Vegan Whole Wheat-Flax/Chia Seed Crackers

Yield: about 4 servings, but it depends on how large you cut the crackers and I like irregular shapes and sizes

If you are not a vegan baker, keep reading…this is the perfect “gateway” recipe to have you fall in love with pastry.  This dough handles beautifully–promise!  And the resulting crackers are worth a tiny bit of effort.

The inspiration for these crackers starts in a church and is, perhaps, a little unseemly.   No, they did not begin as the body of Christ; rather as ingredients eschewed by those who frequent the church’s food pantry.  Seems that the healthier, higher-end foods–chia seeds, organic cocoa powder, kale chips, etc.–are not what these folks in need seek.

So, my friend who attends the church that sponsors the food pantry will occasionally bring me those items that aren’t moving off the shelves.  You can’t imagine how large my canister of flax and chia seed meal has grown.  Needing a recipe to use up some of it and being the creatively resteless soul that I am, I decided to whip up some crackers.  Bread would have also worked, but I am far more likely to serve crackers than bread.  I love the crunch.

I did what I usually do: perused recipes endlessly online and then jettisoned all recipes and went for it, having learned some lessons along the way for which I am grateful.  I couldn’t be more pleased with the end results: how quickly this dough came together, how easilyit handled, and how tasty and perfectly textured the crackers are.  Speaking of texture, these are the ideal tender-crisp combination.  I tried both “docking,” or pricking. the surface and not, and found that the docked crackers were a bit more crispy, which I preferred.

Easy, quick, an inexpensive, these crackers would make a lovely gift from the kitchen.  Each Christmas, I gift all of the editors for whom I write with a little treat, and I think I know what next year’s will be.

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat, all purpose, or a combination; I had the pastry flour on hand)

3 tablespoons flax seed meal, chia seed meal, or a combination (I used a combo)

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (or the spice of your choice)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

Up to 1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place all ingredients in the bowl of food processor, including about half of the water or 1/4 cup.  Pulse until the dough comes together into a tidy ball, adding remaining half of water if necessary.  On a floured surface, like a pastry board or counter, roll dough to just slightly more than 1/8-inch thick.  Using a sharp knife, cut into small or large uniform or irregular crackers, transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat (silicone mat), and prick the tops with a fork.  Bake for about 13 minutes or until lightly browned.  Place baking sheet on a wire rack and cool crackers to room temperature.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature or freeze for a later date.

Print Friendly

My Vegan Thai Biscuit Mini Sandwiches Win “Savory” Grand Prize in National Recipe Contest

Photo: Alisa Fleming
Photo: Alisa Fleming

And the winner is…me!

So Delcious and Go Dairy Free just announced the winners of their “Snackables” national (vegan) recipe contest and my Thai Biscuit Mini Sandwiches won the Grand Prize in the “Savory” category!  These are the perfect mini-meal, packed with flavor and nutrition and cute to boot.

This award is such an honor because I know of their high standards and rigorous vetting process.

Congrats to all winners and runner’s up!  And a huge thanks to So Delicous and Alisa Fleming of Go Dairy Free!

 

Print Friendly

Vegan Bangkok Biscuit Stack: Filled Coconut Red Curry-Basil Biscuits

Vegan Coconut Red Curry-Basil Biscuit Stack

Yield: 8-2 inch biscuits (recipe easily doubles)

Woa!  I’m not one to brag, but these may be a “best ever” here on The Blooming Platter…

To celebrate the release of the FREE Snackable eBook, the good folks at Go Dairy Free and So Delicious Dairy Free have teamed up again to sponsor the ultimate Snackable Recipe Contest!

Contestants may enter two recipes in the Savory, Sweet, or Sippable categories and this is my second and final Savory entry.

I have to say, myy Vegan Bangkok Biscuit Stacks are every bit as irresistible as I thought they might be when the idea popped into my head yesterday (after an unmitigated disaster of an attempt with another idea the day before!).

Winner, winner, vegan dinner?  (Er, I mean snack.)

Quick recipe note: avoid omitting the teaspoon of vinegar or vegan fish sauce as it is necessary to interact with the baking soda for proper rise…and, boy do they rise!

Vegan Bangkok Biscuit Stack

3 tablespoons vegan butter, divided

1 cup all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon shortening (preferably frozen)

1 tablespoon prepared Thai red curry paste

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar or vegan fish sauce (sold as “vegetarian” in Asian markets)

Approximately 6 to 8-1 1/2 inch fresh basil or Thai basil leaves

1/3 cup So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer

Pickled Veggies (recipe follows; make while biscuits bake)

Garlic Aioli (recipe follows)

1/3 cup caramelized onions or 8-2 inch grilled tofu squares, etc.

Garnish: 8 sprigs fresh basil

Preheat oven to 45o degrees.  Melt 1 tablespoon vegan butter in a 6-inch (or larger) cast iron skillet placed in oven.  Remove and set aside.  In bowl of food processor, place flour, baking soda, salt, remaining 2 tablespoons of vegan butter and shortening.  Pulse a few times until vegan butter and shortening are well-distributed throughout and dough looks like damp sand.  Add curry paste, vinegar or fish sauce, and basil leaves and pulse until basil is finely chopped.  Drizzle with coconut creamer and pulse until dough comes together in a ball and basil is minced, but still visible.   Note: you may cut the butter and shortening into flour mixture by hand, mince the basil, and mix all ingredients together with a fork if you prefer.  

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat into a 3/4 inch disk.  Working quickly, fold in sides like you are folding a business envelope, pat into a 3/4 inch disk, turn a quarter turn and repeat 4 more times.  Cut with a 2 inch biscuit or cookie cutter or sturdy glass.  Place each biscuit into the prepared skillet, right side down, and then flip right side up to coat both sides with butter.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and, when cool enough to handle, spread each biscuit with 1/8th of the Garlic Aioli,  1/8th of the caramelized onions or a slice of tofu, and 1/8th of the Pickled Veggies.  Serve immediately, garnished with fresh basil sprigs.

Pickled Veggies:

8 thin slices cucumber

1/3 cup shredded carrots (I purchase pre-shredded)

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar or vegan fish sauce (sold as “vegetarian” in Asian markets)

Toss together in a small non-reactive bowl or carton and set aside.

Garlic Aioli:

3 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

In a small cup, whisk together mayonnaise and garlic powder until well combined.

Snackable-Recipe-Contest-Badge

Print Friendly

Vegan Focaccia with Red Grapes, Roasted Acorn Squash, and Kale Pesto

Focaccia with Red Grapes, Acorn Squash, and Kale Pesto--SlicesYou can top this focaccia with anything, but I have to say that my combination of red grapes, roasted acorn squash and kale pesto is a keeper.  And it’s so pretty for Christmas.

The simple focaccia dough recipe is only slightly adpated from one in a culinary magazine that I cut out years ago, but failed to credit.  Sorry!  My only change was to add a little bit of olive oil and to correct the number of ounces in the yeast package.  The recipe calls for 2 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, but that is a 3/4 ounce package, not a 1/4 ounce package.  Details, details!

 

3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)

3/4 ounce (2 1/2 teaspoons) package fast-acting yeast (like Rapid Rise)

1/2 teaspoon turbinado sugar

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1 teaspoon sea salt + more for sprinkling

1 tablespoon olive oil + more for drizzling

Red grapes, halved (in amount you choose to space about 1 inch apart)

Roasted acorn squash, cut in thin slices (enough to alternate with grapes)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Kale pesto (use your favorite or one of mine)–amounts may vary– brought to room temperature

Lightly oil a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.  In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy or about 5 minutes.  Gradually stir in 2 teaspoons olive oil followed by flour and salt to form a soft dough.  On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough with floured hands for about 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.  Shape into a ball, rub with remaining teaspoon of olive oil, and invert bowl over the top.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Then, roll out dough into a 13 x 9 inch rectangle and transfer to baking pan, pressing gently into corners.  Let dough rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap, in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Arrange grape halves and acorn squash in an attractive design over the top, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake in center of oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool focaccia in pan on a metal rack.  Dot with pesto, slice, and serve.

Focaccia with Red Grapes, Acorn Squash, and Kale Pesto

Print Friendly

Flaky Vegan White Bean Biscuits with Rosemary Butter

Yield: 18 biscuits

(These would be delicious with my Vegan Tempeh and Turnip Green Soup!)

White Bean Biscuits with Rosemary Butter

These savory biscuits will be a welcome addition to your breadbasket any time an easy, but extra-special, bread is the order of the day…or night!

 

 

With a can of white beans in the pantry, but not in the mood for anything I could think of to make with them—and craving some comfort food due to gray, drizzly weather—I set about brainstorming.  I love sweet potato biscuits and it occurred to me that pureed white beans would be a very similar consistency to mashed sweet potato.

 

 

So I jumped online hoping that I wouldn’t find that someone had beaten me to the punch.  I may have missed something, but all I could find were recipes for white bean cookies and cakes.  Eureka!

 

 

To create my dough, I combined recipes for my favorite vegan biscuits and a recipe for sweet potato biscuits, though I think the latter can be a bit too heavy.  So I manipulated the proportions a bit.  The results are meltingly tender and the biscuits pull apart in luscious flaky layers!  I attribute this, in part, to the inclusion of both vegetable shortening and (vegan) butter—frozen!— but also to my folding method which mimics that of making puff pastry.  Like folding a business letter, my method is much simpler than puff pastry, as no butter is distributed between the layers.

The rosemary butter topping is optional, but delicious, making these biscuits a to-die-for breakfast item or accompaniment to a meal.  Be forewarned, though, they might overshadow the main dish!

1-15.5 ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour + about 5 tablespoons more (for rolling out)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk (or milk)
1/4 cup frozen vegetable shortening, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/4 cup frozen vegan butter, cut into 1-inch chunks + 3 additional tablespoons (or butter)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place white beans in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add 2 cups flour, sea salt, baking powder and baking soda.  Pulse just until mixture is well combined.   Add frozen shortening and 1/4 cup frozen butter, and pulse until uniformly distributed and about the size of small peas.  Drizzle in soymilk and pulse a few more times until the dough comes together.   Dough will be a bit sticky. (See below for hand-mixing directions.)


Dust a bread board or other pastry surface (including your countertop!) with a couple of tablespoons of flour, transfer dough onto it, and knead the flour into it, adding a couple more tablespoons as necessary.  Dust board with about 1 tablespoon more flour if necessary and pat out dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick.   Fold like a business letter or puff pastry by folding in one short side 2/3 of the way across the surface, and then folding the opposite short side back across.  Pat out the dough into a 3/4-inch thick rectangle again, turn a quarter turn and repeat the folds.  Repeat the entire folding and patting process about 4 times.  After patting out the dough for the last time, cut with a 2-inch biscuit or cookie cutter, gently combining and re-rolling scraps.

 


Meanwhile, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large cast-iron skillet.  Pour off all but about a tablespoon and reserve in a small cup or bowl.  Add chopped rosemary to the reserved butter and set aside.  Lay each biscuit into the skillet and then flip it in order to butter both sides, leaving each biscuit in the skillet and placing them close together.  Bake for 12 minutes, brush the tops with reserved rosemary butter, and bake for an additional 3 minutes.  Serve immediately.  Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Reheat for a few minutes at 350 degrees, wrapped in foil.

 

 

Hand-mixing directions: if you prefer to mix the dough by hand, mash the beans with a potato masher until smooth.  Then spray a box grater with non-stick spray and grate both the shortening and the butter into the flour mixture so that it is still very cold when you incorporate it.  As you fold and pat the dough, be sure not to let the warmth of your hands melt the frozen shortening and butter.

 


Serving note: if you were admiring the “bread bag” in the photo, all of the credit belongs to Emily Crell, owner of the former Forbidden City in VA Beach.  She made some out of solid fabric for her daughter and son-in-law’s new restaurant, Braise, (in partnership with Chef Bobby Huber) and when I admired them, she made me a set of four “just because.”  What is so ingenious about the design is a little flat removable pouch filled with dried rice that sits at the bottom.  You simply remove it, heat it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, replace, and pile breads or biscuits on top to stay warm at the table.  Just as remarkable is the fact that she has never seen our house nor asked about color and style, yet she picked a mid-century modern-inspired pattern (my favorite period in design) in the exact palette of our home!

 

Print Friendly

World’s Easiest Vegan Kale “Kakes”

DSCN2334Yield: 12-2.5-inch cakes

(4 servings)

A recipe prepared by Giadia De Laurentiis on her “Giada at Home” Food Network program inspired this recipe: waffles with pancetta (ick!) and cinnamon.  The inspiration was certainly not pork(!); rather it was the combination of sweet and savory.

Since it was New Year’s Day, I was wanting “good luck” foods, and I had already enjoyed griddled tempeh with maple syrup and vegan Hoppin’ John for breakfast at the Sanderling Inn.  So, I was craving greens for dinner. And these “kakes” took the cake!

I enjoyed mine without any spices, but feel free to kick them up with curry powder or whatever your imagination seizes on.

1 cup all purpose or white whole wheat flour (I use the latter)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup unsweetened soymilk + 2 to 4 tablespoons, if necessary

1/4 cup vegan butter, melted in skillet

3 cups very finely chopped kale (I use a food processor for this task, processing the kale in two batches.)

Filling, topping, and garnish of your choice (I like vegan sour cream, cashew cream or a jam/chutney for the filling, maple syrup over the top, and a garnish of toasted pumpkin seeds or nuts, but the sky’s the limit!)

Place all dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center, add 1 cup soymilk and the melted butter, and whisk just until combined.  Stir in kale–it will look like way too much–and add additional soymilk to create a thick spoonable batter.

Lightly spray skillet in which butter was melted with nonstick spray and spoon batter into 4-2.5-inch circles, lightly smoothing top if necessary.  Cook a couple of minutes or until lightly browned, flip with a spatula and cook for an additional 2 or so minutes on reverse.  Remove to a plate and keep warm.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve with sour cream, cashew cream, chutney, etc., a generous drizzle of maple syrup, and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds or nuts.

New Years 2014, Duck, NC

Print Friendly

Vegan Savory Mexican Black Bean Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting Made Go Dairy Free’s “Big List of Ghoulishly Good Dairy-Free Halloween Recipes” for 2013!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am so excited for my Vegan Savory Mexican Black Bean Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting to have made “The Big List of Ghoulishly Good Dairy-Free Halloween Recipes” for 2013 on the Go Dairy Free website!

I created this recipe last Halloween and I’ve never run across anything else like it before or since.  Beautiful, but simple, these savory cupcakes are like eating your deliciously moist sides and bread all in one festive little package.

For the rest of the list of beverages, snacks, savories, and sweets, click HERE.

Happy Halloween!

 

Print Friendly

Blooming Platter “Vegan ‘Pulled’ Spaghetti Squash Barbecue” Featured on KitchenTreaty.com!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHi all!  I’ve been on vacation for 5 days and have missed cooking and posting.

But I was delighted to return home and find a pingback related to my Vegan “Pulled” Spaghetti Squash.  Evidently, it had been featured by Karen Troughton on KitchenTreaty in 2012.   I don’t know much about this site other than what the tagline says “Vegetarians and Meat-Eaters CAN Live Together.”  But, regardless, thanks Karen!

As it happens, I found my mouth watering at the aroma of barbecue in the Houston International airport yesterday on our way home from (fabulous!) Aspen.  So, it seems that the universe is telling me that I need to remind readers about this recipe for summer BBQ enjoyment!

If you visit the KitchenTreaty post, you’ll see a couple of things:

1) That Karen created her own sauce recipe.  It contains a far shorter list of ingredients than mine but, trust me, I tweaked the flavor profile so that, at least to my palate, it is perfect!  And the only extra time involved is opening a few more spice jars.  The resulting sauce is well worth a tiny bit of extra effort.  So I wouldn’t tinker with my recipe unless you have a BBQ sauce that is your absolute favorite.

2) It appears, at least from her photograph, that her final dish ended up very moist. I like it much dryer, as in my photograph, so that the pile of “pulled” barbecue stands up nicely on it’s own, much like it’s non-vegan inspiration (see my photo above)–rather than sitting sort of puddle like on the bun. 🙂

But, however you like it–wet or dry–enjoy!  (Oh, and you’ll love my corn cakes and slaw in my recipe too!)

Print Friendly

Go Dairy Free Re-Features My Vegan Savory Black Bean Cupcakes with Whipped Sweet Potato Frosting Just in Time for Halloween

If you’ve not visited Go Dairy Free in a while, I recommend you click on the link and head on over, as I think you’ll love the new format.  New look.  Same great information, ideas, recipes, and resources that is continually expanded.

In a recent email, GDF creator, Alisa, wrote “I’m slowly updating old recipes with our new format, so I just refeatured one of your recipes from last year!”

The recipe is for my Savory Black Bean Cupcakes with Whipped Sweet Potato Frosting.  Sound odd?  Well, they are pretty unique, I have to say.  Sort of like a bread, protein and starchy vegetable in one.  In a word: delish, if I do say so.  And so very pretty.

Please enjoy them with my wishes for a very Happy Halloween!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly