Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gluten Free Ginger-Banana Bread!

Oh man.  It has been a couple of crazy busy weeks, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop.  Between having dinner dates with friends for last minute catch up before I move, to going on spontaneous adventures with friends, the weekends have been jam packed.  When I woke up this morning, I had slept 4 hours for the last couple of days, and my body was definitely exhausted.  On days like this, what does my body want more than anything? (other than more sleep) SUGAR!!!!!  But~ being the person that I am, I'm not just going to go guzzling down a ton of sugar.  Exhaustion doesn't want to throw even the simplest ingredients together for pancakes, and jam on toast won't cut it.  So what do I do?  I pulled out the Ginger-Banana bread with Walnut and Chocolate Chips (optional) that I had made last weekend on a whim to use up bananas and had frozen.
Did it do the job?  OH YEAH BABY!!!!  Nutty, chocolatey, and completely gluten free (and whole wheat to boot) it was just what the doctor (and when I say doctor, I mean my body) ordered.

I adapted this recipe from a couple different recipes, and in cutting fat and sugar contents have made it my own.  I find that it's not too sweet and is perfect for that high tea accompaniment.

Gluten Free Ginger-Banana Bread (with nut and chocolate options)

1/4c buckwheat flour
3/4c sorghum flour
1/2c teff flour
1/2+1/8c potato starch
1/4+1/8c tapioca flour
 1tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c coconut palm sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder (mixed into the banana mash)
3 Tbsp  olive oil 
1/4c earth balance, melted
1/4c MINUS 2 Tbsp of molasses, at room temp
1/4+1/8c warm water
2 c ripe bananas, mashed (can use frozen;  just defrost and let runny juices drain)
1tsp vanilla extract

Extra Options:
**more spice: 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp cardamom (choose 1 or try all! experiment!)
**add ins:  
2 c rough chopped walnuts 
1-1 1/2 c vegan chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  
2.  Mix together dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. (I like the mix the walnuts and chocolate chips at this point, into the dry batter because I heard the flour mix coating the chips and nuts prevents them all from sinking to the bottom of the pan)
3.  Mix together wet ingredients.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, making sure to incorporate mixture with slower, large strokes just until there are no more dry pockets of flour.  Pour into loaf pan, and put into the oven for 55 min.-1 hour, until a toothpick or chopstick inserted into the center comes out clean (melted chocolate doesn't count). 
4.  Turn out of the pan, let it cool.  Serve immediately if eating fresh, or cool completely before freezing it in an airtight plastic bag or container.  


Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Recipe Slam! Part 2

Okay, so I promised to upload 3 recipes total, but I just couldn't help myself and I'm uploading 4.  I know, wut wut! Hope you enjoy. :)

Veganized Okinawan Taco Rice
(taco "meat" inspired by PPK's Ancho Lentil Tacos)

4-6 servings of rice (prepare according to package instructions OR purchase from local restaurant)
9-15 leaves of iceberg lettuce, shredded
4 tomatoes, small diced OR 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
2-3 avocados, sliced or diced*
*avocado can be replaced with vegan cheese or favorite vegan cheese sauce)

Taco Meat Ingredients:
1 1/2 c dry green lentils, cooked in water for 25-30 min OR 3 1/4 c canned, cooked lentils, drained
1 large onion, small diced
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp salt
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/3 c tomato paste
1/4+ c water
3 Tbsp hot sauce

1.  cook lentils, and prep onions and garlic.  mix spices from oregano to salt together and set aside.
2.  In a large skillet, cook onions and garlic in some oil for 3 min.  Pour in spice mix and sautee for 30 seconds.
3.  Pour in lentils and the remaining ingredients, mixing well to incorporate.  Taste to adjust levels of soy sauce, spices, water and heat for preferred levels of flavor and thickness. Cook for another 5 minutes and turn off heat.
4.  Assemble plate:
on a plate, spread out a serving of rice like a rice pizza layer.  Next comes the taco "meat", then lettuce, tomato and avocado (or vegan cheese/sauce).
5.  To eat, normally the Japanese mix it up, like a taco salad, and consume, but it's up to you.  Just make sure you get all the layers in your mouth at once.  Yeah baby!

Buffalo Chickpea Salad
(inspired by PPK's Ranch Salad with Buffalo Tempeh)

3 cans of chickpeas, drained
1-5 oz. bottle of Frank's Hot Sauce
1/2 c vegan mayo (I used Follow Your Heart's Veganaise Gourmet Garlic flavor)
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp oregano
1 green onion OR small bunch of chives, thinly sliced

1.  roughly mash chickpeas (you can always pulse coursely in a food processor).
2.  throw remaining ingredients in with the chickpeas.

To serve, I placed my Buffalo Chickpeas onto a bed of lemon juice massaged kale, but you can eat it any way you like.  In a sammy, over rice, on pizza (woah now, gettin' crazay!).  Get creative, and enjoy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Recipe Slam! Part 1

I know, it's been a whole month since I posted last.  It's been nuts!  I had to move my stuff to Rochester, then move out of my apartment, move in with a friend temporarily, and now, I've had to move into my last temporary nest until I finally move completely to Rochester (I'm from NY by the way) so it's been a crazy month, but things are looking a little settled, so I thought I'd make up for lost time with the following recipes:

Quick PB frosting
Korean Squash Soup
Veganized Okinawa Style Taco Rice

If that isn't enough, I'll give you a teaser for a dessert I'm working on for my best friend: Vegan PB Smores Pie!  (Wipe your drool off your chin). :)
I've also found a couple of awesome new vegan websites: (mostly vegan, but not completely)

If you wonder if ANYONE speaks like the author of thug kitchen, the answer my friend is YES.  Before you doubt my credibility, you must realize that I am related to one such "flamboyant" speaker: a.k.a. my sister.  So boo ya!
and~ without further ado, here are the recipes:

Quick Peanut Butter Frosting
(for a 5 second frosting fix)

smooth, salted PB
liquid sweetener of choice: agave, honey (not vegan) or maple syrup

1.  it's easy: 2:1 ratio of PB to sweetener (make that 2: 0.5 if you want it less sweet).  stir well to incorporate.  I find that you can chill the frosting to make it more stiff, but because of the sugar, the frosting is stiff enough after stirring for regular consumption.

Korean Squash Soup
(adapted from Maangchi's recipe)

*equipment needed:
blender (immersion or high speed)
3 small mixing bowls
measuring cups/spoons
large stock pot
wet tea towel

2 small butternut squash, washed well, halved and seeds & stringy bits removed
1/4 c sugar (I used organic cane sugar) plus extra
2 c Sweet rice flour (I used Mochiko)
1/4 tsp salt
3/4+ c hot water
1/2 tsp mugwort powder (optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)

1.  In a large stock pot, place cleaned, halved and seeded squash in and cover with water. (if you find the squash too big to fit, quarter the squash, it's fine.)  Boil for 20-30 minutes or until tender.  Remove from pot and let cool.
2.  While squash is boiling, mix rice flour with salt.  ***Here is where the options come in***
**IF you want to just have white rice cake balls, DO NOT DIVIDE THE FLOUR.  Just pour the hot water in and mix until a ball of dough can be formed.  set aside with the moist tea towel or plastic wrap to keep moist.
divide the flour mix into 3 bowls each with 2/3 c of flour mix.
bowl 1-white rice cakes: mix with 1/4+ c hot water, until a ball of dough can be formed.  wrap in plastic and set aside.
bowl 2-green rice cakes: add 1/2 tsp mugwort powder, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/4+ c hot water (continue like above)
bowl 3-brown rice cakes: add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1/4+ c hot water (continue like above)
3.  Once squash is cooled, scoop out flesh into pot (for immersion blender) or a standing blender and blend with 2 cups of water until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the pot with 2-3 cups more water (depending on how thick you like it), adding 1/4 c sugar as well.  Bring to a boil.
4.  While the soup is being brought to boiling, begin rolling the rice cakes into little balls the size of marbles.  You can make them larger if you like, but keep in mind that the rice cakes expand some while cooking.  When the soup is boiling, drop the rice cakes in.  Cook for another 5-10 minutes until the rice cakes float (you may have to help it along a little bit by stirring to see if cakes float as the soup can be somewhat thick).
Garnish with some pine nuts or serve as is.  Enjoy!