When you are faced with a gluten free spouse and vegan daughters, making baked goods can be a challenge. No eggs, no butter, milk, cream and also no flour. I hardly bake because it always turns out flat - literally and taste wise! I keep to my safe territory - cooking.
Last night, I came across this recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies and attempted to make it today. I'm a big fan of peanut butter - on bread with jam, in ice creams and even in cookies. So imagine my excitement when I saw this recipe...My husband asked me to try making it gluten free as well. I had just made a batch of vegan but not gluten free brownies and it didn't feel right to not to bake for my husband something gluten free. Fortunately, I had almond flour at home and the quantity remaining in the packet was just what I needed. It turned out pretty tasty and brittle like how cookies should be. So imagine my surprise at the outcome:))
The recipe below yields large cookies so do ensure they are spaced apart. Do store it an airtight container once it cools down because it becomes soft and chewy if left outside for too long.
Ingredients (makes 22 pieces of 2inch cookies)
1 and 1/4 cups almond meal (ground almond)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup crunchy or creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegan coconut butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsps vanilla extract/essence
1 tbsp water
I found this recipe below for Vegan Potato Omelette online and I tweaked it to add yellow onion and baby spinach to add flavor and nutrition. Its a very versatile dish and you can add sliced olives, capsicum or or even boiled kidney beans for added protein. And its gluten free too since we are using chickpea flour.
Ingredients (To serve 6-8 wedges)
2 tbsp vegan butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, sliced thinly
2 cups baby spinach
2 tsps garlic herb salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
2-3 large potatoes, steamed, skin removed and cut into small cubes
2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup (+/-) water
1) First mix the chickpea flour, salt and water to form a thick batter. Pour this over the steamed cubed potatoes and mix well.
2) Next take a saucepan or a skillet and melt the vegan butter with the olive oil. Then add in the yellow onion and fry on medium heat.
3) Next, add in the washed baby spinach.
4) This will be followed by the garlic herb salt and chilli flakes. Check for salt. Then add in the chickpea potato mix. Press it down flat with a metal spoon. Add some vegan butter on the sides and on top so that it will cook golden brown when we flip it over.
5) Loosen the sides with a spatula or a flipper. Put a flat large plate over the pan and do a quick turn. Slide the omelette back into the pan and cook the other side.
6) Enjoy this delicious omelette with baked beans and a cup of hot steaming tea.
Chickpea Fesenjan is an Iranian stew from Gilan province, Iran. It is part of the of the dinner table on Shaba Yalda when families get together to celebrate the longest night of the year and the beginning of winter. It has a distinctive grainy sour taste as it is flavoured with ground walnuts and pomegranate paste. It is traditionally made with poultry ie either duck or chicken. Here I have made a vegan version using chickpeas to replace the meat. I couldn't find pomegranate paste so I had to settle for pomegranate juice instead.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1) First process the baked/roasted walnuts to a fine meal. Set aside.
2) Take a medium sized pot and heat the olive oil. Fry the yellow onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for around 5 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
3) Now add the chickpeas, veg broth, walnut meal, pomegranate juice, brown sugar, turmeric powder and cinnamon powder. Stir to combine and bring to a boil,
4) Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until thick and stew like.
5) Serve over a bed of Basmati Rice/Jasmine Rice and garnished with pomegranate arils and pasrsley leaves.
Anu, a close friend of mine and a fellow member of our Book Club formed in the eastern part of Singapore, is an avid cook. I have known for many years and each time I go over to her place or she comes to one of ours, she'll bring one of her delicious treats. Once we savoured pizza toast using her own homemade pizza sauce, another time Anu made little dough balls using leftover dosa batter with a very delightful coconut chutney. Last week on Monday, we had a taste of her delicious Briyani using her own home made Briyani Masala.
We all cook for our family and friends but where do we have the time to make our masala powders from scratch? Roasting the whole spices and then cooling and later grinding them into a fine powder. And the proportions must be in the right amounts otherwise you will have in hand either a very bland masala or an overpowering one. I found Anu's Briyani Masala just right and very balanced. Not too spicy, not too pungent. Anu makes all her masalas from scratch - Briyani, Sambar and Rasam as well. She shared her Briyani Masala Powder recipe with me on Monday. Unfortunately, I will not be sharing the masala powder recipe here in this post as I am encouraging her (and empowering her) to start selling her masala powders to all who want a less pungent overpowering store bought ones. Hopefully, Anu will have a thriving home business selling spice powders soon!
This is how her Briyani Masala looked like :
Ingredients (Serves 2)
2-3 tbsps canola oil
1 cup Basmati Rice, soaked for 30 mins and drained
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 and 1/4 tsp of Anu's Briyani Masala
1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder (for the gorgeous red hue without the heat)
Salt to taste per your preference
1 medium sized potato peeled and cut into 1 inch long thick pieces
1 small sized carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch long thick pieces
2 long beans, washed and cut into 1 inch long pieces
A stalk of coriander leaves, chopped
1) Take a large pot and fry the onion and ginger garlic paste in canola oil.
2) Add the briyani masala, chilli powder and salt and stir for 2-3 mins.
3) Add in the vegetables and 1 cup water and stir and cook on low heat till water evaporates
4) Then, add in the drained basmati rice and stir gently ensuring you dont break the soaked rice. Stir till the oil is evenly coated on all grains of rice.
5) Transfer to your rice cooker. Add 2.5 cups of water and check for salt. Switch on your rice cooker and cook per normal.
6) Serve warm with plain dal and cucumber yoghurt raita.
Along with delicious pizzas and pasta dishes, Minestrone Soup originated in Italy. It can be either thin or a thick soup made with vegetables often with the addition of pasta or rice (gluten free), sometimes both. Common ingredients of Minestrone Soup are onions, celery, carrots, zucchini and stock. You can substitute with gluten free pasta, sweet potato or quinoa for the carbs.
Why is it called 'minestrone'? Minestrone means 'big soup' in Italian thanks to the multitude of vegetables thrown in. Minestrone is made differently across Italy depending on available ingredients and seasons. It is a very healthy soup that will keep you full for a long time. For my version, I have added kidney beans as well for protein to keep us full longer. Toast a few vegan garlic bread and you have a complete meal which will be devoured in minutes!
Ingredients (Serves 2 generous portions)
Hi guys! I'm Nilofar Iyer and I have shared my dishes here for you to cook for your own family and friends with love and most importantly with their long term good health in mind.