May 16, 2016

"baconish" + giveaway

Because I've been so busy with my upcoming book, Aquafaba (Amazon, B&N), it seems I've only had time to write reviews! It just seems to be the only break I've been allowing myself to get -- and as much as the kids like sweets, even they are getting a bit inundated with aquafaba creations since I've been done with the savory part of the book. 

Luckily, Leinana Two Moons offers just such a needed break with her Baconish (Amazon, B&N) cookbook, published by Vegan Heritage Press

As you might expect, the book is all about vegan bacon, in the form of tofu, seitan, coconut, tempeh, eggplant, carrot, etc. After introducing you to her bacon recipes, Leinana makes use of those bacon creations to include them in sweet and savory dishes of all kinds: beakfast, salad, soup, lunch, mains, sweets, ice cream, yeah, pretty much everything.

I make a really great bacon myself, so I had to see how Leinana stacks up in the bacon department, and naturally, if you have a bacon book, well, you should make bacon.

I chose the Seitan Bacon since that is one I haven't actually ever made, and, I think, have only had seitan bacon from Upton's company (really delicious, too, so Leinana had some big boots to fill.)

I made the seitan bacon as directed, but my bacon wasn't cooked by the designated time. So, if you make it, touch the gluten and if it is still very soft (raw) toss it back in for another 30 minutes or so. 
Once it was cooked, it was very tasty and my kid is still asking for it...of course, it is long gone.

We collectively decided to go for the Croque Monsieur sandwich, mostly because it looked like an interesting version, with a bechamel sauce on top, instead of more melted cheese.

The sandwich was very tasty, but a word of advice: don't add all the sauce to the sandwiches as it made them soggy and voided the hard work of toasting the sandwich in the first place. Also, place the sandwiches on a cooling rack on the baking sheet so the bottom doesn't steam up and get soggy, either.

With these few suggestions, the sandwich is really great. Oh! and if you have vegan brioche, that is the traditional bread to serve it on. (Hint: recipe in my upcoming Aquafaba!)

And then, I made my biggest mistake: I gave the book to my kids to pick something. Naturally, they chose the most time-consuming recipe in the book, Potato, Bacon and Onion Pierogi.

As Leinana point out, they are a lot of work, but they are worth it. Since the pierogies have onions in them, I decided to caramelize a little more as some topping. Very decadent and delicious.

Finally, I couldn't let you go without letting you have at the Famous Coconut Bacon BLT! Once you check out the recipe, I have more good news...giveaway! Comment below to enter to win a copy of Leinana's Baconish cookbook. Contest is open to US residents only and ends May 30, midnight. Good luck!

The Famous Coconut BLT
Makes 4 sandwiches

This recipe will make any vegan-bacon skeptic a true believer. Because Coconut Bacon will become less crisp the longer you store it, I recommend making it just ahead of preparing your sandwiches. (From Baconish © 2016 by Leinana Two Moons. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press.)

8 slices sandwich bread
Vegan mayonnaise
2 cups Coconut Bacon (recipe follows)
1 large ripe tomato, sliced
Lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry

Spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of mayonnaise. Top the mayonnaise with about 1/2 cup of the Coconut Bacon per sandwich, followed by slices of tomato and lettuce leaves. Top each sandwich with the remaining bread slices. Cut each sandwich with a serrated bread knife and serve immediately.

Coconut Bacon
Makes 2 1/2 cups

This recipe will make any vegan-bacon skeptic a true believer. It is my absolute favorite bacon to use for the best BLTs ever. (From Baconish © 2016 by Leinana Two Moons. Used with permission from Vegan Heritage Press.)

3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3 cups unsweetened large-flake coconut

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the tamari, liquid smoke, water, and maple syrup together in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut and mix well to ensure that the flakes are evenly coated.

Spread the coconut in an even layer on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes, then stir. Bake another 8 minutes, keeping a very close eye on the coconut in the last few minutes. The coconut will go from almost done to completely burned very quickly. Remove from the oven when the coconut flakes on the outer edges of the pan are becoming a deep, dark brown, but not black.

Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. The coconut will continue to crisp as it cools. Coconut bacon will keep 1 to 2 weeks in an airtight plastic container, but will become less crisp the longer you store it. 

Apr 18, 2016

"chickpea flour does it all" review

Today I am reviewing the hot new cookbook, Chickpea Flour Does It All (Amazon), by Lindsey S. Love.

This book uses chickpea flour in all its recipes, although not exclusively. For instance, baked goods might require other flours as well, besides chickpea flour, which is very high in protein and is very dense if baked with solely.

The book is well made, printed on high-quality paper with great photography throughout.

The book is arranged by season and month, which is nice if you live in her neck of the woods, but comes as a bit of hindrance when searching for a recipe since it can be located in any month; however, the index is very thoughtfully arranged.

The recipes in this book are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, but not egg-free. In fact, out of the 96 recipes, 49 are vegan, which means that, unfortunately, 46 require eggs (1 requires bee pollen).

Since chickens are among the most horribly treated animals exploited for their eggs, I am quite disappointed that the author does not make an attempt to offer a replacement for their use. The lack of any options to substitute eggs comes as a blow to the positivism that the book is otherwise full of.

Because so many recipes call for eggs, I have taken the time to mark the recipes that do. The ones with an asterisk (*) need at least one egg, the ones that have no asterisk are vegan. I'll leave it up to you to decide if this book is a good fit for you.

I am also sharing a recipe below, to give you an idea of how good the vegan recipes are in this book -- and they are! But Ms. Love should definitely take the leap to being a more compassionate recipe developer, because obviously she is talented, creative and a great cook.



Sauteed Pear & Sage Pancakes with Almonds*
Breakfast Sweet Potato Cakes & Baby Arugula Bowl
Onion Poppy Seed Bread*
Za'atar Crackers
Sunchoke & Leek Soup
Ginger-Shiitake Miso Broth with Chickpea Tofu
Caraway Spatzle with Kale & Balsamic Onions*
Chocolate Banana Loaf*


Collard Wrap with Turmeric Scramble
Hearty Morning Glory Loaf*
Chickpea Waffle Avocado Toast*
Chipotle Queso Dip
Mini Polenta Pizzas with Caramelized Fennel & Garlic Paste
Flatbread with Harissa, Kale & Gaeta Olives
Acorn Squash Tart with Caramelized Onions & Collard Greens
Chocolate Olive Oil Cakes with Chocolate Glaze*


Fresh Ginger & Pomegranate Muffins*
Irish Soda Bread*
Chickpea Frites with Sriracha Ketchup
Chickpea Banh Mi
Spiced Black Bean Tostadas with Kiwi Salsa
Mung Bean Pancakes with Carrots, Scallions & Ginger*
Sweet Crepes with Kumquat Marmalade*
Almond Butter Brownies*



Clumpy Granola Bowl with Stewed Rhubarb & Yogurt
Mango Poppy Seed Cornmeal Muffins*
Skillet Spinach & Chive Quiche*
Easy-Spring Veggie Bowl with Warm Hummus Drizzle
Chickpea Noodles with Miso-Kale Pesto*
Spring Onion & Lemongrass Stew with Cauliflower & Yams
Grilled Harissa Cauliflower with Quinoa Toss
Lemony Panelle Sandwich with Grilled Ramps & Balsamic Vinegar


Asparagus Chickpea Fritters
Lemon-Rhubarb Snacking Cake*
Alfredo with Watercress & Chives
Chickpea Polenta with Sauteed Spring Vegetables
Kalamata Chickpea Wrap with Pickled Leeks & Microgreens*
Herbed Sweet Pea Pockets
Vanilla Bean Lavender Cupcakes*
Strawberry Tart with Cardamom-Coconut Cream


Cherry Dutch Baby*
Baby Chickpea Quiches with New Potatoes & Chard
Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Macadamia Ricotta
Chickpea-Halloumi Salad with Crispy Quinoa
Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus & Pea Shoot Tangle
Grilled Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea-Chipotle Crema
Nutty Oat Ice Cream Sandwiches*
Strawberry S'mores



Lemon-Blueberry Coffee Cake*
Everyday Socca
Fried Heirloom Tomatoes
Kofta Wraps with Sumac Tahini*
Spiced Chickpea Pancakes with Charred Corn & Radish Salsa*
Grilled Summer Vegetables with Chickpea Flour Dukkah
Cookies-and-Cream Icebox Cake
Raspberry-Nectarine Pie with Lemon Basil


Savory Zucchini, Shiso, & Black Quinoa Muffins*
Stone Fruit Breakfast Crisp with Yogurt & Bee Pollen* for bee pollen
Ratatouille Tartlets
Sweet Corn & Cilantro Chowder
Eggplant Schnitzel Plate*
Grilled Vegetable Kebabs with Green Goddess Sauce
Blackberry-Lime Cobbler*
Sweet Flatbread with Grilled Berries


Goji Berry & Cacao Nib Granola Bars
Fig & Hazelnut Clafoutis*
Baked Squash Tempura with Hemp Dip*
Creamy Harvest Tabbouleh Salad
Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Chickpea Sour Cream
Quinoa Falafel with Romesco Sauce
Chewy Olive Oil Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pink Himalayan Salt*
A Late-Summer Birthday Cake*



French Toast with Grape Compote
Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies*
Chickpea Omelet with Shiitakes & Microgreens
Chickpea Tzatziki Dip
Baked Buttermilk Onion Rings
Savory Crepes with Beet Pate*
Spaghetti Squash Fritters*
Beetballs with Rosemary White Bean Cream*


Chai-Spice Swirl Breakfast Bread*
Apple Crumb Bars
Buttermilk Chickpea Corn Bread*
Herbed Sweet Potato Biscuits
Root Vegetable Crumble
Moroccan-Spiced Lentil & Pumpkin Burgers*
Chili-Roasted Pumpkin with Chickpea-Miso Gravy
Squash Doughnuts with Almond-Butter Glaze*


Spiced Scones with Crushed Cranberries*
Cacao Waffles*
Baby Kale Caesar Salad
Celery Root Latkes*
Roasted Kabocha Squash with Black Rice & Chickpea-Sesame Dressing
Matzo Ball Soup*
Jammy Almond Thumbprint Cookies*
Parsnip-Pear Bundt Cake*   

Photo by Lindsey S. Love

Chickpea Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki is a Greek yogurt–based sauce and dip. It’s served cold and is flavored with cooling cucumbers, garlic, and lemon juice. Chickpea flour is used here to form that creamy base that tzatziki is known for without the yogurt and does a remarkable job of duplicating it entirely. This is best made the day before you plan to serve it, but can also be made the morning of; it needs time to cool and for the flavors to meld. This dip is great to serve alongside chickpea flatbread for dipping (see Flatbread with Harissa, Kale, and Gaeta Olives, page 39), olives, and a big salad.

Makes: roughly 1 1/2 cups // serves: 4 to 6 // prep time: 12 hours // cook time: 4 hours

1 medium cucumber, grated with a box grater
1 cup (240 ml) water
¼ cup (30 g) chickpea flour
¼ cup (45 g) raw cashews, soaked overnight and drained
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped dill

1. Place the grated cucumber in a fine-mesh sieve. Use your palm and push to squeeze out as much liquid as possible; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together the water and flour until smooth. Turn heat to medium and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 6 to 7 minutes; the mixture will resemble a roux or melted cheese. Remove from the heat.

3. Place the flour mixture, cashews, garlic, vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste, in a high-speed blender; blend for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour the mixture into a bowl; stir in the grated cucumber and dill. Let the tzatziki come to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

4. Remove from the refrigerator when ready to serve and give it a good stir.

Credit line: Recipe from Chickpea Flour Does It All: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian Recipes for Every Taste and Season © Lindsey S. Love, 2016. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.