January 5, 2013 § 2 Comments
After my somewhat slumpy start to 2013, the week picked up and I finally feel the rush of new activity, new beginnings, and possibilities. As I said in my last post, I really wanted to start the year with some vegan inspiration for y’all. Well, today I’ve got it: vegan, dairy-free, egg-free pancakes!
I still remember the first vegan pancake I ever made. I was getting a little frustrated with my vegan diet – having one of those moments where I was thinking, maybe this wasn’t for me. It was a weekend and I wanted my comfort food: brunch food to be exact. All it took was a good pancake to turn me around. I find this to be true time and time again. Just when I think the going gets tough and I may want to call the quits, it’s something quite small and unexpected that turns me around. Those pancakes are still my go-to as they are loaded with healthy ingredients. But while delicious, they aren’t the fluffy, airy, buttery bites that a pancake is known for.
Enter Candle 79’s Homestyle Pancake recipe. I’m truly ashamed to admit I’ve had this cookbook for a year – a year! – and this is the first recipe I’ve made from it. Oh I’ve spent hours reading it and gazing at the photos like a love-sick teenager, but why I never just broke out the ingredients in the kitchen and made something is beyond me. Sometimes for all my good intentions I can really be quite lazy.
This recipe was the one that immediately caught my attention when I first got this cookbook. What stopped me for so long from making it was the Ener-G Egg replacer. This is an easy pick-up from Whole Foods and there is no excuse for me not buying this ingredient sooner. Shame on me! But alas, I finally had it in my pantry as I needed it for a few Thanksgiving recipes so there were no more excuses. I finally cracked open this cookbook to get it dirty with specks of flour and vegan butter stains.
Boy was it worth it! These pancakes do not disappoint. They crisp up perfectly just as a good pancake should, resulting in a nice crusty outside and fluffy cakey inside. I’ve made them both with white flour and whole wheat flour and both ways are great – the white flour does give them just a bit more fluffiness. The cinnamon in the recipe is a bit strong which is fine by me as I love cinnamon, but if you aren’t a big fan you may go light on it.
These cakes are delicious with just a hint of maple syrup but I like to serve with warm berries. I always have frozen berries in my freezer for my smoothies so I just pop some in a glass container in the microwave for a minute or so to heat them up. If I have time I’ll let them cook on the stove a while to become like a compote. While it is visually lovely to serve the berries over the pancakes – they quickly absorb all the liquid – so if you’re like me and your favorite part of a pancake is that buttery crust, serve the berries on the side. Another lovely, albeit less healthy, option is to top these with some chocolate chips and sliced bananas if you’re really feeling decadent.
Last but not least, if you’re making these just for you – although I’ll forewarn you that whoever smells them cooking will want them, diet resolutions and all – go ahead and make the full batch. The batter keeps well in the fridge and then you can have pancakes day or night in a jiffy. The only downside: you can have pancakes day or night! You’ll find yourself whipping up a cake or two for no other reason other than you can!
So whether your New Year’s resolution is to do a vegan challenge for health or ethical reasons, or you’re just trying to cut back on dairy and eggs in general – I hope you’ll give these pancakes a try!
Get the Candle 79 Homestyle Pancake Recipe here.
January 8, 2012 § 1 Comment
I have been thinking of re-creating this dish ever since visiting Candle 79 last October. The dish was a live zucchini manicotti stuffed with a mushroom olive mixture and topped with a raw tomato sauce and parsley pine nut salad. At the time, I still was not liking mushrooms very much. Boy has that changed. Mushrooms have been the star of many meals since including my Christmas Eve dinner with vegan mushroom bourguignon.
At Candle79, I thought the mushroom olive combination was delicious. I’m a big olive fan and love their briny, salty bite which masked the mushroom flavor I didn’t like at the time. Instead, what remained was just a chewy almost meaty texture which I welcomed. I thought the dish would be great to make at home with store-bought olive tapenade. So that’s what I did.
Since Luis wasn’t a fan of the “live” part of this dish, I decided to roast the zucchini. What I didn’t realize though is that then you can’t roll them into a manicotti. They become way too flimsy cooked. So I just laid them flat but it still worked. I wanted to make this elegant dish as easy as possible to make so I made a point of making it with one baking sheet. I was looking for easy cleanup here and it worked.
The resulting dish was elegant and tasty – but it was on the small side. It did feel like a little gourmet meal though 🙂 I’d suggest doubling this recipe or serving with a side or salad. I also want to try it one day with pasta. I think it would be great.
Zucchini with Fresh Tomato Sauce and Olive-Portobello Relish
Makes 4 small servings
- 2 zucchini, thinly sliced (about 6 slices per zucchini)
- 2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
- 4 tomatoes, sliced
- 4-6 garlic cloves, roasted or raw
- 3 tbsp. pre-made olive tapenade
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper
- dried rosemary (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. If roasting the garlic, you can put it in now. Just slice the end of it off so you have a flat top, place in a small oven safe dish, cover with olive oil and foil.
- Slice zucchini using a knife or mandolin. Slice tomatoes. Chop portobellos. Arrange all vegetables on a cookie sheet or in a roasting pan and drizzle with enough olive oil to coat all veggies. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and rosemary (optional).
- Place veggies in oven to roast about 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the mushrooms and zucchini as the cook quickly. You may need to pull them out early. The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid so don’t be alarmed. You can finish the tomatoes and give them a little char by turning the oven up to broil – just watch very closely.
- Once you’ve pulled out the mushrooms, mix with the olive tapenade. Use as much as you like. Add in a few chopped garlic cloves to the mix if you like and set aside.
- Remove tomatoes and place into a food processor with a few garlic cloves. Do not add in liquid from the pan unless you need to thin out the sauce. If you have fresh herbs on hand you can add basil or parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
- To assemble place some sauce on the plate. Top with a few zucchini slices and the olive-portobello relish.