The Bohemian Stove

A vegetarian food journal

Veggie sushi made with seasoned quinoa and wild rice, stuffed with marinated fresh shiitakes, smoked tofu, avocado, pea shoots, carrot and green onion. AND… homemade fresh pickled ginger. Yum!

Lately I have been drooling over pics of sushi from Beyond Sushi in NYC… Today I had had enough of it and decided it was high time to make my own sushi! If you know me well, you may know that I was a sushi purist for a long, long time and would only make sushi the traditional way - using short grain, white sushi rice. In the last couple of years, I have finally broken down and started experimenting with different rices - usually short grain organic brown rice. Generally, I find that whole grain vegetarian sushi makes a far more satisfying meal than sushi made with white rice. I had one ill-fated experiment using a black sticky rice I picked up from Whole Foods, which I would like to forget! Regardless, the secret to great sushi is always properly cooked and seasoned rice.

Today, I made rolls using a mix of red and white quinoa, and a Lundberg wild rice blend. I seasoned both grain mixes when they were still steaming hot and freshly cooked. And I have to say, they were delicious! I was especially surprised by how tasty the quinoa sushi was. 

I also made my own quick pickled ginger, which I absolutely loved. There is simply no reason to buy a bottle of sweetened, preservative- and dye-laden pickled ginger (or, for that matter, a tiny, super-expensive pouch of organic pickled ginger). Never again!

Here’s my recipe for quick pickled ginger (adapted from My New Roots):

Ingredients

  • 50 grams fresh ginger root
  • 4 tablespoons organic rice vinegar (be sure that it is unsweetened or unseasoned rice vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons honey or agave
  • 2 tablespoons water

Directions

Use the side of a spoon to scrape the skin off of the piece of ginger root. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, slice the ginger into very thin pieces. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl. Add the ginger and stir. Make sure that all of the ginger is submerged in the pickling liquid; leave the ginger to soak in the pickling liquid for at least an hour, preferably 3 or 4 hours. Taste occasionally to see if the ginger is pickled to your taste. Serve when ready or store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

 

Salad rolls with fresh mint, basil, cilantro, quick marinated carrots and beets, veggies and tofu, served up with a spicy peanut sauce… hello summer!

Salad rolls with fresh mint, basil, cilantro, quick marinated carrots and beets, veggies and tofu, served up with a spicy peanut sauce… hello summer!

Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake - The Raw Version
Who knew a raw, vegan, gluten-free dessert could be so tasty and satisfying? I’ve tried some raw cheesecakes that left me with a tummy ache - too many nuts, too much rich coconut oil! This cake strikes the perfect balance; it is not overly sweet or heavy, and it is undeniably delicious!
Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients for the crust
1 1/4 cups whole almonds
5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
Ingredients for the filling
1 cup and 2 tablespoons whole cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Ingredients for the ganache swirl
2 tablespoons each: coconut oil, raw cacao powder and maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
To make the crust, add the almonds, cacao powder and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the almond mixture has the consistency of a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and blend again until the mixture clumps. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch springform tart pan.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and rinse well. (Soaking will help to soften the nuts for a smooth consistency.) Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor, along with the maple syrup, vanilla, cacao, salt and lemon juice. Process this mixture until it forms a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. With the motor running, drizzle in the water and then the coconut oil. Blend until very smooth - a couple of minutes if necessary.
 To make the ganache, gently heat a pot with a small amount of water in it. Over the water, place a heat-proof metal bowl containing the coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao and vanilla. Whisk the mixture until the oil has melted and it is smooth and glossy.
To assemble the cheesecake, pour the filling into the tart shell. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the filling. Using a metal skewer or chopstick, swirl the ganache into the filling. 
Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight to firm up before serving.
Voilà!
This recipe is slightly adapted from the always-fabulous Bojon Gourmet.

Chocolate Cashew Cheesecake - The Raw Version

Who knew a raw, vegan, gluten-free dessert could be so tasty and satisfying? I’ve tried some raw cheesecakes that left me with a tummy ache - too many nuts, too much rich coconut oil! This cake strikes the perfect balance; it is not overly sweet or heavy, and it is undeniably delicious!

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients for the crust

  • 1 1/4 cups whole almonds
  • 5 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

Ingredients for the filling

  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons whole cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons coconut oil

Ingredients for the ganache swirl

  • 2 tablespoons each: coconut oil, raw cacao powder and maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

To make the crust, add the almonds, cacao powder and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the almond mixture has the consistency of a fine meal. Add the maple syrup and blend again until the mixture clumps. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch springform tart pan.

To make the filling, drain the cashews and rinse well. (Soaking will help to soften the nuts for a smooth consistency.) Put the nuts into the bowl of a food processor, along with the maple syrup, vanilla, cacao, salt and lemon juice. Process this mixture until it forms a paste, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. With the motor running, drizzle in the water and then the coconut oil. Blend until very smooth - a couple of minutes if necessary.

 To make the ganache, gently heat a pot with a small amount of water in it. Over the water, place a heat-proof metal bowl containing the coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao and vanilla. Whisk the mixture until the oil has melted and it is smooth and glossy.

To assemble the cheesecake, pour the filling into the tart shell. Drizzle the ganache over the top of the filling. Using a metal skewer or chopstick, swirl the ganache into the filling. 

Refrigerate the cheesecake overnight to firm up before serving.

Voilà!

This recipe is slightly adapted from the always-fabulous Bojon Gourmet.

Sauerkraut and Kimchi workshop!

I’m thrilled to have started hosting workshops with my friend Tania Seagrove. We did our first workshop on lacto-fermented veggies last week. It was loads of fun, and everyone went with jars of sauerkraut and kimchi. We are both looking forward to continuing this series as new crops of veggies arrive at the farmers’ market. So many pickling possibilities!

Both Tania and I love Sandor Katz’ lacto-fermenting bible, Wild Fermentation. If you are new to the topic, I seriously suggest checking it out! Additionally, there is a lot of info available on the Wild Fermentation blog.

Happy Solstice one and all!

A simple pasta dish with dandelion, arugula, roasted pepper and pistachio 

Yesterday was a perfect early spring day in southern Ontario - sunny and warm with buds just beginning to open on all the trees. I could have stayed outside all day! But the weather seemed to demand something seasonal, so I went inside to cook… Spring is the best time to use dandelion greens, when they are young and tender and not too bitter. You can harvest your own, if you know where to get pesticide-free ones, or purchase them in some grocery stores. Either way, this dish is a delicious way to celebrate spring! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 200 grams tube-shaped pasta (I used garganelli)
  • 1 bunch arugula
  • 1 bunch young dandelion greens
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pistachios
  • chilies, sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese, to taste

Directions

Turn oven on to broil and set the red pepper under the heat. Rotate the pepper every few minutes until the skin is blistered and starting to blacken. Take the pepper out of the oven and place it in a bowl; cover with a plate. Allow the pepper to steam for 15-20 minutes - the skin will start to separate from the flesh of the pepper. Remove the skin, take the core and seeds out of the pepper, and cut into slices.

Prep all the other ingredients. Wash the greens, remove any thick stems and tear any large leaves. Mince the garlic, coarsely chop the pistachios and grate the cheese.

Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta until al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, prepare the greens. Start by heating the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium. Add the garlic and sauté briefly. Before the garlic browns, toss in the greens, peppers, 2 tablespoons pistachios, a pinch of chilies and salt. Cook for several minute until the greens are wilted. Toss in the cooked pasta, and sauté briefly. Adjust seasonings. Serve the pasta and top with remaining pistachios and grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes: Dandelion greens can have a strong flavour. If you can’t handle the bitterness all that much, use more arugula and less dandelion.

I love the Parmesan cheese in this dish, so I use lots. If you want the dish to be vegan, substitute the Parm with a vegan cheese, or leave it out altogether. If you would like the dish to be gluten free, use your favourite gluten free pasta!

Thai Black Bean Hummus

Hummus used to be predictable… chickpeas, tahini, a little lemon, a little garlic. But these days you can find endless riffs on traditional hummus: sweet potato hummus, beet hummus, red lentil hummus to name a few. Sarah Britton has posted a bright, lemony sweet potato hummus on her blog My New Root which I highly recommend. I myself posted a recipe for a herb-infused white bean hummus not so long ago. So, Thai black bean hummus… you know it just had to happen.

A lot of this creativity seems to be driven by our new(ish) love affair with hummus. I recently read an article which said that sales of hummus in the US have gone up from a mere $5 million in 1997 to a whooping $250 million in 2013. Seriously, we are loving hummus these days. And, as far as I’m concerned, that’s a good thing! Thai black bean hummus is one of my favourites among this new crop of fusion hummus recipes.

An acquaintance of mine had been raving about his black bean hummus for some time, so I finally decided to try it out for myself. I adapted my traditional hummus recipe by swapping the chickpeas for black beans (of course), lemon juice for lime juice, tahini for peanut butter, and so on. The result is a smooth, super flavourful dip. It’s good served with tortilla chips, crackers or toasted pita wedges. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of chili flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons water

Directions

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until smooth. Serve in a dish with a drizzle of olive oil on top. Enjoy!

Fresh Raspberry and Frangipane Pastry

My daughter and I whipped up this pastry in the morning because, you know, this is the kind of thing we normally eat for breakfast… 

No, not really! Although we did make this recipe in the morning, and it was a total breeze to put together. Normally I try to post recipes here that are some of my well-tested favourites. Not so with this recipe. Today was my first (and then my second) time making the recipe, but I am confident I will be making it again. It is the kind of thing you can make up fast (if you don’t make the puff pastry from scratch) and no one will ever know how easy it was!

Note: I would recommend that if you are purchasing ready-made puff pastry, please look for all butter pastry. If it’s not all butter pastry, it likely has a scary, super-hydrogenated roll-in shortening that is truly not meant for human consumption. Just so you know… little baker’s secret for you there! 

You can mosey on over to Sorted to get the recipe.

Cheers to spring, everybody.

Sweet Potato Tea Cake

Move over boring banana bread… this loaf will knock your socks off! Loaded with cinnamon and topped with toasty pecans, it has become one of my new favourite recipes. 

The inspiration for the recipe came after I tried a sweet potato loaf at my local coffeehouse, Detour. After numerous tasty experiments, I received a tip-off that the Detour loaf was a variation on the Tartine Pumpkin Tea Cake. From there, it was easy to find the original recipe and start to customize my loaf. I like to cut back on the amount of sugar, swap out some of the white sugar for organic brown sugar, and switch up the flour for something whole grain. The result is just as tasty and still pretty decadent.

Here ya go!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons puréed sweet potato
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I use an organic sunflower or safflower oil)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 2/3 cups flour (I have used a variety of flours - whole spelt, whole wheat and white. I find using a combination of flours usually works best; 1 cup white flour and 2/3 cup whole wheat is a good compromise)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar for topping
  • 3 tablespoons pecans, chopped, for topping
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Oil the bottom and sides of a loaf pan and line with parchment paper. In a bowl or standing mixer, beat together the sweet potato purée, oil, and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until the mixture is well combined. Mix together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients; sprinkle these over the loaf. Bake the loaf for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes before removing from pan, if you can last that long! Realistically, you should let the loaf cool all the way through before cutting and devouring, but who are we kidding really? That never happens in this house!

Note: For the sweet potato purée, I peel a good-sized tuber and cut it into chunks. Put it in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potato is soft. Strain off the water and mash the potato. Yer good to go.

Christmas 2013! It was my first time baking kupfels, German shortbread cookies with ground walnuts and almonds (thanks for the recipe from the mother of a friend of a friend). And we are not exactly a church-going family, but we went to a carol sing-a-long at Christ’s Church Cathedral on Christmas eve. It was a very lovely day.

Happy holidays to all!