Tag Archives: vegan

The Swiss Chard Pie Chronicles

oh the Swiss Chard Pie…It became a 2-day project. 

On day 1, I made the dough, but couldn’t find my pie dish. I was sure I had brought back my pie dish when I moved in. I looked for it for nearly 2 hours. I looked everywhere, including the basement and under every single plant my mother owns. I had a sneaky suspicion she might have used it as the plate under potted plants. She ended up buying a 7-pack aluminum pie plate that evening.

Pie Dough Ingredients

  •  1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 tbs non-dairy butter (cut into pea-sized pieces)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of ice cold water (you wont use all of it)
  1. Mix flour and salt together.
  2. Add butter to flour with 2 tbsp of water.
  3. Cut the butter into the flour, make sure to distribute the butter evenly.
  4. Add water slowly so that it starts to come together.
  5. Once the dough comes together, mix with your hands and form 2 balls. Don’t over do it.
  6. Wrap each ball with cling wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

pie dough2

I did the rolling of the dough part on day 2, but if you have a pie dish available, go ahead! When you’re ready to roll out your dough, make sure to do it on top of a floured surface. To make it easier on yourself, also dust a bit of flour on your rolling pin. Keep on flipping the dough as you roll it to avoid having it get stuck on your surface. When you have the desired size (a little bigger than your pie dish flipped upside down), roll the dough slowly onto the rolling pin and carefully transfer the dough on top of your pie dish.

Use your fingers to push the dough into the dish, and with a fork do a few pricks at the bottom. Make a pretty border and you’re all done!

swiss chard pie1

On day 2, I made the filling and topping. It was a relatively easy process. The topping did not convince me though and next time I will try something different…I am thinking something with sweet potatoes! I was a bit skeptical about trying this pie, mainly because it has been over 10 years since I have had swiss chard. I just wasn’t too sure that I would like the taste of it and I wasn’t sure if I would like the beets addition.

Filling: Beets Layer

  • 1 medium sized beet, thinly sliced
  • pinch of oregano
  • pinch of garlic salt
  • drop of evoo
  1. In a bowl toss beet slices, oregano, garlic salt, and a little bit of evoo.
  2. Lay out beet slices on a single layer on a sheet pan.
  3. Bake them at 375 for 20 minutes.

Filling: Mushroom, Spinach, and Swiss Chard 

  • 1 onion finely sliced
  • 2 garlics, minced
  • 1 container of mushrooms (you can add more if you want more), sliced
  • 1 bushel of swiss chard, chopped. Get rid of the middle vein, that part is tough
  • 1/2 bushel of spinach, chopped
  • olive oil for sauteing
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  1. Saute the onions in medium heat. When they start to soften, add the garlic. After a minute or two, add mushrooms and let them saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add broth when the mushrooms are soften. Mix well and cook until most of the broth is evaporated.
  3. Add the swiss chard and spinach and cook until they wilt a little. Remove from heat when done.

swiss chard pie2

 

Pie Assembly

Make sure all your layers are cooled before assembling.

  1. Lay the beets across the bottom of the crust.
  2. Spread the swiss chard mixture. Make sure it is evenly spread.
  3. Cover with the 2nd pie dough or another topping. The potato topping I imagined was a failure in reality.
  4. Bake in oven at 375 for 25 minutes.

swiss chard pie4

The verdict: I loved the filling. It was quite yummy and next time I will do two layers of beets. The topping is still a work in progress. The pie crust was ok to me, but my mom really liked it. Maybe I was enjoying the filling too much to notice the crust.

My brother, who is a VERY picky eater, liked it. Of course, it did take me almost all day to convince him to try it. Maybe he tried it because I bugged him too much and threatened to sing out loud. He’s really not a fan of my singing. But he liked it and even went for seconds! That’s good enough for me!

Please do let me know if you try it out. And if you do, what topping did you use? I’ll be making this again this coming week so I’ll share a hopefully successful topping then!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Hello everyone!

So it is Tuesday today. I went the whole day thinking it was Monday. We had a long weekend and my brain got screwed up. It wasn’t until my sister texted me to tell me she wasn’t watching Dance Moms and to please e-mail her a summary of the episode that I realized it was Tuesday. I feel like I have missed a whole day!!!

So I did some baking! Because really, that’s what you do when you realize you’ve been living in the past…kinda…

pecans

I hate chopping down pecans and any type of nuts. I find it is a lot easier to just use my mortar and pestle to get them into tiny pieces.

I started wanting to make banana bread, but I wanted it to be healthy and nutritious. We have gotten a lot of snow and there’s just no time to make a full nutritious breakfast and still manage to leave at a decent time and arrive to work on time. So I started emptying out my cupboards…and mixing stuff together…finally I decided it would be more sensible to use my muffin tin because muffins are easier to eat on-the-go, plus there’s no cutting involved!

banana peanut butter muffin 1

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 medium ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cup mashed bananas)
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp non-dairy butter
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter*
  • 2 tbsp vanilla soy milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • handful of pecans (about 1/4 cup chopped)
  • pinch of salt

*I used Kraft All Natural Smooth Peanut Butter, I haven’t tried it with regular peanut butter, but I think the taste might still be the same.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare/grease muffin tin pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add mashed bananas and mix well.
  3. Add in milk, peanut butter, and butter a spoonful at a time. Make sure to whisk so everything gets incorporated. Add vanilla extract.
  4. Add in quinoa flour and mix. Then add spelt flour slowly and mix well. Finally add oats and pecans.
  5. Scoop out batter into prepared muffin tin.
  6. Bake at 350F for 18-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

I tried one and it was yummy! I will have one for breakfast tomorrow and hopefully it still tastes awesome! My mom will be taking half of them to share with a couple of her co-workers tomorrow. I’m crossing my fingers they’ll like them.

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Try It Out Tuesdays: Banana Pretzels

Hello everyone!

I hope your weekend was great! I tried out a new recipe over the weekend and then tried it again today. I really wanted rosquitas like the ones I used to eat growing up in Peru, but using butter was out of the question. My weekend experiment resulted in banana tasting rosquitas, today’s experiment resulted in banana tasting pretzels. I used more bananas in today’s recipe which made the end result much softer. Rosquitas are hard but so delicious!

banana pretzels

Makes 12-15 small pretzels

  • 2 cups spelt flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 mashed bananas *use only 1 banana if wanting a crunchier, tougher texture.
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I used a little less than this amount, maybe 2 tbsps less)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease baking sheet.
  2. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in large bowl.
  3. Add in mashed banana. Mix well; the texture should be somewhat crumbly.
  4. In a small bowl combine soy milk and vanilla extract. Slowly add to flour mixture. You might not need to add all the milk.
  5. Mix well using hands. The dough should be manageable and not too sticky.
  6. Form balls, then roll them out into long sticks (I used my hands) and form a pretzel shape.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

banana pretzels

 

I didn’t add any sugar to this recipe because I used ripe bananas. I didn’t miss the sugar either. My brother enjoyed his with maple syrup on top. Next time I will leave them in the oven a minute or two longer to let them get golden on top. We got a new stove and I’m still trying to figure out what placement is best for baking and whatnot. I’m enjoying it though; the oven is a lot bigger 🙂

Thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoy this recipe!

Peruvian Breakfast: Cachangas

Hello everyone!

This morning I had a craving for something…but I didn’t know what. I usually like to have some type of bread or muffin or biscuit with my coffee, but none of those options seemed satisfying enough.

Then it hit me! Cachangas!

cachangas peruanas

Cachangas are basically fried dough. Delicious, delicious fried dough. There are many recipes out there for cachangas, and somehow, they all vary. I make them the way my grandma used to make them. I’ve seen some recipes include eggs, or butter, or yeast, etc. I keep my recipe simple. The way it is supposed to be!

These cachangas are very fast and easy to make…and they turn out pretty good!

Recipe makes 8-10 cachangas

  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt (plus more for sprinkling, optional)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp oil + more for frying
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder (optional – cachangas will come out nice and crunchy without it. The ones in the picture were done without baking powder)

cachangas frying

  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl (flour, salt, baking powder if using).
  2. Make a small well in the middle and add oil, mix a little with a fork.
  3. Add water slowly – maybe add half of it and mix well. Then add a little bit more, until you reach the right consistency. You want the dough to be dry enough to handle, but wet enough that there is some elasticity in it. It’s easier if you work the dough with your hands. 
  4. Form small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and set them aside. You should have about 8 – 10 balls. If less that’s alright, your cachangas will be slightly bigger; if more, then your cachangas will be slightly smaller.
  5. Pour some oil – enough to cover the base – on a frying pan. *The key here is to NOT BURN the oil. In my stove, I can cook cachangas on med-high (#8 on the knob/dial thing) without burning the oil, but still getting them thoroughly cooked and golden brown.
  6. When the oil is nice and warm, start flattening the dough balls. You can squish them between your palms and then carefully expand them from the contours. If the dough rips a little, that’s ok. It adds character and makes that section extra crunchy. As you can see in the picture, cachangas are not thick. They need to be somewhat thin so they can cook fast and not burn.
  7. Sprinkle some salt on cachangas as they are cooking (optional)
  8. Cook each side until they are golden brown. (I use a fork to turn them over – sometimes spatulas just don’t work)
  9. Enjoy your cachangas plain, with a little bit of salt sprinkled on top, or with honey or maple syrup poured on. The possibilities are endless! (My sister puts powder sugar on top!)

I hope the recipe is easy to follow! If you have any questions please let me know.

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great day!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Orange Cornmeal Muffins

Hello everyone!

I just finished baking these muffins about 20 minutes ago. I’m glad they turned out better than the ones I made over the weekend. I tried one and then my mom tried one. We both liked the fact that they were so soft and oh-so-moist. The weekend muffins (total failure!) were not as soft or as moist as today’s muffins. I tweaked a few things here and there, and tried out today’s version.

I’m content with the muffins but I am still not as happy as I should be. I think the culprit are the oranges. The oranges really have NO flavour. We’re pretty lucky to have oranges in the middle of winter, but, are yummy oranges too much to ask for? I’m sure the oranges were picked too early to be tasty, yet early enough to make the voyage from Chile to Canada and still be eatable. I’m sure these muffins would taste A LOT better had I made them in the summer (I believe the oranges then found at grocery stores come from Canada and from our neighbours to the South).

orange cornmeal muffins

 

The recipe makes 12 muffins.

Muffins

  • 1-1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter (non-dairy, or use margarine instead)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (I used 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice and 1/4 cup store bought orange juice)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange (reserve 1/2 tsp for glaze)
  • 3/4 cup anise water + 1 to 2 tbsp for glaze
  • handful of coconut flakes (about 1/4 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F and grease muffin pan.
  2. Mix dry ingredients in large bowl (flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt).
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients in smaller bowl (oil, melted butter, orange juice, vanilla extract, anise water).
  4. Add orange zest and coconut flakes to wet ingredients.
  5. Incorporate wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix well.
  6. Scoop out mixture into prepared muffin pan. Fill up to 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of centre muffin comes out clean.

Glaze

  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest
  • 1 to 2 tbsp anise water
  1. Add icing sugar, salt and zest to small bowl.
  2. Whisk in orange juice and 1/2 tbsp anise water .
  3. Add anise water slowly until desired consistency is achieved.

glazed muffins

 

My glaze is quite runny. I wanted it to cover the muffins slightly. I’m not a fan of a layer of glaze on top of my pastries. Mainly because I find it makes the pastry WAY too sweet, but also because I have extremely sensitive teeth and glaze makes my teeth vibrate. Sad, I know.

*Notes*

If using ONLY freshly squeezed orange juice, then you might need to add a bit of sugar to the muffins. I would say about 1/2 cup if making glaze or 3/4 cup without glaze.

If you’re not a fan of quinoa flour, then don’t use it; you wont love the muffins. I would say substitute it with another kind of flour – spelt would be fine.  If you are a fan of quinoa, then you wont mind the taste. I don’t 🙂 Actually, I think the coconut flakes and the grittiness of the cornmeal really make this recipe a lot better.

I can’t wait to have these muffins for breakfast tomorrow. Pastries taste a lot better when had with a cup of coffee. Yum!

Thanks so much for stopping by and take care!

Try it Out Tuesdays: Vegan Sweet Potato Muffins

Hello everyone!!

muffins

This week we tried out these delicious muffins. You can find the recipe here. Little princess helped make them. She also tried them at every stage…and I mean it!!

little helper

We used vanilla soy milk instead of coconut milk and added raisins instead of cranberries. We also used 2 medium size sweet potatoes; we didn’t measure how many cups that was. My niece said they were great. She said they were the best muffins she’s ever had.

waiting

She just couldn’t wait to try them. I haven’t seen her this excited about anything since the time she saw the iogo commercial and asked a friend if he could take her sky diving and he said yes. Little princess won’t be going sky diving anytime soon.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this becomes your go-to recipe when making sweet potato muffins!

Have a great week everyone!!

Try It Out Tuesdays: Lime, Coconut & Anise Cake

IMG_20131203_200534

Hello everyone!

I made this yummy cake earlier today. I had a slice while princess played with her toys. I told her we weren’t going to have it today but tomorrow for breakfast. The cake was just sitting there, staring at me. I decided it made sense for me to try it since I needed to know if it tasted any good in order to share the recipe with you guys.

Well, it tasted good.

I liked it. It’s not super sweet. You might have noticed that I use very little sugar in my recipes or I decrease the sugar amount. I like pastries but prefer them not too sweet. I wasn’t always this way. But after always decreasing sugar amounts for my mother (she doesn’t like sweets) I sort of started preferring things less sweet.

IMG_20131203_173651

My little helper kept on asking to try the batter. I ended up letting her and she said she loved it! I don’t know if she’ll like the cake. I’m hoping she will. Her taste is a bit questionable. She decorated a section of the Christmas tree and she said it was beautiful and she loved it. It was quite unique and by far the most decorated section of the tree…some branches had 3 or 4 ornaments hanging from them! But she had fun so we left her decorations there and finished up the rest of the tree.

IMG_20131203_181129

I used anise water in this cake. During a convo with my mom this past weekend, we got to talking about my grandmother and how much she loved to bake. Most every memory I have of her involve some type of pastry. I remember her making the most delicious things even though she didn’t own a lot of baking gadgets (she rolled her dough with a 1 or 2 litre soda glass bottle). She also never used vanilla but used anise water in most of her baking. Sometimes as vanilla or as the main liquid. So I thought I’d give her methods a try!

Here’s the recipe. I do hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 all-purpose flour
  • 3-1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • zest of one lime (about 1/2 tsp – lime is quite strong in flavour and I wasn’t sure if princess would like it, otherwise I would’ve aimed for 1 tsp but I am still happy with the results)
  • 8 tbsp of melted butter or vegetable oil (what does that equal to? I added it by tbsp so I’ll have to look it up…I melted about 3 tbsp of butter – princess didn’t want me using veg. oil…she also wanted to use milk in the recipe, yea that didn’t happen)
  • juice of one lime (set aside 1 tsp for the glaze)
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup anise water – cooled (about 2/3 cup used in batter, and 1 or 2 tbsp used in glaze)
  1. Preheat oven to 375F then grease and dust your pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, coconut and zest.
  3. In a smaller bowl, combine melted butter or veg. oil, juice of lime, almond extract, and anise water.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. If batter is dry, add more anise water a tbsp at a time. The batter should be somewhat sticky. 
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 28-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

I checked my oven at 28 minutes and the cake was done. I left it in for 30 minutes mainly because princess “needed” an oven mitt too! Thankfully I had one small enough for her tiny little hands.

IMG_20131203_183802

Glaze

  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • about 1.5 to 2 tbsp of cold anise water

In a small bowl add in lime juice, icing sugar and salt. Mix while slowly adding anise water until you have a glaze of a thick consistency but liquid enough to pour. Pour the glaze on a slightly warm cake and let it cool before serving/eating.

I didn’t use all the glaze…and maybe I made it too runny. But that’s ok with me. We’ll see what the critics say tomorrow during breakfast. I’ll pop in for a QUICK update.

Take care & Thanks for stopping by!