Category Archives: Vegan

Greek Salad “xoriatiki”, Vegan Style

“Xoriatiki” salad  in Greek means the salad of the village.

From my understanding, the wealth of greek kitchen in vegetarian dishes and endless ways to cook vegetables comes from how poor the people were in the past and couldn’t afford meat, so they had to turn on the more affordable vegetables and legumes.

(Ironic how things have changed, huh?)

When I convinced myself to eat everything in the salad, I was amazed by the flavor!

The secret of this salad is the onion rings, without it, there is no Greek character

Ingredients

  • two tomatoes
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 onion
  • olives
  • capers
  • oregano
  • sea salt
  • vinegar if you like
  • vegan cheese (you could always try our vegan Parmesan recipe or our vegan Tofu Ricotta cheese recipe!)
  • olive oil

Wash your vegetables. Chop the pepper, the cucumber and the tomatoes. Slice your onion.  Add some capers – careful, they are potent those little ones! Add the olives, without the pits, so you can enjoy your salad without distractions. Sprinkle sea salt, oregano and olive oil.  I think that vinegar goes great with cucumber, that is if you eat cucumber and vinegar though!

This salad is perfect for the inside of a loaf of bread and so it becomes a wonderful sandwich! Take a sharp knife and cut the loaf of bread in half, removing the insides, fill it with the salad and enjoy!

I took the loaf idea out of the site www.sintagespareas.gr

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Simple Lettuce Spinach Salad

For this salad I used:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach leaves
  • 2 green onions
  • kalamata olives
  • fresh chopped dill
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • dash of sugar

Wash, dry and chop your vegetables, and mix in well.

To prepare the sauce, in a little bowl put some honey, and as much balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper. Add the olive oil with a small constant flow while you whisk everything together working fast to make a sauce. Taste it and decide if you want more sweet or sour, pour over the salad and enjoy!

Smokey Brown Rice with Peppers, Mushrooms and Rice Cream

I had this rice cream I wanted to try (and rice left over from yesterday) so here is an easy recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped red onion
  • half a yellow pepper sliced
  • half a green pepper sliced
  • half a red pepper sliced ( I used a long red chili pepper)
  • 2 portobello mushrooms sliced
  • Organic rice cream for cooking
  • smoked salt
  • cumin
  • pepper
  • vegan worcestershire sauce
  • vegan butter

I sliced everything and not too thin because you will slowly fry them; they will shrink, you don’t want them to burn or have them disappear completely do you??

In a non-stick frying pan, I spread a tablespoon of vegan butter. I set the heat at  medium-low and when the butter melted I added the onion and the garlic. Sizzle them for a minute or two and then add the peppers. Remember, the heat should be somewhat low so nothing burns. When the peppers soften up a bit, add the mushrooms and a pinch of cumin. If the mix is too dry, add some more butter. Cook until everything is soft, then add pepper and the rice cream.  This type of cream is more watery than the almond cream, so it needs to be cooked for a few minutes to come together with the rest of the food. It will bubble. You will not panic, just stir with a spoon until the mix is creamy.

The flavor of this is in the Worcestershire sauce and smoked salt that  you will serve it with, they compliment each other perfectly!

Olive Paste with Peppers

I am always looking for new versions of old things! So I came up with this simple paste.

Use olive paste without lactic acid  or lactose proteins. We are walking miles and miles to find the good stuff, but it’s worth it!

Chop some green pepper, some red roasted sweet pepper and some onion, mix it into the paste well and enjoy with potato chips or pepper and carrot sticks!

Μελιτζανοσαλάτα – Eggplant Spread or Dip

This is one of the delicacies I missed so I decided to create my own! The traditional recipe calls for wine vinegar which Jake dislikes deeply, so I used apple cider vinegar and it worked! This spread is savory, give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 big eggplant
  • 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 1 Tablespoon of vegan Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt

First and foremost, take a knife and cut the eggplant vertically in various places, so that it doesn’t burst in your oven!!  Wrap the  eggplant in aluminum foil, place it in the oven at 180° Celsius (356° F) to grill her. An hour later, take it out of the oven and unwrap it, carefully, because the eggplant holds the heat for way too long!

Peel the skin off. The easiest way I found for doing this is to hold the eggplant by the green handle vertically above the table and with the knife, cut the skin off. Put the flesh in a mixer with all the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth!

Autumn in New York Cream Pie

Today it is Athanasia’s father’s birthday! So, Happy Birthday George! What better way is there to share the joy of a birthday than making a birthday treat? When Athanasia (my better half) and I were discussing the options for a sweet treat, I came up with this idea. I will admit, Athanasia was a little bit hesitant (because of her dislike for cinnamon) so she said to me: “sell me on it”. Well, I am proud to say after she tried it she is not only sold on it, but is a believer! Try it for yourself, it’s the perfect autumn treat!

First you will need to prepare a cinnamon hazelnut cream (for a recipe click here).

Pre-heat oven to 150° Celsius (302° F)

Add the following ingredients to a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix). Begin on a slow speed gradually increasing the speed to the highest setting.

  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup roasted and salted peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 6 dates – remove pits
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup

Once mixture is almost smooth, spread in a pan like a crust. You may use a circular or rectangular pan. We used a 27 cm by 18 cm glass pan (about 10 inches by 7 inches)

You will want to bake this crust for 5 to 7 minutes at 150° Celsius (302° F) to bring the excess moisture to the top of the crust. Pull the crust out of the oven and attempt to soak up the excess moisture off the top of the crust using paper towels or cloth.

Turn the oven’s temperature down to 100° Celsius (212° F).

Put the crust back in the oven at 100° C (212° F) for 20 to 25 minutes. The crust will still feel soft and should not be browning very much at all around the outside edges.

Take crust out of the oven and let it cool to harden for 10 to 20 minutes. Cover with cinnamon hazelnut cream, cover and place in refrigerator overnight. We doubled the recipe for the cinnamon hazelnut cream for this purpose. This is mouthwatering!

Σαν τζατζίκι – Alternative to Greek Tzatziki Salad

Jake made his amazing mayonnaise. After I tried it I was so impressed! The only egg-less gluten-free mayonnaise we like, we found at Bamboo Vegan, a store in Athens. Living three hours away from Athens, being as broke as we are, we can’t really travel there all the time to buy more of it. So why not spend a bit more time in the kitchen to make your very own mayo?

As I was enjoying the mayo with potato chips, I saw the fresh dill I had just chopped.

A few years ago I couldn’t cook for the life of me. I understood that good cooks have a kind of sixth sense, keeping inside them how each ingredient makes them feel and are able, at any moment, to make genius connections!

What I didn’t know was that good cooks get born by loving food and wanting to create their favorite flavors!

Back to the tzatziki. I saw the dill and I thought: “I want it in the mayo“! I mixed them well together and the flavor reminded me so much of Greek tzatziki that I had to share the idea!

So, in Jake’s mayo add some freshly chopped dill and enjoy a wonderful dip!

Cinnamon Hazelnut Cream

You will likely need a high powered blender like a Vitamix for this one, but it’s worth it!

In this order, add:

  • 1/2 cup of vegan milk (soy milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk, etc.)
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Blend these ingredients until smooth. Then add:

  • 1 cup of hazelnuts

Blend until smooth. This flavor is like entering a state of euphoria!

Green Tart with Vegan Blue Cheese

The most effective  inspiration is the deadline they say. We had some broccoli that was starting to look not as fabulously green. It was making me nervous ,yet inspired!

I always wanted to make a tart, open salty pie or quiche lorraine as some call it! I was afraid of making the crust. You see those amazing wavy golden crusts and you get intimidated to a point! However, we owe it to ourselves to face our fears, don’t we?

We certainly owe ourselves a perfect tart so here you go:

Ingredients:

For the crust (which is very easy by the way)

  • 320 grams of all purpose self-raising gluten-free flour ( 2 1/3 cups)
  • 225 grams of vegan butter cold, straight from the fridge (7 Tablespoons)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • a teaspoon of sugar
  • 12 Tablespoons of cold water

In a bowl, mix the flour, sea salt, sugar and butter. Work with your hands until the butter and the flour are mixed. It is crumbly, I know, but now you will pour spoon by spoon the cold water and you will keep working with your hands and fists, lovingly handling the dough until it becomes consistent. We always put parchment paper between the pan and the food because we are trying desperately to reduce the amount of washing we have to do (we do not have a dishwasher of course). So move the dough in a tart pan (ours is 26 centimeters and this amount of crust was ideal) and patiently spread it to cover the whole pan. With a fork poke the crust so that it can bake nice and evenly; the heat can distribute throughout the crust this way. Put it in the oven at 160° Celsius (320° F) for 10 to 15 minutes to pre-bake it. The crust is about done when it blushes a bit and gets a hint of color. Take it out of the oven, set it aside, good job!!

For the contents of this pie you will need:

  • 1 leak
  • 5 green onions ( the ones we bought were small , i don’t know how yours are!)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2 cups chopped white mushrooms
  • 3 broccoli (which were also rather small, we shop for organic produce so they are tiny and cute)
  • a pinch of cumin
  • olive oil

Chop the leak, green onions, pepper, and 2 cups of mushrooms. I boiled the broccoli in very hot boiling salty water for about 5 minutes. Then, I removed it from the water and chopped the flowery part off them and discarded the stems. You can mash the juicy green part in a Vitamix or blender to put it in the stuffing if you would like 🙂

Coat a frying pan with olive oil and heat it up over medium heat on the stove. Place the fine chopped green onions and the leak in the frying pan. Soften them up by sizzling them and then throw in the mushrooms with the peppers and a pinch of cumin (which makes the mushrooms taste amazing). When everything is mostly soft, remove from the heat, add the broccoli and broccoli mash then mix it well together. Add 8 tablespoons of the amazing blue cheese Jake made and make sure the stuffing is juicy!

Spread this mixture on top of the crust, insert in oven, bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 160° Celsius (320° F) until the crust turns a golden brown color!

Take out of the oven, sprinkle vegan Parmesan cheese generously on top and enjoy with no regrets because broccoli is super healthy!

NOTE: if you are too busy or simply too bored to make the blue cheese, you can use  cream from almonds or rice, but you will need something creamy 🙂