Happy Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, I decided to bake heart shaped buns.

Love Buns

25 g yeast
1 tsp salt
5 dl water
1 tbsp syrup
0,5 dl (ground) flax seed
1 dl sesame seeds
1,5 dl sunflower seeds
1 dl wheat bran
3 dl whole wheat flour
7 dl wheat flour
2-3 tbsp oil
poppy seeds, sesame seeds and/or sunflower seeds for garnishing (optional)

Crumble the yeast with salt in a bowl and leave for about 10 minutes.  Add water, syrup and all seeds and mix together. Add bran, whole wheat flour and most of the wheat flour. Knead with rest of the flour until you have a nice ball of dough, add the oil when the dough is almost ready. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled.

Punch down and roll into a 1-1,5 cm thick rectangle. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make buns. Transfer the buns on a baking sheet, cover with towel and allow to rise 10-15 minutes. Brush with cold water and sprinkle seeds on the buns. Bake 15 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees or until browned.

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Starring: The Chickpea Loaf

In Finland we have a cooking magazine called Maku. I haven’t found many interesting recipes from issues I’ve read, most of them are for omnivores and vegetarian recipes are usually so basic recipes that I could whip them up any time (could be good recipes for beginners, though). This loaf from issue 6/08 is exception. It’s easy to make and it’s best loaf I’ve ever eaten. This time I baked it in star shaped dish, but usually I use an elongated dish.

Chickpea Loaf

600g cooked or canned chickpeas (3 dl dry)
150g chopped onions
1 tbsp canola oil for frying
2dl rolled oats
2 dl oat cream
1 dl canola oil
4 tbsp potato flour
2 tbsp curry paste (less if it’s strong)
2,5 tsp salt
2 tsp ground aniseed or ground fennel seeds
2 tsp basil
0,5 tsp ground black pepper
150 g grated parsnip
2 dl sunflower seeds

to the dish:
margarine
1 dl sesame seeds (bread crumbs can be used too)

Fry the chopped onions in oil.

Put everything except parsnip and sunflower seeds to a big bowl and puré them with a hand held blender. Add grated parsnip and sunflower seeds and blend a little longer. Some of the seeds should be crushed and some should stay unbroken.

If you’re not using a non-stick dish, cover at least the bottom with piece of parchment paper. Grease the dish (and paper) with margarine and coat with sesame seeds. Pour the chick pea mash to the dish and even out. Bake in 175 Celsius degrees for about an hour. Let the loaf cool down a bit and flip over. Can be served hot or cold.

Kappa Maki And Other Sushi

Today I made my first sushi. I had eaten sushi once in my omnivorous times, and it had fish in it. Miyoko Nishimoto Schinner’s Contemporary and Traditional Japanese Cooking: Simple, Delicious and Vegan had good sushi rice instructions, which I used. The book said it the amount of rice serves 6-12 people, and I thought half of it would be a dinner for two + some leftovers for lunch next day. I was wrong, we had so much sushi that it looked like we were having a Japan themed party. I guess we’re eating sushi the rest of the week.

Making the sushi was easier than I thought and it was fun. I made kappa maki (cucumber maki) and other maki rolls. I don’t know if the other rolls have Japanese names or do they eat that kind of combinations in Japan, but they were good. I served them with wasabi and Kikkoman shoyu.maki1Leftt: avocado and toasted sesame seed maki. Middle: wasabi, toasted sesame seed and bell pepper maki. Right: avocado, cucumber and toasted sesame seed maki.

maki2Left: wasabi, cucumber and bell pepper maki. Right: carrot (cooked with little bit of water, soy sauce and mirin) and toasted sesame seed maki.

maki3

Left: avocado, cucumber and bell pepper maki. Right: kappa maki.

Sushi Rice

1l rice
1l water
1 dl sugar
2 dl sushi vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1,5 tbsp sea salt

10 nori sheets

Put the rice to a large pot. Fill the pot with cold water, stir with your hands and pour off the water. Repeat until the water is fairly clear. Pour 1l water to the pot and soak the rice at least 30 minutes. Put the lid on (don’t remove it while cooking) and turn the heat to high. When water starts to boil, turn the heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Turn the heat low and cook 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit 5-10 minutes.

Combine sugar, vinegar, mirin and salt in a pot, bring to boil and let cool. Stir the rice with a big spoon or spatula and add some vinegar at the same time. If the rice stops absorbing the liquid, don’t add more. Choose the fillings you want to use and prepare them: cut all the vegetables to thin sticks, deseed the cucumber, toast the sesame seeds etc.

Finally, make the maki rolls. I followed Isa and Terry’s instructions.

Pea kebab and barbecue sauce

A few pea kebabs. Notice: these are too big, make yours smaller.

A few pea kebabs. Notice: these are too big, make yours smaller.

Pea kebab

1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves
4-5 dl cooked peas
2 tbsp tomato pure
1,5 dl sesame seeds
0,5 dl wheat flour
0,5 dl bread crumbs
1 dl rolled oats
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp parsley
1 tsp salt
0,5 tsp extra hot chili powder
oil or barbecue sauce for grilling
wooden skewers, soaked in water at least half an hour

Mash peas and mince onion and garlic. Mix everything in a bowl and put into fridge for 10 minutes.

Form bars from pea mixture  and put on skewers. Remember to make small enough bars, because if they are too big, they may fall apart while you grill them.

Brush with oil or barbecue sauce and grill.

Original recipe is from Jere Nieminen’s cookbook Herne Rokkaa. He used canned peasoup, but we substituted it with cooked peas. We added oatmeal to the recipe, because our mashed peas weren’t thick enough and we also added the salt.

Basic barbecue sauce

0,5 dl oil
0,5 dl soy sauce
2 tbsp ketchup
0,5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt

Mix everything and brush on vegetables or whatever you’re grilling.

This time we added the juice of one lime to the sauce and sometimes we add garlic or chili powder.