Vegan update…..

September 2, 2013

imageAfter 5 months of being a “transitioning vegan” I’m pretty sure I’ll continue transitioning or maybe a better word would be part-time vegan.

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.