Easy Vegan Baklava

I have a new love that is phyllo dough. Which probably means I’ve been watching too many episodes of The Great British Baking Show. I was so excited to make something that I absolutely love! I also thought I was going to make my own phyllo dough. HA! Just get store bought. I looked at many recipes for homemade phyllo and oh my stars… I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not patient enough to roll the dough that thin.

Trader Joe’s has the best/least expensive phyllo out there that I know of. The sheets of dough are perfectly flat, not torn, and smooth. The best part? Dairy and eggs aren’t listed in the ingredients. Hooray!

There are a few tricks to working with phyllo. You’ll want to prep every other element of this dessert before you even think about taking that dough out of the package. That package will need to set in your fridge for at least 30 minutes before use. To keep the dough from drying out when you are using it will require a damp kitchen towel and cling wrap. After the dough is cut to the size of your dish, you will lay out a piece of cling wrap on your counter and place the dough on one side and loosely cover it with the rest of the wrap. On top of that you will put the damp dish towel. While you’re working you will need to keep it covered like this.

Easy Vegan Baklava

Work fast my friends!

Easy Vegan Baklava

  • Servings: 16
  • Time: 4.5 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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This wonderfully simple, but oh-so delicious baklava is a dessert to impress with it's many flakey layers.


Ingredients

– 1 package of store bought frozen phyllo dough, defrosted in fridge
– 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips, roughly chopped
– 1 cup mixed nuts, finely chopped (I used peanuts and almonds)
– 1 cup melted nut butter
– 1/2 cup melted  vegan butter
– 3/4 cup water
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1 tbsp. liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil a 9×9 baking dish and set it a side in an easy to access space.
2. Chop chocolate chips and nuts. Mix in a small bowl. Warm nut butter in a separate bowl in microwave until just melted. Warm butter in a small dish in the microwave until melted. Set the chocolate chip mix, the nut butter, and the oil aside near your baking dish at your work station.
3. Pull the phyllo dough from the fridge. Prep your station to keep the dough from getting dry. Cut the dough down to the size of your dish.
4. The first layer is six sheets deep. Pull two sheets of dough from your pile, holding the sheets together butter one side. Place the butter side down in the dish. Repeat 2 more times.
5. Evenly distribute 1/3 of your chocolate chip mixture and nut butter mixture on top of the last layer of phyllo in your dish. Take two sheet of phyllo, holding the sheets together butter one side, place butter side down in the dish. Repeat two more times with the remaining mixture.
6. Repeat step #4 to create the top layer of your baklava. Lightly brush the very top layer of exposed phyllo with butter.
7. In a diagonal motion, cut the baklava into diamonds. Place in the center of your oven for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the baklava is golden brown and starting to flake.
8. While the baklava is baking, mix the sugar, water, and liquid sweetener in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for at least 15 minutes. It is best to do this toward the end of the baking time so it is hot.
9. Bring the baklava out of the oven when it is done and carefully pour your hot sugar water over the baklava. It should bubble in the dish from the heat. Leave to rest and cool for at least 3 hours before serving.

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

Even though we have been vegan for two years now, we still get the question “So… what do you eat? There’s like, nothing out there for you. It’s all just fake versions of what I eat.” WRONG! There are so many amazing foods that vegans eat (it’s called vegetables!). Flavor and nutrition shine in vegan cooking and baking.

To prove that we do eat real, amazingly delicious food, I am committing to writing and posting one vegan recipe a week. It may be my vegetable stock that just costs pennies to make or baklava that melts in your mouth. Whatever it is, I promise it will be delicious and easy to make!

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

This is such a simple recipe that you can flavor however you like. I like the sweet and heat route for this dish that comes from the agave and chipotle powder. The spice works very well with the sweet potatoes that absorb it. Or you could use rosemary and thyme instead of chipotle powder and agave.

A cast iron skillet will work best for this recipe but it isn’t completely necessary. I have made it in a regular, large skillet and in cast iron. The cast iron, in my opinion, turned out better but it is completely up to you.

Warning: everything will have a very similar texture if each element isn’t cooked properly. By saying this I mean DON’T OVERCOOK YOUR POTATOES! You steam them first, but you really have to watch them to make sure they are just fork tender before you add them to the skillet. Same thing with the kale (unless you love super wilted kale). You add it in last and cook it down unless just wilted and still crunchy.

Sweet Potato and Red Bean Kale Hash

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Proving that vegans eat more than just rabbit food, this dish features sweet agave and spicy chipotle flavors that add a punch to your regular sweet potato.


Ingredients

– 3 medium sized sweet potatoes, diced to 1 inch cubes
– 1 15 oz can red beans (or 1.5 cups cooked red beans)
– 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
– 3 large lacinto kale leaves, chopped and ribs removed
– 1 tsp ground chipotle powder
– 1/2 tsp sea salt
– 1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
– Olive oil for cooking

Directions


1. Steam sweet potatoes until fork tender (about 15 minutes over water on stove top). While potatoes steam, cook onions over medium heat in cast iron skillet with olive oil as needed. Sauté until translucent and fragrant (about 3-5 minutes).
2. Add steamed sweet potatoes to the cooked onion in the skillet. Cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oil as necessary to keep potatoes from sticking. Potatoes should start to brown on the sides.
3. Once the potatoes are slightly browned, add the red beans. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. While the beans are cooking, add the chipotle powder, agave, and salt. Stir to combine and evenly coat.
4. Add kale and cook until just wilted, about 3 minutes.
5. Serve immediately.