Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Very Best Gluten-free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Guys, stop what you're doing because I made the absolute very best gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies in all of the world. I have very little experience with gluten-free baking and up until now I've avoided it at all costs. I had my jar of all-purpose wheat flour, so why would I go out and buy 10 different gluten-free flours to make a cookie that would more closely resemble crumbly cardboard than a cookie? Now that my cupboard is full of all sorts of flour alternatives and my husband was craving some chocolate chip cookies, I figured I'd give it a try.

I decided to start off with my regular chocolate chip cookie recipe and make substitutions rather than find an existing recipe online. Mostly since I knew I've perfected my chocolate chip cookies to exactly suit my tastes. I threw in all sorts of gluten-free flours in a somewhat educated manner and oddly enough, my concoction worked on the first try (which never happens) and the cookies turned out great.

This recipe makes super soft, non-crumbly, perfect cookies that you wouldn't even know were vegan, let alone gluten-free. They have even been likened to a "chewier Chips Ahoy" (direct quote from my husband).

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Heart Windowpane Cookies - Gluten-free and Vegan

You could make a simple jam thumbprint cookie and call it day, but why would you do that when you could make painfully adorable heart windowpane cookies instead? Assuming you're not too sick of Valentine's Day mush yet, I think these cookies would make a perfect gift for anyone on any day. That is, if you don't eat them all before they make it out your door, which tends to be my problem.

Friday, February 13, 2015

More than Gluten-free Mac n Yease

When we started this elimination diet, one of the first things I thought of making was Mac n Yease. Veggie Grille and Plum Bistro here in Seattle both make a pretty delicious gluten-free Mac n Yease, so I figured making the soy-free version would be a cinch, as long as I could find some gluten-free pasta that wasn't mush. Plus it's fun to say Mac n Yeezy instead of Yease.

After a little research and some grocery aisle scouring, I found maybe my most favorite gluten-free pasta to date, Tinkayda's Brown Rice Shells. Like the package very proudly boasts, this pasta is "not mushy" has a "good texture" and cooks "al dente"! I haven't checked at Whole Foods, PCC, or some of the other health markets, but I just found it at my local Safeway and you can also definitely get it online.

As for the recipe, I adapted a copy of Plum Bistro spicy Mac n Yease recipe I found from Vegan Richa. Her recipe comes pretty close to tasting like Plum Bistro's, and it was a great starting off point for figuring out how to make a gluten and soy-free version.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vegan Black Beans and Rice

As a vegan I get a lot of questions about my protein. How do you get protein if you don't eat meat, dairy, or eggs? The thing is though, yes, meat and eggs by themselves are complete proteins, meaning they have the nine amino acids our bodies can't produce on their own, but meat and eggs aren't the only way to get complete proteins. We don't need every essential amino acid in every bite of food. Even though beans and rice by themselves are not complete proteins, when paired together they have all the nine amino acids our bodies need. Which is great, because they make a delicious pair!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Vegan Raw Berry Pie with Almond Crust and Coconut Cashew Cream

Lunch Break - Wednesday

COCONUT THAI CURRY / vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, paleo / Delicious leftovers from last night's dinner. I couldn't find a Thai curry paste that met all the restrictions, so I kind of winged it and it turned out great! I'm going to try to recreate it and write down what I do this time so I can share the recipe.

GRILLED CHICKEN / gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free, paleo / Just some free-range, organic, local chicken for the ol' husband.

WHITE RICE / soy-free, nut-free, sugar-free / I know brown rice would have been better, but I have a Costco-sized bag of Jasmine rice, so you know...

BERRIES / fresh and raw / Strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lunch - Monday

CHICKEN FRIED RICE with BUTTERNUT SQUASH and PEAS / gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free / Another repeat of last week's lunches. Who knew 2 cups of rice would last so long?!

PISTACHIOS / vegan, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free /

APPLE COBBLER / vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free / The real star of today's lunch, since it was the only one that required any sort of effort. I experimented with three different toppings. Mostly because the recipe seemed to make about 1/4 of the cobbler that I felt should be on my 9x11 pan of apples and by the time I realized the disproportions, I was too lazy to make another batch according to the recipe, so I took the opportunity to wing it. All three versions were okay, but still definitely had that somewhat powdery, not substantial taste gluten-free flours tend to have.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lunch Break - Friday

CHICKEN FRIED RICE / gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free / A repeat of Tuesday's fried rice.

VEGGIES AND HUMMUS / vegan, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free, nut-free / Also a repeat of Tuesday's lunch.

AVOCADO AND OLIVE OIL POTATO CHIPS / vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free, nut-free / The olive oil potato chips from Whole Foods were okay, but a bit on the bland side. The avocado crinkle cut chips, however, were delicious. They tasted really fresh and just a teensy tiny bit of avocado flavor.

SALAD with HOMEMADE RANCH DRESSING / vegan, paleo, gluten-free, sugar-free, soy-free / This lunch was saved from being the absolutely most lazy lunch ever by having a homemade ranch dressing. I don't really remember what "real" ranch dressing tastes like, but I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, whether it tasted like the real thing or not.