Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Bourma (Armenian Rolled Baklava) Recipe + Video!

Hello everyone! Only one person who guessed what my next recipe for Vegan Armenian Kitchen was right--the answer is bourma!

I opted to make bourma since it's another great dessert to add to your holiday-themed sweet treat table, and is much easier to make than baklava since it's rolled rather than layered. In the video I made a small batch, so I just ended up using four sheets of phyllo/filo dough, so the measurements listed below are for that.

What you need for syrup:
-3/4 cup of water
-3/4 cup of sugar
-1 TBSP lemon juice

What you need for bourma:
-4 sheets of phyllo dough (I have yet to see a type that is not vegan)
-2 cups of walnuts, crushed or processed
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp sugar
-1 cup of coconut oil, softened or melted (double boiled is a good option)

Directions:
-Make syrup first so it cools in time for when you need it. Combine water and sugar in a pot and without stirring, put it on high on the stove
-Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium, letting it cook for another 15 minutes
-Add the lemon juice, let it cook for another 5 minutes and remove it from heat. It has to be completely cooled so make sure to make it in advance
-Add cinnamon and sugar to the walnuts and stir well
-Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
-Brush coconut oil all across the phyllo sheet generously
-Pour about 1/3 cup of ground walnuts onto the lower half of the phyllo sheet, spreading it out as best as you can
-Use a wooden thin pole (you have one, trust me) to roll up the bourma
-Once you reach the halfway point, brush on more coconut oil
-Roll up 3/4s of the way, and brush more coconut oil on (the more generous you are now, the juicier the result will be later!)
-Finish rolling, and brush coconut oil on the bourma, making sure to get the side where the opening is
-Place your hands at either side of the wooden pole--make sure they are not on the actual bourma, just right beside it
-Squish the bourma towards the center until it looks nice and wrinkled
-Slide it off the stick onto your baking tray
-Cook for about 30 minutes, until the bourma is golden brown
-Immediately pour the chilled syrup over the individual bourmas, which will cause a fun sizzling effect!
-Let the bourmas cool completely and once they do, cut them diagonally
-Keep them in a container in the fridge, they will taste incredible once they sit overnight
-You can keep the bourmas for about a week in the fridge!

You can watch the full video recipe here:
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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Teaser for Next Vegan Armenian Kitchen Video Recipe!

Hi friends! I'm currently editing my next Vegan Armenian Kitchen video and after seeing this shot, thought it was a good little teaser ๐Ÿ˜„ Can you guess what I'm making from the photo?


The video will be up next Wednesday, so make sure to subscribe to my channel to stay updated! I also bit the bullet and got myself an Instagram account, so if you are so inclined, follow me there as well!

See ya next week ;)

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vegan Powderies (Armenian Tea/Coffee Cookies) Recipe!

I am dedicating my second YouTube video to powderies, also known as Armenian tea or coffee cookies! I will include the video at the bottom of this post, and below is the recipe for easy baking:

What you need:
-1/2 block of vegetable shortening
-2 cups flour
-1/2 cup crushed walnuts or almonds
-1/2 cup powdered sugar + extra for coating
-1/2 shot ouzzo (optional)
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-2 TBSP lemon juice

Directions:
-Soften block of vegetable shortening with hands
-Add sugar and work it in the mixture
-Add some of the flour (you add it gradually throughout the process) & keep working it in
-Add the ouzzo, mix it in and add more flour
-Add the lemon juice to the baking soda, stir it, and pour it into your dough
-Mix it well and add more flour
-Add walnuts and mix them in very well and then add the rest of the flour
-Gather all of the dough from the sides of your bowl and work it in a final time--you should be able to form shapes without it falling apart
-Preheat oven to 350F
-Roll the dough into circles or ovals (or whatever shape you prefer!)
-Place them all on the tray, lower the oven temperature to 250F and cook for about 35-40 minutes, checking around the 35 mark. The bottom of the cookies should be somewhat pink in color
-Let them cool completely (I forgot to mention that in my video). Otherwise they will melt the sugar you coat them with!
-Add powdered sugar to a bowl or container, and place the cookies in, coating them generously
-Set them aside--they taste even better the next day!

I hope you enjoy this recipe a much as I did! Below is the video that includes a mini how-to on Armenian coffee and coffee cup readings:
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hey Jan, Ghapama/ี‚ีกึƒีกีดีก....Recipe! [+ANNOUNCEMENT]

Hello dear friends far & wide! I have a recipe for you all as well as an announcement, and I'm very excited about both!

After many months of thinking about it, getting intimidated by video editing, and still somehow deciding to follow through with it, I have launched my own YouTube channel, called Vegan Armenian Kitchen!

I plan to feature recipes for both vegan-by-default and veganized Armenian dishes, as well as dishes from other cuisines that have become staples for Armenians. I have a long list of recipes that I plan to tackle, but am always open to suggestions, so feel free to get in touch with your ideas!

To kick things off, I am featuring a recipe for ghapama, which is a delicious and festive stuffed pumpkin, perfect as a centerpiece for the holidays! While it seems like it would automatically be vegan-by-default, the recipe tends to include both butter and honey, so I will just be swapping those out with vegan alternatives. You can watch the video recipe at the bottom of this post:

What you need:
-1 medium pumpkin
-2-3 TBSP coconut oil (for coating pumpkin and for rice)
-1.5-2 cups of long grain rice (better to have more than not enough!)
-1/3-1/2 cup of each: dried apricots (chopped), cranberries, raisins and walnuts (you can use dried plums instead of cranberries)
-1/3 cup maple syrup (can adjust depending on your sweet tooth level)
-2 TBSP cinnamon
-1 TBSP ginger powder (optional)
-1 TBSP clove powder (optional)
-1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
-5 TBSP boiling water
-3 pinches of salt

Directions:
-Cook rice with a touch of salt
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
-Cut pumpkin open and remove pulp, saving the seeds to bake later
-Coat pumpkin in 1.5 TBSP coconut oil and a few pinches of salt
-Mix remaining coconut oil into the rice and stir (it will melt since the rice is hot)
-Add in your spices and stir
-Add in your dried fruits and walnuts and stir
-Drizzle your maple syrup and stir
-Stuff pumpkin to the top and add the boiling water
-Seal pumpkin and place it on a tray in the oven
-Bake for about 1 hour, but make sure to poke it with a knife before removing it (it should be very soft when ready)
-Cut the pumpkin in slices and top with fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
Ghapama is such a delicious and easy recipe, and really looks beautiful as a centerpiece! Remember, it must be good if there's an entire song dedicated to it! ;)

You can check out my first (aka be nice) recipe video below: 


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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

GoGo Quinoa Super Grains Pasta Review

When GoGo Quinoa asked if I would be interested in doing a review of their latest creation, Super Grains Pasta, the name alone had me very excited.

The Laval-based Canadian company, which sells everything from grains to cookies, was named the Globe and Mail's #1 gluten-free pasta in 2014 and has now launched a "game-changing" pasta made from a "blend of chia, quinoa, sorghum, and amaranth super grains."

As a result, the product boasts 8g of protein and 6g of fibre per cup, and is also a good source of iron. I have no digestive issues with gluten, corn or soy, but for those who do, the Super Grains Pasta is free from all of those ingredients. I was sent a package of the pasta, along with a box of the new double-chocolate quinoa cookies:
You had me at double-chocolate
The pasta is described as having an "al dente texture" that "goes well with all sauces." Challenge accepted. I decided to prepare it as a pasta salad, cooking it per the instructions and then pairing it with some veggies and a dressing. The pasta itself is really pretty:
I cooked it for about 10 minutes, and gave it a nice rinse in a strainer under cold water. I sampled the pasta alone before mixing it in with anything, and the description is correct--it has a perfect al dente texture, which I usually miss the mark on when I am cooking regular pasta. In terms of taste, I didn't see a huge difference when compared to conventional pasta, which is a good thing since I love conventional pasta. It was between white pasta and whole wheat pasta, the latter of which I enjoy, but can always spot. This definitely seemed like a good compromise. 

I mixed it in with some spinach, tomato, onion and celery, and then added a mustard/lemon/vegan mayo dressing, topping it with my dwindling supply of Marash pepper:
My pasta salad was absolutely delicious. I tend to group myself--to the disappointment of all Italians--in the "soggy pasta lovers" category, but I did appreciate the texture and how the pasta held up in this salad. Two thumbs up from me. Next up was dessert:
First things first, I wish the company didn't individually wrap all of the cookies. They're all going to end up in the same place (my stomach), so it really isn't necessary. The cookies, once unwrapped, were nice and firm, and really good. They tasted like a mix of cookie and cake batter, and the extra chocolate chips were a very welcome touch. This particular flavour was the newest addition to the now three-strong cookie line, and I have a feeling it will become very popular. I felt full after just a few (they are quite small), and I am chalking that up to the protein and fibre, thanks to the quinoa and chia.

For those interested in trying GoGo Quino's Super Grains Pasta, it is currently exclusively available in Costco stores in Eastern Canada, but as of November, it will make its debut in both supermarkets and health food stores!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review of Roubi's Vegan Mante/ี„ีกีถีฉีจ! [Yerevan]

Adding the hearts took an embarrassingly long amount of time.
I mentioned in this post that last year I finally attempted to make my all-time favourite dish, mante/mantฤฑ/ีดีกีถีฉีจ*, 100% vegan. I cannot find the photo of it (it was blurry anyway), but it turned out incredibly delicious, and it was exactly how I remembered it growing up. Basically, a mante food coma was had by all.

While I still plan to re-make and post my recipe here, when I found out that Yerevan-based vegetarian/vegan chef Roubi Nalbandian not only made mushroom-based vegan lahmajoun (review here), but also mushroom-based vegan mante, I was excited to try hers since I really enjoyed the lahmajoun she prepared. However, I was traveling a lot in Armenia and ordering vegan mante remained in perpetual "to-do" purgatory.

On my last weekend in Armenia (aka the Areni Wine Festival), Roubi let me know that she sweetly prepared mante for me, as a gift. I picked it up from her a few hours after returning to Yerevan, and decided it would be my last meal in Armenia before going to Canadaland. It was hard not to snack on it:
Roubi made me the dumplings as well as the broth to cook it in!
After running around all day doing last-minute errands (aka buying all of the cognac and dried fruits), it was time to come home and eat what was awaiting me. I cooked the mante in the liquid, which seemed to be tomato paste, water, garlic and salt, and let the dumplings soak up that sweet, sweet broth, and just added dried mint, red pepper and sumac to the mix:
It smelled incredible already and I was getting flashbacks to the vegan mante I made, which gave me flashbacks of my mom's and nene's mante growing up. Because I have to over-do anything and everything, I added more mint just to make sure the photos looked weird (#winning):
To no one's surprise, it was absolutely delicious, just like Roubi's lahmajoun. The dumpling dough was particularly good, and was definitely much more accurate compared to my version (I suck at dough/bread/baking/life). The mushroom filling was cooked really well, although I think it could have used just a tad more spice to mimic the original a little more. Coupled with the broth, it was a such a great final meal in Yerevan, and I definitely did not miss the garlic-madzoun sauce in this case!

For those interested in trying Roubi's vegan masterpieces, you can contact her directly on Facebook right here!

*I know some people pronounce it manti/ีดีกีถีฉีซ, but not I/most people I know. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

My Jermuk "Magic School Bus" Experience Featured on Taxidio!

Taxidio recently published a roundup titled "27 Travel Bloggers Take a Trip Down Memory Lane" and my Jermuk experience was featured!
That Jermuk experience (and entire trip) was definitely something to remember, and I keep meaning to dedicate an entire blog post to it ("Jermuk Unplugged") but am overwhelmed with how much there is to include. Until then, this snippet will have to suffice!
I'm #12 on the list and you can check out the entire post right here. Hope you enjoy my "magic school bus" experience!
*All photos (in this post) by Elizabeth Audrey!