A Piece of Humble Walnut Brownie…

P1080331

I am baking these right now as I listen to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I have been very consistent with my 30 Day Challenge, however, today I really wanted to bake these and then freeze them. I have a pocket of time to do so. It seems as though there is never a pocket of time in which I can do much of anything these last few weeks. However, these brownies are really good and I am grateful to have stumbled across them when in a time of great confusion. I meant to post this a long time ago, but I just found it. Here is an old entry from a couple of months ago.

I run, I work out, and I eat well. I have an unfortunate tendency to pride myself on healthy lifestyle. I like to read, watch, and inform. It kind of has been a passion of mine since I was quite young. I remember in first grade, our teacher read us a book about a dragon who smoked. The book had an extensive list of all the chemicals that are in cigarettes. I ran with this. Every person I knew who smoked, I felt the utmost urgency to tell them all about what they were inhaling into their lungs. They didn’t seem to care. Anyhow, it has come to no surprise to my husband, that I have been fighting a cold for the last couple of weeks. I have had Laryngitis, a sinus infection, pink eye in both my eyes, and now what seems to be strep throat. Humble pie, no, but I will take a piece of Humble Gluten Free Walnut Brownie. I made this to comfort my bruised ego and my prideful blow. Judge not lest you be judged, so here I am with sincere apology. No more Judgey McJudgerson!

Gluten Free, Vegan, and Oil Free Walnut Chip Brownies

Inspired by Oh She Glows

Ingredients:
• 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce or finely grated apple
• 8 pitted medjool dates
• 1 medium ripe banana
• 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup brown teff flour
• 1/2 cup almond meal 
• 1/2 cup cocoa powder
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 
• 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips 

How To Play:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper so it overlaps on two sides. Lightly grease the parchment and sides of the pan with oil.
2. In the food processor, process the applesauce, dates, banana, maple syrup, and vanilla until almost smooth.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the teff flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts and chips. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and gently smooth out with a wet spatula. Batter will be very sticky! This is normal.
6. Bake for about 25-27 mins at 350F or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing as they are VERY delicate and fall apart. It is suggested to cool and then freeze the brownies until firm, so you can slice them easier without them falling apart. Keep in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Enjoy.

Advertisements

Green Chickpea Medley.

photo1-001

Being from the coast, I remember countless times of being at my grandparents’ house, a house situated right on the beach, and my parents taking their aluminum motor boat out into the depths of the West Coast sea. My sister, grandparents, cousins and all the rest of the family, would sit around the bonfire telling stories. I was quite young, so probably didn’t make for an interesting conversation piece, but never will I forget my foot being scorched by an ember from the fire that was hidden underneath all the ash. My uncle came to the rescue by pouring his cold beer all over my 5 year old foot. My grandma would often collect oysters along the shore and fry them up for the next evening’s dinner. If mom and dad caught a salmon, then it would be there for dinner time as well, with new baby potatoes from grandma’s garden, along with some beans, and last but not least ketchup for Papa. A Vancouver Island dinner, a true living off the land and sea kind of meal. Well, this dinner isn’t so much a Mountain man experience, but Sean did catch the fish I used to go along with this meal, from the West Coast of Vancouver Island this summer. I baked salmon with a smudge of mayonnaise, squirt of lemon juice, a dash of dill, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of grapeseed oil. This is a wonderful dish for a BBQ, a luncheon, or as a simple side platter rested upon fresh cut tomatoes. The Chickpea Medley is from Oh She Glows. When I make this, I find myself eating it for lunch, dinner and then lunch again for the next day. I also prefer parsley over cilantro, but either way, it is super yum.

Green Chickpea Medley

(Oh She Glows)

Ingredients:

For the chickpea medley:

2 cups dried/uncooked chickpeas (makes 5.5-6 cups cooked)

1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach

1.5 cups cilantro, large stems removed (or parsley)

3/4 cup red onion, chopped finely

For the dressing:

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)

3/4 tsp kosher salt + ground pepper

How To Play:

1. To cook chickpeas: Soak 2 cups dried chickpeas in a large bowl of water overnight. Drain and rinse the beans in the morning and add to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, until fork tender, about 40 minutes

2. Rinse and drain the spinach and cilantro (or parsley). Spin until dry in a salad spinner.

3. In a food processor, add the spinach and cilantro and pulse until chopped very small. Add the processed spinach and cilantro, drained cooked chickpeas, and chopped onion into a large bowl and stir.

4. In a small jar, whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, maple syrup, and salt.

5. Pour the dressing on top of the spinach chickpea mixture and stir well. Let stand for about 10 minutes (or overnight) to let the flavors develop.

Enjoy.

Rebar Caesar Salad With Homemade Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

Sometimes it gets incredibly boring making dinner, right? Over the summer, Sean told me how I was slipping. Not the kind of words you want to hear when you are one who likes to take dinner, or any meal at that, seriously. Was I slipping? Not really. What is wrong with protein shakes and cereal? Ok, ok,  I was super BORED!  I admit it and yes, dinners were kind of the last thing I was really thinking about. Last week, however, I was able to visit my favorite restaurant in Victoria, Rebar. Inspiration has once again come forth. I love Rebar and my Rebar cookbook. It has been sitting on the shelf way too long. So here we go. Here is a new staple dinner for us. So long protein shakes and cereal, we will just be seeing in the morning now.

photo3

Rebar Caesar Salad

(inspired by Rebar)

Ingredients:

1 bulb roasted garlic (see below)
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp capers
1 Tbsp caper juice
1 1/2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 Tsp cracked pepper
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil (I used less)
extra Parmesan cheese for garnish

How To Play:
Combine all of the ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor and blend. Add olive oil in a slow, thin stream. Correct seasoning to taste.
Serve, toss the dressing with washed , dried and torn romaine lettuce, or any one you fancy, add fresh croutons, garnished with Parmesan, fresh cracked pepper and lemon wedges.

Whole Roasted Roasted Garlic:

Ingredients:
2 garlic bulbs
2 tsp olive oil
pinch of salt
pinch of cracked pepper

How To Play:
Preheat oven to 400. Using a sharp knife, slice the top off the garlic bulb, just enough to expose the tops of the garlic flesh. Center each bulb on a square piece of aluminium foil. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the bulbs securely and pop them into the oven.
After 45 minutes, test the bulbs by slipping the sharp point of a paring knife into one of the cloves. If is slides effortlessly or the bulbs are starting to poke out of their skins, then the garlic is ready to serve.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

Ingredients:
Boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut in chunks
1 cup brown rice GF cereal, blended finely
dash or two of paprika
2-3 Tbsp parsley, chopped
1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt and cracked pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp Flax Meal
1/4 cup almond milk
Grapeseed oil for frying

How To Play:
Make the crumb coating by mixing blended cereal, spices, and parsley and cheese, place in bowl. In separate bowl, combine flax and almond milk, stir and let sit for a few minutes. Dip raw chicken pieces in flax “eggs” and then dip into crumbs. Place on a heated skillet and fry away until no longer pink in the center.

Enjoy!

Not so fast Breakfast

5923754707_7511d283d2_z

Remember this? Do you remember this guy? I remember. I also remember searching our Kmart with my mom and grandma crying how badly I wanted a Wayne Gretzky Ken Doll. Did I find one? Yes I did, however, the box had been opened and his skates were missing. Did I care? Not one bit, because my Wayne Gretzky doll was not going to be ice skating.
I came across this image of Pro Stars. Man oh man. I used to eat my bowel of Pro Stars faithfully every morning in my awkward 10 year old body. I would eat and stare at the box. Wayne Gretzky. I don’t ever recall the Pro Stars my mom bought being sugar free. I can’t believe Aspartame was even in the 1980’s…eeks. Ever since we found out 2 has wheat, gluten, and dairy allergies, my breakfast table is not sporting any Pro Stars cereal or much of any of that which I would typically have eaten at 4 years old. I think at his age I was eating Sugar Crisp and Captain Crunch…I know, shocking, but let’s just say once I turned 11 my whole world of eating what I liked flipped upside down too when I was told I had mushrooms growing in my stomach. New to Germany, new to school, horrific acne, and stomach disorders, let’s just say having to go vegan was a shock not only to my body, but to my resort of comfort eating.
I am aware that there are many others finding out their children are having allergies to the foods we consume, and it can be overwhelming. I find breakfast overwhelming. Before December of last year, I had eaten the same traditional breakfast every day for the last 7 years- Nature’s Path Flax Plus and homemade granola. In December, Sean and I did the Dr. Oz 3 day detox, and his breakfast shake has been my go to since.
2 went from eating 2 pieces of Silver Hills bread with Almond butter and a bowl of Cheerios to Silver Hills gluten free Chia seed bread with coconut oil, cinnamon and coconut sugar and a side bowl of gluten free Mesa Sunrise cereal with dried blueberries in Almond milk. It is working. What also is working, are these Pumpkin Muffins. They are from Post Punk Kitchen with a couple of minor adjustments.

muffin 7

The Best Pumpkin Muffins

by IsaChandra
Makes 1 dozen muffins
Variation: Fold in a cup of either chopped fresh cranberries or chopped walnuts, or a mixture of the two.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour- I used 1 cup Quinoa and ¼ cup teff flour
1 1/4 cups sugar- I used coconut sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg- I didn’t use
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger- I didn’t use
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice- I didn’t use
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves– I didn’t use
1 cup pureed pumpkin (Fresh or from a can; do not use pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup soy milk-I used almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil-I used coconut oil
2 tablespoons molasses

How To Play:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin, soy milk, oil, and molasses. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix.
Fill the muffin cups two-thirds full. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or millet, and a touch of sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

muffins 4
muffins 3

Enjoy.

Holy Gluten Free Batman!

Falafal and tahini sauce

It is hot. I mean, it is a warmer for us in the Northwest. Sheesh! I worked out in the basement in slow motion, due to fear of overheating. Overheating or overeating? Seriously, these last few days have been brutal. Chocolate has never seemed to taste so good in the 34 years of my existence. Eight weeks ago, I was rear-ended in my friend’s car. I have been very diligent in eating as one should who has been rear-ended and can’t partake in daily activities, but I am concerned something was knocked in my brain. My taste-bud sensies have been magnified. My husband made mention the other day I had not posted a post in some time. This baffled me, because I was certain it had been a couple of weeks ago. So much has been going on. I found two gray hairs in 2’s hair which through me off to the max. I took him to my natural path and discovered he has allergies to wheat, gluten, and dairy. More and more I am meeting those with the same allergies, my sister included. So the whirlwind of transforming my meals has been a bit intense. So sad about not baking with spelt or kamut, but learning the ropes with brown rice and coconut flours. It has been 2 weeks and we have noticed such a difference in 2’s countenance and alertness. It used to be when he would wake up in the morning he would sit on the couch with his blankee and tell us in a low voice, “I’m hungry.” He would just sit there quiet. Now he is up and at ’em. Preparing his own breakfast, running around the house dressed as batman, spiderman, or superman. He is climbing, jumping, and kung foo-ing. He is being a boy, I guess, but seriously, we had no idea this was in him. He had always been the quiet, not so active, super chill little kid with a soft little voice. Needless to say it has been pretty cool to see the transformation. In times past, I used to make one meal for me and one dish for the family, but now it is pretty much revolving around 2’s needs, which is crummy for Sean, but such a breeze for me. One meal deals and two big choices…to eat or not to eat? That is the question.
This is a meal I have been craving. I made it with the tahini sauce recommended and served it with cucumber and fresh spinach leaves. It was delish.

Scrumptious Falafels

Inspired by: The Shiksa

Ingredients:
1 pound (about 2 cups) dry chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3-5 cloves garlic (I prefer roasted)
1 1/2 tbsp flour, or brown rice flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
Vegetable oil for frying (grapeseed, canola, and peanut oil work well)

How To Play:
Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. Let them soak overnight. They will double in size as they soak – you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking.Pulse all ingredients together until a rough, coarse meal forms. Scrape the sides of the processor periodically and push the mixture down the sides. Process till the mixture is somewhere between the texture of couscous and a paste. You want the mixture to hold together, and a more paste-like consistency will help with that… but don’t overprocess, you don’t want it turning into hummus!Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Fill a skillet with vegetable oil to a depth of 1 ½ inches. I prefer to use cooking oil with a high smoke point, like grapeseed. Heat the oil slowly over medium heat. Meanwhile, form falafel mixture into round balls or slider-shaped patties using wet hands or a falafel scoop. I used about 2 tbsp of mixture per falafel. You can make them smaller or larger depending on your personal preference. The balls will stick together loosely at first, but will bind nicely once they begin to fry.
Note: if the balls won’t hold together, place the mixture back in the processor again and continue processing to make it more paste-like. Keep in mind that the balls will be delicate at first; if you can get them into the hot oil, they will bind together and stick. If they still won’t hold together, you can try adding 2-3 tbsp of flour to the mixture. If they still won’t hold, add 1-2 eggs to the mix. This should fix any issues you are having. When the oil is at the right temperature, it will take 2-3 minutes per side to brown (5-6 minutes total). If it browns faster than that, your oil is too hot and your falafels will not be fully cooked in the center. Cool the oil down slightly and try again. When the oil is at the right temperature, fry the falafels in batches of 5-6 at a time till golden brown on both sides.Let them drain on paper towels. Serve the falafels fresh and hot; they go best with a plate of hummus and topped with creamy tahini sauce. You can also stuff them into a pita.

Tahini Sauce
INGREDIENTS
1 cup tahini sesame seed paste
3/4 cup water, or more for consistency
3 cloves raw garlic (or 5 cloves roasted garlic)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp fresh parsley, minced (optional)

How To Play:
Grind tahini paste, water, lemon juice and garlic together in a food processor or blender till sauce is creamy and ivory-colored. Pause blending and use a long-handled spoon to break up the thick part of the sauce once every 30 seconds; this will keep it from clogging your processor or blender blades. After a few minutes of blending, sauce will turn into a rich, smooth paste. If mixture is too thick, slowly add more water until it reaches the preferred consistency. If using tahini to top hummus or a meat dish, keep it thick and creamy. As a condiment for pita or falafel, a more liquid sauce is usually preferred. Taste often during the blending process; add more lemon juice or salt, if desired.
When you’re happy with the sauce’s flavor and consistency, pour it into a bowl. Stir in parsley (optional) till well combined, or garnish sauce with fresh parsley on top.

Enjoy!

February to April 139

A picture of batman and robin with their new special power foods.