Veganizing your favorite recipes: Blueberry pie

When I was a kid my grandmother used to make a blueberry pie that I really loved, and still do to this day. Unfortunately original recipe contains both eggs and sour cream, which I thought was a hindrance in making it vegan. Because of this I didn’t have this type of pie for many years, until I got an idea of how to make it vegan. I tried out the idea, and it resulted in a pie that tasted pretty much exactly like I remembered it from my childhood.

The original recipe for the dough has 125 g margarine, 1 dl sugar, 3 dl flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 egg. The filling has 2 dl sour cream, 3/4 dl sugar, 1 egg, 2 tsp vanilla sugar, 3 dl blueberries.

bluberry pie

The vegan recipe goes like this:

For the dough:
125 g non-dairy margarine
1 dl sugar
3 dl flour
1 tsp baking powder
a little water or soy milk (to replace the liquid of the egg)

For the filling:
2 dl soft tofu, blended until smooth
(1 tsp potato flour/corn flour)
3/4 dl sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
3 dl blueberries

Mix the flour, baking powder and sugar. Add the margarine and mix until the batter is even. Add the liquid and mix again. Spread the dough evenly unto a pie dish.

Mix the blended tofu with sugar and vanilla sugar. If you want you can add a little potato or corn flour to make sure the mixture will stay together, but this might not be necessary. Pour the mixture into the pie dish. Pour the blueberries evenly on top.

Bake in 200 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes.

What I want to say with this post is; don’t be afraid to try to make you favorite non-vegan recipes vegan! You may fail the first time (or then you succeed!), but just get up and try again. It’s worth it for that special food or dessert that you remember from you childhood, isn’t it?

Spicy bean soup (or stew)

This African-inspired bean soup (or stew) was introduced to us by our landlord – she and her husband are missionaries in Kenya. She made it for us once and since we liked it, she taught us how to make it. Unfortunately the recipe doesn’t have any exact measurements, it’s more up to your own taste and whether you like it to be more like a soup or a stew. The herb mix that we have been using lacks a full ingredients’ list, so I’m not sure exactly what is in it, but it’s a blend of salt, pepper, spices and herbs. Hopefully you can still find the recipe useful!

spicy bean soup

You will need:
Chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
Salt
Herb mix
(Cayenne pepper)
Finely cut fresh tomato
Shredded carrot
Bell pepper, cut into small pieces
Mixed beans (ready to use)

Heat a little oil in a pan. Add onion and garlic and saute until golden brown. Add salt, herb mix (and if you like, a little cayenne pepper). Fry for a while, continuously stirring. Add a little water and let boil for a few minutes. Add the finely cut tomato and shredded carrot. Let boil for a little while longer, then add the bell pepper. Let the mixture boil until it becomes like a paste. Then add the beans and water (the amount of water depending on whether you like it to become a soup or a stew). Let boil for a few minutes for the beans to become warm, then take the pot off the stove.

We usually make this recipe as a stew and serve it together with pasta, which works really great!

 

Pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes

After posting the cupcake-post some days ago I got inspired to bake, and remembered that I have the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero (great book by the way!). I decided to try out some of the cupcake recipes from the book and fell for the Pumpkin chocolate chip and Toasted coconut. I was not so happy with the result of the coconut ones, so they need another try out before I post my version of the recipe, but the pumpkin ones turned out really great so I will share it with you guys.

The original recipe goes like this:

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup oil
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, sugar, soy milk and vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir together with a fork – don’t use a handheld mixer, as it will make the batter gummy. Once well combined, fold in the chocolate chips.
3. Fill liners two-thirds full. Bake for 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool fully before icing.

pumpkin cupcake

Cinnamon icing

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons margarine, melted
1 tablespoon soy milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Add the margarine, soy milk and vanilla and stir with a fork until smooth. Keep at room temperature until ready to use. The mixture should look opaque and honey brown. If it’s glistening a lot or looks to liquid, add a little extra confectioner’s sugar.

Pipe the icing on the cupcakes when it has had time to set for a little while and the cupcakes are completely cooled down. Have patience and don’t hurry, or you might end up with the same mess as me; half of the icing running off the cupcakes and ending up on the kitchen table.

I made some small changes:

  • Instead of canned pumpkin I used fresh one that I boiled and then blended until smooth. It might be that we do have canned pumpkin here in Finland, but I wouldn’t know where to look for it so this was the easier option, and if you can have fresh, why not go for it?
  • I added a little carrot juice into the batter, replacing part of the soy milk, just for the sake of giving the cupcake a more orange color. You can easily make this small amount of carrot juice without a juicer; just finely grate a carrot and squeeze out the juice.
  • Since I didn’t have vanilla extract, I used vanilla sugar, but added a little more than the amount vanilla extract the recipe says

Fluffy egg-free cupcakes

Baking great looking, tasty cupcakes without dairy and eggs is – contrary to common belief – no problem at all! My favorite cupcake recipe at the moment is based on one by Kamomillan konditoria. Her original recipe yields only one cupcake, but I have made this recipe to yield 12, which is the amount that can fit into my muffin pan.

cupcakes

Vanilla cupcake

1,8 dl sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla powder
1,2 dl oil
3 dl oat milk (or other plant-based milk)
3 dl wheat flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

1. Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Line your muffin pan with muffin cups.
2. Mix sugar, salt, vanilla, oil and oat milk in a bowl.
3. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and baking soda before adding it to the liquid. Mix all of the ingredients together quickly.
4. Pour the batter evenly into the muffin cups. Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes. They’re done when you can push a stick into the muffin without any batter sticking on it.
5. Let the cupcakes cool down before decorating and eating them.

This basic cupcake recipe can be made into pretty much any flavor of cupcake you like, some that I have made include chocolate (where you just add in grated dairy-free dark chocolate, or cocoa powder, into the batter), chocolate and coffee (where you substitute part of the oat milk with coffee and add either grated chocolate or cocoa powder), and orange (where you substitute the oat milk with orange juice). I’m sure you can also add in berries in the batter if you like, even though I haven’t tried it with this particular recipe. Only your imagination is the limit!

Then there’s of course the decoration part. It’s not my strong side, I’ve probably messed up more cupcakes that I’ve succeeded with, so I will not get into it at this point. However, the decoration on the cupcakes in the picture is based on soy cream (thickened by adding a little agar agar and boiling for a few minutes, then letting it cool over night before whipping it), in one I have mixed in melted dark chocolate, in the other a blueberry-raspberry jam.

Pie with tofu and broccoli

I want to share my recipe tofu and broccoli pie with you guys, it’s one of my favorites and quite easy to make. It’s great for when you have people over for a light dinner, and goes well with a fresh salad!

The original recipe for the crust comes from the book “Vegetariska kokboken” by Inga-Britta Sundqvist, which is one of my favorite books about vegetarian cooking (only in Swedish). I have an old version from 1984, so some things are of course outdated, but it has a lot of basic recipes and tons of information about vegetarian foods and how to cook them. Definitely a book worth checking out!

pie

For the crust you will need:

3 dl of flour, usually I mix two different ones half-half
a pinch of herb salt
75-100 grams of non-dairy margarine or oil
4 tbsp of water

For the filling you will need:

about ½ a pack of tofu (150 g)
a small size broccoli
a small onion
a little oil
2 dl of oat cream
a little non-dairy milk
1 tbsp potato or corn flour
paprika powder
herb salt
black pepper
(nutritional yeast)

Time to start baking:

1. Start with the crust. If possible, make it at least one hour before you will bake the pie, if it gets to rest in the fridge for a while after it has been made it gets easier to handle. If you don’t have time for that, it can also be used right away.
2. Mix the flour and the herb salt together. Add the margarine or the oil and mix them well together with the flour. At this point the dough will still be quite dry.
3. Add the water and mix the dough together quickly. It should become easy to form. If it still looks dry, add either more water or more margarine.
4. Put the dough in the fridge.
5. If you have time, take a break!
6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
7. Start preparing the ingredients for the filling; chop the onion quite small, cut the tofu into small cubes and the broccoli into bite-size pieces.
8. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the onion and fry it until soft, then add the tofu and the paprika powder. Fry until the tofu is a little brown, then add the broccoli and lower the heat. Fry until the broccoli is a little cooked, it doesn’t have to be soft. Put the heat off and put aside for a while.
9. Mix oat cream, milk, the rest of the spices, potato or corn flour (and if you like, nutritional yeast) in a bowl until there are no clumps.
10. Once the oven is warm, spread the dough evenly in a pie form, bake it in the oven for 15 minutes without the filling.
11. Take out the crust and add the filling. Pour over the cream-mixture.
12. Bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes.
13. Let the pie cool down for a while.
14. Enjoy!

pie2

Chickpea omelette

Just because vegans don’t consume eggs doesn’t mean we can’t have a great omelette; based on chickpeas!

Making a chickpea omelette is very, very simple, it just contains two basic ingredients: chickpea flour and water. In some places here in Finland chickpea flour might be a bit hard to find, but a lot of organic or whole food stores have it. I usually buy mine in Punnitse&Säästä.

Chickpea omelet

You will need:

1 part chickpea flour
1 part water
spices and filling of your choice

How to make it:

Pour one part chickpea flour (one deciliter is usually good for one omelette) in a bowl. Add one part of water and whisk them together until there are no clumps left. Add salt and spices of your choice. After this you can add whatever you want in your omelette, such as finely chopped spring onions, freshly chopped tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, grated non-dairy cheese, etc. Mix all the ingredients together. Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Fry the omelette on both sides until golden brown. Enjoy!

Super-simple chocolate-avocado mousse

I had a chocolate craving when I got home from work today, so I decided to make something for me and R: chocolate-avocado mousse! I haven’t made mousse based on avocado before, but heard about it enough times to get interested. I love chocolate, and I love avocado, so why not? I found a recipe here that I changed a little to make it completely vegan:

chocolate-avocado mousse

1 large avocado
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup soy or nut milk
1/4 cup syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla

Put all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Scoop up into small bowls and eat right away, or put them in the fridge for a while to cool down first. Enjoy!