{Recipe;Vegan MoFo} Tomato and Basil Sunflower Flax Crackers

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Last Monday, I featured a simple and delicious gluten-free rosemary cracker recipe.

Today, I present a simple raw cracker recipe. A dehydrated cracker consisting of fresh tomatoes, dried basil, sunflower seeds and flaxseeds (linseeds).

I said simple. Not quick. 🙂

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These crackers are free of added oil, gluten and refined sugar. They team well with hommus, pesto or nut cheese, and are delicious plain. They are loaded with omega 3 essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Mat is the master of raw cracker preparation in this household.

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Sunflower and flax cracker topped with tomato, cucumber and nut cheese.

Ingredients

1 cup of golden or brown flaxseeds (or a combination), soaked in 1 cup of water for 90 minutes

1/4 cup of chia seeds, soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 90 minutes

3 cups raw sunflower seeds

2 tomatoes, stalks removed, and cut in half

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp dried basil

black pepper

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You also need:

A dehydrator

3 dehydrator trays

3 teflex sheets

A food procesor

Method

1. Add the sunflower seeds to the food processor. Pulse several times to break up some of the seeds.

2. Add the remaining ingredients (including the soak water for the seeds) to the food processor, and process for 1 minute.

3. Divide the mixture into thirds. Spread it thinly across 3 trays covered with teflex sheets, using a spatula. Wet the spatula periodically to assist the process. Once the mixture is spread across the teflex sheets, use a sharp knife to ‘score’ the mixture (that is, cut the mixture into your preferred cracker size). Put the trays into the dehydrator.

4. Dehydrate the mixture on 46 C/115 F. After about 2 or 3 hours of dehydration, remove the mixture from the teflex sheets* (this speeds up the process, allowing the air to circulate around the mixture more freely). Return the trays to the dehydrator for another 5 – 6 hours. Check on the crackers periodically during this time. They are ready when you are happy with their crispness.

5. Store crackers in an airtight container.

* To remove the mixture from the teflex sheets, follow these steps: Remove a tray from the dehydrator. Place another, clean dehydrator tray on top of the tray, directly on top of the mixtute. Then, flip the trays over, so that the clean tray is now on the bottom. Remove the top tray, to reveal the teflex sheet.  Peel the teflex sheet off the mixture. It should peel away easily. Slide the tray into the dehydrator, and repeat the process with the remaining trays.

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The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts

I am happy to report that all of the tiny vegans are enthusiastic about raw crackers. 🙂

Ally

Sharing with Healthy Vegan Fridays.

{Recipe} Pistachio, Carrot and Red Capsicum Pilaf |Crumbed Tofu

Pistachio, Carrot and Red Capsicum Pilaf is tasty, colourful, and simple to prepare.

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The fragrant medley of cinnamon, cloves, garlic, and freshly-picked parsley is enhanced by the subtle crunch of  dry-roasted pistachios. Turmeric adds health-giving properties and a vibrant yellow tone.

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(Pilaf is inspired by this recipe.)

Serves – 5

* Ingredients *

1 large brown onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, grated (equates to about 1 cup)

1 cup red capsicum (bell pepper), diced

1 1/2 cups basmati rice, uncooked

1/3 cup raw whole pistachio nuts, shelled

1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Method

1. In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of water on a low heat. Add onion and saute for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if the onion begins to stick to the saucepan. Add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes.

2. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir well, and cook for about 1 minute.

3.  Add the rice to the saucepan, and mix well to coat the rice.

4. Add the vegetable stock to the saucepan. Mix well. Cover the saucepan, and increase the heat to medium. Once the liquid is boiling, lower the heat and simmer until the rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed (about 2o minutes). Remove the saucepan from the heat, and use a fork to mix (separate) the grains of rice. Cover the saucepan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

5. Dry roast the pistachios in a non-stick fry pan for a few minutes. Roughly chop the pistachios.

6. Put a large wok or fry pan on a low heat, then add the rice, carrot, capsicum, parsley, pistachios, and lime juice. Mix well.  Heat the pilaf for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally during this time.

7. Serve with a garden salad and crumbed tofu (recipe below).

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Mat assures me that leftover pilaf on wholemeal wheat toast is a satisfying lunchtime combination.

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Pilaf with crumbed tofu

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Crumbed Tofu

My crumbed tofu is inspired by a recipe at Earthgiven Kitchen, called Crispy Breaded Tofu StripsIf you are not familiar with Sarina’s blog, I suggest you check it out. Her crispy breaded tofu strips are scrumptious!

I decided to serve a tofu accompaniment with the pilaf  – and Sarina’s recipe came to mind. I made a few changes to the recipe on this occasion – not because I thought I could improve the recipe, but due to the fact that I was in a bit of a hurry and had a smaller quantity of tofu to work with. For example,  I omitted sesame oil from the marinade and added a couple of teaspoons of sesame seeds to the ‘crumbs’.

Four-year-old Tiny Vegan assisted me to prepare the marinade, and he was unable to resist ‘taste-tasting’ it several times.

Ingredients

250g of firm tofu

marinade:

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp applesauce

2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 Tbsp water

1/8 tsp salt

Crumbed coating:

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 Tbsp corn flour

2 tsp sesame seeds

a pinch of salt

pepper to taste

Method

1. Cut the tofu into sticks, then place the pieces in a container, side-by-side. Set aside.

2. In a jug , add the marinade ingredients. Whisk with a fork. Then pour the marinade over the tofu sticks. Ensure that all of the tofu is well coated. Cover the container and place it in the fridge. Ideally, allow the tofu to marinade overnight, or for a couple of hours. Do not be perturbed if you do not have that much time! Any amount of marination time will be sufficient.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the nutritional yeast, corn flour, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Mix well.

4. Place each piece of the tofu into the mixing bowl and use your fingers or a spoon to coat each piece well. Once all of the pieces are coated,  heat a non-stick fry pan or skillet.

5. Cook the tofu pieces on all sides until the coating becomes browned and crisp.

6. Serve immediately.

***

Tofu sticks are a good finger-food option for toddlers.

 Little Baker enjoyed his pilaf and crumbed tofu.

Little Baker enjoyed his pilaf and crumbed tofu.

Each Monday, I feature a couple of delicious vegan recipes that are enjoyed by my family – I hope your family enjoys them too.

Ally

{Recipe} Orange and Coconut Mini Muffins

The weather has cooled down in my neck of the woods. The arrival of Winter heralds an abundance of luscious citrus fruits. Friends have presented us with backyard-grown lemons and limes. Country road-side stalls are bursting with mandarins.

Last week, we had a glut of oranges. The Tiny Vegans enjoy eating oranges, cut into segments. Mat and I add a peeled orange to our green smoothies. I decided to incorporate them into some baked goods: orange and coconut muffins.

Regular readers won’t be surprised when I mention that these muffins are perfect for lunch boxes! Eat a few in their freshly baked state, store some in an airtight container, and freeze the rest.

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Ingredients

Quantity- 22 mini muffins

1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour

2 Tbsp dessicated coconut

1/3 cup raw sugar

3 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (approx. 2 oranges)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Coconut chips for decoration

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F. Grease a mini muffin tray or line the tray with paper cups. Alternatively, use silicone cups.

2. To a large mixing bowl, add flour, coconut, and sugar. Mix to combine.

3. In a small mixing bowl, combine orange juice, applesauce, and vanilla extract. There is no need to strain the orange juice – some pulp is ok.

4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix well to combine the ingredients. Refrain from over-stirring the mixture. You don’t want rubbery muffins!

5. Spoon a metric tablespoon of batter into each silicone cup (or paper cup). Top each muffin with coconut chips.

6. Bake for 7-9 minutes.

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We have been spending our Winter days playing in the sun:

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baking with friends:

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and enjoying warm bowls of porridge (oatmeal) on chilly mornings:

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Each Monday, I feature a scrumptious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too.

Ally

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{Recipe} Wholemeal Spelt and Chia Pancakes

In my household, breakfast pancakes are whipped up on birthday mornings, usually by Mat (unless it is his birthday). The birthday boy or birthday girl is served first, and the rest of the family members gaze on greedily as the pancake is topped with fruit and drizzled with pure maple syrup.

A chorus: Hurry up daddy! Where’s mine? Is mine ready yet? Patience and manners are the first casualties of pancake mornings.

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Sometimes a double batch is prepared, and pancakes make a welcome appearance in school lunchboxes for a day or two. Pancakes also feature on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Sometimes they make an appearance on lazy Sunday mornings.

Our preferred pancake recipe is Banana Oat Pancakes.  This recipes uses oats and wholewheat flour, bananas and walnuts. It is nutritious and tasty.

I wanted to prepare a wheat-free pancake that maintained the nutrition and taste aspects of our favourite pancake recipe.

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I referred to a few cook books, and was ultimately inspired by Dreena Burton’s Whole-Grain Chia Pancakes (in Let Them Eat Vegan).

Consequently, Wholemeal Spelt and Chia Pancakes were born (whisked? 😉 ).

These pancakes are wheat free, sugar free, and oil free. Apple sauce is used as a sweetener. They are packed with chia seeds, providing essential fatty acids and a pleasant popping sensation as you munch on your pancake.

The kids haven’t had to wait until their birthdays for these pancakes! I’ve made them at least four times in the past fortnight. Maybe someone will make them for me on Mother’s Day on Sunday 😉

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Ingredients

(Quantity: 13- 14 pancakes)

1  3/4 cups wholemeal spelt flour

2 Tbsp whole chia seeds ( white or black, or a combination)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 generous tsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

2 Tbsp of flaked almonds OR chopped nuts (eg. walnuts, pecans)

2 cups protein-enriched rice milk (or other plant-based milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)

Method

1. Add  all of the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

2. Whisk the rice milk, vanilla extract, and apple sauce together in a small mixing bowl.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir well. Set the bowl aside as you prepare the fry pan (skillet). The batter will thicken a little during this time.

4. Optional: Smear the surface of a fry pan or skillet with a small amount of coconut oil. You can skip this step if you use non-stick cookware.

5. Heat the fry pan, then use a 1/4 metric cup to scoop the batter onto the fry pan. Cook each pancake until bubbles appear on the surface, then gently flip and cook for about a minute on the other side.

6. The batter will continue to thicken in the bowl as you are cooking the pancakes. Add additional rice milk to thin it out again. (I usually add an additional tablespoon of rice milk after making the 5th pancake.)

7. Serve pancakes with sliced banana, berries (frozen or fresh), and pure maple syrup. My four year old son enjoys his pancake smeared with apple sauce.

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When making pancakes for the kids’ lunch boxes, I use a metric tablespoon to measure out the batter. This also makes a good toddler-sized pancake.

I am excited about participating in my first Virtual Vegan Potluck this weekend! The potluck will go live on Saturday at 12.01 am Eastern time in the USA (Saturday afternoon in Australia and NZ). About 150 blogs are participating! I’m bringing a main dish to the potluck.

What vegan meals do you like to take to potlucks?

Ally

* Due to the time that I will be dedicating to the VVP, I won’t be posting a recipe next Monday.

[edited on 7 May to update VVP info]

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