Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Vegan Cuban Black Bean Soup

This soup is warming, nutritious and so earthy, it'll be your next favorite.

For this recipe you will need:

-2 cans of black turtle beans.
-Olive oil, enough to sautee.
-1 medium onion, finely chopped.
-2 carrots, diced.
-1 cuban or hungarian pepper, seeded and minced.
-1 jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and minced.
-2 tsp freshly ground cumin.
-1 tsp oregano.
-2 cloves of garlic, minced.
-salt to taste.
-1 liter of stock (vegetable or otherwise)

In a large dutch oven, saute onion, carrots, peppers and cumin until softned and fragrant. Mash one of the two cans of beans with a potato masher until fairly mashed through and add garlic cloves to puree. Add the pureed beans and whole beans to the pot and cover with stock. Boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with freshly chopped scallions or cilantro.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cassie's Cauliflower and Cheddar Potage

A simple way to use a whole cauliflower head in a nice, elegant and rich potage.

For this, you'll need:
-3 tbsp butter
-1 medium yellow onion, chopped
-1 head of cauliflower, washed and coarsely chopped
-1 liter of chicken stock
-1 cup grated sharp cheddar

In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Throw in the onion and sweat. Add the cauliflower and stock to cover. Bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes, until cooked through. Using your hand blender, puree the soup. Once thoroughly blended, add in the sharp cheddar. Stir for about 2 minutes and serve immediately. It's amazing with warm baguette. Truly a nice winter soup.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Vegan Chocolate Cake

I love this recipe. Although I am not vegan, this does give an amazingly moist cake. To do this recipe, you will need to grease two round cake pans. As a precaution, you can rim them with parchement paper to make sure the cakes will ease out of the molds. Preheat your oven at 350F and start cooking!

In a food processor, blend the next 4 ingredients:
-500ml vegan mayonnaise substitute
-500ml of sugar (non bleached)
-10ml vanilla extract
-375ml cold water

In a seperate bowl, combine the next 4 ingredients:
-1125ml (4.5 cups) Cocoa powder
-10ml cinnamon powder
-10ml baking soda
-10ml baking powder

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir gently. Fill your two well greased and lined cake pans in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes. You can use the tooth pick method to assess if its cooked through or not.

Vegan Banana Zucchini Cake

Comfort food without the guilt... ! :) Preheat your oven at 350F. Grease two 9" round cake pans or two bread tins.

In a food processor, combine the next 5 ingredients and blend until smooth.
-5 ripe bananas, mashed.
-500ml of mayonaise substitute
-500ml of sugar (if you want to keep this vegan, go for evaporated cane sugar or turbinado - regular white sugar is bleached using animal bones, defenitly NOT vegan)
-125ml milk (soy, almond, rice, doesn't matter)
-10 ml vanilla extract


In a seperate bowl, combine all the following ingredients:
-1125ml (4.5 c) of flour (your choice, any wheat derivative works like spelt, kamut or regular wheat)
-10ml baking soda
-10ml baking powder
-10ml cinnamon
-5ml freshly grated nutmeg
-375ml of finely grated zucchini
-250ml of carob or chocolate chips

Pour the banana mixture into the zucchini mixture. Fold gently to combine. Fill both cake pans equally and bake for 30 minutes until cooked through. You can tell that its cooked when you gently press in the center of the cake, and it springs back.

Vegan Mayonnaise Substitute

Vegan cooking implies the use of no eggs, dairy, honey, or meat (obviously). This can sometimes make traditional recipes difficult to make, like cakes which uses eggs for leavening. Thankfully there is a Soy substitute frequently called "Soyanaise" or "Nayonaise". It normally costs an arm and leg in the health food stores but here's a nice alternative that won't break the bank and can be used in your recipes requiring mayo either for sandwiches, salads or even desserts.

-1 block of silken tofu (the firmer, the better and NOT the regular tofu.. please!)
-60ml of water
-60ml sunflower or corn oil
-60ml lemon juice
-1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.

Blend in food processor until smooth. Store in jars in the fridge. Can keep for up to two weeks.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Foul Mesdames - Traditional Egyptian Dish

Having an Egyptian father, I was raised on having this as breakfast on Sunday morning. There are as many variations of this recipe as there are families in Egypt. He used to make it with chopped hot peppers. Here's my version:

-1 can of gourgane / fava beans
-2tbsp of olive oil
-1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar (he used white vinegar)
-1 diced tomato
-1 green onion, finely sliced
-1 cube (about 3cm each side)of feta cheese, crumbled.
-Juice of 1 lemon
-freshly ground cumin
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1 large pita bread, cut into quarters

Empty the can, along with it's juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Place beans with liquid in a serving dish. Sprinkle cumin on beans. Add tomatoes, green onions, feta cheese, lemon juice, oil and vinegar. Toss to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately and eat with your pita bread. I like to mash the salad in my plate and use the pita bread as an edible spoon.

That's comfort food for me. :)