soy-free

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.

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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.

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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.

***

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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.

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

Corn Bread

When I first met Mr Pine Nut, he was more or less constantly engaged in a determined effort to make Really Good Cornbread. Except he didn’t want to use a recipe.

I tried to convince him that Baking is a Science, and Requires Accurate Measurements, but he wouldn’t believe me.

So we had quite a few pans of rather heavy cornbread together, unless I was cooking, in which case I used the recipe on the cornmeal bag, like my mother had always done. It came out okay, though it never seemed to be as nice as when my mom made it.

Eventually I got the recipe my mother-in-law had used when working in a retirement centre kitchen, and I’ve used it ever since with good success and very few adaptations (the original called for eggs, so that was my main change). It always comes out perfectly, except when I try to use flax eggs in it. Flax eggs do NOT work in this recipe. I don’t know why. I’ve tried a number of times and with varying amounts of water. So I stick with the Ener-G egg replacer for this one.

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The amount in black give you for either a pie pan or 9×9″ square pan. The amount in red gives you a 13×9″ pan batch.

Corn Bread
1 c (2 c) corn meal (sometimes I use a blend of corn flour and corn meal)
1/2 c (1 c) wheat flour
1/2 c (1 c) white flour
2 T (1/4 c) sugar
1/2 T (1 T) baking powder
1/2 tsp (1 tsp) salt
1/2 T (1 T) Ener-G egg replacer
2 T (1/4 c) water
1/3 c (2/3 c) oil (can do half applesauce)
1 c (2 c) non-dairy milk (any will work, and water will do in a pinch)
1/2 c (1 c) frozen corn (optional)

Now here are the SuperComplicated(tm) instructions!

In bowl #1, combine all dry ingredients.

In bowl #2, combine all wet ingredients.

Transfer contents of bowl #1 to bowl #2 and stir just until combined.

Pour into a sprayed pan and bake at 350. The 8×8″ will take roughly 20-25 minutes, and the 13×9 at least 30 minutes.

The toothpick test works this way for this recipe: at the end of your baking time, if it comes out clean, let it go another couple of minutes.

You can also do this in a cast-iron skillet with excellent results. I’ve been doing it that way a lot lately.

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

The Nonfire

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Aren’t those just bright and cheery?

So, Skittles are vegan, if you didn’t know that. No gelatin!

But this post isn’t about Skittles. It’s really about our nonfire. I would have posted about this a long time ago except that I’ve had all kinds of computer issues and then I couldn’t find my card reader to get photos off my camera. So forget that this happened almost two months ago.

As you may recall, last year we had a bonfire. This year, it was kind of wet, and we actually have a house fit to throw a party in, so I decided to have a nonfire instead. I mean, there was a fire in the woodstove, but that hardly counts aside from HEY, IT WAS WARM. And dry. And inside.

We invited a lot of people from church and elsewhere and had a lot of no-shows. All the people who ended up coming were from church. I’m not complaining! Except, yanno, as always, I had way too much food.

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It was March, so I went with a St Patrick’s Day kind of theme. So it was all GREEN and RAINBOWS and stuff. My Irish flag veggie tray was a thing of beauty… at least to me. We also had crackers, pretzels, hummus, guacamole, chips… and the star of the meal was the scalloped potatoes. I mean, what’s an Irish themed meal without potatoes?

As with my chickpea potpie, I faced the dilemma of needing it to be soy and nut free. Usually I use a cashew-based sauce. But I decided to try it with an oat milk based sauce, since that worked in the potpie. And it worked for the potatoes too! They were a hit and so delicious. Want the recipe? Well, here it is.

Soy and Nut Free Vegan Scalloped Potatoes

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight. Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain. This makes one quart of milk.

When you’re ready to make your potatoes:

Peel and slice 8 c potatoes. Boil in 3.5 c water until partially cooked (7-10 minutes). Drain potatoes and arrange in a sprayed 13×9 Pyrex-type pan, and set aside.

In a saucepan stir together:
6 T oil
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté onion in the oil about 2 minutes. Add garlic.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 tsp salt
1-2 tsp of a favourite dried seasoning (I used dill)
3 c oat milk
Stir dry ingredients in first, then add the milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again.

Pour sauce over potatoes. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 25 more minutes.

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Aside from the food, we had good music, good visiting, and an entertaining escapade with some shrimp that mysteriously appeared in someone’s contribution of supposedly vegetarian Chinese takeout. Train Boy climbed high up in a fir tree and didn’t die. Yep, all in all a good evening.

It was very interesting because we had a different group of people than the usual group that comes to our bon-or-non-fires, so the dynamic was totally new. That was fascinating for me to observe. Is that weird?

And, in closing, here’s a picture of rainbow-hued chocolate chip cookies to brighten your day.

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Categories: dairy-free, dessert, entertaining, entrees, freezer meals, lunch, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Piña Colada Muffins!! or, Another Recipe Unearthed from the Bottomless Pit That Is My Drafts Folder

I had the better part of a can of pineapple slices in my fridge. I also had cocoanut milk. This means piña colada muffins NEEDED to happen. (You could also make doughnuts out of these, if you have a doughnut pan.)

I actually wrote this up aeons ago, and it’s been sitting in my drafts folder ever since. I’m pretty sure that these were awesome.

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1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c pineapple juice (from the canned pineapple
1/3 c sugar
1/2 c pineapple (chunks or tidbits, your call)
1/2 c cocoanut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T cocoanut oil, melted

Option: Top with 1/2 c cocoanut (I used 1/4 c each of sweetened baker’s cocoanut and unsweetened flaked)

Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients, including melted oil, in another bowl. Combine them together just until mixed. Drop into greased or papered muffin tin, top with topping if using, and bake at 350 for… I have “X MINUTES” written down, so that means I either forgot to pay attention to my baking time or… or something. Start with 18 minutes and go from there. That’s usually safe for muffins. Toothpick test will tell you when they’re done!

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Categories: breakfast, brunch, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Chickpea Potpie

Way back in the early days of my blog I posted this potpie recipe, which was good, but not great. I loved Marie Callender’s chicken potpies growing up and I really wanted to recreate that texture and flavour.

My father-in-law is allergic to nuts and soy (with the exception of soy oil, such as Crisco), so I wanted to not just make my potpie better, I wanted to make it better and be something he could eat.

Someone suggested an oat-milk-based bechamel sauce. So we’ll start this recipe with how I made the oat milk. Keep in mind the oats soak overnight, so this requires a little bit of planning ahead.

This makes a single 9″ potpie.

To make the oat milk:
Soak 1 c oats in 5 c water overnight.

Add 1/16 tsp salt in the morning.

Blend for a couple minutes and then strain.

I use a really classy nylon strainer. (Don't worry, it's a clean nylon. I think.)

I’m fresh out of cheesecloth, so I used a really classy nylon strainer. (Don’t worry, it’s a clean nylon. I think.)

In a saucepan stir together: 
6 T oil (I used half olive, half canola)
2 small carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1/2 c onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, crushed or chopped

Sauté carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the oil about 2 minutes.

Add:
6T unbleached flour
1 T mock chicken seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme

Sauté 2 more minutes and remove from heat.

Add 3 c oat milk very gradually, stirring thoroughly to prevent lumpage. Stir constantly over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat again. Add in:

3 c cooked garbanzo beans, thoroughly drained
3/4 c frozen peas
3/4 c frozen corn

Allow to sit while preparing the pie crust. Preheat oven to 425.

***

Pie Crust
(note: minus the thyme, this pastry can be used for fruit pies)
(note 2: you can really use any pastry recipe, just add the thyme! If you can’t have soy of any stripe, I highly recommend Isa’s olive oil crust from Vegan Pie in the Sky.)

2/3 cup + 2T shortening
1 1/2 c white flour
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme
4-5 T cold water

Cut shortening into flour mixture until it resembles little peas. Add 1T water at a time, tossing with a fork, just until flour is moistened. Divide pastry evenly in two, shape each lump into a round and roll out on lightly floured board until circle is 2″ larger than pie pan. Press lower crust into pan. Add filling to pie and repeat rolling process with second lump of pastry to cover the pie. Or you can cut out shapes.

 I made wedges out of my top crust.

I made wedges out of my top crust.

Cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 20 minutes. It should be golden and bubbling.

This potpie was amazing. Today we had it with mashed potatoes, but it would also be amazing with rice (which is how I grew up eating potpie). And it was so good. I finally nailed the taste and texture I wanted. I definitely want to make this more often now.

Part of today's Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, and  two kinds of apple pie.

Part of today’s Thanksgiving repast. We also had cranberry sauce, roasted vegetable stuffing, gravy, and two kinds of apple pie.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Stay tuned, because in the next week or so I have a holiday giveaway coming up.

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Categories: entrees, holiday, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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.

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

Journey to Éiden: Pantry on Wheels. Also, BROWNIE BATTER.

[Disclaimer: Most of this post was written late at night. 10:38 pm. Way, waaaaayy past this old lady’s beddy bye. I get a little bit insane at such an hour. Read on at your own risk.]

We’re taking a trip. A real family holiday, for NINE WHOLE DAYS. This is a first for us all as a family. We are going to fetch my new wooden baby Éiden. Who is Éiden, you ask? Stay tuned. Enjoy the mystery in the meantime.

No trip is complete without food. And we’re generally too cheap to eat out, even whilst travelling. Therefore, it was needful that before we actually embark on our adventure I get together a fully equipped Pantry-to-Go. I gave myself loads of time to do this, beginning to actually think about it concretely Tuesday night, 3 whole days before we leave.

So Wednesday morning I did what I do best: ALL THE THINGS. I made kale chips and granola and bulgur burgers and a Mount Everest of dirty dishes, which I then had to wash.

I also made a single serving of brownie batter so I could get my chocolate fix and continue my mission to clog the interwebs with more amazingly flattering photos of myself.

So flattering.

So flattering. But face it, holding a bowl like that while using the iPad to take the picture DOES require at least a little talent.

If you want a single serving of brownie batter too (you know you do), throw the following in a small bowl: 1/4 c white flour, 1/4 c sugar, 1 1/2 T cocoa powder, 2 T oil, 2 T water, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp vanilla. Stir until mixed and consume like the crazed closet chocoholic that you are.

Today, I made cookies. I made kati rolls for lunch. I made a Mount Kilimanjaro of dishes.

Tomorrow, I will make two pear frangipane pies, 48 chapatis, and do some serious packing. I’ll probably have a Pike’s Peak of dishes also.

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Categories: dessert, Mrs Pine Nut, nut-free, recipes, soy-free, travel, vegan | Tags: , , , | 4 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

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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!

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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

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