I subscribe to a few google alerts, so I can keep abreast of what's going on without hardly having to lift a finger. One awesome recipe that came through recently on my vegan google alert, was one for Fig & Almond Shortbread. It came from here and it was aparently her first attempt at making a recipe (at least for baking) vegan. Her adorable substitution of almond butter for butter impressed me. I'm not sure if she thought it would be the closest susbstiution, or she just couldn't bring herself to use magarine (good girl), but regardless-- I knew I had to bake them-- especially after several "what's for dessert?" cries from Bruce, and several near-demands that it have chocolate in it, and assertions from both him and Blake that they didn't like figs but would still try it. And I had to try out our new convection toaster oven.
Here's how I ended up making the recipe:
Fig Almond Butter Shortbread Hearts
1/2 cup old fashioned oats + 1/8 cup
1/4 cup light spelt flour
a pinch of grey sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup finely chopped dried figs
0.5/3 cup almond butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon rum
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. In a food processor, blender, coffee grinder or what have you, grind up the oats, keeping the extra eighth of a cup aside. Add the ground oats and reserved oats to a bowl, then add the flour, nutmeg and sea salt. Stir with a fork to mix. Then add the figs, mixing thoroughly to coat. In another bowl, cream together the almond butter and brown sugar. When mixed completely, add rum and vanilla and stir until homogenous. Add the flour n' fig mixture wet mixture and combine using a wooden spoon, or if necessary or desired, your hands (fun)! When this mixture makes a non-sticky ball (adding a tiny bit of flour if necessary), roll the ball out on a floured surface with a rolling pin (or wine bottle) until it's about a quarter of an inch thick. Here, you can choose to cut your dough in shapes or use a cookie cutter like I did. Don't bake these for too long. I baked mine for about 15 minutes in my convection oven and burned at least half of them somewhat. The original recipe (which was double the size), suggested 25-30 minutes. I'd guess at15-20 in a regular oven, but please watch them and make sure they're not burned. Sure I could perfect the cooking time before I post this, but what's the fun in that? I trust you. So basically I made this recipe wheat-free and full of rummy goodness and it yielded 12 little hearts. And I forgot the sliced almonds, so you could pound some into the top if you were so inclined. Anyway, they were dope and yes, the boys ate them.
On the day in question, I was really about eating lightly. I've been into eating rice cakes with veganaise, ginger-carrot sauerkraut and cucumbers lately, and had eaten a bunch in the afternoon (my morning). For a light supper, I kind of wanted sushi, but was getting super-hungry. And I also wanted chickpeas. Ta-da! Hummus sushi was conceived. And while I figured it had already been thought of (a cursory internet search gave me 2960 hits for the term), I was pretty stoked. Anyway, here it is in all its delicious glory. I made the hummus from scratch (with my beloved hand-crank food processor which allows me to burn calories while I'm making hummus ;) to use as the bed for the toppings, and then laid down some sweet yellow pepper, grated carrots and fresh parsley (all local and in season) and rolled it all up in some nori sheets. The sushi was pretty good on its own, but the pickled ginger put it over the top! I made 12 pieces and pounded them down. The photos look kind of '80s to me-- the hummus looks like some sort of egg filling. Anyway, win.