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Hi! 

So happy you passed by!  Vegetarian? Plantbased? Or just looking for healthier options for your diet? It doesn't really matter! I myself am what I like to call an "amateur vegan". Still experimenting and trying new things on daily basis and I truly love this process! Join me! 
I made this blog simple and visually incentive so that you could come back and browse for inspiration whenever you need it! 

Vegan Potato Cake with Oven Roasted Beets & Mushroom Gravy

Vegan Potato Cake with Oven Roasted Beets & Mushroom Gravy

Do you have a dish that makes you feel like home? Maybe a dish that warms you up? And I don’t mean literally. Our brain has a power to recreate the emotion, the exact feeling we felt in the past at the particular situations or places. But first, the brain must be triggered by something.  For me smells are the biggest triggers.  Fried onion smell at my grandmother’s apartment before the family dinner. The smell of my fingers after I have just collected some fresh dill from the garden. The smell of a freshly picked up chanterelle in the forest.  We all have our nostalgia triggers, what’s yours?

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Potato cake (“kugelis”) is something that we, Lithuanians, flag as our tradition. This has actually been a very common dish at our household. It’s easy to make, it’s cheap and, oh, so filling! Potato is a popular ingredient. Well, it is popular in the whole Eastern Europe and there is for sure a reason behind it.  However, I don’t feel that it defines even a little of what our cuisine is all about.

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I wanted to create this dish with the ingredients that give me those nostalgia triggers:

Beets - our underestimated, real superfoods. Cheap in this case doesn’t mean less value. I fell in love with it ever since I started eating solid food as a baby. My whole family was a big fan of this veggie and other good old-fashioned root veggies.

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Mushrooms – of every sort. Nothing beats freshly picked forest mushrooms cooked in a cream sauce. This is what all my summers were about.  In winters, the usual white button mushrooms do its job too for the gravy.

Fresh herbs – having access to a garden is one of the things I miss most from home.

And, of course, my family’s potato love!

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The recipe is very simple. Don’t be put off by the wall of text in the instructions. The steps are obvious, but it takes many words to describe it. Just keep in mind that grated potatoes change color pretty fast, so make sure you prepare all the little things before you grate the potatoes. 

 

Vegan Potato Cake with Oven Roasted Beets & Mushroom Gravy


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Ingredients:

For the cake:

1 golden beet

1 chioggia beet

Fresh thyme

2 Tbsp of olive oil

10-15 potatoes, depending on size

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 Tbsp chickpea flour

Aquafaba from 1 can of chickpeas

1 tsp nutmeg

2 tbsp of dried thyme

Salt & Pepper

 

For the mushroom gravy:

Several handfuls of white button & brown mushrooms

1 onion

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp rice flour

1 tsp nutmeg

1 Tbsp garlic powder

350 ml of Oatly cooking cream (or any other plantbased cooking cream)

A handful of fresh dill, chopped

 

 

Instructions:

1. Wash & dry your beets. Wrap them in a foil with one tablespoon of olive oil in each and some fresh thyme. Bake in the oven on 180°C for about 40 minutes. Beets should be somewhat soft (It will be back in the oven later so it shouldn’t be all the way cooked)

2. Chop both of your onions. Heat a pan with a table spoon of olive oil and fry the onion until golden. Add some salt & pepper while cooking – gives so much more taste to the onions. Remove half of the onions and place it separately – this one will go into the potato cake.

3. Wash & peel potatoes and grate them with the potato grater blade. I use my food processor for it, saves loads of trouble. Place a cheese cloth (or a clean kitchen towel) over an empty bowl. Start pouring the potato blend into the cloth, wrap everything in and squeeze out the liquid. Set the dry potato mass into another bowl.

4.  Rinse your canned chickpeas and hold on to the aquafaba liquid. Blend it with a hand mixer until it becomes a steady foam. Takes about 5-6 minutes.

5. Combine all your ingredients for the cake – dry potato mass, fried onions, grated garlic, chickpea flour, nutmeg, thyme, salt & pepper, and all of the aquafaba foam.  Mix everything carefully. If you need more liquid, add some cooking cream. I had enough from the aquafaba.

6. Place some baking paper on the bottom of the spring form. Oil lightly the sides of the spring form. Poor potato cake mixture and spread equally. Put in the oven of 180°C for about 20 minutes.

7.  Remove your beets from the foil. Peel it and cut it into thin slices.

8. After 20 minutes (when the cake is almost ready) remove cake from the oven and place beet slices on top of it. Sprinkle some fresh chopped thyme, salt & pepper. Place the cake back to the oven and put it on the “fan mode” so that the beets get some slight crisp on the edges. Cook for 5-10 minutes – you just have to check constantly that the beets don’t over burn.

 

Mushroom gravy:

1.   While cake is in the oven, heat up the pan once again where you cooked your onions. Once warm, add chopped mushrooms and cook for couple of minutes.

2.  Sprinkle around few table spoons of rice flour, a bit of salt and pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Mix well.

3.  Lower the heat and pour you plantbased cream into the pan. Mix constantly until it starts to thicken.

4.  Add chopped dill and keep the pan on the lowest heat until the cake is ready to be served.

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