Category Archives: toast

Vegan, Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip/Hazelnut Cookies Are a Holiday Treat

Thanksgiving is barely behind us, and we’re already thinking about all the cookies we’re going to eat in December. Really, is it even the holiday season without cookies? It’s the time of year when you’re most tempted to stray from a vegan, gluten-free diet, because most of the offered desserts are packed with dairy and wheat. Still, there is no reason why you should miss out on the fun, just because you’re trying hard to be healthy. These cookies aren’t exactly a diet food, but they are vegan, gluten-free, and delicious!

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups raw hazelnuts
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour (we swear by Bob’s Red Mill)
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut sugar
t teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk, such as almond or coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed to room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cups dark, unsweetened chocolate chips (check label to make sure they don’t contain dairy products)

INSTRUCTIONS

Toast hazelnuts in a dry pan on your stovetop for about five minutes. Push them around a bit to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from burner and set aside to cool. Roll hazelnuts in your hands to remove as much of the skin as possible. It’s okay if some of the skin still remains.

Place the hazelnuts in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts become a fine meal. Meanwhile, combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring until they’re blended. Pour the dry ingredients into the blender or food processor and pulse together. Add the wet ingredients and continue blending.

The mixture will be quite thick, so add a bit more plant milk if necessary. When you’re finished blending, transfer the batter into a mixing bowl and add the chocolate chips. Chill the dough in your refrigerator for at least half an hour, grease a cookie sheet with some coconut oil, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the batter from the refrigerator and scoop dough with tablespoon, one mound at a time, onto the cookie sheet. These cookies don’t spread much, so don’t worry if they are close together. You can press down their surfaces with a fork to make a nice, textured effect. Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned. Your kitchen will smell divine.

Makes about two dozen cookies. You can invite the whole gang over for a holiday treat, and they won’t have any trouble devouring every bite! Cookies keep well, covered, for 2-3 days, but are unlikely to last that long. Enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Dried Cranberries and Hazelnuts For Your Holiday Feast

Many of us have unpleasant childhood memories of being forced to eat Brussels sprouts. Such a mindset is unfortunate because, cooked properly, this cruciferous vegetable is both tasty and nutritious. Many chefs are beginning to appreciate the flavor of the oft-maligned Brussels sprout, so the tide is slowly turning in its favor. Our delicious vegan, gluten-free recipe utilizes dried cranberries, orange zest and toasted hazelnuts to create a taste sensation. You’ll be proud to showcase this offering on your Thanksgiving table. It’s crunchy yet tender, with a hint of sweetness, and packed full of vitamins. The hazelnuts add a bit of protein to our elegant side dish. Yum!

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds Brussels sprouts, with excess peels and stems removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup roasted, chopped hazelnuts
zest of one orange

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Wash the Brussels sprouts thoroughly, then cut them in half and chop off the stems. Arrange the Brussels sprouts on a cookie sheet or large rectangular pan and toss them with olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Place the cookie sheet or pan in oven and roast for about 20 minutes. Flip the Brussels sprouts periodically with a spatula, then return the pan to the oven. They should achieve a lovely brown color.

Meanwhile, either roast the hazelnuts in your oven in a separate pan, or fry them on your stovetop in a small amount of olive oil. Do not burn them! Remove the hazelnuts from pan and crush them into coarse chunks. Grate the skin of one orange into a bowl to make zest. Toss the hazelnuts, orange zest, and dried cranberries in with the Brussels sprouts and combine everything thoroughly.

Return the pan to your oven and roast for another 5-10 minutes. The Brussels sprouts will achieve a dark brown hue and be slightly crunchy on the outside, but soft on the inside. Remove your concoction from the oven and place the contents into a festive bowl. Give them another toss or two and serve!

This dish pairs well with just about anything you’d like to serve for a holiday meal — squash, pumpkin pie, lentil loaf, sweet potatoes, etc. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. It serves 4-6 guests, depending on everyone’s hunger level, and keeps well in the refrigerator for up to four days. Happy feasting, and enjoy your holiday, no matter what you celebrate.

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You Won’t Be Able to Stop Eating This Vegan, Gluten-Free Rhubarb/Pear/Almond Crumble!

It already feels like autumn where we live, and we’re craving warmer, heartier foods. Of course, sweet desserts are delicious any time of the year. We recently modified a traditional rhubarb/pear/almond crumble recipe by substituting Earth Balance for butter, and gluten-free flour for the whole wheat kind. Our results were stellar. You’ll keep going back to the pan for this dessert — again, and again and again. Try your hardest not to devour the entire thing!

FILLING INGREDIENTS

2-3 Bartlett pears, depending on size (red is great, but yellow will do)
2 long stalks fresh rhubarb
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lightly packed turbinado or coconut sugar
1/2 cup light gluten-free flour (We like Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose)
fresh grated zest of one lemon
pinch of sea salt

CRUMBLE INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup chopped almonds, toasted
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/4 cup lightly packed turbinado sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg or cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
3 1/2 teaspoons vegan butter or margarine such as Earth Balance

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and toast the almonds for 5-10 minutes until slightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Cut pears into thin slices and cut rhubarb into small chunks. The rhubarb’s texture may seem much harder than the pear’s, but both will soften nicely while baking and achieve the same consistency. Using a large bowl, mix the pears and rhubarb together with the other filling ingredients. Set on counter to marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Grab another bowl and combine the crumble ingredients, except for the butter or margarine. Cut the butter or margarine into small pieces and stir into the mixture. It’s okay if it comes out a bit lumpy, since the butter/margarine will melt in the oven, anyway! No point in worrying when you’re so close to your goal!

Pour the filling into a square pan and spread evenly. Spread the crumble mixture across the top and sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way! Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool, but not too much! Your crumble is best served hot.

Call 3-4 of your best friends and tell them to come over immediately, so the dessert won’t be gone before they arrive. The crumble serves 4-5 people with ease. We love it as is, but you can get fancy with added vegan ice cream and/or whipped cream. With so much sugar, this dessert is not a diet food, but it IS 100% vegan, gluten-free, and scrumptious. Welcome, autumn!

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Baba Ghanoush — Naturally Vegan, and a Cinch to Prepare!

You’ve most likely had hummus, but have you tried its sweeter, lighter cousin, baba ghanoush? Baba ghanoush is a lot like hummus, since it has a tahini base. However, instead of adding garbanzo beans, this recipe utilizes roasted eggplant. The result is equally delicious. Our light but zesty meal is easy to make, and perfect for warm summer nights. You can serve it with gluten-free pita bread or with gluten-free toast points sprinkled with thyme, olive oil or vegan butter, and a bit of granulated garlic. We feel confident that you’ll love this dish either way.

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-sized eggplant
2-3 cloves minced garlic
juice of one large lemon
4 tablespoons tahini
sea salt to taste
2 tablespoons fresh, chopped cilantro, parsley or basil (We used basil, yum!)
small amount of water

OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS

roasted gluten-free pita bread
regular gluten-free bread
chopped thyme
chopped garlic or garlic salt
olive oil or vegan margarine/butter such as Earth Balance
sliced vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, green or red peppers, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and place in a large, flat pan or cookie sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and olive oil and broil in oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully so the slices don’t burn! They should be pulpy and slightly browned. Peel skin from eggplant and either eat, compost, or discard.

Cut the eggplant pulp into small pieces and place in a blender or food processor. Add the tahini, a dash of sea salt, herbs, lemon juice, and combine thoroughly. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit of water until it becomes creamy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

Serve with sliced vegetables of your choice, and gluten-free bread or toast points. To make toast points, slather bread with a liberal amount of olive oil or vegan butter/margarine. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and granulated garlic. Broil in oven until the toast is brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Cut the toast in half and serve!

This recipe serves 2-3 people. If you have more guests, feel free to increase ingredient portions accordingly. Great as either a main or a side dish. Get creative! You can add falafels, hummus, or other Middle Eastern cuisine to make a larger meal. Keeps well in your refrigerator for several days. Homemade baba ghanoush is so much more delicious than the store-bought variety! Once you’ve prepared this version, we feel confident you’ll agree.

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Corn, Tomato, and Cannellini Bean Salad is a Cold But Nourishing Summer Meal

When the weather is this hot, who feels like cooking? On the other hand, we tire easily in the heat and need nourishment more than ever. Such a conundrum! Fortunately, we have discovered a recipe that is incredibly simple and quick to make. The entire process takes about fifteen minutes! You’ll love the delightful simplicity of this delicious, protein-rich meal. The addition of gluten-free garlic/sage toast makes it more filling. Great for potlucks or a quick at-home meal.

SALAD INGREDIENTS

1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans (also called “white beans”)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (try different colors for a visual sensation!)
1 ear fresh sweet corn
large handful of fresh basil, chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

TOAST INGREDIENTS

Olive oil or vegan butter/margarine such as Earth Balance
8-10 pieces of gluten-free bread
1-2 tablespoons fresh sage, shredded and chopped (remove those stems!)
2-3 minced cloves of fresh garlic, or garlic salt to taste (make sure salt is not iodized)

SALAD INSTRUCTIONS

Drain beans thoroughly and pour into a large mixing bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut the kernels from the corn cob and add to bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, shredded basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with sea salt (not the iodized variety!) and fresh ground black pepper. Toss the mixture until it’s thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl and place it in your refrigerator for 1-2 hours until chilled enough to eat.

TOAST INSTRUCTIONS

Slather 8-10 pieces of gluten-free bread with vegan butter or margarine, or drizzle with olive oil. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and sprinkle dried sage on top. Add minced garlic or garlic salt to taste. Place the cookie sheet in oven at low broil setting. Broil for 2-3 minutes until bread is brown and slightly crispy around the edges. Do not burn! Remove from oven and allow excess oil to drain. Cut bread in half and arrange artfully on a plate.

Spread liberal amounts of salad across your toast and dig in! You’ll be in heaven, and your guests will be, too. This nourishing dish serves 4-6 people, depending on everyone’s appetite levels. Be sure to hydrate with fresh water! Of course, there’s always room for gluten-free, vegan beer or wine, if that’s your sort of thing. And maybe some fresh gazpacho! (See last week’s recipe). Happy summer! Have fun and stay cool in the heat.

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