I’ve just made some lemon curd, so in order to not eat it all straight away, I decided to share what I was up to yesterday.
Whilst out and about for coffee with a pal yesterday I took the opportunity to skulk about the health food stores and decided to splurge to cacao powder and spirulina, which is *super* green and therefore utterly to my liking. I’d always pussy-footed about with cocoa powder and carob, but cacao is truly in a class of its own. Once I tasted the zombie bars I was transported to a moment of utter bliss, far away from the immediacy of my brain-in-body. I was tongue, teeth, gullet and spirit, all happily communing on some cosmic plane of goodness.
Anyhow, I ganked the recipe from Veggie Nook– these are called pre-workout snacks, and I had made them fully with the intention of striking out into the wide world at a pace faster than my usual dragging about, but the outdoors is still a bit too bright and shiny for that kind of madness yet. I call them Zombie Bars, however, because they pack such a delightful and earthy punch that I really feel that with a sturdy supply of this stuff, one could truly survive the apocalypse dashing about slaying beastly zombies and single-handedly destroying infected cities, hyped on this glorious, glorious stuff.
Nevermind my shoddy photos, just look at that seaweed green! Gooey, tasty beyond description…gah!
About 9 or so normal pitted dates, or 5 or 6 medjool dates, soaked
2 TBSP goji berries (I had the dried ones, so I sommer chucked them with the dates to soak for the last few moments)
2 TBSP coconut oil, melted (mine is permanently melted, thanks to the weather)
1 TBSP cacao powder
1/2 – 1 tsp Macha powder (this stuff is HARDCORE- it smells like some hectic Latin American Jungle voodoo shaman pipe herb, but I can see why it is packed with endurance-kickstarting power).
1 tsp spirulina (this is what makes the mixture green- protein-rich and contains B-vitamins, which everyone yaps on about.
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
spinch salt for hardcoreness
Notice the lack of fake sugar? Ja, it’s naturally sweet & delectable. It also makes my fingers a bit green, which is just wonderful. Anyhow, process till it’s a smooth mixture, then wrap in clingfilm and store in the fridge. I wrapped it in a sandwich bag and then in baking paper to store in the fridge, just so as to make shaping it easier, although my farmers’ fingers once again got the better of me. Half an hour later, cut and eat! I try to only eat one of these a day until I actually earn the right to truly call it a pre-workout snack. :p
Savoury pop tarts (ganked from Reclaiming Provincial)- the absolutely charming blog (with some delightful photography) is mostly vegetarian as far as I can see, so I had to make a number of modifications to the recipe, which is why it didn’t come out completely as I imagine it should have, as well as my pigheaded refusal to use anything but nutty wheat bran flour, which again makes making a bit more earthy and dense, and less fluffy than what I suspect pop tarts are supposed to be like. Either way, I enjoyed these very much, except they took *hours* to make (including the prep of the filling, waiting and stuff) and I figure for my vegan version one needs to dunk them in some saucy number to make them less crisp.
Nevertheless, these were the perfect excuse to roast some garlic. Just peel the skin, cut off the heads of each clove, rub in a few tsps of olive oil into the heads and plonk it in a muffin pan with foil covering the top at 200 degrees Celsius for 30 or so minutes. Once it’s done the cloves just pop out of their shells- I even ate one just like that, because it was so soft and fragrant and simply irresistible.
In terms of modifications, I obviously changed the flour type (though if you’re not so concerned with fibre as I am, then by all means actually follow the recipe :p) and used the last of my homemade vegan butter for the dough. I also made lovely chia eggs (1 TBSP chia seeds to 3 TBSPs water per egg), which always make me think of dinosaur spawn, soy milk instead of regular, and more soy milk to smear on the flour, instead of egg.
For the filling, I didn’t have cauliflower, since it all looks rather rank in the shops, so I used the last of my cabbage instead- fried it in vegan butter with a splash or two of milk with spices, then blended it with some garlic for noms. I also added some nutritional yeast and linseeds/flaxseeds, being a firm favourite of mine at the moment. What I did leave out of the final, combined filling which was probably very wrong of me was cheese, but I was just too lazy to make vegan cheese at that very moment and after a few hours of faffing about, decided to forgo it. In retrospect it may be what softens the pastry from the inside and gives the whole ensemble its tweak, but live and learn!
Finally, today I made some rye & pesto bread- my basic bread with a layer of pesto nestled inbetween. Sometimes pesto is so divine I can’t think what not to add it to, but this pesto was made with some very distinctly lemon-y basil from my dad’s garden, and so it was a bit too potent to just smear onto random stuff.
2 handfuls of basil
splash of sesame seeds (about 3 TBSPs worth)
splash of cranberries
little nugget of ginger, peeled and chopped finely
2 tsps olive oil
2 tsps lemon juice
– Blend the washed and patted down basil in a food processor, add in the sesame seeds, ginger and cranberries and blitz some more.
– when it’s broken down sufficiently, pour in the two tsps olive oil into the feeder as you’re blending until the consistency is smooth and to your satisfaction.
For the bread! Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. In a large bowl, chuck in 1 cup stoneground rye flour & 1 cup nutty wheat bran flour, along with 2 TBSPs baking powder and 1/8 tsp of baking soda. Add any and all spices to your liking (I added nutmeg, paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper, tumeric, thyme…sjoe!). Mix nicely then make a well in the middle. Pour in 1 cup of water and mix well. Pour half the batter into a sprayed/oiled bread tin and smooth down with the back of a spoon. Take 4 or so TBSPs of pesto (however much you feel necessary) and create a thin layer. I chucked in some more loose cranberries and pressed them in at this stage as well. Then take the rest of the batter and smooth that over your pesto layer. Chuck it into the oven for 30-35 minutes and ta da! So delicious! Even though it has a semi-savoury filling, the bites of cranberries means that one could really smear the bread with anything, from jam to ghastly marmite, if you’re into that kind of thing.