Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category

Easy Vegan Falafel, Soy & Gluten free (easily oil free also!)

April 9, 2014

The other day I was going through what I had in the fridge that needed to be used. I’d made a large pot of garbanzo beans over the weekend and used some for curry and some more for chili, but there were still almost 2 jars left. I thought about freezing them, but I really needed to make something easy to eat for the next couple of days. (Caring for an infant and trying to work part time from home makes it hard to find time to cook for every meal!) I thought about what would be easy to eat, and decided to make falafel.

I checked out a few recipes on line, but most of them used ingredients I didn’t have on hand, started with the dry garbanzos, or used ingredients I’m avoiding. Most of them are also pan fried in oil. I realized that it was really just a matter of mixing cooked garbanzos with spices, a binder, and cooking them. This is what I ended up with, and they came out quite good if I do say so myself. (Hubby agrees!)

Easy Vegan Falafel

Ingredients

  • 3 cans garbanzo beans (chickpeas) drained and rinsed (or about 6 cups of cooked dry garbanzo beans.)
  • 1/2 cup + 1 T tahini
  • 6T ground flax seed
  • 1 7/8 t baking powder (just under 2 t)
  • 3/8 cup dehydrated onion flakes (fresh diced onion would probably work too, but might require a bit more flour later)
  • 3/8 cup dried cilantro (again, if using fresh you might need more flour later.)
  • 3t cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3t)
  • 3t coriander
  • 3t chili powder
  • 3/4t salt
  • 3t lemon juice
  • 6 drops doTERRA lemon essential oil (or 6T lemon zest, but again…you may need more flour later.)
  • 3/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix because I had some that I had no plans for, but any type should work.) (You may need slightly more or slightly less depending on the moisture of your ingredients and how humid it is.)
  • Olive oil (for greasing the pan and brushing on top.)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450*F
  • Place all of the ingredients, except for the flour and oil, into your vitamix with the garbanzos on the bottom. (If you don’t have a vitamix, a food processor or stick blender would probably do an adequate job.)
  • Blend or process the ingredients until they’re combined and a bit pasty. You don’t want a puree, so make sure you leave some chunks! Scrape down the sides or use your tamper often.
  • Scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl
  • Add the flour a little bit at a time until the mixture is somewhat dry (when you make a ball and flatten it the edges should crack a little bit.) If your mixture was already quite dry you may not need all of this. (I only needed 1/2 cup when using all of the drier ingredient options.)
You can see that it's pretty dry.

You can see that it’s pretty dry.

  • Form patties from the dough. I didn’t measure each patty, but I’d say each used about 2-3T of dough…a small handful. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten slightly to make a thick patty.
  • Liberally oil a baking sheet (this could be skipped if you are avoiding oil, but make sure to use parchment paper or another method of avoiding food sticking to the pan.)
  • Place the patties on the baking sheet, making sure they aren’t touching.
  • Brush a little bit of oil over the tops of the patties.
Falafel patties ready to be baked. (This is a toaster oven pan...they aren't huge!)

Falafel patties ready to be baked. (This is a toaster oven pan…they aren’t huge!)

  • Bake for 25 minutes, flipping over halfway through
  • Serve on its own, over a salad, or in a wrap (I prefer over a salad with the sauce/dressing I’ve shared below.)
  • Makes 5 servings of 6 patties each
The ones to the back/left were pan fried (hubby though he'd prefer them that way, but he didn't!)

The ones to the back/left were pan fried (hubby though he’d prefer them that way, but he didn’t!)

 

Vegan Falafel Sauce  

Ingredients

  • 1 cup soy free veganaise
  • 3/4 cup relish
  • 3t lemon juice
  • 1 1/2t chopped garlic
  • 3/8t black pepper
  • 3/8t celery seed

Directions

  • Stir all ingredients together in a bowl with a fork.
  • Serve over Falafel.

 

Yummy! (Ignore the shriveled tomatoes...I told you I was cleaning out the fridge!)

Yummy! (Ignore the shriveled tomatoes…I told you I was cleaning out the fridge!)

These were yummy fresh from the oven, and cold the next day as well. If you want them warm as leftovers, I recommend waiting to bake them until the day you want to eat them. Being heated twice dries them out a bit (but they’re still yummy!) This was a quick nutritious meal I could eat one handed while holding the baby, and beyond the intial (pretty fast) prep, doesn’t take much time to get ready to eat.

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An Announcement (and recipe for vegan orange Julius type smoothie)

May 22, 2013

So, some of you might be wondering why I didn’t go through with the biopsy after going through the gluten challenge (which was my full intent to have a definite answer.) The answer is that I’m pregnant! We are thrilled, and I so am avoiding gluten (and everything else I can’t eat) and at some point in the future I may do another challenge for a biopsy. On the plus side, my thyroid levels have continued to be in the subclinical range, B12 is more than adequate, and other blood work looked good. The only thing of concern is that my vitamin D is very low again. I’ve doubled my vitamin D supplement, and hopefully will get back to a good level quickly.

It’ll be fun to see what recipes I end up making and creating over the next several months, so stick around!

My favorite protein packed breakfast lately is an orange creamsicle type smoothie.

Ingredients:
» 2-3 oz by weight of your favorite nuts or seeds (my favorite is to use half of each: raw hemp seeds and raw pumpkin seeds)
»1-1.5 cups of water
»1 frozen banana (unfrozen can work too…)
»1 teaspoon vanilla extract
»6 ounces (half a can) frozen orange juice concentrate
»1-2 cups of ice

Directions:
» In a high powered blender (I use a Vitamix) blend the seeds and/or nuts with the water on high until smooth.
» Add the banana, vanilla, and orange juice concentrate to the blender and again run the blender on high until smooth.
»Add ice to the blender until the total volume reaches the 4 cup mark, then blend one last time on high.
» Serve immediately 🙂 Yum!

Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan Bagels for the Win!

January 15, 2012

Ok, so they don’t look as good as the ones here, but for a first try, they look gorgeous to me, and tasted yummy!

I’ve been wanting bagels even more than I’ve been wanting regular bread (no luck yet on a loaf recipe that works yet.) I started looking around for a vegan, gluten free, soy free bagel recipe that I could eat that had the right kind of qualifications. I grew up in NY so am picky as to what constitutes a bagel. A flour with a strong flavor wouldn’t do it.  A recipe that isn’t boiled first wouldn’t do either. Then I found Kelli & Peter’s recipe. They’re from NY, so know what a real bagel is. None of the flours are strong flavored, and it didn’t need to be cinnamon raisin to cover up the odd flavor. There were only a couple of very small changes needed to make it vegan. I had everything on hand (well almost,) so gave it a go.

The original recipe is gluten free and soy free. It can be found at NoGlutenNoProblem. The changes I made were as follows:
Instead of egg whites in the bagel I use Ener-G egg replacer. For the egg wash I used extra virgin olive oil. I didn’t have quite enough potato starch, so used 20g potato starch and 17g arrowroot powder to make up the difference. The flour blend is listed here.  For all of the flours and starches in the blend I used Bobs Red Mill brand.

The bagels were great straight out of the oven, and half an hour later. I will be making a multiple batch the next time I make these as long as they freeze well. I guess I have to freeze one of these (I ate two already!) to see if they’ll do well being frozen then thawed. I ate them with some soy free Earth Balance and they made my mouth happy and won’t upset my gut. I made two plain, one onion, and one sesame. I ate a plain bagel and the onion bagel for dinner. I’m just so excited, and I hope you enjoy them too!

Vegan Tuna Salad

August 31, 2011

The other day my husband and I stumbled upon a happy accident. While mixing up a mix for veggie burgers I tasted the mix, and it tasted like a mild tuna salad to me! A couple of modifications, and instead of waiting for burgers to cook, we had a cold lunch of “tuna” salad. Not a bad thing since it’s been hot out and I was hungry!

Vegan Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw, hulled sunflower seeds, ground
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2T ground flax seed
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 2T water
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup dried Nori or Kelp – Roasted (Roast at 300* for 5-8 minutes, crush and mix with 2-3T warm water)

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients into a large bowl
  • Process with a stick blender or food processor leaving slightly chunky
  • Refrigerate until cold
  • Serve on a bed of lettuce with vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below,) or any way you’d serve tuna.
  • Makes 4 servings

Vegan Mayonnaise/Sour Cream (Also Raw!) 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 4T lemon juice
  • 1t onion powder
  • 1/2t garlic powder
  • 1t salt

Directions

  • Blend all ingredients in a blender on high speed until creamy (a vitamix works well)
  • Refrigerate until cold

A delicious lunch. A bed of fresh baby romaine lettuce leaves, tomato wedges, a scoop of vegan “tuna” salad topped with dollops of homemade vegan mayonnaise.

Quinoa or Millet “Crumbles” (ground beef substitute without soy or gluten)

January 2, 2011

One of the hardest things for me, is that all of the pre-made vegan crumbles (Boca, Morningstar, etc.) are soy and gluten based. I like having some non-bean texture in my tacos, and something other than “just veggies” on a pizza or pasta dish. This recipe is adapted from the recipe “Walnut Wheat Crumbles” in the cookbook “Tasty Vegan Delights.” It works equally well with millet or quinoa, though millet takes longer to cook initially, and I like the flavor of quinoa better, as well as it being a complete protein.

This recipe doubles easily (and if you have room for more pans in your oven, could be multiplied even more, though I can only fit a double recipe in my vita-mix at a time.) It’s a good recipe to start in the morning on a day when you’ll be home most of the time, and won’t need the oven for anything else. I usually start it around lunch time, and stir the crumbles in the oven every hour or so, until I go to bed, then I turn off the oven and leave the pans in overnight. By morning they are done!

Quinoa Crumbles

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup walnut or pecan pieces, or meal (meal is less expensive, and we’ll be pulverizing it anyway, but I usually get walnut pieces)
  • 4 1/2 cups of water (divided into 1 cup, 1 cup, and 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 3t garlic powder
  • 1t  salt (I use sea salt that still has the minerals in it for better nutrition and flavor)
  • 2 cups quinoa (or millet)

Directions:

  • In your vita-mix combine the nuts and 1 cup of water, and blend on high until smooth.
  • Add another 1 cup of water, and the onion powder, garlic powder, and salt, and blend to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into a pot (a single recipe needs about a 3 quart pan, and if you double it, keep in mind it does foam, and it does expand, so make sure your pot is big enough!
  • Add the last 2 1/2 cups of water, and bring the mixture to a boil.

    Boiling on the stove...don't let the light color fool you, these will be nice dark brown crumbles!

  • Add the quinoa or millet and cook until most of the water is absorbed. (When it starts to look like a porridge or oatmeal consistency.) Quinoa took about 20 minutes for me, and the millet took a lot longer.
  • Remove the mash from the heat, and let it cool for a while (about 1/2 an hour or so) and it will thicken more
  • Divide the mixture into a couple of pans: Cookie sheets with a lip edge work well, but large (9″x13″ or so) casserole dishes work too. If you have only smaller pans, us more of them. You don’t want the mixture to be too deep in each pan.

    Here they are, still quite wet, but looking a bit more brown.

  • Put the pans in the oven at 200*
  • Stir every hour our so, flaking and fluffing the crumbles as they dry. If you have pans on multiple racks you’ll want to rotate them as well (move the ones from the bottom to the top, and vice versa.) Do this for about 6 or 7 hours. They should really be getting darker brown and crunchy.
  • Turn the oven off, leave the door closed, and go to sleep. In the morning, you’ll have perfect crumbles. Divide them into freezer bags, and freeze them.
  • A single batch makes enough for the equivalent of 2# of “browned ground beef.”

    A generous 2 cups of crumbles is just about equal to a pound of "browned ground beef"

Using them:
I prefer them to have a bit of crunch, so I don’t add a lot of liquid back to them. If you use them in a recipe that has liquid already (like chili) there’s no need to reconstitute them at all. I recommend adding them towards the end of the cooking time.
If you want to reconstitute them (say for sloppy joes or tacos):

  • Put 2 cups of crumbles into a small pot.
  • Choose a liquid you’d like to use (water is fine, but for more flavor you might want to use broth or soup. For tacos I use salsa!) You’ll need up to 2 cups of this liquid.
  • Add the liquid a little bit at a time, stirring it in.
  • When the crumbles are the consistency you like, stop adding liquid, and use them in your recipe!

I use them crunchy in “nacho” type dishes, stir them into chili just before serving, or mix them into homemade tomato sauce the last minute or so of cooking.

I made a double recipe, and so packaged it into 4 "pound" packets of about 2 1/4 cups each. Don't forget to label them! They're ready for the freezer now (or to use!)

This recipe could easily have other seasonings put in from the beginning, if you know you’re going to use it for a specific type of dish. I think if I found a “smoke” flavor that was safe for me to eat, adding that would make these work as a “bacon bit” type crunchy topping for baked potatoes or salads. I do that with them as they are anyway. Let me know your favorite ways to use these crumbles, or your favorite variations. Enjoy!

Vegan Latkes, without soy or gluten

December 3, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while because typing is an issue at the moment. Long story short – a tendon injury on my right wrist/thumb. I have a few recipes to put up as I can type more, but this one just couldn’t wait. Growing up with Jewish grandparents I loved latkes, but never tried to make them. There was always someone else to do it! This year I decided to make them, and sought a recipe. I found this one at About.com, and with a few changes (and added details) they came out perfect…unfortunately they were eaten as I cooked them, so the proof is in my stomach, and we don’t want a picture of that!

Just in case the link doesn’t work, here is the recipe, copied exactly from that website:

This vegan latke recipe uses an egg replacer to make traditional potato pancakes.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • approx 3 pounds of potatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 “eggs” (use Ener-G Egg Replacer)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • oil for frying

Preparation:

Grate the potatoes into a large bowl, or, if you have a food processor, it works well for this task, just process until fine.

Add remainder of ingredients, except oil, and combine well. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and drop potato mixture onto pan in small amounts, flattening to form pancakes.

Cook until golden brown, then flip. Be sure the potatoes get cooked all the way through. Serve with applesauce and enjoy!

A change, and some details to make it easier:

  • Bobs Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix absolutely works in this, as does the Ener-G egg replacer. The cooking instructions were a bit vague, so to clarify (for you to benefit from my burnt and raw tries)
  • Use a heavy frying pan (the cast iron worked beautifully!)
  • Get it hot, and get the oil in the pan hot before trying to cook these.
  • Once the pan is heated, I turned the heat to “3” on my electric stove.
  • Squeeze excess water out of each “blob” before putting it in the pan. (A serving spoon heaped is about the right size…the size you’d use for a side dish, not a large cooking spoon…a bit bigger than a tablespoon)
  • Drop the blob into the hot pan, and smush it together into a pancake shape and thickness.
  • Cook the one side until the edges start to brown (you can see that before lifting the latke)
  • Flip carefully, and brown the other side, peeking after a minute or so.
  • Make sure you keep enough oil in the pan to keep them from sticking, and to help fry them.
  • I was out of applesauce, but pear sauce worked just as well, and my husband likes them with tomato soup (which since it’s the canned name brand type, has gluten…why, I don’t know.)

So have a happy Hanukkah with latkes! 🙂

Creamy Roasted Broccoli Soup

November 1, 2010

So pretty in a jar, ready to share with friends!

In the last post I said that I thought the roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower (or either alone) would make a good soup. Here’s the yummy recipe I made. I was in a hurry so didn’t take a lot of pictures (in fact I only took one, of the soup in a jar ready to go to our friends house for dinner!) There weren’t any leftovers either 🙂

Ingredients:

Directions:

  • This works best in a Vita-Mix or other powerful blender, but if you don’t have one, you can add the ingredients to the liquid more slowly.
  • Put the Roasted Broccoli and nut milk in the blender and puree on high until smooth
  • Add the cashews and sugar and blend again until smooth.
  • If you have a Vita-mix, your soup is now nice and warm and ready to eat!
  • If you don’t have a Vita-mix, pour your soup into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until warmed through.

This made 2 quarts of soup, and 4 of us finished it as a light dinner with salad. It tastes very different from traditional cream of broccoli soup in a good way!

Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

October 26, 2010

Roasted to sweet goodness!

A friend of mine brought over a full grocery bag of fresh broccoli and cauliflower the other day, and so I decided to make a recipe I came up with the last time I had an abundance of fresh broccoli! The last time, I figured this out because I’d also had a lot (like 20#!) of cherry tomatoes that were starting to go soft, and I’d roasted them, so I figured why not try roasting broccoli? Now broccoli and cauliflower are closely related, so mixing them seemed to be just fine. The amount I had filled two 9″x13″ baking pans, and could easily be halved. I do plan on trying to make a blended broccoli soup with the leftovers, so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Ingredients:

  • 3# of broccoli and/or cauliflower florets
  • 1 head of garlic coarsely chopped
  • 1/4c olive oil
  • 1t salt
  • 1t pepper
  • 1/4c lemon juice
  • 1c nutritional yeast
  • 1/2c (or more!) of any one or combination: slivered almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (optional but gives a nice crunch, and I like to include nuts or beans in most recipes to give it more substance)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425*
  • Wash and trim the broccoli and cauliflower florets, then dry thoroughly. If they are wet they’ll steam and not end up with the crunchy roasted texture.
  • Toss the broccoli and cauliflower florets with the chopped garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Spread the broccoli and cauliflower floret mixture in baking dishes in a single layer. You don’t want to stack the florets as they won’t roast well. Use multiple pans if necessary.
  • Roast in a 425* oven for 20 minutes
  • Toss the roasted broccoli and cauliflower with lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and nuts or seeds

I like it as is, or topping a baked potato. I think it would make a good soup as well. It really gives the broccoli and cauliflower a different flavor than the usual boiling or steaming does. Even stir frying doesn’t match this. I hope you enjoy this recipe. Please share you comments!

Chopped and ready to be prepared for roasting!

Easy Tostadas and Instant Guacamole

October 23, 2010

Tostadas with Daiya cheese, instant guacamole, and tomatoes

Dinner tonight was very uninspired, and uses Daiya cheese again. I swear I don’t eat it that often, but this week I seem to. Once my Organic Acres General Store order comes I’ll have the raw cashews I need to make cheese, then you’ll see! (Of course I have to finalize and PLACE the order first!

Instant Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • dash of lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic from a jar (or 2 cloves fresh garlic chopped)

Directions:

  • Mash ingredients together and use anywhere you want guacamole, like on Easy Tostadas!

Easy Tostadas Ingredients:

  • Corn Tostadas (don’t forget to check if they’re made with soybean oil!)
  • Cheese (Diaya cheddar, mozzarella, or both!)
  • Any of your favorite toppings such as
    Re-fried Beans
    Guacamole
    Salsa
    Fresh tomato
    Sliced olives
    Corn

Directions:

  • Turn oven on to 350* (It won’t need to preheat all the way, but it will get warm while we put together the tostadas)
  • Optional: Spread re-fried beans on tostada before putting the cheese on
  • Spread desired amount of cheese on each tostada shell
  • Put the tostada shells on a cookie sheet in the oven for about 10 minutes to let the cheese melt
  • Remove from the oven, add your desired toppings, and enjoy!

I usually eat about 3 tostadas for a meal, my husband usually eats 4. He doesn’t like guacamole, so a single recipe of Instant Guacamole works perfectly for my 3.  He likes salsa and I don’t usually, so it works out. Here are some variations we like:

Easy Tostadas with refried beans and tomato

This one has the re-fried beans under the cheese, and is topped with salsa (Instant Mexican Pizza!)

What are your favorite combinations?