Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gluten Free for a Week (well, almost...)

This week's menu is courtesy of October's Vegetarian Times. And I guess with it being Celiac Month, many of the recipes are gluten free (GF). Over the past few months I've been trying some GF recipes as an added challenge to just vegan cooking, so it seemed like a fun task to try some of these meals out this week.

I first have to note that I would have modified the order of the recipes presented, but damn blogger is giving me a hard time with copying/pasting and moving pics around...argh...

Pumpkin Parfaits with Oat Crunch - Wow, awesome! The Oat Crunch tastes like Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and with sweetened pumpkin pie filling, this really does satisfy a sweet tooth. I really wish we could eat these at Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin pie. Well, maybe these and a slice of pumpkin pie.

Tasty Tofu Patties - Tasty? Yes. Tofu? Yes. Patties? No - more like crumbles. I have no idea what I did wrong but this stuff just didn't hold together at all. Maybe some chickpea flour would have helped! Ah well. Plus, the recipe said it would make 8 patties - I got to 10 and still had 1/2 the mixture leftover. I'm going to just cook it up like a scramble - way less effort. I served these with my Actually Crispy Sweet Potato Fries...rice flour for these fries this time to stick with the whole GF theme.

Curried Red Lentil Soup - I have about a billion red lentil soup recipes, but something stood out about this one. It was great! And Ashley gobbled it up, so based on that alone, this one is a keeper. I kinda cheated on the whole GF thing, as I served it with multi-grain whole wheat bread.

OK, so this one is the only thing that's not from VT and it's not really GF, but I worry that if I don't blog about it now I'll forget to! Zucchini Spelt Muffins from Vegan Brunch. I don't have much luck with grated carrots or zucchinis in baking, as everything turns out soggy. This was the case with this muffin, sadly. I'm sure it's user error and not the recipe, as Isa is a Recipe Goddess.

Roasted Ratatouille Pizza with Chewy Pizza Dough - OK - the dough. I'm used to 'tough' pizza dough. I thought I'd done something wrong because this gluten-free dough was runnier than my pancake batter. But I followed the instructions to spread the dough with a baggie on my hand and it turned out great. A little soggy, but actually edible. More edible than I thought considering some of the GF stuff I've made has been pretty gross. I don't know if I will make this crust again, but I will definitely roast up the veggies like this for topping future pizzas! I do also have to note that I didn't have that 'heavy' feeling that I normally have after woofing down several slices of pizza. As for the veggies, I would normally cook off some of the liquid on the stovetop, but roasting made the veggies a little chewy and delicious!

Chickpea Croquettes with Greek Salad Topping - I had my doubts about this turning out since the chickpeas were so lumpy compared to the runny batter. But the chickpea flour really did make a crepe-like texture and everything held together perfectly! Great off the griddle and also tasty cold the next day.

Brown Sugar-Cinnamon Popcorn - So tasty! Basically microwave popcorn with melted Earth Balance, Sucanat and cinnamon. Tasted just like the cinnamon toast I made as a kid where I loaded it with margarine, a ton of sugar and cinnamon goodness. So yummy! But very calorie heavy. I ate most of the recipe myself, so I probably had about 10 of the 1/2 cup servings to myself. Honestly, who would be able to eat only a meager 1/2 cup of this stuff?

Autumn Vegetable Tagine (no pic - no idea how I forgot to snap one) - I have a pressure cooker since I use it to save time on a meal, but with having to bring it to high pressure three separate times while making this recipe, I didn't find it to be all that helpful. The flavour of this dish was kinda blah and while it wasn't horrible, it really wasn't worth the effort. I also felt a little deceived since a glance at the photo in the mag showed all ingredients, including the couscous (in my case, quinoa) mixed into the pressure cooker. Of course, this made me think it was a one-pot meal. In reality, the grain is cooked separately, adding a little more effort than I originally thought.

The upcoming week's menus are more simple, as I'm trying a few reliable faves since Ashley got stuck with a nasty stomach bug and needs to eat up! I think there are a few sneaky dips that I might be able to blog about though.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dinners and Desserts

Now I know why I don't post often - Blogger isn't all that user-friendly when you are in a time crunch!!! I apologize for any typos but I have lots yet to get done with the little one takes her short nap!

Chana Masala from The Vegan Table. OK...
Pad Thai also from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. It was good, but I found the instructions to be a little cryptic. Of the recipes I've made so far, it seems like I would 'add a little oil' and it doesn't specify how high to have the heat on for several dishes. I only borrowed the book from the library so I'm not too disappointed. I didn't find any of the recipes to be all that original. Not trying to be a hater, but I found the same thing with the author's previous cookbook.

OMG - the Pot Roast from Vegan Lunch Box was to die for. I will be making it at both Thanksgiving and Xmas this year. I added cut up new potatoes to the carrots and really didn't think either would be cooked by the time this was done but surprisingly they were! I'll try to eat this up in one sitting since my leftovers seemed to revert to a raw was weird. But with hungry vegans around the festive table I'm sure I won't have any issues with having it all eaten up!

What to do with almost rotting peaches? If you are also feeling lazy like I was, you can make a country torte! I made Bryanna Clark Grogan's Low Fat Pastry, cut up 3 cups of peaches and added 1/4 cup sugar, 2 tbsp flour, nutmeg, 1 tbsp lemon juice and dumped it in the middle of the rolled out pastry. I folded up the sides, topped with sliced almonds and baked at 375 for 35 minutes.
Peach Bundt Cake - I subbed 1/2 pkg silken tofu for the eggs. A little dense, but around here, dessert is dessert and we ate it up!

Grilled Pineapple with my fave Pound Cake from Vcon with soy ice cream. I marinated the pineapple with water, sucanat and cinnamon, then reduced the marinade with a little Earth Balance to make a sauce. So good! I bought another pineapple today to grill up!