Posts Tagged ‘vegan’

This recipe is vegan and soy-free, so it is a great alternative for those who cannot tolerate these foods.

The recipe can be halved and used as a spread for the Pumpkin Oat Loaf I published on September 14.  This was my original intent when I created this recipe.  The result was so rich that I knew it would work perfectly as the filling for a pumpkin pie.

Vegan, Soy-free, Pumpkin Pie Filling

2 cups pecans

2 cups pumpkin purée (either homemade or canned)

2 tblsp lemon juice

2 tblsp white miso

1/3 cup agave syrup (maple syrup is also ok)

¾ tsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp ground ginger

1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp ground cloves

¾ tsp ground nutmeg

Place pecans in a food processor and combine until a butter is formed.  This will take about 5 – 7 minutes.

Add the remainder of the ingredients to the food processor, and combine.  Spoon mixture into your favourite pie crust, top with coconut or soy whipped cream, and enjoy.

This recipe can be halved and served as a dip as well.


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Okay, the title of this post is a bit misleading.  These aren’t actually doughnuts at all.  However, they really do remind me of timbits, both in size and in taste! 

As always, you are welcome to substitute the almonds for any kind of nut that you prefer.  Macadamia nuts would be a nice, neutral (expensive!) substitute.  Although pecans would probably be my second choice here, simply because of their natural sweetness, and I don’t think they would overpower the dates the way that something like peanuts or walnuts would.  Nuts without skins are best, however if you can’t find them blanched then it is not a huge deal.  The skins will add some bitterness to the balls, so you might want to consider adding a few more dates to try and offset this.  Or add a few drops of stevia, if you feel it’s necessary.

This is probably the simplest recipe I have posted yet.  There are only three ingredients, and all you have to do is pop things in the food processor.  Make sure your food processor is in good working order, though, as this will give it quite a workout. 

These are great on their own, but I like to have mine with coffee, either in the morning or as an after dinner treat.  The bitterness of the coffee is offset by the sweetness of the dates. 

Please forgive my terrible photography yet again.

Date and Almond Snacks

1 ½ cups blanched almonds

3 cups dates, preferably medjool

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Process almonds in food processor until almond butter is formed.  This will take approximately 5 – 7 minutes.  Add dates, process for another 5 – 7 minutes.  The mixture will be very sticky, almost like marzipan in texture.

Roll into ½ inch balls.  Place coconut in a small bowl.  Roll balls in coconut, pressing lightly to make sure the coconut adheres to the surface.

Makes approximately 30 – 40 balls.

*Alternatively, you can roll the balls in ground nuts of your choice.

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I initially had intended to give a review of the chocolate peanut butter tart recipe found at Elana’s Pantry (http://www.elanaspantry.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-tart/).  Don’t get me wrong – she has a good recipe, and it is well worth trying.  Her recipe got great reviews from my test subjects, and is highly recommended.

However, I am a little tired of having all of my chocolate desserts taste like coconut.  Or maybe I am just a little sick of coconut.  It really could go either way.  So I have created my own version, tweaking her recipe here and there to make it my own. 

This is the kind of dessert that is perfect for entertaining: it’s full of flavour, and has a beautiful, lustrous appearance.  Please, don’t mistake the crappiness of my photos for an unattractive tart – it truly is attractive.  I just happen to be a horrible photographer.  It would be even richer with some tofu or coconut whipped cream.  The saltiness of the crust is a fantastic combination with the sweetness of the filling.  It’s a real showstopper.  And most importantly you can really taste the chocolate!


2 ¼ cups unsalted organic peanuts, dry roasted

½ tsp sea salt

½ tsp baking soda

4 tblsp grapeseed or canola oil

2 ½ tblsp agave nectar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Buy peanuts already roasted.  It is easier, and will ensure that the crust has a nice, full, peanut-y taste to it.

Grind the peanuts in a food processor into a fine meal.  Be careful not to over-process and make peanut butter.

Add the salt and baking soda and pulse briefly to combine.  Then add the oil and agave nectar and continue to pulse until a dough is formed.  Make the dough as coarse or as fine as you prefer.

Press the dough evenly into a greased 9” pie plate.  Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.  Cool in the fridge.


1 ½ cups homemade nut milk (almond or peanut) (use 1 cup of blanched almonds or peanuts to make)

Pinch of sea salt

2 tblsp kudzu, dissolved in a small amount of cold water (approx. ¼ cup)

3 tblsp agave nectar

1/8 tsp stevia

1 tblsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup good quality chocolate, preferably dark or semi-sweet*

*If using dark chocolate, you may want to increase the amount of stevia to ¼ tsp

Note: it is extremely important to dissolve the kudzu before adding it to the milk.  The pudding will have lumps in it if you don’t.

To make the nut milk, cover 1 cup of of blanched almonds or peanuts with water, and soak overnight in the fridge (up to 12 hours).   Drain and rinse the nuts.  Add the nuts and 1 ¾ cups filtered water to a blender.  Blend until completely mixed, 1 -2 minutes.  Pour the mixture through a fine wire sieve or cheesecloth into a bowl.  This recipe will make approximately 1 ½ cups of nut milk.  It is important to make your own nut milk, as the store bought ones won’t be nearly thick enough.

In a medium saucepan, heat the nut milk and salt over medium-high heat until boiling.  Add the dissolved kudzu and whisk briefly over the heat, until you can feel the mixture thickening.  Remove from the heat.

Whisk in the agave, stevia, and vanilla.  Let the mixture stand for a few minutes to cool slightly, and then add chocolate.  Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted completely.  If the chocolate is left to melt on its own, it may burn.

Chill the pudding for 10 minutes in the refrigerator.  Remove from fridge and pour into the cooled pie crust, and refrigerate for 1 – 2 hours, until the filling has fully set.

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Yum!  This is another recipe from my new favourite obsession, The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.  I found this one on their excellent website http://www.nourishingmeals.com/

It is so hard to duplicate the moistness of brownies without using regular flour, eggs, sugar, or chocolate.  This recipe uses cocoa powder, making it vegan as well.  They have used almond flour as a base, which is an excellent choice.  If for some reason you can’t have almond flour, any other nut meal would work fine – macadamia nut meal in particular sounds especially delicious.  I can’t recommend using something like rice flour or sorghum flour, simply because then the moistness of these brownies would disappear.

While I used their recipe as a base, I did modify it somewhat to suit my own personal tastes.  The version listed here is my own take on their recipe – it has only been modified very slightly, and the results are delicious!

3 cups almond flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 tblsp tapioca starch

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp xanthan gum

1 1/4cup coconut milk (I used light, simply because it was what I had on hand)

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/4 cup canola oil

1 tblsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease muffin tins, or line with paper cups.  I used mini-muffin tins here, but if you only have regular sized ones, those are ok too.

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl.  Break up the cocoa powder and almond flour with your fingers, if necessary.  Get those hands dirty.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. 

Combine with the wet ingredients with dry ingredients.  Using spoons, fill the tins up about 3/4 full.  Fill any empty muffin tins with water, to ensure even baking.

If using mini muffin tins, bake for about 20 minutes.  If using regular sized muffin tins, bake for about 25 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes, then turn the muffins out.  But be careful, they will still be extremely delicate!

These brownies are ok on their own, but definitely better iced!  Again, this recipe is from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen…

1/2 cup chocolate (bittersweet or dark is best)

1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tblsp agave nectar

Place all ingredients into a small pot and heat over a low heat.  Stir continuously until melted and thick, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Spoon the warm chocolate over cooled muffins.  I put all my muffins on a piece of wax paper and iced them on that – it avoids a mess.  Top with shredded coconut, if desired.

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This is an incredibly versatile and delicious recipe that is simply good to have in your repertoire.  It’s one that most cooks have a variation of, and this is mine.  It really couldn’t be more straightforward, and is an excellent way of getting those dark leafies into your diet.

You can use any dark leafy that you like.  I used Dino Kale, which is one of my favourites. 

The best thing is that you can literally add whatever you like (or just have on hand) to the salad – beets, shredded carrots, seeds, nuts, peppers…the list goes on, obviously, limited only by your imagination and taste.  One of my faves to add is pumpkin seeds.

The salt and the citrus break down the fibres of the greens, making them more tender and easier to digest.  So don’t leave out the salt!!  But don’t worry about leaving the dressing on for too long.  While this salad is best enjoyed after the 30-minute marinade, the greens are strong enough to stand up to the acidity and salt for a few days.

And the recipe is….

1 bunch chopped/sliced dark leafy greens such as kale, dandelion greens, chard, or mustard greens, ribs removed

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice                     

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

2 cloves crushed, smashed, or diced garlic      

Put the garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon juice in a glass bowl large enough to accommodate the greens.  Whisk briefly with a fork.

Add your greens of choice.  It is best to use your fingers to coat the leaves with the dressing, but if you’re a bit squeamish about this kind of stuff, tongs will work too.

Massage the dressing into the leaves, to ensure that they are fully coated.  Let the salad marinate for approximately 1/2 hour.  Add your accompaniments of choice, and enjoy! 

Keep leftover salad in the refrigerator to enjoy another time.  This salad can last 2 to 3 days in the fridge covered.

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This recipe is taken from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, one of my new absolute favourite references for allergen-free cooking.  I was lucky enough to receive my copy of their cookbook in the mail a few weeks ago, and am just itching to work my way through it. 

I highly recommend purchasing their cookbook, as well as a visit to their website, as it has a lot of tips and recipes on it.  Their cookbook is available for purchase on their website.  A slightly modified version of this recipe can be found at their website, here – http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/02/gluten-free-vegan-sugar-free-chocolate.html

The genius part about this recipe is the use of beets.  While they use prunes in place of beets in the recipe on their website, I love using the beets.  Adding beets to the batter is a real old-fashioned way to make a cake, which makes me enjoy their recipe even more.  It’s a real throwback to the way people used to bake – so long ago that it’s virtually been forgotten. 

The beets add a tonne of moisture to the cake, not to mention a fair amount of nutrition, which gives you a great excuse to eat as much as you like!  I used golden beets, rather than red beets, simply because red beets are one of the few foods that I’m not that big a fan of.  That said, the taste of the beets is so subtle that I wouldn’t hesitate to use red beets if they were all I had access to. You wouldn’t even know they were in there unless someone told you that the cake was made with beets.

Be sure to cook the cake all the way through, otherwise the flavour of the beets does start to come through.  Also, make sure that the beets are very finely grated; give them a chop with a knife if necessary, or even use a food processor to grate them. 

The flavour of this cake is rich, moist, and chocolatey.  It tastes best when served with a berry sauce, coconut whipped cream, or both!!  This cake truly is succulent.  Mmmm…Enjoy!

Decadent Chocolate Bundt Cake from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook

2 cups brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1 /2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 heaping cup grated cooked beets, about 1 large peeled beet

1/2 cup melted virgin coconut oil

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup water

2 tblsp apple cider vinegar

1 tblsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 °  Oil a bundt pan with coconut oil.

In a medium sized bowl, place the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and sea salt; mix together well with a fork (or a whisk).

For the 1 cup of grated cooked beets, first trim the ends off of the large beet then cut it into quarters.  Place the quartered beet into a steamer basket in a pot filled with about 2 cups of water.  Place a lid on the pot and steam for about 30 – 45 minutes or until beets are very tender.  Let cool then remove the peel and grate.  Measure out 1 heaping cup.

In a separate bowl, place the grated beets, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla.  Mix well with a wire whisk.  pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, though be careful not to overmix.

Immediately pour the batter into the oiled bundt pan and place into the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes for a metal pan.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan.  Then flip it over onto a cake platter or place.  I actually let it cool for 20 minutes – it will slice better if the cake is on the cooler side.

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This post is is going to be fairly short and sweet.  I think this was my final great pizza experiment – it was a bit of a disaster.

After reading somewhere that doughs such as pizza and pie crusts needed to be flexible, I decided to conduct an experiment.  To make a gluten-free dough flexible, there needs to be high percentage of protein in the flour mixture.  Since I was simply satisfying a craving, I made my recipe up on the fly.  It was –

1/3 cup quinoa flour

1/3 cup millet flour

1/3 cup chick pea flour

2 tblsp. tapioca starch

1 tsp xanthan gum

2 tsp. baking powder

1/3 cup milk of choice (I used rice milk)

1/3 cup olive oil

Pinch of salt

Thanks to Harold McGee (see my book review at https://masteringtheartofwholesomecooking.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/book-review-on-food-and-cooking/), I now know about the importance of salt in cooking and baking, and know that it does more than add just flavour to dishes.  So don’t forget to add that salt!!

The dough was nice and moist.  However, it didn’t hold together very well.  Now, this could of course be corrected with more xanthan gum.  But I must confess that I really could taste the flour in the dough.  The proportion of highly flavoured flour to bland was simply too high.  In the end, I had to eat the pizza with a fork – no knife necessary.

To sum up, this is not a recipe I would try.  But I did want to share the news about needing a high-protein flour blend with those of you who are still trying to make that perfect gluten-free pizza.  But as this experiment shows, there can be too much of a good thing.

A few months ago, someone suggested using potato flour in the dough.  I still think this is a great idea, only I never ever have potato flour just lying around.  It just doesn’t have the versatility in it that I need to keep a flour in stock.  I would think about 1/4 of a cup would be enough to add elasticity to the dough without adding a lot of gumminess to the crust. 

Additionally, I cannot stress enough that you need to use lots of tomato sauce when making a gluten-free pizza.  Gluten-free flours will suck the moisture right out of anything, so you have to compensate for this tendency.

I have come to the rather sad conclusion that I will never be able to replicate the pizza crust that I miss so much.  I guess it’s just something that I have to accept, like the fact that I will never be able to replicate a croissant successfully.  I suppose that one day I might take up the challenge again, but I think it would take a month of concerted, non-stop effort to come up with the results that I desire.  But for now I must lay the gauntlet down.

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