Making vegan Macarons for the first time!

IMG_4640

French macarons (not to be confused with coconut macaroons) are a meringue based sandwich cookie with almond flour. They are quite popular and come in all different kinds of flavor combinations. They are supposedly difficult to make even when not vegan. Vegan macarons were once believed to be impossible to make, because there was no good vegan alternative to meringues. But now there is!

You may recall my post about magical bean juice (also referred to as aquafaba in vegan circles) for making meringue cookies. You can do the same thing with these! I didn’t make up my own recipe since I’ve never made these before, but I still want to share the recipe I used and my results.

This is the recipe I used but I changed the flavors, colors, and frosting recipe. It worked perfectly for me, even on my first try. I personally feel like it it might have had a lot to do with the weather, it was a great sunny day. I found this recipe from a group all all about making vegan meringue and using aquafaba.

I chose to make lavender agave frosting and used a super fruit jelly in the middle from Trader Joe’s.

IMG_3930

The texture came out so great. The frosting I made was a little runny, so the recipe I am including here is changed to account for it to be better.

IMG_4638

The recipe for the frosting is as follows:

  • 1 tbsp agave
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp lavender extract
  • 3 tbsp almond milk

You just need to mix everything together.

IMG_3932

in the oven almost done

IMG_3937

out of the oven

IMG_3935

close up of the feet

I absolutely loved these, and the best part is they are automatically gluten free!

I’m deep in the midst of making food for volunteers at Girls Rock RI this week, stay tuned for a post about that soon!

Advertisements

Vegan Mofo 2014: Pizza day! (Day 26) Walnut Meat Cheeseburger Pizza!

photo 1 (5)

I think this is one of the prettiest pizzas I’ve ever made. So many colors and it was amazingly tangy, cheesy, crunchy and meaty all in one bite! The crust is the same pretzel crust that I made on this pizza too, because I realized it’s my favorite pizza crust now whether it’s pretzel dough or not.

Oh man, I made this awhile ago and now I want it again. My mouth is watering thinking of it, but I am also feeling a bit lazy today, so that’s not going to happen.

😦

Ingredients:

One batch pretzel pizza crust dough (recipe here)

1 batch of the walnut meat (recipe here)

Sauce:

1/2 cup canned tomato sauce

  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yellow mustard

Other fixings:

  • 1 dill pickle, sliced into thin circles
  • 3/4 cup daiya cheddar cheese shreds
  • 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage

Directions:

  1. After making the batch of walnut meat, turn the oven up to 450 degrees F.
  2. Roll out the dough into a large circle and place on a pizza pan.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients and spread across the crust.
  4. Sprinkle the walnut meat all over.
  5. Place pickle circles around the pizza.
  6. Sprinkle 1/2 cup daiya cheddar on top, then sprinkle the lettuce and cabbage, and top with another 1/4 cup of daiya.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

photo 2 (6)

850X315_g3_fb-1

Vegan MoFo day 8: Meaty Meatless Monday-Rosemary Agave Ham Seitan Loaf

photo (4)

For those who might be reading my blog and be new to the idea of veganism and vegan food, I’d like to offer a definition of what seitan is:

Seitan: a vegan mock meat (or meat substitute) made from wheat gluten. It has a firm and somewhat rubbery texture. It is typically made by making a dough (main ingredient: vital wheat gluten) with a variety of dry and wet ingredients and be made to substitute many different meats. Seitan needs to be cooked in a broth for a fairly long time in order to form properly, but the method in which you can do that varies. I have made seitan in a crockpot and been able to go about my own business most of the day, but I’ve also made it in the oven on low temperatures and had to stick around and be more careful. You can also boil it on the stove, and then saute or bake it, but that requires the most care and time. It is probably one of the most advanced types of foods you will consider making as a vegan concerning the cooking skills required to make it.

This recipe was adapted from here. It came about from the need for a vegan ham I could make myself. Next Sunday I plan on using it in a recipe for brunch. This would work really well if you make another sweet glaze for it and use it as a roast or something. I didn’t try that (yet!) but it can essentially be used in multiple ways and serve many purposes. As always with seitan, if you can’t use it all within a week, wrap the pieces up in plastic wrap (and maybe a plastic bag too) and freeze until needed.

Recipe

Ingredients:

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 1/4 cup soy flour
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crushed between fingers

Wet Ingredients:

1/2 cup hot water

  • 3 tbsp vegan bac’un bits
  • 1/2 block extra firm tofu crumbled into pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp agave

For the cooking broth:

1 cup vegetable broth

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp marmite (a yeast extract that can be found in your grocery’s British international section if it has one)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegan poultry seasoning blend
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke

Directions:

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl or your electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
  2. In a blender, place the hot water, bac’un bits and whir the blender on a high setting until the bits have combined with the hot water as much as possible. Add the tofu, cold water, soy sauce, liquid smoke, tomato paste, and agave and blend.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and run the mixer with the dough hook for about ten minutes. Alternately, you can knead it by hand for about 15 minutes, I’ve done it before, it takes a lot of elbow grease, but is possible. It is more difficult to knead than bread, makes your hands smell a bit funny, and can make quite a sticky mess on the surface you are kneading it on.
  4. Let the dough sit covered for an hour.
  5. In the meantime, prepare the cooking broth. Place the broth, water, marmite, and agave together in a saucepan.
  6. Heat over medium heat until the agave and marmite melt into the other liquids.
  7. Take off the heat and stir in the seasoning blend, sesame oil, ketchup, and liquid smoke. Set aside.
  8. After the hour of letting the dough sit is over, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  9. Knead the dough for another ten minutes. The dough should be smooth.
  10. Take the whole ball of dough and place into an oiled loaf pan. Press down with your hands. Pour the broth over the seitan. 
  11. Cover the pan with foil and place in the oven.
  12. Immediately after placing in the oven, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees F.
  13. Bake for three hours.
  14. With a good spatula, loosen the loaf and flip the seitan so that side that was the bottom is now the top and facing up. Re-cover with the foil.
  15. Turn the heat back up to 325 degrees again and bake for another 30 minutes.
  16. After the 30 minutes, flip again, re-cover, and bake for 15 minutes.
  17. After the 15 minutes, flip for the last time and re-cover and bake for a final ten more minutes or until the broth has been fully absorbed into the seitan.
  18. Take out of the oven, let it cool slightly. Slice as desired and use in other recipes, such as my french toast, rosemary “ham” and cashew cheese sandwich coming next Sunday! I love freezing seitan wrapped in plastic wrap and in ziplock bags to save for later when my recipes call for it, as mentioned in the beginning of my post.

180x180_g1-1

Simple Roasted Chickpeas with Agave Mustard!

Before I went vegan I was obsessed with honey mustard. In fact, I used to be a honey mustard fiend. Luckily for me, it’s easy to make a vegan version. I just mix vegenaise, yellow mustard, and agave and it comes out pretty much the same. Today I made some of it to dip a pretzel into…and then I was like “hmmm this would be amazing on chickpeas” so I whipped this recipe up.

Image

Basically what I did was, well, I will just format it like a recipe. Here it is:

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and patted dry a bit
  • 2 tbsp vegenaise
  • 2 tbsp prepared yellow mustard, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp agave syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place chickpeas in a shallow baking dish in a single layer.
  3. Mix 2 tbsp vegenaise, 1 tbsp yellow mustard, and 1/2 tbsp agave into a small bowl and stir until combined.
  4. Pour over the chickpeas and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Place in oven for about 25 minutes.
  6. Take out after 25 minutes, stir, and add the other tbsp of yellow mustard and stir again until incorporated.
  7. Place back into the oven for another 20 minutes or so. You may want to check after 10 minutes to make sure they’re not burning…but they should not be unless your oven is hotter than mine.
  8. Let cool for a few minutes and eat while hot, they’re best right then!