A New York lawyer's adventures with animal-free eating
Category Archives: Gluten Free
When it’s really cold out and you’ve been shoveling several feet of snow out of your driveway (I live in New York and I’m from Maine), there’s nothing better to come inside to than steaming hot cocoa. Unfortunately, for vegans, hot cocoa can mean a drawn out process. But I don’t like to wait. So, here is an instant hot cocoa mix that you can make in any amount you want or need and take with you to work or camping or just back outside with you, because you know the plow just went by and ruined all of your hard work…
Instant Hot Cocoa Mix
2 parts powdered soymilk
1 part cocoa powder
1 part granulated sugar
Mix ingredients thoroughly and store in a tightly lidded container.
To prepare, add 8-10 oz hot water to 3-4 tbsp. mix, and stir to combine. If you like more vanilla flavor, add 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract.
I love potato leek soup. My favorite has always been from Au Bon Pain. It’s soooo good, with the bread bowl and everything… sigh. Sadly, we don’t eat there anymore. But this soup is just as good. It’s adapted (in part) from a recipe I found here, where I got the idea to mash the potatoes and leeks instead of processing them! This recipe is SO effing good. You won’t miss the milk/cream at all.
1-2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 large potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. thyme (I used dried)
1/2 tsp. rosemary (I used dried)
5 tsp. vegetable bouillon (I used Better than Bouillon brand)
2 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
salt and pepper
Saute the onions in the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the chopped leeks and potatoes. Then add the thyme and rosemary and continue to saute for another 5 minutes or so.
Mix the water and bouillon, then add to the vegetables. Add the white wine as well. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then simmer for approximately an hour, to allow the potatoes to begin to fall apart and create a creamy base.
Then add the milk and salt and pepper to taste. Use a potato masher to mash up the leeks and potatoes to whatever consistency you prefer. If you like a smoother soup, you can put the mixture into a food processor and process it until smooth.
This recipe creates an awesome rustic soup!
Know what’s awesome in the fall? Soup! Especially soup made from fresh fall veggies! I adapted this recipe from one provided by the lovely @Obava.
Smoky Butternut Squash Soup
1/2 medium onion
1 butternut squash (approx. 2 lbs)
½ cup water + 2 tsp. of “chicken” flavoring
2 cups vegetable broth
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. buttery type spread (I use Earth Balance)
Slice the onion and saute it in olive oil in a large saucepan until soft. Peel the squash, then cut it in half and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into small pieces.
In the saucepan, combine the onions with the water mixture, broth, squash, and spices. Cook covered over medium heat for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Remove the squash and onions from the liquid and blend/process it until smooth. Return the squash and onions to the liquid and whisk to combine.
Bring the mixture back to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. Add buttery type spread and stir until just melted.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches or salad.
This is actually modeled after P.F. Chang’s Spicy Chicken. My husband and I loved it so much the first time we tried it, that we decided we needed to figure it out. This is what resulted. I’ve adapted the recipe further for tofu or faux chicken cutlets.
Vegan spicy sweet tofu/chicken
1 cup vegetable/canola/peanut oil (or not)
1 block of tofu (pressed) or 2 chicken cutlets, cubed
1/3 cup cornstarch (or not)
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
2 tbsp. green onions
1 cup pineapple juice
2 tbsp. chili sauce
2 tbsp. vinegar
3 tbsp. sugar (or syrup of your choosing)
1 tsp. Braggs Aminos or soy sauce
2 tbsp. water (separate)
1/2 tsp. cornstarch (separate)
First off, turn on your rice maker and start some rice to go along with this dish. We always seem to forget to do this, then have to wait another 20 minutes after everything is already done 🙂
Then, if you are going to fry your tofu/chicken cutlets, heat a cup of the oil of your choice over medium high heat.
Then, heat the olive oil in a medium size pot. Chop the green onions and garlic (if not using pre-minced).
Combine the onions and garlic in the pot and saute until soft.
If you are planning to fry the tofu with the corn starch, shake it in a bag with the corn starch for a minute or two, then remove if from the bag and put in on a plate. You should only do this when you are ready to fry the tofu, because the tofu will suck in the corn starch…
Combine the remaining ingredients (except for the water and cornstarch) in the pot and allow to heat for a few minutes.
We used Goya pineapple juice and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (available at most grocery stores/Walmart). You may want to adjust the chili sauce down a little if you don’t like heat… The listed amount will make your nose run a little 🙂
After you’ve combined the remaining ingredients, combine the water and corn starch in a small bowl and stir or shake to combine. Then add this mixture to the rest of the sauce mixture. Combine well, then allow to simmer for another few minutes. The sauce should thicken some, with a more syrupy consistency.
It should take about 5-7 minutes to brown the tofu/cutlets.
When they are browned to your liking, remove the tofu/cutlets from the oil and drain on several paper towels.
Serve the tofu/cutlets and sauce over rice.
This was actually my first time using tofu with this recipe. Next time, I will fry the tofu without covering it with corn starch – tofu fries very well. To make the dish healthier, you could also just saute the tofu.
After my awesome encounter with the Coconut Cream Pie Larabar the other day, I’m really excited to try the other flavors.
Today I tried the Peanut Butter & Jelly Larabar. While I didn’t love it as much at the Coconut Cream Larabar, it was still pretty solid. It tasted a bit like a peanut butter cookie, which is always a good thing, trust… I wasn’t a huge fan of the jelly flavor (it’s actually cherries), but again, it certainly wasn’t bad (and I’m a strawberry jam kinda girl). This bar is made from dates, peanuts, and unsweetened cherries. Fiber, protein, gluten free and vegan!!
These bars seem to be light years ahead of other bars!!
Verdict: Really liked it. I need to get over to the co-op soon, because I’m running out of these bars!!! I especially love that they are gluten free and vegan, which makes things oh so easy for me. These bars are perfect for when I’m going out but have no idea if there will be anything I can eat… which happens kinda often, really.
So last night was the last dinner with my brother and sister-in-law, who are here from St. Louis until this afternoon… Accordingly, I wanted to take another opportunity to make sure they knew that vegan eating isn’t bland, icky eating. 🙂 I love Indian food, and they seemed open to it, so I moved forward.
I’ve loved pretty much every Turtle Island product I’ve gotten, and the Coconut Curry Marinated Tempeh was no exception. It had a very light coconut flavor, and it mixed really well with other Indian flavors. Perfect for mixing into sauces!
Verdict: I will definitely be getting this one again.
I sauteed it in a bit of olive oil, then worked on prepping the rest of the meal.
First I prepared the Kitchens of India Butter Curry Chicken (sans chicken).
Then I went to work on the Kitchens of India Vegetable Biryani. Both dishes can be prepped and ready to go in about 25 minutes. And these 2 pastes pack an AMAZING flavor punch. They are SO good!!
After it was ready, I threw it all together. A flavorful, easy meal in less than a half hour! 🙂
I’ve heard rave reviews about Larabars from most of the people who run healthy blogs locally… so last night at Hannaford, I decided to grab one of each kind they had – Coconut Cream Pie, Cashew Cookie, Peanut Butter & Jelly, and Chocolate Coconut Chew.
I tried that Coconut Cream Pie Larabar today for breakfast, and I couldn’t have been more pleased with it. For serious. It’s amazing. Unlike lots of other bars, it’s actually pretty soft (as opposed to rock hard) and it looks pretty good. The bar is made from dates, coconut, almonds, and cashews, so it’s got fiber, protein and that extra important ingredient – flavor! It really reminded me of a coconut cream pie! But healthy!
And the bars are all gluten free, soy free, non-genetically modified, vegan and kosher!! What’s not to love!?
Verdict: LOVED it. I’m going to the co-op to pick up the rest of the flavors ASAP.