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!

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