Raspberry Cobbler

There are lots of variations on cobbler topping, ranging from a doughy, cake-like topping to a something more like an upside-down pie with a flaky crust. This is a simple, rustic and easy to prepare version with lots of room for modifications. This version is also berry-heavy. You can safely change the berry to topping ratio to suit yourself (just remember this will change the cooking time).

For the berries:

6 cups of raspberries
2T of lemon juice
1/4 cup of corn starch*
2 cups of sugar*
A pinch of sea salt

1 cup of whole wheat flour
2t of baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup of plant-only margarine (or 2-3T of coconut oil)
A pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 375F
Toss the berries in the lemon juice.
Add the salt, sugar and corn starch and stir thoroughly to combine.
Mix the dry ingredients.
With a fork, cut the margarine into the flour (or you can put pats of the margarine onto the batter once you’ve poured it — this is a pretty traditional way of doing it).
Add the liquid ingredients and stir to combine.
Put the berries in a baking dish with a lid (a large one in this case, so that you have at least a inch between the berries and the top of the dish).
Pour the batter over the raspberries in an even layer (but don’t worry too much about it — cobbler is a rustic dessert).
Bake covered for about 30 minutes.
Bake uncovered for about another 30-40 minutes until the topping has browned lightly and is cake-like.

*Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste and to the ripeness/sweetness your berries. Some white table sugars are still filtered using animal bone charcoal. Organic, sugar beet, sugar, agave nectar and other substitutes. When the raspberries are particularly ripe, I often replace some of the sugar with dates and dried figs to sweeten the cobbler. If you use other berries, like blueberries, you’ll need a little more cornstarch but a little less sugar.

Shredded cabbage with red pepper, tomatoes and dill

Ingredients
3T of cooking oil (reserve 1-2t for the peppers)
1/2t of coarse sea salt (divided in equal parts)
2 large tomatoes (about 1/4 to 1/2 pound)
1 large red pepper
2 scallions, minced
1T of garlic
1T of fresh dill, minced
2 cups of cabbage, shredded (I use coleslaw mix)
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Lightly oil the peppers and then oven grill until lightly charred (or use the traditional stove top method if you have a gas stove).
Let stand to cool about 15 minutes, peel, cored, seed, and chop.
Core and seed the tomatoes.
Puree the tomatoes with the red pepper with 1/4t of the sea salt in a high speed blender until smooth.
Set aside.
Bring the oil and remaining sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the scallions and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the garlic and the dill, and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the cabbage and saute for another 10-12 minutes or until the cabbage has wilted lightly and pan starts to brown.
Add the pureed tomatoes and red pepper to deglaze.
Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the sauce is somewhat thick (about 10-15 minutes).
Remove from heat and add the nutritional yeast, stirring to combine.
Let stand to cool 10 minutes, season to taste and serve.

Fluffy whole wheat pancakes with raspberry compote

These are a fluffy style of pancakes with warm, sour raspberries. The recipes makes about 8 small to medium sized pancakes.

Ingredients

For the pancakes
2 cups of flour
2 1/4 cups of vanilla plant milk*
1/4 cup of sugar**
2 tablespoons of baking powder
Vanilla extract to taste (1/4 teaspoon or so)
1/4t of sea salt inch of sea salt
Plant-only margarine as necessary (not more than 1/4 cup).

For the raspberries

2 cups of raspberries (reserve half)
2T of agave nectar
2t of lemon juice
1T of corn starch dissolved in 1T of water
Additional agave nectar to taste

Make the compote first.
Heat half the raspberries in the pan on medium with the lemon juice, agave and sea salt.
Cook until the berries are soft and have produced a syrup (about 10-15 minutes).
Add the remaining berries and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Whisk the corn starch with the water, and add to the raspberries slowly and stirring continuously until thickened.
Let stand to cool and spoon over the pancakes when they’re done.

To make the pancakes, combine the dry ingredients, the wet ingredients (except for the margarine), and then the dry and the wet ingredients together.
Whisk thoroughly to combine into a smooth batter.
Heat 2T of the margarine in the pan on medium high until a small drop of water sizzles.
Ladle 1/2 cup of batter into the pan and lightly smooth out to the volume of the pancake..
Fry on one side until lightly browned (the pancake will start to bubble through — usually 2-3 minutes).
Carefully flip and fry until lightly browned on the other side.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Repeat until the batter is used up, adding 2t of margarine to the pan between pancakes.

The pan temperature for pancakes is very important. You may need to adjust the temperature to suit your pan for the best results. You can keep your pancakes warm in a very low oven in an oven proof dish.

*Soy milk will provide a denser chew, while rice milk, a fluffier pancake.

**The compote will be lightly sour with raspberries. With a sweeter berry, you may want less sugar in the pancake. Many white table sugars are still refined using animal bone charcoal. Organic sugar, beet sugar, agave nectar and other sweeteners make good alternatives.

Crispy polenta with red wine, tomato herb sauce, sauteed greens and black beluga lentils

This is a colorful and simple recipe with a lot of contrasting flavors and textures. The polenta in this dish provides a crispy outside with a soft and creamy middle.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1/2t of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
2T of unsweetened soy milk
2T of olive oil
1T of garlic, minced
1/4t of dried ground turmeric
1T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1T of cooking oil
1T of dried basil
1/2t of dried thyme
1/2t of dried oregano
2t of garlic, minced
1/2t of sugar
2T of red wine
1/2 cup of passata (use tomato puree or sauce if that’s what you have)

1 cup of packed kale, chopped
1T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
2t of lemon juice
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1/2 cup of cooked black lentils
1t of olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Make the polenta first, followed by the sauce and the greens, unless you don’t have black lentils on hand, in which case, make those first.

Bring the water and sea salt to a soft boil in a pan with a lid.
Add the corn meal slowly, stirring as you go.
Reduce heat to low and cook for roughly 40 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
The polenta will be done when it’s quite thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, turmeric, soy milk and any additional seasonings.
Stir thoroughly to combine.
Let stand five minutes to cool.
Spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled (or nonstick) 3″x9″ baking dish, and smooth the top with a spoon.
Let cool for about 30 minutes uncovered in the refrigerator to setup.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Carefully turn out the polenta, cut in half width-wise (for two portions).
Lightly oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little corn meal.
Add the polenta and bake until until starting to lightly brown and the outside is lightly crisp (about 20-25 minutes, but use the texture and colour as a guide).

While the polenta bakes, make the sauce.
Bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the garlic and herbs and saute for 2-3 minutes until the pan starts to lightly brown.
Add the red wine and deglaze.
Add the passata and return to a low simmer.
Reduce by about 1/4.
Remove from heat, and set aside.

Bring the oil and sea salt to heat on medium high.
Add the kale and saute until wilted and the pan starts to brown lightly (maybe 5-8 minutes).
Add the lemon juice and deglaze the pan.
And the nutritional yeast and stir to combine.
Season with additional sea salt to taste.

Toss the black lentils with sea salt and oil to combine.

Plating
This dish is all about contrast, and the plating emphasizes that contrast with a black plate, but a white plate will work just as well.

Add the rectangle of polenta to the plate.
Spoon the tomato sauce over the top of the polenta.
Carefully compress the greens with tongs and add to the polenta on top of the sauce.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of lentils over the top of each serving.

 

 

Warm rye berry salad with baby arugula, and cranberries

The rye gives this dish some hearty chew. While intended as a side dish, the arugula holds up well. Some walnuts or chick peas would turn this salad into a light lunch.

Ingredients

3 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup of rye berries (whole grain rye)
1T of plant-only margarine
3 scallions, minced
1/4 cup of dried cranberries (sweetened with juice, preferably)
1t of dried thyme, rubbed
2 cups, packed, of baby arugula greens
1T of nutritional yeast
2T of olive oil
2t of lemon juice
Sea salt and black or cayenne pepper to taste

Directions

Bring the stock to a boil and add the rye berries.
Cover and simmer for 1 hour on low until the stock is absorbed.
Remove from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes.
Melt the margarine in a frying pan on medium high.
Add the scallions and thyme.
Saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add the rye and the cranberries and stir thoroughly to combine.
Remove from heat.
Add the arugula to a large bowl.
Mix the rye, cranberries and arugula together until well-combined and the arugula is lightly wilted.
Whisk together the olive oil, nutritional yeast and lemon juice.
Dress the salad, season to taste, and serve.

Polenta fries with tomato basil aïoli

A nice alternative to deep frying, the corn meal crisps up quite nicely. Replace the corn meal with whole grain teff for quicker, more nutrient dense versions (simmer for only 20 minutes).

Ingredients

For the polenta
1 1/2 cups of boiling water
1/2t of coarse sea salt
1/2 cup of yellow cornmeal
2T of unsweetened soy milk
2T of olive oil (or coconut oil, if you prefer)
1T of garlic, minced
1/4t of dried ground turmeric
2T of nutritional yeast
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the aïoli

1/4 cup of unsweetened soy milk
1t of lemon juice
1T of sesame seed butter
1T of garlic, minced
1T of fresh basil, minced
2t of tomato passata (or pureed tomatoes if that’s what you have)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

Make the polenta first, then the aïoli.

Bring the water and sea salt to a soft boil in a pan with a lid.
Add the corn meal slowly, stirring as you go.
Reduce heat to low and cook for roughly 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.
The polenta will be done when it’s quite thick and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Add the nutritional yeast, garlic, turmeric, soy milk and any additional seasonings.
Stir thoroughly to combine.
Let stand five minutes to cool.
Spoon the polenta into a lightly oiled (or nonstick) 3″x9″ baking dish, and smooth the top with a spoon.
Let cool for about 30 minutes uncovered in the refrigerator to setup.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
Carefully turn out the polenta, cut into twelve slices.
Generously oil a cookie sheet and sprinkle with a little corn meal.
Add the polenta and bake turning every 8-10 minutes or so for about 30-40 minutes — until the fries start to lightly brown and the outside is lightly crisp, Ovens vary. Use the texture and colour as a guide.
Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, and serve with the aïoli.

While the polenta bakes, make the aïoli.
Blend the soy milk, sesame seed butter, lemon juice and garlic in a high speed blender with a pinch of sea salt (I used an immersion blender).
Next, slowly add the oil in a dribble while blending so that it will emulsify correctly.
Mince the basil and add it to the aïoli, stirring to combine.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let the flavours mingle.
Add the passate in drips when ready to serve.

Peanut sauce, salsa and other dips do well this dish. The aïoli also makes a nice spread for sandwiches and other uses. For a creamier fry, blend the polenta for a minute in a high speed blender once it’s cooled and before putting it into the baking dish.

Pan-fried chick pea and sun-dried tomato medallion; raspberry and red Thai chili sauce; roasted potatoes and cabbage; green beans and heirloom carrots

This set of recipes focuses on simple preparation techniques and modest seasoning to build a colorful plate in which the taste of the ingredients are at the fore.

For the chick pea medallion

1 1/2 cups of cooked chick peas*
1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped (the fully dehydrated kind)
4T of olive oil (2T separated)
1/2t of coarse sea salt
2t of tamari
2T of nutritional yeast
1T of garlic, minced
2t of ginger, minced
2t of dried ground cumin
1t of dried ground coriander
1t of dried rubbed thyme
2T of hard wheat flour
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the sauce

1/2 cup of fresh raspberries
1/2t (or to taste) of red Thai chili paste
1T of sugar**
1t of tamari
A pinch of coarse sea salt
1T of coconut oil

For the potatoes and cabbage

2 potatoes in 1/2″ dice (about 1/4 pound)
2 cup of shredded cabbage
3T of cooking oil
2 scallions minced (leave about 3″ of scallion for garnish
1/4t of coarse sea salt
Seal salt and black pepper to taste

For the carrots and green beans

6 small heirloom carrots
2 cups of green beans
2T of cooking oil
1/4t of coarse sea salt
Sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast to taste

Directions

For the chick peas, puree all the items except the flour and 2T of oil.
Let stand 10 minutes.
Add additional seasoning to taste.
Form the chick pea mixture into medallions (two for this amount) about half an inch thick.
Lightly dust the medallions with the flour.
Bring the remaining 2T of oil to heat on medium high in a frying pan.
Add the medallions and pan fry on both sides until lightly brown (2-3 minutes each side)
Remove from heat and serve.

For the sauce, puree the raspberries, chili, salt, and sugar.
Cover and let stand 30 minutes.
Slowly add the coconut oil in a dribble while blending to emulsify the oil.
Add additional sea salt to taste (but it should be sweet and sour).

For the cabbage, preheat the oven to 400F.
Toss the potatoes, cabbage and scallions in 2T of oil and sea salt.
Oil a baking sheet with the remaining 1T.
Spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast until the cabbage is lightly browned and the potatoes are fork tender stirring occasionally (about 30 minutes, but ovens vary — use the colour as your guide).

For the carrots and green beans, clean and trim the ends of the beans and carrots
Bring the oil and the sea salt to heat on medium high
Pan fry the vegetables until lightly seared, flipping here and there (usually about 6-8 minutes).

To plate
Because of the amount of vegetable in this dish, plating each part separately can be a challenge. If you have a large enough plate, plate in a row with the sauce under the chick peas. Otherwise, the cabbage and potatoes make a good base on which to plate the chick peas. Garnish with thinly sliced scallion greens.

Other sauces that either contrast or complement the chick peas will work well with this dish. A little lemon and caper, artichokes, a mushroom reduction, a peanut sauce.

*I slow cook the chick peas in batches to have them on-hand (2 cups of chick peas with 6 cups of water with a ‘sprig’ of dried kombu).

**Some table sugars still use animal bone charcoal to bleach the sugar. Organic sugar, beet sugar, agave nectar and others typically do not.

Apple crumble with whiskey and white miso

The whiskey adds nuanced sweetness and the white miso, a little salt and extra depth of flavour to this simple, seasonal dessert.

Ingredients

For the apples
4 large apples, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 cup of hard wheat flour
1T of lemon juice
1T of white miso (use a sweet style)
1t of dried ground cinnamon
1/4t of dried ground cloves
1T of coconut oil
1/4 cup of sugar*
3T of whiskey*
A pinch of sea salt

For the streusel

1 cup of rolled oats
1/2 cup of hard wheat flour
3/4 cup of sugar*
1/3 of a cup of coconut oil
A pinch of sea salt

Directions

Preheat the over to 350F.
Blend the liquid ingredients and the spices for the apples.
Toss the sliced apples in the flour.
Add the mixture to the apples and flour.
Toss until the apple are well coated.
Blend the ingredients for the streusel until coarse.
Add the apple mixture to a 9″ pie plate.
Distribute the streusel evenly over the apples.
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until the streusul is starting to brown lightly and the apples are turning golden.
Let cool for 1 hour and serve warm or refrigerate.

*It’s rare, but some whiskeys are still made with the use of animal products. Cane sugar is also bleached in some cases with animal bone charcoal. Agave nectar makes a reasonable substitute for the whiskey (use 1T). A growing number of table sugars are not refined using animal bone charcoal; organic sugar and beet sugar typically are not.

 

 

Sun-dried tomato, caper hummus with teff fries

A traditional favorite with some additional flavors. Teff has a food chemistry similar to corn meal, but is more nutrient dense; cut into fries, it make a nice snack or side dish.

Ingredients

For the hummus
1/2 cup of boiling water
1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
2 1/2 cups of cooked chick peas
1/4 cup of sesame seed butter
1/4t of coarse sea salt
3T of lemon juice
2T of garlic, minced
1t of dried, ground cumin
1T of capers
2T of olive oil
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the teff

1 1/2 cups of water
1/2 cup of whole grain teff
1/4t of coarse sea salt
2T of nutritional yeast
2T of olive oil
2t of tamari
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Make the hummus and then the teff

For the hummus, add the boiling water to the sun-dried tomatoes and let stand 10 minutes.
Add the sesame seed butter, the olive oil and lemon to a blender and puree.
Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients to a blender and puree till smooth.
The consistency should be smooth and creamy. Add a 1-2T of additional water if necessary.
Season to taste.
Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.

For the teff, bring the water to a boil in a pot with a lid.
Add the teff and sea salt sea salt
Reduce to low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the teff is thick (it should be pulling away from the sides).
Add the tamari and nutritional yeast.
Stir to combine, pour into a 3″x9″ baking dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour to setup (it should be firm).
Preheat the oven to 450F
Oil and warm a baking sheet.
Slice the cooled teff into 10 – 12 pieces width-wise.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until lightly crisp, turning every several minutes. They should be lightly crispy.
Remove from oven, cool or 5 minutes and serve.

Warm tempeh and soft wheat salad with broccoli, red pepper and fresh raspberries

A warm fall salad with a variety of bold flavours, colours and textures. Rye berries will work in this dish as well; increase the cooking time to about 1 hour and add the tempeh after 15 minutes.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of soft wheat berries
2 cups of vegetable stock
1 ‘brick’ of pasteurized tempeh (250g) in 1/2″ cubes*
1/4t of coarse sea salt
1/4t of coarse salt
1 scallion, minced
1 red pepper, cored, seeded and cut in 1/2″ dice
2 cups of brocolli florets broken up in to about 1″ pieces
3T of cooking oil
1T of lemon juice
1T of agave nectar
2t of tamari
2T of nutritional yeast
1/2 cup of fresh raspberries, chopped**
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

In a pot with a lid, bring the stock to a light boil.
Add the wheat berries, the cubed tempeh, and the 1/4t of sea salt.
Cover, reduce to low and simmer 40-50 or until the water is absorbed and the wheat is soft. Add a little water if you start to run out of moisture.
When the wheat is done, in a frying pan, bring the oil to heat on high.
Add the sea salt and scallion and stir fry for 1 minutes.
Add the broccoli and red pepper and stir fry for 3-4 minutes.
Add the lemon, tamari and agave.
Stir to combine.
Add the tempeh, wheat and nutritional yeast.
Stir to combine and remove from heat.
Add the nutritional yeast.
Stir to combine.
Season to taste.
Plate and garnish with the chopped raspberries.

*Make sure to use pasteurized tempeh or to pasteurize your tempeh separately before preparing it using this recipe. Tempeh from a standard grocery store will often be pasteurized, but be sure to check the label. The recipe requires cooking longer than the time normally required for pasteurization, but better safe than sorry.