Vegan Savoury Biscuits

A delicious side for all kinds of soups and stews, served along a posh brunch, or just a great snack for when you want something on the savoury side. These are crumbly and flaky and always impress.

This recipe is for garlic black pepper biscuits, but you can play around with different flavour combinations to make whatever you like!

Serves: 8 – 12, depending on how large you make the biscuits.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour.
  • 1 tbsp baking powder.
  • 1/2 tbsp salt.
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar.
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda.
  • 1/2 tsp pepper.
  • 3/4 cup vegan butter, cubed, keep very cold for best results!
  • 3/4 cup rice milk or other vegan milk substitute.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely grated and mixed into the milk.
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water).

Cooking instructions:

Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the butter substitute and rub into the flour mixture using your fingertips or a pastry cutter until you have a rough, crumbly mixture, with lumps of butter about the size of peas.

Make a well in the flour mixture and add the flax egg and the milk substitute, then stir until a rough, shaggy dough is formed.

Turn out onto a floured work surface and press the dough flat, then fold it in half and repeat. Press hard and avoid touching the dough for too long, as that will make the the butter melt and make the biscuits tough. Fold 3 to 4 times until the dough is mostly smooth, but still fairly dry.

Cut using a round cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined baking tray, leaving at least 2 cm between biscuits. You can squish the dough back together and cut biscuits out again, but the more times you do this the higher the chance of the biscuits being tough. Bake at 400 F/200 C for 15-20 minutes, until fully risen, browned on top, and crispy all over.

Enjoy!

 

 

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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.

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.

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!

Kale, Chickpea, Pomegranate Salad

A lovely Middle-Eastern (sorta) inspired salad chock full of flavour and nutrients! Served with a tahini-lemon dressing, this salad is a great side to any number of Middle-Eastern stews or rice dishes. If you don’t like kale, feel free to use any other green you prefer!

If you’d like to make this salad a little more substantial for a light lunch or the like, I highly recommend adding in some Bulgur wheat or couscous! If you can’t have gluten, quinoa would also be a good option.

Serves 4-6
Prep time: ~15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large bunches of kale, leaves stripped off the stems and roughly chopped.
  • 1 bunch mint, finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped.
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed well.
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate.
  • 1 cucumber, peeled if desired, finely sliced.
  • 1/2 red onion, finely minced.
  • 1-2 pieces Arabic bread, cut into small squares.
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil.

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp tahini.
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed.
  • 1 tsp agave syrup.
  • salt.
  • pepper.

Cooking Instructions:

First, time to make some easy croutons! Preheat the oven as high as it will go. Toss the bread pieces with a tiny bit of olive oil, spread them out thinly on a baking sheet, and pop in the oven. Bake them for 5-10 minutes, giving them an occasional stir, until nice and crispy. Take them out of the oven and allow to cool completely.

Place the kale in a large bowl and massage it gently to help tenderize it. Add the rest of the salad ingredients and toss until well-mixed.

Mix the lemon juice with the tahini, garlic, agave syrup, salt, and pepper. Slowly add in the olive oil while mixing (preferably in a blender or with an immersion blender), until nicely emulsified.

Top the salad with the croutons, dress liberally (or have dressing on the side), and serve!

Paprika-Garlic Potatoes

A delicious (and ridiculously simple) side dish for all kinds of meals, always very popular with my friends! This is one recipe where I like to leave on the potato skins – they go lovely and crispy.

This recipe is easily modified to be gluten-free, just use brown rice flour in place of the regular flour!

Prep time: ~45 minutes
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients:

  • 6 large potatoes (preferably red), washed and sliced into wedges.
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • 1 tbsp flour.
  • 1 tsp paprika.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 small bunch parsely, finely chopped.
  • fresh lemon juice (optional).

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 425 F (220 C).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix the potatoes with a tiny bit of olive oil, then the garlic, paprika, flour, salt, and pepper.

Toss the coated potatoes in some more oil, then tumble them out onto the tray, spreading them out so there’s only one layer.

Pop them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, giving them a quick flip about halfway through the cooking.

When they come out of the oven, give them a quick toss with the chopped parsley and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice (if desired). Enjoy!

Vegan Japanese Curry

Japanese curries are delicious – slightly sweet, slightly spicy, all-around amazing. A lot of recipes, this one included, involve making a kind of curry-roux before adding the vegetables and liquid. A little bit more work than most curries, but well worth the effort! Serve this curry on a bed of rice or with some potato croquettes (I have a recipe for those too!) to make it a full meal.

This is a slight variation on your traditional recipes, so I can’t claim it to be authentic, but it sure is good!

Prep time: ~1  hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

For the curry roux:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely minced.
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1/4 cup flour.
  • 2 tbsp curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1-2 tsp crushed chilies.
  • black pepper.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce.

For the rest of the curry:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled (if desired), and grated.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil on medium-low. When it’s hot enough, add in the garlic and ginger and fry until just fragrant. Next, add in the flour, curry powder, and garam masala. Stir until you have a thick paste, then add in the chilies, black pepper, soy, and tomato paste.

Keep cooking the roux, stirring until it just starts to get a little bit drier and crumbly. Remove it from the heat and set aside.

Put the remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Fry them until they begin to caramelize, then add in the carrots and potatoes. Fry them for a few minutes, then add in the stock and soy sauce.

Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes before adding in the apple and eggplant.

Once the vegetables are all tender, loosen up the roux with a little bit of the cooking liquid before pouring it into the rest of the curry. Stir well, until the roux has completely dissolved into the rest of the stew.

Let the curry continue to simmer, and once it begins to thicken a little, add in the peas. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce or pepper if desired, and enjoy!

This curry is also delicious when cold.

Pea and Corn Croquettes

Exactly what it sounds like. Peas and corn mixed with mashed potatoes, rolled in breadcrumbs, and then fried to give them a lovely crispy outside. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and it’s also a delicious side dish or snack!

Serves: 6.
Prep time: ~1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 2 tbsp oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 tbsp flour, plus more to coat the croquettes.
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs (preferable panko), depending on how many croquettes you make.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.
  • 1/2 corn kernels, defrosted if frozen.
  • vegetable oil – enough to fill a deep frying pan halfway, plus a little extra in a small bowl.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the potatoes and onion in a large pot of cold water, then bring to a boil for 16-18 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them well with the oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Cool the potatoes down until they’re cool enough for you to handle, either by spreading them out on a baking sheet or popping them in the fridge for a few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooled down, begin heating your oil on the stove. You want it to be hot enough that a breadcrumb will start bubbling when you drop it in, but doesn’t go brown right away. If you have a deep fryer, use that instead!

Mix the corn, peas, and flour into the mashed potatoes. Set up 3 separate bowls: 1 with flour, one with a bit of oil, and one with the breadcrumbs. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of your potato mix and form into either a small patty or a cylinder. Patties are easier to flip, but cylinders look cuter.

Roll the croquette in the flour, then in the oil, then in breadcrumbs. If it’s looking a little bare, dip it back in the oil and then back in the breadcrumbs, patting it on all sides.

Fry them in batches to prevent the oil from cooling down too much. The croquettes should take a couple minutes on each side, until they’re lovely and golden brown all over. Serve piping hot.

These go really nicely with a Japanese-style curry (which I’ll probably be posting soon!), or with a nice pureed soup, anything you can dip them in!

Hora’a Osbao – Syrian Lentil Stew

An absolutely incredible dish originating from Syria. I had it for the first time last year by chance, and had to ask what the name was, it was so amazing. It’s a fair amount of work, but the results are by far worth it.

According to my roommate, this is often served as a side dish, but it’s more than filling enough to serve as the main course!

This dish uses pomegranate molasses, also called dibis ramman, which was an entirely new ingredient to me. It’s tangy, sweet, and just flat-out delicious. My local grocery store carries it, but you might have to make the trek to a Middle-Eastern market to find it! If you can only find grape molasses (which has a similar flavour profile), you can use that in a pinch.

If you use gluten-free pasta, this dish can be gluten-free.

Prep time: ~1.5 hours.
Serves: 6-8, generously.

Ingredients:

  • 5 large white onions, peeled and cut into thin slices.
  • 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying the onions)
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced.
  • 1 bunch coriander, half finely chopped, half with the leaves removed from the stems.
  • 2 pieces Arabic bread (pita works well), cut into small cubes.
  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed well.
  • 8 cups water.
  • 6 tsp cumin.
  • 150 grams fettuccine (or similar pasta).
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses.
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice.
  • 1 tbsp sugar.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.
  • pomegranate seeds, to garnish.

Cooking Instructions:

Start off by heating 2 cups of oil in a large saucepan or pot on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot enough that an onion slice starts to bubble when dropped in, but doesn’t go brown right away, add in all the onions.

Stir occasionally, and cook until browned and crispy, 25-35 minutes. Remove from the oil, pat off the excess oil with paper towels, and set them aside to cool.

While the onions cook, preheat the oven as hot as it will go. Toss the bread pieces with a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until they’re nicely coated, then spread on a tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until toasted and brown. Set the croutons aside to cool.

Place your lentils in a large pot with the water and cumin, and place the pot on high heat. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down until they’re just simmering. Cook for 30 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, heat a small pan on medium heat. When hot, add 2 tsp olive oil and the garlic. Turn the heat down to low immediately, and cook the garlic, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

Add in the chopped coriander, then turn off the heat, but keep the pan on the stove. Stir occasionally until it begins to cool down, then set aside. This is called the “takliye”.

Cook your pasta for half the time specified on the package, then drain the pasta, but reserve 3 cups of the pasta water.

Once the lentils have been simmering for 30 minutes, add in half of the pasta water, an all of the pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, and sugar. Stir well until combined.

Add the pasta, 2/3 of the crispy onions, and all of the takliye, stir well, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper, and taste to see if the lentils are done. If they’re still too firm, add some more of the pasta water and let simmer for a few minutes longer.

When the lentils are cooked and the stew has a nice, thick consistency, stir in the last coriander leaves. If you are serving this for others, place in a large serving dish and allow to cool slightly, then top with the croutons, pomegranate seeds,, and the remaining onions.

This dish can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

 

Kale and Cauliflower Salad

Another salad that incorporates roasted vegetables. A little more effort than usual, but I find that mixing the salad while the roasted vegetables are still warm helps the kale tenderize a little bit more and taste better. This particular salad uses cauliflower, red peppers, and carrots – only the cauliflower is roasted, though!

Gluten-free
Serves 6
Prep time: ~30 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 8 large handfuls of chopped kale.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled if desired, finely grated.
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar.
  • 1/2 cup olive oil.
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.
  • 1 tsp agave syrup.
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely grated.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper. Tumble all of your cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet, and season well with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until soft and cooked all the way through.

While the cauliflower cooks, it’s time to make the dressing. Mix together the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, agave syrup, salt and pepper. You can blend everything together using an immersion blender, food processor, or standing blender, but you can also just mix it all by hand if you don’t mind the dressing being a little less smooth and uniform.

Once the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. This is a good time to dice up your red pepper and grate your carrots.

When the cauliflower is mostly cooled, but still a little bit warm, place all of your kale into a large bowl and mix in the cauliflower. This will allow the kale to wilt down slightly and become tender and easier to eat. Add in the bell pepper and carrots, and mix those through as well.

Dress well and serve immediately, or serve with dressing on the side to allow everyone to add as much or as little as they like!