Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Colorful holiday foods

Good day everyone! 

My day started off happy and you want to know why?
Dave(my husband) and I drove down the street to our health food store to get a coffee before he went to work.  We step up to the counter and lying there is the longest, most delicous smelling loaf of unsliced sweet bread.  I told the lady how good it looked and she said that it's a vegan pumpkin chocolate chip bread that was still warm from the oven.  My heart just sped up....she had the other gal slice off a piece for me.  YUM!  I'm saving the other half for Keaton.  Then while we were waiting too pay another girl gives us a sample of pumpkin spice cake...Dave asked if it was vegan and she said "yes".  My lucky morning!  It was soooooo moist.  It's not every day that this kind of thing happens for a vegan.

Pumpkin chocolate chip bread

Want to impress your guests with colorful and delicous foods this Christmas and that don't take hours and hours to make?  How about....
Quinoa Pilaf (recipe below)

Marinated Pan Grilled Tofu, Roasted Asparagus and Quinoa Pilaf
This was a huge hit with Dave and Keaton.
Two Bean Tempeh Chili with finely chopped kale.
This is a great way to add more greens into your diet.  Finely chop your greens and mix into the chili. 
Roasted Vegetable Pasta with a kick.
This recipe is adapted from Gluten Free Goddess.  You can
take any vegetable really.  I used asparagus, roma tomatoes, eggplant, onion and bell pepper.  I also eliminated the use of raisins.  You can also add finely chopped greens to this as well and no one would know.
Quinoa Pilaf

2 C. vegetable broth
1 C. quinoa, rinsed
1 med. yellow/white onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, diced
1/3 C. parsley, chopped
1/4 C. pinenuts, toasted*
S & P

In a medium saucepan heat up broth and quinoa until boiling.  Cover with lid and turn down heat to low.  Cook for about 20 min.  Once quinoa is cooked take off heat and let sit for about 10min. then fluff with fork.  Take off lid and cool down to room temperature.

While quinoa is cooking heat up a heavy pan(I use cast iron) and toast pinenuts.  Keep close watch as to not burn.  This only takes about 2 min. or so.

In a large pan heat up 1 T. olive oil or broth/water to saute onion.  Once the onion is softened add the bell pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.  Take off heat and add the quinoa, onion, bell pepper, parsley and pineuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Scoop into serving dish.

Marinade for tofu

1/3 C. Olive Oil
1/3 C. lemon juice
1/3 C. Italian parsley
1/3 C. Cilantro
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or processer add olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, cilantro, garlic.  Blend together.  Add in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste.

Slice tofu up and lay in a casserole dish.  Pour marinade over and let sit in refrigerator for a couple of hours.  Heat up grill pan and spary with olive oil.  Grill tofu.  Serve with leftover marinade.

I hope this gives you all some ideas.  If anything whip it up for dinner one night just for your family.What are your plans for Chrismas dinner? 
Until next post.  Have a great day! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Feeling warm and toasty...

I did it again!  Not posting for a couple of weeks, bad on me. 
I hope you are all staying well and warm.  It's quite cold this morning 28 out and our heater didn't want to kick on right away.  That's a problem being it was 61 inside.

A quick recap of Thanksgiving.  We drove down to my in-laws and spent the night.
I made an amazing pumpkin pie without any soy.  My crust even turned out awesome.
This is a pic of it the next day which got a little smashed on the drive.
This is the recipe from Gluten Free Goddess blog you can get it here.  I only made the filling for my pie and made just a regular flaky pie crust.   One adjustment that I made in the pie filling is that instead of using xanthan gum, because I was out, I used 1 T. spelt flour.  If you don't have arrowroot powder you can use tapioca starch /you can use flour instead.  The reason for the xanthan and tapioca starch is to thicken it without gluten.  Obviously mine isn't gf because of the crust and flour I used in the filling.

Gluten free cornbread without flour?  You heard me right.  This recipe uses only cornmeal.
I was skeptical at first because I thought it would turn into mush.  As you can see it's not mushy at all but fluffy. I've never been a fan of the cakey cornbread.  My grandma always made cornbread, corncakes, cornbread stuffing,etc which consisted of lots of cornmeal and less flour.  So this was perfect.  I found the recipe at
Notes From the Vegan Feast Kitchen by Bryanna.   Check out her site for the recipe.
Not only does this tastes great but I couldn't wait to use it in a gf corn stuffing recipe I had been eyeing for sometime. 
Gluten Free Corn-Stuffing at Silvie+Maryl.  Silvie and Maryl are two sisters that give fabulous info on health, food, etc.  This calls for pecans and raisins.  I eliminated the raisins but used the pecans that tasted great in this.  I'll be making this again next year.

Root Vegetable Soup

Using the vegetables I had on hand to make this delicious and easy soup

1 Large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 med. butternut squash, chopped
2 Lg. carrots, chopped
1 white sweet potato, chopped
2 small yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 fennel, chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper
6 cups, vegetable broth
2 tsp. thyme, dried if you have fresh add 1T.
1 1/2 C. cannelini beans or great northern, rinsed
kale, chopped(optional)

Saute yellow onion in 1 T. olive oil or water/broth until soft.  Add in the chopped garlic, fennel and red pepper for about 5 or so minutes until soft.  Next add the rest of the vegetables and broth. Cook for about 45 min or so until soft.  Mix in chopped kale and stir just until wilted.  Ladle into bowl with a drizzle of olive oil if you wish.

Now it's on to making our Christmas dinner menu.  I'm thinking tamales again or maybe italian? What are your plans for Christmas?