Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – Vegan Mofo

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yay, spelt flour! What is spelt? Well, you can read a little about it here if you’d like. Spelt is an ancient grain and distant cousin of wheat in which many people find to be more easy to digest because of it’s high fiber and low, gluten content. Spelt is an excellent source of phytoestrogens and lignans, fiber, vitamin E, niacin and magnesium, and has a lower glycemic index.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

These rolls are moist, and are delightfully cakelike in texture, as opposed to a flaky roll. When you take a bite, they are a beautiful pumpkin orange color and are filled with all the flavors you might associate with autumn. The bread is a sweet yeasted spelt dough with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The filling is a quick-homemade pumpkin butter, sugar, cinnamon , with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to keep it festive.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

This recipe takes some time, but don’t let that scare you away from making them. The active time spent making them isn’t that long. It is letting the yeast work it’s magic that takes the most time. You can make this recipe in steps, starting with the dough, walking away to let it rise a couple of times before it’s time to bake. So start this recipe on a day where you have other tasks or things to do, and not on a day where you need a cinnamon roll in an instant. But they are so worth the time! The recipe makes 14 wonderful pumpkin cinnamon rolls that you can share with family, friends or co-workers; perfect for breakfast or brunch this time of year.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
yield: 14 servings

For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups organic spelt flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling:
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth balance soy-free), or organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (recipe follows)*
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Proof the yeast by first dissolving the 1 tablespoon of sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you return, the mixture should be bubbly and frothy, which means the yeast is active and you can proceed with the recipe. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast mixture with the pumpkin, coconut oil, and vanilla; stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the spelt flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin-yeast mixture in the stand mixer. Mix with the stand mixer on low-speed until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough and add a small amount of oil back in the mixing bowl, pack the dough into a firm ball and place back into the bowl, rolling it around a bit to coat in oil. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bowl. Walk away and let the dough rise until it is double in size (approximately 2 1/2 hours).

When the dough has risen double it’s size, it’s ready to be rolled out and filled. First, place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a clean counter (you will need two sheets of plastic wrap, you want a square about 12-inch-by-12-inch). Sprinkle a bit of spelt flour onto the plastic and use your fingers to spread it around a bit; dust a rolling pin in a bit of spelt flour as well. Place the dough on the center of the plastic wrap and begin to roll it out until it’s about a 10-inch long rectangle and is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a flat spatula to spread on the filling ingredients in the order they are listed. Start with the end closest to you, and fold up the side using the plastic wrap to lift up the dough. Peel back the plastic and roll the dough a second time, and continue this until it is all rolled-up and in the shape of a log. Use a chef’s knife to slice in 16 rolls. The easiest way to achieve equal size rolls is to first cut the log in the center, and then cut the halves in their centers, and so on.

Line a large glass baking dish with parchment paper. Place the sliced rolls on the parchment, leaving about an inch or so apart. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let rise until rolls have doubled in size. I waited about 6 hours, and it was well worth it. You could even let them rise overnight, and bake them fresh in the morning. Once rolls have risen, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 25 minutes, rolls are done when firm when touched and make a nice little hollow sound when flicked.

I whipped up an icing to go on top of these rolls as well (although I think they are delicious without the icing). To make the icing, combine about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin butter with my frosting recipe here. Heat in a saucepan on low-heat until warm, adding about a tablespoon or so of almond milk.

* Quick Stove-top Pumpkin Butter
Recipe makes about 1 cup of pumpkin butter which is a perfect filling for cinnamon rolls, or to spread on toast or pancakes. The orange extract is an optional ingredient, but it gives the pumpkin butter a very special and unique flavor.

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to very low, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly before transferring to a jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfreeveganmofo2013

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Fudgy Vegan Gluten-free Brownies – VeganMofo

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies

Apparently, chocoholism is genetic. My son loves chocolate about as much as I do. I promise, we don’t eat sweets as much as it may seem, but when we allow ourselves a special treat, chocolate is definitely our absolute favorite. There is quite a different response that follows when I ask “Would you like a cookie?” than when I ask “Would you like a brownie?”

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.com

I’m going to be quite honest with you here for a minute, these brownies are pretty damn good. They are fudgy, sweet and chocolaty; outstanding with a glass of cold almond milk. They’re gluten-free, vegan and soy-free, made with healthy coconut oil and teff flour. They’d be a fabulous addition to your Halloween sweets table. If you make them for someone who is skeptical on vegan or gluten-free food, these may just convince them.

Fudgy Brownies – recipe by RansomCakes.com
yield: 16 servings

1/4 cup vegan chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Justin’s)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup teff flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (use two sheets of parchment, cut to fit the pan, and overlap the sheets so that the sides of the pan are also covered).

In a glass bowl, add the chocolate hazelnut butter and the chopped chocolate, melt in the microwave or a double-boiler, stirring often. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts: combine well before adding the sugar and continue to stir until mixture is very smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, almond meal and teff flour. To this add the baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and stir to combine. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet, stirring gently, before batter comes together completely, add in the chopped walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread the batter to the corners and edges of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.comveganmofo2013

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry

Roasted Potato and Spinach Curry

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, vegan food deserves to be celebrated and appreciated. I learned to cook, and to love food when I first began eating a plant-based diet. Vegan food taught me different flavors that I hadn’t yet tasted. Pretty soon there-after, I fell in love with curry. Curry can be very complicated, or very easy to make. If you are using store-bought curry paste (like I did here), you will have a quick and satisfying dinner. If you have the time, experiment and try making your own curry paste. For this dish, I used a canned Thai green curry paste made from green chilies, with lemongrass, coriander, ginger and garlic.

Roasted Potato and Spinach Curry

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry
An easy, very very spicy, but comforting dish

3 pounds red potatoes
salt
pepper
extra virgin olive oil

2 shallots, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 – 15 ounce can lite coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
I – 4 ounce can green curry paste (I used Maesri brand)

Wash the potatoes, and parboil them for 12 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, cut them in fourths or sixths. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden and edges are a bit crispy.

In a large saucepan on medium heat, sauté the shallots in the olive oil until caramelized nicely. Add the spinach, and cook for about a minute before adding the coconut milk, veg broth and curry paste. Stir until well combined and bring to a boil for about 10 minutes. Add the roasted potatoes and turn off heat.

Serve as is, the potatoes make the dish very hearty. If you wish, serve over rice or with naan.

A whole lot of love goes into the food I make; from the most elaborate dish, to the quick-in-a-hurry-meals (the latter in which I now make more often). Always, always thank the person who makes you a meal, or serves you your take-out – especially if that person’s name is “Mom!” A nice thank you really goes a long way. And a sincere thanks never gets old.

Roasted Potatoes and Spinach Curry

veganmofo2013

Butternut Squash Soup – VeganMOFO

butternut squash soup

Butternut squash soup (bisque, or what-have-you) is like, the new chili. There are a million different recipes out there, or so it seems. Here’s mine; it’s fast, simple, creamy, comforting and delicious. A perfect opening dish for an autumn dinner; it’s also hearty enough to serve on it’s own.

butternut squash soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, low-fat, dairy-free

Naturally vegan, gluten and soy-free, but suitable for every dietary choice. Much thanks to my mama, and her bountiful garden, for these beautiful squashes! This recipe is low-fat, and much (much) healthier than my last recipe post using this wondrous vegetable.

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

Butternut Squash Soup
makes many, many servings

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 tablespoon garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil
3 cups peeled, seeded and diced butternut squash
2 cups peeled and diced red potatoes
1 cup chopped carrots
4 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
sprinkle of paprika
dash of black pepper

In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat for a few seconds before tossing in the chopped onion. Caramelize the onion on medium-low heat until it is a lovely caramel-brown color. Add the chopped and diced veggies (in no particular order): butternut squash, potatoes, carrots. Give it a good stir. Add the salt, thyme, sage, garlic, paprika and black pepper and stir again. Pour in the vegetable broth, stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low-boil, cover and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every once-in-a-while. Remove from heat, and let sit for 15 minutes before pureeing in a food processor. Serve warm!

Butternut Squash Soup - vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, low-fat

veganmofo2013

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing – VeganMOFO

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

I’m back for Vegan MOFO! I’ve missed blogging and sharing recipes here very much. Because of some very personal issues, I’ve had to put this on hold for a while. But anyway, here’s to September! A new month, and (hopefully) many new and exciting recipes to be shared here with you all.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

These little cute cakes are so delicious, and if you leave off the icing, they are actually pretty healthy. The cake itself has no refined sugar; it’s moist, sweet and light. This would be a great fall birthday treat, or to make for a festive autumn gathering.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

My son really liked these. And as you can see in the photo below, he found a very creative way to eat them: hands free!

Ry1TEXT2
Ready for the recipe? Ok, here we go, MOFO’ers.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: 36 mini cupcakes

1 cup roasted sweet potato puree
3/4 cup vanilla flaxmilk, (or vanilla coconut milk)
1/4 cup date paste
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely grated carrots

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 mini cupcake pans with a little coconut oil (enough for 36 mini cupcakes).
In a stand mixer, combine the sweet potato puree, date paste, flaxmilk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the shredded carrots and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours: sorghum, brown rice, and millet; to this add the xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 1/2 cup increments, gently folding them together using a large rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Use a cookie scoop to scoop batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: about 1 1/2 cups

7 tablespoons soy-free earth balance, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla flaxmilk (or vanilla coconut milk)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, whip the earth balance for a minute or so before slowly adding the powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice, flaxmilk and vanilla extract and whip frosting until smooth. This icing is intended for spreading, not piping. It has a smooth consistency rather than a fluffy one. When cupcakes are completely cool, spread about a tablespoon or so of the icing on top of the cakes. Before serving, garnish with shredded carrots, raisins or chopped nuts.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

yummy.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing.

veganmofo2013

Homemade Corn Tortillas

Homemade corn tortillas are really easy to make actually, and they are really impressive (at least I think so). They are also much more delicious freshly made. This was my first time making my own tortillas, but I figured I might as well give it a go since I said I’d be making tacos for dinner tonight. The recipe for these tortillas came right off the back of my bag of maseca. The recipe is so easy and calls for only three ingredients: maseca, water and salt.

I don’t have a tortilla press (yet), so I used two plates to smoosh the tortillas flat. It worked just fine really, and earned me bonus punk points. To make homemade corn tortillas: all you have to do is measure out your maseca (2 cups), water (1 and 1/4 cup) and salt (1/4 tsp.) and combine them together in a bowl. Mix until a soft dough forms (I used my hands). Roll dough into 16 balls and cover them with a damp towel so they don’t dry out.

Press the balls in a tortilla press covered in plastic wrap – or – use my plate trick (make sure the plates are covered in plastic wrap). Carefully remove tortilla from plastic wrap and warm in a preheated cast iron skillet on medium-high heat for 30-50 seconds per side. Repeat for all tortillas. Place the tortillas on a plate and cover with a dry napkin to keep warm. To store them, allow to cool, wrap in plastic and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Taco night turned into tostada night with these homemade tortillas. After the tortillas were cooled, I fried them in a little corn oil until slightly brown and crispy. I topped them with seitan seasoned with salsa verde, black bean spread, tomatoes with cilantro, daiya cheese and a touch of sriracha. They were so good, mmm….

 In conclusion, you should definitely make your own tortillas. It was actually quite easy and didn’t take long at all!

Kalamata Olive, Garlic and Celtic Sea Salt Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread = so good. This focaccia bread = exceptionally good. Why? Two words, really: kalamata olives. I love them. There is an Italian grocery store near our apartment and they have a lovely olive bar there filled with about 50 different kinds of olives. I typically go for the straight up kalamatas in herbs, but they also have garlic clove stuffed kalamatas. They are a recipe for stinky breath for sure, but they are so worth it. Here’s my recipe for Kalamata Olive, Garlic & Celtic Sea Salt Focaccia Bread. This recipe is extremely versatile. You can top it with a number of ingredients, such as sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, marinated artichoke hearts… I chose kalamata olives, garlic cloves, dried Italian herbs and Celtic sea salt. If you don’t have celtic sea salt, any grey salt, or coarse salt will work.

I love to make yeasted breads. Yeasted breads are one of those kitchen projects where you can start, walk away, come back to it, walk away, and then finish it. I use rapid rise yeast for this recipe. If you want to use traditional yeast, please do, but your dough will need to rise for a longer period of time.

Kalamata Olive, Garlic & Celtic Sea Salt Focaccia Bread
makes one rustic, flat & round loaf

Ingredients:
1 c. warm water
1 Tbsp. natural sugar
1 – 1/4 oz. package rapid-rise active dry yeast
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 c. unbleached, all-purpose (or bread) flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper

For the topping:
1/4 c. whole kalamata olives
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbsp. Celtic sea salt (or other coarse salt)
about 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling over the dough)

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water; add the packet of yeast and stir gently. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes to proof the yeast. If the yeast has bubbled, it’s active – if not, start over with a new packet because the yeast is dead. Then, add the olive oil, flour, salt and pepper. Knead for about 5 minutes using a stand mixer with a dough hook, or about 10 minutes with your floured hands on a floured surface. Pat dough into a large ball. Coat a large bowl with a thin layer of olive oil, and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour. When you come back, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch down the dough and knead with your hands. On a large baking pan lined with parchment paper, form the dough into a large, flat circle. You can also use a rolling-pin if you’d like. Press the kalamata olives and garlic slices into the dough. Sprinkle with Celtic sea salt and dried herbs and drizzle some olive oil on top. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap again and let sit for 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Bake focaccia for 30 minutes, or until the edges are browned slightly and when you tap the crust it makes a hollow sound. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before you slice it.

I find that this bread is best as is, but would also be good along side a hearty minestrone soup or with chopped tomatoes and olive oil. Also, you could take a slice, slice it in half and make a pretty nice sandwich to go along with some soup. Yum.