Saturday, October 25, 2014

Buckwheat Pancake

Pancake, Singular!
Buckwheat tones down the sweetness of any topping you put on it. My favorite toppings are sliced Asian pear and maple syrup, macerated blueberries, or strawberries and bananas. I prefer to eat this as a dessert, but it makes an easy and impressive breakfast.

3 tablespoons buckwheat
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup milk alternative (hemp milk goes really well with the buckwheat)
2 tablespoons dairy free butter (I prefer Soy Free Earth Balance for this)

Preheat your oven to 400.
Melt the butter in an oven safe pan over medium heat.
Mix the buckwheat, flour, eggs, sugar, and milk. Pour the batter into the melted butter, and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 15 Minutes.
When the pancake is done, slice, and serve with your favorite topping.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Balsamic Scrambled Eggs

Vinegar prevents the eggs from turning rubbery, so even if you have not mastered the art of scrambled eggs, theses will turn out well every time. I am able to make them even before my morning coffee, which means they must be impossible to mess up.

1 tablespoon Olive oil
1/2 tablespoon Italian herbs
1/2 diced onion
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
4 eggs
Sliced tomatoes
Fresh herbs for toppings

Heat the oil in a your pan. Saute the diced onion. Add your dried herbs. Pour in the vinegar, and let some of the vinegar vapor dissipate.  Add your eggs, and mix together. Once the eggs reach the consistency you like, plate and top with sliced tomatoes and fresh herbs.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Balsamic Herb Roasted Chickpeas

This is a great snack, great for hikes. It's crunchy, satisfying, and easy on the go.
1 can of chickpeas
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon dried Italian herbs
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450
Wash the chickpeas. Mix all the ingredients in a pan so that the chickpeas are coated evenly with all the ingredients. Bake them for 30 minutes, shake the pan halfway through.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Veggie Borsht - Weeknight version

Borscht wins my heart with its vibrant color alone. I feel regal as I eat a soup the color of velvet.
This is an easy hot version, a delicious main dish for a busier night.
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 med. onion
4 stalks of celery  3 large carrot
4 small pealed beat roots
4 large potatoes
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 head of cabbage
14 ounces beef stock (replace with vegetable broth for a vegan version)
1/2 cup of herbs, parsley, lovage, thyme, and a bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice your onion, celery, and carrot. Saute the mirepoix in a large pot with the oil, add a pinch of salt to draw out the aromatic properties. With the remainder of the vegetables, chop and add them one at a time in the following order: beats (diced), potatoes (bite sized cubes), garlic (minced), cabbage (chopped). Once all the vegetables have been added, add the stock. Bring the soup to a low boil, and let the flavors stew together for about 15 minutes. Add the herbs a couple minutes before serving.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

5 ingredients, that's all it takes to make this fantastic whole wheat bread. Perfect as sandwich bread,  the nutty whole wheat pairs perfectly with spicy mustard, or peanut butter.

1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 cups warm water
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups whole wheat flour (this is approximate)

Mix the yeast, warm water, honey, and salt in a bowl. Let the bowl sit for about 5 minutes to let the yeast bloom.

Add the whole wheat flour, and knead the bread. Add flour until the dough barely comes off the sides of the bowl. You will need to really knead this bread (5 minutes of continues kneading in a mixer, more if done by hand). This will develop the gluten, and make sure the bread keeps it's structure.

Let the bread double in volume in the bowl, and then beat the bread down.

Put the bread in a greased or lined bread pan, and let the bread double in size a second time. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Let the bread cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, remove the bread from the pan, and let the bread cool completely.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dark Chocolate Macaron Shells

Meringue is an exquisite dairy-free dessert. Although they take a little extra love to make, the results are well worth it.

115 g Almond Flour
15 g of cocoa powder
230 g of powdered sugar
145 g of egg whites
70 g of caster sugar

If this is your first time making macarons, I recommend going on YouTube and watching some video tutorials. This one was very helpful to me.

Sift the almond flour, cocoa powder, and powdered sugar together (repeat twice to mix thoroughly).

In a stand mixer, beat the eggs and and caster sugar on low for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat for another two minutes. Increase the speed to high for 2 minutes. Add food coloring if you want and turn your mixer to ultra high (as high as it will go) for 1 minute.

Dump all the dry ingredients into the egg mixture, and fold the ingredients together. Once the mixture takes on the consistency of lava, transfer it into a piping bag (I use a gallon Ziploc, and cut off the tip).

Pipe the macarons onto pans lined with parchment paper. Each circle should be approximately 3 cm in diameter.

Slap the pans on the counter 3 times. You'll see tiny air bubbles come to the surface.

Let the cookies rest on the counter for 15 minutes. Set your oven to 300°F.

Bake for 15-17 minutes.  Remove from the oven, and let the cookies sit on the tray for 2-3 minutes. Remove the parchment from the tray and let the parchment and cookies cool for at least 20 minutes. 

You can either enjoy as is, or pair up and fill with your favorite filling. 

Try Pumpkin Caramel Dark Chocolate Macarons for an amazing Halloween treat.

Use the caramel from the Pumpkin Caramel Recipe.
Put 1/3 cup of very cold caramel in a small sandwich bag, cut off the tip.
Squeeze the bag to pipe a small amount of caramel onto a cold cookie.
Match an equal size cookie and enjoy.
Make sure to keep these cookies cold, otherwise the caramel will melt.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Vegan cheeses, not so dairy free.

My local grocery store has a section called "Vegan Cheese". Unfortunately that sign is misleading, although there are a few vegan/dairy-free, some contain dairy protein (whey/casein).

Be Careful!
Not so vegan!

Well meaning hosts may not know this fact, so please make sure to read the labels before eating.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette

This well rounded salad dressing can make even the simplest salad taste extravagant.

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive oil
4  large figs
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of mustard
1 pinch of salt
Put all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until homogenous.