Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Gluten Free Crackers and Vegan Shepard's Pie

I am on a Oh She Glows kick lately, in attempt to knock off some of those 800 recipes. It started off with making her Vegan and Gluten Free Crackers, and I just couldn't get enough. I had been wanting to make crackers for a while and finally got around to making them. I have made them four times now, making it a weekly tradition. 
The recipe is a great base for making crackers, allowing your imagination to run wild when it comes to seasoning. The original recipe calls for garlic powder, rosemary and thyme, which is a winning combination. I have also left out the seasonings to get a taste for what the basic cracker recipe is like. It is rather plain, and definitely needs some hummus or peanut butter to make up for the lack of seasoning. That is actually a good thing though because I now know how versatile this recipe could become. I can imagine making them cinnamon spiced, curry flavoured, or on the Italian side with basil and oregano.

There is another area where your creativity can come through. The shape of the crackers is totally up to you! I initially followed the recipe by cutting the rolled out dough with a pizza cutter. I found that I wasted a lot of cracker on the ends though since I wasn't rolling the dough perfectly. Now, I use small cookie cutters, which worked much better than I thought it would.
Simply roll the dough out thin onto a counter lined with waxed or parchment paper. Press the cookie cutter down onto the dough firmly. Lift up (with the dough in the cutter) and place the shape on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For very small cutters, the cooking time should be reduced by 3-5 minutes. I have been experimenting with some seasoning combinations and hopefully will be able to share my favourite with you soon. I got close tonight, but so far the original recipe has been taking the cake.

Another Oh She Glows recipe I have tried lately is the Vegan Shepard's Pie. The only thing I didn't love about this recipe was the name. The dish itself is fantastic. It is a great Sunday type of meal since it requires a little more time than a week night probably provides, and is a perfect comfort food for the winter months. Filled with root vegetables, I cannot think of something more appropriate of this time of year.

You may also notice there is no 'fake meat' in this pie to it vegan. Which is why I don't like the name. It deserves a name of its own. I have made this twice now (without the 'gravy') and I am cooking up a unique variation in my head. Hopefully I have a chance to put my ideas into action soon, as well as provide a name for this deserving dish.

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