my own version of a recipe from the Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen.

The recipe below has been doubled from the original and should serve 4 for dinner. Also I find this soup needs to cook for a good few hours so usually I make it a day before or start it in the morning.

Vegan Split Pea Soup
Adapted from The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen

1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 onions, coarsely shopped
3 large carrot, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 a cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 tsp smoked paprika
10 cups vegetable stock
3 cups green/yellow split peas, rinsed (I use half green and half yellow)
Freshly ground black pepper

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add oil, onions, carrot, cabbage and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the rosemary, bay leaf, and paprika and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add the stock and split peas and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2 - 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

When ready serve with your favorite biscuits or bread.