Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Vegetable muffins- vegan (also with cheese version)

Brunch or dinner, these muffins are perfect!

Who says a cake has to be sweet? These muffins have a soft, fluffy and light cake-y texture, yet are savoury with a hint of sunny Mediterranean flavours. They are great as a main course,  served warm from the oven with a tomato sauce like this one, or cold as a snack or picnic with a dollop of chutney like this one and a crisp salad. Or why not have one as a healthy breakfast alternative to sweet muffins? You can vary the vegetables and seasonings to your own taste, and create Indian (think baked wheat dhokla and spice accordingly) or Middle Eastern flavours too if you like!  They really are a store-cupboard recipe and great if you have veggies to use up, but at the same time they are special enough to serve at a dinner party.

Sweet or savoury? Unless you tell them first, your vegan guests won't know until they take a bite...
First up is the vegan cake, which I made in a small loaf mould so I could tell it apart from the cheesy muffins (I made both cakes in one meal). I was worried it would be short on flavour, but I'm glad to report it's very tasty. The quantities here are enough to fill a small loaf tin, and would serve 4 as a main course or perhaps 6 as a snack. I guess the ingredients list is quite long, but once you get everything together, the actual cooking part is easy.
150g white self-raising flour
50g wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tab nutritional yeast (aka yeast flakes)
1tsp seasalt
2 tsps baking powder (not bicarb)
1/2 tsp compound hing
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1 large pinch paprika
1 large pinch coarse black pepper
75g grated veggies (I used green peppers and sweet potato- you could also try courgette)
25g precooked broccoli, in very small florets
1 tab sweetcorn
6 pitted black olives, halved
2 tabs cooked cannellini beans
5 sundried tomato halves, soaked to soften them and chopped into small pieces
200ml soya milk
75ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Prepare the vegetables, beans and olives and set aside.
  • Mix together the flours, baking powder, yeast flakes turmeric and all the seasonings in a large bowl.
  • Stir in the vegetables well.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the soya milk and the oil together.
  • Next, add the milk/ oil mixture to the flour and vegetable mixture, beating well for about a minute.
  • Pile into a dampened small silicone loaf mould or muffin cases in a tin/ a dampened silicone muffin tray, scatter with flaked almonds and get them into a preheated oven (180C) immediately.
  • Bake for about 20 minutes; the muffins should be springy and risen and a thin skewer inserted into the centre of one should emerge clean.
*Pine nuts would also be great in this cake, or to replace the flaked almonds.

*

-And now for the cheesy version, which is very similar to the above recipe, apart from the cheese and not having the broccoli, beans or yeast flakes:
  • Replace the nutritional yeast with 100g grated cheese
  • Cut out the broccoli and beans and instead use 100g grated veggies rather than 75g.



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