Recipes: Vegan Crepes

Well it was recently pancake Tuesday – and I always try to have some crepes or other pan fried doughy bits of happiness!

This is a vegan version since my daughter is vegan; which in some ways ignores the whole point if the day to use up rich fatty foods like cream and eggs! Hence the French word for the day of Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday. (Gras being the root of Grease ya know!)

Since we are not using eggs to help this bind – I use bread flour or some other high gluten flour to make things sticky. This is not a speedy recipe!

Vegetable oil for frying (canola is what I use because it takes the heat!)
1 cup bread flour (or other higher gluten flour; If you use all-purpose reduce you may need to reduce the liquids)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2/3 cup soda water (more or less)
1 teaspoon salt (or you can skip)

1) Mix the flour and almond milk together until smooth thick and creamy. Add more more almond milk or water if it feels too dry or thick. Now let sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature. If you have time let it sit in the fridge overnight and take out the next day to warm up to room temperature.
2) About 20 minutes before cooking crepes gently whisk in the soda water – it will fizz and bubble up adding lightness to the batter. The batter should be cream like consistency – so that it spreads evenly and smoothly across the pan.
4) Use a crepe pan or wide skillet on stove to cook. We want medium heat or the crepes will burn! Have a wide spatula for flipping.
5) Have a reserve of oil and a brush to coat the pan between crepes! The gluten in these is quite sticky so the oil is a must! And without the egg the batter makes soft crepes so we want a slow cook to set the crepe batter.

Really these are in some ways like a tortilla – flour and water. They cook up a bit softer.

Serve with syrup or with your favourite berries and whipped cream.

Recipes: Vegan Cauliflower Soup

Happy Valentine’s day! I forgot what time of the year it is – and really I have never celebrated the day. Or the day never celebrated me? One or the other!

Here is a cauliflower soup that is vegan and gluten-free. Because everything now has to say “gluten free”.

Vegetable oil for frying onions.
1 large onion – diced
1 tablespoon curry
1 tablespoon paprika (added for the colour more than the flavour)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 large russet potato cubed (otherwise known as a baking potato)
1 large cauliflower head cut into pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste (if your broth is already salted remember to taste before adding more)

Optional: add some heat with red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper with the other spices.
Optional: add some protein with 1/3 cup of orange lentils

1) Use a large pot with a lid (6 quart). Heat enough oil to cover bottom of pot to medium-low heat. We want sweat the onions to release the flavour and not brown them or burn them. This is a slow stirring cooking process
2) When the onions are soft and a bit mushy add the paprika and curry powder along with the garlic. Stir into onion mixture for about 30 seconds so the spices activate.
3) Add cauliflower and potato to the base mix and stir until well coated. If required add a dash of liquid to allow for easier coating.
4) Turn up the heat and add the vegetable broth and water. I usually reserve 1 cup of water to see how the flavours develop and how much liquid the cauliflower releases. Bring to boil and then lower to a simmer.
5) If adding lentils do that now. Place the lid on the pot and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. The cauliflower and potato should be soft – if still a bit crunchy let simmer a bit longer.
6) Remove from heat and let cool for a bit. Then using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth. If using a standard blender – only fill to half-way point so you don’t burn yourself. Add more broth/water if you find it too thick.
7) Season with salt and black pepper to taste – or let you guests add their own.

Optional Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to add even more creamy goodness! I find it isn’t required as the russet potato gives a really nice satisfying smoothness to the soup.

Some folks will tell you to oven roast the cauliflower first to get some caramelized smokey flavours into the soup. I am not big on the smell of roasting and charring cauliflower filling my house. And I prefer the simpler yet still hearty flavours of the unroasted cauliflower.

This soup is surprisingly creamy and filling!

Recipes: Curried Vegetables

I seem to have wandered away from writing! Well here is a recipe to fill the time.

1 medium onion – diced
2 tablespoons curry (more or less depending on your tastebuds!)
1 clove garlic minced
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup red pepper chopped
1-2 cups of cauliflower cut into bite sized
1 large tomato cubed
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
salt and pepper to taste

1) In a large skillet with a lid. Fry onions with oil (use enough oil to cover bottom of skillet). Medium heat is good and don’t burn the onions!
2) When the onions are soft and translucent, add curry powder and garlic. Stir into onion mixture for about 30 seconds.
3) Add carrots and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes.Stirring to make certain the carrots are well coated with the curry base.
4) Add tomatoes stirring in and then finally add cauliflower to the mix and cook until desired softness is achieved.
Remove from heat and add ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with rice or enjoy on its own.

Optional Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk to add some creamy goodness!
Sometimes I add a cup of chopped fresh spinach with the cauliflower to add a bit more colour – and some iron!

Heat Stroke

Damn it all.
This is driving me mad.
Like dogs and Englishmen
under the broiling summer sun.

I do not enjoy summer.
Slow shimmering burn
of your clingy moist heat.

I do not enjoy simmering cremation.
The rancid smell of my sweat oozing
between bodily cracks and crevices.

Clearly I am no Sam McGee for
I truly believe:
It is much nicer to have ice
in my boots and toes.

Recipes: Banana Bread

I love bananas a whole bunch! And apparently I don’t eat them fast enough and end up with a few overripe brown ones! But that is why we make banana bread!

1/2 cupĀ Butter (at room temperature!) (or margarine)
1 cups sugar (white or brown)
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup walnut pieces

Prepare a 9×5 loaf pan (grease and flour); Pr-heat oven to 350F

1) In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.
2) In another bowl cream together the sugar and butter until well mixed; Mix in the eggs, vanilla and lemon.
3) Mix in the banana and sour cream with the butter mixture
4) Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixing until evenly blended
5) Pour the batter into the loaf plan, give the pan a shake and a bump to settle the batter.

Bake for 60 minutes (check that a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean)

Let cool a few minutes – and then enjoy!