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Posts Tagged ‘#gluten-free’

Burritos or Tacos? Where do you stand on this important issue?

What about the Tostada?

I love a good burrito. I cannot claim to have eaten a burrito a day as my friend, Joe, did throughout graduate school. I can claim to satisfy huge burrito cravings after long mountain bike rides. Fortunately, my mountain bike buddy, Erick also loves a good burrito, albeit a bit hotter and more omnivorous.

What works what doesn’t (my rankings for the burrito joints both sides of the Santa Cruz Mountains)

  1. Andale in Los Gatos has a delicious veggie burrito with a scrumptious side salad.
  2. Planet Fresh has so many options: wet burritos, brown rice, whole wheat tortillas, etc. in Santa Cruz
  3. Una Mas in Campbell has a nice variety of fresh salsas and a well stuffed burrito.
  4. Los Gallos in Scotts Valley has grilled serrano peppers and horchata and jamaica very traditional.
  5. We do not like Taqueria Vallarta at all, and will take Chipotle instead.

That’s it. Our burrito picks for our place.

My mom always orders a tostada on a steamed corn tortilla with beans, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, rice and avocado.

This is the healthiest option. Plenty of greens, low fat and packed with flavor- after she pours the table salsa over her entire salad.

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It’s cold and rainy and there’s a snow drift outside your door! What are you going to make using the ingredients you have? This is September in California, it is 90 degrees outside. I assume much of the US is snowed in and stuck with the ingredients on hand, without a farmers market or garden vegetable in sight.

White Bean Soup with kale, dried mushrooms, carrots and squash blossoms.

White Bean Soup with kale, turnips, dried mushrooms, carrots and squash blossoms.

Okay, I’ll play. I cooked up some white beans I grew in my garden last season: Hutterite soup beans (bush beans) an heirloom variety from Seed Savers Exchange. I added kale and carrots, onions, garlic and thyme, bay leaf and a vegan herb bouillon cube. Crock pot soup to the rescue.

Apples from a friend's tree

Apples from a friend’s tree

Then I cut up the late season apples, peeled them and made homemade applesauce.

Two variations on homemade applesauce:

Tart Cherry Applesauce

Peel and core 10-15 small apples, dice into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cinnamon stick

1 pinch of ground nutmeg

1 cup of water/ or apple juice

1/4 cup dried cherries cut into chocolate chip sized pieces

1 lemon’s worth of juice (I used a frozen lemon juice ice cube from the summer squeeze)

Simmer the apples, spices, cherries and lemon juice about 15-20 minutes. Mash with a potato masher or ricer. I like slightly chunky sauce. Sweeten to taste.

homemade applesauce with tart cherries

homemade applesauce with tart cherries

Turkish Apricot Applesauce

Peel and core 10-15 small apples, dice into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cinnamon stick

1 pinch of ground cinnamon

1 cup of water/ or apple juice

1/4 cup dried unsulfured Turkish apricots cut into thin 1/8 inch strips

1 lemon’s worth of juice (I used a frozen lemon juice ice cube from the summer squeeze)

Simmer the apples, spices, apricots and lemon juice about 15-20 minutes. Mash with a potato masher or ricer. I like slightly chunky sauce. Sweeten to taste.

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Equinox eats.

My brother’s birthday cake, because today is his birthday and he is a libra on the cusp and because I love him.

For my brother, Leif.

For my brother, Leif.

Surprise Cake

3 cups Rice Crispies

1 cup vegan marshmallows

1/2 cup vegan butter

1/2 cup organic crunchy peanut butter

16 ounces of vegan chocolate frosting

Melt the butter and marshmallows and peanut butter in a deep soup pot. Add the Rice Crispies folding them in until they are coated with the mixture. Press the “dough” into a round or square cake pan with a wooden spoon or plastic wrap under your hand. Cool until firm. Frost and surprise your guests with a solid cake that can be held in one hand.

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Make a dish using all seasonal produce.

This seems too easy. I have a weekly CSA veggie box that contains seasonal produce. Last night we made vegan quesadillas, with seared sweet potatoes, organic carrots, heirloom tomatoes and strawberries.

Vegan quesadilla, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries and carrots.

Vegan quesadilla, heirloom tomatoes, strawberries and carrots.

I also made roasted carrot and onion soup.

Roasted multicolored carrot soup.

Roasted multicolored carrot soup.

Roasted Carrot and Onion Soup

3-4 cups diced carrots (about 10 medium sized carrots)

2-3 cups diced onions (I had one very large onion)

2-3 Tablespoons olive oil for baking

1-2 cups of filtered water, or stock (if using stock, omit bouillon)

1 vegan bouillon cube

smoked paprika and chives or minced parsley for garnish

Slow roast diced fresh organic carrots and onions in a 350 degree F oven on a large baking sheet. I used a combination of yellow and orange carrots from my CSA box. When the carrots and onions have softened and started to turn golden brown, remove from the oven, combine with 1-2 cups of filtered water, and bouillon in a high powered blender. Puree for 1-3 minutes until smooth. Reheat on a low simmer for 10-20 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of oil, a dash of smoked paprika and chives or minced parsley.

I also have this beet. I will make something for an army with that.

This from my CSA box. I think they grew a bowling ball.

This from my CSA box. I think they grew a bowling ball.

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Something blue.

Oh, I had high hopes for today and then it was hot, so hot I felt like my shoes were melting to the pavement.

I was going to make blue cornbread, blueberry ketchup, or something such. Turning on the oven was out of the question. I had some leftover wasabi from avocado and cucumber rolls the other night, so I made Black Bean Wasabi Burgers. They do have a blue tinge. I am a big fan of home made ketchup and barbecue sauce so I added blueberries to this version. Served with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce, fresh garden cherry tomatoes with fresh basil (should be purple, but I only had green) and toasted sesame oil.

Black Bean Wasabi Burgers

Vegan Black Bean Wasabi Burgers with Blueberry Barbecue Sauce, garden tomatoes, fresh basil and sesame oil.

Black Bean Wasabi Burgers

2 cups cooked mixed grain (found in Asian markets, these can contain brown rice, brown sweet rice, barley, lentils or red beans, wild sweet rice)

1 cup cooked black beans, drained

1 Tablespoon prepared Wasabi, Japanese green horseradish

1-2 Tablespoons oil for cooking (toasted sesame or extra virgin olive)

Cook the rice according to directions. Using a food processor, combine the wasabi, rice and beans together, pulse to form a rough dough. You may need to scrape down the sides of the processor’s bowl. Using a spoon or your hands, shape into small 2 inch diameter patties. In a lightly oiled pan, brown the patties on both sides over medium heat about 3-5 minutes each side.

Blueberry Barbecue Sauce

1 small can of organic tomato paste

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup of liquid sweetener such as agave syrup, brown rice syrup, or fruit juice concentrate

1 Tablespoon Mrs. Dash or Trader Joes’ 21 Seasoning Salute

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

salt to taste

1/4 cup fresh or frozen thawed blueberries (if using fruit juice concentrate, consider using a fruit juice sweetened blueberry fruit spread)

Mash the blueberries with a fork, wisk together with other ingredients. This condiment makes a wonderful marinade, salad dressing or sauce. Add water or extra virgin olive oil to thin the sauce for your purpose.

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Recreate a restaurant meal

Why not just skip to dessert and the factory from which this recipe is inspired. I used less “cheesecake” and more fresh strawberries for this tart. When I was a kid, we loved the seasonal fresh pies from Marie Callendars. I also love Cheesecake so this tart is the best of both worlds, fresh fruit pie, and cheesecake layer.

Pecan Oat Gluten-Free Crust

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup raw pecans

1/4 cup Earth Balance non-dairy butter

1/4 cup brown rice syrup or agave

1 Tablespoon of ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons of ground flax seed

2 teaspoons of psyllium

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, pulse until dough is formed. Press into a greased tart pan, I do this with a piece of plastic wrap or a spoon. Bake 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust is golden and crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

Cheesecake filling

8 ounces of Vegan Cream Cheese (I like Trader Joe’s brand and Follow Your Heart)

1 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest

1/4 cup of sweetening- brown rice syrup or agave

Whip together by hand or with a mixer.

Berries and glaze

3-4 cups fresh strawberries, peaches

1 Tablespoon of non GMO corn starch

1 cup cherry cider, peach blossom or Sir Strawberry juice

Slice the berries or peaches, set aside. (To keep the peaches from turning brown, set them in a bowl of water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of vitamin C powder or citric acid). Mix Cornstarch and juice. Heat cornstarch and juice mixture, stirring constantly over medium flame, as the mixture begins to thicken and clear, remove from heat. Toss berries or drained peaches with half of the mixture.

After the crust has cooled, layer the remaining glaze, then cheesecake then berries into the pan. Chill before serving.

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Gluten Free oat pecan crust with non-dairy cream cheese and fresh strawberries.

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Here I am wondering if pickle flavored popcorn qualifies? Not a fan. I do, however, like soy sauce, extra virgin olive oil, creole spices and yeast flakes on my popcorn.

I didn’t follow the prompt today: the strawberries were calling. They wanted to be sliced and made into a fresh berry pie.

Weird Food Combos: Grapefruit and Sweet Potatoes. My mom makes this for Thanksgiving and we clamor for it, the way other people clamor for marshmallow topped sweet potatoes. The time consuming part is peeling the sweet potatoes, no, peeling the grapefruit, and then peeling the grapefruit sections! Basically, it is salty, sweet, tangy deliciousness.

Mom’s Holiday Grapefruit Sweet Potatoes

2-3 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled, and then peeled into whole sections. You will need enough sections to layer the top of the baking dish. Save the fruit that isn’t whole for folding into the potatoes. Discard all the bitter white pith and seeds.

4-5 large red orange fleshed sweet potatoes/yams, roasted in the oven with the skins on.

4-5 Tablespoons Earth Balance or other non dairy butter

3 Tablespoons of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice blend

3-5 Tablespoons of raw agave, brown-rice syrup or other liquid sweetener

Mash the potatoes with 1/2 of the Earth Balance, spices, remaining “imperfect” grapefruit flesh, add water as needed. Place in a baking dish, top with grapefruit sections in a concentric design on top, dot with butter and drizzle with sweetener. Bake until heated through 350-375 degrees F.

Pictured what I made today: Waffles with Berry Sauce and Cashew Cream, Kale Ramen and Vegan Strawberry Cheese Tart with Gluten- Free Pecan Oat Crust.

I made a gluten-free pecan oat crust that is more like a cookie, spread some thickened cherry juice and non-dairy cream cheese blended with lemon and vanilla extract, then topped with the fresh berries and glaze.

It is my reward for after my bike ride.

If I can wait that long.

Vegan Waffles

What remains of my second breakfast video shoot: waffles with berry sauce and cashew cream.

Kale Ramen

Ramen with Kale Chiffonade simmers

Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

Gluten Free oat pecan crust with non-dairy cream cheese and fresh strawberries.

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