Seaweed-Banana Sandwich: approved by vegan toddlers

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My daughter’s not even two yet, but she’s already developing her own recipes.  I thought I’d share her latest creation with you:

Seaweed-Banana Sandwich
Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 strip of Nori paper
  • 1 slice of banana

Directions

  1. Wrap banana slice in Nori.
  2. Eat.

I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of grossed out by her creation, but she seems to like it.  I suspect it’ll be the cornerstone of her first cookbook.

Watch out, Isa!

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Vegan Express

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Vegan Express One of my favorite cookbook authors and long-time friend of the Veg Blog, Nava Atlas has just released her newest collection of recipes titled Vegan Express. While I admit to being a little skeptical of another “quick vegan meals”-type book, I knew that Nava has experience in that realm with The 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet. Plus, her Vegetarian Soups for All Seasons is still one of my favorite cookbooks.

I’ve only had the book for a week, and I’ve gotta say, Vegan Express may unseat Vegetarian Soups… as my favorite Nava cookbook. We’ve made a few recipes with good luck, including Broccoli Salad with Yellow Peppers, Pine Nuts, and Cranberries (see below) with a simple homemade Sesame-Ginger dressing and just tonight we had a hearty pink bean, quinoa, and spinach soup. I’m looking forward to trying the Berry-Apple Skillet Crumble and the Very Green Veggie Pesto Pizza.

Another thing I enjoy about this cookbook: Nava has put together a list of her favorite recipes, two from each chapter. That helps those have trouble deciding where to start when getting a new cookbook.

Nava has given permission to share a recipe from the book, so here’s one we had a week or so ago that I really enjoyed:

Broccoli Salad with Yellow Peppers, Pine Nuts, and Cranberries

Ingredients

  • 2 large broccoli crowns, cut into bite-size florets (about 4 heaping cups)
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing (elsewhere in the book) or equivalent store-bought dressing

Instructions

  1. Steam the broccoli florets just until bright green. Drain and rinse under cool water until room temperature or slightly warm.
  2. Combine the broccoli and the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl, toss well, and serve.

Nutritional Breakdown:

Calories: 170, total fat: 11g, protein: 5g, carbohydrates: 15g, fiber: 4g, sodium: 55g.

I’ll be doing a more thorough review once we’ve tried a few more recipes, but for now, go make that salad!

Terribly Tasty Teff Pancakes

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This recipe is one of those happy accidents brought about by my own inattention to detail.  See, I started with a good, simple recipe for buckwheat pancakes from the Chicago Diner cookbook.  I was prepacking the dry ingredients to bring with me on a trip with the intention of just adding the liquid ingredients the next morning.  But after I mixed the dry ingredients, I realized I had grabbed teff flour from the fridge instead.  Fortunately, both flours say you can substitute it for up to a 1/4th of white flour in any recipe, so I decided to leave it in there and see how it came out.

Lo and behold, it tasted better than the buckwheat!  I tweaked the recipe a little bit more and that’s what we have below.  We’ve gotten quite addicted to it over the last few weeks.  Teff flour is a nutrient-dense whole grain.  In fact, it’s the smallest grain in the world.  It’s high in protein and fiber and is gluten-free.  Fans of Ethiopian cuisine will note that teff is used to make Injira.  Of course, if you don’t have teff on hand, go ahead and use buckwheat flour instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup teff flour (or buckwheat flour)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar (preferably turbinado)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. each of ground cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg

 

  • 1 1/4 cups vanilla soy milk (or regular soy milk with a splash of vanilla extract; vanilla soy milk tends to be a little thicker and thus results in fluffier pancakes)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Whisk in wet ingredients until relatively smooth.  A few lumps are OK.  Don’t overmix, as this can make the pancakes a little tough.
  3. Brush some oil onto a pan and heat over medium heat for about 30 seconds.
  4. Drop the batter onto the pan.  How big do you like your pancakes?  When the top starts to bubble just slightly, flip it and heat for a short while longer until both sides are light brown.  Brush the pan with oil before each new set of pancakes and note that cooking time will get progressively shorter as the pan heats up.
  5. Serve adorned with fresh fruit and good quality maple syrup.  Throw some veggie sausage on the side and some fair trade coffee or tea and you’ve got yourself a breakfast.

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Garlic Curl Pesto

A biting pesto that has a sharper flavor than you’d expect. Absolutely perfect spread on a piece of toasted crusty bread with a slice of fresh tomato on top.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch garlic curls (scapes)
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts or walnuts or pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese

Directions

Chop garlic, puree in food processor or blender. Add nuts and puree. Add oil and cheese and puree.

Adapted by Potomac Vegetable Farms from Uncommon Fruits and Vegetables — A Common Sense Guide by Elizabeth Schneider.

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Irish Potatoes

This recipe has absolutely nothing to do with potatoes, and it’s about as unhealthy as can be. But it was a tradition around our house growing up to have these sweets on Saint Patrick’s Day.

Thankfully, the original recipe veganizes very well. If you’re looking for one of those recipes so sweet that it’ll make your teeth ache, this is the one.

Makes plenty.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. 10x sugar (confectioners)
  • 8 oz. pkg. plain Tofutti cream cheese (softened) – the non-hyrdrogenated kind works fine
  • 1/4 lb. Earth Balance or other vegan margarine (softened)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Dash of salt
  • 3 oz. can of coconut or 3 oz. of dried shredded coconut
  • cinnamon to coat

Directions

Blend all ingredients together (mom uses her hands, I used a wooden spoon) until well mixed. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Roll into round balls. Roll in cinnamon to coat. Store in refrigerator.

Adapted from Mommy Veg Blog’s recipe.

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