Wild Mushroom Bruschetta
I love bruschetta. Before experimenting with this recipe, I'd only had tomato-based versions, but I always loved them. Bruschetta is a great appetizer, party dish, or snack all by itself. And served on a warm, crunchy-crusted baguette? Ooh, man. Plus, its so easy to make! A little chop-chop-drizzle and you're good to go.
Well, I'm here to share with you the BETTER THAN TOMATO version, something I hardly believed possible. It takes a little longer to prepare than the original, but I promise- it's worth it. Mushrooms, onion, and garlic flavors are highlighted by a little white wine and black truffle sea salt. This is the kind of recipe I would make to impress Alex's mom (hi, jen!) and I think it would work. Scoop onto some crusty bread or crackers or serve over pasta for a seriously satisfying savory snack. Yep, that just happened. Enough chit chat, let's eat!
4 cloves of garlic diced, 1 halved and set aside
1/4 cup olive oil
10 ounces mixed wild mushrooms (or your favorite grocery store type. We used oyster & crimini.)
2 tablespoons vegan butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine
1/8 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1/8-1/4 teaspoon black truffle sea salt (optional-but worth it!)
1 crusty baguette, sliced (use a gluten-free baguette or skip this ingredient to keep it GF)
parsley, for sprinkling
Toast the baguette slices on a baking sheet under the broiler, then rub each side with the sliced garlic halves and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Keep warm in a low heat oven.
Wipe any dirt off the mushrooms, and slice them if necessary. If they're small, go ahead and leave 'em whole. Heat half of the butter (1 tbs) in a skillet, then add the mushrooms and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Remove from heat and place pan in the warm oven alongside the sliced baguette to keep warm.
Heat the second tablespoon of butter in a separate skillet, adding the onion and garlic, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the wine and stir well, letting the mixture bubble for 2-3 minutes, until reduced & thickened.
Add the mushrooms to the onion & wine mixture and stir until heated. The sauce should be thick enough to glaze the mushrooms. Shut off the heat, and pull the bread out of the oven.
Pile the brushetta on top of the baguette slices, sprinkle with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
*Leftover brushetta can be refrigerated in a sealed container and reheated as needed.
Mini Chocolate Chunk Scones
I've been interviewing for a new job the past several days (no word yet, but my fingers are crossed!), and having some very early mornings. Lately I've been in the habit of getting in a morning run and eating afterward, sometime around 10:30. These mornings though, I was up and out the door at 6:30 am. By the time 7 rolled around, my tummy was already growling to be fed. I needed a transportable, easily-eaten (freeway friendly) breakfast that tasted good and would get me through 'till lunch. A couple of these little scones with a bit of vegan butter did just the trick. From start to finish this recipe takes less than an hour, and has options for both gluten-free and wheat-eatin' readers. The chunks of rich, dark chocolate in the scones make breakfast feel just a little more fancy than usual, and totally acceptable as an after dinner treat, too.
2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (OR 2 cups whole wheat flour)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xantham gum (omit if using whole wheat flour)
3 tablespoons organic sugar
8 tablespoons cold vegan butter or shortening (equal to 1/2 cup)
2/3- 3/4 cup cold non-dairy milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips or chopped bar chocolate
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, xantham (if using), and sugar. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut butter into the flour mixture until uniform crumbs form (sometimes, it helps to fork the butter into the flour if you're having trouble with your knives.) Pour in cold, non-dairy milk a little at a time, mixing until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips with a wooden spoon until they are evenly distributed.
Roll dough onto a clean, floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out to about a 1 inch thickness. Cut out scone shapes using a cookie cutter or top of a round glass cup. We used a glass cup with a two (ish) inch opening. Its important when cutting shapes that you push the cutter straight down into the dough, and not turn or wiggle the cutter too much, or the dough will lose some of its air and be much denser.
Once shapes are cut, place them onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until they turn golden on bottom and an inserted toothpick comes clean. Let cool for several minutes, and enjoy!
We got 15 mini-scones from this recipe, but if you prefer larger, normal sized scones, you should get about 6. Scones save well in an airtight container for several days.
Blueberry Streusel Muffins
I've been realllly good since the New Year. No wheat, barely any sugar- and I feel great. But yesterday, I couldn't stop dreaming about Blueberry Muffins! Moist, dense, rich blueberry muffins with a crunchy sugar streusel. So I made it happen. Even without any applesauce or bananas, these muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful- especially since they're gluten-free. And if you're still watching your sugar intake or aren't ready for a little splurge, skip the streusel topping. You'll still be left with a delicious, hearty muffin! These may be our new favorite muffin...and they're definitely getting baked in bulk, frozen, and taken with us on our upcoming cross country road trip. (In case you don't follow our social media pages- WE'RE MOVING BACK TO CALIFORNIA!) On that note, I'm gonna go eat another and let you get to the recipe. Later, taters!
2 1/4 cups GF flour (we used 1 cup almond flour + 1 1/4 cup teff flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup dairy-free milk
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (not thawed)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/3 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (not melted)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, xantham gum, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together coconut oil, non-dairy milk, sugar, & vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing together to combine. Be careful not to overmix! A little air left in the batter is best. Once combined, add in the blueberries and use a rubber spatula to distribute them through the batter. Pour batter into greased muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Set aside.
In a small dish, fork together all of the streusel ingredients until completely combined. Sprinkle a little streusel on top of each filled muffin tin, right on top of the batter. We put about a tablespoon of streusel on each muffin.
Put the muffins in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, rotating pan halfway through to ensure even cooking. Once finished, remove from oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes before eating. Save in an airtight container for several days. Enjoy!
Summer came and went...and we had leftover bananas. So we froze 'em! This recipe is a perfect call to summer and tastes delicious with fresh bananas or thawed frozen ones. And it doesn't require any gums or binders, since the bananas do such a great job all on their own. This is our go-to dessert, breakfast, and party host gift. Its moist, flavorful, and you'd never know it was gluten-free. Just one bite, and you'll be hooked- we promise.
3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/3 cup softened coconut oil
1/2 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 cups GF flour (we used a blend of almond & teff- nutty & delicious!)
(*OPTIONAL* If you like xantham gum and you want to guarantee NO crumbing, add a 1 teaspoon to the mix here.)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mash your bananas. Set them aside.
In a different mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, sugar, milk, vanilla, and vinegar. Let sit for 3-5 minutes, while you grab a third bowl and combine the flour, baking soda & powder, and salt. Once the wet ingredients are ready, slowly add in the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Once the two are completely combined and a batter has formed, add the mashed bananas. Stir again. Pour into a greased, lined or non-stick loaf pan. [We used a non-stick pan with a little parchment paper, for easy removal.] Sprinkle batter with the chopped pecans, place in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven. Bread is finished when a toothpick comes clean. Remove from the oven and let cool at least 30 minutes before enjoying a piece. Cover and save up to a week, or freeze indefinitely.
Spicy Red & Black Pepper Cornbread
Well, the power is back on! After almost 3 days with no electricity, running water, or patience in below freezing temperatures, we again have light...and an internet connection. My apologies for missing a few days. Luckily, I made up this batch of deliciousness before the storm along with a giant pot of white bean chili. Don't worry, that recipe is coming. In the meantime, you should make this! This cornbread stays moist and doesn't crumble away like some gluten-free baked goods tend to. Plus, it has a nice spicy kick that goes great with a creamy soup or sopping up chili remnants. And its especially nice fresh out of the oven, smeared with a little butter and agave.
Tip: if you like it SUPAH SPICY, add a little extra cayenne & red pepper.
1 1/2 cups organic yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cups GF all purpose flour mix (we used 3/4 cups teff + 3/4 cups almond flour)
1 1/2 teaspoons xantham gum
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 3/4 cup cold, unsweetened non-dairy milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients- everything but the milk. Mix well with a whisk, making sure spices are evenly distributed throughout dry mixture. Finally, add the cold, non-dairy milk. Whisk together until a batter forms- but don't beat it to death, just mix until well combined. Pour batter into a greased 9x13 inch glass baking dish and bake for 45-50 minutes, until tops crack and an inserted fork comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting into squares. Store in a sealed bag or container for up to a week.
Its been hard finding restaurants in Maine that cater to a vegan lifestyle. There are some, especially in the big city of Portland, but thats almost an hour from us and frankly, I'd rather eat close to home when I can. We've been doing a lot of cooking for ourselves, which I love, but it would be nice to occasionally order out and not have any dishes to wash.
Last week we finally found a restaurant that we love...and its close to home! Located in Damariscotta, Savory Maine offers a little bit of everything. They are familiar with the vegan lifestyle and willing to accomodate to it. Gluten-free? Vegetarian? They've got your backs, too.
My first trip in I ordered their Tempeh-based Reuben with homemade vegan potato salad and I've been craving it ever since. Though I wish I could eat there every night, I just can't afford it. I needed to quell the craving...so I came up with my very own recipe!
It starts with a good, flavorful bread like rye or pumpernickel. I found lots of options at the market but settled on an organic loaf made on a farm right here in Maine. Rich in caraway and with a touch of espresso grounds in the batter, this bread adds so, so much flavor to the sandwich.
Topped with fried tempeh, spicy vegan cheese, and local sauerkraut and you've got yourself a meal even Savory Maine would be proud of.
Pair it with our balsamic potato salad for a truly 'Maine' meal.
(for one sandwich):
2 slices Rye or Pumpernickel bread
Tempeh- about 4 1/4 in. slices
2 tablespoons vegan thousand island dressing
1-1/4 inch slice of Daiya havarti jalapeno & garlic block (or your favorite cheese alternative)
1/4 cup sauerkraut
1 tablespoon coconut oil or vegan butter for frying
1/2 teaspoon Braggs aminos or soy sauce
Set aside your two delicious slices of rye or pumpernickel. Its good to use a darker bread here to get the caraway and espresso flavor of the bread-trust me, it adds a ton of flavor to the sandwich!
If your tempeh is in block form, slice four 1/4 inch slices. If pre-sliced, use about 3-4 slices. In a frying pan, melt a little oil or butter and add the soy sauce. Fry the tempeh strips until crispy and golden brown, about 2-4 minutes on each side.
Grab your bread slices and spread about a tablespoon of vegan thousand island on each side. Top with fried tempeh, and the slice of cheese. Put the sandwich together and using the same frying pan, grill sandwich until cheese melts, a few minutes on each side. Remove from pan, separate bread slices, top with sauerkraut, and reassemble into sandwich form. Now take a giant, gooey, cheesy bite...enjoy!
Banana Cinnamon French Toast
We've been in Maine for about a week now, and its been lovely. Catching up with cousins, hiking with our puppy, watching the wild turkeys in the field outside our cabin every morning with Alex; its been idyllic and relaxing.
But now that we're settled in? I want to cook.
I offered to make breakfast Sunday morning and wanted a simple meal that was sure to please, especially since I was feeding a breakfast table full of non-vegans.
It turned out perfectly, hearty and sweet.
A crunchy cinnamon crust leading into warm, gooey banana bread.
Topped with some earth balance and a little of Dad's homemade maple syrup? Oh man.
My Dad makes his own maple syrup from the sugar maple trees on his land. It tastes phenomenal. Its lighter, naturally sweeter, and darker in color than even the most raw, organic syrups you find at the grocery store.
It is liquid gold on warm, fluffy french toast.
After mixing my batter, I always like to pour it into a wider, more shallow dish for dipping. A pie pan or casserole dish works great, and makes dipping, flipping and coating your french toast slices super easy.
The bread is really the secret to a great french toast. Thin, soft bread makes for soggy frech toast; too thickly sliced and it will be too dry in the middle.
Baguettes and boules, cut into about 1/2 inch slices, are best. Having air pockets in the bread allows trapped batter to get gooey and gives you pockets of warm, melty cinnamon goodness. Mmmm.
This recipe has been approved and officially dubbed by my sister:
Banana Bread French Toast.
Its her new favorite.
2 ripe bananas
3/4 cup hemp milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
6-8 slices of crusty vegan bread
1/2 tsp. orange, lemon, or almond extract
1/4 cup chopped nuts
2 T. powdered peanut butter
(I just discovered powdered PB. It adds a nice, light PB flavor to things without being overwhelming. Great in baked goods and oatmeal!)
Mash bananas in a medium mixing bowl with a fork. Whisk in milk, cinnamon, & vanilla until combined.
Pour mixture into a shallow dish- a pie plate works great. Dip bread into the wet mixture, flipping to coat the whole slice evenly.
Place dipped slices onto a pre-heated and greased skillet and let cook about 3-5 minutes on each side, until the edges no longer bubble and both sides are golden brown and crispy.
Enjoy while warm with maple syrup, agave nectar, or fresh fruit!
Makes 6-8 pieces of french toast.
SAVORY RYE & VEGG FRENCH TOAST