{Recipe} Pecan Date Nibblers | Cinnamon Date Slice

firstimage

Both of these recipes feature dates. One is raw, one is baked. Both are suitable for school lunchboxes, or an afternoon snack. Cinnamon Date Slice is gluten free and refined sugar-free, with an oil free option. My children adore this slice.

Pecan Date Nibblers are wheat free, oil free, and refined sugar-free. There is a variation to make them gluten-free. They are very popular in my household.  The recipe lists lemon or orange zest as optional. I always use orange zest. I think it should be compulsory! The orange flavour is very appealing.

pecan1

Pecan Date Nibblers

Recipe from: Let them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton (yes, another Dreena recipe!).

Quantity: 12-15

Recipe available here.

***

dateslice1

Cinnamon Date Slice

Adapted from a recipe in Fresh Blends, the book that accompanied our Blendtec blender.

Quantity: 20 squares

Ingredients:

2/3 cup raw almonds

2/3 cup raw macadamia nuts

1 cup ground flax seeds 

1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp sea salt

1/2 cup date paste, store bought or homemade (recipe below)

1/3 cup sultanas

1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

1 Tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)

Topping: 2 Tbsp ground almonds, 2 Tbsp shredded coconut, 1-2 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 20 walnut pieces.

Method

1. Add almonds, macadamia nuts, cinnamon, and sea salt to a food processor, and process until nuts are ground.

2. Add nut mixture and ground flax seeds to a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

3. Add date paste and agave (or maple) syrup to the mixing bowl, and stir until incorporated.

4. Add sultanas and walnuts. Mix well.

5. Line a large baking dish with baking paper* (parchment) and scoop the mixture into the dish. Flatten the mixture with the back of a large spoon.

6. Sprinkle the top with ground almonds, shredded coconut, and sunflower seeds.

7. Refrigerate (or place in the freezer) for a few hours before cutting into 20 squares. Place a walnut piece on each square. Store slice in fridge or freezer.

Date Paste

Quantity – approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

10 dates, pitted

2 Tbsp agave syrup (or maple syrup)

2 Tbsp coconut oil (optional, but the slice is drier without it)

1/4 cup dried apricots

1 cup of water (for soaking dates)

Method

1. Soak dates in water for 1-2 hours. Reserve 1/4 cup of the soaking water for step 2.

2. In a small food processor, add ingredients in the following order: soaking water, dates, agave (maple) syrup, coconut oil, and dried apricots.

3. Process until smooth.

Store the leftover date paste in the fridge. Date paste is yummy on bread or crackers, with macadamia butter.

dateslice2

* I had run out of baking paper on this occasion. It is much easier to extract the slice from the dish if you use baking paper, but it is not essential.

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

Ally

{Recipe} Tamari-roasted Chickpeas | Nutty Veggie Burgers

My eldest children returned to school last week after 7 weeks of summer school holidays.

We spent the last week of the holidays at Burleigh Heads, on the Gold Coast. One highlight of the holiday was a ‘sky walk’ at North Tambourine in the Gold Coast hinterland.

tambourine mountain1

The walk commences on an elevated steel ‘bridge’, entering directly into the middle and upper canopy of the rainforest (photo, top left). It gradually descends to the rainforest floor, where we followed a designated track until we reached a creek (which was flowing fast after recent heavy rain; photo below).

creek

A highlight of the walk is a free-standing cantilever – 30 metres above the creek bed.

The cantilever sways from side to side as you walk out to the farthest reaches (hence why Mat is holding onto the railing in the photo above). This precarious swaying provides excitement for kids and adults!

After our skywalk adventure, we returned to Cardamon Pod Vegetarian for a late lunch of raw desserts and smoothies. The photos speak for themselves, but I have to tell you – the Tiramisu is amazing!

We spoke to the staff member who made the raw desserts. She told me that she uses coconut oil to ‘set’ the cheesecakes. She uses agave, dates and coconut sugar to sweeten the desserts.  The Tiramisu contains ground coffee beans.

I also ordered a Byron Chai smoothie but while I was distracted talking about raw desserts, Mousse Boy launched in and devoured most of it. I barely got a sip, let alone a photo! The desserts were served with fruit and coconut milk ice cream.

desserts1

***

I apologise for tantalising you with pictures of mango cheesecake and mousse. How can a veggie burger compete? Even if it is a Dreena Burton veggie burger! In fact, both of today’s featured recipes are delicious Dreena Burton creations.

Back to School

The end of the school holidays signals the return of a ubiquitous feature of daily school life – The Lunchbox. Oh, how I relished a 7 week break from preparing school lunches.

Today, I am highlighting two recipes that are suitable for lunchboxes – Tamari-roasted Chickpeas and Nutty Veggie Burgers.

Chickpeas1

Tamari-roasted Chickpeas

These chickpeas are very moreish and scrumptious – I enjoy snacking on them. They are quick and simple to prepare, and delicious eaten by the handful or tossed into a salad.

You can use canned chickpeas, but I prefer to use dried chickpeas that I have soaked and cooked. The recipe is gluten-free and has an oil-free option (I omit the oil).

This scrumptious recipe is available  here.

***

veggie burgers1

Nutty Veggie Burgers

Gluten-free

Yields 5-6 large patties or 10 small patties

Recipe available here.

Amendments that I make when preparing these burgers:

  • I double the quantities of dried sage and dried thyme (I don’t use poultry seasoning).
  • I use salt-free tomato paste rather than tomato sauce (ketchup).
  • I use 1 cup of rolled oats.
  • I omit the garlic.

The Tiny Vegan’s Verdict

My daughter enjoys these burgers.  They can be eaten hot or cold. When I pack one in her lunch box, I include a small container of hummus. I pack the burger on a bed of baby spinach, accompanied by ‘vegie sticks’ – carrots, capsicum and cucumber (not photographed). Unfortunately, our Least Adventurous Eater isn’t keen on these burgers. He prefers marinated tofu. Little Baker likes them broken into small pieces. Easy and tasty finger food!

Mat raves about these veggie burgers. I agree, they are very tasty.

Occasionally, I double the recipe and freeze a batch of uncooked patties. Healthy fast food!

lunchbox1

Every Monday I post a delicious vegan recipe (or two!), that is enjoyed by (most of!) my own family  – I hope your family enjoys it too!

Ally

[edited on 20 August 2013, to provide link to nutty veggie burgers recipe.]

{Recipe} Nut Roast with Lemon and Garlic Stuffing

nutroast1

Nut Roast with Lemon and Garlic Stuffing is a versatile, cruelty-free dish for Christmas.  It serves 4-6 people, and is delicious accompanied by a homemade tomato-based sauce. It can be frozen cooked or uncooked. Nut roast can be enjoyed hot or cold.

This nut roast is adapted from a recipe in the pages of the very first vegan cook book that I owned. The book was pre-loved when it came in to my life in the mid-90’s. The Vegan Health Plan: A Practical Guide to Healthy Living by Amanda Sweet was published in England in 1987 (this book is now out of print):

The Vegan Health Plan

As you can see, my copy is very well-loved and well-worn. Held together with masking tape!

I have been making this nut roast for Christmas day lunch for over a decade. Mat enjoys it, as do two of our children. Unfortunately, our Least Adventurous Eater is not susceptible to the charm that is nut roast. Suffice to say, it is popular with vegans and non-vegans alike.

On Friday morning, I awoke to rain and a mild day. Perfect weather for using the oven. I knew it was my nut roast day! After dropping the kids at school, I carted my ingredients and my two littlest boys to my parents’ house for a morning of cooking.

nutroast2

Ingredients

225g/8oz  finely ground nuts (I use a combo of pecan, walnut, almond. I use a food processor to grind raw whole nuts, but you can take a short cut by purchasing nut meal if you prefer.)

100g/3.5oz wholemeal breadcrumbs (I process slices of wholemeal bread in a food processor)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 heaped Tbsp wholemeal flour

150 ml non-dairy milk (I use soy or almond)

150ml vegetable stock (I use half a Massel salt-reduced vegetable stock cube dissolved in150ml water)

1Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Black pepper

for the stuffing:

75g/2.5oz wholemeal breadcrumbs

50g/1.5oz vegan margarine, melted

1/2 small onion, finely grated

2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 Tbsp lemon zest

Method

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C/350 F. Grease and line a  loaf tin with baking paper.

Make the nut meat mixture first:

2.  In a large saucepan, saute the onion in a tablespoon or two of water, until soft. Add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.

3. Remove saucepan from heat and gradually add the milk and stock, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sauce has thickened.

4. Add the tamari (soy sauce), nutmeg and pepper. Stir well.

5. Add the nuts and breadcrumbs to the saucepan and mix thoroughly to form a thick but moist mixture.

6. Prepare the stuffing: In a medium mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients, and mix well.

7.  Put half of the nut meat mixture into the loaf tin and press down firmly with your hands or a spatula. Pile the stuffing on top and press down with your hands or a spatula. Lastly, put the remaining nut meat mixture on top of the stuffing and smooth the top.

8. Bake for approximately 60 minutes until the loaf is brown and firm (in my oven, it is ready at the 55 min mark). Cool slightly in the tin before removing.

9. Turn the nut roast out onto a board or plate, upside down (ie. the bottom of the nut roast when it was in the loaf tin, is now the top).  Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.

If freezing the nut roast, ensure that you thaw it before baking.

nutroast3

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

Ally

[post updated on 13 Nov 2013]

{Recipe} Raspberry and Pecan Muffins; Almond and Date Slice

I am posting 2 recipes today.

My sister is visiting at the moment and we have had an enjoyable weekend – lots of laughs and yummy food.

Raspberry and Pecan Muffins: 

 ***

Almond and Date Slice (no bake):

***

A couple of friends visited me recently -while Mat and the kids were away – and I wanted to serve something sweet for morning tea. I decided on muffins – quick to prepare, and suitable for freezing.

I scoured my pantry and fridge for muffin ingredients. I found raspberries and blueberries in the freezer. We had a good range of raw nuts.  Ultimately, I decided that pecans would complement raspberries. So, I whipped these up.

They were delicious, served with chai tea. One of my (non-vegan) friends ate two. That’s a good sign, right? I froze the rest for my children’s lunch boxes.

I made them again this weekend while my sister was visiting. They turned out beautifully. We enjoyed them with Kahlua soy lattes (Oh yum!).

Raspberry and Pecan Muffins

Quantity- A baker’s dozen (13)

You will need:

2 cups wholemeal flour

1/3 cup raw sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

12 pecan halves, chopped

1 cup + 1 tbsp non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or rice syrup)

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen), chopped

13 pecan halves (for decoration)

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180 deg C/350 F.

If using frozen raspberries, remove from the freezer. Set aside.

Combine all dry ingredients, including chopped pecans, in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.

Combine all liquid ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Whisk ingredients with a fork.

Add wet ingredients to mixing bowl containing the dry ingredients. Mix with a spatula until ingredients are incorporated. Add raspberries, and fold in to the mixture with spatula:

Scoop batter into silicone baking cups. Place a pecan on top of each muffin:

Bake in oven for 12 mins, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool for 10 mins before removing from baking cups. Serve with chai tea or soy lattes, or your favourite beverage:

***

Here is my Little Baker (and yes, that is a Raspberry Disaster on the floor!):

‘Pick me up, Mummy’.

***

During the weekend, my mum prepared a slice that she adapted from a non-vegan recipe.

Almond and Date Slice (no-bake)

You will need:

200g of vegan plain biscuits (eg. Digestive biscuits)

500g date paste, store bought or home made

1/2 cup vegan margarine

1/2 cup flaked almonds

1/2 tsp cardamon

1 tsp cinnamon

Method:

Process biscuits in food processor until they form crumbs.

In a large saucepan, melt margarine, add date paste and stir.

Add almonds and spices, mix well.

Add crushed biscuits, mix well.

Spread mixture into a 9 x 11 inch baking dish. Place in fridge for approximately 30 mins.

Sprinkle a light coating of icing sugar over the top (optional).

Cut into diamond or square shapes.

Delicious on its own or…

We served ours with vanilla soy ice cream and slices of fresh strawberry:

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

Ally

%d bloggers like this: