What could be more festive and comfortable than a flaky vegan butternut pancake with apples, shallots, herbs, Dijon and heaps of black pepper. This all-plant main course has all of the cold weather flavors that I love. Sweet and chewy squash, strong mustard, wild thyme and rosemary, a little acidity of apple and sumac, all with a tender and toasted chickpea flour and a cornmeal crust.
This vacation-friendly main course is naturally gluten-free. I love making savory pie / galette dough with chickpea flour. It is easy to work with and also increases the protein / satiety factor. I cut this one with a touch of cornmeal for a little extra flavor interest.
Overall, this crust is so tender and flaky. No crusts of cardboard for us! I also load it with the flavor of chopped herbs and lots of coarsely ground black pepper. Vegan butter is what really does it. I always recommend Miyoko because it works so well and tastes amazing.
I thought about making a vegan "ricotta" as a base for the filling, but since I'm on a deep mustard kickI just went with a Dijon tablecloth. So simple and so good! Since we already make vegan patty dough, I thought I would go a little easier with the other components.
I like to pre-roast the butternut squash slices just like an extra insurance policy so that they are soft enough. I also want to avoid excessive moisture, so the pre-roast takes care of that for us. Once you have all of your cute apple and shallot slices, you are more than ready to go. I also made a little pinch of vegan cheese on my own, but it's optional.
If you like savory pies and cozy butternut things I recommend you check this out Polenta tart with spinach and mushrooms or my super creamy butternut orzo with Brussels sprouts. If you are in the process of planning your reduced vacation reunion I have lots of ideas here for you.
I hope you will try this vegan butternut pancake! One of my favorite recipes that I recently invented. Have a good week!
VEGAN BUTTERNUT CAKE WITH SHALLOTS, APPLES AND BLACK PEPPER CORN CRUST
The vegan butternut patty is a perfect dish for the holidays. It includes apples, shallots and a gluten-free crust made from chickpea flour and cornmeal.
Chickpea and corn crust
- 1 Chopped off Chick pea flour
- ¼ Chopped off cornmeal
- 1½ soup spoons herbs such as thyme and rosemary, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ Chopped off (113 grams) vegan butter, diced and VERY cold
- ¼ Chopped off ice water, plus extra
VEGAN BUTTERNUT CAKE FILLING
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into thin slices (about 525 grams of sliced squash)
- 1½ soup spoons olive oil, divided
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 way apple, cored and thinly sliced (remove the skin if you prefer)
- ½ teaspoon sumac
- 1½ soup spoons Dijon's mustard
- ¼ Chopped off unsweetened non-dairy milk or creamer
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds or black cumin seeds, or a mixture
- ¼ Chopped off crumbled vegan 'feta' or 'goat' type cheese (optional)
PREPARE THE CHICKPEA AND CORN CRUST
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the chickpea flour, cornmeal, herbs, salt and pepper. Pulse several times to combine.
Add the vegan butter to the food processor and mix until the butter is crumbly and small pieces are about the size of a pea.
With the food processor motor running, pour ice water (but not ice!) Through the feed tube. Once you have poured the water, stop the motor and then start pressing the pulse button until the dough forms a ball. If this does not happen, pour in 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time until it does. be careful not to over mix as you always want visible pieces of vegan butter.
Empty the dough on the counter and shape it into a disc. Wrap it tightly in bee wrap or plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
MAKE THE FILLING AND ASSEMBLE THE CAKE
Preheat the oven to 400 ° F. Spread the sliced squash on a baking sheet and toss with ½ tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Once coated, spread it out in a single layer and bake in the oven until just tender, about 20 minutes. Take the squash out of the oven and let it cool.
When cool enough, in a large bowl, gently toss the cooked squash with the shallots and chopped apples, sumac, salt and pepper and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Once the filling is evenly mixed, set aside.
Collect the chickpea and cornmeal crust from the refrigerator. Lightly sprinkle your countertop with more chickpea flour and spread it out evenly in a circle shape about 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter. The crust may split around the edges as you roll. Its good! Just take a few pieces of overhang, patch the cracks and roll them up to seal them.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place it right next to the dough working area. Gently and lightly roll the crust around your rolling pin to transfer it to the baking sheet. Smooth out any rough edges if desired.
Pour Dijon mustard directly onto the crust and spread it evenly, leaving a 2 inch radius around the outside. Layer the butternut, apple and shallot filling on top, leaving a 2 inch radius around the outside as well. The filling should be of uniform thickness.
Starting at one side, gently lift and press the crust onto the filling to lock it in. It will look rustic! If you have tears, just press the dough with your fingers.
Brush off any excess flour from the folded crust. Then brush the edges of the exposed crust pastry with the non-dairy milk and sprinkle evenly with sesame / nigella seeds.
Bake the patty for 25 to 30 minutes, turning your baking sheet after 15 minutes. Bake in the preheated oven until the image is very tender and the crust is golden brown on all sides.
Sprinkle crumbled vegan cheese on top of your choice. Cut the galette into slices and serve lukewarm. Be gentle when cutting and transferring the slices. This crust is super flaky and tender!
- I prefer the half-moon style squash slices for this, as the presentation is nicer and it slices a bit cleaner than cubed squash.
- My favorite vegan cheeses for the garnish here are from Canadian brands: VegNature and Nuts for cheese.
- It is always worth mentioning when I use vegan butter: Miyoko the brand is my favorite.
- I like having super thin apples and shallots so I use a mandolin slicer to cut them. Get the job done really quickly as a bonus!
- If you are avoiding corn, you can definitely use another 1/4 cup of chickpea flour. Expect a more pronounced bean flavor and a slightly firmer crust.
It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.
Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.
Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.
Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).
I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a saine appetite for céréales, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based nutrition. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.
Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.
In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.
Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.
A great many dietary traditions around the world are already plant-based, which means that vegans and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary folklores to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal favorites ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new céréales, legumes, and vegetables.
A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.
Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and alimentation clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '
While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the possibilités were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and matière of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.
Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.
While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tonalités of different céréales, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' texture and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome matière that most people prefer.
When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.
For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.
This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).
But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.
Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and folklores. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.
And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all vegans eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.
Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, convie him or her over for some recipe testing.
Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.