Sunday, February 24, 2013

These Stuffed Peppers Are Wild

We have this rice medley from Whole Foods that the guys really like.  I'm using it today to stuff tri colored peppers with roasted garlic and beef.  You can easily make this vegan with mushrooms or almonds or even pine nuts instead of beef.  You can even top with Daiya or another cheese of your choice for the protein.

The sweet roasted garlic will be the star of the filling anyway!  You can really make the garlic and rice ahead of time too.

Preheat oven to 325.

One head of garlic
Margarine

Cut the top off the head of garlic just to remove and expose the very tops of the cloves inside.  Peel away the loose parts of the papery skin. Spread soft margarine over the cloves. Wrap in foil and bake at 325 for about 45 minutes or until cloves are soft. My garlic head was small. 45 minutes was perfect!

3 cups cooked rice of your choice, add rice ingredients while it is warm. So, if you make the rice ahead, season it before storing.

To the cooked rice add the following and mix well with a fork:

1 tablespoon margarine
Salt
Pepper
Cayenne
Oregano
Splash of Bragg's or soy sauce
Squeeze 2, 3, or 4 cloves of the roasted garlic, whatever you like, into the rice mixture
Add 1 lb cooked ground beef, mushrooms, or nuts

6 peppers (red, green, yellow, orange) cut in half lengthwise with stems and seeds removed.

Cutting them this way allows you to use the whole pepper and not waste any tops! I kept half a pepper of each color to use later in the week.

Arrange your peppers back side up in a roasting pan and broil until you get a little color and blisters on them. Don't walk away. Keep an eye on them. Remove from broiler and then preheat oven to 325.

Flip the peppers over with tongs. Stuff the peppers with the rice mixture evenly. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until filling is heated through. You can add the cheese to the tops here too if desired.
















Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dinner 1, 2, 3

1 bag cooked edamame
1 teaspoon Bragg's Liquid Aminos
2 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons sugar

Combine Bragg's, margarine and sugar in small frying pan.  Cook until sugar carmalizes. Remove from heat.  Add cooked edamame (Target has great, steam in bag mukimame) and stir to coat.

Great alone, with rice or noodles.

Frosting confusion

Sorry about the wrong title being on the Chocolate Cloud Frosting.  It published the right recipe but it was not, obviously, Classic Red Velvet Cake Frosting.

It is the best frosting I have had since I was a kid though.

Chocolate Cloud Frosting


I am missing frosting so freakin bad! Powdered sugar, even the corn free versions, give me hives.  I have no idea why. This is a flour frosting that turned out to be a delicious surprise!

I have made flour frosting before and it was NOT good eats.  I am trying a different one today.  Right from the beginning, I could tell it was different, better, and I got hopeful!

I would not make cake unless I knew the frosting was successful.  Hooray! There will be cake today!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 GF baking mix
1 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk
Dash of salt
Cocoa powder (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup cold but firm margarine, cut into pieces

I used half Smart Balance Light tub margarine and half Earth Balance stick margarine. Earth Balance will make better texture but can taste a little olive oily while Smart Balance has a milder flavor, the water content is greater. Earth or Smart, together, they Balance each other!

Whisk sugar, baking mix and salt in medium saucepan.  Add the Soymilk.  Whisk constantly over medium- high heat until thick and bubbly.

Remove from heat and pour into bowl of your mixer.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.  Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, beat the cooled mixture. Slowly add the margarine one bit at a time on low speed until all is incorporated.

Switch to whisk attachment and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Still using the whisk attachment, add by tablespoons the cocoa powder until you achieve fluffy frosting that clings to the whisk in peaks. SO GOOD!  I feel like I am 10 and it is my birthday and my mom made me cake!





Chocolate Cloud Frosting

I am missing frosting so freakin bad! Powdered sugar, even the corn free versions, give me hives.  I have no idea why. This is a flour frosting that turned out to be a delicious surprise!

I have made flour frosting before and it was NOT good eats.  I am trying a different one today.  Right from the beginning, I could tell it was different, better, and I got hopeful!

I would not make cake unless I knew the frosting was successful.  Hooray! There will be cake today!

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 GF baking mix
1 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk
Dash of salt
Cocoa powder (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup cold but firm margarine, cut into pieces

I used half Smart Balance Light tub margarine and half Earth Balance stick margarine. Earth Balance will make better texture but can taste a little olive oily while Smart Balance has a milder flavor, the water content is greater. Earth or Smart, together, they Balance each other!

Whisk sugar, baking mix and salt in medium saucepan.  Add the Soymilk.  Whisk constantly over medium- high heat until thick and bubbly.

Remove from heat and pour into bowl of your mixer.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.  Using the paddle attachment on the mixer, beat the cooled mixture. Slowly add the margarine one bit at a time on low speed until all is incorporated.

Switch to whisk attachment and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until cold. Still using the whisk attachment, add by tablespoons the cocoa powder until you achieve fluffy frosting that clings to the whisk in peaks. SO GOOD!







Chocolate and Coke Holding Hands

What a perfect pair!  Since I got the frosting right, had to make cupcakes don't you think?

1 can original, regular, full sugared, Coca Cola
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup cocoa powder
1 egg replacer egg
2 cups GF baking mix
1-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 salt

In medium saucepan combine the Coke, cocoa powder and margarine.  Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly until margarine melted.  Set aside to cool.

Generously grease muffin tins. Preheat oven to 325.

In a bowl combine the baking mix, baking soda and salt.

Mix your "egg" separately and add to cooled chocolate mixture.  Put the dry ingredients into the pan of wet.  Gently stir until just moistened. Small lumps are good.

Pour batter into prepared tins.  Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the pan after 10 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.  Frost with Chocolate Cloud Frosting just before eating.







Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Souper Speedy

Dinner doesn't have to be hard! I was going to do pancakes tonight but standing over the griddle did not sound appealing this evening.  Maybe this weekend.  I work late tomorrow night and I'm thinking I will be dog tired Thursday and Friday the boys order out. Len told me she put dry, broken spaghetti in her soup the other day. I happened to have half a bag in the cabinet so I ran with it!

One package boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons margarine
1/4 cup Bragg's liquid Aminos
One bag frozen spinach
Garlic
Pepper
1/2 pound dry, broken spaghetti noodles

Combine margarine, chicken, Bragg's, garlic, pepper, spinach in your favorite soup pot/pan.  In the interest of time today, I used my large Food Network pan instead of a Dutch oven.  The water came to a boil faster.  

Pour enough water to cover the chicken and spinach.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for as long as you've got.  The longer you simmer, the more tender the chicken.

Add the dry pasta, breaking into bite sized pieces as you toss them in.  Simmer until pasta is tender. Shred the chicken with two forks right in the pan.

Serve with some warm bread.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Best Vegan Pizza

I wanted to make pizza for meatless Monday.  It was no accident I bumped into a mini deep dish pizza pan set while out with my mom today.  I knew I had to have them!

My pizza dough is already really good but to be able to surround toppings with dough and bake it so the sides get golden and delicious will be awesome!

I made the Gettin Saucy Carrot Sauce and am using spinach and olives for these little babies.

I put a pat of margarine and about 1/4 cup frozen spinach in the bottom of the pans and put them in a hot oven just long enough to melt the margarine.  I added garlic, pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, the carrot sauce and then the olives.  I put the Daiya Cheese on top of that.  Then you press the dough in and I brushed with melted margarine.

Bake at 425 until dough is golden and toppings beneath are bubbly. Allow to cool slightly then overturn onto serving dish.

Melty and so traditional looking!









Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Mofongo with Coca Cola Pork

I saw a funny joke about Mofongo and then saw someone on TV making it.  I decided I needed to make it too.  As usual, mine will be a little different than I saw on TV but it seems like there are a lot of variations. And who isn't putting their own spin or fusion on food these days?

Prepare and set aside:

2 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and rough chopped

In a gallon sized zip top bag, combine the following:

2 boneless sirloin pork chops, pounded slightly and cut into cubes
1/4 cup Coke
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Cumin
Turmeric
Chili powder
Cayenne

You make it your own with whichever spice you like best. The boys love cumin and cayenne so mine will be heavy on those. Let the meat marinate in the fridge for a bit.

Put the pork and poblano peppers in a skillet.  Stir until all edges of the meat have some color.  Reduce heat and add 2 cups water and 1/4 cup of Coke.  Cover and simmer for about 2 hours. While that is simmering, you can make the Mofongo!

3 tablespoons melted margarine
3/4 teaspoon garlic (3 peeled cloves would be best but I forgot them)
5 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
2 peeled plantains, sliced

Combine 3 tablespoons melted margarine, 3 peeled garlic cloves and smash them together to make a paste.  You can use mortar and pestle or a food processor.  Add the bacon and set aside.

Heat about an inch of oil in a Dutch oven to 350. Add the sliced plantains.  Fry until slightly golden, about 10 minutes.  Add them to the garlic mixture and smash or process until smooth. While you are doing this, take the lid off the pork, increase the heat and let the sauce thicken a bit.

Quickly shape the plantain mixture into balls or press into bottom of small bowls and overturn to serve.


Fun to say. Good to eat.













Whole Foods Gnocchi

The Whole  Foods closest to our house has GF fresh made gnocchi. Potatoes and rice flour only. They are sweet and tender.  It's nice to make them as the pasta they are meant to be but I also like to cook them in a frying pan with margarine. Crispy little pillows!  Bub is enjoying his with vegan Daiya Cheese!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sugar Chicken

Simple. Easy. Delicious.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic
Dash of ginger

Melt margarine in big skillet.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Cook on high until chicken is no longer pink and sugar begins to caramelize.

Serve over rice with vegetable of your choice.  They had edamame tonight.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Smells Good!

Not vegan Sunday dinner for my boys.  Growing up, pot roast was made in the oven.  I love my cast iron enameled Dutch oven for slow cooking though.  I can get a good brown sear on the meat before lowering the heat and adding liquid. This is so easy and takes notice at all to get going. Once it's in the pot, you can read, do laundry, iMessage your daughter working in the library, brush your cat, take a nap... whatever floats your boat!

Margarine
1-1/2 pound chuck roast
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Garlic
Oregano
GF baking mix
Water
Baby Yukon Potatoes, scrubbed

Generously rub the above spices into the meat.  Sprinkle on the baking mix covering all sides.

Melt 2 tablespoons margarine in Dutch oven.  Brown all sides of the meat, supporting with tongs when necessary.

Add enough water to almost cover the meat.  Reduce heat to low.  Scape the bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen the brown bits.  Add the potatoes and cover.  Simmer for 3 hours or so until meat is tender.

Double Derek's eating with spinach.  Putting some other veggies in the pot with the potatoes would be great (carrots, parsnips, onions, red peppers).  I didn't have any today!

Even though I'm not eating this dinner, it sure smells terrific!

 I'm taking left over rice and edamame and putting them in a pot with frozen cauliflower and Bragg's, adding water and steaming until cauliflower is tender.  Sort of soup. Sort of food.  I don't even care anymore. I will be getting some veggie nutrients and some protein from the edamame. I'll get at least 2 nights worth of dinner for myself out of this.

I can have a brownie later for food enjoyment.







Bananas Foster for Breakfast

Got an over ripe banana and 10 minutes?  Then you have a sweet, unique breakfast!

I took my plain muffin recipe and added a filled middle of bananas and maple.

1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 cups GF baking mix
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk
1/3 cup melted margarine

Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin tin.

Smash the banana and maple syrup in small bowl and set aside.

Stir together baking mix, sugar, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl.  Form a well in the middle of the dry  ingredients.  Add the Soymilk and melted margarine into well.  Stir just until moistened.  Remember if there are dry patches just drizzle a small amount of Soymilk there and work it in.

Spoon into greased muffin tins about 3/4 full.  Use your spoon and make room for the banana mixture in center of muffins.  Spoon a little maple banana in the center of each muffin using the spoon to press batter to the side and allow the banana to slide as down as far as it can go. I hear my spoon touch metal and know I've done it right.

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until edges start to brown.

Remove from pan with a spoon and cool on foil.

 The muffin tops rise and bury the banana treat inside the muffin.  I am guessing that chocolate chips in the muffin batter would be pretty darn delicious too!  I am thinking Bub will want these with peanut butter for lunch!











Friday, February 8, 2013

Take That You Brownies!

GF and vegan brownies (and waffles) are always EPIC FAILURES...  until today!

I am not even supposed to be home right now but my FL (fearless leader) was so sweet and let me go home early today!   The office would have been dead.  There are no more closets to clean out.  I can't get farther ahead on work.

The cosmos were a little off this week and everyone seemed to be on edge.  I was over the edge on Tuesday!  Felt like I needed an ER yesterday.  This afternoon, at home, with no one sick, in my kitchen, with my cats, is a delightful little gift!

I have had to wave my white flag and surrender to the fact that brownies and waffles are just not meant to be enjoyed by people who are both gluten free and vegan.  One or the other yes. But both?  NOT.  I am feeling on top of the chocolate world right now having kicked brownie butt!  I may fight you again someday, waffles...  but you are safe today.

These brownies take a few extra steps but so worth it!

Set your oven rack to the lowest option.  Preheat oven to 350.  Line an 8" square pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overlay to use to remove brownies from pan later.

1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 tablespoon quinoa flour
2 tablespoons hot water

Mix the above in small bowl and set aside.

1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 chocolate morsels (Trader Joe's)
1/3 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk, very hot

In a large bowl or bowl of your electric mixer, combine the cocoa and morsels.  Add the hot soymilk and stir into a paste.  To this add the following:

6 tablespoons melted stick margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1-1/4 cups sugar
Your tapioca/quinoa flour mixture prepared above      

Mix with electric mixer until smooth.  By hand with a spatula, stir in:

1-3/4 cup GF baking mix
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt

The batter will be thick.  Spread into your prepared pan with spatula.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Remove from oven and place pan on wire rack and cool for an hour.  Remove from pan by using the parchment paper and cool completely on wire rack before cutting.

Cut carefully with serrated knife.







Saturday, February 2, 2013

Warning: These Cookies Are for a Mature Audience

I wanted to make a freeze, slice, and bake cookie. There are a lot of WWII recipes that, conveniently, do not call for eggs. Lucky me!  These little goodies smell and taste terrific. They also look good... when they are all done.  There are steps in the process that are down right alarming.

Don't read this recipe or look at these pics while drinking, in a library, or a quiet office. You might choke, or outburst!

These are sweet and slightly crunchy.  Without any extracts, the cocoa flavor really comes through.

3 cups GF baking mix
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tapioca starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup sugar (plus more for rolling later)
1/2 cup margarine
1/3 cup Very Vanilla Soymilk, room temperature

Combine the baking mix, cocoa, tapioca starch and salt in a medium bowl.  In your mixer, combine the margarine and sugar until light.  Slowly add the Soymilk.  When it is not cold from the fridge you can see it blending better with the margarine.  Using a large spoon slowly add the dry ingredients while mixing at low speed.  When it is all incorporated, scrape down sides of bowl, cover and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Lay some plastic wrap on a large baking sheet.  Divide the dough into 2 equal parts.  I wouldn't be afraid to divide it into thirds.  We are already temping fate by rolling gluten free dough into log, keeping it as cold as possible for as long as possible is not a bad idea.  I had NO PROBLEMS with dividing my dough in half only.

Put half the dough on top of the plastic wrap.  Start to press, and roll, and yes, squeeze into a log shape as best you can.  It is still VERY SOFT and sticky but don't worry. Repeat this process for the remaining dough.

Place the plastic wrapped logs on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for at least 2 hours.  Mine hung out there for about 5.

Preheat oven to 375.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.

Remove one log from the freezer.  Gently work the flattened bottom into a more rounded shape while still wrapped in plastic.  Remove the plastic and roll the dough log in sugar.  I used another baking sheet to do this. I have 2 normal sized ones and 2 commercial sized ones.  I baked with normal sized ones and prepared on the commercial sized.

Cut the logs into 1/4" thick slices and place on cookie sheet.  They do not spread or rise.  I put 15 on a cookie sheet to bake.

Bake for 10 minutes. The edges should feel set and firm.

Cool on the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove and cool completely.


















New friends!

One of the nicest little guys at school has been bringing me the new McDs Hello Kitty Happy Meal toys! I have all 6! It is no secret that I ❤❤❤Hello Kitty.  I like to print him Mario coloring pages when he visits me.  He likes Mario and Donkey Kong and I am team Yoshi! He is an excellent artist too and draws me awesome pictures.

Normally I would put them "in the vault" but they are just too cute to do that! These two are my favorites... they are me! The little baker one smells like cherry pie and the guitar (I am calling it a ukulele) rocks and shimmies!

So. Damn. Adorable!  I didn't even know there was a Hello Kitty promo right now. They used to do her line in the summers.

Thank you little friend!



Friday, February 1, 2013

Meatless Friday?

Why not! Pasta night for the boys. I went to the freezer to get bacon for the pasta but saw the bag of frozen tricolored peppers. I melted 2 tablespoons of margarine in a little fry pan, added the peppers, a little garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and I'm calling it dinner.

It smells so good! Sometimes I wish I was normal and could eat yummy things... sigh.

Oh well. At least I will be able to drive in the dark again soon. Going to pick out some new glasses tonight!