Monday, May 29, 2017

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 everyone will think you’re a fun guy when you make this traditional side salad as the main meal—all done on the barbecue!

INGREDIENTS
Dressing:
·      ½ cup (125 mL) soy milk (more as needed)
·      ½ cup (125 mL) vegan mayonnaise
·      2 tsp (10 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
·      2 small cloves garlic, minced
·      1 tbsp minced capers
·      ½ tsp each light soy sauce, brown sugar
·      ¼ 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
·      ¼ 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.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

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 powder 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 won't have as much rise as a regular dough but don't 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.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Bread Sticks

Vegan Daughter watched a movie at her friend's 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 don't 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 don't 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. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

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. That's just how I roll.) 

INGREDIENTS
Makes 2 loaves or 12 buns
Sponge
- 1lb 1oz flour (see note 1 below*)
- heaping tbsp instant yeast
- 1/2 can unsalted chickpeas (see note 2 below*) + 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 1: 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.

*NOTE 2: I realize cans of chickpeas vary in size. Generally here they are around 12-15 oz. Half of any can will work, as long as your total liquid is 20 oz. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin Tarts

This is the last of my pumpkin recipes for this fall. It's 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).