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Archive for September, 2010

Tipicamente mi sveglio nella mattina pensando di cibo.  Perche’?  No lo so, ma il sabato scorso mi sono sveglio pensando dei cialde.  Alle circa 5:30 ho guardata a Gary e ho detto <<Vuoi i cialde per la colazione?>>  Ha riso e ha detto <<Si.>>  Di corso, tutto di questo accaduto nel inglese, ma non importa.

Siccome mia sorella ha celiachia, e ho ancora un sacco degli ingredienti senza glutine rimanere dalla sua visita recente, questi cialde sono diventati i cialde senza glutine invece di <<normale.>>  Gustano bene essattamente lo stesso comunque.

Gli ingredienti:

  • 360 gr di latte di mandorla o soia (+ 30 gr piu’ tardi se sia troppo densa)
  • 2 cucchiaino di aceto al cedro
  • 60 gr di farina di riso marrone
  • 85 gr di farina di mandorla
  • 60 gr di farina di miglio
  • 30 gr di farina di tapioca
  • 30 gr di farina di grano
  • 1 cucchiaio da tavola di seme di lino macinato
  • 1 cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio
  • 1 cucchiaino di lievito di polvere
  • 1 cucchiaino di gomma di xantano
  • ¾ cucchiaino di sale
  • ½ cucchiaino di cannella
  • ¼ cucchiaino di noce moscata
  • 2 banane
  • 80 gr di olio di canola o salsa di mele (o una combinazione)
  • 3 cucchiaio da tavola di nettare d’agave o zucchero greggio o sciroppo d’acero
  • ½ cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia
  • ½ cucchiaino di estratto di mandorla
  • Delle noci

Istruzioni:

Primo, frullare il latte e l’aceto di cedro nella piccola scodella e mettere da parte; l’aceto cagliera’ il latte, facendolo come latticello.

Poi mischiare tutti gli ingredienti asciutti in un’altra scodella con una forchetta.

In un’altra ancora scodella, schiacciare bene le banane.  Aggiungere il latte, la salsa di mele, il nettare e gli estratti e mischiare.  Aggiungere anche gli ingredienti asciutti e sbatterla con un frullatore di mano.  Se la sembra troppo densa, aggiungere piu’ latte.  Mescolare delicamente le noci.

Versare la pastella in una crepiera calda e cuocere fino ai cialde sono un colore di castano dorato.

Se voglia qualcos’altro di mettere sul cialda, ecco la ricette per la conserva di mirtilli:

Prendere due tazze di mirtilli (fresco o surgelato) e metterli in una piccola pentola.  Aggiungere del zucchero, del succo di limone e della farina di grano (o altro addensante) e cuocere sul calore medio fino a addensa.  Puoi anche aggiungere dello sciroppo d’acero se preferisca.

~~~ In English ~~~

Typically I wake up thinking about food.  Why?  I don’t know, but last Saturday I woke up thinking about waffles.  At about 5:30 I looked at Gary and said, “Do you want waffles for breakfast?”  He laughed and said, “Yes.”

Since my sister has celiac disease, and I still have a ton of gluten-free ingredients left over from her recent visit, these waffles became gluten-free waffles instead of “normal.”

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 C almond or soy milk (plus 2 T later if it’s too thick)
  • 2 t apple cider vinegar
  • ½ c brown rice flour
  • ¾ C almond flour
  • ½ C millet flour
  • ¼ C tapioca flour
  • ¼ corn starch
  • 1 T ground flax seed
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t xanthan gum
  • ¾ t salt
  • ½ t cinnamon
  • ¼ t nutmeg
  • 2 bananas
  • 1/3 canola oil or applesauce (or a combination)
  • 3 T agave or brown sugar or maple syrup
  • ½ t vanilla extract
  • ½ t almond extract
  • Some walnuts

Instructions:

First, whisk the milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside; the vinegar will curdle the milk, making it like buttermilk.

Then mix all the dry ingredients in another bowl with a fork.

In yet another bowl, mash up the bananas well.  Add the milk, applesauce, agave and extracts and mix.  Add the dry ingredients and beat with a hand mixer.  If the mixture is too thick add more milk.  Fold in the walnuts.

Pour the batter in a waffle iron and cook until the waffles are a golden brown color.

If you want something else to put on top of the waffles, here is the recipe for blueberry compote.

Take two cups of blueberries (fresh or frozen) and put them in a small saucepan.  Add some sugar, lemon juice and cornstrach (or other thickener) and cook over medium heat until it thickens.  You can also add some maple syrup if you want.

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Penso che io abbia finalmente risolto la ricetta per gelato vegano.   Tento sempre di farlo piu’ sano, ma qualche volta si deve compromettere.  Ma e’ ancora abbastanza sano perche’ non ho usato il latte’ di cocco che e’ pieno di grasso.

Lo chiamo <<gelato>>, ma forse sia proprio come gelato americano, oppure <<ice cream>>.  Non e’ importante purche’ lo gusti buonissimo!

Per fare il gelato, uso questa gelateria.  Ci vogliono solo 25 minuti di farlo, e non gli occorre nessuno ghiaccio o sale!  Questo gelato e’ molto cremoso e delizioso e non diventa duro come una roccia dopo lo metti nel congelatore.  In piu’, lo anch’e’ senza glutine!

Ecco la ricetta:

  • Un mezzo cubetto di tofu fermo seta (Mori-Nu)
  • 240 gr di latte di cocco leggero (come questo)
  • 120 gr di latte di soia (oppure mandorla, riso, ecc)
  • 170 gr di zucchero semolato biologico
  • Un cucchiaio da tavola di estratto vaniglia

Butta tutti gli ingredienti nel frullatore e omogeneizza fino a liscio.  Lo versa nella gelateria e l’accendi.  Circa 25 minuti di piu’, va bene! Hai gelato!

Now, in English…

I think I finally have the recipe for vegan ice cream solved.  I always try to make it more healthy, but sometimes you must compromise.  But it is still healthy enough because I don’t use the coconut milk that is full of fat.

The next sentence isn’t really relevant in English so I won’t translate it.

To make ice cream, I use this ice cream maker.  It takes only 25 minutes to make it and does not need any ice or salt!  This ice cream is very cream and delicious and does not become as hard as a rock after you put it in the freezer. Additionally, it  is also gluten free!

Here is the recipe:

  • Half a cube of firm silken tofu
  • 1 C of light coconut milk
  • 1/2 C of soy milk (or almond, rise, etc)
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract

Throw all the ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the ice cream maker and turn it on.  About 25 minutes later, it’s done!  You have ice cream!

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Last Saturday we went to Widmer’s Oktoberfest here in Portland.  My only qualm with the event was that they were only serving Widmer beer, but that’s to be expected I guess.  Not that I don’t like their beer, I do, I just like a little variety.  And maybe an actual German beer since it’s, um, Oktoberfest.

It was a lot of fun nevertheless.  We got there a little after 4pm, which in hindsight wasn’t the best idea as I was, well, a bit sloshed by the time we went home.  But it’s Oktoberfest so what the hell.  We heard an awesome band while we were there.  Sassparilla played an energetic, entertaining and foot stomping good set of music.  Even the beer and the lemon decided to dance.

We bought one of Sassparilla’s CDs and, while we like it, we think they’re better live.  Hopefully they do a live album in the near future (hint, hint).

A couple hours after we got there some of our friends finally showed up.  You’d think we’d learn to come to these a little later so we won’t have had too many beers by the time the rest of the gang shows up, but we don’t!  =)

All in all it was a lot of fun and we’ll probably be back next year.  If you missed Widmer’s Oktoberfest don’t fret!  There are several more Oktoberfests in the Pacific NW.  I started googling them this morning and there seemed to be no end to the amount of them so I’ll just list a few for you.

So happy beer drinking and schnitzel eating!!

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Typically I pride myself on being a “getter doner,” but this summer I’ve become quite adept at putting as much off as possible.  Like these cupcakes that I made, oh, about a month ago without posting the recipe (though I promised my sister I would).  Well, finally, here it is.

This was the best gluten-free cupcake either of us has had.  It’s also vegan so it gets extra bonus points for being animal free.  It was incredibly moist, which I think can be attributed to the agave (having made vanilla gluten-free cupcakes with all sugar instead a couple weeks later that were disappointingly dry).

The recipe is based on VCTOTW’s Chocolate Gluten Freedom Cupcake and Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcake recipes.  I blended the two recipes together, altered some ingredients and modified some amounts.  Thankfully all went well.

At this point you’re probably thinking I’m never going to get to the actual recipe.  I’m good at jabbering too much sometimes (get that from my Mother I think).  As some of you know, I’m currently learning Italian and as school is just around the corner, I must begin to practice it again.  So, this recipe will be presented both in Italian and English.  If you happen to know Italian, feel free to correct my mistakes.

Cominciamo! (Lets begin)

Gluten-free Mexican Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake:

  • ¼ C almond meal
  • ¼ C millet flour
  • ½ C white rice flour
  • ½ C cocoa
  • 1 t baking powder
  • ½ t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • Pinch or more cayenne
  • ½ C organic sugar
  • ½ C agave
  • 1/3 C canola oil (or half and half oil and applesauce)
  • 1 C coconut milk (I used light)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1 t almond
  • ¼ C tapioca flour
  • 2 T ground flax

Icing:

  • ½ C stick vegan margarine
  • ½ C (one big scoop) spectrum shortening (non-hydrogenated)
  • Powdered sugar as needed
  • 2 – 4 T soy milk (or coconut milk)
  • ½ t vanilla
  • 1 t coconut extract

Instructions:

To make the cupcake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Combine almond meal, millet flour, rice flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne.
  • In another bowl, mix milk, oil, sugar, agave and extracts with an electric mixer to combine.  Add tapioca flour and flax seed and mix well until it’s emulsified.
  • Add dry ingredients and mix well for about two minutes.  It’s really important to mix well here so error on the side of over mixing (it won’t hurt the cupcake).
  • Fill a lined cupcake pan with batter (you’re supposed to get 12 out of this, I usually only get 11).
  • Bake for 20 – 23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Note: If the mixture seems too thin, add a little bit of any of the flours until it appears thick enough.

To make the icing:

  • Cream the margarine and shortening together.
  • Add the extracts.
  • Add the milk and sugar in increments; you’ll know you have enough when the icing is the texture you want – I typically use about three cups of sugar and about three tablespoons of milk.
  • Blend the mixture together with a spoon or hand mixer until desired consistency is reached.
  • Don’t frost the cupcakes until they’re completely cooled.

*** La ricetta italiana ***

I piccoli tortini cioccolati caldi messicani senza glutine

Gli ingredienti:

Per la piccolo tortino

  • 30 gr di farina di mandorla
  • 30 gr di farina di miglio (oppure grano miglio?)
  • 60 gr di farina di riso bianco
  • 60 gr di cacao
  • 1 cucchiaino di lievito di polvere
  • Un mezzo cucchiaino di bicarbonato di sodio
  • 1 cucchiaino di sale
  • Presa di pepe di cayenna
  • 115 gr di zucchero biologico
  • 120 gr di nettare d’agave
  • 80 gr di olio di canola (oppure mezzo di salsa di mele)
  • 240 gr di latte di cocco (ho usato leggero)
  • 1 cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia
  • 1 cucchiaino di estratto di mandorla
  • 30 gr di farina di tapioca
  • 15 gr di seme di lino macinato

La glassa

  • 57 gr di burro vegano
  • 57 gr di grasso vegetale (inidrogenati)
  • Zucchero a velo a seconda delle necessita’
  • Un mezzo cucchiaino di estratto di vaniglia
  • 1 cucchiaino di estratto di cocco

Le istruzioni:

Fare il piccolo tortino:

  • Preriscaldi il forno alle 350 gradi F.
  • Metta insieme la farina di mandorla, miglio e riso bianco, il cacao, lievito di polvere, bicarbonato di sodio, sale e pepe di cayenna.
  • In un’altro scodella, mischi il latte, olio, zucchero, nettare di agave e gli estratti con un frullatore di mano a combinare.  Aggiunga la farina di tapioca e il seme di lino e mischi bene la mescolanza fino a e’ emulsionata.
  • Aggiunga gli ingredienti asciutti e li mischi bene per circa due minuti.  E’ molto importante a mischiare bene qui cosi’ e’ in errore del lato di mischiare piu’ di necessario (non fara’ male al piccolo tortino).
  • Riempa una teglia per pasticcini rivestita con la pastella (dovrebbe prendere 12 piccoli tortini, ma tipicamente solo ne prendevo 11).
  • Cuoca al forno per circa 20 – 23 minuti, o fino a uno stuzzicadenti viene fuori pulito.

*Nota: Se la mescolanza sembra troppo liquefatta, aggiunga un po’ di qualsiasi farina fino a sembra abbastanza densa.

Fare la glassa:

  • Sbatta insieme il burro e grasso.
  • Aggiunga gli estratti.
  • Aggiunga il latte e zucchero negli incrementi; sapra’ di avere abbastanza quando la glassa e’ la consistenza che desidera – ho usato tipicamente circa tre tazze di zucchero e tre cucchiaio di latte.
  • La mescoli con il cucchiaio o frullatore di mano fino a ottiene la consistenza desiderata.
  • Non glassare i piccoli tortini fino a sono raffreddare completamente.

Eccolo con il gelato di cocco.  Molto delizioso!

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The best thing about a birthday is the cake.  It is absolutely, utterly, undeniably and entirely impossible to have a birthday without a cake.  If you do (god forbid) have birthdays with no cakes, you need to do some finger shaking at your, ahem, loved ones.

We celebrated my fiancee’s birthday yesterday.  His real birthday isn’t until Monday, but with work and school we thought it better to do it on a Friday (which was good because it took me a @#&^@%$& long time to frost this puppy).  While most people sit around thinking of normal things like sports, politics and whether or not they turned the coffee pot off, I tend to daydream about baking.  More specifically, I continually try to think of something new to put inside or on top of a cake or cupcake.  My best ideas tend to come to me at odd hours of the night or in the shower.  Sometimes (most times) they turn out better in my head than in reality [insert cupcake bomb here].  This one turned out ok though, thankfully.

We’ll start from the bottom.  Initially I wanted to do cake-cookie-cake-cookie layering system, but I feared that the cookie would be too heavy for the cake and end up crushing the little bugger.  Plus I only have one 8 inch cake pan, so the oven would have been on for an eternity. So I opted to put the cookie on the bottom.  It’s just your typical peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe (egg subbed out with flax and water).  I stuck it in the freezer for a bit in order to be able to handle the dough without it sticking to every inch of my hands.

The chocolate cake is from VCTOTW…. not much more to say about that I guess.

The icing in the middle and on top is actually the same.  Why the difference in color?  Well, sometimes I’m a bit of an idiot.  I stuck the frosting in the microwave to soften it up a bit to [hopefully] make frosting the top easier.  Did you know if you get chocolate chips warm they melt?  Yeah, duh.  So, what we have here are two versions of peanut butter cookie dough icing, one a little more chocolatey than the other.  You just take some cookie dough and whip it with shortening or margarine and make frosting as usual.

The icing on the side is plain ole chocolate buttercream.  I would say this one too is out of VCTOTW, but I think I actually pulled it from memory.  My Dad made chocolate cake a lot growing up.  The icing recipe may just be the only culinary thing I took with me when I left home.  Hmm, moving on.

The cookies on the side are obviously mini versions of the big PB cookie on the bottom.  I stuck them on there with a dab of icing.

Now what really matters is, Gary loved it!  The cake was delicious and it didn’t turn into a brick in your tummy.  I do think I need to go to cake frosting school though, or just stick to cupcakes.

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The thing most of my friends say they could never do without food-wise is cheese.  People don’t comprehend how I can go without it.  Truth be told I love cheese, or loved it rather.  My sister and I used to sit in this ugly green chair when we were little and just eat slices of cheese.  My favorite place to eat growing up was Bananza (I lived in the south, what do you expect) because there was always this great big mound of cheese on the buffet line waiting for me to take a big chunk out of it.

In my early 20’s I finally started looking at what’s in all this food I was eating.  I never paid attention to labels or fat content or any sort of calorie information period.  Once I started noticing these things I began to cut back on higher fat foods, cheese being one of them.

Today I don’t pay nearly as much attention to fat content and calories as I used to, but everything I eat is so damn healthy I don’t really need to.  A vegan diet isn’t necessarily healthy by default, but mine is (lots of veggies, fruits, whole grains, good fats, and no high fructose corn syrup).

But every once in awhile I still miss cheese.  One of my all time favorites is a plain ole grilled cheese sandwich.  I can’t honestly remember the last time I had a “real” one, but the other day I made a strikingly similar replica of one and it was flippin awesome!  Of course, if I had recently had cheese it probably wouldn’t have tasted anything like it, but the good thing about not having eaten cheese in years is that I don’t remember exactly what it tastes like.

The best part about my “cheese,” it’s not some over-processed, pre-packaged, non-melting, stupidly expensive variety of vegan cheese you find in the stores.  I’ve actually never bought that stuff because it just seems like a waste of $5.  And I can make my own.  The “cheese” recipe I used is actually from Vegan Yum Yum’s Mac & Cheeze recipe.  This is the best cheese sauce recipe I’ve come across (even though my omnivore friends think it tastes like pureed veggies).  It’s extremely versatile too.  My favorite way to make it so far is with a yam instead of a white potato.  And, you don’t need half of the stuff it calls for either, in case you find yourself halfway through making dinner and realize you don’t have miso, tahini or carrots (oops!).  It works great as cheese dip too by adding some salsa, jalapenos, etc.  The version that made its way in between two slices of grilled bread was made with a red potato, no carrots, sesame seeds, only a spoon full of margarine, 1/4 cup cashews and soy sauce.  Cheesy, melty, toasty and healthy!  It was so good I even sent a text message to my sister telling her about it. =)

So, here’s to being vegan (or mostly vegan) and having your cheese too!  All I need now is some tomato soup and cold weather.

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