Week of Greek: White Cabbage Salad (Lahanosalata)

2015-7-14 White Cabbage Salad Lahanosalata
For our next course, I have chosen another very simple dish – light, clean, and the most basic version of the White Cabbage Salad recipe I could find. You may garnish the salad with shaved carrot just for a little pop of color. Cabbage is low in calories and packed with Vitamin C. And like our tahini soup in the first course, it is super inexpensive!

White Cabbage Salad
1 medium white cabbage
salt
juice of two lemons
olive oil

Quarter the head of cabbage, cutting around and discarding the core, then slice each quarter thinly and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt (perhaps 2 teaspoons) and turn to disperse evenly. Let the cabbage weep for approximately 15 minutes – don’t worry, it won’t make a sound! After 15 minutes, drain liquid from the bowl.

Add to the cabbage the juice of two lemons. Drizzle with olive oil to taste – I recommend beginning with 2 Tbsp and slowly adding from there, to taste. Season with additional salt to your liking.

This should make approximately 6 good servings.

Even though I’m an olive oil freak, I personally enjoyed this with minimal olive oil. It actually reminded me of Syrian salad, salata. I was afraid the leftovers would be completely wilted, but the cabbage still had a crunch to it the next day. Maybe with your leftovers, you could get all fancy like Marie Catrib’s and use them to top a vegan chili dog!

Oh! And be sure to Like & follow my facebook page for links to Athanasia’s Greek Week specials at 2 Broke Vegans. Greek vegan recipes from an actual Greek vegan in Greece! And all her recipes are gluten free!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND THIS CABBAGE SALAD IS GLUTEN FREE, GRAIN FREE, RAW, PALEO, LENTEN, VEGAN. Man, this recipe has it all.

What’s your favorite Greek word?

P.S. Yesterday for the first course of our meal, we had Tahini Soup. Be sure to check it out!

Grain Free Chestnut Flour Cake

The other day I stopped at my favorite Middle Eastern market just after they restocked their variety of interesting flours, including my new favorite grain-free flour: chestnut. So I grabbed a bag, then came home and did some googling. I didn’t quite have all the ingredients to make castagnaccio, but with a few adjustments…


A lovely cake. Since I didn’t have an orange for zest, I substituted orange juice for half the water. Since orange juice has its own natural sugar, I omitted the 2 Tbsp called for in the original recipe. This is not a sweet cake at all, and I don’t think the 2 Tbsp would’ve made much of a difference – maybe you’d want to add a 1/4 C if you prefer a sweeter cake.
I think my biggest problem was the baking time. The original recipe says to bake “10 to 15 minutes, or until the top is golden.” I don’t think the top will EVER be golden. The batter firmed up at 10 minutes, but was not golden. The pine nuts were browning, but the cake itself was not. At 15 minutes, the color was actually lighter! It was getting overdone and beginning to dry out.


So, I’d keep an eye on the pine nuts. If the pine nuts are beginning to brown at 10 – 12 minutes, the cake is done. It will be dense and moist, and it does not have the texture of, say, a chocolate birthday cake. That’s okay. It will have a beautiful chestnut flavor sweetened with raisins.

Oh, and next time I’m going to stir half the raisins into the batter before I pour it into the pie pan. And I only used 1/4 C pine nuts and it was just fine…I guess I made a few changes.


Recipe Recap
14oz chestnut flour (it’s usually sold in a 14oz bag)
pinch of salt
1 C water
1 C orange juice
1/2 C raisins
1/4 C pine nuts
1 sprig fresh rosemary
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a pie pan with olive oil and place in oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine chestnut flour and pinch of salt. Add water and orange juice and whisk until smooth. Stir in half the raisins.
Remove pie pan from oven. Pour batter into the pie pine, sprinkle with pine nuts, rosemary, and remaining raisins.
Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until chestnuts begin to brown. If the top of the cake begins to lighten, IT’S DONE!!!

By the way, this gorgeous cake is grain free, gluten free, paleo (without the sugar), and oil free aside from what’s used to grease the pan. A little nothing for everyone 🙂

Cheese Bread: Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Paleo!

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I recently did a spin on a Syrian classic that I haven’t eaten in at least 16 years. Tete’s cheese bread was always a favorite, and I’d been meaning to try a veganized version for a very long time. I’m sure in the future I’ll try just a plain old vegan cheese bread, but sometimes I want to cook things for my friends – and that includes friends who are gluten free, or grain free, or paleo.

This is a very bare bones recipe considering the original version of cheese bread includes eggs and feta mixed into the shredded cheese. Obviously it is not going to taste the same as Tete’s, but if you have an open mind (and mouth), you will be very happy with this little treat.


I stumbled upon a paleo bread recipe that I haven’t been able to find again, it called for chestnut flour (singoda flour = chestnut flour). Be warned – they sell this stuff on Amazon Prime for $10, but I found the exact same amount from the exact same brand for $2.39 at my local Middle Eastern market.

The flour has a unique flavor, almost sweet, with a hint of anise.


For the dough, I used a very simple recipe (below) for a quick bread that requires no rising.


A store bought vegan nut cheese would be paleo, but super expensive. Plus I don’t know of any with a cheddar-type flavor. I used my homemade coconut milk cheese. Traditionally this would be grated and mixed with feta, onions and egg, and lightly seasoned. In this case, the cheese already is already seasoned. I didn’t bother making a vegan feta, and I skipped the eggs completely. And because the cheese was a bit soft, I didn’t even grate it (usually some time in the freezer makes it grate-able).


Anyway. Divide the dough into balls – 16 to 24 depending on how big you want them. I ended up making mine a little smaller and getting around 20 or so. Flatten the dough balls and press them out until they’re about 1/4″ thick.


Add sliced coconut milk cheese.


Add finely chopped onion. Alternatively, you can do very thin slices of onion.


Now switch to the chrome filter so the cheese bread looks like abstract art from the 60s 🙂


In these last couple pictures, this is an oil-free batch I made, replacing the olive oil with a bit of tahini. I also omitted the almond meal because I am cheap 🙂 It worked and tasted just fine, but the dough is a little sturdier with the almond meal.


Paleo Crust, with oil:
2 C chestnut flour
1/2 C almond meal
2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 chia eggs
water

Toppings
coconut milk cheese
onions, chopped or sliced.

Preheat oven to 325.
Combine first three ingredients in a medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add olive oil and chia eggs. Stir to combine, then mix with hands until dough forms. If it’s too dry, add water just a little at a time.
Divide the dough into 16 to 24 equal pieces, depending on what size you want. Roll each piece into a ball, and place them on a parchment lined baking tray. Flatten each ball, then press them out into dough rounds about 1/4″ thick.
Place a slice of coconut cheese on each round. Top with onions.

Bake cheese bread at 325 for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown around the edges.

For an oil free crust, simply substitute tahini for olive oil. You may also choose to use 2 1/2 C chestnut flour and omit the almond meal. This will result in a stickier dough, but it bakes up just fine.

Scalloped Cabbage (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

I came up with a new dish for Thanksgiving this year, and I can ALWAYS use another dish for Thanksgiving! I wanted something quick, cheap, and somewhat healthy. Scalloped Cabbage. Preheat the oven to 350.

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Slice a cabbage or two (depending on the size of your baking dish) and thinly slice about half an onion. My beautiful vintage baking dish was 12×15″, and I used 1 1/2 cabbages. Put one layer of cabbage in the pan, cover with onions…

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thinly sliced carrots are optional, but I like the pop of color! And of course the taste. Cover with another layer of cabbage.

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Now we need a cream sauce, that’s what makes this “scalloped”. Over medium high heat, combine 2 cups plain unsweetened almond milk with 2 cups vegetable stock. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a bit of garlic. Basically you want enough seasoning so you don’t taste the veganness of the almond milk 🙂
Then put 1/4 C tapioca starch** in small bowl or cup. Add same amount of hot broth and stir until the mixture becomes pourable. Stir it into the pot, and bring the whole thing to a slow boil stirring occasionally. (**I made this grain free just for fun. You can also use half as much cornstarch, or 3 to 4 Tablespoons of white flour)
Once the sauce thickens, remove from heat…

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and pour it over the cabbage.

Optional: If you happen to have coconut milk cheese around, dot it over the dish.

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Cover the pan with foil and bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until the cabbage is very tender. Then remove the foil and cook under the broiler…

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until the top is lightly browned.

One thing I learned is tapioca starch doesn’t hold up to heat as well as flour, so the sauce was a bit looser than I hoped. It had more the consistency of gravy, which turned out to be PERFECT with my mashed potatoes – and once it was chilled in the fridge, the leftovers had a nice, thick sauce (yes, I eat cold leftovers).

Also, I think if you use homemade almond milk instead of store bought, this would be considered paleo! But if you’re not on a grain free diet, go ahead and use white flour and get a nice, thick sauce if you don’t want gravy for your potatoes. It’s a very versatile dish 🙂 Oh, and it’s also oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day!!

Did you do any experimenting for Thanksgiving this year?

Recipe Recap
Scalloped Cabbage

1 to 2 heads of cabbages, sliced
1/2 onion, sliced
Optional: 2 to 4 thinly sliced carrots
Optional: Half cup coconut milk cheese
2 C plain unsweetened almond milk
2 C vegetable stock
1/4 tapioca starch*
(*or 1/8 C cornstarch, or 3 to 4 Tbsp white flour)
Salt, pepper, and garlic to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
In a baking dish, layer cabbage and onions (and optional carrots).
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, combine 2 C almond milk and 2 C vegetable stock. Put 1/4 C tapioca starch in a small bowl or cup, add same amount of hot broth and stir until pourable. Stir it into the pot, and bring the whole thing to a slow boil stirring occasionally. Once the sauce thickens, remove from heat and pour it over the cabbage [Here you may dot with optional coconut milk cheese]. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes, or until cabbage is very tender. Then remove foil and cook under the broiler until lightly browned.

three ingredient flourless vegan paleo pancakes

This past Sunday we had our annual Lenten Pancake Breakfast at church. The past couple years we’ve done “normal” gluten-filled pancakes, and a batch of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancakes. We normally use Ener-G Egg Replacer and a non-dairy milk. We’ve got parishioners with nut and coconut allergies, so I guess we’ll be sticking with rice milk from now on. This year when I was buying all the stuff, the grocery store I was at didn’t have Ener-G, so I went with ground flax.

It worked out well because I ended up using ground flax to make paleo-friendly* Lenten pancakes!

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This recipe makes three medium-sized pancakes.
One mashed banana, 1 heaping Tbsp of coconut milk (solidified after being in the fridge), and 1/2 flax egg.

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Mix it up. I made the mixture before church, popped it in the fridge, and brought it out an hour later. It was pretty thick, but I think that’s a good thing.

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Now this part took forever. Cook the pancakes over medium high heat on a greased griddle until they are browned on the bottom. They’ll be extremely hard to flip before they’re browned. They’re sticky!! Once they seem to be done on the bottom, give them a flip. Get the spatula under the pancakes as quickly as possible, all at once, or it’ll most likely stick to the spatula (it sounds kind of scary, but it’s not so hard).

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Cook the other side until it’s also browned.

The pancakes are pretty sweet thanks to the banana, and they taste just like…bananas. Haha. They don’t really taste like pancakes, but they’re good. They definitely don’t need any syrup, but a sprinkling of cinnamon would be nice. Or maybe some warm blueberries. Or maybe ground walnut with a little honey. Or all of the above.

*I did a lot of googling about flax seeds. Some say they are paleo only when whole, some say not at all, but in general ground flax seed seems to be considered paleo, especially if the flax seeds are freshly ground. I am not an expert on the paleo diet.

three ingredient flourless vegan paleo pancakes

This past Sunday we had our annual Lenten Pancake Breakfast at church. The past couple years we’ve done “normal” gluten-filled pancakes, and a batch of Bob’s Red Mill gluten free pancakes. We normally use Ener-G Egg Replacer and a non-dairy milk. We’ve got parishioners with nut and coconut allergies, so I guess we’ll be sticking with rice milk from now on. This year when I was buying all the stuff, the grocery store I was at didn’t have Ener-G, so I went with ground flax.

It worked out well because I ended up using ground flax to make paleo-friendly* Lenten pancakes!

20140317-175609.jpg
This recipe makes three medium-sized pancakes.
One mashed banana, 1 heaping Tbsp of coconut milk (solidified after being in the fridge), and 1/2 flax egg.

20140317-175253.jpg
Mix it up. I made the mixture before church, popped it in the fridge, and brought it out an hour later. It was pretty thick, but I think that’s a good thing.

20140317-175352.jpg
Now this part took forever. Cook the pancakes over medium high heat on a greased griddle until they are browned on the bottom. They’ll be extremely hard to flip before they’re browned. They’re sticky!! Once they seem to be done on the bottom, give them a flip. Get the spatula under the pancakes as quickly as possible, all at once, or it’ll most likely stick to the spatula (it sounds kind of scary, but it’s not so hard).

20140317-175437.jpg
Cook the other side until it’s also browned.

The pancakes are pretty sweet thanks to the banana, and they taste just like…bananas. Haha. They don’t really taste like pancakes, but they’re good. They definitely don’t need any syrup, but a sprinkling of cinnamon would be nice. Or maybe some warm blueberries. Or maybe ground walnut with a little honey. Or all of the above.

*I did a lot of googling about flax seeds. Some say they are paleo only when whole, some say not at all, but in general ground flax seed seems to be considered paleo, especially if the flax seeds are freshly ground. I am not an expert on the paleo diet.

Gluten Free Vegan Paleo Halawe (Halva) Brownies

Another day using someone else’s recipe. When I saw Flourless Peanut Butter Brownies from MyThinEats.com pop up in my feed, I had to try it. Who doesn’t like chocolate and peanut butter together?!?!! Well, people who are allergic to peanuts, for one. And people on a paleo diet, for another. Luckily I’m not either of those, but for the sake of others I decided to experiment. Preheat your oven to 325.

If you’ve been around this blog very long, you know how much I love tahini – I have a whole page dedicated to tahini in my recipe index.

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So I substituted 2 C tahini for the peanut butter.

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Sweeten with 3/4 C honey, agave or maple syrup (or to taste). Mix thoroughly.

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I also replaced the chocolate with 1/2 C raisins, roughly chopped.

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To bind the brownies, the original recipe says you can use 2 tbsp. ground chia or flax + 6 Tbsp water. I went with the chia seeds. Make sure you let it set at least 10 minutes.

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Then add it to your tahini along with 2 Tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. I think I ended up adding closer to 1 or 2 tsp because I just really like vanilla. Hm, I hope vanilla extract is paleo…

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Mix it up. With the chia seed “jelly” mixed in, the batter seems somewhat gelatinous. Well I guess that makes sense.

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Spread the batter out in a 9×13 pan that’s either been greased or lined with parchment. I’m actually not sure it’s necessary when using tahini because of the natural oils, but I did it anyway just to be safe. Next time I’ll be more daring and see what happens.

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Bake at 325 for 25 minutes, or until the brownies brown around the edges.

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I was so nervous about these little guys. I made them for a Lenten bake sale at church yesterday, and I was afraid people would bite into them expecting a regular ol’ chocolate brownie. I decided to call them halva brownies because most people in my parish would understand this means there’s a sesame flavor. I’m so glad at least the few people I got feedback from seemed to really like them! One day I’ll try them with peanut butter for myself (and even add some chocolate chips), but I’m glad I had a reason to try these with tahini.

Do you have a favorite vegan brownie recipe? Feel free to share!

By the way, these are oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.