Good quality vanilla extract can be really expensive, and the shop I usually buy it from is often out of stock. But now that I know how easy it is to make at home, I’ll never buy it again. This recipe is so easy, and tastes even better than shop-bought extract.
If you buy organic vanilla beans in bulk (200g (7oz) of them is around 53 beans) it works out to be less than $5 for the vanilla beans, plus the cost of the vodka. Even using good vodka this ends up being half the price of what I used to pay for shop bought extract. (Cheap and nasty vodka will also work in this recipe).
Around 700ml (23oz) vodka
9 vanilla beans
Pour a little of the vodka out (around 1 or 2 shots worth), save it for later or drink it.
Slice the vanilla beans lengthways in half. Scraping out some of the pulp and adding this to the vodka will make for a stronger vanilla extract.
Carefully place the vanilla beans and the pulp in the bottle of vodka. Put the lid on and leave it to infuse in a dark cupboard for around two months. To speed up the process turn the bottle upside down, then right side up every so often…this means you can use your extract after a month.
When the vanilla extract is ready either remove the beans and put it into smaller bottles (it makes a nice gift), or simply keep it in the vodka bottle with the vanilla beans.
Most people that grow zucchinis in Tasmania seem to think the plants produce too much – I can never have enough of them – whether it’s grating them up and sneaking them into delicious chocolate mud cake, adding them to roast veggies for the last 10 minutes of roasting, grating and mixing them into a chickpea flour batter and frying as fritters, there are so many uses for them. Here is another way to use this vegetable, in a chutney that will probably keep for 12 months in the cupboard. It’s a small batch so if you’ve never made your own chutney before this is a nice one to try.
I’m growing costata romanesco zucchini this season (I think this is the third year in a row that I’ve grown it), it’s a really tasty Italian heirloom variety – so it’s GMO-free and easy to save the seeds.
Making your own chutneys and sauces is actually really easy and affordable. With shop-bought organic chutneys and relishes often being ridiculously expensive with weird stuff like xanthan gum and anonymous ‘natural flavour’ added to them it can be worthwhile to make your own, even if you don’t grow any veggies.
I based this recipe with the same amounts of fruit, sugar and vinegar as a pumpkin chutney recipe from Good Home Preserving. With the right jar preparation the pumpkin chutney recipe keeps for 12 months, so I imagine that this one will keep well too. The trick is to sterilise your jars with heat before filling, and to tip them upside down after filling until they cool down. I use this same trick for jams and sauces.
The flavourings I use in this recipe are reminiscent of a typical English chutney or relish. Feel free to change the spices, as long as the main ingredients are the same this recipe will work.
Gluten-free, soy-free, low fat, sugar-free option
Kitchen time 10-15 minutes. Cooking time 1 hour.
Makes around 1100ml/1.1 quart/4 2/3 cups)
300g (10.58oz) rapadura, sucanat, coconut sugar or raw sugar
300g (10.58oz) apple cider vinegar
700g (1.54lb) zucchini, diced
1 small carrot (or extra zucchini), diced (50-100g/1.76-3.2oz)
200g (7.05oz) diced tomatoes, or tomato purée/crushed tomatoes
50g (1.76oz) sultanas or raisins
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
125g (4.4oz) onions, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard powder (or yellow mustard seeds, crushed in a pestle and mortar)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 heaped teaspoon Himalayan salt, or natural sea salt
3 cloves, ground (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves)
Rinse enough jars out with very hot water (preferably boiling). Place upside down, directly on the racks of a cold oven. Heat the oven up to 120c (250f).
Combine all the ingredients in a large saucepan or stockpot over medium-low heat. Stir every now and then until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, with the lid off, for around an hour.
When the chutney has finished cooking, bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add the pot lids or gaskets and boil for 30-60 seconds, carefully remove the lids and place upside down on a clean tea towel to dry.
Carefully remove the hot jars from the oven. Fill them up with the hot chutney (I place a wide-mouthed funnel over the jars and use a soup ladle to add the chutney). Screw the jar lids on tightly and turn upside down until thoroughly cold. Turn the right way up and store in a cupboard, it will probably keep for 12 months. It will taste best after it’s been in the cupboard for a couple of weeks, but it’s still good to enjoy right away. Once the jars are opened, keep them in the fridge.
Great served with mildly flavoured seitan sausages such as pumpkin seed, lentil and herb from High Protein Vegan, or burgers such as chickpea schnitzel patties or bean and sunflower seed rissoles from ‘High Protein Vegan’, or the lentil burgers from Triumph of the Lentil.
P.S. I have more recipes coming up on this blog soon. To ensure that you get to see them subscribe to the mailing list on the right hand side of this page to get blog posts by email – I don’t send spam, just blog posts which are not that frequent and always have a recipe or something useful in them. Facebook is making it really difficult for blog pages to get news out to people that like the page, so even if you ‘like’ the Triumph of the Lentil Blog page, you may not find out about new posts unless you follow this blog by email or Twitter.
I seem to be working on quite a few different cookbooks at the moment, which may mean that it will be some time before this wonderful recipe is in print. I will be nice and share it on here now.
This is a healthy and filling snack or dessert with the delicious taste of real vanilla and a decadent creamy mouthfeel. It takes very little actual kitchen time – just put a couple of ingredients on to soak for a while, then add some extra ingredients and blend it up.
Gluten-free, soy-free, under 45 minutes option
Kitchen time 5 minutes
3 tablespoons chia seeds
6 tablespoons raw cashews
1 1/2 cups vegan milk (for best results use homemade unsweetened almond, cashew or sunflower seed milk)
2 tablespoons agave syrup
pulp from one vanilla bean (or 3 teaspoons high quality real vanilla extract)
a pinch of salt
optional 1/2 teaspoon maca powder
Combine the chia seeds, cashews and vegan milk in a bowl. Cover and leave to soak in the fridge for at least 10 minutes, preferably over 2 hours or overnight.
Add this to a blender along with the agave, vanilla bean pulp, salt and optional maca powder.
Blend until smooth and enjoy right away, or refrigerate and enjoy later (it will thicken in the fridge).
I like to eat salads for meals every now and again, typically if they have plenty of protein, fat and some carbs to make it more filling. This is a salad which has all of these things, but according to my other half it shouldn’t be called a salad, just ‘nachos’. Whatever it’s called, this is a satisfying meal that’s fast and easy to make, and perfect for hot weather.
Total time 10-15 minutes
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Onion- and Garlic-Free Option, Under 45 Minutes
Serves as many as you want
Dressing of your choice (for 2 adults and 2 children I use 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon raw agave syrup, 1/2 tablespoon seeded or dijon mustard)
Leafy greens (eg. lettuce, rocket (arugula), miners lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens)
Heartier raw vegetables (eg. cabbage, kale, grated carrot, sugar snap peas, green beans)
Optional fresh herbs such as oregano and coriander leaves (cilantro)
Corn chips, or extra grated carrot
Cooked or sprouted beans
Optional extras such as avocado, vegan cheese, salsa, spring onion (green onion)
Mix the dressing in a large mixing bowl. Add the greens, veggies and herbs and toss to thoroughly coat. Put layers of the dressed salad, corn chips, beans and any extras on large plates and serve right away.
In the photo I’ve used lettuce, rocket (arugula), sugar snap peas, red cabbage, grated carrot, corn chips, cooked red kidney beans, and the basic cashew cheese from ‘Artisan Vegan Cheese’.
This sourdough starter still takes a few days, but not nearly as long as other recipes, which typically call for feeding the sourdough for a week and throwing out a lot of the dough along the way. This is a waste-free sourdough that’s ready to use in 3 1/2 days.
Some tricks that make this sourdough extra fast:
Sourdough likes oxygen. For best results stir the mixture in between feeds to allow air into it, this will make it grow more quickly.
Rye flour. I’ve made sourdough with wheat in the past and had unpredictable and frustrating results. Rye has some special quality that makes it ideally suited for making sourdough.
I think that untreated water makes a difference. In the past I’ve used city water and the results haven’t been nearly as good. The chemicals that are dumped into mass water supplies probably aren’t great for growing wild yeast. For best results, use pure rain water or chlorine-free bottled water to establish the sourdough.
A bowl of warm water. I’ve never lived in a house that has that mythical warm rising place that most baking books seem to expect so I place the jar of starter inside a bowl, filling the bowl up with warm water to around the same level as the starter in the jar.
I use a 1.5 litre (1.5 quart) wide mouthed jar for my starter. The lid always remains unsealed, so that gasses can escape and the jar doesn’t explode. As you can see from the photo below, the starter has bubbled up and overflowed a few times after feeds – to prevent this happening, check it whenever you’re nearby and give it a stir if it looks like it’s near the top of the jar.
Combine these ingredients in a jar or bowl. Place something over the top but do not seal, then place the jar in a bowl of warm water (not too hot, test it on your wrist to check that it’s a comfortable temperature).
Day 2 (around 24 hours later), add:
1 cup rye flour
3/4 cup cold water
Add this to the day 1 starter, and place the jar in a bowl of warm water.
Day 3, add:
2 cups rye flour
1 1/2 cups cold water
Add this to the previous days starter, then place the jar in a bowl of warm water.
In just 12 hours after day 3, the starter is ready to use.
This sourdough is really low maintenance once established. After removing 1 1/2 cups to make a batch of bread, just add 2 cups of rye flour and 1 1/2 cups of water to the starter and leave it on the kitchen counter for 24 hours to ferment. Once established it doesn’t need the bowl of warm water, and after it’s finished the 24 hours on the counter it can be kept in the fridge until the next time you bake. The trick to having a low maintenance sourdough is to just make bread with it at least once a week, that way feeding the starter can easily be done at the same time as mixing dough, and it doesn’t become an extra chore or involve any waste.
A Sourdough Bread Recipe for Baking in Loaf Pans
(suitable for Romertopf pans, and other similar-sized ones for 750g (1.65lb) loaves)
Kitchen time 5-10 minutes
Rising time around 24 hours
Baking time 1 hour
Makes 2 large loaves
I will admit that the taste of this isn’t as good as a hand shaped loaf baked on a preheated pizza stone, but lately I have been enjoying baking with ceramic loaf pans – it means I can make 2 large loaves at the same time, rather than if I hand-shaped this amount of dough it would mean having to bake the loaves separately. Hand shaped loaves baked on a preheated pizza stone will take less time to bake, just flip the loaf over after around 40 minutes, knock on the base and if it sounds hollow then it’s ready – for the best results with hand shaping, use wheat flour in stage one instead of rye flour.
If using a ceramic loaf pan, allow the bread to cool before removing from the pan. To remove the bread I slide a bread knife in completely around the loaf, pressing the loaf away from the pan as I go. I then use the bread knife as a lever to lift the loaf out of the pan. To easily clean ceramic baking pans, leave them to soak in hot water for a while.
1 1/2 cups sourdough starter
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 cups rye flour
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl of around 7 litre (7.39 quart) capacity. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit at room temperature for around 12 hours.
4 1/2 cups cold water (use only 4 cups if using spelt flour)
3-4 teaspoons salt
9 cups wholemeal wheat or wholemeal spelt flour
Mix the water and salt into the starter dough from stage 1. Thoroughly mix through the flour. Cover with a tea towel and leave to sit at room temperature for around 12 hours.
Preheat the oven to around 220c (430f).
While the oven is heating up, sprinkle the base of two large loaf pans with cornmeal or flour. Punch the dough down, knead for a few seconds, and divide into two pieces. Each piece can be completely coated in sesame seeds (or other seeds) if you wish, by covering a dinner plate in seeds, stretching the dough out into a flat circle to fit in the plate, folding the sides over into the middle, and placing this seam side down in each tin. Alternatively, just plonk the dough into the pans and sprinkle with seeds if you wish.
If your pans will fit in the sink, fill the sink partly up with warm water – the water should reach up most of the sides of the pans, but not flow into them. Leave the loaves to sit in the sink for around 20-40 minutes, until the oven has heated to 220c (430f).
Slash the top of the loaves with a knife and bake for around an hour.
My new book is out – the first ever high protein vegan cookbook, titled ‘High Protein Vegan: Hearty Whole Food Meals, Raw Desserts and More’. It’s available now from the places listed on this page and I’d like to share one of my favourite recipes from it.
Raw Caramel Slice
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nightshade-Free, Onion- and Garlic-Free, Under 45 minutes
Kitchen time 10-15 minutes, Setting time: 30-60 minutes
A raw vegan version of an old favourite with a chewy caramel filling and thin chocolate topping, this slice is delicious and tastes a little bit like caramel nougat chocolate bars, only better. It can be made as a slice in a square pan, or as a torte in a round springform tin. For best results use almonds for the base, although walnuts or pecans will also make a great slice.
I recommend using refined coconut oil for this recipe.
For the base:
1 1/2 cups almonds, walnuts or pecans
a pinch of salt
4 medjool dates, pitted
1/3 cup coconut oil, liquid
For the caramel filling:
18 medjool dates, pitted
2-3 pinches of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
1/4 cup nut butter (hazelnut, almond, cashew or brazil nut)
For the chocolate topping:
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid
a pinch of salt
2-3 tablespoons raw agave syrup
1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
To make the base, process the almonds and salt in a food processor until crumbly, but not too fine (some will resemble almond meal, and some will be more like the nut pieces that go into pesto). Add the dates and process until no large pieces remain. Process through the coconut oil until evenly mixed in. Press the mixture into a greased or lined 20cm (8”) square or round baking tray.
To make the caramel layer, process the dates and salt in a food processor until it is finely ground and forms a ball. Add the coconut oil and nut butter and continue to process until thoroughly mixed through (you may need to stop the processor and break up the ball with a fork a couple of times). Press this mixture into an even layer on top of the base.
Prepare the chocolate topping by combining the coconut oil, salt and agave in a bowl. Stir through the cacao and mix until evenly combined, adding more agave if you like. Spread this on top of the caramel layer (you may need to use your hands to spread it) and allow to set at room temperature for at least half an hour before slicing, or until the chocolate topping has set.
What to expect from ‘High Protein Vegan’:
•Innovative ways to serve legumes and vegetables
•Better photos: since writing my first book I’ve learned more about working with natural light and put extra effort into composition and styling, along with upgrading my lens. All the photos in this book are taken with natural lighting.
•Vegan sausages! Bratwurst, Kransky, Frankfurter and more…
•Soy-free tofu, and recipes to use it in
•Raw desserts and raw meals, all without a dehydrator
•All the answers you’ll need for when people ask “where do you get your protein?”
•Recipes to impress anyone, for a variety of occasions
Similar to ‘Triumph of the Lentil’, this book also has:
•Minimal premade products – recipes totally from scratch including laksa and Thai green curry – make meals easily from fresh ingredients, with a taste that is superior to using shop-bought pastes.
•Soy-free options for all recipes. While the book itself is not soy-free in that it doesn’t specify to use soy-free miso or soy-free vegan milks, the soy allergy of my main taste-tester means that all the recipes have been made using soy-free ingredients.
•Mostly gluten-free recipes
•Cook-friendly, frustration-free layout – I like to cook from cookbooks and designed this one with how I want a cookbook to be – easily readable recipes from a distance, with the ingredients and instructions on the same page.
•Colour photos with nearly every recipe
•Whole foods – no refined grains, margarines or ‘fake’ things in sight.
•Index by ingredient – make use of seasonal vegetables and whatever cooked legumes you have on hand
•Recipes suitable for small households – many recipes make 2 servings, while all other recipes make more servings that reheat well or can be stored uncooked in the fridge for cooking up later.
•Lots of everyday recipes – these were all tested with two young children to look after and mostly with ingredients that I can find locally though the whole year. I don’t have the time to spend hours in the kitchen for every meal and have timed every recipe to show just how little hands-on kitchen time some of them take.
•Real meal recipes – This is the stuff I cook at home – not a bunch of appetisers, fancy breakfasts and complicated side dishes but mostly hearty recipes that are either meals on their own, or completed with a very simple side dish.
For more information about the book, see http://highproteinvegan.wordpress.com/
When I’m working on books I never really know what recipes to share on the blog, and what can wait for the book. This is something I knew I had to share right away.
It’s not the same as soy tofu – it doesn’t have the same texture or taste, but it is a protein-rich medium for all kinds of delicious sauces (like chermoula, pictured above), or to be fried up and used in a variety of recipes, like the grain-free pad thai from my next book, pictured below.
It can also be cut into chip shapes, shallow fried and enjoyed as a high-protein alternative to potato chips, to turn a chip sandwich into a balanced meal.
I’ve based my recipe around a combination of things – Burmese tofu has been traditionally made with chickpea flour for a long time, but typically involves a lot of prep time and tricky steps, and while this would reduce the phytic acid in the tofu, it makes the process a lot slower. With my recipe the tofu can be ready to use in under 45 minutes. If you’re good with planning ahead and want to make the tofu as nutritious as possible then the batter can definitely be soaked for 8 hours or more before heating it up, otherwise enjoy this cheap, fast and tasty homemade alternative to tofu.
Soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, low fat, nightshade-free, onion- and garlic-free, under 45 minutes
Makes 4-6 serves
2 1/2 cups chickpea flour (besan)
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups cold water
Line or grease a 20x30cm (8×12″) pan.
In a heavy-bottomed chef’s pan, frying pan or saucepan place the chickpea flour and salt, and squash out any lumps. Add water a little at a time, making sure that no lumps form.
Turn on the heat to medium and stir continuously until very thick. I make this on an electric stove in a 9 1/2″ (24cm) chef’s pan and it takes around 7 minutes. If you’re using a gas stove it will be quicker, if you’re using a smaller saucepan it will take longer.
As soon as the mixture is very thick, quickly spread it into the prepared pan, pressing to form a flat, even surface (it will set very quickly). Leave to set for at least half an hour before using as tofu.
To remove from the pan first slice into whatever shape you want them to be, and gently lift up. I find that lining the pan with a silicon baking mat or some baking paper makes it a lot easier to remove.
This will keep in the fridge for up to a week and can be used in all kinds of recipes that call for tofu.
It’s been nearly a year since my first book was released. At the time I had no idea if anyone would want to buy it and cook from it but it’s been great having good feedback on it and knowing people are cooking and appreciating my recipes.
When I started putting Triumph of the Lentil together there were no soy-free vegan cookbooks around. As more people develop sensitivities to this often-used legume it’s been important to me to have something out there that says “yes you can be vegan and enjoy all this delicious food without using soy”. My next book will continue this, with every recipe having a soy-free option, and plenty of recipes suitable for other allergies and diets.
I’d like to give away a copy of Triumph of the Lentil to a lucky reader. To enter the competition, ‘like’ the Triumph of the Lentil Blog facebook page or follow me on twitter, or sign up to the mailing list on the right hand side of this page. Leave a comment on this post with an email address I can contact you on. On the 15th of June the winner will be selected from the comments at random and contacted.
Edit: The winner has now been selected and contacted. Thank you to all those who entered.
To everyone that has already signed up to my facebook, twitter or mailing list – you are welcome to enter the competition, just leave a comment on this post. Your support has been greatly appreciated.
Thank you to everyone that has enjoyed the book and blog over the past year, I hope that you will all like my next one even more.
And now for a recipe:
Soy-Free Vegan Omelettes
These are a very quick and easy dish to make. In the photo the omelette is stuffed with kale, tomatoes and homemade cashew cheese, but all kinds of toppings are great on these omelettes, we often eat them with pickled gherkin slices and kale. For a filling meal serve with cooked grains, bread, chips or roasted vegetables.
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Nightshade-Free, Onion- and Garlic-Free, Low Fat, Under 45 Minutes
Total time: 20 Minutes. Serves 2.
1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (savoury yeast flakes)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 cup water
Combine the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl, breaking up any lumps. Add the water a little at a time, mixing to form a batter.
Thoroughly brush or spray a frying pan with olive oil and heat on a medium-high setting. When the pan is hot, pour in half the batter (if it is thicker in the centre and thinner on the outsides you can use the back of a metal spoon to gently spread the batter out).
Cook without disturbing until the edges are cooked through and there are bubbles in the middle. Gently flip over and cook for a further minute or two, until the other side is completely cooked. Place on a plate, keeping it warm in the oven if you wish.
When the first omelette is out of the pan, quickly pour the other half of the batter in and cook in the same way.
Put toppings on one half of each circle and flip the other side over the top.
This post has been a part of Allergy-Free Wednesdays.
This week there are bake sales happening all around the world as part of the Worldwide Vegan Bake Sale. My local vegan group didn’t have as many people baking as last year and it got me thinking about a stress-free way to make lots of delicious things.
It’s helpful to figure out what keeps for the longest, what can be made at the last minute, what is best made the day beforehand and work out a rough schedule from there.
•Cakes, muffins and cupcakes are best made the day before the sale, it gives them time to cool down, but not so much time that they will lose freshness.
•Many biscuits can be made a few days in advance. The best candidates for these are ones that use plenty of oil and a minimum of water. The Vanilla and Almond Crescents that I created for a baking book (to hopefully be published in 2013 or 2014) are great for this, the recipe is in this post.
•Raw truffles will keep for a while in the fridge, and can also be a good thing to make at the last minute as I did the morning of the bake sale by making a half batch of raw brownies from My New Roots and rolling them in cacao to serve as truffles.
•Dry ingredients can be mixed together hours, days or weeks before baking. This is especially helpful if you’re baking a lot of cakes in one day.
More observations from vegan bake sales:
•There can never be enough chocolate. I found this out at my first stall that with a selection including some of Gunter’s delicious recipes, the chocolate caramel and almond torte pictured above (from Triumph of the Lentil), plain chocolate cake, carrot cake and date cake that the most popular cakes were the ones with chocolate.
•Vegan-friendly cafés and businesses are often happy to donate cakes or ingredients.
•Having ingredients lists on hand for everything is a good idea for people with allergies, and is asked for here when council permits are required.
•Covers for the food are often expected by the council as a condition of the permit. Transparent ones are the best and plastic wrap can serve this purpose if there is nothing else around.
•It’s easy enough to get a bake sale organised, even with a minimum of people. It’s a good fundraiser and an excellent way to expose people to vegan food. Not all places require council permits, and if they are difficult to deal with then it’s easy to get around that by giving food away for free with a donation box at the stall.
And for the vanilla and almond crescent recipe…
These are an incredibly delicious biscuit with just the right amount of sweetness and lots of rich flavours from the almonds and vanilla. My choice of coconut oil for this (and most of my cooking) is the more refined kind, which is refined by filtering it through clay to remove the coconut taste and smell, this gives a ‘buttery’ flavour and texture to the baked good with all the goodness of coconut oil, but without being overwhelmed by coconut flavours.
Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Option, under 45 minutes
Kitchen time 15 minutes, baking time 12-15 minutes
1 cup almonds, ground
3/4 cup unrefined sugar
2 1/3 cups barley flour (or wholemeal spelt, wholewheat pastry or gluten free)
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or a mixture of melted coconut oil and olive oil)
1/4 cup water
2-3 teaspoons vanilla extract
optional powdered vegan sugar, for coating
Preheat the oven to 175c (350f). Line or grease two baking sheets.
For best results, grind the almonds and sugar together in a food processor. In a mixing bowl, combine the almonds, sugar, flour and salt. Stir through the coconut oil, water and vanilla extract to form a thick dough.
Take tablespoons of the dough and shape into logs that have thinner ends and a thicker centre. Curl into crescent moon shapes and place on the baking trays.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle with powdered vegan sugar if you want.
I suspect these will keep in a sealed container for longer than a week, although they never last that long in our house.
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We go through times where we don’t have that much variety in our meals, it’s really easy to have a few favourites that can be made through the whole year and always have the ingredients around to make them. Lately I’ve been trying to plan our meals and weekly shopping a bit more so that I can try out new recipes.
I recently got Bryanna Clark Grogan’s book ‘World Vegan Feast’ and dog-eared around half the pages, there are so many recipes that look really good (and the ones that I’ve tried so far have been great). There was one for shawarma wraps that involved yoghurt, so rather than following a faster recipe I decided to use my meal planning skills to make a fermented vegan yoghurt instead.
1 cup cashews
water, for soaking
1 cup water, for blending
Soak the cashews in the water for at least half an hour (preferably overnight). Drain and place in a blender with a cup of water and blend until smooth. Using a nut milk bag or a very fine sieve, strain the mixture into a wide-necked jar or bowl. Leave it to sit at room temperature until it tastes fermented. It takes around 24 hours in my fairly cold kitchen, if your kitchen is warmer you might want to check after 8 hours or so.
Compared to shop-bought soy yoghurt this is much creamier, richer, and has a slight cashew taste. Great for any recipe that calls for plain yoghurt, or just served plain with some fruit.
Bryanna Clark Grogan’s recipe consisted of some homemade seitan – slowly baked in broth then thinly sliced and marinated in an incredibly delicious sour and spicy marinade. The seitan is then grilled (broiled) and served in a wrap with salad greens, tomatoes, red onion and vegan yoghurt and sumac. It was very tasty, I will definitely make this again.
This recipe has been a part of the Pennywise Platter, March the 14th