Friday, May 24, 2013

Vegan Spinach Hummus Wrap

I don't like to cook just for myself. Usually if I am alone a big salad or something fast and filling will do for lunch or dinner, in fact when I was in college I was known as the "rabbit" and the "bird" because of my salad meals topped with seeds and nuts! Yesterday I cooked pasta for the kids but I wanted something fresh and not cooked so I prepared a cold tortilla wrap for myself:

I spread hummus on a soft tortilla and added a bit of organic sweet relish (from Trader Joe's). On top I added a bunch of fresh spinach and rolled up everything into a wrap. I also cut some organic tomato which I could have put inside the wrap but it would have made the wrap too soggy for my taste. This lunch was satisfying and I loved the freshness and crunch of the spinach!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Coconut Banana Vegan Cake

As I wrote in a previous post, I have never been a great baker and the only cake I was preparing since the 90s was a popular and easy recipe where you used yogurt and the yogurt cup as a measurements for other ingredients. I recently bought few dairy-free yogurt cups made with coconut milk and I decided to dedicate one of them to making a cake the way I was used to...just the vegan version of it. I found a recipe on an Italian site for a vegan cake which seemed easy and required a vegan yogurt cup for measurement. The recipe goes like this (keep in mind that the "cup" refers to the actual yogurt cup):

- 1 cup vegan yogurt (coconut, almond, soy or rice)
- 3 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oi
- 1 t baking powder
- 3 small mashed bananas
 Bake in the oven at 350° for 25 minutes.

For my cake I reduced the amount of sugar to 1 cup because I used nicely ripened bananas which were already sweet. Also, I only used two bananas because they were big ones. I added a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut. After the cake cooked and cooled down I sprinkled powdered sugar on top and added one of our passion flowers from the garden as decoration (I don't think it's edible though it's an amazing flower!).

I had to cook the cake for more than the required 25 minutes because the bananas made it kinda too wet inside, even when the "toothpick test" came out dry. The taste was good but I'd rather find a different substitute for eggs, I feel that the bananas just didn't do well in this recipe and made the cake feel heavy. If I will be trying this recipe again I will rather use applesauce instead of the bananas.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Almond, Apricot and Cardamom Vegan Cookies

This is another great recipe which I found in one of my favorite cooking blogs. I love anything with cardamom so for these cookies I was happy to take out my small Ikea mortar and pestle to ground our whole cardamom pods. The recipe called for walnuts but I added chopped silvered almonds instead and they nicely fit the other flavors.

I liked the chewyness of the apricots in these cookies which are on the soft side, not the crumbly one. They also passed the children and husband test so this recipe is a keeper! 

Next time we are craving for cookies I am actually planning to modify this recipe a bit to try different flavor combinations and see whether I can come up with something interesting. Results will be posted here!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Focaccia, Part Deux

I found another great recipe for a focaccia, the result was perfect and everyone loved it! It was so soft inside and it leavened so well, I must say that the whole recipe process was interesting. My favorite part is flattening the elastic dough on the pan and imprint my fingers on it! I used an aluminum pan because I liked the elegand scalloped edges it would have imprinted on the focaccia.

The original blog post called for onions and cherry tomatoes but I instead used green olives and rosemary, my favorite focaccia toppings. The top gained a nice golden color and the inside was perfectly fluffy and airy.

I will definitively save this recipe for whenever I am craving for a soft focaccia. If you are looking for a traditional Italian focaccia recipe, this is it!