Tag Archives: gluten-free

It’s Virtual Vegan Potluck Time!!

1 Nov

I am so so so excited for this you guys. The first time Annie over at An Unrefined Vegan hosted one, I was like, I gotta get in on that. But I ended up being to lazy and never signed up. This time, I was not about to not participate.

I whipped up an awesome dessert to share with you guys today, but first, some introductions! I love the idea of this potluck, because I am hoping on finding about a bazilion fun new blogs to read. Some of you are probably new to my little corner of the blog world, so let me introduce myself. I’m Liz. You can read more about me here. But that’s not important. I want to introduce you to my plus 1 for this potluck. (Potlucks have plus one’s, right? He’s really cute. I promise.)

This is my new kitty, Balto.

I told you he was cute. Sometimes he likes to pretend he’s a book and hang out on the bookshelf.

Anyway, now onto the food! (Making new friends is fun, but food is the best part of a potluck, amiright?)

I’m pretty proud of this recipe, it’s my first official try at from scratch gluten-free baking since I was told I was gluten intolerant. And it’s delicious and vegan! What more could you ask for? (Answer: harsher punishments for parole violators, Stan. And world peace. That’s what more you could ask for. maybe?)

Donuts! Delicious fluffy pumpkin donuts with fudgey chocolate frosting, and fall sprinkles!

But before we dig right in, can we get off track for a moment? I’m sure a lot of you have Vitamix blenders. I’ve had one for a while now. But I have never used the “dry” blender attachment until this recipe. And criminy you guys, why didn’t anyone tell me it worked that well? I wanted to whip up some quinoa flour for this recipe, and I was almost a little annoyed because I had to get the blender out, and then I was going to have to wash it. I think it took me longer to get the thing out than it did to actually grind the quinoa into flour.

Amazing.

Nooooowwww time for the recipe. I promise! This recipe is adapted from the Vanilla gluten freedom cupcakes from this amazing book. The frosting was as well!

Baked Pumpkin Donuts with Fudgy Chocolate Frosting
Makes 12 delicious donuts

For the donuts:
1 cup full fat coconut milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sugar
2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup tapioca flour
2 T ground flax seed
1/3 cup almond meal
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/4t salt
1/2t pumpkin pie spice

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your donut pan. (Mine is nonstick, but I grease it anyway.)

In a mixing bowl, combined the coconut milk, pumpkin, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the tapioca flour and flax seed, and stir it up.

Add the almond meal, white rice flour, quinoa flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix the crap out of it. For like 2 minutes. Or thee. It’s your call. (Let’s say 2 1/2?)

Fill your donut pan about 3/4 full. They don’t raise an awful lot, but you don’t want them splooging out of the pan or anything. Then you’d have funky donuts. But I promise you, they’d still taste good.

Bake these for about 15 minutes, until they bounce back when you poke them. (Or, just BAKE THEM UNTIL THEY’RE DONE. That’s what my chefs in culinary school always told me. It drove me crazy.)

When you take them out of the oven, let them cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then, remove them, and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Now it’s time for the best part, the frosting!

Fudgy Chocolate Frosting

2T vegan butter substitute (I use Earth Balance sticks)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1t vanilla extract
3T cocoa powder
1/4 cup soy milk powder
3T coconut milk
Optional- a pinch of ginger

Whip the futter (That’s what we call vegan butter, or “fake butter” over here at A Tablespoon of Liz) with the agave and vanilla until it’s combined and there are no awkward chunks of futter hanging around.

Add the cocoa powder, and once it is mixed in add the soy milk powder and ginger. Then beat it, beat it, and beat it. until it gets lighter in color and fluffy. As you do this you’ll want to add the coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time.

Then bam, all you have to do is frost your donuts! And before you know it, there will only be a few bites left because your family will have eaten them all.

Bother.

Thank you all so so so much for stopping by for a bite! Continue the party by going forward or backward to see who else joined the potluck!!

   

It Warms the Cockles of Your Heart

29 Oct

Has anyone else heard that phrase before? Does anyone else think the word “cockles” sounds gross? I had a friend in college tell me that about the chili she was eating once, and I was like wwwhhhhaaaatttt? Whatever a cockle is, I don’t want them, and I don’t want to warm them. But then I googled it and don’t worry you guys, it’s legit.

I know I’ve made chili here on the blog before, but I’m totally disowning that chili. I’m not even going to link to it. This stuff is the real deal.

I know what you’re thinking. Liz, that looks like real cheese and sour cream on your chili there. Aren’t you lactose intolerant? Both of those answers is YES. But you guys, when I have real cheese and sour cream in the fridge I can’t just not eat it.

I had these things in the fridge because this chili was for a chili contest I was participating in at work and we wanted to have fancy toppings. We got 4th place, out of 8, but I’m pretty proud. This was vegetarian chili, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to central Indiana, but people don’t take kindly to vegetables here. One man wouldn’t try it because it had “too many vegetables in it” I was like, YOU’RE A 30 YEAR OLD MAN AND YOU’RE AFRAID TO EAT A SPOONFUL OF VEGETABLES?” If I didn’t have to be polite, I would have called him a coward.

Oh well. We did have people come over and say, “I hear you guys have a really good vegetarian chili.” I was like uuummm, no. We have a really good chili. period. Whatevs. There was one vegetarian girl there who kept coming back for more. She was excited.

So much chili you guys!

And thanks to my awesome boss, for not giving me crap about not putting meat in it. She sometimes gives me a hard time, but she’s really respectful of my foodie choices.

bubbling away

I ended up making 2 batches of this stuff. It could feed an army. Everyone also said that it would win the award for most colorful, prettiest, and healthiest. After all, we do eat with our eyes! Also, it had beer in it. What more could you ask for?? I was looking for a darker beer, but my local Krogers had this stuff, and I was like ohmygoshIhavetotrythatit’sglutenfreeyougys! I needed 2 for the chili, and drank the other 4. Out of all the things that are gluten free that I wish would taste like their gluteny counterparts, beer is not the first on the list. But this stuff tasted just like beer.

So since this is 4th place award winning (4th place is an award, after all) chili, I’m assuming you guys want the recipe. I got my inspiration for this from the many “vegetarian chili” recipes my boss printed out while we were supposed to be working. I took things from each one that I liked. I’ll give you the amounts for just one recipe, if you want to feed an army, just double it.

4th Place (but really, way better than that) Chili

3- 15oz cans diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
2 cans pinto beans
7oz can diced green chilis
1-2 chilis in adobo sauce (Sooooo spicy!)
3 cloves garlic
2 onions
1 green pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
1 orange pepper
1 T olive oil
1 bottle beer
2 cups vegetable stock
1 T chili powder
1 t salt
1 T oregano
1 T cumin

Optional: some grinds of Trader Joes everyday seasoning, and South African seasoning (I like the South African one because it’s smokey!!)

1. Chop the onions, and peppers. (You can use all green peppers if the other ones are crazy expensive, but they do make it so pretty and colorful!) pour the tablespoon of oil into a big ole pot and add the onions and peppers once it’s hot. Let them hang out for about 10 minutes. You don’t want to overcook the onions. Everyone is going to get to know each other in the pot. (Virtual high five if you can tell me what TV show that’s from!!!!) 

2. Chop the garlic, and chiles in adobo sauce, and add them to the pot with the green chiles, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.

3. Once the mixture is simmering, ad the spices, beer, and veggie stock. Simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while.

Feel free to add some veggie meat crumbles to the recipe if that’s your thing! You can serve this with sour cream (real or soy) cheese (or cheeze!) green onions, and crushed tortilla chips. It is a little spicy, so if you want it to be less spicy, take out some of the green chilies, chiles in adobo sauce, or chili powder. If you like it super spicy, add more!

Have you ever entered any form of cooking or food contest? 

Also, please tell me someone knows the onion/chili reference I mentioned earlier?!

Kitty!

29 Aug

Pronounced: “Kitta-yh” of course.

Isn’t she adorable? Sadly, she isn’t mine. She’s our neighbors cat, and is extremely friendly. With everyone. I call her (Pardon my French!) The kitty whore of the neighborhood. She gets around. Meowing outside everyone’s doors and windows. But I love her anyway.

She loves rolling around, and playing with my mom’s laser pointer. (Where does that red light come from? Regardless, she can never catch it. It drives her crazy!)

Our neighbor told us her name, but I can’t remember it. So I just call her Kitta-yh. It fits. I love it when she meows outside my window!

I asked if I could get some treats for her, and the neighbors said it was ok! I looked at the grocery store, and all of the brands contained some sort of chicken or fish “meal” and while I know that cats need meat in their diet to survive, I just don’t want to take part in it. She can get her meat from her food. I looked at Whole Foods, and they didn’t have any cat treats! I decided I would make her some, but can’t find a good recipe.

Does anyone have a vegetarian cat treat recipe? 

(Crappy photo of a) Whole Foods salad, for the win!!! I only get these about every six weeks, so I pile those veggies on! I was a little upset, they didn’t have the normal tags listing the ingredients up, so there was a few things I didn’t get, as I was afraid they had gluten in them. : / Oh well. I think I got enough!

I also got these at Trader Joes… I had no idea what they were! They’re alright.  And very spicy. I don’t think I would go out of my way to get them again. I don’t know what it is, but for some reason I’m craving ethnic, particularly Thai food lately. Maybe it’s because most Thai “ramen” instant noodle bowls use rice noodles and are gluten free. I’m a sucker for simplicity.

I have another thing I need your guy’s help with. I don’t have much of a green thumb, but my chocolate mint plant, (Yes chocolate mint! It’s a little more mellow on the mint with just a teensy tiny hint of chocolate…) is taking over my yard. Case in point:

Does anyone know a good way to ship fresh herbs? Because if I find a way that works, I’d be totally willing to send some to whoever wants some! (Provided the demand’s not too high and I’ve got some left) I thought about just drying it all, but dried herbs only last about a year, and fresh herbs are so much fun. So I wanted to share. Let me know if you have any ideas!

Lastly, THIS is the greatest blog I’ve ever seen. I’ve got a whole new respect for Suri Cruise. (Even though I know she’s not the one who’s really writing it.) Have you ever seen “Suri’s Burn Book” before?

Summer Lovin’

22 Aug

And by lovin’ I mean eating. Duh.

Summer is the time for….

Corn on the cob! And of course, french fries (Garlic fries from Trader joes. Has anyone had these? They are amazing!! And unfortunately for me, contain wheat. Something I did not know until I stocked up on a few more bags. lame. bye bye fries.) and, veggie dogs! Do you like my array of condiments? I can never decide.

Fresh Veggies! Fun story, when I was younger, I hated asparagus. I thought it tasted like cat pee. (Don’t even ask how I knew what that tasted like, I don’t think it was from personal experience) But, my cousin roasted some up on Easter, and I can’t get enough of the stuff now! I dress ‘em up real simple, just 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and Trader Joes everyday seasoning. I know roasting isn’t’ really a summer cooking method, but I never seem to do what’s normal.

 

(veggie) Burgers! On a bed of lettuce, onion, and slathered in condiments. Sometimes, I think I’m just in it for the condiments.

 

Veggie filled salads! Plates like these are my favorite. I just pile a million veggies on, and I’m all set. This one is a romaine salad with onions, walnuts, strawberries, and golden raisins. On the side is a garlic dill pickle, half an avocado, more strawberries, carrot chips, cucumber, and hummus with some tahini. yummy.

Fresh fruit and berries! Summer is pretty much the best time for fresh everything. here, I’m lovin’ (No spell check, not “login’”) some fresh raspberries, puffins cereal, and coconut milk yogurt.

 

This last picture isn’t really a ‘summer’ thing, but I thought I would show you how I used up some of the leftovers from the Taco Tuesday I told you about yesterday. More taco salad! I love it. I think this one had chips crunched up on the bottom with refried beans on them, then piled in lettuce and veggie goodness, before being doused in sour cream and salsa. When I get on a taco salad kick, it lasts for days.

What are some of your favorite foods? What foods are you looking forward to eat once fall arrives? I know you can eat pumpkin and hot cocoa and apple cider year round, but they’re just better in the fall. One thing that makes me super sad about fall is Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale hits stores. And sadly, this is the first fall I won’t be able to partake in it’s pumpkin pie like goodness because I’m g-free now. : / I’m definitly going to have to explore some gluten free beers soon!

 

Taco Tuesdays

21 Aug

Ok- I’ll admit. I didn’t really eat this on a Tuesday. Well, actually, maybe I did. This meal was made a while ago. BUT it’s definitly one of those meals like I mentioned yesterday, that doesn’t take a lot of time.

There is a little bit of prep work with chopping up veggies, but my brother who’s home from college for the summer has been hounding me to teach him how to cook (I think it’s to impress the ladies… lol) So he’s been awesome at getting veggies chopped and prepped, and has become an expert at roasting everything from asparagus to zucchini.

So, Here is the easy meal:

I really need to start taking nicer photos. Anyway, this is Taco Tofu, rice, and taco salad. I ended up mixing everything on the plate together. So good. This photo was also pre-dressing. I slathered it in dairy-free sour cream and salsa.

Believe it or not, the tofu only had THREE ingredients in it. Talk about easy.

Taco Tofu
1 block tofu, pressed and sliced into 8 pieces
1 packet taco seasoning
1/3 cup water

Mix the water and the taco seasoning together, and pour into a greased baking dish. (Or a tupperware container, then move to a baking dish)

Let marinate for at least an hour, flipping the tofu over halfway through. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes. It’s that easy!

At first I was worried that it would be too salty or too much taco seasoning, because it was so concentrated, but it ended up being just perfect!

For the salad, I put shredded romaine, tomatoes, olives, black beans, and green pepper. I had onion and crushed tortilla chips on the side.

We also had guacamole, which is a must when having Mexican food. My brother is also an ace at making that- of course I had to teach him the important things first! If there are any girls out there who want to be hooked up with an awesome vegetarian cook, let me know and I’ll see what I can do, lol.

What are your favorite go to quick meals? Do you prefer tacos, or taco salads? 

Back to School

20 Aug

I think I would be more disappointed that school was starting up again if I hadn’t been busting my butt taking 4 classes this summer. To be honest, every time new classes start, I get a little excited. I love school supplies. I almost actually wish I was going to normal school (as opposed to online) So I could buy fun notebooks and folders and such. I’ll probably end up buying some regardless.

I think I saw some One Direction folders at Target that are calling my name. Haha, just kidding. (Would you think I was lame if that was actually true? It might be.)

I have had a few weeks of vacation at least though, so tomorrow I’ll be getting back into the grind of it all. Work, school, Internship, so much to do.

Because the fun starts, and since I’m the one who cooks most of the dinners in my house, I resort to a few quick, simple, but delicious recipes that don’t take much time at all.

One particular favorite of my families is Roasted tomatoes and tofu. Yum!

I serve it over brown or white rice normally, brown for the madre, and white for me. I used to love love love brown rice, but for some reason, when I got slammed with the stomach flu a couple months back, I can’t even look at it without feeling a little queasy. So white rice it is.

To be honest, I don’t have an exact recipe for this marinade, but it’s simple enough.

I call it my “Everything but the Kitchen Sink Marinade” Because I literally throw a bazillion different things in it. Here are some things that have gone into it:

Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Wine Vinegar
Apple Lingonberry Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Everyday Seasoning (From Trader Joes)
Vegetable Broth
Salad dressings (Different vinaigrettes mostly)
Garlic
Paprika
Chili Powder
Lemon Juice
Agave nectar
Brown Sugar
Liquid Smoke
GF Soy Sauce

…..See what I mean about everything but the kitchen sink? The key to it is just tasting as you make it.

So here is what you need for this dish:
1 block of tofu, pressed, and sliced into 8 pieces
1 cup marinade
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup onions or green onions, chopped/sliced- optional

(I normally double this recipe- Hello leftovers!!)

Spray a 9×13 inch pan, and pour the marinade in. Dredge the tofu in it, flipping it over. Add the tomatoes and onions. Let sit for 30 minutes, flip the tofu then flip and let rest another 30 minutes.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes, flipping the tofu at least once during cooking. Serve over your favorite grain.

om nom nom!

Easy peasy lemon squeezy! I even got my dad to eat some of it. Ok, so he just ate the tomatoes, but that’s good enough for me.

Are you starting school up soon? Are you excited, or do you wish summer could last a little longer?

FINALLY

27 Jun

Yup. This finally happened. I got to eat at the Whole Foods Salad Bar!!!

The closest Whole Foods to me is about an hour and a half away, but I still manage to make it out there to go shopping at least once a month to every six weeks. I just can’t help myself.

But recently (about two weeks ago, I’m just now getting around to blogging about it!) I actually got the salad bar, instead of just staring at it longingly as I shopped. I’ll admit, the salad bar at this whole foods wasn’t the best I’ve seen (once again, from afar, longingly) but I was excited none the less.

I pretty much just piled on the veggies, grilled tofu, sweet potato wedges, and a few grain type salads. I was a little nervous because I was afraid about contamination from gluten, but it turned out okie dokie.

I feel like I can die happy now that I’ve eaten at the Whole Foods Salad Bar.

Lastly, I need some help from ya’ll!!

My boss is hosting a meeting with some very important people, and she wants me to whip up some appetizers for it. I’m really excited about it, but I’m not quite sure what to make. She wants a couple healthy options, and a couple treats. I’ve got the sugary goodies down, it’s the healthy options I’m having trouble with. For example, I mentioned hummus, and she gave me a disgusted look. I was like, How can you not like hummus?!?!?! But whaves. I guess I’ll have to find something else. If you’ve got any suggestions, let me know!!

 

Getting Back on Track

26 Jun

You guuuyyyssss… I don’t even want to talk about how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. Since I’ve even made a comment on a blog.

I’ve made excuses before about being busy, and blah blah blah, but life is totally kicking my ass right now. I don’t mean to complain, things are going great! I’m just soooo busy. Taking 4 classes in the summer, not a good idea. Plus, I’ve got work, and a new internship I’m doing this summer, and there are hours and hours of online training for it. Not to mention the actual work!

Anywho, In true Tablespoon of Liz fashion, I’m just showing up to show you guys a few recent meals of mine. I’ve started to keep my camera in the dining room, so I get some good dinner shots. Because lets face it, as awesome as salads are, you don’t want to see a bazillion photos of those.

A Trader Joes veggie burger on a “lettuce bun” (My new favorite thing right now!) Some gluten-free baked pickle fries (Amazing, recipe coming soon, hopefully…)

Some Trader Joes corn pasta with roasted veggies and asparagus.

A veggie dog (I found some gluten free ones at Whole Foods! yay!) with some roasted onions, corn on the cob (One of my favorite parts about summer, most defffff) Trader Joes garlic fries, and a selection of condiments and roasted onions.

And last but not least… some falafel on a “lettuce pita”, quinoa salad, and cucumber salad.

I’m definitly (I know, I know, I say this every time!) going to post that pickle fries recipe soon!

One Ingredient Can Make All The Difference

6 Jun

Thank you all so so much for your kind comments and words of encouragement on my last post!! I love knowing that I have some awesome blogger friends to cheer me up and give me great advice.

When I was growing up, my mother always made sure to serve a vegetable with dinner. Most of the time, that meant taking a bag of green beans out of the freezer and microwaving them. I never ate much of them. It wasn’t until years later that I realized you can do so much with vegetables, the green side dish at the dinner table doesn’t have to be a microwaved afterthought.

It’s been a little project of mine recently to use up some of the things stashed in the back of our freezer, as it’s starting to overflow. To my dismay, I found one bag of green beans. After making the recipe I’m about to share with you, I wish I had several bags stashed back there!

And this ingredient made all the difference:

Apple wine vinegar with lingonberry. I got this at Ikea. I almost walked right past it. So glad I didn’t. I originally bought it for salads and vinaigrettes, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to splash a little in my green beans.

Oooooohhhhhhh mmmyyyy goooooddnnessss you guys, it’s amazing. Even my brother, who self diagnosed himself with dead tastebuds asked what was in the green beans. It oddly adds a sweetness to it, with a slightly tangy apple taste, and just a hint of lingonberry. I can’t get over it. I wish I had bought a case of the stuff.

Anywho, back to the beans.

Apple Lingonberry Vinegar Green Beans

16 oz. frozen green beans
1 clove garlic, chopped
1T olive oil
2T buter (futter, margarine, your choice) -optional
2T apple wine vinegar with lingonberry (Or you could try using any fun vinegar you have!)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
Salt and Pepper, to taste

First, you want to sauté the garlic in the oil. I may or may not have added a little more garlic than one clove. What can I say, I love garlic.

mmmm. Love the smell of garlic cooking!

Then, you add the green beans. If you’ve already thawed them out, you won’t need to cook them as long. Saute them for 5-7 seven minutes if they’re still frozen. Add the butter. This step is optional, but I think it adds some richness.

Let the butter melt, Then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the almonds.  They add a fun crunch! Saute for 2-3 more minutes, then you’re ready to serve them!

If you want, you can cook them a little longer, depending on how you like your green beans. I normally like mine to have a little crunch left in them, so I don’t cook them as long.

Are there any ingredients that make all the difference in a dish you make? A condiment you just couldn’t live without? 

I Dream of Egg Rolls

4 Jun

Disclaimer: This post sadly contains no egg rolls. But more on that later.

At this point in my life, I’m not even going to bother giving excuses about why I’ve been MIA from my blog for so long.

What else can I say that you haven’t already heard? School, work, a weird slew of health problems, most just annoying that make me want to lie in bed all day and not be productive, but one that actually landed me in the ER with acute renal failure. BUT, my kidneys are in perfect working order now, and while sometimes I still just want to lie in bed (stomach issues) but I’ve decided to suck it up and continue with my life.

And of course, that means continue with my blog. I’ve missed ya’ll!!

I’ve finally gotten into the Gluten-Free eating habits that I’ve needed to be in. For some weird reason I’d crave egg rolls for days, not able to eat anything else, because nothing else sounded good and made me nauseous. I eventually caved, and would eat egg rolls, and only egg roles for days at a time.

Even though I’ve given up the egg rolls, I still crave them. I’ve been searching high and low for a G-Free alternative. Nothing so far. But, here are some things that I’ve been eating until I find my delicious egg rolls:

When I heard Domino’s was coming out with a gluten-free (except not really, because cross contamination is a HUGE threat there) crust, I had to try it. It was good, but looking at my sad little G-free pizza sitting next to my families delicious, golden, fluffy, gluten-y crust pizza, it was nothing special. I guess I’d have to say it was good for a thin crust pizza. When I ate this, my stomach was still screwed up from previous days of eating to notice if the cross contamination upset my stomach.

Gluten-free Trader Joe’s corn pasta (Which is sooo good! I haven’t tried a lot of gluten-free pastas yet, I’m a little scared, but this stuff was so cheap I had to try it. I wish I had bought more!) and zucchini, prepared simply with a little earth balance, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.

And of course, and old favorite, wraps. I’ve been staying away from the flour tortillas and flat-out wraps (for obvious reasons) and wrapping things up in lettuce. I just can’t get on the corn tortilla bandwagon. I’m just not feeling them.

Some more pizza! I made this for when my family went up to Detroit to visit my Grandma/Aunt/Cousins. They always order pizza from this really great pizza place when we visit, and I didn’t want to miss out. I whipped up some g-free crust from a mix, then added tomato sauce, peppers, onion, pineapple, and daiya mozzarella cheese. So good!

Those are all the photos I’ve got for your today, but I plan on being back soon (I promise!) to share some yummy recipes that I’ve come up with recently!

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