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EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps15 Comments

I was not really allowed to snack as a child. If I was hungry before bed, my dad would let me have a spoonful of honey or a cracker. If I was really good, sometimes both. I do understand now - eating a ton before laying your head down to sleep is not the best thing for your body. Instead of getting the rest it needs, it spends the night digesting and creating crazy dreams with crazy plotlines. 

But I'm not here to tell you about eating before bed (or my crazy dreams). I'm here to talk about a cracker. The kind you eat with soup and dips, of course.

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Vegan Crackers | www.maplealps.com

Sometimes I get these wild ideas in the kitchen when I don't feel quite up to the task at hand - namely the dishes. This particular time, it was to see if I could make a cracker. I'm a tad tired of bread and spread (but not really). I like crunchy foods, and what is crunchier than a wafer of flour and olive oil? Really. 

But of course, me being me, I couldn't just make a plain cracker. Oh, no. I had to make an Italian cracker. I happened upon some flavoured olive oil in my cupboard and decided to use that to infuse some Italian deliciousness into my little snacks. It worked perfectly. Of course, if you do not have herb-infused oil, feel free to add the herbs directly to your dough! 

The yeast flakes were to add a little "cheesy" flavour and colour. I love nutritional yeast flakes and add them to pretty much everything I eat, so it was a natural choice, really. 

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers | www.maplealps.com

I wonder who invented crackers. Was it a mistake? Was it some attempt to make bread last longer? I'm going to have to look that up some time. 

I am not sure why it took me so long to attempt making a cracker. After finding out how easy they are to whip up, I can't wait to experiement with more flavours and ingredients! 

I'm going to break these over some lentil soup! These would be great with a tomato and roasted almond dip too!

 

Related: Vegan Corn Chowder

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers | www.maplealps.com

EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers (vegan)

what you need:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoon ground flax seed

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast flakes

  • 1/4 cup olive oil* (I used an infused one)

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 3 cloves garlic**

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. 

2) Pour olive oil in slowly, mixing it together. Some clumps will be created, but don't worry about it - it will help make a flakier cracker.

3) If you are adding garlic and herbs, mix in now

4) Slowly add water, mixing well. The dough will be rough, but that is okay. Do not overwork it. Add a tablespoon or two if the dough is still dry.

5) Divide the dough into half and form them into a ball. 

6) Press the dough into a rectangle shape and place it in-between two pieces of parchment paper.

7) Roll the dough until about a quarter of an inch thick and the size of about half a baking sheet.

8) Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle garlic on top if so desired. You can cut the dough now, or wait until after cooling to break it apart as you desire.

9) Bake for 20-25 minutes, until edges are brown. Break apart once cooled if you chose not to cut them.
 

Notes:
* I used Italian-flavoured olive oil. If you would like that flavour, just add 1 teaspoon or so of Italian seasoning.
** You can mix the garlic into the dough, or brush the tops of the crackers before baking and sprinkle it on top.
 

 
#vegan #pantry
 
EZ Cheez-E Garlic Crackers (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Parm-Like Topping

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps5 Comments

If you ask my husband, he will confirm that I am a “spaghetti with my parmesan” type of person. I love toppings. On everything. I also love gravy. But toppings. I like them when they’re generous and basically the main thing. Fried onions? Load ‘em on! Parmesan? I like pasta with my parmesan!

But of course, when you go plant based, or take part in Veganuary, parmesan is no longer an option - or is it? Well, maybe not parmesan in the traditional, stinky-feet smelling sense anyway. I do have a really tasty alternative, however.

This post contains affiliate links

Vegan Parm-Like Topping | www.maplealps.com

The following is a true story: I spent a Christmas only college campus one year with someone who sprinkled ground nuts on their pasta and I was really excited about that. It tasted delicious. Then, a few years later, my dad started putting ground flax seed on everything to up his fibre intake. He would grind his own flax seed and keep it in a little bag. I decided to subscribe to that as well. I figured as well that since I love nutritional yeast flakes on popcorn, that I could start doing that too. Then I saw some vegan parmesan recipes floating around and it had nuts and the yeast flakes in it. I added my ground flax and some onion powder and became a happy camper.

I hesitate to call this a vegan parmesan because it tastes nothing like the smelly cheese, but it sure tastes delicious. I can’t not have this on top of my spaghetti now. It’s also delicious on green beans, and even salad! Seriously, just go to town with it, because it’s so yummy!

There is no reason to think that just because you go on a plant based diet that you will have to give up so much. Instead, you gain so much because you get to experiment with flavours and foods that you would not have normally expected to!

Vegan Parm-Like Topping | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Parm-Like Topping

what you need:

what to do:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and mix until combined well.

Keep mixture in the fridge for about a month.

 

PRO TIP: Did you know that the tops of parmesan cheese containers fit perfectly onto a mason jar? If you have one, keep it to use for this stuff!

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Do you love toppings too?


 
#veganpantry
 

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps3 Comments

Who else loves potatoes?

When I came back from my time in Europe, I could not eat potatoes for the longest time. I think I overdid it. When I finally got over, though, I remembered quite quickly why I used to love them! Potatoes are healthy, inexpensive, and tasty! Great source of vitamin C, potassium, B6, and are fat free (well, before you may choose to add any anyway)! Yay!

There are so many different ways to enjoy them too - hashed, scalloped, mashed, boiled, fried...you can have them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The possibilities are endless, really.

I am sharing a roasted variety today!

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

These tasty roasted potatoes are a great side to pretty much anything. I especially love them with marinated tofu steaks (sharing that recipe soon!) and some greenery. 

The best part is that they are so quick to bake, and are very tasty. After a long day at work, I certainly don't want to be slaving in the kitchen. These are also fantastic when you have last-minute guests. They seem fancy, but aren't!

They make the perfect holiday side - I bet gravy would be groovy on these little guys. If you go that route, you may want to double this recipe since this recipe is for a small batch.

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

This is just a simple, delicious way to enjoy some potatoes. I love using the mini ones and a variety so that it looks extra pretty, but you don't have to. You don't even have to slice them hasselback style if you are in a rush! Totally up to you. I used pink himalayan salt in mine, but you can use regular sea salt in yours. I kind of like the large grain texture, but you may not.

Enjoy it however you want to!

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes | www.maplealps.com

Lemon Maple Roasted Potatoes

what you need:

  • 24 oz. small potatoes (I used a variety to get the different colours) 

  • 1 TBSP maple syrup

  • Juice from half a lemon

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • ½ -1 tsp pink himalayan salt or sea salt

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 tsp fresh or dried parsley

what to do:

1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2) Wash potatoes and prepare them hasselback style - slicing the potato but leaving the bottom in tact (you don't have to, but I like to because the flavour really gets infused into them that way!)

3) Place potatoes in a medium sized bowl, and add olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, lemon juice and salt, mixing well until the potatoes are well coated.

4) Spread potatoes on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender all the way through.

5) Once potatoes are cooked, mix in the parsley and serve.

 

How do you like your potatoes?


 

Vegan Red Curry Paste

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps4 Comments

It's no secret that we love Thai food over here. I think it's the sweet and spicy flavours that really get us going. My husband loves Pad Thai and I especially love anything that can be dipped in peanut sauce. Okay, I'm starting to drool over here, so I'd better get to the point.

We love going for Thai, but it's not always easy to do. Being completely plant-based, it's hard to find a satisfying soup when eating out. Thankfully, eating in is ALWAYS an option - even when you're craving ethnic foods. I was craving a Thai soup and came across a few recipes, but the one that struck me was a coconut one. It needed Thai red curry paste and I somehow ended up recreating the paste before getting to the soup. I did this largely by reading the label of a jar I had in my fridge already. The result was delicious, so I tried it in another dish. Same tasty result. Before I get to those though, I thought I'd share the curry paste recipe. Patience though - the others are coming.

Quick + Easy Vegan Red Curry Paste | www.maplealps.com

I like having red curry paste on hand because it's perfect when you need a quick curry or soup whipped up! It makes leftovers and odds and ends taste like new - and since I always like to keep some coconut milk in the pantry, it's quick and easy. 

The one good thing about this paste is that it freezes extremely well. It works out because some of the ingredients are a little harder to find (depending on where you shop) and can be on the pricey side. The only ingredients I didn't have on hand were the peppers and the lemongrass. I always keep ginger in the freezer (you never know when you'll need it!). Anyway, back to freezing the paste, because you definitely don't want it to go to waste, it's good that it freezes. Just put a tablespoon into each section of an ice tray and freeze! Then keep it in a baggie to use in future dishes. We only have a moose ice tray that we got from some friends for our wedding, so we have moose-shaped red curry paste in our freezer. Whatever works!

Try this out in any recipe that calls for red Thai curry paste, and you won't even know you didn't buy it in a jar! It's so easy to put together - just dump everything into a food processor or high-speed blender and go! Perfect base for all sorts of dishes.

Quick + Easy Vegan Red Curry Paste | www.maplealps.com

Vegan Thai Red Curry Paste
Makes about 1 cup

Inch section of ginger, chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
1 lime - tested and juiced
3 red chillies, tops chopped off
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 TBSP liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
1 TBSP maple syrup (optional, to offset some heat)
1 stem of Lemongrass, chopped
6 green onion, sliced
½ red bell pepper (optional, to offset some heat)

To a food processor or high-speed blender, add all the ingredients. Process until it reaches your desired texture (I don't like mine too chunky, but you might!)

 

What do you use red curry paste for?


 

Poor Man's Lentil Soup

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps22 Comments

It was one of those months where we needed to get creative with what was in our pantry. It happens a few times a year where what we have needs to stretch out as long as possible - not necessarily always because we're short on cash, but especially when we have a new goal (like a trip or a larger purchase) that we want to aim toward. There are also times where we feel it a good idea to "clean out" our pantry by making sure we eat what we have to avoid spoil.

Usually, we purpose to not spend a penny during these times, relying on canned and frozen vegetables to accompany our other staples, but this time around, we splurged and were able to score some inexpensive, and fresh produce at the farmer's market!

Poor Man's Lentil Soup | www.maplealps.com

I love soup and have never associated it with not having money, so it's always a welcome dish to me. However, it is also one of those things my husband does not anticipate to fill him long enough, so I always purpose to make it hearty. I, however, enjoy more brothy soups, so this was a great in-between. The lentils fill us, but the broth is so yummy, and perfect for some bread to soak up. 

The fresh kale makes it even more enjoyable - I love the texture and colour that this soup has; the bright oranges and greens! 

Poor Man's Lentil Soup | www.maplealps.com

This soup is not only extremely inexpensive to make - it is also flexible (use beans or potaoes or whatever you have in the pantry/fridge instead of lentils) and amazingly easy to make. 

Poor Man's Lentil Soup

What you need:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 1 stalk celery roughly chopped

  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 3 TBSP homemade vegan chicken-style seasoning

  • 2 tsp salt

  • sea salt to taste

  • 1/2 cup dried lentils

  • 4 cups water

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1/2 bunch of kale, roughly chopped

  • Your favourite vegan sausage (optional)

What to do:

1. Cook carrot, celery and onion with 2 tsp salt in olive oil in a heavy stock pot or dutch oven

2. Add vegetable stock, water, garlic, seasoning and lentils

3. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are cooked

4. Add kale and allow to turn a deep green and wilt a bit before stirring into the soup.

5. Adjust seasonings to your liking. Serve hot!

(good in the fridge for 4 days)

 

What are some of your go-to meals when cleaning out your pantry?