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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Since I can remember, Tiramisu has always been my all-time favourite dessert (apart from Ice cream, but that’s a whole other story!). I would order it whenever I was at a coffee shop with my Mum, I would beg for it to be made when there was a big occasion, and I would prepare it myself to impress my sweetheart…But since going Vegan I have hesitated to attempt making this wonderful dessert, as I just had a feeling it would never compare to the real deal. Well, I was wrong – this Tiramisu was everything I was hoping for, and it brought me back to the days when I used to eat trays of this stuff! It is based on the one from The Urban Vegan: 250 Simple, Sumptuous Recipes from Street Cart Favorites to Haute Cuisine–  I just used another recipe for the sponge cake, as I wanted a Wheat-free version, but once it’s soaked in all that Coffee & Rum you can’t even tell. The overall texture is perfect, the only change I have made is to add more alcohol – it just wasn’t as boozy as I like mine to be! This is pure indulgence…

Ingredients:

Sponge Cake (recipe from Simple Treats: A Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free Guide to Scrumptious Baked Goods):

 1/4 cup Canola Oil

2 Tblsp. Maple Syrup

1 cup Soymilk

1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar (or white vinegar)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

1/4 cup Brown Sugar OR 1/4 tsp. Stevia

1 3/4 cups Barley Flour

1 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Salt

Method:

– Preheat oven 180C/ 350F, and oil a square brownie pan.

– Mix Oil, Syrup, Soymilk, Vinegar & Vanilla in a small bowl.

– In a seperate bowl, sift Sugar/stevia, Flour, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until well incorporated.

– Pour into pan and bake about 30 mins. or until knife inserted in middle comes out clean. Let cool 10 mins., remove from pan and let cool completely. Cut horizontally & then into ‘fingers’ (long, thin rectangles).

Tiramisu Topping:

1 cup of Soya Too Soy Whip (or any other dairy-free whipping cream you like to use)

1 container Vegan Cream Cheese (80z) – I use Tofutti

5 Tblsp. Brandy, Rum, or Kahlua

1/2 cup Sugar OR 1/2 tsp. Stevia

1 cup freshly brewed Espresso/strong Coffee

2 Tblsp. good Cocoa powder

 

Method:

Whip up Cream according to package directions.

– In a large bowl or food proccessor, whip together Cream Cheese, 1 1/2 Tblsp. Liquor, and Sugar/Stevia until smooth. Fold in Cream.

– Have ready a glass rectangular dish. Mix remaining 3 1/2 Tblsp. Liquor with Coffee. Dip each cake ‘finger’ into the coffee mixture – should be soaked, but not dripping. Lay each piece into the dish, covering the the bottom.

– Using a spatula, cover the Sponge with the Cream filling, and smooth out. Sift the top with Cocoa Powder and allow to set in the fridge for atleast 6 hours, or overnight, before serving.

*Tastes even better the next day!

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Store-bought Pesto almost always contains Parmesan Cheese, so I resort to making my own – luckily, it’s extremely easy to make! You do, however, need a small food processor as a blender doesn’t work very well (unless you have a really snazzy one…), and a good quality Olive Oil helps too. For this pasta dish I mixed my Pesto with some Silken Tofu for a Cream Cheese-y affect, but you can also just keep as is. It’s so tasty you won’t miss the Parmesan, I promise! Add whatever vegetables you like to this, but I think Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes make a great addition to any Italian meal…This is simple, delicious & easy to make, and if you already have the Pesto pre-made you can whip this up in less than 10 minutes.

Ingredients:

3-4 generous Tblsp.  Creamy Pesto (recipe to follow)

1 pkt. fusilli Brown Rice Pasta (or any other pasta you prefer)

1/2 Red Onion, sliced

1 clove Garlic, minced

2 Portobello Mushrooms, chopped

1/2 Zucchini, julienned into long, thin strips and halved

1/2 Red Bellpepper, thinly sliced

a few re-hydrated Sun-dried Tomatoes, sliced

handful of Kalamata Olives, halved

3 Tblsp. chopped Artichokes, from jar in Olive Oil

1 Tblsp. Parsley

 

Method:

– Boil the Pasta according to packet instructions until Al dente. Drain, rinse and drizzle with a little bit of Olive Oil to prevent sticking.

– In a large Frying Pan, sauté Onions in Olive Oil until beginning to brown. Add Garlic & Mushrooms until Mushrooms begin to release moisture. Add Zucchini & Peppers and sauté until beginning to soften. Add Olives, Sun-dried Tomatoes & Artichokes and mix well.

– Add drained Pasta to the pan and stir a few times until everything is combined, and Pasta is heated through. Mix in Pesto, stirring a few more times and then take off heat.

– Fold in Parsley and serve.

Basil-Parsley Pesto: (adapted from Nonna’s Italian Kitchen: Delicious Homestyle Vegan Cuisine (Healthy World Cuisine)

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh Italian Parsley leaves

2 cloves Garlic

1 Tblsp. Pine Nuts, toasted

1 Tblsp. slivered Almonds/raw Almonds/Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 tsp Salt

squeeze Lemon Juice (1/4 Tblsp)

4 Tblsp. Olive Oil (1/4 cup)

* 1/2 asceptic box of Firm Silken Tofu

 

Place everything in a food processor, and let it run until a paste forms. Refrigerate if not using.

* For Creamy Pesto: Add Tofu once the Pesto is finished, and process again until smooth. Keep in the fridge to firm up until using

 

 

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When I found these little babies at an Organic Shop out of town, I knew they would be wasted if they were mixed with anything else – so I decided to make the perfect Tomato Salad to showcase their sweetness. According to Jamie Oliver, for sweet Cherry Tomatoes you need to put them in a colander after cutting, sprinkle with a bit of Salt and leave them to drain. The Salt draws out the excess moisture and drains off – apparently this method brings out their flavour…It seems to have worked, because these Tomatoes tasted like heaven!

Ingredients:

2 cups of mixed, organic Cherry Tomatoes, chopped (some cut horizontally, others vertically)

1/2 Red Onion, diced finely

1 large clove of Garlic, minced

a few fresh Basil leaves, chopped finely

Dressing:

1 Tblsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 Tblsp. Balsamic Vinegar

2-3 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 tsp. Pesto (optional)

 

Method:

Place chopped Tomatoes in a colander and sprinkle with Salt. Leave to drain over sink or bowl for atleast 15 minutes.

– Once drained, place Tomatoes, Onion, Garlic and Basil in a bowl.

– Shake Dressing ingredients in a jar, and pour over Tomato mixture. Allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

* Pesto recipe coming soon…

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