I’ve covered around 25 cuisines on this blog now, and one of the best things that has come of it is that the food we eat on a regular basis has changed (and gotten much better!).
Despite incidences of my cooking becoming increasingly rare since I started working again and Mr stopped, there are particular foods that I just keep coming back to when I do get around to cooking. Lately these constants have been Georgian, Turkish and Italian. Pizza, kidney beans, walnuts and tahini replacing the dahl and stir fry dinners of yesteryear.
All this revisiting means I’ve had the chance to perfect some recipes which didn’t work out that well on the first go, so I decided it was time to repost them.
Ok, so this isn’t exactly a cooked meal, but it was fun. While we were in Turkey breakfast was usually offered as a buffet featuring cucumber, tomatoes, cheese, olives and bread, along with simit and tahini with grape molasses (which tastes like caramel). I mocked up a vegan version using agave instead of grape molasses, and using a bit of cheezly. Tasty, healthy brekky!
Next up is the Georgian feast we prepared for some friends who visited recently-ish. It was a little while ago, when our garden was still overflowing with winter crop, so we pulled out all of this:
Garden haul 1#: silverbeet, beetroot, parsnip, cauliflower, cabbage, snow peas, spring onion and kale.
and turned it into this:
Pkhali and eggplant with walnut
… as well as kidney bean salad (lobio), ajap sandal (eggplant and tomato dish), pilaf with cabbage, and fried potatoes, and mini spanakopita which I took to work for Veggie Club.
The pkhali and the eggplant with walnuts were both really yummy and so much better than my first disastrous attempt at imitating Georgian walnut paste. I’ve been using this recipe from Georgian Taste, however I have included a few cashews to make it even creamier, I have left out some of the garlic in deference to Mr, and I used beetroot this time instead of spinach.
For the eggplant and walnut paste I followed the recipe for pkhali, but left out the spinach altogether. I then fried some strips of eggplant and wrapped them around tablespoonfuls of the walnut paste. Yum.
I also made my first attempt at creating a vegan khachapuri, which is a totally delicious looking, totally un-vegan Georgian cheese bread. It turned out brilliantly, and though it is time consuming to make, I think it will have to go on the “again, again!” list.
I scoured the web for recipes and ended up using a mix of this recipe at food.com and this recipe at Nami Nami, but of course it needed tweaking to veganise.
Slice of vegan imureli khachapuri
Makes 2 loaves
For the dough:
- 250ml soy milk
- 3tbs margarine, melted
- 14g instant yeast
- a pinch of salt
- pinch baking soda
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 3 1/4 cups plain flour
For the cheese filling:
- 2 cups cheezly, mozzarella flavour, mashed with a fork
- 1/2 cup Vegusto vegan cheese, strong flavour, grated
- 100g silken boxed tofu, mashed with a fork
- 1 tbs rice flour, whisked with 1/4 cup soy milk
- 1 Tbs plain flour
- 2 Tbs vegan margarine
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- pinch of nutmeg (just because I ave this thing about nutmeg and cheese – you could leave it out)
Follow the directions as per the Food.com recipe, although only warm the soy milk, don’t scald it.
I have no new Italian recipes to share, but I didn’t want to post yet another picture f yet another haul from our garden that made it into a meal – because I’m so amazed at how well this whole growing-our-own-food business is going
Garden haul #2: spring onions, herbs snow peas, lettuce and broad beans.
Dinner from the garden: garden salad, pizza (herbs from the garden and mushrooms from our mushroom box), and broad beans with vegan facon.