Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wheat Free Vegan Coconut Cashew Granola

Is anyone else but me absolutely in shock over how high the price of granola is?? ESPECIALLY gluten free granola. Nearly 7$ for 6 little servings!!

This became a perfect excuse to make my own. (Now, Bobs Red Mill makes wheat free rolled oats. So its not necessarily 100% gluten free but some people with gluten intolerances aren't affected by uncontaminated oats.) My idea came from this recipe for Tropical Granola.

I played around with the portions and ingredients so much, it really doesnt look much like the original at all. But I, in all my sincere embarrassed glory, couldnt wait to have a bowl until morning and I had it for dinner last night when I made it.

Wheat Free Vegan Coconut Cashew Granola

2 cups wheat free rolled oats (bobs red mill)
2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped cashews
3 tbsp. sunflower seeds
2 tbsp. whole flax seeds
6 tbsp. maple sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp. agave nectar
2 tbsp. coconut butter, melted
1 tbsp. original almond milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup diced dried apricot, preferably unsweetened & unsulfured
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

There were also a few changes to the instructions as well but other than the following, they remained the same.

1. I added the nuts with the oats.
2. For the coconut butter, melt in the microwave with the almond milk and mix with agave/applesauce mixture.
3. Add dried fruit the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

Makes 4 3/4 cups.
Each 1/2 cup serving is 205 calories.

*NOTE: In the future I would probably sub out 1 tsp. of the coconut butter for an extra 2/3 cup or so of puffed rice just to make it an even 5 cups, therefore yielding exactly 10 servings at 195 calories each.

Sweet Potato (fry) Soup

Soups fill a big piece of my meal plan as of late. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, Im having a lot of digestive problems lately and that means, no more delicious creations, big plates of veggies, or much solid food at all. (Insert sad face here.)

Lunch for the past two weeks has been pretty much the exact same (super boring) fast and simple carrot soup (aka cut up a bunch of carrots and some a garlic close, measure out a half table spoon of miso, cover with water, microwave until mushy, and puree... adding spices at the end to taste). As I said, super boring.

Anyways, in steps this amazing recipe... Sweet Potato (fry) Soup. Clearly, being me... I mixed everything up, changed it all around, added, subtracted, and came up with my own version.

Roasted potatoes

7c. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1c. carrots, cut into 1 ” pieces
1/2 tsp each of cayenne pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil


Roasted potatoes (see above)
1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp olive oil
6 1/2c. water
2 GF veggie boullion cubes
1/2 cup original almond milk

The recipe made 8 and a half cups of soup! And only 190 calories per cup. Its simply amazing and well worth the extra time.

After portioning myself a bowl for lunch, I put the soup back in the blender and added another 1/4c. of almond milk, 1 cup of raw baby spinach leaves, and 1/4c. of canned chickpeas to boost its nutrition. Then I topped it all off with toasted pumpkin seeds and nutritional yeast.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Shower Baking!

What is one to do when invited to a baby shower.. yet cant think of a single idea in regards to gifts for the new mom??


Its also important to take note that I have merely a spattering of random baking ingredients in my cupboards at the moment and my pay day being tomorrow, I really didnt have the means to go out and stock up. I wanted to make something fitting my new diet, restrictions and all so I could indulge alongside everyone else. But really, with the limited amount of supplies, it was starting to look like I was going to show up empty handed.

I was perusing 'gluten free cookie' recipes on Tastespotting, coming up only with long complicated recipes with things Ive never heard of- nevermind had in my possession.

Finally, FINALLY I stumbled upon one that looked promising. Short ingredient list, easy subsitutions, vegan and gluten free. Perfect?

You can find the original recipe HERE and I made the following adaptations:

- 1c. brown rice flour became 3/4c. plus 1/4c. of both sweet sorghum flour and tapioca flour
- 1/2c. sugar was reduced to 1/4c. plus 1 tbsp. agave nectar
- 1/2c. dried fruit and nuts became 1/4c. of both raisins and chopped dark chocolate
- I replaced the oil with an equal amount of melted coconut butter
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract.
- refridgerated the batter before putting onto the cookie sheet (just about five minutes)

The remainder of the recipe I left as originally instructed except for a minor mistake that I made (that in turn led to the addition of the flax, the tapioca flour, and the refridgeration). Due to my lack of reading through directions prior to baking, I ended up adding all the liquid at once, turning the 'batter' into cookie soup. Clearly it needed a little thickening up.

Despite the mishap, they came out deliciously, albeit slightly chewier than your average cookie. This could be due to my alterations or my overzealous dumping in of the liquid ingredients. After a taste test, they were still deemed worth of the baby shower and Im sure anyone would be shocked to learn these are not only gluten free but vegan as well. Im just hoping there will be enough! There was only enough batter for 18 and I ate two (to make sure they were okay... clearly.)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SOY: Superfood? Or poison?

There is so much controversy over soy products. Is it a super food?? Will it give you cancer and kill you?? No one really seems to know.

Honestly... in my non-professional opinion as a tofu and soy milk lover, I see it just as I do any other food. It hasn't hurt and it hasn't particularly made my life any more spectacular either. I do although, believe in the saying "everything in moderation". And I'm pretty sure my soy product consumption is slightly over the 'moderate' limit.

Lunch today was my wrap from my prior post here, BUT with one minor adjustment. I did a tiny experiment and replaced the crumbled tofu with a third cup of chickpeas (mashed after measuring).

The wrap came out just as delicious, if not MORE delicious, than its tofu twin. Substitution success!

So.. whether you believe that soy is a miracle food or that it will cause suffering and possibly an unfortunate death, dont hesitate to try this soy free version of my tomato basil wrap. Its not worth passing by without a second glance- guaranteed.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

One word for you: YUM!

Yet again, I find myself failing to blog as much as Id like and for that I apologize. Lately Ive been having quite a few stomach issues and unfortunately, cant eat much of what I used to and at the moment I am on a mostly liquid diet. (NOT FUN.) I miss cooking and obviously, the eating that comes afterwards. Its driving me crazy!

So Im going to make an attempt to update more often. For now, with older recipes and creations, as well as a few restaurant adventures, that I had never gotten around to posting.

Today, I have my all time FAVOURITE lunch. This is so good, I cant even explain. Before all this stomach rebellion, I was eating is pretty darn close to every day.

What is this amazing meal?? A Tofu Tomato-Basil Wrap with Avocado. (Gluten free, vegan, and delicious!) Its so simple and easy to adapt however you like. Heres the basic recipe:

1 Food for Life GF brown rice wrap
3/4 serving of extra firm tofu
2-3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp braggs liquid aminos
pinch of pepper
1 tbsp. sundried tomato, chopped
1 tbsp. avocado, mashed
fresh basil*

First of all, defrost the wrap (you have to keep them frozen). Just take it out of the freezer before you start prepping everything else and by the time you need to fill it, it will be unthawed. Preheat a panini press or, if you dont have one, the oven to 450F.
Now, all you have to do is crumble the tofu into a ricotta cheese-like consistency.. mix with braggs first and then add garlic, pepper, and mix again. Lastly, mix in the nutritional yeast. Then simply spread avocado in the center of the wrap, lay down enough fresh basil leaves to cover the avocado and add the tofu, then the tomato! Roll up the wrap and place in panini press or oven until slightly golden on the outside. *If you dont have fresh basil, dried will work just fine too. Just mix it into the tofu with the pepper and use about 1 1/2 tsp.

Now tell me that isnt amazing! Like I mentioned earlier, its also super easy to adapt. Ive been know to add things to give it a bit of an extra nutritional kick or just for taste.

These are a few of my favourites:

1/2 tbsp. hemp hearts
1/4 c. finely shredded carrot
1/6 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp miso instead of the braggs (make sure you mix this really well though)
some diced onion

Pretty much anything you think would taste good! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Little O's.

Every day for breakfast I have the same thing. Every single day, no fail. But as much as I love my daily routine of Natures Path pumpkin flax granola, rice puffs, banana, and vanilla soy milk, I felt the need to switch things up a bit.

Enter, Natures Path Whole O's (gluten free and organic). These little O's are made from corn and whole grain rice and, like all Natures Path products, no artificial preservatives or additives and made without harming the environment (or any animals). At first taste, dry straight out of the box, theyre much lighter than Cheerios... with a lot more crunch. But once you add milk (soy of course), I doubt anyone could tell the difference. I love them. And it was a much needed stepping out of the box, though I couldnt help but add a bit of granola, a banana, and soy milk. This may be the start of a new breakfast tradition.