Saturday, November 27, 2010

Brown Rice Flax Tortillas (Xanthan Gum-Free, Vegan, GF)

Ok, this is a BIG DEAL. We successfully made xantham-gum free, gluten-free tortillas! But, since there's no "glueing agent' you can't toss them around every which way like a regular bread dough, in other words it's very delicate work. But, unlike wheat dough, the more you play with it, the stronger and more malleable it gets :) So if you mess up while rolling, just form it back into a ball and start over. I was reading the ingredients for brown rice pasta and noticed that it included rice bran, so I thought to include it in tortillas and it worked like a charm. Rice bran is known to be one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth and might I add, is ridiculously cheap! I got a 2 pound bag of it for about $2.

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sweet rice flour
1/4 cup rice bran
2 tbsp finely ground flaxseed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp agave, or honey

1. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine warm water and honey/agave in a measuring cup and add to dry mixture. You may need to add more sweet rice flour, use your judgement but also remember that it will absorb flour while rolling.
2. Heat a skillet to medium and add oil, distribute evenly with a spatula or heat-proof pastry brush. When oil is hot, turn down heat to low and wait about 7 minutes until the temperature stabilizes. Also have a plate beside the stove (you'll know why later).
3. Sprinkle sweet rice flour over a clean countertop, wet your hands with some warm water, rip off a small piece of the dough and knead it in your hands until it becomes nice and doughy, then form into a disc, sprinkle some more sweet rice flour on top. Roll as thinly as possible. Using a spatula, lift the dough off of the surface CAREFULLY, while also using your hands, put it in skillet.
4. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown on the one side. Using spatula, lift off of skillet and put on empty plate. Add more oil and brush with pastry brush to evenly coat. Put tortilla back in pan this time on the other side. Cook until golden brown or when you think it is sufficiently cooked through.
5. This is important: put cooked tortilla immediately into a large ziploc bag (this allows it to steam and become soft), as you make the tortillas add each one to this ziploc bag and this is how you can store them. The tortillas should stay in the bag for at least a few hours so they can really moisten up. You may notice that one side may be crackly, if you are using this for a wrap, roll with this side facing inside. Makes 8 tortillas.

A wrap of avocado and tomato, you can see how flexible the tortillas are, not your ordinary gluten-free wrap!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pomegranate-Coconut Granola (Vegan, GF)

You may not know this, but Jenn and I are cereal fiends! We will buy a huge box of cereal and it will literally only last one single day. We just love it! We were inspired by edible perspective's recipes for granola, and decided to make our own! We replaced the applesauce with pomegranate seed puree, if you want a stronger pomegranate flavour you can easily substitute the puree for juice, the seeds just add extra fibre. As well we added a berry tea bag, this made ALL the difference, if you have pomegranate tea, all the better, but we used acai berry. The results were a very berry-licious breakfast cereal :)

1 cup GF oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
3 tbsp ground flaxseed
4 tbsp brown rice syrup, agave, maple syrup, or honey (we used honey)
3 tbsp pomegranate juice (see description above)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tbsp hemp oil
1 tea bag worth of berry tea leaves
Pinch of salt
Varied dried fruit

Preheat oven to 325. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl except for tea. Combine wet ingredients +tea in another bowl. Combine wet into dry. Stir until combined. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring granola with a spatula every 5 minutes to prevent burning. It will still be soft after 30 minutes, allow to cool and it will harden up. Mix in dried fruit. Makes 3 bowls of cereal.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin Pie Pudding (Vegan, GF)

So last night, Jenn and I ventured out to make a pumpkin pie without eggs and replaced them with flax eggs. As you can predict, it did not turn out as well as we wanted it to, actually it didn't turn out at all! So note to vegan thanksgivingers: non-tofu vegan pumpkin pies requires eggs unless you can find a magical recipe that doesn't and works. Actually I came across one that looks promising from Affairs of Living: We are major fans of this allergen-free vegan recipe blog. For the crust I found this recipe for a cornflake crust, except I replaced the cornflakes with a millet-rice cereal and added some coconut oil. The cookie-like crumbs you see on the pudding is this very crust that was leftover and didn't fit into the pie dish. It was a really good crust and stayed together after baking, unlike the filling, which was a lost cause. So, we had all these leftover pumpkin pie ingredients, so I said what the heck, let's make pudding!

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup coconut milk
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of cloves

Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Let sit overnight in the fridge or for a few hours until chilled. Makes 1 large serving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Marble Fudge (Vegan, GF)

These are by far the most satisfying vegan treats I've ever made. Fudge takes a snap to make, just throw everything in a food processor and you're off! And marbling makes fudge more sophisticated looking, don't you think? Anyway, there's no way you can go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate...ever. Another delicious vegan PB and chocolate treat!

Chocolate Fudge:
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Peanut Butter Fudge:
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 raw honey, agave, or maple syrup
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

For chocolate fudge: Process the cashews in a food processor until it turns into a dense butter (it should look sort of like play-doh but still be crumbly, no nut pieces though!) Then add cocoa and salt. Blend until combined. Add sweetener of choice, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly combined, it should ball up at this point. Take out and set aside on cutting board or clean countertop.
For peanut butter fudge: Process cashews the same way as for the chocolate fudge. Add salt, blend until combined. Add peanut butter, sweetener of choice, coconut oil and vanilla. Process until thoroughly combined.
Rip doughs into 4 large chunks so you have 8. Marble fudge by combining the 8 separate pieces together, and knead until you see it marbling. Shape into a flat rectangle a good inch thick. Chill covered in fridge overnight or at least 3 hours. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Raw Pistachio Pudding (Vegan, GF)

I don't know why but I have been obsessed with pudding. The last time I made chocolate pudding, I noticed how pretty the green colour was before I added cocoa in. And thought, how can I make green pudding visually and appetizingly appealing?...Pistachios! The pistachios in this pudding should be peeled, unless you'd like extra fibre. Once they're soaked they are quite easy to peel, you just have to squeeze em every which way until it pops out of its skin. I put this in the freezer and it was really close to pistachio ice cream :) and it's raw!

1/2 cup soaked pistachios, peeled
1 avocado
Water, to thin
3 tbsp agave syrup (or to desired sweetness)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp vanilla extract or almond extract
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds
Squirt of lemon juice

Process the pistachios until very smooth (takes a good few minutes) in food processor, add all other ingredients. Process until smooth. Let set in refrigerator for a few hours. Makes one serving.

I found this food timeline website and it shows when foods were introduced, I never knew pistachios were this ancient, see for yourself.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Smoked Salmon and Cream-Cheese Sproutwheels (Vegan, GF)

Jenn and I travelled to Montreal a few weeks ago to visit some friends and we went to Aux Vivres. We both were craving a substantial sandwich so she got the "BLT" with coconut bacon, it was actually not bad. And I got the Vegelox sandwich. I could not believe how much it tasted like salmon, we were floored! So, I was searching for a "mock" salmon salad and came across this blog and they had the ACTUAL recipe for vegelox posted, I don't know how they got it but I'm so glad I found it. So naturally I planned to make it, but instead of your everyday sandwich, I thought it would be fun in pinwheel form. I even made carrot juice, just to use the pulp, ya very eager. The tortilla used is a sprouted grain, which ISN'T gluten-free but it's the healthier alternative to a regular flour tortilla. If you'd like a Gluten-Free Tortilla, check out this recipe. These were so so good, I finally have somewhat satisfied my smoked salmon step at a time...:)

1 cup carrot juice pulp
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp dulse flakes
3-4 dashes liquid smoke
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Combine all ingredients in a food process and process until combined. Taste and adjust condiments as necessary. 

Cream Cheese:
3/4 cup cashews, soaked
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Warm 2 sprouted grain tortillas (they must be warm or else it will be difficult to roll), spread a layer of cream cheese onto tortillas then spread on vegelox, I find its easier to spread it with your hands. Next layer any kind of sprout (I used alfalfa), and roll. Once rolled, cut into 1 inch thick slices and secure with toothpick. Makes 12-14 pinwheels.

To make these Gluten-free, wrap in our Brown Rice Flax Tortillas!

A perfect appetizer for your vegan friends!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vegan Muffins Monthly: Carrot Cake (Vegan, GF)

For some reason Jenn has always "LOVED" carrot muffins even when she was little. She was kind of weird, I know. I would of course go for a sugar covered chocolate chip muffin like a typical sugar hungry kid. But now I kind of get why she loves them so much. Carrots have a high "sugar" content, making them really sweet tasting (try carrot juice, it is soo sweet) which deams them perfect for these fat free, gluten-free, vegan muffins. They are pictured here topped with apple butter and almonds.

*Adapted from Happy Herbivore's Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 3/4 cups Gluten-free Flour Blend (see substitutions)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup sucunat
1 cup grated carrot
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour wet into dry. Stir until combined. Add in carrots, stir until further combined. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 26 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Makes 10 muffins.

Check out October's muffin!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Coconut-Chocolate Pudding + Stevia? (Vegan, GF)

I've been on a raw pudding craze these past few weeks, they are just so simple to make and so so satisfying. I've been doing banana-avocado-carob combinations with maple syrup and my oh my, maple and carob go soo well together, who knew?!
I recently went out on a limb and purchased stevia in liquid form, I haphazardly made the mistake of not researching the product before I bought it. And low and behold, I found out that buying liquid stevia is actually a huge rip off and that you can easily make your own with the powdered extract, which is cheaper.  I do like how it comes in a tincture and you can control the drops though. The brand that I bought was advertised to NOT have a bitter aftertaste, it IS slightly bitter, so the next time I will probably combine it with another sweetener. I also found out that stevia extract is quite refined, and that it's best to buy the dried and powdered leaves (the powder should be green, not white). All in all stevia seems to be safe, I mean it is a herb, and when I use it, I don't feel the sugar "rush" I tend to feel with agave or honey.

Anyway, I managed to make a yummy pudding out of it! :)

Coconut Joy!

1 avocado
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, ground
3 spoonfuls cocoa powder
8 drops stevia (or reduce drops and add other sweetener)
Water, to thin out
Squirt of lemon juice (to prevent oxidation)

Combine avocado, coconut milk, chia seed meal, lemon juice and stevia in a blender. Blend until combined, add water to thin to desired consistency, but be aware that the chia seeds will thicken it up quite a bit. Leave overnight in fridge to set. Makes 1 large serving.