Archive for January 2015

Sweet and Sour Pineapple ‘Pork’

2015-01-10-vegan-pork

Sweet and Sour Pineapple “pork” on new crop organic jasmine rice. From scratch sauce and seitan! Seitan can be made so many different ways or purchased already made

Easy and Delicious Basic White Bread

2015-01-05-bread

 

This recipe is based somewhat on the classic Julia Child’s white bread recipe, a great standard. Makes two loaves. Here is what you need:

2.5C of warm water (baby bath water warm, never hot.)
1 tbsp each of active yeast, and sugar. (I use raw sugar or agave)

6 cups of unbleached flour
2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil with a pinch of nutritional yeast, turmeric, and salt

Instructions:

in a small bowl, combine half of the water with the sugar and yeast, and set aside as it proofs (foams). If it doesn’t foam, your yeast is wack. Next, combine the flour and salt in a larger bowl with a whisk. In this order, add the remaining water and coconut “butter,” stirring through with a wood spoon or spatula. Then add the yeast/sugar/remaining water mixture. Combine it all roughly together, and begin kneading. I use my hands to need about 5 -8 minutes- once the dough is shiny, elastic, and smooth. There is a stage when the dough will look a bit rippled or cottage cheese-esque. The next stage after that is the smooth shiny stage I am speaking of! Put back in the bowl, cover, set in a warm place, and allow to rise for up to 1.5 hours- until the dough has doubled. A good way to test is to give the dough a poke with a clean finger. If it springs back, it is isn’t finished rising.

While rising, thoroughly grease two loaf pans, or line with parchment.

Once your first rise is done, punch the dough down, and divide evenly into two pieces. roll flat to about 1.5 inch thick rectangles about the size of a sheet of paper. In the same way you’d fold a piece of paper into three to fit a standard envelope, do that to the dough, pinching/smoothing the ends together to form a loaf, and brush with a bit more “butter” once placed in the loaf pan. Cover and re-rise for another hour, or until the loaf expands about an inch or two above the pan.

Once the bread is close to re-risen, preheat your oven to 350F. When it’s time, place the loaves gently in the center of the oven, and bake for 25-35 minutes. The bread is done when an even, golden crust is formed, and tapping the bread makes a hollow, clear sound. For me in my oven, it takes 30 minutes.

Have this become your go-to white bread recipe. It works VERY well. I use it often to make garlic butter/cheese swirl bread, or herbed bread for stuffing or to compliment meals. Lots of ways to modify and treat the bread to make it your very own classic!

Recipe and Tips for Delicious Milks

2015-01-04-homemademilk

Home made almond milk is easy, and QUITE healthy. Any other seed, nut, grain you might want to try is likely to work as well. I like almond milk and oat milk, I just made this almond milk today.

Start by soaking 1 cup of almonds in lots of cold water the night before you want to make milk. I just throw a double recipe’s worth into the fridge with generous amounts of water to soak in, and then it will be a couple minutes to whip it up the next day.

I used a Vitamix blender and processed my nuts (*hee-haw*) together with up to three and a half more cups of water along with two soaked dates until quite smooth. For a thicker, richer milk for cooking, use less water. For an everyday use similar to commercial milks, add more water. Then, I used a nut milk bag to strain out the pulp which I will dry out to make almond meal, muffins, dehydrator crackers, etc! You can even leave the pulp in, but it can be a hint mealy.

RECIPE RECAP:
1 cup soaked raw nuts, seeds, or other “milkish” grains
up to 3.5 cups of cold water
2 or three soaked dried dates.
(dates optional, just makes it slightly more silky, and adds a hint of sweetness)

Makes right around one litre, depending on your preferred taste.

Tips: if using a food processor, grind the almonds and dates to as fine a pulp as you gradually add water so it stays as granular and as blended as possible. Try variable speeds and pulsing at first to keep the pieces even in size, and continue to work those nuts (*YOWZA*) into paste.

adding a tiny drop of coconut oil to the almonds being processed can help make them grind a bit better if using an appliance that is not as powerful or less reliable. Add a tiny amount of oil if you choose to before the water is added.

dates: soaking a dried date is easy. just fit a couple into a little dish and add just enough warm water to just cover them. They soften very quickly. *Soaking them longer makes it easier for less powerful appliances to process.

straining: a jelly bag, a nut milk bag, fine cheesecloth, nylon mesh, any of these would work well to strain out your nut milk (*AA-oo-ga!*)

COST BREAKDOWN!!! SAVINGS!!!
To make two litres of milk, I needed 2 cups of raw almonds, about half a pound. In East Vancouver, I can find almonds at about 5.50 dollars a pound, but often cheaper in bulk or on sale. Together with dates, the cost is no more than 2.90 for two litres, or 1.45 per litre. While it is not uncommon to find commercial milks at 2 dollars a litre, more often they are 2.49 per litre. I saved up to a dollar a litre, and I had leftover almond meal, which to buy the same amount of in say- the Bob’s Red Mill brand- would cost about 5 more dollars! Hooray!

And that has been a bunch of ways it is awesome to make your own milk. And also this one here made of seeds or nuts I told you about.

Today For Dinner

2015-01-03-vegan-meal

Whipped this all up in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Seitan chicken breast marinated in sun dried tarragon lemon butter with lemon juice, dry sherry and olive paste. Roasted peas and corn. Red skin rough mash with country mushroom gravy, smokey carrots and long beans, and a garden salad with agave balsamic vinegarette.