Curried carrot (and other roots!) slaw

I’ve been eating this curried carrot slaw all summer and autumn and sharing it with friends too. It’s hugely popular – mix of creamy, sweet, crunchy, spicy, and tangy and it’s good for you. It’ll last for days in the fridge (though it’ll be gobbled up before then) and as the weather turns colder, I’m experimenting with adding in other root veggies – white turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga etc. Give this one a try. It’s quick and easy and a brilliant side with everything!

In this photo, I’ve used a mix of different coloured carrots – yellow, orange and purple.CurriedCarrotSlaw1st.jpg

Ingredients

2 ½ cups grated carrots (or mix it up with up to one cup of other grated root veggies)

4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise

2 Tbsp lemon juice (about 1/3 of a lemon)

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp curry powder

1 shallot minced

1-2 Tbsp raisins

1 – 2 Tbsp shelled pistachios (optional)

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Directions

In a medium-sized bowl mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, maple syrup, curry powder and minced shallot. Add the raisins and carrot and toss to combine. Serve topped with a few pistachios.

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The Thug’s best cake

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I’ve been wanting to make this cake for nearly two years, ever since I was given The Thug Kitchen cookbook as a birthday gift. I’m so glad I finally had the occasion to make cake, because it’s divine – light, tasty, moist, super easy and just glorious.

Let me save you all that Thug swearing and share this recipe and my two riffs on it. Then go make the cake. JFDI, baby!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups fine cornmeal (the kind you make polenta with)

¾ cups flour

¾ cup sugar (make sure it’s vegan sugar –not filtered through animal bone char! In Canada, Redpath sugar passes muster)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups coconut milk (a 13oz can)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ to 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Directions

Heat your oven to 375F. Grease and flour an 8-inch cake pan.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until you have a moist batter with no dry pockets and few lumps.

Pour into the cake pan and bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Accessorize that cake!!

Coconut whipped cream and fruit

13 oz can of coconut milk – make sure it does not contain guar gum, which keeps the milk from separating. You WANT the milk to separate!

2 Tablespoons icing sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fruit of your choice – berries, sliced peaches or plums, oranges etc.

Chill the can of coconut milk in the fridge for several hours. Open the can and scoop out the hardened coconut cream that’ has risen to the top of the can into a medium sized bowl – I prefer glass or metal, not plastic. You can save the remaining coconut water for smoothies (ugh) or tropical cocktails (hello rum and Curacao!). Add the vanilla and sugar and beat the coconut cream for about 3 minutes on medium-high speed until you have a thick cream that forms peaks. The cream will last covered in the fridge for 1-2 days but it’s best served immediately.

Serve the cake with the coconut cream, fresh fruit and toasted coconut.

Lemon glazed cake

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¾ cup icing sugar

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ cup melted vegan margarine

Mix all the ingredients together until you have a runnyglaze and pour over the cake. Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

My big fat vegan moussaka

moussaka

So we’re turning the clocks back an hour this weekend. What are you going to do with this extra time?? Make vegan moussaka!! This dish is made up of layers of roasted eggplant, potato and zucchini in a lightly cinnamon-scented tomato sauce and a creamy “béchamel” topping. It’s all comforting and delicious without being heavy.

This isn’t a difficult recipe, but there is a time commitment of about 90 minutes from start to finish. It’s worth it though!

You can make this dish the day before, right up to the baking stage.

This recipe is heavily based on Isa Chandra’s recipe. She must have a large food budget because she recommends some rather costly ingredients such as pine nuts instead of ground almonds in the béchamel. I’ll bet that’s lovely, but since I still have a mortgage, I went with more affordable ingredients throughout.

You will need a food processor or sturdy blender for to make the béchamel sauce.

Ingredients

For the vegetable layer

1 large eggplant

3 large white potatoes

1 very large or 2 average-sized zucchinis

Enough olive oil to oil 3 cookie sheets

For the sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 small onion diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup vegetable broth or red wine

23 oz jar or 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (I use Italian crushed tomatoes that come in a jar – the taste is far superior for the extra dollar it costs).

2 teaspoons oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

Bechamel topping

A 12 oz block of tofu

½ cup ground almonds

3 Tablespoons lemon juice (about ½ of a juicy lemon)

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder or tapioca powder

1 clove garlic

pinch nutmeg

1 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

pepper to taste

Other ingredients

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Enough oil to oil a 9”x13” baking or casserole dish

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400. Lightly oil three baking sheets or shallow pans.

Roast the vegetables

Trim the stems from the eggplant and zucchini(s). Remove any eyes from the potatoes, but there’s no need to peel them. Slice the eggplant, zucchini and potato, lengthwise, into approximately 1/4 inch thick slices. Rub the eggplant slices with a little salt and set aside in a colander in the sink or in a big bowl for about 15 minutes to soften and sweat (yes, you will see the eggplant sweating!). The salt helps lift out any bitter taste in the eggplant. Lightly rinse off the eggplant after it’s had time to sweat.

Use a separate baking sheet for each type of vegetable. Spread the vegetable slices out in a single layer. Give the potatoes and zucchini a light sprinkle of salt.

Roast the zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes and the potatoes for 20. Remove from the oven and allow the vegetables to cool.

Leave the oven on!

While the vegetables are roasting make the sauce.

Add the ¼ cup olive oil to a large pot and heat on medium high. Sauté the onion and garlic until they are translucent. Add the other ingredients and bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set the pot of sauce aside.

Make the béchamel sauce

Add all the ingredients to a food processor or strong blender. Blend until creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. I add up to ½ cup of water as I’m blending to get a creamier sauce… it really depends on the tofu you use.

Assemble and bake

Oil a 9 x 13 pan. Spread a big spoonful of the tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan. Layer in the eggplant, then the potato, then a thin layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with half the bread crumbs. Add the layer of zucchini. Add the next layer of eggplant and potatoes and the remainder of the breadcrumbs. Layer the remainder of the tomato sauce over it all. Then spread the béchamel sauce as the top layer and smooth it out. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and it’s formed a few cracks. Allow the dish to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Fennel and leek quiche

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I get a farm box delivered every week; its contents are always unknown and can pose some interesting food combinations. This week there were leeks and a beautiful bulb of fennel. Together? Why not? Here’s my fennel and leek quiche which absolutely delighted everyone who tasted it!

It’s quick and easy to make but you do need a food processor.

Ingredients

1 pie crust – I purchase mine already made, but you can find many excellent vegan pie crust recipes. Here’s one I recommend.

12 oz package medium-firm or firm, silken tofu

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbsp cornstarch or tapioca powder

1 Tbsp tahini

1 Tbsp miso

½ tsp turmeric

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp A-1 sauce

Freshly ground pepper to taste (I used about ¼ tsp)

1 bulb fennel, stalks and fronds removed, and the bulb cut into slices

2 leeks cleaned, cut in half and sliced with just a bit of the green included (about 1” of the green)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350.

Put the tofu, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, tapioca powder or cornstarch, tahini, miso, A1 sauce, turmeric, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. You should have a thick, smooth thin paste-like mix. You may need to add up to ½ cup water to get a smoother paste.

Sprinkle the sliced leeks and fennel crust. Pour the tofu batter over top evenly and smooth out.

Bake for 60 minutes. Allow the quiche to cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!