Monday, December 10, 2012

and so it goes

Hi there! So, I have some news. I've started another blog. It was a hard decision, but it was the best solution to my dilemma.

See, I like to run. As in, jog. And as much as I enjoy writing about my culinary adventures, I really wanted to discuss my running because there is so much I need to learn about the sport. And I feel like the bigger purpose of blogging is not about sharing things yourself, but about learning and taking insight from others in webland.

So instead of  trying to adjust my beloved, very food-centered WildVeg into a running/foodie spot, I started a whole new project altogether that will accommodate my running ramblings.

It's called Mrs. B.Webb Runs, and I think you'll like it. I'll still post recipes and discuss what the eats are around here on there, since that is a part of me and a huge component of a runner's lifestyle.

I do hope you'll follow me over there. I really like you, like this much:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fig Bars (Gluten-Free | Vegan)

Fig Newtons were always a mystery to me. They weren't cookie-sweet that would satisfy a dessert craving, but yet they wouldn't be something that's acceptable as a dinner companion.

And they sure as heck don't have chocolate, so they lose some points there.

Wait, they have figs? Riiiight. OK, you have a deal then. I'll take your dried figs, turn them into mush, smooth them between 2 layers of dough, and call it my new new favorite snack. Or dessert. Or for that "I want to eat something not dessert-ish but still tastes sort of sweet and just fools me" moment. 

My husband came home and declared that these are the bomb. So yeah, listen to that. He's a teacher, so he totally knows what's up.

I saw this recipe from my favorite vegan chef awhile ago, but just got around to making it. I suggest you do the same - maybe when you've had a stressful day, when all you want to do is smash some...figs...into a pulp. So satisfying!

Fig Bars (Gluten-Free | Vegan)
adapted from IsaChandra
Makes 16 bars

For the fig filling:
1 lb. dried figs, hard stems removed and diced into small pieces
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

For the dough:
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond meal

1 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Line an 8 x 8 square metal brownie pan with enough aluminum foil so that it folds over the sides of the pan by about an inch. Spray bottom of covered pan with non-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large saucepan, combine chopped figs, water, and agave nectar/maple syrup. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally. When figs begin to soften in about 8 to 10 minutes continue to cook but mash figs with a firm spatula or a fork to create a chunky, moist paste. I got the prefect consistency with this ratio of fig:water, but if your mixture looks too dry add in more water until it works for you. Remove filling from heat and set aside.My filling still had some large chunks in it, which I liked for more texture.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine ground flax seed, non-dairy milk, canola oil, Sucanant and vanilla extract until smooth, mixing for about 1 1/2 minutes.

4. In a separate small bowl, sift together the almond meal, sweet rice flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir into the wet ingredients.

5. Form a soft dough, gather into a ball with your hands and divide into two sections. Form one section into a ball with your hands - the dough will be slightly sticky and wet.

6. Fit the dough ball into the bottom of your prepared pan and fit so it's an even thickness. Pop into the oven for 10 minutes to set.

7. When the bottom layers is done "pre-baking" for 10 minutes, evenly layer on the fig filling. Top with the final layer of dough, smoothing the best you can on top of the figs. Mine was a little spotty and some filling peeked through, which I liked the look of.

8. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes until crust is golden and slightly hardened. Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack to cool. When completely cool remove bars from pan by grabbing the edges of the foil and lift everything out of pan. I cut mine into 16 squares right onto the tinfoil.

Monday, November 26, 2012

How to: Bake Eggs

My earliest memory of hard-boiled eggs was when I was maybe 11. My mom had put some on the stove but got a phone call from a neighbor. (I'm assuming it had to do with either of my younger siblings, since we had a pretty tight-knit neighborhood full of kids. )

Mom gave me strict instructions to take the eggs off when the oven clock read a certain time if she wasn't back by then. It was supposed to be a quick trip so I sort off...forgot.

My mom, however, realized when she walked in the door and discovered the water was gone and the eggs were a-burning. I remember feeling really bad because she felt really bad.

Now, these days, you can bake your eggs! This may not be news to you, but I was informed of this just 2 days ago, which can easily be blamed on the fact that I don't have Pinterest (oh, the shame).

These were so quick and easy, and perfect for a snack throughout the week.

1. First, you want to preheat your oven to
350 degrees. Put 12 raw eggs in each hole of a muffin pan and pop into the oven when it's heated.

2. Bake for 30 minutes. Right before you take them out of the oven, prepare an ice bath. When the eggs are done, remove them from the pan using tongs and transfer to the ice bath to stop them from cooking more. Let them cool, which should take about 15 minutes. Add more ice as needed.

3. After the eggs have cooled, peel them up. I found they were pretty easy to peel using this method of baking.

4. I was warned that brown spots may appear from baking the eggs, which did happen. While this may concern you, be assured that they still taste normal.

And that's all there is to it! I made some mean deviled eggs with my first batch. What will you do?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pear, Nutella and Oat Scones (Gluten-Free | Soy-Free)

Happiest of Thanksgivings to you! I hope you enjoy all the big and small moments today has to offer - soak it up before the next holiday rush hits! I still have a hard time believing it's that time of year already.

What are you thankful for?

I'm thankful for you visiting this little bloggy of mine - I hope you stick around!

Pear, Nutella and Oat Scones (Gluten-Free | Soy-Free)
adapted from bron marshall

1 cup almond meal
1 cup sweet rice flour
1/2 cup flax meal
1/2 cup oat flour
3 t of baking powder
1/2 t salt
7 T butter, cubed
1 (preferably free range) egg
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice)
1/2 cup Nutella
1 ripe pear, peeled and grated

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease or Silpat a cookie sheet.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours. Add in the baking powder and salt and mix again.

3. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg and add the sugar, applesauce and milk and thoroughly combine.

4. Make a well in the dry ingredients; add the wet and combine. Add the shredded pear and mix again. It will be quite wet.

5. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto the baking sheet and spread to about 1/4 inch thickness. Add 1 teaspoon (or more!) of Nutella in the middle and cover with 2 more tablespoons of batter. Continue until it's gone.

6. Bakes for 15 minutes, until cooked through and the outsides are slightly browned. Keep scones covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie (Gluten-Free | Vegan | Soy-Free)

I've always loved smoothies. When I was younger, my friend and I would plan mall dates. This happened mostly during the summer, when our parents were off working and weren't able to take us to and fro all the necessary social spots we wanted to visit. I would spend the night at her house and we would check the Kitsap Transit bus schedule, plan our outfits and make our window-shopping routes (since you know, we were like ten and couldn't afford to buy anything but tasty snacks).

Then, when we were on the bus feeling all grown-up about ourselves, I got to dreaming about my Orange Julius and my friend would dream about her Cinnabon.Why I would pick a smoothie over a cinnamon roll is beyond me, but kids are weird.

The thing about some smoothie things, however, is that they're no good for keeping you full. At least, my stomach isn't having it. It knows that it's just ground up fruit and juice, which is nothing substantial.

At first, I started putting protein powder in the mix, along with peanut butter or Nutella, if I was feeling ultra decadent. Then I realized that if I'm soaking my oats in milk and with chia seeds overnight anyways, I could blend that up into a delicious concoction that was delicious as a smoothie but filling as a well-rounded breakfast ought to be.

Oh She Glows always comes through for me in the vegan department. Her recipes are not only tasty and unique, but they're easy and she's great at explaining the steps.

A friends made this recipe by her, and highly recommended it - which, duh, how could it be wrong with so many key words in the title?

I'm pleased to say, it hit the spot. The sweet, savory spot. For 4 hours, until I wanted another.

Chocolate Cake Batter Smoothie (Gluten-Free | Vegan | Soy-Free)
adapted from Oh She Glows

1 cup almond milk
1/3 cups oats
1 T chia seeds
1 frozen banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 t cocoa powder or hot chocolate powder
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 ice cubes
1 tbsp chocolate chips

1. In a small bowl, mix the almond milk, oats and chia seeds. Place in fridge and let it soak for at least 1 hour to soften - I prefer to do it overnight for a fast breakfast.

2. After soaking, add to blender along with the rest of the ingredients (except chocolate) blend on high speed until smooth. Add chocolate chips and blend on low until chunky.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free)

With daylight savings time in the mix these days, I've been able to go running in the mornings again. I realize this might sound like crazy talk, but I am a morning person to the extreme. It's my time of the day. It's when I'm most productive, positive and energetic and generally just feel like super-woman.

Fast forward to noon and then this is me. At least my days are very balanced, right?

The one downfall about going running in the morning is that I'm a breakfast girl. However, I'm pretty certain it's common enough knowledge that one is not supposed to eat a large amount of food (which is what I would prefer) before partaking in physical activity. So I eat these balls:

These guys are packed with protein and nutrients the body needs, but they don't weigh me down when I'm out running amok. One keeps my appetite at bay for about 5 miles, and then I need to stop and have a real meal before a mental hangry breakdown erupts.

You're probably wondering what the heezy is covering the outside of these suckers - chia seeds. Yes, you can grow a bushy animal out of these but more importantly they pack protein, calcium, fiber and heart-healthy fat into your diet. These are a dream for vegetarians, given that they are a complete protein and you don't need to combine them with other food to get all the essential nutrients. Feel free to read more about them here.

One way I enjoy these little seeds is to soak them with oats and milk overnight in the fridge, so that I have a creamy, pudding-like breakfast the next morning. It tastes like dessert, but it's not. I'll give you a recipe for that in a couple days!

Anyway, I hope I provided a little bit more insight into how us vegetarians, athletes or not, get our protein. I get my chia seeds in the bulk bin at WinCo, but I've seen them at pretty much every grocery store lately. They've received a lot of positive publicity these days, and rightfully so!

Pumpkin Spice Protein Balls (Gluten-Free, Vegan, Soy-Free)
Adapted from Beth
Makes 10 balls

1/4 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup oats
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
8 dried dates, pitted
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons pumpkin purée (I used canned)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Dash of ground cloves
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
roughly 1/4 cup chia seeds

1. Add the oats, walnuts and coconut to a food processor and blend until fairly ground. Remove and set aside until later.

2. In the now-empty food processor, process the dates until a thick paste forms. If your dates are really dry, feel free to add a tablespoon of water to thin it out a little.

3. To the dates, add in the peanut butter, pumpkin, spices, salt and vanilla and process a bit until thick and blended together.

4. Add in the processed oats, walnuts and coconut to the mix and blend all together until a ball seems to form in the processor. If it doesn't get this thick, add in more oats or walnuts to thicken it up a little.

5. Take the blade out of the processor and roll the dough into balls as big as you would like. Mine were about 1.5" in diameter. Roll into the chia seeds and then place them in a tupperware or on a plate. Store in the fridge!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Birthday Apple Dutch Baby (Gluten-Free)

This past weekend was my hunky husband's birthday! I tell you, I love the simple celebrations of someone's special day. A warm breakfast treat. Gift wrap. Sprinkles...on everything. Not to mention using the day as another great excuse to hang out with family that gets together far too infrequently.

I used a different recipe for this "baby" than I did for this one. I went for the Festive Fall route using apples and pears than the tropical road with the mango and coconut. Oh, and real butter is involved in this version. Ohhh, that's a good day.

I used this recipe from The Kitchn, which I'm just going to assume you've heard of because it's one of the best online kitchen resources I've come across (not to mention the recipes. Oh, goodness). You know that one day you get every 82 when you find yourself with a spare hour? Yeah, use that hour to scope out that site. I bet you'll have more than 2 questions answered. 

But anyway - this recipe did not disappoint. This "baby" came out a lot puffier and delicate than the mango version, which I like because it means the edges are thing and crispy. 

Also, you know that whole saying "a watched pot never boils"? Yeah, well, "a watched pancake never puffs." 


Apple Pear Dutch Baby (aka, German Pancake)
adapted from The Kitchn
serves 2-3

1 apple (I used Fuji) and 1 pear (I used Barlett), diced into 1/4 inch pieces
4 tablespoons white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup Gluten-Free flour (I used Bob'd Red Mill since I had a little left in my cupboard)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup rice milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with the cinnamon and ginger and set aside.

3. Cut the butter into chunks and place them in a deep cast iron skillet or 8x8-inch baking dish. Put the skillet or baking dish in the oven until the butter is melted. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the 1/3 cup brown sugar over the melted butter. Carefully spread the apples and pears on top of the brown sugar and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the apples. Put the pan back in the oven to caramelize the apples and sugar.

4. Whisk the gluten-free flour with the remaining tablespoon of sugar, salt, and nutmeg. Gradually add the rice milk, whisking constantly with a large wire whisk to beat out any lumps. When the flour is smoothly incorporated into the milk, beat in the vanilla and the eggs one by one. Continue to beat by hand for 2 minutes, or until foamy. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. By now the sugar should be bubbling around the apples.

5. Take the pan out of the oven and pour the batter over the apples. Bake for about 20 more minutes or until center is set and sides are lightly browned. The pancake will puff up like crazy but fall after a few minutes after you take it out of the oven.

*If you're a sugar nut you could service this with syrup or slightly sprinkled with powdered sugar.