Friday, August 31, 2007

Roasted vegetables and oat pancakes

Hello everyone:)

My name is Christina and I'm new to the vegan cook-a-long though I'm "only" vegetarian but frequently cook vegan meals so I thought I would fit right in here;) I currently live in Scotland but will be moving to Norway in about a month's time.

First off; my own recipe for roasted vegetables. I had to use up some of the produce we get in our weekly organic fruit and veggie box; apparently, I don't think we eat much potatoes or carrots because we always end up with lots of them left by the time we get the new box.
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (I think it's about 390 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 10 small carrots
  • 12 chestnut mushrooms
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 6 shallots (or very small onions), peeled
  • 1/2 head of garlic, divided into single cloves but not peeled
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 5 cm (about 2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons vegan ghee or olive oil
  • seasoning: salt + pepper and herbs/spices to taste
  1. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Wash and/or peel your produce. I had to peel my carrots as I swear they had half a tonne of dirt on them that didn't come off after vigorous scrubbing. Otherwise I prefer my veggies "au natural" ;) This is what you should have:
  2. picture:
  3. Cut all vegetables into similarly sized chunks (about 1 inch cubes) EXCEPT the potatoes which should be sliced fairly thinly. I didn't bother chopping the mushrooms as they are best left whole (also prevents them burning/cooking faster than the other ingredients). Sprinkle your seasoning/herbs/spices and 3 tablespoons of vegan ghee (it's the only "fat" I have at home as I'm trying to empty our cupboards before we move) on the veggies. Using your (clean) hands, distribute the oil and seasoning evenly between the ingredients. I try to "hide" the ingredients that may cook faster (like garlic cloves, mushroom and shallots) under the ones that take longer (i.e. potatoes, carrots). Here's what it looks like before it goes in the oven:
  4. pictures
  5. Now bake in the oven for between one, and one and a half hour. Check your veggies every so often (every 30 minutes?) and have a stir around with a spatula. You know they are done when the potatoes taste cooked. Here's what it should look like by the end:
  6. picture
  7. Now enjoy! We had about half this baking tray for dinner with bread and hummus, nam! (And froze the rest for a lazy rainy day;) Depending on the seasoning; this can be a very versatile dish. Here are some suggestions:
  • Asian: replace salt with soy sauce and add some pickled ginger after the veggies are cooked and maybe some sweet chilli sauce?
  • Indian: sprinkle curry powder and some seasoning such as garam masala before you roast the veggies.
  • Italian: mix dried herbs such as basil/sage/oregano with the oil before roasting (nb: dried herbs may "burn" in the oven if not properly mixed with oil)
  • Mexican: sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and coriander spices before roasting.
hum:) the variations are endless! Serve on top of rice, with pasta, with bread, in a wrap, etc... Hope you will enjoy this recipe.

Thought I should also include a sweet recipe and one that is not my own so I thought of an oatmeal banana pancake recipe. Here's the link:

I didn't do any alterations to the recipe. I thought I could at the very least include pictures of the steps and my "recommendations" ;)

Easy, peasy: just blended the ingredients. I was surprised there was no baking powder involved....

Cooked my pancakes in a pan oiled with sunflower oil, waited until the first side showed signs of bubbles on the surface then turned them over. I tried to handle them as little as possible as I know this easily could make them "heavy" and since there was no baking powder in the recipe that worried me a bit.

Served them with vegetable spread, maple syrup and pecan nuts......heaven!

Ok, here are my thoughts: the pancakes are not very "fluffy" but still tasted nice. I think you could vary the taste by using a more or less mature banana. I was surprised I had to cook them on higher heat then what I'm used to (heat 5 on my hob, 6 is the highest) otherwise they seemed like they would be a bit "raw". Actually, because of the banana, I guess, they do taste a bit "undercooked" but maybe that's just me... The recipe yielded 10 medium pancakes. I had 4 for lunch that day and toasted 4 the morning after (fitted well in my toaster and didn't disintegrate). I think they are easily adaptable as you could put a pinch cinnamon in them or maybe a pinch of cardamom? This is a keeper in my books as they feel quite virtuous and I guess if they're served with fresh fruit they would be quite healthy....definitely beats porridge in terms of "wickedness" but ingredient-wise they're not that different.


Ok, hope someone tries one of the recipes and sorry for the long rambling post (apologies for any grammatical/orthographic errors; English is not my first language). If anyone has suggestions for how to use up chickpea (gram) flour, buckwheat flour, oats, soy flour and cornmeal flour; PLEASE share! We're moving in a month's time and I would hate to have to throw away any food. Cheers:)

All the best,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Curry Dish - Close to the Real Recipe

[something's amiss with the photo thing on Blogger, so i will post my photos later. If you do want to see them now, click here or here]

Last night, i had a taste for curry, so i looked up the recipe again and saw that while i didn't have all the ingredients it asked for, i did have the staples. I do admit i was creative with the recipe, but got the heart of it. That's why i love making curries - i can improvise easily and still have a good dish. Plus, i can use up some veggies that might otherwise go bad!

So, instead of chickpeas (i ran out), i used tofu that i treated like paneer. And, since i had a bit of zucchini and rapini left, i used that as well. I did add the apple, which was a new thing for me. I quite liked it, though. It added a nice flavour and texture to the dish. I didn't use coconut or raisins but the tomatoes and apple, i thought, provided the sweet and more gentler flavours than the curry spices.

All in all, a good and simple comfort food dish for me. I usually like my curry dishes more heated, but this hit the spot for the mood i was in. I have to admit that i used more than the 'curry powder' the recipe called for - i also added ground cumin, ginger, ground coriander, tarragon, fenugreek and a dash of chili powder.

I made enough for leftovers for lunch, which always is a nice treat. The curry saturates nicely into itself and the rice, and it's so much better than a boring salad or sandwich!

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Friday, August 24, 2007

apples, tomatoes and desiccated coconut

I made this week's recipe just in time. I used curry paste instead of powder, skipped the chickpeas, green peas and raisins, but otherwise followed the recipe. The apple and tomato balance each other out nicely.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007


This wound up being the perfect 'just home from vacation' dinner - as we had everything either in the cupboard, garden or freezer...

cook the onions and apples in a little olive oil...
add a few green peppers...
add the curry powder...
...then the tomatos
then the chickpeas...
and finally some green peas...
I had a banana from the hotel breakfast on the go - tomatos and cucumbers from the garden and sunflower seeds and raisins in the pantry... My favorite topping was the cucumber - but we tried the banana and it wasn't bad...
serve it over rice...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Vegan Curry

I'll be making this for dinner tonight and thought y'all might like to try it too...

I'll post some pics of my version soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Presto Pesto!

You know I can't stand suspense - I almost always read the last chapter first and even watch the end of a movie first if I think it will be the least bit stressful for me to watch it - I know this drives some (most) people crazy - but I'm a very calm person and I don't like to upset the equilibrium...

So, as soon as anyone posts a recipe - I can't wait to try it - even if I don't have the exact ingredients - I just can't wait until I make a trip to the store...

So - I made the yummy Pesto Potato Salad with a few (minor) changes:

I didn't have fresh basil - so I used dried - I googled it first as I'd never heard of making pesto with dried basil and found this - so I went ahead with the dried basil. I used red potatoes and red onions because that's what I had in the cupboard - I also didn't have white balsamic vinegar - so I used regular balsamic vinegar...

And with all those changes I had a very nice Sunday dinner side dish...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans

Good things gro-o-ow, in On-tar-i-o! Good things grow in other places, too! Someone brought me this lovely bush from the farmer's market near work yesterday:

Basil smells so good. People kept commenting on the delicious scent. It's trying to chat with the lucky bamboo on the other side of the cubicle.(My actual desk is much messier than that!)

So I made Pesto Potato Salad with Green Beans. Doesn't that sound great!? It is! There are lots of pesto recipes, this one from PPK is kinda neat because on top of the usual ingredients, it calls for walnuts and nutritional yeast.

Bon appetit!

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