Archive for Seasonal

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova Two Ways {Vegan}

I’m not quite sure what I’ve gotten myself into. It’s blueberry season, and I seem to just keep acquiring more and more and more blueberries! It’s not my fault… they just follow me home, honest!

So, yeah, I have too many blueberries, so I have been making ALL the blueberry things. Earlier it was a (non vegan) lemon blueberry pound cake, but I always like to make sure I have something that’s entirely plant-based happening most of the time.

Today’s recipe is just that.

And I found, when I started to get into the recipe, that I could use the same ingredients in a variety of different ways. I was actually able to create two distinctive desserts out of the same group of ingredients.

Lemon Blueberry Pavlova

Dessert number one is a vegan pavlova.

If you’re not Australian you may not know what Pavlova is. Basically, it’s a big meringue that is baked at a low temp for a long time, and the final result is something that is crispy on the outside, but chewy on the inside. They are usually topped with a mixture of curd, whipped cream, and fresh berries, and often served at Christmas.

My vegan version is made, of course, from aquafaba. You simply take a basic aquafaba meringue recipe and instead of piping it into “kisses,” you pipe it into what looks a little like a bird’s nest. This creates the base of the pavlova. You top it with lemon curd, fresh berries, and coconut whip.

Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Dessert number two is inspired by a non-vegan one I had a few weeks back at a local restaurant, H2 at the Westin Bayshore. It was called a Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess, and it consisted of layers of lemon curd, whipped cream and a blueberry compote, topped with meringues. It was delicious, but I wanted to recreate it and make it vegan.

Vegan Blueberry Lemon Eton Mess

Here’s the basic recipes to create both:

Here is how to make the meringue. I piped half into “birds nests” to make pavlovas and half into “kisses” for the Eton Mess. You can skip the raspberry powder if you like, but I had some left over from making this recipe, and I liked the idea of raspberry and blueberry together.

Here is how to make the lemon curd.

  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • pinch of salt
  1. In a mason jar, combine water, non dairy milk and cornstarch. Screw on the lid and shake well to mix. Pour into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, and then cook over medium heat, stirring continuously with a whisk until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to stir until it thickens and bubbles.You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon, and you can run your finger through it without it running back together.

Here is how to make the coconut whip (or you can be lazy and buy it in a can!).

Here is how to make the blueberry compote:

  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  1. In a smallish saucepan, place all the ingredients over  medium heat, and gently bring to a boil. Allow to cook down for 5-10 minutes, until the consistency is jammy. I like to mash mine up with a potato masher, or you can puree it in your blender if you like a smoother consistency. Allow to cool before creating your dessert–it will thicken as it cools.

Fraser Valley Roasted Carrots

This is the second post this week where I’m focusing on the food of the Fraser Valley.

We’re incredibly lucky to have such lush farmland just a few minutes’ drive away (okay, so it might be closer to an hour, but hey, it’s still pretty local), where we can source locally grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats.

I’m going to skip the meats, but I do really support an environment where you know your farmer, and your farmer knows his or her product, be it animal or vegetable.

milner farm aged goat cheese

One of our stops on our Fraser Valley Food Tour was at Milner Valley Cheese. There’s something really cool about being able to see (and pet!) the goats that make the milk that they turn into cheese. It’s a full farm-to-table operation there. The goats are milked twice daily, and then that milk is turned into cheese right there on the premises.

milner farm chevre

That means it’s pretty much the freshest chevre you’ve ever eaten. It was delicious. I was pretty smitten with their aged goat cheese, which had a similar consistency to a parmesan or an aged gouda. Oh–and by the way–they also make their own goat gelato. Yeah! And it’s really tangy and yummy.

We came home from our Fraser Valley Foodie Tour with a bunch of beautiful, fresh ingredients–produce, cheese and berries–and then of course, I had to do something with it all!

petting goats

Petting goats at Milner Farms.

Angie’s book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley not only profiles local food producers in the valley, but also those who make the food. There are profiles of chefs, and there are recipes that will help you use up all the yummy goodness.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Chickpeas Angie Quaale

Recipe and photo courtesy of Random House. Reproduced with permission.

One such recipe is Angie’s Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Chickpeas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb small carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained–save the aquafaba!)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Halve the carrots and parsnips lenghtwise. Place on a baking pan in a single layer, and then add the chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the chili flakes and the salt and then toss to combine. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, stir well, and return to bake for another 15 minutes, until carrots and parsnips are fork-tender and chickpeas are crispy.
  4. Transfer to a platter to serve, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses, chunks of feta, and sprinkle with parsley.

Sounds good, right??? Here is my variation on this recipe.

roasted carrots

I didn’t have parsnips, but I did get some beautiful rainbow carrots at the Farmer’s Market, so I used just those. I also can’t use chili flakes because the boy can’t manage anything that’s hot or spicy, so I used za’atar instead. If you’re not familiar, za’atar is a middle-eastern spice blend made with oregano, sesame, and sumac. It’s very warming. I also didn’t have feta (basically failing at this recipe), but I did have the super tasty aged goat cheese I’d gotten from Milner farms, so I shaved that over the top. Finally, I subbed out balsamic reduction for the pomegranate molasses. Oh! and I made a pesto from the carrot tops.

We had these as a side with some veggie burgers, and they were soooo good!

Get out and explore your backyard! You never know what tasty treasures you might discover.

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