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Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

 

Repeat after me:  this is not a health food.

Despite it being a breakfast food, this is not the type of thing that rings a golden halo of healthy smugness over your head as, say, a bowl of bran cereal or a tall glass of fresh pressed green juice would.  It is exactly the type of thing, however, that will have you dancing around in tippy-toes of joy in front of your oven as you eagerly wait for the timer to go off.  It is the type of breakfast that pulls bleary-eyed sleepers away from happy dreams and warm beds and into the kitchen on cold mornings.  This is dessert showing up as breakfast at your doorstep on Halloween.

I saw these on apartment therapy a few weeks back and promptly booked marked them, knowing that I would have to have them.  I made them for a leisurely Sunday breakfast and was so glad that I did. As they do require some advanced prep work, they are not a spur-of-the moment breakfast, but they are perfect for special occasions like holidays or birthdays.  Be aware that this recipe makes a lot of rolls. If you are not feeding a crowd, I recommend halving the recipe.   I made the whole thing and was able to send one pan full over to our neighbors to enjoy, as well.

To adapt the recipe, I swapped out the dairy ingredients for their vegan counterparts.  I also swapped out white flour for a mixture of whole wheat and spelt flours (to attempt to assuage feelings of guilty decadence),  cut down the sugar by just a touch, and I swapped in Rice Nog for the milk to add just that much more holiday goodness to each bite.  I also swapped out individual spices for pumpkin pie spice because I love that stuff at this time of year.

 

I also have a confession to make.  I took a few of the leftover rolls the next day and slathered them in some maple butter cream frosting I had leftover in my refrigerator from a batch of cupcakes I had made earlier in the week and served them for dessert.  Oh. My. Goodness.  Over the top decadence.  My sweet tooth swooned.  And that is how you make a food item multi-task.

 

 

Pumpkin Rolls with Brown Sugar Glaze
Adapted from The Kitchn at Apartment Therapy

(instructions are verbatim except for my substitutions)

Dough:
¼ cup water
1 package yeast
1 cup Rice Nog
½ cup Earth Balance butter
¼ cup sugar
1 15 oz can pumpkin
¼ cup brown sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups spelt flour

Filling:
½ cup Earth Balance butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup chopped pecans

Glaze:
½  cup Rice Nog
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
Pinch salt
2 cups powdered sugar

Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it sit a few minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Meanwhile, warm the Rice Nog and Earth Balance in a small saucepan on the stove top until the EB is melted. Combine this with the sugar in a large heat-proof mixing bowl and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Let the Rice Nog mixture cool until it is just warm to the touch – NOT HOT. Then stir in the yeast and the pumpkin. Add the salt and all of the flour all at once, stirring until all the flour has been absorbed. Squish it between your hands if you’re having trouble incorporating the last of the flour. The dough will be sticky, but should come together in a shaggy ball. If it’s still more the consistency of cookie batter, work in an additional 1/2 cup of flower.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 1-3 hours. Do not panic if it does not get very large in bulk.  It will be OK.   After letting it rise, you can punch the dough down and refrigerate it overnight or continue shaping the rolls.

To shape the rolls (either immediately or with the refrigerated dough), sprinkle your work surface with a little flour and dump the dough on top. Pat it down into a rough rectangle and then use a floured rolling pin to roll it into a rectangular shape about a half an inch thick, longer than it is wide. If the dough gets sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on the dough’s surface and on your hands.

Melt the Earth Balance in the microwave and stir in the brown sugar and the pumpkin pie spice. Spread this over the rectangle of dough, leaving an inch of bare dough at the top. Sprinkle one cup of the toasted pecans over the dough, if using. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch it closed at the top.

Rub a tablespoon of soft Earth Balance into the bottom of two 9×13 baking dishes, two 9-inch cake pans, or a combination. (I used one oval baking dish and one glass pie dish)  Using a bench cutter or a sharp knife, cut the cylinder into individual rolls 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick (confession: I made mine bigger, probably in the 1.5 – 2” range).  Place them into your baking dishes so they have a little wiggle room on all sides to rise. Cover them with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise until they fill the pan and look puffy, 30 minutes for already-warm dough and 1 hour for dough that’s been refrigerated.

About 20 minutes before baking, begin heating the oven to 375°. When the rolls are ready, bake them for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden and starting to look toasted around the edges. Rotate the pans halfway through cooking.

While they are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the Rice Nog and Earth Balance. When the EB has melted, add the brown sugar and salt. Stir until the brown sugar has melted.   Stir in the powdered sugar. This should form a thick but pourable glaze.

Let the baked rolls cool for about five minutes and then pour the glaze on top. Sprinkle the remaining cup of pecans over the top, if more nuttiness is desired. Eat them immediately. Leftovers will keep for several days and are best reheated for a minute in the microwave

 

 

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December 31st is a day to take stock of the year passed, a day to celebrate our gems and recognize our challenges in order to capitalize on these opportunities for improvement in the coming year.  I personally enjoy this occasion to formally recognize one year’s passing and ready myself for the possibilities of the year ahead. Isn’t that really what is at the heart of the celebration of the New Year:  all of the possibilities contained within the yet unturned pages of the new calendar?  Possibility, if it were an emotion, could easily be hope – the thing that drives us, lifts our spirits, and makes us look towards the future with enthusiasm and gratified anticipation.  The new year is a blank slate upon which we can write our hopes, dreams, and goals.

Come January 1st, however, we should not sweep the previous year under the rug – we should enter the new year armed with the accomplishments that were celebrated, lessons that were learned, and growth that incurred during the previous twelve months.  In that spirit, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you all our favorite recipes from the Outpost for 2008.  These recipes will definitely be making repeat appearances on our table in 2009.

I wish each and everyone of you a very happy, healthy, joyous, and prosperous 2009.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

The Best of the Outpost in 2008

The Best of the Outpost in 2008

Working from the top left to bottom right:

Danish Braid

French Yule Log

Green Papaya Salad

Crepes

Small Tarts

Jambalaya Stuffed Eggplant

Pineapple Poppy Seed Ice Cream

Fesenjan

Pumpkin Pie

Lemon Gems

Noodle Kugel

Seitan Pot Roast Brisket

Raw Papaya Banana Pie

No Piggies in Blankets

Roasted Butternut Squash, Potato, Apple, and Caramelized Onion Bisque with Pepita-Poblano Garnish

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Enjoy!

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This month’s challenge involved crafting a puff pastry that incorporated a block of butter. This is yet another DB challenge that will be chalked up to the list of things I never, ever would have attempted to make due to the recipe’s most decidedly non-vegan attitude and sneer had it not been for my fellow DBers pushing me into new, uncharted vegan baking territory.   And that is why I love the Daring Bakers.

For this particular recipe I had to make some of my usual adaptations:

Soy milk for cow’s milk

Soy yogurt for eggs

Earth Balance for butter

The original recipe called for an apple filling, but I wanted something more seasonal so I made a chocolate cherry cream cheese filling, which I thought paired well with the mild flavor of orange and cardamom in the dough. I topped the braid with an orange glaze and chopped pistachios.

Even though I knew how easy it was to make this braid, I was still massively impressed with myself when it was complete. The finished product is beautiful and very complicated looking. I served this one to many “ooohs” and “aaaaahhhhhs.”

Mahalo to Kelly of Sass and Veracity and Ben of What’s Cookin’? for hosting this month’s challenge.

DANISH BRAID
Makes 1 braid

For the dough (Detrempe)
½ tbsp active dry yeast
¼ cup soy milk
1/6 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vanilla soy yogurt
1/8 cup orange juice
1 5/8 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt

For the butter block (Beurrage)
1 stick cold Earth Balance
1/8 cup all-purpose flour

1. Combine yeast and soy milk in a bowl with a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk. Add sugar, orange zest, cardamom, vanilla extract, soy yogurt, and orange juice and mix well.

2. Sift flour and salt on your working surface and make a fountain. Make sure that the “walls” of your fountain are thick and even. Pour the liquid in the middle of the fountain. With your fingertips, mix the liquid and the flour starting from the middle of the fountain, slowly working towards the edges. (Add more flour as necessary. I used an additional 1/3 cup flour in this step). When the ingredients have been incorporated start kneading the dough with the heel of your hands until it becomes smooth and easy to work with, around 5 to 7 minutes. You might need to add more flour if the dough is sticky. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3. While the detrempe is chilling, combine Earth balance and flour in the bowl and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat for 1 minute more, or until smooth and lump free. Set aside at room temperature.

4. After the detrempe has chilled 30 minutes, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle approximately 18 x 13 inches and 1⁄4 inch thick. The dough may be sticky, so keep dusting it lightly with flour. Spread the beurrage evenly over the center and right thirds of the dough. Fold the left edge of the detrempe to the right, covering half of the butter. Fold the right third of the rectangle over the center third. The first turn has now been completed. Mark the dough by poking it with your finger to keep track of your turns, or use a sticky and keep a tally. Place the dough on a baking sheet, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

5. Place the dough lengthwise on a floured work surface. The open ends should be to your right and left. Roll the dough into another approximately 13 x 18 inch, 1⁄4-inch-thick rectangle. Again, fold the left third of the rectangle over the center third and the right third over the center third. No additional Earth Balance will be added as it is already in the dough. The second turn has now been completed. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

6. Roll out, turn, and refrigerate the dough two more times, for a total of four single turns. Make sure you are keeping track of your turns. Refrigerate the dough after the final turn for at least 5 hours or overnight. The Danish dough is now ready to be used. If you will not be using the dough within 24 hours, freeze it. To do this, roll the dough out to about 1 inch in thickness, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze. Defrost the dough slowly in the refrigerator for easiest handling. Danish dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Chocolate Cherry Cream Cheese Filling

1 8oz tub Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
½ cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp vanilla
1 cup cherries, pitted and quartered

Use hand mixer to mix together the Tofutti, confectioner’s sugar, and cocoa until smooth. Mix in the vanilla until well blended. Fold in the cherries.

TO ASSEMBLE DANISH BRAID

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the Danish Dough into a 12 x 20-inch rectangle, 1⁄4 inch thick. If the dough seems elastic and shrinks back when rolled, let it rest for a few minutes, then roll again. Place the dough on the baking sheet.

2. Along one long side of the pastry make parallel, 4-inch-long cuts with a knife or rolling pastry wheel, each about 1 inch apart. Repeat on the opposite side, making sure to line up the cuts with those you’ve already made.

3. Spoon the filling down the center of the rectangle. Starting with the top and bottom “flaps”, fold the top flap down over the filling to cover. Next, fold the bottom “flap” up to cover filling. This helps keep the braid neat and helps to hold in the filling. Now begin folding the cut side strips of dough over the filling, alternating first left, then right, left, right, until finished. Trim any excess dough and tuck in the ends.

4. Brush a bit of melted Earth Balance over the top of the braid.

Proofing and Baking

1. Spray cooking oil (Pam) onto a piece of plastic wrap, and place over the braid. Proof at room temperature or, if possible, in a controlled 90 degree F environment for about 2 hours, or until doubled in volume and light to the touch. (I proofed min in my oven set at 90F).

2. Near the end of proofing, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

3. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the pan so that the side of the braid previously in the back of the oven is now in the front. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake about 15-20 minutes more, or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Glaze

½ cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp soy milk powder

Mix all ingredients together until smooth.

To Serve

Brush glaze over braid. Sprinkle with ½ cup chopped pistachios. Slice the braid, reheat in microwave, and serve warm. Or don’t microwave it and serve at room temperature. Either way, it’s delicious.

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Crepes

Another weekend, another lovely Sunday morning. This particular Sunday morning, however, I indulged in my lazy day morning ritual – big mugs of earl grey tea and catching up on leisurely reading – a bit longer than usual and breakfast time eventually became brunch time with us not yet eating. I had gotten out of bed with visions of crepes in my head, and when I finally got around to making us our morning meal I was dismayed to remember that all of my vegan crepe recipes require an hour of chilling time in the refrigerator. Well, that simply wouldn’t do – we wanted our crepes now. While what I came up with may not meet the strictest standards of crepes they are, indeed, light, delicate pancakes, and not only are they delicious – they are quick. We filled ours with cherry preserves but the beauty of crepes is that they are so versatile that their limitation is only your imagination. These crepes are not too sweet so they can also pair nicely with savory fillings for a lunch or a dinner.
Crepes
Makes 6 six inch crepes
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
1 dash cinnamon
1 ½ tbsp canola oil
1 cup soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp agave nectar
1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the wet ingredients directly into the dry ingredients (no need to mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl) and whisk until smooth.
2. Heat a small skillet over medium high heat and coat lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

3. Spoon a thin layer of batter into the skillet and spread to cover the bottom. As soon as bubbles form on the batter (about 30 – 45 seconds) flip the crepe over and cook for 30-60 seconds on the other side. Remove crepe from the pan and repeat with the remaining batter. Keep crepes warms by wrapping them in foil.

4. To assemble: spread a light layer of the filling of your choice onto each crepe, leaving just a little room at the edges. Fold each crepe in half and then fold each in half again. Lightly dust with powdered sugar (and cocoa, if so inclined) and serve.

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Tropical Oatmeal

I must have the shyest blog readership on the internet, or it just may be that no one was interested in sandwiches or soy ice cream this past week. Whatever the case may be, I am finding it a bit lonely to be blogging in forum void of comments or discussion – the silence is deafening here, people! “Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?” Echo …..

Consider it a desperate plea for greater use of the comments feature. 🙂

On a techno-savvy note … per Emily’s suggestion, I’ve added some RSS feed subscription options to the sidebar. Activate, sit back, and let the magic of the internets do the work for you!

And now, onto today’s food of interest: oatmeal. One of my favorite things about the weekend is the leisurely morning ritual I can indulge in: sleep in a bit, enjoy a big mug of tea on the couch, and then make breakfast – a real breakfast, not the speedy fare that I rely on during the week. Yes, today is Monday; however, happy memories of yesterday’s breakfast continue to dance in my head. A breakfast mainstay at the Outpost is oatmeal, but we prefer a more winsome, more decidedly switched-on version than the one Wilford Brimley admonished you to eat in the late eighties and early nineties. I typically use the “Old Fashioned” style oats that take a whopping 5 minutes to cook up on the stove top. Sometimes I mix it up and use extra thick rolled oats, which take about 20 minutes to cook up. This recipe is the five minute version so keep in mind that you will have to adjust the recipe per the instructions on your package of oats.

 

 

Tropical Oatmeal

1 3/4 cups water
1 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
1 mango, diced
1 1/2 tbsp ground flax
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3rd cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped coconut

1. Bring water to a boil. Add oats, salt, mango, flax, and brown sugar. Simmer over medium low heat for 5-6 minutes.

2. Remove from heat and cover for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add almonds and coconut. Enjoy!

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If I were asked to name my least favorite breakfast food to make I would, without hesitation, answer “waffles.” It’s quite sad, really. I love the waffle. I love the crunchy exterior and the fluffy soft inside. I like the nooks and crannies that serve as little buckets of goodness that deliver the perfect amount of syrupy deliciousness to your mouth with each bite. Unfortunately, waffles also happen to be traditionally made with dairy and smothered in butter, which makes them verboten on most breakfast menus for a vegan. Most vegans simply compensate for this by whipping up their own bundles of waffle love in their home kitchens. I, however, have been challenged by the waffle. Something always seems to go awry with my waffle attempts – they end up undercooked, overcooked, burned, in pieces, stuck to the waffle iron, bland, tasting like baking powder, or just plain ugly and tasteless.

This morning Dan and I were discussing what to make for breakfast when he offered to make us some pancakes. The silence he was met with conveyed my thoughts, to which he responded, “No, really – I can do this. Just give me a recipe. It’s like a chemistry experiment.” Well, then – “Let’s do this together,” I say, followed by, shockingly, “But instead of pancakes, let’s make waffles!” Perhaps it was the comforting assurance of back up that led to my crazy talk. No matter, waffles it was … it was our mission.

We took stock of our fruit – apples, bananas, mangoes, and blueberries – and decided upon a peanut butter banana waffle, with just a touch of carob for a hint of chocolate undertone. Dan also insisted that no matter what kind of waffle we made we would have to incorporate Tofutti cream cheese, which I though would pair well with the peanut butter to create a rich, creamy, smooth tasting waffle.

I am happy to say that these waffles were the most perfect waffles I have ever been a part of making! I opened the waffle iron upon the first waffle with trepidation, expected to see the usual mess – but instead I was treated to the sight of a perfectly browned, fluffly waffle. This recipe turned out four big, beautiful waffles that all tasted delicious. Already we are planing another batch that will be a dessert waffle, topped with some vanilla soy ice cream.

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Waffles

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp carob powder (can substitute cocoa)
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 ripe mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp Tofutti cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup vanilla soymilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

 

1. Preheat your waffle iron per the manufacturer’s instructions.

2. Sift dry ingredients together into a medium bowl.

3. In a seperate bowl, combine the mashed banana, peanut butter, and cream cheese and mix. Add the oil and vanilla and mix until incorporated, then mix in the soymilk until well combined.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. Your batter will be thick.

5. Lightly spray both the top and bottom waffle griddle and add 2/3rds cup of batter to the waffle iron, spreading out the batter slightly before closing the iron. Our waffles took about 4 minutes to cook up into perfect waffles, but be sure to check your manufacturer’s instructions for times. Repeat for each waffle, taking care to spary the iron with oil between each waffle so as to prevent sticking. Keep dine waffles warm by covering them with foil.

6. Serve with sliced bananas and warmed maple syrup.

Update:  These waffles kept us going all day!  PB + nanner waffles = power food.  Who knew?

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