Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!

:)

Monday, 10 July 2017

Upside down Apple Cake -- gluten-free, vegan, nut-free

My Bubbi Sarah was a tiny and tough old woman who came here from Poland when she was a young girl. She'd witnessed a tremendous amount of change in her life by the time she died after the new millennia at the age of 102, but one thing was constant -- her love of making the old traditional favourites for her family's eating pleasure. She'd make mandelbrot, poppy seed cookies, roasted eggplant, and her famous apple cake. With a nudge she'd say "Did you try the apple cake? It's good. I made it."

I miss that. So I always think of Bubbi Sarah when I bake an apple cake.

Now, I can't claim to hold a candle to her apple cake. This one is lovely, however. The cake is delicate, soft, spongey, and moist, with perfect integrity, and a light sweetness and spiciness. I'm sure Bubbi Sarah would have been baffled by my use of millet and buckwheat flours, but I like to think she would have enjoyed it.

If, like me, you are allergic to wheat, or if you simply want a change, this gluten-free, nut-free, vegan cake is wonderful.

I love the way an upside down cake looks, with a pretty pattern in apple slices on the now-top. I sprinkle coconut sugar liberally to affect a sort of caramelization on the now-top, and it's a thing of pleasing deliciousness.




















equipment:
round 8 inch pan, coated with coconut oil and parchment
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
knife
cutting board
measuring spoons
measuring cups
whisk
oven


ingredients:

a)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour

b)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp tonka bean powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ceylon cinnamon

c)
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup warm water

d)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

e)
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 apples, cored and sliced


directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees

1. prepare the apple and the pan
2. cover the bottom of the pan with parchment, then cover the parchment with coconut sugar sugar and apple slices (e)
3. combine the warm water and coconut oil (part c) and set aside
4. mix together the dry ingredients from a) and b) in a bowl
5. mix the ingredients from d) into the ingredients from e)
6. using a whisk, combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients
7. pour the batter over the sliced apples
8. bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 345
9. cool and invert onto a plate

Saturday, 8 July 2017

*** Really Good Cake -- Simple Cake -- gluten free vegan cake

This cake is amazing. It's a wonderfully spongey, simple, tasty, moist, delicious cake. Goooooooood cake. Really good cake.

Buckwheat flour tends to have a particular and strong flavour, and I am usually loathe to use it outside of very specific applications.  However, the ingredients in this cake balance it all perfectly and there is nothing about this cake that isn't just delicious. It's just ... lovely.

Don't bother me I'm imagining it with fresh strawberries that have been sliced and stirred together with a touch of maple syrup and a pinch of honey spooned over top, releasing all their secrets ...

Sorry, what did I miss?

Anyway, this cake is just a perfect spongey lovely cake. I can't wait to make it again.









equipment needed:

square silicone cake pan
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
oven


ingredients:

a)
1 cup millet flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp xanthan gum

b)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

c)
1 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut nectar
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

d)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cup warm water


directions:

preheat the oven to 345 degrees
1. combine the ingredients from part d and set aside
2. in a bowl, mix the ingredients from a) and b) -- thoroughly combine
3. stir c) and d) together
4. mix the wet and dry ingredients together -- I like to use a whisk
5. pour the batter into the silicone pan and bake at 345 for 45 minutes
(or bake as individual cupcakes for about 35 minutes)





45 minutes 345 degrees

baddass Split chickpeas***

So, these amazing split chickpea are super easy to cook up for a quick dinner. Throw a pot of brown basmati or brown jasmine rice on to cook at the same time, and you will be delighted. I will do a half-and-half bowl of rice and chickpeas, and lay a strip of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds down the centre for fun, taste, and texture.






equipment needed:

measuring cups
measuring spoon
sieve
pot
spoon
running water


ingredients:

3 cups split chickpeas (rinsed, not cooked)

1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp mesquite powder
3 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp coconut manna

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp coconut oil

6 cups water (I use boiling water)


directions:

1. rinse your split chickpeas well
2. put the chickpeas in a pot or pan with all the other ingredients
3. cook until the water is absorbed. Leave a little extra liquid, it's nice that way, and it does thicken up  a lot




Double Chocolate Muffins -- gluten free, vegan, and awesome

I whipped these up on the spur of the moment when my husband and son needed a quick lunch to take with them.

The goal was to make these as nutritionally dense a possible, and super yummy.

These ticked all the boxes.

I combine black bean flour, cacao, shredded coconut,  tapioca flour, and oat bran. These may not be traditional flours, but each one brings something excellent to the flavour, texture, and nutritional punch of these muffins. Because they are wheat and gluten free, as well as nut free, they are a pretty safe bet for an on-the-go snack.

Bonus: they mixed up in just a few minutes, so they were into and out of the oven in a hurry.







equipment needed:

mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
muffin tray or silicone muffin cups and baking sheet
oven


ingredients:

a)
1/4 cup black bean flour
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup tapioca flour
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup oat bran

b)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp tonka bean powder (Optional)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

c)
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

d)
1/2 cup chocolate chips


directions:

preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the ingredients from a) and b) in a bowl, and mix really well.
2. add the ingredients from c) and combine. I like to use a whisk!
3. stir in the chocolate chips (d)
4. scoop the batter into 12 muffin cups
5. bake at 345 for 35 minutes
6. cool and remove from tray/cups
7. store in the fridge in an airtight container



Thursday, 6 July 2017

Chickpea Fries V 2.0

2 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 - 3/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cumin

1 cup chickpea flour


1. cook on a low simmer on a pot on the stove, stirring constantly, until thickened
2. pour into an oiled pan and cool
3. chill until set -- 1 hour
4. put onto cutting board and cut into 'fries'
5. pan fry or baste with coconut oil and oven 'fry' (I did the oven route on a lined baking sheet. I baked them at 345  for about an hour and then found I needed to finish them at 415  to get them to crisp up

Chickpea Flour Tofu

1 cup chickpea flour
3 cups water
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp mesquite

whisk together
cook in a pot while stirring, until thick and glossy (low heat)
pour into a pan to set (silicone is perfect for this)
cut into cubes
toss with coconut oil and bake in the oven


Sunday, 11 June 2017

Black Bean Brownies Bigger Better Faster -- gluten free goodness

Welcome to the dark side, friends. A place where the perfect brownie is made with black bean flour. A place where the perfect brownie is a dense, fudgey square of cake filled with chocolate, flavour, and deliciousness. A place where brownie lover go to give up their 'I hate gluten-free baking' card. These brownies use black bean flour instead of black beans themselves, and are  a perfect cake texture -- dense but not gummy. Fluffy but not light. I mean, a brownie has got to have substance. This is no angel cake, dears. Far too ... naughty ... for that. It really doesn't get better than this.

One caveat -- they are best when baked 1 day before you need them. Why? I don't know. It's just the way it is.




equipment needed:

mixing bowl
mixing spoon
measuring cups
measuring spoons
square baking dish (I used silicone but glass is good too -- just make sure you grease it well with coconut oil and maybe line the bottom with parchment)
a grinder for the chia seeds if you buy whole and grind them yourself (or buy ground chia)
oven (obvi)


ingredients:

a)
1 cup black bean flour
1 1/4 cup coconut sugar   (or as an alt: 1 cup xylitol + 1/4 cup coconut sugar +1/4 cup date sugar)
1/2 cup date sugar
1/2 cup raw cacao

b)
1/4 cup ground chia seed
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp xanthan gum (stabilizer)

c)
 1 cup warm water + 2 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup cold water (total water is 2 cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

d)
1 cup chocolate chips -- fair trade, please

e)
2 tbsp coconut sugar to sprinkle on top



directions:

preheat oven to 345 and prepare your baking pan!!

1. combine 1 cup warm water and 2 tbsp coconut oil and let it melt
2. in a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients from parts a) and b) and stir until completely homogeneous.
3. in a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients from part c)
4. combine all of the above, and mix well
5. once the ingredients from a) b) and c) have been righteously integrated, stir in your chocolate chips (part d)
6. pour the batter into the baking pan, and make sure it's smooth and even
7. sprinkle the top of the batter with  the coconut sugar from part e)
8. bake at 345 for 40-45 minutes
9. Cool and then enjoy the NEXT DAY

seriously.

my husband eats them right away, and says they are great, but even he agrees they are BETTER the next day.


MAKE AHEAD MAKE AHEAD MAKE AHEAD

this is not a recipe for immediate gratification.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Gluten Free Wafer Cookies -- simple, vegan, and tasty


There's something to be said for simple, crisp, delicate wafer cookies. These remind me a little of graham wafers, and super simple to whip up, and taste really good. I prefer to make my own concoction of gluten free flours -- I get control over the taste and texture that way, and this one is very pleasing to me. However, you are welcome to sub in equal quantity of your favourite gluten free flour blend if you prefer. These keep well in an airtight container on the counter, and are perfect with a cup of tea. Or smores ... bet they'd make great smores ...
















equipment needed:
rolling pin
2 silicone mats or baking parchment
2 baking sheets
measuring cups
measuring spoons
mixing bowl
mixing spoon
fork
oven
butter knife


ingredients:

a)
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup sweet brown rice flour
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum

b)
3/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp tonka bean powder
1 tsp baking soda
(optional but very delicious 1 tsp ground ginger)

c)
1 cup coconut sugar

d)
1/2 cup coconut oil

e)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
(optional 1/2 tsp vanilla extract)


direction:

1. preheat the oven to 345
2. in a bowl, combine the ingredients from a) b) and c), and mix until completely distributed
3. using a fork, combine the coconut oil with the flour mixture
4. add in the water etc from e), and mix until combined into a nice dough
5. knead it a few times
6. divide the dough into 2 parts
7. roll each part out into a large rectangle, and then score into squares using a butter knife
8. place each mat or parchment onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes in a 345 degree oven, switching the places of the 2 trays halfway through the baking time
9. cool and then remove from the tray
10. store in an airtight tin on the counter

combine
knead
divide into 2 parts
roll onto 2 silicone baking mats
score flattened dough into squares
bake at 345 for 20-30 minutes


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Decadent Apple and Maple upsidedown cake

Buckwheat and maple do magical things together.  Buckwheat is one of those slightly difficult flavours -- like that person at your party that is hard to get a long with. But pair it with maple, and suddenly everyone will want to be its friend. This apple cake is toothsome and delicious, and so pretty. I know apple usually wants cinnamon -- but with buckwheat, I highly recommend against it. Cinnamon and buckwheat just don't get a long very well.









a)
1 cup hot water
1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil

b)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup maple syrup -- I like to use the darkest I can find for this recipe for more maple flavour
1 tsp vanilla extract

(for a sweeter cake add 1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar/ cane sugar)



c)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp tonka bean powder (or ground vanilla bean) *** leave out if unavailable
1/2 cup tapioca starch

1 tsp ground ginger

2  cups buckwheat four

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cream of tartar (or instead of baking soda and cream of tartar, use 2 tsp baking powder)


2 apples -- one sliced into thin lovely slices, the other diced (Galas, pink ladies, or your favourite cooking apple) (you're welcome to peel them if you prefer)

1. generously coat a deep round pan with coconut oil
2. lay a round of parchment in the bottom,

3. generously layer the bottom with coconut sugar or brown sugar and lay lovely slices of apple around in a pretty pattern. (don't skimp on the sugar here)

preheat the oven to 345

1. combine the hot water and coconut oil (a)
2. when the coconut oil has melted, add in the other wet ingredients (b)
3. combining  the dry ingredients  together (c)
4. using a whisk, combine the ingredients from c with the wet ingredients
5. stir in the apple chunks
5. pour the batter over the apples slices

bake at 345 for 40 minutes or until the cake is springy and bounces back when lightly pressed


when the cake has  cooled, run a knife or spatula around the sides, put a plate over the pan, and turn over. Remove the parchment.







Monday, 1 May 2017

Everything inside -- vegan pockets ***

It's a proven fact that if you put any food inside another food -- julienne strips of veggies inside rice paper wraps, chickpeas and veggies inside triangular pastries, zesty tomato goodness inside yeast dough -- people will eat it. People love pastry. That's a thing, right? People love eating things inside things. Veggie sushi rolls? Even using cabbage leaves to hold a bunch of avocado and cashew cream makes for a hearty and tasty bite.

But my mandate here today was to make something that didn't need to be eaten right away -- so goodbye cabbage leaf roll up, goodbye sushi roll, good bye rice paper cold roll. I love you all, but go away now. Byebye.

My mission is freezer food. So, here goes. I wanted to make a soft yeast pastry, roll it out thin, stuff it with goodness, seal it, then freeze it unbaked to stock my freezer with things that can be thrown into the oven or toaster oven. I label the outside of the bag with what it is, and how long it takes to bake from frozen.  One answer to a quick dinner.


This is called "find stuff in the freezer and use it".


mixture 1 -- faux beef crumbles and veggies with cumin and marjoram




dough balls, 50g each, ready to be rolled

it doesn't have to be perfect!

good enough

ready for the filling!

a couple of table spoons is enough

single layer on a silicone sheet and baking tray, ready for the freezer or oven

keep it simple!



mixture 2 -- faux chicken crumbles with edamame and tamari/sesame oil/coconut sugar


step one

step 2

step three

step 1

step 2

step three: fold it over easy does it

press the edges closed all the way around

step one variation 
step two variation -- wait for it

step three variation -- lift the edges to the centre and press

press all the way from the centre out to one end

ta da

now press all the way out to the other end

ta da again!!

pick it up

silicone pans are great for freezing the pastries or for baking the pastries

once they are frozen, I will bag them and label the bag with the filling and the cooking instructions



filling 1:

1 onion finely diced, cooked in a pan with 2 tbsp coconut oil and a sprinkle of sea salt

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrot
1 cup diced sweet potato
1 cup diced potato
1/2 cup green peas

1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp chili powder -- optional

 1  tsp sea salt (to taste)

1 package 'faux beef' crumbles,(or 'faux chicken' crumbles, tofu, or a couple of cups of cooked lentils or split chickpeas)

directions:

1. cook the onion
2. add the other vegetables and spices
3. cook until done
4. stir in the beef crumbles and cook well


filling 2:

1 onion diced + 2 tbsp coconut oil cook in a pan with a sprinkle of sea salt

1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrot
1 cups diced sweet potato
1 cup edamame

2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp coconut sugar
pinch of garlic powder (or more if you can tolerate it)
1 tsp sesame seeds
drizzle sesame oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar


1 package faux chicken crumbles ( or tofu cut into very small bits)


directions:

1. saute onion with coconut oil and sea salt
2. add other veggies and seasonings and cook until done
3. add faux meat and cook

---------------------

yeast dough pastry:

2 cups water
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1 tbsp yeast

1/2 cup tapioca starch
3 1/2 - 4 cups kamut flour
1 cup almond flour
2 tsp sea salt

1.  combine water, coconut sugar, and yeast, and let proof
2. mix together the dry ingredients
3. add the yeast slurry to the dry ingredients, and form into dough. Knead by hand or in a mixer
4. let rise and punch down.
5. when ready, divide into 50 g balls
6. roll out the balls with a rolling pin, put some filling in, and close them up
7. move carefully to a pan to either go in the oven or in the freezer. Freeze them in a single layer on silicone or parchment lined trays. When they are fully frozen, bag them in ziplock bags, and label the outside with the filling and the baking instructions, as well as the date you made them.




bake from fresh at 345 for about 30 minutes
bake from frozen at 345 for about 45 to 50 minutes