Salty Pies – Pizzas

Vegan spanish tortilla -vegan omelette with potatoes and caramelized onions - Βέγκαν ομελέτα με πατάτες και καραμελωμένα κρεμμύδια - Βέγκαν ισπανική τορτίγια - Vegan in Athens

Vegan omelet with potatoes and caramelized onions– gluten-free, oil-free

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!

Vegan spanish tortilla -vegan omelette with potatoes and caramelized onions - Βέγκαν ομελέτα με πατάτες και καραμελωμένα κρεμμύδια - Βέγκαν ισπανική τορτίγια - Vegan in Athens

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!

Ingredients

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

additionally

  • 2 medium white potatoes cooked and peeled

Vegan spanish tortilla -vegan omelette with potatoes and caramelized onions - Βέγκαν ομελέτα με πατάτες και καραμελωμένα κρεμμύδια - Βέγκαν ισπανική τορτίγια - Vegan in Athens

Method

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!

Vegan spanish tortilla -vegan omelette with potatoes and caramelized onions - Βέγκαν ομελέτα με πατάτες και καραμελωμένα κρεμμύδια - Βέγκαν ισπανική τορτίγια - Vegan in Athens

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!

Vegan spanish tortilla -vegan omelette with potatoes and caramelized onions - Βέγκαν ομελέτα με πατάτες και καραμελωμένα κρεμμύδια - Βέγκαν ισπανική τορτίγια - Vegan in Athens

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Easy spinach pie with a homemade crust - Εύκολη, αφράτη σπανακόπιτα με σπιτικό φύλλο - Vegan in Athens

Vegan spanakopita (spinach-pie) with a crispy, homemade crust

Often I think of food as an anchor that holds my memories at the port of consciousness, protected from the ocean of oblivion, as there are several times that a specific food reminds me of moments and stories from the past. So strong is the connection of food and memory to me, that foods or ingredients associated with an unpleasant moment are not welcome in my kitchen and I do not eat them until a very tempting recipe or a chance to see them under a new, brighter angle – such as a cozy table with people I love or a journey – give me the incentive to retry them. These correlations between emotions – sensations – food is the reason why, when I share a recipe with you, I start by sharing a remembrance, a short story, filed concurrently with the specific food or dessert in my mnemonic library.

Although I could keep writing about memory and oblivion for the next few paragraphs, for the moment I will just share a memory concerning my relation to spinach-pie or spanakopita, a well-known traditional Greek food that everyone seems to like, during my childhood. Well as a child, my first reaction in front of a freshly baked, hot spinach-pie was to pinch my face, so much that several small creases were formed on my nose and around my eyes, to grit my teeth, to turn my head on the other side and with clear and loud voice to say “yuck” to anyone – usually an uncle or a grandma – who seemed to have a hard time comprehending my reaction. What if spanakopita today is one of my favorite dishes – especially this one I could eat it every day, for lunch and dinner for the next month; or that spinach was what made Popeye so strong. No matter how hungry I may was, I would not change my mind. I would never eat it simply because spanakopita was in the list of “yuck” foods. If this is not a reason not to eat spinach-pie one then what is?

Easy spinach pie with a homemade crust - Εύκολη, αφράτη σπανακόπιτα με σπιτικό φύλλο - Vegan in Athens

However today, although I find washing spinach boring, I prepare spinach pies frequently and I always smile with this funny irony, since now in the view of spinach-pie, my eyes open widely and my salivary glands become overactive – clear evidences that spanakopita has officially entered the “yum” foods list. What I enjoy most is its crust that, especially when homemade, is by itself a reason for a second and third portion. The recipe I am sharing today is an easy and delicious spanakopita (or spinach-pie if you prefer) recipe with a crispy, bread-like crust -maybe something between a tart crust and a scone- and a juicy spinach stuffing which is tender as cream and packed with the aromas of a green garden during winter (snow-free and relatively hot Greek winter of course!). Ideally, if you can find someone willing enough to wash the spinach, this pie takes minimal effort to prepare and it remains crispy and delicious even the next day.

Ingredients
(for a baking pan of 30 cm diameter)

for the dough

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat plus a little more for rolling out the dough

for the filling

  • 750 g fresh and tender spinach, chopped
  • 1 bunch dill, chopped
  • 5-6 spring onions, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose or whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • pepper

black-caraway and sesame seeds for sprinkling

Easy spinach pie with a homemade crust - Εύκολη, αφράτη σπανακόπιτα με σπιτικό φύλλο - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Crust: Mix the olive oil, water and wine together with the baking powder and salt, and add the flour gradually, kneading for a few minutes until a soft, non-sticky dough forms. Cover with a towel and let it rest for at least half an hour.
2. For the filling: Mix all the ingredients with your hands so as to reduce their volume a little bit and let them stand for fifteen minutes while you are rolling out the dough.
3. Preheat the oven to 200 ° C and grease a 30 cm diameter baking pan. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger. Take the larger piece and on a floured surface roll out with a rolling pin a round sheet of 1 / 2-1 cm thickness. If the dough is sticky sprinkle with a little flour and continue rolling out. Line the pan with the dough sheet making sure it covers its sides. Sprinkle evenly the filling. Roll out the smaller piece of dough to the same thickness and cover the pie. Trim excess pastry and with wet fingers gently press the edges to seal.
4. Sprinkle some water on the pie and with a fork make several small holes on its surface. Sprinkle with caraway and sesame seeds and bake for about 50-60 minutes or until golden. Let it cool slightly and serve.

Easy spinach pie with a homemade crust - Εύκολη, αφράτη σπανακόπιτα με σπιτικό φύλλο - Vegan in Athens

Note: The dough should not be kneaded too much so as to become crispy and fluffy. If you prefer you can substitute wine with equal amount of orange juice.

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Vegan lahmacun with lentil, cauliflower and almond “mince” sauce - Λαχματζούν βέγκαν με κιμά από κουνουπίδι, φακές και αμύγδαλα - Veganinathens.com

Vegan lahmacun with lentil, cauliflower and almond “mince” sauce

Our “travels” in the world of taste, fortunately, unlike others, never stop, since we only need to implement the mood for experimentation and be open to new recipes to enjoy a unique traveler’s experience. “Travelling” in taste takes us from one place to another, leaving us pleasantly impressed and of course full.

So today we decided to go to the East, in order to enjoy a 100% vegan yet delicious lahmacun. I like to share this recipe as it comprises one of our favorite dinner and picnic dishes. Vegan lahmacun is very easy to prepare but in the same time it’s healthy and filling. Actually, one basic reason that make it so appealing is the fact that although it is a fast food dish, it is also packed with nutrients and beneficial substances found only in plants, making it ideal for a quick, healthy and tasty meal at home. After all, this recipe is the perfect way to get your kids to eat more vegetables!

Vegan lahmacun with lentil, cauliflower and almond “mince” sauce - Λαχματζούν βέγκαν με κιμά από κουνουπίδι και αμύγδαλα - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

6 large Lebanese pita breads or 10-12 smaller

For the vegan “mince” sauce 

  • 2 ½ cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup raw almonds finely chopped
  • ½ cup red lentils soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
  • ½ cup parsley chopped
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 400 g (1 package) slightly concentrated tomato juice
  • ¾ tsp red hot chili pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

Vegan lahmacun with lentil, cauliflower and almond “mince” sauce - Λαχματζούν βέγκαν με κιμά από κουνουπίδι, φακές και αμύγδαλα - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Put the cauliflower in the food processor bowl and beat lightly until it shatters into mince-sized pieces. Grate the carrot on the coarse side of the grater.

2. In a saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat and fry the onion for 1-2 minutes. Add the almonds, the cauliflower, the lentils and the carrot and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the wine and the remaining ingredients, reduce heat and let cook for half an hour or until the sauce thickens.

3. Assembly: In a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, place 1-2 pita breads. Above each, spread a layer of mince sauce and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes at 200 oC. The lahmacun is better when served hot, drizzled with lemon juice or topped with 1-2 tablespoons of vegan yogurt.

Note: In Athens, you can find fresh and cheap Lebanese pita breads, whole-wheat or white, in the central market, located in Athinas street. Alternatively, search in some bakeries or supermarkets, or try to make your own!

 

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