Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Triple Threat Dessert

Sorry it has been a little long since my last post. When I started my blog in the summer, the sunshine allowed me to get some great lighting for my food photos. Ever since the fall, when the sun was not usually available, especially when at home, I have been struggling with getting decent photos. I am very particular with my photos and want them to look really nice. I don't have the set up for inside photography, so I just can't seem to get good enough photos lately. I am doing research for some creative and cheap lighting ideas, so hopefully I won't let me photo quality get in the way of my postings for much longer. Until I figure it all out, please forgive my less than ideal photography. Just know that I will only post truly tasty recipes on here.

This recipe is not the most beautiful no matter how you frame it. I entered this recipe in Northwest Veg’s monthly potluck for a valentine bake off. There were about 15 baked goods entered in the contest and almost 80 people in attendance at the potluck. There was an award for the prettiest dessert. If there was an award for the ugliest, mine would have probably won, especially after cutting it so everyone could have a sample. Luckily, it won the most original and fan favorite instead.

Gluten Free Cheesecake Cherry Brownies

8 oz. Frozen Cherries, defrosted & blended


2 - 8 oz containers Tofutti Cream Cheese
1 - 12.3 oz pkg Silken Tofu
3/4 cup Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
1/4 cup Cornstarch
1 tsp Vanilla

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Set aside for use later in the refrigerator. This can be store for a few days if needed.


1/3 cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Soy Margarine
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Cocoa
2 cups Organic Unrefined Cane Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/4 cup Sweet White Rice Flour
1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Potato Starch
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Guar Gum

To make the brownies, whisk together the 1/3 cup Sweet White Rice Flour and the 1 cup water in a shallow pan. Heat on medium heat and whisk until thickened. Take off the burner and let cool. In medium sauce pan, combine the margarine and chocolate chips, place on stove burner and heat on medium until melted. Add the cocoa and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Take off the burner and allow to cool.

Combine the sugar, salt and vanilla with the cooled flour mixture. Then, add the cooled chocolate mixture and blend until fully combined. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and guar gum. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and with a spatula or spoon, stir to combine.

Spread the brownie batter in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread the cherries on top of the brownie batter. Slowly spread the cheesecake batter over the cherry layer and spread to evenly cover the baking dish. Bake at 350ºF for 40 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature, then place in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight for the cheesecake to set.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Soyrizo Chili with Cheesy Waffles

The other day a friend came over with some soyrizo to use for tofu scrambles.  We used a little for that purpose but I still had half of it left.  She mentioned making chili with it and I can't believe I hadn't thought of it before.  Luckily I had all the ingredients at home and needed something for dinner which would also provide some leftovers for lunches at work.  I really enjoyed the results and the lime juice added a little something different.

I have been missing bread the most with my gluten free eating.  I had two frozen waffles in the freezer so I decided to try something a little different and melt some cheese on them.  I baked them up and gave them a taste and was pleasantly surprised. The waffles provided a great surface for the cheese to melt into.  I could see these waffles be very versatile with making garlic bread, mini pizzas and so much more.  

Soyrizo Chili

1 Tb Oil
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Bell Peppers (any color), chopped
1/2 container (6 oz) Soyrizo
28 oz can Crushed Tomato
1/4 tsp Garlic granules
1/4 tsp Onion granules
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Cumin
2 Tb Nutritional Yeast
25 oz can Pinto Beans
1/2 of a Lime, juiced
2 cups Water
1 tsp Salt

Saute onion and garlic until clear on medium-high heat.  Add the bell peppers and cook a couple more minutes.  Add the soyrizo and spices and cook a little longer.  Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, water, lime juice and nutritional yeast.  Heat until the chili starts to boil and turn down heat to a simmer.  Cook an additional 15-20 minutes.  Adjust salt and spice to your liking.

Top with a spoonful of tofutti sour cream or a gluten free cheesy waffle on the side.

Cheesy Waffle
Shred Follow Your Heart cheese on top of a gluten free frozen waffle (I like the brand Van's).  Sprinkle the top with a little garlic granules.  Bake at 400ºF until half melted, about 10 minutes.  Turn oven to broil and heat until the cheese is melted.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Gluten Free February

After my cleanse, I started to reintroduce foods into my diet. I was so happy that I did not have any reaction to bringing soy back into my life. That would have been devastating. The only thing which I am not eating, now back on my normal diet, is gluten. My naturopath wanted me to give this a try for a month and I can’t wait for it to be over. I am not saying you can’t find good gluten free recipes, but I am not impressed with the options. I often feel as vegans we compromise our taste buds since people can’t find better options. I do not believe is such compromise. I believe that if you can’t find the flavor made by others, you need to make it yourself. Next week, I should have time to do so. My biggest thing I want to make gluten free is tortillas. I’ll keep you posted.

I work for Bob’s Red Mill and I develop recipes and product part-time in my customer service position. I am proud to say that this job has given me a lot of insight in creating gluten free foods and I even developed their Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix now on the market. I also created the various recipes we offer using our Organic Coconut Flour. I am really impressed with this flour, and given more time to experiment, I am sure I could do a lot more with it. So far, all the recipes with this flour yielded the best textured and flavored baked goods. For those gluten free vegans, or anyone wanting to enjoy a good cookie, here is one recipe I developed.

Photo is courtesy of The Gluti Girls blog.

Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies

1 cup Unrefined Cane Sugar
1/2 cup Margarine (Non-hydrogenated)
1/3 cup Soymilk
2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 cup White Rice Flour
1/3 cup Organic Coconut Flour
2 Tbsp. Potato Starch
1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 cup Almond Slices

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream together sugar and margarine with an electric mixer and beat for two minutes. Add vanilla and soymilk and beat for an additional minute. In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients, except almonds. Add dry mix to wet ingredients and briefly mix, then add the almonds. Continue mixing until just blended. The batter should have a moist and fluffy consistency. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. Makes 24 cookies.