Borscht & Pirozhki

I bought Poh’s Kitchen over a year ago and I haven’t cooked anything out it. Poh Ling Yeow is a Malaysian Australian, who came second in the first Australian Master Chef. She is a really talented cook and in my opinion, should of won Master Chef. I really loved her TV series and recipes. Many of which are traditional Asian and European recipes. Now I am a trying to stick to a vegan diet there are many things in her book and other books I can’t cook. So I’m going to try to make the vegan version of them.

I have made Borscht before, but not Poh’s version or Pirozhki’s . I adapted these recipes to be vegan and different serving sizes.  For the soup I had to use different amounts of ingredients and just used tofutti and soy milk to make the sour cream. I also used arrowroot flour instead of wheat flour, so that it would be gluten free. For the Pirozhki I used tvp soy mince and beef stock instead of beef mince, soy sauce to give the filling more richness, mashed cannellini beans instead of hard boiled eggs and puff pastrey instead of making the Sour Cream Short Crust Pastry. I managed to make 19 of the pastries. I could only get 4 out of each sheet of puff pastry so I combined the scraps and rolled it out. It is takes a while to roll out the dough again, but I ended up getting an extra 7 pastries.  As for the filling I ended up with an extra 2 cups or more. I will keep this to make burger patties or maybe a Thai basil mince.  Anyway both were really delicious. It took a long time to make but worth the wait. The original recipes are Poh’s website as well: Beetroot Borscht & Pirozhki.

Borscht (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

50g vegan butter

1 small brown onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

250g beetroot, peeled and diced

1 carrots, peeled and diced

3 cups vegan beef stock (I use Massel)

1.5 tablespoons arrowroot flour (tapicoa flour)

90ml tinned crushed tomatoes or passata sauce

300g washed potatoes, peeled & diced

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

4 tablespoons vegan sour cream (or 2 tbsp tofutti cream cheese + 2 tbsp soy milk mashed) (optional)

4 tablespoons italian parsley, diced

Method:

1. Take a large pot and on medium heat, melt butter. Then add onion & garlic and cook for 2 mins or till soft.

2. Add beetroot and carrots and cook for 4 mins. Then add beef stock to the pot.

3. In a small bowl take tapioca flour and mix it with 2 tbsp of crushed tomatoes. Then add the rest of the crust tomatoes and mix and add to the pot.

4. Cover and bring to the boil. Then add potatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Put it on simmer and cook for 30 mins, or until the vegetables are soft.

5. Take off the heat and blend with bar mix or in a processor, so that it is no longer lumpy.

6. Reheat on the stove and add more beef stock or water, if it drys out before serving. Serve with 1 tbsp of sour cream and 1 tbsp of italian parsley

* Serves 4

Pirozhki (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

40g  vegan butter

1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for basting pastries)

1 white onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

160g of carrot, cabbage, mushrooms (1 carrot, handful mushrooms & small segment of cabbage)

160g soy tvp mince soaked in beef stock (combined weight of 300g)

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

3 tablespoons shoyu/soy sauce

4 tablespoons cannellini beans,  mashed

3 tablespoons italian parsley, chopped

sea salt & black pepper to taste

3 sheets of puff pastry (use gluten free puff pastry if you prefer)

Method:

1. Preheat oven 200 degrees (fan-force)

2.Take a pot and melt butter and olive oil on medium heat. Then add onion and garlic, and cook for 2 mins or till soft.

3. Add the rest of vegetables and cook for 4 mins, or until soft.

4. Add mince, caraway seeds, paprika, soy sauce and cook for 2 more minutes.

5. Take off the heat and stir in cannellini beans & parsley. Then place on a large plate to cool.

6. Take 3 pastry sheets out of the freezer and allow them to defrost.

7. Take a large chopping board and use a small bowl to cut out small circles. You will get 4 out of every sheet. Use the left over pastry to roll out and make more circles.

8. In the centre of the circles put 1 1/2- 2 tbsp of the mixture, then fold over into a half moon shape and close with a fork. Place them on trays with baking paper.

9. Brush with olive oil and cook in the oven for 15-20 mins.

* Makes 18-20 ( I made 19)

White Chocolate & Coconut Rice Bubble Bars

This is a really simple recipe that I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I am addicted to Sweet Williams white chocolate. Its dairy free & gluten free and tastes very much like the real thing. I saw many recipes that called for butter or eggs, but I thought coconut oil and chocolate was enough to bind the mixture. I put it to set in the fridge last night and it appeared to set, but then broke apart when I went to cut it. I had better luck  today when I took it out of the fridge and cut it, but I recommend more chocolate! I think my mixture was too dry. I will try this again soon and let you know how I go.

White Chocolate &  Coconut Rice Bubble Bars (gf)

Ingredients- 2 cups gf rice puffs, 1 cup desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp coconut oil, 1 (or 2 is better) 100 g  bars of vegan white chocolate 

1. Take a tray (8×12) and put baking paper inside.

2. In a large bowl mix rice bubbles & desiccated coconut together.

3. Heat white chocolate & coconut oil in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water.

4. Once chocolate & coconut has melted add it to the rice bubble mixture and stir it through.

5. Place in mixture in the tray and press down with a metal flip/spoon.