Thursday, August 29, 2019

Garlicky Maple Walnut Vegan Cookies



So, summer is almost over.  I have hardly used my solar oven because of gardening, writing, what-have-you.  

I love the idea of the Sun Oven: not heating up the house, not having an electric bill that includes cooking (or other things like dehydrating or baking), and just being outside in my backyard a little more often than I have been.  

So, today, another warm day with a blue sky and direct sunlight, seemed like the time to do some sun oven baking of this intriguing garlic cookie recipe.  I have browsed the internet and considered various garlic cookie recipes, but none of them really appealed to me.  Then I thought of the super healthy Maple Walnut cookies that Dr. Neil Nedley recommended in the cookbook that went with his Depression-- The Way Out program that my husband and I helped to facilitate in our community a few years ago.

WALNUTS-- THE BRAIN NUT


  The walnuts and flaxseed in the vegan cookies are high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fats and fibre.   In  a study looking at Metabolic syndrome, now a large threat in China, requiring lifestyle counseling and nutritional intervention. The group assigned to eat a substitute bread containing walnuts and flax seed lost weight, although the nuts and seeds were fairly high in calories and one would think that weight gain would result.  Metabolic syndrome refers to a group of risk factors that include mid-body obesity, high readings of cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure and hyperglycemia.  These symptoms speak of an increased risk for  heart disease and Type II diabetes.  So, this Chinese study would appear to validate what we learned about walnuts and flax seed in the Depression-- the Way Out program with the video lectures by Dr. Nedley.  He referred to walnuts as "the brain" nut.  It even looks like a brain when you crack it open.


Walnut courtesy of Ulrike Leone from Pixabay





INSTRUCTIONS FOR BAKING THESE COOKIES in BOTH YOUR REGULAR OVEN AND WITH THE AMAZING SUN OVEN

  So, here is the recipe for both regular ovens in your home, and for the Sun Oven, solar wonder that I carry out and set up in my back yard when I want to cook without heating up my house or running up an unnecessary electric bill in the summer (I also hang my laundry out when the sun shines on our We(s)t Coast home.


  1. Crank the regular oven up to 350F/175C or 
  2. Set up the Sun Oven pointing in the direction of the sun, and adjust every half hour.  Start the wait for the 90 minutes of heating in the sun so the thermometer on the Sun Oven reads 350F/175C.  (Adjust the oven to have the sun coming in directly.  This recipe is not too wet so I had no problem with condensation-- should the glass on the Sun Oven mist up, just wipe it off.  WARNING: Always wear oven mitts when doing anything regarding the innards of the Sun Oven-- like putting the food in there or taking it out)

INGREDIENTS:  
Process 2 1/2 C. of Walnut pieces into a fine crumble in a food processor.
Combine the following with the walnuts above, and mix well:
1/3 C. Flaxseed Meal (I grind my own fresh in a coffee bean grinder)
2/3 C. Wholewheat Pastry Flour
1    tsp. Salt (I skipped the salt, and you could use "to taste" or "a pinch" as you desire)
1/2 C.   Maple Syrup
3+        Cloves of Garlic, chopped (Reserve a little of the shreds for topping the cookies)
2 tsp.    Vanilla Essence/Extract (optional)

1/2 C.   Chocolate Chips (I use the Mini-Chips that are vegan, gluten-free and non-GMO (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Have food processor and measured ingredients ready to go.  DO NOT PUT Chocolate chips in the food processor.  Put all other ingredients in the food processor
  2. After mixing the above ingredients together well,  mix in the chocolate chips if using.  
  3. Place 12 same size balls of dough on a parchment-covered cookie sheet (parchment means you don't need to use grease on the sheet), and press the cookies down. (You can put the cookies for the Sun Oven right on parchment paper on the shelves for the oven and carry the shelves out to the oven-- no pan or lid required.)
  4.  For the Regular Oven: Put in to bake for approximately 10 minutes (depending on your stove temperature-- they vary! Check frequently to make sure they are not scorching or burning-- yeah, they are rather labour-intense-- but sooo worth it!  Cool on a rack.  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
  5.  Put it in the Sun Oven for about 20 - 30 minutes at a temp that might fluctuate between 300F and 350F-- if the temperature is hotter than that, bake for about 10 minutes as in the oven recipe.) The cookies tend to look NOT done because they don't brown as much in the sun oven, but they are best removed a little early since they harden up as they cool (the Maple Syrup?) Cool on a rack in the pan (what I do).  Keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
Here is a sort of goofy photo of the cookies in the Sun Oven: (gives you an idea of all the reflection that goes on with the sun to bake these cookies)

Another Garlicky Recipe celebrating the diversity of the Stinking Rose!

Find more Garlicky Vegan Recipes here:




Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Garlic Mushrooms - Vegan, GlutenFree




The other day a fellow commented that "a day without garlic is not much of a day at all!"

I happen to agree with this statement and rejoiced when my husband brought home some mushrooms, because then we could have GARLIC Mushrooms!  Pity, my husband went for a long bikeride and missed the small batch that I cooked up today (I'm not all that mean-- there are still some fresh ones in the fridge for him to cook up for himself if he so chooses.)  You can find a photo of some browner mushrooms below-- yours are more apt to turn out like these.

I think the mushrooms he brought home were Baby Bellas, a smaller take on Portobellas.  Did you know that Crimini are an even smaller version of Portobellas?

In any case, they slice up rather raggedy and don't have that cute picture appeal when cooked that little white mushrooms do.

But they taste very delicious... tender and with that umami taste-- "umami" is gourmet for "je ne sais quoi".  It's that lovely 6th flavour that reminds you that some mushroom genes are not far off from human genes.... although you can eat mushrooms as a vegan.  Happy about that!
Image by Photos for You from Pixabay

So, with little more ado, here is the recipe for Garlic Mushrooms:

INGREDIENTS: (FOR 1 - 2 people)

6 (medium-large) -10 (medium-small) Mushrooms

1/4 cup Olive Oil if vegan -- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil + 2 Tablespoons Butter if not vegan                

(or 1/4 C. water or broth, if you don't consume oils)

4 fine-minced Garlic Cloves

1/4 cup of Parsley, Thyme or Celery leaves, minced (leave some for garnish)

Lemon Juice (only a squeeze)  **Watch video below for more lemon zest-y mushrooms

Sea Salt


METHOD:

  1. Clean up and slice the mushrooms Wipe or brush the mushrooms with a dry cloth or mushroom brush-- the less water on/in the mushroom, the better they cook
  2. Heat the saute pan (or use saute setting on your Instant Pot) 
  3. Add 2 T. Olive Oil or broth/water and add in mushrooms,  (with lemon zest as per video, if desired) and saute-ing  and stirring the them until golden
  4. Add in remaining ingredients: minced garlic,  parsley (or thyme, etc.) and squeeze of lemon.  Stir for a few minutes and plate.  Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
  5. Garnish
  6. Enjoy!
Here is the video that shows you the how-to details--- ENJOY! 

Some other garlicky vegan recipes located at Hubpages: <-- click here and when you get there, just scroll down to find the 2 recipes.  Or you can click on the following images for the recipes (and remember to scroll down to find them)






Monday, August 19, 2019

Vegan Carrot Burgers


I checked to see what I had in the fridge.  Lots of greens (chard, etc.), a couple of zucchinis and 2 large carrots that seem to be coming to the end of their days (a little spongy shall we say?)

I am all for NO FOOD WASTE-- use it or compost it, and we were hungry.

So, I googled CARROT BURGERS and actually came across a delicious recipe that also uses 1/4 C. of walnuts (meaning you don't have to go and buy a large bag-- you can buy yourself a small quantity from the health store bulk bin) and 1/2 C. Panko-- something I have never bought, but I did have some finely grated soda crackers sitting in a container in the fridge that I used in lieu of panko in some other recipe-- they work well for us.  I didn't have fresh cilantro, but I did have some basil-- yes, I know they are not too similar-- not at all-- but it was a taste of herb we were after, right?  And I had everything else right here available.



I stuck it all into the food processor, and presto, it was easy to make 4 good sized patties as called for in the recipe.

But I don't use oil to fry, and I prefer just sticking stuff in my toaster oven, if possible, so that is what I did.

And they turned out fine.

Go HERE to find this recipe.  You can make some swaps for things that they call for that you like better or things that you have available, for things that you don't.  Otherwise, the recipe is perfect, I think.  Thanks to the people over at connoisseurusveg.com for this recipe! You might have time and energy to make up their spicy maple ketchup as well-- looks delish!


Chickpeas with Penne, Greens, Walnuts and Raisins


I am cooking up and submitting this recipe because I have a library book that has this recipe in it and I want to remember it.  The book is One-Dish Vegan Revised and Expanded Edition: 175 Soul-Satisfying Recipes for Easy and Delicious One-Pan and One-Plate Dinnersand I highly recommend it.

I do a number of subs for things I don't have in the house/fridge (example, I don't have baby spinach, I would never buy pine nuts, and I don't really like red pepper all that much).

I do find, however, that many recipe-makers tend to have a very tasty outcome and that is what I go for!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 - 12 oz of Penne pasta, uncooked (I am using brown rice penne- gluten-free)
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 oz Baby Kale(or other greens on-hand, such as chard or spinach), chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle Pepper powder (or 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes)
  • 1/2 C. Vegetable Broth (such as Golden Bouillon)
  • 1 15-oz can of Chickpeas or 1 1/2 C. cooked Chickpeas
  • 1/2 C. Raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. dried Basil (or 1 tsp. Fresh Basil, minced)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
  • 1/4 C. toasted Walnuts 
METHOD:
  1. Toast the Walnuts: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-toast-walnuts-2216935
  2. Cook the Penne in a large pasta pot in salted boiling water, occasionally stirring until just tender.
  3. While the pasta cooks, add water to a large skillet over medium heat and add in the garlic, greens, and Chipotle pepper.  Cook, stirring, until the greens are limp and wilty (2 minutes).
  4. Add in the broth, chickpeas, raisins, basil and salt and pepper.  Cook a minute or two longer to blend flavors.  Keep warm over very low heat.
  5. Drain the cooked pasta well and return it to the pot.  Add the other mixture and the walnuts.  Toss to combine.
  6. Serve hot.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Zucchini and Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce



Are you looking for a way to use up all those zucchinis and/or basil in some kind of delicious one-dish meal?  Well, look no further... here is a delightful vegan pasta dish that will satisfy your hunger and your taste buds.

The following vegan (no animal products) dish is also oil free, so it is pretty low fat but you will think it is full of cheese.  You will see why!  This recipe feeds 4-6 adults.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 1 1/2 C. cooked or canned Cannellini Beans or other White Beans
  • 1/2 C. Vegetable Broth 
  • 3 T. Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 3 T. Nutritional Yeast
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • Salt 
  • 1/4 C. Fresh Basil (minced)
  • 16 oz uncooked Linguine
  • 2 medium size Zucchini cut into long thin  strips

METHOD:

  1. Blend up (or use a food processor) the beans, broth, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder and salt.  It should be smooth and creamy, the texture of regular cheese sauce (or as close as you can get.
  2. Stir the minced basil into the sauce and set aside.
  3. Cook the linguine in a pasta pot (high pot sides make for less irritating boilings-over).  Stir occasionally.  While the pasta is still NOT quite cooked, add in the zucchini strips and continue cooking for a few more minutes until the zuke is just tender.  
  4. Drain the pasta-zucchini well, and then add back to the pasta pot.
  5. Add the sauce and gently toss until combined.