Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookie

     Last night I experimented with a huge chocolate chip cookie and it was a success! I used the recipe from: http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/index.php/2012/07/10/chocolate-chip-cookie-squares-gluten-free-grain-free-dairy-free/ and substituted chia eggs for chicken eggs to take this gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free recipe to the next level: vegan. I have made multiple recipes that call for coconut sugar, but have substituted honey or maple syrup for it as I try to abstain from sugar as much as possible and use natural sweeteners instead. Last night the only thing I wanted to alter in the recipe was the eggs so I gave coconut sugar a shot and later did some research. Coconut sugar, also known as palm sugar is low on the glycemic index and has some other surprisingly beneficial properties. Made from the flowers of the coconut tree, coconut sugar is rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. Keep in mind, I’m not saying coconut sugar is a health food by any means, but it is an excellent alternative to white refined sugar.

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Gigantic Chocolate Chip Cookie:

  • 2 ½ cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 chia eggs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life (dairy-free) chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine 6 tbsps water and 2 tsps ground chia seeds in small bowl (or mug) and let sit for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients (almond flour, salt, baking soda, and coconut sugar) in a large bowl. In a medium sized bowl, combine wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and chia eggs. Once the chia eggs are ready, add to the wet ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with wooden spoon or spatula until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place dough on parchment paper on top of a baking sheet. Form dough with your hands into a rectangle, distributing evenly. Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let the cookie cool for about 15 minutes and cut into squares.

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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 🙂

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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!

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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!

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Strawberry Banana Spinach Smoothie

One of my favorite smoothies growing up was strawberry banana so I decided to revamp it into a green smoothie!

IngredientsImage

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach

Large handful of frozen strawberries (about 6)

1 frozen banana

1/2 tbsp almond butter

1/2 tbsp chia seeds

5 oz coconut milk

Directions

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until reaching a smooth consistency. Add more coconut milk if desired. Personally, like to make my smoothies as thick as possible and eat with a spoon instead of drinking.

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)

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)

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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!

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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/

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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.

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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).