A vegetarian, gluten free, healthy and delicious log of treats for the untreatable.
November 28, 2011
"Gluten free bread is disgusting" a friend said recently. Is it truly disgusting? No, but I admit that it can be when prepared incorrectly. It is much more sensitive than say, the standard slab of toast. Even long-time gluten free folk have mentioned to me that gluten free bread often tastes of crumbly cardboard. Because it has no gluten (which helps regular toast with flavour and binding) …a little margarine (I prefer GF earth balance) can do wonders when applied before (not after) toasting. Below is a recipe that uses regular gluten free sandwich bread to create a yummy cheese and spinach mini-sandwhich. See how golden and crispy it is?
1 slice of GF bread
1 knife swipe Earth Balance
2 Tbsp Daiya vegan cheddar cheese
5 large Spinach leaves
1 garlic clove
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of pepper
1 pinch dried rosemary
Avocado to taste preference
Spread the earth balance on both sides of your toast and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the spinach leaves face down on one side of the bread. Sprinkle daiya cheese over the spinach. Fold the bread into a sandwich, place in a pan over medium heat and cover. Remember to check and flip often, gluten free bread is sensitive and can burn easily.
When the “cheese” has melted and the bread is golden-brown, carefully rub your clove of garlic on each side of the sandwich. Place the sandwich onto a serving plate, cut it in half and top with avocado, salt/pepper and the pinch of dried rosemary. This sandwich goes well with a warm bowl soup…coming up in my next post!
I’ve been posting so many oven/stove centric dishes and treats that I think it’s time to put forth a super easy microwaveable (sorry anti-microwave folk, I don’t use it that often) brunch meal; because, let’s face it — one doesn’t always have access to a full kitchen. This meal is a vegan “eggs benedict” that is extremely derivative from the original, but truly delish and super healthy. Cheers!
2 Falafel Balls or a garbanzo bean patty (cooked)
1 Frozen Gluten Free Bread Slice
3 tbsp Daiya vegan, GF Cheddar cheese
4 Spinach Leaves
1 tsp vegenaise
Earth Balance Spread
Pinch of salt and pepper
Spread Earth Balance onto your frozen GF bread, put the four spinach leaves on the slice of bread and sprinkle them with water. Place this on a small microwavable dish alongside the falafel balls. Once the spread on the bread has melted and begins to sizzle, and the spinach leaves wilt, remove the dish.
Once you have removed the dish from the microwave, break up the falafel balls or garbanzo bean patties onto the spinich-covered bread. Top this with the Daiya cheese. Microwave the dish until the cheese has melted. Remove it from the microwave and spread vegenaise over the “cheese” while still warm. Top it off with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
I have not made a dessert post in a while. In honor of the vegan, gluten free, soy free cupcake craze (thank you Babycakes et al), I have now created my own cupcakes. They are everything cupcakes should be: sweet, cakey, moist devices to carry frosting from plate to mouth. The friends tried them and we all agreed that Alice In Wonderland’s “eat me” treat must have been of a similar nature. These magical mini-cakes are “cookies and cream” flavoured and are perfect with gluten free tea!
Cane Juice Sugar
Unsweetened Coca Powder
Garbanzo Bean Flour
(You can sift these or buy one of “Bob’s Red Mill” gluten free mixes. Use about 2 cups for this recipe.)
1/4 cup Earth Balance
1/2 cup Almond Milk
1/4 cup Egg Replacer
1/5 cup Hot Water
1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Flax Seeds - Ground
Stir together wet and dry ingredients and place into individual cupcake cups. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and firm before frosting. The “cream” frosting is composed of GF powdered sugar, a splash of Earth Balance, almond extract and almond milk. Enjoy!
Although the pasta is delicious, it needs some dazzle to make it truly prima. Below is the recipe I created to serve the delicious pasta dish. Now the standard marinara is fine but I wanted to aim for a fettucini pesto instead. The dish was a true success!
Vegan and gluten free mayo
Daiya Mozzarella Cheese
Vegan, gluten free pesto
Combine the Earth balance with the mayo, pesto and the dried herbs. Slice the steamed zucchini and add it to the noodles. Fold in the sauce and melt Daiya cheese over the finished dish. Top with a toasted garlic clove and a drizzle of olive oil.
Today, I was quite daring and decided to craft some vegan, gluten free, soy free pasta. Although I’ve always considered myself quite the chef, I’ve have rarely made regular pasta from scratch, let alone gluten free pasta. Sure it was tricky as there was no glue-ton (pardon my pun) or egg to hold it together. Still, I was creative and the result was tremendous. My family’s only complaint was that I did not make enough for thirds. I dubbed the final dish, prima pasta!
2 Cups gluten free flour blend
1/2 cup gluten free potato flour
1/4 cup italian gluten free, vegan crackers
1/4 th cup flax seeds
3 tsp gluten free, vegan egg replacement powder
6 tbsp water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp salt
Large pot of boiling water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Combine dry ingredients. Blend the crackers and flax seeds into a fine powder. Whip the egg replacement with the water. Add the almond milk as well as the egg replacement and stir. The process of combining the wet and dry ingredients will take its time but it should begin to form a dough after a while.
Once you have a solid dough, form it into a ball and cut a segment (about 1/4th) away. Cover the remaining dough with a wet cloth. Prepare a receiver plate by placing a wet paper-towel on a large, flat cutting board. Place a sheet of wax paper on a separate board. Roll the dough into a ball with your hands. Flour it well and place it between two sheets of wax paper on your board. Roll the dough so it reaches a 1/4 cm thickness or less. Once rolled, remove the top sheet of wax paper and cut strips into the dough. Carefully place the uncooked pasta onto your receiver plate.
Repeat this process until the dough is gone. Make sure the salt and olive oil are added to the boiling water. Carefully immerse the noodles into the boiling water and boil for 5-10 minutes. The finished noodles should be floating in the water. Strain into a colander and serve any way you please!
When you are one of the gluten free folk, you probably have learned to call restaurants well before you arrive. Calling saves time, embarrassment and confusion when ordering at a full table. It also lets you explain your condition and the danger of wheat contamination. Calling is also vital when choosing a restaurant. A casual date with a friend or that cute guy that asks you, “any favorite spots” will take research on your part to select a restaurant where you can be safe. When calling and speaking to managers, I’ve gotten all sorts of responses when inquiring about gluten free options. Some seem utterly clueless while others boast about their gluten free options and serve you a garden salad. Sometimes I miss the tasty diner sandwich options. Here’s one I created at home.
Toast the gluten free bread with a small amount of Earth Balance. While toasting, rub the clove of garlic on the bread until small traces of the clove are left behind. When golden brown, apply another small amount of Earth Balance, vegan, GF mayo and mustard. Top with slivers of onion, some cuts of avocado and a fresh slice of tomato. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh or dried herbs.
Unfortunately for most gluten free and veggie people, eating breakfast when traveling or dining out can be the most difficult meal. Lunch and dinner menus at least offer a selection of salads and veggies. Breakfast however is often a banquet of muffins, scones, crumpets, bacon and egg sandwiches and so on. Cutting down to the chase, this blog post is because I finally found the perfect solution! Quinoa flakes are a high protein and gluten free breakfast option. When traveling or dining out I bring a parcel of the flakes and simply request a bowl and some hot water. Below is the recipe I use at home.
Breakfast Of Champs Recipe:
1 GF, VG cookie
Earth Balance SF, GF
Pour quinoa flakes into a bowl. Add hot water so that the water line comes up about 1/4 inch over the flakes. Pinch in a bit of brown sugar or agave and cook (stovetop or microwave will do). In a food processor, blend: brown sugar (1tsp), raw flax (4tsp) and one VG GF cookie to make a streusel. Once the flakes are steaming and hot, top with a pat of Earth Balance and some of the flax streusel. Remaining streusel can be refrigerated. A splash of almond milk can be a tasty addition to the flakes. Enjoy!
The beloved British food standard has just gone vegan and gluten free! Bangers and Mash, a “meat and potatoes” combo is now re-accessible. Some may feel that allergies and such can keep one from enjoying traditional dishes. While this can be true to an extent, there’s no rules against modifying!
Onions - Red
Onions - White
Herbes - Italian
Create your fancy mash by boiling potatoes and zucchini in seasoned water. Then peel about 40% of the potato and zucchini and cut both into small pieces. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and caramelize the onions and the garlic. Once golden-brown, add the potato and zucchini and simmer. Add sea salt and desired herbs. A fun replacement for the “bangers” is freshly sliced avocado. Garnish and serve!
Since having to drop both gluten and soy from my already narrowing diet, restauranting (eating out) has become a series of dangerous escapades. Angry chefs, confused date’s and exasperated waiters await me every time I set foot anywhere. Today I went to whole foods, hoping for somewhat of a reprieve. I ordered a gluten free - soy free - vegan pizza. They had to throw out the dough twice before getting a proper pizza in the oven. In the end, They ended up burning it and giving up. When Whole Foods gives up on you, you know you’re in trouble. Fortunately, my baking skills kicked in and I fashioned a mini pizza myself.
- Earth Balance (Frozen)
- Gluten Free Flour Mix
-Baking Powder (Gluten Free)
- Ice water
-Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Tomato Sauce
- Daiya Cheese
- Parsley Sprig
Combine flour, baking powder, herbes, salt and pepper. Sift this mixture thoroughly. Grate in frozen Earth Balance and ice water as needed. Kneed Dough and roll into appropriate pizza shape.
Punch a few holes in the dough and place in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes. Then put olive oil on the dough and put on toppings accordingly. Then, bake until well done. Once removed from the oven, top with sprigs of parsley or other fresh vegetables.
Talking about treats for the untreatable! A soy free - vegan - gluten free apple crisp. I prepared this treat for the unbirthday celebration of a kindred spirit. We should celebrate many more unbirthdays, should we not?
Gluten Free Pancake Mix or Flour Mix
Apples - finely cut
Egg Replacer (gluten free)
Combine flour, softened Earth Balance, agave syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, egg replacer and almond milk to form a pancake batter consistency. Then, stir in cold water so that it takes on the consistency of a crepe batter.
Heat up olive oil and earth balance in a skillet so that the “oil line” is about 1/4 of an inch high. Spoon the batter into a zip-lock and cut a small hole at the corner with a pair of kitchen shears. Squeeze the batter into the desired shape amidst the hot oil. Carefully lay some of the finely cut apple pieces on top of the “frying” batter. Top the apple pieces with a dab more batter. Tend the apple crisp carefully, flip when needed.
When it is crispy and golden-brown remove the apple crisp from the skillet and set on paper napkins to remove any excess oil. Top with a dab of coconut whipped cream and a cinnamon, sugar, flax mixture.