olive oil

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

Baked winter vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette

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Happy December to all the wonderful creatures out there! Winter has come and we welcome it with joy and gratitude and with the smell of cinnamon and cloves in our kitchen, pumpkins of several kinds stored at a cool and shady shelf, fresh salads with tender leaves carefully placed in the fridge, zest of fresh oranges and lemons, hot vegan latte in the morning and hot vegan chocolate in the afternoon and of course tasting and making favorite recipes and especially, as Christmas are so close, traditional Greek vegan kourambiedes and vegan melomakarona.

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

In December, I absolutely enjoy my vegan shopping in the farmer’s market, as the producers fill their stalls with fresh, cool and tender fruits and vegetables full of aroma and colors. I walk among the stalls just to smell the scent of the freshly cut herbs and enjoy the repertoire of colors. Usually I end up ignoring my shopping list and give in to the freshness, the appetizing shapes and colors, all that magic of nature. A little bit of everything is what I like to buy – usually more than what I actually need, but I don’t mind as there are amazing ways to make good use of everything, like freezing or canning, so I rarely waste fresh produce.

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

The big dilemma arises when sometimes, on the one hand, I have all the fresh products that seek a place on our table and on the other hand I’m only want to spend a little more time reading or playing with Petra or trying to create the perfect recipe for vegan cookies. In such moments instead of chopping, boiling or sauteing my vegetables I just wash them, salt them, occasionally season them a little bit with paprika or garlic, olive oil and aromatic herbs and bake them all together in the oven for an hour. As they are slowly baked, they soften internally, get an appetizing golden color while they retain all their taste, minerals and vitamins. So, I give myself the chance to spend some more time doing all the things I love (yeah, cooking is one of them but sometimes I just want to be lazy reading a book!) and in the same time I make the perfect vegan salad with baked winter vegetables!

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

In my current batch I made things as simple as possible to enjoy the authentic flavor of fresh ingredients and not to overload our dinner with calories (do not worry, we already get enough tasting melomakarona these days!). The vegetables I chose to bake are cauliflower and broccoli, white sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash, onions, carrots, red cabbage, leek and the last corn of the year. In your batch feel free to experiment with the vegetables of your choice!

What I appreciate with this dish is the convenience and the rich, dense taste of the baked vegetables. In particular, broccoli and cauliflower, vegetables that traditionally are eaten boiled, losing in the simmering water many of their nutrients, become absolutely tasty while retaining all their beneficial ingredients. We like to serve them warm, drizzled with a little lemon juice or a vinaigrette sauce made with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and mustard.

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

  • 1 small cauliflower, whole or halved
  • 1 head of broccoli, halved
  • 1 winter squash halved and seeded
  • 1 large sweet potato, whole
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 3 onions, peeled (or two onions and one leek)
  • 1 corn
  • 1/2 red cabbage (this is the best of all!)

for the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp grape molasses or balsamic syrup
  • 1 tsp prepared mustard
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

Method

1. Wash the vegetables and remove any hard stalks.
2. Salt and pepper the vegetables and arrange them next to each other on baking pan lined with baking paper. Pierce the potatoes with a fork. If you want you can drizzle them with some olive oil (but I prefer to add it raw afterwards).
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 oC for one hour or until they get a nice color and soften (check the texture by piercing with a fork).
4. Mix all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a jar. Cut the roasted vegetables into pieces, pour over the sauce and serve immediately.

Λαχανικά ψητά στο φούρνο με βινεγκρέτ μπαλσάμικο - Roasted vegetables with balsamic vinaigrette - Vegan in Athens

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Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Crispy, vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil

Among the most relaxing things one can do, especially after a busy day, is to bake some vegan cookies (especially some vegan chocolate chip cookies)! I’m not sure I know why, though I could guess that their smell during baking is the most cozy air freshner I could think of, or that the joy of baking cookies is not overshadowed by the “must” that often turns our, otherwise pleasant, engagement with cooking into a tedious job. Besides, one can live even without cookies! But the thing is that freshly baked cookies are between those things that could transform a moment of our day into a ritual, since many of us would allow ourselves to devote some of our precious time exclusively to the cookie eating, starting from the moment we take it between our fingers, we smell it, bite it – putting at the same time the palm under our mouth to catch the crumbs- and slowly chew it, enjoying the crispyness that lasts only for a few magical seconds and trying to reveal the complexity of its flavors. Even if things were not easy until then, when we are into this moment everything looks better.

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Sometimes I wonder, don’t we deserve more of those peaceful and delightful moments? Of course I do not mean by eating tons of cookies but by letting ourselves be present in everything that happens by observing and enjoying even some of the things that we usually take for granted, such as some deep breaths, a glass of cool water, a daily walk with our quadrupedal friends or alone in the afternoon sun, our very existence. If I would made a wish for all of us, I think that would be to enjoy everything we do, live and taste as much as our favorite chocolate cookie!

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens
Today’s cookies are absolutely chocolaty as they contain not only cocoa powder but also dark chocolate chips, satisfying even the most addicted to the black temptation. In addition, our cookies are made with olive oil and whole wheat flour, being an equally tasty but much healthier alternative to classic chocolate cookies.

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

 

Ingredients
(for 20-25 cookies)

  • 100 g olive oil (1/3 cup + 2tbsp)
  • 45 ml plant milk (3 tbsp)
  • 4 tbsp heaped of cocoa powder
  • 150 g whole wheat flour, soft (1 cup)
  • 125 g sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 100 g vegan dark chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Method
1. Mix the olive oil with the plant milk, sugar, cocoa, salt and baking powder until a uniform chocolate blend is obtained. Add the flour kneading until a soft dough is formed (do not knead much though to get the optimal texture). Add the chocolate, knead a little more, cover with a clear film and put in the refrigerator for at least half an hour.
2. Take walnut-sized dough pieces and give your cookies the shape you like. Lay a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper and place the cookies inside, leaving 2-3 cm between them as they increase in volume during baking.
3. Bake in preheated oven at 170 ° C for 15-20 minutes (depending on your oven and on the thickness of your cookies).
4. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. When they are completely cooled, transfer to a cookie box.
5. Enjoy!

Τραγανά, βέγκαν μπισκότα σοκολάτας με σταγόνες σοκολάτας, αλεύρι ολικής και ελαιόλαδο - Crunchy vegan double chocolate cookies with whole wheat flour and olive oil - Vegan in Athens

Notes: Your cookies are going to be soft immediately after baking, so give them some time to cool and get their distinctive crunchy consistency.

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Vegan autumn fig cake with olive oil – sugar-free

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!

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

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.

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

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!

Turtle eating figs - Χελώνα που τρώει σύκα - Vegan in Athens

Ingredients

(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

additionally

  • 20 ripe figs washed and halved
  • almond flakes for sprinkling

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

Method

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.

 

 

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

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.

Βέγκαν πίτα - κέικ με φρέσκα σύκα και ελαιόλαδο χωρίς ζάχαρη - Vegan fresh fig cake - pie with olive oil, sugar-free - Vegan in Athens

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