Meal Plan Mondays & Hazelnut Sandies with Barberries

Lots of yummies on this weeks list!  But first, how about a cookie recipe?

I know you’ve been waiting for the English translation of the last Francophone Fridays post, the sablés aux noisettes aux baies de bérberies (dans la langue de Molière) or Hazelnut Sandies with barberries (in the language of Shakespeare).

When the adorable Mihl and P. finally came visit us last year, they came with loads of goodies for us to eat.  One of the special treats they lugged with them across Europe (well, from Germany to south-western France anyway) was a bag of beautiful dried barberries!  Mihl uses them in some of the many recipes she has on her blog Seitan Is My Motor, and I couldn’t wait to try them for myself!  If you’re unfamiliar with these tart Persian berries, you can read a little  over at Wiki if you’d like.

Once I had the coveted berries in my possession, I found myself  wondering what to do with the little gems.  I had too many ideas, but a limited supply of berries, and I didn’t want to squander them on just any-old recipe where dried cranberries or currents could be used.  Then, it hit me (gently, I wasn’t harmed).

We have lots of things in common, my dear Mihl and I, among which dear memories of our sweet grandmothers.  I decided to honor their memories with these cookies, heavily-inspired by one of my great-grandmother’s recipes.  These sablés (sugar cookies) or “sandies” as my great-grandmother Mary  called them, are subtle and sophisticated with a lovely duo of textures : crumbly, buttery sugar cookie and sweet and tart dried barberries.  The ground hazelnuts  add just a hint of bitterness which plays wonderfully with the brown sugar-encrusted cookies.   If you don’t have barberries, dried unsweetened cranberries would work well, though I would probably dice them up, or try dried currents.

Hazelnut Sandies with Barberries

For about 40 cookies – advance preparation required!

2 tsp Ener-g Egg Replacer

2 tbsp water

175 g non-dairy butter, room temperature

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

180 g sifted powdered sugar

300 g AP flour

2 tbsp cornstarch

1 tbsp baking powder (11 g)

120 g ground hazelnuts

110 g dried barberries (or cranberries)

4 tbsp brown sugar

1) In a large bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, baking powder and ground hazelnuts. Set aside.

2) In a small mixing bowl or in a food processor, whip the water and Ener-G until it’s frothy, at least 3 minutes.

3) With an electric mixer, cream the powdered sugar and butter until it’s light and fluffy, then add the Ener-G, lemon juice, and vanilla.  Continue mixing until well combined.

4) Now add the flour, a little at a time, then fold in the barberries.  Divide the dough in two.

5) Spread half of the brown sugar on a piece of tinfoil about 30 cm long.  Lightly flour your hands, and roll one half of the dough into a log about 20 cm long.  If you’re having a difficult time working with your dough, try dusting it with some flour, a little at a time, and it will be easier to work with.  Go with your gut, and if the dough is very sticky, just knead a little flour in until it’s “workable”.

6) Gently roll the log through the brown sugar, covering the exterior.  Add a little sugar to the foil if there are some sugar-free spots.  Roll up the log with the foil, twisting the ends shut.  Do the same with the other half of the dough, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

7) Pre-heat the oven to 175°c and prepare two cookie sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper.  Gently unroll the dough and slice cookies 15mm thick, wiping the knife clean each time.  If you’re having a difficult time slicing the cookies, don’t fret!  Just cover it back up and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes, then try again.

VIII) Bake for about 13 minutes, until they are just firm and lightly browned on the bottom.  Let them cool slightly for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Now for this week’s Meal Plan :

Monday : crêpes sucrées et salées (savory and sweet crêpes) with sautéed mushrooms and onions for the savory, and powdered sugar and lemon juice for the sweet.  So. good.

Tuesday : Risotto with mushrooms and peas, served with braised dandelion greens.

Wednesday : Polenta with garlic gravy.

Thursday : Hot & Sour Carrots and Lentils, a tester recipe for The Urban Vegan.

Friday : Pizza Night!  How I love you so…

Do you blog your weekly meal plans?  Super-cool world-traveler Vegan Snorkler  has one up today.  Let me know, I’d love to link to your plan to share the planning mojo with everyone.  And don’t forget, if you’re looking for meal plan inspiration you can visit the MPM archives.

Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris : Les Vendredis Francophones

Quand l’adorable Mihl a décidé enfin de me rendre visite l’année dernière elle n’est pas venue les mains vides!  Parmi les trésors qu’elle a gentiment apportés avec elle  à travers l’Europe (ou bien, de l’Allemagne jusqu’à chez moi en Aquitaine) se trouvait un sachet de jolies baies de berbéris!  Elle en parle souvent et les utilise dans ses pâtisseries, donc j’avais hâte de les découvrir.  Vous ne connaissez pas les berbéris?  Allez faire un tour chez wiki pour plus amples infos sur ces petites baies acidulées pardi!

Une fois les berbéris en ma possession, que faire avec ces petits rubis comestibles?  Je n’étais pas en manque d’idées, et le plus dur était de me décider, ce que je fit enfin!

Il faut dire que nous avons beaucoup de choses en commun, Mihl et moi, parmi lesquelles nos chers souvenirs d’enfance avec nos grand-mères respectives.  Je voulais donc essayer de leur faire honneur avec cette recette, inspirée par mon arrière-grand-mère.  Ces sablés sont  sophistiqués dans leur subtilité, avec un mélange de textures surprenant, entre le croustillant du sablé sucré et les baies séchées acidulées.  La poudre de noisette ajoute une touche d’amertume qui joue avec la délicate douceur du sucre roux qui les entoure…si vous n’avez pas de baies de berbéris, des “cranberries” séchées non-sucrées feront l’affaire.

Sablés aux noisettes & aux baies de berbéris

Pour 40 biscuits environ

2 c. à café Ener-G (pour remplacer 2 oeufs)

2 c. à soupe d’eau

175 g beurre végétal (St. Hubert Bio), ramolli

2 c. à café de jus de citron

1 c. à café essence vanille

180 g de sucre glace tamisé

300 g de farine ménagère

2 c. à soupe Maïzena

1 c. à soupe levure chimique (un sachet de 11 g)

120 g de noisettes en poudre

110 g de baies de berbéris (ou cranberries séchées)

4 c. à soupe de sucre roux

1) Dans un grand saladier mélanger la farine, la maïzena, la levure chimique et la poudre de noisettes à l’aide d’une grosse cuillère.

2) Fouettez l’eau avec l’Ener-G à l’aide d’un mixeur électrique jusqu’à ce que ça mousse, 3 ou 4 minutes environ.

3) Dans un autre saladier, travaillez en crème le sucre glace et le beurre jusqu’à ce que le mélange blanchisse.  Ajoutez l’Ener-G, le jus de citron et la vanille en continuant de battre pour obtenir une pâte homogène et très légère.

4) Incorporez le mélange de farine, petit à petit, puis les baies.  Divisez la pâte en deux.

5) Etalez la moitié du sucre roux sur une feuille de papier aluminium d’une trentaine de cm long.  Farinez vos mains, et avec un des pâtons, formez une bûche ronde de 20 cm (si votre pâte est trop molle, malaxez-la avec un peu de farine, elle sera plus facile à manipuler).

6) Roulez doucement la bûche dans le sucre roux afin de bien garnir son extérieur.  Enveloppez-la ensuite dans une feuille d’aluminium en fermant les extrémités en papillote.  Faites pareil avec votre deuxième pâton, puis, laissez-les reposer au frigo pendant deux heures.

7) Préchauffez le four à 175°c et préparez 2 plaques de cuisson avec des silplats ou du papier sulfurisé.  Retirez l’aluminium et détaillez chaque bûche en tranches de 10 mm.  Si vous ne pouvez pas couper votre pâte facilement, mettez-la au congélateur pendant 15 minutes, puis réessayez.

8) Enfournez les biscuits pendant 13 à 15 minutes, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient fermes et dorés en dessous.  Laissez-les tiédir 5 minutes avant de les mettre à refroidir sur une grille.

Miam!

un gâteau (presque) léger au chocolat : Les Vendredis Francophones

gâteauchoco

C’était l’anniversaire de ma belle-maman cette semaine – joyeux anniversaire encore belle-maman! – et qui dit anniversaire dit gâteau!  Ce gâteau simplissime est même (presque) léger comme il n’y a que 40 g de beurre!  En effet, notre amie fidèle … Continue reading

Carrot, Sweet Potato & Coconut Casserole (with Almost Fat-Free option)

This casserole was one of my post-long run inventions a few years ago when I found myself with no plan and random vegetables in my pantry.  Lucky me it turned out to be a hit with both Guppy and Monsieur F,  and, it’s great recovery food to boot.   Protein from the garbanzos, carbs from the starchy veggies and al small bit of fat from the low-fat coconut milk makes this a wonderful post-run meal.  Sometimes I serve as is, others accompanied with some quinoa or rice.

There is about an hour of cooking time, but the initial preparation is minimal and there is so much you can do during that hour (besides shower and stretch).  Catch up on some blogs, email your mother or even do the dishes!  You’ll need to give it a stir once or twice, so don’t take a nap, or if you do, be sure to assign someone to stirring duty.

Try as I might, I couldn’t get an aesthetic photo of this today.  Yesterday’s photo is much, much better.  Just believe me.  It’s delish.

Carrot, Sweet Potato & Coconut Casserole

530 grams/18.5 ounces cooked garbanzo beans (rinsed if from a can)

1 red onion, diced

2 to 4 cloves garlic, diced

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium parsnip, chopped

1 medium yukon gold-type potato, chopped

1 medium sweet potato, chopped

a large handful of frozen peas, rinsed

400 ml/1 1/2 cups light coconut milk*

200 ml/3/4 cups soy milk*

curry paste to taste

1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)

salt & pepper

Fresh chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

First a note one the coconut milk : if you want to make this casserole virtually fat-free, go with a non-fat or low-fat coconut milk if you have that in your area.  Another possibility is to use only low-fat soy milk.  The results are still delicious, though we would technically have to change the name. If you do opt to skip the coconut milk entirely, just a few bouillon granules or half a bouillon cube to give your casserole a little zip.

Combine all the ingredients except the peas in a deep casserole dish.  Cover and bake at 190°c/375°f for about 30 minutes, then take it out and give it a stir.  Bake for another 15 minutes, then add the peas and stir again.  Bake for another 10 minutes or so, then serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley.

Now that your belly is full of yummy food, go visit sweet Kelly and check out her amazing give-away! I’m crossing my fingers and toes for this one, but really, I can’t keep the hoping to myself – go leave a comment!  You might win!

Vegan MoFo : Apricot Oat (Granola) Bars

Who wants some apricot oat bars? I do!  You’ll have some of everything you need in these babies : fibre, vitamins, even iron from the pepitas! (Libby, I said pepitas!).  I like to wrap these individually in waxed paper and keep the wrapped bars in a sealed container.  Keeps them fresh and ready to go, perfect fuel for a hike or a long bike ride.

Chop your nuts!  This time it’s almonds…

Apricot Oat Bars

110 g Steel-Cut oats/2 cups

100 g dried apricots/1 cup (diced)

50g nuts chopped/1 1/2 tbsp

25g pepitas/scant 1/2 cup

2 tbsp/20g sesame seeds

2 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp/15g molasses

2 tbsp/30ml oil

3 tbsp/45ml agave

3 tbsp/45g peanut butter

Put all the ingredients from oats to chia seeds in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine.

Seedy Goodness…

Heat the peanut butter, agave, oil and molasses in a sauce pan over medium heat until it gets bubbly, then pour over the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Resist the temptation to taste, you’ll burn yourself.

Pour mixture into a prepared pan (20 x 25 cm) – you can grease it, but I find clean up and detachment easier when I use parchment paper.  Let this cool about 15 minutes, then cut into desired size/shape (if you wait until it’s completely cooled, it’ll be harder to cut).  Let cool completely before enjoying!

These are a little crumbly, if you don’t like that just add more oil (maybe 2 tbsp more) and a little more agave (same) it’ll help hold it together better.

Vegan MoFo Day XXVI : Simple Cinnamon-Berry (or apple) Compote

The other day I found myself with some left-over berries when I made the Berry Scuffins, and whenever I have some berries to spare, I make some simple berry compote because it only takes about 15 minutes and it’s so yummy.  I enjoy adding some cinnamon because it’s so warming, even a little ginger, perfect as the mornings grow chilly.  You can use the same formula with any fruit you’d like (or is in season).

Simple Cinnamon (your fruit here) Compote

About 500 grams fruit – a cup or two, depending on your fruit, chopped up small for larger fruits.

1 tsp cinnamon (opt)

1/2 tsp ginger (opt)

50 g/2 tbsp agave

Put your fruit in a small saucepan over medium, until it’s just bubbling, then add the agave and spices.  Lower heat and continue to leat steam for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.

I love this compote on pancakes, scones, yogurt – you name it.

Our drawing winners will be announced on November 30th, the last day of Vegan MoFo. Good luck!

 

Vegan MoFo Day XX : Caramel Pecan Cookies

I can’t even tell you how delicious-amazing these cookies are.  It’s not because it’s a secret, just because how can I verbally express such things?  These cookies are the most buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies I’ve ever made.  You’ll need caramel syrup, (like the kind baristas use for your coffee) to get them just right.  You could probably use brown rice syrup, corn syrup (if you dare) or golden syrup, but they won’t be quite the same – though still muy delicious.

Guppy prefered them without the pecans, so the for my second batch I made them plain – so I guess these cookies are just caramel cookies.  Either way you make them, you’ll end up making them again and again.

Caramel Pecan Cookies

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup soy milk

1/2 cup oil

1 tbsp ground flax seeds

1 tbsp cornstarch

3 tbsp caramel syrup (or rice or golden)

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

About 24 lightly-roasted pecans

Heat your oven to 185°c/365°f and prepare 2 baking sheets with either parchment paper or silplat.

Using a metal whisk or a fork, combine vigourusly all but the last three ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until smooth (it’ll look like a thick caramel).  Now sift in the last three ingredients and stir until you’ve got a smooth, easy to work with dough.  If it’s still very sticky, just add a little flour until you can work with it easily.

Now roll the dough into golfball sized balls (or larger if you want big cookies) and pat them a bit when you set them on the baking sheet to make a disk.   Set a pecan on each cookie to make them look beautiful.  These spread quite a bit, so set them a few inches apart, then bake for about 14 minutes or so.  You want to remove them from the oven just before they are fully cooked if you prefer soft, chewy cookies (we do!).  Let them cool a few minutes on the baking sheet to be sure the bottoms are browned, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack.

Don’t forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win some chocolate!

Vegan MoFo Day XVI : Berry Scuffins & Bright Berry Glaze

Or would you prefer Berry Moans?  I didn’t think so.  Scuffins.  It’s fun to say, it’s even more fun to eat!

These scones weren’t doughy as I find some scones to be.  Rather, they have the delicate, cake-like texture of muffins, but with the ease and not-needing-to-wash-the-muffin-tin practicality of scones.  I’m all about ease, and washing the smallest amount of dishes possible.  You know, it’s better for the environment to use less water and soap, er, ahm, it has nothing to do with the fact that I don’t like doing the dishes.

I can say in all honesty these were the best scones I’ve ever made, or eaten.  Guppy called them “mini-berry cakes”, and that’s kind of what they tasted like.  You be the judge!

I know this isn’t the best photo, but I wanted to snag a picture before the scones disappeared.  Stealthy photo action.

Berry Scuffins

400g or 3 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour

30g or 2 tbsp baking powder

1 pinch of salt

60g or 1/4 cup granulated sugar

60g or 1/2 cup powdered sugar

300ml or 1 1/2 cups soy milk

30ml or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

75ml or 5 tbsp vegetable oil

about 250g or 1 heaping cup of berries (I used mixed berries)

Pre-heat your oven to 200°c or 400°f and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper or silplat.

First, combine the apple cider vinegar with the soy milk and let curdle.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, sugars, salt.  Add the oil to the milk mixture, then make a well in the flour mixture and combine using a wooden spoon.  Next fold in the berries.  If they were a little extra juicy, just add a bit of flour – don’t worry if there are some dusty-floury bits, it’s ok!

Divide the mixture into about 14 normal sized or 8 jumbo sized scones.  Bake for about 14 minutes or until slightly browned on the bottom and firm to the touch.

These are just perfect as is, but if you’d like to eat them dressed in their Sunday finery then just give them a drizzle of some of this!

Bright Berry Glaze

60g or 1/2 cup powdered sugar

15ml or 1 tbsp berry juice (I just snuck some of the juice from the bowl of the thawed berries.  This is for colour, so if that doesn’t bother you just use lemon or orange juice.)

Using a fork, briskly mix the juice into the sugar until a smooth glaze develops.  Add more sugar if necessary.

 

Enjoy your scones.  Or scuffins.  Whatever.

Thank you so much for all the great comments and pointers you’ve shared with my Auntie J who at 70 has gone vegan.  If you’ve got something to share, please do!

Vegan MoFo Day XIII : The Recipe Index!

Look what’s coming up all around our garden! We had a crop of them appear (rather unexpectedly) mid-October, and now there are others pushing up through the newly fallen leaves.  I love happy surprises.

No recipes for you today kids (that’s for tomorrow), but I’ve finally gotten around to putting together a Recipe page (at the top, see?).  This was a MoFo promise to myself, and I’ve finally gotten around to putting it together for you.  I know I’ve missed a few, but I’ll add them as I find them.  Who knew I’d amassed so many recipes? (40)!  There will be many more coming this month so hold on to your oven mitts and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Don’t forget to leave your comment here for your chance to win some tea!

Vegan MoFo Day 2 : Pumpkin Recipes! Favourite Blogs Pt. 1! Sam!

Yesterday we learned how to bake a pumpkin and make your own pumpkin purée, now how about putting that purée to good use?  I know there are as many pumpkin recipes out there as there are reasons NOT to vote Republican in the U.S. (ou bien UMP ici en france!) but I thought I’d do a round up of some of my favourite recipes, from some of my very favourite blogs. Ever. Love you!

I know these blogs are a favourite for many of you, too! However, if you’ve never paid them a visit, do stop by and tell them “hello”!

Have Cake, Will Travel is my friend (and fellow francophone) Celine Steen’s blog.  I have been lucky to test for all of  Celine’s cookbooks, and I can’t recommend them enough.  I often blog about her test recipes, and get snarky comments like “where is the recipe?”.  Well fear not! Her blog has tons of her recipes (some from her cookbooks, others are inédit or not published elsewhere) so go give them a try.

Pumpkin Bagles

Pumpkin Molasses Bars

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Another great place for recipes (and witty banter) is Diet, Dessert and Dogs, where friend and cookbook author Ricki Heller blogs.  Ricki is funny (and also francophone by birth…what’s up with that?) and her recipes are delicious, nutritious and they make you feel ambitious!* without refined sugars!

Curried Pumpkin Hummus

Apple Pumpkin Crumble Bars

Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Warm Caramel Sauce

Today’s last great blog for recipes is Seitan is My Motor, where friend (and fellow Bad Religion) fan Mihl shares her creations in English and German. Ha! a germanophone! Though I don’t know much German, I do know how good these recipes are!  Try them and see!

Beans with pumpkin seed pesto

Tomato-Pumpkin Soup

Roasted Pumpkin & Parsnip Soup

And because I hate blogging without photos, how about a little Sam love?

*I am such an “I Love Lucy” nerd.