Orange and Chia Seed Muffins with Orange Glaze

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Oranges can often be over looked in the world of fruit for their more glamorous cousins, the peach, the mango, the nectarine… but a good orange really is a thing of beauty. When I think of oranges I think of rays of sunshine, dappled light and smiles.

I also think of the beautiful Leonard Cohen song ‘Suzanne’ with the line ‘… and she feeds you tea and oranges that come all the way from China’ It’s just so wistful and poetic…

And oranges also just happen to make superbly delicious muffins! These are just lovely…

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

What you will need: 

  • 2 cups (250g) plain flour
  • 1/3 cup (60g) caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ tablespoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Grating of orange rind (finely grated)
  • 1 cup (250ml) orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil
  • Egg replacer for 1 egg – 1 tblspn flaxseed meal with 3 tblspns water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Oranges

 For the orange glaze

  • 1 tablespoon melted vegan margarine
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup (90g) icing sugar

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

 

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (fan forced 180). Line a muffin tin with patty cups, or grease with a little oil.

Sift and mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients all at once, and then gently fold together using a fork. Do not overmix; scrape up from the bottom of the bowl to gently fold together until the mixture is just moistened.

 Spoon the muffin mixture into the patty cups, filling the cups 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack.

 IOrange and Chia Seed Muffins

To make the orange glaze, mix together all the ingredients, adding more orange juice or icing sugar to adjust the consistency if necessary. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled muffins.

 

Orange and Chia Seed Muffins

Enjoy! xx

 

 

 

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Vegetable and Tofu Pie

Vegetable & Tofu Pie

The complete veggie pie!

A version of this pie has been in existence since my share house days in my early 20’s when I first stopped eating meat – actually at the same time as the Save the Chicken  eggplant bake.  In its previous incarnation it was a vegetarian pie with eggs and milk and then piled high with grated cheese on top.  It was always a hit, even amongst friends and family who weren’t vego.

Recently a friend sent me a pic on facebook  – I’d typed out the recipe and given it to her – all the way back in 2003! I’ve been thinking about how I could veganise it… cakes, biscuits and muffins now seem so easy to ditch eggs and butter but this pie…. just wasn’t sure what I could do…

And then I came across a pie recipe in an old Vegetarian book ‘The Vegetarian Adventure’ by Karen Meyer which I found in a 2nd hand shop. The previous owner has written notes all through it, made suggestions, reviews and even pasted other recipes inside the front cover!  Although its a Vegetarain book there are quite a few Vegan recipes tucked inside it as well.

I was a little dubious… would it be a complete disaster…but it works!

The idea for the potato base for this pie (part of the original recipe) came from my sister who I believe got it from an Elizabeth David cookbook… so with potato as the pie crust – it really is a complete Veggie Pie!

Vegetable & Tofu Pie

What you will need:

Filling:

Veggies – lots of them and whatever you happen to have around or takes your fancy! Possibilities include:

  • Onion
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Spinach
  • Capsicum
  • Cauliflower
  • Tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 x 440g block of tofu
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • Salt and cracked pepper

Base:

  • 3-4 potatoes (washed, peeled or unpeeled depending on preference). Use any potato you have handy really – new potato or desiree work well.
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegan margarine

 Tofu & Vegetable Pie

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to approximately 160°C

Step 2: The base

Think mashed potato and you’ll get the idea!

  • Slice potatoes in half and add to boiling water – boil until soft and ready to mash (approx10-15 minutes)
  • Get out your potato masher & mash away
  • Add the margarine and flour to the mashed potato (if you find the mixture a little dry you have two options – add a dash of soy milk or a little more vegan margarine)
  • Once fully combined use this potato mix to line the base of a pie dish. Using a fork dot the lining and then pop into the oven for approximately 15 mins. The idea is to partially cook the lining – this will both firm it to hold the filling and give a lovely golden, baked potato flavour.
  • Remove the pie case from the oven and set aside to cool while you continue with the filling

Step 3: The filling

While the pie crust is cooking away get your filling started

  • Finely chop the onion (brown, spanish or white)
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a fry pan and add the onion.  Cook gently for 3 minutes until the onion becomes slightly translucent.
  • Lightly sauté the veggies – start with those that take the longest – cauliflower, broccoli and then work your way up to those veggies that require little cooking – spinach, corn etc.
  • They only require a little time cooking on the stove top – it’s just really to get them on their way!
  • Keep that potato masher handy…. !
  • In a separate mixing bowl add the drained tofu and give it a good mashing!
  • Add the tahini and soy sauce to the tofu
  • Add the veggies to the tofu mixture and gently combine.
  • Carefully pile this mixture into the potato pie case
  • Slice a tomato and arrange across the top of the pie and scatter sesame seeds and/or chia seeds over the pie top.

 

Note:

Before scattering the sesame and chia seeds it is optional to grate some vegan cheese over the top of the pie. Not necessary but can certainly be a nice finishing touch.

  • Now pop the pie into the oven. Baking time will vary – check at 35 minutes however it can take up to 45 mins depending on your oven.  You just want it lightly golden brown.

Remove from oven and serve with either a lovely green salad or if it’s more of a winter’s night then some lovely steamed veggies of your choice.

P.S. You could of course use pastry for the base whether you make it yourself or buy frozen pastry (vegan of course)!

I’m so happy that I’ve been able to recreate this pie – once you’ve cooked it a few times and have a feel for putting it together, you can have it ready in under an hour.

Enjoy! Xx

Vegetable Pie

Healthy Granola Biscuits – With Crunch!

Granola Biscuits

Like muffins, I regularly whip up a batch of biscuits – always rather make my own than buy store bought. There are a few biscuits by major biscuit companies that just happen to be Vegan but homemade are always going to be superior!

And these are full of lots of goodies!

Granola Biscuits

I got the idea for this biscuit from a Jill Dupleix recipe that I came across while looking for a healthy muesli type biscuit but has been tweaked and veganised!

 

What you will need:

125 g rolled oats

100g shredded coconut

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

80g almonds, roughly chopped

20g walnuts, roughly chopped

50g plain flour, sifted

50g wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon cardamom

Pinch of salt

125 g brown sugar

100g sultanas

50g currents

50 g apple sauce

100 g vegan margarine

2 tablespoons golden syrup

3 tablespoons boiling water

1 ½ teaspoons bicarb of soda

 

What to do:

Pre heat oven to 170 °C (160 °) fan forced. Line two biscuit trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, mix oats, shredded coconut, chia seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, almonds, sifted flour, cinnamon, ginger, salt, brown sugar, sultanas and currents.

Granola Biscuits

Next:

Over a gentle heat combine the vegan margarine and golden syrup in a saucepan until just melted, remove from heat.

In a smaller heatproof bowl mix the boiling water and bicarb and add to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture as it forms a light foam. Pour this lovely caramel mixture into the dry ingredients and give it a good stir with the wooden spoon.

Next add the Apple sauce (I used 50 g of this to cut down on the vegan margarine)

This is the fun bit! Using your hands ‘mulch’ the mixture until it is thick and squelchy. You can always add a dash of water if the mixture is a little dry.

The size of the biscuits you are after will determine just how much mixture you scoop up to roll into a ball – this time I used about 2 tablespoons of mixture for each ball.

Then, using a spatula, lightly press down on each ball

Pop the tray in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until lightly golden and still slightly soft. You want them to still be soft as they come out of the oven as when they cool they will have crunchy edges but with still slightly fudgy centres. Yum!

Once removed from the oven cool for about 10 minutes on the trays and then transfer to wire racks to cool.

These are great! Really! And as I had way too many to munch my way through I froze some – I was kinda curious as to how they would taste after defrosting – well they well and truly survived being frozen  – no disenable difference detected – i.e. just as delicious!

Enjoy! xx