Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

This loaf of herby goodness is a warm, satisfying bite of home for me. It has a zesty and full bodied flavor and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious served toasted with vegan butter or cream cheese.

tomato basil bread

I’ll be the first to admit that I have a carb problem. Pasta, pizza, bread, more bread, sweet breads, muffins – you name it, I probably love it! I was looking back at my old blog site (https://hellobrownlow.blogspot.com/) and found that my love for food came straight outta Pinterest. My oldest blog name used to be “Amanda the pinterest baker”. Carbs AND sugar, double yum!

Since my first blog, I can see myself maturing (slightly) and making food that I really love. Food that makes my late-twenty year old self think, “this looks delicious and is worth my time to make” . I do less DIY craft projects and spend more time cooking and looking for ways to save money. More money saving ideas on are their way, but first BREAD!

My mom was never a bread maker, but she was the person that drove us to Panera Bread to pick up bagels, bread, and pastries. This tomato basil bread absolutely reminds me of a time when my brother and I would fight over the last slice of tomato basil bread my mom bought from Panera earlier in the week. We would throw down for the last slice of toasty, buttery goodness. I’m sure we would be more civil now that we are both in our twenties but that is yet to be determined.

Vegan tomato basil bread.png

This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser. It can be made in a dutch oven (pictured) or in a traditional loaf pan.

Tomato Basil Bread {Vegan}

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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This bread recipe is: vegan, zesty, easy, oh-so delicious, and sure to be a crowd pleaser.


Ingredients

– 3.5-4 cups of bread flour
– 1 3/4 cups of basil spaghetti sauce (or other roasted vegetable sauce from a can)
– 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
– Cooking Spray

Directions


1. Heat spaghetti sauce in pan to 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. While sauce is heating, in a large bowl whisk together 3 cups of flour and the yeast.
3. Remove sauce from heat once it is up to temperature. Gently pour 3/4 of the sauce into the flour/yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour in and let sit for 10 minutes to absorb the moisture from the sauce thoroughly.
4. Once the moisture is absorbed,if the dough is very wet add the additional flour a quarter cup at a time. Once it is to a slightly sticky but firm consistency, turn out on to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes.
5. Once kneaded, spray the inside of a large bowl lightly with cooking spray and put dough in. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let double in size (approximately 45 minutes to an hour)
6. After the bread is doubled in size, punch down. Transfer to your baking dish (dutch over or loaf pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover again and let rise for another 30 minutes. The dough is ready once you are able to touch it and not have it spring back.
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Test for doness at the 30 minute mark. If time is still needed, place back in over for another 10 minutes. The bread may start to color too darkly if using a loaf pan. If this occurs, cover with foil the remaining 10 minutes. Cover with lid if using dutch oven.
8. After baking, place on wire cooling rack. Let sit for 1 hr before slicing.
9. Stores in sealed container for up to one week (but who are you kidding? It won’t last that long.)
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{Vegan} Eggplant Parmesan

Happy Sunday! Sunday at our house is our favorite day to meal plan and cook. We often make this eggplant “Parmesan” on Sundays since we have more time to cook and relax.

This recipe does take a while so plan for 30-45 minutes of active time and 20 minutes of cook time. But for how long it takes to cook is well worth it. We have had traditional (read: dairy filled) versions of eggplant parm before and they don’t taste nearly as good as this. This isn’t soggy and isn’t loaded with (too) many calories. Served over a garlicy red sauce and noodles, it is a comfort meal worthy of a Sunday dinner.

Vegan Eggplant Parmesan

Sundays during the summer often call for BBQ ribs and pork belly, but in our house, Sunday is comfort food day. We (meaning my husband) bakes bread, I make cookies and meal plan, and we have a dinner together that took effort to make. During the week we rush around and I plan “quick” meals for every evening, but Sunday is full of taking our time and enjoying the processes of cooking.

This eggplant parm is vegan, however if you’re a dairy-holic, you can sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top of the eggplant and bake an additional five minutes after the regular cook time is over. I suggest that you serve this with a fresh salad and oven roasted veggies. The oven is on already, might as well make the most of it!

This recipe has multiple steps which will require you to use a lot of your kitchen. You will need a colander, 3 small to medium sized bowls, parchment paper, large cookie sheet, a spatula or tongs, a pot for the pasta, and a pot for the sauce. Enlist your significant other or kids to help clean up as you go!

Eggplant Parm {Vegan}

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
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Get ready to impress with this non-dairy eggplant parm. It is warm, comforting, and easy to make.


Ingredients

– 1 large eggplant
– 1 c. all purpose flour
– 1 tbsp. arrow root or cornstarch
– 1/2 c. dairy free milk (I used almond milk)
– 2 c. panko bread crumbs
– 1 16oz can tomato sauce
– 1 package spaghetti
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
– 1 large carrot, diced
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 3 tsp. paprika, separated
– 1 tbsp rosemary
– 1 tbsp thyme
– pepper to taste
– salt to taste

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Fill a large pot with water and place on stove to heat up to a boil.
2. Take your washed eggplant and cut it into 1/4 inch thick slices (coins). Lay the eggplant slices in the colander, trying not to overlap too much. Lightly run cold water over the eggplant for a few seconds and then heavily salt. Let stand for 10 minutes.
3. While your eggplant is resting, get three small bowls ready. Bowl 1 will be milk and 1 tsp paprika, bowl 2 is flour, arrowroot, and 1 tsp paprika, and bowl 3 is panko and 1 tsp paprika.
4. After 10 minutes is up, lightly rinse the eggplant and lay flat on a clean, dry towel. Make sure the eggplant slices are fully dry before starting the dredging process.
5. To completely dredge the eggplant, dip the slice in milk, then flour, then milk again, and finally dip it in panko. In each bowl, make sure to completely coat the slice. After it is completely coated in milk, flour, and panko, place the eggplant on a large, parchment paper covered baking sheet.
6. Once all slices are on the baking sheet, bake in oven for 10 minutes.
7. During the first half of the bake, saute garlic, onion and carrot with olive oil in a deep saute pan. Once the vegetables have started to caramelize, add in canned sauce along with the rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Let simmer until the eggplant is done cooking.
8. After the first 10 minutes of cook time, pull the eggplant out of the oven and flip over each slice. Place back in the oven and cook for an additional 10 to 12 minutes. Put spaghetti in water to cook.
9. Once your timer goes off after 10 minutes, the eggplant, spaghetti, and sauce will be finish. Serve immediately.

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
  • 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
  • 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.