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Summer has finally shown up around here (along with a glorious sunburn I managed to obtain yesterday taking advantage of the sunshine). This means the reappearance of cold grain salads and the like in my books. This one was a happy combination of flavours and textures that came mostly out of the mixture that was the dregs of my pre-grocery shopping trip pantry.

2 cups dry quinoa (or 1 cup if your prefer a lower quinoa to add-in ratio)

2 navel oranges, cut into inch segments

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 bunch cilantro, minced (I would say about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of minced cilantro)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2-3 tsp cumin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine quinoa with 4 cups water (2 cups if you are using 1 cup of quinoa) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the white centres have dissapeared and tails are visible on the grains. Set aside to cool.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and add cooled quinoa. Toss all ingredients together and serve.

I’m also submitting this to Ricki’s weekly blog event “Wellness Weekend” where it can mingle with plenty of other, healthy vegan summery recipes!

-Kathleen

I’ve got some pretty fantastic people in my life, case in point: my roommates who put up with me and my idiosyncrasies on a regular basis, and who are kind enough to chauffeur me around on occasion, including when my flight kept getting delayed and finally ended up getting in at around 2am. Similarly, my mom, who took it upon herself to make aforementioned roommates a ‘gratitude pillow’ for their efforts. I love my parents, but sometimes the things they do baffle/embarrass me a bit. The pillow, while a lovely gesture, has an embroidered square on the back denoting it as a gratitude pillow to them from my mom and the date which we got a bit of a chuckle out of.  Anyways, the next time I had a flight, I deemed it a perfect opportunity excuse to make cookies (although really, is there ever a bad time to make cookies!?)  which were then dubbed ‘gratitude cookies’ (my poor mother!).

I am still not incredibly confident with my skills at gluten free baking, so I adapted this recipe from the ever fantastic Karina over at The Gluten Free Goddess. They turned out pretty darn fantastic if I do say so myself, and they stayed nice and moist for several days post baking, which is a welcome surprise for gluten free baked goods.

1 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil + 1/4 cup coconut spread + coconut milk (or 3/4 cup coconut oil) *See note*
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Egg Replacer whisked with 1/4 cup coconut milk until frothy
1 1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced dried tart cherries
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients (sorghum flour through cinnamon) in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed. In a small bowl, mix wet ingredients (coconut oil through egg replacer) until fully combined.  Stir into dry ingredients. When fully combined, stir in oats, coconut, cherries, and chocolate chips until evenly distributed throughout dough.
Scoop dough into tablespoon or so sized balls and place on silpat, or parchment lined baking sheet. Press down to flatten and bake for about 12 minutes, or until just golden around the edges, cooking for a few minutes longer if you prefer a crunchier cookie. Allow to cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing to a baking rack or plate.
Enjoy or bestow upon others as a token of your appreciation (but don’t forget to test one a few before you send them off!  😉 )

*Note* I wanted to use unrefined coconut oil to impart a coconut flavour to the cookies, however I only had refined oil on hand, so I used a combination of oil and coconut spread (which I think was basically coconut butter-quite dry) mixed with a bit of coconut milk to make it smooth. If you have unrefined coconut oil, feel free to use just that.

I’m also submitting these to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday over at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Kathleen

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome! Contest ends on the 15th, so go enter now! 🙂 ***

I’d never tried a smooth mushroom soup, and although I don’t mind the texture of mushrooms, a chunky soup just didn’t sound at all good in this particular instance. The smooth soup I came up with turned out very well, despite its admittedly off-putting appearance. (Off-putting? How about swamp muck!) I used a potato to thicken in lieu of making a roux (can you even make a gluten free roux?), which I thought turned out pretty well. The boyfriend deemed it “definitely blog worthy” (hooray!), so here is the recipe!

Smooth Mushroom Soup (Cream of Mushroom Soup?)

-1 onion, diced
-3 cloves garlic, chopped
-2 stalks celery, diced
-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
-1 potato, diced
-10-15 mushrooms (or about 3.5 cups sliced), sliced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-about 4 c. water or vegetable broth
-1 c. or a little more of almond milk (or another non-dairy milk)

In a soup pot, saute the onions and garlic until the onions are translucent. Add the veggies, spices, and broth, and cover and simmer until the carrots and potato are tender and cooked. Use a blender to puree, and then dump back into the pot and thin with non-dairy milk until the consistency is to your liking. Bring back to a simmer before serving. That’s it! 🙂

-Eve

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

 

I ended up choosing to make cookies for my non-vegan potluck last week. These caught my eye a while back, with their festive colouring and this seemed like the perfect reason to veganize the recipe, which really wasn’t hard at all. As I was going for maximum vegan decadence I didn’t make any of my usual recipe alterations, so this truly is a dessert cookie; not much to go on in terms of convincing yourself that they are good for you (unless you want to go the antioxidant route- pomegranate and dark chocolate, knock yourself out! ;)). Alas, mine didn’t end up quite as pretty as the original as I opted for dark chocolate due to the general absence of vegan white chocolate in these parts.

Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted from here)

1/2 cup earth balance

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour

3 tablespoons water (or milk alternative)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup rolled oats (I used quick but I do think that old fashioned would be better)

1 cup dark chocolate chips (you could probably go with 3/4 of a cup – I found that I had an awful lot of chips that wouldn’t mix into the batter)

1/2 cup pomegranate arils

Preheat oven to 375F.

Place earth balance and sugars in a medium mixing bowl. Whip (or stir with a wooden spoon- I was going for fluffy so I whipped them with beaters) until fully combined. In a small bowl, mix the first measures of baking soda and powder with the water/milk and flour. Pour into butter sugar mixture with vanilla extract and beat again to combine.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, stir to mix. Pour into wet ingredients in two or three batches, stirring between additions. Stir in chocolate chips and oats. Scoop out about tablespoon sized balls, squish five or six pomegranate arils into the ball and place on baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and leave on cookie sheet for a minute or two to cool. You could also stir the arils into the batter with the chocolate chips to save time but the batter would likely get stained with burst arils.

So the verdict seemed to be pretty good regarding the cookies as people couldn’t believe they were vegan and they were definitely a plate real estate contender despite the other offerings being an eggnog cheesecake and a lemon poppyseed cake. A success in my books!

-K

***Have you checked out our tea giveaway yet? There’s going to be two winners, and the prize is awesome!***

Sometimes simple soups are best, and this catch-all soup is something I make at least a few times a month. It’s great for using up leftover grains and wilting veggies, and it tastes good, to boot!

The roasted garlic is really good here, and I usually roast mine a day or two in advance (while I have the oven on for something else) so I don’t have to wait for the garlic to roast when I want soup fast! If you’ve never roasted garlic before, here’s a good tutorial, though I would add that you don’t need to have the oven set as high as it recommends – 350 works fine! A couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast in the broth adds a delicious savoury taste and makes the soup less watery, but if nooch isn’t your thing, feel free to leave it out!

Garlicky Greens, Beans, and Veggie Soup

-1 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1 head roasted garlic, minced
-2 stalks celery, sliced
-2 carrots, diced
-1 potato, diced
-2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
-1 tsp. dried basil, or to taste
-1 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
-a few grinds of black pepper, or to taste
-1 bay leaf
-4 cups vegetable stock
-3/4 c. cooked quinoa
-2 c. pre-cooked cannellini beans
-about 3 c. greens – I used 1/2 bunch of slivered collards, and about 3/4 c. of sliced frozen spinach

In a big pot, saute the onions and garlic until translucent, and then add the carrots, celery, potato, roasted garlic, spices, and broth. Simmer until the veggies are tender, and then add the greens, beans, and grain and cook until the greens are softened. Add more veg. stock/water if desired and serve alone or with hot sauce, if you’re as addicted to the stuff as I am! 🙂 Serves 3-4, maybe?

-Eve

I have a bit of a complex about feeding nonvegans vegan food if they know it is/I am vegan. I get all kinds of paranoid about how it’s my responsibility to show them that veganism isn’t all about eating lettuce and carrots and that it can be delicious and decadent and not at all restrictive. This usually winds up with me making some kind of dessert because really, who doesn’t like dessert/baked goods? Unfortunately that also usually means making something not so healthy, which doesn’t jive particularly well with my normal mode of baking where I try to sneak in as much good stuff as I can. I fear that I have ‘healthy’ tastebuds and even the baked goods that I think taste good (with flax seeds, spelt flour, etc.) won’t be sufficient for my vegan wowing aspirations. All that to say that I have an event on sunday which is causing me a bit of trauma in that department so if you have any veggie dish and dessert recommendations, let me know!

I baked this up to use up some of the colony of overripe bananas overtaking my kitchen counter and initially was thinking of going for a low sugar/stevia sweetened loaf but then remembered my sunday event and thought I could potentially bring this if I didn’t monkey with healthifying it. Alas, I think I need to get some groceries before truly beginning to embark on my amazing vegan recipe quest – currently the pantry houses no white sugar, a little bit of all-purpose flour (unbleached), and a smidge of brown sugar, no good! 😀

Anyways, those of you with fellow healthy tastebuds should be a-okay with this recipe, and really I don’t think it is that healthy tasting, but what do I know! 😉

Gingery Banana Bread

4 ripe bananas

1 cup brown sugar (or sucanat) not packed

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons minced ginger root

2 cups spelt flour

1/3 cups wheat germ

1/4 cup flax

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mash bananas in a medium sized bowl, add brown sugar, oil, vanilla extract and ginger root. Mix.

Combine flour, wheatgerm, flax, baking powder, baking soda, and spices in a small bowl. Add to wet ingredients in batches stirring between each addition.

Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Wait until the loaf cools to slice as it is quite delicate and will break (or just resign yourself to banana bread crumbles to top your oatmeal with the next morning! ;))

-K

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here; trees were put up on Sunday to the Nutcracker soundtrack and yesterday the city got a nice white covering so we are all set. Anyways, for those of you in the U.S. thanksgiving is just around the corner (those of us up North are already in full-blown Christmas mode) and you are probably more worried about the upcoming big (birdless) feast so I have compiled a list of thanksgiving appropriate recipes for you if you are still looking for ideas to cook up.

 

Baked Goods:

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

Orange Cranberry Muffins

Cranberry Walnut Banana Bread

Cranberry Tahini Cookies

Fall Harvest Cookies

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Sugar-free, Gluten-free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Gluten-free Cranberry Orange Poppyseed Muffins

Dutch Apple Cake

 

Main Dishes:

Moroccan Rice and Squash Pilaf

Sides:

Sweet Potato, Carrot Soup with Tempeh

Raw Sweet Potato, Pineapple and Apple Slaw

 

Menus:

2010 Thanksgiving

2009 Thanksgiving

Here’s to good food, friends and family and the start to a wonderful holiday season! 🙂
-K

I am in love with everything British- they have the best accents (well, Australia is up there too), an excess of castles, beautiful old buildings and BBC! BBC is fantastic and I think they have on of the best websites out there. Seriously, you can learn obscure languages (ask me how I know, I may have gone through a Gaelic phase; I still know how to ask “how are you” in Gaelic), read world news, find recipes etc. This particular recipe is from a BBC Vegetarian magazine publication that my brother gave me for christmas a few years back, but lucky for me, the recipe was also online. Go take a peek at the original recipe; it makes for a very impressive main dish, but also quite time-consuming, so for my own purposes I made some alterations.

Moroccan Butternut Rice Pilaf

7 cups cubed butternut squash (this was about half a squash for me)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons groung coriander

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup mixed rice blend

1 medium onion, diced

2 tablespoons minced ginger root

1/4 cup raisins

1/4 cup slivered almonds

1 small bag spinach (I used 10 frozen spinach cubes, probably about the equivalent of 1 cup of steamed spinach)

2 tablespoons agave nectar

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350F.

Mix spices (first measures of cumin and coriander, paprika and cinnamon) into olive oil. Pour over butternut squash cubes in a pan and toss to coat. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes or until cubes are tender, tossing cubes a couple times during baking.

Meanwhile combine the rice and 2 cups of water in a saucepan and cook until all the water is absorbed and rice is tender.

Saute onion and ginger in a frying pan until onion is golden brown, about five minutes. Add spinach, almonds and raisins and cook until spinach is wilted (or defrosted). Add butternut squash cubes and rice once they have cooked and drizzle with agave.

Place chickpeas, garlic and second measures of cumin and coriander, olive oil, and lemon juice in food processor and puree. You may need to add some water at this point to get a good consistency.

Mix hummus into mixture in frying pan and stir to incorporate (you could also leave it out or layer it when serving-the dish looks much more attractive pre-hummus, but it adds a nice touch flavourwise)

-K

For as long as I can remember, sometime in December my family would pack into the car and drive for an hour or so to the to cut down a Christmas tree (it was part of a Forest Warden program that aimed to help thin out the trees), er, well actually, several. For a number of years, we would get a big tree for the living room (and when I say big, I mean big, the Christmas tree corner in the house has an 18 foot high ceiling, so many years we would get a 10-15 foot tree) and then each of us kids would get a smaller tree for our bedrooms. This was an all day venture and in later years, we often brought friends along to participate, and every year mom packed a thermos of hot chocolate and a big pot of chili that sat in the trunk swathed in towels to keep it hot until we were ready to eat. To this day chili remains a favourite cold weather food of mine. This recipe is quite a bit different from the chili I grew up eating, lacking the pork and beans of yesteryear, but no less delicious. 

Butternut Squash Chili

1 medium onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

7 cups cubed butternut squash (this was about half of a medium sized squash)

1 tablespoon chili powder (this may vary depending on how hot your chili poweder is and how spicy you want your chili)

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground coriander

diced canned tomatoes

5 cups cooked chili beans

1 zucchini, diced

2 cups frozen, or fresh, corn kernels

Saute onion and garlic in a pot until golden. Add squash and spices and cook for a few more minutes, until spices are fragrant. Add tomatoes, and beans (you may want to add some additional water at this point, I added about 1/2 cup) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender. Add in zucchini and corn and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until all vegetables are cooked. Remove from heat and serve.

-K

 

I love the winter holidays and we are on the cusp of the Christmas season (okay, well if you ask the retailers, it’s more like halfway through) so my mind has been wandering to holiday cookies, warm drinks, festive music, and all things sparkly. These muffins are my first go at a holiday baked good this year, and I think we are off to a pretty good start. 🙂 Muffins are not just cupcakes without icing in my mind, they are a much healthier option and can even kind of pass as a breakfast-on-the-go solution, so while these are no bowl of flax topped oatmeal, they certainly aren’t your refined sugar and fat laden coffee-shop muffin either. Boasting the vitamin packed goodness of pumpkin, iron from molasses, healthy fats from flax and grapeseed oil, and made with whole grains; I say go ahead and indulge!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (you could use homemade as well, just ensure it is fairly thick)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 cup cooking molasses

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup ground flaxseeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon vinegar

2 cups spelt flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

pinch each of allspice and cloves

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all wet ingredients (pumpkin through vinegar) into a bowl and mix. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Stir dry ingredients into wet until fully incorporated. Spoon into silicone muffin cups, or a greased muffin tin, filling them almost to the top. This, plus my batter sampling tendencies, gave me 11 muffins, but I think you could eek out 12 if you keep your mitts out of the batter. 😉 Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

-K