Tag Archives: Gluten-Free

Chocolate Banana Protein Pancakes with Maple-Peanut Butter Sauce (gluten free)

1 Mar
Lawd have mercy!

Lawd have mercy!

It’s been a long time. A long, long time. Suffice it to say that I’ve been very busy and that I never thought I’d find myself writing another post, certainly not now anyway. Since I last wrote, I’ve moved to central NY, taken a job at a farm animal sanctuary where on a daily basis, I care for about 600 rescued cows, chickens, pigs, turkeys, goats, sheep, and waterfowl–animals who have suffered tremendous agonies and have been lucky enough to end up in the safest place possible. And yet, they make up only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of those who will never know the things we all want and need regardless of our species: to be respected, to be loved unconditionally, and to feel safe. It’s been quite the experience.
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Banana Oatmeal Chia Pudding

3 Aug

With almond butter, dried cranberries, and sliced almonds. Yum!

 

Friends, colleagues, and comrades,

Quite a bit of time has lapsed since my last blog entry and even longer since my last recipe installment! For this, I apologize. It has been one crazy summer, unfortunately mine did not include John Cusack (movie reference, whoa!). My jobs and the exhaustion and stress that come with them have kept me from being able to devote any time at all to this blog, let alone to thinking creatively about food or even wanting to pretend that my kitchen is a chemistry lab/art studio. Also, living with quite a few people and sharing a large (but often occupied and cluttered) kitchen space really puts a damper on wanting to be in the kitchen at all or even wanting to be creative about food.

To be honest, this past year I’ve survived on mostly large salads, easy pasta dishes and stir-frys, and a variety of sandwiches and fruits. In other words, foods that don’t put me in the kitchen for more than 20 minutes. It’s been frustrating and at the same time really empowering because it’s basically forced me to eat a lot of food without prepping and in raw form. I think I’m healthier for it, sort of. But, I sure do go through a lot of produce (as if that’s ever a problem for healthy vegans)!

So just to catch up, because I know y’all totally care about my personal life–since my last post, I quit one of my jobs–the big one, the one that was making me very miserable and tired and unhealthy. It has been a month and since then a lot of really great things have happened including lots of sleep, lots of eating, lots of exercising, lots of traveling, lots of food sharing, lots of dog kisses, cat snuggles, and even baby sparrow cuddles, and lots of hang-outs with crucial friends, old and new, advocates and otherwise.

It’s been a really uplifting, healthy experience for me and I’m very happy to be able to wake up and take care of myself first, for once. One of the ways I’ve been practicing self-care is by making sure I eat a really good, nutrient dense breakfast. No more running out of the house with a piece of toast or a banana in my hand. I know, it sounds cliched, but it’s so important and so true that breakfast is a very important meal, if not the most important.

But I know you’re really here for the food so let’s talk about it!

I’ve been eating a lot of loaded non-dairy yogurt breakfasts as of late. Basically, almond milk/coconut milk based yogurt with  heaping portions of nuts, dried and raw fruit, hemp seeds, raw oats and my favorite…chia seeds. It was in noticing what chia seeds do when they are mixed with liquid and allowed to sit for some time–they become soft and almost gel-like, like tapioca–that I thought to bring you this next recipe. This recipe is so simple, anyone can make it, any time. All you need is a jar and a refrigerator, really. It takes only minutes to prepare and minutes to eat, and it conveniently fits in jar that you can take with you if you’re on the go!

When I had this yesterday, I calculated that it has at least 20 grams of protein (that’s half of my daily requirement!), 43% of my daily iron requirement, 49% of my daily calcium requirement, and 25 grams of fiber. Not to mention a ton of Omega 3’s and antioxidants thanks to the chia! Whoa. I can’t tell you how much this breakfast fueled my body for the day. I was sustained by this well after noon and, having planned to dedicate hours on my feet in the kitchen baking and to running errands, it was the perfect energy boost I needed to get my day started off right.

Here are two more awesome facts: when you make this it means that breakfast is ready right when you wake up and it’s delicious. Want more? This can easily be made into a chocolatey dessert–just use chocolate flavored non-dairy milk. Or, for you coffee lovers, you can make this a mocha-licious morning treat! I’m not a coffee drinker at all, but I tried my hand at a coffee version and the results are in–it’s caffeinated and it’s good. I added spices to my coffee version (which you can leave out if you wish) because being raised by a Dominican mother, you know to always put spices in your coffee, especially nutmeg. So what are you waiting for? Make your breakfast tonight and enjoy it tomorrow! Continue reading

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

18 Oct


I’m still here, still alive, still in MoFo mode. But, it’s been a tremendously busy few weeks. Moving and working full time and MoFo-ing? What was I thinking?! I think I’m still in this. I think I can, I think I can! Anyhow, I finally finished packing and after a 13 hour move out of state, I’m finally settled in and in my new kitchen. So of course after all the cleaning and organizing and attempts to find the perfect lighting for photographing food, I put myself to work on one of my favorite recipes.

My roommate’s boyfriend who works on a farm, graciously bestowed us with a bounty of winter squash. Among them, my favorite — the acorn squash. If you haven’t noticed already, I really like stuffing food into more food (stuffed peppers, stuffed pasta, stuffed apples, stuffed summer squash).  Maybe someday I’ll invent a vegan version of TurDuckEn. So of course, seeing the squash, I felt the need to stuff it. It just had to happen.

This is a recipe I first tried out last year at thanksgiving time and really enjoyed. It went over really well with my family too. It’s very easy to make, has a lot of fall flavor to it, and is very comforting. You can adjust the spices as you wish. If you want it to be more spicy, add more chili powder; more cinnamon-y, add more cinnamon. There’s really no way to make this “the wrong way.” Also, I like to play around with other ingredients. Sometimes I use raisins or dried apricots, this time, I used dates and cranberries. Usually, I like to make this with red quinoa because it looks really beautiful against the orange squash, but I had only white quinoa on hand and that worked well too. If you’re all about presentation come vegan harvest (thanksgiving), then I’d definitely go with the red!

‘Til tomorrow! Continue reading

Three Bean Slow Cooker Chili

5 Oct

Hello MoFo’ers, after a lovely day off for cooking and baking, I’ve returned with a new comforting recipe for the season! Besides my toaster (I really love toast), there is no other kitchen appliance I love more than my slow cooker. I think it’s because both of these appliances make the kitchen smell great when they’re doing their job right. Also, they make tasty things to put in my mouth. But slow cookers are particularly awesome because they’re the only necessary kitchen tool for making great food if you’re someone who is often too busy to be home or stand over a stove.

Years ago, my mom gave me her cool, ugly, orange slow cooker manufactured and purchased in the 1970s. When I was growing up, I remember it always being kept in our basement and never in our kitchen. Every time we moved, it came with us for some reason, but it wasn’t because it was being used. I didn’t know what it was until I was older and it’s not because my mom decided to bring it upstairs and make something incredible. It’s because I saw one of the potpourri slow cookers and I put two and two together (it equals four, by the way). I’m not sure if it’s something my mom had ever used, to be honest. I don’t think she grasps the concept of how awesome it is to have an entire meal cooking slowly while you do something else. I keep telling her, it’s multi-tasking at it’s finest, but I think she’s scared of cooking in a way she’s not used to.

Anyway, when I moved to NH last year, I finally made use of it because I’d be gone for long hours at a time for class or work. I wanted to come home to something hot and ready to eat. And this is one of the recipes I would often put together because it’s simple and easy, and lasts a long time if you’re only one person. Oh, and of course, it’s delicious! I know, it’s not really “chili” if there isn’t a ground up dead animal in it, but I didn’t even want to take the steps to fake it. This is just a really vegan, product free, easy to make meal. Anyone with a crockpot can make it. I know it doesn’t look like much, but I swear, if you have a slow cooker, it’ll be one of your basic go-to’s too. Enjoy!

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Sun-dried Tomato & Lemon Mayo-free Potato Salad

9 Aug

Normally, I would make potato salad with Vegenaise or Mindful Mayo, but I decided to make this one mayo-free for two reasons: first, I have a friend who really hates mayo (vegan and not) and for whom I wanted to provide a simple, delicious, light, mayo-free recipe and secondly, I didn’t want to rely on a processed product to make a great vegan dish. The result is a really savory, beautiful, summery potato salad that can be eaten as a stand alone meal or served as a side dish at your next vegan barbecue.

It so happens that the friend for whom this was intended hates potato salad — even the mayo-free kind. Shucks. Sorry, Jessie! Well, I guess this doesn’t change anything except that she won’t be eating it. That doesn’t stop anyone else, though!

I love this recipe for it’s freshness and ease. By the time I was done chopping the veggies, the potatoes were done. And I love how much all the flavors stood out, but especially the lemon and tomato. I enjoyed this for lunch for several days and it was very filling. Next time, I will remember to share it with others around me and not just eat it all myself!

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Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

19 Jul

Keep the cows happy: Serve with a nice tall glass of almond milk!

Peanut butter, bananas, chocolate. What’s not to love?! For a long time, I’ve feared that I simply couldn’t make an “uncomplicated” cookie. But here I am, proving myself wrong. This cookie recipe is so simple and all you need is one bowl! Chances are you already have all the ingredients at home — but you might need to run out to the store for some vegan chocolate which can be easily found at Whole Foods or most supermarkets. As usual, if a certain brand is “accidentally” vegan, please make sure that if the ingredients list sugar that it is organic or beet sugar as these are inherently vegan and not processed with bones. This is really simple stuff, folks. Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise — bone processed sugar is insanely easy to affordably avoid.

Another plus about these super simple cookies is that they are flourless. That’s right. No flour. You know what that means? They’re gluten free — as long as you use gluten free vegan chocolate chips, of course! These  gluten free ones are easy to find in most supermarkets. These cookies are also delicious and hard to resist! I recently made a batch to take on a hiking trip and boy were they a welcome treat at the top of the mountain! If I hadn’t added chocolate, I could have shared them with the dogs who seemed very eager to give me their expert opinions. But they settled for their very own vegan treats (see picture below)!

I highly recommend trying these out if you love peanut butter. Or, you know, cookies in general. Don’t fret about using light brown sugar (they’ll just come out a little lighter in color) or smooth peanut butter — they’ll still be super tasty! If you are using natural peanut butter — the kind that separates from the oil — make sure that you mix it very well before adding it. You don’t want to add a lot of the extra oil to the cookies or they will flatten out quite a bit! Enjoy!
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Pasta with Garlic Olive Oil and White Wine Mushrooms

12 Jun

I’ve been having a really nostalgic weekend. It seems, that even my dreams are just old memories. So, it’s stranger still when I’m in the grocery store, having no clue what to make for dinner, and I end up with a basket full of foods to make a meal that I once shared with someone five years ago when I hated (and was terrible at) cooking. Back then, someone else always cooked, and I always just ate. Sure, it sounds lovely, but it really isn’t that great. I like to have a say in what goes into my food.

I wasn’t vegan then, but this dish was and it’s just as good now as it was in the old days. I don’t remember all the specific ingredients quite that well, just the ones that stood out and that it was based off a Rachel Ray dish. So, I decided to update it for the present time, adding my own touch, perhaps to signify the coming on of years, the maturity that time bestows with age. It’s only too funny that the person who once made this for me, who I hadn’t seen in a year, called me while I was in the process of cooking this. The world works in mysterious ways, my friends.

This dish is sure to please the garlic lover in anyone. It’s pretty straight forward, there are no fancy spices — just salt, pepper, and oregano. And the combination of fresh herbs and white wine with garlic is just divine. Also, this one’s totally gluten free! But of course, you can use any kind of pasta you want. I just really enjoyed making something a little lighter in content and the green of the spinach pasta was a good combination for the other bright colors of this meal. Oh, and it may look like a lot of work, but this actually only took about 30 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

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