Wednesday Recipe Adaptation – Vegan Gluten-Free Tomato and Garlic Pie

While we tend towards gluten free and vegan dishes, we’re always hesitant to label the way we eat. There are a number of reasons why we don’t eat meat, and while we limit our dairy, eggs, and gluten, we aren’t super strict about those, mostly when we go out to eat. When we eat at home, however, we like to stick to our preferred way of healthy eating. 

This can be difficult at times, like when I’m flipping through a food magazine and see an amazingly tasty looking recipe like the tomato garlic pie in bon appetit.

We’re lucky to live in a time where so many people are finding new ways to eat that it’s easy to find tricks to make any recipe work with any diet (well, almost any recipe–I don’t think the bacon wrapped filet mignon my mom used to make is adaptable!).

Depending on the recipe, you can use either a vegan butter (we love earth balance) or do as I did here and use olive oil. Flax seed works great as an egg replacement, I used 1 tablespoon mixed with 3 tablespoons of water in the crust. For the crackers, we went with Mary’s, which has all kinds of amazing vegan and gluten free options!

The cheese filling was a little harder, but 10 oz of kite hill ricotta worked well in place of the taleggio, a mixture of pecans, nutritional yeast and salt made a good Parmesan approximation, and vegan mayo was super easy to find.

The results: astonishingly delicious. The crust is crumbly and flavorful, the cheese is salty and creamy, and the tomatoes are juicy and tart and sweet. This adaptation was so healthy and successful that we couldn’t imagine it having been any better in its original form.

Vegan Donuts with Bananas and Chocolate

Every once in a while we think our kids are going to be into bananas again. Inevitably, a week after we think that, we’ve got several soft, brown bananas left, and we have to figure out something to do with them.

This week we made banana walnut vegan donuts, garnished with chocolate and walnuts, and HOLY MOLY. There’s a common conception that vegan, gluten free food isn’t any good. That healthy food has to taste bad. And I’m not saying that chocolate covered donuts are the most healthy thing you could eat, but these are vegan donuts, they’re gluten free, and they’re gobsmackingly delicious.

A delicious plate of vegan donuts

Ingredients:

1 banana
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 Tsp baking powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup spelt flour
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Nuts of your choice (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F. Mash that banana up right good. When it’s good and mashed, add in the maple syrup. Add the rest of the ingredients in turn, up to the water, stirring well as you go. Divide into six portions in a greased donut pan, and bake for about 12 minutes. Let donuts cool on a wire rack.

If you’re going to put chocolate on them, here’s what we did: melt some chocolate chips and put that melted chocolate on the donuts. Couldn’t be simpler. If you like, pop some nuts on top. We used walnuts for a couple of ours.

Makes 6 donuts, which are a welcome distraction when you’re up at 5:30 on a Saturday because your kids don’t understand weekends. Watch your kids lick the chocolate off and leave the donuts.

Cookie Jamboree – Vegan, Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the weekend we decided to do some testing with three different vegan, gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipes, and we let Watson help. The first was more coconut based, the third was fit-based, and the second is below. It’s hard to argue that chocolate chip cookies are healthy, per se, but these ones are certainly more healthy than standard recipes!

When everything had baked and cooled, and the kids had had ample opportunity to taste plenty of cookie dough (parenting win!), we had a completely unscientific taste test and determined which of the three was the best, and we bring it to you now!

Ingredients:

1/2 c maple syrup
1/2 c peanut butter
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tbls flaxseed plus 3 tbls water
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c almond meal
1 c spelt flour
1 c gluten free mini pretzels chopped up pretty fine (We used a food processor)
As many chocolate chips as feels right

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. First combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let them gel. In a medium bowl, mix the maple syrup, peanut butter, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla. In another medium bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, almond meal, spelt flour, and pretzels. Finally, combine the wet and dry ingredients with the flaxseeds and chocolate chips in a large bowl and stir until incorporated.

Put tablespoon size balls on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack until ready to put in a jar or serve to hungry kids eager to taste test.

Tempeh Tacos with Peanut Sauce

In our house we celebrate the high holidays. In our house Taco Tuesday still means something. Our kids are still young, so they don’t fully grasp the reasoning for the seasoning, but they’re beginning to understand that Tuesday means tortillas, and they look forward to it.

We usually give the kids small tacos made of a half tortilla and some vegan crumbles, along with some fruit and vegetables. Their receptiveness depends entirely on their mood, as is almost always the case. This week work commitments didn’t allow us to all enjoy our tacos together, so after they were in bed, we enjoyed a fuller celebration of the vegan taco in all its mystery and glory.

This week we went with vegan tempeh tacos, and boy were they tasty and healthy. Let’s get right to the recipe.

Ingredients:

1 package of tempeh, 8 oz, sliced thin
Frying oil of your choice (we used canola oil)
1 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp cumin
1/2 Tsp coriander
1/2 Tsp cardamom
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/4 Tsp cayenne
1 bell pepper, diced
1/4 head red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp sriracha
1 medium avocado, diced
4 corn tortillas, toasted

Directions:

Heat oil in a nonstick frying pan, enough to cover all tempeh when you put it in (but don’t put it in yet). Stir garlic powder, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, and cayenne into the oil and heat until fragrant. Put tempeh into the oil and fry until golden brown. Take tempeh out and drain on a paper towel.

In a medium bowl, whisk peanut butter, sesame oil, rice vinegar and sriracha. Add more of any ingredient to taste, and once fully combined, set aside.

Divide the tempeh, pepper, cabbage, avocado, and peanut sauce among the corn tortillas. Salt everything to taste and enjoy!

Whatever We Have Around Salad with Making It Up As I Go Dressing

The intersection of healthy eating and parenting tends to get congested quite a lot. Sometimes you look in the fridge on Sunday as the kids are screaming and fighting with each other and defiantly refusing to nap, and you realize that you don’t have enough lunches prepped for the week. At times like those, it’s necessary to think fast and think minimal. Thankfully, jarred salads are both.

This week we roasted some vegetables, whipped up some rough peanut dressing, and topped it with some roughly shredded kale. The time spent working in the kitchen added up to only about 10 minutes, and it padded out our lunch count by two full days. Mission accomplished.

Ingredients:

Green beans, trimmed
Carrots, peeled and sliced
Mushrooms, chopped into small chunks

4 Tbsp creamy natural peanut butter
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2.5 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
Garlic powder to taste

Kale, chopped roughly

Directions:

First, I didn’t put amounts for the vegetables or greens because this is based around whatever you’ve got around. If you’ve got zucchini and no green beans, you’re golden. Broccoli instead of mushrooms? Sure. Whatever fills a jar and is tasty and healthy. Same with the greens. If you don’t have or don’t like kale, throw some lettuce in there. Or some arugula. Or some spring mix.

Ok, so now we get down to brass tacks. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Put those veggies on a baking sheet with a small spritz of the oil of your choice, and let them roast for half an hour or so. Meanwhile, turn to the dressing. I’ll outline my process below, but you can probably figure out a more streamlined process if you read between the lines.

Put 3 Tbsp of the peanut butter, the sesame oil, the tamari, and 3 Tbsp of the rice vinegar in a bowl. Whisk together until fully incorporated. Taste, and discover that its way too salty. Add the fourth Tbsp of peanut butter, but worry that the dressing would be too thick without something else. Add the fourth Tbsp of rice vinegar. Taste, decide it’ll work, and then add in some garlic powder because you’re feeling saucy.

Finally, divide the dressing among 4 pint jars. Divide the roasted vegetables among the jars. Then top each jar with shredded kale. Refrigerate, breathe a sigh of relief, and eat a few days from now.

Gluten-Free Low Sugar Summertime Peach Crumble

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Big brother helping feed little sister.

About a week ago we decided to take the kids peach picking. It was a gorgeous day and they were in uncommonly good spirits. We saddled up and got to our local orchard, grabbed a box, and started picking. The kids, to our surprise, loved the peaches, both to pick and to eat.

Unfortunately for us, we wound up a few days later with a box full of rapidly softening peaches, some of which started to go profoundly bad. We needed a way to get as much use out of the peaches we had left as we could. We’ve been pretty good about eating healthy lately, so a vegan, gluten free dessert treat felt right up our alley. With peaches as sweet as ours, this feels like an extravagance even though everything in it is healthy!

Ingredients:

5 peaches
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2/3 cup almond meal
2/3 cup spelt flour
1 Tsp almond extract
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Slice the peaches into pieces as big or small as you want, and peel them or don’t according to your preference. We peeled about half of ours and then got lazy with the rest. Toss the sliced peaches in a baking dish with the cornstarch. You can add some sugar or maple syrup to taste, but our peaches were sweet enough that we didn’t need it.

In a medium bowl, stir together the almond meal, spelt flour, almond extract, olive oil, and maple syrup, until it is well combined and crumbly. Sprinkle this mixture over the peaches in the baking dish. Bake the whole thing for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the peaches are bubbling, or until the smell drives you crazy and you can’t stand it anymore and just need some peach crumble in your face.