Breakfast tomorrow, Vegan Vanilla Mixed Berry Muffins from Flour Too

My last pick from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories (Chronicle Books, June 2013) by Joanne Chang from Flour Bakery in Boston was Farmers' Market Salad for lunch.

This time, let's think breakfast for tomorrow.

Vegan Vanilla-Mixed Berry Muffins

We have a rule at Flour that if something is labeled “gluten free” or “low fat,” it has to be just as delicious to those who are not concerned about the label as to those who are. The same goes for our vegan items. We created this muffin to satisfy our growing number of customers who have converted to veganism, and it has as many non-vegan fans as vegan ones. In fact, most people don’t believe us when we tell them that it’s vegan. To the nonbelievers the proof is in the tin. In developing this muffin recipe, we realized that many vegan pastries make up for their lack of dairy and eggs by being super sweet and extra oily. We held back on the sugar and oil to create a scrumptious fluffy muffin that people of all dietary preferences will enjoy.

Makes 12 Muffins

2 2⁄3 cups/370 g all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp/210 ml vegetable oil
1 1⁄3 cups/315 ml plain soy milk
2 tbsp distilled white or cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup/130 g fresh or frozen raspberries
1 cup/150 g fresh or frozen blueberries
special equipment: 12-cup standard muffin tin

Vegan Vanilla-Mixed Berry Muffins

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line the cups of the muffin tin with paper liners or generously oil and flour them.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and 3⁄4 cup plus 2 tbsp/175 g of the sugar and stir until well mixed. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, soy milk, vinegar, and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the middle of the well. Stir with a rubber spatula until well mixed. Add the raspberries and blueberries and mix until the fruit is evenly distributed.

3. Spoon an equal amount of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tbsp sugar.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the muffins are pale gold and the tops spring back when pressed gently in the middle. Let cool in the tin on a wire rack before popping them out. The muffins taste best on the day they are baked, but any uneaten muffins can be stored in a covered container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days. For the best results, refresh them in a 300°F/150°C oven for 4 to 5 minutes. vegan apple-cinnamon muffins variation: Omit the vanilla extract, raspberries, and blueberries. Mix . tsp ground cinnamon with the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar. Peel, core, and chop 2 Granny Smith apples and fold them into the finished muffin batter. Proceed as directed.

(* Recipe from Flour, Too: Indispensable Recipes for the Cafe's Most Loved Sweets & Savories - published by Chronicle Books, June 2013- by Joanne Chang, reproduced with permission, all rights by Michael Harlan Turkell)

Here's Bisteeya, Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie Recipe in Time for a Meatless Monday

On the lookout for Meatless Monday ideas  here's Bisteeya from Vegan Eats World '300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet' (Da Capo Lifelong Books, October 2012) by Terry Hope Romero, the Vegan Latina who calls Queens home.

Moroccan Vegetable Filo Pie (Bisteeya )

Serves 6 to 8

Bisteeya (or bastilla or pastilla) is a glorious showoff entree pastry, a large pie made of layers of filo and toasted almonds encasing a creamy, aromatic filling that’s both savory and a little bit sweet. Traditionally it’s baked in enormous pans, but for our purposes a springform pan does a great job at containing the pie for a cozy dinner for six. Bisteeya is classically stuffed with pigeon and eggs, but this pie is filled with the internationally accepted vegan substitute for the darling bird and egg binder: cauliflower, chickpeas, and silken almond milk sauce. A touch of saffron gives the filling a golden glow and the top is dusted with an unexpected flourish of powdered sugar and cinnamon for a play on sweet and savory flavors (the sugar topping is traditional, so give it a try and enjoy this unusual combination).

Make this bisteeya when you have a few hours set aside. It’s also possible to spread the construction of the ingredients over a few days and enlist a friend to help with the preparation of the filling and layering of the filo. The assembled pie can be chilled for 4 hours prior to baking, helpful because bisteeya is best relished warm out of the oven. Pair this with a spicy Harissa Carrot Salad (page 106) to complement your work of filo art.

Follow the filo-handling advice for the spinach pie on the previous page.


Silken almond milk sauce
1 cup plain almond milk
6 ounces firm silken tofu (1/2 box of mori-nu shelf-stable tofu)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
saffron vegetables
1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2-inch piece peeled ginger, minced
2 1/2 cups finely diced cauliflower
one 14-ounce can chickpeas (2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon of baharat spice blend (purchased or homemade, page 43) or a combination of 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
A big pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, plus a little extra if needed
1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Ground almonds
1 2/3 cups blanched, sliced almonds
3 tablespoons powdered sugar

Filo Dough and topping

Eight 13 x 18-inch sheets of filo dough, thawed
8 tablespoons nonhydrogenated vegan margarine, melted
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Moroccan Vegetable Filo_Page_1_Image_0001

1. Make the Silken Almond Milk Sauce first: pulse the almond milk, tofu, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a blender until smooth and set aside.

2. Now sauté the vegetables: in a deep, 12-inch skillet over medium heat sauté together the onion and olive oil until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger,sauté for 1 minute, then stir in the cauliflower. Sauté for 4 minutes, then stir in the chickpeas, vegetable broth, salt, baharat spice blend, and saffron. Increase heat to medium heat and bring to an active simmer.Simmer, partially covered for 5 minutes. Uncover the pan and continue to simmer for another 4 minutes or until most of the vegetable broth has been absorbed.

3. Stir in the silken almond sauce. Continue to stir and cook the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Sprinkle in the breadcrumbs, parsley, and cilantro and fold into the filling. The filling should have the consistency of a soft stuffing and not be too wet. If the filling is very wet, sprinkle in 2 to 3 additional tablespoons of breadcrumbs. Turn off the heat and transfer the skillet to a cold burner to cool off.

4. Make the ground almonds: in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until pale golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes; remove the pan from the heat, and cool for 5 minutes. Set aside 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds for topping the bisteeya. Transfer the remaining almonds to a food processor, add the powdered sugar, and pulse into coarse crumbs.

5. Get ready to put together the bisteeya! Preheatthe oven to 350°F and have nearby a 9 1/2-inch springform pan and small baking sheet to put underneath the pan. Combine the margarine with the olive oil and grab a pastry brush. Prepare the filo dough as instructed for spinach pie on page 255, but don’t trim the filo to the round shape of the springform pan. Instead, trim the sheets to large, 13 x 9-inch rectangles (the size of about half of an average-size filo sheet). Make sure to keep the filo covered at all times to prevent drying out.

6. Assemble the bisteeya: brush the insides of the springform pan lightly with the margarine mixture. Lay a sheet of filo in the center of the pan and press the long ends up the sides of the pan, overhanging the edges over the edge of the pan. Brush the top with a little margarine mixture. Now take another filo sheet, turn it 90 degrees, and lay it perpendicular to the sheet underneath it; press the longs ends up the sides of the pan and overhang the edges over the edge of the pan. Brush with margarine, then repeat layering the filo pastry, turning each new layer 90 degrees until the entire insides of the pan have filo encasing them. Use ten trimmed sheets of filo dough to line the pan. If at any point you run out of margarine while brushing the filo, melt a little extra or continue brushing with just olive oil.

7. Sprinkle half of the almond mixture in the bottom of the pan on top of the filo. Scoop the filling on top of the almonds, spreading it all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining half of the almond mixture on top of the filling.

8. Layer another six sheets of filo on top of the filling, turning each sheet another 90 degrees before adding another sheet. Brush each layer with a little margarine. Now fold the overhanging edges of filo toward the center of the pie; this doesn’t have to look neat, as this will eventually become the bottom of the pie that nobody will see. Brush with any remaining margarine, and place the pan on top of the baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the filo is golden brown and crisp.

9. Remove pie from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Place a large serving dish on top of the pie, slide an oven mitt underneath the pan and flip it over onto the serving dish. Remove the ring and the bottom from the springform pan. Dust the top of the pie with powdered sugar, then cinnamon, then lastly scatter the reserved 2 tablespoons of toasted;almonds on top. To serve, slice the hot pie with a sharp serrated knife.

(* Recipe reproduced from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero- October 2012- by permission of publisher Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Walnut Spice Sticky Cake For Brunch Sunday, 'Vegan Eats World' Recipe

After sharing Pumpkin Black Bean Posole recipe from Vegan Eats World '300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet' (Da Capo Lifelong Books, October 2012) by Terry Hope Romero, the Vegan Latina who calls Queens home, here's a sweet treat with greek origins.

Walnut Spice Sticky Cake

makes one 9 x 13-inch sheet cake

A wholesome, sticky cake bursting with some of the most popular flavors in Greek sweets: walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, oranges, and even olive oil. Enjoy this rustic cake as a homestyle dessert or as an aromatic coffee cake at brunch. Barley flour is a common sight in Greek baked goods and, though a wholegrain flour, it gives this cake a delicate crumb and nutty flavor; nutritious whole spelt flour can also be used. With any cake, but especially ones made with whole-grain flour, mix the batter just long enough to moisten; mixing by hand is the best way to avoid overmixing.

The orange juice syrup topping gives the cake a pretty sheen and makes it soft and tender. It also
helps keep the cake fresh longer.

1 1/4 cups barley flour or spelt flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
one 6-ounce cup vanilla or lemon soy yogurt (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
2/3 cup plain or vanilla soy milk
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
finely grated zest from one organic orange
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts

orange syrup
2/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves

Walnut Spice Sticky Cake

1. Cut a rectangle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch metal baking pan or a

9-inch springform pan, place it on the bottom, and spray the insides of the pan generously with olive
oil. Preheat an oven to 350°F. In a large mixing bowl sift together barley or spelt flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, all of the ground spices, and salt and form a well in the center.

2. In another bowl whisk together until smooth the soy yogurt, soy milk, flaxseeds, orange zest,
orange juice, olive oil, vanilla, and sugar. Pour this liquid mixture into the center of the dry ingredients
and use a rubber spatula or wooden spoon to fold the dry ingredients into the wet only long enough to
moisten; don’t overmix. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped walnuts, spread the batter into the pan (no need to spread into the corners of the pan; it expands during baking), and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts on top of the batter. Bake for 36 to 38 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (a few moist crumbs are okay).

3. While the cake is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a vigorous boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3 to 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. The syrup should be thin (not thick like pancake syrup). Remove from heat to cool.

4. When syrup has cooled down slightly, remove cloves and cinnamon stick, then pour syrup evenly over the cake while it’s hot. When cake is completely cool use a thin, sharp serrated knife to slice into wedges. Store cake tightly covered at room temperature.

(* Recipe reproduced from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero- October 2012- by permission of publisher Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Queens New York World Flavors Vegan Way with Pumpkin Black Bean Posole from Vegan Eats World

Anyone walking around streets of Queens in New York City, will notice a world of flavors from Greece to Latin America and Asia.

For her latest solo cookbook, Vegan Eats World '300 International Recipes for Savoring the Planet' (Da Capo Lifelong Books, October 2012), Terry Hope Romero, the Vegan Latina who calls Queens home, had not to look far for inspiration.

Pumpkin can be found in many of her recipes from Baked Punky Pumpkin Kibbe to Jamaican Plantain and Pumkin Curry and Pumpkin Ravioli with Spicy Tomato Sauce.

Here's another one of them.

Pumpkin Black Bean Posole Stew

serves 4 to 6

I do love easy-to-make veggie posoles: this Mexican style soup with soft hominy corn topped with fresh
veggies is effortlessly healthy with a combination of fresh produce and pantry staples. The best part is the combination of warmly spiced, brothy soup below and cool, crunchy toppings on top, such as fried
tortilla chips, avocado, tomatoes, crisp cabbage, or toasted pumpkin seeds.

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 pounds pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and seeds removed, diced into 1-inch cubes
One 16-ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed
Two 14-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 4 cups cooked beans)
4 teaspoons chile powder, either a blend or a single mexican chile such as ancho
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons lime juice

2 large tomatoes, diced
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 small red onion, peeled and finely diced
1 jalapeño, sliced into paper-thin rounds
2 cups thinly shredded cabbage
Long strips of fried corn tortillas or chips (blue corn looks especially snappy)
1 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Wedges of lime for squeezing into the soup

Pumpkin Posole

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat fry the onion in the olive oil until soft and translucent,
about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and fry for another 45 seconds, then add the vegetable broth, diced
pumpkin, hominy, black beans, chile powder, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Increase theheat and bring the soup to a boil, stir, then reduce the heat to a low simmer and partially cover. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the pumpkin is tender but not completely falling apart. Turn off the heat, keep covered, and let stand while you prepare the toppings. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

2. Before serving, stir in the lime juice and taste the soup, adding more salt if necessary. To serve, ladle the soup into deep bowls and garnish generously with the toppings, ending with the toasted pumpkin seeds. Serve with lime wedges for posole fans to squeeze into their soup!

(* Recipe reproduced from Vegan Eats World by Terry Hope Romero- October 2012- by permission of publisher Da Capo Lifelong Books)

Roots Rock Out, Salt Baked Carrots and Beets from Hero Food

You hear it all the time, eating healthy improves your life.

After identifying 18 foods that in his opinion can put us on a better footing, Seamus Mullen, known for his restaurant Tertulia in New York, serves us his thesis in Hero Food, How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better (Andrews McMeel, April 2012).

Seamus feels that carrots which are a key ingredient in many of his dishes "are the first sign of summer".

Before refrigeration there was salt as a curing and preservation agent.

Here's a sugary, snappy, vivid recipe from 'Hero Food'.

Salt-Baked Carrots and Beets

A few years ago we were playing around in the kitchen with salt-crusted whole fish. We made all sorts of salt crusts, some with herbs, some with scraps of ham. Somewhere along the way, I came up with the idea of cooking vegetables the same way. I remembered having tried a dish in Spain years ago called papas arrugadas, or “wrinkled potatoes,” and I seemed to recall the spuds were baked in the oven on a bed of salt. This recipe for many-colored carrots and beets takes that idea and then does what I like to do—drops a bunch of flavor into the mix. The spices and herbs make these roots rock out.

Makes enough to serve 4 as a nice side dish

1 pound kosher salt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
2 branches fresh rosemary
2 branches fresh thyme
1 bunch small carrots, trimmed
1 bunch small beets, trimmed


Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large roasting pan, combine the kosher salt, lemon zest, pink and black peppercorns, rosemary, and thyme and mix thoroughly. Add the carrots and beets and cover completely with the salt.

Bake until the veggies are cooked through and tender, 20–30 minutes depending on the size of the
vegetables. Once thoroughly cooked, remove from the oven and scrape off the skin using a dish towel or the back of a paring knife.

(* Recipe from Seamus Mullen's Hero Food 'How Cooking with Delicious Things Can Make Us Feel Better'-Andrews McMeel-April 2012, Photographs by Colin Clark)

Rosie's Vegan Curry Recipe from Home at 7, Dinner at 8

Those of us living a harried life during the working week will welcome the publication of Home at 7, Dinner at 8 (Kyle Books, March 2012) by Sophie Wright.

Let's start with perfect recipe for a Meatless Monday.

Rosie’s Vegan Curry

(the boys never knew!)

My wonderful cousin Rosie recently became a vegan. A horrible thought for us meat lovers, but an exciting challenge for a chef like me to have to come up with a recipe to not only serve to her but also my boyfriend and his meat-loving friends who had just returned from a bad soccer game and would need some serious cheering up with a decent hearty meal.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped

3 large green peppers, chopped

2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and

finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons turmeric

2 tablespoons tomato paste


1 cinnamon stick

2 x 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes

2 x 14-ounce cans green lentils, drained

1 butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch dice

(no need to peel, just remove the seeds)

1 cauliflower, cut into small florets

3 green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds

a large bunch of cilantro, coarsely chopped

juice of 1 lemon

To serve

rice or naan and plain yogurt or raita

Rosie's vegan curry

1 Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on medium heat. Add the oil to the pan and the onions, chiles, ginger, and garlic. Cook until the onions start to soften and go translucent, 4 to 5 minutes.

2 Add all the dried spices and stir to coat the onion mixture well. Cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes before adding the tomato paste, a good pinch of salt, and the cinnamon stick. Stir well. Add the canned tomatoes and lentils, reduce the heat, and let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

3 Add the vegetables, starting with those that take longer to cook. First add the butternut squash and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, then add the cauliflower and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup water at this stage if the stew is looking a little dry.

4 Just before serving, bring the curry to a boil, add the green beans, and cook until just tender. Then add the cilantro. Taste for seasoning and add the lemon juice. Stir well before serving with either rice or naan and plain yogurt or raita on the side.

To make sure this meal is vegan-friendly, use soy yogurt to serve.

Total Time: 45–50 minutes 

Preparation: 10

Cooking: 35–40

Serves 6 to 8

(* Recipe from Home at 7, Dinner at 8 by Sophie Wright- Kyle Books, March 2012, U.S Edition- photos by Romas Foord, shared with permission of the publisher)

Black Bean Chipotle Burger, Meatless Monday Recipe from Candle 69 Cookbook

My interview with the Candle 69 team (Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda) still has to take place.

I previously shared Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms, Cashew Cheese dish from their book Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant (Ten Speed Press, Fall 2011) by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. 

Today, here's another recipe so you can have a Meatless Monday dinner.

Black Bean–Chipotle Burgers 

112 cups dried black beans, rinsed and picked over

1-inch piece of kombu

2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

3 bay leaves

2 teaspoons salt

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

112 cups brown rice

3 cups water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

6 to 8 burger rolls

1 red onion, thinly sliced (optional)

Avocado slices, for serving (optional)

Makes 6 to 8 burgers


Black Bean Chipotle Burgers image p 97 (2)


Put the beans in a saucepan or bowl and add cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Cover and soak for at least 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Drain and rinse.

Put the beans, kombu, onions, chipotle powder, bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a large saucepan. Add water to cover by 3 inches and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 112 to 2 hours. Most of the liquid should be absorbed by the beans, but add a bit more water if they seem too dry. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the kombu and bay leaves.

Meanwhile, put the rice and a pinch of salt in a saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat, stir once, cover, and simmer until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high 
heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, paprika, and the remaining 
1 teaspoon of salt and season with pepper. Cook the pumpkin seeds, stirring and shaking the pan, until they are lightly toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Combine the rice, beans, and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth, adding the reserved cooking liquid from the beans as needed to keep the mixture moist enough to stick together. Return the mixture to the bowl, mix everything together, and form patties about 312 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.

To bake the burgers, preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and put the burgers on it. Brush the burgers with oil and bake until browned, 20 to 30 minutes, turning the burgers halfway through cooking. To pan-fry the burgers, coat a sauté pan with olive oil and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the burgers and cook for about 
4 minutes per side.

To grill the onion slices, lightly brush with olive oil and sauté them in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, 2 minutes per side.

Serve the burgers on toasted burger rolls with the onion slices and avocado slices, if desired.

Suggested wine pairing: LaRocca Cabernet Sauvignon, California

Farming organically in Butte and Sutter Counties for twenty-six years, LaRocca makes full-flavored wines with no added sulfites. Their Cabernet Sauvignon, at home on many a backyard picnic table, is dry and rich, with cedar and spices on the finish that pair perfectly with smoky black bean burgers.

(* Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.)

Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms, Cashew Cheese, Vegan Recipe from Candle 79 Cookbook

An interview with the Candle 79 team has been in the planning and should take place in next 10 days.

In the meantime, let me serve a second vegan helping from their book Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant (Ten Speed Press, Fall 2011) by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda.

Saffron Ravioli with Wild Mushrooms and Cashew Cheese

1 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄4 cup chopped white onion
1⁄4 teaspoon chopped garlic
1⁄4 cup chopped shallots
1⁄4 cup chopped leek, white and pale green parts
1⁄2 pound cremini, morel, or chanterelle mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

Saffron Pasta

1 teaspoon saffron
21⁄2 cups water
1 cup semolina flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons palm oil, melted
Fine yellow cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
21⁄2 cups Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce (page 116), for serving
Cashew Crème Fraîche (page 125), for serving
Minced fresh parsley, for garnish
Crispy Capers (see page 40), for garnish
Serves 6 to 8; makes about 30 ravioli

To make the filling, the day before using, put the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, shallots, and leek and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside to cool.
Drain the liquid from the cashews and rinse under cool water. Put the cashews, the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the water, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and salt in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and process until smooth. Add the mushroom mixture and pulse a few times, until the mushrooms are incorporated.
To make the pasta, soak the saffron in the water for about 30 minutes. Put the flours, egg replacer, saffron-infused water, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the palm oil and mix well. The dough should be smooth and not stick to your fingers.
Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it, a small section at a time, through a pasta machine. You may have to repeat several times to reach the desired thickness ofapproximately 1⁄8 inch. Sprinkle the surface with a small amount of cornmeal or semolina flour to prevent the dough from sticking. Cut the pasta sheets into 2-inch rounds or squares.
To assemble the ravioli, put the pasta pieces on a floured surface. Place a teaspoonful of filling in the center of each square, brush the edges of the dough with a bit of water, top with another piece of pasta, and press the edges with your fingers to seal, and then crimp with a fork. Spray the ravioli with canola oil cooking spray on one side, then flip them over and spray the other side. (If you don’t have cooking spray, brush both sides lightly with olive oil.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the ravioli until just tender, about 2 minutes.
To serve, spoon the tomato sauce into shallow bowls. Top with alternating layers of ravioli and Cashew Crème Fraîche. Scatter a bit of the parsley over the sauce, top with a spoonful of the capers, and serve at once.

Wine pairing:

Chiusa Grande Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Italy
A bright, casual red for hearty at-home suppers, this stainless steel-fermented Montepulciano from Abruzzo tastes of red berries and is scented with violet. Easy drinking with good acidity, this wine is a great regional match for Italian pasta dishes and pizzas.


Saffron_Ravioli_with_Wild_Mushrooms_and_Cashew_Cheese_image_p_68 (2)


Variation: Butternut Squash Filling

2 1⁄2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
1 fresh sage leaf, finely chopped
Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Place the butternut squash on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and toss with your hands until evenly coated. Bake the squash for 45 minutes.
Let cool, then transfer to a large bowl. Add the nutmeg and sage and mash until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Use as an alternative filling for ravioli, following the instructions above.

Roasted Plum Tomato Sauce

12 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and halved, or 1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, drained and juices reserved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 cup water
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Makes about 21⁄2 cups

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the tomatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and roast for 30 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely.
Heat the buttery spread in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, water, and salt and pepper to taste, and cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes. If using canned tomatoes, add the reserved juices to the sauce before cooking. The sauce should be fairly chunky, but if you prefer a thinner sauce, add a bit of vegetable stock, transfer to a blender, and process until smooth.
This sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Cashew Crème Fraîche
2 cups raw cashews
1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3⁄4 cup water
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
Makes about 2 cups

Put the cashews in a bowl and add enough cold water to cover them. Cover and let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
Drain the cashews, rinse under cold water, and drain again.
Transfer to a blender. Add the lemon juice, olive oil, water, and salt and process until smooth. The mixture will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Crispy Capers
1⁄2 cup capers, drained
1⁄3 cup grapeseed oil
To prepare the capers, let them dry on paper towels for 10 minutes. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the capers and decrease the heat to mediumlow.
Cook the capers, stirring often, until crispy, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to paper towels to drain.

(* Reprinted with permission from Candle 79 Cookbook: Modern Vegan Classics from New York’s Premier Sustainable Restaurant. Copyright © 2011 by Joy Pierson, Angel Ramos, and Jorge Pineda. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo credit: Rita Maas.)

Vegan Holiday, Maple Pecan Pie in the Sky Recipe from Vegan Pie in the Sky

You might know Isa Chandra Mokowitz and Terry Hope Romero for The Post Punk Kitchen.

Whether you are vegan yourself or looking for vegan baking options for some of your guests this holiday season, Vegan Pie in the Sky (Lifelong Books-Da Capo Press, November 2011) offers 75 recipes for pies, tarts and cobblers.

I previously shared their Blueberry Ginger Hand Pies Recipe today I turn to something very seasonal and in the Xmas spirit.

Maple Pecan Pie


This is the kind of pecan pie that has pecans resting in a sweet suspension, somewhere between gel and custard. We’re not going to make any apologies for the tofu in it . . . it works! This pie flies off the table at bake sales and makes even the most un-vegan Southerners weep with joy. Well, we think it’s joy.
1 recipe Single Pastry Crust (page 42), fit into a 9-inch pie plate


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup nonhydrogenated margarine
6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu (1/2 of a tetra pack)
1/4 cup cold unsweetened plain nondairy milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups pecan halves

Mape pecan pie (2)

1. First we’re going to make a caramel. In a 2-quart saucepan, mix together the sugars and the maple syrup. Heat over medium heat, stirring often with a whisk. Once small bubbles start rapidly forming, stir pretty constantly for about 10 minutes. The mixture should become thick and syrupy. It shouldn’t be boiling too fiercely; if big bubbles start climbing the walls of the pan then lower the heat a bit.

2. Add the margarine and stir to melt. Turn the heat off, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and let it cool for a bit. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the filling.

3. Crumble the tofu into a blender or food processor, along with the milk, cornstarch, and salt. Puree until completely smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender to make sure you get everything.

4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Check to see that the sugar mixture has cooled sufficiently; it’s okay if it’s a bit warm, just not boiling hot. Add the tofu mixture and the vanilla extract to the sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in the pecans to incorporate.

5. Transfer the filling to the prepared pie crust and bake for 40 minutes. When done, the pie is going to be somewhat jiggly, but it should appear to be set. Let cool, slice, and serve! No cheating and pulling pecans off the pie.

Salted Maple Pecan Pie: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt over the cooled pie.

This pie works great in tart form, too (as in the photo). Just press the crust into an 11-inch tart pan and proceed with the recipe.

You will need 'Single Loving It Pastry Crust' recipe to bake this. E-mail us if you are interested and me will send it to you.

(* Recipe from 'Vegan Pie in the Sky' by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero- Lifelong Books-Da Capo Press, November 2011- All rights reserved)

Hangover Tofu Omelet, Post Holiday Recipe from Tipsy Vegan Cookbook

After a 4 day holiday week-end, a light start on Monday is in order.

I showed the Rabelaisian side of The Tipsy Vegan (Da Capo, Lifelong Press, November 2011) by John Schlimm with his Chugging Pumpkin Soup recipe.

I follow it with the healing side of this cookbook.

The Hangover Tofu Omelet with Sautéed Chopped Bell Pepper Filling

Following an unbridled marathon of revelry and laughter, your weekend guests will be happily red-eyed with gratitude when you spring this masterpiece of an omelet on them at the brunch table. and if you haven’t yet discovered nutritional yeast, get ready to fall in love. Not to be confused with baking yeast or brewer’s yeast, this humble flake imparts a deliciously cheesy, nutty flavor.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
6 ounces extra-firm silken tofu, cubed and pressed to
remove excess water (see instructions on page 31)
1 tablespoon soy milk or other nondairy milk
1 tablespoon marsala
1 tablespoon powdered nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon tahini
1 to 2 pinches onion powder
1 to 2 pinches garlic powder
1⁄8 teaspoon turmeric
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch smoked paprika

Bell Peppers (2)

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and sauté until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

In a blender, combine the tofu, soy milk, Marsala, yeast, cornstarch, tahini, onion and garlic powders, turmeric, salt, pepper, and paprika. Blend until smooth.

In another large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, place the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil slides easily across the skillet when tilted, pour in the omelet batter and smooth the top with a spatula. Scatter the cooked bell pepper over the surface and reduce the heat to low.
Cover the skillet and cook for about 3 minutes, checking every 30 seconds to see if it’s ready to fold. When the edges have dried, lift a section to see if the omelet is set. It should be golden, but not brown. Loosen the omelet by sliding the spatula underneath it, then fold the omelet in half.

Cook for another minute, then slide the omelet onto a warm plate

(*From the book The Tipsy Vegan, by John Schlimm.  Reprinted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright © 2011.)