Thursday, March 20, 2008

My Epiphany

I have recently discovered the wonder of freshly baked bread. That's right- I made bread! I really have no clue why it took me so long to do this; I'm not intimidated by the idea of baking bread at all. I think I've just never really thought about it and never saw a reason for doing it. However, as my craving for paninis and sandwiches on nice, crusty bread grew more and more over the past few weeks, I knew just I had to have homemade bread. I decided to go with the recipe for No-Knead Bread from VeganYumYum since it was easy and I've heard nothing except damn good stuff about no-knead bread. I didn't realize how sticky this dough got though! I started panicking, but just kept with the recipe and, fortunately, it all worked out. The bread smelled AMAZING as it was baking and I got sooooo excited when I pulled it out of the oven- it was like my little baby! However, this baby grew up rather quickly, and went on to be the proud parent of some rather delicious meals....

Such as vegan french toast! I was looking so forward to trying the Fronch Toast recipe from VWAV, but I couldn't find chickpea flour anywhere! Ugh....... I'm still looking for it in hopes of trying this again when I make some more delicious bread (and you know I will), so I'll just keep my fingers crossed. However, I'm in less of a rush to find chickpea flour since the other recipe I used worked so well! It came out very authentic and it even gets that "eggy" crust when you flip it! I don't have an exact source for it (sorry!), as I just sort of looked at a few different recipes for ideas and added/adjusted a few things. So, now you get my own recipe:

Vegan French Toast:

1 c. vanilla soymilk
2 T. flour (I used whole wheat and it was great)
1 t. nutritional yeast
1 t. sugar
1 t. cinnamon
4-6 slices of bread, depending on the thickness of your slices (stale bread works well in this recipe)

Mix together all of the ingredients except the bread in a shallow dish. Soak the slices of bread on each side in the mixture for about 1-2 minutes. Cook on a lightly greased griddle set to medium-high heat only for about 3 minutes on each side. Serve with vegan margarine and maple syrup, fresh fruit, and/or any other toppings you can think of! Serves 4-6.

(No my hand is not giant, that is just half of the sandwich, so it looks very small)

And here's my bread's other fabulous creation! One of my favorite sandwiches ever because it's not overly complicated and makes a light, quick lunch. Now I know, you don't really need an official recipe for a sandwich, but I just love typing up recipes, so here you go again!

Mediterranean Tofu Sandwich:

2 slices of fresh, crusty bread
lettuce (I used romaine because I like the crispness, but use whatever you want)
1/2 small tomato, seeded and sliced
sliced onion
2 T. hummus
1/4 recipe Lemony Garlic Tofu (recipe below)

Okay, now this is pretty easy. Take one slice of your bread (with me so far?), lay down your tofu slices. Now top this with the lettuce, onion slices, and tomato. On the other slice of bread, spread the hummus. Now put this piece of bread on top of the other and you have yourself a sandwich!

Lemony Garlic Tofu:

2 T. tahini
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. onion powder
1 t. dried basil (I prefer to use dried herbs for marinades)
2 t. agave nectar
2 T. olive oil
1 lb. tofu, drained and pressed

Mix all of the ingredients except the tofu in a small bowl for the marinade. Slice the tofu very thin and place the slices in the marinade. Let sit for at least a few hours, but the longer it marinates the better it will be. After the tofu has marinated, line a baking sheet with foil and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the tofu slices on a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes. Then, flip the tofu. The edges may look like they are burning before the 10 minutes is up, but those parts are the best if you like the crispy bits like I do. If not, then flip the tofu a little bit early- no big deal. Bake for another 10 minutes and let cool. I think this tastes best chilled or at room temperature (or on sandwiches!). Serves about 4.

Now, we couldn't forget my paninis I had been wanting! Well... I kinda did. No- I didn't foget to make them! I just forgot, the pictures. Sorry.....but I can assure they were excellent! My family had a "panini night" for dinner using my panini press that I got a few months ago. My brother didn't have a panini and my father and sister had VERY unvegan paninis, so those aren't really worth mentioning. However, my mom also wanted a veggie panini since she has no problem with not eating meat, so I made our paninis with bake zucchini slices, roasted red pepper, grilled onion slices, and pesto. I also put some Galaxy vegan mozzarella slices on mine and my mom put some dairy cheese on hers. Let me tell you, we were both very happy with dinner that night! Too bad I didn't get pictures, but they weren't very photogenic anyways- haha.

P.S.- Today at about 3:00 I officially started my SPRING BREAK! My family never travels during spring break, so you all can expect me to post a little more often for the next week or so because I'll have a lot more free time to just hang out and (of course) make some yummy food!


Jennifer said...

Homemade bread! I'm still too intimidated to try making my own bread. This looks so good, your picture is beautiful. I'm imagining that I could have a nice warm slice.

I can't find chickpea flour either! Must be something about the Midwest.

Thanks for the recipe! I haven't had french toast in literally YEARS! That's just wrong isn't it?

HAHAHA! That picture does make your hand look giant!

Wow, you are really whipping up some yummy looking things in your kitchen!

VeggieGirl said...

I have yet to bake a loaf of bread (since I'm afraid of baking with yeast, haha - so I've only made sweetbreads), but you've inspired me now!! :0)

Enjoy your spring break!!