Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! – Vegan Irish Soda Bread

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I decided to veganize an old favorite, Irish Soda Bread! There are many variations on Irish Soda Bread, some more traditionally Irish, and some more Americanized. I’m not sure exactly where this lies on the spectrum, but it is tasty!

I started with the Irish Soda Bread recipe from Simply Recipes, posted by Elise Bauer, and then made my own adjustments. This recipe is not very sweet, but I liked it that way. If you want it sweeter, you can add a little more sugar. The texture of the bread came out perfect, dense but also fluffy like a scone. There’s also a variety of things you can add or leave out based on your preferences, including raisins, currants, caraway seeds, lemon zest, orange zest, etc. I included raisins and lemon zest. I meant to put caraway seeds in as well, but I forgot to add them, despite making a trip to the store to buy them before I started baking. Sigh. I’m including them in the recipe anyway, in hopes that I remember them next time!

If you’re looking for other Saint Patrick’s Day recipes, check out the recipe for Vegan Irish Potatoes that I posted last year!

Ingredients:

4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tbsp vegan butter
3/4 cup raisins
1 1/2 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer powder
2 Tbsp warm water
1 3/4 cup soy milk
2 lemons – I used Meyer lemons, which are a little smaller than regular lemons.
1 Tbsp caraway seeds

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Cut in the vegan butter using a pastry cutter or a fork. It will form course crumbs in the flour. Add your raisins to the mix.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg replacer powder and warm water.
  • Zest and juice your lemons. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy milk and 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice. This creates a vegan version of buttermilk.
  • Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients. Add the egg replacer mixture, the vegan buttermilk, the lemon zest, and the caraway seeds. Stir the dough until just combined. It will start to pull together into a rough ball. Coat your hands lightly with flour and knead the dough gently. If it’s really sticky, add a little more flour, though this dough is meant to be sticky and rough, not smooth like a yeast bread dough. Don’t over-knead the dough or the bread will be tough. You just need to get it into a ball that you can transfer to a baking pan.
  • Line a baking pan with parchment paper if you have it, or lightly grease the pan. Transfer your ball of dough to the pan. Score the top with a large X.
  • Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes. I checked it with a chopstick to see if the center was done. If the chopstick comes out clean, it’s ready. Happy St. Patty’s Day!

Israeli Salad

I used to get Israeli Salad all the time when I would go to Mediterranean restaurants, but I hadn’t eaten it in a few years. I already had a lot of the ingredients on hand, so I decided to make it for lunch. It really is a tasty, but very simple and healthy meal especially for vegans! It’s perfect as a side dish to any Mediterranean food, or you could pack it up for lunch. Most Israeli Salad recipes seem to be pretty similar, but feel free to adjust it to your tastes. Some variations include adding grated carrot, scallions, mint, or za’atar (a yummy Middle Eastern spice mix).

Israeli Salad

Ingredients:

1 cucumber
1 red pepper
1 – 1  1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 – 2 lemons
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Chop the cucumber, red pepper, and tomatoes. You can peel the cucumber if you prefer, but I left the skin on. Finely dice the red onion. Roughly chop the parsley.
  • Mix all the vegetables and herbs in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Juice the lemons. I used Meyer lemons, which are usually smaller than regular lemons, so I used two. You may only need one if using a regular lemon.
  • Add 2 tbsp of olive oil to the lemon juice and mix well. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over the veggies.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well so all the veggies get coated.

100th Post! Cardamom Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

It’s taken a while to get here, but this is my 100th post on The Vegan Kat! Thanks to everyone who reads my posts, and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of the recipes along the way! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now, you’ll know that I enjoy playing with new flavors of ice cream, and have posted some of my favorite flavor combos in the past including Almond PistachioCoffee Chocolate ChipMint Chocolate Chip, and Mango Banana and Watermelon Strawberry Lime Sorbets. I recently tried out a new and more unusual flavor combo to add to this list: Cardamom Meyer Lemon.

I bought a bag of Meyer Lemons at Whole Foods without having a clear plan of what to do with them. I just really like Meyer Lemons, so I knew I’d come up with something. After searching around, I saw a recipe on the blog Fahrenbite for Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crepes, which look amazing. I haven’t made crepes before, and I don’t think I have a pan that would work to try making them. I decided to use the flavor combo in ice cream instead. It turned out really well, and it’s certainly a unique flavor! This isn’t necessarily the kind of ice cream you’d want to eat a whole bowl of because it’s a strong flavor. It’s really yummy in small amounts, and I bet it would be delicious on top of apple pie instead of vanilla ice cream. You could also try adding in toasted pecans, which I think would compliment this very well.

If you don’t already have cardamom on hand, you should get green cardamom that is still in the pod, not pre-ground cardamom. It can be a bit pricey, but I bought a decent sized bag of cardamom at an Indian grocery store near me for about $3.00. If there’s an Indian grocery store near you, I would check there, because you might get a good deal. Or if you’re near a Whole Foods, check their bulk spices. They’ve usually got some pretty good deals and you can buy exactly how much you need. You can also probably find arrowroot powder in the bulk section at Whole Foods.

Cardamom Meyer Lemon Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 scant tsp ground cardamom (start with green cardamom in pods and grind it yourself)
1 Meyer Lemon
1 cup soy milk (divided)
2 cups soy creamer
2 Tbs arrowroot powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  • The bowl of your ice cream maker needs to be frozen at least overnight before making this recipe, unless you’ve got a kind that doesn’t require pre-freezing.
  • Crack open the cardamom pods, keeping the seeds and discarding the shells. You only need 1 tsp of ground cardamom. Once you have enough seeds, grind them in a spice grinder (or coffee grinder designated for spices), or using a mortar and pestle. Freshly ground cardamom is much stronger than already ground cardamom. I wouldn’t use more than 1 tsp of cardamom, and you should adjust the amount according to your taste.
  • Zest the Meyer Lemon and squeeze the juice out of it. Keep these aside for later.
  • In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot powder and 1/4 cup of the soymilk. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
  • In a pot, mix the remaining 3/4 cup of soy milk, soy creamer, and sugar. Heat on medium until the mixture slowly comes to a boil. Stir in the arrowroot and soy milk mixture, and it will cause the liquid to thicken. Add the ground cardamom, the lemon zest, and the lemon juice. Stir until well combined.
  • Refrigerate the mixture for 2-3 hours until it’s cool.
  • Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the maker’s directions. Usually it has to churn about 1/2 an hour. It will still be a little soft, but ready to eat, or you can firm it up in the freezer before serving.

Lemon Orzo with Veggies

I know it’s not summer yet, but it’s okay to pretend right? This is a light and summery sort of meal that’s perfect for dinner and to pack for lunch the next day. It’s a lemony twist on pasta salad, without all the oily dressing. Boiling the orzo with the lemon juice and lemon rinds infuses the pasta with a light lemony taste. You can add in your own favorite veggies. Some cucumbers, carrots, or artichoke would be a nice addition.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus
1 small yellow onion
salt
pepper
olive oil
4 lemons
1 cup fresh peas
1 lb of orzo
10 cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper
3 or 4 sprigs of parsley

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 450°.
  • Snap off the ends of the asparagus and place them in a roasting pan. Thinly slice the onion and place the slices in the pan. Juice one lemon and pour the juice over the asparagus and onion so they’re evenly coated. Drizzle just a little bit of olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the asparagus and onions in the oven for about 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of roasting, add the fresh peas to the pan.
  • Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Squeeze the juice of one lemon into the boiling water and add in the lemon rinds as well. Make sure you filter out any lemon seeds first. Add the orzo and cook according to the package directions.
  • Chop the cherry tomatoes, red pepper, and fresh parsley.
  • Once the orzo is done, drain it and place it in a mixing bowl or large pot.
  • Cut the roasted asparagus spears into 1 inch pieces. (You can also do this before you roast them if you prefer.)
  • Add the asparagus, onions, peas, and the lemon juice from the roasting pan to the orzo. Add the chopped cherry tomatoes, red pepper, and parsley to the orzo.
  • Juice the remaining two lemons and pour the juice over the orzo. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir the orzo well so everything is coated with the juice and seasoning.

Agave Citrus Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

I’ve been on a roasted veggie kick recently. I’m not sure why, but I can’t seem to get enough! I used to make Honey Lime Roasted Veggie Quesadillas with pepperjack cheese before I became vegan. I’ve adapted that recipe by replacing the honey with agave, the pepperjack with Daiya, and regular sour cream with Tofutti Vegan Sour Cream. The vegan version is just as tasty! Feel free to add in your favorite veggies and toppings.

Ingredients:
1 red pepper
1 yellow onion
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 shallot
3 garlic cloves
1 cup of frozen corn
5 limes
1 Meyer lemon
3 tablespoons agave
tortillas
Daiya Pepperjack cheese
Tofutti vegan sour cream
fresh salsa

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450°.
  • Chop the red pepper, onion, zucchini, and yellow squash into small chunks. Thinly slice the shallots and garlic cloves. Place all the chopped veggies and the frozen corn in a roasting pan with sides.
  • Juice the limes and lemon. Add agave and stir with a whisk. Pour the agave juice mixture over the veggies and toss so they are well coated.
  • Roast the veggies for about 30-40 minutes.
  • Once the veggies are done roasting, place a tortilla on a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle an even layer of Daiya pepperjack cheese on the tortilla. Don’t use too much cheese. Let the Daiya melt on the tortilla, and then place the tortilla on a plate.
  • Toast a second tortilla without cheese. It helps if the tortillas get a little crispy on the skillet because it will make the quesadilla easier to eat (and tastier!).
  • Place a layer of veggies on the first tortilla on top of the Daiya. Sandwich the second toasted tortilla on top.
  • Cut the quesadilla into quarters and top with vegan sour cream and fresh salsa.

Vegan Thanksgiving Idea – Side Dish – Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice

Here’s another recipe for you to try at Thanksgiving. It’s one that vegans and non-vegans will both enjoy! I came up with this recipe after having something similar at the National Museum of the American Indian. They actually have a pretty good cafe called the Mitsitam Cafe. Mitsitam translates to “Let’s eat!” in the language of the Delaware and Piscataway natives. All the foods in the cafe are indigenous Native American foods from different regions. They even have a cookbook, though it’s not all vegan. If you ever go to the museum, you should stop by the cafe to try it out!

Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice

Ingredients

6 cups of water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of uncooked wild rice
1 orange
1 lemon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 green apple
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  • Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Add wild rice and cook for 45 minutes. All the water should be absorbed, but if there’s still some left you can drain it off. Stir the rice and place it in the fridge to cool down.
  • Zest the orange and the lemon and then juice them both. Add the zest to the juice. Stir in 3 Tbsp of brown sugar until it dissolves. You can use less if you want it less sweet. You can also substitute agave if you want. Set the mixture aside.
  • Chop the green apple into small chunks. You can peel it first if you want, but I don’t. I don’t mind the skin and it adds some color.
  • Once the rice is cool, add the juice and zest mixture, the apple chunks, and the dried cranberries. Add the cinnamon and just a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Stir well so the juice coats the rice and the spices are well distributed.
  • Transfer to a bowl for serving.