Vegan Sweet Buns

Soft, sweet buns that are perfect with a soup or stew, or with jam for breakfast in the morning! These are a family recipe, which only required a couple modifications to make vegan, and tastes just as good!

Prep time: ~3 hours.
Serves: 12-14

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil).
  • 1/4 cup sugar.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (other vegan milks, and even water, work fine too!)
  • 2 tsp dry-active yeast.
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes).
  • 4 1/2 cups flour.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the oil, milk, and sugar in a small pot over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer if you have one), mix together 2 cups of the flour and the salt.

Once the sugar is dissolved, take the pot off the heat. Let it cool down until it’s just warm, then stir in the yeast. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to begin to activate, then form a well in the flour and add in the milk mixture and the flax egg.

Beat until smooth, using either your hand or a firm spatula (if using a stand mixer, use a dough hook). Gradually add in the remaining flour, working the dough until smooth and elastic. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, and if the dough is too dry, add a bit more water.

Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a smooth disk. Rinse the bowl (don’t use soap, just warm water!), then grease the bowl with a tiny bit of oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, flipping it a couple times to make sure all sides are nicely greased.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to proof for 45 minutes to an hour, until it has doubled in size.

When your dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Grease 2 loaf tins with a good amount of oil. Divide the dough in half, and roll each half into a snake about 10 inches long. Cut them into even pieces 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Roll each piece into a smooth ball, tucking the sides underneath until the top is nice and smooth. You should end up with 6-8 balls of dough per loaf tin, depending on how large you cut the pieces.

Place the buns into the loaf tins, then cover them and set aside for another 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F/ 190 C. Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes, until they’re golden on top and sound slightly hollow. If they begin to brown too quickly, turn the heat down to 350 F/180 C.

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Vegan Chow Mein

This is a Cantonese-style chow mein, served on a bed of crispy fried noodles. Traditionally, one would use egg noodles, but here I’ve replaced that with thin rice noodles, to keep it vegan! As usual, not exactly authentic, but not too far off either.

Prep Time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp garlic, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tbsp ginger, peeled and minced.
  • 1 tsp crushed chili peppers.
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets.
  • 1 large handful snow peas, washed, with the ends trimmed off.
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy (or a small handful of cabbage), cut into thin strips, leaves separate from the stems.
  • 1 small handful water chestnuts, sliced if desired.
  • small handful green onions, finely sliced.
  • 3 tbsp vegan oyster sauce – this can be bought at some supermarkets, or if you’re feeling adventurous, make it yourself! Here is a pretty good recipe with ingredients that are pretty easy to get ahold of.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 tsp sugar.
  • pinch of white pepper.
  • splash of water.
  • thin rice noodles (such as vermicelli).

Cooking Instructions:

Place a large frying pan or wok over medium heat with some vegetable oil in the bottom. When hot, toss in the ginger, garlic, and crushed chilis. Fry those for a few minutes, stirring often, until they become fragrant.

Next, add in the carrots and the broccoli, and cook until they begin to soften slightly. Add in the peas and bok choy stems, fry for a minute, then the bok choy leaves, water chestnuts, and green onions. Fry everything for a minute or two, then add in the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper, and water. Stir to coat, then reduce the heat slightly until your noodles are ready.

Heat up another frying pan on medium-high heat with a splash of oil in it to fry off the noodles (you don’t have to fry them, but it makes the dish so much better!) Boil the noodles until just cooked, then drain them and splash them with a bit of cold water to prevent them from going soggy. Toss them in the frying pan and stir them often, cooking until they begin to go nice and crispy.

Scoop some noodles into a bowl, then top with the vegetables, and enjoy!

 

 

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies – for all the Reese’s lovers out there! These are indulgent, soft on the inside and crisp on the outside, chock full of peanut-chocolate goodness!

Prep time: ~45 min
Makes 18-24 cookies, depending on how large you make them.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup margarine/vegan butter, softened.
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter.
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar.
  • 1/2 cup white sugar.
  • 2 flax “eggs” (Instructions for this below!)
  • 2 tbsp warm water.
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 2.5 cups flour.
  • 1 tsp baking soda.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips.

For the flax eggs: You’ll need 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 2.5 tbsp water for each “egg”.  Mix together thoroughly in a small dish and set aside for 5 minutes to thicken before using.


Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C. Mix together the margarine and peanut butter until smooth. Add in the sugars and cream until fluffy. Add in the “eggs”, the water, and the vanilla. Mix until just combined.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then fold the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold them just until you don’t see any more streaks of flour, then add in the chocolate chips. Don’t overmix the dough!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and scoop the cookies, 3-4 tbsp per cookie, onto the sheet. Press them down slightly with a wet hand, making sure to leave a couple centimeters between each cookie so they have room to expand.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the edges are golden and crisp but the middle is still slightly soft. Allow to cool for a minute, then enjoy!

Watermelon Mint Lemonade

A super refreshing drink perfect for hot, sunny, summer days! One of my personal favourites as well.

Prep time: ~20 minutes
Serves: 10-12
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 watermelon, cut into small chunks.
  • 1 large bunch mint.
  • 1 cup white sugar.
  • 250 ml water.
  • 1 pinch salt.
  • 250 ml lemon juice.
  • 2 liters cold water.
  • sprig of mint for garnish (optional)

Cooking Instructions:

First, we’re going to make a watermelon-mint syrup. Place the sugar, water, watermelon, and mint in a pot on high heat. Stir occasionally, until all of the sugar is dissolved and it comes to a boil.

Take it off the heat and remove the mint leaves. Allow to cool, then place the syrup and watermelon chunks in a blender and blend until smooth.

Take a large pitcher and pour the lemon juice in. Strain in the watermelon syrup to avoid any seeds getting in the lemonade. Add the cold water. You may want a little more or a little less water, depending on how strong you like your lemonade!

Stir the whole thing up, then serve over ice, garnished with mint if desired, and enjoy!

Cucumber and Dill Salad

A delicious and refreshing salad for the hot summer months. Super quick and easy, this is a perfect side dish for anything you throw on the barbecue, like veggie kebabs!

Prep time: ~10 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 2 English cucumbers, very thinly sliced.
  • 1 large handful dill.
  • 1 small handful mint.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar.
  • salt.
  • pepper.

Cooking Instructions:

Pick the leaves off of the dill and mint, leaving the larger stems behind. Tear the dill into smaller fronds, then finely slice the mint leaves.

In a large bowl, mix the cucumber with the oil, then add in the herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat, then stir in the vinegar. Give it one last toss, and it’s ready to go! You can also leave this salad in the fridge for a few hours to pickle in the vinegar if you’d like.

Vegan Chocolate and Coconut Truffles

These are deliciously creamy and rich, with a lovely hint of coconut! Incredibly easy to make, though they do take a while to set in the fridge before you can eat them. If you can’t have dairy for whatever reason, these are a great option.

Prep time: ~4 hours, largely inactive
Serves: 8-10
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 300 g dark chocolate.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil.
  • 1 can coconut milk (240 ml).
  • 1-2 tbsp icing sugar.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.

Heat the coconut milk on low heat on the stove, or in the microwave, stirring often to make sure it’s heated evenly. Break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large bowl with the coconut oil.

Once the coconut milk is hot, pour it over the chocolate and oil. Leave it for a moment to begin melting, then stir well, making sure all of the chocolate and oil has completely melted. Pour in the vanilla extract, then sift in the icing sugar, being careful to keep the truffle mix completely lump-free.

Place the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl or a casserole dish (this will make it easier to scoop into balls later), then cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for 4 hours.

When the truffle mix has set, use a tablespoon to scoop out the desired amount, then roll with your hands to form smooth balls. Decorate them however you like: toss them in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, chopped nuts… the possibilities are endless! Pop them back in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up again, then enjoy!

Roasted Potato Galettes

Crispy, herby, delicious little stacks of sliced potato. This recipe is a lovely little side for dinner parties, or if you’re cooking to impress someone special!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 4-6
Gluten-free

Ingredients:

  • 4 large potatoes, peeled if desired, scrubbed well and cut into very thin slices (a mandoline or food processor with a slicer attachment works best).
  • 3 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 small handful fresh thyme, leaves stripped off the stems and finely chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • sea salt (optional).

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F/220 C.

In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with the olive oil, making sure to coat each individual slice. Add in the herbs, garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

To make the galettes nice and precise, take a cupcake/muffin tin and grease the cups. Layer up the potato slices in the cupcake cups, pushing them up the sides slightly so they’re taller around the edges. If you don’t have a cupcake tin, use a baking sheet with some parchment paper – the galettes won’t be quite as precise, but they’ll still taste delicious!

Sprinkle on top with a tiny bit of sea salt, and pop them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until golden and crispy on the edges, and soft in the middle.

Enjoy!

Vegan Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble

This is a lovely fruity dessert that is super easy to throw together! Strawberry and rhubarb is one of my favourite fruit combinations of all time. The perfect balance of sweet and sour, it’s super delicious!

Prep time: ~1 hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

For the fruit filling:

  • 2 cups rhubarb, diced.
  • 3 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters.
  • 3/4 cup sugar.
  • 2 tsp lemon juice.

For the crumble topping:

  • 1/3 cup flour.
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or margarine, cold, cut into small cubes.
  • 1/2 cup oats.
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds.
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C.

Grease a casserole dish. In a large bowl, combine the fruit, sugar, and lemon juice, then tumble it into the casserole dish, spreading it out evenly.

In another bowl, mix the flour and the butter together, either using your fingers or two knives, until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency. Add in the oats, almonds, brown sugar, and cinnamon, and mix well. Sprinkle the crumble topping generously over the fruit mixture.

Pop the casserole dish in the oven for 40-45 minutes, until the crumble topping is crisp and golden and the fruit is soft. If you’re worried about the fruit bubbling over and making a mess in the oven, place the casserole dish on a baking sheet, or line the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil!

Serve warm, with vegan ice cream or whipped cream if desired, and enjoy!

Vegan French Onion Soup

A lovely, simple dish best eaten on a chilly, rainy day… or just if you need a bit of comfort food!

Traditionally, this dish would be served with toasted baguette and cheese on top. I’ve chosen to keep the baguette, but eliminated the cheese for obvious reasons. If there’s a vegan cheese you love and that melts nicely, try it out!

This dish has minimal ingredients, but is absolutely lovely. It does take a while to cook, simply because the onions have to caramelize so much, but it’s well worth the wait!

Prep time: ~1.5 hours
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 white or yellow onions, thinly sliced.
  • 4 tsp oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 glass white wine (if you don’t want to use alcohol, a splash of vinegar and some vegetable stock will do the job!)
  • 1 tbsp flour.
  • 4 cups/1 liter vegetable stock.
  • 1 small bunch thyme (dried is fine).
  • 1 small bunch rosemary (dried is fine).
  • 2-3 bay leaves.
  • splash of cognac (optional).
  • 1 slice baguette per person.
  • 1 clove garlic.

Cooking Instructions:

Heat a large pot on medium-low heat, add in the oil. Once the onions are hot, add them in, stir well, and season with salt and pepper. Let the onions caramelize for 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often, until they’re a lovely, rich, deep colour.

Pour in the wine and stir well to deglaze the pan, loosening up any bits of onion that are stuck to the bottom. Next, add in the flour, and cook for just a minute or two. This helps the soup be thicker and rich.

Add in the vegetable stock and herbs. Let the soup simmer for another 20 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, until it’s reduced down nicely. Pour in a little bit of cognac, it really helps take the soup to the next level!

Preheat the oven on the broiler setting. Rub your baguette pieces with a little bit of oil and garlic, then place them on a baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes, just until they’re toasted. Serve up bowls of the soup, and place the bread on top. If you want to use a vegan cheese, grate it on top of the bread, then place the bowls in the oven just until the cheese begins to melt and bubble.

Serve piping hot, and enjoy!

Vegan Cinnamon Rolls

Soft, sweet bread with a gooey cinnamon filling, topped with an orange-infused glaze… this is an amazing dessert (or indulgent breakfast) that everyone will love!

Prep time: ~3 hours
Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or other neutral oil).
  • 1/4 cup sugar.
  • 1 tsp salt.
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk (other vegan milks, and even water, work fine too!)
  • 2 tsp dry-active yeast.
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes).
  • 4 1/2 cups flour.

For the filling:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed.
  • 3 tbsp cinnamon.
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom.
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (or margarine).
  • zest of 1/2 an orange.

For the glaze:

  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp almond milk (again, other milks or water will work!).
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.
  • zest of 1/2 an orange.

Cooking Instructions:

For the dough: Place the oil, milk, and sugar in a small pot over low heat. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved.

In a large bowl (or stand mixer if you have one), mix together 2 cups of the flour and the salt.

Once the sugar is dissolved, take the pot off the heat. Let it cool down until it’s just warm, then stir in the yeast. Wait a few minutes for the yeast to begin to activate, then form a well in the flour and add in the milk mixture and the flax egg.

Beat until smooth, using either your hand or a firm spatula (if using a stand mixer, use a dough hook). Gradually add in the remaining flour, working the dough until smooth and elastic. If it’s too sticky, add a bit more flour, and if the dough is too dry, add a bit more water.

Remove the dough from the bowl and form it into a smooth disk. Rinse the bowl (don’t use soap, just warm water!), then grease the bowl with a tiny bit of oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, flipping it a couple times to make sure all sides are nicely greased.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to proof for 45 minutes to an hour, until it has doubled in size.

When your dough is ready, remove it from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes. Cover it with a towel or plastic wrap, and let it rest for 5 minutes.

Now, time to start on the filling: In a large bowl, beat the vegan butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add in the cinnamon, cardamom, and orange zest, and mix thoroughly.

Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface into a thin, long rectangle, about 1/2-3/4 of a centimeter thick. Spread the filling evenly over the dough, leaving about 1/2 a centimeter border unfilled on all sides.

Begin rolling up the dough from the long side of the rectangle, keeping it as tight as you can without squishing it too much. Slice the rolls approximately 1 1/2 centimeters thick, trying to keep them as evenly sized as possible.

Grease a 9×13” baking pan and place the rolls inside, spacing them out evenly. Depending on how large you cut your rolls, you may need an extra cake tin! Cover the pan and set it aside for another 45 minutes to proof.

Preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp on the outside and golden. If they begin to brown too much before the baking time is done, reduce the oven heat to 350 F/180 C.

To make the glaze: sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then add the liquid a bit at a time, until it’s the desired consistency. Stir in the vanilla and the orange zest, and it’s ready to go.

Let the cinnamon buns cool down slightly, then dribble the glaze over them. Enjoy!