Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Raw Food

Shortly after going vegan I stumbled upon 'raw foodism' and since have dabbled in raw food recipes from time to time, even tried to go all/high raw. I love the idea of it, I really do enjoy the food, and Im aware of the health benefits. Yet, I know I wont fully commit to an all raw lifestyle and to be honest, Ive learned that its not something I would want to do. Everyone is different and we all have to come to understand what works best for us individually. For me, I need to include a variety of both raw AND cooked vegan foods in my diet to both nourish and enjoy myself.

So tonights dinner was a mix of raw and cooked foods. Gluten free quinoa bread from Organic Works Bakery right here in London, Ontario, organic smoked tofu, daiya, onion sprouts, and a high raw homemade hummus (recipe below)! Yum! The picture doesnt look too appetizing but I promise you, it was delicious.

75% Raw Zucchini Hummus

1/3c. cooked or canned chickpeas
1/2c. chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cloves garlic
2T raw tahini
1T braggs liquid aminos
1T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4t black pepper

Process until mostly smooth in a food processor. Makes 3/4 cup.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Red Lentil Stew

1 1/2c. water
1/2 GF veggie boullion cube
1/2c. dry red lentils
1/2c. yellow zucchini, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1/4c. bell pepper, diced
1/2c. butternut squash, diced
1/2c. sweet potato, mashed
1 bay leaf
1t. tumeric
1/8 tsp. each ginger, garlic powder, and cinnamon
1t. fresh thyme

Bring water and boullion cube to a boil and add all ingredients up to (and including) the bay leaf.
Let the stew come back to a boil and reduce heat to medium.
Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until all veggies are soft and lentil have become mush.
Add in remaining herbs and spices.

MAKES 2 1/2 cups.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chipotle Coconut Wrap with Avocado and Sunflower Seeds PLUS a Brilliant Chickpea Secret

The possibilities are endless when it comes to wraps. Whatever youre in the mood for, toss it in, wrap it up, and (if your feeling adventurous) pop it in a panini press to make it no less than gourmet deliciousness. Quick, easy, who can complain?

Ive been know to put all kinds of strange treats inside a GF brown rice wrap and call it a lunch. Today was no different and the flavours created a crunchy, creamy, spicy, meal that I honestly couldnt improve on. (Well, maybe with some melty Daiya cheese...)

Chipotle Coconut Wrap with Avocado and Sunflower Seeds

1 GF brown rice wrap (Food for Life)
1-2 thin slices vidalia onion
1/8 med. avocado (1-2T)
2t sprouted/dehydrated sunflower seeds
2t flaked toasted coconut OR 1/2T toasted coconut shreds (unsweetened)
1-2T (or more!) daiya or other vegan cheese

1/3c. canned or **home cooked** chickpeas
1/4t olive oil (or coconut oil!)
2T canned coconut milk
2t nutritional yeast
season to taste with salt, pepper, chipotle pepper powder, garlic, and a touch of cinnamon

Heat pan over medium high and add chickpeas and oil. Cook until they brown up.
Turn heat down to medium low and add coconut milk and spices to taste and stir for 30-60 seconds or so until the liquid becomes thicker. Remove from heat and stir in yeast.
TO ASSEMBLE WRAP: Mash avocado in the center of the wrap, top with chickpea mixture and remaining ingredients. Wrap and toast in a panini press or (if you dont have a press) in the oven or stovetop.

NOW... are you ready? I mentioned an ingenious secret, did I not??

(Im preparing to make myself look really stupid if Im the only one who just figured this out...)

Chickpeas. I thought I was doomed buying them in cans for the rest of eternity. It was just IMPOSSIBLE to get that same creamy texture, the soft delicious chickpea that comes from a can. I all but gave up on cooking them at home. I mean, really. Who wants chickpeas that are hard? They dont mash, they wont puree right, theyre just all wrong. No matter how long I soaked them, how long I cooked them- nothing mattered. All I could produce was hard unwanted peas that ruined the enjoyment of eating one of my favourite foods.


I came across some information a few days ago that changed my life. And here's the secret..


Seriously! If you add baking soda to the dry chickpeas, cover them with water to soak overnight, and drain them before cooking- you will have PERFECT soft, creamy chickpeas in 45 minutes on the stovetop. Just like canned!

Excuse my (possibly) excessive excitement about this discovery but its pretty amazing if I do say so myself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

In Progress: Vegan Coconut Blueberry Muffins (GF)

They smell delicious. The flavour combination is perfect. It has all the elements to be absolutely amazing.

These muffins over at Gluten-Free Bay seem like absolute perfection. But this recipe flopped (despite looking like total yum). The original recipe , unfortunately, isnt vegan.. so I made some minor substitutions such as egg replacer for the 3 eggs and 1/4c. xylitol plus 1T extra coconut milk for the honey. The house smelled wonderful but the muffins came out mushy (uncooked?) even after 15 EXTRA minutes, they didnt turn golden brown at all nor did they rise, and they crumbled to pieces much too easily.

Ive got some experimenting to do but Im not giving up on these until theyre perfect! I have a few ideas to test out on the next batch:

- agave nectar or maple syrup instead of the xylitol and extra coconut milk (as a closer sub for the honey)
- substitute a portion of the coconut flour for another GF flour (to make it less dense and cook through)
- add a bit of baking soda (for leavening)
- a touch of xanthan gum (to stabilize the muffin)
- frozen wild blueberries instead fresh ones that I froze (wild blueberries tend to be smaller instead of the jumbo ones I used)
- maybe melted coconut oil or Earth Balance instead of the olive oil I used (for taste!)

Keep an eye out for a follow up post! And hopefully much better results!