Friday, December 18, 2015

Good and Lovely Christmas Ice Cream

Last night I had the great fortune of not only seeing The Good Lovelies in concert during their Christmas tour, but making dessert for the band. I wanted to make something holiday-ish to fit with the theme of the night and came up with this. The word is that the band loved the ice cream, hence the name.

The method for the ice cream is from Homemade Vegan Pantry, and the method for sugaring the chestnuts comes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The recipe works best with a high powered blender like a Vitamix. If you don't have one, just make sure your cashews are nice and soft before blending

Ice Cream
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- boiling water
- 1.5 cups non-dairy milk of your choosing
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- large pinch of salt
- 1 can coconut milk (light, or regular)
- 2 tsp vanilla

Sugared Roasted Chestnuts
- 1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts (about 3/4 lb whole chestnuts)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- pinch of salt

Ice Cream
1. Cover the chestnuts with boiling water. Let sit for 15 mins then drain.
2. Blend cashews and non-dairy milk on high in a blender until smooth. Add sugar, cinnamon, and salt and blend until dissolved.
3. Add coconut milk and vanilla and blend until smooth.
4. Place mixture in the fridge until cold.
5. When mixture is cold, make in your ice cream maker per the directions. Mix the sugared chestnuts in before transferring to the freezer.

1. Roast the chestnuts: preheat oven to 425 degrees. Use a sharp paring knife to cut a slit through the shell of each chestnut (to let the steam escape). Place nuts, slit side up, on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 mins, until shell splits around the slit. Wrap in a towel and set aside to cool.
2. When chestnuts are cool, peel, and roughly chop. 
3. Place the rest of the ingredients in a cold pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until mixture bubbles. Keep stirring for 3 mins, until mixture is thick. 
4. Remove from heat, add chopped chestnuts and mix to coat. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Transfer to the freezer.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Savoury Stuffing Rolls

What?! A new post?! As I explained on ye olde Vegan Dad Facebook page, I have been battling Crohn's this entire year and that has very much dampened my enthusiasm for cooking and eating. I think I am finally getting it under control, so here's hoping! I have also spent the last three weeks on strike which was the inspiration for these buns. On the picket line we have been blessed by endless treats from supporters. I thought it would be nice to have a handheld savoury snack instead and these fit the bill. They are reminiscent of stuffing, hence the name. You could easily add some cranberries in with the apple, or raisins. Use this as a starting point and go nuts (maybe even add nuts?). Could be great for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

Makes 24 rolls
- 1 recipe everyday whole wheat bread (make with all white bread flour, if desired, as I did)
- 2 potatoes and 1 carrot, small dice (about 2 cups total)
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 leek, white and light green part, halved and thinly sliced
- olive oil
- 1 cooking apple, peeled, small dice
- 1/4 tsp sage
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1/2 tsp marjoram
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- freshly ground pepper
- soy milk for brushing

1. Make the dough per the recipe link above. While the starter is rising, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss the diced potato and carrot in a splash or two of olive oil and season lightly with sea salt. Transfer to a cookie sheet lined with baking parchment and bake for 20 mins, turning the veggies after ten to ensure and even roast.
3. Wrap the unpeeled garlic cloves in a piece of aluminum foil and roast along with the veggies for 20 mins.
4. Set veggies and garlic aside to cool.
5. Heat a splash of olive oil in a small frying pan over med-lo heat and saute leeks until softened (about 5-7 mins). Add apple and cook for a minute more. Skin and chop up roasted garlic and mix through. Remove from heat.
6. Continue making the dough but add the herbs in to the dry ingredients. Add the veggies and diced apple/leek mixture in during the final two minutes of kneading. I like to start this in the stand mixer with the dough hook, but finish on a lightly floured counter to make sure nothing gets too smushed up. Add more flour is the dough is too wet. It should be slightly tacky but not sticky.
7. Transfer dough to a oiled bowl and let rise for an hour, or until doubled.
8. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper (or two smaller trays). Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and shape into rolls (a little tricky with all the veggies and apple, but be patient). Place on tray (in six rows of four), mist with oil, and cover with plastic wrap to let rise.
9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
10. When rolls have almost doubled and are touching one another, brush tops with plain soy milk and bake for 15 minutes, rotating tray half way through for an even bake. Cool but enjoy while still warm.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Pressure Canner Chili

This is part two of my pressure canning recipe series (for more explanation of the canning process, see Part One). The recipe is Isa's Meat Beany Chili supersized to make seven large jars. Having chili in the pantry is great for those days when you want a chili dog, or a quick lunch for the kids.

Makes seven 1 quart/litre jars
- 1.5 cups dry black beans
- 1.5 cups dry red kidney beans

- 1/4 cup oil
- 4 cups chopped onion
- 3 cups chopped green pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped garlic
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1/4 cup oregano
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 cups brown lentils
- 1 48oz can tomato juice
- 2 28oz cans chopped tomatoes, with juice
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup sugar

1. Soak beans overnight in plenty of water. Drain and rinse the next day.
2. Get all of your canning apparatus ready (canner, jars, lids).
3. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté onion, green pepper, and garlic for 5-7 mins, or until translucent. Add spices and salt and sauté for a minute, until fragrant.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Increase heat to med-hi and bring to bubbling, stirring regularly.
5. Transfer chili to sterilised jars, making sure each one has the same ratio of solid to liquid. Put on the lids and tighten the rings finger tight.
6. Process in the pressure canner at 10lbs of pressure for 75 mins. Remove from heat and let pressure drop to zero. Remove jars from the canner and let completely cool.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Strawberry Tart

Full disclosure: I have posted this recipe, more or less, before. But this is the version without so much rat in it.

A friend surprised me today by dropping off a basket of freshly picked strawberries, and if a pie/tart is what you are after then I think this is the perfect way to enjoy strawberries in their prime. The only thing new this time around is the tart shell (I have posted a tart shell recipe before). I don't buy vegan cream cheese on a regular basis so I hope the use of aquafaba makes this recipe more accessible. I think it made for a better shell as well--crisp and durable, yet tender and so very delicious.

Tart Shell (makes a 9" shell)
- 1 1/4 cup (200g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) icing sugar
- pinch of salt (or 1/4 tsp is using salt-free margarine)
- 1/2 cup (125g) cold vegan butter (or margarine, or half margarine and half vegetable shortening)
- 2 tbsp aquafaba
- 1 tbsp light coconut milk

1. Whisk together flour, icing sugar, and salt. Cut in fat with a pastry cutter.
2. Whisk together aquafaba and coconut milk, then add to flour mixture. Use a fork/your hands to bring together into ball.
3. Flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for an hour.
4. Roll out dough on a floured surface into a circle large enough to overhang the sides of your tart pan. Trim any excess along the outside bottom of the pan, then fold the overhang to the inside the pan. Press the dough smoothly and evenly into the pan.
5. Place in the freezer for 30 mins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
6. Blind bake the shell: line the shell with heavy duty aluminum foil. Fill with dried beans or baking weights. Bake for 15 mins (or until shell looks dry when you peel back the foil), then remove the beans and foil.
7. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 8-10 mins, or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool.

- 6 cups fresh whole strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water

1. Mash enough of the berries to measure 1 cup. Place remaining berries in a large bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then gradually whisk in water and then crushed berries.
3. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir 1 minute.
4. Cool for 10 mins, then pour over berries and gently turn to coat. Transfer to cooled tart shell and chill at least 3 hours or until set.

Terrible picture but great idea: a creamy topping is the perfect addition. This is rad whip from Vegan Pie in the Sky

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

Most of my forays into aquafaba have been failures, but these are a smashing success. I don't know why the magic bean juice acts just like an egg in this recipe and not in others, but it does. These are thin and crispy and yet still chewy--exactly like a chocolate chip cookie should be. The recipe is adapted from The Essentials of Baking.

Makes 18-24 cookies
- 1 1/4 cups (200g) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt (omit if using salted margarine/butter)
- 1/2 cup (125g) margarine or butter
- 1/2 cup (105g) packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp (90g) white sugar
- 3 tbsp chickpea aquafaba
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or maple extract)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking pans with parchment paper. 
1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Cream together margarine/butter with sugars in a medium bowl. Mix in aquafaba and extract. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts.
4. Drop heaping tablespoons of batter on to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten a bit with your fingers.
5. Bake in batches until golden. Smaller cookies will bake in 10-13 minutes, larger cookies in 12-15 minutes. I like to bake for 10 mins, then give the pan a quick rap in the counter to flatten the cookies, the return the pan to the oven to finish baking.
6. Let cool on the pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack until cool.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Pressure Canned Beans

This is the first post in a series of three on pressure canning. Pressure canners are relatively inexpensive (around $130) and can save you money in the long run by providing an economical way to can vegetables, beans, and other low-acid foods. Also, you don't have to worry about BPA in cans, and you can control the amount of salt that goes into the canned foods. 

This first instalment is canned beans--a convenient staple for any pantry. 

- 8 to 10oz dried beans per 1 litre/1 quart jar (see note below)
- boiling water
- canning jars with lids and rings
- pressure canner (I use a dial gauge canner)

1. Rinse then soak beans in plenty of water overnight. My canner holds 7 jars, so I soak at least 3.5 lbs of beans. Or, follow the directions on the bad for quick soaking. I prefer the overnight soak. No need to do all one kind of bean--the picture above shows chickpeas, pinto beans, and black beans getting ready for the canner. 
2. On canning day, sterilise your jars. Get the water to boiling in your pressure canner--follow the directions that came with your canner. Keep your rings and lids in hot but not boiling (82 C) water.

3. Drain beans, rinse, then add 16 to 20oz of beans per sterilised jar (see note below).

4. Fill the jars with boiling water, leaving 1" headspace.
5. Place lids on jars, then tighten rings finger tight. I have found that finger tight is pretty darn tight. It's as tight as you can get the ring on without using the palm of your hand. If your lid is too loose, liquid will seep out of jar during processing. 
6. Place jars into the pressure canner. Close and seal the lid.

7. Bring to boiling. Let the water boil for a good 10 mins--the steam should be shooting out of the vent pipe with gusto.

8. Place the pressure regulator over the vent pipe. Bring the pressure up to 11 lbs. This takes a little finesse. Lower heat will give you lower pressure, so when the gauge reaches 8 lbs I turn the heat down from high to med-lo so that it reaches 11 but does not blow past it. You will need to fiddle a bit to find out what heat keeps the pressure at a constant 11 lbs.
9. Process the jars for 90 minutes. If the pressure drops below 11 you will need to get it back up to 11 and start the timer again. 
10. When done, remove the canner from the heat. Allow it to cool and the pressure to go to zero. 

11. Remove the canner lid and remove the jars, being careful not to tilt the jars or touch the lids. Allow to fully cool, then check to make sure all the lids have sealed. 

NOTE: Aquafaba is all the rage these days. 20oz of beans per jar comes out of the canner looking like the pic above. After the beans have cooled, the aquafaba gets more viscous. I use if for mayonnaise (delicious!). If you want a thinner aquafaba, use 16oz to 18oz of soaked beans per litre/quart jar. 

Friday, June 12, 2015

Creamy Beans on Toast

We are having an actual spring this year--regular rain and cool nights. It's days like these that make me seek out something warm, hearty and comforting. Best to enjoy this dish before it gets too hot. 

- 1/4 cup margarine, or oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp tarragon
- 2 cups diced cremini mushrooms
- 1 tbsp light tamari or soy sauce
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- 2.5 to 3 cups warm vegetable stock
- 1 19oz can mixed beans, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups peas, fresh or frozen
- salt and pepper to taste

- toast

1. Heat margarine or oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions for 5-7 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. 
2. Add the tarragon and the mushrooms with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3-5 mins, or until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add tamari and cook for another 5 mins. The mushrooms should be soft.
3. Add flour and mix well. Cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. 
4. Stream in 1.5 cups of the stock, stirring constantly so that the sauce remains smooth.
5. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. (NOTE: I do this because my kids are picky about pieces of mushroom. You can blend just half of the mixture.)
6. Return the blended mixture to the pan, add the remaining stock, the beans, and the peas. Bring to bubbling, stirring constantly. 
7. Serve over thick slices of toasted hearty bread. 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Eggless Pasta

This is the aquafaba version of my Fresh Flax Pasta. I'm not sure it's any better than the original, but it is durable yet tender and tasty. The trick here is to add flour as needed when you are rolling out the dough. The final product should be smooth and satiny, not tacky at all. This is most important if you are cutting the dough into thin noodles with a pasta cutter. It is a little less important if you are cutting the dough by hand into broad noodles. Give the noodles a good drying before you cook them.

Makes 1 lb 
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup plain soy milk
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup chickpea aquafaba
- 1 tbsp oil

1. Whisk together flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
2. Mix turmeric into the soy milk. Pour into the well in the flour. Add aquafaba and oil. Bring together into a dough (I do this with a dough hook in my stand mixer). Add more soy milk if absolutely needed.
3. Roll into a log and wrap in plastic. Let rest 20 mins.
4. Roll out, flouring as needed, and cut as desired. Let dry before cooking.

This pasta cooks very quickly--just a minute or two and it's done.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Garbanzo Balls

If you are like me and have been experimenting with aquafaba, then you have a lot of chickpeas that need to get used up. And, if you are like me, then your kids have been begging you not to make another batch of hummus. These are the perfect addition to your favourite pasta and tomato sauce recipe. They have lots of flavour, and are sturdy enough to hold up in a sauce without going soggy. 

Makes 24
- 2 19oz cans unsalted chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and well-drained (about 4 cups)
- 2 tbsp low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp soy milk
- 1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
- 2 tsp Montreal steak spice
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (a mix of thyme, oregano, marjoram, basil, rosemary, sage)
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup panko crumbs

- oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
1. Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor until they look like coarse bread crumbs. The idea here is to get small pieces of chickpeas, but not to turn them into paste. Transfer to a bowl.
2. Add all ingredients but the panko crumbs. Mix well and then squeeze the mixture in your hands a few times (like when you are making tofu ricotta).
3. Add the panko crumbs and mix well. 
4. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Shape mixture into 24 balls about the size of ping pong balls. 
5. Brush the balls with oil and bake for 20 mins. Let cool.
6. OPTIONAL: when balls have cooled, heat 1/4 cup of oil in a frying pan over medium to med-hi  heat. Add balls and toss to coat in the oil. Fry for 5-7 mins, tossing frequently, until browned all around.
7. Add to your sauce and serve (or serve on the side). 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fluffy Tapioca Pudding

Unless you have been hiding in a cave for the past little while, you know that aquafaba has taken the vegan world by storm. I have been experimenting with it for about two weeks and this was my first success. I used to make this pudding with eggs for my family when in my early teen years when I first caught the cooking and baking bug. This tastes exactly like I remember it--light and airy and not too sweet. I have used instant tapioca here to make the recipe as easy as possible, but I actually prefer small pearl tapioca for a little more texture. Use whatever tapioca you like making sure you soak it first as per the directions on the box.

Serves 8-10

- 1/2 cup chickpea aquafaba
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp cornstarch (optional, see note below*)
- 4 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp instant tapioca
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract

1. Put the aquafaba in a stand mixer fitted with a ballon whisk. Whisk on med-hi until frothy, then slowly stream in the sugar with mixer running. Whisk on high until peaks form (somewhere between soft and stiff peaks). Don't worry if the sugar has not completely dissolved.
2. In a medium saucepan, whisk the cornstarch (if using) into 1 cup of the almond milk. Whisk in the rest of the almond milk. Add the tapioca, coconut milk, and turmeric.
3. Heat the almond milk mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbling. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool for a few minutes.
4. Fold in the aquafaba mixture until incorporated.
5. Pour into a large bowl and refrigerate until fully cooled.

* the pudding will set in the fridge without the cornstarch, but it will be looser. With the cornstarch you can eat the pudding warm or at room temperature if that is your thing.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Caramel Corn

I can't eat this tasty treat because of my Crohn's, but I have had rave reviews from friends and family alike. This recipe is pretty much like every other caramel corn recipe out there, except that it uses vegan margarine which is cheap and adds some salt to complement the sweetness. I also like the addition of vanilla extract to round out the flavour a bit more. It does use light corn syrup which some may want to avoid--I am guessing that you can use brown rice syrup instead but I have not tried it. Experiments with adding maple syrup led to a pronounced burnt sugar taste (the kids ate it anyway). This recipe is party sized, so cut it in half if you want to. I like a thin glaze of caramel on the popcorn, so if you like more use only a 3/4 cup of popcorn. If you want to add nuts then reduce the popcorn accordingly.

- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup vegan margarine (I use Becel)
- 2 cups light brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
1. Pop your popcorn (I do it in two batches in an air popper) and place in a large roasting dish.
2. Mix together corn syrup, margarine and sugar in a medium/large saucepan. Place on a burner set between medium and med-hi heat. Keep mixing while everything melts, but stop once the mixture begins to bubble.
3. Let bubble until it reaches hard crack stage (between 300 and 310F). If you don't have a candy thermometer, you can let it bubble for 10 mins and it will be close enough.
4. Remove the mixture from the stove. Add the vanilla and mix well (it will splutter a bit).
5. Add the baking soda (it will foam like mad) and mix well.
6. Pour over the popped corn and mix well.
7. Bake, uncovered, for an hour. Mix well every fifteen minutes.
8. Remove from roasting pan and spread out on a piece of parchment paper to cool. Break up an large clumps. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Thai Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

This soup has Thai inspired undertones that let the roasted squash still be the star of the dish. You can make it as hot as you want with the Sriracha, and you can always add more lemongrass and ginger if you want those flavours to come through more.

- 2.5 lbs butternut squash
- 3 dried New Mexico chiles, seeded and cut into pieces
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 shallots, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 stalk lemongrass, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 can light coconut milk
- Sriracha to taste
- salt to taste

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice (each) squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Brush flesh with oil and place flesh-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 30 mins, or until soft. Set aside to cool. Scoop squash out of the skins.
2. Pour boiling water over the chiles and let sit for at least 20 mins. Don't drain the water, James, you will use it in step 6.
3. If you have one, use a mortar and pestle to pound the lemongrass and ginger into a pulp.
4. Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Dry roast coriander seeds until fragrant.
5. Add oil, onion, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger to the pot. Saute for 5-7 mins, until softened but not browned.
6. Add chiles and soaking water to the pot and cook for 5 mins, stirring regularly.
7. Add squash, stock, and sugar to the pot. Mix well.
8. Transfer to a blender in batches and blend until very smooth.
9. Transfer back to the pot on med-lo heat. Add coconut milk. Season to taste, and add Sriracha to taste. Heat to steaming and serve.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Mexican Bread Pudding with Spiced Syrup

This recipe is a mash-up of Isa's bread pudding from Isa Does It and a recipe from the very first vegetarian cookbook I ever bought, Simple Vegetarian Recipes. I used the all white flour version of my Everyday Bread because it has a nice open crumb structure that easily soaks up the liquid. If you are using a denser or leaner bread, give it more time to soak. I think it's worth the time to use the vanilla bean, but your can sub in 2 tsp vanilla extract and forget heating it on the stove. The agar is probably not needed--I was just panicking that I was adding too much liquid. As written, the end result is a moist and custardy pudding that pairs nicely with the anise notes from the syrup. The almonds provide some texture to make for a perfect dessert.

Bread Pudding
- 7 cups cubed stale bread
- 1 cup raisins
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1/8 tsp turmeric (optional)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp agar (probably optional)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp allspice

Spiced Syrup
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 star anise
- 4 cloves

Bread Pudding
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 baking pan.
1. Put bread in a large bowl. Add raisins and almonds and toss to mix.
2. Scrape vanilla bean and whisk into the almond milk in a sauce pan. Whisk in turmeric. Add the bean pod and bring to bubbling over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool. Remove bean pod.
3. Whisk in coconut milk, then whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Whisk in agar.
4. Whisk in the sugar and spices. Pour mixture over the bread and gently turn to coat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the bread has soaked up as much liquid as it can. Gently mix the bread halfway through if necessary. Transfer to prepared pan and distribute evenly.
5. Bake for 35 mins, or until golden and the liquid has set.

Spiced Syrup
1. While the pudding is baking, add all ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to bubbling over medium heat and let bubble away for 10 mins. Remove from heat. Remove spices just before drizzling over the served pieces. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Creamy Chickpeas and Biscuits

This is pure comfort food inspired by a frosty walk home one day. The creaminess of the coconut milk complements the earthiness of the chickpeas and the sweetness of the roasted pepper. And all of that on top of a tender biscuit. The biscuits are a Reinhart-esque riff on The New Basics Cookbook recipe. The key here is to make sure all of the sides of your biscuit are cleanly cut--you can accomplish this with a good biscuit cutter, or by using a pastry cutter as I have suggested below. Cleanly cut sides allow the laminated dough to rise nice and high.

Creamy Chickpeas
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1 rib celery, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 1 medium (yellow) potato, diced
- 1 spring fresh thyme
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 3.5 cups warm vegetable stock (more as needed)
- 1 can chickpeas (or white kidney beans), drained and rinsed
- 2 roasted red or orange pepper, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 3/4 cup corn
- 3/4 cup peas
- 1 can light coconut milk
- salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion and celery for 5-7 mins, or until golden. Add garlic and saute for 1 min more.
2. Add carrot, potato, herbs, and a big pinch of salt and saute for 3-5 mins, until fragrant and sizzling. Add flour and mix well to coat. Cook for 1 min then stream in the stock, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
3. Add chickpeas, roasted peppers, and nutritional yeast and bring to bubbling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 mins, uncovered, until veggies are tender. If the sauce reduces too much, add more stock.
4. Add corn and peas and cook for 3 mins, or until done. Remove thyme sprig.
5. Add in as much of the coconut milk as needed to get the consistency you want (I used the whole can).

- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 tbsp (2.5 oz) cold vegan butter
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup plain soy milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.
2. Add the vinegar to the bottom of a 3/4 cup measure. Fill half way with soy milk and mix until thick. Fill the cup measure full and add to flour mixture. Bring together into a soft dough with a wooden spoon.
3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface. Roll/pat into a rectangle then fold like a letter. Turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. Repeat again. The dough should have firmed up by now. Roll into a rectangle, trim the outside edges with a pastry cutter, and cut into 6 or 8 pieces.
4. Brush the tops of the biscuits with soy milk and bake for 14 mins.