Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lime CheeseCake, White Bean Spread and Eggplant Casserole

Who doesn't adore market day? The great thing about Brussels is that almost every day is a market day. One needs only to travel to any of the various 'communes' (the neighborhoods that make up Brussels city) to find at least one fresh, and, often organic, market.

On Saturday and Sunday the streets around the picturesque Lakes are shut down and this middle-of-the-city watery park becomes a ripe picking ground for local and shipped-in produce. Being a busy VeganCowGirl, with little life outside of my job, I find the market an important part of my world - a place to re-socialize with other souls and hear the tri-lingual tongues that make up the language of this land.

Today we picked up a slew of veggie, including a free sampling of nouveau parsnips compliments of the price-shouting market man who has become as familiar to me as the Chinese owner of my nightly shop stop back home in Toronto. Consistency is nice.

I made a whack of food this afternoon. I took some well paid-off chances with a Lime "Cheese" Cake, whirred up some White Bean Spread, which I tucked into one of the layers of a Aubergine casserole, and as I write this, I am grilling off some Lime Marinated Artichokes. I also got around to making two big whacks of Isa's Seitan recipe - to shore us up for the week to come.

White Bean Spread
-1 1/2 cups of White Haricots
-2 (HUGE) cloves of garlic
-Fresh Sage to taste

How To:
Put all of the ingredients in a glass bowl and whir up with hand blender. In addition to the casserole layer, I have plans on using this as a sandwich spread, and veg dip throughout the week.

Lick the Inside of the Food Processor Because It Tastes So Good Lime Cheese Cake
-1 cup of walnuts
-10 pitted dates
-8 vegan biscuits - I used traditional Belgian biscuits
-1 package Silken Tofu (soft, can use firm - but omit agar)
-1 package of Tofutti Cream Cheese
-1 teaspoon of vanilla
-lime Zest (2 teaspoons for cake, and 1 teaspoon for top)
-juice of 3 limes
-2 teaspoons of agar agar flakes
-1/2 cup of brown sugar

How To:
In your mom's food processor, whiz up the dates, add the walnuts and insert the biscuits. you are looking for a malleable crust. Press this into a spring form pan (I love my spring form pan). Wash out your food processor, and add all remaining ingredients, except the agar, and whiz until smooth. Stop here and taste this mix, be careful to have a stool or chair on hand. You will need to sit down. Add the agar and whiz for about 1 minute (feel free to use this time to do a little dance to celebrate the taste sensation you have created in your food processor). Add the tofu mix to your tasty pressed-in crust and pop the whole shabang into a preheated oven (140). Let the cake sit for about 30 minutes, turn off the oven and let it set in the oven for another 40 minutes. I grated another lime to top off the cake.

Eggplant Casserole

-1 eggplant
-1 tomato
-spinach leaves
-5 medium sized mushrooms
-White Bean Dip (see above)
-balsamic vinegar

How To: In a glass casserole dish I laid down three slices of the eggplant (but you can start in any way your heart desires), added slices of tomato, a layer of spinach, eggplant, bean dip (about 3 mm thick), tomato, and a final layer of eggplant. I topped it with fresh ground black pepper, and a splash of balsamic. I let it cook at 180 for 25 minutes covered, I removed the tin foil for a final five minutes. The glass dish was tiny, so I halved it and K and I tucked in for a good dinner.

A big fat Vegan Kiss goes out to K for his help in the kitchen today. Thanks K this VeganCowGirl is thankful for all of your help and vegan enthusiasm.


Abram said...

Mmmm! Will have to try that cheesecake. Sounds delicious! Thanks.

missblueberry said...

It was so delicious that we have each had a SECOND piece.

SusanV said...

You've got me craving that cheesecake!

Anonymous said...

wow, your cheesecake looks fantastic! thank you for sharing the recipe as mi marido *loves* cheesecakes and now i can make one for him!

missblueberry said...

Thanks so much Susan! That's a huge compliment coming from the Queen of Food Photography herself. I would be happy to whip you up a cheesecake anytime!

Stonie - K loved, loved, loved this cheesecake. By the way, we have a bottle of Belgian dark in the fridge waiting in anticipation for your cupcake recipe.

Jennifer said...

I too find the Farmer's Market to be a wonderful reprieve. I work full-time, everyday, and often going to an open air market, loaded with fresh fruit and veg, that allows me to think creatively - thats all I need!

Your cheesecake is beautiful! Just gorgeous. And it sounds so tasty, I love lime.

Happy Herbivore! said...


Alice (in Veganland) said...

I don't know where to begin explaining how much I'm craving cheesecake since I read your post. It's not only that it looks amazing, it's... special! the outcome of a sunday in the kitchen!

Anonymous said...

Oh good lord that cheesecake sounds divine.

VeganCowGirl said...

Thanks Steph! Thanks Alice. It really was the yummiest thing I think I have ever created.

I said that to K last night - as we finished off the last of the cake - that this recipe is the best thing I have ever made.

Thanks for your comments and compliments.

Jennifer: Your right about the market being a spark for creative flow....the food is all laid out, the smells are all there....I agree 100%.

zippy23 said...
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