Aquafaba literally means bean water — the water that’s drained off neutral-colored beans like chickpeas, white beans and cannellini beans.
Vegans have had limited choices when it came to baked goods. The existing substitutes did not have the chemical properties of eggs which made them integral for binding and leavening. But now there is the perfect substitute, and it’s aquafaba. And it’s blown open the world of vegan baking.
This collection of recipes, however, is not only for vegans. It is great for anyone who has an allergy to dairy and eggs. It’s proof that you can go egg-free and still enjoy delicious recipes. You will never miss eggs again. The general rule of thumb is 3 tbsp of aquafaba equals one egg. The protein in aquafaba, when mixed with some sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar, perfectly simulates egg whites. Neutral in taste, you don’t have to worry about your dishes tasting beany.
All your breakfast and brunch favorites are here–from omelettes, French Toast and pancakes to scones and crepes. You’ll enjoy satisfying and sumptuous Vegan Shepherds Pie, Vegan Mac and Cheese or for lunch or dinner. And you can once again enjoy Alfredo Sauce over your pasta. And the meringue desserts are not to be missed — Fruit Pavlova and Sweet Potato Pie to Lemon Meringue Pie. Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’mores Bars, Snickerdoodles and Chocolate Ice Cream are perfect for those children’s birthday parties where allergies are now a prevailing concern.
Now you no longer have to live without the culinary wonders that eggs and egg whites produce. All you need to do is open up a can of chickpeas, drain the water and you’re ready to go.
I am lucky enough to have surrounded myself, in this city, with some great people: good friends, and good foodies. Sometimes those lines cross, and those who were already good foodies became great friends.
My buddy Peter Ciuffa (aka @pastaboypeter) fits into both categories. Even though Peter was born in Calgary, he is what I would consider to be old-school Italian. He learned all the traditional cooking techniques from his mother and his grandmother, and now teaches classes here in Vancouver, showing others how to do the same.
Image by Dyson Media
We were lucky enough to find a spare morning a few weeks back where both of us were free to shoot a cooking video.
Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve done this… and shooting with Peter is always a very organic, fun affair with lots of jokes and laughs, ending in a delicious meal.
I put Peter in charge of the food, my only request was that the dish be vegetarian (this dish is actually vegan if you leave off the cheese at the end, or sub out vegan parm). The end result was a fantastic, comforting pasta dish that comes together in just a few minutes.
Big shout-out here to Jeremy Dyson of Dyson Media, who shot and edited this together for us. It was no easy task, but the end result looks so much better than anything I could have done solo.
Don’t forget–eat with those you love!
Rapini and Barlotti Bean Pasta
200 g pasta (we used penne)
2 cloves garlic
1/4–1/2 tsp pepper flakes (to taste)
1 bunch broccoli rape or rapini (bitter greens)
1 can barlotti or cannelini or navy beans
grated parmesan (optional)
salt and pepper
Is it even a dish if you don’t Instagram it??
Generously salt a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions, though you want to pull the pasta out when it is still slightly undercooked, or al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, bring a second pot of salted water the boil, and add the rapini. Cook it until wilted and the stems are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Pull from the boiling water and place immediately in ice water to stop the cooking process.
In a large frying pan or dutch oven, heat about 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add some salt and the roughly chopped garlic, and stir until fragrant. Add pepper flakes to taste.
Next, add in the beans, having drained them (and save the aquafaba!!). Stir well and toss and coat with the oil. Allow them to cook down until they start to pop open and release the starches.
Next add the cooked and drained rapini, and stir well.
Drain the pasta, but be sure to save some of the pasta water on the side. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss well, adding additional olive oil or pasta water if needed to make a proper sauce.
Finish with a grating of lemon zest, a squeeze of lemon, and a garnish of grated parmesan cheese.
Honestly, it’s never really been my thing. It’s a Hallmark holiday, but it’s good business for florists. In my world, you should show someone you love and appreciate them all the time, not just one day a year….
Okay. Having got that crankiness off my chest, let’s turn to the task at hand.
Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to indulge. It’s far enough away from New Years that you don’t have to feel super guilty about breaking a few resolutions, and, I mean, hey! it’s Valentine’s Day! You deserve a little chocolate and wine. Either because you have a great relationship, or you don’t. Either is a perfectly good reason in my books.
I enjoy learning about wine. I’m not the biggest connoisseur in the world, beyond the fact that I know what I like. I am also a big fan of dark chocolate. And, as it turns out, dark chocolate (because it tends to be lower in sugar and more savoury in nature) can actually pair quite well with wine.
So, if you wanna drown your sorrows this V-day, or share your chocolate and wine with someone else (I think I might rather hoard mine all to myself), I have some suggested pairings for you.
Oh–by the way, if you do decide to do a formal tasting pairing, here is how to do it, according the the nice people at Lindt (this post is in no way sponsored by them, I just really like their chocolate):
First, taste both the chocolate and wine individually.
Then, to begin the pairing, take another piece of chocolate. Savour the taste as it slowly melts in your mouth.
When the last lingering notes of chocolate are all that remain, take a sip of wine. Hold the wine in your mouth, allowing it to coat your palate.
Notice the complex changes in taste as the wine mingles with the residual chocolate flavour.
Cabernet Sauvignon with Dark Chocolate with Raspberries:
I wandered into Lindt yesterday to get my fix, and they have a new bar out, which features chunks of raspberries. This is one of my favourite flavour combos. It goes great with a cabernet sauvignon, which has lots of plummy and blackberry notes.
Pinot Noir with Chili Chocolate
Some like it hot! The spiciness of the Chili Chocolate is a great match for the cherry notes in a bold Pinot Noir. For those of you out there with a fiery, passionate relationship, this is your pairing.
The riesling has notes of citrus and stone fruit, and that pairs great with the citrus in the chocolate. This is a lighter pairing, for those of you who aren’t attracted to dark, bold reds, but want something lighter and less complex.
Merlot with Dark Chocolate Sea Salt
The Lindt Dark Chocolate Sea Salt is my favourite. It’s the one I come back to again and again, and it’s very seldom that I don’t have one in my house. I love the sweet/savoury pairing, and the salt brings out the chocolate. The plum and pomegranate notes in the merlot go nicely here.
Not a fan of dark chocolate?
White Chocolate with liqueur
A lot of people don’t even consider white chocolate to be chocolate, because it has the lowest amount of cocoa solids. Dark chocolate has a minimum of 70%, and white chocolate only has 30%. But some of you really like it. Ideally, because it’s sweet, you want to pair it with something sweeter, like Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Milk chocolate has somewhere around 35%-50% cocoa solids, and is much sweeter than dark chocolate. Pair it with a finishing drink, something sweet, like an ice wine, a sherry or a Port (basically some kind of sweeter, fortified wine). One of my local faves is Langley’s Vista D’oro’s Walnut Fortified Wine.
There you have it! Go out and collect some bottles and collect some chocolate and have a blast this Valentine’s Day–and remember, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.