Saturday, December 25, 2010

Classic Broccoli Quiche on Christmas Morning

I'm up before the birds today wrapping a few gifts, stuffing my daughter's stocking and browsing through my cookbooks looking for some inspiration.  Traditionally on Christmas morning my mother always made Quiche Lorraine, my Irish grandmother would bake current scones and we would sip mimosas as we tore into our gifts.  The quiche was something I always looked forward to so this morning I decided to try Classic Broccoli Quiche from Vegan Brunch and start a new tradition - one that doesn't involve bacon and processed gruyere cheese. 

I was a little doubtful as I blended the cashews and tofu together.  The filling seemed a little on the crumbly side instead of creamy or smooth.  I added a tablespoon or two of soy milk to the mixture as it pulsed away and that seemed to help a bit.  Once everything was combined I began to pack it into the pie shell.  I wasn't sure it would fit but thankfully, because the filling was not runny, I was able to dome it up in the centre and get the entire amount in.  Unfortunately I had no cherry tomatoes or strips of red pepper on hand to decorate the top and make it look pretty. 

So, for the taste test; the thyme, tarragon, turmeric and broccoli proved to be a really nice flavour combination.  My problem was with the texture.   Not creamy enough, a little too dry and cumbly.  I think using silken tofu instead of regular tofu would solve this problem easily.  I am going to make it again or one of the other quiche or frittata recipes in the book with this substitution and see if it makes a difference.  I guess I have a little more experimenting to do before our new holiday traditions are decided upon.  :-)  

Classic Broccoli Quiche

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Raspberry Scones

Raspberry Scones
 We had a family Christmas party last weekend and I made my first attempt at vegan scones using the recipe from Vegan Brunch.  The dough was very dry, so dry in fact that I thought the scones wouldn't hold together in the oven.  When they came out I thought they looked a little pale so I didn't end up serving them to our guests.  Thankfully I had baked my favourite and always successful pumpin muffins and banana chocolate chip muffins.  Later on after the mess was cleared and everyone was gone, I sat down with a cup of tea, put my feet up and took a bite of a scone spread with a little Earth Balance.  They were surprisingly tender despite appearances. 

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Black Eyed Pea and Cilantro Croquettes

Sometimes when I'm really hungry and scrambling around the kitchen for I don't know what, I have my most creative moments.  Not that I think these are extremely innovative but cooking with beans is a new thing for me.  Tonight I decided to grab a can of black-eyed peas from the cupboard and see what I could do with them.  Patties or croquettes are always popular at our house so I dumped them into the food processor, added a big bunch of cilantro, half an orange pepper going soft in the fridge along with a few other ingredients.  They turned out pretty well.  I would have liked a bit more crispness, they were a bit soft but the flavours were nice, fairly mild with a bit of sweetness from the carrot and pepper.  I'm pleased that I was able to include more veggies on the off chance that my daughter would eat these. 

I made the most delicious cilantro-wasabi flavoured vegannaise sauce to go with them and I was so enamoured of the sauce I practically used the bean cakes to sop it up like they were bread.  Here is my cobbled together recipe for the croquettes:

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas (19 ounce can)
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 sweet bell pepper
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 medium carrot grated
1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup gluten flour (or any flour you like)
oil for frying. 

Yield: 10 small patties

In a food processor, pulse together the beans, onion, bell pepper and cilantro until well mixed, not completely pureed.  In a medium sized mixing bowl add the bean mixture to the grated carrot, ginger, soy sauce and mix well.  Add in the bread crumbs and flour using your hands to incorporate well.  Shape into small patties approximately 3 inches wide.  Fry on medium heat until browned on both sides. 

Black Eyed Pea and Cilantro Croquettes

Sunday, December 12, 2010

East Coast Coffee Cake

East Coast Coffee Cake

The cake crumb was light and tender with just a hint of sweetness.  I decided to make this with one of the suggested options of swirling raspberry jam into the batter and I'm glad I did because without that extra bit of flavour and tang, the cake would have been a little bland.  I was disappointed in the topping, all I could taste was flour.  I think it's worth playing around with next time in order to perfect the cake.  Recipe from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. 

Jam swirly coffee cake before it gets topped!

For our weekly cooking challenge my friend and fellow blogger Kathryn over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen has made some pretty tasty looking stuffing.  Check it out here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Chocolate Banana Flapjacks

I was in need of some serious comfort food tonight after an exhausting day and it definitely needed to be sweet.  I decided to make a batch of banana flapjacks from Vegan Brunch and then had the brilliant idea to replace the plain non-dairy milk with CHOCOLATE non-dairy milk.   Wow, wow, wow!   Were they ever delicious!  The chocolate and banana flavours balanced perfectly and I did include the optional 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.   These flapjacks were soft, and melted in my mouth.   It was the perfect choice and I don't feel as guilty as if I'd eaten a piece of cake for dinner.  

I got one test shot in before my camera batteries died so there's no maple syrup spilling over the side like when I ate them.  Sorry!

Chcolate-Banana Flapjacks sans Maple Syrup

Monday, December 6, 2010

Better Bean Burgers

This is a quick post because we are in the middle of a busy holiday weekend.   Our Christmas tree went up tonight and I whipped up a batch of these tasty Better Bean Burgers from Robin Robertson's book Vegan on the Cheap.  They were surprisingly flavourful with so few ingredients - black beans, parsley, red onion, bread crumbs, gluten flour and some salt and pepper.  I was worried they would be boring but I was wrong, I really enjoyed them.  I love trying new veggie burgers so leave me a comment and tell me about your favourites!  
Better Bean Burgers


And it sounds like my good friend Kathryn over at The Hedgehog in the Kitchen baked up a delicious pumpkin pie for American Thanksgiving.  Keep on cooking Kathryn, you are inspiring me!