Monday 30 March 2015

Tamari Roasted Nuts & Seeds

Tamari Roasted Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

I've been making variations of these for quite awhile now, sometimes just seeds, sometimes with just nuts and the recipe is easily adaptable - you can add further herbs and spices to suit your tastes or mood. When I fancy them a bit spicier I'll add some sriracha to the tamari, and wasabi is a nice addition too; most often however, I just use tamari. What I love about this recipe is it is so quick - tasty, crisp and healthy snacks in less than 20 minutes - and with no added oil! 

Tamari Roasted Almonds & Cashews

They are easily one of my favourite snacks, perfect with a cold beer or chilled glass of white wine and the seeds are awesome sprinkled on a salad! Actually, the seeds here remind me almost exactly of Munchy Seeds which I used to be quite addicted to back in the UK; I never see them here in Ireland but that doesn't matter now as I can make my own! I usually just stick with my favourite seeds here - pumpkin and sunflower if I am making them as a snack but if I am going to sprinkle them on a salad I'll usually add some sesame seeds as well. 

The nuts are just great as a snack, a perfect salty beer accompaniment ;-) We all know that toasted nuts are great in a stir fry and I highly recommend adding these instead for even more flavour. I made a broccoli and rice stir fry the other day and added a handful of tamari roasted cashews to it. Amazing!

Tamari Roasted Macadamia Nuts - vegan and gluten-free recipe with no added oil.
June update! I am now equally addicted to tamari roasted macadamia nuts - they are amazing!

~ Recipe Notes ~

• Only use shelled, unsalted and unroasted seeds and nuts here. For the almonds I used ones with the skins on.
• Oven times will vary so do keep an eye on yours as they roast. Everyone's oven is different and what works for mine might be too little of time of too much for yours. Just dry roast first until they start to lightly brown then roast with the tamari until they are dry. Especially keep an eye on the seeds as they can burn in the blink of an eye!
• Both keep quite well in an air tight container, if the nuts get a little sticky just give the container a shake and they are fine :-)
• As mentioned above, for a spicy version add some srirachi to the tamari. How much is honestly up to you, I'm pretty light weight when it comes to sriracha and add 1/4 tsp - 1/2 tsp depending on my mood but if you're addicted to the stuff, you'll know how much you can take!
• Experiment with the recipe! All sorts of herbs and spices can be added here, have fun :-)

Tamari Roasted Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

Tamari Roasted Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds:

50g pumpkin seeds (1/3 cup)
50g sunflower seeds (1/3 cup)
1 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
•optional - 2 Tbsp sesame seeds 

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F. Mix the pumpkin and sunflower seeds together (don't add the sesame seeds yet if using) then spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 7 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice to ensure even roasting. The pumpkin seeds should be starting to pop and the sunflower seeds should just be starting to get lightly golden brown.

Remove from the oven and tip all the seeds into a bowl, add the sesame seeds now if using. Add the tamari which should sizzle and toss with a couple of spoons until well coated. Return the seeds to the baking sheet and spread them out as best you can. Pop it back in the oven for 2 minutes, remove and give them a stir then return to the oven for another 2 minutes. You'll know they are done as they will be dry and golden brown and able to move freely when you shake the pan.

Line a wire cooling rack with some baking paper and tip the seeds onto it to cool and crisp up.

Tamari Roasted Pumpkin & Sunflower Seeds

Tamari Roasted Almonds & Cashews

Tamari Roasted Almonds and Cashews:

75g almonds (½ cup)
75g cashews (½ cup)
1 Tbsp tamari

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 7 minutes, shaking the pan once for even roasting. They should just start to be turning lightly golden brown. Remove and tip them into a bowl and add the tamari, it should sizzle for a bit then take a couple of spoons and mix the nuts well with the tamari until they are well coated. Transfer them back to the baking sheet and spread them out. Pop them back in the oven and roast for a further 2 minutes. Remove and give them a stir then return to the oven for a further 2-3 minutes. You want them dry looking, they shouldn't look wet any more and you should be able to shake the pan and they move around. Transfer to a wire rack lined with baking paper to cool and crisp up. Note - they will be soft at this stage but do crisp up upon cooling.

Tamari Roasted Almonds & Cashews

Tamari Roasted Macadamia Nuts - vegan and gluten-free recipe with no added oil.

Tamari Roasted Macadamia Nuts:

125g macadamia nuts (that's between ¾ cup and 1 cup)
2 tsp tamari

Preheat the oven to 190C / 375F. Spread the nuts out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 6 minutes shaking the pan a couple of times. Tip the nuts into a bowl and add the tamari, mix with a couple of spoons until the nuts are well coated. Tip them back onto the baking sheet and spread them out. Pop them back in the oven for 3 minutes then remove and stir them about. Roast for a further 3 minutes or until they are dry and deeply golden. They should move about when you shake the pan. Transfer to a wire rack lined with baking paper to cool and crisp up. Store in an airtight container.

Tamari Roasted Macadamia Nuts - vegan and gluten-free recipe with no added oil.

Nutritional Information: all per 100g

Tamari Roasted Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds:
Calories: 533
Protein: 24.8g
Fat: 43.1g
Sat Fat: 7.2g
Fibre: 8.7g
Carbs: 17.9g
Sugar: 0.3g
Sodium: 839.4mg

Tamari Roasted Almonds and Cashews:
Calories: 579
Protein: 20.2g
Fat: 48.6g
Sat Fat: 6.1g
Fibre: 7.7g
Carbs: 27.2
Sugar: 5.9g
Sodium: 1185mg

Tamari Roasted Macadamia Nuts:
Calories: 724
Protein: 8.9g
Fat: 75.8g
Sat Fat: 12.1g
Fibre: 8.7g
Carbs: 14.4g
Sugar: 4.7g
Sodium: 537mg

Other Great Beer Snacks!

Chilli and Rosemary
Warm Spinach and Artichoke
Dip with Blue Corn Chips

Thursday 12 March 2015

Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Guys, this was absolutely gorgeous!! A "buttery" shortbread cookie crust lined with chocolate, filled with a punchy orange almond filling and drizzled with a beautiful dark chocolate ganache. Phew! This would make an ideal treat for Mother's Day coming up this Sunday here in Ireland and the UK. In fact my own mother-in-law loved this so much she booked one for an upcoming do she is hosting (and no one there will be vegan!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

I was inspired by several recipes here, initially I have based this on BBC Good Food's Orange Chocolate Tart - I loved the idea of lining the pastry base with a brushing of melted chocolate and letting it set. A great idea to stop your filling making the base soggy AND adding some wonderful flavour to boot!

Their filling was filled with eggs and cream and all that so instead I based the filling on my own recipe, the Summer Berry Almond Cheesecake Tart - which in turn is actually based on the Almond Feta recipe!! See how versatile that thing is?? Thankfully, it turned out perfect, just the right amount of filling for the pan, great texture and spot on orange flavour. It's the easiest filling in the world to make as well, simply throw it all in a blender and blitz, pour it in the prepared case and bake. Simple.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

The Good Food recipe base was a type of pastry and I debated for awhile what I was going to do but opted in the end to make a shortbread cookie base. I veganized the Joy of Baking's recipe for this and it turned out wonderfully! Light and a little flaky but holds together perfectly and a great buttery flavour which goes perfect with the filling and chocolate. Much better than using pastry. I also used her tip for freezing the base before baking which cuts out the awkward step of blind baking - brilliant.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Lastly, I wanted to drizzle the top of this tart with dark chocolate, something the recipe I based this on didn't do. I was going to just melt chocolate and drizzle it on but then you do end up with hard chocolate on top which shatters upon slicing which I wanted to avoid. So I went with a ganache style chocolate sauce instead. For this I also used a recipe on BBC Good Food from another Chocolate Orange Tart recipe they have. It's simply 70% dark chocolate, cream (I used soy) and golden syrup. This was amazing!! Great flavour and perfect consistency. It makes extra as well so it's nice to serve the tart with more of the sauce on the side if people would like more. It is rich however and really you don't need much of it.

Altogether this is a wonderful dessert, perfect for guests vegan and non-vegan alike (which I can confirm!). Hope you like it as much as we all did....♥

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Yields one 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) Tart (or about 12 slices depending on how big a slice you like!)

Shortcrust Base:
1 cup (130 grams) flour
1/3 cup (35 grams) icing sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (113 grams) vegan butter

For the Filling:
2¼ cups / 225g ground almonds (almond meal)
75g vegan butter, melted (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp orange extract
Zest of 1 navel orange – ½ Tbsp
200ml strained freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup/150g golden caster sugar

100g dark chocolate, chopped (I used 51% cocoa solids here)

For the Dark Chocolate Ganache Drizzle:
85g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
100ml soy cream
2 Tbsp golden syrup

First, you will need to freeze the vegan butter into little blobs. This will help make it firmer, more like real butter and help the texture. Measure out the butter then drop teaspoonfuls onto a sheet of baking or parchment paper on top of a chopping board or plate. Place this in the freezer for about an hour. They don't have to be completely frozen, just firmer and nice and chilled.

Tip the butter into a food processor with all the other ingredients and process until it looks crumbly and is just starting to come together.

Lightly spray a non-stick 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Tip the crumbly dough into the tart pan and using a piece of cling film around your hand press the dough into the pan and up the sides. This is fiddly and will take awhile, be patient! My pan is the larger 9" and there were times I thought this wasn't going to be enough dough but it is, the amount was perfect in the end. Just keep going and try and make it as even as possible.
Prick the base of the tart with a fork, this will stop it bubbling when you bake it. 

Cover the tart with cling film and freeze for 15 minutes. As Stephanie says in Joy of Baking this will help stop the crust from shrinking when you bake it and cuts out having to blind bake the crust (and it works!)

Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F. Place the tart on a baking sheet and place in the middle of the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until it is just lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Once the base is fully cool melt the chocolate, either in the microwave or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water and brush the chocolate liberally all over the base of the tart. You won't need all the chocolate.

Transfer to the fridge to let the chocolate set. Note: the recipe I have based this on then brushed on a second layer of chocolate but I found this hard to do. When you try and brush the second layer onto the cold first layer it just seized up making it difficult to spread. In the end I decided one layer was enough anyway, just make sure you do brush a good amount on the first time.

When the chocolate is set, preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and make the filling. As mentioned you simply place everything into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. As usual my Froothie Optimum 9400 high performance blender did an incredible job here, super creamy in no time! (Not like my last blender where I had to keep shaking it back and forth like a maniac and stopping every 2 seconds to scrape down - so frustrating!)

Take the chocolate lined tart from the fridge and pour the filling in, make sure you scoop out all you can and then level off the top.

Pop it in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven but it should be firm to the touch and lightly golden brown with no wobble.

Leave this on a wire rack to fully cool then cover and place in the fridge.

To make the chocolate ganache drizzle, place the chopped chocolate, soy cream and golden syrup in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir constantly until the chocolate just melts and it is thick and glossy. Remove the bowl from the pan and let it cool slightly. It's ok if it's still a little warm but you don't want it hot.

I found the mixture a little thick to drizzle with a spoon or fork so I placed some of the ganache into a ziplock bag, snipped off a little corner and piped the drizzle on back and forth. Now remove the side of the tart pan and place the tart on a cake stand....

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

....then slice and serve!

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

It's nice to add a little bit of extra ganache onto the plate and you can leave the leftover ganache in a bowl on the table for guests to add more if they wish. The ganache keeps in the fridge but will thicken up. Just microwave it in 10 second spurts until it is the right consistency again.

Note: tart is best stored in the fridge.

Vegan Dark Chocolate Orange Tart

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliated links to Froothie UK, I receive a little commission for any blender purchased through my blog which in turn helps fund my website. Thanks!

Nutritional Information: based on 1/12th of the tart (excluding any extra ganache you may use!) ;-)

Calories: 368
Protein: 6.9g
Fat: 21g
Sat Fat: 4.2g
Fibre: 2.9g
Carbs: 33g
Sugar: 19g
Sodium: 73mg

You Might Also Like:

Summer Berry Almond
Cheesecake Tart
(4th of July version)
Grasshopper Pie

Friday 6 March 2015

Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi

Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi - vegan and gluten-free recipe

I really love sushi, it's one of those foods I don't eat often but find I just get a massive craving for at times. Like intense craving, worse than chocolate! Usually I just make my standard sushi - the Avocado, Carrot and Lime Maki Rolls - as I love them and when that craving hits I certainly do not want to risk experimenting with a new recipe! But then I saw this Rick Stein recipe on BBC Good Food for Grilled Miso Salmon and was very intrigued by the glaze he put on the salmon. Brown rice miso, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and smoked paprika - I never would have thought of putting balsamic vinegar and paprika in a Japanese inspired dish and had to try this right away. Initially I was going to just swap the salmon with tofu - the obvious vegan substitution, but it eventual ended up as this....Miso-ginger glazed roasted carrot and toasted sesame sushi. Ah, the complexities of recipe development!
Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi - vegan and gluten-free recipe
It turned out incredible! I really love these, that glaze is amazing, the balsamic and smoked paprika just work so well (and for the record it would make an awesome glaze for grilled tofu!) I made a couple little changes however. I added some ginger as it goes great with carrot and sushi and a teaspoon of Sweet Freedom syrup (vegan honey) but you can use agave or any other type of sweetener, I felt it helped balance the tartness of the vinegar. The carrot is roasted so they are nice and tender and then I added some toasted sesame seeds because they're awesome. Since the filling here has so much flavour you almost don't even need a dip with these but I just can't have sushi rolls without one. I kept it traditional with just some wasabi and soy sauce, I prepare the wasabi then whisk it into the soy sauce. Probably not traditional but I like an even flavour of wasabi. Some toasted sesame oil would work well in the dip as well.

Please note: I have tagged this recipe as gluten-free as all the products I used were gluten-free but please check your product ingredient lists to be sure :-)
Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi - vegan and gluten-free recipe
Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot & Toasted Sesame Sushi

Yields about 12 sushi rolls

For the Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrots:

1 large carrot sliced into matchstick sizes (not too thin though)
½ tsp peanut oil
½ tsp finely grated ginger
2 tsp brown rice miso paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
1 tsp Sweet Freedom syrup or other vegan syrup sweetener
¼ tsp smoked paprika

For the Sushi Rice:

125g sushi rice
250ml water
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp mirin
1 tsp caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sheets toasted nori 
4 tsp sesame seeds
• Wasabi and Soy Sauce to serve

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Toss the carrots with the peanut oil and place in a roasting tin. 
Roast for 10 minutes, tossing once. They should be slightly softer now. I pre-roast them a bit before adding the glaze so that the glaze doesn't burn.
Whisk together the miso, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, syrup, smoked paprika and ginger. 
Add the glaze to the carrots, mixing well. 
Pop it back in the oven and roast for another 10 minutes or until glazed and the carrots are tender. Transfer the carrots to a plate to let cool.

Toast the seeds:
Place the seeds in a dry frying pan and gently toast until lightly golden.

Transfer to a plate and allow to cool.

Make the rice:

Note: this may sound like a cop out but I suggest you follow the instructions on cooking the rice on your package of sushi rice. Reason being every pack I have bought has had different instructions and I have found that even different hobs yield different results. I used to add much less water than this on my old hob but my new one is a lot stronger, even on the lowest setting and found I needed to add more water. So I'm afraid it's a case of finding which rice works with your hob and pan to get perfect sushi rice. This is what I do however....

Place the rice and water in a saucepan and put lid on. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes, do not lift lid. Whisk together the rice vinegar, mirin, sugar and salt until all dissolved. Tip rice into a large bowl and pour the dressing over then use a rubber spatula and fold the dressing in until rice is room temperature and texture changes to thick and sticky, be gentle as you don't want to crush the grains.

Place the nori onto a bamboo sushi rolling mat, shiny side down. Keep a bowl of cold water mixed with some rice vinegar nearby. Wet your hands in this. Place half the rice onto the mat leaving about an inch bare at the other end. 
Gently pat down with damp hands until evenly spread out then sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and lay the carrots out in the bottom 3rd closest to you.
Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi - vegan and gluten-free recipe
Lightly dampen the edge of the nori that has no rice on it then roll up using the bamboo mat. Repeat with the other sheet of nori then slice and serve with soy sauce and wasabi.
Miso-Ginger Glazed Roasted Carrot and Toasted Sesame Sushi - vegan and gluten-free recipe

Nutritional Information: per roll (1 out of 12) dip excluded.

Calories: 51
Protein: 1.2g
Fat: 0.3g
Sat Fat: 0
Carbs: 11g
Sugar: 1.6g
Fibre: 0.7g
Sodium: 199mg

You Might Also Like:
Avocado and Carrot
Maki Rolls
Vietnamese Mushroom Balls
with Apricot-Ginger Dip

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks & Chocolate Hazelnut Haystacks

Vegan Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks
A couple recipe variations on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Coconut Haystacks from awhile ago. First, Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks and.....
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Haystacks
I often make the chocolate peanut butter coconut haystacks when I need a sweet hit as they are so easy to whip up, require no baking and are absolutely delicious. However, I've been wanting to cut out the white sugar, or at least try to and not only do they call for white sugar but on the day I needed them I also had no cocoa powder. Tragedy!

So, out of that catastrophe came the butterscotch cashew nut haystacks. Peanut butter has been swapped with cashew nut butter, coconut replaced with toasted chopped cashews and the white sugar with dark brown sugar. Yes, I know - they still have a lot of sugar. I'm not quite ready for my sweet treats to be sweetened solely with dates or some other kind of madness (I jest!) Give me time....LOTS of time ;-) But they are a bit healthier and definitely delicious.
Vegan Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks
Eventually I restocked my cocoa powder, well, within a couple of hours as it's cocoa powder, hello?? That requires an emergency run to the grocery store! As I was so impressed with the addition of nuts to these I made a chocolate hazelnut version which my husband has claimed to be his absolute favourite of the three.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Haystacks
So, a couple new versions for you to try and even to experiment with your own variations. Just keep the quantities the same and swap away!
Vegan Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks

Butterscotch Cashew Nut Haystacks:

40g vegan butter
150g dark brown sugar
40ml unsweetened almond milk
40g cashew butter, all natural – unsweetened and no salt added
70g oats 
60g unsalted cashews, chopped and toasted
2 tsp vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt

Chocolate Hazelnut Haystacks:

40g vegan butter
150g golden caster sugar (or any type of sugar)
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
40ml unsweetened almond milk
40g hazelnut butter, all natural – unsweetened and no salt added
70g oats 
60g unsalted hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
2 tsp vanilla extract
tiny pinch of salt

Both yield about 12 haystacks depending on what size you prefer.

Instructions for either recipe:

Line a chopping board or flat plate with baking or parchment paper and set aside.

In a small frying pan add the chopped cashews/hazelnuts and toast until lightly golden brown.

In a medium sized bowl add the oats, nuts, cashew or hazelnut butter and salt. Don't mix it - just set it aside.

In a small saucepan add the butter, sugar (cocoa powder for the hazelnut version) and milk. Stir and slowly bring to the boil, if it starts to boil before the butter melts then turn the heat down. Keep stirring and once the butter and sugar have melted, turn the heat up to high to bring it to a rolling boil. Once at a rolling boil, stop stirring and let it boil for exactly 1 minute. Now, take it off the heat and give it a good vigorous stir until it is no longer foamy. Add the vanilla and mix well - it will sizzle a bit. 

Scrape it all into the oat mixture and quickly give it a really good mix until the nut butter and everything is very well blended.
Working quickly as these will set pretty fast, take a tablespoon of the mixture and drop them onto the paper lined board/plate. Use another spoon to push them off - not your fingers as the mixture will be VERY hot! .....God I'm such a mom sometimes...

Once they are all on the sheet pop it into the fridge for them to cool and fully set. They set pretty fast, about an hour.

Tip - get some hot water into the saucepan now for easy cleaning :-)

Nutritional Information: per haystack, either recipe (they are more or less the same)

Calories: 148
Protein: 2.4g
Fat: 7.9g
Sat Fat: 1g
Carbs: 18.4g
Sugar: 12.9g
Fibre: 1.8g
Sodium: 157mg

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