Vegan Greek No-gurt and Granola

Closeup Vegan Yogurt

I am exceptionally proud of this recipe. This will be a game-changer to those of you who love the creaminess of yogurt but choose to go animal-free. This is better than the chalky stuff that was available six years ago. This is creamier than the lumpy cultured soy product that’s been around for years. This is on par with the current coconut and almond yogurts, but with less sugar, refined and plant-based starches, and way more protein.

Don’t believe me? See the bottom of this post for a detailed nutritional comparison…. I won’t put it here to bore the people just looking for vegan food porn.

I’m working on a cultured version right now, but this stuff tastes just as good anyway.

Imagine it layered with fruit and cereal for breakfast. Smeared onto tacos instead of sour cream. Swirled into soups for awesome creaminess. Dive in!

No-gurt and granola

I have also included a protein-packed granola recipe to go with it. It uses a hearty mix of seeds, grains, and nuts to keep you full.

A few notes about special ingredients:

The yogurt uses agar-agar, which I also used in my previous marshmallow recipe. This is an animal-free gelatine-like product, commonly used in asian desserts. It can be found at asian grocery stores, or at organic foods stores. You can buy flakes or powder. I prefer powder, as it is more precise to measure. My measurements are using powder, so if you can only get flakes, go by weight. It is assumed that you can use 3x the volume when subbing flakes for powder, but I have not personally tried this.

I use Soya Flakes, also called Rolled Soya, as a major ingredient in the granola. I’ve seen it online from Indian import stores, and from a british muesli store. If you’re Canadian and can get to a Bulk Barn, this is your best bet. If you can’t find soya flakes, no sweat. Use more old-fashioned oats, or try rolled Kamut flakes for a heartier crunch. I haven’t posted nutritional information for this recipe, as I suspect everyone’s choices will make macronutrient values vary.

Vegan Greek No-Gurt

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package traditional tofu (340g), not pressed
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream from a can – if you want less fat, use light canned coconut milk
  • 3 Tbsp +1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp (4g) agar-agar powder

Instructions:

  1. Puree tofu in a food processor or high-speed blender for at least one minute.
  2. Stir, scraping down sides of bowl, and process for at least another minute, until it is completely smooth to touch and taste.
  3. Add coconut milk, 3 Tbsp of almond milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
  4. Process for one more minute, scrape down bowl, and puree for another 10 seconds.
  5. Whisk agar powder into remaining 1/4 cup almond milk in a small saucepan.
  6. Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until it comes to a gentle boil.
  7. Turn down heat and whisk continuously for another two minutes until the agar is completely dissolved.
  8. Take a spatula and scoop out approximately 1/4 of the tofu mixture into the agar mixture. Whisk well.
  9. Heat mixture for another 30 seconds, whisking continuously, then add another scoop of tofu mixture to the pot as before.
  10. Remove agar-tofu mixture from the heat. Start running food processor.
  11. Slowly transfer the warmed mixture into the running food processor.
  12. Process for another two minutes, until smooth and slightly cooled.
  13. Place the mixture into the refrigerator for 20-40 minutes (I just place the bowl of the food processor straight into the fridge).
  14. Once the mixture has solidified, return to the machine and process for 30-60 seconds until smooth.
  15. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to ten days.

High-Protein Granola – An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • 2.5 Tbsp fine, unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 6.5 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup raw cashews, broken into smaller pieces
  • 1/4 roughly chopped raw almonds
  • 2/3 cup rolled soya flakes
  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (If not vegan, can substitute half volume for creamed honey)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Combine oats, soya, coconut, seeds, and nuts in a large bowl.
  3. Combine coconut oil, maple syrup, spices, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl.
  4. Microwave oil mixture on medium power for 30-60 seconds, until it is runny.
  5. Stir liquid mixture briefly, then pour over dry oat mixture.
  6. Mix with a wooden spoon until all dry ingredients are lightly coated.
  7. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until mixture is fragrant and nuts/seeds are lightly toasted.
  9. Cool for an hour before breaking granola into small clumps.
  10. Store in a sealed container at room temperature.

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 Nutritional Comparison

My No-gurt:

125 mL (1/4 of recipe) has:

  • 120 calories, 7g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 6 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein, 13% RDA Calcium, 10% RDA Iron

A popular brand of coconut yogurt (using full-fat coconut cream):

125 mL (calculated from 175 mL serving on label) has:

  • 100 calories, 3.6 g total fat, 3.2 g saturated fat, 16.4 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 1.4 g protein, 25% RDA Calcium, 4.2% RDA Iron

A popular brand of almond yogurt:

125 mL (calculated from 175 mL serving on label) has:

  • 71 calories, 4.3 g total fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 9.3 g carbs, 5 g sugar, 2.1 g protein, 28.6% RDA Calcium, 2.8% RDA Iron

A popular brand of cultured soy product:

125 mL (calculated from 170 mL serving on label) has:

  • 107 calories, 2.1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 17.9 g carbs, 10.7 g sugar, 3.57 g protein, 10.7% RDA Calcium, 1.1% RDA Iron

Yes, mine has more calories and more fat than the others, but it tastes awesome… and the protein is great if (like me) you’re trying to put on muscle in the gym!

Make-Ahead Bean Burritos

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I have had a crazy schedule this semester. Working late hours in the lab, often followed by evening tutoring appointments as undergrads panic over finals. The only thing I really have the time and money to grab on campus for dinner is a burrito at the place across the street. Unfortunately, the cost of this adds up. After buying a few frozen vegan burritos from the grocery store as a cheaper alternative, I realized (duh) that I should just make them myself.

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These burritos have way more protein than your usual store-bought vegan option. I paid about $16 for enough ingredients to make 11 burritos. $4 of that was for store-bought vegan cream cheeze, of which I only used a third of a tub, so if you make cheeze yourself or omit it entirely they will be even cheaper.

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I now have a healthy option for dinners at work that will fuel me for my bike ride home. They freeze well, and warm up in the microwave fine whether taken straight from the freezer or left to thaw for several hours in a lunch bag.

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Make-Ahead Bean Burritos

An original recipe by Agent Minty

Makes 11 burritos

One note: to make a lower-fat option, use oil to steam-fry veggies, and do not add to beans. Do not, however, remove oil when cooking the ground round.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of black-eyed peas
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1+1+2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 peppers, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 package (approximately 1lb) of vegetarian ground round/rehydrated TVP
  • 1 pouch taco seasoning
  • 11 small (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1/3 package Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese or similar

Instructions:

Prepare fillings:

  1. Combine beans, water, bouillon cube, and 1 Tbsp of oil in a large pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Turn heat to medium-low, cover, and allow to simmer.
  3. Cook until beans are softened and mostly split, and most of the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash beans until most are broken down.
  5. Turn off heat from beans, but allow to sit uncovered on still-warm stove.
  6. Sauté pepper and onions in 1 Tbsp oil on medium-high until tender, about 8 minutes.
  7. Remove vegetables from frying pan and set aside.
  8. Without cleaning the frying pan, heat up remaining 2 Tbsp of oil on medium heat.
  9. Crumble in ground round and cook, stirring frequently, until crumbles start to separate and dry slightly.
  10. Sprinkle taco seasoning over ground round and stir to combine for about 1 minute. If food is sticking to the pan, add a few tablespoons of water and scrape up with a spatula.
  11. Remove ground round to the same  dish as the vegetables and stir to combine.

Assemble burritos:

  1. Lay out all tortillas on your work surface.
  2. Spread each tortilla with 1/2 Tbsp cream cheeze.
  3. Divide bean mixture evenly between tortillas.
  4. Divide ground round and vegetable mixture evenly between tortillas.
  5. Roll up each tortilla and wrap in plastic or waxed paper.
  6. Store in a larger bag in the freezer.
  7. Thaw by heating at 70% power for about 3 minutes, seam side down.

Nutrition Information: Per Burrito: 317 kCal, 11g fat, 8g fibre, 4g sugar, 13g protein, 50% RDA Vit.C, 25% RDA Iron.

Vegan Savoury Pie, or Non-Quiche

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Vegan quiche sounds impossible. What about the eggs, the cheese? In the words of a non-vegan critic, Where does all the flavour come from?

Well, if you can’t make something plant-based and flavourful, you just need to work a little harder. There is some vegan cheeze in here, as this is the second instalment of recipes that can be made with cheeze, but a lot of the favour also comes from the roasted peppers and seasonings, not to mention a rich pastry crust. At the request of Mme. Minty, I’m not officially calling this a quiche, as “eggs are gross,” so savoury pie it is. A perfectly indulgent dish for wintertime.

Quiche

Vegan Savoury Pie

An original recipe by Agent Minty

One note about the tart tin: I used a 9-inch quiche/tart tin than separates into two pieces. If you only have a traditional style pie plate, that will work too, as the crust recipe makes more than enough dough.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup (80g) Earth Balance or other hard maragarine
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp water

Filling:

  • One red pepper
  • 1/3 head of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 block (170g) traditional/medium tofu (not pressed)
  • 2 Tbsp chickpea/Besan flour
  • 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1/8 tsp smoked sea salt (if you have it)
  • 1/4 tsp regular salt
  • 1/2 tsp miso paste
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • generous dash of black pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup of cubed non-dairy cheeze (soft or meltable is best), or shredded Daiya

Instructions:

Prepare the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Whisk together salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drop in Earth Balance by spoonfuls or as cubes.
  4. Cut flour into fat with a pastry cutter until the largest pieces are smaller than peas.
  5. Combine water and vinegar and pour over flour mixture.
  6. Mix water in by cutting-motion strokes with the edge of a spatula.
  7. Mix until the dough holds together, and turn out onto a floured countertop.
  8. Knead a few times until you have a smooth-ish ball.
  9. Roll out to about 5mm thick.
  10. Cut a circle slightly larger than the bottom of your pan and lift into the bottom of your tart pan.
  11. Cut rectangular strips about 50% wider than the walls of your pan. Use these to line the walls, pressing to join with the bottom. Using multiple overlapping strips is fine.
  12. Fold excess top edge of pastry into the pan and press to reinforce.
  13. Prick bottom of pan all over with a fork.
  14. Completely line pan with a sheet of foil (I find crinkling it first makes it easier to work with), and fill with dried beans, marbles, or other weights.
  15. Bake for 12 minutes. Set to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before attempting to lift out foil filled with hot weights!
  16. Let cool completely while preparing the filling.

Raw to cooked!

Prepare vegetables for filling:

  1. Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem.
  2. Place cut side down on a baking sheet or piece of foil.
  3. Switch oven heat source to broil.
  4. Cook in 450F oven until skin is blackened.
  5. Meanwhile, blanch broccoli and shock in cold water.
  6. Chop broccoli finely – After preparation, you should have about 1/3 cup.
  7. Let roasted red pepper cool or run under cold water for a few minutes to cool quickly.
  8. Peel skin off of pepper (even non-burnt regions) and chop one half of pepper finely.

Prepare filling:

  1. Turn oven temperature down to 350F.
  2. Puree tofu in a food processor until smooth, about one minute.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except baking powder. Pulse until combined, scraping walls occasionally.
  4. Add baking powder and blend briefly.
  5. In a mixing bowl, stir together puree, broccoli, and pepper.
  6. Fold in cubed cheeze.
  7. Pour mixture into pastry shell and level out.
  8. If desired, decorate with herbs and shapes cut from remaining roasted red pepper.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes.
  10. Cool at room temperature for at least one hour, to allow filling to set.
  11. Can be re-warmed before serving.

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Winter Sunshine Rainbow Bowls

Six more weeks of winter. Technically, only four until it’s “spring”, but in Alberta we get snow and cold weather lasting until April. However, today was a fair day with lots of sunshine, and it put me in a good mood. I decided to make sunshiny lunch bowls filled with a rainbow assortment of healthy foods to keep me going all week.

Rainbow bowls (3 of 4)

Sometimes called Abundance Bowls, these meals have a grain base combined with legumes, vegetables, and seeds. Mine contains steamed broccoli, quick-pickled red cabbage, roasted red peppers, and lentils, topped with a peanut-sesame-lime dressing. For extra protein, I’ve included quinoa and pumpkin seeds. For the calorie curious, one bowl has 395 calories, 57g carbs, 12g fat, and 19g protein. To make ahead for the week, I prefer to prepare each set of ingredients and only combine the night before.

Winter Sunshine Rainbow Bowls – An original recipe by Agent Minty

Ingredients:

  • Grains and Lentil Mix (Recipe Below)
  • Red Cabbage Quick Pickle (Recipe Below)
  • 2 red peppers, roasted, with skins and seeds removed
  • 2 heads of broccoli, stems and florets diced and steamed
  • 5 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
  • Peanut-sesame-lime Dressing

Instructions:

  1. Spoon 1/5 of the grains and lentil mix into each bowl.
  2. Arrange on top 1/5 each of the cabbage, sliced roasted peppers, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds.
  3. Drizzle dressing on top and enjoy.

Rainbow bowls (2 of 4)

Grains and Lentils Mix

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup dried quinoa
  • 1/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 1/2 cup cracked wheat

Instructions:

  1. Wash quinoa well and combine with 2 cups of water.
  2. Bring to a boil on high and simmer with lid on for 7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the lentils, and turn down heat to medium-low for 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in cracked wheat and 1/4 more water.
  5. Allow to return to a simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off heat.
  6. Sit, covered with a lid, for at least 10 minutes.

Red Cabbage Quick Pickle

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and sit at room temperature at least one hour.

Peanut-sesame-lime Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha (reduce if you dislike spicy things)
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

I’m going to enjoy this bit of brightness and sunshine in my days all week – I hope you have a good week, too!

Rainbow bowls (4 of 4)