November 23, 2013
My vegetable love this fall has been roasted Brussels sprouts. I think I could eat them everyday. I make them pretty much the same each time with only a variation in the spices I put on them. I cut them in half, cover with olive oil and either salt or an herb blend of some sort. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned. Yum!!
One thing I always do when checking on them is pick off the single leaves that have become brown and crunchy and immediately eat them. I can’t even describe how delicious they are! So last week while pulling off the usually crispy leaves and promptly eating them I had a revelation. I could make a whole pan of crispy leaves! Why didn’t I think of that before? It’s my favorite part! Why not have a whole pan? Essentially Brussels sprouts chips. To me these are so much better than kale chips and still healthy. It does take a little patience to break each sprout into it’s individual leaves but it is well worth it!
Brussels Sprouts Chips
Fresh Brussels sprouts
Sea salt or herb blend of choice
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut each sprout in half. Core each half as you would a cabbage but on a smaller scale.
Carefully pull apart the layers. Place the leaves and the core pieces in a bowl. Coat lightly with olive oil and sea salt or herb blend. My favorite blend these days is Penzey’s Greek Seasoning.
Place on a baking sheet, separating the pieces. Bake for 10 minutes, pull off the crispiest pieces and bake the rest a few more minutes. The core pieces won’t crisp up but they are still delicious.
September 2, 2013
I definitely feel better physically when I’m eating vegan. I feel I have more energy. For the most part, I eat vegan at home. But try not to make a big deal of it if I can’t when I’m out with friends or at other people’s houses.
I know I am already a challenge for some people being vegetarian and gluten free. The funny thing about that is that I’m totally content with a plate of veggies; raw, cooked, grilled, it doesn’t matter. I truly love vegetables.
I have been enjoying converting some of my favorite recipes to vegan but I have to say that real butter is just better than vegan butter in my Banana Chocolate Chip Scones. I used coconut yogurt in place of regular and that worked well. I may keep playing with this one though.
There really isn’t a replacement for cheese on pizza. We tried a few vegan cheeses and they were not good. I have heard that making cashew cheese is pretty good for pizza but I haven’t tried that yet. For now, we either have more of a foccacia or we just put a little cheese on it – at least enough to keep all the yummy veggies from falling off.
One of my favorite converted recipes is a Gluten Free French Bread recipe I have been making for years. It calls for egg whites and melted butter. Olive oil easily replaces the melted butter. For the egg whites I used chia seeds soaked in water. It worked like a charm! It added a little extra crunch- kind of like poppy seeds do and the bread seemed a little stickier that usual but it got rave reviews from people, many of which didn’t know it was gluten free. I really like it toasted. Peanut butter, jam, honey, pesto, bruschetta. The options are endless!
So here is my converted Gluten Free French Bread recipe. It is adapted from Bette Hagman’s “More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet”.
Gluten Free French Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2 cups white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp yeast
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp chia seeds- soaked in 6 Tbsp water for 15 min.
1 tsp white vinegar
In the bowl of a heavy duty mixer, combine flours, xanthan gum and salt.
Dissolve the sugar in the water and stir in the yeast. Let foam slightly, then blend with the flour mixture. Add the olive oil, chia seeds and vinegar. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Dough will be more like a batter than regular bread dough.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease and sprinkle with cornmeal. Form dough into two long french bread shapes. Slash dough diagonally every few inches.
Cover the dough and let rise until doubled- about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Bread will appear dark in color. Remove from pan and let cool before cutting.
February 12, 2013
I’ve been vegetarian for years. 15 to be exact. I’ve toyed with the idea of going vegan but frankly it seemed like too much work. And it may be, but I’m going to give it a try. Things are complicated a bit by the fact that I am also gluten free. But what the heck, I love a challenge, especially when it involves being creative with food.
So what prompted this final push? Well, a few things. I’ve noticed a connection to eating dairy and my sinus problems. I don’t easily get sinus infections but I tend to have a constant slight stuffiness. I recently did a fruit cleanse for 3 days and noticed that the stuffiness went away. Once back to my usual vegetarian diet, the stuffiness returned. Nudge #1.
I recently spotted the book “Forks Over Knives” at Barnes & Nobel and on a whim I decided to pick it up. I’m a sucker for a good cookbook and the recipes looked pretty good and didn’t have a long list of complicated, difficult to get ingredients. I read the book the next day and decided to try a couple recipes. They were delicious! Nudge #2.
A couple days later while trying to decide what to watch on Netflix, I suggested we watch the movie “Forks Over Knives”. It’s a very convincing movie. I have believed its message for years and have been trying to get my husband on board to healthy eating to no avail. This movie actually convinced him! He decided to give it a try and now I have a partner in eating vegan at home. The final nudge.
Our first Official Vegan Meal consisted of: Falafel (baked and adapted from Homestyle Vegetarian published by Bay Books), a delicious Mediterranean Rice Salad (from gluten-free recipes for the conscious cook by Leslie Cerier) and a Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (from Allrecipes.com) with various raw veggies. YUM!