Tomato and Chopped Spinach Salad

Chop some spinach in this salad for a healthy and tasty dish!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • sun dried tomatoes
  • olives
  • capers
  • half of a small red onion, chopped
  • as much spinach as you like
  • oregano
  • olive oil

Chop and mix, sprinkle olive oil and enjoy!

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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 🙂

Vegan Blue Cheese – Bleu Cheese

Get a large mixing bowl and combine:

Stir until smooth. Then, with your hands break up:

  • 25 grams of tofu

Break them into small chunks similar to what you find in bleu cheese. That’s it, it’s simple!

Vegan Mayonnaise

This is an extremely simple recipe!

In a blender add:

  • 1/2 cup vegan milk
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
  • dash of mustard powder

Blend until smooth. Then, slowly pour your thickener in while the blender is on a low speed:

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

Once the olive oil has thickened add:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews

Blend until smooth. That’s all there is to this one.

Μπάμιες! (Okras) with Tomato Sauce!

This is one of our all time favorite! Every week we visit the farmer’s market with desperation to find organic, sweet, delightful μπάμιες!

We use fresh ones, but using frozen ones will save you so much time.   Keep the recipe until you can find fresh ones!

You will need

  • 1 kilogram of okras/Μπάμιες
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 juicy tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar
  • cumin
  • olive oil
  • vinegar

This is how I did it and they were not slimey, they were delicious!

Wearing gloves, I washed them well. Then.. off with their heads! With a knife i chopped all of their hats off because I don’t adore biting into it when I eat them. Slime is oozing out of them but fear not, for you will make it disappear! Put the clean μπάμιες in a bowl and drizzle vinegar on them. Leave them in it for about 30 to 50 minutes and you will have yourselves perfect μπάμιες!

Put the tomatoes in α blender (we used a Vitamix) with a half tablespoon of sugar, a dash of cumin, salt and pepper accordingly ( to your health and taste, not necessarily in that order) and two tablespoons of olive oil. Mix well. This is your sauce.

Assuming you left them in the vinegar (which I hope you did!!), it is now time to coat a large pot with olive oil, set it on medium heat and sizzle the chopped onion and garlic. When they get a bit of color, it is time to throw the μπάμιες inside. All the vinegar will evaporate at this point and no one will understand the flavor. I know this guy who hates vinegar but loves this food so it works. (What she says is true!)

For a few minutes sizzle the μπάμιες to make them soft and make the vinegar evaporate. When they start sounding too dry, add the tomato sauce and enough water to cover them, stir. Cover with the lid οn medium-low heat and stir carefully to avoid mashing the μπάμιες!

As you cook the food, the μπάμιες will drink up the tomato sauce and the water while being cooked. If the water has evaporated before the μπάμιες are soft, add some more water. If you add too much water, take the lid off and let them cook for quite some time. I think the secret is to keep your cool and let the tomato sauce become thick allowing the μπάμιες to absorb most of it.

Don’t be afraid of the μπάμιες, they don’t look fabulous, but they sure taste great!

Vegan Spaghetti Parmesan with Pasta Sauce – Gluten-free

First you will need to make a Vegan Pasta Sauce (click here for recipe).

Next you will need to make a Vegan Parmesan Cheese (click here for recipe).

Then you will want to fill a large pot up with about 3 Liters of water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Once the water is boiling add as many gluten free vegan spaghetti noodles as you wish to make. We made about 300 grams of uncooked noodles in our pot.  These noodles will need to boil for about 9 to 11 minutes and you will want to stir them occasionally so they do not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Once the noodles are as tender as you desire, take them off the heat and pour them into a strainer to drain the excess water. Pour them from the strainer back into the pot you cooked them in and serve! Pour the vegan pasta sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle some vegan Parmesan cheese on top! This is a delicious and filling meal!

Vegan Pasta Sauce

Coat the bottom of a large and deep frying pan (that has a cover) with olive oil. Place the pan over medium-low heat on the stove. Once the olive oil is hot enough add these ingredients in the following order and saute them (stirring occasionally):

  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) of chopped or diced red onions
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 small eggplants, chopped (split vertically 4 times then chopped horizontally into small chunks)
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) of diced green peppers
  • 1 cup (200 ml) of chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

Saute these until eggplants are soft

Next, in a mixer or blender:

  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 juicy medium sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of basil – dried
  • 1 Tablespoon of oregano – dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon of parsley – dried

Blend these ingredients until smooth, then pour the blended tomato mixture into the frying pan. Keep frying pan on medium-low heat and cover the pan (the tomato juice will begin to “jump” out of the pan once it heats up. Stir this occasionally for 15 to 20 minutes. That’s all there is to it! It’s delicious and worth the effort!

Sweet & Spicy Mashed Potatoes

These are not your usual mashed potatoes! They have a mild spice kick to them. Here’s how we made them:

Pre-heat the oven to 100° Celsius (212° F)

  • 5 medium sized organic potatoes, wash them. Then either place them directly on the oven rack or wrap them in aluminum foil.

Leave them in the oven for 1 hour at this temperature. Then turn the oven down to 50° Celsius (122° F) for another 30 minutes. The idea here is to make sure the potatoes are soft enough for a fork to mash them by hand as well as peel the skin off easily before mashing.

While the potatoes are cooking in the oven, mix the following in a large mixing bowl:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup (50 ml) of chopped or diced red onions
  • 1/2 cup (100 ml) diced green peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of vegan butter
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) of ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of basil – dried
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) of oregano – dried
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of mustard
  • dash of paprika powder
  • 3 Tablespoons (45 ml) of nutritional yeast

Set this mixture aside until potatoes are done.

Once the potatoes are done cooking (you can test this by finding the largest potato in the oven and see if a fork goes through the center of it without resistance), take them out of the oven. If you wrapped them in aluminum foil, now is the time to remove the aluminum foil. Let the potatoes cool for 10 to 20 minutes before handling them. You should find it easy to peel the skin off the potatoes, it usually slides off without very much effort at all at this point.

After peeling the skin off, put the potatoes in the bowl you set aside and begin mashing with a fork until all the potatoes have been mashed. Stir until ingredients have spread evenly and enjoy!