Vegan Upside-Down Apple Cake

It’s been about 2 years since I’ve first made this awesome vegan upside down apple cake, and since then I’ve been searching ways to improve the recipe. I’ve tried a gazillion recipes, each one with its own shortcomings and at one point it seemed like I would never find the perfect texture and taste. But at last my prays were answered and I might have achieved the perfect result: a generous layer of apples dressed in a decadent salted caramel, hiding a tender and fluffy vegan sponge.
This upside down apple cake is perfect in its own simplicity, and it’s so quick and easy to make. I bake it all year round, during spring I use strawberries, during summer I choose peaches, figs for fall and canned pineapple does the trick all winter long. Honestly, sky is the limit regarding the fruit base. Let’s get to business, shall we…

Ingredients ( for a 26cm tray):

⦁ 3 – 4 medium apples (I used Ida Red)
⦁ 2 Tbsp Muscovado sugar
⦁ 1 Tbsp coconut oil (melted)
⦁ 2 Tbsp almond flakes
⦁ 300g all-purpose white flour
⦁ 150g white granulated sugar
⦁ 1 satchet baking powder (about 2 1/2 tsp)
⦁ 1/4 tsp baking soda
⦁ 1/2 tsp salt
⦁ 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
⦁ 1 tsp vanilla extract
⦁ 300g soy yogurt
⦁ 120ml any mild vegetable oil
⦁ 3 Tbsp flax seed
⦁ 9 Tbsp water

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the tray. Preheat the oven at 200°C / 400° F (gas mark 6). Line the tray with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the ingredients. Weight each ingredient. Peel the apples, quarter them, remove the seeds and cut each quarter into 3. Grind the flax seeds (I used a coffee grinder, but you can also use a mortar and a pestle). Add the water and let it aside for about 5 minutes.
  3. Place the apples. Take the tray, add the sugar and melted coconut oil and give them a stir. Add a pinch of salted, sprinkle the almond flakes and arrange the apple slices.
  4. Prepare the dry ingredients. In a large bowl sift the flour. Add sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt (the remaining quantity), cinnamon and mix well.
  5. Prepare the wet ingredients. In a smaller bowl combine yogurt with oil, vanilla extract and flax seed mixture.
  6. Prepare the batter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and mix with a spatula until just combined.
  7. Bake the cake. Pour the mixture into a parchment paper-lined tray and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180°C / 350° F (gas mark 4) and bake for further 30 -35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Allow the sponge to cool down on a wire rack.

Chocolate Truffles (Vegan)

Decadent and velvety, these vegan chocolate truffles are the perfect dessert on those hot July evenings. For these delicious chocolate balls you only need two main ingredients and about 2 – 3 optional ingredients, which do nothing else but provide an even better taste. They are ready in practically no time and it take about the same amount of time for them disappear from the dining table. I surely recommend you to give them a try.

Ingredients:

  • 300g dark chocolate ( I used 60% cocoa)
  • 240ml coconut cream
  • the zest of ½ an orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 – 5 Tbsp cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Prepare the chocolate. Cut the chocolate into small pieces, the smaller the pieces are, the faster they melt. Place the chocolate in a bowl.
  2. Heat the coconut cream. Heat the coconut cream to a simmer. Pour the simmering coconut cream over the chocolate pieces in the mixing bowl. Leave to sit for around 2 -3 minutes to melt.
  3. Prepare the ganache. Mix the ingredients until you obtain a smooth chocolate sauce.
  4. Cool the ganache. Place the bowl into the fridge to set. This will take a few hours (3 hours, you’ll know it is set when you stick a knife into it and it is solid all the way down).
  5. Shape the truffles. When set, use a melon baller to scoop out even amounts of the ganache and drop it into the cocoa powder, then use your hands to roll it into a ball. The cocoa powder will stop it from sticking to your hands. Place the balls onto a parchment lined baking tray. When all the balls are rolled, place into the freezer to harden.

Source: www.lovingitvegan.com

Chickpea & Corn Burger (Vegan)


Being a real burger afficinado, there’s no way I couldn’t have fallen in love with this amazing began burger. This version of the popular comfort-food dish is simply divine – a crispy veggie patty with a smooth and almost creamy center that almost melts in your mouth. Chickpeas and corn make the base of this patties, the flavor profile being completed by parsley, cumin and coriander. To enjoy this patties at its best, I pared it with homemade vegan buns, pickled cucumbers tomato and onion slices. What a treat!

Ingredients (for 6 burgers):

Patties:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 large can of corn
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ bunch of parsley
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Burgers:

  • 6 buns
  • 6 patties
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ red onion
  • lettuce leaves
  • ketchup


Method:

  1. Spices. Using a mortar and pestle crush together cumin and coriander seeds to fine powder. Add paprika, chili, salt and garlic cloves and continue crushing until you form a paste.
  2. Mix the base ingredients. Add the chickpeas and corn to the bowl of a blender and pulse a few times until you form a rough paste.
  3. Seasoning. Add the paste from the mortar, flour and nutritional yeast and pulse until blended.
  4. Form the patties. Divide the composition into 6 balls. Refrigerate them for 30 minutes.
  5. Shape the patties. Dust each ball with flour and flatten them with your hands.
  6. Fry the patties. In a large skillet over medium heat heat about 4 Tbsp of oil. Carefully add the patties and cook them on each side until golden brown (for about 3 – 4 minutes). When cooked place them on a paper towel covered plate.
  7. Assemble the burgers. Cut each bun in half, drizzle some ketchup and garnich with picked cucumber slices, salad, tomato and red onion.

Chocolate & Almond Babka (Vegan)



I can’t even begin to describe my passion for any kind of brioche. I simply adore them. I love the simple version, the chocolate one, the one with walnuts, or poppy seeds, or Turkish delight, or coconut meringue. Any kind, really. I’m not picky at all.  One of my favourite recipes is Babka, chocolate brioche with Polish origins. So I decided to make a vegan version and the result vas a fluffy golden brioche with a decadent chocolate-almond filling. A vegan brioche which is not only looks incredible but also tastes absolutely amazing.

Ingredients (for 2 loaves):

500g all-purpose flour

250ml almond milk

90ml safflower oil

1 satchel active dry yeast

120g powdered sugar

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp turmenic

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 orange

for the filling:

100g dark chocolate

100g ground almonds

60ml coconut oil

50g powdered sugar

30g cocoa powder


Method:

Mix sugar with lukewarm milk and stir until combined. Add yeast and leave aside for 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl sift the flour together with the turmenic powder. Add the milk mixture, orange zest and vanilla. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the salt and continue mixing until you form a ball.

Turn the dough on to a floured working surface and knead adding one teaspoon of butter at a time. Knead for 15 minutes adding flour if necessary. Put dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 90 minutes.

Prepare the filling by melting the chocolate and the coconut oil in the microwave. Ass the sifted cocoa and powdered sugar. Mix until well combined.

Put dough on a floured working surface and knead for 2 minutes. Divide it into 2 smaller balls.

Take the first ball and toll it out with a rolling pin until you have a 1cm thick rectangle making sure it has the same length as the tray.

Spread ½ the quantity of the chocolate cream over it, leaving a 2cm wide clean border. Sprinkle half of the almonds over the chocolate cream.

Brush the left border with almond milk. Begin rolling the loaf from right to left, making sure the left end sticks well. Take a sharp knife and divide the log into two halves. Take one end and begin twisting them. Place the loaf in a parchment paper- lined tray and proceed the same with the second brioche.

Cover them with a clean towel and leave the aside to rise for another 60 minutes. Bake them in the preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F (gas mark 4) for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Let them cool down on a wire rack for at least 2 hours until slicing.

Tortilla Soup (Vegan)


Hearty and flavorful, this Mexican – inspired soup is the best option whenever you feel like eating something satisfying and flavorful but time isn’t exactly your best friend. The juxtaposition between the hearty and tangy soup and the crunchy tortilla croutons is simply wonderful. This dish is ready in practically no time and it requires only budget-friendly ingredients. It’s so tasty that I find it simply impossible to limit myself at just one bowl. It’s packed with veggies, each and every one of them doing its own thing, transforming this dish into a color and flavor symphony. Simply amazing…

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ red bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 800ml vegetable soup
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chili

for the tortilla croutons:

  • 2 large tortillas
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt


Method:

Preheat de oven at 400°F/204°C (treapta 6). 

Peel the onion and give it a chop. Remove the seeds from the red bell pepper and cut it into small cubes. Peel the garlic and mince it.

Preheat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sautee it until translucent. Add the minced garlic and sautee it as well until fragrant. Add the spices and give the ingredients a stir.

Add the canned tomatoes and the soup and bring the pot to a boil. Simmer the soup for about 5 minutes.

Add the beans and the corn and boil it for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the tortilla croutons. Slice them into 2 cm thick ribbons, lay them over a parchment paper-lined tray and bake them in the preheated oven until golden.

Carefully remove them from the oven, drizzle the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over them and sprinkle them with the spice mix.

Serve the soup in large bowls garnished with the tortilla croutons.


Hummus & Bell Pepper Tortilla Wrap (Vegan)

These homemade tortilla rolls are filled with a smooth and creamy chick pea spread and some sweet roasted red bell peppers. I cannot possibly imagine a finger food platter made without these creamy tortilla rolls, as they are incredibly easy to make and they are the first ones that vanish off the platter. And the reasons are quite simple: they are delicious, hearty and nutritious.

Ingredients (for 2 rolls):

  • 2 large tortillas
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives

for the hummus:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (400g)
  • 1 Tbsp tahini (I used homemade tahini – here is the recipe)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp water
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chili flakes
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Roast the red bell pepper. Take a metal disk, place it on the stove and roast the pepper on each side. Place the roasted pepper in a small saucepan and cover with a lid. After 10 minutes carefully peel the pepper. Remove the stem and the seeds, give it a quick wash and pat it dry with a paper towel. Slice it.
  2. Prepare the hummus. Drain the chickpeas using a colander and rinse it under cold water. Take about 8 – 10 chickpeas and gently squeeze them in your fingers to remove their skins. Proceed the same with the rest of the chickpeas – this step is optional.
  3. In the bowl of the food processor add the tahini and the lime juice and pulse until combined.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil 1 Tbsp at a time. Pulse until the mixture resembles to a mayonnaise.
  5. Add the chickpeas and pulse until you form a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  6. Add the spices (cumin, chili flakes and salt). Add 1 Tbsp of water and process. Add more water until you reach the desired consistency. Spoon it into a bowl and drizzle some olive oil on top.
  7. Assemble the wrap. Take both flatbread and place each one on a different square of parchment paper. Divide the hummus between the two flatbreads and spread it into a fine layer. Place half of the pepper slices on one side and sprinkle them with ½ Tbsp of chopped chives. Using the parchment paper, starting from the side with the peppers, start rolling the flatbread as tight as possible. Process the same with the second flatbread and wrap tightly each roll with the parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before slicing.
  8. Serving and leftovers. Slice the wrap into 3cm thick slices and serve. Wrap the leftovers (if any) in cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Tapenade – olive spread (vegan)

Creamy and flavorful, this olive spread is the answer when you’re in the mood for something delicious but not overly complicated. This olive paste is also quite versatile, it’s absolutely divine spread over fresh bread, it can be rolled into wraps or served as a dip for a plethora of raw vegetables. The technique is as simple as it can be. You press the olives against a wooden board to smash them, you remove the pits and you blend them in the food processor. In the end you season the spread with garlic, capers and salt and you enjoy this delicacy spread over a nice crusty, preferably homemade slice of bread.


Ingredients (for 4 servings):

  • 300g olives (I used 200g black olives and 100g Kalamata olives)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp capers
  • 1 garlic clove
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Remove the pits. For this step I never use pitted olives as they tend to be less flavorful. Smash the olives against the wooden board using a knife. Remove each stone with your fingers.
  2. Pat the olives dry. Place the olives on a paper towel – lined cutting board and cover them with another paper towel. Gently press the olives to remove the excess moisture.
  3. Blend the olives. Place the olive chunks and blend them until you form a chunky spread, adding about 1 tablespoon at a time.
  4. Season. Peel the garlic, place it in a mortar, season it with some salt and smash it with a pestle. Add the capers and smash them as well until you form a paste.
  5. Serveing and leftovers. Add the condiment over the olive paste and give it a few pulses to make sure the spread is homogenous. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Burger Buns (Vegan)


It would be impossible for me to even try to describe how delicious these homemade buns are. From my point of view, these are the perfect burger buns; they taste amazing and smell absolutely divine, they have a tender, flavorful crust and an elastic, pillowy center. Even though I’m not the typical ‘bread on every meal’ kind of person, I cannot stop at just one bun. These guys are so delicious that I cannot imagine a person who could stop after just one piece. They are simply exquisite. And I just have to tell you a tiny secret: they are vegan. Over and out.

Ingredients (for 20 buns):

  • 450g all-purpose flour + extra 50g for kneading
  • 120ml water
  • 120ml vegan milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 satchel active dry yeast
  • egg substitute: 1 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water

for the garnish:

  • 2 Tbsp vegan milk
  • ½ brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Egg substitute. Grind the flax seeds using a mortar and pestle. Add 3 Tbsp of water and leave aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Activate the yeast. Heat the water and the milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm (36 – 38°C). Add the sugar and the yeast and leave aside for 5 minutes. The mixture should be frothy.
  3. Sift the flour. In a large bowl sift the flour and make a well in the center. Add the oil, flax seed mixture and yeast mixture and mix with a fork.
  4. Add the salt. Add the salt and continue mixing with your hands until you form a sticky ball.
  5. Knead the dough. Bring the sticky dough on a floured working surface and knead it for 10 minutes. Use a dough scraper to knead the ball.
  6. Proof. Place the dough in the bowl, cover with cling film and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  7. Form the buns. Heat the oven at 400°F/204°C (gas mark 6). After 1 hour, place the dough back on the working surface and knead vigorously to knock out the air bubbles. Divide dough into 20 pieces and shape them into 20 balls (I had 20 balls x 40g).
  8. Rise. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and let them rise for about 30 minutes.
  9. Garnish. Mix the milk with the sugar, heat the liquid slightly and give them a quick wash. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds.
  10. Bake. Bake them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden. Let them cool for 30 minutes before serving.

Source: www.thehealthyfamilyandhome.com



Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (Vegan)

This creamy and spicy roasted pepper pasta are the ideal option on those busy evenings when time isn’t precisely your friend. With some basic organisational skills, this dish is ready in less than 1 hour. While the water boils, the peppers are being roasted and while the pasta is being cooked, the sauce simmers on the stove. I find that pipe rigate are the perfect option for this type of sauce. Once mixed with the sauce, this type of pasta captures the creamy sauce and you get to enjoy that decadent sauce with every bite. Simply amazing…

Ingredients (for 4 servings):

for the sauce:

  • 2 large red bell peppers
  • 360ml almond milk
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp corn starch
  • 1 ‘bird’s eye’ dried chili
  • salt and pepper to taste

for serving:

  • 350g dry pipe rigate
  • fresh basil leaves
  • active dry yeast

Method:

  1. Pasta. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. Drain them using a colander and cool them under cold tap water. Drain them very well and place them in a large bowl.
  2. Roast the peppers. While the water boils, take a metal disk, place it on the stove and roast the peppers on each side. Place the roasted pepper in a small saucepan and cover with a lid. Proceed the same with the second pepper.
  3. Peel the peppers. Carefully peel each pepper. Remove the stem and the seeds, give them a quick wash and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  4. Onion and garlic. Peel the onion and slice it carefully. Peel the garlic.
  5. Prepare the sauce. Place the milk, onion, garlic and chili in the bowl of a blender. Mix until smooth. Add the peppers, olive oil, corn starch, and dry nutritional yeast and blend until smooth and creamy.
  6. Cook the sauce. Add the sauce to a medium saucepan and simmer it over low-medium heat until thick (for about 7 minutes).
  7. Serve. Add the sauce to the pasta and mix well. Serve in large bowls and garnish with basil ribbons and nutritional yeast.

Source: www.minimalistbaker.com


 

Quinoa Salad with Arugula and Bell Pepper (Vegan)

 

I love arugula, as well as I love quinoa. So it was practically impossible for me not to fall in love with this salad while the stars in the recipe are precisely the ingredients mentioned above. When you add to this equation red bell pepper, onion, pine nuts and a sweet and sour citrusy dressing you get a wonderful salad. One of the many reasons I love this salad is its delicious taste and its beautiful color scheme. Also, this salad is so nutritious and filling. It’s simply divine!

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

⦁ 100g uncooked quinoa (1/2 cană)
⦁ 240ml water (1 cană)
⦁ 40g arugula
⦁ 1/2 red bell pepper (100g)
⦁ 1/2 red onion (30g)
⦁ 1 Tbsp pine nuts (15g)
⦁ 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
⦁ 1 Tbsp olive oil
⦁ 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
⦁ zest and juice of 1 orange
⦁ zest and juice of 1/2 lime
⦁ salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. Quinoa. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse it with cold water for about 1 minute. Drain it very well. Place quinoa in a sauce pan, add 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp sea salt and bring to a boil on high heat. When the water begins to boil, cover with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it stand covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, fluff it with a fork. Spread it on a plate to cool down faster.
    2. Pine nuts. Carefully brown the pine nuts in a skillet, over medium heat. Set aside to cool.
    3. Pepper and onion. Cube the red bell pepper. Peel the onion and cut it into fine cubs.
    4. Citrus. Grate the peel off the citrus and squeeze the juice.
    5. Dressing and assembly. Prepare the dressing by mixing in a medium bowl the vinegar with the oil and the maple syrup. Add the zest and the citrus juice and mix. Add the onion, bell pepper and the arugula and stir. Finally add the quinoa and mix well. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.
    6. Leftovers. Place the leftovers (if any) in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source: Forks over Knives, pag 62