Wednesday, November 27, 2013

vegan thanksgiving recipe round-up

Thanksgiving-ish Recipe Round-Up.

Have a seat, take a breath and check out these relatively simple, plant based recipes.
Including a few for breakfast. 
'Cause, you know, most important meal of the day and all...

Vegan Pumpkin-Walnut Sticky Buns

Monday, November 25, 2013

rosemary-balsamic roasted sunchokes & beets

because winter is long and one can only eat so many turnips...
Rosemary-Balsamic Roasted Sunchokes & Beets
Roast-y, root-y, gorgeous.

There are a lot of roots out there and it's time to start eating more of them. Over the past few years I've taught myself to love a long list of previously maligned and ignored tubers. Radishes are now a current obsession of mine; the mere thought of a world without them gives me panicky heart palpitations. Turnips and rutabagas have become an inexpensive winter go-to. Even the intimidating and somewhat confusing celeriac has made it in to the rotation. 
But sunchokes have held a steady, lonely spot on my "learn to love" list for too long. 
Time for a change.
What's the best way to dip a proverbial toe in the water with this little root?
Roasting of course. 
And let's throw some beets in, for good measure.  

Beets and sunchokes, pre roasting.

Recipe notes:
Sunchokes do not need to be peeled (hooray for less work),  
just make sure to scrub them thoroughly before slicing. 
I used heirloom beets in the original recipe, but red beets would work just as well. 
Though be prepared for a little more color bleeding (read: pink roasted sunchokes).

Balsamic-Rosemary Roasted 
Jerusalem Artichokes & Beets
(serves 4)
1 bunch of medium beets (about 4-5), 
scrubbed and peeled
2 large sunchokes, washed and scrubbed
2Tbsp olive oil
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4tsp sea salt
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary 
(approx. 2Tbsp)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Rinse, pat dry and finely mince rosemary leaves.
Wash and scrub Jerusalem artichokes thoroughly and slice into roughly 1" pieces.
 Slice each beet into 1/2" wedges.
Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and 1Tbsp of the fresh rosemary.
Place sunchokes and beets in a large mixing bowl; add dressing, toss to combine. 
Spread coated sunchokes and beets evenly onto a large rimmed baking sheet.
Roast for 35-40 minutes, flipping halfway through to let the 
sunchokes brown on both sides.
Test for doneness by poking them with a fork.
If it goes in easily, they're done.
Sprinkle the reserved rosemary over top before serving. 


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Vegan Pumpkin-Walnut Sticky Buns

tuning out the (orange) noise...
Pumpkin-Walnut Sticky Buns.
Ending my seasonal pumpkin boycott.

We all suffer from pumpkin fatigue this time of year. You can't take half a step without running into something that has no business being pumpkin flavored.
I mean, pumpkin candy canes? Seriously??? That's just gross.
This annual pumpkin over-stimulation (not as dirty as it sounds...) reaches it's peak right around the week before halloween and doesn't let up until the thanksving leftovers are gone. So, as a result, I'm on a passive pumpkin boycott from October to December. I usually make one holiday pie of the pumpkin variety and that's it.
But the thing is, I ACTUALLY LIKE PUMPKIN.
So this year I'm tuning out the (orange) noise.
This year I'm making/eating pumpkin things.
Not because everyone else is, but in spite of it.
So there.
And it all starts with sticky buns...

Risen dough, turned out onto a prepared work surface.

Recipe notes
This is a slight modification of my original sticky bun recipe. Which is, in turn, a variation of this soft pretzel recipe.
Keep on evolving, folks! 
If using fresh pumpkin more power to 'ya but the moisture content is a bit higher, so you might need to add a little extra flour to keep the dough from getting too sticky. 
If whole wheat floats your boat, sub out 1c of  all purpose for 1c whole wheat flour.
The recipe calls for a stand mixer, but with more elbow grease it can be done by hand. 
You can find hand mixing instructions in the 
original soft pretzel recipe.  

Topped and ready to be rolled and sliced.

Swirly goodness.

Sticky Buns
(makes 7-9 large rolls)

For the dough:
4c all purpose flour
1/4c pumpkin puree 
1 1/4c warm water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/3c  + 1 tsp organic sugar
1/2tsp sea salt
1Tbsp olive oil

extra oil for greasing the bowl

For the sticky bun filling:
1/4c room temp vegan butter
1/3c packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/3c raw walnut pieces
1tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

extra butter for greasing baking dish and topping pre baked rolls

Measure 1 1/4c warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Sprinkle in the yeast and 1tsp of the organic sugar and whisk to combine.
Proof yeast mixture for 10 minutes or until frothy.
Add flour, remaining 1/3c of sugar, sea salt, pumpkin puree and olive oil to the bowl.
Mix at low to medium low speed for approximately 8-10 minutes.

You may need to stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the dough 
off of the hook or the sides of the bowl.

Time for the oven.

The dough should be smooth, elastic, not sticky and  pull away easily from the bowl.
If  too dry, add water a few drops at a time.
If too wet, add extra flour a pinch at a time.
Once dough is mixed, roughly form into a ball and place in a large well oiled bowl.
The dough will roughly double, so be sure your bowl is large enough.
Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm dry place (inside of an unheated oven with the light on works perfectly) for 1 hour.

Grease a 8" square or round glass, ceramic, or heavy duty aluminum baking dish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
Shape roughly into a rectangle.
Use a lightly floured rolling pin and roll dough out until it is about 1/4" thick,
maintaining the rectangular shape of the dough. 
Using your hands, spread the 1/4c of butter over the surface of the dough. 
It is ok if there are larger bits of butter here and there, just make sure that the butter 
covers the entire surface of the dough, up to the edges. 

Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter covered dough, covering the entire surface. 
Do the same with the ground cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sprinkle walnuts over top, lightly pressing them down into the dough. 
Roll the dough, from the longer end, into a tight cylinder. 
Do not apply much pressure to the dough while rolling, 
but make sure it is tight enough where all of the layers are touching.
Use a pastry cutter or sharp knife to divide the rolled dough into 7-9 equal sized pieces, depending on desired thickness.
Place the sliced rolls into the prepared baking dish and top with a few bits of butter.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Oh yes, this will do.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Raw Fennel-Balsamic Marinated Carrot Ribbons

because sometimes you need to bring the fancy...
Raw Fennel-Balsamic Marinated Carrot Ribbons.
The very fanciest of (carrot) pants.

It's time to up your carrot game a little. Shredded, sliced, raw and roasted are all tried and true, but ribboned? That's new and exciting territory. Fancypants territory. Just arm yourself with a vegetable peeler and get ribboning. If you can get your hands on heirloom carrots a) lucky you! and b) use them! The colors are gorgeous and the flavors are more complex than a traditional carrot. That said, any carrot will work in the recipe, just be sure they are at peak freshness. Once marinated, the carrots are a bright and flavorful addition to sandwiches or salads and make for a stunning side. 
Fancy raw carrots for Thanksgiving, anyone? 
We can't JUST eat biscuits and pie all day...

Oh yes, I brought the fancy.

Fennel-Balsamic Marinated Carrot Ribbons
(makes about 2 cups)

3-4 medium sized carrots, scrubbed and peeled
2Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2tsp dried or fresh fennel
1tsp fennel seeds
1/4tsp organic sugar 
1/4tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste
Using a vegetable peeler, peel carrots lengthwise into ribbons.
In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, sugar and salt.
Add carrot ribbons to bowl and stir, or use your hands to combine. 
Sprinkle fennel and seeds over the top and give it a quick stir.
Cover bowl tightly and allow to marinate in the fridge overnight. 
Will keep for up to a week in the fridge.