Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Comforting Supper - More Magical Loaf

Totally Delicious Loaf

On this nippy, spring afternoon, I was in need of some culinary comfort in the form of a warm, old-fashioned meal.   My daughter and I had fun choosing ingredients for our vegan dinner loaf using the Magical Loaf Studio.  Accompanied by caulipots, easy, vegan gravy and a colorful side of saucy, garlic infused, French green beans, zucchini, tomatoes and peppers, our plates were swimming with love. 

The loaf takes about an hour to bake.  Once you have all the ingredients mixed, shaped in the loaf pan and popped in the oven, you can get to work prepping the rest of your meal starting with the potato-cauliflower mash.  Once the caulipots are bubbling away nicely, your veggies and gravy are a snap.  

I held my breath as Maggie took her first bite and almost jumped for joy when she asked if she could name it "Totally Delicious Loaf".   We celebrate small victories around here and not having to pick up bits of spit-out onion from the floor certainly count as one of them.

Totally Delicious Loaf


1/2 cup pecans
2 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans, partly mashed
1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs (I used Panko bread crumbs)
1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed
1 heaping Tablespoon flaxseed meal
1/2 tsp. dried sage
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350º. Spray a loaf pan or 8x8 square baking pan with nonstick spray and set aside (an 8x8 pan makes a crisper loaf).

Grind the pecans into a coarse meal using a food processor or spice/coffee grinder. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Sauté any vegetables you've chosen in the olive oil until soft. Add to the large mixing bowl along with all the remaining ingredients. Mix and mash together well, adding only as much liquid as needed to create a soft, moist loaf that holds together and is not runny (you may not need to add any liquid if the grains and protein are very moist).
Add more binder/carbohydrate as needed if the loaf seems too wet.

Press mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.

Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a plate or platter and slice. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, and vegetarian gravy, if desired.

Cold leftover slices of make a great sandwich filling.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mmmm Muffins and Other Random Musings

Hello everyone!  Recipe creation and blogging has slowed down lately in favour of a few other projects.   My sewing machine has taken over the kitchen table and the spring-like weather has me itching to tackle various home improvement projects.  I've been reading the blog Zen Habits and continuing with the de-cluttering process.

Last week my daughter asked me to make some corn muffins.  She likes the President's Choice boxed mix that we used to buy.  I insisted that home-made corn muffins would be just as yummy and surely I could figure out a recipe that would taste just as good, if not better, than something from a box.  I'm not sure if I succeeded in her view, but the muffins didn't last long.  I like to eat them cut in half and smothered in Earth Balance.  This recipe could probably use a little tweaking and I had a slight issue with the cornmeal.  I used Bob's Red Mill - medium grind cornmeal and it was a little too crunchy. Next time I'll use a finer milled cornmeal.

Corn Muffins

Cornmeal Muffins

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup soy milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium sized bowl.  Make a well in the centre and add oil, soy milk and maple syrup.  Stir until just combined.  Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full.  Bake for approximately 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick or knife inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean

Tonight after dinner I was craving a little treat with my tea.  I flipped through my cookbooks and found a recipe for Cocoa and Raspberry Muffins in Vegan Brunch (which is an excellent cookbook by the way).  It was the perfect choice.  The muffins were not too sweet and the raspberry bits added just the right amount of zing and moistness.

Cocoa Raspberry Muffins

And finally, just for fun, here's a photo of our breakfast (the best way to use left-over mashed potatoes).  These are the only animals that will pass my lips!   Giraffes, hippos, pigs and heart-shaped Fadge.  

Fadge Animals