Jessica Milan has three keys to creating a successful dish.
“It has to not be complicated and easy to put together, and it has to be full of flavour, and fun to eat, too.”
The former model-turned-photographer is founder of the blog Lookbook Cookbook — the same name of her new book featuring gluten-free and vegan dishes.
Here are two recipes featured in the Toronto-based cook’s new collection:
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER TARTS
Milan said this sweet treat is the only recipe from her blog that is included in the book “because it’s been such a hit.” The tart features a crunchy peanut crust topped with a creamy peanut butter fudge.
320 grams (2 cups) roasted unsalted peanuts
1 ml (1/4 tsp) sea salt
50 ml (1/4 cup) extra-virgin coconut oil, at room temperature
50 ml (1/4 cup) pure maple syrup
250 ml (1 cup) organic dark chocolate chips
75 ml (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
7 ml (1/2 tbsp) vanilla extract (optional)
250 ml (1 cup) smooth peanut butter
For the crust, place the peanuts and salt inside a food processor and grind them into a coarse powder. You can leave some chunks if you want a crunchier mix. Add coconut oil and maple syrup and pulse again until a dough is formed.
Remove contents from the food processor and press into the bottom of a 23-centimetre (9-inch) square casserole or pie dish, using a spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth out. Place the dish in the freezer to set.
For the fudge, melt the chocolate chips in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Make sure that water doesn’t come into contact with the pan or chocolate or it will not melt properly.
Add the maple syrup and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Remove from heat and add the peanut butter. You can mix completely or leave some of it unmixed to create a marble effect.
Pour the contents over top of the crust, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula. Place the dish back in the freezer for an hour or two to set.
When ready, remove from the freezer and cut into squares. Serve chilled and store in the freezer or refrigerator.
Makes 9 servings.
Ground chickpea flour serves as the egg substitute for this vegan take on the omelette. Milan opts to fills hers with red pepper and green onion; however, any vegetable can be substituted provided that it’s finely diced.
125 ml (1/2 cup) chickpea flour
2 ml (1/2 tsp) sea salt
125 ml (1/2 cup) purified water
50 ml (1/4 cup) red bell pepper, finely diced
1 green onion stalk, finely diced
Oil, for frying
1 small avocado, cut into wedges
Slices of tomato
A handful of baby spinach
In a bowl, combine chickpea flour, sea salt and water. Whisk well with a fork. Add diced pepper and onion to the batter and mix once more.
Coat a small frying pan with oil and warm over medium-low heat. Add the chickpea batter to the centre. Quickly pick up the pan and swirl around so that the batter forms a circular shape. Depending on the size of the frying pan, the batter should ideally reach the edges.
Cook for several minutes, keeping a close eye on the pan to ensure the dish doesn’t burn. The top side of the batter should bubble throughout and the sides should begin to turn golden-brown.
Take a peek to double-check and then carefully flip it over. Cook the other side for a few minutes before transferring to a plate.
Serve with avocado, tomato, spinach and any other ingredients of your choosing.
Makes one serving.
Source: “Lookbook Cookbook: Simple, Delicious, Gluten-Free & Vegan Dishes” by Jessica Milan , 2015.