Saturday, 29 March 2014

Ethiopian Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew

In our house anything with lots and lots of spice is always a hit, so when I saw a recipe for an Ethiopian dry spice called "Berbere" I knew I had to make it and use it immediately. I suggest you make this in bulk (I quadrupled the recipe) and use it as often as you can. It is amazing.

I cheated and used my NutriBullet to grind up the seeds, flakes and whatnot but if you're insistent you can use the old fashioned mortar and pestle way. When you're done just keep it in a mason jar. 

Berbere Spice Blend:
  • 4 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
Now for the stew. I LOVE lentils. Like, really really love them. And I also love a good stew. We volunteer at Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary in Ontario (Canada) and the farm work visits are potluck. There is something about working your butt off and then sitting down to stew that just feels sooooo good. Stew is also a really easy way to feed a lot of people :)

Anyhow, the ingredients for the stew are:
  • 2 large onions, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp berbere spice
  • 1.5L Broth
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 of a cabbage (red or green) finely chopped
  • 6 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup green lentils (or 1 can)
  • 1 can organic tomato paste
  • In a large pot, sauté the onions in the olive oil. After a few minutes add the garlic and ginger. Next add the berbere and stir well. Now add the cabbage and cook covered for a minute or two. Now you're ready for the broth and potatoes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil before lowering heat and simmering for 20-25 minutes. Lastly add the tomato paste to thicken. 
When the potatoes are done and the broth had thickened I like to give it a once over with the immersion blender to make it extra thick and stewy. Enjoy! 

#goodfoodbadpicture haha

PS - my formatting is all off on this post but I can't be bothered to boot up the laptop and fix it. So I have a bulletted paragraph that shouldn't be. If you didn't already notice, now you will. If you did 8 am painfully aware but totally apathetic. Ha! 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Cinn-Aparts Heaven

I saw a post by #planetvegan linked to "Vegan Monkey Bread" and HAD to try it.

I followed the recipe exactly and it turned out pretty delicious. I would, however make a few small tweaks. I would use the following ingredients:

1 c almond milk
1/3 c warm water
2 T vegan margarine, melted (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 T yeast
3 1/2 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for surface work
2 t salt
1 c brown sugar, packed
2 t cinnamon
1/2 c vegan margarine, melted
3/4 c powdered sugar
2 T almond milk
I'd suggest going to the website (linked above) for full instructions, as she has laid it all out beautifully with photo steps along the way. In addition to the small tweak on the recipe for the goo, I would also suggest baking them for 30-35 minutes if you don't like them quite as soft and doughy, like me. Although to be fair, there was not a single complaint that it was too soft or doughy as I fed the masses today. (Shout-out to Soo-Jin AGAIN just because it makes her happy!)

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Coconut Berry Bundt Cake!

I was really excited this past weekend, though it was bittersweet. We went to the closing sale at The World's Biggest Book Store in Toronto. It was sad to see so many empty shelves. Some of the sections were more picked over than others; art & photography books were scarce, mystery novels on the other hand were plentiful.

Lucky for me there were quite a few cook books left over, and even a handful of vegan ones. I managed to snag this one for a whopping $2.50.

My first project was the coconut berry bundt cake. The only adjustment that I made was adding more fruit, which was a so-so decision. I used fresh raspberries and blueberries, but it did make the cake a little soppy for my liking, though none of my work guinea pigs complained.

This is a pretty easy cake to make, you'll need:

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups raw cane sugar
3/4 cups unsweetened coconut
2 cups of almond milk
2/3 cups oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 cups mixed berries

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. As with most baking, mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl and then add in the wet.Stir well and then add the fruit. Pour into a greased bundt cake and bake for 1 hour. I did 7 extra minutes because the extra fruit was throwing off my stick test. Mine kept coming out with stuff on it but it was just the fruit.

When you take it out of the oven let it sit for about 10 minutes before flipping. The cooler it is the better it will retain it's shape, especially if you use extra fruit. Once it's cooled you can flip it onto a cooling rack and let sit for at least 30 minutes to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar to serve and enjoy! This makes a great breakfast cake!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mmmmm, I love turtles...

A lovely humanoid named Soo-Jin sent me a recipe once upon a time for vegan turtles. You know, those sweet and salty delicious chocolates? Me too. 

I admit that tonight I cheated while making these, because I already had melted chocolate on the go (making macaroons) and "caramel" in the fridge (it's the kiddo's go-to snack) and a variety of raw nuts are always in my pantry. 

If you too have all of these goodies, here's whatcha do.

Pipe a quarter sized dollop of chocolate onto a sheet of parchment paper. In the middle place one half pecan. Around the edges place pecan bits and pieces.

With a small spoon, put a small amount of "caramel" on top of the whole pecan. Sprinkle sea salt on the "caramel" and top with more melted chocolate.

Set somewhere cool (fridge or covered porch/garage if you're Canadian like I am..) In about 20 minutes they should be set and ready to OM NOM NOM.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Protein Bites!

These little snacks are great pre or post workout, or even as a 3pm pick me up. Added bonus, they're also super easy to make! You'll need:

1/2 cup coconut flour
1 & 1/2 cups of pitted dates
1/4 cup of pumpkin seed
1/4 cup of hemp seeds
1/4 cup of goji berries
1 tbsp agave nectar (or more if you want them really sweet)
1 tbsp cacao powder

Blend all ingredients well in a food processor. Roll into tablespoon sized balls and roll in shredded coconut. Lay on a parchment lined cookie sheet and freeze for 30 minutes or fridge for 1hr before eating. Enjoy!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Cinnamon Raisin Waffles!

I got a waffle iron for Christmas. Mostly because I wanted to make shredded hash brown waffles. (With habanero and onions! YUM!) But then the obvious struck me- why not make actual waffles? 

I got the original recipe from the artofdessert blog, but tweaked it a bit to suit what I had and craved. 

3 cups flour
2 Tbs baking powder 
1 Tbs sugar 
1/2 tsp. salt
3 cups almond milk
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp cinnamon
1 handful of sultana raisins

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, preheat the waffle iron. Spoon 1/2 a cup or so at a time into the iron. Badda bing, badda boom. Waffles!

I 'buttered' mine with Earth Balance and added real maple syrup. DIVINE!