Figs are a fruit that reminds me of the sun, the deep smell of the fig tree leaves, the sea. This ancient, historical fruit loves to grow not only in the gardens, but also in the ravines, on the rocks and on the dry, Greek mountains. Fresh figs always bring me back to that fig tree that still exists in my grandmother’s house, where I used to climb to gather figs as a child. My grandmother was always telling us to half them before eating them to check for any small intruders decided to eat them before us. How difficult was it when I was a kid to pick out the little white intruders from the identical thousands of white filaments of the fruit!
For the beautiful memories they bring in my mind and their wonderful flavor, every year, when figs are in season, I enjoy them not only freshly cut, usually just under the fig tree, but also in vegan recipes such as my juicy vegan tart with figs and almonds or my fig nice-cream with blackberries. Another recipe with figs that we love very much is today’s cake with figs. This cake has the texture of a very tender and aromatic cake with sweet and juicy bites of figs hidden here and there, softened and melty through baking.
The figs of today’s recipe are the figs I picked yesterday from two different fig trees I found in the forest and I shared them with a turtle I met along the way. Although we were both hungry, I finally managed to save the figs I needed to make the recipe I am sharing today with you!
(for a 26-28cm diameter baking pan)
- 1 1/4 cup plant-based milk at room temperature (I used this)
- 1/2 cup light olive oil or oil of choice
- 1 cup agave nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pack (500 g) self-raising flour
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 20 ripe figs washed and halved
- almond flakes for sprinkling
1. In a bowl, mix the vegan milk with the agave with the mixer. Add the lemon juice, olive oil and vanilla and finally the flour while stirring well.
2. Brush with oil a round baking pan or cake mold and sprinkle with flour. You can also lay with non-stick baking paper. Apply half of the cake mix to the mold and arrange half of the figs with the cut side up. Cover with the rest of the dough and arrange the remaining figs on top. Sprinkle with the almond flakes.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 175 oC for 45-50 minutes or until the cake is golden. The first 30-35 minutes be patient and do not open the oven door. To find out if it’s ready, insert a toothpick in the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. Otherwise, if it comes out wet, you may need few more minutes before checking again.
Note: The skins of the figs become soft and melty with baking, so you do not have to remove them. Keep in mind that figs are good sources of calcium which is another reason to enjoy them fresh as well as in recipes like this one.
When I was a kid, my second favorite food was the traditional omelet with potatoes my grandmother used to make as my top favorite food was the all-kid-favorite fried potatoes! So, since I managed to substitute fried potatoes with the equally tasty, oil-free, baked “fried” potatoes, I thought of making a delicious and healthy vegan, oil-free and gluten-free omelet. The recipe not only is absolutely tasty and cheap but also it’s really easy! All it takes is a good non-stick, medium-sized, frying pan!
In this recipe I try to approach the texture and taste of the omelet with potatoes -the traditional Cretan sfougato- my grandmother used to make, but without the animal ingredients and the huge amounts of fried oil. After several “trials and errors” I think this vegan omelet is one of the most delicious and hearty that I have made. A key role in its deliciousness is played by the combination of chickpea flour and corn flour, which balances the strong taste of chickpea flour and gives a more delectable color and texture. But my main secret is the addition of the caramelized onions. This unusual addition, inspired by the Spanish “tortilla”, helps keep enough moisture in the omelet and gives it a slightly sweet and appetizing taste that makes it unbeatable!
For the omelet
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup corn flour or corn meal
- 3/4 cups water
- 1 tbsp lemon juice or apple-cider vinegar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp baking powder
For the caramelized onions
- 5 medium, dried onions, sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 medium white potatoes cooked and peeled
1. Prepare the vegan omelet mix: Mix all the ingredients for the omelet with a fork or a mixer, making sure there are no lumps left. Cover and let sit for an hour.
2. For the caramelized onions: In the meantime put the sliced onions, garlic, salt and pepper in a non-stick frying pan, cover and cook in medium to low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are softened.
3. Cut the potatoes into crescents 1/2 -1 cm thick.
4. Preheat a non-stick frying pan over medium to high heat. Pour the caramelized onions and potatoes in a bowl together with the omelet mixture and mix with a wooden spoon. Transfer the mixture into the pan and spread all the ingredients evenly. Lower the heat, cover the pan and cook in low heat for 20 minutes. Lightly weave with a fork to make sure the one side is golden brown and if it’s ready with a dish turn it upside down. Cook the other side for 5 more minutes and serve warm with fresh tomatoes, olives and bread!
Note: I usually like to prepare all the ingredients for the omelet in advance, for example the night before, so when I come back home from work the only thing I have to do is mix them and cook!
These days we are on vacation in Crete, the island with the scrumptious, juicy tomatoes and the fresh vegetables, the fluffy potatoes and the local avocados, the beautiful beaches and the warm sun! The amazing nature and the people here make me wanna spend most of the day outside, walking, swimming and talking and therefore the time left in the kitchen is minimal. However, this does not mean that we compromise on the taste and quality of our food. Simply, I choose to prepare easy, delicious and quick vegan recipes that do not require much preparation and are both nutritious and healthy.
One of them is a vegan version of the traditional Greek salad, made with potatoes and avocado. Actually this recipe is a variation of a mediterranean salad made by my grandmother during the summers, to which I replaced the animal ingredients with the delicious Cretan avocadoes and I also modified the sauce a little bit according to our taste. Although very simple in its preparation, this potato salad, which can be eaten as an accompaniment or as a light main course, is one of our favorite choices, especially when we are on vacation, when both the time and the cοoking equipment available are limited. Fortunately, all that is needed to create this recipe is freshly picked, organically grown ingredients and our happy mood 🙂
For the salad
- 2 medium ripe tomatoes cut into chunks
- 2 medium potatoes, cooked and cut into chunks
- 1 avocado peeled and sliced
- 2 medium or 1big cucumber peeled and sliced
- 1 red onion peeled and sliced
- 4 tbsp. capers or olives (or both!)
- 2-3 tbspfresh basil or spearmint leaves chopped
- 1 tsp. dried oregano, ground
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- freshly ground pepper
For the sauce
- 2-3 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 2 tbl. lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. apple or grape vinegar
- 1 tbsp. prepared mustard
For serving (optional)
2 Cretan barley rusks (paximadia)
1. In a large bowl mix all the salad ingredients slightly before serving.
2. In another bowl, mix with a fork or a mixer the ingredients for the sauce. Pour over the salad.
3. Mix the salad well and serve over barley rusks or enjoy with your favorite bread.