Monday, February 23, 2015

Pasta with mushroom cream




I am a big fan of re-using the leftovers and changing the dish a little bit for less boredom!

I had some cream of mushroom soup left from yesterday's dinner. I tossed it in with vegan pasta and voilà!

It was delicious. :)

A classic: Crepes with maple syrup


I went grocery shopping yesterday morning, and I could not resist buying maple syrup. I live in Brazil, and this is clearly imported from Canada (hence the French on the bottle), so it is quite pricy. When my father came to visit me last May, before the World Cup craze, he brought me a few cans. But they are already over. I have been craving for maple syrup since.

Crepes with maple syrup was a staple food in my house growing up. Every Saturday morning, we were almost certain to have it for breakfast. Now that I am vegan, I no longer use my family recipe, but my own version, cruelty-free.

VEGAN CREPES

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup, all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
A pinch of sea salt
1 cup of soy milk
2 tablespoons of vegan margarine, melted
More margarine to cook the crepes

Often, crepes batter use sugar, but I don't put it, since I find the maple syrup in itself contains enough sugar! You can use whole wheat flour if you prefer, or use a mixture of both whole wheat and all purpose flour for a healthier alternative. I didn't have any whole wheat flour at hand. You can also add in a mashed banana to the batter, or oats, which gives it a nice and healthy taste.

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and salt). Whisk in the milk and the melted margarine until the batter is smooth. It shouldn't be too liquid. Heat some more margarine in a frying pan. When the margarine is all melted and boiling, it means the pan is hot enough. If the pan is not hot enough, the batter will stick and you won't have a nice looking crepe (my daddy's trick!). Pour in enough batter to make the first crepe. Cook for 1 or 2 min until the batter is darker around the edges. The top of the crepe should not be runny. Flip it and cook on the other side. Once cooked through, put aside on a plate and repeat the process until there is no more batter. Serve with bananas or fruit of your choice and maple syrup.

Bon appétit!

Cream of mushroom soup


I am trying to lose 3 kg and find I am not really good with diets (I have a hard time sticking to them). The only things that seem to work for me is working out, eating well and avoid eating too much carbs at night. This means that for dinner, I enjoy making soups, like this one. A creamy mushroom soup.

VEGAN CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP

Ingredients:

Olive oil to sautee the veggies
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks, celery, chopped
400 g, mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves, garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons, all purpose flour
2 cups, low sodium vegetable broth
frozen spinach (optional)
Sea salt to taste
Rice cream and green onions for decoration

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and  sautee onion, celery, garlic and mushrooms and a little bit of salt. Cook until the mushrooms lose most of their water and the onions are translucent. Add the flour and mix well until the veggies are all coated. Add the broth. The flour will eventually allow for the broth to thicken a little. Let simmer for about 15 min. Pour 3/4 of the mixture in a mixer and blend until smooth. Return to the pan with the rest of the veggies. This way, your soup won't be completely smooth but you will still have chunks of mushrooms and celery in it (which I prefer). You can then add the spinach and rectify the seasoning to taste. Decorate with rice cream and green onions before serving.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Jambalaya and cornbread



I was so hungry I could not decide what to make for lunch (and use as my first recipe here). I asked my boyfriend what he thought I should make. Of everything I made lately, I asked him, what was his favourite dish. He gave a few suggestions but finally decided on my vegan jambalaya recipe. A recipe I did last week.

I had been researching about Cajun cuisine last week and quite liked the story. I already knew the Cajun people were originally French Canadians (before they were called that) and had been forced out of their settlements and deported to the South of the U.S.A. I also supposed that since the climate there is very different from Canada's, they had to adapt their cuisine using ingredients that were more readily available to them. What I didn't know was that their religious beliefs made their way into their kitchen too: predominantly Catholics, they usually start off their recipes with the Holy Trinity (which is, for them, onions, bell peppers and celery). Sometimes, they also add the Pope (some garlic). Isn't that funny? I wish I could refer to these ingredients as such, but unfortunately no one will know what I will be talking about. ^^

Here is the recipe for my vegan jambalaya and corn bread:

VEGAN JAMBALAYA

Ingredients:

Olive oil to sautee the veggies
1/4 cup, diced onion
1/4 cup, diced bell pepper (I used yellow and green)
1/4 cup, sliced celery
1 quartered zuchini
2 tablespoons, crushed garlic
1 cup, brown rice
1 can, black beans
2 cans (10 3/4 oz or 305 g), peeled tomatoes
10 3/4 oz or 305 g, water (I used the empty tomato can)
Low sodium vegetable broth cube
Sea salt, oregano, cumin, cayenne pepper and hot sauce to taste
Chopped parsley to decorate

Directions:

In a large pot, heat the oil over high heat with the onion, bell pepper and celery until the onions are slightly translucent. Add the zucchini and cook some more until they are soft. Add the garlic and a little bit of salt. Add the rice and mix like if you were frying it. Then add the liquids: starting with the canned tomatoes, the beans (use their can juice too!) and the water. Add the broth cube and mix well. Cover and let cook for 20 minutes without touching it. After 20 minutes, you can remove the cover and stir it some more. Let it cook again and stir it occasionally. Lower the heat and let it cook until the rice is cooked through and the cooking liquid is almost all evaporated. At this time, add the oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin and hot sauce of your choice. Adjust seasoning to your taste. Serve in plates and decorate with chopped parsley.


CORN BREAD

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups, cornmeal (for polenta)
1 cup, all purpose flour
1 tablespoon, baking powder
1 teaspoon, salt
6 tablespoons, vegan sugar
2 cups, soy milk
2 teaspoons, lemon vinegar
1/4 cup, canola oil

Directions:

Mix together the dry ingredients (floor, cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder) and slowly pour in the milk. Stir. Add the oil and vinegar and stir some more until everything is well combined. Grease a pyrex baking dish and pour the mixture in. Cook in a preheated oven for 30 min at 400°F or until cooked through and slightly golden around the edges.

Let's see

I have had a food blog before. One in Portuguese. I posted a total of 12 recipes there. Then I gave it up. I also had another blog in French in which I posted two recipes before closed it down. I was never really good at staying in focus. I attribute this flaw to a self-assessed attention deficit disorder.

I realized I had this disorder when a friend of mine told me she has ADHD. I seemed to have the same difficulty she has, minus the hyperactivity part. I do not get that excited about things, apart from the few and occasional joyful bursts. Still, for me, it was an epiphany: I seldom can stay focus on a conversation, make silly inattention mistakes, or serious ones.

In school, I was certainly the student who stared the most at the teachers, but my mind was never there. My face used to turn a vivid red when the teachers asked me a question, thinking I was their most fervent follower. I rarely knew what they were talking about.

I cannot drive a car because of that: I stop seeing the road, I think about other things while driving. It's very dangerous.

I also have a hard time sticking to my projects. My attention is divergent. I start doing other things. Still, I come back to it if it is something important to me and I manage to finish it, after going through countless detours.

I am an aspiring author. I am writing, and love writing, but I am working on four books at the moment. I write a little bit of one, then another, and another again. Right now, my attention is diverging again to try to keep a food blog once more. Let's see how this time goes.