It’s over the beautiful Vegan Month of Food. I thought the actively blogging was really a fun thing to do, so you can expect more of where that came from! What I enjoyed even more, maybe because this wasn’t the first time, was looking at all the participating blogs. So many vegans, so many delicious recipes, fun tips and useful information… awesome! Too bad that I didn’t get the chance to read all those blogposts. But I will add a post to it somewhere in November, to give a recap of the most delicious recipes and the most useful information and to see what I thought went well and less well, what was fun and less fun.
Not this cake, but another: Pear Cake!
To conclude, I give you a recipe. It’s based on the apple nut cake I posted last week, it even went into the oven after the apple cake. But I didn’t get any pictures, because when it came out of the oven it was already dark outside and now it’s all gone.
Pear Rhum Cake
1 cup spelt milk
1 tl apple cider vinegar 1/3 cup melted vegan butter or oil
1 to 2 tbsp rhum 1,5/4 cup brown sugar 1,5/4 cup normal or cane sugar 1/2 cup spelt flour 3/4 cup whole wheat flour 1 tbsp cornstarch 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 cup diced pears extra pear slices to put on top of the cake
Stir the spelt milk and apple cider vinegar in a big bowl. Let it rest for a while.
Add the melted butter, rhum and both sugars and stir. Sift the whole wheat and spelt flour in, add the cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda. Stir till no lumps remain.
Add the pear and stir again.
Butter a long baking plate and pour in the dough. Put the pear slices on top of the dough.
Put it in the oven on 250°C for 75 minutes.
If you don’t like rhum, you can easily leave it out of the dough.
The second salad that I prepared for our vegan barbecue was this Carrot-Coleslaw with Tahini Dressing. This salad, also, gets a wonderful fresh taste because of the use of lemon juice (that rhymes!). The ideal dish for a hot summer eve.
For the dressing: 1/2 lemon, squeezed 2 big tbsp tahini 1 tbsp olive oil (EV) 1 tsp appel cider vinegar 1/2 tsp cayennepepper
Slice the carrot and cabbage in long pieces. I use a peeler for the carrots and a bread knife for the cabbage. Put the carrots and cabbage in a bowl.
Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and mix thoroughly (easy with a fork). Pour the dressing over the veggies and mix well, it’s the easiest with your hands. Add some black pepper to taste.
Last weekend, J. and I organised a barbecue for our friends, because they were so sweet to come and help us with the demolition of (some parts of) our house. I spent a full day in the kitchen slicing vegetables, preparing salads, making vegan burgers (from The Best Veggie Burgers On The Planet) and – of course – a delicious desert. I love the spend the day doing nothing else then cooking.
Burgers are great, but I always look forward to the side dishes on a bbq, the salads. This Quinoa Salad is one of the four salads I made. The sweetness of the mango and the sour taste of the lemon in the dressing, make this the ideal cool dish for the summer.
1 cup quinoa
1 can chickpeas
1 red pepper 1 avocado 1/3 cup sunflowerseeds
For the dressing: 1 ripe mango
1/4 cup lemonjuice 1 tbsp olive oil (EV)
1 handfull coriander 1/4 – 1/2 tsp cayennepepper black pepper
Cook the quinoa and prepare the dressing. You slice the mango in little pieces and put them, together with the other ingredients, in the blender. (At first, I used 1/4 tsp cayennepepper, it was slightly too mild for my taste. If you prefer a mild dressing, you should go with the 1/4 tsp).
Rinse the chickpeas and slice the pepper and avocado in cubes. Put them all together in a bowl. Cool the quinoa and add it to the vegetables.
Pour the dressing over the salad and enjoy!
Tip: When you love a little bite in your salad, you should add the dressing right before you’re going to eat it. The dressing tends to make quinoa softer.
Banana bread… I always thought it sounded weird. The combination of bread and bananas seemed strange to me. (Well, maybe not that strange, since my mom used to eat mashed bananas with brown sugar on bread).
Because some bananas, 4 to be precise, were turning overripe, I decided to try this strange type of bread. The problem is that I never stop looking for recipes, so after some time searching I was loaded with recipes for vegan banana bread. I decided to go with the recipe with cacao from That’s So Vegan, but of course I altered a few things.
Guess what? I don’t understand why they call it bananan bread. Because everyone calls it like this, I did too, but eventually it’s a delicious cake that slightly tastes like banana. It doesn’t taste that banana-ey, the light sweet taste comes out in the right amount. And the cacao… is excellent company for the banana!
Layered Banana Bread (adapted from this recipe at That’s So Vegan)
Makes one bread
1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1/3 cup vanilla soy milk 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar 4 ripe bananas 1/2 cup applesauce 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup whole wheat flour 2 1/2 tsp baking powder 2 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat your oven to 180ºC and lightly butter a rectangular baking pan.
Whisk together the canola oil and sugar in a large bowl. Let the vanilla soy milk and the apple cider vinegar curdle for a few minutes.
Mash the bananas into the sugar mixture and stir in the applesauce, vanilla soy milk and vanilla. Sift in the flours and the baking powder and mix. Don’t overmix the dough, it is better to stir with a fork or spatula.
Pour half of the batter into the buttered baking pan and mix in the cocoa powder through the remaining dough. Poor this onto the dough in the baking pan and put it in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour.
Tip: I always use an old knitting needle to see if the cake is done. This is more convenient then a toothpick or a fork because you can pierce to the bottom of the cake (without burning your hands ).
Sometimes nothing is better then a simple dish. A dish full of veggies. These sweet potatoes and beetroots are just that, flavored with garlic and herbs.
Roasted sweet potato and beetroot
4 large sweet potatoes
1 small garlichead
a handfull of thyme and rosemary
Preheat the oven at 220°C.
Cut out the dark spots from the sweet potato but leave their skin on. Slice them in pieces of 1/8 or 1/16, depending on how large they are, they must look like large fries. Peel the beetroot and slice them in 4 or 8 pieces. Put them in an oven dish.
Take the garlichead and cut it in its whole in slices. Don’t peel it, that way they stay in their shape and the flavors can come out quite nicely.
Put the garlic in the oven dish, together with the sweet potato and beetroot.
Divide the herbs over the vegetables, and add pepper and salt to taste.
Poor some olive oil (extra-virgin) over the veggies and mix them together.
Put them in the oven for about 50 minutes, they should be tender with a little crisp.
Tastes great with mashed potatoes and a fresh salad.
A few weeks ago I made an agreement with my parents that I will cook twice (or more) a week. Because I didn’t want to spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen I decided to make some pesto. An easy way to use up all the basil that was just hangin’ around in the garden.
‘Basic’ pesto seemed a bit boring to me, so I decided to make two different pestos. First, I made some basic pesto and devided this in two. On the first batch I added some sun dried tomatoes and in the second portion I processed some rocket salad.
- pine nuts
- (black) pepper Mix all the ingredients (to taste) in the foodprocessor and mix well, but leave some bigger pieces.
Pesto with sun dried tomatoes - sun dried tomatoes Add the tomatoes to half of the basic pesto in the foodprocessor and mix till it’s a smooth mass. This can take a while since there are some big chuncks between those tomatoes. I bought a box of sun dried tomatoes in the store, but you can easily make your own by buying (or taking from your garden) some small tomatoes, half them and grill them in your oven.
Rocket pesto – rocket salad
Add a handful of rocket to the other half of the basic pesto in the foodprocessor. Mix till you become the desired consistency.
Delicious and simple! I served the pasta pesto with grilled bell pepper and some left-over sun dried tomatoes.
We always make a huge batch of pesto, with a good layer of oil you can keep this in your fridge for a few weeks. It’s delightsome on a sandwich but also handy when you want to make a quick pasta!
I love spring rolls (or no-egg rolls). Specially when they’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Spring rolls in autumn Vegan, serves 4.
2 à 3 big carrots
1 red bell pepper
1 can bamboo shoots
parsley (or coriander)
1 big handful of soybean sprouts
1 pack of vegan rice paper (20 sheets)
Chop the veggies and parsley and put them in a bowl. Soak the rice paper sheets in warm water. Remove them apart gently and put them on a kitchen cloth one by one to fill them. Count on about one tablespoon filling per sheet. Heath enough oil in a large pan or wok and set it on high heath so that your oil is hot enough. You’ll probably have to turn the heath down a bit later. Fry the spring rolls per portion so that they become nice golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Spring rolls are the perfect occasion to try some different dips! I made the ‘Sweet and Sour chili-dip’ and ‘Gingerdip’ (p. 146 ?) from Linda McCartney on Tour. (I have the Dutch version of this book, so the pagenumber is from this translation, I guess that in the English version it’s more or less the same). The gingerdip had this wonderful combination between sesame oil and ginger. The sweet and sour chili gave this amazing sweet-hot touch!
I served the spring rolls with the dips, soba noodles and baked green beans. The soba noodles were the perfect dish to accompany the green beens bake in onion (after boiling the beans) and made an excellent side dish.
It’s not because it’s autumn we can’t enjoy a good, hot spring roll!
Chickpea, green beans and bell pepper stew. Vegan, 4 persons.
1 big potato cut in little pieces
1 can chickpeas
a big hand full of green beans
2 red or orange sweet bell peppers
1 large onion
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons roasted and ground coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 red pepper (like Chipotle), minced
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
250 ml vegetable stock
50g dried apricots, soaked and cut into little pieces
25 g raisins, soaked
75 g pitted black olives, cut in half
Heat some oil in a casserole and add the onions and herbs (except for the coriander). Bake until the onions turn soft. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Stir to combine. Add the apricots, raisins, potato and green beans. Bake for 20 minutes over low heat, till the potato begins to soften. Add the chickpeas and bell pepper and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. This makes sure the bell pepper is still a bit crunchy.
Serve with fresh coriander.
This dish is wonderful accompanied by quinoa or couscous.
The vegetables can easily be replaced by whatever you have on hand, just remember to adjust the cooking times.
When the weather is nice, I love to have a good ol’ barbecue. Veggies and burgers are often delicious, but the salads and side dishes are at least as good! There’s nothing as nice as walking into your vegetable garden and picking the veggies of choice. Last week I tried a potato-green bean-salad and some kind of tomatosalsa.
About 10 small potatoes
wild parsley (about 4 twigs)
chive (about 4 ‘twigs’)
2 tablespoons mustard
1 tablespoon agave syrup
juice from 1 lemon
For the dressing: put the mustard, agave syrup and lemonjuice in a jar with a lid. Screw tight and shake it properly. Store in the refrigerator ’till further use. Boil the potatoes and let them cool. Cut them, when necessary, in smaller parts.
Cut the beans in two (or three, depending on their size) en boil them. Let them cool. Mix the potatoes and green beans with the parsely en chive. Add the dressing and some extra pepper, mix it properly.
Peel the tomatoes. You put a cross on the upperside of the tomato. When you’re lucky, you can peel it right off with a knife. Otherwise, you immerse them for a few seconds in boiling water and peel them afterwards (like explained here). Cut them in four and remove the seeds. Cut them in little pieces and put them in a bowl. Chop the herbs and add them to the tomatoes. Pour some oliveoil and balsamic vinegar (about a tablespoon each) over them and you have a wonderful sidedish!
For those who love garlic, you can add one or two cloves.
This salsa is delicious on top of bruschetta or with pasta.
I posted these delicious muffins a while ago on my other (Belgian) blog. So I thought I should share them with you galls too.
Practically they’re not really chocolate chip muffins but rather ‘sprinkle muffins’, this due to a lack of chocolate chips.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Based on “Hot muffins with blueberries and almonds” from Makkelijk Vegetarisch)
250 g flour
1 small teaspoon baking powder
150 g sugar
300 ml milk
50 g margarine, melted
4 tablespoons chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips
1 teaspoon cocoa
Sift the flour, the baking powder and the cacao in a bowl, add the sugar and the sprinkles. Mix in another bowl the milk, butter and egg, whip really well. Add this to the dry mixture, mix it well, so that no lumps remain. Preheat the oven on 200°C. Take a muffin baking tin and cover them with paper muffin cases. Pour the muffinmixture in (I take about 2 tablespoons per case – if there’s any batter left, you can split it between the different cases). Sprinkle some sprinkles on top. Put it in the oven for about 25 minutes and your muffins are ready!
I think they taste best when you let them rest in the fridge for a night.
Next time I’m gonna try a vegan version!