Jun
29
2015

Vegan Kitchen Hack: Non-Dairy "Sour Cream"

IT'S ALSO KIND OF LIKE NON-DAIRY YOGURT

Vegan Kitchen Hack: Non-Dairy "Sour Cream"

If you can't eat dairy products, you no longer need to give up the creamy pleasures of sour cream.

Nothing adds a creamy coolness to a spicy dish like a dollop of sour cream. Spicy chilis, soups, curries, and tacos are all made better, in my opinion, with a spoonful or two. If you cannot eat dairy products, you don't need to give up such creamy pleasures - you can easily make your own non-dairy sour cream at home. 

This coconut-based "sour cream" makes an exotic, flavourful addition to spicy dishes, and it also works well as a base for creamy dips. It's very versatile; I even tried it on waffles, with a bit of sweet fruit on top, and it was divine! The thick, creamy consistency is similar to that of a yogurt. Come to think of it, I don't know whether to call this non-dairy sour cream or non-dairy plain yogurt - but either way it's delicious!

Ingredients

1-400 mL can full-fat coconut milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

  Stir the vinegar and salt into the coconut milk. 

  Pour into a glass jar; cover with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.

  Let the jar sit in room temperature for 48 hours.

  Stir and then store in the refrigerator for up to a week. The mixture will thicken when chilled.

  Use as you would regular sour cream: on spicy dishes, as a dip, or even with waffles and fruit! The sky's the limit!

Yield: Approximately 1 1/2 cups 

This is all you need!

Cover with a cloth and then secure it with an elastic band. Then, use patience. Patience, Grasshopper, for in a mere 48 hours you will have...

Coconutty, creamy goodness!

 Want more vegan kitchen hacks? Try my Coconut Whipped Cream, my Cashew Cream, or my Amazing 2-Ingredient Chocolate Frosting. 

Jun
15
2015

Vegan BBQ Delight: Chickpea and Mushroom Burger

Vegan burgers that are easy to make. For real!

Vegan BBQ Delight: Chickpea and Mushroom Burger

vegan_burger_made_with_chickpeas_and_mushrooms

Hello, sunshine! I love summer. I love the (mostly) unscheduled days, the warmth, the hours spent outside. I also love that it's barbeque season!

Of course, we are Canadian so we do barbeque year-round, but it's so much more pleasant getting the grill going in the summer, rather than in a snowstorm. It's a bit of a moot point for me, personally, since I won't touch the barbeque with a ten-foot pole: that's my husband's job. I have a healthy fear of appliances that could set my hair on fire or singe my eyelashes off or blow up if I do something wrong with the propane tank.

That doesn't let me off the cooking hook, mind you. While the rest of the family clamours for beefy burgers, I am constantly on the search for a good vegan option. The other night I made these scrumptious, protein-rich chickpea mushroom burgers, and they were incredibly satisfying and tasty. These are very easy to make - and you probably have all the ingredients you need in your kitchen right now! Like most veggie patties, they are a little more delicate than beef burgers, but they're well worth the small amount of extra effort. They also freeze wonderfully; just wrap them separately and pop them in the freezer for a quick weeknight supper. 

If you - like me - are terrified of the grill, these can be made in a frying pan on the stove, just add a touch of olive oil in the pan to prevent sticking.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water - OR 1 egg
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1-250 gram package white mushrooms, sliced
1-19 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tablespoons flour (can use gluten-free, if necessary)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
olive oil for brushing

 

Directions

  In a small bowl, whisk together ground flax and water and set aside in the refrigerator. (Non-vegan option: fork-beat one egg.)

  Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and add one of the garlic cloves, sauteeing until browned and fragrant. Add mushrooms and saute until soft and most of the liquid has evaporated, about ten minutes. 

  Place flax/ water mixture, sauteed mushrooms, chickpeas, carrot, flour, salt, pepper, and remaining garlic clove in a food processor. Pulse until combined, but still chunky. Do not over-process or you'll get hummus!

  Using your hands, form the mixture into four patties. Refrigerate until needed.

  When ready to grill, brush patties with olive oil. Using a vegetable grill pan over high heat, cook for 5-7 minutes per side. 

  NOTE: use a gentle hand and a vegetable grill pan for best results! 

  These can also be cooked on a frying pan on the stove - just add a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking, and cook for 10 minutes per side over medium heat.

  Serve on a crusty bun with all your favourite burger toppings!

Makes 4 large patties

Want more vegan barbeque ideas? Try my  Quinoa and Black Bean Burger, my Portobello "Not Dog", or my Grilled Eggplant.

RELATED: Pair This Burger With This Best Ever Guacamole

Jun
08
2015

Low Sugar Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

SURPRISE! THEY'RE VEGAN!

Low Sugar Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Vegan_chocolate_chip_muffins

I think my children are in what we call a "growth phase," although I have a sinking feeling that this is less of a "phase" and more of a "way of life for the next eight or nine years." We haven't even entered the teen years and my boys are already eating me out of house and home. 

I'm not complaining, though; I feel that it's karmic payback for the picky eating phases we went through, years ago. The boys are ravenous all the time and they mow their way through meals and snacks like there's no tomorrow. Last Friday I optimistically made banana bread, thinking it would carry me into Monday at least; by Saturday it was a mere shadow of its former self. I was short on time but I wanted some nice homemade snacks for the kids to munch on after their karate practice.

I pulled out an old cookbook that my mother had given me when I moved out of the house, many years ago. It was published by her church in the early eighties, and consists of recipes submitted by church ladies - potluck favourites, mostly. Some of these recipes are suspect - tuna salad made with jello, for example - but the baked goods are universally beloved. I found this recipe for Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins, and decided to switch it up a little. I made it vegan, cut down on the sugar, added some flavour, and the result was fantastic!

As my kids talked about how much they liked them, I dropped the bomb on them: guess what, they're vegan! My younger son sighed and said, "Why did you tell us? You ruined it for me!" Then he proceeded to finish off the batch. Next time, I'm tripling the recipe. 

Ingredients

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup almond milk (nut-free option: coconut, soy, or dairy milk)
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water (non-vegan option: use one egg in place of flax and water)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (non-vegan option: use 1/4 cup melted butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chocolate chips
 
Directions

  Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or grease 12 muffin tins.

  In a small bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 10 minutes.

  In another small bowl, whisk together ground flax and water; refrigerate until needed. (Non-vegan option: fork-beat one egg and set aside.)

  In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add melted coconut oil (or butter), vanilla extract, and flax/ water mixture (or fork-beaten egg).

  Stir in oats and milk until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

  Divide batter amongst prepared muffin tins and bake for 15 minutes.

  Enjoy! 

Need kid-friendly snacks? Try Cranberry Blueberry Bran Muffins, Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies, or Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf.