Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Summer Ends And Here Comes Fall

I'm more than 80% through my Rouxbe class!  Currently, my coursework is focused on the raw foods chapter.  There are sections on juicing, dehydrating, culturing, fermentation and so much more.  One of the recent assignments focused on other ways to use juices, for example, soups.  Cucumber and Watermelon Gazpacho sounded really interesting and I figured it would be a great homage to end of summer.

Finding watermelon in October wasn't the easiest thing to do, but the search time was worth it.  This gazpacho is refreshing, light and summery.  Jalapeño, mint, shallots, bell pepper, vinegar and lime juice work together perfectly to create a complex flavor profile in this simple to prepare dish.  

From summer to fall...healthy to, well, not so healthy. As promised from the previous post, pumpkin doughnuts!  I figured a vegan recipe wouldn't be hard to come by.  However, after quite a few searches, it became clear I was on my own.  After comparing some not so vegan pumpkin bread and pumpkin doughnuts recipes, I formulated this one and hoped it would work.  The results were pretty dang good.

These rose overnight (we keep the house pretty cool) and then I cut then and let them rise again the next day.   My friends arrived on a crisp fall morning to find hot pumpkin doughnuts before we headed out to pick apples at the orchard.  You can't beat that.  Autumn is my favorite time of year.

Vegan Raised Pumpkin Doughnuts
1/4 cup warm water
1 Tablespoons yeast
2/3 cup non dairy milk
1 egg replacer equivalent (my go to is EnerG egg replacer)
3/4 cup puréed pumpkin
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
3 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Mix the yeast and warm water and set aside for about 5 minutes until bubbly.

Then add yeast, egg replacer (pre-mixed according to your go to replacer), non dairy milk, pumpkin, oil, 2 cups of flour, sugar, salt, spice and mix until incorporated.  If using a stand mixer, switch over from the mixer blade to the dough hook, then add the remaining flour as necessary until a smooth dough ball forms.  If not, mix with your hands!

Knead the dough ball for 5-10 minutes or until you lose patience. The dough should be smooth and elastic.

Grease bowl, put the dough ball inside, cover with a towel and let it rise until it doubles in size.

Once doubled, punch down and roll out the dough until it is a little over 1/4 inch thick.  Then use a doughnut cutter and make your doughnut shapes.  You can get by with a pint glass to cut the big circles and a small round cookie cutter to cut out the center.

Place the doughnuts on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or greased) and let them rise until doubled again (about 45 minutes). 

Heat cooking oil in a pan that is deep enough for frying over medium heat.  Vegetable oil is the best bet.  When the oil is hot, gently place the doughnuts into the pan and cook for a few minutes per side until they are cooked through.  Then remove from oil to drain.  I generally rip up a paper bag, and then place a layer of towels over it.  This is a trick from my mom and always worked to sop up extra grease when she made potato latkes!

Once they are cool enough to touch, you can toss the doughnuts in a paper bag with sugar and pumpkin pie spice. I used a 1/2 cup of sugar mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice.

If you prefer glaze, I made a maple syrup glaze.

Maple Syrup Glaze
Combine 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 1 cup of powder sugar.  If it is too thick add a tiny bit of almond or soy milk until it reaches the proper consistency.  If it is too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar.

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Mushroom Kale White Bean Ragu W/Chickpea Crepes

I've been cooking a ton for class as well as creating some new recipes of my own while I experiment in the kitchen. A few weekends ago, we went apple picking with friends. Pumpkin donuts seemed like the perfect start to our day before heading out. Who doesn't like pumpkin donuts? 

I veganized both cake and yeasted donuts because I couldn't decide which kind I'd prefer.  I'm also a huge fan of maple and wanted to create a maple glaze.  So many recipes use maple extract.  I'm not sure why anyone would use an extract when you could just use the real thing.  My glaze was full of straight up maple syrup goodess.  Expect an upcoming blog post with recipes so you can make your own. 

My Rouxbe coursework has most recently been about cooking for special diets.  This includes low fat, sugar and sodium as well a gluten free options. Clearly, I countered all this healthy cooking with a donut junket, but I digress. Last night for dinner I combined a couple of assignments. 

First, I prepared the No-Oil Mushroom Gravy.  The first step here is dry sautéing the onions/garlic to build up flavor and avoid oil.  The gravy was the base for the Mushroom Kale White Bean Ragu.  If you are looking for the recipe on Rouxbe, try searching for White Bean & Chard Ragu as I chose to use Dinosaur kale instead.  When looking for greens, I always default to those named after prehistoric creatures.  Yay for Dino kale! 

The Ragu was served in gluten free Chickpea Crepes.  You can also find that recipe on Rouxbe.  Though, I'll warn that in order to make the crepes, you need to thin out the batter.  This step is missing from the write up.  They also work best if you generously grease the pan.   

We both really enjoyed the mushroom gravy and the Ragu.  The crepes were ok, but not a favorite.  If you are looking for tasty, versatile gravy or Ragu then these recipes are worth a try.  Oh, and I recommend Dino kale over chard.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

Carrot Walnut Bars

Though I am really digging my Rouxbe class, sometimes it is stressful
always trying to keep up and worrying about graded assignments.  Last
night, I took a break and tried a new recipe that I received in an
email from the California Walnut Board.   It was surprising to see
they chose a vegan recipe by Mollie Katzen to share.

Because the Carrot-Walnut-Oat Gems are low in sugar and sweetened
mostly by fruit they do actually match up with my lessons on cooking
for special diets.  I'm also working on finishing up the no oil
chapter and these contain no added oil.

All in all this is a great recipe for many folks as it is: dairy
free/egg free/vegan, gluten free (if you use gf oats), low sugar, soy free and
no oil.  They are super healthy, but a little high in fat due to the

With a food processor these can be mixed up and ready to bake in no
time at all.  The most difficult parts of the preparation is grating
carrots and juicing a lemon.   Once done, you have breakfast or snacks
for the week.  These squares are easy to eat/take on the go and much
healthier than many of the energy bars you get at the store.

What are you waiting for? Go make them.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Tunaless Salad and Oyster Mushroom Scallops

This post has an ocean theme...A Post Aquatic if you will.  I wasn't a huge seafood fan in my pre-gan days, but every once in a while I could go for some tuna salad and occasionally I would have scallops.

In the Rouxbe chapter on grains and beans, one of the assignments was preparing a Tuna-less Salad.   The dish consists of mashed chickpeas, seaweed, pickles, mayo and some other extras.  It has a slight flavor of the sea, but in reality is just a fresh, tasty chickpea salad that doesn't need to be compared to tuna.

At the same time as taking this class, I'm also helping recipe test for Celine and Joni's upcoming cookbook: Vegan Substitutions 2.  When I saw the Crispy Bacon and Shallot King Oyster Scallops, I knew I had to try them.  This is built on two other recipes from the book, bacon bits and (believe it or not!) bacon grease.   It never occurred to me to try to veganize bacon grease, so kudos to the authors there.

Anyway, this is an imaginative and tasty dish like so many others you'll find when this book is released.

As far as Rouxbe, I've been making my way through chapters on soups, sauces, marinades, dairy replacements, proteins and most recently fresh pasta.  Expect to see some posts from these tasks soon.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Asparagus Risotto

One of the assignments I've been putting off in my Rouxbe class was Asparagus Risotto.  In my defense, I was little "riced out" between pilaf and the first risotto task.  Saturday seemed like a perfect day to tackle this one, especially after completing the home made vegetable stock recipe earlier in the week.

There's no doubt that risotto is time consuming, but the results are delicious and look mighty pretty on a plate.  As usual, you can find this recipe if you do a quick search on Rouxbe.  The dish is flavored with broth and asparagus puree.  Then it is finished with truffle oil.

I've also been working on an recipe for Oat Cheeze which I entered in the Bob's Red Mill steel cut oats recipe contest.  Expect a post about that soon!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Vegetable Tagine

Towards the end of Unit 7 (Daily Meal Inspritation) at Rouxbe, there was a one pot meal assignment.  We had two choices which were Coconut Braised Chickpeas or Vegetable Tagine.  Since I already prepared the chickpea dish in the braising chapter, I decided to try the tagine.

First of all I want to share that when the Rouxbe video started, the speaker pronounced it ta-jeen with the accent on second syllable.  This made me think that I've been pronouncing tagine wrong my entire life.  I always said tah-jeen with the accent on the first syllable.  Some google searches cleared this up.  The UK pronunciation matches the video and my pronunciation matches what we say in the US.  Who knew?  Clearly, not me.

Secondly, I worried that perhaps I needed to purchase a tagine pot.  My kitchen has been filling up with lots of new toys since starting this class, but I've been trying to limit my purchases to tools I will use on a regular basis.  Tagine pot probably doesn't fall into that category.  The videos/recipe didn't mention a special pan.  When I searched on google most folks indicated the tagine pot was mainly for presentation, so fortunately no shopping required.

You may have seen my earlier post about mise en place. I've been using this technique in my cooking more often.  It is a requirement for Rouxbe assignments.  Though I do end up with more dishes to wash, it definitely helps recipe preparation go more smoothly.  In this picture you can see some pretty decent knife cuts.  Sharp knives and practice have helped me quite a bit. The spices were toasted and then ground, so they were ready to use.

As this all cooked, I did need to prepare some secondary ingredients like olives, lemon zest and raisins.  Here is a photo of the finished dish.  It was delicious, but had quite a kick to it. The flavors did even out a bit the next day.  If you aren't a fan of spicy, it would be easy to cut down on the cracked red pepper.

Many Rouxbe recipes are available on their site even if you aren't a student.  You miss out on the video instruction though.  I'll link directly to the vegetable tagine, but keep in mind if you see a Rouxbe post from me, you can often search for Rouxbe and the recipe name (tagine in this example) and find it yourself!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Berry Patch Brownies

Last weekend we picked some blueberries at a local farm.  When I say "some", I mean almost 10 pounds.  Fresh picked berries are nothing like store bought.  The flavor is wonderful!  We were so excited to use these in smoothies, salads, old recipes and new ones.

As I was scrolling through my twitter feed, I saw a tweet from Dreena Burton about her Berry Batch Brownie recipe.  Just a quick click and I knew I had to make them.  Side note:  I really love Dreena's recipes.  Her blogs and cookbooks helped me out so much as a new vegan many years ago.  One of the great things about her recipes is that they are almost always simple to make, but are full of flavor.  Some of my favorite cookbooks by Dreena Burton are: Vive Le Vegan, The Everyday Vegan and Eat, Drink & Be Vegan.

When I started mixing up the brownies, I noticed we were out of regular baking cocoa.  All I had in the pantry was black onyx cocoa.  That meant I needed to add a bit more liquid to the mix and that my brownies had an even darker color.

These are dark fudgy deliciousness topped with raspberry jam, fresh blueberries and chocolate chips.  The brownies are wonderful and it's a recipe that I definitely recommend.  How beautiful do they look?

A Rouxbe update for you:

Currently I'm working on spices, umami, acids and layering flavor.

I'm getting proficient at sharpening my knives with the whetstone and honing them with a steel.  The razor sharp blades make it so easy to practice and showcase my knife cuts.

I've been making my way through chapters on basic cooking methods that involve water such as steaming or submersion.  Then we moved on to dry cooking methods like roasting and sautéing.  This is also where we learned about woks and how to stir fry.  I'm now the proud owner of a newly seasoned wok and am not afraid to play around with ingredients.

Up next were grains and beans as well as combination and one pot meals.  I'm looking forward to sharing a new post with you featuring a Moroccan Tagine that I made for class.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Drunken Peach Waffles

On July 3rd we met up with some friends at our favorite vegan restaurant, only to find they were closed for the holiday.  This gave us an opportunity to try a new place that advertised lots of vegan options.   Unfortunately, we weren't wowed by the food.  However, we did enjoy an amazing drink that they served.  The ingredients were amaretto, bourbon, lemonade, peaches and mint.

The next day we wanted to recreate the drink for some folks that stopped by our house.  A quick google search turned up Martha Stewart's recipe which used canned peaches.  Really, Martha...canned peaches?  I was pretty sure the restaurant used poached peaches in their tasty beverage, so I went in search of a poached peach recipe that seemed close the the flavor profile I remembered.  Nothing matched, so I made my own version.

If you've never skinned peaches before, check out the directions from King Arthur.  It is a simple procedure where you place the ripe peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds. When when they are ready.  Quickly move them to an ice bath and then you can easily remove the skins.  All this typing makes it seem more complicated than it is. 

Poached Peaches

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup agave
3/4 cup water
1 oz rum
3 whole allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tsp lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla

4 ripe peaches

Skin the peaches then cut them into quarters or smaller slices if you want to save on time.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add the peaches and then cook them at low temperature (barely simmering).  The timing depends on how ripe the peaches are.  Ripe peaches will likely be done in 5 minutes as they will continue to poach in the hot liquid even when the stove is off.  If your peaches aren't ripe yet, expect 10-15 minutes.  They should start to soften, but still hold their shape.

When I opened the refrigerator this morning and saw left over peaches and syrup, I decided to build a new recipe which we've named Drunken Peach Waffles.  To be honest, I used my favorite waffle recipe from Vegan Brunch as the base.  Because I could find Isa's recipe posted in numerous places online, I didn't worry too much about posting this version; however, I'm still recommending that you buy her cookbook.  It is great!

If you don't have malt syrup, you can sub: agave, maple syrup or rice syrup.

Drunken Peach Waffles inspired by Isa's Old-Fashioned Chelsea Waffles
2 cups non dairy milk (I used almond)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons barley malt syrup
1 tablespoon of poaching syrup from the peach recipe above
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 chopped poached peaches plus extra for garnish (about 1/2 cup)


Preheat waffle iron.

In a large bowl, use a fork  mix the milk, vinegar, oil, peach syrup and barley malt.  The malt is difficult to work with, so it may take some elbow grease.

Add remaining dry ingredients and mix everything until batter is smooth.

Fold in the chopped poached peaches.

Cook waffles according to waffle iron instructions!
For the syrup on the waffles, I took the remaining poaching liquid and reduced it over a low temperature while making the waffles.  This made for thicker consistency.

As you can see, I sliced a poached peach and served it on top. 

These are delicious!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Kale Salad in a Cucumber Cup

Kale, kale, kale! Everyone is talking about the health benefits of kale and it is suddenly a staple on restaurant menus.  Curly kale is popular, but there are so many varieties like Red Russian or Dinosaur.  All I'm gonna say is that I liked kale before it was cool.  Have you always loved kale or are you a recent convert?

One of the latest assignments for my Plant Based Rouxbe course focused on kale.  We learned about the different ways to wilt raw kale for salads.  One of the suggestions for our wilted leftovers was a kale, radish and avocado salad. 

Often times I find that some dishes are too salty for me, so I skipped it here. For this salad, Rouxbe also had a tasty recipe for a sesame, sunflower seed and spice topping.  The cucumber cup looks really pretty and wasn't too difficult to put together...though there may or may not have been mild cussing involved.

Friday, June 06, 2014

Chocolate Stout Cupcakes

Last weekend, my girlfriend procured two cans of Young's Double Chocolate Stout.  Though I'm not a fan of dark beers, I asked that she save some so I could make Chocolate Stout Cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule.

When I searched through old blog posts, I noticed that I had mentioned making these before in 2006.  Apparently, I didn't care for the recipe much at the time, though I may have baked them too long.

This time around we both loved these cupcakes.   They have a rich chocolate flavor and are uber moist.  Cocoa powder, sugar, flour and a little bit of oil make a delicious chocolate crumble on top.

You might have noticed the silicone liner in the photo.  I received these Cupcake Liners from The New York Baking Company on Amazon to test and review.  These were quite nice compared to another brand I tried in the past.  There's a full review of mine over on the product page, so I won't bore you with it here.

Instead I'll tell you these are definitely one of my favorite cupcakes from Isa's book.  I'm glad I gave them a second chance.  If you haven't tried them yet, add them to your list. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Red and White Quinoa Kale Salad

Quick update: Recently added Forbidden City Bistro to the Vegchic New England Dining Blog. Check out the post and delicious photos over at vegchic2.blogspot.com.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned the Rouxbe Plant Based Cooking Course which I have been excited about starting.  It actually began while I was camping up at Acadia.  I broke out my Kindle, wrangled up a wifi connection, and was able to watch the intro videos.  It is nice that the Rouxbe site works on many platforms and I didn't need to bring a laptop with me.

The first homework assignment was documenting the preparation of my go-to dish.  This was designed to get students accustomed to the photo/upload/grading process.  A portion of the grade was based on a photo of our mise en place.  This is a term I had heard before but never really understood.  For anyone who doesn't know, this is a French phrase which means "putting in place."  Gathering all of your ingredients and getting them ready to go before you start cooking prevents rushing around, trying to simultaneously measure, cook, chop, and add ingredients in time.  It also means you don't get half way through a recipe and notice you are out of cashews.

Here's a photo of my mise en place.  Any ideas as to what I am planning to prepare?

Late last year, I was a recipe tester for an upcoming cookbook titled Going Vegan: The Complete Guide to Making a Healthy Transition to a Plant-Based Lifestyle (Available August 2014).  Our absolute favorite recipe from this book is the Red and White Quinoa and Kale Salad.  The ingredients are fresh, the sauce is wonderful and you can enjoy this as a side or a meal.

Here's the finished product.  Normally, I'd steam the kale.  This time I tried massaging in the the sauce.  It is great either way!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Spicy Smoky Toasty Cheeze Sandwiches

The folks over at Daiya posted a grilled cheeze contest and I thought it would be fun to submit an entry.  My girlfriend was also happy about this because she got to taste test.

You can find my recipe over on their site.  Who knows, maybe it will win.

I'm also posting a copy here as blogspot is a bit more flexible with the formatting.

To be honest my tester was a little dubious of horseradish and grilled cheeze, but she was a convert.  Without hesitation, I can say this is one of my favorite sandwiches ever.

Spicy Smoky Toasty Cheeze Sandwiches
Smoky portobellos with Daiya Provolone and creamy horseradish aoili to add a little kick = one incredible sandwich.

Makes 2

2 Provolone style cheeze slices
2 portobello mushrooms
2 slices of purple onion
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup vegan mayo
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill
1 1/2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp capers
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp tamari
splash olive oil
splash balsamic vinegar
Earth Balance for toasting

Remove gills from the mushrooms, then cut portobellos into slices just under 1/4 inch thick. Cut the slices in half so the mushroom pieces are the almost bite size for the sandwich. Throw the mushrooms directly into a pan on medium heat and let them start cooking while you prepare the sauces.

Smoky Mushroom Sauce: Combine tamari, liquid smoke, splash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.

Use a spatula to stir the mushrooms. When all of the liquid has cooked off, pour the sauce into the pan. Continue stirring until the mushrooms are coated and again the liquid has cooked away. Turn of the heat and put mushrooms aside.

Horseradish Aoli: Combine vegan mayo, lemon juice, horseradish, dill, and capers. If you like more spice, feel free to add extra horseradish.

Spread Earth Balance or margarine on two slices of your favorite bread. Spoon some aoli onto one slice, add half the mushrooms, some purple onion, 1/2 the spinach, a Daiya Provolone style slice and cover with the last slice of bread. Toast in a pan a few minutes on each side. Repeat to make second sandwich and enjoy.

Wow! You are still reading this post?  Superb.  This week I'm beginning the plant based certification course over at Rouxbe.  I'm very excited to start with basics and then progress along completing more than 120 hours of course work.  Chef Chad Sarno will be teaching and there will be some high profile students in the class, like Jason Wrobel. I'm hoping to learn and a share a lot which means more frequent posts.  Stay tuned! 

Sunday, May 04, 2014

Vegan Reubens

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the leftover corned seitan from the boiled dinner was used to make Reuben sandwiches.  A typical Reuben consists of corn beef, swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and sauerkraut on grilled rye bread. 

The Chicago Diner's recipe for their Radical Reuben (including the corned seitan and Russian dressing) can be found over on the bottom of this page from Vegetarian Times.

We used some vegan rye from our local bakery and Daiya Swiss slices to put together these amazing sandwiches.  While the bread was toasting, I would heat up the seitan in a pan and let the swiss melt over the top.  Assembly was easy, just use a spatula to deposit the melty seitan and cheeze onto the rye.  Then add some dressing, chopped fresh cabbage and/or sauerkraut.

The delicious Radical Reuben

The time investment is worth it, go make same seitan and enjoy your own Reuben or head to the diner if you are in Chicago.  We just got back from visiting a friend in the Windy City, so I'll post some pictures of our meals at the Chicago Diner soon.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day - New England Boiled Dinner

In Boston on Saint Patty's Day, you can expect many people will be preparing a New England Boiled Dinner.  It is a simple dish where you boil veggies like cabbage, carrots, potatoes and onions along with corned beef.  Why is that Irish?  Well even though the original dish in Ireland was made with bacon, the Irish immigrants here in Boston often chose corned beef because it was inexpensive.  Back at home, corned beef was a luxury item.

You might be wondering why I am writing a post about boiled dinner when I wouldn't actually eat corned beef.  The answer is simple.  I've always wanted to make corned seitan and Saint Patrick's day seemed like the perfect excuse.   Not to mention, I'd have left over seitan to make vegan Reubens. 

After researching for awhile, I chose the Chicago Diner recipe.  You can find it towards the bottom of this Vegetarian Times article.  It is brilliant because the seitan gets the pink color from beet juice and the pickled flavor from pickling spices as well as pickle juice.  I decided to use the liquid from pickled beets to amp up the pickley goodness.

The vegetable mix I chose was cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, and onions.  Some folks add rutabaga or celery too.  I boiled the veggies in broth for seasoning, and plated them with the seitan.  The reason I didn't boil the seitan with the vegetables is because I didn't want to dilute the goodness it had going on. Pickley goodness.

The dish turned out beautifully and we enjoyed our Irish inspired meal with a side of mustard.  The seitan was also AMAZING in the Reuben sandwiches which I shall post about next week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Buffalo Cauliflower Pizza With Tofu Blue Cheese

We aren't really big football fans, but when it comes to Super Bowl parties you can't beat the food.  One of our favorites is buffalo sauce and we love tempeh wingz. While seeking inspiration at Keepin' It Kind, I saw a recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Wing Pizza with Tofu Blue Cheese Spread and knew instantly we would be enjoying this on game night

The recipe takes some time between breading/cooking the cauliflower, making the cheese and baking the pizza, so plan accordingly.  I found that the breading didn't stand up well to the sauce and it stuck to the pan.  Honestly I'd probably skip that step next time and just bake the cauliflower in the buffalo sauce first.  Then top the pizza and bake again. This would save a bit of time and make cleanup easier.

The tofu blue cheese is awesome. It would be great on a salad.  Since I'm bad at following recipes to a T, I skipped the kelp.  Though I am no friend to seaweed, it's hard to imagine anyone would miss it here.  There are plenty of other flavors to enjoy.

When you combine the tofu blue cheese with cauliflower in spicy/sweet buffalo sauce, you get one ridiculously amazing pizza. 

Don't wait for the next Super Bowl to try this out. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jammy Quinoa Coffee Cake (Gluten Free)

We were getting together with friends for a game/movie night and I planned to bring a snack when I saw Tami's blog post about Jammin' Qunioa Crumb Cake.  One of our friends has Celiac and this recipe stood out because so many flour ingredients were already gluten free.  I figured I'd take a stab at converting the recipe to be completely gluten free.  It worked out perfectly and everybody loved this delicious coffee cake.   The flavors were balanced and it wasn't too sweet.  The cake was moist and delicious.  

I wouldn't hesitate to make this again, though might use Earth Balance instead of coconut oil for the topping.  Speaking of the crumb topping, we really dug the crunchy quinoa.  

The recipe is not mine, but was adapted from Tami's blog linked above.

Behold the jammy goodness.  

Jammy Gluten Free Quinoa Coffee Cake


3/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)

3/4 cup quinoa flour

1/2 cup almond meal/flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup plain unsweetened non dairy milk

1/3 cup melted refined coconut oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


2/3 cup jam

1/2 cup almond meal/flour

3 packed tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons quinoa

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons melted refined coconut oil

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Whisk together the flours, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size bowl. Stir in the milk, coconut oil, and vanilla until combined. The mixture will be thick. Spread and press it into the baking dish evenly. Spread the jam evenly over the dough.

To make the streusel, combine the flour, sugar, quinoa, and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the oil, and stir until mixed. Spread the mixture on top of the jam layer, gently pressing it in. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, the center should not be jiggly. Pull a bit of the paper away from the crust to be sure it is lightly browned. Cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bavarian Pretzels Veganized

We're huge fans of soft pretzels.  The last go around we tried making them with pizza dough and even did the baking soda dip before cooking to create the brown crunchy crust.  The results were quite good.  

Last week, I was really excited to see an article on Tasting Table for Bavarian pretzels with a recipe.  It isn't tough to veganize at all.  Just use vegan butter and skip the egg wash. Oh and, of course, find a vegan Pilsner. 

We wandered around the liquor store with the Barnivore site loaded on our phones.  Our choice was Mama's Little Yella Pils from Oskar Blue's Brewery.  Hopefully no one will judge us too harshly for picking a Czech Pilsner instead of a German one.  Maybe we'll try Pilsner Urquell next time.

The dough is definitely stiff, so I was glad to have a mixer that could handle it and save my muscles for making the pretzels.  Other than that, the instructions were a dream to follow and there was even a video to show how to roll them out properly.

We tried a couple of different toppings including plain kosher salt, sesame seeds, and za'atar.  Anyone who knows me is quite aware of my mustard addiction.  On the side of the plate you see 4 mustards we tried with the pretzels: Raye's Winter Garden, Trader Joe's Provencal, Trader Joe's Black Currant, and plain store brand dijon.  Neither of us cared for the black currant.  Raye's Winter Garden is one of our favorites, if you can find it.  They are located in Maine!

These pretzels are by far, the best we have ever had.  We can't wait to make them again.  Sorry SuperPretzels, you are no match. 

See the pretzels below and check out the recipe on Tasting Table to make your own.  Thanks Andrea Slonecker for sharing, your pretzel cookbook is on my wish list.