Buckwheat Chocolate Gingerbread. Festive, Gluten-free, and Vegan!

P1040410It’s holiday time again, my friends. How that happened, I know not. There’s something about the passage of time that shocks me literally every second. For instance, it’s now 10:21am. WHERE DID THE REST OF THE MORNING GO? I went for a long, long walk, made pancakes, and did some work and *poof*, the time is gone. Sigh.

Anyway, the festive spirit often eludes me because of this whole vortex of time issue. So, gingerbread.  🙂P1040395This gingerbread is spicy, chocolatey, and because of the buckwheat, it’s makes you a veritable tower of jollyness.P1040407What you need:

1.5 cups finely ground buckwheat flur

0.5 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (such as Bob’s or Arrowhead Mills)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1-2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 Tbsp chia seeds (mixed with 6 Tbsp warm H20 to form a gel. You could also use two eggs instead if you’re not going vegan)

1.5 cups almond milk or other non-dairy milk, unsweetened

0.5 cups grade B maple syrup

0.5 cups organic, unsweetened applesauce

3 Tbsp ground ginger

dash of nutmeg and cinnamon

1 85% dark chocolate bar, smashed to bits

2 Tbsp raw cacao, 1 Tbsp ground ginger, 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon (all reserved for sprinkling on top)P1040398You guys all know my thoughts on buckwheat. To briefly reiterate: I love it.

What to do:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Whisk together chia gel.P1040399

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl. Add all wet ingredients to a bowl. Combine wet into dry, mix, and add chocolate chunks.P1040400When well combined, pour into a pan of your choosing, just remember, the thicker the layer of batter, the longer it takes to bake. I use a 9×13 pyrex dish lined with parchment and it made some nice-sized little slices. Also, parchment paper is so nice because there’s very little pan washing to do. For those of you who don’t know me, I really, really don’t like washing pots and pans. I don’t mind other dishes, but there’s something about a pot or pan that just puts me off yet I like making the messes. I know, I’m a weirdo.

Bake for 30-45 minutes, until a fork comes out cleanP1040403Put together your magic cacao, ginger, cinnamon dustP1040405Sprinkle that delicious fairy dust and eat, eat, eat! 🙂P1040417P1040408P1040416

Advertisements

Summer Rolls! Fresh, tasty, fast, easy, and cheap! YES!

IMG_9085Summer in the PNW is the best. Days are long, luscious fruits and veggies are plentiful, and this has been a particularly sunny one so far. Warm days mean light fresh meals and one of our favorite summer dinners ins also one of the cheapest, easiest, and fastest things we make around here. Even better, it’s full of veggie goodness and can be based around whatever you have on hand for the most part.

IMG_9075Even just looking at the stuff that goes into it is nice!IMG_9081What you need:

Buckwheat noodles (if you’re doing this gluten-free)

Rice paper wrappers, about 3-4 per person

1 red bell peppers, sliced

1 carrot, sliced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

1 avocado, sliced

1 small head of green leave or romaine lettuce

1 package extra-firm tofu (I got mine at Trader Joe’s – the organic sprouted kind is so good!)

Handful of fresh cilantro

Handful of fresh basil

Hot (HOT!) water to soak the rice papers in

Peanut sauce!!!! – San J gluten-free peanut sauce is AMAZING!!!!!!IMG_9077Slice all them veggies just like you see here in this picture. Prepare your noodles per package instructions, normally about 8 minutes in boiling water will get them set.IMG_9083Soak a rice paper in HOT water. Add veggies, noodles, and tofu to taste, wrap it up and dip it in some peanut-y goodness. IMG_9087This one looks a little sad because by the time I remembered to take a picture, I was in a state of blissful unawareness of how badly my roll-making skillz had gotten. They’re just that tasty.

I’m Back! And With Chocolate Zucchini Bread (Gf, vegan, delicious!)

IMG_9073

Dear blogasphere, it has been waaaayyyy too long! I’ve been traveling, finishing up my degree (10 days to go!), leraning about the world of real estate, and getting  acquainted with my new clinic, and these last few months have flown. It’s been a trying summer in many ways, but a good one too.

So, now that life is finally settling a bit, I can get back to cooking and blogging. Hooray!

And with that, I present to you some lovely chocolate zucchini bread. Tasty, tasty, but not too sweet. And I won’t lie, it goes mighty nicely with a little vegan ice cream right on top. Or by itself. Really, whatever you do, as long as it involves eating zucchini bread, it won’t be a wrong decision. 🙂

What you need:

1 cup superfine brown rice flour

2/3 cup sweet sorghum flour

1/2 cup potato starch

3 Tbsp chia seeds (plus 6 tbsp water, all whisked into a gel)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 cup raw cacao

dash cinnamon

3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened

11/2 cup grated zucchini

IMG_9068

IMG_9069What to do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Mix chia gel and let sit for about 10 minutes. While that’s setting, sift together dry ingredients in one bowl and mix together wet ingredients, including chia gel, in a separate bowl.

Pour wet into dry and mix thoroughly and mix in zucchini shreds, then transfer to a greased bread pan.IMG_9071Bake for about 45 minutes, maybe more, until the a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. IMG_9072IMG_9074

Glooooooorious Morning Everything Muffins – Vegan, Gf, quick and easy!

IMG_9058This week I found myself with an abundance of beautiful zucchini, apples, carrots (I know, it was a good week). While I totally love those fine veggies in their natural form, I also am a huge fan of the veggie+fruit+seed muffin, and so it only seemed right to make some of that magic happen.

Also, excitement! I have 3 weeks off from school and the end of my degree is in 3 months. WOOOOOO! Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled programming.IMG_9044What you need: Makes 12 muffins

1 cup of buckwheat flour

1 cup of oat flour (gf oats)

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup cacao nibs

1/3 cups pumpkin seeds

1 zucchini, grated

2 carrots, grated

1 medium apple, chopped,

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water to form a gel (this is the egg replacer)IMG_9049Preheat to 350 degrees. Start by making your chia gel, it should take about 5 minutes to set. Continue by combining dry ingredients (I ground my own buckwheat flour and oat flour in my magic bullet) in one bowl. In another, combine the wet ingredients (including sugar, oil, and chia gel here).IMG_9053Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stir, and then add veggies, seeds, apple, and nibs. Stir until well combined.IMG_9054In a greased muffin tin, fill each cup.IMG_9057Place in oven and bake for about 20-30 min. When a fork comes out clean, your muffins are done!IMG_9061IMG_9060Enjoy! 🙂

Pom-Berry-a-Gogo Smoothie (gf, raw, vegan, and crazy tasty!)

IMG_9040Spring has finally sprung here in Seattle, and while smoothie season never really ends at my house, it’s definitely back in it’s fully glory. This is a little bit of a smoothie departure for me because it occurs to me that I tend to get an upset stomach and headaches after I eat more than 1 or 2 bananas per week. Does this make me sound a little kooky? Possibly. Does slowing down on the bananas make my head feel better? Absofruitly.

So anyway, this is a mango based smoothie made with the sweet, tart, magical elixir that is pomegranate juice. I’ve also been adding hemp hearts to everything lately, and between a little almond milk for added creaminess and the hemp hearts, there’s a delicious nutty flavor that pops up.IMG_9038What you need: (Makes two little smoothies or 1 Mandy-sized smoothie)

3/4 cup frozen mango chunks

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

a few frozen dark sweet cherries

1/2 cup of spinach

1-3 Tbsp hemp hearts depending on how hempy your dream smoothie is

1/2 cup of cold Pom juice (more if you like a thinner smoothie consistency)

about 1/2 cup unsweetened organic almond milkIMG_9037Now what?! Don’t worry, just put your goodies in your blender (or magic bullet, which I have linked to because I love this crazy little gadget and it’s an excellent choice when the infamous Vitamix is just a little out of reach price wise).IMG_9039Add the liquids and ready….set……….go! Er, blend!IMG_9042Partake of the sweet, sweet goodness that is your smoothie!IMG_9043IMG_9040

Coconut Cacao Goji Pops (Raw, Vegan, and Gf!) and an Ode to Mamas

IMG_9028It’s been warm, sunny, and gorgeous in the good ol’ PNW this week. Yesterday it was even muggy, which is VERY unusual and kind of uninspiring for most things. Except when it comes to popsicles. Mugginess really does inspire a good popsicle spree, and who doesn’t love popsicles? Especially SUPERFOOD popsicles. OOOOOOHHHH! AAAAHHHH! Buzzwords! Mainly these are just straight up delicious though.IMG_9022Ah, the magical goji berry. I love these little guys. Smoothies, granola, on yogurt, in baked goods…they kind of kick ass anywhere that you think “Oh, a berry might fit nicely there.” And apparently they’re full of all sorts of good-for-you properties too. Let’s get down to the popsicle spree though.

What you need:

1 can light coconut milk

3 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1/4 goji berries

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/4 cup maple syrup

An extremely strong arm for some intense whisking

Popsicle mouldsIMG_9024Directions: Put everything into a bowl and whisk like you’re whisking for your life! Once everything’s combined, pour into popsicle moulds and be sure to leave about an inch of space at the top (freezing expands the liquid a bit).IMG_9027After a few hours or overnight, run the mould under warm water to loosen the popsicle, remove, and devour. 🙂IMG_9032Look at those beautiful goji berries!IMG_9033I loved this pop so much, I felt like it needed a self portrait.IMG_9034Noodles felt like he wanted this pop so much he tried to melt it with his laser beam eyes. (DON’T FEED CHOCOLATE TO DOGS!!! Just FYI)

And now:IMG_9035This is my beautiful momma and me when I was just a wee little thing. She’s the one who’s inspired most of my cooking and for that and so many other much more important reasons, I can’t thank her enough. I’m a lucky duck. Happy Mother’s Day to her and to all my many friends who are mommas or are soon-to-be-mommas! The world wouldn’t go round without you, ladies! Thanks for being you!

🙂

Back in Action With Spicy Slaw and Baked Plantain Chips. Woot! (Gf and Vegan)

IMG_8997Well, my friends, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I apologize. I’ve been thinking about recipes, but the last couple of weeks have been, um, let’s say dynamic and challenging. That sounds diplomatic, right? Job changes (my new gig starts tomorrow!), forced entry into the constant pain-in-the-ass realm of real estate, and midterms. Whew. So, I won’t lie, I’ve been putting my energy into other things. 

The bug to cook and post came back today though. Hooray! So, I present you with this little dish. It’s light and spicy, but hearty enough to be lunch. It’s also fantastic on tacos and aside from a lot of chopping, it doesn’t take much. IMG_8994What you need:

For the plantains:

well, you need plantains. 🙂 2 medium very, very ripe (and pretty much black)

1 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the slaw:

1/2 head of cabbage, chopped roughly

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 zucchini, diced

1/2 cucumber, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, chopped

1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1 mango, chopped

1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (or 1 can)

1/2 cup salsa verde, as spicy as you like

2 Tbsp white whine vinegar

1 Tbsp grapeseed oil

salt and pepper to tasteP1030173_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the plantains…remember, the thinner you slice them, the crispier they’ll be. I like mine slightly chewy, so they weren’t super thinly sliced. Pour melted coconut oil over slices and spread onto large baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 min, flip plantains, and bake another 10 minutes. They should be golden brown or slightly darker. Soooooo delicious. IMG_8993P1030169To make the slaw, chop the veggies! I’ve started growing cilantro in my apartment, and it’s been so nice just  to walk over and grab what I need. Who knew indoor spices could grow so well? IMG_8996Once all the slaw fixings are chopped, add beans, salsa, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper and toss. Serve with plantains and enjoy! 🙂IMG_8997

Buckwheat Chia Cacao Cookies. Gluten-free, vegan, and taaaaassstyyyy!

P1030124_2It seems like I’m always writing about how I really needed a cookie today, and what’s funny is that I don’t really eat very many cookies. But today, to sound like a broken record, I really needed a cookie. Actually, the craving started yesterday, so these little cookie friends were extra necessary and satisfying.  Buckwheat is the wizard of grains, and I find I  literally never get tired of it. Or of saying the word groat. It’s funny and to sound a little (or actually, maybe a lot) d-baggish, it’s got a great mouthfeel. Anyway, these cookies combine the magic of buckwheat, coconut, cacao nibs, and chia and flax seeds into delicious little nuggets of joy. It’s very, very tricky not to just tilt the plate and pour them all into my mouth, but that wouldn’t be very class of me, now would it? 🙂P1030123_2What you need:

*addendum* I think these are delicious as is, my boyfriend says they taste good, but “healthy.” 🙂 You might add some regular sweetened chocolate or a bit more maple syrup if you’re looking for a more traditional cookie. As you’ve probably noticed, I don’t care for super-sweet sweets. 🙂

1 cup buckwheat flour (grind it from your groats!)

1 cup superfine rice flour (I used brown)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp flax seeds whisked together with 6 Tbsp water to form a gel

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used a homemade combo of hazelnut, cashew, and almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syurp

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/2 cup cacao nibsP1030120_2P1030121_2First, preheat that oven to 350 degrees, then whisk together your flax and chia gel (it will set up in about 5-10 minutes). In the meantime, sift together all dry ingredients in one bowl, and in another combine all wet ingredients and your gel when ready. Mix those two together and add chia seeds, coconut, and nibs then stir all ingredients together until well mixed.P1030122_2Drop dough onto a shaking sheet lined with parchment (I used a heaping tablespoon of dough for each cookie). Bake for 10-15 minutes.P1030127_2When a knife comes out clean, your cookies are done. Feel free to admire your cookies.P1030128_2After admiring them briefly, eat one (or several) and enjoy!P1030124_2

Raw Cacao Ka-pow Secret Green Smoothie Goodness (raw, vegan, and gluten-free). Huzzah!

P1030118It’s a long title for a smoothie with a long list of fine (and most importantly, delicious) attributes. Not only is this one green, full of antioxidants, protein, and some crazy tasty cacao pow, it’s refreshing, not too sweet, and can keep me full through a hard workout or for at least 3-4 hours, which is really something if you’ve met me. I’ve been making it most mornings for the past month or so, and it just makes me happy. But again, this is not the smoothie for you if you’re looking for super sweet and fruity. While it’s many things, it is not those two things and it doesn’t like to front.P1030116What you need: Serves 1 (or two if you just want wee smoothies)

1 banana, preferably frozen and chopped (alternative: frozen mango chunks. WHAT?! Yes, it’s not bad and will do if you’re out of bananas)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

2 cups baby spinach, kale, or chard

1 Tablespoon raw almond butter

1.5 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1 cup almond (or other non-dairy milk)

1 tsp maple syrup if you’re using homemade almond milk without sweetener (I’ve been making my own nut milk lately and a little sweetness boost is sometimes nice for those not used to green smoothies)

1 Tbsp chia seedsP1030112_2Put it all in a blender (again, magic bullet to the rescue!) and wait for it…..wait for it….BLEND! Add ice if your banana’s not frozen or you want slightly more thickness. Drink it up!!! POW!P1030117P1030115

 

Ginger Pear Teff Muffins. Teffing Good and Gf and Vegan!

P1030110_2This morning a number of small and sad looking pears at the bottom of the fruit bowl came to my attention. All of them bruised, a little softer than is appetizing, and abandoned. I suppose that’s the risk you take with Trader Joe’s bags of organic fruit, but man, these pears got overripe fast! Because I hate wasting anything (high 5 to Grandma for all those years of reminding me waste not, want not!), an emergency batch of muffins just had to be prepared to save the pears from unfulfilled potential. (the apples below were saved for juicing the last minute)P1030100_2P1030102_2For those of you that haven’t experienced teff, it’s an Ethiopian grain that is fantastic in a number of things, most notably to me in muffins, pancakes, and that delicious bread that you find when eating Ethiopian food. Despite the dark color, it’s actually got a fairly mild flavor and a really nice, superfine texture. So, let’s make muffins!

What you need: (makes 12-13 regular sized muffins)

2 cups of teff flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/2 cup potato starch

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened almond)

2 Tbsp chia seed whisked into a gel with 6 Tbsp water

2 Tbsp flax seed

2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 Tbsp ground ginger, more if you like a really spicy muffin

about 4 small very ripe pears, chopped (or any other fruit that you think would pear…haha get it?…well with ginger)P1030103_2First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next, whisk your chia seeds into a gel and add flax (it’s super gel!). It’ll take about 5 minutes for this to set. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl and combine all wet ingredients into a second bowl, including your chia/flax gel.P1030106_2Combine wet and dry, and fold in pears.P1030107_2Grease muffin tins with oil of your choice and fill with batter. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean when inserted.P1030108_2P1030111_2P1030109_2Eat and enjoy!!!!