Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Kluski Z Makiem (Polish Poppyseed Pasta Dessert)

I'm crazy about pasta! It's just the most delicious and comforting thing to eat, and so convenient to cook. anyone who knows me will know that probably my favourite thing to eat is a big bowl of pasta with a glass of wine to accompany it. But.... pasta for dessert? I've never tried it before, but when I found it for Polish food month I really had to try it! To be honest, this is not 100% traditional! The traditional polish dish would be made with hand made noodles, but I've used supermarket packet pasta to be quick (and a bit lazy!). It was actually very delicious, although it felt strange to have pasta for dessert!

As you read this, I'll be hanging out in funky Helsinki!

Kluski Z Makiem

300g dried pasta (large shapes)
2 tbsp vegan margarine (Nuttelex)
1 cup poppy seeds, soaked over night
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup maple syrup
Walnut pieces, to garnish

To Make
1. Cook the pasta al dente, according to the instructions on the back of the packet (although you'll probably want to cook it for about 1 minute less than it says on the packet so that it's not overcooked).
2. Combine the poppy seeds, margarine, raisins, suagr and zest in a saucepan with 1 tbsp water. Heat over a low heat until the sugar and margarine are melted. Simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
3. Dry fry the chopped almonds and hazelnuts in a pan over a medium heat, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and toasted.
4. Combine the cooked pasta, poppyseed mixture and toasted nuts and mix well. Add the maple syrup and stir until all the pasta is well coated.
5. Cool to room temperature and garnish with walnut pieces to serve.

Serves 4.

This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Poland.
Check out my other Polish recipe posts:

Friday, 26 July 2013

Polish Surówka z Marchewki (Carrot and Apple Salad)

This simple Polish salad is an absolutely perfect accompaniment to the heavier and creamier dishes which I've been serving up for Polish food month(s). When you're eating Pyzy with Creamy Mushroom Sauce or delicious Golabki, you're keen to have a light, fresh and healthy salad on the side! I'll be honest, I made this salad based on a vague description of a salad on the wikipedia Polish Cuisine page, so I'm not sure how authentic it is (you can never really trust wikipedia!). Either way, it's a winner :)

Guess what I'm doing today while this post is scheduled to go up? I'll be spending a day strolling around the Art Nouveau Buildings in Riga, the capital of Latvia! I'm really excited about it.

4 carrots
2 green apples
4 tbsp grapeseed or sunflower oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Walnuts, to garnish

To Make
1. Coarsely grate the carrot and place in a bowl. Peel the apples and grate them too. Add to the carrot.
2. Add the oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Garnish with broken walnut pieces and serve.

Serves 8 as a side salad. Halve the recipe to serve 4.

This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Poland.
Check out my other Polish recipe posts:

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup (Guest Post by The Little Cookbook)

My lovely guest post for today comes from the wonderful Rachel from The Little Cookbook. What a perfect choice for the end of July when it's so cold and rainy and windy. Sweet potato and pumpkin make such warming and satisfying soup for winter! I hope you enjoy this while I'm catching the train from Bergen to Oslo - one of the most spectacular scenic railroad trips in Europe. Thanks Rachel!

Hello! My name Is Rachel and I am super excited to be blogging over here at Gormandize. I blog at The Little Cookbook and whilst my desserts are often wickedly sweet, my weeknight eats are always (okay mostly) yum and frequently vegan – best of both worlds right?

So this soup actually came about through a complete and utter soul destroying craving for tomato soup a few weeks ago, but I had nothing to thicken up my oven-roasted veg. What’s a girl to do?

I’ll tell you what a girl is to do. She will quickly pan fry some canned chickpeas and chuck that in the pot. Done.

So when deciding on my ultimate vegan recipe to help out Keely whilst she’s off travelling, (I’m so jealous!) my mind came back to the amazing tomato soup. But alas it’s winter. Tomatoes are pretty bland at this time of year.

We need to sweet potato and pumpkin the shiz out of this idea.
The chickpeas not only add a beautiful creaminess to the soup but also thicken it up, and add pops of unblitzed chickpea too. Texture is vital to a good soup.

The key to a good pumpkin soup? Half oven roasted; half sweated in delicious butter (vegan butter), if you haven’t got a vegan butter that you absolutely love, use olive oil. Don’t use coconut butter. Or do. You know, whatever.

Sweet Potato, Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

1 Small pumpkin, half diced/half quartered
2 Sweet Potatoes 1 peeled and diced, one quartered
1 Brown Onion quartered
4 sprigs of rosemary
Olive oil
3 tablespoons of vegan butter (or regular butter/olive oil – see note above)
1 can of chickpeas
1 ½ cup of vegetable stock
½ cup of almond milk
¼ teaspoon of chilli flakes
salt and pepper to season
pistachio dukkah to serve

1. Pre heat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius and set the quartered veggies on a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, place the sprigs of rosemary on the tray any which way.
Roast for 40/60 minutes, until soft, golden and browned around the edges.

2. In a large fry pan melt the vegan butter on a medium heat, once melted add the diced vegetables and turn to a low heat. Cover and leave for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. When the oven roasted veg is removed and cooled slightly, remove the skin and reserve the potato skins (for wonderful potato skin times).

4. In a large soup pot drizzle some olive oil – about a tablespoon, and set on a medium heat. Drain the can of chickpeas in the time and rinse once. Pour the chickpeas (sans any liquid) into the large soup pot and toss through until the shells pop.

5. Add both the oven roasted veg and the buttered veg to this large pot (sans skins, rosemary and butter) and stir. Pour in the vegetable stock and stir. Allow to simmer for 10/15 minutes, until it feels right. You just want the flavours to really combine.

6. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes, then blast with a stick mixer until creamy and smooth. Stir in the almond milk and chilli flakes. Blend further with the stick mixer; don’t go tooo creamy otherwise you miss those pops of chickpea!

Serve with dukkah and potato skins.

To make the potato skins just grill on a high heat both sides for a few minutes.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Crunchy Kale Chips

If you haven't tried kale chips already, then you're in for a treat. They're so easy, they take about 10 minutes to make and you won't have any difficulty eating the whole bowl. I've loved kale for a long time, but these chips were inspired by my friend Catherine from Farmhouse Home who wrote this great post about kale - both the recipes look so good on this post. So the next time I got my hands on a bunch of kale I made kale chips. Then I made them again the next time I had kale. You get the picture, they're awesome.

This is only a "sort of" recipe - you don't really need any quantities. Just grab a bunch of kale and rip it into rough pieces. Toss it in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss well so that the pieces are all evenly coated. Spread on a baking tray and bake at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes. Allow to cool and serve with a light sprinkling of salt. 

Hope you enjoy this little "almost" recipe while I'm away. As this post goes up I'm hanging out in Northern Denmark before catching the ferry to Norway to start exploring fjords. I hope it isn't too cold and rainy where you are!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Polish Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)

I've made cabbage rolls once before, remember my Croatian Posna Sarma? You probably don't, because it was quite a long time ago (and look at how awful my photos were back then!). These Polish Golabki are similar but different - like the posna sarma they're stuffed with a tasty mixture of rice and vegetables, but they're smothered this time in creamy dill and mushroom sauce. They're actually pretty different in taste!

While you indulge your senses with this great recipe, guess what I'll be doing? I'll be exploring Legoland and then driving to see the Tollund Man! I've been looking forward to visiting the Tollund Man ever since I studied Seamus Heaney's poetry in high school. Have you read the Seamus Heaney poem about the Tollund Man? I love it, so I'll share it here with you:

Some day I will go to Aarhus
To see his peat-brown head,
The mild pods of his eye-lids,
His pointed skin cap.

In the flat country near by
Where they dug him out,
His last gruel of winter seeds
Caked in his stomach,

Naked except for
The cap, noose and girdle,
I will stand a long time.
Bridegroom to the goddess,

She tightened her torc on him
And opened her fen,
Those dark juices working
Him to a saint's kept body,

Trove of the turfcutters'
Honeycombed workings.
Now his stained face
Reposes at Aarhus.

I could risk blasphemy,
Consecrate the cauldron bog
Our holy ground and pray
Him to make germinate

The scattered, ambushed
Flesh of labourers,
Stockinged corpses
Laid out in the farmyards,

Tell-tale skin and teeth
Flecking the sleepers
Of four young brothers, trailed
For miles along the lines.

Something of his sad freedom
As he rode the tumbril
Should come to me, driving,
Saying the names

Tollund, Grauballe, Nebelgard,

Watching the pointing hands
Of country people,
Not knowing their tongue.

Out here in Jutland
In the old man-killing parishes
I will feel lost,
Unhappy and at home.

1 whole green cabbage

2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely diced
400g mushrooms, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup sauerkraut
1 tbsp fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

300g mushrooms, chopped and washed
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1 tbsp chopped dill
salt and pepper to taste

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees celcius.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan or frypan and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the mushrooms and chopped tomato and cook for s further 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked.
3. Add the rice, sauerkraut, dill and season with salt and pepper. Stir well to combine and heat through. Then set aside for later. 
4. Meanwhile, pull the tough outer leaves off the cabbage and discard. Wash thoroughly and steam the whole cabbage for 10 minutes or so until the outer leaves are softened and easier to pull away.
5. Remove as many of the outer leaves as you can (until you reach the inner parts which are not as well cooked) and then put the rest of the cabbage back in the steamer for another 5 mins so that you can remove more of the leaves.
6.  Cut the thick stems out of the cabbage leaves and begin rolling. Add about 2 tablespoons of rice mix to the edge of the cabbage leaf and roll over once. Fold in both of the edges and then continue rolling to the end. Put aside. Keep going until you use up the rice filling (or you have to stop because your dish isn't going to be big enough for all of them.

7. Place your rolls in a big baking dish, tucking them in close to hold them together.
8. To make the sauce, place the mushrooms with a couple of tablespoons of water in a small saucepan over a medium heat until cooked. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Then remove from the heat and stir through the sour cream and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then pour the sauce all over your cabbage rolls.
9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill and then serve.

Serves 6  - Makes about 12 cabbage rolls. You'll also have some leftover cabbage to chop up and use in another meal.

This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Poland.
Check out my other Polish recipe posts:

Friday, 12 July 2013

Toasted Coconut Pancakes with Roasted Strawberry Sauce (Guest Post by Big Fat Baker)

This gorgeous guest post comes from my friend Erin from Big Fat Baker. She's a fun and enthusiastic baker from the USA, and even though not a vegan has kindly cooked up this delicious vegan recipe to keep my blog from looking too bare while I'm away. What lovely people are out there in the blogging world! Like Erin, I'm not much of a breakfast person. But over the last year or so I've been making a solid effort to try and eat breakfast regularly. Part of that has been finding and developing new things to have for breakfast so that I'm not so bored by the normal breakfast foods. These pancakes look so delicious, that I think I will have no difficulty incorporating them into my repertoire!  As you read this post, I'll be strolling around in Lund in Sweden - but as soon as I get back I will be making some of these. Thanks Erin. 

I normally don’t partake in the daily ritual known as breakfast. But, while on Maui for two weeks I was always up early. Breakfast there is a necessity.

Lucky for me, breakfast is a big part of the food culture. There is anything and everything. From sweet breads and pancakes, to fried rice and noodle soup.

There is a restaurant close to the condo with some of the best pancakes on the island. White chocolate macadamia nut, banana, and pineapple are the choices. Your choice of passion fruit, coconut, or regular syrup - with homemade whipped cream.

Since I've been home, pancakes have been a way to infuse some island flavours into my mornings. These coconut pancakes are a new favourite for me, and they will be for you too!

{Vegan} Toasted Coconut Pancakes with Roasted Strawberry Sauce
Yield: 10 pancakes

Pancake Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs strawberries, washed & quartered
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2-3 tbsp corn syrup
  • pinch of salt


1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Spread all the shredded coconut into an even layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. When the oven is preheated, toast for 5-7 minutes then stir. Repeat until the coconut is golden brown and evenly toasted. Set aside.
*Be sure to watch the coconut closely during this process - it can burn very quickly!*

2. Adjust the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and spread the strawberries in an even layer on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle the strawberries with 2 tbsp raw sugar. When the oven is preheated, roast them for about 15 minutes.

3. Scoop all of the roasted strawberries (and the juicy stuff) into a blender, food processor, or whatever you use to puree stuff. Pour in the remaining strawberry sauce ingredients in with and puree until completely smooth. Set aside until pancakes are ready.

4. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the flour, 2 tbsp raw sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, and 1 tsp salt. Mix together with a fork.

5. Mix in the coconut oil until the flour looks crumbly. Place the mixture in the fridge for about 10 minutes, then whisk in the coconut milk & vanilla until the batter is smooth.

6. Fold in the toasted coconut until evenly distributed and place batter in the fridge until ready to use.

7. Preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, pour in about 1/3 cup of the batter per pancake. Cook on the first side until you can see bubbles and the edges look done (3-5 minutes). Carefully flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes. The pancakes should be fluffy, firm, and easy to move.

8. Hold the cooked pancakes on a cookie sheet in a 225 degree F (110 degrees C) oven until all batter has been used. I was about to make about 10 pancakes. Serve the pancakes hot with the strawberry sauce.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Lemon and Orange Vegan Cupcakes

Sunny citrus cupcakes always brighten my day in winter. Mid July is windy, rainy and miserable in the Blue Mountains in general - so if you're living somewhere equally cold then I recommend light and fluffy citrus cupcakes to warm you from the inside! As this post goes live I'll be exploring castles in Denmark, and since it's summer over there it shouldn't be cold, rainy or miserable! But I'm thinking of you all back home in the cold (suckers!) so have some sunny cupcakes :)

The Cupcakes:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cups of oat milk (or other non dairy milk)
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
The zest from 1/2 an orange and 1/2 a lemon (TIP: do this before you juice it!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange extract
1 1/3 cup of plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

The Icing:
1/2 cup nuttelex (or other vegan margarine)
2 2/3 cups soft icing mixture
2 tsp lemon juice
The rest of the zest from the other half of the orange and the lemon

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to a moderate (about 180 degrees C) temperature.
2. Combine sugar, oil, oat milk, orange and lemon juice, zest, vanilla and orange extract in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Sift in the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly with a whisk again to combine.
4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way bake for 22 minutes, at which point a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before icing.
5. Mix the nuttelex, lemon juice, zest and icing mixture together in a bowl using either an electric mixer or a knife and some good old elbow grease (nice workout).
6. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing on in a spiral generously on the top of the cakes and decorate with sugar flowers if you like.

Makes 12 cupcakes, and enough icing to ice generously.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea and Vodka Soup (Guest Post by The Kitchen Crusader)

Today I have the first of the delicious guest posts which my awesome blogging friends were kind enough to contribute! This one comes from Heather at The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader - if you haven't checked out her blog yet then you should jump over and have a browse, she comes up with some seriously awesome and inventive ideas! Thanks Heather for contributing this soup recipe!

Roasted Tomato, Chickpea and Vodka Soup

Yeah, that's right, it's a soup with vodka in it. Look, in case that freaks you out, it's not exactly compulsory vodka, but it does enhance the flavours of the dish. Vodka is often used with tomatoes in dishes, it marries well with the fresh zestiness and adds an interesting depth of “savoury-ness.” I first discovered the wonder that is vodkas and tomatoes not, as you may think, in a Bloody Mary, but rather in Rachel Grisewood's cookbook Manna from Heaven. That cookbook is full of the kinds of cooking I adore, unusual flavour combinations that teach a cook a lot about how flavours work and how to think about them differently. Grisewald's “Absolut Tomatoes” recipe is still one of my Summer dinner party favourites, it takes little effort and not much vodka, leaving plenty for cocktails with dinner.

During Summer tomatoes are abundant at my local farmer's market, so much so that I purchased a 10kg box of tomatoes for $10. This recipe is designed for tomato season, for when we can get tomatoes at great prices and in great quantities. It might seem a little mean, then, that I'm posting this recipe at the start of Winter, when tomato season is quite far off and soups are staple fare... but put this baby away in your memory banks. I promise come next tomato season, you'll be thanking me.

Serves 4 (depending on serving sizes, of course)

2 kg tomatoes, washed and halved (no need to remove the tops/core)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper
2 tbsp vodka
1 small bunch of well washed and roughly chopped silverbeet or English spinach
1 400g can of chickpeas, drained (or 1 cup of dried chickpeas, rehydrated)
parsley or some “poor man's parmesan*” to serve

*poor man's parmesan is just bread, crumbed roughly, fried in a pan with some olive oil and salt until is crispy and crunchy and golden brown. If you have never tried this, you need to remedy the situation... plus it's the kind of vegan fare I love, the kind that ANYONE, vegan or not can enjoy and drool over. It's also great with pasta.

1)Preheat oven to 180C.
2)Place the halved tomatoes in a large baking dish, scatter with garlic. Drizzle the olive oil over the top, sprinkle with sugar and salt.
3)Toss to coat the tomatoes in oil.
4)Bake the tomatoes for 1 and a half to 2 hours, they should be cooked through and browning on the edges.
5)Blitz the tomatoes, their juices and the garlic in a blender or food processor with the vodka, silverbeet/spinach and half of the chickpeas. This will probably need to happen in batches. Blend until the soup reaches your desired consistency.
6)Reheat the soup in a pot on the stove and add the remaining chickpeas while this occurs.

7)Serve hot, topped with the parsley or poor man's parmesan (or both). Some toasted crusty garlic bread would also be lovely with it. 

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Vegan Mizeria (Polish Cucumber Salad)

This is my first scheduled post while I'm away overseas, I hope you'll be enjoying the things I have lined up for you while I'm travelling around! As you read this I'll be in Stockholm spending time with a near and dear friend who I haven't seen for more than three years. It'll be wonderful!

To keep you satiated in world food while I'm away, though, I thought you'd like this. It's Mizeria - a Polish cucumber salad with a creamy sour cream and dill dressing. Very simple but quite special (as simple things often are!). Fresh, creamy, crunchy and full of flavour - this vegan version uses my home made sour cream and it came up a treat.

3-4 cucumbers
1/2 cup vegan sour cream
1 tsp finely chopped dill
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar

To Make
1. Slice cucumbers and place in a bowl.
2. Combine sour cream, dill, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir well to combine.
3. Mix the sour cream dressing through the cucumber. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Best served less than an hour after it has been made. Garnish with dill sprigs for prettiness just before serving.

Serves 6-8. Perfect to bring to a potluck or family gathering.

This month I'm featuring lots of delicious food from Poland.
Check out my other Polish recipe posts: