VEGAN PÃO DE QUEIJO (BRAZILIAN “CHEESE” BREAD)

Vegan & Gluten free. Makes approx. 15 golf ball sized cheese breads. Inspired by the recipe made by Teffy (sprinkleofgreen.com) with my own personal tweaks.

For the photos I paired my favorite creamy tomato soup because it is the best way to eat this bread. It makes it feel like the grown up version of grilled cheese and canned tomato soup (a personal childhood favorite) that I get to enjoy now free of dairy, gluten and all the salt. Will be sharing more of my favorite soup & bread recipes soon because I love soup & bread, as you’ll see and hopefully enjoy too!

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of cooked & mashed sweet potato
2 cups of tapioca starch
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. mixed herbs *
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 cup water
5 Tbsp. flax oil  *

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Peel the sweet potato (1 large one is usually enough) and cut into cubes and boil till soft.
In a large bowl prepare & mix dry ingredients (tapioca, baking powder, mixed herbs & nutritional yeast). Prepare the wet ingredients by bringing the water and oil to a boil and add to the bowl, along with the mashed sweet potatoes and mix together with a metal fork.

Will turn into a sticky impossible to work with texture so its best to let it cool in the fridge for 10 minutes.  Add some extra tapioca starch on a flat surface and your hands to start forming it into gold sized balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until solid and cracked on top (usually around 20 minutes).

* Can use any herbs you wish but my favorite is 1 Tbsp. of thyme and 1 Tbsp. of rosemary.
*Can substitute the flax oil for any oil you have, including coconut or olive oil.

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Window Farm

This project started in late winter (feb/march 2016) when my partner and I came across Windowfarms started by Britta Riley in Brooklyn, New York (2010). Like Britta, we had the desire to grow our own food but living in an apartment without a yard makes that difficult.

Hydroponics are a way of growing plants in water (or clay, gravel, sand, coco coir, ect.) with added nutrients, instead of using soil, which makes it ideal for indoor growing. Our system is the same idea as Britta’s but tweaked to fit our available supplies and location. For more information on how it works and any general questions, go to the our.windowfarms.org website or ask myself.

All the plants in our window farm we started from seed (April 2016) and have learned a lot since, with mistakes and success along the way. Currently the two plants (second left column) that have taken over that window are the Cucamelons. They grow in a ivy-like vine, bloom yellow flowers then grow grape sized looking watermelons that taste like cucumber and lime. We haven’t tried them yet, but the plant itself looks beautiful and we should be tasting our first ones within the month.

Since April we’ve expanded our hydroponic gardening beyond the windowfarm method and its been exciting to learn and grow my first garden. I’ll talk more about that later, for now here’s just an introduction.