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.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Healthy & Cheap Egg McMuffins

Uhhh, yeah. Welcome to my Saturday morning. This was the kind of breakfast that I was literally drooling over as I took this picture. It was painful and embarrassing how much I was withering inside as I took this picture because it was 3 additional seconds that I couldn't eat this.

I've always deeply loved McDonald's Egg McMuffins. My favorite part? The egg. Weird, I know. I've always wondered how they got it to be so perfectly round and soft, with the yoke still semi-in tact.

Then when I got to thinking too hard about the egg perfection I had to tell myself to stop, because really, it's a fast food place, and how right can that be?


This morning, ladies and gentlemen, I nailed the egg. As in, I made a perfectly round, soft,scrumptious egg. In the oven. I actually made 6 of the buggers, and could have eaten every last one on the spot if I didn't know I had to put it onto a sandwich.

The recipe states that you should use a jumbo muffin tin, which I had on hand. If you don't, you can use ramekins or another round oven-proof dish. The main goal here is to get your baked egg the appropriate size so it fits on the sandwich. I could have probably made my eggs a little bit flatter, so a wider dish might work better.

What ignited this McMuffin-making endeavor was this post that I found via Iowa Girl Eats. I love this idea, because not only are they super cheap to make (I calculated it to be around 92 CENTS per 'wich), you can make them however you want to according to your taste buds. Plus, there is the added benefit that you can grab one and go on busy mornings, only taking time to microwave it.

I used whole-wheat English muffins, but Udi's gluten-free bread (or any gluten-free bread, really) would work great since the size is similar to that of a smaller muffin. For my protein, I used Morning Star Soy-Based Bacon, and then threw on some cheddar cheese. This morning was special (you know, to celebrate my baking-of-the-eggs) which meant pesto and tomatoes were added to the mix. You really can't go wrong.

I'm pumped to make more varieties, not to mention more baked eggs (!!!). I can foresee this being a long-term relationship.

DIY Egg McMuffins
Adapted from The Yummy Life
Makes 6 sandwiches

You need:
12 slices of smaller-sized bread, or 6 English muffins
6 eggs
cheddar cheese
meat of choice - I used Morning Star Bacon

How you do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your jumbo muffin tin or ramekins.

2. Crack an egg into each tin or ramekins and lightly break the yoke so it spreads a little. Add some ground pepper and/or garlic salt if you desire. I definitely desired.

3. When the oven has preheated, bake the eggs for about 25 minutes, until baked through and slightly browned at the edges.

4. While the eggs are baking, prepare the rest of your ingredients. Slice the cheese, prepare your protein, and toast the bread if you're into that kind of thing. I didn't add any condiments to the sandwiches that I was going to save for later, since I figure I will just do that when I am ready to eat them.

5. When the eggs are done, use a knife to gently scrap them from the muffin tin or ramekin. I assembled my sandwiches by adding the cheese first, then the facon, and lastly the egg. For those that you are freezing or refrigerating for later eats, wrap them in wax paper and then covered in a baggie.

*I have not yet tried re-heating these, but according to the original poster, you microwave thawed ones for a minute and frozen for 3 minutes.

Yes. Future presents to myself.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Penne and Cheese Bake (Gluten-Free)

My marathon training has finally hit it's peak, and man, is my appetite feeling it. All I want is a carbohydrate or 10 in my belly, every second of the day.

Do I want half your sandwich? Sure, but first you need to take all that crap off the bread and then we have a deal.

Would I care for another serving of pasta? Uhh yeah, but a serving is too small. I'll take an additional three.

DO YOU SEE THAT?! It was so good it was gone too fast for it to even seem real. This recipe came from yet another cookbook that was neglected for sometime. This one Cooking Light put out, and it's their Gluten-Free Cookbook. We received it as a wedding gift, and I started out with a bang making recipes out of it after we were first married. Then it gradually faded away to join the other crying books until I yanked it out under the dust last week and finally cracked it open again.

What a good decision.

Naturally, there were kale chips involved. A nice, well-rounded (meaning it will make me rounded, balance schmalance) meal.

I used vanilla rice milk instead of regular milk because it's all we had on hand, and the taste was surprisingly very delicious. The vanilla taste was definitely present, but it made it seem almost creamier, and not in a weird I'm-eating-dessert way.

Let me know what you think! I'm sure you could throw in whatever veggies or protein you want to this. I would have done that...but that would take away my precious carbs, which just wouldn't do.

Penne and Cheese Bake (Gluten-Free)
Adapted from Cooking Light's Gluten-Free Cookbook

1 small onion, diced
12 oz. gluten-free penne (I used Trader Joe's) 
1/4 cup corn starch
4 cups milk, divided (as mentioned above, I used vanilla rice milk)

salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Put the pasta water on to boil. Since gluten-free noodles need frequent stirring while they cook and need to be mixed with sauce immediately after being drained to prevent them from sticking together, you will want this to be your final step before putting the casserole in the oven.

3. Heat some olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat; when it's heated, add the onion and saute until soft.

4. Add 3.5 cups milk to the onion in the pot and bring to a boil. Combine the corn starch and remaining 1/2 cup milk in a small bowl; gradually stir cornstarch mix into the boiling milk and stir constantly for about 2 minutes so the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.

5. Add salt, pepper and the cheeses and stir to thoroughly melt the cheese.

6. At this point, your pasta water should be boiling, so add in the noodles and stir frequently until just al dente. Drain and immediately stir into the cheese sauce.

7. Pour the pasta mix into the baking dish and cook for 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and the top is slightly browned.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free, Vegan)

Yes, I am aware that I have a very slim selection of dessert recipes, and that I should not be "wasting" one on a recipe I already have posted. But these darn cookies are so good! And they're slightly different, with a slight coconut taste thanks to the coconut flour and coconut oil. Maybe I should put that in the title "Chocolate Chip Cookies with a Slight Coconut Taste." Mmmm.

These make nice balls of cookies, and have a slightly chewy texture with the oat flour. This recipe made about 18 cookies, and all of them were gone within 18 hours. (Maybe I should now re-name them to the "Magic Number 18 Cookies"?).

Look at them, all cute and ready to be destroyed. Go forth and destroy these cookies! But first...make them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (with a slight coconut taste)
adapted from Love and Lemons
Makes about 18 cookies

3/4 cup oat flour (grind 3/4 cup oats in a food processor)
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup rice milk
1 t vanilla extract
1 flax egg (or 1 whipped egg)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda and salt together until thoroughly combined. Add in the brown sugar coconut oil, milk, vanilla and egg and mix all together. Stir in chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.

3. By the tablespoonful, drop dough onto a greased baking sheet (or silpat) and bake for about 10 minutes. These are delicious warm, but of course still tasty after they have cooled.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Quinoa Casserole with Buffalo Cauliflower Sauce (Gluten-Free)

I've never been a huge fan of buffalo wings. I guess you could blame it on the fact that I was never properly introduced to the concept of "it's wing night!! I'msopumpedIgettoeatwingstonight!" To me it was just people sloppily eating chicken with naught a care given to the orange covering their entire body.

Then I met my husband who likes Frank's on ALL OF IT. All the dinners, all the snacks,  and definitely all the casseroles.

Like the stellar wife I am, I go to Costo and see a saintly two-pack of the stuff and heft all 80 pounds of it into the cart and get it home and he still hasn't made it through the first bottle. I don't know, maybe it lost its charm when it was in abundance but it has taken the man for-ever-er to make it through half the first bottle.

I was sitting here contemplating what the heezy to do with all this buffalo sauce and then Cassie went and posted this stellar dish and I knew I had to adapt it to make it ours. So that was done.

Oh, and  be sure you pair it with kale chips (bonus points if they're covered in salty cheesy nutritional yeast) because it was a combo you won't soon forget.

I topped our casserole with leftover rice cripsy coating and sliced tomatoes, but feel free to use gluten-free breadcrumbs or whatever else you delight in.

Quinoa Casserole with Buffalo Cauliflower Sauce
Inspired from Back to Her Roots

half of a large cauliflower head (about 2 cups chopped)
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce (or any other buffalo-style sauce)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup chredded cheddar cheese (divided)
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
toppings of choice

1. Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and lightly greasing an 8x8 baking dish.

2. Steam the cauliflower until tender. While the cauliflower is steaming, saute the onion and zucchini together over medium-heat until tender. When it's done, remove from heat.

3. In your food processor, add the steamed cauliflower, buffalo sauce, minced garlic and 1/4 cup water and combine. If the sauce is still too thick for your liking, add additional water until it reaches the desired consistency.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the quinoa, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, buffalo cauliflower sauce, and the zucchini/onion mixture. Scoop into the baking dish and cover with your topping of choice. Bake for 15 minutes, until hot.

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Breaded" Zucchini Sticks (Gluten-Free | Vegan)

I'm going to just start off by saying I have a new found appreciation for Rice Crispies They are an absolute lifesaver when it comes to both gluten-free baking and meals.

Need a gluten-free sweet on the fly? These peanut-buttery delights. How about a snackity snack, like these energy balls?

They also do great at trading places with bread crumbs, an ingredient that I swear is in 1/4 of all recipes I see that I get excited about.

So you can imagine how stoked I was to see this post - straight up gluten-free "breading" for all sorts of foods! This might turn into the deep fry craze. Rice crispy coated snickers? Rice crispy coated doughnut? Rice crispy coated zucchini? YES!

For all you carnivores, I'm pretty sure this would work well as a coating on chicken or fish as well. I'm thinking I want to try it sprinkled on roasted broccoli  next. And on a casserole. And as a hair conditioner.


The timing for this recipe was perfect, since I had a nice fatty zucchini sitting on our counter fresh from my parent's garden. It's demise was a delicious thing. 

"Breaded" Zucchini Sticks
adapted from The Fitnessista

1 large zucchini, sliced into sticks
1.5 cups rice crispies
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t garlic salt
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
3 tablespoons water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees; cover a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with oil.

2. Combine the rice crispies, oregano, thyme and salt in a food processor until finely ground. In a separate bowl, use a fork to mix the flax seed and water. I suggest using a larger bowl with a wider mouth than the one I used so your zucchini and get fully coated.

4. Dip the zucchini sticks in the flax seed mixture and then coat with the rice crispy mixture. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Mexican Tortilla Cups (Gluten-Free)

I have completely, 100% neglected my cookbooks. I got caught up in all this bloggy business and paying more attention to what my Google reader feeds me than the books filled with more than enough recipes sitting on my kitchen counter can.

So I busted one out the other night - The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Kitchen. My parents got this for me for a birthday a couple of years ago and I really don't know how I haven't used it in awhile because there are sticky notes on every other page.

The recipes in this book are simple, nothing is complicated or intimidating. All the ingredients are those that you most-likely have on hand, nixing that dreaded trip to the store that can totally throw off your making dinner time.

These little babies had a flag on them that has probably been there for about 3 years, so hey! I made them.

Yeah, they're pretty cute.

And you can eat them with one hand.

And you can eat them for breakfast. Cold.

And you can store them in the fridge so they will still be good for breakfast.

Oh, and they're great for dinner, too.

That blurry picture sucks and makes me realized how awful melted cheese is to photograph in a tasteful fashion.

But you get the idea. These are soooo filling (I had 2 for dinner, husband had 3, and we responsibly called it quits). They taste exactly like the innerds of a burrito, but they're made like a taco with the corn tortilla. Then when it gets thrown into a cup, it has a nervous breakdown over all the identity issues going on.

I made the first batch in our large muffin pan, which has cups that double the size of a standard 12-count pan. The tortillas fit perfectly in these when you mold them into cups.

I then experimented with our standard muffin tin, and the tortillas were a little too large. The book suggests trimming off the ends a bit, but I just shaped them into cones instead of pressing the tortillas all the way into the cups, and they turned out great.

As with practically everything on this blog, make it yours and add in whatever taco fixins' float your fancy. 

Really, there's no way to go wrong with these. As long as you don't forget the tortillas. That would take all the fun in cups away.

Oh, and these pair well with kale and "bread"ed zucchini sticks - recipe coming soon. Pinky swear.

Mexican Tortilla Cups
Makes a dozen in a standard muffin tin (depending on how full you make them)

1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 cup cooked rice 
1/3 cup salsa
a slash or 2 of your favorite hot sauce
1 t cumin
1 can green chilis
1/4 cup sliced olives
approximately 12 6-inch corn tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup queso fresco
sliced tomato (or whatever you want for the tops)

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the beans, rice, salsa, hot sauce, cumin, chilis and olives.

3. When the oven is hot, place 12 tortillas on a baking sheet to warm in the oven for about a minute. This makes them more pliable and less likely to crack or fall apart when you're making them into cute little cups.

4. After the tortillas have been warmed, cut about a 3-inch slit in each of the tortillas so they can easily be maneuvered into the muffin cups. Fit the tortillas into the muffin tin by either making a cone out of them or pushing each tortilla all the way down into the cup.

5. Fill each tortillas with enough of the mix to fit almost to the top and bake for about 10 minutes. Take out after 10 minutes and top with a tomato slice and a sprinkle of cheese, and bake for about 8 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Vegetable Red Curry (Gluten-Free)

Some nights call for quick dinners. You know the ones - you have to be here and then there and don't forget to stop by that store that's on the way to this place. Or the ones when you get home from work famished and are tempted to eat the whole jar of peanut butter.

(Unless there's chocolate involved and you decide to jump straight to dessert, I don't advise the peanut butter option.)

It's always nice to have quick dinner fixing ideas on hand for those crazy nights (anyone else say that in their head in an Adam Sandler voice?).

Here are my all-stars: tomato sauce and pasta, instant soups, teriyaki mixes, aaaaaaanddd:

Curry sauce, courtesy of Trader Joe's. I feel slightly ridiculous posting a recipe for this, but I also feel that I owe it to you since we have this at least twice a month, with the contents rotating around seasonal produce.

From mangoes to sweet potatoes, the produce that you can throw in this dish is widely varied, making it a great dinner to save anything that is crying out on its last days.

While I mainly use Trader Joe's curry sauce since it only requires the one jar, I've also used curry paste mixed with coconut milk and a little fish sauce. However, since it's rare that I'm on top of my game enough to have all 3 of those ingredients on hand, the one jar suits me just fine.

Aside from the flavor, the best part of this recipe is that it comes together in 30 minutes, 15 if you already have the rice made and vegetables chopped. 

Quick and Easy Vegetable Red Curry (Gluten-Free)

1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 small white onion, sliced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bunch of rainbow chard, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 can diced organic tomatoes 
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1 head broccoli, chopped into florets
1 mango, diced
1 cup red kidney beans
11 oz jar of Trader Joe's Red Curry Sauce 
about 8 basil leaves

1. Make your rice if you haven't already done so. White rice works great if that's all you have on hand.

2. In a medium skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat; add in the onion and garlic and saute for about 2 minutes until soft.

3. Add in the tomatoes (with juice), chard, squash and broccoli with 1/4 cup cold water; mix together and put some tinfoil or the wok lid on for about 5-6 minutes while the vegetables cook down.

4. Add the mango, kidney beans, curry sauce, and basil and heat through for another 3 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.

5. Spoon some rice into a bowl and ladle on the curry vegetables.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blackberry Pie Bars (Gluten-Free)

I've recently had a major schedule change, which added four fatty, glorious hours to each of my weekdays. That being said, I feel like a whole new person. Like a vacationer that takes PTO but doesn't travel anywhere.

I get to go running in the morning.

I get to spend time with my friends, when we pick blackberries and then stuff ourselves with $2 beers + $2 tater tots (see you next Tuesday at the Cloverleaf!). 

I get to see my husband in the morning. and again in the early afternoon. oh, and yet again in the evening, when we get to have dinner together.

(Said husband is still determining if he likes this new schedule of mine.)

Just kidding, he totally loves having me around 35% more. Mainly because I get to bake these:

May I present to you: Blackberry Pie Bars, for your next gluten-free, blackberry-containing baking endeavor.

These suckers are addictive. Luckily, I'm the new girl at work and trying to earn some brownie (uhm, bar?) points so I brought some in for my co-workers to snack on...because of course I will use food to wiggle into your heart.

Lucky for you, blackberries are sprouting up everywhere these days (at least if you're in the PNW). I started picking them not having an iota of a thought as to what I would do with them, but let me tell you: the internet will not fail you. I'm sure you have such knowledge, but just in case you forgot: the internet has all the answers for all the things.

I found this recipe from our dear friend Martha, and it adapted to gluten-free flours perfectly. They are almost custard-like in the middle, and almost require a fork, but not quite. My edges turned out crispy, which were a nice contrast to the juicy insides.

I followed the recipe and used greased parchment paper as a liner, but I found it was difficult to separate the bars from the paper, as it was almost too wet from the oil. I would try simply greasing the pan straight-up, or using tinfoil if you don't want to bake them directly in the pan.

Blackberry Pie Bars
adapted from Martha Stewart
makes 16 bars

 6 tablespoons melted, unsalted butter
1/2 cup room temperature butter
1 1/4 cups almond meal (separated)
1/2 cup potato starch (separated)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups fresh blackberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8 baking pan (see lining notes above).

2. For the topping: In a small bowl, mix together the melted butter, brown sugar and 1/4 t salt. Add 3/4 cup of the almond meal and 1/2 cup of the potato starch and mix together until fully incorporated. Store in fridge while you prepare the remaining recipe.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup almond flour, 1/4 cup potato starch and 1/4 t salt with the baking powder. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, cream together the room temperature butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the eggs in one at a time, beating after each egg. Add in the flour mixture and thoroughly combine.

5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan and sprinkle the blackberries evenly on top. Crumble the refrigerated topping on top, breaking it up into little pieces as you cover the berries.

6. Bake for about 40 minutes and let cool completely before cutting.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Simple Granola, Oil-Free | Gluten-Free |

These days, its has been too blasted hot to turn the oven on. Every night this past week, we either had a raw, straight-from-the-fridge, no-heat-required dinner, or we went out. Done.

Just as I was starting to get a little antsy and wanting to get crackin' on some new recipes, yesterday arrived with its cool 80-degree self and I jumped at the chance to turn my oven on. I know it sounds like a small occurrence, but it was a welcome move given that all I wanted was some breakfast granola but didn't want to sweat myself into a puddle on the floor for it.

I'm fairly picky with my granola. It obviously needs to taste good, but I also like it to have multiple components - a nice mix of grain, fruit, crunch is necessary. I like it when it's all in clumps, and not individual oat pieces. Just like Cream of Wheat! Anyone else a huge fan of lumpy Cream of Wheat?

This is healthier than your typically granola recipe on the sole basis that it doesn't have any oil to it. All the liquid consists of apple sauce, honey and peanut butter. It manages to stick together powerfully, which gets a big thumbs up in my book.

I bought millet for the first time at the WinCo bulk food department last week (I will save the profession of my bulk food love for now) and I am SO glad I did. It lent a nice, crunchy bite to my breakfast without being overbearing. It toasted up in the oven, which also gave it some great flavor.

 Simple Granola (Gluten-Free)
From Oh She Glows

2 cups rolled oats (ensure they're gluten-free)
1/2 cup uncooked millet
2 T ground flax seed
1 T chia seeds
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 t salt
1 t cinnamon

1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup honey
2 T peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t almond extract

1/2 cup raisins

1. Turn the oven on to 325 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil or a Silpat.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

3. To a microwave-safe bowl, add  the applesauce, honey and peanut butter and microwave for 30 seconds to warm. Stir together and add the vanilla and almond extracts.

4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and thoroughly combine.Pour onto the baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for about 15 minutes, until slightly browned. You may want to stir it up halfway through the baking time so the outside edges don't brown.

5. Cool the granola entirely and store in a container or ziplock bag. Add the raisins and combine.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars (Gluten-Free | Vegan)

We had our one year marriage celebration this past week (yaaaay!), which of course landed on one of our busiest nights. He had a 9:30pm softball game while I had a work event in the morning, which pushed my day back to about 8pm. However, it was our one year - we would make do with a small hour window of time.

I made a quick pasta dinner, which we ended up eating in about 11.6 seconds flights beeecccaaaause...

CAKE! That is a whole one year old, just like our marriage! (However, I would like to think that our marriage has maintained and flourished with its fresh, sweet flavor, while the cake might be heading the opposite direction.)

It was, nonetheless, delicious. Because it's cake, and who cares if it's been in freezing temperatures for a year straight? Not homegirl.

Anyways, the moral of the story here is that when you celebrate your anniversary and your husband leaves you for California at 3:45am the following morning, you do NOT whine and throw a pitiful fit. Oh no. Don't do that. It gets you nowhere.

Instead, embrace the fact that you have 3 days to listen to your songs at top volume while making endless messes in the kitchen, which are your messes only that you get to clean up.

End result? Chocolate peanut butter bars.


The second I saw this recipe pop up in my Google Reader I knew - those will be mine. And it was as menacing as that reads.

As you can imagine, the marriage of peanut butter and chocolate deserves to be celebrated on an annual basis. there a chocolate and peanut butter anniversary? Have I been skimping on an important holiday my past 26 years? If that was the case, I would need to make up for lost time. 26 days of chocolate peanut butter for all the household! (=2 people. Can I order a new, larger, wardrobe with that?)

I'm sure I don't need to get into it, but I will. These are delicious. I scaled back on the sugar and added in the last handful of un-crunched rice crispies at the end, but other than that I made no changes to this recipe...and you can see the grand product. Just awful. You should probably just make them and bring them over to me to eat for you.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Crunch Bars
from Peas and Thank You

1/2 cup vegan margarine or butter, melted
1/2 cup and later 2 T creamy peanut butter
1.5 cups and later 1/2 cup whole rice crispies
1/2 cup oats
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup chocolate chips

1. Crunch up 1/5 cups of the rice crispies nice and good; add to a large mixing bowl with the melted butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, oats and powdered sugar. Combine fully, and stir in the last 1/2 cup un-crushed rice crispies.

2. Push down into an 8 x 8 or similar-sized dish and flatten on top.

3. In the microwave, melt together the chocolate chips and last 2 T ob peanut butter in 30-second intervals, stirring in between. Pour over the batter, spread evenly, and refrigerate until set. Eat and drool.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dutch Baby goes Tropical (GF)

 This little baby has some eggs, this little baby has some sugar, and this little baby goes wee wee wee all the way to the tropics.

I first heard of this oddly-named pancake a couple years ago, when a close friend raaaaved about an unforgettable puffy pancake that The Oak Table specializes in. While they simply call it the "apple pancake," everyone else seems to know it as the "dutch baby."

It's essentially a souffle, but instead of going the savory route this baby is stuffed with a delectable combination of fruit and sweetener. It's then popped into the oven in a 10-inch skillet and left to rise, becoming a custard-like, fruit-stuffed pancake.'s that good.

I've experimented with  tons of combinations - apple and lemon, pear and nutella - I bet you even could go the savory route and stick in some onions and veggies for a dinner-time side dish.

We had a ripe mango facing its final hours on our counter so that was an easy decision. Mango + coconut?

Uhhh yeah. Easiest decision all day.

Mango Coconut Dutch Baby, Gluten-Free
Makes one 10-inch round pancake

4 eggs
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
1/2 t baking powder
1 T white sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 t nutmeg
1 cup milk (I used rice)
1 t vanilla extract
2 T melted coconut oil

the filling:
3 T coconut oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t sinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 mango, diced

1. Beat the eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Add in the flours, baking powder, sugar salt and nutmeg and combine. Add the milk, vanilla and coconut oil and combine again. Let sit for 30 minutes, or overnight in the fridge if you are ahead of the game and preparing this on Saturday night for Sunday morning.

2. After the batter has rested, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Moving onto the filling ingredients, melt the coconut oil over medium-low heat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, swirling it around to cover the entire pan and up the sides. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and sprinkle half in the bottom of the pan over the coconut oil. Evenly distribute the mango in the pan and cover with the remaining sugar mix. Give the batter a quick whisk and pour over the mango mixture.

3. Take the skillet off the burner and pop into the oven for 20 minutes until slightly browned on top. Prepare to be marveled.