Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tuscan Bean Soup

Good Morning Everyone!

Boy am I glad that I didn't get up to go for a run this morning.  Currently, it is snowing.  Not sticking, but snowing!  I guess a nice little run in the snow wouldn't have been that bad, but it just looks so cold!  So instead I had a warm bowl of nuts and squash and two pieces of homemade bread smeared with fig jam!

Last night, while making dinner, I had my tv on.  All of a sudden there were a bunch of really loud pops and then silence.  My tv went dead, kind of.  I unplugged everything and then replugged and turned it on.  Again, popping and then silence.  I did some research on the internet and it said that it was probably a build up of dust.  So today, after work, I am going to disassemble my tv and vacuum it out.  Keep your fingers crossed that it works.

The funny thing was, I didn't really miss it last night, although I did rent a movie on iTunes.  I went to bed thinking about selling my little tv set up and what I would put there to replace it.  I thought about all the different kind of pictures I would hang on the wall and how I could get a nice long bookcase to showcase my beans.  I also thought about all the more constructive things I would be doing besides watching tv, like reading, knitting, studying, sleeping!  So, I think that by the end of the week I will decide if I can live without a tv.

Onto food!

The cold weather and the now probably 23 pounds of beans in my closet are really good excuses to make lots of bean soups and stews.  This next recipe has been haunting my thoughts ever since I bought "Clean Food."  I had seen it the first day I bought it, but it just seemed too hard and difficult.  Funny how a long list of ingredients can do that to us.  If fact, it was an incredibly easy soup.  I even soaked and cooked my own beans!  And this soup/stew is so flavorful and filling it is kind of ridiculous.  Try it with polenta or pasta!  Or if you can eat bread, a nice crusty piece of bread.

Tuscan Bean Soup
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

1 Thumb sized piece of kombu
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon dried basil
2 Teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 Teaspoon dried rosemary
1 1/2 Cups cooked chickpeas*
1 1/2 Cups cooked white beans*
1 1/2 Cups cooked aduki beans*
4 Cups canned chopped tomatoes with their juices
1 Bunch kale or collards, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 Cups water or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 Cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley

* For the beans I used aduki and two of the white beans I got in my CSA.  Feel free to experiment with the beans or use what she had called for.

Place kombu in bowl with enough water to cover and soak 10 minutes or until soft.  Drain, mince and set aside.

In Dutch oven over medium heat, saute garlic and onion in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft.  Add basil, oregano and rosemary and stir.  Add chickpeas, white beans, aduki beans, tomatoes, greens, kombu and stock or water.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Stir in vinegar and wine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook for 45 minutes.  Remove from heat, garnish with parsley and serve.

Serves 6

Tuscan Bean Soup over Ancient Harvest Gluten-free quinoa elbows

Crunchy Cinnamon Plantain Chips
Courtesy: "Thrive"

So here is another one of those items that I picked up at the store because I have never tried it before.  I knew that I had seen some sort of recipe for plantain so I thought I would give it a try.

"Thrive," a book by Brendan Brazier, is an eating guide for vegan athletes.  Well, it is a book for anyone looking to eat healthier and cause less stress on their bodies.  He has a lot of wonderful recipes and had introduced me to hemp products.  The recipe says that these plantain chips turn crispy, but mine never really did.  Either way, they were delicious!

1 Large plantain
1/2 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 300.

Peel and thinly slice plantain from end to end; the strips should be long.  Place on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil.

If coconut oil is hard, heat until liquid.  Combine lemon juice with coconut oil.

Rub a bit of oil and juice mixture on top of each plantain strip.  Rub on cinnamon and sea salt.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comfort Food

Good Evening.

I intended on writing something profound and meaningful today, considering Christmas is just around the corner, but my thoughts are just not organized enough.  So instead I will just give you a bunch of delicious, warming recipes.

I have been busy this week cooking beans.  So far I have tried five different varieties: Dutch bullets, Arikara, Vermont Cranberry, Rio Zape and Jacob's Cattle.  They have all turned out fabulously.

Last night I had a little "dinner party" and made, what I felt, was true comfort food; chili, corn bread and a crumble.  It was only the second time I had attempted chili and cornbread...I am pretty proud of myself.

Three Bean Chili
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

I am not a fan of spicy food so I opted to not put in as much cayenne an no hot sauce.  Also, I would have added more cumin, salt and pepper.  I served the chili before doing a final tasting!  I should have known better!  But it is really good.  Also, I used my heirloom beans instead of the beans she suggests.  Jacobs Cattle, Arikara, Vermont Cranberry and Rio Zape.

1 Thumb sized piece kombu
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced ( I used 5 )
2 Onions, chopped
2 Green bell peppers, diced
4 Cups chopped tomatos ( I used canned )
1/2 Cup tomato paste
1/4 Cup red wine
1/2 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 Teaspoon cumin
2 Tablespoons chili powder
6-8 Drops hot sauce
1/4 Teaspoon cayenne ( or to taste )
1/4 Teaspoons salt
1 1/2 Cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 Cups cooked aduki beans
1 1/2 Cups cooked pinto beans
Water or Vegetable stock as needed

Place kombu in bowl with enough water to cover and soak 10 minutes or until soft.  Drain, mince and set aside.

In large pot over medium beat, saute garlic and onion in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft.  Add green peppers and saute 2 minutes more.  Add chopped tomatoes and tomato paste, wine, oregano, cumin, chile powder, hot sauce, cayenne and salt.  Add cooked beans and kombu, stir to combine and simmer at least 45 minutes.  Add vegetable stock as needed to thin.

Courtesy: "Gluten-Free Vegan"

This was a super easy and quick cornbread that really complimented the chili.  Feel free to add corn or peppers!

1 1/2 Teaspoons Ener-g egg replacer whisked together with 2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 Cup agave nectar
1/4 Cup grapeseed oil
1 Cup hemp or soy milk
1/2 Cup brown rice flour
1/2 Cup sorghum flour
4 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Cup cornmeal

Preheat oven to 425.  Spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan with vegetable oil.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg replacer with the warm water, until bubbles form and the powder has completely dissolved.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the agave nectar and oil, and beat until smooth and thick, 1-2 minutes.  Add the egg replacer and hemp milk, and continue to mix until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine the brown rice and sorghum flours, baking powder, salt and cornmeal, and stir well together.  Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir just until it becomes incorporated.  Do not overbeat.  Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake until lightly browned on top, 18-20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack and serve.

Put the two of these together and you have a complete meal!  I added some sautéed spinach to my chili!  Yummy!

Apple Cranberry Crumble

This recipe originally called for peaches, but the peaches that were going to be used turned out to be old. They had been sitting in the freezer for over a year and had gotten freezer burn.  Luckily I had lots of apples to use!

Combine in a bowl:

2 Cups fruit-apples, peaches, pears
1/2 Cup cranberries.  I used fresh.
Agave nectar to taste.  I probably used 2 Tbs.
1 Teaspoon arrowroot starch
Cinnamon to taste

For the topping, mix together to form a course crumble:

1 Cup gluten free flour mix.  I used Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour mix.
3/4 Cup light brown sugar.  I used 1/2 cup sucanat.
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg
4-6 Tablespoons light tasting vegetable oil.  I used grapeseed oil.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Either use non-stick spray or olive oil to coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate.

Place all fruit and liquid into the pie pan.  Top with the crumble mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the filing is bubbling.  The top should be golden brown!

Cool on a wire rack for about 5-10 minutes before serving.


There are very few things that I miss being vegan and gluten free.  Mac and Cheese is one of them.  There is something very comforting about the cheesy elbow noodles out of a blue box.  We all grew up with it.

Funny thing is, I don't really miss cheese.  I bought some Dayia (fake cheese made out of tapioca) for the chili dinner, but I didn't personally use it.  I just didn't need fake cheese.

I have two recipes for fake mac and cheese.  One is a baked dish and the other is a really quick and easy dinner.  Keep in mind that neither of them actually taste like the stuff that comes out of the blue box, but do they do job.  I personally like the quick and easy one better!

The Best Vegan Baked Mac and Cheese
Courtesy: "The Gluten Free Goddess"

I am too lazy to write down her whole recipe so I am just going to cut and paste the link.  :)

Vegan KD
Courtesy: "Sketch Free Vegan"

This recipe comes from two lovely Canadian sisters and their blog,  I love their recipes.  Check out their blog, please!

This is so quick, nutritious and yummy it boggles my mind.

2 Cups gluten free pasta ( I like ancient harvest quinoa elbows )
1/4 Cup hummus
3 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 Cup almond milk or other milk alternative
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl.  Mix pasta and sauce together and heat through.  Viola!  Done!

Friday, December 17, 2010

New Year's Soup

Good Evening.

This week has been very intense for me.  Lots of emotions.  I am struggling with what to do with my life.  I am 99.9% sure I want to go back to get a degree in nutrition, but do I get a Masters or just another Bachelors?  And nearly my whole self craves to be back in Amsterdam, in Europe.  It has become very frustrating.  Luckily, this week, I had a good friend remind me of a few important things.  

1. We all let our emotions get ahold of us and we just need to take a step back.
2. Life is all about love.
3. A simple smile can change someone's life.

My love...FOOD.  So onto the food...

I have been planning this meal since last week.  I have been wanting to make a warm and filling soup with beans and veggies.  Once again, Terry Walters has saved me.  I have also been baking fresh bread every week.  I have taken the teff flour bread recipe and started tweaking it.  Today I used half teff and half almond meal.  I also added hemp protein, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds.  Yummy!

New Year's Soup
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Medium yellow onion, chopped
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 Carrots cut into 1/8 inch rounds
3 Parsnips cut into 1/8 inch rounds
1 Bunch collard greens stems removed
3 Cups cooked black-eyed peas (or any meaty, white bean)
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
4 Cups vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In soup pot or large dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in olive oil 3 minutes or until soft.  Add carrots and parsnips and saute 3 minutes.  Chop collard greens into bite-size pieces and add to pot along with black-eyed peas and oregano.  Add vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes.  Stir in apple cider vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 6

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Favorite Meal Ever

Hello Everyone.

I thought it was about time to post some more savory dishes.  When I get as busy/tired as I am it is just easier to cook up some greens, rice and beans and call it good.  I promise I will do better and become as adventurous in my dinners as I am in my desserts.

This next recipe is really one of my favorites.  I love it.  There is something so simple and flavorful about it.  Plus, it is really easy to make.  If you use canned beans this really only takes 12 minutes, enough time to cook quinoa.

White Beans and Escarole
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

You might be asking what escarole is.  I had no idea when I first saw this recipe.  When I went to the store it was mushed between all kind of lettuce and you couldn't tell the difference, they all look the same.

After some checking on the internet I have found that escarole is related to endive and is often called chicory.  Escarole has very few calories, 20 or so per serving, and has a large amount of vitamin A and C.  All around this is a great alternative to other leafy greens.

Add beans, garlic and rice or quinoa and you have a nutritious, flavorful dinner.

6 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 Cups cooked great northern or navy beans ( I used an heirloom bean called arikara )
2 Large heads escarole, chopped
2 Tablespoons flax oil (I have never used it because I can't find it)
5 Dashes ume plum vinegar (essential!)

In dutch oven over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil until soft.  Add beans and escarole and stir until escarole starts to wilt.  Continue cooking 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, drizzle with flax oil and vinegar and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with gomasio and serve.  

I always add more ume plum vinegar because I love the taste of it.  

These are gomasio and ume plum vinegar.  Gomasio is simply sea salt and sesame seeds.  You could make it on your own.  And the vinegar?  I have no idea how to explain it.  It is a vinegar made out of ume plums and is bitter and tart and compliments greens really well.

Dijon Curry Vinaigrette
Courtesy: "Cafe Flora Cookbook"

Cafe Flora is a delightful little restaurant in Seattle.  It serves the vegetarian, vegan and gluten free community.  I enjoy going because I feel safe eating out.  I know that the servers understand allergies and food sensitivities and are willing to help me make good food decisions.  I don't have to worry about something getting into my food that I can't eat.  The last time that I was there I picked up their cookbook.  To be really honest, most of their recipes are really complex and I haven't used it much, but they do have really yummy salad dressings.

I usually don't like eating salads at home because they are really boring, but I have been trying to eat a nice salad before dinner instead of tortilla chips or other snacks.  While flipping through the Cafe Flora cookbook I came across this recipe and it was intriguing.  I decided I would try it, and guess what?!  It is awesome.

2 Teaspoons dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons curry powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon honey, brown rice syrup or brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 Cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the oil.  Dribble in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thoroughly blended.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Holiday Treats

Hello, Hello, Hello

Sorry that it has taken me so long to post anything.  I have been very busy with work and volunteering and I am just plain old exhausted.  But even with my schedule I have found plenty of time to cook so I still have a few things to post.

Today I went to the Holiday Market in Eugene to pick up my bean CSA.  24 pounds of fresh, dried, organic heirloom beans!  Arikara, calypso, dutch bullet, Ireland creek annie, jacob's cattle, rio zape and Vermont cranberry.  

I have beans for the year!  I need to eat 1/2 a pound of beans every week for the next 52 weeks to be able to eat all of the beans I have.  When I came across this little stand at the Saturday Farmers Market I had never soaked and cooked my own beans-I was scared.  It was all new to me.  But I couldn't resist the challenge these beautifully packaged beans presented to me.  Boy am I glad I bought my first bag.  These beans are fantastic!  Not only are they super cheap, $130 for the entire year ($2.50 per week) (think about if you were to buy a can of low sodium, organic beans at the store...$2 or more dollars per can), but they are richer in minerals and nutrients because they are freshly dried.  And I am supporting a lovely, local farmer.  I have already started to look for more interesting bean recipes, one which will follow, but I always need more so feel free to send me your favorites!

I am enjoying cooking at home more and more.  I knew that I always enjoyed it, but I am really starting to prefer it.  Creating meals from scratch makes me proud.  Not going to the grocery store and buying a container of apple sauce or frozen gluten-free bread makes me feel competent.  I love going into work and sharing my LOVE with others.  That is what food is - love.

So...all of the recipes today are yummy treats, perfect for holiday get togethers.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

Black Bean Fudge

I found this website while searching for a gluten free bread made with teff flour.  She has the most delicious looking recipes and photos.  Oh, and her teff flour bread-delightful.  This fudge recipe IS something you should write home about.  I brought it into work and everyone loved it.  They couldn't believe that it was made with a can of black beans!  It is very intense so I would suggest cutting it up into smaller pieces.

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil 
1/4 Cup carob powder, cocoa powder or a mix
2 Teaspoons vanilla extract
1-2 Tablespoons agave nectar (to your taste)
1/4-1/2 Teaspoon stevia extract (I didn't have any so I just added two medjool dates and a few extra tablespoons of agave nectar)
Sea salt

Combine all ingredients, except for salt, in a food processor and process until totally smooth.

Line an 8x4 pan with saran wrap or parchment paper and transfer fudge mixture into pan, pressing down firmly.  Sprinkle with a bit of coarsely ground sea salt.   Put into refrigerator and let set for at least an hour.  Cut into about 24 squares.  This can be kept in the fridge for about 6 days.

Peanut Butter Candy
Courtesy: "The Gluten-Free Vegan"

Susan O'Brien, the author of this book warns that these lovely balls of goodness are addictive...I heed this warning to you as well.  Plan on sharing them or having a really good reason to tell people why you ate them all.

1/2 Cup organic peanut butter (I use the fresh ground peanut butter at the store, the stuff you grind yourself)
1/8 Cup pitted and chopped medjool dates
1/4 Cup chopped pecans
1/4 Cup sesame seeds
1/4 Cup brown rice syrup
1 Tablespoon arrowroot powder
1/8 Teaspoons ground cardamom

Line a small cookie sheet or platter with parchment paper.

Place all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir together until mixed really well.  Roll into balls and place each ball on the prepared cookie sheet.  Chill until set.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Here is another food blog that I follow on a regular basis.  I adore these sisters.  Their food is creative, warm and you never feel bad after eating it.

Sorry the picture is so uninspiring, but I promise this is so easy and flavorful you will enjoy it.

1/2 Cup pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup coconut milk
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
3/4 Teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Let sit overnight, or a few hours in the fridge.

You could top with chopped nuts or your own crumble topping!

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie with Praline and Pecan-Coconut Crust

This lady is near genius.  I use her blog nearly weekly to find something sweet and yummy to make.  She has so many recipes that you are bound to find something you like.

This recipe caught my eye because I had never really seen a vegan pumpkin pie recipe that did not use tofu.  Karina uses a cashew cream.  I figured I would have to try it.  And to be honest, I had never made a pumpkin pie before.  Here was another challenge awaiting me.

I made this on Thursday for a little dinner party I was having.  I had no idea how it was going to turn out and fretted about it for most of Friday.  On the way to the dinner I realized that I had forgotten to make the praline!  Oh well, life goes on.  When it came time to cut into the pie I was relieved when it didn't fall apart.  This is some pie!  Not too sweet but full of flavor.  I received complement after complement.  They all said that they wouldn't have known it was gluten free or vegan!  And we had two non-vegan/vegetarians there!  Best kind of compliments a girl can get.  :)

I am not going to repost her recipe word for word, I am going to be lazy and just post the link to the recipe.  Please check it out though.  

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday Night Dinner

Hello Everyone.

I had a lovely, filling and healthy dinner this evening that I am excited to share with you.  I also tried out a new nutty dessert.  Try one, or two, or all new recipes!

Eet smaakelijk!

Lemon Pepper Tofu
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Pound fresh tofu, cut into 1/2 inch fillets
2 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons mirin
Freshly ground black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Wrap tofu in towel and gently press out excess liquid.

Heat large cast-iron skillet to medium and saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon mirin and plenty of pepper.  Stir to combine and place tofu in pan.  Saute 4 minutes, flip fillets, add another 1 tablespoon lemon juice and more pepper as desired.  Saute 4 minutes longer, flip tofu again, add 1 tablespoon lemon juice and final tablespoon mirin.  Saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned.  Flip one last time, add remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon zest and crushed red pepper and saute 4 minutes or until evenly browned.  Remove from heat and serve.

Mashed Cauliflower 
Courtesy: Me

1 Head cauliflower
2 Tablespoons vegan butter
2 Tablespoons almond or hemp milk
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a medium pot of water to boil and add in cauliflower.  Cook until soft.  Drain water and add cauliflower to food processor.  Add all other ingredients and blend until smooth.  Serve right away.

Sicilian Collard Greens
Courtesy: "The Kind Diet"

1 Bunch collard greens
2 Tablespoons pine nuts
3 Garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 Tablespoons raisins
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar ( I end up using only 1 Tbs )

Use a sharp knife to cut out the central rib and stem from each collard leaf.  Rinse the leaves in a sink of cool water, lifting them into a colander to drain a bit ( you want some water to remain on the leaves ).

Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes or until brown.  Shake the pan often to keep the pine nuts from burning.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Place the garlic and oil in a large skillet, and saute over medium heat for 1 minute or until the garlic is fragrant.  Add the damp collards and stir, then cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes longer.  Add the raisins and pine nuts, and stir.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in the balsamic vinegar, cover, and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Raw Pistachio Pudding

1/2 Cup soaked pistachios, peeled
1 Avocado
Water or nut milk, to thin
3 Tablespoons agave nectar, or to taste
1/2-3/4 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground chia seeds
Squirt of lemon juice

Process the pistachios until very smooth (this may take a few minutes) in a food processor.  Add all the other ingredients and process until smooth.

Let sit in the refrigerator for several hours, or stick in the freezer for about one hour.  Serve chilled.

Makes about one to two servings.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fall Flavors

Hello Everyone.

I want to apologize ahead of time for the length of this post.  I had been planning on posting more throughout this last week, but I just never got to my computer.  

These are my latest fall favorites.  Warm, filling and flavorful.

Eet smaakelijk!

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Squash

I really enjoy this dish.  I bought a kabocha squash a few weeks ago and had no idea what to do with it.  I scoured the internet and found this lovely recipe.

1 small kabocha squash
3 Tablespoons light brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/2 Teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 Teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 Teaspoon salt
1 Teaspoon tamari

Oil for drizzling-pumpkin or toasted sesame oil.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

De-seed and cut squash into slices, about 1/4 inch thick.  Keep the skins on!  

Combine all the dry ingredients.  Toss the squash slices until they are all coated.  Add the tamari and toss again.

Spread the slices in one layer on the baking sheets.  Drizzle with oil and bake for 15 minutes on each side.  Feel free to add more oil and sugar after turning over.  

Serve hot or room temperature.

Juice Pulp Crackers

I have a lovely friend at work who occasionally juices.  She brought me in a huge bottle of fresh juice and all the pulp!  I knew that I had seen recipes for juice pulp crackers before but I just didn't know how to make them.  Once again, I took to the internet and found a few recipes and took a little of each to make these great crackers. 

2 Cups juice pulp (I had beet, kale, celery, cucumber, carrot, apple and ginger)
1/2 Cup flaxseed meal
1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon water (more or less, depending on consistency)

Combine all ingredients and and stir until you have a thick batter, like a thick cookie dough.

Spread batter on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.  Try to make the batter as this as possible, 1/4 inch thick.  Place in an oven at the lowest temperature.

Bake for an hour and then carefully flip and cook for another hour.  After two hours remove and cut into 1-2 inch squares and spread out on the pan.  Bake for one more hour.  Remove and place into an airtight container once they have cooled.

Yeast-Free Pumpkin-seed Teff Flour Sandwich Bread

Oh how I love the internet.  I don't know how I came across this recipe, I think I was looking for teff flour recipes, but boy am I glad I found it.  It is delicious and soft and had a crunchy crust.  It is the closest to real bread that I have had in a very long time.  The pumpkin seeds and teff flour make it full of fiber and protein.  Feel free to add other nuts or seeds to it as well, I added sesame and hemp seeds.

1 Cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Cup + 2 1/2 Tablespoons Teff flour
1/2 Cup arrowroot starch
1/2 Cup tapioca starch
1 Tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 1/4 Teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum
1 Teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons finely ground flax seeds
1 1/2 Cups water
2 Tablespoons olive oil or grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Generously grease a 9x5 inch bread pan.  Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet and place in oven and let bake while the oven heats.  Remove from oven and let cool a little.

In a small bowl whisk together flax, water and apple cider vinegar.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Then whisk in oil.

While flax absorbes water, place pumpkin seeds in a blender, food processor or coffee grinder, and grind until you have a find powder, like flour.  Place in a bowl and mix together with teff, arrowroot, tapioca, salt, coconut flour and baking soda.  Create a well in the center and add flax-water mixture, stir until mixed.  

Place in oiled loaf pan and press into a loaf shape with a spatula.  Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and slightly press them into the loaf.  Place into oven and bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out on a rack and finish cooling.  Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing, best if cooled all the way.

Apple Squash Soup
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

I can't get enough of Terry Walters and her amazing recipes.  This was another very pleasant surprise - it is sweet and creamy and filling and really fast.

1 Large butternut squash
1 Large yellow onion, chopped
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
4 Large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
4 Cups vegetable stock
1 Cup rice milk (or another milk alternative, I used hemp)
1/4 Cup coconut milk
1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
Sea salt

Peel squash, cut in half and remove seeds.  Cut into 2-inch pieces.

In large pot over medium heat, saute onion in oil until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add squash, apples, stock, rice milk, coconut milk and nutmeg.  Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until squash is soft.  Puree with handheld blender and remove from heat to cool slightly.  Season to taste with salt and serve.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

I LOVE these muffins.  You feel great after eating them.  They are full of high protein flours and have no refined sugars!  They have just the right amount of spice and pumpkin flavor and aren't too sweet.  They go great for breakfast with a bowl of my apple/cranberry sauce.

1 Cup pitted dates
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 Cups cooked pumpkin puree
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 Cup almond butter
2/3 Cup grated apple or apple sauce

1/2 Cup brown teff flour
1/2 Cup almond meal
1/2 Cup chickpea flour
1/4 Cup potato starch
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prepare mini-muffin tins with oil or paper muffin tins.

Place dates in a food processor and mince.  Add remaining wet ingredients and process until combined.  Place all dry ingredients in separate bowl, and whisk to combine.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix briefly to combine.  Immediately scoop batter by the tablespoon into muffin tins.  Distribute batter evenly.  Bake 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and set on rack to cool completely before removing from tins.  

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Best Ever Brownies

Happy Gobble Day!

Today is my first vegan Thanksgiving.  I don't really have anything incredibly profound to say on being a vegan during this holiday.  But the one thing that I would like to say is how frustrating it is for people to make assumptions about me and the way I choose to eat.

I decided to stop eating land based meat (I still eat fish every once in awhile) around Christmas time last year.  Actually, the last "meat" I ate was on Christmas-it was a pork roast and beef tenderloin.  Yum!  I was still loving and enjoying cheese.  I made this decision because I wanted to be the healthiest that I could be.  I had been reading a lot about the health benefits of a plant based diet and wanted to make a positive impact on the environment.  If I ate locally and seasonally I would help cut down MY contribution to global warming/pollution/etc.  At first it was a little scary and frustrating to find food and cook at home.  I started eating foods that I never thought I would have, like kale.  I LOVE KALE!  I became more interested in what exactly I was putting in my mouth.  I started making my own granola bars and soups and being careful about processed foods.

About four months into becoming a quasi vegetarian I eliminated dairy.  It was an incredibly sad day for me.  I loved butter and cheese and ice cream.  But dairy HATED me.  After a two week elimination diet I felt more alive and vibrant and lighter.  I literally lost about a pant size, due to the fact that I was constantly bloated from dairy.

So, six months later I am still dairy, gluten, meat free and loving my life.  I eat fresh, local flavorful foods.  I bake sweet, moist, orgasmic treats.  And I am healthy and happy.  I experiment daily and love the food I put into my body.

All of this is partly the reason why I do this blog.  I want to show people that you can eat vegan/gluten free meals and have them still be delicious and filling.  I want to give people a different option.  I want people to start doing things for themselves-cooking for themselves.  Nearly my whole kitchen is filled with unprocessed, must be cut/chopped/peeled and cooked before eating foods.  I have to spend time and energy on what I will put into my body.  I love it.  I feel more connected with my food and I have this immense pride after I finish a meal.  [Here is a great example.  I have a friend at work who juices.  Love her do death because she brought me in some freshly juiced juice yesterday.  She also brought me the pulp!  I decided to make juice pulp crackers.  Mix the pulp, some seasonings and flax meal together, press onto a pan and bake at a low temperature for 3 hours.  I now have really freaking good, healthy, nutritious crackers.]

So yes, I might not eat meat or dairy, but that doesn't give people the right to assume things about me.  I am tired of people saying sorry for eating meat in front of me.  I am tired of people saying that "to a vegan this must be gross."  I am tired of the connotations that go along with saying that you are vegan.  I don't care if you eat meat.  I don't care if you order your steak rare.  I still love the smell of bacon and will probably eat it one day.  I dream about the steaks I used to eat in Hawai'i.  Meat is yummy.  I am not doing this because I want to save all the animals in the world, although I do think that most farming practices are quite disgusting.  I am doing this for ME.  I just hope that one day more people will do things for themselves.

Okay, so enough ranting for the day.  Onto the most amazing brownies in the whole world.  I need to give a serious shout out to Terry Walters.  I swear she has made the transition into eating a plant based diet a piece of cake.  Her recipes are always mouthwatering but also incredibly nutritious and easy.

Please make these and share with everyone, I promise no one will know they are gluten free and vegan.

Cocoa Brownies
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1/2 Cup grated apple or apple sauce
8 Pitted dates
1 Ripe banana
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 Cup brown teff flour
1/2 Cup almond meal
1/2 Cup cocoa powder
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease 8x8 inch baking dish.

In food processor, combine applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup and vanilla until almost smooth, but with some chunks of dates remaining.  In separate bowl, combine teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix as briefly as possible to incorporate all ingredients.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake 25 minutes or until top appears slightly dry.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool completely before cutting and removing from pan.

Doesn't do it justice.  I made them to bring to a Thanksgiving party so I couldn't eat all of them!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cranberry Apple Sauce and Buckwheat Pancakes

Good Snowy Morning Everyone!

I woke up this morning to find the ground, trees, roofs and cars covered in SNOW!  Schools were canceled and I can hear cars peel out from the ice.  This kind of weather makes you want to just stay inside and bake all day!

On the last day of the Saturday Market I found a lovely vendor who sold fresh cranberries.  I figured, why not?  I had actually never eaten fresh cranberries before and I knew there were plenty to do with them.  So plan on seeing quite a few recipes with cranberries.

Cranberry Apple Sauce
Courtesy: Glutenfreegoddess.blogspot

2 Rounded cups peeled-chopped apples.  Use a variety if you can.
1 Cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
1/2 Cup cranberry juice or apple-cranberry juice (I used an orange juice)
1 Cinnamon stick
Agave nectar to taste.  I used 1 Tablespoon.  Use more if you want it sweeter.

Combine apples and cranberries in a medium sauce pan and pour in enough juice to cover the fruit.  Add in the cinnamon stick.  Cover and bring to a simmer.

Cook until the fruit is very soft.  This only took me about 10 minutes.  Remove the cinnamon stick.  With a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or blend, fruit until your desired consistency.

Taste and sweeten with the agave, or honey if you prefer.

You can either eat warm or put in the fridge to chill.

Buckwheat Pancakes
Courtesy: "The Gluten-Free Vegan"

1 Tablespoon Ener-G egg replacer whisked together with 4 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 Cup hemp or soy milk (I used almond milk)
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil, plus extra for frying
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 Cup applesauce
3/4 Cup buckwheat flour
1/2 Cup brown rice flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg replacer and water well, until it bubbles and the powder is completely dissolved.  Add the milk, oil, and maple syrup.  Mix well.  Add the applesauce and stir.

In a small bowl, stir together the buckwheat and brown rice flours, baking powder, and cinnamon.  Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Pour in a small amount of oil.  When the skillet is hot, pour in a ladleful of batter.  Cook until done, flipping halfway through the cooking process.  If your batter is too thick, add a small amount of milk or water to thin it out.

Top with maple syrup or cranberry apple sauce!

Pancake cooking in the pan

Pancake topped with homemade cran-apple sauce
Sorry my picture isn't that pretty!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Teff Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sorry it has been awhile since I have written.  I lost internet connection and have not had the chance to post anything.  But I have been doing a lot of cooking in the mean time.  

Last night I made delicious peanut butter cookies.  Super easy with just 6 ingredients and super yummy...I have only a few left.  That is the problem with healthy cookies, you feel like you can eat the whole batch.  I am still learning how to eat just one cookie...I have never been able to do it!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

1 1/2 Cups teff flour
1/4 Teaspoon sea salt
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Cup chunky 100% peanut butter
1 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup semisweet dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and all wet ingredients in another.  Pour wet ingredients over dry and blend until just combined-do not overmix.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Drop batter by heaping teaspoons onto cookie sheet.  Leave cookies free-form or press down in crisscross pattern with tines of fork.  Place in oven and bake 13 minutes or until lightly browned.  The key to these cookies is not to overbake them!  Remove from oven and place directly on wire rack to cool.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Carrot Cashew Miso Spread

Good Morning.

I found this recipe in one of my cook books and have been wanting to make it for awhile now.  I thought it would be a great alternative to hummus.  I have been putting it on gluten free crackers, but I could see it on tortilla chips or bread!

Carrot Cashew Miso Spread
Courtesy: Clean Start

2 Large Carrots
3/4 Cup raw cashews
1 Cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoons light miso
Toasted ivory and/or black sesame seeds

Peel carrots and discard dry ends.  Chop into 1/2-inch pieces and place in pot with cashews and stock.  Turn heat to high and bring to boil.  Reduce heat to medium and cook until carrots are cooked through (about 10 minutes).

Remove from heat and, using a slotted spoon, scoop carrots and cashews into food processor.  In separate bowl, measure out 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and dissolve miso in it.  Add to bowl with carrots and process until smooth.  Serve topped with sesame seeds, or refrigerate in airtight container for up to 4 days.

Final Product

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tofu Love

Hello, Hello...

I love how often I feel like I should post recipes.  For me, that means that I am making new and delicious food that I want to share with everyone else.  Sometimes I have to stop myself from blogging once a day.  But, that means lovely, healthy food for all of you!

Once again, Terry Walters is a genius.  I have been trying out so many of her new recipes and I am blown away each time.  Last night I made her ginger lime tofu with quinoa and kale with leeks.  I posted the kale recipe earlier this month.  This tofu is phenomenal - I can't say enough about it.  Just try it.

Pan-Seared Tofu with Ginger Lime Glaze
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Pound fresh, firm tofu (not silken), drained
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 Tablespoons maple syrup

Slice tofu into filets or cubes as desired.  Heat saute pan over medium heat.  Add olive oil and ginger and saute 1 minute.  In small bowl, whisk together tamari, lime juice and maple syrup.  Place tofu in skillet and add tamari mixture.  Saute tofu 3-4 minutes on each side.  If pan gets dry, deglaze by adding 2 tablespoons water and continue sauteing until both sides of tofu are browned and firm.  For a thicker glazed finish, deglaze pan with second mixture of oil, ginger, tamari, lime juice and maple syrup.  Remove from heat and serve.

Serves 3


Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Balls

Good Late Evening Everyone!

I literally just finished making these lovely little treats.  I know, I know, I shouldn't be up until nearly midnight cooking, but I just could not help it.

This recipe comes out of Terry Walters' new book, "Clean Start."  Once again, I love her and I love her book.  Out of the 5-6 recipes I have already made out of this book there is not one that I don't like.  They all make me feel so good after eating.  So, these might not be your Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, they aren't as overpoweringly sweet, but they are delectable.  Made with minimal ingredients, only 4, it is quick and easy to make.  

Eet Smaakelijk!

Peanut Butter Balls
Courtesy: "Clean Start"

1 Cup natural peanut butter
1/2 Cup maple syrup
1/2 Cup rice cereal, plus more if needed
2 Cups gluten- and dairy-free chocolate chips or 12 ounces dark chocolate

Place peanut butter and maple syrup in food processor and pulse to combine.  Fold in crispy rice cereal.  If your peanut butter is particularly runny, add more cereal until mixture holds together in balls.  Form penny-size balls and place on parchment-lined cookie sheet.

Melt chocolate chips or chocolate in double boiler or in small pot over very low heat.  Drop 3-4 balls at a time into chocolate and roll them around until covered completely.  With a teaspoon, scoop out each ball individually, holding it against the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off.  Place each chocolate-covered ball back on lined cookie sheet.  Repeat until all balls are coated and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).  Serve cold or room temperature.

Makes: 30 balls.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsely

Hello, Hello, Hello...
I am going to make this one short and sweet.  This is an incredibly easy, quick, delicious soup and I don't need to say anything else.  Just make it and enjoy.

Red Lentil Soup with Turnip and Parsley
Courtsey: Terry Walters' "Clean Start"

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
3 Cups water
Thumb-sized piece kombu
1 Medium yellow onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Celery stalks, diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons mirin
1 1/2 Cups chopped tomatoes
1 Turnip
1 1/2 Cup cooked great northern beans
4 Cups vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

Rinse and drain lentils.  Place in pot with water and kombu and bring to boil.  Skim and discard foam.  Reduce heat to simmer, partially cover and cook until lentils are soft (about 20 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside.

In soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, saute onion, garlic and celery in oil until soft (4-6 minutes).  Add mirin, tomatoes, turnip and beans.  Stir to combine ingredients.  Remove and discard kombu from lentils and add lentils to soup pot.  Add stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat.  Stir in 1/3 cup chopped parsley and serve topped with remaining parsley as garnish.

Serves 8

Okay, so it might not look so pretty, but give it a try!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Good Morning!

Happy Birthday to me!  Twenty seven, boy do I feel old.  Ha!  Actually, I feel the same as yesterday, sick.

I have been wanting to do a post about breakfast for awhile.  I love breakfast.  But since going gluten, dairy, egg and meat-free it has become a little boring.  I have gone out for breakfast a handful of times since eliminating certain things from my diet and I have had some lovely tofu scrambles, and some really awful vegan/gluten-free french toast.  Gluten free bread was not meant for french toast.  But I wanted to post some yummy breakfast ideas that you can quickly make at home.  I am sure that there will be more recipes later, the more adventurous I become.

I hope you all enjoy.

Courtesy: Me

Mochi is something I fell in love with while living in Hawai'i.  It is basically pounded rice.  Delicious pounded rice!  It comes in a few different varieties.  I buy my mochi in the refrigerated section at the grocery store.  It comes in a hard block with about 4 different flavors.  My favorite is cinnamon raisin.  But the mochi in Hawai'i was soft and gelatinous and filled with sweetened coconut, not the best for breakfast.

1 Package Mochi
Maple syrup or agave nectar

Preheat oven based on directions for mochi, mine is about 450 degrees F.  

Cut the mochi into one inch pieces.  I usually end up making 8-10 little blocks.  You don't have to cook the entire package at once, just take as much as you want for one serving.  

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the mochi a few inches away from each other.  

Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on the packaged instructions.

When mochi is done, place on a plate and drizzle with agave nectar or maple syrup.  Grab and apple or pear and you have a full meal!

Mochi before cooking

Yumm...mochi after baking

Chia Seed Pudding
Courtesy: Choosing Raw

I have heard a lot about chia seeds since reading up on nutrition.  According to many sources it was a staple of the Aztec culture, known for its ability to sustain warriors for long periods of time.  But it is also great for other reasons.  It is an amazing plant based source of Omega-3 fatty acids and is easier to digest than flax seeds.  Who knew, the seeds that made the chia pet were such a nutritional powerhouse.  If you want to read more on chia seeds head to:

Chia seeds, when made into a pudding, kind of turn out like tapioca.  The seeds themselves become wrapped in a gelatinous coating, making for a very interesting texture.

Each recipe that I find for chia seed pudding is different.  The one that I have enjoyed most is this one.

1/4 Cup chia seeds
1 Cup almond milk or other milk alternative
1 Tablespoon Agave nectar
Cinnamon to taste
Cardamom powder to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl or mason jar.  Mix well and let sit for 5 minutes.  Mix again and then refrigerate.  Let chill and then eat.  I find it best to make at night and then eating for breakfast the next morning.  Top with fruit and nuts.  It should keep for at least 5 days.

Get creative and add other flavors, like chocolate powder!

Coconut Rice Pudding
Courtesy: "The Gluten-Free Vegan"

I used to love oatmeal in the morning.  Recently it has been making me sick and my tummy very unhappy.  Since getting into the colder weather I have been wanting something warmer and thicker to eat for breakfast.  This recipe takes about 1 hour to make, so instead of waking up earlier than need be I make enough for a few days and heat it up in the microwave.   

1 Cup uncooked brown rice
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
14 ounces (measure using the above can) water
15 Cardamom pods, or about 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/4 Cup agave nectar
1/4-1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt

Nuts of your choice (I have a mixture that I have made myself of cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans and hazelnuts.  I just place them all in a bag and crush them a little bit with a rolling pin.  You don't want to pulverize them!)

Fruit of your choice (Fresh berries, bananas or apples work great.  Frozen blueberries do too!)

Rinse the rice in a colander and place in a saucepan with the coconut milk, water and cardamom pods.  Bring to boil, then lower the heat to low.  Simmer over low heat until the pudding is thick and the rice is cooked through, about 45 minutes.  Turn off the head and add the agave nectar, cinnamon and salt.  Remove the cardamom pods.

Add chopped fruit and nuts to the top and enjoy.

Serves about 4