Saturday, March 16, 2013

Avocado Chocolate Pudding

It has been well over a year since I posted anything here. We discovered about eight months ago that one of the kids is gluten intolerant. It is a huge pain to go gluten free, especially if you are already vegan. When you are vegan most of the foods you can rely on when you are out and about contain gluten. Foods like bagels, pasta, pretzels, that sort of thing. I can't just grab something quick if my kids are hungry while we are out. Most of the foods their friends have for snacks are off limits now, and family gatherings are harder with the food thing now too. So I have been learning a lot about being gluten free over the past months. I have learned how to bake breads and muffins and cupcakes that are pretty good. I have had lots of failures and frustrations, but we seem to have figured this gluten free thing out pretty much by now.  I have some good things to share here. I thought I'd start with something super simple and good.

This sounds like it might be gross, but it is the best tasting, easiest thing. You need a food processor or a blender for this.
Ingredients: 1 avocado (ripe, slightly soft but not mushy)
                  1 teaspoon vanilla
                  1/4 cup cocoa
                  1/4 cup maple syrup
                  6 tablespoons milk (I use almond milk)

Just throw everything into the blender and blend until it is smooth. You can eat it right away, or stick it in the fridge until it is cold. Avocados are so full of potassium and healthy fats, but my little one won't touch them. She gladly enjoys a bowl of avocado pudding though. You would never know there was avocado in this pudding either. It has the taste and texture of regular pudding. It is so good!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gingerbread Cookies

Pouring Molasses

Nutmeg in the Eye

Rows of Perfect People


Fresh Hot Gingerbread People

Big Sister Likes Them

And Baby Too

Here they are all dressed up.
We have made these a few times now. They are perfect. The recipe is both in Vegan Cookies Take Over Your Cookie Jar and on The Post Punk kitchen. In my pictures my little sprout is making a batch to bring to story time at the library on her day to bring snack. She really did everything herself, and didn't even let an accidental snorting of nutmeg - which then somehow it got into her eye - stop her. Even Baby loved them.

1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup plain soy milk
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or a mix of both)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Spice Blend:
1/2 teaspoon each ground nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the molasses and soy milk.
2. Sift in all the other dry ingredients, mixing about halfway through. When all the dry ingredients are added, mix until a stiff dough is formed (I use my hands at this point). Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for an hour or up to 3 days. Let it sit for 10 minutes if you chill it longer than an hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
4. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Cut out your shapes with cookie cutters and use a thin spatula to gently place the cookies on the sheets. Bake for 8 minutes.
5. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 2 minutes on the baking sheet, then move them to a wire rack. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Zucchini Pancakes

We just made these wonderful pancakes from a recipe we got from Vegan Dad's site. Although there are lots of ingredients, it was pretty quick to prepare. All you need are:
1 cup flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Black pepper to taste
1/3 cup soy yogurt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soymilk
2 sage leaves finely chopped
1 1/2 cups finely shredded zucchini
oil for frying
You can find the complete recipe Here.
We made this with the Tomato onion relish listed and it was delicious. The little one felt that they needed to be served with butter and syrup (We did call them pancakes!).

This was a wonderful and delicious way to get the kids eating zucchini!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chickpea "Tuna" Salad

We had this for a dinner picnic last night. I have made it probably too often since discovering it, but it is just so good. It's nice to have something like this to pack lunches with, and it is amazing how incredibly like tuna salad it tastes.

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained - or 1 1/2 cup cooked
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/3 cup minced celery
2 1/2 tablespoons minced dill pickle
1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon kelp powder (optional)
pepper to taste

In a bowl, mash chickpeas coarsely with a fork (I have been using my potato masher for this part). Mix in the remaining ingredients. Use on sandwiches or a bed of leafy greens.

I have been doubling the recipe but only using 1/4 cup of mayo and it is enough, so unless you like things really mayonnaise laden you can probably use less than called for. I also don't use the soy sauce usually because it seems salty enough to me already, and I always use the kelp powder, which is optional, but I always have it around. And I have never used the pepper, just because.

I found this recipe at Yeah That "Vegan" Shit, but I believe it came from Compassionate Action for Animals originally.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Simple Goodness

I am in love with beets right now, as I am every year at this time. I have been buying them in beautiful bunches at the farmer's market and doing nothing special with them and they are perfect. With this bowl full pictured, I simply boiled them, slid the skin off, drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil and some vinegar on top and added a pinch of dill. I served them warm and they were heavenly, as were the leftovers the next day when eaten cold.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Edamame Pesto

We have a new favorite topping for pizza. I've been making an edamame pesto I found on the Post Punk Kitchen. It is great for using all the fresh basil our garden has been providing us and it is a much lower fat version of pesto, and really good. It is good on pasta too, but I'm finding that when paired with fresh, local tomatoes on a pizza it is really perfect.

Edamame Pesto
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup packed basil leaves
handful (1/4 cup or so) fresh cilantro
14 ounce package shelled edamame, thawed
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 teaspoon salt
optional: 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Place garlic and basil in food processor and pulse a few times to get it chopped up. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until relatively smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula to make sure you get everything. Add a little more veg. broth if it seems too stiff.

To top our pizza we spread the pesto on pretty thick, cover with sliced olives and fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of vegan cheese. I have never used the cilantro because I have never had it on hand, and I have always used the optional nutritional yeast. I don't have an awesome pizza crust yet, I'm still experimenting. I'll post one when I find a really good one. But I think this is the sort of pizza topping that would work very well on a loaf of italian bread sliced in half. I think I'll try it that way next time for the sake of fast and easy dinners.

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Recipe for Sidewalk Chalk Paint with Beet Juice

1/2 cup corn starch

1/2 cup beet juice

beet juice being added to corn starch

mixing corn starch and beet juice

painting the driveway

it goes on dark

as it dries it turns lighter pink
We have made our own sidewalk chalk paint before, but last week I had the idea to save the bright fuchsia colored water from boiling beets to use instead of adding food coloring. It came out great, it went on very dark but as it dried it changed to the chalky kind of pink you'd expect of sidewalk chalk. We mixed it up in an saved plastic container - old earth balance tubs are great for this - and used cheap brushes we buy at the hardware store. Our paintings brightened up our driveway for most of the week but then washed away nicely when it rained.

Sidewalk Chalk Paint
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup water
5-10 drops food coloring

Put the cornstarch in your container first, then add water - if you add corn starch to the water it is much harder to mix. It is hard to get the corn starch and water to combine, but keep mixing with a spoon and then suddenly it will just come together all at once. It is easy to half this and use 1/4 cup of water and corn starch and this is what we do when we make several colors. To use beet juice, just use the water saved from boiling beets and omit the food coloring. Go make art with your kids in the driveway, and have fun!