Raspberry Oat Cake

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Last summer, we spent a day at a “Pick Your Own” farm. Ben had never been to one before and, I’ll be honest, went a little overboard. Every time I turned around he was in a different vegetable patch madly pulling at the ground. I found him in the cornfields with arms full of ears of corn or wielding a knife cutting cauliflowers like this was the last crop to ever grow. But when we got to the berries it was my turn to go crazy. I felt like I was on an episode of Supermarket Sweep! Running up and down the aisles, grabbing ripe berries before the timer went off, pushing small children out the way. I was in the zone.  Ben of course was gathering berries too, but when I came back he had about 15 berries in his bucket and red juice on his face.

I gathered buckets and buckets of raspberries.

We made jam, desserts and froze a bunch of them. So many so that we are STILL eating them now. Or we were.

This is the last of them.

Just in time to get to my war rooms and figure out my berry gathering strategy for this year.

This recipe is an adaptation from Kris Holechek’s Have Your Cake and Vegan Too.

This book is so highly recommended. If you like to bake vegan desserts, you need to check out this book. I have tried a few recipes from here now and they have always turned out great! This one is a personal favourite. It’s not too sweet, it’s tasty enough for snack, dessert or a quick breakfast on the go.

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Raspberry Oat Cake
 
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Adapted from Have Your Cake and Vegan Too! By Kris Holechek
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (454 g) of frozen raspberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup (100 g) all purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ cup ( 45 g) wholewheat flour
  • ½ cup (50 g) quick rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ cup (62.5 ml) melted vegan butter, or coconut oil
  • ⅔ cup (157 ml) soy milk or non dairy milk of your choice
  • ¼ tsp white vinegar
  • ⅔ cup (133 g) white sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F).
  2. Grease and line a loaf pan.
  3. Mix together flours, oats, baking powder, soda, salt and spices in a large bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, add melted butter, non dairy milk and vinegar. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to curdle.
  5. Mix in sugars and vanilla extract.
  6. Toss frozen raspberries in frozen mixture to coat them in flour.
  7. Add liquid to dry ingredients and mix until just combined, no longer.
  8. Pour in to loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool and serve!

 

 

Soup and Bread Sundays: Vegan Cornbread

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When Ben and I first started dating, he told me that since he was little he had dreamed of being a frontiersman. I had assumed it was the rugged lifestyle, the hands on hard work and the independence that drew him in, but it turns out that he really just wants to eat food over an open fire. Specifically, he read about pan bread made with cornmeal that the frontiersman used to eat and the idea of cooking bread over a fire in the wide open enthralled him.

I assume the pan bread that he was talking about was something called corn pone, a sort of pancake made with cornmeal and bacon drippings. But, since Ben had never really had anything with cornmeal in it before, I decided first to introduce him to corn pone’s fancier and slightly more refined cousin, cornbread.

I remember watching his face the first time he ate it- excitement, confusion, contemplation and finally acceptance. It definitely wasn’t what he was expecting. But, as time has gone on, he’s really grown to love it- so much so that he wanted to know how to make it himself. And now, he’s even trying his hand at DIY.

Maybe there’s a frontiersman in that man yet.

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Cornbread
 
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Barely adapted from http://www.theppk.com/2007/10/vegan-cornbread/
Author:
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (220g) yellow cornmeal
  • ½ cup (60g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ cup (60g) whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 2 cups (480 ml) soymilk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernals
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F)
  2. Grease and flour an 8x8 pan or line with parchment (baking) paper.
  3. In a bowl, wisk together the soymilk and the vinegar and set aside to curdle.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (including sugar).
  5. Add the oil to the soymilk mixture.
  6. Whisk wet mixture well until bubbly (about 2 minutes)
  7. Pour the wet ingredient into the dry and mix together using a large spoon.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan and bake 30-35 minutes.
  9. Cool on a rack.
  10. Slice into squares.

 

Friday Night Dinners: Tempeh Meatball Subs

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I hated meatballs as a kid. They were essentially meatloaf masquerading in as spheres. I remember them being served on toothpicks at dinner parties and infiltrating my otherwise perfectly good spaghetti. I remember recoiling in horror the first time I saw someone willingly eat a meatball sub.

I couldn’t have thought of something more horrific.

Oh, how times have changed.

The thick, flavourful tomato sauce, the little bites of savoury goodness, soft white bread with a crusty exterior, melty cheese.

I get it now.

And I’m craving it now.

They sure aren’t pretty. But they are definitely a perfect Friday night dinner.

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Friday Night Dinners: Tempeh Meatball Subs
 
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Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8 oz tempeh, simmered in water for 10 mins, cooled, and chopped finely
  • ¼ cup (25 g) quick oats
  • ¼ cup (15 g) nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup (60 g) vital wheat gluten
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 TBSP Italian seasoning
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP vegan worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP HP sauce (or A1 steak sauce, or BBQ sauce)
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 120ml dry white wine
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste (puree)
  • 100ml water
  • 1-2tsp caster sugar (to balance acidity)
  • 1 crusty baguette
  • Vegan meltable cheese (I used Vegusto No Moo Melty)
Instructions
  1. Mix cooled and grated tempeh in a large bowl with oatmeal, nutritional yeast, gluten, onion, garlic, and spices.
  2. Add soy sauce, worcestershire sauce and HP sauce and mix together with your fingers.
  3. Heat oil in a large frying pan over med-low heat.
  4. Shape tempeh mixture into 36 small balls.
  5. Fry in oil for 15 mins, turning regularly, until nicely browned on all sides.
  6. Meanwhile, to make tomato sauce, mix finely chopped onion and garlic together in a pot with oil.
  7. Cook over medium heat until onions are golden, but not burnt.
  8. Add tomato puree and cook for another minute.
  9. Add tomatoes, wine, water and 1 tsp of sugar.
  10. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Season to taste.
  12. Add meatballs in tomato sauce and simmer for another hour.
  13. Sauce should be lovely and thick at this point.
  14. Place some shredded cheese of your choice on the baguette, top with hot tempeh meatballs and sauce.
  15. Enjoy and wipe your chin!

 

 

Fluffy Tea Biscuits (Scones)

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I speak English.

Ben speaks English.

But there are times when I can’t understand a single word that he says to me. I mean, I understand the words coming out of his mouth, but I have no idea what they mean.  And then sometimes he tries to explain those words with another string of words that mean nothing to me.

My family is from an island in Canada called Newfoundland. Newfoundland is known for its thick accent, unlike any other in Canada but very much, I’ve discovered,  like an Irish accent. There are a lot of British and Irish roots in Newfoundland.  We have traditional fry ups, a love of sausages, pubs and fish & chips.  Coronation street is on heavy rotation and I can quote more episodes of Are You Being Served? than any self-respecting Brit. But there are times when the cultural gap is so wide that Ben might as well be speaking another language. It makes for some hilarious conversations.

Here is a small set of examples:

Sweaters are jumpers.

A toque is a beanie or bobble hat.

And, what I know as a beanie (a skullcap with a propeller) doesn’t exist.

Pants are trousers and underwear are pants- which has led to many embarrassing situations, for example:  “Oh no, I’ve got a stain on my pants”.

A vest is a waist-coast and a tank-top is a vest.

And, I still haven’t figured out what the hell a string vest is.

Don’t ever call it a “fannypack” or children everywhere will laugh at you… instead, call it the much more respectable name of “bumbag”.

For a vehicle, it’s boot and bonnet instead of trunk and hood

HP sauce is brown sauce

Ketchup is tomato or red sauce

Tomato paste is puree, tomato puree is passata and pasta sauce is tomato sauce (yes, I know, that is ALSO ketchup!)

Pickles are gherkins,

A zuchhini is a courgette,

Cilantro is coriander,

Eggplant is aubergine,

And don’t even get me started on the chips, crisps and French fry debate.

And no, you incredibly rude North American, it’s not “can I get a… “

It’s “may I have a…”.

And, finally, these tea biscuits. Which Ben thought were going to be crackers, because crackers are called biscuits in England and cracker isn’t a word that exists… well not with any polite connotation, anyway.

It turns out that these are scones.

But, whatever it is that you call them, we can agree on one thing, they are delicious.

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Tea Biscuits (Scones)
 
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Fluffy tea biscuits or scones
Author:
Serves: 10 medium biscuits
Ingredients
  • 2 cups (200 g) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP white (caster) sugar
  • ⅓ cup (75 g) vegetarian shortening or vegan butter (stick not tub)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soy)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the shortening or vegan butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. To ensure they stay extra fluffy, place freezer for 10 minutes to ensure vegan butter stays nice and cold.
  4. After 10 minutes, gradually stir in milk until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface, and knead just until dough comes together (5 times or so). The less you handle the dough, the fluffier they will become.
  6. Pat or roll dough out to 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
  7. Cut biscuits with a large cutter or juice glass dipped in flour.
  8. Repeat until all dough is used. Brush off the excess flour, and place biscuits onto an ungreased baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges begin to brown.