Sunday, November 28, 2010

Vitamix Recipe: Strawberry Milkshake (Dairy-free of course!)

This morning I decided I needed a little treat, so I blended up this easy-to-make strawberry milkshake.  It was so delicious!  I am very thankful that I froze so many strawberries this year as I can see this becoming a frequent treat.
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or rice milk)
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Add all ingredients to Vitamix.  Start at speed 1 and slowly increase to 10, then flip the high power switch.
  2. Blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately.  Makes one large or two small servings (really you won't want to share though).

Vitamix Recipe: Green Monster Smoothie

This witches' brew does not look like something tasty, but looks can be deceiving. If you have ever thought of trying a green smoothie but didn't know where to start, I think this is a good beginner recipe. It has a good refreshing flavour, and no it does not taste like spinach!

  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 1 apple, quartered and deseeded
  • 1 pear, quartered and deseeded
  • 1 orange, quartered and peeled
  • squeeze of lime
  • handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  1. Add ingredients to Vitamix.  Start at power 1, then increase slowly to 10 while using the tamper to push ingredients to the bottom.  
  2. Flip high power switch and blend for 1 minute or until completely smooth.
  3. To decrease foam, turn off high power switch and slowly turn dial lower.  A funnel should form in the middle.  Decrease speed until funnel almost disappears, then hold at that speed for 15 seconds. Decrease again until funnel almost disappears and hold for another 15 seconds.  Slowly decrease speed to 1, then turn off.
  4. Pour into two glasses and toast to your good health!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Zucchini Bread with Roasted Almonds

I have been looking for a good gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free zucchini bread for awhile, and I finally found one that really caught my eye over at Gluten Free Goddess.  I made a few changes, including incorporating roasted almonds.  We are just starting to introduce nuts to the Little Man's diet, so we don't have a wide range of nuts to choose from.  Although I would have originally wanted to pair this with pecans, the almonds surprised me in how much flavour they added to the bread.  It was a perfect match!  Roasting them yourself really brings out extra flavour.  I also included almond residue (leftover from making homemade almond milk) for an additional flavour boost, and used an organic demerara sugar for a crisp crust.

To roast the almonds, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spread whole raw almonds over a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Watch the oven carefully as the 10 minute mark approaches.  You want a nutty smell to be coming from the oven, but if you overdo it the almonds will burn.  Set cookie sheet aside for almonds to cool.  Note that almonds will not crisp up for at least an hour.  For using in the bread, you only need to wait until the nuts are cool enough to handle.  Chop by hand or in Vitamix at power 5 for 5-7 seconds.  For storage of extra almonds, wait 1-2 hours until almonds are completely cool, then store in a tightly-sealed container in the fridge.  I like to use my roasted almonds to top green salads.

The bread recipe can be started while the almonds are roasting.  Conveniently, the bread bakes at 350 degrees, so you can use the same preheated oven once the almonds are done.
  • 1 rounded cup (1 1/4 cups) partially peeled then grated zucchini
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic demerara sugar (can be substituted with natural cane sugar)
  • 1/4 cup almond residue (solids created by making almond milk) (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lime juice (can be substituted with lemon)
  • 1 Tbsp Ener-G egg replacer whisked with 1/4 cup water 
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds (optional)
  1. Press the liquid out of the zucchini by placing it in a sieve and squeezing. It is important to remove as much liquid as you can so the bread isn't too gooey. Fluff it with a fork and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sorghum, tapioca, xanthan, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  Mix.  Add sugar and mix again.
  3. Add almond paste, coconut oil, coconut milk, lime juice, and egg replacer mix.  Beat on medium speed until well mixed -- about 1 minute.
  4. Add drained zucchini and almonds and mix on slow 20 seconds or so until combined.
  5. Scrape dough into parchment-lined loaf pan (I just drape it in a U-shape in the pan and don't worry much about the ends) and smooth the top with a damp spatula.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Decadent Hot Chocolate

The evenings are turning chilly now, and a good way to get warmed up is with a nice steaming mug of hot chocolate.  Use a really good cocoa powder for this recipe for full flavour, and feel free to customize the spices to your taste.  You could add a little chili powder for some extra heat, or replace the vanilla and cardamom with almond extract for a smooth, mellow drink.

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups rice or almond milk
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup agave or pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Heat coconut and rice/almond milks together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Once boiling, add cocoa powder, cinnamon and cardamom and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  3. Add agave or maple syrup and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
What seasonings do you enjoy in your hot chocolate?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Honey Garlic Chicken Wings

We eat these chicken wings all the time and I never remember to take a picture because I am so busy digging in.  So please excuse the poor photo of the remaining few wings, and just trust me that these are way more tasty than they look.

These are perfect for a party as an appetizer, but also work as a main course.  They are excellent for planning ahead as they freeze really well in the marinade.  I usually prepare an extra batch (or two) when making these and freeze for a future easy meal.
  • 3 1/2 pounds split chicken wings
  • 2/3 cup safe ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  1. Mix ketchup, honey, wine, sugar, salt, ginger and garlic together in large Ziploc bag.
  2. Add wings and squish gently to thoroughly coat all the pieces.
  3. Refrigerate overnight, or freeze for a future meal.  If you previously froze this recipe, now thaw overnight in the fridge.
  4. Transfer chicken to foil-lined baking sheet.  Pour a little marinade over each chicken wing so each is coated in sauce.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Vitamix Recipe: Harvest Pancakes

Pancakes are a favourite breakfast at Eagle Loft. We have several different recipes that we alternate between, and we always make a big batch so we can freeze some to have on hand. This nutritious recipe smells divine while cooking, and tastes even better. It is such a comforting fall morning breakfast.

Although this recipe is designed to be made in a Vitamix, instructions are also included at the end to mix these by hand. Halve this recipe if you don't want leftovers (the recipe makes pancakes for eight or nine servings). These pancakes can be frozen and then heated in a toaster oven for a quick breakfast.

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp safflower oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 banana, broken into 2 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups rice milk
  • 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
  • (or use 1 3/4 cups brown rice flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 1/4 cup tapioca flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Place ingredients into Vitamix in order listed.
  2. Starting at speed 1, turn on Vitamix.  Turn dial to 10 and blend 15 seconds.  Turn off Vitamix and scrape sides with spatula to loosen any dry ingredients stuck to the edge.  Set dial to speed 1 and turn on Vitamix again.  Turn dial to 10, then flip switch to high power and blend 15 seconds or until batter looks smooth.
  3. Heat pan over medium heat.  Pour pancake mix directly from Vitamix into hot pan in circles about 2 1/2 inches round.  Cook about 2 minutes per side, being careful not to burn pancakes.
  4. If not using a Vitamix, mix wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls, mashing banana into wet ingredients.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to combine.  Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour batter into pan.  Cook as directed above.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Kabocha Squash Soup

I am so glad I decided to try more squash varieties this year.  I picked up a Kabocha squash at a local farm and decided to make soup with it.  It is a lovely sweet squash, so I made it into a sweet soup rather than a curried or spicy one.  Don't worry, it isn't too sweet -- this soup has a nice delicate flavour and a lovely texture too.  The Little Man gobbled it up, so I had to run out and stock up on Kabochas!  I've made the soup several times now, and every time it is finished I roast another squash and make it again.  I love to have this on hand for lunches.  It is a perfect meal on a blustery Autumn day.

I adapted the recipe from one at AYear of Slowcooking.
  • 1 small-medium Kabocha squash (4-6 cups cubed)
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken stock (vegetable stock for a vegan soup)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a large kitchen knife, cut the squash into 6-8 chunks (be VERY careful not to cut yourself!). I find it easiest to start a cut next to the stem, pushing until the knife is embedded -- then remove knife, turn squash over and try to line up a cut from the under side.  Repeat on edges until you can slice completely through.  The subsequent cuts shouldn't be too bad once you get the squash sitting on the cut side.  Remove seeds and stringy pulp (I find these seeds too tough to eat roasted).  Place squash pieces in glass dish with 1/2 inch of water.  Roast in oven for 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add onion, apples, stock and spices to crockpot and turn to high.
  3. When squash is done, let cool a little until easy to handle, then use a spoon to separate the flesh from the peel.  Cube squash and add to crockpot.  Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  4. During last 15 minutes of cooking, stir coconut milk into crockpot.
  5. Puree with a hand-blender or a VitaMix.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Oooey Gooey Lasagne

You may have heard it talked about as it is getting a lot of press, or you may have tried it yourself.  I'm talking about Daiya, a newcomer to the vegan cheese market.  If you haven't tried it I know what you're thinking: "Eeewww, vegan cheese. I'm not trying THAT again."  But you have to trust me that Daiya isn't like other cheese alternatives.  It contains no dairy, soy, eggs, or wheat.  What it DOES contain is gooeyness.  It actually melts like real cheese!  It also has quite a good taste.  So good the Little Man and I have consumed over 8 pounds of it since we ordered it the first week of August.  He loves it raw and gobbles up slices of it.  I am not so fond of it in its raw state, but love it melted on pizza, nachos, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches, and of course -- lasagne.

I modified this recipe from one at Gluten Free Chops.
  • 9 Tinkyada lasagne noodles
  • 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • fresh oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley all finely diced
  • - or - dried herbs to taste (try 1/2 tsp of each)
  • dash of agave syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt for sauce plus 1/2 tsp salt for meat
  • 1 pound ground bison
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1/4 pound (or more) Mozzarella-style Daiya 
  1. Lay dried noodles in 2 lasagne pans so they are not overlapping.  Pour 1 inch of boiling water in each pan and cover with cookie sheets.  Let sit 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly brown bison over medium heat in a large frypan.  Add garlic, onion, peppers, carrots, zucchini, kale, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook over medium-low until veggies are softened.
  3. Drain a little liquid from the diced tomatoes, then puree with a hand-blender.  Stir in tomato paste, herbs, agave, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  4. Once the 20 minute noodle timer rings, remove the lids and transfer all the noodles into one pan (draining the other pan).  Coat the empty lasagne pan with a little olive oil, then place 3 noodles side-by-side in the bottom of the pan.
  5. Spread half of the meat/veggie mixture over the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the tomato sauce and 1/3 of the Daiya.
  6. Repeat another layer of 3 noodles, the remaining meat/veggies, 1/2 of the remaining tomato sauce, and 1/2 of the remaining Daiya.
  7. Top with last 3 noodles, remaining tomato sauce, and remaining Daiya.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.
Have you tried Daiya?  What do you think of it, and what recipes do you make with it?