I needed a beetroot recently but had to buy a bunch of three. I roasted the remaining beetroot and used most of it to make a big batch of Minimalist Baker’s roasted beetroot hummus. I used about half the lemon zest suggested by the recipe (because I only had one lemon and was making a double batch). I believe that it’s fine to freeze hummus so I’ve got half of this beautiful stuff in the freezer, and have been enjoying the other half on crackers and as a sandwich spread. What a gorgeous colour!
As soon as I read this recipe one One Green Planet, I knew that I had to try it. I’d never made a cheese using chickpea liquid before. The recipe was very easy to make, combining soaked cashews with the chickpea liquid, and some flavourings, before stirring over heat to make the mixture thicken, then cooling overnight. As you can perhaps see from the photos, what I ended up with was a kind of soft spreadable cheese… and that’s fine with me.
The cheese is tasty, though mild. Next time I make it I might try increasing the quantity of lemon juice and nutritional yeast a bit. But it definitely pressed all the right buttons when served with tomato slices, home-grown basil and olive oil.
Next I tried the mozzarella in a toasted sandwich. It didn’t form any long strings when I bit into it but it tastes cheesey and comforting. Again, this is totally fine by me. I guess the next step would be to try it on a vegan pizza.
I decided that it was time to have another go at making vegan pavlovas: individual pavlovas seemed easiest. This time I reduced my chickpea liquid the day before, as suggested in this recipe from The Blenderist which I followed.
I didn’t start with all the liquid from one can of chickpeas: in the past I’ve ended up with way too much meringe, so I only kept about 2/3rds of a can’s worth of liquid. Then, I forgot to measure the liquid before I reduced it, so I had to just guess when to stop: it’s possible I reduced it too far! The net result was that I ended up with enough meringue for 3 individual pavlovas, as shown here. The kids got one each and my partner and I shared the third one: such parental sacrifice. I tried to whip some coconut cream and it did thicken up a bit, but I have never had much luck getting very well-whipped coconut cream. (Do I give up too early, or is there some trick? Any advice gratefully received.) The pavlovas are topped with passionfruit pulp, kiwifruit and strawberries.
The pavlovas were a little flat, so these looked like a cross between pavlovas and pizzas! We were more interested in how they tasted, and they tasted very nice. Due to the thinness of the base, I didn’t achieve the soft fluffiness that I remember from (egg-based) pavlovas of my childhood: my dream would be to produce a base which has a crispy shell and a mallowy fluffy centre. Perhaps if I had divided my meringue into two larger portions, I would have ended up with thicker bases and some fluffiness would have resulted? I will try again someday, but meanwhile there’s always these pizzalovas to enjoy.
This is a satisfying and very tasty curry: coconut chana saag from Isa Does It, also available online from the Guardian’s website. The traditional spinach is replaced by kale: I used tuscan kale. This is an easy recipe to make, and the only change I made was to leave out the cayenne pepper so that I could be sure child #1 would eat it. We’re getting into brown rice at the moment, but this would be good over basmati rice as well.
I’ve just noticed that this makes two orange-coloured kale-containing posts in a row. I’d better do something sweet for my next post (-:
This is sticky orange chicky stir-free, from Isa Does It. I love the bright colours and the strong flavours. The seitan uses a recipe which is similar to chickpea cutlets, but steamed instead of fried or baked. I was in a hurry and didn’t mash my chickpeas very thoroughly, but everything still held together. (You can see some bigger lumps of chickpeas in some of the slices, if you look closely at the photo.) Next time I make it, I will be more patient and work on the chickpeas a bit more.
The resulting seitan was a lot softer than the chickpea cutlets, which I guess could be because the seitan is steamed (?). But I also wonder if it’s partly because I used them in the stirfry straight after making them. I have another batch in the freezer, so I will be interested to see if the texture changes after freezing.
In case you haven’t heard, some wonderful person discovered that if you keep the liquid when you drain a tin of chickpeas, and you whip up that liquid with a handheld beater, then you can make ** vegan meringue **. It’s some kind of vegan miracle. (Actually, I think it’s probably due to starch: there’s an explanation at the end of the first paragraph of this post on Seitan is My Motor.)
I heard about vegan meringue on Twitter, then immediately did some googling and found this recipe for vegan lemon meringue pie on Seitan Beats Your Meat. (As a mathematician, I loved her Pi Day reference too.) Pictured above is the pie, a mini-pie made with some leftover lemon filling and meringue topping, and one of the THREE trays of meringue kisses that I made with the rest of the leftover meringue. You won’t believe how much meringue one tin of chickpea liquid can produce.
Here we see some meringue kisses. Cute!! I did find that these kisses soaked up moisture from the air very quickly (and we have humid air in Sydney at the moment). But I followed someone’s tip which is this: store your meringue kisses in an airtight container with a few packets of dessicant (e.g. silica gel): those little packets you get with shoes or vitamins, to keep things dry. It works! The kisses were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. At most there’s a tiny hint of a bean taste, if you concentrate and try to find it, but you have to look for it pretty hard: really these just taste like meringue.
The cooked pie looked more or less the same as the uncooked pie, but the meringue was crispy. I finished baking after midnight, so we had to wait until the next evening to eat the pie. The meringue layer had softened, which is what you want for this dessert I think. The lemon layer was very lemony. I had cheated somewhat and used store-bought (vegan) shortcrust pastry, instead of making the pastry from the recipe. (I’d also baked it a little too long in the blind baking stage, but it was still yummy.) This pie was really fun to make and very tasty to eat.
To sum up: vegan meringue exists (and you don’t need to use weird egg replacer powder to make it.) Grab a tin of chickpeas and give it a go. (Remember to use the hashtag #legumeringue because it was Leigh Drew’s idea and it is genius.)
Look at these adorable mini quiches! They are gluten free, quick and easy to make, and very tasty. I made a batch of these for lunch for the family and they were very well-received by all.
The recipe comes from my sister Leigh Drew’s new book Greenilicious: 101 Ways to Love your Greens. Greenilicious is co-written by the nutritionist Amanda Benham, so it has a lot of information about the nutritional value of various greens, how best to store them etc.
Greenilicious is sure to provide you with some new ways to prepare your favourite green vegies, and it may even tempt you to bravely buy a green vegetable you’ve never bought before, and cook something delicious with it. I’m looking forward to making more Greenilicious recipes soon.