Friday, March 27, 2009

Spring Asparagus Tart

From Foodsies!

I recently came across some images and recipes for Asparagus Tarts, of which i'd previously never heard, and I was immediately drawn to the simple yet elegant presentation, and the prospect of dining on mouthwatering asparagus, which is a vegetable I love but have never tried cooking myself.

If you followed any of the links in the above paragraph, you will notice that a typical Asparagus Tart: a) Includes lots of cheese of one kind or another, and b) Is based upon frozen puff pastry dough.

Boo to both of those things. I mean, I am not volunteering to make my own puff pastry dough, but on the other hand, I want more control over my dough ingredients. So I figured why not just make a nice and flaky savory pie dough and use that instead? I used more shortening than I normally would and handled the dough as little as possible, to get a nice flaky crust. I also added a liberal amount of dill and thyme to the dough for flavor (turned out great - I could eat the dough all day long by itself).

For the cheese, I had to think about what kinds of cheese were typically being used in these things. Most often it was Gruyere or Ricotta. If i'm not mistaken (it's been a while, I admit), Gruyere is sort of mild and nutty and ricotta is a little sharper and tangy. So instead of using cheese (duh), I whipped up creamy spread based in tofu, almonds, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. The idea was to create something creamy with a bit of tang and a bit of nuttiness.

As you can see from the picture at the top, I also took the liberty of adding some mushrooms and tomato. Don't want the asparagus to get lonely.

It was a surprisingly easy dish to make, and didn't take too long either. It's at the top of the list now for Easter, particularly since it's versatile and can be brunch, lunch, or dinner.

Spring Asparagus Tart



2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Earth Balance Shortening (or just regular Earth Balance)
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Ice Water
1-2 tsp Dill
1-2 tsp Thyme

Tofu/Almond Filling

1/4 Cup Silken Tofu
1/4 Cup Almonds*
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
2 TBSP Lemon Juice
3 TBSP Veggie Broth (or Soy Milk)
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt

* You can also use Cashews. If you don't have a VitaMix you may want to chop the nuts in a food processor or something before blending them.


1 Bunch Asparagus
1 Tomato (or 2 small tomatoes)
4 Mushrooms (any kind)


Preheat the oven to 375. Do it now. Don't be like me and totally forget and then have to stand around waiting for like 10 minutes.

First you want to make the dough, because it will need to chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes (although 15 will do) before being rolled out.

Dump the flour, dill, and thyme into a mixing bowl and add the shortening (or butter) in small pieces. Cut the shortening into the flour with a cutter or by using your hand to squeeze and mix, until the flour and shortening are mixed and it looks like cornmeal or something instead of teeny flour grains.

Slowly add half the water and mix. Add water a teeny bit at a time until the dough is just wet enough to stay together like dough. It should be a little bit flaky. If you want, tear off a small piece and flatten it out. Pull the edges - you want it to stretch a little, but without breaking, and you want it to more or less keep its form after being stretched (rather than sucking back into whatever shape it was in before). You're basically making a pie crust here, so just go with it. You don't want dough that is really wet, but it has to be wet enough to hold together and be rolled out and all that. If the dough is falling apart while you're handing it, then add some more water.

Cover the mixing bowl with a slightly damp cloth and place in the fridge.

Now on to the filling. Dump all of your filling ingredients into a blender and blend. Note that you may want to chop the nuts a little in a food processor first. Even my Vitamix was a bit huffy about the whole unsoaked almonds. Add half of each of the liquid amounts. Blend until the mix is smooth. Check the consistency. You will probably want to add the other half of the liquid ingredients. It should be creamy but not too runny. Taste and adjust any seasonings as you wish. Just make it taste good, basically. Pour into a bowl or container of some kind and place in the fridge for now.

Now for the veggies! By the way, this my favorite part, possibly my favorite Thing To Do With a Vegetable (other than feed them to the dog when he begs and watch him look betrayed): Removing the 'wooden' ends of the asparagus.

Why is this so fun? It's easy, it's tactile, and it makes a great little popping noise! Take a piece of asparagus in your hand so that the spiky end is towards your wrist. Bend the other end down with your fingers (like brace on one finger and press down with another). The end will break and snap off with a satisfying little pop. And no worries about where to break it - the asparagus automagically breaks right where the 'wooden' part meets the yummy part (it's stiffer, thus 'wooden' and so it breaks instead of bends). Toss/compost/feed to the dog those wooden ends and set the rest of the spears aside.

Rinse and slice your mushrooms. Slice your tomato(es).

Place the asparagus in a pot and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Heat to boiling and let boil lightly for 2-4 minutes (2 if you like crispy asparagus, 4 if you like limp chewy asparagus).

Toss the mushrooms in a skillet and saute for a minute or two in a dab of oil until they're just a little brown and soft, but not fully cooked. If you're feeling lazy, you can probably just skip this step but they won't be as tender in the end.

Now that you've got the veggies done, it should be about time to take out the dough.

Roll the dough out on a well floured surface (important!). You want to roll it out in a generally rectangular shape (have fun with that) about 18 inches long and 10 inches across (give or take an inch or two either way). Now roll the sides in towards the middle a little bit to form a raised edge all the way 'round. It should look a bit like a cookie sheet made of dough. Speaking of baking sheets, you now want to (carefully!) lift and transfer the dough over to a greased baking sheet. To make this as easy as possible, place the baking sheet as close to the dough as possible, and when you move the dough, do it decisively and quickly.

Brush the dough with a little olive oil and bake it (by itself, no spread or veggies yet) for about 10 minutes.

Remove the dough from the oven.

Now take out your tofu/almond spread and spread it all over the main part of the dough (the low part). You want to spread it on fairly thick, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Then take your asparagus and trim the ends so that it will fit on the dough and lay it down, pressing gently into the tofu/almond spread. Do the same with the tomato and mushroom slices. Sprinkle the whole thing with a bit of salt and pepper, and brush some oil across the top of everything.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the dough is hard and um, looks done. I took mine out at 25 minutes and I think it probably would have been fine if i'd left it in there another 5 (and might even have been ok had I taken it out 5 minutes earlier).

Now doesn't that look and taste fancy?

From Foodsies!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Pancakes and Crepes (a round, flat Sunday)

From Foodsies!

Ah, nothing quite like breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on a nice Sunday!

I started off the day by making Sourdough Pancakes. It's a great use of extra sourdough starter, and makes pancakes that are not only egg free (duh) but don't even require soy milk! Craziness!

And yet they turned out really great - maybe not the poofiest/fluffiest pancakes ever, but had a light and fluffy texture nonetheless (if that makes sense). And the sourdough really did add a pleasant (though subtle) yeasty flavor. Mmm.
And cold, they were much better than a normal cold pancake.

I ate leftover pancakes for lunch during a short hike with Oscar and some friends.

And for dinner, keeping with the flat and round theme, I made savory crepes. I prepared a Duxelle (fined chopped mushrooms and shallots) for the filling and made the crepes with buckwheat flour. Of course for the last crepe I filled it with marmalade and soy yogurt for dessert :)

Recipes after the jump:

Sourdough Pancakes (recipe adapted from Wild Fermentation)

You can make this a few different ways. This is what I tried on Sunday.


1/2 Cup Sourdough Starter
1 1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Flour (or half and half whole wheat and all-purpose)
1 Cup Warm Water
1 TBSP Sugar
1 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Soda


Mix the Starter, Flour, Warm Water and Sugar together in a mixing bowl. Cover with a slightly damp towel and set in a warm space for a few hours to ferment.* You can do this overnight (so set it up the night before) to have breakfast the next day. I just put it near our best radiator for an hour. It worked, but I think the flavor is better if you let it sit longer.

*Have you noticed that you're basically just feeding your starter here? I mean, you add in more flour and water than for a normal feeding, but in a ratio such that you're still maintaining the consistency of the original starter. I therefore believe that if you had an over-abundance of recently-fed starter lying around, you could just warm it up to a little past room temperature and then proceed with the following steps as if you had done the first step.

Once you're sick of waiting, take the bowl from above and whisk in the oil and salt.

Mix the baking soda into about 1 TBSP of warm water and then add that mixture to the bowl as well. Fold it gently in to evenly distribute.

Heat a cast iron skillet and coat with a bit of oil. Once it's hot (water sizzles when flicked on it), ladle about 1/3 cup of batter on it.

Once lots of bubbles have formed in the middle and aren't re-closing, and the edges look a little firm, you can flip the pancake.
You only get one flip! This is key to making good pancakes. Flip once. Don't get excited and flip too early, but of course waiting too long isn't good either. Plan to mess up the first pancake and that should help you establish your timing :)

Once you've flipped the pancake, the 2nd side should only take about 1/3 of the time to cook as the first side did. You can also peek to see if it looks done (nice golden to golden-brown color). Toss onto a plate and pour the batter for your next pancake.

Serve and enjoy.

You can even freeze these for microwaving later.

Buckwheat Crepes (recipe from Veganomicon)


1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour*
1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/4 Cup Chickpea Flour**
1 3/4 Cup Soy Milk
1/4 Cup Water
1 TBSP Arrowroot Powder or Flour***
1/2 tsp Salt
1-2 TBSP Sugar (optional)
1 tsp Vanilla (optional)

* If you don't like buckwheat or don't have any, you can use any other kind of flour or just use All Purpose flour instead.

** I believe this provides some additional binding, but I think it's ok to just use a little more All Purpose Flour instead.

*** If you do not have Arrowroot, try about 2 TBSP of oil or melted Earth Balance in its place. You could try 1 TBSP of cornstarch as well, but the flavor is more likely to come through and be unpleasant.


Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate for somewhere between 4 hours and overnight. This chilling process will making the crepes much easier to flip.

Once chilled, heat a griddle on medium heat and coat lightly with oil, and some Earth Balance as well if you like. With one hand, scoop 1/3 cup of the batter onto the griddle, and with your other hand, tilt the griddle in a circle so that the batter spreads out thinly and (more or less) evenly in a large circle.

Wait about a minute and a half until the top is fairly dry and bubbling in the center, and the edges are crisping and browning a little. Carefully scootch your spatula around the edge of the crepe until it is removed from the skillet. Flip!
Just like pancakes, the 2nd side should only take about 1/3rd of the cooking time as the first side did. Slide the finished crepe onto a waiting plate, brush a bit more Earth Balance onto the griddle, and pour out your next crepe.

Odds are that your first crepe will be a total disaster. Oscar loves this, because he usually gets some of the first crepe/pancake/tortilla/etc. because my first one is always to horrible for human consumption.

I think Veganomicon says these can be wrapped up and refrigerated, and i'm sure that like pancakes, they can be frozen as well.


I have been following this blog for a while, and i've been inspired to start at the beginning and teach myself to veganize all of his recipes (well, the ones I am interested in making at least). It's like a DIY vegan french cooking class ;)

At the very least, it gets me thinking about vegetables, seasonings, and cooking methods that I might not have considered before.

This is a great example. I love mushrooms, and I cook them a lot, but it never really occurred to me to make a garnish/filling like this. Maybe it was too simple for me to think of. Anyway, it makes a great filling for savory crepes!

(Also, I plan to combine the leftover Duxelle with another early recipe of the whiskblog, Portugaise (a tomato-based sauce with a base of concassées (fresh crushed tomatoes, basically)), to make a tasty pizza sauce for pizza later this week. So many snobby sounding French words, just to make a pizza to have with some beer).

Anyway, back to the Duxelle. I used 3 different kinds of mushrooms to keep things interesting: Baby Bella, some kind of asian mushroom whose name I forget right now, and regular button mushrooms. And I got to justify my purchase of cooking wines recently (a red and white)! The original recipe calls for a Medeira wine, but mine is a Marsala and it did just fine. In fact, I probably could have used a touch more :) Also, I love shallots. They're like the love child of onion and garlic.


2-3 Cups Mushrooms, finely diced/minced
2-4 Shallots (1/4-1/2 cup), finely diced/minced
2 TBSP Earth Balance
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1/3 Cup Madeira or other red wine
Pinch Salt and Pepper


Easy peasy. Dice/mince your mushrooms and shallots.

Melt Earth Balance in a skillet along with the oil.

Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two to allow the flavors to sweat out.

Add the mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms darken and get tender (this took about 5 minutes for me).

Add in the wine and allow the wine to boil away pretty quickly (ie, don't turn the heat way down - you want it to simmer heartily).

When most of the wine has cooked away, add a pinch of salt and pepper and you're done!

It can be refrigerated or even frozen for future use in crepes, sauces, whatever.

Here is a buckwheat crepe stuffed with Duxelle. You can also see some of the Duxelle garnished on the top.

From Foodsies!

I apologize for the shoddy picture. The crepes are brownish/greyish because of the buckwheat, and the Duxelle is by nature brown. Not wonderfully photogenic, but tasty to eat.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Handmade Corn Tortillas from Scratch (And Beans, and Almond Milk!)

From Foodsies!

I cut down on my drinking, and now that I don't come home and start in on a beer, I have been cooking instead. And by cooking, I mean "awesomely cooking things from scratch" (and by cutting down on drinking I mean 4 or less a week).

Although time consuming, it turns out that making most things from scratch is pretty easy and a lot of fun. It also gives me a powerful sense of accomplishment.

On Sunday I was sitting at home alone, kneading some sourdough. I had the bowl in which I was kneading on a chair because i'm too short to get leverage if it's on the counter, so I was bent over the chair and my arms were sore, but the dough smelled good and felt good, and even the soreness was OK by me (mostly from Pilates anyway, not from the kneading). So I was standing there kneading and kneading and kneading, and I noticed that it was fairly warm and sunny (for March in Boston) and the cat was sitting on the kitchen table watching me with his eyes half closed, and the dog was curled up near my feet. And I thought, this is it. What more can I ask for than to be standing in the sun, creating tasty and nourishing food with my own hands, surrounded by animals that love me? Well, I would have asked for Abigail to be home and in the kitchen too ;)

But that's the gist of it, that's why I am on this hand-made kick. It just feels right. It feels good. I really dig the sense of accomplishment after I look at something i've made, plus I think it all tastes better. I mean, maybe it doesn't actually taste better, but I know everything that is in it, and I know how it was prepared, and of course it's totally fresh.

So anyway: tortillas. Mmm! I love tortillas, especially corn tortillas. But i've never made my own. Well, now I have. They may be ugly, but they're mine :) And they tasted amazing hot off the griddle.

It's like the easiest procedure ever. The only thing that could make it easier would be a tortilla press (i'm totally ordering one soon).

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients (for 6 small tortillas)

1 Cup Masa Harina*
3/4 Cup Warm Water

*Masa Harina is a cornmeal made by treating dried corn with lime (calcium hydroxide) and water. It is not the same as corn flour, which is dried corn that has not been treated with lime.


Mix the masa harina and the water in a mixing bowl. You want a dough which is slightly moist but not wet but not dry and crumbly. You may need to add more water, or more masa harina to get it right. Knead the dough a little, and if it all crumbles apart, then it needs more water. Just add a teaspoon at a time so it doesn't get too wet (it shouldn't be super slick). Knead for another minute or two until it's pretty smooth.

Cover the bowl with a damp washcloth and get the rest of your setup ready:

You will need -
2 sheets of plastic wrap
A small dish of flour (so you can keep the plastic wrap floured)
A rolling pin, beer bottle (empty!), or glass pie plate*
A plate, dusted with flour

* I haven't tried with the pie plate, but i've heard you can use it to smoosh down the ball of dough and then sorta press down the plate and push it around to make the tortilla. YMMV I guess.

Rub some flour on the two sheets of plastic wrap. This is harder than it sounds, but do your best.

Now remove the damp washcloth and place it near the plate.

Divide your dough into 12 pieces and roll each piece between your palms to form a ball. Smaller balls will make smaller tortillas and vice versa. In general you're going for something just a bit larger than a golf ball.

Place the ball on a sheet of plastic wrap and then place the other sheet of plastic wrap on top of it. Use your palm to very slighly smoosh down the ball into a thick pattie.

Now use your rolling pin to carefully roll out the dough into a flat tortilla (with the dough still between the plastic wrap, mind).

Hahaha! Not so easy is it? It took me a few tries to get it going, so just experiment. I found that the same kind of rolling strokes I use for pie crust really don't quite work here. It required a sort of modified stroke, where I would slowly press out from the middle and then roll quickly back and forth from the middle to the edge. Then the same thing but in the opposite direction, then the same thing but a few degrees over.

Once you get a totally not at all round tortilla rolled out, carefully lift off the top sheet of plastic wrap. Then pick up the bottom piece of plastic wrap (with tortilla on it) and peel the plastic wrap carefully off from the tortilla.

Place the tortilla on the plate and cover with the damp towel.

Move on to the next ball of dough.

Once you have all of the tortillas formed, you just need to cook them. It's quick.

Heat a skillet or griddle and once it's nice and hot, place a tortilla down on it. Give it about 30-60 seconds and flip it. Give it another 60 seconds and flip back. Wait 15-30 seconds and you're done.

OK, I hate cooking by timing like that. Instead, you can also just wait and when you notice the edges of the tortilla starting to curl up and/or the center start to puff up a little, it's time to flip. Feel free to nibble the edges too to see if it's done :)

Place completed tortillas on another plate and cover with a damp cloth.

I ate mine topped with black beans (from scratch), seitan (also made by me), and some veggies. To drink I had a nice glass of Almond Milk (made by me).

From Foodsies!

Black Beans

I also got adventurous and made my own black beans from scratch (ie, from dry beans not from a can).

It's easy - you soak a cup of black beans in 3 cups of water (or 2 cups beans in 6 cups water, etc) overnight in a cool dark place.

The next day, strain out the water and rinse several times with new water.

Add to a nice pot along with 3 cups of water (or 5-6 cups for 2 cups of beans) and a tsp or so of salt, and a few pinches of pepper. You can also add a little diced onion and any other seasonings you want.

Bring to a boil and then cover and lower the heat so it's simmering. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about an hour. When you go to stir, also check the water level. It should be fine but if for some reason it is getting really low, add a little more. The last thing you want is to run out of water and have your beans burn.

You know they're done when they're soft enough to easily smoosh. Drain and you're done.

Almond Milk

As I mentioned, I also made Almond Milk for the first time yesterday. It's a little quicker than Soy Milk because you don't have to boil it.

Soak 1 cup of almonds in 3 cups of water for 24-48 hours in a cool, dark place. If you're soaking for 48 hours, make sure to drain and refill the water halfway through.

Once they've soaked, they will be nice and plump. Drain and then rinse several times.

Add to a blender (VitaMix is awesome for this but any blender will do) along with 7 cups of water. Blend for a few minutes until smooth.

Look inside. You should notice lots of foam. That's normal. You will probably also notice lots of almond meal floating around. Also normal (we'll get rid of that in a minute).

Add any sweetener if you want - I add a tsp of vanilla and a tsp of agave nectar. Blend for another minute to mix in the sweetener.

Now, grab a bowl and a metal mesh strainer. Place the strainer over the bowl to drain into the bowl, and place the cheesecloth in the strainer to add extra fine strainingness. Now pour some of the almond milk into the cheesecloth/strainer. It should slowly drain into the bowl. If the foam isn't cooperating, just skim it off the top.
Go about your business for a few minutes and when you return, you should have some almond milk in the bowl and some almond slop in the cheesecloth. Use a spoon to scrape off the almond slop and throw it in a bowl to compost (or fine, throw it in the trash). You can dry it out and then use it as a baking additive, but google can tell ya all about that.

Repeat the process of pouring, draining, and removing almond meal until all of the almond milk has been poured out of the blender and is in the bowl. Now you can decant it into a bottle of some kind (I use a really big jar). Drink and enjoy.

If you want it thicker, use a little less water. Thinner, use more. If it's too grainy, then fold your cheesecloth over a few times before straining, or strain more than once.

Btw, care for your cheesecloth! It will stay in better shape if you rinse and scrub with warm water and then unfold and hang spread out to dry. It will still get old and hard and progressively more annoying to work with, but if you take care of it you can slow that process.

Whew! All this handmade stuff is making my hands tired :) Next i'll be trying to make my own vegan Irish Cream, a Rye Sourdough, frozen burritos (with handmade flour tortillas, natch), Soy Milk (in the vitamix!) and god knows what else.

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Harvest Seitan

From Foodsies!

Although this weekend was warm enough to put me in the mood for summer, we had sleet and snow on Monday, and yesterday was chilly as well. This put me in mind of more autumnal and wintry eats, something warm and homey and richly spiced.

I decided to play with my seitan recipe a bit, and I think I have vastly improved it. This is the best seitan I have made yet, and probably some of the best i've ever had. It turned out juicy and tender, and had a rich meaty flavor reminiscent of steak.

To compliment the seitan, I was planning to make pears in a red wine sauce (I had been thinking along the lines of 'pork tenderloin' in pear sauce). Too bad we were out of pears. And didn't have an open bottle of wine.

So instead I used apples and sauteed them in dark rum, water, and mulling spices. I had this packet of mulling spices laying around waiting for me to make mulled cider, but since we didn't have any whole cinnamon sticks or other spices, I decided to try using them to flavor the apples (and later the seitan). It worked beautifully!

Kat's Harvest Seitan



3/4 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup Quinoa Flour*
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
1/2 tsp Sage
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 Cup "Beef" Broth
1 TBSP Vegetarian Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBSP Tahini
1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke

Spiced Apples

2 Apples, sliced and/or diced***
1 TBSP Earth Balance
1 TBSP Fresh Ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 Cup Dark Rum
2 Cups Water
1 Package Mulling Spices (or make your own)**
Sugar to taste

* You can substitute Soy Flour, but I don't like the flavor of Soy Flour. Both add tenderness to the seitan, but I think the Quinoa doens't mess with the flavor as much.

** Take 3 sticks of Cinnamon, 1 whole small Nutmeg, 3 TBSP Whole Cloves, 3 TBSP Whole Allspice, and 1 TBSP of Orange Peel. Place the Cinnamon and Nutmeg in a plastic baggie and smash with a hammer or other heavy object (fun!) and then mix in the rest of the spices. Use a little, a lot, or all of it for this dish.

*** I sliced one and diced the other. The variation is prettier and more interesting.


Seitan first.

Mix your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Mix your wet ingredients together in a pyrex measuring cup. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix. Stop adding the wet mix when you have a slightly wet dough.

Knead for 5 minutes.

Leave the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with a damp cloth (or cover the dough with saran wrap). Set aside for 15 minutes.

In the meantime, get some water boiling in a pot for steaming (See Method 1).

After the seitan dough has rested for those 15 minutes, remove and manipulate into a tube shape. Using a sharp knife, slice rounds off from the tube, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and form each slice into a cutlet (pull and smoosh to desired shape).

Place these pieces on a plate that will fit into the steamer and then cover with another plate facing down (should look like a UFO or something) and place the whole thing in the steamer. Alternately, wrap/fold each piece tightly in foil and place them in the steamer.

Steam for 20-25 minutes.

In the meantime, heat 1 TBSP of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add your apple slices. Stir them around and saute them for a minute, then add the ginger, a pinch or two of sugar, 1/4 cup of the rum, and the mulling spices.

Saute until the rum is gone and then add some of the water until it's gone. Then add more rum. When it's gone, add more water. Back and forth, until the apples are soft. When they are done, remove the skillet from the heat and remove the apples, along with some of the spices (The apples will be prettier that way).

When your seitan is done, remove from the steamer. Add a spritz of olive oil to the skillet and add the seitan. Add a touch of rum and some more of the mulling spices (if needed) and saute until browned.

Serve along with the apples for a hearty, insides-warming meal. Combined with a good veggie side, this would make a great holiday type occasion sort of dish.

From Foodsies!

I had seitan left over, but no more of the cooked apples. The leftover seitan was great served with some pearl barley cooked in veggie broth for lunch.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homemade Sourdough Bread

OMG I did it! I made my own sourdough!

From Foodsies!

Payton provided me with some of his sourdough starter (aka Barm aka Wild Poolish - what a great name) a week or so ago and yesterday I finally got around to baking my first loaf of Sourdough bread. Very exciting!

Actually, the work began on Sunday, because there is a lot of doing one step and then waiting several hours, then doing another step. I will outline what I did and what worked for me after the jump.

I can't wait to make my next batch!

Begin with wet starter (barm). To get barm.. well.. i'll have to expand on that some other time, since I got this barm from Payton. But I do want to try my own.

Note that the instructions below assume making two loaves. For one loaf, halve the recipe, obvs (including halving this firm starter).

Next make firm starter by stirring 2 cups of flour and 2 cups barm together in a mixing bowl. This should make a dough. If it is too stiff or dry, add a few drops of water (literally, only a few drops at a time until you get the proper consistency. You don't want it to be too wet and sticky either).

Knead the dough for several minutes until smooth.

Coat lightly with oil and return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel.

Let it rise (at room temp) for a few hours until the dough is 1 and a half to double in size.

Refrigerate overnight.

Now remove the firm starter from the fridge and set aside.

Mix 6 cups of flour with 1 TBSP Salt and 1 1/4 tsp Sugar in a large mixing bowl.

Cut (do not tear) the firm starter into 5 or 6 pieces and mix it into the dough. Slowly add 2 cups of water and mix. Stop adding water when the dough is soft and before it gets too wet (if it gets too wet, add a touch more flour).

Knead for 10 to 15 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Coat the dough lightly with oil and return to the bowl and cover with a damp towel.

Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for an hour.

Then shape the dough and/or place in loaf pan. OR, refrigerate overnight and then shape and/or place in loaf pan the next day.

Allow to rise a little bit more for another 1 - 4 hours.

Now it's ready to bake!

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When it's at about 350, fill a cast iron skillet with about 2 cups of water and place at the bottom of the oven.

Using a sharp knife, slice a few slits in the bread loaves. This will allow the bread to rise and expand better as it cooks. The slices you see below were originally thin cuts made with a sharp knife in the uncooked dough, about half an inch deep. Now look at 'em! Pretty.

From Foodsies!

When the oven's preheated, put the bread in (leaving the skillet in also).

If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, just spritz the bread and the sides of the oven with water.

Watch out for hot steam.

Bake for 15 minutes and then rotate the loaves. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. When done, place on a cooling rack until cooled. Then enjoy!

From Foodsies!

Hopefully you can slice bread better than I can. I can only bake it, it seems.

Read more On "Homemade Sourdough Bread"!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Savory Summer Pie

From Foodsies!

This recipe was inspired by one found here for a savory tomato-pesto pie (with lots and lots of cheese). When I read it, I instantly thought of summer, of warm summer flavors and a carefree day with friends, of sharing light conversation and juicy tomatoes. And as we had weather in the 50's (practically summer for Boston!), I had a hankering to veganize this dish. So, with a Saturday free for experimentation, that's just what I did. And boy howdy did it turn out near perfect!

I think from now on, this is going to be one of my staple dishes to bring to a small potluck or dinner-at-a-friend's. It's easy and doesn't take much longer than most casseroles, but has a warm and cozy day-spent-cooking sort of look and feel to it. And everyone loves pies, amiright?

The primary hurdle was to think of how to replace the cheese while still maintaining the light and juicy essence of the pie (simply omitting the cheese would leave a pie consisting of nothing but tomato and pesto, which would be a bit... dull). I think in the original recipe, the cheese probably provides a mild flavor and a juicy chewiness (via the mozzerella), maybe a bit of tang as well (from the romano).

I decided to use summer squash and zucchini to provide the mild flavor (to contrast with the bright flavor of the tomato and the zip of the pesto) and creamy texture. Plus it sticks with the summer theme (like the tomato and basil). And as luck would have it, I had some squash and zucchini already in my fridge.

To provide a little additional creaminess and tang, I added some silken tofu, cashews, and a bit of nutritional yeast to my pesto recipe.

All combined, this turned out wonderfully. The squash filled its role perfectly, and the pesto turned out nicely both in the pie and eaten as a dip for chips.

Savory Summer Pie (Vegan)



2/3 Cup Pine Nuts or Raw Almonds (if you want to save some cash)
1/4 Cup Cashews (optional - you can replace with more pine nuts)
3 TBSP Olive Oil
4 Cups Fresh Basil
3 TBSP Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Container Silken Tofu
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Tomatoes, diced


1 Summer Squash
1 Zucchini**
6 Plum Tomatoes***
Salt and Pepper to taste


3 Cups Flour****
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
1/4 Cup Earth Balance
1 Cup Soymilk

* If you wish, you can sub in your favorite pesto recipe here. You can then add tofu or not, depending on how creamy you want it. It will work just fine with just regular pesto (no tofu).

** You could just use 2 Summer Squashes (or even 2 Zucchini) if you prefer.

*** Plum Tomatoes are meatier than regular tomatoes, so there's more tomato and less juice. I agree with the author of the original recipe - plum tomatoes probably work better than regular ones for this recipe (although use whatever you have, i'm sure it'll be tasty).

**** You can use half (or even all) Whole Wheat Flour or just use All Purpose Flour.


First, make your Pesto. To do this, toss all of the pesto ingredients minus oil in your food processor and process until combined. Then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while processing, and pause to scrape down the sides when necessary. If you find that it isn't as smooth as you want it, you can remove at this point and blend it some in a blender.

If you have a sweet Cylon Blender like I do, then instead you need to start with just the nuts and olive oil and blend. Then add all of the other ingredients and blend til smooth and delicious.

Set aside.

Now you want to get the squash going. Get a large skillet going on Medium heat with a little bit of olive oil or spray. Slice your squash and/or zucchini into thin slices (about 1/4 inch) and toss into the skillet. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and saute until the squash is very tender and kinda see-through. It'll take several minutes at least. Be sure to give it a stir once in a while so it all cooks evenly.

While that's going, slice your tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices as well and set aside.

When your squash is done, remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Now to make your dough. Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the Earth Balance in tiny pieces and then cut into the flour, and/or just use your hands to thoroughly mix in the Earth Balance. The flour should become coarser. Now add your other dry ingredients and mix.

Slowly add the milk (as you may not need all of it) and mix until you have a good dough that isn't too sticky but is wet enough to stay in a cohesive ball when you tell it to.

Split the dough into two pieces, one just a little bit smaller than the other (see below).

From Foodsies!

Cover the smaller ball with saran wrap and set aside.

On a well-floured surface, roll out the first ball into a circle about 12 inches in diameter (see picture). It is better to err on the side of larger than smaller. You want the dough to be about 1/4 inch thick, maybe a little thinner. It depends on how thick or thin you like your crust, really (taking into account that it will thicken a smidge when cooking). I made mine very thin, and in the end I wished it had been a bit thicker.

From Foodsies!

Now lay the dough down in a 9" pie pan and cut any extreme excess dough from the edges. Keep in mind you want it to have a wee bit extra beyond the lip of the pan, but not much. In the picture below, you can see that I actually did a terrible job and had areas with too much edge and edges with not enough. In this case you can cut off the excess and use it to patch up the areas with not enough. Same thing if the dough tears - just stick it back together and patch with a little extra dough if you need to.

From Foodsies!

Now take your pesto and a spoon and spoon it onto the crust. Use the back of the spoon to spread it out. You don't need a really thick layer, but don't skimp either.

From Foodsies!

Next, lay down your squash slices on the pesto so that they cover the whole bottom.

From Foodsies!

Top with a layer of tomato. Then top that layer of tomato with more pesto (no skimping!) and then another layer of squash, another layer of tomato, and a final layer of pesto. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

From Foodsies!

Now the fun part! Set that aside and get out your other ball of dough. Roll it out on a floured surface until it is about 9" in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick, or a bit thinner.

Carefully lay it down over the top of the pie - it should ideally fit right inside and be the same diameter as the pie pan. If it's a little large, just snip it down a little.

Now take that little bit of dough from the bottom crust which extends just beyond the rim of the pan and fold it over towards the middle overtop of the edge of the top dough layer. Basically you want to seal the pie by connecting the bottom dough with the top dough.
If you want to be fancy (which I was not), you can crimp around the edges with your fingers. Actually I would have done this, but my bottom layer didn't extend high enough to fold back atop the upper crust very well, so I had to work pretty hard just to seal it, much less to make fancy crimps.

Using a knife to cut a few slits in the top of the dough so that steam can escape during baking. This is important.

If you want to be cute, you can use the knife to cut a quarter-size hole from the middle of the crust. Then cut out a similar size (but every so slightly bigger) slice of tomato and place it in the hole. Tuck it just under the dough.

As the pie bakes, the tomato slice will cook a bit and darken, and it will look really pretty. Most importantly, this will indicate that it is a savory pie, and not a fruit pie (lest someone be surprised and disappointed upon cutting into the pie).

Now you're all set to bake!

Throw the pie in the oven at 400. Bake for 30 minutes. Check the pie. If the crust is getting too dark, remove from the oven and cover the edge of the pie with a strip of aluminum foil. Replace and bake for another 10 minutes. Check the pie again. If the crust is nice and browned (or if you used whole wheat flour, you'll just have to guess a bit at this point) and firm and feels cooked through, remove from the oven. If it needs a few minutes, feel free to give it another 5-10 minutes and then remove.

You should have this:

From Foodsies!

Serve and enjoy! I bet it would be great with some sweet iced tea and the company of good friends.

Read more On "Savory Summer Pie"!

Friday, March 6, 2009

There is Peach Cobbler in Heaven

From Foodsies!

I believe I have a new favorite dessert. Vegan Peach Cobbler. Sounds so simple, no? Yes well, it is simple. But the peaches, slurping around in their own spiced sweet syrupy juices, taste like nectar (and like summer). And the biscuity crumbles are hearty and satisfying.
It's comfort food. Or comfort fruit, if you will.

I don't know what i'm doing making such things when i'm "dieting," but I did minimize the sugar and butter, used whole wheat flour and oats instead of regular flour. Next time I think I can cut the sugar down from 1/4 cup sugar to 1 TBSP of Agave Nectar. And I might throw in some soy flour or almond meal in place of some of the whole wheat flour, to make it lower carb. Still not diet food exactly, but better than some other desserts.

And it's a super easy to gobble up a serving or two of fruit.

Also, technically it's Peach Apple Cobbler, but only because I didn't have enough frozen peach. It's good with the apple, but I think it's probably better with just peach (or maybe i'm just appled out at the moment?).

Peach Cobbler


3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
1/4 Cup Rolled Oats*
1 TBSP Earth Balance
3/4 Cup Soy Milk
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt

4-6 Cups Sliced Peaches**
1/4 Cup Sugar***
1 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Ginger Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
1 TBSP Lemon Juice

* You don't have to use these. You can just use more flour (for a total of 1 cup) instead. You can also substitute graham cracker crumbles or anything else you want.

** This is about 6-8 peaches, or 2 small bags of frozen peaches (or about 20oz). Don't use canned peaches, cuz that's gross. Frozen is always better (less preservatives, less or no added sugar, etc). You can also use apples, cherries, blueberries, whatever. You might want to adjust the spices and sugar a little because tarter fruits need more sugar, sweet fruits less. If you're using a really juicy kind of fruit (particularly if it isn't frozen) then you may want to increase the cornstarch to 3 TBSP.

*** I think you can just use 1 TBSP of Agave instead if you are so inclined


Preheat oven to 400.

Thaw your peaches in the microwave (if using frozen peaches, obvs) by nuking at 50% power for about 2 minutes, then stirring, then again for another 3 minutes.

Dump peaches in a saucepan that looks big enough to hold all of your peaches. Add the sugar/agave, brown sugar, cornstarch, spices, vanilla, and lemon juice.

Stir thoroughly. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil. Let it boil for a minute, still stirring. The mix should be thick and syrupy around the peaches. Remove from heat and set aside. It should look sorta like this:

From Foodsies!

Dump the flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and the 2 tsp of sugar into a mixing bowl. Mix gently. Add the Earth Balance a little pinch at a time, and then cut it into the mix. Or you can do what I did, and just use one of your hands to grab and mush and mix it all together (you can also use two butter knives and slice them in opposite directions repeatedly). The main thing is that you want the Earth Balance to get broken up and mix with the flour to form something like small crumbs. If this doesn't make sense, then just mix everything up as best you can and say to hell with it. It doesn't make a big difference in the end, to be honest.

Now add the milk slowly (like 1/4 cup at a time) and stir. What you wind up with may resemble this:

From Foodsies!

Or it might not. Who cares? It will turn out great anyway, that's the beauty of this recipe.

Dump your peach mixture into a 2QT casserole dish, or any casserole dish that you think will hold it well. I recommend a round casserole dish because you will have more fruit than topping, so a deeper dish works better than a larger, shallow dish.

Now pinch off little globs of dough and drop them (or carefully place them, if you're anal) onto the peaches. I figure the globs should be about the size of a marble. It should wind up looking something like this:

From Foodsies!

Now bake in the oven (which is at 400) for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven, let cool as long as you can stand, then devour.

From Foodsies!

Read more On "There is Peach Cobbler in Heaven"!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kale-based Smoothies Don't Suck (I know, I was shocked too)

From Foodsies!


Kale in a smoothie? Bleeeech.


Smoothies are delish! And fruit > kale, so if you put some fruit in with the kale, you don't notice the evil kaleness.

No offense to kale, of course. I love me some greens and all. But it's really hard to eat kale every single day...

Unless it's in my daily breakfast smoothie!

Mmmm mmmmm.

The fun of smoothies is experimentation. Here are two of mine:

1 Solid Handful of Kale
1 Banana
1/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 to 1/2 of an Apple
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1 Cup Water

Remove the Kale leafiness from the stems and tear into smallish bits and dump into blender.
Slice the half apple and dump the slices in the blender.
Add the frozen blueberries.
Tear the banana into small chunks and add to blender.
Pour in OJ, followed by water.

1 Solid Handful of Kale
1 Banana
1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 TBSP Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Soymilk
1 Cup Water

Remove the Kale leafiness from the stems and tear into smallish bits and dump into blender.
Add frozen blueberries
Tear the banana into small chunks and add to blender.
Pour in Soymilk, followed by water.

I make small modifications based on what fresh and frozen fruit we have on hand each morning. Sometimes I add in 1 TBSP of cocoa powder, or 1 TBSP of Blackstrap Molasses. Sometimes I use frozen banana or apple, sometimes fresh. Sometimes I use more Peanut Butter. A few times, I used Red Kale, and that was a little weird but still drinkable.

It's important to use at least a little frozen fruit, because that will make your smoothie nice and cold. You can use ice cubes instead if you have a stance against frozen fruit for some reason.

This works awesome in the Cylon Blender (aka, the VitaMix) but it doesn't require such a crazy blender. You might want to chop some pieces smaller, and check the instructions for the blender to make sure it's up to the task of ice cubes or whatever. The resulting smoothie might not be AS smooth as from the Cylon, but it'll still taste good.

And by "good" I mean "really, really great compared to just eating some raw kale."

PS. My smoothies are always reddish because I use frozen berries (yum!). One of these days i'll resist, and see if I can get a new color (i've seen lots of pictures of people with green radio-active looking smoothies and I want a radio-active looking smoothie too!

Read more On "Kale-based Smoothies Don't Suck (I know, I was shocked too)"!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Phyllo Fun! - Vegan Spanakopita and Rummy Peach Pockets

From Foodsies!

It's time for Fun with Phyllo Dough! Plus some Fun with Fruit (and Rum)!

Everyone is so scared of Phyllo dough. Faw. Wusses.
The key to working with Phyllo is to chill out. Relax. Breathe. It doesn't need to be perfect. It isn't supposed to look perfect anyway. It's a flaky crust in the end anyhow - so don't worry about rips and tears and crumbles. It'll look natural when it's all said and done.
And anyway, it just has to taste good. And you know what? It will. Why?

Because Phyllo is much easier and much more fun to work with than common rumor has it.

Let me put it this way - I completely screwed up this Spanakopita and it still turned out fine. Not great, but that's ok because I know what I did wrong (and it wasn't the phyllo's fault).

Additionally, the Rummy Peach Pockets are fun and tasty, and they are a great way to use up any extra Phyllo dough leftover from the Spanakopita. They bake for the same length of time as the Spanakopita, so you can make them together. Ah, efficiency.

You can also fold these dishes into the typical triange shape. Instructions for that are at the very bottom of the page. The method in my instructions is for a sort of easy cheater casserole style of Spanakopita.

The first step is to get some vegan Phyllo Dough. It isn't hard to find. Athens brand is great.

Now you need to thaw it. It takes 2 hours sitting out on the counter to thaw. Too bad I forgot all about that. Oops.

Instead, I thawed it in the microwave by cutting the ends off the tube casing to vent any steam buildup and nuked it on the 3 power level (with 10 being the highest) for 30 seconds. I then flipped the tubes over and did the same thing for another 30 seconds. I then let it sit out while I got everything else ready. I then nuked them at 2 Power for 30 seconds.

Your mileage may vary. The safest bet is to give it the 2 hours, but who gets home 2 hours before they even start making dinner? Right. So, give it your best shot with the microwave.

Moving on...

Vegan Spanakopita


1 Package Phyllo Dough
1 Large Bag Fresh Spinach (or 6 big handfulls) OR 1 Package Frozen Spinach
1 Package Firm Tofu, regular or silken*
1 Onion, finely diced
1/2 Cup Walnuts or Pine Nuts, finely chopped or ground (optional)
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley (optional)
1/4 Cup Fresh Dill (optional)
1/4 Cup Miso (mild, yellow, or white)
2 TBSP Lemon Juice
1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Nutmeg

3 TBSP Olive Oil OR melted Earth Balance**

* You can use Silken or Regular tofu - both will work. The Silken will create a sort of creamy spinach mash while the Regular will create a firmer mix sorta like feta crumbles mixed with spinach.

** This will be for wiping on the phyllo dough. You can use an oil brush or a rounded knife to spread it on the dough. You can also try a spatula or a large spoon. Whatever works. The melted Earth Balance might be easier if you're without a brush.


Spray a skillet with a bit of olive oil and saute the onion. At the same time, steam your spinach either in the microwave or by adding to the skillet along with the onion (and a few TBSP of water) and covering.
Once the onion is tender and see-through and the spinach is steamed, set aside.

In a large bowl, mash your tofu with a fork until it is crumbly (or mooshy, if you're using Silken). Add the miso and lemon juice and mix well. Now add in the spinach, nuts (if using), herbs (if using), olive oil, salt, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly. If you're using regular tofu, you want a mashy crumbly mixture without any really large chunks of tofu. If you're using silken tofu, just mix it all together.

Here is my mix, although I used too much spinach (i've now adjusted the recipe):

From Foodsies!

Now for the fun part.

Preheat your oven to 375.

Get out a large rectangular casserole (like 11x7).

Unroll your Phyllo dough. It should be in small, very very thin sheets. It will probably want to stick to itself, and to rip and tear and crumble. Oh well. You want to layer it fairly evenly across the bottom of the casserole. Don't worry if it curves up the sides some.

IMPORTANT: While you are working on each layer of Phyllo dough, you want to cover the rest with a sheet of saran wrap (or a dry towel) and then top
that with a damp towel. This is because you really, really don't want to let the Phyllo dry out.

Once you've got a single layer down, brush it lightly with oil. Lay down another layer. Brush with oil. Lay down another layer. If you have to do it in strips or torn bits, that's fine too. Do the best you can and be patient when separating the Phyllo from itself.

Do this until you have 8 to 10 layers, depending on your patience.

Now cover with your spinach and tofu mixture. You want it to be about 1/2 inch to 1 inch deep and covering the whole dish all the way out to the edges.

Now lay down another 8-10 layers of Phyllo dough, brushing each layer with oil before laying down the next.

Finally, brush some oil on the top of the topmost layer.

Using a knife, score the top of the topmost layer (and on deeper if you want, but best not to cut through the bottom layer) so that when it's cooked, it won't tear or crumble so much when you cut it. You can see in my picture above where it is scored. You can't tell, but the cuts don't go all the way through to the bottom.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes at 375.
After the 25 minutes is up, remove from the oven and remove the foil. Return to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes at 350. You will know it's done when the top layer of Phyllo is a golden brown (but don't burn it of course).

Remove, slice, and enjoy.

Wait, what did I do wrong when I made it last night?

I forgot to oil between the layers of Phyllo dough. Sadface. I had the oil and brush all ready to go, I just didn't think to use it. I also didn't think to use it on the Rummy Peach Pockets. Way to go.

And yet, it all turned out OK. I'm sure it will be better with the oil, but hey. We got dinner and then leftovers for lunch out of it.

Rummy Peach Pockets


1 Package Phyllo Dough, Thawed
1 Bag Frozen Peaches (or 2 if they are small bags)
1 Cup Dark Spiced Rum
1 Cup Water

2 TBSP Brown Sugar
2 tsp Almond Extract (you can use Vanilla instead)
4 TBSP Water

3 TBSP Olive Oil or Earth Balance


Thaw the Phyllo dough.

Thaw the peaches (microwave on 5 for 1 minute and repeat until no longer frozen).

Mix the Rum and water together in a large bowl. Add the peaches. Soak for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Remove from the rum/water mix and place in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and almond extract. Add about 4 TBSP of water.

Mirowave on high for 6 minutes.

Now get out your Phyllo Dough and a small rectangular casserole dish. Just like with the Spanakopita, layer the casserole dish with a sheet (or many strips and torn bits) of Phyllo and then brush with oil.

Don't forget to cover the Phyllo when not in use with saran wrap and a damp towel.

Repeat until you have about 8 layers.

Cover with the peaches so that you have one solid layer of peaches.

Lay down another 8 layers of Phyllo (oiling each one). Score the top layer where you want to eventually cut slices.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven, remove the foil, return to the oven and bake at 350 for another 15-20 minutes until the top layer of Phyllo dough is golden brown.

Remove and enjoy.

From Foodsies!

Timing the complete dinner:

You can bake both of these dishes at once. I advise getting the Spanakopita all ready while you soak the peaches. Once the Spanakopita is all ready in the casserole, get the Rummy Peach Pockets ready and then pop both dishes in the oven at the same time.

Making triangle pockets:

You can also make actual "pockets" with either of these dishes, rather than doing it slacker casserole style. Just cut (with scissors, or carefully tear with your hands) the Phyllo into 3-inch or 4-inch wide strips, place 1-2 spoonfulls of spinach mix (or peaches) at the bottom and fold up like you're making a paper football (or a flag). No need to coat with olive oil except on the top of the pocket.

Once you've got them all made, place the pockets in a casserole dish and cover with aluminum foil and proceed like normal with the baking.
Read more On "Phyllo Fun! - Vegan Spanakopita and Rummy Peach Pockets"!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I haven't posted in a few days, because i've been dead tired and also because I can't manage to bake a successful German Apple Pancake. Basically, it's an apple pancake that you bake instead of cooking on a skillet. Should be simple, right?

Apparently not.

I've failed... 4 times now. It seems that no matter how I adjust the ingredients or how long I bake it (or at what temperature), it just won't cook through. The top and bottom cook, but all of the insides stay raw and mushy. Grr.

From Foodsies!

Anyway, here is the basic recipe i'm using (poorly):


1/2 Cup Flour (have also tried 1 Cup Flour)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
3 tsp Baking Powder (have also tried with 1 tsp, 2 tsp, and 4 tsp)
1/4 Cup Applesauce (have also tried mashed banana)
1 Cup Milk (have also tried with a 3/4 Cup and with 1 and 1/2 Cup)

2 Tart Apples
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tsp Sugar
2 TBSP Water

1 tsp Earth Balance


Preheat oven to 450 (I have also tried 415 and 475)

Slice up the apples and arrange in microwave-safe small casserole or other non-bowl shaped dish. Cover with cinnamon and nutmeg and sugar and then add the water. Microwave for 4 minutes. They should come out a little soft but not mushy.

Mix up applesauce/banana with the Soymilk. Mix up the dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry (slowly, while stirring). Mix together to form a wet batter (just like a pancake batter).

Put a casserole dish in the oven for 5 minutes or so to warm up. Remove (with potholder!) and melt the Earth Balance in it. Then pour in the pancake batter. Then dump in the apples and use a spatula to even everything out.

Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes (I have also tried 20 and 40).

Remove from oven to discover that the top, bottom, and edges are great but all the rest is a mushy uncooked mess.

Whyyyyy? Why do I even care about this stupid pancake, which I could just make an apple pie or cobbler instead? Or when I could just make a real pancake?
Also, why won't it work? The leavening shouldn't be a problem - it does seem to rise enough. I think I may have read somewhere that a less wet batter cooks through better, so maybe i'll try reducing the soymilk next.

Read more On "Fail"!