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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Review of Bread and Sons Bakery

Bread and Sons is a wonderful little bakery in Centretown. It’s the perfect spot to pick up some mid-morning treats, a delicious lunch or even a pizza on a Friday night. Actually, one of my favourite maternity-leave moments was right at the end of my leave when my daughter was in daycare – I met a friend for coffee and some treats at Bread and Sons. It was sunny and warm, so we sat on the small tables outside the bakery and chatted for close to two hours. We each grabbed a second coffee and additional treats as we people-watched and talked about graphic novels, school and work. Some people might complain that there is not enough seating but I actually like this feature. It means that there is a high turnover rate for their coffee and baked goods and everything is super fresh. The busy atmosphere means you need to decide quickly what you’d like to eat. Also, it forces you to get outside and enjoy the bustle of the downtown core. Another plus of this bakery – they try to source as many local ingredients as possible – they even have a map painted on their wall with their local vendors displayed! And, if you’re eating vegan they offer almond milk for your coffee which is a great perk since most places only offer soy milk.  Overall, I think it’s a great place to stop and get breakfast or lunch. Below, I’ve reviewed a few of my favourite foods from Bread and Sons.Bread and Sons Muffin and Cofee

Breakfast

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
By far my favourite vegan offering at the bakery. Moist, sweet (but not too sweet) with crunchy pumpkin seeds on the top. Get there in the morning before they all sell out. Perfect for fall or anytime of the year.

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Cookie
Delicious! These don’t look the prettiest, are little on the pricey side and chances are they will leave chocolate all over your hands as you eat them but they are well worth the mess and the price.

Lunch

Pizza – All the World’s Green – Vegan
Before going dairy-free I loved all of their vegetarian pizzas – they have the right balance of cheese to toppings to crust. I never paid attention to the vegan choice assuming it was boring. Turns out this is one of the best choices for pizza regardless of whether or not you are avoiding dairy. It has kale, spinach, arugula, red onions, roasted sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, red peppers, olives and mushrooms. I know, it sounds busy but as a vegan I loved the variety on the pizza – the greens are in perfect harmony with the mushrooms and the olives. And, I adore the taste of the roasted garlic. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the pizzas are named after Tom Waits songs.

Sandwich – Avocado
A great sandwich, actually one of my favourite lunch choices. The avocado is always perfectly salted, the bread is always tasty and the sunflower seeds are a great surprise when eating the sandwich. Well worth the price.

Salad – Avocado and Roasted Tofu
This is the one lunch choice that is “just okay” in my opinion. The tofu is a little bland although perfectly pressed. The avocado shines as the star.

Overall – great place to go for breakfast or lunch.  Highly recommended.

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A few weeks ago I was flipping through Anna Thomas’ Love Soup to find some soup recipes for the winter months.  Near the back of the book I saw an entry for Parmesan and fennel biscotti.  I was intrigued.  The recipe looked delicious but I wondered if I could substitute the fennel for something else.  In the fall I had made a trio of savoury muffins and I thought about pairing parmesan and garlic instead.  Or if I was really ambitious I could make biscotti in each flavour like the muffins!  I started make my plan but with everything I was buying for holiday baking I decided just one flavour combination would be enough:  walnut and rosemary.  These biscotti were delicious – great with a sharp cheddar cheese and a nice glass of red wine.  We actually ended up eating most of these with soup or as an appetizer.  Not exactly a cookie but nice to have around the house to snack on.

Walnut-Rosemary Biscotti

(Inspired by Anna Thomas’ Parmesan and Fennel Biscotti in Love Soup)

  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted (plus some for the kneading surface for example a cutting board)
  • 1/3 c masa harina
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3 to 4 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, removed from stem (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 c chopped walnuts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.  Prepare your kneading surface by lightly flouring it.

In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients:  flour, masa harina, salt, pepper, baking powder and baking soda.  Whisk these together.  Using a fork stir in the rosemary and walnuts.

In a small bowl use the same fork to beat together the eggs and the buttermilk.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir together with your fork until a crumbly dough forms.  You may need to use your hands to get it to stick together.  Now transfer the dough to your floured surface and knead it into a smooth ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Remove 1/3 of the dough and leave the remaining dough wrapped in plastic.  Roll the dough into a log about and inch wide and place on your baking sheet.  Flatten the top using your fingers.

Don't worry if they are not even -- you'll be slicing them into smaller pieces for the second baking stage.

Repeat with another third of the dough and leave about two inches between the logs.  Repeat with the last 1/3 of the dough.  Bake for 20 minutes.  They will have a nice golden brown hue.

The golden brown hue you will see after the first baking.

Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool.  They must cool for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t rush this step!  In the meantime, lower the oven temperature to 225 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with fresh parchment paper.

Using a bread knife, slice the baked logs about a 1/4 inch thick.  Place the slices on the baking sheets and bake for 35 minutes.  You don’t really need to leave any room since the biscotti will not be expanding anymore.  After the 35 minutes is up flip the slices and then bake another 35 minutes.  The biscotti will be crisp and dry.

This is the biscotti before their second baking. After the second baking the cookies will be more brown and the edges will be crisp.

Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Biscotti will keep for a couple of weeks in an air-tight container.

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I have been baking up a storm for the holidays:  these cookies for the exchange, trial cookies that didn’t work out so well, 7 dozen cookies from a class at Urban Element, fruitcakes and I’ll be baking more soon (recipes to follow) for another cookie exchange!  To top all of that off – I’ve been eating tonnes of great baked goods!  I received cookies from Eri @ It all tastes Greek to me and Heather @ New House, New Home, New Life (my 3rd set of cookies arrived today).  There is a new bakery open in my nieghbourhood with amazing gingerbread cookies and so many of my friends and family have given me baked goods.  I feel super lucky.

To begin my recipe you need to set the mood with the right holiday music:

Phil Spector Christmas

After you have the right music, holiday baking is a snap!

Oatmeal-Chocolate-Currant Cookies

(Adapted from a Moosewood cookie recipe)

  • 1 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 c sugar
  • ½ c butter
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs walnut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ c rolled oats
  • ½ of this type of chocolate bar (but I have made these cookies with a number of different types of bars; this one wasn’t my favourite)
  • ½ c chopped walnuts
  • ½ c currants

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients:  flour, salt, and baking soda.  In another large bowl, beat together sugar, butter and oils until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Sift in the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.  Stir in the oats, chocolate, walnuts and currants.  Your batter will be really thick at this point.

Drop batter onto baking sheet.  Leave about 2 inches in-between.  Bake for 10-12 minutes (check at the 8 minute mark).  You want your cookies to crisp and golden on the edges.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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Stuffed Squash

This makes a full meal for 2 people.   Some notes:  I used Lundberg brand rice in this recipe but any brown rice would workAlso you can substitute the  rosemary for thyme if that’s what you have on hand.

  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 small butternut or buttercup squashes
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sliced leek (or if you prefer use an onion)
  • 2 bell peppers (any colour), cut into small triangles or cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • grated Parmesan cheese as needed
  1. Make the rice. As rice cooks, preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly oil and baking sheet or lay down some tinfoil.
  2. Wash the squash and then slice in half. Spoon out the seeds. Use about 1 tablespoon of the oil to rub on the squash and then place them cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  3. While the squash cooks, sauté the leeks and garlic in the remaining oil until the leek is translucent. Add the bell peppers and rosemary and continue to cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are just tender and release their water. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix together rice and vegetable sauté.
  5. When the squash is finished baking remove from oven and turn cut side up. Mash the flesh slightly (working carefully!) and then stuff with rice mixture. You can use all of the rice mixture here or you can save some for a side dish. Return the stuffed squash to the oven and bake for another 25 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top and enjoy!

Stuffed squash

This recipe originally appeared in Food for thought : a cookbook for the Canadian library community.

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