Vegan Dad - vegetarian recipes

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Vegan Dad vegetarian recipes

(Jalapeno) Sauerkraut

November 4 2017 Vegan Dad 

(Jalapeno) Sauerkraut I feared fermenting veggies for a long time. What if I give my family food poisoning? How will I know if something is fermented properly? Isnt it all too complicated? But now that I took the plunge, I wish I had done so earlier. This recipe, even though it has 8 steps, is utterly simplicity and produces a tender, tangy, and flavourful kraut. A chopped jalape?o only deepens the flavour without adding too much heat. Add two if you want more zip. Im not a big fan of veggie dogs, but with a homemade bun and this kraut, I would eat them any day. INGREDIENTS - 1 head of cabbage - 2-3 tbsp coarse salt (like pickling or kosher salt)--more as needed - 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (including seeds)--optional METHOD 1. Remove 2-3 outer leaves from the cabbage. 2. Core cabbage, and slice very thinly (a food processor works wonders here). 3. Woking in batches if necessary, place cabbage (and jalape?o, if using) in a large non-reactive bowl and sprinkle with salt. Start mashing/­­squeezing the cabbage with your hands, or use a wooden sauerkraut pounder. This will force liquid from the cabbage. The cabbage will start to go translucent, and you should get a good amount of liquid from it. If not, use a little more salt. 4. Transfer the cabbage to a large glass jar. I use a big 56 oz jar. Tamp down the cabbage (here is where the sauerkraut pounder really comes in handy) so that the liquid covers the cabbage. 5. Cover the cabbage with the leaves your removed in step 1. Rip the leaves into small pieces if necessary. Fully cover the cabbage right to the edges of the jar. Use a knife to tuck the edges down a bit so that pieces of cabbage dont float tup during the ferment (see pic above). 6. Tamp the cabbage leaves down so that they are submerged. 7. Place a smaller jar (or something non-reactive) on top of the leaves. It needs to reach the top of the bigger jar. Place the canning lid on upside down (i.e. rubber seal up), and then tighten on the metal ring. The idea here is to keep the kraut and leaves compressed and submerged throughout the ferment. The upside down lid will allow gas to escape during the ferment. 8. Place somewhere away from sunlight and direct heat (coolish room temp is great). Ferment away! I think 1.5 weeks makes for the perfect kraut. It will bubble and foam--this is what you want to see. Check every few days: remove the lid and take a sniff. It should not smell rotten or unpleasant. To my nose, kraut that has not fermented long enough has a slightly metallic air to it which mellows out after about 10 or 11 days. Remove the cabbage leaves from the top and enjoy! Refrigerate until used up.

Spanish Style Tofu and Potatoes

September 15 2017 Vegan Dad 

Spanish Style Tofu and Potatoes This is a simple and tasty dish that is perfect for the end of summer when all your tomatoes are ripe.  INGREDIENTS Serves 6 to 8 - 2.5 lbs potatoes, cut into chunks - 1 large Spanish onion, halved and sliced - 4 garlic cloves, minced - zest and juice of one lemon - 1 pkg tofu, diced - 6 cups tomato wedges - 2-4 tbsp olive oil - 1.5 tbsp smoked paprika - salt and pepper to taste - chopped parsley (optional) METHOD Preheat oven to 400 degrees 1. Combine all ingredients (except parsley) in a large bowl and toss to coat. Transfer to a large baking dish with sides. 2. Bake for about an hour, stirring regularly after the first twenty minutes, until potatoes are tender. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. 

Pressure Canner Beans in Tomato Sauce

September 7 2017 Vegan Dad 

Pressure Canner Beans in Tomato Sauce My kids like to take these beans in a thermos to school for lunch (often with veggie dogs cut up into them for what we call Beans and Weens). With a pressure canner you can easily make your own at home without having to soak a single bean.  Below is a basic recipe that you can adjust according to your size of jar, the number of jars you want to make, and your tastes. When cooking dried beans in a jar in a pressure canner you want 1 part dried beans to 3 parts liquid. So, in the recipe below, 1 cup of beans is cooked in 3 cups of liquid in a 4 cup (1 quart) jar. If you are using pint jars (2 cup) then use 1/­­2 cup of dried beans to 1.5 cups of liquid. As for the liquid/­­sauce, do whatever suits your tastes. If you are canning 7 one quart jars, you need 21  cups of liquid. Its best to have at least 8 cups of water so the beans cook properly, but you can play around with other ingredients. Less sugar, more tomato, for example. More sugar, less tomato sauce +  a cup or two of ketchup + mustard + chilli powder+ hot sauce = beans in BBQ sauce (as an example). Making the liquid a little on the salty side is OK because the beans will soak it up. Have made a few batches of bland beans that needed salt when served, so I lean towards the 4 tbsp side of things now. Finally, if you have ever canned before then you know that leakage can be a problem. I have found that this problem can be ameliorated by doing 2 things: 1. leaving enough headspace in your jar; 2. realizing that fingertip tight can be pretty darn tight. Inevitably, some sauce will leak out of the jars during processing. Not to worry. Take the rings off and wipe down the entire jar before storing.  INGREDIENTS Makes 7 quart (4 cup) jars - 8oz/­­227g/­­1 cup dried navy beans x 7 - 2 tbsp oil - 1 large onion, small dice - 4 garlic cloves, minced - 2  48 fl oz cans tomato juice - 8 cups water - 2 cups packed brown sugar - kosher salt to taste (2 to 4 tbsp) METHOD Sterilize your jars. Prepare your pressure canner. 1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot. Saute onion for 5-7 mins, until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. 2. Add tomato juice, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling. 3. While sauce is heating, add 8oz/­­227g of dried beans to each sterilized jar. 4. Ladle hot sauce into the jars, leaving a good 1 of head space. If you are short on liquid, top up with boiling water. Top with lids and tighten the rings as much as you can with your fingertips. 5. Process the jars per your pressure canners instructions at 11 lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. Remove canner from the heat and let pressure drop before removing the jars. 

Indian Burgers

August 26 2017 Vegan Dad 

Indian Burgers As promised, here is the burger recipe to go with the naan bun recipe. The burger is durable, but is better suited to the oven than the grill.  INGREDIENTS Makes 6 large burgers - 1 medium onion, minced - 1/­­2 cup coarsely grated zucchini - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 2 cups chopped cauliflower (small pieces) - 2 cups small diced potato - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 2 tsp minced ginger - 1/­­4 cup chopped cilantro - 1 tsp turmeric - 2 tsp garam masala - 1 tsp cumin - 1 tsp chili powder - 1/­­4 tsp ground fenugreek - 1 tsp salt - 1/­­4 cup vital wheat gluten - 1/­­4 cup chickpea flour METHOD 1. Mix together onion, zucchini, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside. 2. Blanch cauliflower and potato in boiling salted water for 5 mins. Remove from boiling water and plunge into cold water. Drain. Rinse again with cold water and drain well. 3. By this time the onion and zucchini should have released a bunch of water. Squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands and place onion/­­zuke mixture in a new bowl. 4. Add 2/­­3 of the potato/­­cauliflower mixture. Mash the remaining 1/­­3 of the mixture with a fork, and add to the bowl. Add the garlic, ginger, cilantro, spices and salt and mix well. 5. Add the gluten and chickpea flours and mix well. 6. If necessary, mush/­­squeeze the mixture with your hands to bring it together. 7. Line a baking sheet with parchment and lightly oil it. 8. Divide mixture into 6 and press into a ring mold to make the burgers. Mist with oil and place in the fridge to chill. 9. While burgers are chilling, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake burgers for 10 mins, then flip, spray with oil, and bake for another 10 mins. Let stand for 5 mins before serving. As you can see from the pic, I served these with with onion rings on top. I used this recipe, but cut the onions into rings and fried them separately. I dressed the burgers with vegan mayo, green tomato chutney, lettuce, and tomato.

Grilled Mushroom Caesar Salad

May 30 2017 Vegan Dad 

Grilled Mushroom Caesar Salad This is a recipe I developed over two years ago that never saw the light of day. With BBQ season now upon us I thought would dust it off. There is perhaps nothing I love more that a marinated, grilled oyster mushroom. And certainly e veryone will think youre a fun guy when you make this traditional side salad as the main meal--all done on the barbecue! INGREDIENTS Dressing: ?      1/­­2 cup (125 mL) soy milk (more as needed) ?      1/­­2 cup (125 mL) vegan mayonnaise ?      2 tsp (10 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice ?      2 small cloves garlic, minced ?      1 tbsp minced capers ?      1/­­2 tsp each light soy sauce, brown sugar ?      1/­­4 tsp each apple cider vinegar, mustard powder, onion powder ?      1 tsp miso ?      pinch ground ginger ?      salt and pepper to taste Salad: ?      2 small hearts of romaine lettuce ?      1/­­4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice ?      2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil ?      seasoned salt ?      16 large shitake mushrooms, stems removed ?      3/­­4 lb (375 g) oyster mushrooms, stems on ?      1/­­2 cup (125 mL) croutons METHOD Oil grill and preheat barbecue to med-high  Dressing:  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and thin with more soy milk to get desired consistency.  Salad:  1. Slice romaine in half lengthwise, leaving core intact.  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, salt and cayenne. Lightly brush over cut side of romaine. Set romaine aside on a tray.  3. Place mushrooms (cut oyster mushrooms into smaller pieces if needed) in remaining lemon juice mixture in a baking tray. Toss to coat. Season with seasoned salt. Let marinate for 15 mins  4. Place romaine cut-side down on grill. Place mushrooms on grill. Barbecue romaine for about 3 mins on the oiled side, and mushrooms, about 3-5 mins per side.  5. Set each romaine half on a plate. Divide shitake mushrooms evenly among the plates. Remove stems from oyster mushrooms and divide among the plates. Scatter with croutons. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.

Bread Sticks

October 23 2016 Vegan Dad 

Bread Sticks Vegan Daughter watched a movie at her friends house last night and was intrigued with the bread sticks that came with their pizza order. She asked if I could make some for our pizza and movie night tonight. Vegan Son #3 is on a trip to Niagara Falls with his best friend this weekend, so I used his portion of pizza dough to make these. So, if you dont want to make six pizzas as my dough recipe  allows, consider making some bread sticks. INGREDIENTS - pizza dough - 8 tsp onion powder - 4 tsp garlic powder - 1 cup nutritional yeast - melted margarine METHOD Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  1. Make the dough per the recipe (a half recipe will make 14 bread sticks). When dough has risen, make 60g boules, then roll into 10 ropes.  2. Place ropes an inch or so apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mist with oil, cover, and let rise until almost doubled.  3. While dough is rising, pulse the onion powder, garlic powder, and nutritional yeast in a coffee grinder (or blender).  4. When ready to bake, brush the the sticks with melted margarine. Top with the onion powder mixture (if you dont use it all, save the leftovers in a sealed container for next time). 5. Bake for 7 mins, liberally drizzle more melted margarine over the bread sticks, and bake for another 7 mins.  6. Let cool on a wire rack, but eat while still warm. 

Pumpkin Tarts

October 19 2016 Vegan Dad 

Pumpkin Tarts This is the last of my pumpkin recipes for this fall. Its too late for Canadian Thanksgiving, but these could be a hit at your very own American Thanksgiving. The filling has lots of pumpkin flavour but has a lighter texture than usual pumpkin pie filling. The filling does not have to be baked so these tarts come together relatively quickly.  INGREDIENTS Makes 24 tarts - 24 frozen tart shells, baked - 1/­­3 cup unsalted chickpea aquafaba - 1/­­8 tsp xanthan gum - 3 tbsp sugar - 1/­­4 cup raw cashews - 1 cup plain soy milk - 1/­­3 cup sugar - 1 cup cooked pumpkin (see note below*) - 1/­­2 tsp cinnamon - 1/­­2 tsp ginger - 1/­­4 tsp nutmeg - large pinch allspice - pinch of salt - 1 tsp vanilla - 2 tbsp corn starch - 1/­­4 tsp agar powder - whipped topping METHOD 1. Bake the tart shells per the instructions on the package. Cool. 2. Soak cashews in boiled water for 15 mins. Drain. 3. While cashews are soaking, add aquafaba and xanthan gum to a mixer bowl. Fix the mixer with a balloon whisk and whisk on med-hi speed until foamy. Add sugar 1 tbsp at a time, and blend until soft peaks form. 4. Put the soaked cashews and the remaining ingredients (but not the aquafaba mixture) in a blender. Blend until very smooth. 5. Pour the blender contents into a saucepan and cook on the stove or medium heat, stirring constantly. When bubbling, cook for two minutes. 6. Let mixture cool for 2 mins, stirring regularly to prevent a scum from forming. Fold in the aquafaba mixture completely. 7. Spoon mixture into the cooled tart shells (save any leftovers in the fridge and call it pumpkin custard). When they reach room temperature, transfer to the fridge to fully cool. I think these taste best the next day. 8. When ready to serve, top with the whipped cream of your choice (I use the recipe from Homemade Vegan Pantry, but you could use a commercial topping as well).

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

October 8 2016 Vegan Dad 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies The sudden proliferation of pie pumpkins in the grocery store has let to some experimentation in the kitchen. Accuse me of jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon if you must, but these cookies are irresistible with their perfect blend of chewy and crispy.  INGREDIENTS Makes at least 24 cookies - 75g minute oats - 150g all purpose flour - 1 tsp baking soda - 1/­­2 tsp salt (omit if using salted margarine/­­butter) - 1/­­2 tsp cinnamon - 1/­­4 tsp nutmeg - 125g margarine or vegan butter - 105g packed brown sugar - 90g white sugar - 3 tbsp cooked pumpkin (see note below)* - 2 tbsp unsalted chickpea  aquafaba - 1 tsp vanilla extract - 1 cup raisins METHOD 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 separate medium bowl with an electric hand mixer. Add pumpkin and blend well. Add aquafaba and blend well. The mixture will be thick and fluffy. Blend in the vanilla.  3. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Mix in raisins. 4. Drop rounded tablespoons of batter on to the prepared baking sheets. This is a very wet dough, so a cookie scoop is the way to go. I use the 3/­­4 oz scoop. The picture will firm up as the oatmeal soaks up some liquid, so you can let it sit for 30 minutes or more if you want.  5. Bake in batches until golden, about 16-18 minutes. NOTE: baking time will be less on a dark baking sheet. 6. Let cool on the pan for 5 mins, then transfer to a wire rack until cool. *NOTE: Microwaving is the way to go here. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a plate and microwave until flesh if soft and coming away from the skin. Allow to cool before using, and keep the leftovers in a sealed container for other recipes. 

Pizza Dough

September 24 2016 Vegan Dad 

Pizza Dough Every Saturday we have pizza and watch a movie. Needless to say, I have made a lot of pizza dough in my day. For years I have made fairly wet doughs (Neapolitan, focaccia, New York, etc.) which produce thin and crispy crusts with some chewiness when baked on a hot stone. More recently the kids have been asking for a thicker crust and I was happy to oblige. I wasnt happy with recipes I found since they tended towards the dense and stodgy, so I made my own recipe. This crust is thicker (and can handle a truck load of toppings) but is still crispy and chewy. The cold ferment imparts great flavour which is the most important thing of all. INGREDIENTS Makes six 10 crusts - 6.5 oz semolina flour - 14 oz bread flour - 13 oz all purpose flour - 2 tbsp sugar - 2 tsp salt - 1 tbsp instant yeast - 4 oz oil - 13 fl oz cold water - 6 oz cold water METHOD 1. Add all ingredients to a mixer bowl and bring together into a rough dough with a dough hook. Let dough rest for 5 minutes, then knead with the dough hook for 5-7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and slightly tacky (but not sticky). Add more flour or water as needed. 2. Turn dough out onto an oiled baking sheet. Divided into six equal pieces and shape into balls. 3. Mist with oil, cover well with plastic wrap, and place sheet in the fridge over night. 4. On baking day, take the dough out of the fridge at least two hours before you want to start baking. Reshape the balls and leave to rise in a warm place. The dough is ready to shape when it is warm and has risen. 5. Preheat your baking stone in a 450 degree oven. 6. Lightly spray six separate pieces of baking parchment with oil (you can reuse these from week to week). With your fingertips, spread the dough into a 10 circle, creating a ridge on the outside if you want. Let the dough rise, uncovered, for another 30 minutes. 7. Top with whatever suits you, and bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted (about 8-10 minutes), removing the parchment once the crust swells and begins to firm up.

Pretzel Buns

August 21 2016 Vegan Dad 

Pretzel Buns With the new school year ready to start in just over two weeks, its time to get serious about baking for lunches. Of course, with two weeks of summer still left why not bake something that can also  help you get the most out of the waning BBQ season? These pretzel buns are perfect for a veggie burger, tofu salad, or my summertime favourite: tomato and cucumber. The dough recipe is more or less Peter Reinharts but I have altered the method so the end product has that deep brown pretzel colour but it still soft enough to function as a bun. INGREDIENTS Makes 12 buns Dough - 31.5 oz (6 3/­­4 cups) white bread flour - 16.5 g (generous 2 1/­­2 tsp) salt - 5 g (1 1/­­2 tsp) instant yeast - 18 fl. oz (2 1/­­4 cups) lukewarm water - 1.5 oz (3 tbsp) oil Poaching Liquid - 16 fl. oz (2 cups) water - 2 oz (8 tsp) baking soda - aquafaba for brushing - sesame seeds METHOD 1. Combine the flour, salt, yeast, water, and oil in a bowl. Bring together into a rough ball and let sit for 5 minutes. Knead (either by hand or a machine) until dough is smooth but slightly tacky (about 5 mins).  Add water or flour as needed). 2. Shape dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for an hour, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down, knead lightly for a minute, reshape into a ball and let rise in the covered bowl for another hour (or until doubled). 3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly spray with oil. 4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shapes into boules. 5. Roll each boule into a rope about 12 to 14 inches long. Shape into buns per the pictures below. a) Grab the rope with your left hand about 1/­­3 of the way up, with your right hand at the opposing end. b) Use your right hand to make a knot in the dough where your left hand is positioned. Use the fingers of your left hand to keep the knot open.  c) Tuck the end in your right hand under and through the hole (at 4:00 if the bun was a clock). d) Tuck the end in your left hand over and through the hole (at 7:00) to the back of the bun. Use the end that was formerly in your right hand to close the hole. 6. Mist the top of the buns with oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for about 30 mins, until swelled but not doubled. 7. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 8. Prepare the poaching liquid: in a large pot bring the water to simmer. You want about 1.5 inches of water it the pot, so adjust the amount above as needed. Make sure to increase the baking soda the same amount. When water is simmering mix in the baking soda and stir to dissolve. 9. Poach the buns (working in batches as your pot will allow) for 30-60 seconds each side, placing the top side in first. Remove with a slotted spoon back to the prepared baking sheet. 10. Brush each bun lightly with aquafaba and top with sesame seeds. 11. Bake for 16-18 minutes, rotating the baking sheet at the halfway point. 12. Let fully cool on a wire rack.

Umami Burgers

May 14 2016 Vegan Dad 

Umami Burgers These burgers came about from trying to use up the cans of chickpeas in my fridge from making batch after batch of Lemon Meringue Tarts. I first turned to my three go to sources of umami: tomatoes, soy sauce, and mushrooms. For texture, I used barley (like my Tourti?re recipe). The end result is a durable (i.e. grillable) and non-mushy burger with plenty of flavour. These burgers freeze well (just thaw them before grilling) and when cooked keep well in the fridge. They taste good cold, or microwaved a few days later. The kids love them for lunch so I grill them up on Sunday and they take them to school throughout the week. INGREDIENTS Makes 12 burgers - 1/­­2 cup pot barley, cooked (in veggie broth or beer) until soft (about 30 mins), cooled - 1/­­4 olive oil - 1 large onion, diced - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 1 celery rib, minced - 3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms (about 8 oz/­­227g) - 1 can chickpeas, drained - 1/­­4 cup tomato paste - 2 tbsp light soy sauce - 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice, ground - 1 tsp smoked paprika - 1 tsp chili powder - 1 tsp ground coriander - 1/­­4 cup nutritional yeast - 1/­­2 cup instant oatmeal - 1/­­4 cup flour - 1/­­4 cup instant tapioca - 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (i.e. day old bread ground up in a food processor) - seasoned salt and black pepper to taste METHOD 1. Cook the barley until tender, drain, then set aside to cool in a large bowl. 2. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and celery for 5-7 mins, until soft and onion is translucent. 3. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 5 mins, until mushrooms have released their water and have cooked down a little. 4. Remove from heat and add to the barley. Mix well. 5. Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor. Be careful not to make them into a paste. 6. Add the pulsed chickpeas to the bowl, along with the tomato paste, soy sauce, spices, nutritional yeast, oatmeal, flour, and tapioca. Use a wooden spoon to mix well. 7. Add the fresh bread crumbs and mix well. Season to taste. 8. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes. 9. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a silicone spatula, press the mixture into a crumpet ring (or what have you) to make 12 burgers on the prepared baking sheet. 10. The burgers are more durable when they are cool. Slide the baking sheet into the freezer while you fire up the grill. 11. Grill on a med to med-lo grill (around 400-425 degrees) for about 5 mins per side (so keep the heat moderate so the outside does not burn before the inside cooks). Brush the grill and the burgers with oil to keep them from sticking. The burgers should be firm to the touch and not mushy when they are done.

Lemon Meringue Pie

May 4 2016 Vegan Dad 

Lemon Meringue Pie I know I am late to the aquafaba/­­vegan meringue party, but better late than never I suppose. The issue was that I was never able to get the aquafaba to beat into stiff peaks and so I stopped experimenting months ago. Even after endless whisking on high in the KitchenAid, very soft peaks was the best I could get. And then I recently happened upon recipes that use xanthan gum. Problem solved! Perfect peaks every time (and I wonder if you could cut it down to 1/­­4 tsp for this recipe). Lemon Meringue Pie is one of Vegan Moms favourites (and we have not eaten it for over 10 years) so I was happy to be able to take her down culinary memory lane. The filling is tangy and sweet, and firm without being rubbery. The meringue is some serious vegan magic. The filling calls for both corn starch (white) and corn flour (yellow). This may cause some confusion because what the Brits call corn flour, Americans/­­Canadians call corn starch. This recipe makes one big 10 pie or, as I found out tonight in preparing for a departmental party, 42 tarts. INGREDIENTS - 1 10 pre-baked pie crust Filling - 1/­­4 cup corn starch - 1/­­4 cup corn flour - generous 1/­­2 tsp agar powder - 2 cups + 3 tbsp (17.5 oz) white sugar - 1 3/­­4 cup + 2 tbsp (15 oz) water - 2/­­3 cup fresh lemon juice - 1 cup soy milk Meringue - 3/­­4 cup salt free chickpea aquafaba - 1/­­2 tsp xanthan gum - 1 tbsp lemon juice - 7.5 tbsp (5 oz) superfine white sugar METHOD Bake your shell per whatever recipe you are using. It is best if the crust is slightly underdone since you will be baking the assembled pie. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 1. Whisk the corn starch, corn flour, agar, and sugar together in a saucepan. Whisk in water and lemon juice, then whisk in soy milk. 2. Bring to bubbling over medium high, stirring constantly. When bubbling, reduce heat to med-lo and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly. 3. Immediately pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and set aside to start cooling. The filling will be a bit runny, but it will set in the fridge. 4. Make the meringue: whisk the xanthan gum into the aquafaba, then place in a stand mixer and whisk on high with a balloon whisk until stiff peak form. 5. Whisk in the 1 tbsp of lemon juice, then whisk in the sugar a bit at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly. 6. When the sugar is incorporated and the meringue is no longer gritty, gently spread the meringue over the pie filling. The filling will be wobbly, so be gentle (or pipe the meringue on). 7. Bake at 350 for 12 to 15 minutes, until meringue is lightly browned (or browned to your liking). I like to use convection for this step. 8. Let the pie cool for an hour, then transfer to the fridge. When pie is cool, put in a container in the fridge and completely cool (about 4 hours or up to overnight). If you are in a rush, place the cooled pie on ice packs in the fridge.

Brownies

February 28 2016 Vegan Dad 

Im not sure why the perfect egg-free brownie has been so elusive--that perfect blend of fudginess and chewiness without being to dry or crumbly. As you can see from the ingredient list, the answer is not very complicated at all. This is pure, unadulterated, vegan dessert. INGREDIENTS - 2 cups all purpose flour (scooped and levelled) - 2 cups sugar - 1/­­2 cup dutch process cocoa powder - 1 tsp baking powder - 1 tsp salt - 1/­­2 cup non-dairy yogurt - 3/­­4 cup non-dairy milk - 1 cup vegan chocolate chips - 1/­­4 cup oil - 1 tbsp vanilla METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. 1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. 2. Bring yogurt, and non-dairy milk to just bubbling over medium heat. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Add oil and vanilla and mix until smooth. 3. Mix wet ingredients into dry with a wooden spoon. Mixture will be thick but spreadable. Spread evenly in the prepared pan. 4. Bake for 25-28 mins. Cool and serve.

Savoury Stuffing Rolls

November 24 2015 Vegan Dad 

Savoury Stuffing Rolls What?! A new post?! As I explained on ye olde Vegan Dad Facebook page, I have been battling Crohns 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 heres 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. INGREDIENTS 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 METHOD 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.

Strawberry Tart

July 6 2015 Vegan Dad 

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 dont 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. INGREDIENTS 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 METHOD 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. Filling - 6 cups fresh whole strawberries - 1 cup sugar - 3 tablespoons cornstarch - 1/­­2 cup water METHOD 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. 

Pressure Canned Beans

June 24 2015 Vegan Dad 

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 dont 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.  INGREDIENTS/­­EQUIPMENT - 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) METHOD 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. You need enough that your jars will be under an inch of water when processing. 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. Its 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 5 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.   

Eggless Pasta

June 8 2015 Vegan Dad 

Eggless Pasta This is the aquafaba version of my Fresh Flax Pasta. Im not sure its 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  INGREDIENTS - 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 METHOD 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 its done.

Fluffy Tapioca Pudding

May 19 2015 Vegan Dad 

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. INGREDIENTS - 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 METHOD 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). Dont 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.

Thai Spiced Butternut Squash Soup

March 16 2015 Vegan Dad 

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. INGREDIENT - 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 METHOD 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. 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.

Creamy Chickpeas and Biscuits

February 1 2015 Vegan Dad 

Creamy Chickpeas and Biscuits This is pure comfort food inspired by a frosty walk home one day. The creaminess of the coconut milk compliments 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. INGREDIENTS 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 METHOD 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). Biscuits - 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 METHOD 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.

Lemon Squares

December 24 2014 Vegan Dad 

Lemon Squares Vegan Mom loves lemon squares for the holidays but has been unhappy with any vegan recipe I have tried. So I started experimenting. My basic thinking was to use potato and a variety of binders and proteins to replace the egg so that the filling would both rise and bind in the oven. These are a little more firm/­gummy than I would like but I think the recipe is good enough to post. The top bakes evenly to a golden colour and the filling is nice and lemony. You can fiddle with the recipe as you see fit. INGREDIENTS Crust - 1/­4 cup sugar - 1/­4 tsp salt - 1 cup all purpose flour - 1/­2 cup vegan butter Filling - 1 oz /­ 2 tbsp mashed potato (i.e. potato that has been boiled in its skin, cooled, skinned, and mashed) - 1 oz /­ 2 tbsp water - 1 oz /­ 2 tbsp soy milk - 1/­4 tsp turmeric - 2 tbsp glutinous rice flour - 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten - 1/­2 tsp agar powder - 1 cup white sugar - 1 tbsp lemon zest - 1/­4 cup lemon juice - 3 tbsp all purpose flour - 1/­2 tbsp baking powder - 1/­4 tsp baking soda METHOD Crust Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1. Mix together sugar, salt, and flour. Cut in the butter, then work it into the flour with your fingers so that there are no chunks left. It will be crumbly. 2. Press the flour mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, making sure it is and even depth and well-pressed into the pan. 3. Bake for 15 mins. Filling 1. Blend together potato, water, and soy milk with an immersion blender in a small cup until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in turmeric. 2. Whisk in rice flour until well blended, then whisk in wheat gluten, then the agar. 3. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until very well blended.  Then whisk in zest and lemon juice. 4. Mix together flour, baking powder and baking soda, then whisk into lemon mixture. 5. Pour on top of the crust and bake for 20 mins. 6. Let cool in the pan, then cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Brioche

December 9 2014 Vegan Dad 

Brioche As you may have noticed, I have been turning to mashed potatoes in more and more in my baking. In this recipe, they stand in for 5 eggs and give the final product a soft texture but also a durable structure that holds plenty of air pockets. The other thing that makes this recipe perfect is homemade vegan butter (you can use Earth Balance, of course, but I find it leaves an aftertaste (and you need to reduce the salt in the recipe by at least half)). I make it by the triple batch (blending it in a juice pitcher with my immersion blender) which fits perfectly into this pan. This recipe is a veganized version of Peter Reinharts Middle-Class Brioche, which you can reference in The Bread Bakers Apprentice if you want more direction. It is easiest to do this with a stand mixer, but a spoon and some elbow grease will also do the trick. INGREDIENTS Sponge - 2.25 oz bread flour - 2 tsp instant yeast - 4 oz lukewarm soy milk Dough - 4oz mashed yellow potato (i.e. whole potato boiled in its skin, cooled, peeled, and mashed) - 1 tbsp finely ground yellow flax - 4 oz soy milk - 1/­­4 tsp turmeric (optional, for colour) - 13.75oz bread flour - 2 tbsp sugar - 1 1/­­4 tsp salt - 8 oz vegan butter, a room temperature - soy milk for brushing METHOD Sponge 1. Mix together sponge ingredients until four is well hydrated. Cover and let sit for 45 mins. Dough 1. Blend together mashed potato, flax, and soy milk (and turmeric if using) with an immersion blender in a 4 cup measuring cup until smooth. Warm in the microwave to room temperature. 2. Mix together flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add all of the sponge and the potato mixture and bring together into a dough. Let the dough sit for 5 mins. 3. Using the paddle attachment on a mixer, add in 1/­­4 of the butter, waiting until the previous amount has been fully incorporated before adding more. The final dough will be smooth, satiny, and soft. 4. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with greased parchment paper. Lightly mist the dough with oil, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 5. Spray a muffin tin lightly with oil. Or brioche tins. 6. When dough is ready to be baked, divide it into 12 equal pieces. Shape per this video. Place in the prepared tin(s). 7. Cover and let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the tins are filled. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 8. About 15 mins before baking, gently brush the brioche with soy milk. 9. Bake for 15-18 mins, or until golden brown. Carefully remove from the tin(s) and let cool before eating.

Anatomy of a Muffin

November 8 2014 Vegan Dad 

Anatomy of a Muffin All muffins, more or less, are made up of the basic proportion of ingredients.  This means that the kinds of muffins you can make are limited only by your imagination.  I make mini muffins every week for the kids to take on their lunches--the ones pictured here are a mix of wheat flour, quinoa flakes, and oat bran with 3/­­4 cup of raisins and 3/­­4 cup of hemp seeds for a real protein boost in the middle of the day. You can also add things such as lemon or orange zest, and a variety of spices to craft your own unique muffin creations. INGREDIENTS So, the basic ratio of dry:wet is 2:1 - 2 cups flour(s) or other dry ingredients (bran, wheat germ, quinoa flakes, etc.) - 1 cup liquid (non-dairy milk, orange juice, water, coffee, etc.) I find that the muffins will hold their shape if at least one cup of the dry ingredients is wheat flour (all purpose, or whole wheat pastry).  I also find that soaking things like quinoa flakes and bran in the liquid for 5 mins or so keeps the final batter from being too wet.  If your final batter is to wet or too dry you can always add more flour or liquid as necessary.   The other base ingredients are also easy to remember because they are also 1s and 2s: - 1 tbsp baking powder - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1/­­2 cup sugar - 1/­­2 tsp spice (cinnamon, for example), optional - 1/­­2 cup oil (or applesauce, mashed banana) - 1 tsp vanilla And then you can add: - up to 1 1/­­2 cups of any combination of fruit, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, etc. METHOD Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin. 1. Whisk together flour(s), baking powder, salt, and sugar (and spices, if using) in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add your liquid, oil, and vanilla.  Gently mix until flour is hydrated.  Fold in fruit, nuts, or whatever your are using. 2. Divide batter evenly into the muffin tins.  Bake for 18-20 mins. 3. Let muffins cool for about 5 mins, then remove from tins to a wire rack to fully cool.

Buchty

October 21 2014 Vegan Dad 

Buchty If you are familiar at all with these traditional Czech sweet buns you will note right off the bat that mine do not have any kind of filling. But, since buchty translates as buns I think the name is still appropriate.  I simply find it too finicky to try to seal jam or poppyseed filing inside the dough. I also think you get a better rise, bake, and crumb without a filling.  So do what you want with this recipe. I like to cut the buns in half, toast them, and slather them with strawberry jam for breakfast. INGREDIENTS - 17 oz white bread flour - 1 tsp salt - 1/­­4 cup sugar - 3.5 oz vegan butter, divided (or vegetable shortening) - 8 oz lukewarm non-dairy milk - 4 oz mashed potatoes (i.e. boiled whole in skins, skinned, then mashed) - 1 tbsp instant yeast METHOD 1. Whisk together 10 oz of the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl. 2. Add the melted butter to the warm milk.  Add the mashed potatoes and blend until smooth (I use an immersion blender in a large 4 cup measuring cup).  The mixture will be thick.  Whisk in yeast and let sit for 5 mins. 3. Add milk mixture to the flour and beat until smooth (batter attachment on a stand mixer works well). 4. Cover and let sit for an hour in a warm place. 5. Add the remaining 7 oz of flour and work into a soft, smooth dough.  It should be tacky, but not sticky.  Add more flour or milk as needed.  Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. 6. Line the bottom of a 10x10 baking pan with parchment paper. 7. Melt the remaining 1.5 oz of vegan butter 8. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls. Roll each ball in the butter to coat and place in the pan in four rows of four. 9. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. 10. Bake for 22-25 mins, until a dark golden brown. 11. Remove from the pan to a cooling rack.  Dust with icing sugar before serving if desired.

Raspberry Flakie

September 22 2014 Vegan Dad 

Raspberry Flakie  Oh, how I coveted other kids Flakies when I was a kid. My mom would never buy such swill, of course, which only increased the allure of pre-packaged pastries.  There may or may not be beef tallow in Flakies, so if you are craving a treat from your Canadian childhood this recipe is for you.  The tang of the raspberry gets mellowed by the creamy filling, both of which are complemented by layers of buttery pastry.  I made my own butter this time--I use just a pinch of salt and it is absolutely  perfect for baking.   INGREDIENTS - 1 recipe easy puff pastry - 1 recipe Twinkie filling - 1/­­2 cup sugar - 2 tbsp cornstarch - 1 1/­­4 cups fresh or frozen raspberries  - 1 tsp lemon juice - 1 tbsp water - soy milk for brushing - sugar for sprinkling METHOD 1. Make the puff pastry and chill.  Make the Twinkie filling and chill in a pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice.   2. Make the raspberry filling.  Whisk together sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan.  Add fruit, lemon juice, and water.  Mix well and bring to bubbling over medium-high heat.  Set aside to cool to room temperature. 3. Roll out puff pastry into a 8x16 rectangle. Cut pastry into 8 4x4 squares.  If you want thicker pastries, roll into a 6x12 rectangle and cut into 8 3x3 squares (see bottom pic). Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  4. Chill squares while you heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Brush tops with soy milk and dust with sugar.  Bake for 20 mins, then reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 15 mins, or until pastry is golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.   5. When pastries are cool, cut in half with a serrated knife.  Cover bottom piece with raspberry filling, then pipe Twinkie filling on top.  Place top back on and serve.  

Happy 11th Birthday, Vegan Son #2

August 15 2014 Vegan Dad 

Happy 11th Birthday, Vegan Son #2 When I asked Son #2 what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, he did not hesitate in requesting The Lord of the Rings.  We threw around a few ideas (Bilbos hobbit hole was a contender, but I thought that would require way too much fondant), and then settled on the map of middle earth.  I will admit to pushing for the map because I thought it would be pretty easy.  Ha!  So, sorry out there to all the super fans for the inaccuracies.  Buttercream is harder than you think!  The cake is a triple recipe of my vanilla cake, baked in an 11x15x2 pan. Standard buttercream frosting, chocolate chip mountains, and diluted Wilton gel colours painted on for the coloured accents.

Lemon Raspberry Cake

July 20 2014 Vegan Dad 

Lemon Raspberry Cake I am going to stick with the cake theme for a bit to show you a few variations that are sure to please everyone.  The lemon juice and baking soda action gives this cake a nice rise and a wonderful crumb.  The zing of the lemon with the tartness of the raspberries and the sweetness of the frosting are absolutely perfect.  I made this with jam I had made just the day before from the raspberry canes in our  yard.  Summer perfection! INGREDIENTS - 150g cake flour - 150g all purpose flour - 1 1/­­2 tsp baking soda - 3/­­4 tsp baking powder - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1 1/­­4 cup plain soy milk - 1/­­4 cup fresh lemon juice - 2 tbsp lemon zest - 1 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1/­­2 cup + 2 tbsp canola oil - 1 tbsp lemon  liqueur  (i.e. Limoncello), or 2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp lemon extract - 1 cup raspberry jam (preferably homemade) - fresh raspberries for garnish - lemon buttercream (recipe follows) METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 convection 1. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans.  Cut out two circles of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans.  Put the parchment papers in the bottom of the pans and grease it.  Flour both pans. 2. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk soy milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to blend. 3. Add dry ingredients and gently whisk until blended and mostly smooth. 4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. 5. Bake for 22-24 mins (convection), or 26-28 mins (non-convection), or until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden. 6. Cool on wire racks for 10 mins, loosen cake from edges of the pan, then flip the pans over the remove the cake.  Remove the parchment paper.  Cover the cakes with a lightly damp towel and let them fully cool. Lemon Buttercream Frosting INGREDIENTS - 1/­­4 cup margarine, room temperature - 1/­­4 vegetable shortening, room temperature - 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice - 2 tsp lemon zest - 2 cups icing sugar - 1 tbsp lemon  liqueur  - soy milk as needed METHOD 1. Blend together margarine and shortening with a hand blender until fluffy.  Add lemon juice and zest and blend until smooth. 2. Add icing sugar and blend until fluffy.  Add liqueur and blend more.  Add soy milk, if needed, to get the desired consistency.   TO ASSEMBLE: Cut each cake in half lengthwise and spread 1/­­3 cup of jam on each of the three internal layers.  Spread a very thin layer of icing over all the cake (i.e. a crumb coat) and place in the fridge to firm up.  Use the rest of  the frosting to decorate the cake as you see fit.  There is not a ton of icing here--just enough for a thin layer and some fanciness on the edges.  No need to overpower this delicate cake with gobs of frosting.  Decorate with fresh berries.  Can stay in the fridge until ready to serve if it is a hot day. 

Summer Trifle

July 15 2014 Vegan Dad 

Summer Trifle This is a recipe born out of disaster.  The cake I baked for Vegan Daughters birthday simply would not come out of the blasted Barbie shaped pan she wanted so badly.  I mangled it pretty badly and had to start again, but I tucked the disaster cake into the freezer rather than letting it go to waste.  So then I came up with this recipe.  Everything here is a rough guideline--put together whatever flavours and textures you want.  I included an easy pastry cream recipe, but if you want to use a vanilla bean then follow the method in this recipe. I like the combination of strawberries and raspberries in the sauce, but you can use whatever fruit is seasonal.  Or vanilla cake. As much as this is a throw everything into a bowl kind of recipe, it does take some planning unless you just happen to have extra cake lying around.  Finally, make sure everything is cold before you assemble the trifle. COMPONENTS - 3 cups cubed chocolate cake (a 1/­­2 recipe will do you with cake to spare) - 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (or more), tossed in 1 tbsp sugar - pastry cream (recipe follows) - whipped coconut cream (recipe follows) - fruit sauce (recipe follows) Easy Pastry Cream INGREDIENTS - 3/­­4 tsp agar powder  - 3/­­4 cup sugar  - 1/­­4 cup cornstarch  - 1/­­8 tsp turmeric (optional) - 3 cups plain soy milk (or other non dairy milk) - 2 tsp vanilla extract - 1 tbsp margarine  METHOD 1. Whisk together agar, sugar, cornstarch, and turmeric in a saucepan until well blended.  Slowly whisk in soy milk until well bended. 2. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to bubbling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once bubbling, cook for two mins, stirring constantly. 3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and margarine.  Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap with holes poked into it.  Refrigerate until completely cold. 4. Whisk the cold pastry cream until smooth before putting it into the trifle. Whipped Coconut Cream Either this recipe, or this recipe (I used the second one) . Fruit Sauce INGREDIENTS - 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1.5 tsp corn starch - 1.5 cups sliced strawberries (or strawberries and raspberries mixed) METHOD 1. Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a sauce pan.  Add berries and bring the whole mixture to bubbling over medium heat.  Add a splash of water if necessary.  Gently mash the berries once cooked, if needed, to smooth out the sauce. 2. Place in fridge to completely cool down. ASSEMBLY (in a glass bowl): Basically, the idea is to layer pastry cream, fruit sauce, fresh fruit, cake, and whipped coconut cream.  There really is no wrong way to do it. I only have the coconut cream in the middle layer and on the top.  Remember to reserve some of the fruit to make a design on the top, and some of the fruit sauce to ring the bowl if so desired.   Cover and place in the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.  

Potato Buns

June 9 2014 Vegan Dad 

Potato Buns This is my second staple recipe for the summer (now that you have your roasted tofu): big, soft buns that you can pile whatever comes off the grill onto.  This is a variation on my Everyday Whole Wheat Bread, so watch that video if it helps.  Adding potato makes for nice soft bread, and if you use Yukon Gold or the like, they will add a nice golden colour to the buns. INGREDIENTS Soaker - 18 fl oz warm soy milk - 3 oz mashed potato (see note below*) - 17 oz white bread flour - 1 tbsp instant yeast Dough - 13 oz white bread flour - 2.25 tsp salt - 4.5 tbsp sugar - 3 oz oil - potato flour for dusting METHOD 1. Make the soaker: Add the mashed potato to the warm soy milk and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add to flour and yeast in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon until the flour is hydrated.  Cover the bowl and let rise for 1 hour. 2. Make the dough: Add the rest of the ingredients to the soaker and bring together into a soft, slightly tacky, dough.  Knead until smooth, adjusting flour or liquid as needed.  Shape dough into a ball and place into a oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled. 3. Divide the dough into 12 pieces.  Shape in boules, then press down the boules, seam side up, into a hockey puck shape. Place on a surface lightly floured with potato flour, mist with spray oil, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise until almost doubled, about 40 mins. 4.  Flip the buns over and gently press down with your fingertips to shape them back into hockey pucks.  Dont deflate the dough, just gently reshape it.  Mist with spray oil, dust with potato flour.  Slice the tops of the buns with a sharp knife, at least 1/­­3 of the way into the buns, and cover again. 5. Heat the oven to 400 degrees with one rack in the top third of the oven, once rack in the bottom third.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 6. When the buns have risen (about 20-30 mins) carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake for 8 mins, then rotate the pans and switch racks.  Bake for another 8 mins.  Cool on racks and enjoy! *Note: I prefer to boil whole potatoes with the skin on so that the starch stays in the potato.  Skin and mash the potato when it is done.  If you are pressed for time, peel and cut the potato and boil it, but reduce the soy milk by an ounce.  

Tofu Chops

April 24 2014 Vegan Dad 

Tofu Chops Sorry for the radio silence, kids, its been a busy one lately.  The good news is that my Benjamin  Franklin manuscript has been approved and is moving into production.  The bad news is that I still have a ton of other things to do before my sabbatical ends and I go back to work.  Ha.  I developed this recipe after someone posted on the Facebook page about whether or not I had a vegan pork chop recipe.  I did not.  This is something like that.  Tofu Shake n Bake, I guess.  The secret is brining the tofu, and picking a tofu that is not too firm or too soft.  Too firm will make for a dry chop, too soft will make them mushy.  In any event, these chops taste great with a huge side of homemade applesauce. INGREDIENTS - 1 pkg firm or extra firm tofu, cut into 12 slices (or more) Brine - 2 cups cold water - 1 tsp garlic powder - 2 tsp onion powder - 2 tsp smoked or seasoned salt - 1 tbsp light soy sauce - 1 tbsp sugar Breading - 1 3/­­4 cup panko bread crumbs - 1/­­2 tsp garlic powder - 2 tsp onion powder - 1 tsp sage - 1 tsp paprika - 1 tsp thyme - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1/­­2 tsp ground fennel - 1/­­4 tsp nutmeg - freshly ground pepper - 1 tbsp all purpose flour - 2 tbsp oil Dipping Liquid - 1 cup plain soy milk - 1 tsp yellow mustard - 1/­­2 tsp lemon juice - few splashes of hot sauce METHOD 1. Mix together all the ingredients for the brine.  Pour into a freezer bag.  Add sliced tofu and let it brine for 2 hours in the fridge. 2. When tofu is done brining, remove it from the fridge.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 3. Mix together all of the ingredients for the breading in a large bowl.  Place about 1/­­3 of it in another large bowl. 4. Mix together all of the ingredients for the dipping liquid. 5. Dip a slice of the tofu in the dipping liquid, then toss it in the bowl with the smaller amount of breading to coat.  Place on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining tofu.  Add a few more panko crumbs in if needed.  Use one hand for dipping (wet), the other for breading (dry).  That way you wont muck up your breading and get it all over your fingers. 6. Carefully re-dip the breaded slices in the dipping liquid then toss in the remaining breading to coat. 7. Bake for 20 mins, flipping the tofu after 10 mins.

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Ganache and Frosting

March 2 2014 Vegan Dad 

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Ganache and Frosting Not much to say here other than this is a wonderfully moist chocolate cake with layers of rich ganache and topped with frosting.  I am eating the last piece right now as I blog. INGREDIENTS Cake - 227g cake flour - 65g cocoa - 1 1/­­2 tsp baking soda - 3/­­4 tsp baking powder - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1 1/­­4 cup chocolate soy milk - 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar - 1/­­4 cup water - 1 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1/­­2 cup + 2 tbsp canola oil - 2 tsp vanilla Mocha Ganache - 1/­­2 cup light coconut milk - 1 tbsp instant coffee or espresso powder - 185g bittersweet vegan chocolate chips - 2 tbsp margarine Frosting - 300g bittersweet vegan chocolate chips - 200g margarine (or a margarine/­­vegetable shortening mix) - 150g icing sugar - 1 1/­­2 tsp vanilla - 1/­­4 to 1/­­2 cup soy milk METHOD Cake Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 convection 1. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans.  Cut out two circles of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans.  Put the parchment papers in the bottom of the pans and grease it.  Flour both pans. 2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk chocolate soy milk and vinegar together.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to blend. 3. Add dry ingredients and gently whisk until blended.  Dont overdo it. 4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. 5. Bake for 22-24 mins (convection), or 26-28 mins (non-convection), or until a toothpick comes out clean. 6. Cool on wire racks for 5 mins, then flip the pans over the remove the cake.  Remove the parchment paper.  Cover the cakes with a damp towel and let them fully cool. Mocha Ganache 1. Heat coconut milk and instant coffee to bubbling in a small saucepan over medium heat. 2. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and margarine.  Stir until everything is melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool. Frosting 1. Get water barely simmering in a double boiler.  Add chocolate chips and margarine and stir until everything is melted.  Remove from heat and let cool for 10 mins, or until just barely warm. 2. Add vanilla and icing sugar and whisk until smooth.  As the icing sits, it will begin to get thicker.  Blend in soy milk until you get the consistency you like.  If you go overboard, you can always add more icing sugar. TO MAKE THE CAKE: 1. Cut each cake horizontally into two pieces. 2. When it has cooled, spoon 1/­­3 of the ganache on top of the bottom layer and spread.  Top with the next layer of cake, then 1/­­3 of the ganache, then the next layer of cake, then the last 1/­­3 of the ganache, then the top layer of cake.  If the layers start to slide a bit, just take your time.  Place the cake in a cool place to firm up in between layers if you need to.  I like the ganache to be a little on the runny side so that it soaks into the cake. 3. When your layers are assembled and stable, ice the entire cake in a thin layer of frosting.  I like to do this after I have blended in the icing sugar in but before I add the soy milk.  Place in a cool place to firm up. 4. Ice the rest of the cake.  Top with grated chocolate if you want to.  Enjoy!

Peas and Pasta Soup

February 13 2014 Vegan Dad 

Peas and Pasta Soup This recipe (a spin on an Italian soup with peas and pancetta) is fairly simple in that it does not have a lot of ingredients, and so its success relies on making sure those ingredients are top quality.  Making your own veggie stock is ideal, and making your own pasta is essential unless you are lucky enough to live in a place that sells eggless fresh pasta.  The key to the pasta is making a firm dough and giving the noodles some time to dry before they go into the broth. INGREDIENTS - 2 tbsp oil - 1 cup finely chopped firm or extra firm tofu - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1 tsp ketchup - 1/­­4 tsp liquid smoke - 2 tbsp margarine - 1 onion, small dice - 3 cups peas, frozen or fresh - 3 tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian parsley - 8 cups vegetable stock - salt and pepper to taste - 1 recipe fresh pasta, rolled out to #4, cut into wide strips METHOD 1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan over med-hi heat.  Add tofu and fry, stirring regularly, until golden brown on all sides.  Add salt, ketchup, and liquid smoke and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside. 2. Heat margarine in a stock pot over medium heat.  Sauté onion for 5-7 mins, until softened. 3. Add peas, parsley, and stock.  Bring to boil over high heat.  Add pasta and tofu and cook until paste is tender.  Season to taste and serve.

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

January 12 2014 Vegan Dad 

Spiced Sweet Potato Soup A new year, the Gregorian calendar tells us.  What will 2014 bring?  For me, it brings a return to blogging.  Inspired by my time at the Atlanta Veg Fest, I am recipe developing and testing once again and posting the results here.  I am still pretty busy in my non-blogging life, but I realized that I really needed the creative outlet that is this blog.  Plus, I met so many great people in Georgia who love what I do, even though I had not been doing it for a while.  So thanks to everyone: the people who email me about the recipes they like, the almost 27,000 likes on Facebook, the amazing people I have met in person during my travels, etc., etc.  Heres to the vegan family in 2014! This Christmas Santa brought me a Breville FastSlow Cooker--a slow cooker and a pressure cooker all in one.  My mom never was into the whole crock pot thing, so its not something I am familiar with.  If you are also unfamiliar with the ways of the slow cooker, this recipe will show everything you need to know.  The beauty of slow cooking this soup (besides dinner being ready when you come home from work) is that is makes the chunks of sweet potato tender and delicate without being mushy and breaking apart in the broth.  Delightful.  This soup is reminiscent of Indian dal, and so its warm spices and hearty lentil goodness are perfect for a cold polar vortex kind of day. INGREDIENTS: - 2 tbsp oil - 4 cups of sliced onions (halve and slice onions, then measure) - 6 cloves of garlic, minced - 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced (optional, or more if you want more heat) - 2 tsp garam masala - 2 tsp chili powder - 1 tsp turmeric - 1 tsp cumin - 1 cinnamon stick - 4 whole cloves - 6 cups of peeled sweet potato chunks (large, but still bite-sized) - 1.5 cups chopped tomato (canned or fresh) - 1 cup red lentils - 6 cups vegetable stock (or water) - 1 tsp salt (or as needed, to taste) - chopped cilantro for garnish (optional) METHOD This method is for the Breville FastSlow Cooker.  You may have to adjust for your own appliance. 1. Set the slow cooker to the saute setting.  Sauté onions for 8-10 mins, until deep golden brown.  Add garlic and jalapeno (if using) and sauté for 1 min. 2. Add spices and sauté for 1 min. 3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Adjust salt as needed (it depends on how salty your broth is).  Put the lid of the slow cooker on and cook for 8 hours.  Adjust seasoning as needed.  Top with chopped cilantro if you like it.  Serve.

Vegan Irish Cream

December 22 2013 Vegan Dad 

Vegan Irish Cream Another quick post because I have not posted enough calories on this blog for the holiday season.  Har har.  When Vegansaurus posted this recipe for vegan Irish Cream it caught my eye because Baileys was one of my all-time faves back in the day.  Im not sure why I have not explored Irish cream before because there are a bunch of recipes for it out there on the interwebs that are easily veganized.  I made the recipe linked to above, but I remember Baileys being much sweeter.  Granted, its been a good 8 years since I have had the original version, but the combination below satisfies my food memory. The above pic is a 50/­­50 mix of the Irish Cream and almond milk with ice--delicious!  Here is what I did, just in case you like specific measurements.    INGREDIENTS - 1/­­2 cup extra strong coffee - 1 tbsp cocoa powder - 1/­­4 cup each maple syrup, white sugar, brown sugar - 2 tsp vanilla extract - 1 1/­­2 cups Irish whiskey - 1 can coconut milk - 1/­­2 cup plain almond milk (optional, see note) METHOD 1. Brew coffee and place into a pitcher.  Blend in cocoa powder, then sugars and maple syrup until dissolved. 2. Add extract, whiskey, and coconut milk and blend with an immersion blender until smooth.  Thin with almond milk if desired. 3. Refrigerate in a glass jar with a lid and serve cold.  Shake jar to re-blend before serving. Note: I made this with full-fat coconut milk.  Its a bit thick and rich, so I thinned it with almond milk.  I think this would work just as well with low fat coconut milk, but you might not want to thin it.  Do what works for you.

Tofu Banh Mi

December 15 2013 Vegan Dad 

Tofu Banh Mi Here is part two of my 2-part series on making Banh Mi for a holiday (or some other kind of) party.  Now that you have your baguettes fresh from the oven, its time to top them and eat!  This recipe makes a lot, so if it is just for you, cut the tofu and marinade in half.  You can get away with marinading the tofu, and picking the carrot/­­daikon, for a few hours, but it all tastes better if you make it the day before.  You will have some tofu left over, so just save it for tomorrow.  INGREDIENTS - 2 pkgs of firm tofu, cut into 16 slices each Marinade - 1/­­2 cup light soy sauce - 1/­­4 cup sesame oil - 1/­­4 cup fresh lime juice - 2 tbsp rice vinegar - 2 tsp Sriracha - 1/­­4 cup brown sugar - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 2 tbsp mined fresh ginger Carrot-Daikon Pickle Double the recipe if you like lots of pickle - 1 cup white vinegar - 1 cup water - 1/­­2 cup sugar - 3/­­4 tsp minced fresh ginger - 11oz grated carrot (about 1 1/­­3 cup) - 11oz grated daikon (about 1 1/­­3 cup) - 1 whole star anise - sliced cucumber (I use a vegetable peeler to get long, thin slices) - Vegenaise - chopped cilantro (optional) METHOD Prep the Tofu 1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients.  You can mash the garlic and ginger together with a mortar and pestle if you desire.  Place sliced tofu in a large baking dish and pour marinade over.  It is OK to stack pieces of tofu on top of one another--just make sure there is marinade between the slices.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Make the Pickle 1. Bring vinegar, water, and sugar to boil in a saucepan.  Add ginger, carrot, and daikon, and bring back to boiling.  Remove from heat and add the star anise.  Pour into a large glass jar, and bring to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake the Tofu 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Adjust oven racks so you can bake two baking sheets at a time. 2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Place 16 pieces of tofu on each sheet.  Brush generously with the marinade. 3. Bake for 10 mins, then flip tofu and brush generously with marinade.  Switch the rack that the sheets are on, and bake for another 10-15 mins.  Tofu should be dry and slightly crisp on the edges. Assemble the Sandwiches and Serve 1. Cut baguettes horizontally.  Spread Vegenaise liberally on the inside (not traditional, I know, but I like it).  Top with tofu (I like to overlap the tofu 1/­­2 on the piece underneath instead of side by side).  Top with sliced cucumber, and then with drained pickle.  Top with chopped cilantro, if desired. 2. Slice each baguette into 8-10 pieces each and serve.

Savoury Lentil Vol-au-Vent with Ginger Applesauce

December 8 2013 Vegan Dad 

Savoury Lentil Vol-au-Vent with Ginger Applesauce These are officially my new favourite appetizer for the holiday season.  Or, make the vol-au-vent bigger and you have your entrée.  The lentil filling is amazing, so dont worry if you have leftovers.  I use it as a sandwich filling. INGREDIENTS Vol-au-Vent - 1 lb (i.e. one recipe) puff pastry Savoury Lentil Filling - 3 cups water - 1/­­2 cup red lentils - 2 tbsp oil - 2 shallots, finely diced - 1 clove garlic, minced - 1/­­4 cup finely diced celery - 1/­­4 cup finely grated carrot - 1/­­2 cup finely diced mushrooms - 1/­­2 cup finely diced cooking apple - 3/­­4 tsp ground fennel seeds - 1 tsp ground sage - large pinch of cinnamon - pinch of nutmeg - 1/­­2 tsp light soy sauce - 3/­­4 cup vegetable stock, divided - salt and pepper to taste Ginger Applesauce - 1 tbsp margarine - 1/­­2 tsp minced fresh ginger - 1/­­2 tsp lemon juice - 1.5 cups small diced cooking apple - 1 tbsp sugar METHOD Vol-au-Vent Makes 8-12, depending on size. These arent hard to make, but they take a little skill.  The key here is to roll out the pastry evenly, and to keep the size of your cutter in mind so you dont waste and pastry (i.e. if your pastry is 3.5 times the width of your cutter, you will waste pastry).  You cant re-roll the scraps like you can with with pie pastry. Dont cut out too much of the middle or the sides will sag,  as you see here.  Still tasty, though! Preheat oven to 425 degrees 1. Roll the chilled dough out 1/­­4 thick on a lightly floured surface.  Cut out as many shapes as you can (you want an even number).  Cut out the centres from half of them.  These will be the tops. These are the cutters I used 2. Place the bottoms on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Lightly brush with soy milk. making sure you get all the way to the edges. Prick the bottoms several times with a fork. 3. Place the tops on the bottoms and gently press them down so that the two layers adhere.  Gently brush the tops with soy milk. 4. Bake for 20 mins, then reduce heat to 350, rotate pan, and bake for 8-10 mins, until golden all over. 5. Remove pastry to a cooling rack.  While pastry is still warm, scrape the pastry out of the middle with a fork.  Let fully cool before filling. (So, what do you do with the pastry scraps?  I bake them for 20 mins at 425, then toss in cinnamon and sugar while still warm.) Savoury Lentil Filling 1. Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add lentils, reduce heat to med-hi, and boil for 5-6 mins, until lentils soften and begin to expand.  They will be whitish around the edges but still have red centres.   Drain and set aside. 2. While lentils are cooking, heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Gently sauté shallots, garlic, and celery for 5-7 mins, until golden and translucent. 3. Add carrot, mushrooms, and apple.  Cook for about 5 mins, until mushrooms begin to release their water and the apples begin to soften. 4. Add fennel, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cook for 1 min, until fragrant. 5. Add soy sauce and 1/­­4 of the vegetable stock.  Cook until liquid reduces down. 6. Add drained lentils, and the remaining 1/­­2 cup of stock.  Mix well, then cook, uncovered, for about 10 mins, until liquid has almost all reduced, apples are cooked, and lentil are soft but not cooked into a paste.  Stir regularly. Season to taste.  Add more veg stock if you need more cooking time.  Dont dry out the mixture too much. 7. Fill vol-au-vent while mixture is still warm.  Top with ginger applesauce and serve. Ginger Applesauce 1. Melt margarine over medium heat and sauté ginger for 1 min. 2. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to bubbling.  Reduce heat to med-lo, cover, and cook for about 10 mins, stirring regularly, until apples are soft but still hold their shape.

Roasted Winter Veggies and Tofu with Orange Cranberry Sauce

November 27 2013 Vegan Dad 

Roasted Winter Veggies and Tofu with Orange Cranberry Sauce I thought I would squeak in one last recipe before American Thanksgiving just in case you arent sure what you are making this year.  I love this method for roasting veggies because it produces a dish reminiscent of the Sunday roasts of my youth.  The potatoes are my absolute favourite.  All of this can be made in one pan, so it makes for a less busy holiday kitchen.  The real key here is the cast iron skillet, so if you dont have one go borrow one.   INGREDIENTS Roasted Veggies - 1/­­4 cup margarine - 3 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced in 1/­­2 inch slices - 3 shallots, halved and sliced - 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced - 4 garlic cloves, chopped - 6 sprigs of fresh thyme - a variety of winter veggies: 1 used 3 turnips, 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes, and 6 large carrots,   chopped into large chunks (you want enough to fill up your pan) - 2 cups vegetable broth - salt and pepper to taste Tofu with Orange Cranberry Jus - 1 pkg firm tofu, cut into twelve pieces - salt and pepper - 2 tbsp margarine - 2 cups vegetable broth (more as needed) - 1/­­8 tsp white pepper - 1/­­2 tsp poultry spice - 1/­­2 cup chopped cranberries - 2 tbsp brown sugar - 2 tbsp orange juice - salt and pepper to taste METHOD Roasted Veggies Preheat oven to 400 degrees 1. Heat a large 14 cast iron skillet over med-hi heat.  Melt margarine, then saute leeks, shallots, and onion for 5-7 mins, until nice browned and golden.  Add garlic and thyme and saute for 1 min. 2. Add veggies and mix well to coat.  Cook veggies for 5 mins, stirring regularly to heat through.  Add broth and cook for another 5 mins, stirring regularly.  Season to taste. 3.  Place pan in the oven, uncovered.  Roast veggies for about 45 mins, stirring about every 10 mins, until veggies are golden and tender and broth has reduced. Tofu with Orange Cranberry Jus 1. While veggies are roasting, salt and pepper both sides of the tofu.  Set aside. 2. When veggies are done roasting, remove thyme stems, transfer veggies to a serving bowl and keep warm in the oven. 3. Without cleaning the pan, return it to the stove over med-hi heat.  Melt margarine and add tofu.  Fry on each side for 3-5 mins, until golden.  Add 1/­­2 cup of the broth, then sprinkle pepper and poultry spice over the tofu.  Mix around and flip tofu, deglazing the pan until the broth has reduced. 4. Add another 1/­­2 cup of broth and mix around and flip tofu until broth has reduced.  Remove tofu from pan to a serving dish. 5. Increase heat to high.  Add remaining 1 cup of broth, cranberries, sugar, and orange juice.  Add broth reduces, mash the cranberries.  Reduce by about a third, season to taste, then spoon over the top of the tofu.

Naan Buns

August 26 2017 Vegan Dad 

Naan Buns When we were in Quebec City last week vegan food for the entire family was pretty hard to come by. We ended up eating at a burger place that had some vegan options: tofu on a bun, or something they called LIndien. It was more like a large falafel on a bun, but the kids were more or less pleased with it. The idea is a good one, so I made my own version when I got home (caveat: I did not actually eat the original burger because fried food and me dont get along. Thanks, Crohns!). First up, the naan bun. Next, the burger. INGREDIENTS Makes one dozen buns - 2 cups warm soy milk - 1 tbsp sugar - 1 tbsp lemon juice - 1 tbsp yeast - 775g/­­1lb 11oz all purpose flour - 3/­­4 tsp salt - 1 tsp baking soda - 1 tsp baking powder - 3 tbsp oil METHOD 1. Whisk sugar and lemon juice into the soy milk. Whisk in yeast and set aside to fully dissolve and get frothy. 2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. 3. Add oil and yeast mixture to the flour and bring together into a dough. Knead for about 5 mins, or until smooth. Shape into a ball and placed in an oiled bowl, covered, to rise for an hour. 4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into boules. Press each boule into a flat, puck shape with your finger tips. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or two, depending on the size of your oven and baking stone). Mist buns with oil, then cover. Place another baking sheet on top of the buns (this will let them rise but keep the puck shape) and let rise for about 45 mins, or until almost doubled in size. 5. While bread is rising, place a baking stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. 6. The buns work best if you bake them directly on the hot stone. I slide the parchment off the pan and on to the stone, but you could just put the pan right on the stone. In any event, brush the buns with water (top with poppy seeds if you want), and place in the oven. Reduce heat to 400 degrees. 7. Buns right on the stone will bake in 8-9 minutes. Buns on the sheet wont be far behind. Bake until buns are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. 8. Cool on wire racks and enjoy!

1:15 Buns

January 20 2017 Vegan Dad 

1:15 Buns Welcome to the new year! If your 2017 is going to be anything like my 2016, then you will need this recipe to get some rich bunly goodness into your meals post haste. They are a little more stodgy than a regular bun, but, hey, you can make these in one hour and 15 minutes and they taste better than anything from the grocery store. The key is to have a nice warm place to help the dough rise quickly. The baking soda also gives them a better oven rise. Makes 6 buns INGREDIENTS - 15 oz bread flour - 1 tsp baking powder - 1 tsp salt - 3 tbsp sugar - 1 tbsp instant yeast - 1/­­2 tsp apple cider vinegar - 4 oz warm soy milk - 5 oz warm water - 1.5 oz oil - warm soy milk for brushing - sesame seeds METHOD 0:00 - 10:00: Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and yeast. Whisk apple cider vinegar into the soy milk, then whisk in water. Add to flour along with the oil. Bring into a dough and knead until smooth. Shape into a ball. 10:00 - 30:00: Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place. 30:00 - 35:00: Shape dough into 6 boules. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten into more of a puck-like shape. Brush with warm soy milk. 35:00 - 50:00: Let buns rise in a warm place, brushing with soy milk one more time half way through  the rise. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 50:00 - 60:00: slash buns about 1/­­3 of the way through with a sharp knife. Brush once more with soy milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Finish the rise. The final buns wont have as much rise as a regular dough but dont worry, they have a good oven rise. 1:00:00 - 1:15:00: Bake the buns for 7.5 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 7.5 minutes. Cool and serve.

Garbanzo Bread (or buns)

October 21 2016 Vegan Dad 

Garbanzo Bread (or buns) I developed this recipe to get rid of the many cans of beans I had sitting in my fridge, drained of their precious aquafaba. The beans up the protein content of the bread and enrich the dough, giving it a wonderfully soft texture and more delicate crumb. Although the sponge does smell rather beany, the chickpeas are indistinguishable in the final loaf. I always make a double recipe (in two separate bowls) and bake four loaves, or two loaves and a dozen buns. (And I apologize for my idiosyncratic measurements. Thats just how I roll.)  INGREDIENTS Makes 2 loaves or 12 buns Sponge - 1lb 1oz flour (see note below*) - heaping tbsp instant yeast - 1/­­2 can unsalted chickpeas + warm water to make 20oz Dough - all the sponge - 11oz flour - 1/­­3 cup packed brown sugar - 3oz oil - 2 1/­­4 tsp salt METHOD 1. Make the Sponge: Whisk together flour and yeast. Place your blender container on your scale, add the chickpeas, then the water to make 20oz. Blend until very smooth. Add to the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until blended. It will take a little elbow grease. Cover and let sit for an hour. 2. Make the Dough: add the remaining ingredients to the sponge and bring into a dough. Knead for 5-7 mins, or until smooth. 3. Let rise in a lightly oiled bowl for an hour, or until doubled in size.  4. Punch dough down. If Making Bread: divide into two, shape into loaves, and let rise in 1.5 lb loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 38-40 mins. If Making Buns: divide into 12 pieces and shape into boules. Flatten into pucks and let rise on a large baking sheet (or two) lined with parchment paper. Brush with soy milk and bake at 400 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  *NOTE: You can use hard baking flour, all purpose flour, or a mix of the two. All purpose flour gives the bread a country loaf feel and is perfect for hamburger and hotdog buns (and makes a great loaf too). When I use hard flour, I usually slash the tops of the loaves (and the hamburger buns) before baking (as you can see in the picture).  You can also use whole wheat flour but may have to add more water to the final dough. 

Pumpkin Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

October 15 2016 Vegan Dad 

Pumpkin Brioche Cinnamon Rolls This recipe is a bit fussy but I thought I would post it anyway. The idea was to create a cheaper and easier brioche using margarine (instead of Earth Balance which I think has a weird taste, or homemade vegan butter). The problem is that margarine does not firm up in the fridge the way butter does, so the final dough is tricky to work with. Also, you need to keep the ingredients cold so the margarine does not melt. The xanthan gum gives the dough some structure, and flouring the dough before rolling helps as well. Dont worry if the rolls look a bit sloppy before they prove, as you can see from the pic it will all work out in the end. If this sounds like too much trouble, just use vegan butter and forget the xanthan gum.  INGREDIENTS Sponge - 2.25 oz bread flour - 2 tsp instant yeast - 4 oz lukewarm soy milk Dough - 8 oz  very cold  margarine - 6 oz cooked pumpkin, cold (see note below*) - 4 oz cold soy milk - 16 oz bread flour - 2 tbsp sugar - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1 tsp xanthan gum (optional) Filling - 2 tbsp cooked pumpkin, cold - 1 tbsp margarine - 1/­­2 cup brown sugar - 2 tsp cinnamon - 1 tsp ground ginger - 1/­­4 tsp nutmeg - 1/­­8 tsp allspice Icing - 2 tbsp soy milk (more if needed) - 1 1/­­2 c icing sugar METHOD Sponge 1. Mix together sponge ingredients until four is well hydrated. Cover and let sit for 45 mins. Dough 1. Measure out the margarine and place it in the freezer.  2. Add  pumpkin, soy milk, flour, salt to the sponge and bring together into a dough with the paddle attachment. Let the dough sit for 5 mins.  3. Using the paddle attachment on a mixer, add in 1/­­4 of the butter at a time, waiting until the previous amount has been fully incorporated before adding more. The final dough will be smooth, satiny, and very soft. 4. Switch to the dough hook and knead in the xanthan gum. The dough should gather in a ball around the hook. 5. Transfer dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.  6. On baking day: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll/­­pat the dough on a well-floured surface into a 18 x 14 rectangle. Flour the top of the dough if needed.  7. Whisk pumpkin and margarine together. Mix in sugar and spice. Spread on to the dough, leaving a 1 space on the long side.  8. Roll up along the ling edge, ending at the 1 space. Cut into 12 1.5 pieces, tuck the piece of dough with filling on it to the bottom and place on the baking sheet.  9. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise a room temperature for about 2 hours, or until about doubled in size.  10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 15-18 mins, until golden. 11. Make the icing. Mix together soy milk and icing sugar. It should be thick but able to be drizzled off the end of a spoon. Add more soy milk as needed.  12. Let cool for 10 mins on the baking sheet, then drizzle the icing over the rolls. Let fully cool before eating.  *NOTE: Microwaving is the way to go here. Cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down on a plate and microwave until flesh if soft and coming away from the skin. Allow to cool in the fridge before using, and keep the leftovers in a sealed container for other recipes. 

Smoked Tofu

October 5 2016 Vegan Dad 

Smoked Tofu Smoked tofu is not hard to make but it takes some planning and time to make it right. This recipe is perfect for sandwiches, pizza, or anytime you need salty and smoky flavour. INGREDIENTS - double recipe of brine - Two 1 lb blocks of firm/­­extra from tofu - 4 cups smoking chips - water - aluminum foil METHOD 1. Cut each block of tofu into four equal pieces. Submerge in the brine for two days, refrigerated. (I put everything in an old juice pitcher) 2. On cooking day, soak the smoking chips in water for 30 mins. Drain and put into a large foil package with many holes poked in the top. I make a large rectangle that fits the length of the burner, more or less. 3. Remove the grill from one half of the BBQ and begin heating one element/­­burner on high. After a few minutes, place the foil package on the coals or drip shield (depending on your BBQ). Once it begins smoking, reduce heat to med-lo. I use foil to cover up the holes in the lid that most BBQs have to attach a rotisserie, in order to keep more smoke in. 4. Place the tofu on the upper rack of the opposite side of the BBQ, as far away from the heat source as possible. Close the lid and smoke for 1.5 hours, or until the smoke stops. The temperature should be around 200 F for the entire time. 

Viennese Whirls

September 10 2016 Vegan Dad 

Viennese Whirls The Great British Bakeoff is back and all is well with the world. I had never heard of these biscuits/­­cookies before I saw them them in episode 2, but I knew immediately that I wanted to try them. What a bonus that the recipe is so easily veganized. I tried a version will all vegan butter but it did not come out as well as this version. I made a bunch of raspberry jelly this summer from our own berries, and it was absolutely perfect for this recipe. Use whatever jam you like, or check out the original recipe and make your own. INGREDIENTS Cookies - 6 oz soft vegetable shortening - 3 oz soft vegan butter - 1 3/­­4 oz icing sugar - 8 oz all purpose flour - 1 oz corn starch - large pinch of salt - pinch of turmeric (optional) Buttercream Filling - 3 1/­­2 oz soft vegetable shortening - 7 oz icing sugar - 1/­­2 tsp vanilla extract - raspberry jam METHOD Cookies Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Move two racks to the centre positions.  1. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Use a 2 round cutter as a guide to draw 12 circles on each sheet of paper. Turn the paper over so the pencil marks are underneath. 2. With an electric hand mixer, beat the shortening, vegan butter, and icing sugar until pale and fluffy. 3. Add flour, corn starch, salt, and turmeric (if using) and mix well with a wooden spoon, until smooth. 4. Transfer mixture into a piping bag fitted with a medium star nozzle. Pipe 24 swirled rounds (not rosettes), inside the circles on the baking sheets. 5. Bake both trays for 6 minutes, then rotate pans (and switch racks) and bake for another 6-8 mins, until they are a pale golden-brown. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes then carefully transfer to a wire rack. Buttercream Filling 1. Beat all ingredients with an electric hand mixer until light and smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. TO MAKE THE COOKIES Spoon jam onto the flat side of 12 of the biscuits. Pipe the buttercream over the jam and sandwich with the remaining biscuits. Dust with icing sugar to finish.

Blended Mocha Iced Coffee

May 30 2016 Vegan Dad 

Blended Mocha Iced Coffee Just a quick post to help beat the summer (spring?) heat. A good blender is a great investment, especially when you can churn out tasty drinks like this that arent cheap at your local coffee place (and are really mostly ice anyway). Add whatever you want to this base recipe to customize it to your liking. INGREDIENTS Makes 2 servings - 4 tsp instant coffee - 4 tsp cocoa powder (I like Dutch process) - 1 1/­­2 cups non dairy milk - 1/­­3 to 1/­­2 cup sugar - splash of vanilla extract - 14 ice cubes (i.e. one tray) - whipped topping (optional) METHOD 1. Place all ingredients except the whipped topping in the blender and blend on high until smooth. 2. Top with whipped topping, if desired. I like the Better than Whipping Cream from Homemade Vegan Pantry. That stuff is some serious vegan voodoo.

Sloppy Joes

May 13 2016 Vegan Dad 

Sloppy Joes Ive done a few versions of Sloppy Joes but the kids never really liked any of them. This recipe is a nice compromise--some lentils, some mushrooms, some veggie ground round--that we all love. INGREDIENTS - 1/­­3 cup brown lentils, cooked - 1/­­4 cup olive oil - 2 medium onions, diced - 2 celery ribs, minced - 2 clove garlic, minced - 1 green pepper, chopped - 3 cups chopped cremini mushrooms - 1 tsp oregano - 1 pkg veggie ground round (340g) - 1 cup ketchup - 1 5.5oz can tomato paste - 11 oz (i.e. 2 cans) water - 1/­­3 cup red wine vinegar - 2 tbsp hoisin sauce - 2 tbsp brown sugar - 1 tbsp Montreal Steak Spice, ground - Tabasco sauce or Sriracha to taste - salt and black pepper to taste METHOD 1. Cook the lentils until soft but not mushy, about 25 mins. 2. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery, garlic, and green pepper for 5-7 mins, until soft and onions are translucent. 3. Add mushrooms and oregano and cook for another 5-7 mins, until mushrooms have released their water cooked down a bit. 4. Add the lentils and the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 mins. If too runny for your liking, simmer with the lid off. 5. Serve on toasted buns (I like them open faced).

Yogurt

March 2 2016 Vegan Dad 

This recipe is a mashup of the two yogurt recipes Miyoko Schinner has given us in Artisan Vegan Cheese and Homemade Vegan Pantry. I like the thickness of the soy yogurt recipe, but I prefer the taste of almond milk so this recipe is the best of both worlds. A purely soy yogurt will set beautifully on its own without the aid of the cornstarch or agar, but I find it to be rather temperamental. If the yogurt gets too hot it will separate. Here, the starch and agar help set the almond milk whilst keeping the final product homogeneous. Perfectly thick yogurt every time. NOTE 1: this recipe makes a lot (but with four kids it does not last long). Half the recipe if needed, but also note that it will keep in the fridge for about 2 weeks. NOTE 2: Start this recipe by using a commercially available yogurt as your starter (you can use a dried yogurt culture, but usually they contain skim milk powder). For the next time you make yogurt, save 6 tbsp of yogurt from this recipe. The first batch might taste a little weird (depending on the quality of the yogurt you bought--they are all pretty horrible around here) but by your second batch and beyond you wont taste it anymore. INGREDIENTS Makes about 6.5 cups - 1 cup raw whole cashews, soaked for a few hours - 2 cups almond milk - 4 cups soy milk - 2 tbsp cornstarch - 1/­­2 tsp agar powder - 6 tbsp yogurt with live cultures METHOD 1. Blend the soaked cashews with the 2 cups of the almond milk. If you have a super blender like a Vitamix, you dont need to soak the cashews. Blend until smooth. 2. Whisk the cornstarch and agar into the 4 cups of soy milk in a saucepan. Add the cashew mixture and place over medium heat. 3. Heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and glossy. You wont need to bring it to a boil (about 180 F), but it will be hot and steaming. You will notice the mixture getting glossier and sticking to the bottom of the pot a bit as you stir. Its going to take a good 15 minutes. 4. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir occasionally to prevent a skin from forming. When mixture is cooled, whisk in yogurt. 5. Pour boiling water into a large container with a lid to sterilize. Pour out water before adding yogurt. I use a massive 6 cup mason jar. 6. Pour yogurt into sterilized container and put on the lid. The trick now is to keep the jar warm (at around 110 degrees F) for the next 8-15 hours. I wrap my mason jars in a bunch of towels and leave it  near the heater. In the summer, I leave it out in the sun. The longer you leave the yogurt, the more it will set and the tangier it will get.

Good and Lovely Christmas Ice Cream

December 18 2015 Vegan Dad 

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 dont have one, just make sure your cashews are nice and soft before blending INGREDENTS 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 METHOD 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. Chestnuts 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.

Pressure Canner Chili

August 5 2015 Vegan Dad 

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 Isas 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. INGREDIENTS 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 METHOD 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.

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies

July 4 2015 Vegan Dad 

Chocolate Chip and Walnut Cookies Most of my forays into aquafaba have been failures, but these are a smashing success. I dont 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. INGREDIENTS Makes 18-24 cookies - 1 1/­­4 cups (200g) all purpose flour - 1 tsp baking soda - 1/­­2 tsp salt (only 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 METHOD 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.

Creamy Beans on Toast

June 13 2015 Vegan Dad 

Creamy Beans on Toast We are having an actual spring this year--regular rain and cool nights. Its days like these that make me seek out something warm, hearty and comforting. Best to enjoy this dish before it gets too hot.  INGREDIENTS - 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 METHOD 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

Garbanzo Balls

May 25 2015 Vegan Dad 

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.  INGREDIENTS Makes 24 - 2 19oz cans unsalted chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and well-drained - 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 METHOD 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). 

Caramel Corn

April 18 2015 Vegan Dad 

I cant eat this tasty treat because of my Crohns, 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. All my pictures were blurry (argh!). I will take more when I make this again. INGREDIENTS - 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 METHOD 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 dont 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.

Mexican Bread Pudding with Spiced Syrup

February 23 2015 Vegan Dad 

Mexican Bread Pudding with Spiced Syrup This recipe is a mash-up of Isas 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 its 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. INGREDIENTS 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 METHOD 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 serving.

Butter Tart Squares

December 24 2014 Vegan Dad 

Butter Tart Squares Butter tarts are a staple of the Canadian holiday diet but are tricky to veganize. The problem is not replacing the butter, but the egg yolk which helps bind everything together as the tarts bake. I have gone for the butter tart square here because when I made tarts the filling kept rising right out of the shells and making a real mess. You can solve this problem, more or less (see the pic I posted on Facebook), by adding the extra flour indicated in the recipe, but I think this makes for a drier filling. So, the squares look a little messy, but the mess is contained in the pan and you still get that gooey, caramely, butter tart experience with less fat that a regular butter tart. INGREDIENTS Crust - 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1/­­4 tsp salt - 1 cup all purpose flour - 1/­­2 cup  vegan butter Filling - 2 tbsp vegan butter, melted - 1 oz /­­ 2 tbsp mashed potato (i.e. potato that has been boiled in its skin, cooled, skinned, and mashed) - 1 oz /­­ 2 tbsp water - 1 oz /­­ 2 tbsp soy milk - 1 tbsp ground golden flax seed - 2 tsp  glutinous rice flour - 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten (optional) - 1/­­4 tsp agar powder - 1 cup packed brown sugar - 2 tbsp flour (+1 tbsp flour, optional) - 1/­­2 tsp baking powder - 1/­­4 tsp salt - 1 tsp vanilla - 1 cup raisins - 1/­­2 cup chopped walnuts METHOD Crust Preheat oven to 350 degrees 1. Mix together sugar, salt, and flour. Cut in the butter, then work it into the flour with your fingers so that there are no chunks left. It will be crumbly. 2. Press the flour mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 pan, making sure it is and even depth and well-pressed into the pan. 3. Bake for 15 mins. Filling 1. Blend together potato, water, and soy milk with an immersion blender in a small cup until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in melted butter.  2. Whisk in flax seed, then the rice flour until well blended. Whisk in wheat gluten (if using). Whisk in the agar. 3. Add sugar and whisk vigorously until very well blended. 4. Mix together flour (with additional flour, if using) , baking powder, and salt, then mix into the sugar mixture until well blended. Add in raisins and walnuts. 5. Pour onto the baked crust an spread to cover evenly.  Bake for 20 mins.  6. Let cool and cut into squares. 

Panettone

December 17 2014 Vegan Dad 

Panettone Warning: this recipe is not as accessible as some of my other baking recipes and will require a bit of experience and time to pull off. The recipe is similar to the brioche recipe I posted last week in that it uses mashed potatoes in lieu of eggs, and in that you need to work a fair amount of fat into the dough. A stand mixer is key to getting this done efficiently. The other key ingredient is sourdough starter/­­barm which will give your final loaves a spectacular taste and texture. I like to make a firmer barm because it holds up in the fridge for longer--my barm is 12 oz of flour, 5-6 oz water, 4 oz old barm. If your barm is wetter you might have to add more flour to the final dough. I like to make two smaller loaves because they are easier to bake consistently. The recipe is veganized from Reinharts The Bread Bakers Apprentice. Makes 2 loaves INGREDIENTS Sponge - 7 oz barm - 8 oz lukewarm soy milk - 4.5 oz all purpose flour Fruit Mix - 6 oz golden raisins - 3 oz currants - 3 oz dried cranberries - 4 oz alcohol (rum, brandy, whiskey) - 1 tbsp lemon extract - 1 tbsp vanilla extract Method, Day One: 1. Cut up the barm and place in the warm soy milk for 5 mins to soften. Add the flour and mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. 2. Cover the bowl and let rise until bubbly--about 4 hours. Refrigerate overnight. 3. Mix together all of the fruit mix ingredients in a bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. Stir occasionally to coat the fruit. INGREDIENTS Final Dough - the sponge from Day 1 - 13.5 oz all purpose flour - 1.5 oz sugar - 3/­­4 tsp salt - 1 tbsp instant yeast - 2 oz mashed potato (i.e. potato that has been boiled in its skin, cooled, skinned, and mashed) - 1 oz water - 2 oz soy milk - 1/­­4 tsp turmeric - 4 oz vegan butter, at room temperature - 5 oz sliced almonds - soy milk for brushing Method, Day Two: 1. Remove sponge from the fridge and let warm up for an hour. 2. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. 3. Blend together potato, water, soy milk, and turmeric with an immersion mixer (I do it in a glass 4 cup measuring cup). Heat to room temperature in the microwave. 4. Add sponge and potato mixture to the flour. Use the dough hook to bring everything together into a dough. Let rest for 5 mins. 5. With the dough hook on med-lo speed, add in the vegan butter 1/­­4 at a time making sure the previous addition is incorporated before adding them next. This will take around 10 mins. The dough should be very soft and shiny. 6. With the speed still on med-lo, add the fruit mixture with any remaining liquid, and the almonds. Knead until well incorporated. The final dough will be very soft. 7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Using floured hands, Stretch and fold the dough about six times. If the dough is too wet to work with, gently knead in flour before stretching and folding again. Resist adding too much flour--the dough will be very tacky but not sticky. It will firm up as it rises. 8. Shape into a ball and place in a large well-oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 2 hours. 9. Prepare two 8 inch round pans. Cut a piece of parchment to fit in the bottom. Cut a 3 strip of parchment to make a collar on the inside of the pan. Hold it in place with a a piece of tape on the outside or a staple (like you see in this picture, but not so high). 10. Divide the dough into two, and shape into balls. Gently press into the prepared pans. The dough does not need to touch the sides but it should mostly fill the pan. 11. Brush the loaves with soy milk, then mist with oil. Cover the pans and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours. The trick here is to make sure you wait for a good rise or the loaves will split in the over from rising too quickly. The dough should have just about doubled. 12. Preheat the oven to 325 with the rack in the bottom third of the oven. 13. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the loaves reach 185 in the middle. 14. Remove the bread from the paper and pans and let fully cool before serving.

Baked Lemony Potatoes and Tofu

November 30 2014 Vegan Dad 

Baked Lemony Potatoes and Tofu I think a roasted potato is one of the most delicious things in the world. Add in a hearty portion of  flavourful tofu and the zing of lemons and you have yourself a wonderful winter meal. How much of each ingredient you use is really up to you and the size of your baking dish. Drizzle some gravy over it all if that is your thing, and dig out that applesauce you made in the fall. INGREDIENTS - 2 1lb pkgs of extra firm tofu, brined, each cut into 4 pieces (or however you see fit) - 2 tbsp margarine or oil - fresh oregano - 3 garlic cloves, chopped - good roasting potatoes, cut into chunks - 2 lemons - freshly ground pepper - 1 cup vegetable broth, plus more as needed METHOD Preheat oven to 450 degrees 1. When the tofu is done brining, heat a frying pan over med-hi heat. Add margarine and sear the tofu pieces on all sides. Do this in two batches, with more margarine, if necessary. 2. Place the pieces of tofu in a baking dish (I use a 8.5x11 cast iron one) with space in between. Drizzle the frying margarine over top. Place springs of fresh oregano and chopped garlic in between the pieces of tofu. Add the lemon slices and enough potato chunks to fill in the spaces. Dont make things too crowded, but they can be a bit snug. Grind fresh pepper over the whole lot. 3. Add 1 cup of veggie stock to the pan and place in the oven, uncovered. After the first 20 mins, baste about every 10 mins. If the stock dries up too quickly, add more in as needed. You dont want a cup of liquid left over at the end--you want just enough to keep everything moist. If your potatoes are browning too quickly you can reduce the heat to 425. Everything should be nicely roasted after an hour.

Chocolate Danish Braid

November 2 2014 Vegan Dad 

Chocolate Danish Braid This recipe makes use of the quick laminated dough technique I use for puff pastry and croissants.  You can, of course, make a traditional danish dough if you want to (replace the cream cheese in the the recipe with mashed potatoes).  I think the results are pretty good with the quick dough, though, and spending less time laminating works for me. You can fill this with whatever you want, but the chocolate is always a crowd pleaser.  You will also have to forgive my idiosyncratic measurements in the recipe. Quick Danish Dough - 300 g all purpose flour - 3/­4 tsp salt - 3 tbsp sugar - 1 1/­2 tsp instant yeast - 140 g cold margarine or vegan butter - 7 oz cold plain soy milk - 2 oz cold mashed potatoes (i.e. potatoes boiled whole, then skinned, then mashed) - 1/­2 tsp vanilla Chocolate Filling - 1/­4 cup icing sugar - 1/­4 cup all purpose flour - 1/­2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - 2 tbsp cold margarine - 1-2 tbsp soy milk - soy milk and maple syrup for brushing - sliced almonds - course sugar METHOD To Make the Dough: 1. Whisk together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Cut in cold margarine like you would for a pie crust. 2. Blend mashed potatoes and vanilla into the soy milk with an immersion blender until smooth.  Add to flourmargarine mixture and gently mix with a silicon spatula until the flour is hydrated. Use the spatula to shape into a ball as best you can. 3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the dough over night. 4. On baking day, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and fold twice as per this recipe. 5. Let the dough rest for 15 mins. 6. While dough is resting, blend together sugar and flour for the filling in a food processor. Pulse in the chocolate chips, then the margarine. Blend in enough soy milk to make a thick but spreadable paste. 7. Roll the dough into a 9x14 inch rectangle. Spread the paste down the middle third of the dough rectangle. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut 1.25 inch diagonal strips on both sides of the filling (like this). Cut off the triangular pieces at the top and bottom to leave a flap at the top and bottom.  Fold the top flap down, then start folding alternating strips over the flap and then the filling at an angle. Fold the bottom flap up before you cover it with the remaining strips. 8. Carefully transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover, and leave to rise until almost doubled.  Since the dough is cold this will take about 2 hours. 9. Preheat oven to 425. Mix a splash of maple syrup into about 1/­4 cup of soy milk.  Gently brush the braid with the soy milk mixture.  Let sit for 5 mins, then brush again.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds and sugar. 10. Bake for 15 mins, then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 15 mins, or until a deep golden colour.  You can cover the braid with foil if it browning too quickly. 11. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

In Memory

October 5 2014 Vegan Dad 

In Memory  Last week my grandmother passed away after 94 years on this earth. Born in Pennsylvania to Slovak immigrant parents who worked in the steel mills and rail yards around Pittsburgh, she did not have an easy life. My grandfather passed away almost 30 years ago and yet my grandma carried on, making ends meet from his meagre pension and the little that Social Security provided. And yet, her generosity knew no bounds. We were always welcomed into her home with food, and lots of it. She taught me about hospitality and I have tried in this blog and at my own home to keep that alive. Food politics so often divides us that we forget how a meal can bring us together. I am so grateful that I got to know my grandmother for almost forty years and that all my children were able to hear her laugh and listen to her stories. So tonight I am making a big batch of pierogies in her honour and thinking about how my grandmas hospitality and love touched so many.

Vegan Twinkies

August 25 2014 Vegan Dad 

Vegan Twinkies  Finally the final post in my vanilla cake series!  Every time we have a family weekend at the cottage, my sister in law sends me recipe ideas that the whole family can enjoy (vegan and non).  I was never that in to Twinkies, but it is a rather fun way to eat cake and frosting.  She send me this recipe which looked good, but I wanted to make the traditional filling so it could be stable at room temperature.   There is a little bit of wiggle room with this recipe.  The problem I had was getting the bleedin cakes out of the pan.  No amount of greasing, flouring, etc. made it any easier, so I had to go with a more durable cake so it could get it out of the pan in one piece.  If you are better at getting cakes out of a pan than I am, you can add up to 2 tbsp more milk and up to 2 tbsp more sugar (see pic below). INGREDIENTS Makes 8 Cake - 100g cake or pastry flour - 50g all purpose flour - 3/­­4 tsp baking soda - 1/­­2 tsp baking powder - 1/­­4 tsp salt - 1/­­2 cup soy milk - 1 tbsp lemon juice - 1 tbsp orange juice - 1/­­2 cup sugar - 1/­­3 cup oil - 1/­­2 tsp vanilla extract - 1/­­2 tsp lemon extract - 1/­­4 tsp almond extract Filling - 2 tbsp all purpose flour - 1/­­2 cup soy milk - 3/­­4 cup icing sugar - 1/­­4 cup cold margarine - 1/­­4 cup coconut oil, room temp - 1/­­4 tsp salt (or to taste) - 1 tsp vanilla extract METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees Cake 1. Sift together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk together soy milk, orange juice, and lemon juice.  Whisk in sugar, oil, and extracts until smooth and consistent. 3. Add wet ingredients to dry and gently whisk until smooth.  Divide batter evenly in the separate sections in the pan (60g per section). 4. Bake for 16-20 mins, or until golden and baked through. 5. Allow cakes to fully cool before removing from pan. Filling 1. While cakes are baking and cooling, make your filling.  Whisk flour into the soy milk in a small saucepan.  Place over medium heat and whisk until thick and cooked through.  Set aside to fully cool. 2. When flour mixture is cool, use a hand mixer to beat in the icing sugar, the margarine, coconut oil, and salt.  When fluffy, beat in extract.  Place in fridge to cool down for a least 30 mins. 3. Put filling into a piping bag fitted with a #5 tip (or similar).  Poke the tip into the underside of the Twinkies in three or four spots along its length and gently squeeze in filling.  You will feel the Twinkies swell.  Dont over fill. These cakes have the additional soy milk and sugar.  You can see that they are more tender (and are overfilled) but that has resulted in some breakage getting them out of the pan, and some splitting when they were filled.  They tasted amazing, though.

Ultimate Boston Cream Pie

August 1 2014 Vegan Dad 

Ultimate Boston Cream Pie This is the second to last instalment of my vanilla cake series.  Boston Cream Pie is the first multi-component dessert I learned to make.  My mom had a wooden recipe box with handwritten recipes from my great grandmother.  I was fascinated by her cursive style, and by the prodigious amounts of sugar and butter each recipe called for.  My mom had scribbled reductions in the margins but I always tried to follow the original recipes for maximum effect.  I think I was about 12 years old when I started making Boston Cream Pies for the family.  This recipe has all the classic components but has a little fancier presentation. INGREDIENTS - 1 recipe vanilla cake Cream Filling INGREDIENTS - 1/­­2 cup sugar   - 1/­­2 tsp agar powder  - 2.5 tbsp cornstarch  - large pinch of turmeric  - 2 cups plain soy milk - 1 vanilla bean, slit and scraped   - 1 tbsp margarine  METHOD 1. Whisk together agar, sugar, cornstarch, and turmeric in a saucepan until well blended.  Slowly whisk in soy milk until well bended. Add vanilla bean scrapings and bean pod. 2. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to bubbling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once bubbling, cook for two mins, stirring constantly. 3. Remove from heat, remove vanilla bean pod, and add margarine.  Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap with holes poked into it.  Refrigerate until completely cold. 4. Whisk the cold pastry cream until smooth before putting it into the cake. Ganache INGREDIENTS - 1/­­2 cup light coconut milk - 200g bittersweet vegan chocolate chips - 2 tbsp margarine METHOD 1. Heat coconut milk to bubbling in a small saucepan over medium heat.  2. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and margarine.  Stir until everything is melted and smooth.  Set aside to cool completely.   TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE: I find it easiest to assemble this cake on a cake plate with a lid so that it can easily go in and out of the fridge. 1. Cut each cake in half laterally.  Spread one third of the cooled cream filling in between each of the internal layers (i.e. not on the top).  Cover and place in the fridge for 30 mins to firm up. 2. The next step relies on the ganache being completely cooled down, even a little cold.  Place it in the fridge if necessary.  When cooled, cover the entire cake in a thin layer of ganache, cover, and place back in the fridge.  Some ganache may get spilled on the plate during all this.  No worries, you can clean it up at the end. 3. Add a second think layer to the sides of the cake, and put the rest on the top.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Vanilla Cake

July 17 2014 Vegan Dad 

Vanilla Cake This is a basic vanilla cake recipe that is perfect for layered cakes of all kinds (a slight variation of my chocolate cake recipe).  I like the mix of cake flour and all purpose flour--it makes the cake durable but still moist and tender.  You can change the ratio to your liking.  The flour measurements are in grams because I have found that weighing flour is the best way to get consistent results every time.  I find that this cake bakes evenly and so no trimming is required to make a layered cake.  If you missed my live posting on Facebook of the birthday cake I made for Son #3 yesterday, I have included pictures of it here.  It is the vanilla cake recipe posted here (obviously) with what can only be described as an obscene amount of frosting.  We rode the sugar high for hours!  The fondant recipe I used really did not work well (despite the look of the final product).  I will try to develop one for future cakes.  INGREDIENTS - 150g cake flour - 150g all purpose flour - 1 1/­­2 tsp baking soda - 3/­­4 tsp baking powder - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1 1/­­4 cup plan soy milk - 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar - 1/­­4 cup water - 1 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1/­­2 cup + 2 tbsp canola oil - 2 tsp vanilla extract - 1/­­2 tsp almond extract METHOD Preheat oven to 350 degrees, or 325 convection 1. Grease two 8 inch round cake pans.  Cut out two circles of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the pans.  Put the parchment papers in the bottom of the pans and grease it.  Flour both pans.  2. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl.  In a separate bowl, whisk soy milk and vinegar together.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to blend.  3. Add dry ingredients and gently whisk until blended and mostly smooth. 4. Divide batter evenly between the two pans. 5. Bake for 22-24 mins (convection), or 26-28 mins (non-convection), or until a toothpick comes out clean and cakes are golden. 6. Cool on wire racks for 10 mins, loosen cake from edges of the pan, then flip the pans over the remove the cake.  Remove the parchment paper.  Cover the cakes with a damp towel and let them fully cool.

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake

June 22 2014 Vegan Dad 

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake For me, shortcake is an essential summer staple.  You start the season with strawberries, then move on to blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and peaches.  You can leave the rhubarb out if you want (but might need to splash in a little more soy milk), but it does add some nice flavour.  Frozen rhubarb would work well here as well--just let it thaw a bit so you can chop it up. INGREDIENTS - 1 3/­­4 cup all purpose flour - 1/­­4 cup sugar - 1 tbsp baking powder - 1/­­2 tsp salt - 5 tbsp coconut oil - 3/­­4 cup finely chopped rhubarb - 1/­­2 tsp apple cider vinegar - 3/­­4 cup non-dairy milk, plus more for brushing - sugar for sprinkling METHOD 1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Cut in coconut oil with knives or a pastry cutter.  Place bowl in the freezer to cool down the coconut oil. 2. Add the vinegar to a 1 cup measure (the kind that has markings for other measurements as well).  Fill to the 3/­­4 cup mark with non-dairy milk (almond works very well) and mix.  Place in the freezer as well. 3. Heat oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 4. When the oven is almost heated, add chopped rhubarb to the dry ingredients, then mix the liquid ingredients in to make a wet dough.  Transfer to a floured surface, lightly flour top of dough, and press into a rectangle with your fingers.  Use a pastry scraper to fold like a letter.  Rotate 90 degrees and repeat. 5. Press/­­roll into a larger rectangle and cut into squares.  The size of the pieces, and the thickness of the dough, is up to you.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with non-dairy milk and sprinkle with sugar. 6. Bake for 12-14 mins, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Roasted Tofu

June 2 2014 Vegan Dad 

Roasted Tofu This is a fantastic recipe that can be the basis for many a meal this summer.  It is great as an actual roast (you could glaze it if you want), or sliced up cold on a sandwich, or smothered in BBQ sauce.  You could put the tofu in a smoker instead of roasting it.   INGREDIENTS - 1 pkg extra firm tofu (pressed, if you want) - 3 tbsp margarine Brine - 2 cups cold water - 1 tsp garlic powder - 2 tsp onion powder - 2 tsp smoked or seasoned salt - 2 tsp paprika - 1/­­4 tsp allspice - 1/­­4 tsp ground cloves - 1/­­4 tsp ground cardamom  - 1 tbsp light soy sauce - 1 tbsp brown sugar - few dashes liquid smoke METHOD 1. Mix together brine ingredients.  Submerge the whole block of tofu in the brine and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.   2. Line an 8x8 baking dish with aluminum foil.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 3. Heat the margarine in a frying pan over medium high heat.  Brown each side of the tofu then place in the prepared baking dish.  Pour whatever liquid is left in the pan over the tofu. 4. Bake for 40 mins, basting the tofu every 10 mins. 5. Let cool for 10 mins, then slice and serve.  Sliced roasted tofu, pan-fried, smothered in BBQ sauce, topped with slaw.  

Hearty Barley Soup OR Hearty Irish Stew

March 20 2014 Vegan Dad 

Hearty Barley Soup OR Hearty Irish Stew We celebrated the first day of spring today with a snow day for the kids.  We are still below zero here so I am still all about the soups and stews.  If you are having warmer weather and dont feel like soup, I dont want to hear about it.  This recipes makes use of a quick stock--all of the veggie trimmings stuck in a pressure cooker to make a tasty broth.  Using the onion skins helps give the stock a rich colour and flavour, so make sure everything is well-washed.  As noted below, you can use this recipe to make an Irish Stew should you be so inclined.  Two for the price of one! INGREDIENTS Soup - 3/­­4 cup pot barley - water - 3 tbsp oil - 2 large onions, diced - 2 celery stalks, diced - 2 cloves garlic, minced - 2.5 cup peeled potatoes cut in chunks - 2 peeled carrots, halved and cut into thick slices - 2 tsp ground coriander - 1 tsp cumin - 1/­­2 tsp cinnamon - 1 tsp mushroom soy sauce - 2 tsp hoisin sauce - 2 cups peas - salt and pepper to taste Quick Stock - all trimmings from the veggies above (well washed), including onion skins - 10 cups water - 4 dried shiitake mushrooms - 8-10 fresh thyme stems - 1 tsp salt METHOD 1. Cook the barley: put rinsed barley in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water.  Bring to boiling, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 mins.  Drain before adding to the soup. 2. Make the Quick Stock: while the barley is cooking, put all of the stock ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 30 mins.  Pass through a strainer before adding to the soup. 3. Make the Soup: Heat the oil in a stockpot somewhere between med-lo to medium heat.  Sauté the onions and celery for 15 mins, or until they are a deep brown, stirring regularly.  Dont burn them, so watch your heat.  If they are not a nice brown colour, keep going for another 5 mins or so. 4. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min.  Add the spices and fry for 1 min.  Add potatoes and carrots and mix well. 5. Add the strained stock, cooked and drained barley, and the sauces.  Bring to bubbling over high heat, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer for about 30 mins, or until the veggies are tender.  Add peas and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. TO MAKE IRISH STEW No real recipe here, but rather some suggestions of how to use this recipe as the base for an Irish Stew.  Reduce the barley to 1/­­4 cup, add another onion, and more potatoes and carrots.  Add some sage to the spices.  Add a protein source: tofu cubes, seitan chunks, possibly white kidney beans. Up the water to about 12-13 cups.  Add some beer to the mix.  Cook uncovered to reduce the stew down. Thicken the stew after the veggies are cooked by mixing flour in with some soy milk and adding to the stew.  Add a few tbsp of tomato paste for a richer sauce. And make some soda bread!

Mushroom and Barley Tourti?re

February 25 2014 Vegan Dad 

Mushroom and Barley Tourti?re Barley and mushrooms combine with warm spices and maple syrup to make a wonderfully delicious vegan version of a French Canadian classic.  Barley gives structure to the filling and complements the mushrooms taste and texture.  You can make the filling the day before to let the flavours really blend together, and to save you some time on baking day. INGREDIENTS Makes a 10 pie - pie crust - 2 tbsp oil - 2 onions, diced - 2 celery stalks, finely chopped - 4 cloves garlic, minced - 2 tsp ground fennel - 1 tsp thyme - 1/­­2 tsp rubbed sage - 1/­­2 tsp cinnamon - 1/­­4 tsp cloves - 1/­­4 tsp coriander - pinch nutmeg - 8 cups chopped assorted mushrooms (I used oyster, cremini, and portabello) - 1 tbsp light soy sauce - 2 tbsp maple syrup - 1/­­3 cup vegetable stock - 1/­­2 cup red wine (or more vegetable stock) - 2 cups cooked pot barley (cooked in vegetable broth is best) - 1.5 cups diced potato, boiled for 3-5 mins, until slightly tender - salt and papper to taste - plain soy milk for brushing METHOD 1. Make your pastry, chill, etc. 2. Cook the barley according to the directions on the bag.  Generally, 1 cup of uncooked barley will yield almost 4 cups of cooked barley.  I like to have extra on hand to throw into soups and the like throughout the week. 3. Boil your potatoes while the barley is simmering.  Rinse with cold water and set aside. 4. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Sauté onions and celery for 5-7 mins, until softened.  Add garlic and spices and cook for 1 min more. 5. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, maple syrup and stock.  Mix well and cook for about 5 mins, stirring regularly, until mushrooms have released their water and have cooked down. 6. Add red wine and cook for 5 mins.  Add barley and potato and mix well.  Cook for another 5 mins or so, stirring very regularly.  The mixture should be moist but not soupy.  When you drag your stirring utensil along the bottom of the pot, liquid should not immediately fill the void. 7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Adjust spices as needed. 8. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the fridge to cool down. 9. Make the pie as per usual.  Brush the top crust with plain soy milk and place in the fridge. 10. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with a rack in the bottom third of the oven.  When oven is up to temperature, brush the top crust once more with soy milk.  Bake for about 50 minutes, or until top crust is golden brown.

Cream of Tomato Soup

February 4 2014 Vegan Dad 

Cream of Tomato Soup This soup is thick and rich and creamy and perfect for a soup and sandwich lunch on a cold winters day.  It does take a little time to make, but the flavour and the texture that comes from reducing all the ingredients down is well worth the wait. INGREDIENTS - 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes (or plum tomatoes) - 2 tbsp oil - 1 sweet onion, diced - 4 cloves garlic, minced - 4 stems of fresh thyme - 1/­­2 cup diced carrot - 1/­­4 cup red lentils - 4 cups vegetable stock - 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes - 1 can light coconut milk - salt and pepper to taste METHOD 1. Make a tomato paste: Place chopped cherry tomatoes in a small saucepan.  Bring to bubbling over medium heat and cook, uncovered, for 10-12 mins, until thickened and tomatoes have broken down.  Mash with a spoon as they cook. 2. Use a spoon to push the tomato mixture through a fine sieve until just the skins and seeds are left behind.  It will yield about 3/­­4 cup. 3. While tomatoes are cooking, sauté onions with a large pinch of salt over medium heat in a large pot for 5-7 mins, until softened.  Add garlic, thyme, carrot, and lentils and sauté for 2 mins more. 4. Add stock, canned tomatoes (juice and all), and the cherry tomato paste.  Bring to bubbling over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered for about 40 mins, or until liquid has reduced by a third and veggies are barely covered.  REMOVE THYME STEMS. 5. Blend with an immersion blender, or in batches in a blender, until very smooth.  Return to heat and add coconut milk.  Mix well.  Heat through, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve.

Holiday Nog

December 23 2013 Vegan Dad 

Holiday Nog OK, I think I have all of my holiday beverages sorted out now.  For the past few years I have made Isas Matrioshka EggNog, but the problem has always been getting the perfect avocado (as this image suggests).  Considering how far avocados have to travel to get all the way up here, its no surprise.  If you have a party to host and all the avocados at the store are as hard as rocks then its no nog for you.  So this year I swapped out the avocado with cashews, blended like crazy, and presto: holiday nog!  For better or worse it is very much like the 99 cent cartons of eggnog we used to quaff down when I was a kid (i.e. sweet milk with nutmeg).  Works for me. .  For the past few years I have used Isas INGREDIENTS - 1 cup whole, raw cashews soaked in cold water overnight - 3 cups plain almond milk, divided - 1/­­2 to 3/­­4 cup sugar - 1 tsp vanilla - 1 can coconut milk - 1/­­2 tsp turmeric (optional) - 1 tsp nutmeg - 1/­­4 tsp cinnamon - rum to taste METHOD 1. Place the soaked cashews and 2 cups of the almond milk in a blender.  Blend until very smooth.  If you are like me and have a pretty crappy blender, you can pass the mixture through some fine cheesecloth at this point to remove any graininess.  Or leave it as is if you dont mind a little texture. 2. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Chill and reblend right before serving.

Cranberry Christmas Cookies

December 21 2013 Vegan Dad 

Cranberry Christmas Cookies This will probably be my last post until the new year, so here is a wonderfully crisp sugar cookie with a tart cranberry filling that are pretty easy to make.  There are many recipes of this kind of cookie floating around out there, so call them whatever you want (I went alliterative).  Usually these kinds of doughs are chilled and then rolled, but I dont find any difference with rolling first and chilling later.  In fact, I find it much easier to roll this dough first because when chilled it is pretty finicky.  The cranberry filling is also a snap.  If it does not set up enough to your liking, just boil it again for another minute and retry. INGREDIENTS Cookies - 1/­­2 cup refined coconut oil, room temperature (or margarine) - 1/­­2 cup margarine, room temperature - 1 1/­­2 tsp vanilla extract - 1/­­2 tsp almond extract - 3/­­4 cup (90g) icing sugar - 2 cups (315g) all purpose flour (spoon and level flour if you are not weighing it) Cranberry Filling - 1 1/­­2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen) - 3 tbsp orange juice - 3/­­4 cup sugar METHOD Makes 12-18, depending on size Cookies 1. Cream together coconut oil and margarine with a hand mixer, or stand mixer with the whisk attachment, until smooth and fluffy.  Blend in extracts.  Blend in icing sugar. 2. Using a wooden spoon, mix in flour and bring into a soft dough.  Use your hands finish it off if needed. 3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. 4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/­­8 inch thick.  Using a metal cookie cutter, cut out as many shapes as you can.  Using a smaller cutter, punch out the centres of half of them (these will be your tops).  Re-roll dough scraps and repeat until dough is all used up.  Place on prepared sheets, (using a pastry scraper to transfer), cover, and chill for about 30 mins, until firm. 5. While cookies are chilling, preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Bake cookies one sheet at a time for 15-17 mins, until lightly golden on the edges. 6. Let cookies cool on the sheet for 5 mins, then remove to a wire rack to fully cool. Cranberry Filling 1. Heat cranberries and orange juice to bubbling in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook for about 5 mins, mashing cranberries as they cook. 2. When cranberries are well-mashed, add sugar and turn heat to high.  Cook for about 2 mins at a rapid boil, stirring constantly.  Filling is ready when it drips thickly off your spoon (let it drip off the spoon when you first add the sugar and you will see what I mean). 3. Use a spoon to pass the filling through a fine mesh sieve.  Place in the fridge to cool down. Make the cookies: 1. When jam has cooled but is not cold, spread on the bases of the cookies.  If the cookies puffed up too much during baking, simply flip the bottom cookie over so that the baking sheet-sides of the cookies are in the middle.  Dont spread right to the edges, and mound it up a bit in the centre.  Gently press a top on so that the jam spreads into the cut out middle. 2. You can store/­­freeze the cookies like this.  When ready to serve, dust gently with icing sugar. Comment: some people are finding the dough crumbly.  The dough is a bit tricky to work with, but it also makes for a very delicate cookie.  A few tips:  1. Roll first, refrigerate later.  If you chill first, allow the dough to warm up before rolling.   2. Make sure you spoon and level the flour and icing sugar if you are not weighing it.  3. Add some melted margarine if everything is still crumbly.

Banh Mi Baguettes

December 12 2013 Vegan Dad 

Banh Mi Baguettes This is part one of a two-post series on making Banh Mi for a holiday party.  Yes, I know that Vietnamese sandwiches dont usually immediately jump to mind when planning a North American holiday party, but I have received very positive feedback on these.  I first made them for the vegans at our faculty associations holiday fling so that we could get some protein and not get relegated to the dip-less veggie tray.  They were a grand success and were enjoyed by veg and non-veg alike. The trick is getting the right bread.  First time around I made a standard french baguette.  Fail.  The bread was far too chewy which meant people gnawing away while toppings came shooting out everywhere (all while trying to balance a drink and talk).  I have never actually had an authentic Banh Mi so I had to turn to the internets.  Lots of talk of light and crispy bread, and everyone was sure there was rice flour in the dough somewhere.  But few recipes.  I tried using some rice flour, but the end result was always dense and chewy.  So, I ended up going with a kind of baguette/­­hoagie roll hybrid--an enriched dough that can be made fairly quickly, has great flavour, has a soft crumb and crispy crust. I weighed the flour, so the cup equivalents are pretty close--start with a little less and add more flour if needed.  Use a scale if you have one. This makes 3 large baguettes.  If you are not having a party, half the recipe and make two smaller baguettes or a number of smaller buns.  I wont lay any claim to authenticity, only tastiness. INGREDIENTS Makes 3 large baguettes - 12 oz/­­340g/­­2 1/­­3 cup all purpose flour - 12 oz/­­340g/­­2 1/­­3 bread flour - 2 tsp salt - 2 tbsp sugar - 8 oz/­­1cup lukewarm water - 7 oz/­­scant 3/­­4 cup lukewarm soy milk - 1 tbsp instant (not rapid-rise) yeast (or active dry) - 3 tbsp vegetable oil METHOD 1. Whisk together flours, salt, and sugar.  Whisk water and soy milk together, then whisk in yeast until dissolved.  Add liquid ingredients to dry, add oil, and bring together into a soft dough. 2. Knead for 5-8 mins, until smooth.  Shape into a ball, place in a large oiled bowl (turning dough to coat), cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hr). 3.  Punch down dough, reshape into a ball, then place back into the bowl.  Cover and let rise until doubled again. 4. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, trying not to degas the dough too much.  Shape as you would a french baguette (about 16 inches long--whatever will fit on your baking stone), then place in a couche, mist with oil, cover (I use plastic wrap to keep the crust soft), to rise for about 45 mins, or until almost doubled. 5. While dough is rising, place a baking stone in the middle of the oven and a steam pan on the bottom rack.  Preheat to 450 degrees. 6. Right before baking, slash each baguette right down the middle along the length of the baguette.  Slash about 1/­­3 of the way into the baguette (dont slash too shallow). 7. Transfer the baguettes from the couche to the baking stone and pour 1/­­2 cup of hot water into the steam pan.  Reduce heat to 400 degrees and bake for 10 mins.  Rotate loaves and bake for another 10 mins. 8. Remove bread to a cooling rack. Up next!

Easy Puff Pastry

December 2 2013 Vegan Dad 

Easy Puff Pastry Ah, quick laminated pastry dough.  How I love thee.  This is the recipe that inspired my experimentation with making easy croissants.  It is really easy and produces a remarkably flaky pastry for the amount of time it takes to make.  Again, the lamination process is super fast and the end result, while not as light and flaky as the classic method, will totally impress all of your friends.  Puff pastry recipes to follow in later posts! INGREDIENTS Makes 1 lb of dough - 1.5 cups (7.5oz/­­235g) all purpose flour - 1/­­2 cup (2oz/­­60g) cake and pastry flour (or more all purpose) - scant 1/­­2 tsp salt - 1/­­2 lb (250g) cold margarine or vegetable shortening (I like a 50:50 mix) - 1/­­2 cup (4oz/­­125ml) ice cold water METHOD 1. Whisk together flour(s) and salt. 2. Use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour.  There should be largish chunks of fat visible--dont cut it down too much. 3. Sprinkle water over the flour/­­fat mixture and gently mix together with a wooden spoon (you dont want to mash the fat chunks too much).  When you cant incorporate any more flour in, use your hands to gather together a dough ball.  Press/­­squeeze the flour mixture together to form a dough, rather than kneading.  The final dough will be sticky. 4. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface.  Flour the top of the dough. Roll into a rectangle, about 7x16 inches.  Make sure everything stays well-floured--keep checking under the dough to make sure it is not sticking.  Square everything up by pressing the dough into the side of a pastry scraper. 5. Fold the top down to the middle, and the bottom to the middle.  Fold in half.  Use the pasty scraper to square everything up. 6. Rotate dough 90 degrees (see pic at the top of this post) and repeat step 5. 7. Wrap dough in plastic wrap or waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before using. As you can see, I am back blogging.  Life is still busy here, but I really missed creating and posting new recipes.  I have all the wonderful people I met at the Atlanta VegFest to thank for getting me back in the Vegan Dad groove.  I was amazed that so many people knew who Vegan Dad was, still loved the blog, still followed the Facebook page, and who still (despite the explosion of vegan blogs and cookbooks in the past few years) wanted me to post new recipes.  I also had the great fortune to eat lunch and dinner with Isa in Athens (thanks, Janet!).  She has been a supporter of the blog since the very beginning and is a source of vegan inspiration.  So, Im back.  Ill probably only get a few posts off a month until the book manuscript is in (not a cookbook, I am sorry to say).  Thanks for sticking with me, and lets eat some good food! Here I am contemplating my future whilst Isa signs my copy of her cookbook.

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