Sunday, 25 May 2008

More sproing and some tasty tortilla concoctions

I finished the last post dithering about what to do with my leftover quinoa: muffins or croquettes? And what do you know? Muffins can sproing too! We decided we wanted the black beans for dinner, so out came Veganomicon again. I really don't remember running out of linseeds, but apparently I did. I must do a stock-take some time. Ground linseeds take the place of egg in vegan baking, so I used some plain yogurt instead. I also used spelt flour instead of plain, added only a tiny bit of oil, and halved the recipe to save milk for tomorrow's breakfast. The recipe also said to add bicarbonate of soda which wasn't in the list of ingredients, so I added about 1/2 teaspoon (in the halved batch). They did rise a little and even smelt like sweet muffins because of the cinnamon. The little quinoa squiggles were pleasingly evident even on the top, and even more so when the muffin was cut. I really liked the taste, too - flavourful without being sweet, which is what I was aiming for. I've put them in the freezer for when we get back from Ireland, to eat with soups and salads.

Dinner's challenge, meanwhile, was to use up all the ingredients we had in the fridge which wouldn't last over our week's holiday. I got them all out and looked at them: one potato, some spring onions, a few asparagus spears, some goats cheese, the black beans, some carrot and about three quarters of a red pepper. I'd got some tortillas out of the freezer and some spinach, with the idea that we'd make some fillings and fry them in nice big tortilla sandwiches. We divvied up the ingredients and made one filling each. I got defrosted spinach, asparagus, and spring onion. The Scientist took the potato, beans, pepper and carrot. I steamed my asparagus, mixed it with the spinach, added some home-grown basil, and seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I made a second batch with just spinach, some goats cheese and seasonings. The Scientist cooked and mashed his potato, added the beans, some lightly sauteed pepper and the grated carrot. In his second batch he added some cheddar. We just filled half of each tortilla, folded them over and fried them on each side in a dry frying pan until they were crisp.

The idea was a great success though both of us felt that our fillings could have been a bit better seasoned. I particularly liked the crunch of my spinachy asparagus one, while The Scientist's potato filling had a good thick texture and crunch from the carrot. I was too full to try more than a bite of the cheesey ones as we had the leftover quinoa salad from yesterday as well. I was also rather proud of myself for managing to get yet more leftovers into a nice healthy dessert - a vegan banana mousse I found on recipezaar. It was just two bananas, the juice from one lemon, 1 tbsp agave nectar and as much desiccated coconut as you fancy, blitzed up together. It was quite runny but light and sweet, and full of pretty wholesome ingredients. We even came up with the idea of using the last tortilla to make a dessert pancake, with some chocolate grated over the top. I ate mine unadorned; The Scientist took care of the pancake version and declared it a success.

After all that I sill had to face packing, but at least the fridge is pretty much clear. I hope there are a good few service stations on the way to Holyhead given the amount of OJ we need to drink before I'll let us leave the house, though.

Almond quinoa muffins
(from Veganomicon) - full batch
My half batch made 9 small muffins

1 cup vanilla soy milk [I used plain]
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds [I used 2 tbsps plain yogurt in my half batch instead]
1/4 cup canola oil [I used much less - maybe 1/2-3/4 tsp]
1/4 cup agave nectar or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups plain or whole wheat pastry flour [I used almost all spelt flour with a bit of wholemeal plain]
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
[I think there's some bicarb of soda missing here - try 1 tsp for the full batch]
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/4 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup finely chopped dried apricot or currants

Preheat the oven to 350F and lightly grease a muffin tin.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the milk and ground flaxseeds. Allow to sit for 1 minute, then whisk in oil, agave nextar and vanilla

In a separate large bowl, sift together flour. ground almonds, bicarb of soda, baking powder, salt and spices. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, mixing until just incorporated. Gently fold in the cooked quinoa and the apricots and mix until only the large lumps are gone.

Pour into the prepared muffin tin adn bake for 20-22 mins until a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.


Johanna said...

Wow - almost as soon as I had written a comment recommending the muffins there was a post saying you had made them! (I'd like to think it was my recommendation but somehow I think you had made up your mind already - but it made me laugh)

Sounds like you have done well with eating all the perishables and having some great muffins in the freezer to welcome you home after your trip

Lysy said...

My resolve to make the muffins was strengthened by your post on them so you did indeed play an important part! Now I need to find them again under all the Irish wheaten bread I've just squidged into all the available corners of the freezer!