Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

Want to eat pancakes for dinner? Why not make them savory pancakes? I adapted this recipe from one I found on Eating Well for Corn and Basil Pancakes. The original recipe contained milk and eggs so I veganized it and swapped out cilantro for most of the basil. I’m pretty sure these would be amazing with just basil, but I had a lot of cilantro on hand.

Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

I also doubled the amount of batter per corn and cilantro because it didn’t look like there would be enough batter to hold everything together otherwise. They turned out really yummy! I served these with the cucumber dill salad from my last post and vegan crab cakes from Sophie’s Kitchen. These savory pancakes are perfect to make on a summer night with fresh corn!

Corn and Cilantro Pancakes

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer powder mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup soy milk
2 cups corn
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (+basil), chopped

Directions:

  • Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and ground black pepper together in a mixing bowl.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the warm water and Ener-G Egg Replacer powder. Add this to the dry ingredients along with the olive oil and soy milk. Whisk it all together until combined, but don’t overmix.
  • Stir in the corn, cilantro, and basil.

Corn and Cilantro Pancake Batter

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat, and drizzle in a little olive oil. Using a measuring cup, scoop about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook the pancakes until they start to bubble and the edge start to dry, then flip and allow the pancake to get golden brown.

CookingPancakes

  • Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top, serve right away and enjoy!

 

Spring Planting – Potted Herbs and Hanging Baskets

I finished up what I think will be the last of my spring planting, but at the rate I’ve been acquiring plants I can never be sure! For Mother’s Day I potted up a little herb garden for my mom. It was so cute, I decided to make one for myself too. I don’t have a good picture of my mom’s pot of herbs, but I chose the same pot (the green one in the top picture) and similar herbs to use for mine. I had too many herbs to fit in one pot, so I filled up two.

Herbs

Herbs

It’s expensive to buy fresh herbs at the grocery store, and buying a little herb plant costs about the same as one bunch of herbs. It seemed to make sense to just plant herbs that I use often to keep on hand. There’s a flower market every year about two blocks from where we live, and they had a big selection of herbs. I ended up getting Silver Edge thyme, creeping Prostrate rosemary, dwarf sage, apple mint, dill, sweet basil, and Mini Purple basil.

Dill

I’m not convinced that the dill and Mini Purple basil are going to make it, but the rest look pretty hardy. The mini purple basil just doesn’t seem to be thriving as much as it was when I first bought it, and the dill promptly threw itself over sideways as soon as I planted it. We’ll see if it rights itself again.

Dill

The neighbor’s very friendly cat also came over for a snuggle, which he does just about every day.

Neighbor's Cat

He also rolled around in the potting soil getting himself all dirty. Sometimes I think he’s trying to move in with us because he hangs out at the back door quite often. The neighbors have dogs and I think he knows we’re an all cat household and wants in on that. He’s a real sweetheart.

Neighbor's Cat

And last but not least, I potted up some hanging baskets for the front porch. I got the hanging pots at Joann Fabrics for a good price. They were $19.99 to start, but were 50% off, and then I had an additional 20% off coupon so they were only about $8 each. Then, of course, add in the plants which were about $40 total, so it ended up being about $28 per hanging basket. Pre-potted ones in that type of basket can run a bit more than that at most garden centers, usually $30-$40 around here, so we saved a little bit by doing it ourselves. We filled the hanging baskets with Calibrachoa (Callie’s Peach), Dichondra (Silver Falls), and Amstel Begonias (Dark Britt).

Hanging Baskets

So that’s just about it for our spring planting. Are any of you planting up any herbs or flowers? What’s in your garden this year?

 

Rosemary Dill Bread

To continue on my bread baking resolution for 2012, I had to throw a loaf of bread into the breakfast recipe mix. There’s not much that’s better than homemade bread fresh out of the oven. It’s also nice to have as toast for breakfast the next morning.

I had some leftover fresh dill that I wanted to use up before it went bad, so I decided to try making an herb bread. It came out really well. This is a great way to use up herbs, especially since they always seem to come in huge bunches at the grocery store…way more than you need for most recipes. This recipe is based on one from King Arthur Flour that I modified. King Arthur is a good starting place for basic bread recipes that are well tested.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 cups warms water (not over 110°F) + extra if needed
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 1/2 – 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour
5 sprigs of fresh dill
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
coarse sea salt
olive oil
cornmeal

Directions:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm water. Let it sit for a few minutes. Remove the stems from the dill sprigs and chop the leaves.
  • Slowly add the flour, salt, fresh dill, and rosemary to the yeast mixture. Mix until it forms a kneadable ball of dough. I had to add about 1/2 cup extra water to form the dough. My apartment is really dry from the heaters in the winter though, so it may depend on your environment.
  • Knead the dough on a floured surface for a few minutes until the dough is smooth.
  • Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl (use olive oil). Cover it with a towel and let it rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Gently deflate the dough and briefly knead it. Separate it into two even balls or loaves depending on which shape you prefer. Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and place the loaves on the cornmeal. Slash the tops a few times diagonally. Let the loaves rise for 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put 2-3 cups of boiling water in a roasting pan on the bottom rack of the oven. The boiling water helps the bread be light and crusty.
  • Drizzle just a little bit of olive oil on top of the bread. Sprinkle a little coarse sea salt and rosemary on top.
  • Place the bread on the rack above the water and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Mine ended up needing between 25-30 minutes.

Roasted Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

As promised, I am back and I have vegan breakfast recipes to share! In my last post I mentioned that February is “National Hot Breakfast Month”. When I first went vegan, breakfast was one of the more challenging meals to veganize, especially at restaurants. Everything seems geared towards eggs, dairy, and meat… omlettes, sausage, bacon, pancakes, french toast, the list goes on. Now breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I’ve realized there are lots of vegan possibilities.

This recipe is one of my favorites. It goes perfectly as a side to tofu scramble, a recipe I’ll share in a later post. These are really easy to make, with little prep time, though they do take a while to bake. If you start them first, they’ll be done by the time you prepare your other breakfast dishes. They’re perfect if you’re having company over for brunch!

Ingredients:

2 potatoes (you can scale up or down based on how many people you’re feeding)
olive oil
paprika
salt
black pepper
garlic powder
1 or 2 shallots
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Thoroughly wash the potatoes. Slice them in thin, even slices so the potatoes cook evenly.
  • Lightly coat the bottom of a baking pan with olive oil so the potatoes don’t stick. Lay the potatoes out on the pan in a single layer, overlapping them slightly if you need to.
  • Season the potatoes with paprika, salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. I do this by eye. You can adjust how much you use based on how seasoned you like your potatoes. I tend to season them pretty generously. Flip the potatoes, and season both sides.
  • Thinly slice a shallot and sprinkle the slices on top of the potatoes. Sprinkle the leaves from one sprig of rosemary and one sprig of thyme on top.
  • Bake the potatoes for about 1 hour at 425°F. Flip them halfway through baking. When they are soft in the middle and crispy and golden on the edges, they’re finished. Enjoy!