Mushroom and Kale Gallete

"Galette"- a surefire way to impress guests; at least when they hear you say it they will KNOW how fancy you are. But in all seriousness, this dish definitely gets the crowd intrigued.   

Originating from France, Galettes are typically made with a sweet fruit filling encased by the signature of the dish, a flaky buttery crust. This is all good and well, but we wanted to flip the switch and not only make this savory, but revamp the crust into a much lighter and healthier version.   

This vegan vegetable packed galette utilizes cornmeal instead of all-purpose flour, is very low in fat, and incorporates mushrooms for that meaty feel.   

Speaking of mushrooms, did you know that they contain high amounts of the trace mineral selenium? Selenium acts closely with vitamin E as an antioxidant, to fight free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.   

Another special perk of mushrooms? They are one of the only unfortified food sources of vitamin D! When exposed to sunlight, mushrooms will absorb UV rays and naturally generate vitamin D. We know this vitamin to have many benefits including aiding in the absorption of calcium from the intestine and preventing seasonal affective disorder. Vitamin D to fight the wintertime blues!  

The wonderful thing about galettes is how versatile they are, you can completely make them your own. Try adding different herbs and seasoning to the crust. The filling can truly be anything you want! Swap out any of the vegetables here or create a totally new flavor profile. Just be sure to not make a "soupy" or terribly saucy filling, as this may soak through the bottom of your crust.   

Possible add-ins:  

Beans, toasted almonds, fresh goat cheese with figs, potato, roasted peppers, garlic sauteed spinach, parsnips, spicy chorizo sausage...the list goes on and on again!   

Cornmeal Crust Mushroom and Kale Galette 
Makes:4-6 Servings Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time:30-40 minutes 
 
Cornmeal Crust Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 4 TBSP vegan butter, chilled 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 TBSP dried thyme 
  • 1 flax egg (1 TBSP ground flax + 3 TBSP water) 
  • Roughly 1/4 cup water 

Balsamic Kale Leek and Mushroom filling Ingredients: 

  • 2 large leeks, sliced 
  • 1 medium butternut squash, diced and roasted 
  • 2 cups diced mushrooms, white, cremini, oyster, portobello, shiitake, any combo will do! 
  • 1 large bunch black lacinato kale 
  • 1/4 cup dried apples or cranberries 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 3 TBSP dijon mustard 
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  • 2 tsp dried thyme 
  • 1/4 cup water of vegetable stock 
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP vegan butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Instructions

Cornmeal Crust 

  1. Combine cornmeal, flour, dried thyme, and salt
  2. Add cold vegan butter and cut into pea size crumbs with fork 
  3. Add 1/4 cup water (slowly) and flax egg 
  4. Combine into ball, making sure not to overknead
  5. Cover with saran wrap and place aside while preparing filling 

Leek, Kale, and Mushroom Filling 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cube butternut squash, place on baking sheet and roast until tender, around 35 minutes 
  3. Slice leeks until you reach the green part (don't use this part- not edible!, separate rounds and put into bowl of water- this is to wash out the dirt that is between the layers- stir leeks with hands to remove dirt and drain water 
  4. Add 1 TBSP olive oil add 1 TBSP vegan butter to large saucepan on medium heat
  5. Add leeks and cook for a couple minutes, add diced mushrooms and continue cooking until mixture has reduced, about 3 more minutes 
  6. Add in sliced kale and a splash of water and saute until wilted 
  7. Move mixture to colander and strain off excess liquid (push contents to the side of colander to squeeze out excess) 
  8. Move mix back to pan and add balsamic vinegar, garlic, dijon, and thyme 
  9. Combine 1/4 cup water or vegetable broth with 2 tsp cornstarch in separate bowl, add to kale mixture, allow to simmer and thicken for a couple minutes 
  10. Add in cubed butternut squash and diced dried apple or cranberries and finish with 1 TBSP vegan butter
  11. Set mixture aside and roll out cornmeal crust 
  12. On a well floured surface, whack your dough ball before you start to roll (helps with the shaping), roll into circle, thick enough that it won't break but thin enough to hold lots of filling, and transfer to oiled baking tray, or parchment paper on tray. 
  13. Spread a thin layer of dijon mustard to the middle of the cornmeal crust, leaving roughly 2 inches of space on the outside
  14. Add your filling and fold edges overtop, you will have some extra filling, use this to serve on top of your galette slice.  
  15. Apply coconut oil, olive oil, or vegan butter spread as your "egg wash" to the folded edges and add salt and a sprinkle of extra thyme. 
  16. Bake galette in a 400 degree oven roughly 35 minutes.

Thai Tangled Carrot Salad

This recipe's focus should be on the dressing. This sauce is tangy, a little sweet, and spicy. It hits all of the flavours that Thai dishes aim for. It does thicken up when left in the fridge and could be used later as a spread.
It can be paired with any vegetable salad, and we think that julienned zucchinis would be an awesome substitute or addition to the carrots. 

The ever polarizing cilantro is a key part of this recipe. 
This ingredient dates back to Ancient Greece where it's essential oils were used in perfumes- we can't deny we love the smell of fresh herbs, but we're going to stick to keeping this leafy plant on our plates. 
Fast forward a couple thousand years- now, cilantro is recognized as a natural cleansing agent. The compounds found in this herb can bind to toxic metals to loosen them from the tissue so they can be removed through our excretory channels- chlorella has been found to have the same benefit.
Again, we find healing properties in natural plants that can be consumed with little to no alteration; simply amazing that the earth provides us with these raw medicines!

THAI TANGLED CARROT SALAD
Makes: 1.5 cups dressing / two salads Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:


DRESSING

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 4 TBSP PB2 (or peanut butter)
  • 2 TBSP tamari
  • 4 TBSP rice wine vinegar 
  • 1 TBSP chopped ginger
  • 1/2 red thai chile 
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 4 TBSP coconut oil

SALAD

  • 4 carrots, julienned 
  • 1/4 onion, finely sliced
  • 1/4 sliced avocado
  • 1 TBSP hemp hearts
  • 1 TBSP peanuts

Instructions:

  1. Place garlic, cilantro, PB2, tamari, rice wine vinegar, ginger into a food processor. Pulse until blended.
  2. Add almond milk and maple syrup and blend. Mince the chile, and add until enough heat is present.
  3. While the food processor is running, slowly drizzle in the sunflower oil and coconut oil. Stop when all oil is blended in. The dressing will thicken upon standing. 
  4. Toss with salad vegetables, and top with hemp hearts and peanuts. We served with an accent of fresh homegrown sprouts!

Vegan Chocolate Persimmon Cake

This cake is everything. 
Moist, dense, chocolatey, vegan, gluten free, and um, HEALTHY! So fundamentally, it’s the best. We were inspired by a recipe found on Nutrition Stripped in which she used blackberries, almond meal, and melted chocolate to create this decadent cake.

Instead, we switched up the blackberries for persimmons and used oats and maple syrup. The result- equally as heavenly, we’re sure.
 

A little information on persimmons:
 

  • This fruit is actually, technically speaking, a berry!
  • Most commonly grown in Japan and Korea, but can also be grown in North America
  • There are two common types; astringent and non-astringent.
  • Astringent- Hachiya, the longer and more colorful variety is the most common. Astringent persimmons are high in tannins which create a “chalky” or bitter taste, if eaten before completely soft. 
  • Non astringent- Fuyu, the shorter tomato-like paler orange version is the most common. Can be consumed when firm or soft- often eaten like an apple. 
  • Contain poly-phenolic anti-oxidants such as catechins (what we always hear being promoted in red wine and chocolate!).

The recipe calls for vinegar. What role does vinegar have in baking, you ask?? It’s all in the chemistry; yes, cooking and baking is actually quite science-y when you break it down!

Remember in elementary school when you made hilarious volcanoes which would detonate when you mixed vinegar and baking soda in them? Well, same thing here. The reaction creates carbon dioxide gas bubbles which work to inflate the cake and give it a bit more oomph.

The addition of sweet potato to the cake increases not only the sweetness and density of the cake, but also provides that extra boost of nutrients and fiber.

Dates for your primary sweetener are perfect- these babies are rich in iron and calcium and provide us with a variety of antioxidants. Add the antioxidants in dates to those contained in the persimmons (remember catechins?) and you have a pretty stellar dose of body buddies.

Vegan Chocolate Persimmon Cake
Makes: 8-10 Servings Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 very ripe medium persimmons, one VERY ripe Hachiya for inside cake and one Fuyu for garnish
  • ¾ cup baked sweet potato, skin removed
  • 1 cup dates
  • ½ cup ground rolled oats
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate bar), optional
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP white or apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Around ½ cup non-dairy milk, or more until desired consistency is reached

Instructions:

  1. Dice sweet potato, coat with vegetable oil, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until tender and remove skin.
  2. Grind oats in food processor until they turn into flour, place in separate bowl.
  3. Peel skin off ripe Hachiya persimmon and combine with dates, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and sweet potato. Blend until smooth.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, except chocolate and remaining Fuyu persimmon, and blend in food processor until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Slowly add in non-dairy milk until desired consistency. Consistency should be thicker than pancake batter but if too thick add splash more almond milk.
  6. Combine vinegar, baking powder, and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add to food processor and combine with other ingredients.
  7. Fold in chocolate chips/chunks to batter.
  8. Pour batter into a 6” round greased cake pan.
  9. Slice remaining persimmon and place on top of cake in whatever pretty little design you want! (To avoid chalkiness, which happens if the astringent persimmon variety (Hachiya- the one we used for inside the cake) slice a non- astringent (Fuyu)persimmon on the top)
  10. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.

Authors Note: This recipe would work really well with juicy ripe nectarines or peaches- this is what we initially tried and it was delicious. Try a new fruit, whatever is in season!

Although persimmons are not typically a Canadian fruit, we found them in almost every little Toronto market in our neighbourhood and couldn’t resist the temptation to try them out in this recipe. This little fruit is very in-season in Asia, hence the abundance of it in our local Asian fruit markets!

Antioxidants are like our cell warriors- they fight free radicals from damaging our cells. Free radicals can come from things like pollution, pesticides, and stress. A damaged cell, or at least an accumulation of damaged cells, is what we associate with aging and diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease. This is why we want antioxidants- to help fend off cellular damage and destruction caused by free radicals.

We also love the way pureed fruit sneaks into the dessert, virtually unnoticed. What a great way to increase the vitamin content of an otherwise (utterly deceitful) indulgent ‘chocolate cake’.
 
This one is a crowd pleaser, enjoy!

Miso Pumpkin Muffins

When we were brainstorming ideas for pumpkin creations, we realized we were crafting primarily sweet recipes. We found the interweb saturated with pumpkin bread and we wanted to give this quintessential fall recipe a remodel. Bread into muffins and sweet into savoury, voila, Miso Pumpkin muffins are born.

Lately, we’ve been on a Miso kick- adding it to marinades, dressings, stir fry’s, and now, baked goods?

Miso is made by fermenting soybeans, and sometimes rice or barley, with fungus and salt and grinding. The result is an incredibly rich, salty, meaty-esque flavoured paste.

Besides miso’s high copper, manganese, and zinc content, the fermenting process creates millions of probiotic microorganisms. Probiotics are incredibly valuable for our digestive health as well as our immunity. They serve to reduce the amount of “bad bacteria” in our gut, which are often what lead to illness and infections. As well, if you are taking antibiotics (think penicillin), you will likely have made a dent in not just your intestinal “bad bacteria”, but also in your “good bacteria” or probiotic bacteria. This is why including probiotic containing foods such as miso, sauerkraut, or tempeh in your diet is essential to not only maintain the good bacteria to bad bacteria ratio but also to replenish depleted probiotic bacteria strains after antibiotic use.

Miso Pumpkin Muffins

Makes: 8-10 Servings Prep Time: 10-30 (canned puree vs making your own) minutes Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (used the canned unsweetened version or make your own by roasting diced pumpkin, removing the skin, and blending with a little water until smooth)
  • 1 cup unbleached All Purpose flour
  • ½ medium yellow onion
  • 2 TBSP red miso paste
  • 1 TBSP tahini
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened
  • ¼ cup raisins

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Dice or thinly julienne onion and caramelize for 10 minutes on low heat with 1 TBSP olive oil, until browned. Add minced garlic for the last few minutes of cooking.
  3. Mix wet ingredients together, except onions, in food processor, blend until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl sift all-purpose flour into wet ingredients, stir until combined.
  5. Combine lemon, baking powder, and baking soda together in a separate bowl. Add to food processor and combine with other ingredients.
  6. Add onions, pumpkin seeds, and raisins, fold into batter.
  7. Scoop mixture into greased muffin tin, fill each spot around ¾ full.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Combining miso with caramelized onion and garlic creates some seriously fantastic flavour depth, almost adding a smoky taste-note. The addition of pumpkin seeds creates some texture while the raisins add a sweet pop of flavour.

Bon appetite!

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Empanadas

It’s pumpkin fever around here (and everywhere). Actually, we bought too many pumpkins and have decided the only logical thing to do is to have a pumpkin marathon. We are hoping there is no possible way we will get sick of all things pumpkin….pancakes…sauces… keep tuned for the pumpkin recipe extravaganza, coming up on restorative raw!

Pumpkins, a fall essential, fun to decorate, and bursting with nutrition.  

The unsuspecting pumpkin rules with only 30 calories per cup, a good amount of fiber, lots of vitamins A (over 200% of your daily intake in one cup of pureed pumpkin!) and C, and antioxidants including lutein.

Lutein is part of the carotenoid family (coloured pigments found in plants- think beta-carotene!) and is widely known for its ability to improve vision and prevent eye diseases such as cataracts. In addition, lutein is thought to prevent buildup of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, atherosclerosis, which is the condition inducing heart attacks.

These empanadas are fun to make, once you’re organized and prepped with your dough, things will start running smoothly. A nice pairing with these little guys could be a creamy dip such as a vegan cashew-based garlic sauce… try it out!


SPICY CHIPTOLE PUMKIN EMPANADAS

Makes: ~25 empanadas Servings Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
DOUGH

  • 2 cups whole spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups All Purpose flour, more for rolling
  • 2/3 cup + 2TBSP of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup of water

FILLING

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP vegan butter or coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (we used la Costena brand- found in the international section- alternatively you could use two dried ancho or chipotle peppers soaked in water for a couple minutes and diced)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 bunch black (lacinato) Kale
  • 2 cups diced pumpkin
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ cup diced vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • ¼ cup water
  • optional squeeze of lime juice

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, add all crust ingredients, except for water, in food processor and combine.
  2. With the food processor running, add 1/4 cup of water and process just until combined. Make sure the dough is not too wet, it should crumbs that stick together easily when pressed.
  3. Put crumbly dough onto a well-floured surface and collect crumbs into a ball and knead a couple of times. Put ball in bowl and prepare filling while it rests.
  4. If you are using dried chilies, soak them for five minutes in water and dice.
  5. Sautee onion in vegan butter or coconut oil until translucent.
  6. Add in garlic and spices and coat onions, cook for one minute.
  7. Add the pumpkin, black beans, tomatoes, raisins, chilies (from can or diced), water, and chopped kale and stir.
  8. Cover and let the filling cook for about 10 - 15 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Add salt to taste preference and a squeeze of lime, if using. Let it cool while rolling out the dough.
  9. On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you can (~ 1mm). Use a mug or large cup to make circles in the dough and cut out with knife. Collect remaining dough, roll again, and repeat the process until you have roughly 14 empanada rounds.
  10. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  11. Mash the filling with a fork but keep chunky.
  12. Add around 1 TBSP filling to empanada rounds, maybe even less, you will be surprised by how little you need!
  13. To make empanadas, brush the outside of half each circle with a little bit of water and fold it in half, squeezing the round edge with your fingers. I used a fork to make a pattern but you could get crazy and apply whatever artistic little design you’d like!
  14. Grease a baking sheet, place empanadas on, brush top with melted coconut oil or vegan butter.
  15. Bake them for 20 - 30 minutes, until dough is cooked.