Miso Sesame Cookies

These cookies are fantastic! Salty-sweet goodness…think peanut butter cookies with a twist!

Miso-Sesame Cookies (adapted from milliemirepoix and Lucky Peach magazine)

Ingredients

  • 200g (a bit less than 1 cup) butter, room temperature or a bit softer, though not melted
  • 300g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • 275g flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Directions

1. Cream butter and sugar using a mixer (stand or handheld) for a couple minutes, until the mixture starts to fluff up. Add the egg and beat on a medium-high speed for 8 or so minutes, until the sugar’s pretty much dissolved. Now mix in the miso until it’s all blended together.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture. Stir well until it all comes together. If it seems a bit dry at first, don’t worry. It will come together.

3. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about an hour (or stick it in the freezer for about 15 minutes max. while you clean up)**see note**

4. Heat the oven to 350F. Drop walnut-sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet (lined with baking paper, if you’re so inclined) and bake for 12-15 minutes. Rotate halfway through and start checking after 12 minutes if your oven’s temperamental like mine. When they’re done, they’ll be a golden-brown colour, a bit more so at the edges, just a bit paler in the middle.

5. Cool on a wire rack. And enjoy!

**Note – I squished the cookies down a bit after I baked them. Next time I won’t freeze them as long (it was probably over 20 minutes which is why I changed the time to 15 minutes) and hopefully they’ll flatten on their own.**

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

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West African Peanut Soup

Another great Pinterest find. I was drawn to the uniqueness of the dish. Very interesting – and absolutely delicious!

West African Peanut Soup (original recipe by Cookie and Kate)

Ingredients:

• 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth

• 1 medium red onion, chopped

• 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 1 bunch collard greens (I used kale), ribs removed and leaves chopped into 1-inch strips

• ¾ cup unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

• ½ cup tomato paste

• Hot sauce of choice (I used Sriracha)

• ¼ cup roughly chopped peanuts, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. In a medium Dutch oven or stock pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and salt. Cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.

2. In a medium-sized, heat-safe mixing bowl, combine the peanut butter and tomato paste, then transfer 1 to 2 cups of the hot stock to the bowl. Whisk the mixture together until smooth, then pour the peanut mixture back into the soup and mix well. Stir in the collard greens and season the soup with hot sauce to taste.

3. Simmer for about 15 more minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Serve over cooked rice if you’d like, and top with a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

Creamy Vegan Chocolate Pudding

I made a vegan dessert to finish off our challenge. You can check out the other recipes I tried below:

Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Mayonnaise

Vegan Dumplings


Creamy Vegan Chocolate Pudding (original recipe from So…Let’s Hang Out)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • Chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add coconut milk and maple syrup to a medium saucepan. Sift in cocoa powder and whisk the mixture together until it’s fully combined. Add in salt and vanilla extract and whisk some more.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, turn it down and allow the mixture to simmer for fifteen minutes while whisking frequently. Your mixture is going to begin to thicken. It won’t be the same consistency that you see in the pictures above until it cools.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow your pudding to cool at room temperature, whisking occasionally.
  4. Once it has cooled down significantly, move it to an airtight container or serving ramekins (adding walnuts if you wish) and place it in the refrigerator. Allow your mixture to chill completely before serving. This might take a few hours.

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

Vegan Challenge – Crispy Veggie Wontons

I discovered a meat alternative for this recipe using vital wheat protein which I used to add the “ground meat” to the recipe.

This yummy original recipe is from Cilantro & Citronella.

Ingredients:

  • 25 vegan wonton wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms (can be a mix of shiitake and white button)
  • 3/4 cup “ground meat” *see note*
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage and carrots (I used bagged coleslaw mix)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Water for steaming

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Green onion, chopped (optional)

*Note:

I used this brand of “ground meat” and it worked very well with the Thai Ginger flavour!

Directions:

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and white parts of the green onions and fry until softened. Add the garlic and ginger and fry until fragrant – about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for a further 5 minutes or until soft and beginning to brown. Add the carrot, cabbage, green parts of the green onion, salt and pepper and fry, stirring, until the cabbage is soft but not limp – about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir thorough the sesame oil. Allow to cool on the counter or in the fridge.

2. Once cool, assemble your potstickers. Place a small teaspoon of the filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the wrapper over the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. Place them upright on a platter.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add the potstickers and fry until browned on the bottom – 1 to 2 minutes. You may need to work in two batches if not all your potstickers fit in the pan. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Allow to steam until the tops are tender and the water has evaporated – about 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover the pan and flip the potstickers onto their sides to brown on each side (optional). Remove to a serving dish.

4. In a bowl combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar and chopped green onion to make a dipping sauce and serve alongside the potstickers.

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal


Next Week: Creamy Vegan Chocolate Pudding


Vegan Challenge – “Mayonnaise”

I have discovered the magic ingredient used among many vegans….Aquafaba a.k.a. Chickpea (or any other bean) water. Whether you’re cooking or baking, aquafaba has similar consistency of egg/egg whites. Hence…vegan mayo!


Vegan “Mayonnaise” (original recipe herefrom the New York Times)

Ingredients:

• 1/4 cup Aquafaba (1 can of chickpeas will yield about 1 cup)

• 1 teaspoon white vinegar

• ½ teaspoon fine salt

• ½ teaspoon sugar

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice

• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)

• ¾ cup sunflower oil

Directions:

1. Drain the chickpeas, reserving the bean liquid. (Save chickpeas for another use.) Measure out 1/4 cup of the bean liquid (aquafaba) in a large glass measuring cup. Add vinegar, salt, sugar, lemon juice and dry mustard.

2. Using an immersion blender, mix until combined. With the blender running, very slowly drizzle in the oil in a thin stream. It should take at least 5 minutes to add all of the oil. The mixture will emulsify and thicken.

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal


Next week: Crispy Veggie Wontons


Vegan Challenge – Korean BBQ “Meatballs”

So we are pretty much vegan except for honey. Initially we had said we’d allow ourselves a bit of eggs and yogurt but we decided to go all out. My granola bars have honey so we agreed to keep that.


Here’s one of the recipes I tried this week keeping in line with our 30 Day Vegan Challenge. I finally found a vegan “meat” recipe that actually closely nails it on texture – and let’s face it the flavours can always be created but the TEXTURE is the tricky part!!

Meatless Meatballs (original recipe by Oh My Veggies)

Ingredients:

• 7 ounces extra firm tofu (half of a 14 ounce package), drained

• 1 1/4 cups panko breadcrumbs

• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

• 1/2 cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

• 2 tablespoons unflavored nut milk

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

• 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

• 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

• 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and lightly oil or spray a baking sheet.

2. Start by making the tofu meatballs. Place the tofu, panko breadcrumbs, walnuts, onion, garlic, ginger, milk, soy sauce, vinegar, liquid smoke, flaxseed, and black pepper into the bowl of a food processor fitted with an S-blade. Pulse until the ingredients are finely chopped and well-mixed, being careful not to overdo it!!

3. Roll the mixture into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls (you should get about 20) and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Lightly spray or brush the balls with a thin coat of oil.

4. Place the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, until lightly browned, turning the meatballs about halfway through baking.

5. While the balls are baking, heat up whatever sauce you’re using. When ready drizzle sauce over balls to desired taste (have some extra on the table too if you want) **DO NOT TOSS! The heated sauce may break up the balls**

6. Serve with rice and veggies or whatever you want! “Meatball” subs, “meatball” pasta…the list goes on.

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal


Next Post: Vegan Mayo


Going Vegetarian (almost Vegan!)

So we have come up with the idea to go vegetarian (almost vegan) for one month to find out two things:

1. How this will change our bodies and how we feel.

2. Challenge ourselves to come up with new recipes and stick to a meal plan.

Obviously this will take some planning and persistence. We have given ourselves one day a week where we can venture beyond the restrictions (if we feel the need). Otherwise here is our restriction list:

Eliminiate: Meats (beef, pork, chicken, game etc.); Seafood (fish and shellfish) and some Dairy (cheese, milk, cream, yogurt) and Eggs

Limit: Honey

Focus: Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes and Grains

We are both excited to try this out and I’m looking forward to writing about this to all of you! We have a BBQ with friends on February 17th so we have agreed we will start this experiment on February 18th.

***Please share with us some of your favourite vegetarian/vegan dishes!!***

I will update at the end of every week with examples of recipes we used 🙂

Your,
Natural Groove Gal


Next Post: Vegan “Meatballs”