onion cake

Onion cake sounds a little weird, but it tastes rich, and creamy.  It is the perfect way to use a bunch of onions in early fall when they are harvested.  I should warn you, it will make your house smell like onions!  Onion cake is one of those things I remember buying in bakeries while visiting family in Germany.  I loved its rich, creamy, and smoky flavor.  It is somewhat similar to a quiche Lorraine, except instead of pie crust, and eggs, the onions are baked over yeast bread.  Traditionally, this recipe is not vegetarian as it usually contains bacon.  I have made this recipe a few times in the past with smoked almonds, which adds a nice crunchy texture.  This time, I decided the perfect substitute is really mushrooms!  As I have mentioned before I have been getting shiitake mushrooms from my CSA every week.  Most of the time I make shiitake bacon with them.  I use the recipe from the cookbook Isa Does It.  If you don’t have that cookbook you can find recipes here, or here.
onioncake

Recipe

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 packet of dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup Almond or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp water mixed with 2 cornstarch
  • salt
  • 2 lbs onions thinly sliced
  • 8 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup vegan sour cream (I used the Tofutti sour cream)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions

First make the shiitake bacon.  Instead of salt though I use one tablespoon of tamari, and I add two teaspoons of maple syrup.  To save time I made the them the night before.

Now make the yeast dough.  Sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and make an indent in the middle.  Add the yeast, and sugar into the center.  Warm the almond milk, and pour over the yeast. Carefully stir the yeast, and milk with a small amount of the flour.  Allow to rest for about 30 minutes.  Next add 3 tablespoons of oil, salt, and cornstarch mixture.  Knead the dough until smooth.  Cover with a damp cloth, and let the dough rest another 30 minutes, it should double in size.

In the meantime, thinly slice the onions.  In a large pan, saute with the rest of the oil until onions become glassy.  Remove from the heat, add sour cream, shiitake bacon, and spices.  Roll out the dough, and place into a greased casserole dish.  Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees until dough becomes golden brown.

mushroom cakes

chanterellesDuring my pre-vegan days I didn’t like mushrooms at all.  Actually, it was really about the texture, they are so weird and slimy.  I ate them occasionally if I didn’t really notice there presence.  After going vegan I slowly started to accept them into the “things I will eat”, group.  This summer we even joined a shiitake mushroom CSA!  When I first saw the recipe for Pfifferlings-Kuechle (chanterelle) in my cookbook, I thought I would love to try these.  The trouble is where can I get these special mushrooms?  As luck would have it a friend of mine, who discovered a trove of wild mushrooms near her home, happened to stop into the local co-op while I was there.  She was hoping to find someone that could identify, and confirm the mushrooms she found are in fact edible.  Personally, I am of the belief that if they are not in a store, and I am not being charged $9.00 a pound for them, they are probably poisonous.  My friend did find someone who could identify them as non poisonous, totally safe, edible chanterelle mushrooms.  In the past I would have said, no thank you when offered any wild mushrooms, but in the name of blogging I decided to take some home.  In the end I am glad I did, because they were wonderfully delicious!

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on chanterelles you might like to try this recipe for mushroom cakes.  We enjoyed them with fresh salad, and grilled eggplant, and zucchini.  The cakes came out perfectly, held together well, and tasted good.

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The original recipe does calls for 300 grams (about 10.6 ounces) of mushrooms, which I didn’t have.  I considered mixing them with shiitakes, but decided to halve my recipe instead.  This way I could experience the flavor of chanterelles on there own.  If you can’t get chanterelle mushrooms, try these cakes with a different variety, oyster mushrooms maybe?

Recipe

  • 2 cups (5 ounces) chanterelles thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
  • 2 cups cubed bread (about 4 slices)
  • 1/4 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds mixed with 2 tbsp. of water
  • 1/2 tsp. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

 Directions

In a large pan saute the mushrooms, and onions with a tablespoon of oil.  Cook until the onions become transparent, and most of the liquid is gone.  Add the parsley, and remove the pan from the heat.  Heat the soy milk in a small saucepan, and pour over the bread.  Cover, and allow to rest for a few minutes.  Next, mix in the cooked mushrooms.  Then add the flax seed mixture, flour, salt, and nutmeg to the bread. Form six patties out of the bread mixture.  Using the same pan heat the oil, and fry the patties on both sides on medium heat, until they become golden brown. Enjoy!

 

Blueberry Chutney

Blueberry season is one of my favorite parts of summer (well that and watermelon!), so naturally I now have a large bag of berries in my freezer waiting to be devoured.  I usually add frozen berries to my breakfast cereal, or sometimes bake with them.  As much as I love pie, and other desserts, I wanted to find a way to use the berries with savory dishes. This led me to make my own homemade chutney.  I have been using this sauce in every place I can think of, such as chickpea cutlets, inside wraps, or on veggie burgers. I am not sure I have ever made a chutney like this before so I started with this Tangy Blueberry Chutney recipe. I decided to leave out the raisins, and added fresh ginger and mint.

Recipe

  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbl. minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped mint

Directions

In a small saucepan, combine onion, garlic, ginger, sugar, and vinegar, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved.  Next add 1/2 of the berries, and simmer until mixture has a sauce-like consistency.  Add the remaining blueberries, and mint allow to cook for about 1 minute.

chutney

pizza bowl

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The recipe for this delicious and filling pizza bowl came from Isa Does it.  Basically it is brown rice topped with kale, vegan sausage, onions and garlic.  For the sausage I used the Tofurky artisan, spinach pesto.  It is topped with a cashew based sauce, sliced olives and red pepper flakes.  The only thing I changed was I cooked the garlic for the cashew sauce. 

What I love about simple meal ideas like this is being able to recreate it and make sit your own.  For this meal I followed the recipe as it was written however, I think next time I will try it with some other pizza toppings.  Maybe a veggie lovers pizza with broccoli and peppers!  You could even create your own favorite ‘cheezy’ sauce to complete the dish.  The book also suggests trying it with polenta instead of rice for a more Italian style dish.

falafel and kale salad

On a recent visit to Trader Joe’s, I discovered pre-made frozen falafel.  Of course nothing beats freshly made falafel, however I knew this would be great for a quick weeknight meal.  I decided to include them in a to kale salad with tahini dressingkalesalad.

For the kale I used Lacinato, also called Dino kale.  De-stem and cut into thin ribbons.
falafel
pomegranate seeds
avocado
sliced black olives

 

 

For the tahini dressing.
1/4 cup tahini
3 roasted garlic cloves, minced
juice of one lemon
1 tbsp water
pepper to taste

Mix together the ingredients with the dressing.  Let the salad rest in the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the kale to soften.

kalesalad2

I think this was a good use for the falafel.  Since there is no Trader Joe’s nearby I may use chickpeas next time.

winter dinner

This past Sunday started out dark and rainy.  By the end of the day it was snowing making it the perfect day to stay in and enjoy comfort food.  I baked the olive bread from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s new book Isa does it.  It smelled delicious, and resulted in a nice soft bread.  Image

For the curry butternut squash soup I used some leftover squash I had in the freezer.  It was easy to put together.  I sauteed two small onions and three cloves of garlic, then added a chopped apple until everything turned golden brown.  Next I added the squash and veggie broth.  After everything was soft and hot I added a tablespoon of curry powder.  Lastly I pureed the entire thing with my immersion blender.  We enjoyed the bread with a store bought bean dip.

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