gluten-free

Hollywood Squares, or Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Hollywood Squares

As some of you know, I’ve been unable to consume peanut butter (or peanut anything) for roughly… *counts*… one year and seven months, because I was nursing Lou Who and she would get a Terrible Rash from my peanut consumption. Being an inveterate adorer of Snickers, pb&j, and Thai food, this has left a gaping hole in my life. But, you know, I’ve coped. I’ve actually coped pretty well, considering that I don’t like almond butter very much. And, thankfully, I could still have chocolate! Peanuts really are one of the easier allergens to deal with, and I’m very thankful it was that and not gluten.

So, one of the things I haven’t made for a Very Long Time is Hollywood Squares, which is a recipe a friend gave me when we were 12 or 13 and it’s basically like having a 13×9 Reese’s Peanut Butter cup in the palm of your hungry little hand. I made these many times for my coworkers back about 7 years ago and saw them vanish before my very eyes. I myself am *cough* capable of eating more of them at a time than I care to admit.

I have no doubt you could make these with sunbutter, almond butter, cashew butter, or any sort of nut butter, but I knew it simply wouldn’t be the same, so I’ve waited and waited to post this here.

Note: It’s helpful to have all your peanut butter layer ingredients ready in bowls so you can add them in quickly.

Note #2: It is VERY important to add the ingredients in the peanut butter layer in the order they are listed. Most recipes don’t care, but trust me, this one does. If you do them out of order, you’ll wind up with a lumpy mess. A tasty lumpy mess, mind, but probably not one that would make your co-workers compliment you on your Mad Attractive Food Skilz.

Note #3: If you cut the recipe in half, it’s perfect for 12 regular muffin cups (smash the peanut layer into muffin papers and then spread the chocolate on top).

And without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Peanut Butter Layer
1/2 c melted vegan margarine
2 c creamy peanut butter
2 1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix 1/2 c melted margarine well with the peanut butter, powdered sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Spread in the bottom of 13×9 pan.

Chocolate Layer
4 T vegan margarine
12 oz bag of chocolate chips

Melt together the 4 T margarine with the bag of chocolate chippies. Pour and spread chocolate mixture on top of peanut butter mixture. Chill. Cut into squares.

^^Bonus: a really lame video of me eating one of these babies a few minutes ago.

Advertisements
Categories: dairy-free, dessert, gluten-free, Lou Who, recipes, vegan | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Chicken Rice

One of the things I ate a lot as a child was that very yellow Lipton chicken rice. I remember having a curious love-hate relationship with it. It was good, and it was pretty, and yet I got sick of it so quickly. Maybe it was too salty for me. Boxed and packaged food usually is.

GooGoo wanted a picture of her food.

GooGoo wanted a picture of her food. I don’t know why she had the grumpface on.

But, I decided it would be fun to try to recreate this in vegan form. So, keep reading for the recipe.

***

Today’s musical selection has nothing to do with chickens, rice, or Lipton. It is, however, nostalgic for me, and that is reason enough.

***

In a heavy-bottomed pan, stir together:
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 clove crushed garlic
2 T oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 T chicken seasoning
1/8 – 1/4 tsp turmeric

Turn on heat and cook rice for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, to toast rice.

When the oil is beginning to absorb, add:
3 1/3 cups water

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow to cook about 35 minutes. Turn off burner. Let stand 10 minutes before removing lid and fluffing with fork.

_MG_4125

sig

Categories: dairy-free, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Spanish Rice

The first five rice recipes I have to share are rice basics, in a variety of flavours. Some of them will get re-used later on in my ricefest in other dishes, but all can be stand-alone side dishes as well. You will notice that all of them are based on the Brasilian rice method, which is why I shared that first.

***

In keeping with today’s Spanish theme, here’s a fine exhibition of tremolo on harp:

***

In a heavy-bottomed pan, stir together:
1 1/2 cups brown rice (I use plain long grain brown, but jasmine and basmati work fine too)
1 large clove crushed garlic
2 T oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 tsp cumin seed
1 T taco seasoning
2 small tomatoes, chopped (or 1/2 cup canned tomatoes, drained)
1 tsp onion powder

Turn on heat and cook all of the above for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, to toast rice.

When the oil is beginning to absorb, add:
3 3/4 cups chicken broth (I stirred 4tsp chicken seasoning with 3 3/4 cups water)

Bring to boil, cover tightly, and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes. Then let sit covered 10 minutes (do not remove from heat). Fluff with a fork and serve.

_MG_4059
sig

Categories: gluten-free, nut-free, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan | Tags: | Leave a comment

Basic Brasilian Rice

I was going to take part in Vegan MoFo again this year. I signed up. My theme was going to be Music and Rice, and it was going to be super awesome.

But then I had a reality check. I’m preparing a concert with some friends that we’re intending to have ready by mid-September. I simply don’t have time to commit to MoFo with having to get that much music practise in!

So, I had to un-sign-up. Waaaaaaa. HOWEVER, I’m still planning to do my theme, just not all in one month. And I’m going to start now.

***

Among the various treasures preserved from my childhood is a cassette tape on which I’ve written in ballpoint pen: PIANO AND RICE.

Music and I go way back. This tape is a gem, created by my friend Edda and I, on which are some pieces she played from her piano lesson book and a fair number of brilliant original compositions such as “Mother and Me”, “Thunder and Lightning”, and “The Swan”, all of which were made up on the fly whilst our mothers, oblivious to the genius they had managed to gift the world, quietly had a garage sale out front.

Consider the lyrics to “The Swan:”

Gracefully she swims along
Down the Yahtzee river.
Along came a toad and ate her up,
Swimming down the river.
Along came a toad and ate her up,
Swimming down the river.
OH NO! Oh. No.

So, in honour of this ridiculous piece of nostalgia from my childhood, I have a dual, and perhaps wacky, theme this year involving two of my favourite things: music and rice. I will not limit this music to piano, because while I like piano, it’s not my favourite thing in the world any more.

So, to kick things off, here is some Bach, brilliantly executed on two harps, because Bach. And harps.

And why, you may ask, is the tape titled “Piano and Rice”? Well, the end of the tape is a recording I had running one evening when I was hungry for rice, and so it is a real-time chronicle of the making of a pot of rice for yours truly. I was probably 10 or 11. My dad sings a hit song called “Achy Breaky Rice” and one of the tracks is called “Atom Bombs and a Butt Imprint”.

Yes. I had an interesting childhood.

***

IMG_1128

I already used this picture in another post, but hey, rice is rice, and kind of boring to look at on its own.

SO ANYWAY. RICE IS KIND OF AWESOME. I’m kicking things off with my go-to rice recipe. It is super simple – just a few extra steps from regular rice cooking – but tastes like a million bucks, and I can’t really go back to plain old rice anymore! GooGoo and Lou Who both love it, even though GooGoo claims, “I don’t like gar-wick.”

This recipe is adapted from Matthew Locricchio’s The 2nd International Cookbook for Kids (this is *not* a vegan cookbook, but worth it for this recipe alone in my opinion!). My changes: reduce the oil, change the water/rice proportions, and use brown rice. And I’ve tripled it – the original calls for 1 cup of rice, but we go through so much rice in our house that it would be just dumb to not cook enough to last a few days all at once.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, stir together:
3 cups brown rice (I use plain long grain brown, but jasmine and basmati work fine too)
3 T crushed garlic (3 large cloves)
1/4 c oil
2 1/4 tsp salt

Turn on heat and cook rice for about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly, to toast rice.

When the oil is beginning to absorb, add:
6 2/3 cups water

Stir together and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover pot, and allow to simmer 30-45 minutes. Don’t lift the lid until it looks like the water is almost absorbed.

When the water is absorbed (you will know because there will be steam holes in the rice that are no longer bubbling), turn off the heat and leave covered for 10 minutes. Then fluff with a fork and serve.

sig

Categories: gluten-free, nut-free, recipes, side dish, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Ginger-Apple Smoothie

I made this tasty smoothie a while back. I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so I’m going to share it, even though some people claim it’s Too Cold for Smoothies. (They are wrong, by the way. It is NEVER too cold for smoothies.)

smoothie

In a blender, combine:
1 T flaxseed
1 apple (i used 2 tiny ones)
1/2 c vanilla soy milk
1 c frozen strawberries
1 c orange juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger

And then slurp it down with delight.

sig

Categories: beverages, breakfast, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, recipes, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Well, hello, Fall.

It’s been pretty cold around here lately. 26 in the morning. Still, I’ve always preferred cold. I’d prefer to cuddle up in blankets and turn up the heater any day over melting in rivers of sweat when it’s summertime.

I’m planning to make a potpie as my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner, so since I needed to cook up garbanzos for that anyway, I was thinking of making Isa’s cabbage soup. But I don’t have any cabbage. Then I saw a thing of red beans sitting out and thought, I WILL MAKE UP A SOUP RECIPE TODAY. I had a bunch of soup-appropriate odds and ends in my fridge, so I pulled all of them out.

Then I cast them into a pot, and there came out this soup.

soup

Start by sauteing the following in a little oil for a few minutes:
2c chopped onion
1 3/4 c chopped celery
4 cloves garlic
1T ginger, grated

Turn off heat and stir in:
3 carrots, cut however you want – I did coins
1.5 c cooked brown rice
2 c red beans
4 c garbanzo beans
8-10 c water (I did 10 but would do 8 next time, because I’m not a huge fan of broth)
2T mock chicken seasoning of choice

Bring to a boil and simmer until carrots reach desired tenderness (or lack thereof, if you’re a cooked carrot-phobe.)

Before serving, add:
1c chopped cilantro
Salt as needed

And then dig in.

sig

Categories: gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soup, soy-free, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 12: Savoury Kale Waffle Sandwich

I really don’t like kale that much.

I know that pretty much revokes any right I’ll ever have to a vegan card, but it’s the truth. Still, as with nutritional yeast, I use the stuff anyway, because I know I should. (Granted, 5 years ago I thought spinach was disgusting and now it’s my favourite green…) So, we’ll see in another five years, I guess.

If it’s steamed or in a soup is the way I like kale mostly.

But best of all is when it’s blended up so I really hardly know it’s there.

Plus, it’s a good way for GooGoo and Lou Who to get greens, since Lou Who still can’t really chew them and GooGoo sometimes eats it, but usually only while she’s in the garden picking it.

The Green Waffle

The Green Waffle

So, here’s a savoury waffle, greened up with kale. This was inspired by Green Monster Bread from “Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day” as well as a waffle recipe from last year’s MoFo that I can’t find now, and also by a waffle from “Of These Ye May Freely Eat“.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

Yes, the batter looks like pond scum.

A few notes:

*Soak lentils overnight, at least 8 hours. I think mine soaked around 14 hours, because I didn’t have time to get to them first thing in the morning.

*You want cold milk and water because it will give you a nice fluffy waffle requiring no leavening when beat well. I don’t really understand the science of it, but it does work.

*Cold water+loads of beating is the magic combo. Since there’s no gluten, you don’t need to worry about overbeating. Blend it at least a minute if not longer, to get lots of air into it.

Green Savoury Kale Wafflewich
2 c lentils, soaked at least overnight
3 c oats, divided
4 c unsweetened almond milk, cold
1/2 c cold water
2 c packed greens: kale and collards were what I used
1 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp California chilli powder

First, get the waffle iron heating.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Fabulous green batter, green waffle, and green waffle iron.

Put all ingredients except 1c oats and 1/2 c water into blender. Blend well. If your blender isn’t big enough, you can do it in batches, which is what I had to do.

Pour into a large bowl and fold in oats and 1/2 c water. I cooked them for about 10 minutes fairly high. Just keep an eye on it, since every waffle iron is different.

Ideas for serving:

  • Serve like beans on toast, with some nice savoury black beans on top
  • Use rice-bean combo to fill, maybe with some onions and bell peppers
  • Black bean burger with tomato, lettuce, and hummus
  • Cream cheeze, tomato, and cucumber

green2

What I have in the photo at the top is tomato, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, and Sabra spinach-artichoke hummus. And green beans on the side, because apparently today is green day.

This makes 4 12″ waffles, which means I can get 8 sandwiches out of it. They freeze well and are very filling. And the girls both liked them. Score!

sig

Categories: bread, breakfast, brunch, challenges, freezer meals, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, oil-free, recipes, snacks, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013, vegetables | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Month of Food, Day 8: Layered Middle Eastern Dip

You know those things on Facebook where it’s a square with a bunch of squares and it says something like, “How many squares can you find? XYZ said they found 50, but I think they’re lying! Like this if you find more!” So there’s a square, but there are actually 53 squares, or something.

That’s kind of how this recipe is. You’re getting one recipe, but you’re actually getting more than one, and we can argue, er, discuss all you like how many you’re actually getting.

I wanted to do a savoury layered dip, but not a Mexican-flavoured one, because everyone’s already done that. So I decided to go for a Middle Eastern flavoured one.

This is something you’ll want to plan ahead for. All the components should sit in the fridge overnight to let the flavours meld, and then you can assemble it right before you actually need it to keep everything from running together. Feel free to experiment with it. I felt the results were a little bland, but Mr Pine Nut really, really liked it. So, take it and run.

middip1

You’ll layer this in a 13×9 pan, or cut the recipe in half for a 9×9. Here are the layers, from bottom to top:

Hummus
4c garbanzo beans, cooked or canned, drained
4 cloves garlic
2 T tahini
2 tsp cumin
4T lemon juice
4T olive or other oil
1/2 tsp salt

Toss everything in a food processor and process until smooth. You can add a little water if needed.

Lentils
1 c dry lentils
4 c water
8 oz tomato paste
1 T dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder

Combine all in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then allow to simmer until lentils are very soft, about 2 hours.

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa
2 c chopped tomatoes
2 c chopped cucumber
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 c minced red onion
1 1/2 T fresh minced parsley
3 T lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1 packed tsp fresh minced dill
1/2 tsp California chilli powder
1/4 tsp salt

Combine lemon juice, cumin, salt, and herbs. Stir in remaining ingredients. Allow to sit for several hours or overnight for flavours to blend, stirring occasionally. When assembling the dip, use a slotted spoon to get rid of some of the liquid or you’ll have very soggy dip.

Over the top, I drizzled tahini dressing (I used the recipe out of Vegan Sandwiches Save the Day) and sprinkled sesame seeds.

sig

Categories: challenges, gluten-free, recipes, side dish, snacks, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2013 | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Curried Pumpkin-Acorn Squash-Carrot-Spinach Soup

Well, things have settled a little bit around here. We’re all on the mend. I’ve got a pulled muscle in my ribcage from coughing that hurts pretty badly, and I get tired easily. GooGoo still has a runny nose of epic gloppiness. But otherwise, things aren’t too bad. I spent my entire day pretty much washing laundry. I had a lot more than usual because my washer had some issues last week and Mr Pine Nut got a part just yesterday to fix the issues.

So, I not only washed clothes, but I’m working on washing all our sheets and blankets too, to rid them of the ickies from the flu. Kind of like how they burned everything in the Velveteen Rabbit, except less destructive. Tomorrow I get to wash diapers and more blankets. Woohoo.

In between loads of laundry, I made soup.

_MG_0864

This is one of those soups that was born out of an urgent need to Use Things Up. In this case, we had an acorn squash, a pumpkin, some spinach, and some carrots. I decided to make a pumpkin soup. Curried pumpkin soup sounded good. So I asked The Google and The Google found me this recipe.

Squash is generally considered more autumn-y, but I don’t care particularly. One must use what one has, even in February. This soup will kill any bacteria residing in your digestive tract and clean out your sinusi* as well as taste delicious.

I changed it a bit from the original. This is what I did.

In your soup pan, stir together:
2 c chopped green onions
1 T cocoanut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 T grated fresh ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes

Saute a few minutes, until oil is melted and onions are tender.

Add:
4 c pumpkin puree
4 c water
1 1/2 c mock chicken or veggie broth
2 c diced carrots

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it cook about 20 minutes. Carrots should be to desired tenderness.

_MG_0863

In a separate pan, stir together:
2 T cocoanut oil
2 tsp brown mustard seeds
2-4 c packed spinach (you could also use kale or another leafy green. I used 2 cups and next time would use 4.)

Stir oil and mustard seeds together until seeds begin to pop. Add spinach and continue stirring until wilted. Add to pot of soup right before serving.

_MG_0862

Enjoy. I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers from this tomorrow.

——

*Neither of these statements have been validated by the FDA, but I am pretty sure I’m right.

sig

Categories: gluten-free, lunch, recipes, soup, soy-free, vegan, vegetables | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Vegan MoFo #22: Creole Lima Beans

I love lima beans.

Mr Pine Nut kindly tolerates my love of lima beans.

I paired these with Creole Wieners for our lunch today, but I’ll share that recipe tomorrow.

5467y <—cat’s contribution to this post

I’m honestly not quite sure what qualifies this to be “Creole” (or tomorrow’s recipe, for that matter). The tomatoes is as close as it gets. There are no special seasonings nor sea creatures called for in either recipe, so I really have no idea. At any rate, I very much enjoyed it. The buttery, melty texture and flavour of lima beans cannot be beat.

creole lima beans

This recipe was originally found on page 167 of the 1978 Betty Crocker cookbook.

1 8-oz can stewed tomatoes
10 oz frozen lima beans (I just used the full 16-oz bag – I don’t think they sell 10 oz bags any more. Your call.)
3/4 c chopped celery
1/2 tsp salt

Heat ingredients to boiling, separating beans with a fork; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 5 minutes.

Categories: challenges, gluten-free, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan, vegan mofo, vegan mofo 2012, vegetables | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Eva Reads Books

gloriously daft, full of bookish nonsense

In the Soup Together

A "Black Dove White Raven" Fansite

declare the causes

i will tell the world

Creative Wending

cooking, crochet, and a few things inbetween

The World of YA

a podcast by and for YA readers

Vegan Needs

Vegan Lifestyle. Vegan beauty, Food, Reviews & More

the taste space

steam, bake, boil, shake!

Too Cheap for Pine Nuts

Plant-Based Food and Other Stories

The Vegan Cookbook Aficionado

Compassionate Eating For Everyone

veganinbrighton

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

Storyfied Blog

we're all just stories in the end

Mostly Bliss

The healthiest response to life is joy

Eat.Plants.Live.

...a movement for living food and loving life