Saturday, January 04, 2014


Those of you who follow The Tropical Vegan on Facebook will know that, for my birthday in November, Andy got me a food processor.
For my birthday, I had my heart set on a cherry pie (with hippo crust decor, obvi). I nearly bought cherry pie filling from USA Foods, then saw the recipe for cherry pie in Pies and Tarts with Heart so decided to make my own.

BIG MISTAKE. Frozen cherries in Australia are NOT the sour cherries that make cherry pie so delicious. It was good pie, but it wasn't cherry pie, not really. My craving continues. 

It's a Cuisinart, which he found on sale through some online place, and I don't know how much it costed because it was a gift! But I do know that I love it. It has made possible some dishes we couldn't really do before, and made lots easier plenty of things we did in other ways. (Like massive batches of pesto... in a mini chopper!)

Here I will just brag about one meal, in which just about every ingredient went through the processor - because if you're gonna use it, you might as well use it, right? Washing it all up feels less onerous that way.

Step one: chop a red onion, some garlic, and a head of broccoli in the processor until they're pretty finely chopped, then saute.

 Put it into a pie crust. I should have really made my own, which is easy now with a food processor, but I wasn't organised enough to get my ingredients into the freezer to be really cold, and it's so hot in Townsville at the moment this is kind of crucial. Plus we're trying to empty out our freezer a tad so we can defrost it, so I used bought pastry.

Then put some tofu and a few other things into the processor and, as Jamie Oliver would say, "wazz it up". (He really drives me crazy, but I still watch his show. Some of his recipes are actually good, too!) I used Dynise's recipe for quiche from her pie book.

Pour the custard over the filling, then pop it on the BBQ. I've mentioned 'baking' on the BBQ a few times, but here is what I mean. We have a trivet to keep things away from the direct heat a bit. The temperature needs to be a bit lower than the recipe calls for - this pie got up to the called-for 200 for maybe 5 minutes but still managed to burn a tiny bit on the bottom. 
We have the middle sized Weber Q with the high lid and temp gauge. Good size for baking!

While the quiche is cooking, put the shredder blade on the processor and push some potatoes through.

Mix it all up with some flour and other stuff - we used the recipe for Baked Latkes from Betty Goes Vegan - and form into patties. Put them on a baking tray (along with two okras, if your garden is producing in a very slow manner, like ours...) and when the quiche is done, put these on the BBQ. They took 15 or 20 minutes, and I flipped once.

The quiche needs to rest for 20 minutes, so this works out perfectly.

The quiche turned out really well - it set beautifully but wasn't claggy, like some recipes can be.

The latkes were crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I think using a food processor makes it much easier to make hash brown-type potato recipes -- when shredding by hand, the potatoes seem to let off a lot more liquid than they do when machine-shredded.

And it's dinner time! This was a very little effort meal, and all cooked outside - perfect for the heat wave we're going through.

And for dessert, something I food processed on an earlier day - chocolate mousse tart. The food processor makes it so much easier to crush gingernut biscuits for the crust, and the mousse was silky and smooth. It was just four ingredients, too - 6 tablespoons of soy milk, 200 grams of chocolate, 250 grams of silken tofu and 400mL of coconut milk. After melting together the soy milk and chocolate (which was practically melted after sitting on the counter for an hour), wazz it up with the tofu and coconut milk. Andy thought I did it wrong, because the mixture was so runny, but after a few hours in the fridge, it becomes a rich, velvetty mousse.

This is probably the best birthday present Andy's ever got me, and he has enjoyed the products of it as much as I have!


Anonymous said...

I haven't made a vegan quiche yet because I'm not convinced the family will eat it but I think I'll give yours a go, thanks!

Kari said...

I definitely agree that if you're going to use the processor, it seems easier to go all out and use it for everything in meal so you aren't washing it up after one little thing! With that said, I need to remember to use it more for savoury dishes because other than grating / pureeing, I rarely do.

Your mousse looks incredible and definitely a great summer dessert :)

Vegyogini said...

The food processor is probably my most often used appliance. I've had a 10- or 11-cup for about 15 years and just upgraded to a 16-cup with three different size bowls (both Cuisinart) over the holidays. Enjoy it! Such a great, diverse tool.

Susan said...

Looks like your processor is earning it's keep!

I buy things off USA foods, but didn't think to look for cherry pie filling there. Once I needed cherry pie filling to make the chocolate cherry cake in Vegan Diner. I ended up making the pie filling from Vegan Pie In The Sky, which worked well.

Kate said...

I use my processor and blender so much! The quiche looks soooo good. Re cherry pie, I have made the one from Vegan Indulgence by Leigh Drew which used sour cherries from a jar, very yum

Lauren said...

OOh I love your food processor! That's an awesome gift and can be so versatile! I never thought I needed a fancy one, until I got one, and now I can't imagine cooking without. I love how delicious your mousse looks, definitely have to try making that soon! said...

Uch, I had the exact same problem with cherry pie when I tried to make it! The frozen cherries here aren't flavourful at all and I think store bought pie filling might have to be the way to go next time.

Such a great gift though and everything else sounds delicious.

Joey said...

Yep, that was definitely a good birthday present. I love latkes but never manage to make them at home as they normally get stuck to the frying pan and have to be chiselled off. Never thought of putting them in the oven - doh!

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