Quinoa Flatbread

The other day, someone posted a recipe for “two-ingredient quinoa bread” on the CFDG Facebook group and I thought I’d give it a try. I wasn’t expecting much, but it turned out to be brilliant–and my new favourite alternative to bread, pita, wraps, etc.

And it really is only two ingredients.

Or it was until I started adding stuff!

The original recipe can be found here. It’s basically one cup of quinoa blended with one cup of water and baked, but I added a couple of things to make it tastier. The result is a nice neutral flatbread suitable for pizza crust or just as a vehicle for getting hummus and tomato/avocado/etc. into your mouth!

So—here’s the method:

Quinoa Flatbread

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 TBS vegetable broth powder (I use this instead of salt)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Blend in the Vitamix for a minute or two. You don’t need to rinse the quinoa (if you do, the batter will come out much thinner). The result will be the consistency of a thick pancake batter.

Throw in a handful of…

  • fresh basil
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh rosemary

P1070576.jpg

Pulse a few times so the herbs aren’t completely blended (you don’t want a green batter!).

Pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper sprayed with a bit of oil spray…

P1070577.jpg

…and bake for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake for ten more minutes.

P1070579 (2).jpg

P1070580.jpg

P1070581.jpg

Now you can use it as a pizza crust or slice it up to use as flatbread. You can even toast it.

Avo-toasties on quinoa flatbread with capers, white onion, and a drizzle of sriracha:

P1070586.jpg

Here’s a mini-pizza with a quinoa crust:

P1070427.jpg

I did try grilling it (rather than baking), and the result was fine, but rather floppy, like a thick wrap or pancake, and quite rubbery in texture. The one on the right is baked, the two on the left are grilled:P1070438.jpg

James isn’t 100% crazy about the quinoa flatbread, but I LOVE it. The taste is pretty neutral and it’s a perfect vehicle for those open-faced sandwiches of which I am so fond.

I’m going to try it as a pizza crust for a large pizza this evening to see how it fares. I’ll report back with my results!

Update!

Not at ALL bad as a pizza crust!!

P1070588.jpg

Toppings: tomato sauce, onions, olives, mushrooms, red peppers, grape tomatoes, vegan cheese:

P1070590 (1).jpg

Served with a kale-romaine-tomato Caesar salad–YUM!!!!

P1070594.jpg

 

 

 

Take Two: Smoky Meltable Vegan Cheddar–This is IT!!

If you recall, I attempted a smoky vegan cheddar a few days ago, but I tried to leave out the coconut oil. The flavour was delicious, buuuut the texture was a bit off–kind of gelatinous–for lack of a better word. Well, James fancied nachos this evening, so I thought I’d try the cheddar again. It tastes GREAT right out of the pan (before hardening in the fridge).

Smoky Meltable Vegan Cheddar 2.0

(Oh god–remember when everything was “2.0 this” and “2.0 that”?)

Throw in the Vitamix:

  • 1 and 1/3 cups cashew milk (homemade)
  • 1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 4 TBS tapioca flour
  • 4 TBS nutritional yeast
  • 4 tsp kappa carrageenan
  • 1 TBS miso paste
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1.5 tsp Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

Once it’s blended, pour the mix into a pan on medium heat and stir until the mix gets shiny and smooth. Pour into a mold and refrigerate for a few hours.

This stuff tastes GREAT, but doesn’t adhere to nachos when it melts. Next time, if I’m making nachos, I’ll just do the sauce version (which actually has no oil!).

It’s the smokiness that makes the flavour so good! This solid version will be great for a melted cheez sammitch!

P1070355.jpg

 

Vegan Omelette

I’ve been dying to try making a chickpea flour omelette or quiche for ages but have been reluctant because apparently if chickpea flour is not cooked properly, it can taste terrible.

Well, today was the day, my friend: I tried the vegan omelette.

The recipe can be found here on Fatfree Vegan, so I won’t repost the recipe because I changed only one thing (I added a TBS of Knorr Vegetable Broth powder to the dry mix).

I will definitely be making this again, because it was DELICIOUS–it doesn’t taste like eggs…more like a savoury pancake.

I did a quick wok-fry of onions, peppers, black olives, mushrooms, kale, chard, and arugula, and once the omelette was cooked, I filled it with the mix, and then topped it with vegan smoked cheddar sauce and fresh cilantro.

IMG_20170603_121040.jpg

Smoky, Meltable Vegan Cheddar

We loved that smoky vegan cheddar sauce so much that I decided to try to turn it into a solid, meltable cheese with the addition of some kappa carrageenan and xanthan gum. It’s similar to my super fast and easy meltable vegan cheddar, but contains no extracted oil (the only oil is in the cashews).

So…here goes!

Smoky Vegan Cheddar

Blend in the Vitamix for two minutes:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • pinch of salt

IMG_20170528_095944.jpg

Next, add to the mixture:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 TBS miso
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Knorr Vegetable Broth powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 TBS kappa carageenan (if you don’t plan on melting the cheese, you can use agar agar)
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum

IMG_20170528_101012.jpg

Blend on high for thirty seconds. Pour the mixture into a saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. The tapioca flour will be cooked ONLY when the mixture is shiny.

IMG_20170528_101513.jpg

Pour into a mold and refrigerate for at least two hours.

IMG_20170528_132802.jpgIMG_20170528_132400.jpg

 

This turned out VERY well in terms of taste. It does have that firm-creme-caramel texture that James finds a bit off-putting, but I don’t mind the texture. The true test is how well the cheese melts, however….

IMG_20170528_140020.jpg

IMG_20170528_140208.jpg

IMG_20170528_140215.jpg

It melts very well, buuuut the texture is still a bit gelatinous, so I suspect that removing the extracted oil from the recipe is the problem.

Tomorrow, I’m going to try the flavouring from this cheese, but the rest of the ingredients from my super quick meltable cheddar.

I also tried another crack at my corn tortillas today. Yesterday’s dough was too wet and fragile, but today’s was a bit too dry and, for lack of a better word, robust. Still, they tasted great with our lunch….

Tofu Taco Scramble on a salad of baby kale, chard, arugula, and nasturtium leaves (from the garden) tossed with Cashew-Dill Dressing.

IMG_20170528_114650.jpg

That’s Smoky Vegan Cheddar Sauce on top….and fresh cilantro from the garden!

I’ve been listening to a super mellow jazz playlist since 9:30 this morning, so the song of the day is, of course, Madeleine Peyroux’s “Between the Bars.”

….which is a cover of the late great Elliot Smith’s song:

 

DIY Corn Tortillas with Tofu Scramble

I’ve been trying since forever to make decent corn tortillas, and today I came close, buuuuut I’m still not there.

I recently realized that the Bob’s Red Mill masa harina in my pantry is too coarse to do the trick, so I picked up a finer version at Galloway’s in New West last time we were in town. The Bob’s stuff cost me close to ten bucks for a pound, but the Galloway’s masa harina was less than three bucks for almost two pounds!!

I followed the recipe in this video, which is basically, mix a cup of masa harina with a cup and a bit of hot water, let it rest for twenty minutes, roll it into balls, press the balls flat and grill them on a hot pan.

I followed the instructions, but ended up with only five tortillas, and they were a little thick, but not that much thicker than in the video. They were also rather fragile, but they cooked well….not as well as hers (I was reallllllly hoping they’d puff up like hers, but no such luck).

Corn Tortillas

Take a heaping cup of masa harina and mix with a cup of hot water. Add up to a half cup more water as necessary. The dough should be soft, but not sticky.

IMG_20170527_110722.jpg

Let the dough rest for twenty minutes and divide into six balls. Dust your hands with a bit of masa harina as you roll the balls so they don’t stick to the parchment paper when you press out the tortillas.

Using a tortilla press lined with parchment paper, press out the tortillas.

IMG_20170527_120006

Be gentle when you peel the tortillas off the parchment paper or they will tear. And check out my fresh pedicure in the picture below!

IMG_20170527_115547.jpg

Grill on a hot grill or non-stick pan over medium-high heat until both sides are nice and brown.IMG_20170527_115618

I thought the corn tortillas would be too thick and a bit tough, but they were actually delicious and quite fluffy. I was disappointed they didn’t puff up like the ones in the video, but I’ll keep trying!

I served our piping hot corn tortillas with this Tofu Scramble on a bed of chopped kale and chard (from the garden). I topped the scramble with the Smoky Cheddar Sauce I made yesterday, chopped grape tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, and a sprinkling of cilantro (from the garden).

It was all quite scrumptious!

IMG_20170527_121524

IMG_20170527_121507

And now….it’s time to relax!

imageedit_39_6049074448.jpg

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Sauce, Oh YEAH!

I’m on a bit of a posting binge today, likely because I’ve recently joined a new Facebook group called Vegan Cheeze (Hits and Misses) and keep coming across posts that inspire me to try new recipes. Most group members favour a cookbook called The Non-Dairy Evolution Cookbook, which I own (and have mentioned on this blog before), but I’ve tried only a few of the recipes because I find the instructions sometimes rather cumbersome.

51E3wq0jcjL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I’ve heard enough raves about the Golden Cheddar Sauce, however, that I finally decided to try it. The problem was that I had no soymilk–the main ingredient. The other problem was that the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oil, and I prefer not to use extracted oils.

To replace the soymilk and oil, I used a half cup of cashews and two cups of boiling water. I also subbed a teaspoon of Knorr Vegetable Broth powder for the salt and added half teaspoon of liquid smoke to give the cheese a smokey flavour.

Oh my.  The result is absolutely lick-the-spoon scrumptious.

We enjoyed it drizzled on vegan tacos for dinner this evening, and James loved it so much he ate EIGHT!

Here’s the recipe….

Smoky Vegan Cheddar Sauce

Blend in the Vitamix for two minutes:

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • pinch of salt

Next, add to the mixture:

  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 TBS miso
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Knorr Vegetable Broth powder
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder

Blend on high for thirty seconds. Pour the mixture into a saucepan on medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. The tapioca flour will be cooked ONLY when the mixture is shiny.

IMG_20170526_191132.jpg

The tacos were delicious! I used The Thug Kitchen Quinoa Taco Mix topped with a mixture of chopped tomatoes, avocados, onions, and romaine tossed in lime juice. I finished the tacos off with a nice dollop of the Smoky Cheddar Sauce.

Oh, and of course, a sprinkling of chopped cilantro picked fresh from the garden!

IMG_20170526_193715.jpg

 

 

THE BEST Fat-free Roasted Potatoes, a Garden 2017 Update, and a Couple of Gardening Game Changers!!!!

My Irish hillbilly heart loves me some taters. Indeed, I’ll eat potatoes any old way: baked, hash-browned, mashed, you name it. Of course, the BEST kind of potatoes are deep fried, but we’re trying to be healthy, so we try to avoid those little flavour bombs of fat.

One of my favourite methods of cooking potatoes is from an Ottolenghi recipe James sometimes makes, which involves boiling chunks of potatoes and then tossing them into a chafing dish of oil that’s been heating up in the oven for a quarter of an hour (Ottolenghi calls for goose fat, rather than vegetable oil!!).

I wanted to make something similar, but without all the oil, so I incorporated some of Ottolenghi’s methods, but left out the oil.

Okay, full disclosure: this recipe isn’t ENTIRELY fat-free since I did spray the parchment paper with a quick coating of Pam.

Oven-Roasted Potatoes

  • 3 – 4 large peeled Russet potatoes, cut into large(ish) chunks
  • 1 TBS Knorr vegetable broth powder

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Boil the potatoes until a fork goes in easily. Don’t overcook–the potatoes should be a bit short of what you’d look for if you were making potato salad.

Drain the potatoes and then shake them vigorously in the colander. This step is important because you want to give the potato chunks shaggy edges like this:P1070319.jpg

Spread the potatoes out on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper and sprayed with a bit of Pam (and, okay, you may as well give the potatoes a quick spray as well, so the broth powder adheres to them).

Sprinkle the potatoes with the Knorr broth powder.

P1070322.jpgP1070321.jpg

Pop them into the oven for twenty-five minutes. Stir them around after fifteen minutes.

Just look at these delicious little suckers!!!

P1070327.jpg

I served the roasted potatoes with smoky-maple tofu sammies on freshly baked little (scooped out) baguettes–yum yum!!

Here’s James’s plate with a side of Frank’s Hot Sauce for dipping!

P1070328.jpg

Now for the….

Garden 2017 Update and Two Gardening Game Changers!

I like to keep track of what I’ve done in the garden from year to year and this blog seems the best place to do so (though I acknowledge it’s likely of interest only to me!).

So, if you recall, I started my vegetables and flowers from seed under grow lights in early March and transplanted most of them outside in mid-to-late April.

2017 has been a particularly cold year so far, so the head start the grow lights gave me has been a life saver. Indeed, most years, I would just be starting to plant now, and many of my vegetable (and ALL of my flowers) would have been from plants purchased from the nursery, not seeds.

Anyway, my kale, arugula, and chard are AMAZING–indeed, I’ve been harvesting leaves every day for our evening meals!P1070298.jpg

P1070301.jpg

P1070300.jpg

The nasuturtiums and sweet peas are developing nicely, as are the marigolds, but the snap dragons are a bit of a disappointment.

P1070306

P1070307

I transplanted half my tomato plants outside on May 1st, and they’ve not grown an inch, though they seem to be holding their own. Meanwhile, the ones I left under the grow lights are ENORMOUS things, but I’ll report in greater detail on my tomatoes in a later post.

The zucchinis I started from seed¬† and transplanted outside are holding their own and even growing, but the cucumbers (of which there are only two) are stunted little things that seem ready to expire. James picked me up six cucumber plants in town to replace them, so we’ll see how they do.

So the grow lights are ONE game changer.

The other game changer is that I’ve started using a moisture metre and have discovered that the reason my garden was such a disaster last year was that I was over-watering and killing all my poor little seedlings!

Now I jump out of bed every morning and rush out to the deck with my moisture metre in hand. I resist watering anything unless the metre indicates the soil is on the dry side of centre.

I cannot believe the improvement I’ve seen in my garden because of these two products

1. The Floralight T5 Full-Spectrum Grow Light from Lee Valley Tools:

PK430s2.jpg

2. The 2-in-1 ph/Moisture Metre from Art Knapp’s Garden Centre on Marine Drive in Vancouver:

I actually bought this to measure the ph of my soil because I thought the problem with my garden last year was that it was too acidic. Apparently not, but it WAS too moist.

Who knew?!