Monday, October 31, 2011

Roasted Garlic

A few years back, when I was still eating crusty gluten-filled french baguettes, I came upon a how-to for roasted garlic bulbs. I distinctly remember the night when I had my first taste of roasted garlic. It was magical. I had my crusty baguette all ready to go. i seriously just stood at the counter spreading the creamy garlic cloves like butter on my baguette. No time for sitting, this was a life-changing experience, people. Of course when consuming large amounts of garlic, it is totally crucial to have anyone else you may be living with to indulge in the garlic-y goodness as well. This is so you both become immune to garlic-y... umm... body aromas ; ) Enjoy.
Cut the top parts of garlic bulb off, (the pointed end)
exposing the inner cloves.
Side view.
Rub olive oil over top of bulb.
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Peel away the outer layers of bulb - the husk-like papery stuff. Cut the top pointy end part of bulb off, about 1/4 inch. 
  3. Place each garlic bulb in a piece of aluminum foil. Rub some olive oil onto the top part of each bulb. I don't measure, but maybe 1 Tbsp?
  4. Wrap the bulb up in foil.
  5. Bake at 400 for 30-35 minutes, until the cloves are soft.
Served with some roasted delicata squash rings!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Easy Kale Chips

Salty. Crunchy. Extremely versatile and oh so easy to tailor to your specific seasoning needs. Kale is seriously one of the healthiest foods. Ever. In the world. 
It is full of vitamin K - which is important for proper blood clotting and healthy blood vessels, and vitamins A and C. 

After washing the kale, remove the large stem in the middle of each leaf as well as the vein-like tiny "stems" that run throughout the leaf. If you don't remove them they get ridiculously hard after cooking and will taste (and feel) like sticks, thus ruining the otherwise awesome and otherworldly experience that is kale chips ; )

Dry the kale very well. I ran mine through a salad spinner. Or blot super well with paper towel. Put kale into large bowl. Add olive oil and salt. Mix well. 

Other seasoning ideas:
- vinegar and sea salt (add 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar)
- chili powder and cumin
- garlic powder

Arrange kale on baking sheets, I had to use 3 total, lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300F for 20 minutes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Chewy Nutty Almond cookies

In a previous post I mentioned that I had tried a cookie recipe from the Gluten Free Goddess. These cookies ended up tasting just like caramel! I had to freeze half the batch just to ensure that I wouldn't end up eating them all at once! This tactic didn't really work out because I ended up thawing out the cookies shortly after freezing them... at least I made a legitimate effort, right?
I made some modifications to the GFG recipe - using Honeyville's blanched almond flour instead of Bob's Red Mill. Sometimes I find the taste of sorghum flour a bit too strong so I used a mixture of sorghum flour AND brown rice flour, subbed canola oil for the olive oil, and used a flax "egg".

Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl:
  • 1 cup Honeyville blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1.5 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. sea salt (NOT kosher salt)
  • 1.5 tsp. xanthan gum
Mix/"cream" these together in another bowl:
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or light olive oil)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey, maple syrup, etc.)
  • 2 Tbsp. flax meal mixed with 6 Tbsp. water

  1. Make flax "egg" and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, or until it starts to get gel-like. Then mix with other liquid ingredients. 
  2. Add the dry ingredients mixture to the creamed sugar mix.
  3. If too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp. almond milk, 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  4. Stir until mix has a dough-like consistency.
  5. Stir in, by hand, 1/2 cup chopped almonds (or pecans, hazelnuts, other favorite nut)
  6. Cover bowl and chill the dough for 30 minutes in fridge.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 Celsius) and prepare baking sheet. Line sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop little balls of dough onto lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and press dough balls down just a bit to flatten.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for about 18-19 minutes, until cookies are golden. I ended up slightly burning my first batch, and ended up being WAY TOO hard to eat after they cooled. Learn from my mistake ; )
  10. Remove cookies with spatula, place on cooling rack. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quinoa Bean Tostadas

These tostadas were inspired by the Chicago Diner's avocado quinoa tostadas. I quickly became addicted to these after moving to Chicago. For my version I just used store-bought corn tostadas and topped with a parsley-based Chimichurri sauce. You can purchase chimichurri in the store or attempt your own homeade.

I'm a fan of Frontera's Tomatillo salsa!
  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • toastadas
  • chimichurri sauce or tomatillo salsa
  • Roma tomatoes, diced
  1. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Drain in fine mesh sieve. 
  2. Bring 2 cups water or broth to a boil with quinoa in medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed. Set aside.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  4. Assemble your tostadas by placing a layer of refried beans on top of the tostadas, followed by the quinoa. Place on cooking tray and placed in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until beans are heated through. 
  5. Top with chimichurri, avocado and diced tomatoes. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

English Muffins - GF and Yeast-Free!

I've constantly been on the lookout for breakfast-type bread recipes that are gluten-free AND yeast-free. I recently came across this english muffin recipe from The Daily Dietribe. I just bought a bag of blanched almond flour from Honeyville and have been waiting for the right recipe to come along to try it out! The downside of almond flour is that it is very expensive. However, I don't really bake all that often (aside from VeganMoFo, that is) so when I actually do bake I don't mind using a more expensive flour if it means that I will get reliable and fantastic results!

And so far... everything that I have created in the kitchen with almond flour has turned out great! In addition to these english muffins, I've made some almond cookies from Gluten Free Goddess that tasted just like caramel! I will be posting about those in the next few days, so stay tuned!

Now, a word about these muffins. I realize that they don't really look like english muffins at all. I don't have any photos of the muffins that I've cut in half and toasted, but they work just like an english muffin with all the nooks and crannies! I swear!

GF English Muffins 
    check out the recipe from The Daily Dietribe

Bob's Red Mill - Mighty Tasty
Hot Cereal. An ingredient for this recipe!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Snack - English Muffin with PB, hemp seeds

I recently bought a bag of Nutiva's hemp seeds. I've used hemp protein powder before in my smoothies and I've found that I'm not a big fan of it. But... the seeds themselves are pretty darn tasty and hemp seeds actually contain all essential amino acids, making it a complete plant protein! In case you were unaware, essential amino acids are those which the body cannot make and therefore must obtain from food sources (like hemp seeds, and flax, too!). If you'd like to know more about hemp seeds, check out the Body Ecology website.

Lately I've been getting bored with my usual granola breakfast, so I've been switching it up with some delicious gluten-free english muffins (made with almond meal, and are yeast-free) topped with either peanut or almond butter and a sprinklin' of hemp seeds. Great stuff! 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flying Apron's Ginger Wheel cookies - VeganMoFo #11

Another awesome gluten-free recipe from the Flying Apron baking book. The recipes in the book make such large quantities, so I cut this recipe in half. Still made a ton of cookies!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Peanut Lime Tofu Salad - Vegan MoFo #10

I've really been enjoying romaine lettuce lately. It's a great source of vitamins A and K, so that's what's up on the nutrition front, yo. Pretty exciting, isn't it? 
  • 1 pkg. extra-firm tofu, prepared your favorite way, I marinate mine overnight in peanut marinade then sautee
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 scallions/green onions, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 - 1 cup vegetable broth (or water)
Combine all dressing ingredients in small saucepan and heat on low until peanut butter is melted. Mix well. Let cool. 
Toss dressing with the salad just prior to serving. Yum! Garnish with chopped peanuts and lime wedge!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

African Sweet Potato Stew

This is one of my favorite stews to make! That's because it has my favorite ingredient in it --> peanut butter!!! I do love sweet potatoes quite a bit, to be fair. 
I first found this recipe in the Vegan Planet cookbook by Robin Robertson. I've just tweaked it a bit, adding more cinnamon and broth, specifically. I've seriously made this recipe soooo many times that the binding on my book is coming unglued... right at this recipe's page.
Serve this stew with some brown rice or quinoa for added fiber-y goodness. 


  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1 tsp. ginger (I use pureed from jar if I don't have fresh ginger root on hand)
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinse and drained
  • 1 14-oz. can organic diced tomatoes, do NOT DRAIN
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2.5-3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper 
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
  • crushed peanuts for garnish and lime wedge (optional)

  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, cover, and cook until softened, ~5 minutes . 
  2. Add bell pepper, cover, cook another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, cook another few minutes. Add the spices, ginger, and brown sugar, stirring constantly until mixed.
  4. Add sweet potatoes and stir.
  5. Stir in canned tomatoes, veggie stock, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered until vegetables are cooked, about 30 minutes. 
  6. Add the beans and peanut butter, stir until PB is melted and mixed into stew.
  7. Garnish with chopped peanuts and lime, optional. Serve!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Apple Pear Crumble

Keeping with the fall season theme of my past few posts, I present to you the tastiest dessert chock-full of my favorite fall-time fruits: apples and pears!

For this oat and almond based crumble, I used organic Golden Delicious apples and organic Bartlett pears. Sooooo tasty! 

For the crust/base, I used a mixture of oats, oat flour, and almond meal. I'm sure you could substitute another kind of nut for the almonds, like pecan, hazelnut, etc. 

What you'll need:
adapted from Gluten Free Hope's Maple Peach Crumble
  • 3 organic apples, sliced thinly
  • 1-2 pears, peeled, sliced
  • 1/2 cup almond meal (I just put 1/2 cup almonds in the food processor and pulsed until coarsely ground)
  • 1/2 cup GF oats
  • 1/2 cup GF oat flour
  • 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
  • 1/2 cup sucanat
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus extra for sprinklin'
  • 1 Tbsp. flax meal
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, Earth Balance, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or more butter)
  • Poured over top: 
    • 1/4 cup apple juice
    • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
Oat and almond base.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in large bowl. 
  2. Melt vegan butter in microwave, then add 1 tsp. vanilla, stir.
  3. Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, along with the coconut oil. Press into bottom of a lined 9x9 inch pan. 
  4. Take your sliced fruits and arrange them however you like on top of the base. 
  5. Now, mix the apple juice and maple syrup together. Pour over the top of apples and pears. Sprinkle with more cinnamon!
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. 
*** Serve with coconut ice cream, or eat as is! ***

Monday, October 10, 2011

Roasted Squash Seeds

One of my favorite things about cooking squash is the tasty little bonus of roasted seeds! Rich in iron, protein, magnesium, and copper, these seeds really hit the spot when you're looking for a savory and salty yet healthy snack. 

After removing the seeds and stringy-ness from the inside of the squash, place the seeds in a bowl filled with water. 
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the strings from the seeds and rinse. 
Bring about 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan with 2 tsp. salt.
Boil the squash seeds for 10 minutes. Drain. 
In a small bowl put 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil (or canola) along with some garlic powder and salt (3/4 tsp.), or to taste. Toss the seeds in oil mixture. Place seeds in a single layer on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 13-15 minutes. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Vegan Baked Beans

On those nights when I'm feeling too tired to cook a meal, we usually eat canned baked beans with some of those frozen waffle fries and steamed broccoli. Suuuuper healthy, I know (sarcasm)! So I thought I'd try making some of my own baked beans, here at home, with no can in sight (except for the tomato paste can, hehe). It is definitely a lengthy process, mainly if you're using dried beans, which I did. It is also wayyyy cheaper to go the dried bean route. However, you can use canned beans for this recipe as well (I haven't actually tried it out myself yet, though, so don't hold me to it)!

If using dried beans: 1.5 cups dried northern white  or navy beans
Not sure which bean is which? Check out this handy little bean guide.

The Night Before you plan to make the beans…

Rinse your dried beans under water just to make sure they’re extra clean. 
Now, place them in a large glass bowl and cover them with filtered water. Place in fridge overnight. The next day, rinse the beans and drain.

Now, bring a large pot of water to a boil along with the soaked beans. Once at a boil, cover, and reduce heat to med-low for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beans are mostly cooked. Drain, transfer to large baking dish.

If using canned beans:
       3 cans white northern beans or navy beans
       (each can has about 1.5 cups of beans I believe)

The rest of the ingredients:
1 large onion, chopped
¼ cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
4 Tbsp. tomato paste, mixed with 3/4  cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
½ tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir the tomato paste mixture, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, salt, pepper, and other spices together in small bowl and set aside.

In large baking dish (where the beans should be right now!) add the sauce mix and the chopped onion. Mix until well-combined. Cover dish with tin foil and bake in preheated oven for 2-3 hours. Stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook an additional 20 minutes. Add water if beans begin to look dry. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Biscuits (GF,V, and yeast-free!)

How many of you have problems digesting yeast? I never seemed to until recently. Needless to say, I didn't think that I was going to be able to enjoy most breads ever again. I couldn't accept that fate. What kind of life would I be living? But... I came across a recipe that used Bob's Red Mill AP GF flour mix, which I don't usually have on hand. I did, however, have Pamela's GF Bread Mix (which is vegan, unlike her baking and pancake mix which has buttermilk powder in it, if I remember correctly).

So, I figured I could sub in Pamela's mix for Bobs Red Mill. And you know what... it worked! These lil biscuits were seriously so good I ate the majority of them within 24 hours of making them! No joke. These are perfect. And oh so good smothered with jam!
  • 2 cups Pamela's GF Bread Mix
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter (Earth balance)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk, rice milk, other nondairy milk
    • FYI: Pamela's mix already has xanthan gum and salt mixed in! Score!

  1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper. 
  2. In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Cut the vegan butter into the dry mixture until crumbly. I just used a fork. If you are super fancy and having a pastry cutter use that right here!
  3. In the middle of the bowl pour in the milk. Stir to combine.
  4. Flour a work surface. Turn the dough onto floured surface and knead a few times. Pat the dough down until about 1/2" in thickness. 
  5. Using a small glass, cut circles out of the dough. Place dough on parchment paper.
  6. Bake 11 minutes, or until light golden brown in color. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Chocolate Granola (GF,V) - Vegan MoFo continues...

I eat granola for breakfast I do get a bit tired of it every now and then, and with the colder weather creeping up on us... I'll probably switch to making oatmeal in the morning. For a little bit. I am just simply not a morning person and the last thing I want to do when I wake up is cook. Even if it does just mean boiling some water and stirring. 

But I always come back to my favorite breakfast food of all time. Tried and true, reliable and crunchy.  GRA-NO-LAHHH

  • 4 cups GF rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup chocolate hazelnut butter (optional), if using this, omit salt
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
2. In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In small saucepan, heat up all liquid ingredients until peanut butter is melted. Add vanilla extract at end after removing pan from heat. 
3. Pour heated liquid ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Mix well. Spread onto prepared baking pan. I use a 9x13 cake pan lined with parchment paper. 
4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, making sure to stir at about 20 minutes. Add chocolate chips after the granola has cooled. Unless you like that melted chocolate sorta thing ; )

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Roasted Golden Beets and Sweet Potato

I used to hate beets. Well to be completely honest, I never gave them a fair chance. I assumed that I hated them. You know, those canned red beets that have the consistency (and look) of jello? Eww. But not these little gems...

Golden Beets
I had never been properly introduced, you see. After spending more than my fair share of time at the Whole Foods salad bar this past year (I never had access to a Whole Foods before where I lived, tragic, I know), I decided to try out the roasted red beets they always seem to offer. Hmm... not too bad. Earthy. Slightly sweet. Strangely pleasing to my palate. Now pair them with some roasted sweet potatoes... and we're talking business! Woo hoo!

  • 1 bunch of beets, or 5-6 medium beets, leaves removed
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • some olive oil (or other vegetable oil), I didn't measure
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • any other spices or herbs you might like (rosemary, thyme, etc.)

Tops of beets cut off. 

  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. If you haven't peeled the beets and sweet potatoes, do so now.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the beets with approx. 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Spread the beets out on a cooking tray lined with parchment paper (or a greased tray). Place in oven and bake for about 17 minutes. 
  4. Now mix together some olive oil (3 Tbsp?), and any spices you are using along with the garlic and onion. Now throw in the sweet potato. Mix all up.
  5. Remove tray with beets from oven, and add the sweet potatoes to them. Return to oven and bake an additional 35-40 minutes.
What to do with these beet greens? Eat them, of course.
Wash them, chop 'em up, boil in water for a minute or two. (steam or even sautee). Drain.
Season with salt and pepper, and maybe even some vegan butter!

If you're feeling extra adventurous, you could throw them into the blender with some frozen fruit for a super healthy green smoothie.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Almond Sesame Cabbage Salad

This salad is tangy and nutty, with a slight hint of sweetness! After going gluten-free I missed this salad. I especially missed the crunchy gluten-filled ramen noodles that are commonly sprinkled throughout this salad. The toasted almonds give a nice crunch that helps replace the ramen noodles that I miss so dearly...

  • 1 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • ½ head of green cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • optional: could also throw in some red cabbage!
  • ½ cup vegetable oil, I have used both canola and olive oils
  • 1/4 to ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

    1. Combine all liquid ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, let boil for 1 minute (just so the sugar fully dissolves). Remove the pan from heat and let cool.
    2. Toast the almonds and sesame seeds (in separate pans). 
    3. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, almonds, and green onions.
    4. When ready to serve the salad, add the dressing and mix well. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the top (if using).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Berry Scones - VeganMoFo Day 1

Happy Vegan MoFo everyone! 

This is another awesome recipe I've tried from the Flying Apron GF and vegan baking book. Although the recipe's title is officially Berry Tea Biscuits in the book, I would say that these turned out way too moist to be called "biscuits". Anyways, it doesn't matter what you call them because they will be super delicious either way!
I'm still slowly working my way through the book! Has anyone else tried any Flying Apron recipes?