Southern-style and Gluten free

Check it out!

This whole meal is weird. In a good way! First, I made gluten free cornbread (using the Happy Herbivore recipe, but subbing in Bob’s Red Mill Mix for the regular flour and adding 1/4 tsp xanthan gum). But it couldn’t be just regular old gluten free cornbread–no!–I made it blue! With blue cornmeal! And it was awesome!

Then I had the challenge of creating vegan sausages gluten free. I’m sure I’ll work on perfecting this, since they came out a little bready, but it was still pretty terrific. I just used Orgran gluten free gluten substitute for all of the vital wheat gluten in the recipe (save two tablespoons–I added that much chickpea flour). So, yeah, the texture was much more like bread than I’m used to, but overall it was very similar to regular vwg sausages.

And then I just laid it over some swiss chard, collard greens, onions and a little garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. That’s the best and easiest and awesomest way to make any kind of greens, fyi. So tasty!

Brokenhearted: The Story of a Doughnut

It was a fresh, snowy Valentine’s Day morning when I decided to make a special batch of heart-shaped doughnuts to celebrate the holiday.

I should have known that it would all go terribly wrong.

I should have taken a picture of my first batch of doughnuts–hugely swollen over the edges. Golden and crispy. And completely stuck to the pan. When I flipped them–blam!–doughnut crumbs everywhere. I was too sad to document it.

After I got home from work, I decided to try it all again. I will have doughnuts! I didn’t buy this new pan for nothing!

Boo! They were super crispy–almost fried–with no cake-y texture at all. They were gluten free! That’s what gluten free baked goods do best: density. Oh well. I still glazed and sprinkled them. And ate three.

I’m not even going to talk about lighting the brownies on fire. That’s a story for another day.

Recipe from Cybele Pascal, who seems to know something about doughnuts that I don’t.

Cajun Cakes & Dijon Broccoli Rice

Oh, Happy Herbivore. Just when I thought you couldn’t get more awesome, you decided to invent chickpea cakes. Well, maybe not invent, but certainly publish and share them.

These. were. sensational. Sort of like eating fried chicken, in that they were spicy and crunchy, but mostly like eating a really great falafel. I can imagine that the next time I make these, I’ll make them nugget-size and there will be BBQ sauce dunking. Oh, the dunking! I think I’ll actually try the chickpea tenders recipe, too, for a less spicy taste.

The dijon rice and broccoli was really good. I found the mustard flavor to be a little behind the scenes, so next time I’ll probably punch that up a bit. Or use some really great sweet and hot mustard I have, that I almost never get to use on anything.

Totally awesome (and really simple) dinner, provided by the Everyday Happy Herbivore.

Spinach & Artichoke Frittata

First, I’ve gotta say it: Thank you, Happy Herbivore, for finally making an artichoke recipe. What is it with vegans and artichokes? I love them, and I hardly see any one using them. It’s a real shame.

This recipe comes from the brand-new Everyday Happy Herbivore, and I couldn’t be more impressed by it. The creaminess of the mori-nu tofu is amazing. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t eating eggs and cream! The turmeric gave it just the right yellow color (but not too yellow) and the artichokes and spinach were so smooth. I think there was something a little lacking in flavor in this one, but I think it’s my fault: I had frozen, plain artichoke hearts (which I used) instead of the marinated ones. I think the recipe was really depending on you choosing those. It also needed a bit of salt, but that was an easy fix.

I would love to make this again, and my brain is spinning with the flavor possibilities. Roasted brussels sprouts and leeks! Red peppers, capers and grilled eggplant! Just think of the whole world of frittata that’s opened up right before your eyes.


White & Green Enchiladas

For my first post-Christmas-post (thanks for allowing me the long vacation!) I’m reporting on the White Enchiladas recipe from Everyday Happy Herbivore. We all know how much I love the Happy Herbivore, so the sequel was my instant Christmas present to myself. Totally worth it. Her recipes are always easy, good, and adjust quickly to your needs and desires.

I did make a few changes, of course. Since I wanted to make this casserole style, I layered it all instead of rolling the tortillas. And I didn’t use the–gasp–microwave (bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins). Yikes! I had a whole jar of salsa verde, so I used it like a secondary enchilada sauce. And I added daiya and olives on the top, and peas to the beans (to increase the protein factor). Oh, and don’t forget the avocado and lime for garnish!

All in all, I’d say my changes were pretty successful, and the finished dish was something my husband really wanted us to eat again.

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs

Isn’t it funny when you make something as an afterthought, and it ends up being the best part of the meal? I’d planned on making Orange Scented Broccoli and Scallion Potato Pancakes from Appetite for Reduction, but I couldn’t think of a third item for the plate. Our meal needed a little more protein, but I was stumped. I didn’t feel like tofu, seitan, or beans. What was I to do?

On our weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I purchased both chickenless chicken nuggets and meatless meatballs. When I got home, I realized the nuggets had egg in them (bummer!) but the meatless meatballs were indeed vegan. I’d been thinking of making orange “chicken” as the missing piece of this meal. But–no dice. So, sweet, sour, spicy and altogether wonderful meatballs to the rescue! I literally threw this sauce together in 5 minutes, shoved the meatballs in the toaster oven, and that’s about it. And they were awesome. Amazing. Almost indescribably perfect. Really! I suppose that sounds like I’m tooting my own horn, but for all the effort I put into these, I think this recipe came from Divine Providence instead of my own brain.

Does God give out awesome meatball recipes? I guess so!

Sweet, Sour & Spicy Meatballs (makes enough sauce for 12-15 meatballs):

  • 12-15 vegan meatballs (you can cook the Trader Joe’s ones from frozen, check your recipe or other brand for different info)
  • 3 T Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)
  • 2 T dark brown sugar (maple syrup would also work)
  • 1 T sweet chili sauce
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 tsp habanero hot sauce (or any sweet hot sauce will work)
  • 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • sesame seeds for garnish

Mix all the ingredients except the meatballs in a small mixing bowl. Add the meatballs and stir to coat. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Pick up individual meatballs on a fork and place on a sheet of foil on top of a cooking sheet. You want them to be coated, but not dripping, with sauce. Save the rest of the sauce in the bowl and set aside.

Bake meatballs for 10 to 12 minutes, then return to the bowl. This time, you can pour out the sauce and meatballs together back on the same piece of foil, and return to the oven for another 2-3 minutes. This gives the sugar a chance to get really gooey, and make a nice thick coating on the outside of the meatballs. Garnish with some pretty little sesame seeds.

If you want to make a ton more, I’m pretty sure this recipe will expand out make as many meatballs as you want. However, I’d caution about adding a lot more liquid aminos/soy sauce. That can get pretty sodium-filled pretty fast. You can always use water or veggie broth if you need the sauce to stretch a bit further. Just use common sense, because too much water could make it bland.

If you were wondering about the other parts of dinner–they were great! I made the broccoli completely incorrectly (I added basically everything at the wrong time) and it seemed pretty fool-proof. The scallion cakes should have probably been thinner, but I’m hoping that they toast up nicely for lunch tomorrow.

E2: Chalupas

The name chalupa scares me, because all I think of are creepy tacos from Taco Bell, and a small dog insisting that I try them. Anyone else remember that? I’m terrified of Taco Bell because of both their mystery ingredients, and the way their food makes me feel after I eat it. UGGGGH.

But the Chalupa recipe from the Engine 2 Diet was undeniably amazing. Really. Of course I made a few changes to it (easy, easy changes). But I can’t express the joy this dinner brought to me. One bite of it was like being a kid again, at some favorite mexican restaurant with my family, eating something simple that a child would love: tortillas, refried beans and lettuce. See? Completely simple and easy.

So, to review the changes (or “upgrades” as I like to think of them) to this recipe:

  • Use two corn tortillas (I got a 12 pack from Trader Joe’s that were great) and sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar daiya cheese in between. Then, broil following the steps in the book.
  • Salsa isn’t necessary. At all. I just topped ours with some additional green onion, lime juice and Tapatio. That’s all you need.

See? I’m pretty sure I actually made this easier than the original recipe, since you don’t have to go to all the trouble of making fresh salsa, or destroying this with jar salsa (ugh!). Also, I know this was a total success because my husband did not suggest that I put green chilies on it, and he wants green chilies on EVERYTHING.