Monday, January 12, 2009

I Heart HappyVeganFace Weekend!

I had decided a while ago that I was going to try my hand at homemade nann bread, given the recent curry crisis. And it was on happyveganface's blog that I found my recipe. But, I didn't stop at the nann bread, I also decided to give her burger bun recipe a try...and I am happy to report that happyveganface's bread recipes were the focus of two really yummy dinners this weekend. On Saturday night we grilled up tofu steaks and aubergine, piling it on top of the burger buns. I served them along side the pasta salad I had made on Thursday night. Perfect! Kevin raved about the buns - said it was a great bread recipe. I can't wait to make him some more.

Sunday started with our second trip of the weekend to my new favourite spot - a bagel cafe. Yes! That's right, not a 15 minute walk from my house (and wonderfully situated between Kim and I) is a great cafe. I must admit that it offers me everything that I miss about back home - bagels, tea in biggish cups, comfy bank seats and a groovy atmosphere. I couldn't keep it a secret and had to invite Kim, Kate and (the other) Kevin for a bagel-breakfast on Sunday morning. I of course took away some of their great baked goods, and just finished a whole wheat bagel for lunch - topped with curried (!!!) beans.

When we got home from our bagel fun and a quick trip around the market, I got to work on the nann bread, wanting to give it time to rest, breath and rise. Despite it being my first time, hvf's instructions made the whole process totally manageable, and the results were totally delish!

While waiting for those good bits to rise (after our darling cat Sylvia knocked the whole lot of 12 rising dough balls all over the kitchen...10 second rule), I got to work on making two mini crumbles - a Pear Crumble and an Apple Raisin Crumble. We gobbled the Pear Crumble up for desert, topping it off with some cashew cream that I had a chance to make while the nann was baking.

Here are two recipes for yah! Simple, but in their own ways - totally divine:

Family Picnic Pasta Salad

3 cups of whole wheat pasta - I used little penne
3 tbsp of olive oil (you could use less if you like, but I have some poundage to put on)
1 English cuke - sliced & diced
2 Tomatoes - sliced & diced
Basil, Oregano, Thyme and Black Pepper
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar - I used one with a hint of fig

Once your pasta has cooked through, add all of the ingredients together. Put the whole lot (it will be quite a bit) into 1 large bowl or into mini Tupperware. Let chill at least 2 hours before serving.

No Mixing Bowls Needed Crumble

3 large apples or 3 large pears - skin left on, cut into 1 inch cubes
orange juice or any other type of fruit juice - I used some left over cranberry and orange that we pressed that morning
1 tbsp of brown sugar (or maple syrup)
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of flour
raisins - own quantity
walnuts - own quantity
1 tsp of nutmeg (you could cinnamon or cloves as well)
2 tsp of vegan margarine (you can use oil, but that means you might need a bowl)

I used 3 X 4 inch glass baking dishes (one for pear, one for apple) and added the fruit, fruit juice, sugar, raisins, walnuts and spice, and gave it a good mix. Make sure that the raisins and walnuts are tucked under your fruit. On top of your bed of heavenly fruit, add the oats, then the flour and then the two tsp of margarine. Now use your fingers to work the margarine through the dry ingredients - takes a couple of minutes and your fingers get mucky - but it is one less bowl to fit in the dish washer!

Bake for 45 minutes at 400.

So a big fat thank you to happyveganface for making my nann baking bread dreams come true! Great recipes!


Anonymous said...

Wow those naans look marvelous! I will definitely have to give HVF's recipe and skillet method a go (and see how it compares to my usual 'The Joy of Vegan Baking' naan recipe cooked on a pizza stone). I will have to add black onion seeds though, it's not naan without them >:o)
You've made me crave korma now.......

jessy said...

you are too awesome, VeganCowGirl! thank you soooooooo much for all of your super kind words! we're glad you enjoyed our recipes. makes us most happyfaced, indeed! your buns look absolutely perfect - ours always come out looking a little square, but yours are so round & cute! i love 'em! the naan looks marvelous, too! nice job! :D

i'm super jealous of a bagel shop so close to where you live! i think i could eat a bagel every day for breakfast, lunch, AND dinner - they're just so delicious! perfect on their own, smeared with yummies, or stuffed with deliciousnesses. you just can't go wrong with bagels. mmmmmmmmmm!

thanks so much for both the pasta salad recipe & your crumble recipe. dan & i have never had a crumble before, but we're always looking for a delicious dessert - and especially one that's packed full of good-for-ya fruit! delicious! there are plenty of pear & apples at the stores now, so i'll have to give your crumble a try soon! yay! might i also add that your tofu steak & eggplant look amazing! i love the grill marks - just perfect!

glad you had a lovely weekend, VeganCowGirl & thanks again for trying our recipes & for all the awesomeness! you totally made my monday! :)

Jen aka Jewbacca said...

wow cowgirl, that all looks awesome, esp. the naan! i need to get a griddle. i don't have a flat non-stick skillet.

mindi said...

bonjour! your food looks fabulous to this non-vegan, but i must know if this bagel cafe is in brussels and if so where?!

River said...

Ah Sylvia, you gotta love those crazy cats!

YAY for Jessy! Your naan looks perfect, and you just gave me an idea for a great road meal: naan stovetop pizza! YAY!

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

your crumble sounds delicious! Also, glad Jessy's recipes were a success for you; I've really enjoyed some from her blog as well.

Chelsea said...

I love bagels, too! Are there good toppings at the cafe? The bagel places here usually have hummus which is ok, but the vegan bakery has different flavored cream cheez! Mmmmmm I need to go to that side of town more.

Vegetation said...

Mmmm it all looks wonderful! And I think I need to make me some Naan bread and soon!

Bar said...

Looks very yummy!

xxx Bar.

Alice (in Veganland) said...

You make naan bread making sound so easy! is it really that easy? because I love me some good Indian bread...

Bianca said...

Haha! I also blogged about the awesomeness that is HappyVeganFace in my post last night. I made two of her recipes for dinner, and damn, Jessy is one amazing cook. And I love how simple her instructions are.

Anonymous said...

Jessy's recipes are the best ever! I also marked that naan to make and it just looks so super yummy! Now, I need to make me some crumbly love!

Vegan_Noodle said...

Homemade naan .. wow, I'm impressed!! Looks delicious.