A Wynn Resort-Las Vegas Redux: Vegan Ginger-Ale Pancakes with Fresh Vegan Peach-Basil-Maple-Ale Chutney

Peach pancakes

Yield: 4 servings

Las Vegas not the first place you think of when someone mentions gourmet vegan food?  Me either.

But that’s about to change thanks to the chefs at The Wynn Resort-Las Vegas teaming up with celebrity vegan chef and cookbook author, Tal Ronnen. Together, they created a vegan menu even a meat-craving–or carving–high roller would love.  (I am a longtime Ronnen fan and owner of his bestselling cookbook, The Conscious Cook.)

To help introduce their vegan menu to a broader public–so that what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas(!)–The Wynn invited vegan bloggers like me to adapt one of the dishes Ronnen created for their menu and share both the recipe and rationale.  Such an invitation gave me pause because the last thing any of his dishes need is adapted.  They all look gorgeous and sound delicious.

But, since our area of coastal Virginia has been bitten hard by the craft beer craze and since peaches grow so beautifully here in the south–never mind that ginger and basil are such a perfect pairing with peaches–I decided to combine them to create my own version of Peach Pancakes.  The Wynn’s are served with peach compote and honey butter so, mind you, mine are not an improvement on theirs; rather just a twist…or a flip, as it were.

Usually I beg off when my husband books a trip to Vegas, but the next time he decides to head out there for a UFC event, I may just have to tag along to enjoy dining at The Wynn!

Las Vegan anyone?

 

Fresh Vegan Peach-Basil-Maple-Ale Chutney

2 medium peaches, seeded and medium-finely diced (I leave the skin on for more color and nutrition)
1 cup “ale” (use your favorite craft beer or ale)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
8 large basil leaves, stacked, rolled, and very thinly sliced to make chiffonade
2 tablespoon demerara sugar (or substitute an additional tablespoon of maple syrup)
4 tablespoons maple syrup

Stir together all ingredients in a small or medium saucepan and simmer over medium-high, uncovered, while you make the pancakes or until the juice has reduced and chutney has thickened.

Vegan Ginger-Ale Pancakes

½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup self-rising flour
2 tablespoons natural or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or to taste (or about 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger)
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup “ale” (the remainder of the 12 ounce bottle used in the chutney, above)
1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (plain or vanilla, lite or regular, would also be good)
Vegan butter and/or vegetable oil for frying
Fresh Vegan Peach-Basil-Maple-Ale Chutney
Sprigs of fresh basil

Preheat oven to warm. In a medium mixing bowl, place first 6 dry ingredients. Make a well in the center and pour in beer and soymilk. Whisk together until well combined. In a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the vegan butter, oil or a combination. (I like a combination: the oil reduces chances of burning while the butter contributes flavor.) Using a scant 1/4 cup measure, make pancakes, two at a time. Cook two-three minutes on the first side until you get a nice rise, a few bubbles appear, and the edges appear set. Gently flip and cook another couple of minutes on the reverse. Add butter and/or oil to keep skillet greased as needed. If pancakes are cooking too quickly, lower heat to medium, especially for second side. When cooked through, remove pancakes to plates or a serving platter, keep warm, and repeat with remaining butter or oil and pancake batter. Serve each short stack with Fresh Vegan Peach-Basil-Maple-Ale Chutney spooned over the top and a sprig of fresh basil.

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Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2015: Day 5–Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes

I thought that breakfast for your Valentine would be the perfect note on which to wrap up my Countdown to Valentine’s Day 2015.

And for that, nothing beats my Vegan Red Velvet Pancakes for real Red Velvet Cake flavor–not just color!–texture, and spectacular presentation.

If you would like a little savory side for your plate ‘o cakes, you will love my vegan sausage “Heart Tarts”: simply beautiful heart-shaped puff pastry tarts with a vegan “sausage”  and bell pepper filling.

Stay tuned, for tomorrow I offer a breakfast bonus…just have some flavored tea bags, cocoa powder and soymilk on hand…

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Vegan Fall Fritters with Zucchini, Apple, and Carrot

Fall FrittersYield: 8 fritters

After a Saturday visit to the farmer’s market, I had a beautiful zucchini and VA apple, along with a large carrot in the fridge.  I was in the mood for a slaw to top a sandwich, but after I had grated up these ingredients, I had far more than I needed for that.

Theshreds reminded me of latkes, so the idea of fritters popped into my mind.  I scooped out half the shreds of the zuke, apple and carrot, added a very few more ingredients, and quickly tossed together these beautiful fritters that personify autumn: delightfully crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside!

Note:  I use the grater attachment of my food processor for shreds that are like a very fine julienne.

2 cups grated zucchini (about half of a 7 to 8-inch zucchini)

1 cup grated apple (about 1 large apple)

1/2 cup grated carrot (about half of a 7 to 8-inch carrot)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon sea salt + additional for sprinkling.

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Olive or canola oil for frying

Garnish: vegan sour cream, walnut pieces, toasted or not, and maple syrup

 

Line a plate with paper towel.  Preheat oven to low.  Place first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.  Do not drain, as the moisture is essential to help the fritters hold together.  In a small bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients, sprinkle over vegetables, and stir with a fork until completely combined.  The consistency will be almost like cookie dough.  In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1/8th inch oil over medium high.  Divide dough into 8 equal parts, scooping four mounds into skillet and flattening with fingers to about 1/2-inch.  Sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, lowering heat and swirling pan to redistribute oil if necessary.  Flip with a spatula, sprinkle with a tiny bit more salt, and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp and golden.  Remove to prepared plate and keep warm.  Repeat with more oil and remaining dough.  Serve warm, garnished with vegan sour cream, walnut pieces and maple syrup.

 

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Perfect Vegan Flax Seed and Oatmeal Pancakes for One (Easily Multiplies)

Pancakes with Flax Seed and Oatmeal for One

Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)

With a little more time in the morning on Memorial Day, perhaps these pancakes are just what you need to start your day…But they go together quickly enough for almost any day!

My sister-in-laws generously gave me a Nutri-Bullet as a hostess gift at Thanksgiving.  It is genus in design and engineering and I have been making smoothies religiously for breakfast, cutting way down on my Starbucks bill (I love their Green Tea Soy Frappuccinos!).

I was never much of a breakfast eater, especially on weekdays.  Even in high school, I preferred to drink my breakfast.  In those days, dairy was part of my diet, and I was a Carnation Instant Breakfast fan: just stir and go.

But on this sunny morning, I woke up and was craving something I could chew.  We had “Everything” bagels and Tofutti sliced cheese, but I wanted something with a little sweetness.  Since my husband and already eaten his bowl of oatmeal, I decided to whip up a very petite serving of pancakes that weren’t nutritionally void.   Mentally scanning the pantry, I lighted on healthful flax seed and oatmeal.

They were divine.  Exactly what I wanted: something satisfying absent any heaviness.  And the recipe easily multiplies for as many as you want to feed.

Happy, Healthy Memorial Day!

 

1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I only keep white whole wheat on hand)

1 teaspoon natural sugar

1 tablespoon flax seed

1 tablespoon old-fashioned oatmeal

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

Pinch salt

4-5 tablespoons soymilk (or your favorite non-dairy milk; I prefer soy for its protein content), or enough to make a thick batter

Optional accompaniments: vegan sour cream and maple syrup

 

Spray a cast iron skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-high.  Whisk together all dry ingredients in a small bowl, make a well in the center, add soymilk, and whisk until completely combined.  Spoon batter into skillet, evenly dividing to make three pancakes.  This batter really won’t bubble, so look for a slight rise and a slightly toasty aroma which will take approximately  2 to 3 minutes.  Flip and, again, look for a little more pronounced rise and the same toasty aroma; again about 2 minutes.  Remove from skillet to plate and enjoy with your favorite accompaniments.  One of my favorite combinations is a little vegan sour cream spread between each pancake, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a dollop of sour cream on top.

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Vegan Ricotta Lemon Pancakes with Lemony Maple-Ricotta Cream and Fresh Berries–Happy Mother’s Day!

Ricotta-Lemon PancakesYield: 12 pancakes (4 servings)

 

This is the perfect light and lovely breakfast or brunch treat for Mom on her special day.  Tofutti Better than Ricotta Cheese is not available everywhere, but hopefully you can find it or another vegan brand where you live, as there really is not an equivalent product to substitute.

Happy Mother’s Day to all…regardless of who your children are!  (Mine happen to be 140 teenage art students that I am privileged to teach and “the twinz”: a pair of beloved lookalike canines.)

Tofutti loved my recipe and posted it HERE.

Vegan Ricotta Lemon Pancakes:

1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cup soymilk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)

3/4 cup Tofutti Better than Ricotta Cheese

3/4 teaspoon almond extract

Zest of 1/2  large lemon

Lemony Maple-Ricotta Cream (recipe follows)

Garnish:  fresh strawberries or blueberries plus additional lemon zest and/or confectioner’s sugar for dusting

In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center, pour in soymilk, and whisk just until combined.  Add ricotta in several spoonfuls, and whisk into batter, along with almond extract and lemons zest.  Avoid over-mixing.  Spray cast iron skillet with non-stick spray.  (For more flavor, but also more fat and calories, you may use a little oil and or vegan butter, melted.)  Heat skillet over medium-high.  Make pancakes using a 1/4 cup measure, 3 at a time.  Cook for a couple of minutes on first side, or until small bubbles just begin to appear, pancakes puff slightly, and are golden brown on underside.  Flip and cook on remaining side for a couple more minutes or until pancakes appear set and are golden brown on underside.  Drizzle a tablespoon of Lemony Maple-Ricotta Cream over each pancake as you make the stacks.  Garnish top of stack as desired with fresh berries, lemon zest, and or a sprinkle of confectioner’s sugar.

 

Lemony Maple-Ricotta Cream:

1/2 cup Tofutti Better than Ricotta

1 tablespoon soymilk (or your favorite non-dairy milk)

1 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Process in food processor until smooth.  The mixture will be creamy for drizzling; not fluffy.

 

 

 

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Vegan Curried Carrot and Chickpea Cakes with Lemon-Ginger Yogurt (A So Delicious 3 Course Recipe Contest Entry)

Curried Chickpea and Carrot CakesYield: 4 appetizer servings (easily doubles)

Not too long ago, I created and posted a recipe for Kale Kakes.  I loved them so much that I started searching about in my refrigerator and pantry for some other healthy ingredients with which I could concoct a different version.

I discovered some pre-shredded carrots in the fridge and was going to make savory “carrot cakes.”  But then a can of chickpeas caught my eye and that combination sounded delicious not to mention providing a little more protein.  But if two “Cs” are good then three are better, hence the addition of a hint of curry powder.  However, if you aren’t a fan, just leave it out.

They needed a contrasting topping and with this nod in the direction of India, one with a yogurt base seemed the most fitting, especially one with a hint of coconut like So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk.  A little lemon and ginger added simple layers of flavors for the perfect creamy accompaniment.

I was almost finished but when I realized my recipe wouldn’t require the whole can of chickpeas–and not liking to accumulate too many odds and ends in the fridge–it struck me that I could roast them and use them as a little garnish.  Voila!  A simple little app that could almost be a perfect mini-meal.

In fact, I thought it was so good, I entered it in the appetizer category of the So Delicious 3 Course Recipe Contest!  Do you think I have a winner?

So Delicious Dairy Free 3 Course Recipe Contest Badge

Vegan Savory Curried Carrot and Chickpea Cakes:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1-15.5 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup + 1 to 2 tablespoons So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (“origina”l flavor)

1 cup very lightly packed grated raw carrot

Garnish: skillet roasted chick peas and a few shreds of fresh raw carrot

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high.  Set aside 1/2 cup chickpeas and add remaining ones to the pan.  Roast for 10 minutes or until lightly golden brown and slightly crunchy, stirring occasionally.  Remove to a small cup or bowl.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, spices, baking powder and soda, and salt and pepper.  Make a well in the center and pour in 1/4 cup creamer.  Whisk to make a smooth batter.  Stir in the reserved 1/2 cup chickpeas and carrots, adding remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons creamer to loosen batter slightly.  It should still be fairly thick and spoonable, almost like a fritter batter.  Heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet in which you roasted the chickpeas.  Divide the batter into 4 equal mounds and cook for a couple of minutes or until golden on each side.  Serve topped with a tablespoon of the Lemon-Ginger yogurt, a few of the roasted chick peas and a few carrot shreds.

Lemon-Ginger Yogurt:

1/4 cup So Delicious Cultured Coconut Milk

1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together all ingredients in a small cup or bowl.

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Vegan Fresh Fig Upside Down Pancakes

Fig Upside Down PancakesYield: 8 servings (16 small pancakes)

The other morning, for some reason, I was thinking about pineapple upside down cake and how nicely that translates into pancakes.  Suddenly, I had to have pancakes, though I am not much of a breakfast eater, unless I have breakfast for lunch.  I didn’t have pineapple, but I did have fresh figs and Vegan Fresh Fig Upside Down Pancakes were born!

The ground sumac– a beautiful earthy red powder derived from a berry of the sumac bush–is used in Middle Eastern and Greek cooking.  Since I think of figs in relation to Middle Eastern cuisine, and since I thought that the earthy lemony flavor of the sumac would complement the sweetness of the figs, I chose to add a little to the batter.   It‘s not absolutely essential, but it is delicate, delicious, and adds such a special quality.  Find sumac in Middle Eastern grocery stores and online.

Sage, too, is used widely in Middle Eastern and Greek cooking and I happen to have quite an abundant crop of it this year.  So I decided to garnish the pancakes with some of their most small and tender leaves to add a subtle sage-y flavor.  Eaten together, the trio is transcendent!

2 cups white whole wheat flour (this is what I keep on hand, but unbleached all purpose is fine, as is a mixture of all purpose and whole wheat)

1/4 cup natural sugar

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Optional, but delicious: 1/2 teaspoon sumac

2  cups plain soymilk (I used lite, as that’s what I had)

Nonstick spray or canola oil

8 fresh figs, stemmed, halved and sprayed with nonstick spray or brushed with oil

Accompaniments: agave nectar and a sprig of small tender fresh sage leaves (yes, sage!–sounds a little odd, but is delicious with the figs!)

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients, make a well in the center, add soymilk, and whisk ingredients together until smooth.  Heat a large well-oiled skillet over medium high and make pancakes, 3 or 4 at a time, using 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter (they should be about 3 inches in diameter).  Cook for about a minute, lay a fig half, flesh side up, in the center of each pancake, pressing very gently.  You don’t want to submerge or for the batter to hide the fig when you flip it.  Cook for another minute or two or until golden brown on the other side, carefully flip, and cook until set, another couple of minutes or so.  Repeat with remaining batter, keeping pancakes warm while you cook the entire batch.  Serve pancakes, fig side up, with a drizzle of agave nectar and a sprig of fresh sage.  Note:  if a very thin layer of the batter has eased over the edge of the fig, just pinch it off to reveal the perfect shape of the fig.

 

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Single Serving Vegan Granola Pancakes with Sour Cream, Maple Syrup and Fresh Fruit (Recipe Easily Multiplies)

Granola Pancakes

Yield: 1 serving (2 small pancakes) [recipe easily multiplies]

These golden disks of textured bliss would be perfect for any Father’s Special Day.  Go Dairy Free kindly published my recipe for all to enjoy.  Just click HERE.  And if you’re interested in the back story, read on!

When I first met my dear friend, Yvette Hetrick, a foodie and entertainer extraordinaire, many years ago, she rhapsodized about granola pancakes that she and her husband, Randy, would devour for weekend brunches in, I think it was, San Diego. when they were dating.

She has a memorable way of describing food and I was sold from her first mention.  I have even tried to reproduce them before with no luck.

But, for some reason, I was craving them recently, my husband–who has cleaned up his eating act somewhat–had some Bare Naked Granola in the pantry, and I had some local Pungo strawberries fresh from the farmer’s market in the fridge.

My husband, a creature of habit and routine, is on an oatmeal kick as part of his new approach to eating.  So I knew he wouldn’t want any pancakes, no matter how irresisistable to the rest of us.  There was only one thing to do:  create a recipe for a single serving that could be easily multiplied to serve a family or a crowd.  And I’m so glad I did!

My fairly thick batter is the perfect consistency to support the granola.  Be sure to serve them granola-side up so folks will know these are no ordinary pancakes even before the first bite!

Happy Father’s Day!

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Mouthwatering Mother’s Day Breakfast/Brunch: Vegan German Chocolate Pancakes with Coconut Pecan Maple Syrup

German Chocolate PancakesYield: 4 servings

Recently, I returned from a Spring Break trip to visit my family where I made my Papa his favorite vegan brownies.  But he and my Mama both have birthdays coming up, and I was reminded that his very favorite cake is German Chocolate.  So, back home in Virginia and with German Chocolate Cake on my mind, I decided I had to make Papa’s favorite cake as pancakes.

My Vegan German Chocolate Pancakes with Coconut Pecan Maple Syrup are somewhat rich and filling, so I like to eat a stack of three because that looks so nice, but keep them on the smaller side, so as not to weigh myself down for the day.  Other than the flour, soymilk, and pecans–and the coconut to some extent– there is not a lot of nutrition here, so be sure to serve this divine indulgence with a side of fruit and maybe a little vegan yogurt.

Also, in the “rich and filling” department, I have recently started making quesadillas using non-stick spray instead of my beloved canola oil-vegan butter mixture to grease the skillet.  So, for the sake of calorie reduction, I decided to try it with these pancakes and was VERY happy with the results.  But feel free to go for the higher calorie option if you want a bit more rich flavor.  I generally use a couple of tablespoons of each for a 4-serving batch of pancakes.

Thanks to Alisa Free, the “Go Dairy Free” Queen, for publishing the recipe on her popular, one-of-a-kind site.  Click HERE or on the link above to go straight to the recipe.

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