Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Espinacas con Garbanzo (vegan)

I don't remember where I tried or even heard of this Spanish dish, but I do remember I love eating it, I love cooking it, and I love how simple it is. And I got to thinking today, "what a great pie filling espinacas con garbznzo would make!"

I had no pie crust, so I had to make one from scratch. If I had one on hand, this would have been one of the easiest & most delicious savory pies I had ever made. (I basically spent all afternoon on it, and the crust wasn't even that great. Granted, I didn't have the proper flours. I tested a mixture of cake flour, pastry flour, and whole wheat all purpose flour. While the bottom crust was a-ok, the sides were very crumbly and dry.)

This pie would be great to throw together for unexpected vegan guests. Serve it with a side of sweet potato mash for a colorful & delicious meal!

Espinacas con Garbanzo Pie (Espinacas y Pastel de Garbanzos?)

1 par baked pie crust
1 - 2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
4 - 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 bunch fresh spinach
1 t cumin
1 t sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat oil over medium low heat in large saute pan.
3. Add onions to hot oil and allow to cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes more.
4. Add garbanzo beans and cook for a couple of minutes, then mash a bit with the back of a fork.
5. Begin adding fresh spinach in parts - as much as your pan can handle. Allow to wilt before adding more. Add cumin & salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time while adding spinach to incorporate through the mixture.
6. Once spinach is wilted, remove from heat. Spoon mixture into pie crust. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top of your pie filling begins to brown & crust pulls away from the sides.

If you're a fan of tofu, you can also add a seasoned tofu mixture to your pie. I pressed 1 block of hard tofu, mashed it, then mixed in olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and dried oregano. I took about 2/3 of the mixture and folded it into the Espinacas con Garbanzo to give the pie and little extra something.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lemon & Chocolate Chip Cookies

There is nothing special (vegan, gluten free, macrobiotic, etc...) about these cookies other than that they're Christmas Eve cookies. They are delicious and the lemon makes the dark chocolate taste even better!

Recipe to come....

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Spring Rolls

I had my first go at making spring rolls in class the other day, and may I say, it was one of the best things I've gotten to make! I am not a fan of the traditional spring roll. Often times, I find the peanut sauce to be bland and oily. I dislike the rice paper with the vermicelli (rice) noodles and I always think there is too much cilantro. We were able to take the idea of the spring roll and put our own twist on it.

I chose to make an italian spring roll with a tangy & creamy dipping sauce. The marinated mushrooms were flavorful, the mix of fresh herbs were balanced instead of one taking over another, and the whole wheat linguine was a nice contrast to the rice paper. I would love to make these on the regular, and I think this is probably the beginning of a love affair with anything-but-traditional spring rolls.

Recipe to follow....

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cake (vegan)

I always buy too much when it comes to holiday cooking & baking, there tends to be ingredients leftover. This is NOT a bad thing. This just encourages me to get creative past the holiday. I had a can of pumpkin, maple syrup, and cranberries left over after Thanksgiving and I've been craving sweets (not too sweet, though). I poked around the internet looking for a pumpkin-cranberry-oatmeal like cookie thing. I found this recipe for pumpkin oatmeal cookies over on pickycook.com. My first thought was to make it exactly as is, my second thought was make it vegan.

Well, when the time came to get out the butter to let it get to room temperature, I decided I didn't want to put vegan butter in it. Vegan butter out, canola oil in. Then, reading through the recipe, I realized I didn't have any brown sugar, sucanat to rescue! Oh, but I didn't have any of that either. In came the maple syrup (and some extra agave nectar), out went the sugars. Last but not least, I mashed up some banana for the egg, cause let's be honest - who really likes working with egg replacer? Not me.

I measured and mixed and what I had was not a dough - nope, not even after I chilled it. This cookie became a cake! A delicious, fluffy, not-too-sweet vegan cake. Now, I have the perfect breakfast for the rest of the week. The only thing I would add next time? Some chopped nuts!

Recipe to come....