Monthly Archives: November 2011

Vegan “cheese” – homemade

Bread and cheese is the perfect combination to have as a snack along with a beer. Almost all cafés around here offer a selection of cheeses with bread and mustard. Then, we decided to have our own vegan cheese snack along with a beer. You can see in the picture homemade wholegrain bread with vegan cheese flavoured with dill, mustard and pepper. Most of the recipes for vegan cheese call for cashew nuts, instead we used peanuts as they contain less fat and have more proteins than cashews. Yet the combination was great and we almost could not taste the difference.

 

Now a question that you might have is what makes the peanuts become so compact. One of the key ingredients for vegan cheeses is the use of agar-agar. It is a part from the seaweed family, and fiber is one of its main components. To use it, basically you boil few agar-agar flakes in some water until they are dissolved and later if you let it cool down, you end up with the same texture as animal jelly. So by making a peanut paste, adding the agar-agar water mix and the flavour you desire, you will end up with a nice flavoured vegan cheese.

We would love that some vegetarian restaurants or cafés would offer such a great snack on their menu, unfortunately none of the ones that we frequent have something like this. Neither in natural stores we are able to buy a big variety of vegan “cheese”-like products. Are you in a similar situation? Let us know what kind of products are available in your natural store and which ones would you like to have access to. Perhaps we can get inspired and create new ways of vegan “cheese” at home.

Rainbow sandwich

A great way to start the morning is with a rainbow sandwich and a great smoothie. What do we mean by a rainbow sandwich? It’s a sandwich full of COLORS from natural ingredients. This is the best way to fight the dark and coldness of winter. We made our sandwich in layers, starting with tomatoes, champignons, cucumber, beets, rocket salad, sprouts and almond spread.

Recently we purchased the book “Color me vegan”. This book tells us that we have to eat dishes with a lot of colors, as well it states that this is the best way to get always the right nutrients for our body. This sandwich was inspired by this book so we tried to make it as colorful as we could. In later posts, we will try to impress you with yummy yummy recipes full of color!

Focaccia

Focaccia is one of the flavored breads that we like most. Usually you can mix it with black and green olives, dried tomatoes, thyme, rosemary, basil, onion, garlic, … whatever your imagination comes up with. The key point is that you flatten the dough as a pizza and pour on top some olive oil with salt and spices. In this way, the top never dries out and is flavored with all sorts of things. It goes perfectly with soups, olive paté, hummus, … or simply as a snack.

 

Ingredients:

- 400g all-purpose flour

- 300dl warm water

- 10g salt

- 10g dried yeast

- black olives or green if you prefer

- dried tomatoes

- oregano, thyme, rosemary

- black pepper

- olive oil

Procedure:

In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and yeast, later add the warm water. It should not be boiling but warm enough to accelerate the yeast process. When the mix has formed a uniform dough, leave it to rest for 10-20min. After the resting time, the dough should have doubled in size. Place it in a tray with baking paper and flatten it until 2 fingers thick. Try to stick your fingers deeply in the dough as one of the characteristics of focaccia is the small holes full of oil. Switch on the oven to 190C and add on top the olive oil with the herbs, black pepper and some more salt. Finally place on top the olives and the dried tomatoes, and if you leave it resting at this moment for 10min it will be softer. Put it in the oven and bake for 20min or until the borders are golden.

Enjoy the lovely flavored bread!

Pomegranate smoothie

 

It is the season for pomegranate. After a hot summer, the seeds have a dark red colour and they are delicious and really sweet. One of the best ways to eat pomegranate seeds is simply raw in a juice, in salads with nuts and raisins or, if you have a sweet tooth, just add some sugar.  The pomegranate tree was domesticated long long time ago and that is the reason why in almost any culture the pomegranate is present. In most ancient cultures, it is known as the fruit of fertility, prosperity and youth. It was so important in early times that even a city has its name, Granada in Spain. Nowadays cosmetic companies exploit its amazing properties by including it in facial creams, usually advertising it as antioxidant due to its high level of vitamin C.

Pomegranate smoothie combined with apple and banana

VeganMofo 2011 is over already. This was our first year and what a pity that we did not manage to publish the 20 posts required, however we were not far from that number. Now we will keep on posting with the VeganMofo category because we had some drafts that didn’t appear on time.