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!

 

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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!

Today’s project: Crackers

crackers

I’ve been planning to make these crackers for quite a while, I’ve had the recipe lying around long enough to forget where I originally found it. The ingredients of the crackers are very simple; seeds and water. No flour, no oil or margarine. They take quite long time to make, but you don’t actually have to do much, mainly just have patience while they get ready. And they taste great! Here’s the recipe:

1 dl flax seeds
1,5 dl sesame seeds
1,5 dl sunflower seeds
(vegetable stock, herbs)

1. Mix all the seeds in a bowl. Cover with water (or vegetable stock if you want the crackers to be a bit salty). Let stay for at least seven hours, over night is great.

2. Heat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Spread the mixture on a parchment paper, about 2 cm thick (it will still spread in the oven). Bake in the oven for one hour.

3. Lower the heat of the oven to 125 degrees Celsius. Bake the cracker for another hour, while opening the oven every now and then to let some heat and moist out.

4. Put off the oven and leave the door a little open, while letting the cracker dry up inside the oven. When it seems dry, take it out and break it into good size pieces. Enjoy!

I added some fresh, finely cut herbs into the mixture before spreading it out on the parchment paper, which gives some extra flavor to the crackers. I’m sure you can add other spices if you want, or you can leave the spices, herbs and salt out altogether.

Simple red beet patties

Some time ago we decided to try to make red beet patties. We had some really good ones in our wedding, and wanted to try making our own. Since we did not have the recipe for the ones we had in the wedding, we improvised our own recipe, and it turned out great.

Vegan Red Beet Patties

The red beet patties we had during our wedding, with slightly different ingredients than the ones in the recipe below

Simple red beet patties

Two medium-sized red beets
1/2 dl flax seeds
1 1/2 dl water
1 1/2 dl seasoned bread crumbs
1 onion
garlic
(smoked) bell pepper powder
black pepper
salt

Crush the flax seeds in a mixer, and mix them with the water. Put aside for a while to let it get thick and sticky (this will help to keep the patties together). Peel and grate the red beets. Chop onion and garlic and saute them in a little oil on low heat until they are soft. Mix the ingredients together in a bowl, add the bread crumbs and spices to taste. Form the mixture into quite thin patties and fry in oil on medium high heat, a few minutes on each side.

Enjoy!