Pastafaba: a handy egg substitute

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Flatbread made with Pastafaba

Here’s a handy hint I am so happy to share. I accidentally discovered this in the cluttered laboratory known as my Kitchen. It’s essential for vegans or gluten-free bakers who want to try a spongey, egg-flavoured bread that holds together well.

It uses the magic of Pastafaba – the leftover stock from cooking Gluten-Free pasta. I’ve always used and only used San Remo Gluten-Free pasta, so I can’t vouch for any other brands except this one.

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Ingredients

  1. San Remo’s Gluten Free Spaghetti
  2. Gluten Free Flour Mix – ideally a Tapioca and Rice mix, but whatever suits your fancy.
  3. Salt
  4. Warm Water
  5. Baking Powder
  6. Oil
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions

  1. Cook the Spaghetti
  2. Pour the leftover water into a large bowl or something. Don’t tip it into the sink!
  3. Eat the Spaghetti. You’ve earned it.
  4. Now that the leftover stock has cooled, pour it into jars. It should be like a slimy, translucent goo. This is your Pastafaba!

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Kumara (Sweet Potato) Bacon Recipe

Food
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It looks like bacon and eggs, it smells like bacon and eggs, it tastes like bacon and eggs, but brother it ain’t bacon and eggs!

I tried googling a recipe for Kumara Bacon but I only found recipes that uses Kumara AND Bacon. So I stole this excellent recipe for rice paper bacon from Sweet As Vegan – a great recipe, check it out! But I replaced rice paper with Kumara, which I find a bit more substantial and to be honest, more bacony.

The advantage Kumara has over its rival potato is that it’s edible raw. Well, as long as you cut it thin enough.

This simple recipe is for a crunchy Kumara bacon which tastes like a gristly and fatty bacon. Of course, it’s a lot more tolerable when you know that isn’t actual gristle you’re tasting – it’s just the crunchy fibers of kumara. No pig. Just kumara.

  • 1 kumara, yellow or white
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Dash of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon savoury or nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • Oil

Mix the soy sauce, barbecue sauce, smoked paprika, pepper, yeast, shredded coconut and water in a bowl. Then slice the kumara about 1cm thick. This can be difficult at first since the kumara will be quite tough but you’ll get the hang of it. If you want you can use the wide mouth end of a grater.

Take the kumara slices and submerge both sides in the ‘batter’. Shake off any clumps and put it into a pan of hot oil.

Fry each side for about 15-30 seconds. The moment you see the slightest charring, take it out and put it in a colander for the oil to drip off.

Great! You’ve now got kumara bacon. Have it with some tofu scramble or chuck it on a decadent Elvis Sandwhich… if you dare!

Tangy Mint Sauce

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Whip out those soy lamb tenderloins, flick on thimg_5238e barbecue and enjoy copious amounts of this tangy raw mint sauce.

Mint is a great thing to grow in pots, if for no other reason than this! There’s a special fun feeling when you grow something yourself then find some way of preserving it.

I hope you enjoy this mint sauce.

  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 Bowls of Mint (I used spearmint)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp linseed / flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp of lime juice

Blend it all or preferably, bullet it. Leave in a jar and refrigerate until the linseed thickens the whole thing into sludge.

The best part is the top bit, cos its all gloopey!

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I’m Never Baking a Pizza Again

Doug's Kitchen

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I’m never going to bake a pizza again.

‘Wait a minute,’ you’re probably saying right now, ‘how are you going to live without pizza?’

That’s a fine question. A life without pizza is no life it all. It’s more of a static existence, like a pebble on the sidewalk.

Don’t worry. I’m still going to make pizza, I’m just never going to bake pizza. Because now I’ve discovered the wonder of fried pizza, I’m never looking back.

Specifically raw-fried pizza. That may sound like an oxymoron, and it is. But what I mean is simply this: the pizza base is fried, leaving you free to chuck on your topping fresh and raw.

I got the idea from this Jamie Oliver video with Antonio Carluccio doing his favourite fried pizza. Real Italian pizza tastes fresh and alive. Its been abused by Americanisation to the point where we associate Pizza with cholesterol and heart attacks. But Italian food is usually fresh as fresh can be. Are you reheating your leftover pasta? If you are, stop now! It’s better cold. Anyway, here’s the video:

And not only did this pizza look tasty, it was fully vegan pizza until the last moment when he chucked some Mozzarella on the top.

With all this talk of Italian tradition,  you may call it sacrilege to fry your pizza. But I think good vegan food is not about imitating your old favourites, but reimagining them. For me, pizza went from a cheesy, sticky mess to a living, breathing dish full of flavour and character. Nothing beats fresh sliced capsicum or Kalamata olives straight from the brine. And basil is just something that was not ever meant to be served any other way but freshly picked of the plant. That’s why if I urgently need basil, I buy the whole plant.

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If you’re making gluten-free bases, you are at an extra advantage, because the best GF pizza bases are made from a liquid batter, like a pancake. This allows you to make them as thin as possible. The best gluten-free bases are thin, crunchy and fried.

Also, frying your pizza takes less time than baking it, meaning you have more time for activities, or making more pizza. Pizza no longer seems like an ambitious task, and so ultimately, I am eating more pizza.

And a life with more pizza is a better life.

Going raw isn’t about abandoning everything and eating just fruits and nuts. It starts with finding ways to implement raw practices into your meals. Do this enough and idea of a fully nuked dish just doesn’t appeal to you anymore. So get started on a raw-fried pizza and share your results with me today!

Vegan Gluten-Free Gingernut Recipe

Doug's Kitchen

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Some day I hope my grandkids will buy packaged biscuits and think ‘Fuck this. Granddad’s were way better.’ (that is hoping my grandkids are vegans)

So I set out to make my future grandkids proud: by creating a Ginger Nut kinda like Griffin’s. That means salty, spicy awesomeness!  That means this ad:

So I made a recipe is based off an excellent ginger cookie recipe I found on food.com. Go check it out if you want a more standard biscuit, it’s great. I’ve made a few changes, first exchanging regular flour for buckwheat, adding more ginger and salt and a bit less molasses.

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  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 cups of buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1⁄2 cup oil
  • 1⁄4 cup molasses
  • 1⁄4 cup soymilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Take two large bowls. Stir dry ingredients in one, and whisk wet ingredients in  the other until it forms a dark liquid. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the second bowl, mixing little scoops into the liquid at a time. Dumping all of it in at once will make mixing more difficult.

Preheat the oven to bake on 150 degrees Celsius (300 fahrenheit). Spread a thin layer of flour across the baking tray (I prefer doing this to prevent sticking rather than wasting money on baking paper).

Remember, we’re making tough English style gingernuts, not squishy little baby biscuits, so the batter needs to have a clay like consistency – it must be more dry and crumbly than a standard biscuit but make sure that it gets beaten and mixed very well. Begin rolling it into a ball once they’re perfectly smooth, without any lumps. Flatten them to about 2.5 cm and let them bake for about half an hour. Once finished, take them out and put them on a place where they can cool completely. Buckwheat hardens rapidly as it cools down, and toughness is what puts the nuts in Gingernuts! Haha

Beware: You’ll need some strong black tea for dipping.