Monday, September 23, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes

Yup, you heard me, Vegan, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes.  These are no joke.  There are quite a few flours to deal with but the end result is sooooo worth it, especially if your taste buds have been screaming for fall flavors like pumpkin.  Everyone in the home I'm staying in have been talking about pumpkin flavored coffees, pies, etc. as the weather seems to lure ourselves to do so.
So, pull out your best griddle or skillet and get crackin'! (without the eggs, because it's vegan) :)

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pancakes
adapted from The Healthy Gluten-Free Life by Tammy Credicott
serves 4

dry ingredients:
1 1/2 c sorghum flour
1/4 c teff
1/2 c potato starch
1/4 c tapioca starch
2 tsp baking powder*
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp coconut palm sugar (raw sugar or turbinado can be substituted)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

wet ingredients:
1/2 + 1/3 c pureed pumpkin (canned is fine)
1 1/2 c vegan milk mixed with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 c warm water

*I forgot the baking powder in my batter this time, and I think I put in 2 tsp of baking soda instead, and it still turned out beautiful, so if you suddenly have run out of powder, no worries!

1.  mix all the dry ingredients together.  mix the wet ingredients together.
2.  preheat griddle/skillet to medium high.  have oil spray, oil or vegan butter for greasing ready.
3.  pour wet ingredients into dry, and MIX AS FEW STROKES AS POSSIBLE, just until the batter is incorporated and there are few lumps but the batter is smooth (lumps remaining are fine).
 4.  with a 1/3 c measuring cup OR a ladle, pour batter onto greased pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until edges look golden or dry and the center has bubbles.  now flip!
5.  cook other side until just golden, 1-2 minutes.  now cook the rest of the batter.
if you find that your batter is browning too quickly, adjust heat.  Every stove is different and has its own temperaments so please adjust as needed.
6.  serve with vegan butter and maple syrup OR try a vegan cream cheese frosting.  either way, Tuck In!

Friday, September 20, 2013


Fall has slowly begun to creep in to our lives and it's not only evident by the leaves changing their colors, but definitely the chill that you feel (or is that just a sign of old age?).

As I write this, I am sitting under a pile of blankets with a warm, comforting bowl of Mochi, prepared the way the Japanese serve Kuzumochi in the summer, but WARM.

For anyone who doesn't know what 'mochi' is, it is a sticky, chewy dessert prevalent in Asia, that is made from pounding steamed sweet rice (a.k.a. glutinous rice) until it stretches and is chewy.
It is the ideal sweet as it is low in additives, diverse, and gluten free!
The Japanese depend on mochi heavily for their tea ceremonies as an accompaniment to macha, but it is eaten widely for celebrations and special occasions (or as a traditional snack).  In Korea it is also used for birthday celebrations, made in a shape like a cake, but many other forms can take shape.

This bowl of mochi is perfect for a chilly day as it's comforting and warm, and texturally complex.

Mochi Bowl
inspired by JustHungry's kuzumochi recipe
(serves 2 small or 1 generous portion)

half a square of Brown Rice Mochi (I used Grainaissance original)
1/4-1/2 c kinako (toasted soy bean powder)
molasses, to taste (*note:  molasses has a bitter/metallic flavor so please use sparingly at first)
anko (adzuki bean paste) (optional)

1.  follow package instructions and toast the mochi in oven.
2.  in a bowl, lay out mochi and anko (if desired), sprinkle the kinako over, and drizzle with some molasses.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Low Glycemic Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Okay, so I was getting really bummed that I hadn't eaten any rhubarb this summer.  The supermarket was selling the last of the summer's fresh rhubarb for $6 a pound!  I refuted that highway robbery and decided to check out the farmer's market.  Lo and behold, $2 for the necessary bundle.  Thank you local farmers for coming through.
Message of the story:  SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMS :)

Now that I'm off my soap box, let's move on.  I had been wanting to experiment with whole grain gluten free baking for a while and had not found a chance to.  The truth is, I don't like making baked goods all the time, whenever I crave them because I usually live alone and ..... you see where this is going?  Yup, if I baked a pie, you'd find me 3 days later, strewn in my living room floor, coming down from a pie hangover with nothing to show for it but an empty pie pan, a guilty conscience and some extra poundage 'round my middle.
I refuse!!! Never again!!! So, I've been trying to be good and only baking when there's gatherings where a dish is required.

Fast forward to present day and while I'm staying with a family, I can now bake things and only eat a SINGLE serving while we all equally share the loot.
Here is my first and last attempt (for this summer) of the classic Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.  Mind you, I kind of emptied some of my cupboard for this, using up certain things that I had bits of, so feel free to switch out certain things.

Low Glycemic Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
serves 6-8 

3 c rhubarb, washed, trimmed and diced into 1/2 inch slices
3 c strawberries, washed, tops removed and quartered
2/3 c coconut palm sugar
1/3 c fresh squeezed orange juice
zest of an orange OR 1 tsp dried lemon zest
1/4 c tapioca flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 c sorghum flour
1/4 c teff flour
1/2 c rolled oats OR quick oats
1/8 c potato starch
1/8 c tapioca flour
1/2 c hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1/8 c flaxseed meal
1/4+ c coconut palm sugar (adjusting to your liking)
1/4 c earth balance
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  prepare a 8 x 8 baking dish.
2.  In a large mixing bowl, mix in all the filling ingredients.  pour into the baking dish and let it sit.
3.  In a small bowl, mix all the dry ingredients of the topping.  mix in the earth balance with your hands (finger tips) until the "butter" is mixed in throughout the flour, creating course crumb like bread crumbs.
4.  Spread the topping evenly over the filling and bake for 45-55 minutes, depending on oven.  Pull out when the top is golden brown and the filling is bubbly and thickened.
5.  Let it cool a bit, and serve with your favorite vegan ice cream!

I challenge you to only eat a SINGLE serving!  :)

Reboot Your System! Fruity Kale Smoothie

I know I've been away for so long!  I've been busy getting settled into my new city, where my initial living situation fell through.  I was left with the task of finding a new place, and thankfully a family at my church graciously have let me live with them.... and invade their kitchen.
I've found that if a kitchen is well situated and well stocked, organized and the citizens that own the kitchen willing to be adventurous with food, I am a happy, content little thing.

So~  because my hiatus has been so long, here are 2 posts.
First:  Fruity Kale Smoothie.  This is my attempt to make a smoothie that my best friend and I tried at a vegan restaurant in Toronto called FRESH.  If you've ever been there, you'll know that they're amazing, catering to food allergies but also to the gourmet vegan pallet.  The salad I had was great, but I must say, the winner that day was their quinoa onion rings.  Oh man!  It's a good thing I didn't order them because ..... slam!  I would have ordered like.... 3 orders.

Anyway, here's the great smoothie my friend had: fruity, healthy and so fresh! (see how I worked that pun in? hehehe)

Fruity Kale Smoothie
serves 2 large OR 4 regular 

1 bunch red (or green) kale, chopped chunky (I don't use lacinato/tuscan kale)
1 lb strawberries, washed and tops removed
1 small pineapple, peeled and cores removed, chopped roughly

1.  in a Vitamix OR high speed/power blender, put pineapple and strawberries in.  blend until fairly liquidy, then add kale.
2.  slowly turn up the speed and blend until kale is not in chunks.  on a Vitamix, ultimately, speed 5 for about 1-2 minutes.  the smoothie should be brown.

drink and enjoy!