Stuffed Naan

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I’ve had India on the brain for quite some time now.  I’m not sure if it’s the country I’d most like to visit, but I’d say it definitely makes the top three!  It’s a colossal country with so much to see and do.  But if I’m being completely honest, I really want to go to India to EAT.  I am all about Indian food.  I really think I could eat it everyday and still have the same enthusiasm for it every time I saw it on my plate.

As enthusiastic as I am towards Indian cuisine, I have never been to India, nor learnt about traditional cooking methods, and therefore make absolutely no claims about the authenticity of this dish and furthermore apologize if you actually know about Indian food and consider this an abomination.  I can however, vouch for its tastiness!  I stuffed this naan with a smokey eggplant curry.  The eggplant is typically charred over an open flame, infusing it with smokiness, but I did not have access to one of those so I cheated and added in liquid smoke.  If you have access to one, by all means, char away!  You could also fill it with any curry if you’re not feeling eggplant.

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 Vegan Naan Stuffed with Eggplant Curry

makes 4 stuffed naan

Ingredients:

Naan:

tsp instant yeast

7 tbsp warm water

2 tbsp soy milk

tsp apple cider vinegar

tsp corn starch

tsp salt

2 cups flour

3 tbsp vegetable oil

Eggplant Curry:

eggplant

1 tbsp + 2 tbsp oil

pinch caraway seeds

4 cloves garlic, minced

onion, chopped

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

pinch of asafoetida

pinch of ginger

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

tomato, chopped

1/2 tsp salt

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Quarter the eggplant and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, or until mushy.  Once cool, scrape the inside from the peel and set aside.

2.  In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 7 tbsp of warm water.  Let rest until bubbly, about 3 – 5 minutes.

3.  In a separate small bowl, whisk together the soy milk, apple cider vinegar, and corn starch.

4.  In another, large bowl, combine the flour and salt.  Make a well in the center, then pour in the yeast mixture, soy milk mixture, and the oil.  Mix together, then turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough springs back when you poke it.  Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

5.  While the dough is rising, make the eggplant curry.  Heat the remaining oil in a large pan on medium heat.  Once warm, add the caraway seeds and toast for 1 – 2 minutes.

6.  Add the garlic and cook for 3 – 4 minutes.  Add the curry powder, turmeric, asafoetida, and ginger and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the onions and salt, and cook until clear, 5 – 6 minutes.

7.  Finally, add the eggplant, liquid, smoke, and tomato.  Cook for 10 minutes longer on low heat, until the curry has reached your desired consistency.  Since this is going into naan, you want it on the drier side.  Set aside to cool.

8.  Once the dough has doubled, punch down and divide into 4 pieces.  Form each piece into a ball.  Let rest 10 minutes, then roughly roll out each piece into a circle.  Place 1/4 cup of the eggplant curry in the middle of the circle, then pinch together into a pouch.  Make sure you get as much air out as possible!  Let rest 5 minutes, then gently roll out into an oval.

9.  Heat a pan lightly coated with oil over medium high heat.  Place the naan in one at a time, and fry for about 2 minutes on each side.  Be gentle with the flip!  Repeat with remaining naan.  Finished!

Cheezy Kale Bagels

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The best thing about living abroad… packages.  BIRTHDAY PACKAGES.  My birthday was on Wednesday and it was one for the books.  24 is looking pretty good so far :)  Along with a great day, I received a couple care packages from home, that I’m happy to say were filled with about 97% food-related items.  You really don’t realize how much you miss things like Nutter Butters until you’re surrounded by a heap of red wrappers and nursing a tummy ache.  A good birthday indeed!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a little while, you’ve probably figured out that I like bread.  That I really like bread.  And of bread, there are fewer things that I like more than bagels.  These bagels feature cheesy kale, which gives the bagels a hearty, savory flavor.  While I wouldn’t exactly call them healthy, each bagel does hold about 3/4 cup of (fresh) kale.  This recipe makes four, but can certainly be doubled for larger households.IMG_4950

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Vegan Cheezy Kale Bagels (makes four bagels)

Ingredients

2 tbsp oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces

tsp salt

1 & 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 cup + 1 tbsp warm water

2 tsp instant yeast

2 cups flour + more for dusting

1/4 cup baking soda

6 cups water

Directions

1.  In a large pan, heat the oil on medium heat.  Once shiny, add the garlic and saute for two minutes, or until garlic starts to get sticky.  Add the kale, salt, and nutritional yeast.  Stir all together and saute for one – two more minutes or until kale is cooked down.  Set aside to cool.

2.  While the kale is cooling, add the warm water to the yeast in a small bowl.  Let sit for three – five minutes or until bubbly.

3.  In a large bowl, add two cups of flour, yeast mixture, and kale mixture.  Stir together until all combined.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes, adding more flour if dough gets sticky.

4.  Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled boil and let rise in a warm place for one hour, or until doubled in size.

5.  Once dough has doubled, punch down and divide into four equal parts.  Form each piece into a ball, slightly flatten it, and let sit for 15 – 20 minutes to re-puff.

6.  While the dough is resting, bring the six cups of water to boil in a large pot or pan and preheat the oven to 375°F (190 °C)

7.  Using your fingers, insert them into the center of dough and pinch a piece off from the bottom to create the hole.

8.  Before putting the bagels in the water, reduce the boil to a simmer and gently add in the baking soda (it will foam!).  Add all four bagels and boil for one minute on each side.  Remove from the water and let drain on a wire baking rack.

9.  After bagels are no longer dripping, bake them in the oven for 25 minutes.  Let cool, cut in half, and schmear on your desired spread.  Finished!

Pumpkin + Coffee + Chocolate Chunk Bread

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I had a really hard time naming this one.  I put some plus signs in the title hoping it’d help cover up the ridiculous length of the title, but alas.  I wasn’t even sure about the ‘bread’ part.  It’s so, so, (i hate this word but there’s really no way around it…) moist. *cringe*  It’s soft and squishy – almost more on the cake side.  But it’s still in a bread pan and tastes amazing with butter so….bread it is!

Some notes…

If you’re using fresh pumpkin, you’ll want to roast roughly 3/4  of a kg.  If you’re using canned pumpkin, this takes one cup, or roughly half of a 15 oz can.  If you’re feeling extra pumpkin-y, you can use the other half making some pumpkin gnocchi :)

The other ingredient that makes this bread SO good is the applesauce.  I would really recommend using homemade applesauce for this recipe.  Store-bought applesauce can often taste artificially ‘apple-y,’ which could make the bread taste a little fruity and off.  Homemade applesauce, which is just boiled apple chunks, are far more bland and will bind everything together sans funky apple taste.

Last thing!  I couldn’t taste the coffee in the bread, but I drink about three cups everyday and am highly desensitized to it.  It really brings out the flavor of the pumpkin, but if you have an aversion to coffee you could always sub it with water or a non-dairy milk.

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Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Chocolate Chunk Bread

Ingredients

1 cup pureed pumpkin

1/2 cup unsweetened, plain applesauce

1/2 cup flavorless oil (canola, vegetable, rice bran, etc.)

1/3 cup black coffee or espresso

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp butter extract

1 + 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon or 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup chocolate chunks

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

2.  In a large bowl, combine pumpkin, applesauce, oil, coffee, vanilla and butter extracts.  Stir until combined and set aside.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon/spices.  Stir until well combined.

4.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir together.  Add the chocolate chunks and fold in.

5.  Pour the batter into a greased bread pan (one-pound or two half-pounds).

6.  Bake for one hour, or until the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool, then slice and serve!

Kettle Chip Corn Bread

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This recipe makes me feel like vegan Paula Dean.

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If you grew up west of the Cascades, you know there’s nothing a bag of Tim’s jalapeno chips and a tub of sour cream can’t solve.  This particular bag of jalapeno kettle chips was supposed to be for snacking, but in a stroke of mild gluttony, ended up on our cornbread.   I overflowed a pie tin, but I think an 8 x 8 pan would be best to contain in.  It’s crunchy and savory and salty, the perfect side for a big pot of chili.  Because the crunchy kettle chips tend to go a little soft, this bread is best consumed day of.  If you want to reheat the leftovers, I’d suggest switching the oven to broil for a couple minutes to re-crisp the top.

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Vegan Kettle Chip Cornbread

Ingredients

2 cups “vegan buttermilk” (2 cups non-dairy milk + 1/2 tbsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar)

1/3 cup oil

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup crushed jalapeno potato chips

Directions

1.  Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, sugar, and salt.

2.  Slowly stir in the cornmeal, flour, and baking powder.  Stir until combined.

3.  Pour the batter into a greased pie tin or 8 x 8 brownie pan.

4.  Sprinkle the crushed chips over the cornbread.  Bake in the oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until a fork in the middle comes out clean.

5.  Let the cornbread cool.  Cut and serve!

Source: This recipe is adapted from the PPK

 

Make Your Own: English Muffins

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Greetings!

After much mulling, I’ve decided to start a new series!  I’ve had to learn how to make a lot of things from scratch since things like english muffins are few and far between here in Thailand.  And if I usually do find them, chances are they aren’t vegan.  So the series is geared towards foods you could easily buy at the supermarket, made from scratch!  This obviously takes more time and effort, but if you can spare the time, the fresh, homemade versions are worth it.

First up: english muffins!  I always assumed english muffins are baked, but they’re cooked on a griddle instead of an oven, and that’s how they get those brown circles on both sides.  They don’t take too long, and they’re so much better than packaged.  They also freeze well, so you can make a big batch and have them for breakfast all week long.

Fork split them, stick them in a toaster, and lay the (vegan) butter on thick!

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English Muffins:

 

Ingredients:

1 & 1/4 tsp yeast

1/2 cup warm water

1/2 cup warm almond milk

3 tsp brown sugar

2 tbsp vegetable shortening

3 cups all-purpose flour + more for dusting

1/2 tsp salt

 

Directions:

1. In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water.  Let stand five minutes, or until bubbly.

2.  Add the almond milk. brown sugar, and shortening.  Stir well until combined.

3.  Fold in the flour and salt.  Knead the dough for 8 minutes, then place in an oiled bowl.  Let rise for one hour, or until doubled in size.

4.  Punch the dough down.  On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to half an inch.

5.  With a circle cookie cutter or a small bowl or glass, cut out circles in the dough.  Re-roll and repeat to use all the dough.

6.  Let rise for half an hour.

7.  Heat a lightly greased pan or griddle on medium-high heat.  Cook the muffins about five minutes on each side.

8.  Let cool and fork split.  To store, place in plastic bags and put in the freezer.  To eat, toast and spread on anything you desire.

Finished!

Source: This recipe is adapted from allrecipes.com

 

 

Mall Pretzels (vegan)

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My family is really into pretzels.  Like really into pretzels.  It started in Bavaria, when my grandma was a little girl.  Whenever she was sick, her family would always know she was better when she asked them to go down the street for a pretzel.  There is a giant golden pretzel (GIANT) in my mom’s kitchen that used to hang outside of the Rold Gold factory (I still have no idea how it got there).  And now, admittedly, I seem to have caught the mania started by Ollie all those years ago in Germany.

My favorite kind of pretzels are the kind at the mall that you can smell before you see them.  Luckily, mall pretzels tend to be vegan if you ask them to hold the butter.  But sometimes…I don’t want to hold the butter.  So I made my own, with vegan butter galore.

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30 minutes later…yeast is magic

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gloomy afternoons are perfect pretzel-dough rising conditions

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salt on salt

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pretzel party

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I…went a little hard on the salt

Recipe:

makes four pretzels

Ingredients:

Dough:

1 & 1/8 tsp instant yeast

1/3 cup – 1/2 cup warm water (start with 1/3 and add a little bit at a time if dough is dry)

1  & 1/4 cup flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

Topping:

1/4 cup warm water

1 tbsp baking soda (this sounds like WOAH a lot but I promise you won’t taste it)

coarse sea salt

2 tbsp vegan margarine, melted

Directions:

1.  Combine 1/3 cup warm water and yeast in a bowl.  Let rest until bubbly (3-4 minutes)

2.  Meanwhile, combine remaining dough ingredients in a bowl.  Add water/yeast mixture and stir until combined (if dough is dry, add water 1 tbsp at a time).

3.  Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (about 5 minutes).

4.  Transfer dough to an oiled bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

5.  Divide dough into four pieces and let rest 5 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 260°C (500°F).

7.  Combine warm water and baking soda in a shallow bowl.  Stir until dissolved.

8. Roll each dough piece into a rope (Mine were about 70 cm, but if you like thicker pretzels, make shorter ropes) and shape into pretzels.

9.  Dip pretzels into the water/baking soda mixture and place them on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle liberally with salt.  Rest for ten minutes.

10. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.

11. Take pretzels out of the oven and brush on vegan margarine.  Finished!

Source: Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company

Roasted Tomato Bread

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My last post was about roasted tomatoes, and this bread was where that particular batch ended up.  This bread is yeasted, and by no means a quick one.  But I promise if you have the patience, it’s worth it!  I had made this bread once before but kind of threw it all together and didn’t write out any of my measurements.  Somehow this second time around I managed to double the flour and it became GIGANTIC. Continue reading