Vegan Sourdough Bagels New York Style

I didn’t really know what a bagel was until moving to the East Coast. I mean, I had eaten plenty of bagels, but I had never really, truly, had a bagel. The difference is incredible. A true bagel has chew, but still remains light and fluffy, has a crust, but can easily be eaten. There were two places that made amazing bagels in Cambridge, MA Bagelsaurus and Forge Baking Co . What was even better about these bagels than other East Coast bagels, or even my own jalapeño bagels (which are still amazing), is that they are sourdough, and have been fermented for a few days. The slightly sour taste and incredible chewy but light texture take these bagels to the next level. Problem is when we moved to the West Coast I couldn’t find good bagels. So I learned to make them myself. These rock. Try the and fall in love with bagels all over again.

There is a ton that goes into sourdough and I am not an expert by any means. I just started my own sourdough starter a few months ago. I used this tutorial from The Kitchn. 

A few other notes:

  • I used volume measurements for some of the ingredients because my scale does not seem to be accurate for such small quantities.
  • Non-diastatic malt powder is for flavor, you can omit it if you don’t have it, though I think it adds something special.
  • I tried several times to make these without added yeast, but they did not reach the heights I was hoping for (literally they didn’t poof like I wanted them to).  You can omit the yeast, but be warned, as written, this recipe will create a pretty dense bagel. It is still pretty good, but I like to poof.
  • I start on Wednesday to have bagels for Saturday morning.
  • This recipe was adapted from Honest Cooking. 

Ingredients

For the Sponge

  • 500 g (4 cups) bread flour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) water
  • 160 g 100% hydration wheat sourdough starter

For the Dough

  • 1000 g (5 cups) of sourdough sponge (above)
  • 480 g (4 cups) bread flour, divided
  • 3 tsp non-diastatic barley malt powder
  • 3 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp dry yeast

Instructions

  1. Make the sponge:
  2. Mix your starter with the water and whisk until foamy. Add 500 g flour. Mix thoroughly until all lumps are gone. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Cover loosely with plastic or lid and leave for at room temperature least 6-8 hours.
  3. Make the dough:
  4. Measure 1000g of the starter sponge. You can use the rest to refresh your starter, throw it in some pancakes, or compost it.
  5. To the starter add the salt, malt, yeast and 480 grams of flour in a bowl of a stand mixer and mix together with the dough hook until they form a ball. – if you are measuring by volume not weight start with 3 cups of flour and add more a 1/4 cup at a time mixing until it is incorporated before adding more.
  6. Continue kneading the dough with the dough hook until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. You can do this by hand, but you are way stronger than me if you do!
  7. Immediately divide the dough into 12 equal parts. I weigh mine and go about 4.5 oz per bagel for 12 bagels.
  8. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
  9. Roll each portion of dough to form a log about 10″ long, then shape into a bagel by bringing the ends together and folding one over the other. Set formed bagels on baking sheet with a little room in-between.
  10. Once all bagels have been formed cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator at least overnight, and up to 3 days. I like them best after 2-3 days, but sometimes I don’t plan far enough ahead and I just let them go overnight.
  11. It is super important to let the bagels rest for a bit. It creates the taste and texture you are looking for in these delightfully perfect bagels.
  12. On the day you are planning to bake remove the bagels from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before you plan to boil them. It is possible to boil right from the refrigerator, but I think the texture improves if you let them warm up a bit.
  13. Preheat your oven to 500F.
  14. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. I use a 3qt wide saucepan. It is about 5″ deep and has a large flat bottom. Any wide saucepan will do.
  15. I also have my cooling rack out and ready to go.
  16. Once the water has reached a rolling boil carefully add as many bagels as will comfortably fit into your pot. 4 fit into mine. I have to nudge mine a bit to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom.
  17. Once you have placed your bagels in the pot set a timer for 30 seconds. When it goes off flip all the bagels and set the timer for 30 more seconds. After the second timer remove the bagels from the pot and place them on the cooling rack. If you are going to add toppings now is the time to do it while they are sticky with water.
  18. Bring the pot of water back to a rolling boil before boiling another batch of bagels.
  19. Continue with above steps until all bagels are boiled and resting on the cooling rack.
  20. Transfer bagels onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
  21. Bake for 20-25 minutes until perfectly golden all over. Use the rack in your oven that is the hottest. For me it is the bottom rack.
  22. Once baked place bagels on the cooling rack and allow to cool until you can easily hold them.
  23. Store cooled, uneaten bagels in plastic on the counter for up to 3 days, or in the freezer if you can manage to keep them that long.
Bagel After fermentation, before boiling
After fermentation, before boiling
Bagel While Boiling
While Boiling
Bagel After boiling before baking
After boiling before baking
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Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions

As I’ve been exploring balancing flavors, and trying new food combinations I have truly come to love pickled red onions. Pickled everything really, but these are one of my favorites. It is not one of those ingredients that brings and item into focus when I see it on a menu. I feel it pairs particularly well with things that are sweet. Think sandwiches with roasted vegetables and their inherent sweetness that needs a bit of acidity for balance. Yummy. I made this particular batch to go with harissa roasted sweet potatoes. I also threw on some roasted salted pecans, and some candied pine nuts. It was yummy.  This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay, one if his 3000 recipes for pickled red onions.

 Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 TBL granulated sugar
  • 1 TBL kosher salt
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat, stir, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the onion in a heat safe container with a lid, then poor the hot vinegar mixture over the onions.
  4. Cover and allow onions to sit for at least an hour, up to 4 days
  5. Remove from liquid and use to top everything from sandwiches to sweet potatoes.

Vegan Kale Stem and Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups roughly chopped kale stems, about 4oz
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, about 3.5 oz
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.
  2. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

What To Do With Leftover Rice and Beans – Rice, Beans, and Greens

Using Leftovers to Make Rice Beans and Greens
Using Leftovers to Make Rice Beans and Greens

Using what you have on hand can be a struggle, especially with it is  just a little of this and a little of that from previous recipes. One trick I love is to let go of preconceived notions of making something specific, and just make something that tastes good. I have a version of this rice, bean, and vegetable mixture regularly as I frequently have leftover rice, beans, and some odds and ends of vegetables. You can jazz it up with herbs and spices, or keep it simple like this version. I love the simplicity and deliciousness of a good olive oil, a little nutritional yeast, and some big, crunchy salt.

 Ingredients

  • 1 TBL oil for cooking
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 4 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked rice (mine was leftover from takeout Indian)
  • 3/4 cup cooked kidney beans (or other bean of choice)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach (or other greens)
  • 1 TBL nutritional yeast
  • 1 TBL good olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add oil, and saute onion and mushrooms until just softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, kidney beans, and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted and rice and beans are hot.
  4. Sprinkle on nutritional yeast, drizzle the oil, and add some salt. Stir lightly to combine and serve.
  5. This is probably enough to serve two of normal appetite. Enough for one nursing mother.

Easy Vegan Gravy Without a Recipe-Thinking Thanksgiving

Vegan Gravy
Vegan Gravy

Thanksgiving is coming!! I can’t wait! I love a holiday dedicated to food, especially comfort food. A necessary addition to any Thanksgiving table is gravy. Creamy, umami filled, and delightfully full of vegetables it is the perfect addition to your table, Thanksgiving or otherwise.

Some people think that gravy can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. It can me a simple process, and one that is easily adapted to various dietary needs such as vegan or gluten free. It is also something that is so very quick to make and delivers flavor as if you have been slaving for hours. When we have just odds and ends in the house I’ll make gravy to top biscuits for breakfast, or to finish potatoes or other fall vegetables for a quick and hearty dinner.

Discussion:

What is important for successful gravy?

  1. Creamy texture
  2. Flavor
  3. Add-ins

I I like to think of gravy as a beautiful vegetable filled umami bomb. It is a versatile vehicle for bringing vegetables and protein, a way to round out a meal, and the perfect sauce. It is an easy process to make gravy and you can easily change things up to fit your mood and your pantry.

 

How Does It All Work? 

The Texture 

Balancing ingredients for the proper texture.

  1. The ratio of flour to liquid above has worked well for me, however, feel free to adjust it to your preference. The ratio will also be slightly different if you are using different flour such as garbanzo bean flour. Start with the ratio I have listed, then add more flour to make it thicker, or more liquid to thin it out. Make sure to cook the gravy before attempting to make it thicker as cooking with thicken the texture.
  2. To incorporate the flour you can either mix it with cold liquid until smooth, then whisk into the hot pan, or you can sprinkle the flour into hot fat, suck as oil (equal parts flour and fat) and cook while whisking until it starts to brown and begins to smell fragrant. Then add liquid.
  3. Vegetables are optional, so are beans. The will affect the overall texture so think about how you want them cooked before adding them.

Flavor

Optional additions for flavor

  1. I pretty much always use a mixture of non-dairy milk and vegetable broth (or water and vegetable broth powder), however, I have used just water when I’m out of milk. The balance of these will affect the flavor.  Just water makes it a little less cream and less rich. More milk can make it taste more like the milk you are using, just be sure to have a type of milk you want to eat in gravy. If you use sweetened vanilla almond milk it will taste like a nasty vanilla flavored gravy,
  2. Herbs are your friend. If you are using dried herbs, add them in the beginning. If you are using fresh, add them at the end. I love thyme, sage, and black pepper for a fall gravy. I might leave out the sage and add smoked paprika and vegan sausage for a breakfast gravy, or just salt and pepper with lots of vegetable broth for a lighter version.
  3. Nutritional yeast, lemon, and Dijon mustard are some of my favorite other additions to boost flavor.
  4. The vegetables you choose to add in will also affect the flavor. I nearly always use onions, often mushrooms and kale. Celery, onions, and carrots would lean toward a more traditional chickeny flavor.
  5. Don’t forget the salt!

 

Add-ins

More flavor, more texture, and all the fun

  1. Your gravy can be as simple as the vegetable broth that has been thickened and a few herbs and spices, but feel free to add anything else you like.
  2. Protein- I love adding cooked brown lentils to my gravy. The texture is fun and it adds a big punch of nutrients. Other options are garbanzo beans which I like to mash a bit and/or pre-made veggies sausage or other fake meat products.
  3. Vegetables- as in this recipe I usually use onions, mushrooms, and kale. The combination is delicious. Other options are anything in your fridge. I do a breakfast gravy with carrots, celery, red peppers and lentils. My daughter loves the addition of peas. Try things out as you have them available.

Pacific Rim Vegetable Kabobs (vegan optional)

Pacific Rim Kabobs
Pacific Rim Kabobs

These Kabobs will fulfill all your grilled vegetable dreams. They are herbaceous, savory, bring umami, acid, salt, and even sweet tastes to your palate. You can, of course, choose the vegetables you like the best. Personally I would be perfectly happy with just tofu, mushrooms, and onions served with a green salad on the side. Perfection.

These can be a side dish, or an entree. I love to make these when we BBQ with friends. They eat them as a side, and I have a entree I adore.

Ingredients

For the Marinade
  • 1 stalk fresh lemon grass, roughly chopped
  • 7 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBL natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • juice of 2 small limes, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt (non-dairy or dairy)
  • 1/4 cup tamari
For Tofu
  • 2 TBL olive oil
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu cut into 1″ cubes
For the Vegetables
  • 8 oz white button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 medium onion cut into 1″ pieces
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, cut into rounds

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for the tofu.
  3. Once skillet is hot add the oil, swirl to coat the bottom of the pan, and add the cubed tofu.
  4. Cook on the first side until golden grown, about 3 minutes.
  5. Flip tofu and cook, turning occasionally until all sides are golden brown.
  6. Toss tofu into a large container.
  7. Add all the cut vegetables into the same container as the tofu and top with the marinade.
  8. Stir tofu and vegetables to fully coat with marinade.
  9. Let everything sit for 4-6 hours.
  10. Once marinated use bamboo skewers that have been soaked for at least 20 minutes and skewer vegetables and tofu alternating vegetables to create beauty.
  11. Grill over an outdoor grill preheated to medium high, turning occasionally until slightly charred in places. This will take 10-15 minutes.
  12. Baste with leftover marinade as desired, and at the end of cooking.
  13. Serve hot, at room temperature, or cold as leftovers if there are any.

 

Quinoa Black Bean Bowl with Tahini Dressing- Power Bowl Without a Recipe

Quinoa Black Bean Bowl with Tahini Dressing
Quinoa Black Bean Bowl with Tahini Dressing

Power bowls are trendy. I love being trendy, so here is my version of a power bowl, and a few tips on how to make your own without a recipe.

This version of a power bowl is one of my favorite go-to meals when we have just about nothing in the house, or I don’t feel like cooking. It is perfectly healthy so you can feel virtuous eating it, then maybe finish with ice cream so you don’t get too high and mighty.

This is a perfect mix and match without a recipe recipe. Just use whatever you have around. I love quinoa in this, especially when cooked in mushroom broth, but any grain will do. Same for the greens. Whatever you have hanging around that you like in a salad will be good here. Beans are nice for a touch more texture and protein, but are optional. Any vegetable combination is good for the sauteed vegetables. I love the tahini dressing just because it adds hints of bitterness and acid to the finished product, but hey, if you have some dressing hanging out, just use it. Really, just throw whatever you have in a bowl or on a plate, top it with yummy dressing, call it a bowl and feel super trendy.

 Ingredients

Tahini Dressing – Or dressing of choice

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • water to thin
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice to taste
  • fresh herbs, minced (optional)

Other Ingredients

  • 2-4 cups fresh spinach or salad greens
  • 1-2 cups cooked quinoa – or other cooked whole grain
  • 1/2-1 cup cup cooked black beans – other beans or protein
  • 1-2 cups vegetables. I like a mixture of fresh and sauteed vegetables (In the bowl pictured I used onions, peppers, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, scallions, and sundried tomatoes)
  • 2 TBL nuts or seeds of your choice (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the tahini dressing by whisking the tahini and water together until it has reached your desired consistency. Start with a few teaspoons of water, whisk, and add more until it is how you like it.
  2. Stir in the garlic, salt, lemon juice, and herbs if you are using them.
  3. Divide the rest of the ingredients on two plates. I like to start with spinach, add quinoa, then beans, and finish with veggies.
  4. Drizzle the dressing over the top and you have a super healthy, quick meal.

Discussion:

What is important for successful power bowl?

  1. Various layers of flavor
  2. Different textures
  3. Mix of fresh and cooked ingredients
  4. Protein

How Does It All Work? 

The Flavor

  1. The vegetables and how you choose to cook them will be the base of your flavor profile. You could use fresh, cooked, or a mixture.
  2. I love to have something from all five tastes in my bowls. For this bowl used carrots for sweetness, salt on the sauteed vegetables and cooked beans, umami with mushrooms and by cooking my grains in mushroom broth, bitter in the tahini and acid in the lemon in the tahini dressing.
  3. The dressing you choose will add a ton of flavor to your finished dish. Make sure it is something you like. It can be as simple as a little oil and salt, or go ahead and make the tahini dressing. Use up a bottle from your fridge. It’s your meal, eat what you like.

Texture

  1. Every ingredient that you add will have it’s own texture (I hope!).
  2. Use a mixture of chewy (grains), crunchy (fresh vegetables, nut or seeds), soft (beans), and just right (cooked vegetables).
  3. When choosing what to add think of how the textures will balance each other. You don’t want everything to be crunchy or you’ll get sick of chewing. You don’t want it all to be soft because that would be gross. Just a bit of each is nice.

Mix of fresh and cooked ingrediewnts

  1. You could easily use only raw or only cooked ingredients here, I just like to cook my grains and I like some fresh veggies to mix it up.
  2. How you cook things does affect the nutritional value. Having a mixture brings a nice balance to your plate.
  3. Proteins are usually cooked and for a real power bowl you need some protein.

Protein 

  1. Add some, it’s good for you.
  2. I like beans. I like the texture and the taste. Canned or cooked at home will work. I often make this meal to use up odds and ends and use whatever type I have ready.
  3. If you don’t like beans use something else. Tofu, Seitan, Tempeh, Nuts, Seeds, Fish, Meat. Whatever you like will be perfect.