Saturday, October 29, 2011

GF Pumpkin Spice Bread

As we brace for the first snow storm of the season, I seek refuge in the kitchen.  And what better way to fight the cold than to bake some bread?  Today's recipe comes courtesy of a former client of mine who forwarded me a recipe for a vegan pumpkin bread.  She assured me it was awesome, so I set out to see if I could make an equally awesome gluten-free version.  I think I succeeded.

I substituted a mix of garbanzo bean flour, tapioca flour, and rice flour for the whole wheat, then added a little xanthan gum to bind it all together.  The batter was smooth and thick, aided by the silken creaminess of some canned pumpkin puree.

As it baked in the oven, the sweet spicy aromas wafted through my house, almost making me forget the storm that was brewing outside.  I think this will be the perfect reward after shoveling the driveway later tonight.  The crumb was perfectly moist, yet tender, and it held together nicely.  Tomorrow morning I've already got my sights set on experimenting with Pumpkin French Toast for breakfast.

Gluten-free Vegan Pumpkin Bread
1 cup garbanzo bean flour1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
¼ tsp cloves
1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
3 Tbl maple syrup
3 Tbl water
½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans

1 cup Florida Crystals vegan sugar
½ cup oil
Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and spices. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, oil, syrup, and water. Add wet mixture to dry; combine until just moistened. (Batter will be very thick; don’t worry!) Fold in nuts. Pour into oiled pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 20 minutes; use a butter knife to gently loosen bread from sides of pan, then invert onto a cooling rack. Yields 1 loaf.

Monday, October 24, 2011

On the Menu

It's been another couple of busy weeks at Well on Wheels headquarters, and so this post will be a summary of menus offered during that time.  As we transition to cooler weather, seasonal veggies such as butternut and acorn squash and Brussels sprouts make an appearance.  Hooray!  I welcome their return (more so than the cold)!!

Baked Tofu with Mushroom Gravy, Steamed Asparagus and Quinoa

Pan-fried Tempeh with Broccoli and Carrot Sautee on Quinoa

Maple Glazed Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash with 
Wild Rice and Red Bean Pilaf and Toasted Pine Nuts

RAW Special:  Zucchini Lasagna with Macadamia "Rawcotta" 
and Sundried Tomato and Red Pepper Marinara

This week's entrees

Baked Tofu with Dijon Glazed Brussels Sprouts and 
Cinnamon Spiced Baked Butternut Squash

Pumpkin, Spinach and Chickpea Curry with Brown Rice

Baked Polenta with Portobello Mushroom Sauce, 
Escarole and White Beans, with Toasted Pine Nuts

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Raw Taco Supreme

A client of mine has been on a raw food cleanse for the past two weeks, and this has inspired me to reintroduce some raw recipes into my repertoire.  I was in the mood for something spicy, so I decided to make a raw taco with "refried beans," mango salsa, and cashew sour cream.

The refried beans are made by soaking sunflower seeds in water until they're soft, then pulsing them in a food processor with carrot, onion, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, oregano, and sea salt until a paste forms.  These don't get cooked, but they're somehow close in consistency to the refries we love so much.

I spread a good portion of the mixture onto a crispy romaine lettuce leaf (the "taco" shell), then got my handy squeeze bottle to make a cute squiggle of cashew sour cream over the top.  On the side is a good portion of salsa made with fresh mango, local tomatoes, red and green onion, cumin, lime juice, and cilantro.  Beautiful and delicious!

Monday, October 10, 2011

This Week's Menu

Even though the thermometer outside says something like 82 degrees, it's really fall, and many of my favorite veggies of the season are beginning to make an appearance at the grocery store and on my menus.  So this week I was inspired to make use of the giant head of cauliflower I found perched proudly in the produce aisle.

The first entree uses cauliflower in an unusual way:  cutting it into thick slices and panfrying the slices until caramelized.  This process brings out the cruciferous vegetable's natural sweetness, and when combined with a savory basil cashew cream sauce, the flavors balance perfectly.

The second entree filled the kitchen with aromas of southern style crispy chicken (in a good way), which brought my client in for a peek to see what was cooking.  I combined the baked tofu cutlets with colcannon, a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes and kale, and some blanched carrots.

The third entree featured panfried tempeh and more cold weather veggies.  These were dressed in an agave Dijon mustard glaze for a nice boost of sweet and spicy to balance the bitter greens.  It was a simple presentation which packed a surprising flavor combination.    

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This Week's Menu

It's been a busy October already here at Well on Wheels headquarters, which is why this "weekly meals" post will cover about two weeks' worth of photos from a couple of menus.  My favorite meal is the one at the top of this post, which was a substitute entree for a client of mine who is doing a raw food cleanse.  I love the complimentary colors of the luscious red pepper and sundried tomato marinara contrasted with the vibrant green spiralized zucchini and fresh basil chiffonade that's topped with a creamy cashew cheese sauce.  Not only does it look gorgeous, but the flavors were outstanding.     

It seems so long ago, but summer still lingers on with warm temperatures and sunshine during the day.  So I'm still including some seasonal warm weather veggies like zucchini in my menus.

The meals from two weeks ago included a spicy Jerk Tempeh with Red and Green Peppers and Brown Rice.  This always makes me think of tropical island breezes, crystal blue water, and bright sunshiny skies, which we haven't seen much of this season.  And so, they appear here in food form.

The second entree is a simple preparation with a ton of flavor.  Dijon Glazed Portobello Steak combines with a rich Mashed Sweet Potato and Yam with Coconut Cream and Steamed Broccoli.

Entree #3 for the week packed a little spicy kick.  Peanut Sauce is something I can eat nearly every day, and it paired really well with the veggies in this meal:  Baked Tofu with Cabbage and Carrot Slaw on Brown Rice.

This week's menu returns to the seasonal theme with zucchini.  This entree features a similar sauce to the raw meal at the top of this post, but uses roasted red peppers as the base.  The sauce accompanies a Baked Zucchini Boat with Cumin-Spiced Brown Rice and Black Bean Stuffing.

The second entree is a vegan take on a comfort food favorite, Stroghanoff.  I used tempeh and mushrooms in this preparation, and thickened the creamy sauce with tahini instead of the traditional yogurt.

The final entree of the week is one that had me swooning since I was able to enjoy a little leftover for lunch today.  The Millet and Red Lentil Patties with Coconut Curry and Stringbeans make for a hearty meal that is not only satisfying, but pretty decadent as well.

Mine tasted best eaten while sitting out on the back deck in this rare 70 degree October weather.