The perfect dozen

June 22, 2008 at 9:36 pm (Baking) (, , , , , , )

Finally after 6 months of attempting a gluten-free, vegan muffin, I have concocted the tastiest, moistest muffin a girl could ask for!  After some very awful tasting mistakes, my persistence has paid off.  These muffins even remind me of oatmeal ones since I used some quinoa flakes which give it a slightly oatmeal-ish texture.

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Tasty Treats?

May 5, 2008 at 8:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

I never liked marshmallows but I certainly do miss rice krispie squares.  Just like the commercials, I remember mixing up many batches of those tasty squares with my mother and my older brother.  I have such fond memories of sitting and staring through the microwave door watching the butter/marshmallow mixture melt down in yummy gooey goodness.  But those days are over and all I can think about is my disgust towards gelatin and how incredibly painful the effects of preservatives and sugar are on my body.  Perhaps that is why I have so many health problems now. *sigh*.  

So you can imagine my surprise and absolute joy when I was leaving Bulk Barn with my bag of cornmeal and found these by the cash….

 

These rice krispie squares are vegan and gluten free!  I couldn’t wait to come home and devour these even though I knew it could mean a potential headache (there is some cane sugar in the ingredient list).  

After devouring a couple without hardly any attention paid, I slowed down and really absorbed the flavour.

If you are looking for rice krispie squares, these are definitely not spot on, however, they come close.  They are very, very sweet (and this is coming from someone with a  major sweet tooth), and they have this delightful nutty flavour that kicks in halfway through.  They are also nice and crisp so you won’t miss that aspect of the old fashioned squares.  My only complaint would have to be the price ($5.49 CAN per box which contains 8 squares) and the lack of “buttery-ness”.  For that perfect rice krispie square I suggest making your own vegan marshmallows and from there, making your own squares, however this certainly is a quick and sweet treat!

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Because pumpkin is just that amazing….

April 30, 2008 at 2:58 pm (Baking) (, , , , , , )

Don’t know what to do with all the leftover pumpkin you have after making those cookies?  

After cleaning up after my cookie making mess I realized I had a good cup and a half of pumpkin puree left (granted I only buy pumpkin in bulk despite my constant problem of being left with a mass amount of pumpkin).  So I decided to try out yet another pumpkin recipe.  This recipe is also adapted from the internet (http://www.cok.net/lit/recipes/) …yes…. cok.net.  Let’s all be mature now can we?    

From this website I picked out the cranberry pumpkin bread recipe and easily made it sugar and gluten free :)

Pumpkin Cranberry bread

 


cranberry pumpkin bread

 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups raw cranberries (fresh or from frozen)

1 cup chickpea flour (or corn flour)

1/2 cup rice flour

1/4 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup maple syrup (it would actually taste pretty good with a little less…maybe a 1/2 cup?)  OR stevia

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp clove (I omitted this because I am allergic to cloves and I don’t like the taste)

1 cup canned pumpkin puree

5 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp orange zest (Don’t skip this part, it’s worth it!)

3 tbsp water

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

 

Chop the cranberries into quarters or halves (however you like) and set aside.

 

Mix the flours, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, in a bowl and set aside.

 

In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients.  Gently pour the wet into the dry and mix.  Gently stir or fold in the cranberries.  (If using chickpea flower don’t eat the batter, it’s very disheartening.  I assure you it will taste better when it’s cooked).

 

Pour mixture into a greased 9×9 inch pan and bake for 40-50 minutes.  Make sure to stick a fork or a knife in to see if it comes out clean.

 

 

 

 

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Pumpkin cookies

April 29, 2008 at 8:33 pm (Baking) (, , , , , , , )

Who doesn’t like pumpkin?  Ok well I’m sure there are a lot of hands raised throughout the world, but I happen to love pumpkin and love cookies so naturally I put the two together to create heaven.  This recipe has been greatly adapted from a recipe I found many years ago off the internet which contained margarine, wheat and sugar.  I replaced the margarine with vegetable oil since vegan margarine is horribly expenisive and I replaced the wheat with a mix of corn and rice flour.  I kept the sugar since everytime I use pumpkin in a recipe it comes out uncooked and adding maple syrup would only make it harder for me.  However I am not supposed to have sugar and I suppose this is a bit of an experiment since I’ve been doing bio-feedback for 5 months or so for food allergies.  I guess you could say I’m testing the waters again and if it turns out I pay for it, I know to re-arrange this recipe once again.


Onto the recipe!!!…

Pumpkin Cookies

 

Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients: 

1 cup vegetable oil

2 cups of canned pumpkin puree

1 cup vegan sugar (I use President’s choice organic cane)

Ener-G egg replacer (Equal to one egg) or other egg replacer

1 cup rice flour

1 1/4 cup corn flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

*optional 1/2 cup walnuts, chocolate chips, raisins (anything you want to put in)

 

Directions:

Mix the pumpkin, sugar and oil together.  Add the egg replacer and mix.  Sift in dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  This batter should have a thick enough consistancy to scoop into a spoon, plop on a cookie sheet and flatten down.  If it isn’t add a touch more corn flour until you have to right consistancy.  Let’s say you screw up and add too much, add a little more pumpkin.  Now stop messing with it! :P

 

Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20-30 minutes depending on how you like your cookies.

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Coconut Brownies

April 18, 2008 at 3:09 am (Baking) (, , , , , , )

 

As I was checking out food blogs today I came across a recipe for black bean brownies.  I was just dying to try them out but I had only about two of the required ingredients.  As sad as I was to have to pass up such an intriguing dish I still had a craving for brownies.  I have never made vegan brownies let alone gluten free and sugar free so I was pretty nervous.  My main concern was the consistency and staving off bitterness.  Feeling a little daring and wanting so bad to make a “healthy” brownie with bean somehow involved in the mix, I came up with this recipe…

 

Coconut Brownies!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup rice flour

1 Tbsp arrowroot flour

1 Enrg egg replacer (or egg replacer of your choice for one egg)

5 Tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (I used agave)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

 

Directions:

Sift the chickpea flour and the rice flour together in a bowl.  Add the arrowroot, egg replacer (minus the water), and cocoa powder.  Mix well.  Mix in the agave, vanilla and oil until nice and smooth.  Gently add in the coconut or any nuts you would like.

Pour into a well greased baking pan and bake at 350 Degrees Celcius for 35-40 minutes.

 

* IMPORTANT NOTE

For a moister brownie, either pop these in the fridge overnight and wait (you should store them in your fridge anyways) OR  Add:

2-3 tbsp of Coconut butter/oil

1/4 cup “milk”

Omit the arrowroot powder

and add about 2/3 cup more of maple syrup or agava nectar

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Zucchini noodles with pesto sauce

April 15, 2008 at 5:19 am (Raw) (, , , , , , )

 

 


 

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini

1/2 -1 tbps cold pressed olive oil

1 large handful of fresh basil leaves 

1 large handful toasted or raw pine nuts

1/2 tsp salt

pinch or two of pepper

 

(optional)

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

pinch of course sea salt

1/2 tsp kelp powder

 

Directions: 

Wash and peel the zucchini.  Take your vegetable peeler and keep peeling it to make long thin strips.  To make this recipe raw, leave as is.  To make it easier to digest or for a semi-hot meal, you can lightly fry the “noodles” in a pan or you can heat them in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds.  NO MORE OR THEY WILL SHRIVEL!

Next put the basil, oil, salt, pepper, and pine nuts in a food processor or blender and blend very well.  Once blended, mix with the noodles or serve on top.  

To make a “parmesan” which is loaded with good stuff, clean out that food processor and grind the sesame seeds, salt and kelp together until very well ground.   Sprinkle on top of the zucchini and pesto :)

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Gluten replacements

March 20, 2008 at 3:07 am (Replacements/helpful hints) (, , , )

Although these ingredients can be hard to find (and by no means do I expect you to have them on hand), xanthan gum and guar gum are wonderful gluten substitutes when combined with Gluten-free flours.  I never thought I would see these ingredients on my local supermarket shelves but just recently I stumbled upon both of them while at the Bulk Barn (a food store found in Canada).  Here is a little bit about these strange ingredients: 

Most gluten-free flours will require the addition of xanthan or guar, a substitute binder used to compensate for the lack of gluten.  The amount needed to add will depend on the type of product and it’s reliance on the gluten structure. Breads rely heavily on gluten for their structure, cakes to a lesser extent, and cookies almost none. Typically the starchier and/or more refined the crumb, the less the reliance on gluten.   Xanthan gum tends to be almost three times as expensive, and in the US is grown off of corn syrup (but tests out corn-free in the lab after processing).  Some gluten-free groups discourage the use of guar because of the higher fiber (and therefore possible laxative effect) of large amounts of guar gum use.  Try both and see.  If these gums are not appropriate for you, some suggest the use of mung bean (AKA green bean) flour (1/8 of cup to every cup flour) or pre-gelled potato flour.

Suggestions for the addition of xanthan or guar: For every cup of wheat-free/gluten-free flour use: 

½ tsp. Xanthan/guar gum for cakes 

1 tsp. Xanthan/guar gum for breads or pizza 

½ tsp. to no xanthan/guar gum for most cookies.

 (http://whatscookingamerica.net/Q-A/ZanthanGum.htm)  

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Quinoa Porridge

March 14, 2008 at 4:17 pm (Cooking) (, , , , , , , )

Have you been munching down on mass amounts of quinoa lately?  You haven’t?  Well what are you waiting for!?  Pronounced (Keen-wa), this grain is high in protein containing 12-18%.  It also contains all of the essential amino acids necessary in a human diet which makes it a complete protein!  It’s also a good source of Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous and dietary fibre AND it’s gluten free.  So go to the store, pick up some quinoa and try out this porridge I conjured up this morning!

 

porridge_2.jpg  

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened almond, rice, or any milk replacement of your choice

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1-2 tsps arrowroot flour (for thickening)

1-2 tbsp agave nectar or pure maple syrup (Or try a tiny pinch or two of stevia)

Directions:

Combine the quinoa and the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.

 

In a separate bowl whisk together the milk, cinnamon and arrowroot powder.  If you desire more thick stuff, add more milk and arrowroot flour.

 

Once the quinoa is done cooking, put the milk mixture into the pot with the quinoa and make sure it is on a low heat.  Stir this for 3-5 minutes until you see it thickening.  Sweeten with agave, syrup or anything you choose and top with some fresh berries if you fancy.  

 

* This grain is said to be easily digestible for humans and especially those dealing with IBS or other gastro-intestinal problems.  

 

 

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Bed time snack

March 8, 2008 at 7:03 pm (Baking) (, , , , , , , )

What’s better than a plate of traditional chocolate chip cookies with a big glass of milk?  A plate of gluten-free, sugar-free, VEGAN cookies with a tall glass of ice cold soy milk of course!

Now I honestly didn’t think this was possible at first.  At best I figured I would have myself a plate of overly moist, hideously grainy and pathetic looking lumps of half baked dough, but for a first attempt I would have to say this recipe has turned out to be quite lovely!  The cookies were slightly grainy but had the right amount of moistness and biting into them took me back to childhood memories of a familiar bed time snack.  After washing these lovelies down with a glass of cold soy milk I would have to say my cookie craving was satisfied!   

 

 

 

                                                                          cookie_scoop2.jpg

And now for the recipe!

 

Ingredients:

2 & 3/4 cups White rice flour

1 cup soya flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp Baking soda

1 Cup Vegan Margarine (I used Earth Balance)

1 & 1/2 cups pure maple syrup  OR  1/4-1/2 cup of stevia powder 

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Ener-G-eggreplacer equal to one egg

1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.

Sift together the dry ingredients.  In a seperate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix it up!

Now fold in those chocolate chips then drop spoonfulls of dough onto greased cookie sheets and flatten them down with the palm of your hand.  Be gentle.  

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges.  

*Add a slice of fresh apple to your cookie jar to keep those cookies moist! 

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The Challenge

March 8, 2008 at 6:57 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Hello,

  My name is Kathy and I am a vegan who has been dealing with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) for a solid 15 years.   For as long as I can remember (long before going vegan) I have always been prone to being cold, weak and tired with constant migraines.  My vitamin and mineral levels are checked frequently and seem to be perfect.  This has led me from a doctor’s office to a Naturopath’s and after some testing they told me I have a long list of food allergens that are causing these symptoms.  The list includes: 

 

Dairy (which I don’t eat anymore)

Chicken (obviously out of my menu)

Cloves

The deadly nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, pepper, paprika, chili powder and Chile’s, tobacco)

Melons 

Gluten

Sugar (cane)

Salt

Rye

Wheat

 

 On top of these I do not eat any meat, dairy or eggs.  This is mainly for the animals but I also care for my health and the environment.

  I have never felt that being vegan was something impossible and have never been frustrated when I have had to go out of my way to create a vegan version of my favorite foods.  I’ve always seen it as a creative and fun challenge and I hope you will too.  I’m just a University student who likes to cook and bake on her spare time and have only recently started to make up my own recipes from scratch.   My main goal is to help other vegans and especially vegans with allergies.  One day I hope to have a vegan cooking show on the air because I think it’s about time we had one that was just as popular as any other show.  I understand that everyone has different allergies and not all recipes will apply to you or be suitable for you but I will try my best.  I am positive that if there is an allergen in any recipe it can be replaced with something else to suit your needs.  Perhaps we can work on this together and figure it out.  

Most importantly enjoy these recipes. 

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