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Round here we call sweet potatoes kumaras. They are such a beautiful vegetable, full of beta carotene and so flavoursome.

The other day I was feeling really wholesome, and I imagined a kumara salad, made with golden, roasted kumara, with coriander, toasted sunflower seeds and cous cous. I think it would be even better with red quinoa though šŸ˜‰

The outcome was this:
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A colourful mish mash of textures a flavours

Ingredients

2 medium sized orange flesh kumaras, cut into small chunks

a little extra virgin olive oil, for roasting

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup lime juice

1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped

2 cups of cooked cous cous (or quinoa/ millet/ wholewheat cous cous) (I think quinoa would be best, actually, millet, cous cous etc keep absorbing more and more water even once they’re cooked, so it is hard for the salad to be moist- quinoa doesn’t do this so much?

Put the kumaras on a baking tray and toss with half of the salt, all of the hing and a splash of olive oil. Bake the kumaras on a high heat. I used about 200 degreees celcius, and I roasted them so that they stuck to the bottom of the pan and went brown. A well roasted kumara is brown and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They took about 25 mins to get to that point.

Meanwhile, cook your grain and dry roast your sunflower seeds in a fry pan. I do it over a low heat, stirring often so that they all go golden and none burn.

Mix the cous cous, kumara, corainder, seeds and add the lime juice. Add another splash of olive oil, black pepper, the rest of the salt and the paprika, and gently combine them together

Serve while still warm šŸ™‚

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Best ever gluten free sugar free vegan carob slice nom nom nom

Photos to come!

I made up this recipe yesterday and it received rave reviews. I tried some and have to admit, it was one of the better gluten free sweets I’ve ever made. The best thing about it is that it only takes about 15 mins in the oven max, and about 3 mins to throw together! Oh, and did I mention it tastes amazing?

Because I was in a hurry I didn’t measure the ingredients as I went, I just went on consistency to check that it was ok. Read the method for texture details, and let me know how yours go!

Base:

5 cups soaked cashews (this is the volume AFTER they are soaked)

2 cups dates, soaked in boiling water

1 cup tapioca starch

50mlĀ coconut cream

1 tspĀ vanilla essence

1 cup dessicated coconut

Topping:

3 cupsĀ Soaked cashews:

1 cupĀ coconut cream

1/2 cupĀ carob powder

1 cup dates soaked in boiling water

stevia leaf powder – 2 small pinches

1/2 tspĀ chocolate essence

1/2 tspĀ vanilla essence

dessicated coconut, to top.

Method:

You could be organised and soak your cashews overnight, or you could do what I do and gently simmer them for 10 mins. Depends on how raw you like to be šŸ˜‰ Either way, you’ll be baking this slice a little bit!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

Drain the cashews and the dates. Put in food processor. Process until smooth. Then add rest of base ingredients. You should be able to easily mould it, and it shouldn’t be too sticky. It almost looks like you could eat it already. Press it into a lightly greased pan and bake for about Ā 10 mins.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Drain cashews and dates. Process it all together in food processor. It should have a pudding like thickness- you should easily be able to smooth it over the base. If its too wet, add some more cashews. If its too dry, add some of the date water.

Spread it over the partially cooked base, and return to the oven for a few mins, about 5, until its hardened up a bit.

Sprinkle with coconut and serve!

Wholemeal gluten free, yeast free, sugar free bread success

I was in a bit of a rush as I made this, and so I didn’t measure everything exactly, but the bread came out so well that I had to blog it. What set it apart from most of the gluten free breads I make was the texture- not at all crumbly, nice and soft- theseĀ achievementsĀ are very rare in my gluten free bread experiments! I will estimate what I put in, and then make it again soon to test the recipe. Its another super easy recipe and doesn’t require kneading! I suppose this bread is actually made using a cake technique, but the finished product is definitely a bread.

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Ingredients:

4 cups gluten free flour mix (1/3 quinoa flour, 1/3 rice flour, 1/3 buckwheat flour)

4.5 tspn baking powder

3/4 cup linseed

1/2 cup oil

1 cup soy milk

I’m not sure how much water. Somewhere between 1-2 cups, see method (sorry! :S) I used warm water.

3 tbspn egg replacer

1/2 tbspn dried sage

3/4 cup seeds (pumpkin and sunflower)

3/4 tspn salt

sesame seeds, for sprinkling

Method:

Mix the flour, baking powder, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, salt and spices together.Ā In a seperate bowl put the linseed, egg replacer, oil and soy milk. Then, using a hand blender, whisk or food processor, whip it so it turns into a lovely thick mush. Add this mush to the flour mixture, then add as much water as needed to make the batter into cake batter consistency- it should be quite thin and easily pour.

Put the batter into two small greased bread pans and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for about 45 mins at 190 degrees celcius, until the top is nice and golden, and a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean.

Because gluten free breads like this tend to be really flat and yield tiny tiny slices, what I do is cut the whole loaf in half (or thirds) horizontally, and then cut these pieces into decent sized slices. Each small loaf yielded about 6-7 decent sized slices of bread.

Eat it while it’s fresh, because it won’t keep for long!

I ate mine with coriander pesto spread for lunch about an hour ago and I am fulllllll! Its really filling.

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Please let me know if you try this recipe out! Have a beautiful day X

Buckwheaty pumpkin mash bake

This is a bit like a nut loaf in texture. It makes a fantastic main, and freezes well, so its easy to make a tray and freeze it for lunches and dinners. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan and super simple. Also, once you have the buckwheat bake technique down you can make millions of variations on a theme- eg, put tofu in with the buckwheat, potato mash top instead of pumpkin.. etc etc etc.

It has lots of steps, but is actually quick to make, and you can do most of the steps while waiting for buckwheat to cook.

Buckwheat pumpkin bake

Ingredients

3 cups buckwheat

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbspn apple cider vinegar

1 tbspn tamari

1/2 a small pumpkin or squash

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 Tbspn paprika

heaps of fresh coriander leaves (or parsley),Ā coarselyĀ chopped

1 red capsicum, finely diced

3 ribs of celery, finely diced

1 Tspn hing

1/2 cup black olives

1.5 cup suflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds, or almonds (almonds are the nicest!)

2 carrots, finely diced

1/2 Tbspn olive oil.

Method:

Toast the buckwheat in a saucepan on a moderate heat for about 5-10 mins until its nice and brown. Then add twice as much water as buckwheat, and boil until its nice and soft. If there is any excess water at the end, drain it off. Meanwhile..

toast the seeds or nuts (I use a cast iron fry pan) until they are brown. Then soak in enough water to completely cover them for about 10 mins. Then add the nutritional yeast, spices, salt and blend it with a hand mixer so its a sort of pesto consistnecy.

dice the veges (except the pumpkin) and heat the oil in the frypan. Add the hing to the hot oil, and saute for a few seconds. Then add the veges and tamari and saute, stirring often for a few mins until the carrots are softish.

Put the buckwheat, buckwheat flour, veges, coriander, sauteed veg and olives together in a bowl. Mix well, then transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 20mins until firm

Meanwhile, roughly chop the pumpkin/ squash into cubes, and boil until soft. (about 15mins.) Then drain off the water, add 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, 1/2 tspn salt, 1/2 tspn pepper and the apple cider vinegar. Puree it all together with either a masher or a mixer.

Take the bake out of the oven and spread the pumpkin mixture over the top. Now, set the oven on grill and put the bake back in the oven for 10-15 mins until the pumpkin is browned.

Top with fresh herbs and serve! Its nice to serve this with a tahini sauce, or a spicey chutney of some kind.

 

Tuesday morning… pumpkin brownie, millet salad and vege seed balls.

Today I woke up with no idea what to cook, but somehow, the second I got in the kitchen inspiration hit, my hands got to work and this is what turned out:

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Millet salad:

Millet is my favourite grain. When toasted before cooking it has a rich, nutty taste, and in looks its very similar to cous cous, but gluten free.

Ingredients:

  • Millet (1/3 cup dry= 1 cup cooked)
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • raw almonds
  • sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum (bell pepper) finely chopped
  • loads of fresh coriander, chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 of a pumpkin, roasted in hing, salt, pepper, paprika, and just a little bit of grapeseed oil
  • carrot, julienned.

To cook millet so that it tastes best, firstly you need to toast it. Put it in a pan, preferably a big one so that as much as possible its touching the bottom, and keep the element on a low heat. You need to be patient- dry frying millet takes at least 10 mins, as you need the grains to roast all the way through, not just on the outside.

Tip the millet out of the pan,add just slightly more than 3x as much water as there is millet and bring to the boil. Add salt and toasted millet. Boil for about .. 25 mins. You want the millet to be soft, but not mush. You should be able to squash a grain between your fingers.. Now pour the millet into a sieve, and run cold water through it. Drain the water out and put in a bowl with all the other ingredients.

Tahini & smoked paprika salad dressingĀ 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup oil (lightly flavoured- sorry, extra virgin olivev oil isn’t good here. Grapeseed/ sunflower seed is good
  • 3 tbspn lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • small pinch hing
  • small pinch salt
  • small pinch black pepper
  • big pinch smoked paprika

Mix the first two ingredients together, so its nice and combined. Then add the lemon juice, whisking all the time. Slowly add the water, constantly whisking. It should go really nice and thick and white. If it isn’t combining completely, add a little more oil, whisking as you add. Add spices.

Vege seed balls

These are so incredibly easy to make if you have a juicer. I use the pulp that the juicer produces (the “waste” product, and hey presto, best base for patties or whatever you like

Ingredients: (makes 24 ish)Ā 

  • Pulp of 8 carrots
  • pulp of 1 bunch silver beet (I think Americans call it swiss chard)
  • pulp of 1 big knob ginger
  • pulp of 1 bunch coriander

mix this all together, remove any big unpulped bits

then add:

  • 1 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 3Tbspn buckwheat flour
  • 4 Tbspn ground linseed
  • 1/2 cup potato flour
  • 3tbspn nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbspn egg replacer
  • Salt, pepper, hing, paprika

Mix all ingredients together, roll into balls, roll balls in sesame seeds and put in oven for 30 mins at 200Ā°C

Also serve these with the smoked paprika tahini dressing to dip them into

Last but not least…

Everything free (except taste) Pumpkin brownie

So, I’ve been off sugar since January. Haven’t had a drop. And although I am definitely losing the taste for sugar, I miss cooking sweet things sometimes. So, here is a recipe for a sugar, gluten and soy free cake which is also vegan (phew, what a mouthful)

This is a very dense brownie. Not exactly the perfect cake, but the best everything free cake I’ve had in ages anyway! To me it tastes sweet enough, but as I haven’t eaten any sugar in at least 8 months its very difficult for me to say what is sweet enough. I’ll have to see what the others say..

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Ingredients:

2.5 cups pumpkin puree

60 drops liquid stevia

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (or other mild tasting oil)

3 eggs worth of no egg (egg replacer)

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup quinoa flour

3 tspn baking powder

1/3 cup rice flour

pinch salt

1 tspn vanilla essence

3 tspn cinnamon

1/2 a whole nutmeg

handful of crushed almonds

3 tbspn thick coconut milk

1/4 cup water

Method:

Add the pumpkin, no egg, stevia, coconut milk, oil and spices together. Add remaining ingredients, adding the water last (so you can check the consistency. It should be very thick, but still pourable. Pour into greased and lined tin. Bake for about 35- 40 mins at 200Ā°C. To decorate, dust with carob or cocoa powder, then press some almonds into the top. If you spinkle a tiny bit of water over the carob powder it will go darker, and will contrast more.

Ok, that’s me for today! Can someone please let me know if they like this format I’m posting in (whole menus together) or if they’d prefer eachĀ separateĀ item to have a different post- I’m not sure what’s best.

Have a beautiful Tuesday! X

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