Fish Tacos with Chiptole Veganaisse

At first, I was surprised that I have never blogged about my favorite meal, but then quickly realized that I’m always so excited to eat it that I don’t leave time to measure the ingredients or take any pictures. However, this recipe is too good not to share with the world so keep reading 🙂

Image

Fish Tacos (Serves 4)

Ingredients

Chipotle Vega

1/3 cup Veganaisse (or mayonnaise if preferred)

1/2-1 lime

1-2 adobe pepper

Fresh cilantro

Fish Tacos

4 pieces of fresh or frozen (and defrosted) tilapia

½ tbsp olive oil

Seasoning of choice (I prefer a paprika fish rub pictured above)

8 corn tortillas

2 cups cabbage, arugula, romaine, or mixed greens

2 avocados

Directions

Measure 1/3 cup of veganaisse and place in a small bowl.  Finely chop adobe pepper. Wash, pat dry, de-stem and chop cilantro. Add the chopped cilantro and adobe pepper to the bowl, squeeze in half of a lime, and stir all ingredients together. The veganaisse will have a more liquid consistency from the lime and a pink color from the adobe pepper. Feel free to adjust amount of cilantro, lime, and pepper added to your taste. I usually stick with one adobe pepper so it isn’t too spicy! (Side note: Adobe peppers freeze beautifully, so once you open the can, spread them out on a cookie sheet and set in the freezer overnight. Once they are frozen they can be transferred to a Ziploc bag and stored in the freezer. They can be used straight from the freezer for the sauce). Set sauce aside.

Add olive oil to a large pan over low heat. Once the pan is heated, add the tilapia (if frozen, make sure it is completely defrosted before cooking!), and seasoning of choice. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. While fish is cooking, heat corn tortillas on an electric skillet/griddle. If you don’t have a skillet, stack the tortillas one by one between paper towels and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds (however, the corn tortillas are more susceptible to falling apart with this method). Add the sauce and toppings to the corn tortillas. Once the fish is cooked thoroughly, break into bite sized pieces and finish assembling the tacos. Enjoy!

ImageWaiting on the fish!

ImageServing Suggestion: Cilantro Lime Rice

Buttermilk Pancakes

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a vegan and gluten-free buttermilk Belgian waffle recipe on Pinterest (http://www.theveganchickpea.com/2013/01/buttermilk-belgian-waffles.html) and have been dying to make it since. This morning was the perfect day to attempt the recipe as the whole family is home for a beautiful snow day. Since we don’t have potato starch I tried substituting brown rice flour for it. Rookie mistake! Brown rice flour can be a substitute for potato flour, NOT potato starch. I realized my mistake after the first batch of waffles separated and stuck to each end of the waffle maker. Instead of tossing the entire batter, I added arrowroot starch and made pancakes with the batter. The results were quite satisfying!

Image

Makes approximately 15 pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup millet flour

1/2 c brown rice flour

1/4 c arrowroot starch

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

2 cups unsweetened almond milk + 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar mixed and set aside for 5 minutes

4 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat pancake skillet to 350 F.  In a medium bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.  Add in almond milk/apple cider vinegar mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Using a small ladle, scoop batter onto the heated skillet. Flip pancakes once small bubbles begin to form. Serve warm with maple syrup and fruit.  Enjoy!

IMG_0445

Almond Butter & Banana Rice Cake

One of my favorite and easiest snacks to make is almond or peanut butter with banana on a plain rice cake. This snack is a great energy boost with the rice cake being a low calorie carbohydrate source and the nut butter providing protein. Additionally, bananas are a great source of potassium and dietary fiber. So next time you’re looking for a quick snack, grab the nut butter, a banana, and rice cake to make this delicious pick-me-up!

ImageWhat you need (for one serving):

1/2 banana

1 plain rice cake (I use lightly salted brown rice organic rice cakes made by Lundberg)

1 tbsp almond butter (or nut/seed butter of choice)

drizzle of honey (optional)

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

Senior year of college I took an experimental foods class in which we modified a recipe to make it healthier or tend to a special dietary need. I decided to modify a cream of mushroom soup to be suitable for vegans and those with lactose intolerance. Over the course of 3 weeks, I experimented with the control and modified recipes to perfect them for the final tasting day. The results were wonderful!

Control Recipe (serves 5-6):

44.4 mL salted butter

342 g crimini mushrooms, chopped

1.5 shallots, chopped

360 mL low sodium vegetable broth

3.9 g pepper

6.5 g sea salt

4.0 g dried thyme

5 g onion powder

237 mL heavy cream

Sauté the butter, mushrooms and shallot in a deep pot over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Pour in the vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and thyme. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the cream. Use an immersion blender and pulse to incorporate the cream and continue until the mushrooms are smooth.

Modified Recipe (serves 5-6)

44.4 mL olive oil

342 g crimini mushrooms, chopped

1.5 shallots, chopped

360 mL low sodium vegetable broth

3.9 g pepper

4.0 g dried thyme

5 g onion powder

237 mL cashew cream

To make the modified soup, follow the same steps for the control soup with olive oil instead of butter and cashew cream instead of heavy cream. For the cashew cream, soak 210 g of raw cashews in 950 mL boiling water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the cashews and save the soaking water. Place the cashews in a blender with 267 mL of the saved soaking water and blend until smooth and about the thickness of Greek yogurt.

If you want to learn more about the experiment, my abstract is below!

Over 30 million Americans are lactose intolerant, meaning they are unable to or have a decreased ability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk products. The experimenter was inspired by her own struggle with lactose intolerance to modify a cream of mushroom soup to make it dairy-free. A basic cream of mushroom soup containing butter and heavy cream was used as the control and the modified version was made by substituting the butter with olive oil and heavy cream with cashew cream. The purpose of the experiment was to compare the creaminess, mouth feel, and overall acceptability of the soups. It was hypothesized that modifying the soup would yield a change in viscosity without affecting the overall acceptability. One objective and two subjective tests were used to test the hypotheses. A line-spread test was done to compare the viscosity of the soups, which showed that the modified was slightly more viscous than the control. The first subjective test asked tasters to compare the 2 soups and determine which had a better mouth feel and which had a better flavor. The second subjective test was a hedonic scale that ranged from not at all creamy to extremely creamy. On average, the modified soup was ranked extremely creamy and the control was ranked moderately creamy. More tasters preferred the flavor and mouth feel of the modified in comparison to the control.

Toffee Bars

Ingredients

About 50 gluten-free crackers (I used a pack of 365 Sesame Rice Crackers, but use crackers of your choice. Saltines work best for those that can have gluten)

Image

Prior to chilling the bars

1 cup earth balance (butter works best for those who can have dairy)

1 cup brown sugar

12 oz dairy-free chocolate chips

1 cup crushed raw pecans (or walnuts)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Lie crackers down flat (do not overlap) on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

3. Melt earth balance in a saucepan over low heat and add the brown sugar. Heat on medium low stirring often until it blends together in a caramel consistency.

4. Pour mixture over the crackers, spreading all over the tops of the crackers.

5. Bake in the 400 F oven for 5 minutes.

6. Remove from oven and sprinkle throughout with chocolate chips. After 2 minutes, gently spread chocolate chips with the back of a spoon.

7. Sprinkle with crushed nuts and cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

8. Break into pieces and enjoy!

Image

Delicious. My dog wants some!

Pizza Pizza

One of the things I miss most on my gluten-free diet is pizza. Fortunately, various restaurants are beginning to offer gluten-free pizza, but it is still a rare find. It doesn’t have to be rare at home though! Last night my mom and I experimented with 2 different crusts (and I will continue to do so). Both crusts are gluten-free, yeast-free, and vegan.

First, we made a polenta pizza crust using a recipe from:

http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/weekend-project-polenta-pizza-crust/

Image

What we did differently:

-Formed the dough into a rectangle instead of a circle

-Pre-baked the dough for 25 minutes without toppings

-After the dough was baked, we added homemade tomato sauce, goat mozzarella, goat feta, spinach, mushrooms, artichokes and yellow onions and baked for another 15 minutes.

Verdict:

The polenta crust tasted delicious, but was a bit too mushy. To achieve a firmer texture, I would cook the dough for a few minutes longer in addition to microwaving the cornmeal and water mixture a few extra minutes prior to baking.

The second crust we tried was a sweet potato crust from http://www.purefreshdaily.com/recipes/pasta/carne-asada-flat-bread-pizza.

Image

What we did differently:

-Substituted 2 chia eggs for the chicken eggs

-Used 1 ½ cups of spinach for the greens

-Topped with homemade pesto, goat chevre, sundried tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms, and yellow onions.

Verdict:

This crust was not extremely aesthetically appealing (green crust), but the texture was excellent as well as the taste (was a bit sweet from the sweet potatoes).

Vegan Bourbon Balls (using GF cookies)

Merry Christmas everyone! This time of year can be difficult when living with dietary restrictions. For weeks, dozens of cookies and other baked goods have filled my house and I have watched my family and friends indulge in them. However, having dietary restrictions does not mean you cannot enjoy alternative treats! My sister made bourbon balls for a company cookie exchange and I was inspired to make my own gluten-free version. I hope you can indulge in holiday treats, restricted or not.

Image

Bourbon balls

Makes about 40 balls

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups “cookie” crumbs (I used Honeygrams by Schar) pulverized in a food processor. Make sure to measure 2 1/2 cups after the cookies have been processed.)
  • 1 1/4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 cup Makers Mark (or other high quality bourbon)
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus additional for rolling
  • 3 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  1. In a food processor, pulverize the cookie crumbs and measure out 2 1/2 cups.
  2. Pour the cookies crumbs back into the bowl of the food processor and pulse together with the pecans until the pecans are finely ground.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the bourbon, 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, the cocoa powder, and honey. Add the mixture to the food processor and pulse until combined. Let the dough rest, uncovered, at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight. Letting the dough sit will dry it out a bit as needed.
  4. Use your fingers to roll the dough into balls and then roll the balls in confectioners’ sugar. Store the balls in an airtight container (if you like them moist) or keep uncovered if you want them to develop a crunchy sugar crust on the outside. Sprinkle with (or roll the balls in) additional confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

ImageImage