Monthly Archives: June 2017

Vegan Peach Galette – Plus Why I Put Bread in My Pie

Ready for the eating! The crust isn’t the expected golden brown, because there isn’t any butter in the dough, just shortening. Hence the vegan title!

I attended a potluck BBQ thrown by a friend recently, and as she is vegan, I wanted to bring something that she could eat. Also, I wanted to bake because I love baking. And sugar. And I had a bowlful of peaches in the house. And that’s how my peach pie was born!

Except that I made the rustic French version of a pie, a galette. It’s…wait for it…easy as pie (ba da dum!) except easier, because you don’t have to worry about shaping the pie all purdy like. You just roll out that dough, slap in some filling, pull up the edges, and shove the thing in the oven. How’s that for easy?

Let’s make some!

VEGAN PEACH GALETTE

  • 1 batch pie crust, but made with only vegetable shortening (I used my regular dough recipe, and whole wheat flour)
  • 5 peaches (free-stone, because it’s easier to slice for display)
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch each nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ c. brown sugar
  • ¼ c. bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. large sugar crystals

Make dough and chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Cut peaches into sixths, place in a bowl, and add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, cardamom, corn starch, and brown sugar. Stir until combined.

Roll out dough on a silicone liner (or wherever and then transfer to a cookie tray) into a round shape. Place silicone liner on cookie tray. Spread bread crumbs in centre of dough, leaving 2 cm bare around the edge of the circle.

Place fruit wedges in a pretty design on top of the bread crumbs. Then gently pull up edges of dough and fold in on the filling. Sprinkle the sugar crystals on the edges of the dough, and a few in the centre.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the pie crust is golden and the filling is bubbling.

Crust with crumbs, ready and waiting for the peach filling!

BREAD CRUMBS? HUH?: The fruit in your galette will be nice and juicy, but too juicy will mean soggy crust and a galette that falls apart or worse, doesn’t bake properly. The corn starch will help thicken up the fruit juices, and make the galette less soggy. And the bread crumbs also absorb all those luscious fruit juices, preventing your galette from being a soggy mess! You won’t be able to see the bread crumbs in your galette once it’s baked, don’t worry. Bread crumbs in pie. Who’d a thunk it?

I’m happy to say that the galette was happily received! And happily eaten, with friends. The best way to eat a pie, yes?

Next Post: Erm, I dunno. Imma gonna think on that and get back to you, ‘kay ?

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!

When Leftovers Rebel: Sausage & Veggie Hand Pies, with a Whole Wheat Crust

Hand pies: delicious warm and equally delicious cold!

I’ve been trying to slowly health-ify my eating habits, and have switched to using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. I think each has a place in the baking panoply, but for now I’m trying to only use whole wheat flour. More fibre per bite, and with my IBS, that can only be A Good Thing. Every recipe I make, I’m now using whole wheat flour in, and seeing how it turns out. This week it was whole wheat pie crust. (Using whole wheat flour makes pie crust healthy, right? I’m going to say yes.)

I was looking in my fridge the other day, poking around and trying to decide what to make for lunches for the coming work week. I came across a container of herb-roasted vegetables that I had made the previous week. I had eaten most of them, but there was still a couple of cups left. I opened the cheese drawer (or whatever it’s called) and came across a package of vegetarian breakfast sausage patties. I had eaten half the package several months ago, and just never got around to eating the rest. I had tossed the original packaging and didn’t even know the expiry date. I looked at the veggies. I looked at the sausage. I looked at the multiple containers of whole wheat flour that I keep in my fridge (What? I ran out of space in my freezer! Why do I have flour in my freezer? To keep it fresh longer, since I buy bulk packages. Now let’s move on!). I also rifled around in my pantry cupboards and came across a package of brown gravy mix. BAM! Inspiration struck, and lunch was born!

I fried up the sausage into crumbles, mixed in the vegetables, added in the gravy, encased it all in delicious pastry, and voila! Lunches that are easy to eat on the go, for a snack, sitting on the sofa reading a book, and can be frozen and thawed with impunity.

And you know what? The hand pies turned out FABULOUSLY! So yummy! So flaky! So full of meaty goodness with veggies and gravy in every bite! Ah, I do love a good hand pie!

Let’s get to making some!

Rich, meaty, gravy-filled goodness!

SAUSAGE & VEG HAND PIES

Makes 7 hand pies

  • 1/2 pkg. Yves veggie breakfast sausage (or 3/4 c. of sausage crumbles of your choice)
  • 1 package of brown gravy mix (or 1-1 1/2 c. gravy of your choice)
  • 3 cups of herb-roasted vegetables, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 batch of pie crust dough (I used my vodka pie crust recipe, made with only whole wheat flour)

Fry up sausage crumbles. Make up gravy mix. Mix sausage crumbles, gravy, and roasted vegetables together. Set aside.

Roll out pie dough. Using a drinking glass, cut out 7 circles. Take each circle, roll it out a little more, and fit into a muffin pan. Fill each of those with the meat-gravy-veg mixture, until just under the top of the dough. Take the remaining dough, divide into 7, and roll out into circles. Fit the circles on top of each pie, pinching the edges of the crust together. Cut an X in the top of each pie.

Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden and bubbly (the filling is pre-cooked, so you’re really just baking the dough). Let cool before removing from pan. Enjoy your hand pies!

By the way, if you end up with leftover filling, serve it hot over mashed potatoes for a comfort food meal! Mmm…with a nice green salad, that’s a nice way to use up leftovers that are made up of leftovers! (Down with food waste!)

These hand pies are so versatile. You can take almost any leftover vegetables, add in almost any type of leftover finely chopped meat (or veg ‘meat’), add gravy, pop it in pie crust, and who wouldn’t love it? Leftovers are the BEST!

If you make this dish, let me know what veggies and meat you put in the crust! Let’s inspire each other!

Next Post: Hmm. Good question. I’m thinking a vegan fresh fruit galette. Maybe plum or peach? Yes, that! And I’ll tell you how to use bread when making a pie. (Say what?! Oh, you read that right! And read the next post to find the answer!)

Linking up at Meal Plan Monday! And at Happiness is Homemade!

Diet Cheesecake: Low-Fat, Healthy, & No-Bake (The Dream is Real, Folks!)

Diet cheesecake, for realz!

Now that I’ve (hopefully) got your attention with my ‘Diet Cheesecake’ title, I’ll come clean: it’s actually mock cheesecake, as there’s no cream cheese in the cheesecake. Say, what?!?

I’ve blogged before about how I make my own yoghurt. It’s sooo delicious, and so easy that I urge you to make your own! I made a batch of yoghurt last week, and got to thinking about how my dad used to make yoghurt cheese (‘labneh’ in Arabic) when I was a child. I thought, you know what, I bet I could use that to make a no-bake cheesecake pie. Welp, I was right! It IS possible to make cheesecake without cream cheese!

I used 1% milk to make my yoghurt, which means the resultant yoghurt cheese was very low-fat. Admittedly, it’s not low-sugar because it uses condensed milk as a sweetener, but hey, one can’t have everything in life, right? I did use my gingersnap cookie recipe as the base for the cheesecake, which means the cheesecake is low-gluten as well.

And did I mention that it’s no bake? Assuming one has gingersnap cookies lying around, that is. If you don’t make your own, just buy some. Eh. Life is too short to make everything from scratch all the time.

So. Let’s get to the good stuff — where’s that recipe?

DIET STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

Makes 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 litres of Balkan-style yoghurt (or all the yoghurt that 3 l of milk will make)
  • 3/4 can of condensed milk
  • 4 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 8 medium-sized gingersnap cookies
  • 10 tbsp. strawberry jam (I used homemade pectin-free jam because I like the loose set)

Take a colander and line it with cheesecloth (or a very loose-weave cotton cloth); place that colander into a large bowl. Pour all your yoghurt into the lined colander, and place it in the fridge for 48 hours. This will drain the whey from the yoghurt. Twice a day, empty the bowl of the whey (drink it for extra protein, or use it in baking). After 48 hours, you will have a very thick, cream cheese-like yoghurt cheese.

Mix the yoghurt cheese with the condensed milk, lime juice, and vanilla extract.

Place the gingersnap cookies in glass custard cups. Spoon the cheesecake filling on top, and spoon some strawberry jam on top of that. Et voila, healthy diet cheesecake!

That creamy filling, tho!

In case you’re wondering if it was delicious, let me just say that I made this recipe last night. The DH and I ate 4 servings last night, and this morning I woke up to find that he had taken it upon himself to save my waistline, and eaten the remaining two servings for breakfast. (What he doesn’t know about is that I saved some cheesecake filling and hid it. Ha, ha! That’ll teach him to eat my dessert! Marriage; for better or worse but not dessert.)

Of course, you can play around with this recipe. Buy a pre-made crust or make your own more traditional graham-crumb crust; top with canned cherries, macerated strawberries, or blueberry jam; add chocolate chips to the filling and caramel on top…the list is endless! If you make this, let me know in the comments which variation you make! I’m wondering now if I could make an Oreo version; what do you think, should I develop that recipe?

Next Post: Hmm. Maybe that Apple Cinnamon Pancake recipe, maybe my Sausage & Roast Veggies Mini Meat Pies (veg version, ‘natch)!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And Full Plate Thursday!