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Archive for the ‘Baked Goods [Savory]’ Category

This dish was an awesome pairing of two of our favorite seasonal offerings:  asparagus and morel mushrooms.  I’ve found that roasting [rather than steaming] asparagus takes this already sublime stalk to its ultimate level of tastiness as those natural sugars caramelize and the tips slightly crisp.  I figured that if I then smothered that roasted asparagus in some earthy mushrooms, cooked in a tartly sweet and creamy balsamic sauce, and then further wrapped it all up into a calzone that had been spread with a lemony cashew “cheese”, it might just delight H.  Phew…what a mouthful; and it was!  I was right, but I had a pretty good hunch going in that this would be a winner.

This recipe yielded 4 calzones.

 

Creamy Balsamic Morels

Ingredients:

½ cup diced shallot

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 oz mushrooms, diced [I used morels; you could use whichever mushroom you enjoy most.]

1 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt]

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent.  Add the morels and sauté until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Lemony Cashew “Cheese”

Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

Directions:

Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Pulse until a paste forms.

12 roasted asparagus spears [Toss in olive oil and roast at 450°F until they start to caramelize ~10-15 mins.]

One large pizza dough at room temperature [I buy this at my local grocery; your local pizzeria would probably sell you a ball of pizza dough]

***

Assembling the Calzone:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. [Also preheat your pizza stone or sheet pan.]

Divide the dough into 4 portions.  Stretch each into a small pizza-sized round.  Add ¼ of the cashew cheese to ½ of each round.  Lay 3 spears of asparagus [trimmed to fit] atop the cashew cheese.  Add ¼ of the creamy balsamic mushrooms.  Fold the top of the pizza round over the bottom and seal the edges by crimping and rolling over as you make your way around the semi-circle [as you would a pie crust].  Using a knife make a couple of vent holes on the top to allow steam to release as they cook.  You can also brush the surface with some olive oil.

Place upon a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan.  Bake until golden.

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Kale chips have been the rage recently and with good reason.  Compared to the potato chip, kale chips knock the spud flat when it comes to nutritional value.  Dress them up with some healthy olive oil and sprinkle with protein-rich nutritional yeast and you have a brilliant snack!  I like to marinate mine overnight prior to baking so that they are exceptionally crispy and satisfy that potato chip craving completely because the olive oil has time to permeate the kale.

Kale Chips

Ingredients:

1 bunch green kale

2 T olive oil

1 T apple cider vinegar

nutritional yeast

garlic powder

Directions:

Cut kale into potato chip-sized pieces and put into a gallon-sized ziplock bag.  Add the olive oil and apple cider vinegar.  Close the bag while deflating it of excess air.  Massage the kale with the olive oil and vinegar until it is well dressed.  Place in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the kale onto cookie sheets, making sure to leave space around the pieces so that you do not steam, but rather roast them.  Sprinkle with a desired amount of nutritional yeast and garlic powder.

Bake for ~20 minutes or until crispy.  Enjoy fresh out of the oven while they are still warm and crunchy!

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I’m not a baker, which is odd considering how many years I spent working in laboratories weighing and measuring precise amounts of reagents to incorporate into an experiment.  Thing is, when it comes to food, I really just like to wing it.  I take a bit of this and a bit of that and toss them together to make something that tastes really good.  I’d heard that Essene bread was really easy to make and basically just required mashing together some sprouted grain and then tossing it into the oven to bake.  Sounded like just the kind of baking I might enjoy;  there was truth in that notion.

This bread is amazing, in my book.  Not only do you get the goodness from using sprouted grains which changes the entire chemical nature of grains making them more digestable and lower in gluten, but the texture was exactly what I love in bread:  Hearty and moistly chewy inside and crunchy and crusty on the outside.  That little hit of saltiness from the sea salt I sprinkled atop each loaf really brought out the contrasting flavors of all the grains as well.

I’ve been  making raw dehydrated breads and they’re very nice, but these slow-cooked loaves were meant for dipping into a gorgeous stone crushed olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar, sliced garlic and herbs and savoring each bite, slowly.  It is especially good when served warm, fresh out of the oven.

 

 

 

 

 

Sprouted Multigrain Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups grains per loaf [You could use wheat alone if you would rather.  I used a multigrain mix called Amber Waves from Sprout People that contains 11 different grains and pseudograins.]

2 chopped dates per loaf [optional]

Coarse sea salt [I used Pacifica Hawaii Salt’s Blush Lava that we picked up when we were in Kaua’i this past January.]

Good quality olive oil [Bariani is a gorgeous stone-crushed and unfiltered olive oil that has become our olive oil of choice.]

Directions:

Sprout grains until the sprouting tails are about ¼ -inch long or, basically, as long as the grain itself. [Since I used a multigrain mix, I used the wheat berry as the indicator grain rather than checking each individual type of grain.  This took two days after an initial overnight soak in filtered water.  Depending upon the grains you choose and temperature of your home, the length of time may vary.]

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Rinse the sprouts and let drain until somewhat dry.  Transfer to a food processor and process until you have a sticky paste.  Transfer to a large clean surface and knead for @10 minutes.  [This dough is really sticky and I found having a dough scraper on hand was really helpful.]

If adding dates to the loaf, now would be the time to incorporate and knead them in.

Form a long loaf about a foot long and place in the oven on a non-stick surface.  [I used a Silpat sheet.]  Lightly daub some olive oil onto the tops of the loaf/ves and sprinkle a few pinches of large crystal sea salt atop.

Bake for @ 3 hours.  The bread will be moist, sweet and chewy inside and crusty and golden outside.

 

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This savory baked toast rocks because it tastes like pizza.  You could definitely use this as a base for a thick-crusted pizza and top it with whatever you wish.  For this dish,  I took a helping hand from Trader Joe’s and used their six-bean medley as the base and then added in some eggplant, fresh herbs and vegetable stock to make a quick stew.   

 

Savory Baked Toast

This recipe yields four slices of baked toast.  If you need more, simply multiply the ingredients by whatever factor you need.

Ingredients:

4 inches ciabatta bread cut into 1 inch-thick slices

4 T flax seeds, ground

2 T tomato paste

6 cloves roasted garlic

1 tsp faux chicken or vegetable bouillon

1 tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp sea salt

½ tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

2T olive oil

1½ cups water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place a Silpat-covered or non-stick sheet pan in the oven to preheat as well.

Add all the ingredients to a blender except the ciabatta bread.  Blend until completely combined and frothy.  Pour into a small shallow container that is large enough to accommodate the ciabatta bread.  Let sit for five minutes to thicken.

Dunk the bread into the mixture and soak completely.  Transfer to a plate until all the slices have been dunked.

Place slices upon the preheated sheet pan [If you do not preheat the sheet pan the underside will be mushy] and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  The baked toast will get puffy and the tomato will caramelize slightly.

 

Herbed Beans with Eggplant

Ingredients:

1 package Trader Joe’s 6-bean medley [Found in the refrigerated produce section of the store]

1 small eggplant, cut into a small dice [Whether you peel it is up to your tastes, I prefer mine to have the anti-oxidant rich skin on]

1 T tomato paste

½-1 cup faux chicken or vegetable stock [I really love Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

2 sprigs fresh oregano, plus some for garnish if you wish

2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus some for garnish if you wish

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees.

Spray the eggplant with a mist of olive oil.  Place in the oven and roast until soft.  This should take about 30 minutes. [You should roast the eggplant at the same time as you are baking the toast so that the entire meal comes together at the same time.]

Place a pan on the stove over medium heat.  Add the tomato paste and cook it for a couple of minutes to remove the tinny flavor of the can.  Slowly whisk in the broth until the sauce is smooth.  Add the beans and fresh herbs.  Cover and reduce heat to low.

Once the eggplant is soft, add to the bean mixture.  If you need more liquid, simply add more broth.

Divide into four equal portions and spoon over the baked toast.  Serve immediately.

 

 

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Savory Phyllo Roll

This dish is similar to the Mediterranean Braciole dinner in that it’s a combination of separate dishes combined into one  main course.  It’s very straight-forward and easy to assemble and well worth the time investment when you want to create a memorable and special meal.  The three main components can be made ahead of time so that you can create a beautiful dinner without any stress.

Ingredients:

Greek-Gyros seitan [Half a recipe was used for this]

Tangy Greek custard-style tofu [Half a recipe was used for this]

2 cups cooked greens that have been squeezed dry to remove excess water [I used nettles, but spinach could easily be substituted]

1 package phyllo dough

Olive oil

Directions:

Thaw the phyllo at room temperature while still in the box.  [You do not want to open it until you’re ready to use because it dries out very quickly.]

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Cut the seitan and tofu into blocks that measure roughly one inch by three inches and set aside. 

Unroll the phyllo dough and cover with a slightly damp towel to keep pliant.  Set a baking sheet on the counter in front of you, vertically.  Take one sheet of phyllo and place upon the baking sheet.  Using your fingers or a brush, lightly dot olive oil over the surface of the sheet.  Place another sheet of phyllo atop the first and repeat. 

Using a pizza cutter or knife [If using a knife be careful not to tear the dough, applying pressure from above rather than drawing the knife across it], gently cut the phyllo down the center, vertically so that you create two pieces.  Place a piece of seitan on either half of the phyllo three inches from the bottom edge of the sheet.  [You want to have enough room to be able to bring the phyllo up and over the filling.] Place a piece of tofu atop the seitan and then add a final layer of cooked greens.

 

Roll the phyllo up and over the filling and roll over a couple of times.  Tuck in the sides and continue to roll until all the phyllo has been used.  Rub the outside with oil and set upon a separate baking sheet. Repeat until all the rolls have been created.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the phyllo is golden brown on the edges.

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I’d been saying for a while now that I wanted to make some homemade dog treats for Rotti, our Yorkie, since his birthday was this month (yesterday, actually).  Knowing that I would do this eventually–and by eventually, I mean sooner rather than later–D was kind enough to purchase a dog bone-shaped cookie cutter for me.  I perused the web in search of a quick recipe that I could whip up in no time after a long day at work, and I found one via Manifest Vegan.

I altered the recipe a bit, using the almond butter and unbleached AP flour that I had on hand.  I baked these on parchment paper for 30 minutes.  The recipe easily made 30 dog biscuits using the cookie cutter that I had.  It only took a few minutes after I’d pulled them out of the oven before D was asking for one…for herself.  Haha.  I told both she and Rotti not to fight over the cookies; I’d made plenty! 😉  I’m glad the birthday boy loved the treats, though.  He sure does love his veggies.

The handsome boy after taking a bite of his biscuit

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