Monday, January 20, 2014

Garbonzo Rice Stew

I'm trying to use the food that I have on hand, and not run to the store to buy something new all the time.  I am trying not to let anything spoil in the fridge before it is used.

I cooked a crock pot full of garbonzo beans on Friday, and there were still quite a few left over today, sitting in the refrigerator waiting to be  eaten.  I decided that we needed some kind of soup, and that garbonzos were going to be the main ingredient.  I looked around on the internet to get a few ideas, and then came up with my own recipe, based on the ingredients I had on hand, and suggestions from my kids.

We did the photo shoot before we ate.  While eating, the kids and I agreed that this soup needed something else.  We added some brown rice, left-over in the refrigerator, and now we think the soup is perfect.  But you will have to guess what it looks like with rice added.

Garbonzo Rice Stew

1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced,
3 garlic, minced
1Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Italian herbs
1/8 tsp tumeric
2 Tbsp LaChicky vegan/gluten-free/soy free Chicken style seasoning (or other chicken style seasoning)
1 bunch of kale, chopped
8 cups water
1 tsp salt (or less, depeding on the saltiness of  your beans and your chicken-style seasoning)
6 cups pre-cooked garbonzo beans, also known as chickpeas.  (If you use canned beans, you will need to decrease the salt in the recipe.)
4 cups cooked brown rice

Saute the onions, carrots and garlic in the olive oil until soft.  Add the red pepper flakes, cumin, Italian herbs, tumeric, LaChicky seasoning, chopped kale, water and salt.  Stir.  Add the garbonzos.  Scoop out 2 - 4 cups of the soup, and blend until smooth in a blender.  Place back into the soup pot.  Add the brown rice.  Bring to a boil.  Serve with bread, or crackers and mashed avocado on the side for a delicious lunch.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free, Vegan

Oh my!  Oh my!  I just made the most fabulous gluten-free, vegan, flat bread I've ever made.  It is a little bit like foccacia, and a little bit like pizza.  Preparation was easy, and the kids are begging me to make it again for supper, so I know it is a good one.  It is made from chickpea flour, something that is a staple in many gluten-free kitchens already.

From my reading on the web, it appears that chickpea flat breads were first made in Italy, and then spread to south France, and now are common in South America too where many Europeans immigrated.  I am certain that my version is not authentic, but it is tasty, and nutritious, fitting the needs of my American family.  Your family might like it too.

I include 1/2 an onion in each recipe.  In my opinion, that is what makes this bread fabulous.  But I know other people would disagree with me.  I am pretty certain you could leave it out, as many recipes have no onions or other veggies in them.  But since I eat a plant based diet, I add veggies to any dish possible. Who knows, maybe next time I'll add some kale.

It doesn't taste a bit like chickpeas or beans when it is baked.  If you have people in the family who might think they don't like chickpeas, call it by it's Genovese name, Farinata, instead.

By the way, you may want to consider making a double or a triple batch, because the bread disappears quickly. 

Chickpea Flatbread - Gluten-free Vegan

1 1/4 cups chickpea flour, also called garbonzo flour or besan
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 - 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped small
1/2 can of black olives, sliced

1.   Mix together the chickpea flour, salt and water.   Leave it to rest for 30 minutes or more.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. 

3. Chop the onions finely, and slice the olives.  

4.  Pour the olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron skillet (12 inches round), or other oven proof pan, such as a pizza stone, or even a casserole dish.  Wipe a little of the oil up the sides of the pan about 1/2 inch.  Evenly distribute the onions in the pan, and then sprinkle the olives on top of the onions.  

5.  When the batter has sat long enough, evenly pour it over the onions and olives, careful to cover the bottom of the pan to equal depths of batter.

6.  Place the pan in the hot oven,and let bake for around 25 minutes, or until firm and starting to get a little crispy.  Let the flatbread cool before cutting and handling.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Dried Winter Squash

 My friend brought me a giant squash picked from her garden in the fall.  We enjoy eating squash, but it was more then we could eat before it went bad.  What do you do with extra fresh cut squash?  My friend had the perfect solution, you dry it.  You peel the squash, and then slice it thinly, hopefully with an electric food slicer, or food processor, and then you spread it on dehydrator sheets and dry it. It took around 24 hours for it to dry at 115 degrees in my dehydrator.  One have of that giant squash made 1 gallon of dried, squash chips.  I actually enjoy eating them just like that.  But I am really looking forward to to putting a handful in each pot of vegetable soup I make, without having to peel and cut a squash first. 

And then next fall I'll know what to do with winter squash from my garden.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pineapple Pomegranate Oatmeal

I made something new for breakfast this morning.  Since my 14 year old son gave it "high compliments," (Direct quote), I thought some of you might be interested too.  I call it Pineapple Pomegranate Oatmeal

Pineapple Pomegranate Oatmeal

Cook enough oatmeal for your family or follow these instructions for a family of four.

Place the following ingredients in a saucepan and cover with a lid:

3 cups of water
1/2 cup raisins

Bring the water to a boil on high. 
Add 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (gluten-free if needed)

Stir.  Put the lid back on.  Then turn the heat down to low.  Let it set there for around 10 minutes. 

Take off the heat.  Put in a pretty dish.  Stir in:
- some pineapple tidbits, or fresh chopped pineapple,
- some walnut pieces
- pomegranate seeds

Serve with a gratitude, a smile and a non-dairy milk of choice.

Note:  There is an easy way to get pomegranate seeds out of that funny red ball without a huge mess.  This short video tells you how.  It's our method of choice now.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Foreign Vegetable Supper

I am writing about our time on the island of Guam on my other blog.  Usually I write about food only on this blog, but this supper seemed that it might  be of interest to my main blog readers.  If you'd like to find out what kind of foreign vegetables we ate for supper, head over to my other blog for a look.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sorghum Rice Loaf - Gluten-free, Not Vegan, Bread

 I am on the island of Guam for the next three months.  Before we came, I wondered how we were going to live, and eat gluten-free.  Would we only have rice available?  The good news is that there are many gluten-free food available on Guam.  They aren't always cheap, but Payless Grocery Store at the Micronesia Mall has a large health food section, and many gluten free items.  A month before we came, I placed an order with Azure Standard and had it shipped to the island.  It arrived in excellent condition just about the time we arrived.  So I have gluten-free oats, sorghum flour, and brown rice flour to bake with.  I found flax seed on island.  My mom mailed me a tiny amount of Xantham gum, so I might use that sometime.

I googled some bread recipes to see what I could bake with what I have available.  I tweaked my first experiment, and came up with this recipe.  I am compromising on my vegan ideals, and using eggs whites in the recipe so we have a good rise and texture.  At home I often use Udi's bread, which also has eggs, so I decided that might help my bread too.  It does make a difference.  Though I think I still prefer my more complicated bread that is on this blog, Barbara's Almost Whole Wheat, Gluten-free Bread, it has more ingredients then I have here.

We took this bread with us on a camp out this weekend at the beach, and enjoyed it with peanut butter for one breakfast, dipped in mashed bananas and soymilk and fried as french toast for the second breakfast, and as the buns for homemade burgers one night.  Out of the four loaves I made last week, there is only one loaf left.  I guess I will have to make some more this week.

Sorghum, Rice Loaf -Gluten-free, not Vegan, Bread
Makes 2 medium Loaves

Step 1:  Mix the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2  cups of brown rice flour
2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups tapioca starch
1.5 teaspoons salt
8 teaspoons yeast
4 Tablespoons psylium seed husks (I used Metamucial with the shortest ingredient list, including only psylium seed husks, citric acid, and   . )
1 Tablespoon sugar

Step 2:  Blend in a blender, then add to the dry mixture
1/2 cup flax seed
1 cup warm water

Step 3:  Combine and add to the dry mixture
3 cups very warm, but not hot water
4 egg whites
1 Tablespoon oil

Step 4:  Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until completely mixed, then mix by hand for 2 - 3 more minutes.

Step 5:  Divide the dough, and spread into two, medium sized loaf pans.  Spray them if they are not tefflon.  Let the loaves rise for 30 minutes.

Step 6:  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the loaves into the oven and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove from the pans and cool.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

50 Carrot Cake - Vegan and Gluten-free

Last week I baked five different cake experiments, in hopes of finding the perfect carrot cake recipe for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.  Mom requested carrot cake, so carrot cake it will be.  But you know, I'm not the greatest cake baker.  Even back when I ate wheat and and all things dairy, I didn't really do cake much.  I'd rather eat pie, or something smooth and creamy.   But Mom and Dad have been married 50 years.  That's notable.  They deserve a delicious, beautiful cake in honor of all their committed years together.

My first experiment was one recipe divided in half.  One used eggs. (I know, not vegan, but I had to know if they were necessary).  One containted egg replacer.  The egg cake was fluffier, but it fell apart as I was taking it out of the pan.  The egg replacer cake held together, and it wasn't too dense, at least for a carrot cake.  The cake tasted good, but was too moist, turning kind of wet by the next day.  Cake three was just "ok".  But nothing else.  Cake four turned nice, (thank you for sharing the recipe LaTeaDa) if you are looking for a cake with a full dose of sugar, oil and spice.  Mom and I thought it might make make a nice breakfast cake. But we were looking for something a little more mild, and it had to contain pineapple  So experiment 5 took place.  I used some ideas from cake two, and some of cake 4 along with some of my own ideas, and came out with what I considered to be a "perfect" vegan, gluten-free carrot cake.  I took some of the last two sample cakes to a potluck, and all of the mature ladies thought cake five was the best. 

Would you the recipe?  I'll add photos after the party.

50 Carrot Cake - Vegan and Gluten-free

Step 1:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray two 8" cake pans, and then dust with flour, then set aside.

Step 2:  Chunky ingredients.
Get the following ingredients ready.  Place together in one bowl, ready to ready to mix in at the end.

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained, (reserve 1/4 cup of the juice for step 4)
3/4 cup dried cranberries (or raisins)
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Step 3:  Dry ingredients.

Mix the following dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl.  Mix together with a spoon until smooth and blended.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup white rice flour
1 t xanthan gum
1 t baking soda
2 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t cloves
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 t sea salt

Step 4:  Wet ingredients.

Pour these wet ingredients into the large mixing bowl of dry ingredients in step 3.  Use a hand beater or stand mixer to mix these for a minute or so.

Ener-G Egg Replacer for 3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/4 cup pineapple juice (reserved in step 2)

Step 5: Final mix.

Add the chunky ingredients from step two into the large mixing bowl and mix them with the beater, until all mixed together.

Divide into the cake pans.  Set into the oven.  Bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes comes out clean.  Cook for at least 20 minutes in the pans, then remove.  Cool completely before eating.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pumpkin Muffin Recipe - Gluten-free, Vegan and Updated

 For quite a while now I have needed photos of my very successful and popular Pumpkin Muffin Recipe - gluten-free, vegan and delicious.  This morning I made another batch, which turned out splendidly, I might add, and I grabbed my camera as soon as they were out of the oven.  They need to cool just a little bit you know before you take a bit out one.  I don't want anyone to burn their mouth. 

So hurry over to my Pumpkin Muffin recipe, gather the ingredients and make yourself a nice batch of yummy, moist muffins.  For those of you who have been there before, go ahead and take a look too, because I have tweaked the recipe, sharing a few improvements I've made. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving Dinner 2012

Thanksgiving dinner was fabulous.  We enjoyed the vegan, gluten-free dinner with my parents, and two other families, all of which brought food to contribute.  I had enough plates by alternating two sets of china.  There were just enough pieces of stem ware for everyone to enjoy some sweet apple cider brought by one of the guests.  She also brought a yummy apple crisp, topped with pecans, and a bowl of peas.  I'll have to see if she can share the recipe for the crisp.

Another family brought mashed potatoes, gluten-free vegan gravy with mushrooms, and homemade cranberry sauce.  To make the cranberry sauce she simply boiled one cup of fresh cranberries with 1 cup of pineapple juice with 1/4 cup of brown sugar for 15 minutes until the cranberries popped and became soft and thick.

I made some home made gluten-free, vegan stuffing with a loaf of frozen millet bread.  I sautéed some onions, garlic and celery and mushrooms.  I added sliced olives and some chopped walnuts.  I made up some chicken like broth with LaChicky seasoning and dried Italian herbs, (but I think I might like Bill's Best brand better).  Pour the broth over the cubbed millet bread, and stir, taste to make sure you like the flavors.  Place mixture in a casserole dish and let it set for a while to soak it all in, and then bake at 350 degrees until there is a nice crust on top.

I made some bake tofu slices as my kids requested.  I got some very, very firm tofu and sliced it into triangles the night before.  House Foods, organic 2 pound bricks is a brand I really like for this.  Softer tofu can work, but it is more likely to crumble.  I made a marinade sauce out of Bragg's liquid aminos, and lemon juice.  I spread the tofu triangles out in a pan, and poured the marinade over it and let it set overnight in the refrigerator.  First thing in the morning I turned all the pieces over so they could sit a while on the other side.  Later I made a breading meal out mostly nutritional yeast, with some rice flour and tapioca flour, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.  Then I dipped each triangle into the breading meal and put them on a sprayed cookie sheet.  The oven was pre-heating to 425 degrees.  I baked them about 25 minutes on each side.  They turned out great, a nice little cutlet for a turkey free table, and not fried either.

The entree was the Chickpea, Veggie Walnut Loaf, I posted earlier in the week.  I think I would make it again, but I think I might tweak the seasonings a little bit.  I definitely think it needed more dried cranberries, or a good dollop of cranberry sauce on top, but then I love cranberries.

The pies were the greatest success in my mind.  I loved how the pumpkin pies turned out, especially the crust.  But I am feeling a little guilty, because the crust was not low fat, but rather full fat.  But at least they weren't bricks or crumbles this year.  Gluten free crusts are so hard to manage, unless you add a good measure of fat.  So I can decide if I should tell you what the crust recipe was or not.  I don't want to lead anyone astray, but is going to be the recipe I made next time.  I love pies.  They have been one of my favorite desserts since I was a little girl, but I haven't made them very often for the last 5 years or so, because of the crust and fat problem.  If any of you wise gluten-free, vegan eaters can help me out, I would be very grateful. 

We are now taking a break before the next festive meals are upon us.

Friday, November 23, 2012

My New Favorite Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling

Pumpkin Pie and Raisin Pie, ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be a great success.  The table was surrounded by gluten-free, vegans, my soy, flax, and lentil -free friend, my peanut and almond -free daughter.  It was a challenge to make food everyone could eat, but we were successful.  But with that combination of people I couldn't make my regular pumpkin pie recipe, because it contains soy and flax.  I searched and thought until I came up with what I thought to be the perfect recipe.  And it is now my new favorite.  I hope you enjoy it too.

My New Favorite Vegan Pumpkin Pie Filling
  • 2 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar, such as Florida Crystals
  • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut cream
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cloves
Mix together all the ingredients until smooth.  Pour into a pre-baked pie crust.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Note:  The dark colored pie in the photo is a raisin pie, made with a recipe from My Cozy Kitchen blog.  It was delicious, and we will make it again too.  I found it very easy to make, once you have a pie crust.  Gluten-free pie crust is another story, that I'll write about in another post sometime.