Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bread. Show all posts

Nov 11, 2016

"vegan mexico" + giveaway

The new cookbook by Jason Wyrick has been out for a few weeks now and it is clear that it is a huge hit. Jason's follow-up cookbook to Vegan Tacos [AMAZON], is in the same vein and is packed with authentic and delicious Mexican fare that is also vegan and truly delicious.

A huge bonus is that along with delicious dishes like street foods, tacos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales, salads and soups, Jason also shares basic recipes that ensure that preparing these dishes is possible: homemade masa, homemade tortillas, breads and Quick Queso Fresco.

Jason's heritage is Mexican from his mother's side, so you know that he has actually lived what he shares. The recipes show the passion Jason has for this cuisine and it comes across as genuine and authentic.

Of course, Jason breaks everything down so you get to know the ingredients you will be needing (otherwise it is not an authentic cookbook; if you don't use the proper ingredients - then it is just an interpretive and creative endeavor.) He also covers Mexican history and the specific regions that give rise to specific flavors.

I started with making bread. I have always wanted to make a torta (sandwich), but I could never find the authentic bread that is used. I was very happy to see that Jason has an easy bread recipe for us, so that was my starting point.

These football-shaped rolls are either Bolillos or Birote Salados, depending on a few minor differences. As you can see, they turned out golden with a crisp crust and tender and pillowy inside.

When I made this recipe, I had to almost double the flour. I realize that the dough itself is supposed to be really soft and loose and still very sticky, but without the added flour I would not have been able to shape the dough in any way. The amount of water to flour is so close that I don't know if it was a typo of some kind, but if you encounter the same problem, add enough flour to create a very soft and still tacky dough. After the knead and the rise it will firm up enough, but if you have a puddle of dough instead of something that comes together, just add more flour.

In the end, the bread was perfect, both inside and out. In addition, this was a really easy bread recipe to prepare. Don't be put off by the simple sponge, either! This has to be the easiest sponge I've ever made.

Taking this wonderful bread, I made Jason's Bean and Avocado Sandwich Drowned in Salsa (Torta Abogada).

This sandwich is filled with refried beans, avocados and pickled onions. Then it is drowned in a spicy (or mild) red salsa that is very easy to make. Of course, you can use store-bought rolls for a fast sandwich, but if you have the time, make the bread for it.

I topped it with cabbage and cilantro, as well, since that is a common addition, but it is certainly not necessary. Although it is very authentic to actually pour the salsa over the sandwich, I found that pouring it over the bottom half was sufficient - this way some of the crust of the top of the bread added a needed crunch and textural variation. Delicious sandwich!

Finally, I tried the Pasta Baked in Chipotle Tomato Sauce (Sopa Seca).

This dish is pasta that is drowned in tomato sauce and baked. The pasta actually cooks in the tomato sauce, which is known as fideo. Fideo is Spanish, meaning pasta.

The tomato sauce in this case is laced with chipotle peppers and the baked pasta is topped with Queso Fresco. Jason has a Quick Queso Fresco recipe in the book, but this version is my own. I'll be sharing the recipe later in the month. Enjoy this dish with some of the bread you baked and it adds a wonderful touch.

Overall the book is fantastic and it is a wonderful and useful addition to any library - vegan or not. Jason makes things clear and easy to follow and the recipes are delicious.

Jason and Vegan Heritage Press are sharing a recipe from the book and are also giving away a copy of this book to one lucky US resident.

The contest runs through the 21st and a winner will be announced November 23. Please leave a comment about Jason or Mexican food and make sure I have a way to contact you. Of course, you can check back on this blog on its Wednesday's post, but people do tend to forget to do that if they haven't subscribed. If I can't contact you by the 26th, I will choose another winner. Good luck!

First, though, check out Jason's recipe for Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard.

Photo by Jason Wyrick

Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard
Caldo de Camotes y Alcegas
Makes 6 servings

This simple soup features a mildly spicy broth married with the earthy sweetness of white sweet potatoes and the lushness of wilted chard. It’s not only delicious, it’s a powerhouse of nutrition. Chard, sweet potatoes, and beans conspire to fight cancer and regulate blood sugar and are naturally low in fat. (from Vegan Mexico, copyright © 2016 by Jason Wyrick. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press.)

5 cups water
Corn oil, for frying
4 ancho chiles
10 cloves pan-roasted garlic
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
1 medium white sweet potato, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch chard, greens and stems sliced paper thin
1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans or 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

Bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Heat 1/8 inch of corn oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the anchos and fry them for 20 seconds on each side. Place the anchos in the boiling water, reduce it to a simmer, and simmer the anchos for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the water and when they are cool enough to handle, remove the stems.

In a blender or food processor, purée the anchos, garlic, salt, oregano, and the water used to simmer the anchos until smooth. Return the purée to the pot and bring it to a simmer. Add the sweet potato, chard, and beans and cook until the sweet potatoes are al dente, about 6 minutes.

Oct 7, 2016

autumn panzanella

It is a common custom among cultures to invent recipes that use up stale bread and it makes complete sense. There is no waste of old bread that has lost its freshness and a new recipe is developed.

Panzanella is the Italian version of using up old bread in a salad and it usually uses spring or summer vegetables.  I wanted to reinvent the salad using autumn produce because, well, tis the season.

I made use of cauliflower, carrots, chickpeas, whole grain bead (I'm working on a whole grain refrigerator dough, so I had a loaf hanging around), parsley and scallions.

You could, of course, use whatever vegetables you have lurking in the back of your fridge and no one would be the wiser. That's part of the beauty of panzanella salads.

Roast the cauliflower, chickpeas and bread in the oven and then throw it all into a large bowl. Toss with Italian dressing and you are in the money.

The question then becomes, which Italian dressing is the best for this salad? Mine, of course! Kittee Berns of Cake Maker to the Stars (with the cutest blog *ever* and the best Ethiopian cookbook *ever*) is sharing my recipe from Aquafaba [AmazonB&NBook Depository]. Go get it! I promise, it is worth it!

That's all there is to this one. Lunch or dinner is served. 

Autumn Panzanella
Serves 4

6 tablespoons Italian Dressing (this one from Aquafaba is amazing!), divided
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3 cups cubed bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
Sea salt and black pepper

4 cups chopped Romaine lettuce
2 medium carrots, julienned
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped fine

1. Add 1 tablespoon dressing to a small bowl and toss with the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Transfer the beans to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, stirring often. 
2. Move the beans to a quarter of the baking sheet and add the bread cubes to half of the sheet. Add the cauliflower to the remaining section and season with salt and black pepper. Continue to bake the beans and bread for another 25 minutes, until the beans are lightly crunchy, the cauliflower is golden and tender and the bread is dried out.
3. Transfer the bread to a small bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and set aside for 5 minutes. 
4. Add the lettuce, carrots, scallions, parsley, chickpeas, bread, cauliflower and the rest of the dressing to a large bowl. Toss well, season with salt and black pepper and serve. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Sep 12, 2016

refrigerator dough (aquafaba recipe)

Last week I shared with you the Katsu Banh Mi recipe, with a promise that I would also share the Refrigerator Dough recipe that I used to make the rolls.

Here it is! The aquafaba in this dough makes the finished product extra crisp and crusty - it really is an amazing texture.

This dough really couldn't be any easier; even the water temperature can be cold since it is a refrigerator dough and there is no proofing the yeast***. There is very little kneading and it just basically proofs in your fridge overnight. That really is the only drawback -- it needs to at least proof for 8 hours in the the fridge and cannot be used proofed on the counter as in the traditional sense.

Once it is done proofing, it is a firm dough that needs very little to no flour to roll out.

In addition to making baguettes,

this dough is also great for making pizza - either thin or thick crust. The crust is superbly crispy and chewy, all at the same time.

And it also makes great focaccia bread! Crispy focaccia bread is really amazing and this dough makes an excellent one. Add any topping you want (or none) and you have a great bread to enjoy with a pasta dish, or use it to make my Pizza Burger.

It also makes awesome crusty breadsticks, rolls and fry bread. I recommend you have a batch in the fridge at all times, know, for those unexpected hankerings.

Because this dough makes so many things, I made a video to accompany the recipe, complete with how to make pizza, focaccia, rolls, breadsticks and baguettes.

Refrigerator Dough

Makes rolls, bread sticks, pizza, focaccia, banh mi baguettes, fry bread, etc.

3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (add 2 extra tablespoons if the rolls and baguettes are too soft)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast***
3/4 cup water (cold or warm)
1/4 cup aquafaba** 

1. Dough. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix well. Combine the water and aquafaba in a measuring cup and add to the flour mixture. Knead the mixture until the dough comes together. Spray a 6-cup bowl with oil spray, add the dough, cover with a plate and chill at least overnight. The dough will last about 5 days in the refrigerator.
2. Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into the number of pieces recommended below. Only lightly flour the work surface to allow for traction while rolling.
3. Pizza. Preheat oven to 450-degrees F. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Place a piece on a parchment paper and push it out into a circle; the size depends on whether you like thin crust or thick crust. Add toppings and bake for 6 minutes. Remove the paper and continue to bake until crisp about 6 to 8 more minutes.  
4. Focaccia. Preheat oven to 425-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a 1/8 sheet pan (10x6-inches). Add the dough and push it out to fill the pan. Use your fingers to make deep indentations in the dough, all the way through to the bottom of the pan. Cover and set aside to rise, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with salt, another tablespoon of olive oil and add any toppings, such as thin sliced tomatoes or olives. Bake until crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.
5. Breadsticks. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a cigar shape, about 8-inches long. Place on a baking sheet. Cover and set aside to rise, about 90 minutes. Combine 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt. Brush the breadsticks with the seasoned oil and bake for about 15 to 18 minutes.
6. Baguettes. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F about 15 minutes before the dough is done proofing. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Flatten a piece into a rectangle about 6-inches long. Fold the top thirds down onto itself and fold the bottom third up onto itself. Crimp the edges and roll into a football shape. Set on a baking sheet, cover and proof to almost double. Slash the loaves using a very sharp knife and bake until golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.

** Although aquafaba is best if homemade using the recipe provided in the book, you can use aquafaba from canned chickpeas. Use the organic, low-sodium, canned chickpeas and strain off the liquid into a measuring cup using a fine mesh strainer. Note the amount of liquid you acquired, then add it to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by 1/3. Cool the aquafaba completely before using.

*** If you are absolutely positive that your yeast is alive, there is no reason to proof it first. If you are unsure, then warm the water to 110-degrees F and add the yeast. Set it aside to bubble for 5 minutes. If it bubbles and foams it is alive and well. Proceed with the recipe. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Jan 18, 2016

dinner to bento: vegetable au gratin casserole

Before I get into today's post, I have to announce the winner of Superfoods 24/7 (AmazonB&N)! The winner is: Sue Hegle! Congratulations! Contact me at zsusveganpantry dot com so I can get your mailing address.

Today's post features another Dinner to Bento meal. That makes 2, so it means that I'm on a roll. If you had seen my first Dinner to Bento meal HERE, you might have noticed that I changed it from Dinner to Lunchbox to Diner to Bento. Why? Because I like it better. I love the term bento, which means meals packed in a lunch container, meant to be taken to school or work. 

While it might seem that is all there is to it, bento also means that the meal is healthy, balanced, thoughtful and appetizing. It means more than just throwing a few things into a container and calling it a bento. It is the art of thoughtfully organizing a lunchbox. Now, don't you like Dinner to Bento better, as well?

This dinner is vegetable-centered and is an easy vegetable casserole in a bechamel sauce. After sauteing some garlic and oregano and cooking the flour, you mix in some non-dairy milk and bring to a simmer.

Thinly slice your vegetables (use a mandolin for the fastest, most accurate way) and layer the veggies in the bechamel sauce, starting with the potatoes. Cook the potatoes in the sauce for about 5 minutes to give them a jump-start.

Then stir in the spinach until it wilts (this happens fast as the sauce is hot), add the onions and then the squash. Press down on the squash until some of the sauce bubbles up. Don't add more liquid, otherwise you'll wind up with soup.

Cover and bake until tender. Add some optional fresh bread crumbs (leave 1/6 of the dish uncovered with bread crumbs; this will be transformed into your bento later), bake until the bread is crisp and serve with a green salad. Here I served it with Creamy Garlic Tahini Dressing.

For the bento portion, you will be creating a Oregano Bean Puree Crostini. Sautee fresh oregano, garlic and lima beans until the beans are fragrant with the herb, about 5 minutes. You can do this while the casserole is baking.

Blend the beans with 1/6 of the vegetable casserole (scrape the bread crumbs off, if you added it) and season to taste. Chill before packing. 

Let's talk bento

Above I wrote of the thoughtfulness of packing a bento vs. packing a lunchbox. There are a few things to keep in mind that will make the lunch be healthy, nutritious, balanced and appetizing.

The traditional bento relies on proportions:

4 parts carbohydrates
3 parts protein
2 parts vegetables
1 part treat

As vegans, you will find that your carbs and proteins might fall into the same categories: beans are both carbs and protein. Same with nuts and seeds. There are a few high-protein exceptions: soy and seitan, but typically don't go crazy adhering to the above traditional proportions. 

Instead, especially if you are using whole grains as your carbs, your proportions will more likely look like:

6 parts carbohydrates (whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts)
2 parts protein (whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, soy, seitan)
2 parts vegetables
1 part treat (sweets, fruit)

Bentos also require color. As we now know, color doesn't just make food look appealing, but it is a great way to ensure you get your proper balance of nutrients; if you eat the color of the rainbow, you are maximizing variety, and therefore gaining your nutrition from a variety of plants. 

Rule of thumb for color? Make sure you have one of each of the following categories covered:


A note on the White color: if it is typically a white grain you are thinking of (such as rice), consider using whole grain instead. In the example, use brown rice instead of white rice and call it a win. 

There you have it: cover the proportions and the color spectrum and you will have built a bento.

My bento for today is:

Oregano Bean Puree [yellow, carb, protein] served with 
Pickles [the beans need the acid - use pickled onions or jalapenos instead, if you like (green, vegetable)]
Crostini [thin slices of toasted bread (white/brown, carb)]
Salad [green, vegetable]
Carrot curls [orange, vegetable]
Chocolate Chip Banana Muffin Bite [from Everyday Vegan Eats (brown, treat)]

A tip before we get to the recipe: pack your box tightly to avoid shifting of the food. Nothing worse than lovingly and carefully packing the container only to have everything mix up and mash together when the box is moved. Use containers to separate ingredients or vegetable or grain pieces to hold the sections separate. More tips next time!

Vegetable Au Gratin Casserole/ Oregano Bean Puree
Prep time: 30 minutes    Cook time: 60 minutes
Serves 4 to 5

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt
1/2  teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
Fresh ground nutmeg
2 pounds Russet potatoes, thinly sliced (⅛-inch)
8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
4 slices whole grain bread

4 tablespoons vegan sour cream
4 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons tahini
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2  teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Oregano Bean Puree:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup lima beans
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprigs fresh oregano
1/6 vegetable casserole (without bread crumb topping)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Heat the oil in a 12-inch oven-safe skillet. Add the flour garlic, bay, oregano, salt and black pepper. Cook until fragrant. Slowly add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Add about 8 grates of fresh nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and add the potatoes. Stir the potatoes around in the sauce to ensure all slices of potatoes are coated. Simmer the potatoes for about 4 minutes.
2. Add the spinach and stir to wilt. Add the onions in a single layer. Add the squash slices as the last layer. Gently press on the squash to bubble up the sauce over the slices. Cover the skillet tightly with a lid or foil and bake for 40 minutes.
3. Add the bread to a food processor and process into crumbs. Add to the casserole, spray with oil and continue to bake, uncovered, until golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes. Serve, reserving ⅙ of the casserole.
4. For the Dressing: While the casserole is baking, combine the sour cream broth, vinegar, tahini, garlic, paprika and salt in a small blender. Process until smooth. Serve with green salad.
5. For the puree: Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the beans, garlic and oregano. Saute until the beans are fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bean mixture to a food processor. Add the casserole mixture and process until as smooth as you like. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with crostini (toasted slices of French or Italian bread.

 © 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Dec 18, 2010

fried vegan omelet with roasted radish

Fried Vegan Omelet is one of Cat's favorite dishes. Since I've already blogged about this, here, I wanted to make it a little differently. Earlier in the week I asked readers what they would do with a radish and the overwhelming responses were: Roast Them!

So, roast them I did. The Fried Omelet is made with tofu, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and black salt, among other ingredients like flour and plant milk. The omelet is then spread thin on a griddle and "fried" until crisp. This is totally delicious and you should go and make it right now.

Cat likes these with just ketchup, Mikel prefers them on toast with veganaise and vegan cheese (I used Teese today), and Kate likes them with slices of tomatoes and slivers of onions. 

I, on the other hand, made them really snazzy by topping them with roasted radish and tomato slices. Both of those brilliant folks (Tami and Erin) who recommended that radishes be roasted, have it right. Excellent preparation.

Cost Breakdown

bread: $1.50
tomato, radish: $1.25
tofu: $2
spices, flour, nutritional yeast, plant milk: $1.25
Total to make 5 sandwiches:

Sep 25, 2010

italian casserole

This meal somehow got moved from its intended night to the next day. Funny how things like this can happen at my home...

This casserole is mostly like a layered potato dish, but without milk or cheese (nondairy, of course). Instead it has fresh tomatoes, olives and an herb paste - garlic, basil, parsley and oregano - topped with fresh bread crumbs.

I have to say that fresh bread crumbs are the way to go - just take a few pieces of bread and grind them in a food processor or blender. It tastes so much better than dried crumbs.

As for the casserole, it was a refreshing dish, with the fresh tomatoes and herbs, but the kids weren't that into it.

It didn't have the big, bold flavors that I expected, but I was still pleased. A bountiful bowl of fresh crisp salad was just the perfect accompaniment to the creamy potatoes.

Cost Breakdown:
potatoes: $2
tomatoes: $2
olives, garlic: $1
herbs: $2
bread: $.25
Total to feed a family of five:

Aug 29, 2010

roasted garlic soup

Of all the foods on the planet, I believe I adore garlic the most. I love it in everything, but I have to make sure that my hubby eats some when I do otherwise he gets a little distant.

Garlic happens to be very healthful and so delicious - when properly utilized, that is.

I made a soup for today's lunch that had garlic in the soup itself (using the garlic from making garlic oil) and in the croutons as the garlic oil.
So, so good.

This is relatively a quick soup, but oh so elegant. I gave the soup some body with some cashew milk (only works if it is homemade) and added a few yellow chillies for flavor. To serve, I put some 'queso fresco' (that I had in the fridge, using the same basic recipe that I used for making Feta a few weeks back), some black beans, avocado and tomatoes from our garden, into a bowl, ladled the soup on and topped it with the garlic croutons.

Cost Breakdown:
homemade stock: $1
cashews: $1
garlic, olive oil: $2
queso freso (optional): $1
chili: $.50
black beans: $2
avocado: :1.50
tomato: $1
bread: $1
Total to feed 5 people:

Jul 19, 2010

gluten free and fat free biscuits

Like I said before, my kids simply do not care if they have the same things in a row. Last night we had Seitan and Dumplings (read: biscuits) and today Kate wanted to make Biscuits.

We make a whole wheat biscuit that is fat free. This is probably the fifth time she has made these. The kids love it and I don't cringe when they put Earth Balance on it because I did not add fat to it.

Today I tried my hand at making gluten free biscuits, thanks to Simply Healthy Family blog. It certainly can't hurt to be moderate about wheat - one of the key reasons why we don't eat anything exclusively, like soy. Too much of a good thing is not necessarily a good thing, and all that.

I made them the same way we make the regular biscuits, just replaced the whole wheat pastry flour with GF flour. It needed a half cup more flour than wheat recipe, but I still didn't want to add xanthan gum or fat. Because they were still a little softer than the wheat ones, I baked them in my cast iron biscuit/cornbread pan. I'm sure a little more baking time would be nice, and preheating the pan would be great, too, to get them golden brown. In the end, they are fluffy, held together, are light and tasty. I'm sure adding 2-4 T of fat would make them even better, but like I said, my kids would add it no matter what I did to the batter.

Cost Breakdown:
whole wheat flour: $.50
almond milk: $.50
chives, bak. powder: $.25
Total to make 6 biscuits:

GF biscuits:
GF flour : $2
almond milk: $.50
chives, bak. powder: $.25
Total to make 7 biscuits:

WW, FF on right
GF, FF on left