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Sunday Favourites

February 18, 2018

After the very chocolate heavy favourites last week, I'm moving back into regular links and recipes for this edition. For the 'things I'm loving' section I'm including products and tips for a lower-waste kitchen, with some tips and items I use the most. I don't have a plastic free kitchen, but we try to use the absolute least amount possible and avoid anything like plastic wrap and bags.

I mentioned in my cinnamon bun post this week that I won't be posting quite as much in the next couple of weeks while a friend from Canada is visiting, but I will be sharing a few new recipes - a savoury tart, grain free chocolate cookies, spelt crisp bread, and perhaps more.

Link love:

Millet bircher porridge with pecans • I'm a little envious that Sophie has so many pecans, and this creamy breakfast porridge looks delicious.

Easy chickpea flour pizza • one of my favourite ways to have a quick, higher protein pizza! Using a chickpea flour crust speeds everything up.

Naturally sweetened coconut cream • this is worth taking a peek at just for the (always) beautiful photos, but a little coconut cream is a valuable addition to your dairy free pantry.

Hot pink dragon fruit shrub • the colour of this shrub is stunning.

Coconut oil fat bombs • fat bombs are great for an energy boost and I've been meaning to make some for Graham as he's trying to gain some weight - these have raw cacao as well.

Things I'm loving:

This beeswrap has replaced any need for plastic wrap in our house, and I use it every day to wrap my sourdough and for on-the-go snacks.

If you use straws, try glass ones. Plastic straws are the worst and even the Queen banned them.

We've switched over to reusable cotton dishcloths instead of those thin blue ones that I grew up with, and they also look a lot nicer!

If you can, look into buying bulk for things like flour, seeds, grains, etc. I've heard that bulk barn in Canada now lets you bring your own containers to fill (they didn't when I still lived there) so that's a great lower waste option.

Try storing foods, even in the freezer, in glass jars. Canning jars can definitely withstand being frozen and they're reusable, easy to clean, and eco friendly.

And a couple non-kitchen related - I make my own soap now instead of buying plastic-bottled body wash, and you can get bar soap all over the place. I really like nurturing soul and would buy from her if I wasn't making it (but it is really easy to make on your own).

Consider trying a menstrual cup. I was hard to convince but I started using one about five years ago and haven't looked back since. They're much cheaper in the long run, easy to clean, and no chance of toxic shock. Win win win.

Choose hankies instead of tissues - we use plain old cut up t-shirts. I know you might think it's gross at first but you don't need to reuse them for a week without washing them. And I've heard every stupid argument out there, the worst being that because you have to wash them they're less eco friendly. Do you wash an entire load of hankies? NO. They take up no space and they're a lot easier on the skin around your nose than tissues.

For dinner this week: 

Monday: Spicy Sweet Potato Pancakes


Tuesday: Winter Glow Noodles Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce


Wednesday: Quinoa Swiss Chard Patties with Avocado Tahini Dip


Thursday: Roasted Cauliflower Grain Bowls


Friday: Black Bean Rice Burgers with Rainbow Toppings


Thanks for reading! If you make any of the recipes, please tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, or stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin. I'll be back tomorrow with another new recipe.

Bombay Burgers from Veggie Burger Atelier

February 16, 2018

I have a very exciting new cookbook recipe for you! These are Indian-inspired burgers made with cauliflower, rice, and oats as the base, with lots of turmeric, ginger, and spice. Veggie burgers are a staple in my house, and I make them at least a couple times a week, but always with some kind of beans or lentils. It's nice to have a bit of a change from a very legume heavy diet with a real comfort food burger that's still quite light, and this fits the bill. I served them with little naan buns - I just made my regular spelt naan recipe and formed little rounds that were a bit thicker than usual, then cut them in half for the burgers. 

We're both obsessed with veggie burgers, Graham especially, so Veggie Burger Atelier is perfect for us. Graham's favourite restaurant is a vegan burger place in Winnipeg and he's already planning to have a meal there when we're back home in August. I'm pretty sure it's his #1 thing to do in Winnipeg. I read through the book with a different perspective from him, of course, looking at how the recipes are made and photographed along with thinking about how they'd taste. He alternated between "mmm" and "how creative!" and would very happily inhale every single recipe in the book. So it's not just for the food obsessed, I think anyone interested in plant-based eating would love it.

I was a bit skeptical of the holding power of these burgers when I was mixing up the patties, but they really turn out perfectly. I trust Nina's recipes implicitly but I've never worked with shredded cauliflower before. Frying the burgers for a few minutes gives them a really great texture and outer crust, and then baking ensures that they're cooked through and won't crumble. It is a bit of work to get everything prepped and ready to go, but since you can make the mixture 24 hours in advance, you could do it the day before cooking. 


The book is separated into areas of the world, from Northern & Southern Europe through Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The recipes are inspired by specific cities, places, and flavours. There are several recipes for dips, sides, buns, and even a couple sweets mixed in with all the burgers, too. Some of the ingredients used in the book are a little on the pricier side and you might not have them in the house unless you're already big into plant based cooking, but there are several that use everyday ingredients, like this one, with readily accessible base ingredients and spices that are easy to find. I don't have a large and varied pantry so this was the recipe I chose, that I'd be able to make without buying lots of special items. I think that's in large part due to it being the end of winter right now and just not having as much variety in general, compared to summer or autumn, like herbs and certain vegetables. Some of the recipes I'm planning on making once the seasons change: Le Parisien, Sunshine Burger, Lachmacun Burger, Kasbah Burger, and the Truffled Burger Queen. And definitely the homemade ketchup.

This is book number two from Nina - her first was a bowl food book, Bowls of Goodness, which I did a review of here. I got that one in German and my aunt promptly "borrowed" it so I haven't seen it since, but it's also packed with awesome recipes. Both books are vegetarian, not vegan, but she gives vegan options for almost all of the recipes. The burgers aren't heavily reliant on eggs as a binder, and when eggs are used, there's a note on how to use chia instead. Some of the recipes use dairy but again she provides substitutions, so if you're vegan, go for it! 




Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, and stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin, or subscribe to receive weekly updates.

Reprinted with permission from Veggie Burger Atelier, copyright © 2017 by Nina Olsson. Published by Quarry Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group.

Bombay Burger from Veggie Burger Atelier
Makes 4-6 burgers

Spiced Cauliflower Patties

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
80 grams / 1/4 cup finely diced onion
220 grams / 2 cups cauliflower, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric*
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
100 grams / 2/3 cup rolled oats
100 grams / 2/3 cup cooked brown rice
75 grams / toasted almonds, ground* 
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons rapeseed (other other light) oil
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place a pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until translucent. Transfer to a large bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil and the cauliflower, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, ginger, salt, and red pepper flakes. Fry for 6-8 minutes, stirring. Transfer to the bowl with the onion.

Add the remaining patty ingredients to the bowl and mix to combine. Working in batches, pulse the mixture in a food processor for a few spins until the rice and oats are broken up. Be careful not to over blend - you want a crumbly texture. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours, covered.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Divide the mixture into 4 (see tip) equal portions and shape each into a patty. Place a pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Fry the patties for 4-8 minutes per side. Lightly season with salt and pepper and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Assemble the burgers between warm buns or naan buns and serve topped with the lime cashew cream and sesame-carrot salad.

Lime Cashew Cream

200 grams / 1 1/2 cups, soaked for 1-3 hours
Juice of a lime
1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
Pinch sea salt
Water, to thin

In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and process until smooth. Set aside.

Sesame Carrot Salad

5 rainbow or regular carrots, shaved into ribbons
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the carrot ribbons, vinegar, and sesame oil until well coated. Set aside.

Tips:
• I ended up making 6 burgers instead of 4 because they just seemed massive. I reduced the baking time a touch to make sure they didn't dry out but otherwise did everything the same as the recipe states. 
• In the photos in the book there are some cucumbers on the burgers, too, so I served mine with shaved cucumber, rucola, and cress along with the lime cream and carrot salad.

Notes:
1. I didn't make the cashew cream. I made lime almond yogurt by subbing almond yogurt for the cashew cream and it was close enough, I think. If you also don't have a high powered blender this is a good option.
2. Sub 1/2 teaspoon of dried turmeric for fresh if you can't find it.
3. I substituted sunflower seeds for the almonds.

Chocolate, Orange, and Date Cinnamon Buns

February 15, 2018

Cinnamon buns are my thing now. Ever since we moved over here my family seems to think all I can make are cinnamon buns, so I have to make them for everything that could possibly require pastry (including my own birthday). The thing is, cinnamon buns are so easy - and easy to make vegan without resorting to margarine or other highly processed substitutes. These aren't your standard rolls, though. Instead of butter and sugar, the filling rolled up inside is made from dates, orange, and a little coconut oil blended together (so no sugar at all!) then topped with dark chocolate. The dough is orange scented and pillowy, with nondairy milk and a little cinnamon mixed in. What I'm saying is that they're much better than normal cinnamon buns, but just as easy to make. 

If you're not used to working with yeast, I don't know that I can convince you to try it, but this is a good place to begin if you're interested in trying sweet doughs. It's pretty forgiving and easy to work with, and you're not doing any complicated shapes or twists. If you'd prefer to make more traditional cinnamon buns or oranges are out of season when you read this, you can leave them and the chocolate out and add cinnamon to the filling mixture instead. The dough is my go-to for any cinnamon buns or other sweet breads, just with the addition of orange zest and some hazelnut oil, which is optional. It seems a bit fancy but I promise it's simple, and rolls are so fun. There's an even easier yeasted cake recipe on the blog for a rhubarb streusel cake if you want to try that first to get a feel for it. There are a lot of notes at the end of the recipe, but just because I want you to succeed, not because it's complicated.

The method for the liquid ingredients is a touch different for this recipe, because you heat them on the stove, then cool slightly before whisking in the yeast. Just make sure it's not boiling hot when you add the yeast; the milk should be just warmer than your skin if you touch it. If it's too hot it'll kill the yeast. My house is freezing so I place rising dough on top of a radiator (it's topped with a stone slab) but placing it near a radiator or in the oven with a light on will do the trick. I chose not to make a cream or icing, but if you'd like one, try the citrus cream from my bergamot scones recipe, just substituting orange for the bergamot. You can go a more traditional cream cheese route if you prefer (maybe with coconut yogurt labneh?!) or simply have them as is. They're good without anything on top but sometimes you just need a little icing. 

I'll be back tomorrow with a burger recipe from a new cookbook, and then on Sunday with another favourites post. A friend of ours will be here from Canada on Monday and stay for a couple weeks, so I'm planning on reducing my posting schedule a bit while he's here to have some more flexibility to spend time with him and Graham. Instead of six posts, I might do around three a week until he goes.






Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, and stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin, or subscribe to receive weekly updates.


Chocolate, Orange, and Date Cinnamon Buns
Makes ~12 rolls

Dough

250 ml / 1 cup nondairy milk (oat, almond)
60 ml / 1/4 cup light-tasting oil*
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast*
Zest of an orange
400 - 480 grams / 2 1/2 - 3 cups spelt flour*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Add the milk, oil, and maple syrup to a small saucepan and heat on low until just warm to the touch. Pour the milk mixture into a large heatproof bowl and whisk in the yeast. Let it rest for about 15 minutes, or until foaming. 

Stir in the orange zest, 1 cup of flour, cinnamon, and salt. Add the remaining flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring between each addition, until it becomes too difficult to stir. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured countertop and knead, adding more flour as needed, until a soft and smooth dough forms, about ten minutes. 

Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Brush a little oil onto the top of the dough, cover, and set the bowl in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about one hour. 

Line a 20 cm / 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper. Punch the dough down and place it onto a floured surface. Roll it out to about 2cm thickness and spread the filling equally over the dough, then top with the dark chocolate. Roll the dough up lengthwise and cut into 5cm wide pieces. Place the pieces into the prepared pan, cover, and set in a warm place to rise again for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Once the buns are finished rising the second time, place them on the centre rack in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden. Serve warm if you can and keep any extras in a sealed container at room temperature for up to three days.

Filling

100 grams / 1/2 cup packed soft dates, soaked if needed
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)
Zest of an orange
50 grams dark chocolate 

Blend the dates, coconut oil, orange juice, and zest until smooth in a food processor or high speed blender. If it's not becoming smooth, add a tablespoon of nondairy milk.

Tips:
• If the milk mixture gets too hot, just let it cool in the bowl until it's warm but not hot.
• I always use a big dinner plate to cover the top of the bowl when I'm letting dough rise. It's better and preventing it from drying than a tea towel, and fuck plastic. 
• You can also use a square tin or a regular baking sheet for the buns, but the baking time might change slightly. 

Notes:
1. I did half sunflower oil and half hazelnut. You can use coconut or any light-tasting oil, but try adding some hazelnut if you have it!
2. You can also use half a cube of fresh yeast.
3. I know there are eleven buns pictures, but there are the two end bits that I had to bake separately because they didn't fit in the tin. They were photo fuel.



Winter Glow Noodle Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce

February 14, 2018

Looking for something fresh to get through the last bits of winter? I've got you! I've been really trying to get plenty of colourful, but still seasonal, foods in lately instead of just relying on just one or two vegetables. I lucked out with some locally grown hothouse cucumbers, along with kohlrabi, carrots, beets, purple cabbage, and oranges here. These vegan noodle bowls are a fun way to get lots of veggies in, and I've used a legume pasta along with the peanut sauce to edge the protein up without having to add beans, or my nemesis, tofu. There's a nice variation in texture with the steamed beets alongside the other raw vegetables and oranges. The red cabbage is a ride on my red cabbage and orange salad but simplified a bit since it's being combined with so much other good stuff.

About that legume pasta. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm currently working with a new German brand, Planet Plant Based, but this isn't a sponsored post - I'm doing some photography work for them and I think it's good pasta. I'm using their green pea tagliatelle in this recipe and I really like it. Bean and legume pasta certainly has a bit of a different texture than regular wheat pasta, but I think as long as you know that from the beginning, you won't be disappointed. The trick is to find a brand that has a good flavour and texture and stick with it. I eat kamut and spelt pasta but it's nice to have a high protein choice for recipes like this, so something additional isn't needed. Otherwise you can use brown rice or rice noodles. This recipe serves two people but I didn't want to make two for pictures since it was just me home, hah. Pure laziness. If you can multitask, these bowls can be ready in a little over half an hour, the amount of time it takes the beets to cook. Since they're eaten at room temperature in any case, you can easily take it to work as well. 

You can see that the peanut sauce is served in the photos in a little dollop instead of a drizzle, which is how I would usually do it. Graham has a thing for chunky peanut butter right now so it's all we had, and if I don't have smooth peanut butter I like to make it a little thicker. I've included the guidelines for both in the recipe so you can decide which you prefer - just make sure you're using natural peanut butter and not the sweetened fluffy stuff, or it won't taste right. I'm sure you could sub something else (almond butter!) if you can't have peanuts, or go with tahini if you can't have any nuts. I've topped it with a little cress because I had it, but if you have sprouts, use those instead.

I sent one of these photos to my friend Heidi (The Simple Green) because I wasn't sure they were reflective of my style and she said that whenever she sees that vibrant purple, i.e. cabbage, she thinks of my pictures! I am Kraut Frau. 

This recipe was totally inspired by Alanna from The Bojon Gourmet but unfortunately my pictures will probably never match up to hers! I thought that the recipe came to me without outside influences but I saw this recipe again when I was on her site today and it was clearly influenced by her beet poke bowls so I went all out and let her beautiful styling inspire the photos, too. Hers are more sushi bowls and I'm not pickling the veggies for this recipe, but those poke bowls look awesome.



Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, and stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin, or subscribe to receive weekly updates.

Winter Glow Noodle Bowls with Orange Peanut Sauce
Serves two

230 grams / 5 small beets
1/2 small kohlrabi*
2 medium carrots
1 small cucumber
1 orange
100 grams / 1/2 package of legume or rice noodles, cooked according to package instructions

Begin by cooking the beets. Place them, skin on, into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30-35 minutes, or until they can be pierced with a fork. Drain and cover with cold water, then peel and cut into 3cm pieces. Prep the cabbage and other elements while the beets are cooking.

Use a vegetable peeler to slice ribbons from the kohlrabi and carrots. Julienne the cucumber, and slice the oranges, removing the skin. Drain the pasta and set aside. To serve, divide all of the elements between two bowls and top with the peanut sauce. 

Orange cabbage 

200 grams / 1/2 small red cabbage
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)

Very thinly slice or shred the cabbage and place it into a large bowl with the vinegar, salt, and orange juice. Mix until coated and set aside for at least 20 minutes to soften.

Peanut sauce

3 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon sesame or another light tasting oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon coconut sugar
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)

In a small bowl, stir together the ingredients until combined. 

Tips:
• If you want to thin out the peanut sauce more to make it a drizzle, you can add a little water or some more orange juice until it reaches the consistency you'd like.

Notes:
1. I know kohlrabi can be hard to find, but it's just a mild, crunchy root vegetable. You can substitute radishes for it.

Orange Spelt Pancakes

February 13, 2018

Apparently today is pancake day! I don't usually notice these themed food days until after they're over but people sure love pancakes, and it's all over instagram. As luck would have it I already had these vegan orange spelt pancakes in my schedule for today, and they're great. I usually prefer German pancakes (a bit like a thicker crepe) but Graham always wants fluffy American style pancakes - but I couldn't stop eating these. I kept going back to the kitchen and sneaking another and another, just eating them plain. These are adapted from a very old recipe of mine for fluffy vegan pancakes made with kamut flour but are quite honestly by far the best American pancakes I've ever made.

I took the pictures last week and blood oranges are already gone for the season now, but regular oranges work just as well! Once oranges are out of season I think I'll use bottled orange juice and top them with berries instead (or I'll have a new favourite by then). I've made it as a pretty small batch, only about a dozen small pancakes, which is perfect for the two of us. Next up is to try this batter in the waffle maker! They end up properly light with a little bit of a crispy outer layer, almost like a fluffy cookie, instead of being completely soft. I like it.

I haven't yet tried making these gluten free. There's a recipe on the blog for banana pancakes made with buckwheat flour, but bananas are the binding agent there. The orange pancakes will probably work with a gluten free flour if you add a little arrowroot or cornstarch to help hold everything together. If you try it, let me know in the comments!



Let's connect! Tag me on instagram @occasionallyeggs and #occasionallyeggs so I can see what you're making, and stay in touch via Facebook, pinterest, and Bloglovin, or subscribe to receive weekly updates.

Orange Spelt Pancakes
Makes about a dozen

150 grams / 1 cup whole spelt flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
180 ml / 3/4 cup oat or another nondairy milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Juice of an orange (~3 tablespoons)
Zest of an orange

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil* in the pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and salt. In another bowl, mix the milk, coconut oil, orange juice, and zest. Add this to the flour mixture and whisk until just mixed.

Lightly oil the pan if needed. Place about 3 tablespoons of batter (I use a gravy ladle) onto the preheated pan and cook until bubbles start to appear, then flip and cook for another minute or so, until golden. Adjust the heat if required and continue until all of the batter has been used, adding a small amount of coconut oil to the pan each time.

Serve hot with extra oranges, coconut, and maple syrup.

Tips:
• Cook the first side just until the pancakes can be flipped - if you wait too long they won't rise as nicely. Bubbles should be appearing but the edges won't be darker. 

Notes:
1. Melting the oil in the pan you're using for the pancakes is just for convenience.