Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Gluten-free Shortbread

I play bridge on Wednesdays and I always bring cookies or something baked to share with my bridge friends.  For the last few weeks I have been making the banana-oatmeal cookies that appear elsewhere in this blog (https://downrightvegan.blogspot.com/2015/03/banana-oatmeal-cookies.html), but I was looking for something different this week.



A few weeks ago I saw a recipe for a gluten-free apple crisp on a non-vegan website.  The recipe called for almond flour instead of gluten-free flour and I thought it sounded interesting so I purchased a bag of almond flour.  I was planning to use it in my fruit crisp recipe which you will find here https://downrightvegan.blogspot.com/2017/06/strawberry-rhubarb-crisp.html



In the meantime, I saw a recipe on the King Arthur Flour website about using almond flour to make gluten-cookies.  The recipe that was posted was definitely not vegan, so I changed it easily enough, and made other changes to the recipe to make it my own.

The cookies were wonderful and were very well received by my bridge partners, and they were also enjoyed by the other people in my home.

First - preheat your oven to 350 degrees


Ingredients

The recipe makes 26 cookies.

2 cups of almond flour.  I used Bob’s Red Mill Brand, but any brand of almond flour will work.
6 tablespoons of icing sugar.  I used Wholsome brand because it is fair trade sugar.
6 tablespoons of vegan margerine.  I used Earth Balance brand buttery sticks.
1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Put the flour, icing sugar and margerine into the bowl of a stand mixer or into a regular bowl and use a hand mixer.

Mix on low to medium speed until the ingredients come together into a moist dough and then add the vanilla.  I’ll be honest when I say that I was wondering if the ingredients would come together but after about a minute they did.

Cover your cookie sheet with parchment paper and using a small cookie scoop, drop the dough onto the cookie sheets.  I like to space my cookies out so I could only fit a dozen cookies on a sheet. I used a small cookie scoop.  It is about one and half times bigger than a teaspoon.



Ovens vary, but I found my cookies were baked perfectly at 10 minutes.  You will know they are done when they are lightly browned around the edges.  If you aren't sure about your oven, set your timer for eight minutes and check for doneness and if necessary, bake the cookies for a further two minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for about ten to fifteen minutes then move them to a rack to cool completely.




The cookies are great with tea.



I can’t tell you how long they will last because I haven’t had any left over store away!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Scratch/Dent/Clearance

At my grocery store today we were lucky enough to find a container of fruit that had reached its sell-by date.



We brought it home and Mr DV made smoothies with the addition of a bit of orange juice and frozen banana from our freezer.  So the two superlarge smoothies cost about $6.00.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Four for $4

This was not an easy challenge.  Food isn’t cheap in my city.

After a lot of calculating, I settled on corn on the cob and tomato soup with crackers.



The soup was 2 for $1 and that was enough for 4 people
The corn was purchased at a roadside farm stand at $8.00 for a dozen or 67cents each, so that was $2.68
That left 32 cents for crackers, and that’s 16 crackers or four crackers per person.  

It comes to $4 exactly.

I could likely have put leftover meatloaf into the soup as well and I would have counted the meatloaf as free considering it is still sitting in my fridge.


Leftover Neatloaf

A neatloaf sandwich of course, on whole wheat bread with Dijon mustard.  If I wasn’t retired, I would have taken this sandwich to work with me today.


Neat Loaf



For this recipe I just used my mum’s old meat loaf recipe from my childhood and I substituted meat and eggs and milk with vegan versions.

The first time I made this was for this challenge on mofo2018 and I was very pleased with how it turned out.

1 lb of ground vegan meat 
1 pkg of gimme lean sausage
Egg equivalent to the amount of one egg
2 cups bread crumbs
1 1/3 cups non-dairy milk - I used soy milk
One medium onion chopped finely
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp dried mustard - I used Keens hot mustard 
1/8 tsp sage

Mix all the ingredients together so that they are well blended.  I put on disposable rubber gloves and mixed with my hands. You might wish to do the same.

Press it all into a prepared loaf pan and cook for 1 1/2 hours (90 mins)



Super Cheap Sweets



This is an old Canadian recipe that comes from World War I and II.  It was called War Cake because it was made during those tough times when it was not easy to get hold of butter and eggs.   

There are many dozen war cake recipes on-line.  This is my own.

The recipe is easily customizable

2 cups water

2 cups dried fruit - you could use raisins, cranberries, chopped apricots or glacĂ© fruits that you would put in Christmas cake.  In Newfoundland this is one of the ways that people make Christmas cake, using the war cake recipe. I used currants because I had them on hand.

I cup fancy molasses

1 cup white sugar


2/3 cup shortening or vegan butter

3 1/4 cups of all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp ground cinnamon 

1.5 tsp ground ginger

1.5 tsp ground nutmeg

Pre-heat your oven to 325

Place the water, the fruit, the molasses, the sugar and the shortening in a deep saucepan and bring to a boil and let it boil for about three minutes.  Keep your eye on it.  Remove from heat and allow it to cool.  It doesn’t have to be at room temp, but it can’t be so hot that you couldn’t touch it.

Mix the flour, the baking soda and the spices in a bowl and then pour the dry ingredients into the wet.  When I made this, I used a heavy sauce pot, so I had lots of room to mix the dry ingredients into the liquid in that pot.

This makes a fairly runny batter, perhaps a bit runnier than you might expect.

Pour the batter into a prepared 9 x 13 pan and bake for at least an hour or until a test toothpick comes out clean.

The cake will be very moist.  It freezes well.

It goes very nicely with vegan custard or ice cream. 



Sunday, September 16, 2018

Pantry Dinner




This was an easy pantry dinner: rice, onions, peas and beans from the garden, all strr-fried together with a little canola oil and seasoned with soy sauce. At the end, some vegan scrambled eggs made with veganegg was stirred into it.

Cheap and cheerful.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Vegan Banana Split

OK.  I’m feeling a little guilty today about my post because it’s the final “free from” post and I’m posting a free from lactose banana split, for my lactose intolerant friends and family, including Mr. DV.  Of course it’s free from lactose - this is a vegan food blog.



1 banana, sliced in half lengthwise
3 scoops of vegan ice cream, in your favourite flavour
Vegan caramel sauce or agave syrup
Vegan chocolate sauce - I just melted some fair trade chocolate chips in a zip lock bag
Vegan coconut whipped cream
Walnuts
Maraschino cherries



Split the banana lengthwise, then lay three scoops of any flavour vegan ice cream between the two halves.  Drizzle the ice cream with  the caramel and chocolate sauces, sprinkle with nuts and top with whipped cream and a cherry or two.

I really should get a banana split dish.

Smoothie Bowl



Smoothie bowl!!! It was just too hot to cook yesterday and today, therefore this is my no-salt-added meal.  Strawberries, bananas, walnuts, blackberries and raspberries on a bowl of peach vegan yogurt. 


Thursday, September 13, 2018

No-Packaging Snacks




This is a nice home-made snack that you could easily wrap in waxed paper and take a long with you on a hike or a plane trip.

Ingredients




1 1/2 cups of rolled oats - I used gluten free because I had them on hand but you could use any kind
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons shelled sunflower seeds
Pinch of salt




I cup packed golden yellow sugar
1/2 cup of maple syrup or agave syrup 
1/2 cup of nut butter - peanut butter or almond butter or cashew butter etc
1/4 cup light vegetable oil - I used canola oil
Egg replacer to the equivalent of 2 eggs



Mix the rolled oats, flour, baking soda, apricots, cranberries, chocolate chips, walnuts, sunflower seeds and salt in a large bowl.

Mix the golden yellow sugar, the syrup the nut butter, the vegetable oil and the egg replacer with a hand mixer or stand mixer, then pour in the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.

Prepare an 8 x 11 pan - I used cooking spray, and pack in the mixture, flatten it and then put the pan in the oven for 30 minutes.

When the pan has cooled cut the mixture into bars.  Store them in an airtight container in the fridge.  


You can wrap them and take them along on car trips etc.



Spicy Without Chilies - Curried Tofu Bowl









I am one of those people with sensitive skin who can’t even touch chilies, let alone eat them.  I get welts on my hands if I handle them so I almost never use them in anything I’m cooking.  I have a neighbour who can eat them raw, and it makes me cry to watch!

This is a quick and easy curry and is perfect for cool winter nights.  It freezes well so it could also be used as leftover lunch. And there isn’t a chili pepper in sight!!


Ingredients

1 large onion, chopped into medium-sized pieces
2 ribs of celery, chopped into medium sized pieces
2 cloves of garlic chopped finely

1 350 gr package of extra firm tofu, drained, rinsed and pressed, chopped into cubes.

2 tablespoons of curry powder - I used the Simply Organic brand of commercial curry powder that does not contain chilies.

2 apples cut into medium sized dice
1 large banana cut into dice

3 tbs tomato paste
2 cups of veggie broth
I head of broccoli 

Optional - I can of coconut milk - not the full fat kind


Cook the onion and celery with a little vegetable oil in a frying pan.

When they have cooked, add the tofu cubes, and the curry powder, the apple and the banana and stir them around for a few minutes.

Then add the tomato paste and the veggie broth and simmer for about five minutes.

In the meantime, steam a head of broccoli which has been cut into florets and when they have turned a bright green, stir them into the frying pan.

Serve with rice

Serves four


Gluten-free Shortbread

I play bridge on Wednesdays and I always bring cookies or something baked to share with my bridge friends.  For the last few weeks I have be...