Archive for Vegan

Red Lentil and Harissa Hummus {Vegan}

Oh hummus. It just might be the most perfect food. 

Let’s recap: 

  • It’s entirely plant-based
  • It’s cheap
  • It’s full of protein
  • It’s full of fibre
  • There are a million different variations.

Yeah! Hummus is freakin’ amazing! 

Red Lentil and Harissa Hummus

I can’t prove this without doing a bunch of work (and I’m too lazy for that), but my guess is, hummus is the recipe I have made more of for this blog than anything else. Let’s see… there was Roasted Squash Hummus, a lovely pink Roasted Beet Hummus, a pale green Edamame Hummus, and even Chocolate Dessert Hummus! Oh yeah, and then there was the time I tried the Hummus Milkshake

I feel like I need this shirt: 

Okay. I think we’ve safely established my love for hummus. Let’s get on to the task at hand. 

I’m playing with lentils a lot this week, and there will be more lentil recipes forthcoming. The thing about hummus, is that you can make it with basically any kind of pulses. People tend toward lighter beans, because the colour is more pleasing, but you could technically make hummus with black beans or kidney beans. Most people use chickpeas or cannelini beans because the flavour is a little more neutral, too, so you can make the hummus taste however you want. 

I’ve been exploring Persian and middle eastern flavours quite a lot lately. I was cooking from Bottom of the Pot for a while, and there’s this Persian Market in West Van that I am visiting now once a week. They have a great selection of middle eastern ingredients, and I buy them because I’m curious. Barberry, halva, lavash bread… and harissa. 

Harissa is a paste made from roasted chilies blended with garlic and spices. I get mine at the Persian Market in a tube, similar to how you’d buy tomato paste or anchovy paste. It’s spicy and smoky, and a little goes a long way. 

It’s great on potatoes, mixed with oil (kinda like Patatas Bravas), mixed in with mayo for a spicy dip or sandwich spread, or folded into scrambled eggs. 

Here, I used it to kick up my hummus. 

The weird thing about red lentils, is, they are quite orange when you buy them in the store, but they basically turn white or beige after cooking. So I thought I’d enhance the redness of the hummus (and also add a touch of sweetness) by adding roasted red peppers. 

The end result is a dip that’s a little sweet, a little smoky, and a little spicy. Yee-haw! 

Hummus

Red Lentil and Harissa Hummus {Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • water
  • salt & pepper to taste 
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 roasted red peppers (jarred)
  • 2 tbsp–1/4 cup water or aquafaba 

Method

  • First, quickly rinse the lentils, then you need to cook them. I did mine in the instant pot, by adding the lentils, garlic, some salt, and 1/2-1 cup water to the bottom of the pot, and then cooking on manual for 4 minutes. If you don’t want to cook them in the instant pot, you can just add the lentils and garlic to about 3 cups of water on top of the stove. Bring to a boil, then simmer till the water is absorbed. You can even strain the lentils if there is too much water and the lentils themselves are cooked. 
  • Once the lentils are cooked, add all the ingredients except for the water to your blender or food processor. Process and scrape down the bowl. With the motor running, begin to slowly stream in the water or aquafaba, until your hummus gets to the desired, creamy consistency. 

 

 

Vegan Beer Pretzels

Beer + Pretzels = perfect match. 

Pretzels are warm, salty and chewy, a perfect match with a cold, crisp beer. 

One of the things that amazes me the most about cooking is how just a few simple ingredients can really turn into way more than the sum of their parts. In this case, we have flour, water, yeast and salt–these four ingredients make bread–but in different combinations and with endless varieties. 

Beer pretzels vegan

In this case, the variety is created by how you cook the bread. Normally, of course, you’d bake it in the oven, but prior to going into the oven, the pretzel gets a short bath in boiling water. 

As well, I’ve added beer to the actual mix, for extra flavour and also for an extra bump. Because beer is, itself, yeasted and fermented, it gives the pretzels an extra rise. 

When you serve these, you’ll want a nice cold beer, but you’ll also probably want something to dip them in. I’m a fan of straight-up mustard, but a good cheesy sauce would also be a great choice (use the cheese sauce from this mac & cheese recipe).

Whew! These pretzels are making me thirsty! *cracks beer*Vegan Beer Pretzels

Vegan Beer Pretzels 

Ingredients

  • 1 355 ml bottle of beer 
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 ¼ tsp yeast (or one package if you’re using that)
  • ¼ cup vegan butter, melted
  • 4 ½ cups unbleached flour
  • ¼ cup aquafaba mixed with 1 tbsp oil or melted vegan butter
  • generous amounts of kosher salt for sprinkling 

Method

  1. Place the beer in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 45 seconds. You want the beer to be a little over 100 degrees, but less than 115. 
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the sugar and the salt, then pour the warm beer over top. (FYI you don’t need a stand mixer to make this, you could easily do it by hand, but it’s just more work). Sprinkle the yeast over the beer, and leave it to bloom for about 5 minutes. 
  3. Once the yeast has bloomed, stir in the melted butter, then place the bowl on the mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on its lowest speed, and slowly add in the flour, until it is all incorporated. 
  4. Allow the dough to mix for another 5 minutes or so, until it is no longer sticky and it comes away from the side of the bowl and clumps up on the dough hook. 
  5. Pull the bowl off of your stand mixer and clean off the dough hook, pulling the dough into a cohesive ball. Slather a little vegetable oil on the ball so it doesn’t stick, place it back in the bowl, and cover with a towel. Place in a warm spot and allow to rise for an hour. It should at least double in size. 
  6. Dump the dough out onto your work surface, and punch it down. Roll it out into a log and cut it into 8 sections. Roll each section out into a long, skinny rope, a foot long. Fold the rope in half, and wrap it around itself, then pinch the ends together to make a pretzel stick. You can also, of course, make pretzel shapes, as well. 
  7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. Drop the pretzels, two at a time, into the boiling water, and cook for 30 seconds. Pull them out using a slotted spoon or a spider, and place them on silpat- or parchment-lined baking sheets. 
  8. Brush the pretzels with the aquafaba/oil mixture, then generously sprinkle them with coarse salt. 
  9. Bake pretzels in a preheated 425 oven for about 20 minutes, or until nicely golden. 
  10. Remove from oven and enjoy hot with your favourite mustard to dip. 
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