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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

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***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

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 don’t know about you, but I am quite the chocoholic! Thus when I came across both of these products I knew I had to give them a shot. First up, Silk’s Dark Chocolate Almond Milk:

What I love about this product is that it still has all of the nutritional additives that the plain almond milk (and soymilk) has. I always like it when I can tell myself good reasons to have a delicious treat (50% of your B12, go ahead, have another glass ;)). The fact that it is the almond milk is also really appealing; while I don’t have any real problems with soy, I would rather get my soy from products like tofu, edamame, and tempeh than from soymilk so I love that Silk has made that possible (a lot of the other almond milks don’t have the add-ins that Silk does – that may not be a deal breaker for you but I don’t take supplements so I like knowing that my morning milk substitute provides a good amount of calcium, B12, and vitamin D) and hey, I would never complain about having the additional choice of chocolate! 😀

As for the actual product, it is sweetened, but I didn’t find it overpoweringly so, and that along with the chocolate, brings up the calorie count to over double that of the original TrueAlmond (60kcals in the TrueAlmond and 130kcals in a cup of the Chocolate) so that is something to consider, if you are a calorie minding individual. That being said, they aren’t lying when they call it dark chocolate, so much so that I was happy to mix it half and half with the plain and still have a yummy chocolatey drink. I also took to heating it up and adding a drop of mint extract for a yummy mint hot chocolate experience. Mmmm!

So five gold stars, two thumbs up etc. from me for the Dark Chocolate Silk TrueAlmond. I definitely suggest picking some up if you see it in your store.

Next up, Vega Shake & Go Chocolate Smoothie mix.

This is actually not the kind of product I normally purchase, mostly because of the prohibitive cost. A bag of this is usually betwen $20-$25 around here and it contains ten servings, not exactly the most budget friendly product out there. I purchased this while I was out travelling, unsure of what kind of food I would find, so I figured having something like this that you can just add to water was a nice safeguard against living off of side salads, er iceberg lettuce and shredded carrots for 10 days.

Compared to the other flavours offered (Vanilla, Berry, and Tropical), the chocolate has more calories, but it also has more iron and calcium, two things I am generally concerned about how much I am consuming, and hey, it’s chocolate, so I really need any other reasons to choose it! 😉 The other thing I love about it, and all Vega products, is the impressive ingredients list:

Organic green pea protein, natural flavours, organic coconut palm nectar, flaxseed, hemp protein, organic sprouted brown rice protein, organic green food blend (alfalfa grass, organic kale leaf, organic spinach leaf, organic broccoli sprout, spirulina), xanthan gum, digestive enzyme blend, and dairy-free probiotic blend (L. acidophilus, B. bifidum).

By itself, the mix does have a bit of a ‘healthy’ taste, but nothing too strong (I still though it was yummy mixed into almond milk). I would definitely suggest using it as an add-in to a regular smoothie rather than having it on it’s own, I thought it was quite a tasty addition to a frozen fruit and spinach smoothie.Aside from that, I also found it to be quite sweet, and initially thought it was sweetened with Stevia (which I find sometimes has a bit of an aftertaste) but the ingredients indicate otherwise. I also used it as a chocolate flavouring for the waffles I made in the hotel, stirred it into oatmeal with pears (mmm, chocolate pear oats), and mixed it into almond milk for a healthy hot chocolate; all tasty uses of the product.  

Overall, I would say it is a good product, although perhaps best used as suggested by individuals who aren’t epecting their ‘smoothie’ to taste like Nesquick. Mixed into a full fledged smoothie, I think it would be happily consumed by most and for the ingredients, I would say a good way to sneak greens into the smoothie of an otherwise reluctant greens drinker. 🙂 Really the big negative is the cost. For 10 servings, it doesn’t go far if you are using it regularly, and while the ingredient list is impressive for a packaged product, you can eat your greens fresh for much less than that.

-K

I don’t know about you, but the warmer weather means that I am craving huge salads like crazy!
Tonight I had a heap o’ greens with corn, and red pepper, carrots, tomato, and a crisped up GF corn tortilla…..

…..with an enormous bowl of super yummy and totally unphotogenic guacomole, (which is a bit thin looking because I like mine with lots of lime juice).

And if I weren’t so full, I’d be gobbling up some strawberries that are currently calling screaming my name from the fridge. Perhaps later…. 🙂

Hooray summer produce!
-Eve

I’m lucky in that I live within walking distance to an awesome small natural foods store that has great prices on organic produce. However, the nearest ‘real’ grocery store is so far away that I try to put off going until my boyfriend is in town, since he has a car and is awesome about driving me to the store. (shopping + bus = no fun). Anyways, it had been a while (2 months!) since he has been able to get away from school to come visit, and I was kind of doing an inadvertent pantry challenge, because I was running out of everything! He’s here for the week during his spring break, and we’ve since gone shopping. Everywhere I look I see things that I haven’t had in my kitchen for weeks and weeks – canned tomatoes, cinnamon, curry powder, vanilla extract, lentils, split peas, hot sauce, ketchup… I could go on, but you catch my drift. Anyways, a couple extremely tasty meals we’ve had recently:

Vegetable (cauliflower, peas, carrots) and red lentil curry over brown basmati rice:

Pizza!!!! With gluten free crust! And daiya! I snapped a picture of cold leftover pizza, so the cheeze doesn’t look as melty as it was when it was fresh out of the oven.

Seriously, I haven’t had pizza this good in aaaages. My boyfriend ordered the daiya (along with some other tasty treats!) from Vegan Essentials before he came up from the states to visit, so I finally got to try it! It is SO good! I usually hate the taste of vegan mozzarella, but after the first few bites of this, I thought it tasted pretty much exactly like dairy cheese. I wasn’t head over heels with the texture (but it stretches!), but I can’t say I ever really liked the texture of dairy pizza cheese either so I’m probably not the best judge of that. However, on top of a pizza with all sorts of great vegetarian fixings, it was pretty awesome.

The crust is Bob’s Red Mill GF pizza crust mix, made with the flax seed option. The texture was very impressive, and the taste was quite good, especially when I made it a bit thinner. I see far fewer tortilla ‘crust’ pizzas in my future…..

-Eve

I was beginning to think that I was going to get away with a virtually snow free Ontario winter, but then this afternoon happened:

…and kept happening!

It’s supposed to keep snowing, so I guess it’s not quite spring yet! 😦 I am so excited for warmer weather! (and the sun!)

I’ve been munching on some cream of cauliflower soup (with a cheezy twist):

No recipe, but it has onions, garlic, 1/2 head cauliflower , 1/2 block firm tofu (regular), veg. stock, almond milk, nutritional yeast and a bit of paprika and dried mustard. It’s quite tasty, but for some reason it tastes EXACTLY like chicken noodle soup to me. Of course, I’m nearing a decade of vegetarianism, so I might just be nuts! I was skeptical of how well the regular tofu would work as a creamy base, but I was pleasantly surprised by the good texture the soup had.

And, some raw(ish) rum balls that, rum aside, are super healthy:

Walnuts, flax meal, oats, pecans, cacao, agave, and a splash of dark rum. I bet they’d be great with coconut and/or dates too!

https://i0.wp.com/www.inews880.com/_Shared/CPContent/s021987A.jpg

I’m excited for the last ice dancing show tonight! I’m rooting for Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, obviously! They skated so well last night, and they look set to take gold! I love watching the single and pairs figure skating, but I think I might actually prefer the ice dancing – it’s way less stressful to watch – no crazy throws or jumps!

Has anyone else been watching more than their fair share of the Olmpics? Any other figure skating fans? I’m secretly glad that I only like to watch the skating, because otherwise I wouldn’t be getting anything done these days! 🙂

-Eve

If you’re looking for a burger to sandwich between a bun and act as a meatless patty, turn around! These lentil burgers are thick and filling and likely best served with a salad and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar/flax oil/agave nectar slurry.

-1 c. brown lentils
-3 c. water

Bring lentils and water to a boil, then cover and turn down to medium-low, and simmer until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are falling apart.

They should be pretty dry, and tender enough that they look like this once stirred:

totally unappetizing

-1/2 large onion, finely chopped (~1 c.)
-3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
-1 c. finely diced celery
-1 c. grated carrot
-few grinds black pepper

In a frying pan over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic with water or oil until translucent, then add in the other veggies and cook until softened.

Combine lentil mash and veggies in a mixing bowl, and then stir in:

-1/4 c. nutritional yeast
-1 tbsp. prepared mustard
-1 tbsp. vegan worsteshire sauce
-salt to taste
-1/2 tsp. each dried basil and oregano
-1/2 c. oats

Let the mixture cool a bit, and then shape into patties and fry with a couple tsps of oil over medium heat (or bake) until golden. Makes 8, maybe? I nibbled on the mixture pre-cooking, and got 7. 🙂

-Eve

I have my doubts about my take on a quesadilla being even remotely authentic, but I’m also pretty sure it doesn’t really matter. This definitely isn’t a real recipe, but it’s quick and easy, very tasty, and infinitely adaptable!

First, smunch some black beans up with cumin, chili powder, and oregano, and a dash or two of hot sauce.

Smear half a tortilla (brown rice, in my case) with the mixture….

…..and then top with spinach, red pepper, and a bit of cheddar sheese.

Fold and ‘grill’ in a pan swiped with oil over medium heat until toasted and crunchy, and then flip and do the other side.

Cut and demolish! I ate mine with ketchup and more hot sauce.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day! K has posted a few heart-themed recipes, so make sure you check ’em out:

Love’n Muffins

‘Heart’y Granola

Love-ly Burgers

🙂

Eve

Gluten-Be-Gone Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies from Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan! Pre-gluten free, I made the homestyle chocolate chip cookies from Vive Le Vegan on an embarrassingly regular basis. I still have the recipe memorized! (admittedly, it’s super simple)….

I’m not sure why it took me so long to get around to making Dreena’s gluten free version, because they are gooooood. And by that, I mean that they’re crunchy. To my mind, crunchy trumps chewy – sorry, chewy cookie folks. These are the first GF cookies I’ve made that have been even remotely crunchy, so I was very pleased. I bet if you baked them for less time, they’d turn out perfectly chewy, too. 🙂

If When I make these again, I might try a) reducing the sugar in them (woooooheeeeey are they sweeeeet! I froze them ASAP, so hopefully that will minimize any sugar-induced stomach aches), and b) use slightly less xanthan gum, as they were on the verge of being a little squidgey. I keep talking about the squidgey-ness off xanthan gum, am I nuts? I swear I think I know what I’m talking about……

Eve