Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba (Bean Water)

After a year of hard work, my cookbook has been published!

Aquafabulous!

Yup, my cookbook, Aquafabulous!: 100+ Egg-Free Vegan Recipes Using Aquafaba is now in bookstores! You can also order it from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com and Chapters-Indigo.

The book has 125 recipes featuring Aquafaba, and here’s a little taste:

Kale Caesar Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Caesar with Roasted Chickpeas

Photography:Tango Photography
Food styling: Éric Régimbald
Prop styling: Véronique Gagnon-Lalanne

 Coconut French Toast

Vegan Coconut French Toast

Photography:Tango Photography
Food styling: Éric Régimbald
Prop styling: Véronique Gagnon-Lalanne

Sushi Salad

Vegan sushi salad

Photography:Tango Photography
Food styling: Éric Régimbald
Prop styling: Véronique Gagnon-Lalanne

Banoffee Pie in a Jar

Banoffee Pie in a jar

Photography:Tango Photography
Food styling: Éric Régimbald
Prop styling: Véronique Gagnon-Lalanne

Vegan Macarons

Vegan Macarons

Photography:Tango Photography
Food styling: Éric Régimbald
Prop styling: Véronique Gagnon-Lalanne

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.

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Plum Tartine

Exactly this time three years ago, I was in London, and by coincidence, my friend Shae from Vancouver was flying into London from Portugal that day. We met up at restaurant near Victoria Station so I could quickly jump on my train back to Brighton where I was staying.

That night, I ordered a Tartine.

Tartine

My London Tartine: base of beet hummus with sauteed veg and finished with boccinci

Had I ever had a Tartine before? I don’t know. Maybe. Or I had, but I didn’t know that’s what it was called.

A tartine is, simply put, an open-faced sandwich (can it even be a sandwich if it’s not two pieces of bread??!?). They’re pretty popular in Euorope, especially France, which is where they come from, and tend to be eaten with a fork and knife.

The basis of any good tartine is to use really good bread, and then you pile on a bunch of stuff that has a mix of textures and flavours. Many come with an egg for added protein.

I recently went to the farmer’s market and came home with peak summer produce; fresh, locally-grown corn, and Okanagan peaches, plums and apples. I looked at those beautiful, purple, juicy, fat plums and knew exactly what I was going to do with them: tartine.

This is one of those posts that’s less recipe, and more template.

Here’s how to build the perfect tartine: 

  • As I already said, you need good bread. Here, I used my own homemade sourdough, but if you’re not a quarantine baker and you live in Vancouver, I’d recommend Livia or Flourist for a good, sturdy loaf of crusty artisan bread. Also, you’re going to want to toast it. This gives it even more sturdiness, and it also adds to the texture of the dish. Feel free to drizzle it with a little olive oil and toast it in a pan, even, for some sexy grill marks. You could also do this on the BBQ.
  • Your base layer should be something that will anchor the rest of the ingredients that are going on top. I like to use cream cheese, a savoury herbed one if possible, a goat’s cheese (again herbed would be pretty bomb here), or ricotta. If you’re vegan, hummus or mashed avocado is a great base for your tartine. You’ll want to spread a nice, thick layer.
  • Next up, the main players: in this case, it’s thinly-sliced plums, but you could use almost any fruit or vegetable here. Thinly-sliced zucchini or cucumbers, dressed with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper would be amazing. Sautéed mushrooms with garlic? Oh yeah. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes? Orgasmic.
  • Now you want to think about sauces and dressings. My automatic go-to is balsamic reduction and a drizzle of good olive oil.
  • Garnish: a bit of peppery arugula tossed in a bit of olive oil would make a lovely topping. You could also go with microgreens, herbs, or edible flowers on top. Another potential garnish would be something to give your tartine an extra textural element, like seeds or nuts, something crispy.

That’s it! Let your taste buds be your guide, and play around with this great summer meal that has about a million different variations! I also need to add that this is the perfect dish to cook right now because it requires very little actual cooking, and let’s face it, it’s too hot to turn the oven or stove on.

Plum Tartine

Plum Tartine

Here’s my Plum Tartine:

  1. Thick slice of sourdough bread, toasted
  2. Layer of herbed cream cheese
  3. Layer of thinly-sliced plums
  4. Balsamic, olive oil, flaky salt
  5. Thyme leaves and blossoms

The ultimate tartine is all about the play of textures and flavours. Here, the creamy, slightly acidic cheese plays off of the sweet, juicy fruit. Then you have the crisp of the toasted bread and the sweet/acid of the balsamic reduction. It’s the perfect summer bite!

PS. If you want to try tartine in Vancouver, I recommend Ubuntu Canteen.

 

 

KimChi Grilled Cheese

For a Christmas gift this year, I got Samin Nosrat’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat cookbook.

I have been in love with Nosrat since I discovered her on a cooking show a while back, and was tickled pink when she released the Netflix documentary based on her cookbook (see some of my other favourite Netflix cooking shows here)

What I love about Nosrat is that she is truly a food nerd. I spend a lot of my time doing chemistry experiments in the kitchen, and so does she. I feel like I could just nerd out with her.

Her cookbook is huge, but also in some ways not so much a cookbook and more of a how-to guide. She explains, in great detail, the properties of salt, fat, acid and heat, and how to use them to make the best possible food.

Oh by the way, she has a pandemic podcast as well.

Vegan Kimchi Grilled Cheese

One of things Nosrat has been very vocal about loving is a Kimchi Grilled Cheese.

Now, if you are at all familiar with this blog, you’ll know that, despite not being even a tiny bit Korean (that I know of), I love KimChi. For those of you unfamiliar, KimChi is a fermented cabbage condiment that has been made for thousands of years in Korea. Its base is cabbage, and then you add salt and spices to it and let it sit for about a week and it gets all funky and spicy. It’s weird and hot and also because it’s fermented, it’s really great for your gut health.

KimChi, however, is usually made with fish sauce, so it’s not considered to be vegan. However, we have a local Vancouver business that does make a vegan version, and I’ve been loving Salty Cabbage KimChi since they launched a year ago, and have been including it in loads of recipes.

But I’d never had a KimChi grilled cheese.

Nosrat is right. It’s great. I used a nice crusty homemade sourdough bread, and the play of the textures and flavours makes this a winner. You’ve got the crusty bread, the spicy, funky kimchi, and the soft, melty, fatty cheese.

If you aren’t vegan, or you don’t want to make it vegan, just use regular cheese.

Here’s how to make a Kimchi Grilled Cheese: 

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