Thursday, September 27, 2012

Roasted Curry Cauliflower

Kids, your mom is going back work so things are going to be different around here.  My parents said something like this to me and my brothers when I was 12 year old.  And, with Vegan Son #1 ready to hit twelve in December, we just said it to our kids.  Vegan Mom has gone back to school to pursue her MEd and PhD in Education.  Needless to say, things have changed in our household.  With time at a premium we need to be more efficient in our meal planning.  We need to start thinking about making some meals ahead and freezing them, and creating quick but nutritious dinners.  So many people have commented on this blog about where I find the time to cook.  Well, now I know what they were talking about.  We have 4 kids in 3 different schools, plus gymnastics and swimming lessons.  When my mom went back to work she would leave simple instructions for us kids on how to make dinner.  This is when I first started to cook.  I am hoping to do something similar with Vegan Son #1 and pass down a love of food to the next generation.

This recipe is pretty easy and makes the house smell great.  Spice how you prefer--a pre-made curry powder even.

- 1 cauliflower, cut into large pieces
- 1 sweet onion, thickly sliced
- olive oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Put cauliflower and onion slices in large bowl.  Drizzle with some olive oil (1-2 tsp) and toss to coat.  Mix spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over cauliflower.  Toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Spread out on the baking sheet.
3. Loosely cover the baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil.  Bake for 15 mins.  Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 mins, or until cauliflower is tender and browned.
4. Drizzle lemon juice over the cauliflower and serve. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Lattice Top (and other Ways to Make a Funky Pie)

Last pie post (for now!).  I had a great deal of fun exploring the world of pastry, and I mean to do it again when the crisp autumn weather demands that I bake something savoury in a crust.  As I mentioned in my last post, fruit pies follow a pretty standard formula.  And, once you have your crust down, you are off to the races.  With the basics perfected you can work on making your pies as pretty as possible.  That's what this post is all about.

A lattice top is a great idea for juicy pies like peach and cherry, and it will impress all your friends.
1. Roll out the dough for the top crust into a square, large enough to cut into at least 16 strips of about 1/2" width (for a 9" pie).  Cut into strips with a knife or a pastry cutter.
2. Lay 8 strips across the pie, leaving some space in between.  Fold back every other strip halfway (i.e. strips 2,4,6,8).  Lay one of your remaining eight strips across the middle of the pie, perpendicular to the first eight strips.  Return the folded back strip to their original position.
3. Now, fold back the strips you didn't fold back the first time (i.e. strips 1,3,5,7) back and lay a new strip down to the right of the one you laid in step 2.  Fold back the strips.
4. Repeat, laying strips all the way to the right, and then to the left of the strip in step 2 until the pie is covered.
5.  Trim the strips with some overhang and fold under the bottom crust as per usual, or trim flush and press into the bottom crust to seal.

Alternately, cut circles of dough and make them into a top crust, brushing a little water on the bottoms of any pieces that overlap so that they seal with the dough beneath them.

Dough scraps can easily be rolled into leaves (brush bottoms with water to seal). A brushing of soy milk and some coarse sugar make a nice topping for a cherry pie.