Lemon Blueberry Loaf [gluten-free + vegan + oil-free]

LemonLoaf2 This was one of those recipes in which I had a craving for flavor (in this case, lemon) and a new dish was born.  Yummy! I’ve been experimenting more and more with aquafaba, the juice from canned chickpeas, and really liking the results.

It looks like there are a lot of ingredients here but a lot of them are spices.  It really isn’t any more labor intensive than any other loaf, muffin or cookie recipe I’ve got.  The key is to put the blueberries in the bottom of the loaf pan so that when it cools and you flip it over, you have a yummy, dark purple blueberry topping.  Cool looking and even better tasting.

Blender Pancakes [g/f + vegan + no flour + no oil)

BlenderPancakesThese babies were created when I just threw a bunch of pancake-related items in my Vitamix.  I didn’t feel like measuring out the flour and I figured using rolled oats would work, blended along with everything else.  And work it did!  Yummy.  Easy to make, healthy and delicious.

Feel free to add chocolate chips, blueberries or chopped/sliced bananas to the batter once it’s poured onto the griddle.

Giveaway Time! And Review and Recipe from Dreena Burton’s “Plant-Powered Families” – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas & Green Beans

June 16, 2015

One of my most favorite things about being a recipe blogger is getting review copies of cookbooks from publishers.  I have a thing for cookbooks – it’s actually getting a bit out of hand.  Need more bookshelves.  Anyway, Plant-Powered Families by Dreena Burton, one of my favorite vegan authors, is one of the books I get to play with this time and it’s a real treat.  I’ve always been a huge fan of Dreena’s but the one thing that bummed me out in the past was that I had to adapt her recipes to not include oil.  I was thrilled to find she doesn’t use any in her latest work.  Yay!  One of the things I like most about Dreena is how considerate and detailed she is with her recipes.  She clearly spends a lot of time tweaking and getting the ingredients and methods just right to make things as easy as she can for her readers, and she shares tips, tricks and alternatives for many situations.  She adds notes to each recipe with her suggestions for kicking it up, mellowing it out, use this instead of that, or simply adjusting flavors for adults’ or kids’ tastes.Plant-PoweredFamilies_FrontCover_WEB

Dreena has 3 young daughters so she understands the challenges involved in getting healthy food into picky kids who are busy and on the go.  Her recipes in this book are appealing to kids and adults alike with dishes like Sunday Morning Pancakes, Apple-Spice Hemp Muffins, Red Lentil Hummus, Zippy Chickpea and White Bean Dip, Cream of Cauliflower Soup, Umami Sun-Dried Tomato and Almond Burgers, Home Fries, Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites and Banana Butter Ice Cream, just to name a few of many.  The book includes mouth-watering photos, and is laid out really nicely beginning with a section on priming your pantry with plant-based staples, followed by color coded chapters such as Healthy Mornings; Lunch Fixes; Salad Dressings, Sauces and Toppers; Dinnertime; Sweet Treats.  The back of the book has some cool resources like a section on Picky Eaters and how to manage them, School and Lunchbox solutions, Tips for Hosting and Attending Kids’ Parties, Sample Meal Plans and a FAQ’s section.  She didn’t miss a beat with this book – everything is covered, and honestly, you could use this book and none other for your family and be set. My only complaint about this book is that it doesn’t include allergen notations for each recipe, which is pretty lame since it’s easy to do and most books have.

Everything I’ve made from the book has been excellent, and today I’m sharing one of the recipes with you – Saucy BBQ Chickpeas and Green Beans.  I used broccoli because hubby hates green beans but otherwise I stuck to the recipe and it was delicious – and so simple! I will be doing a drawing to give away a free copy of this awesome book.  Tune in to my Facebook page for details on how to win! https://www.facebook.com/PlantifulWellness Enjoy the recipe.BBQSaucyChickpeas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunshine Muffins (vegan, oil-free, low-fat)

I’ve been craving lemon lately, which isn’t normal for me.  I’m guessing it’s because I associate lemon with spring and the outdoors, which are two things I also crave.  Living in SoCal the winters are really no big deal, but it’s still winter, and we have our days of no sun, with plenty of rain and even some cold temps (all relative, I understand).  Whatever. I’m over it.  However, since I have a ways to go until fairly consistent warmth and sunshine ensue, I will satisfy my cravings with muffins like these.  To me, they taste like sunshine.  The cardamom flavor paired with the fresh lemon is quite delicious.  And the best part is they are healthy, using whole grain flours, no animal products and no added fat.   The sun is shining in my kitchen!

Extras: 1) Top muffins with candied lemon zest just prior to cooking for extra lemony goodness.  2) Add 1-2 TBS poppy seeds to batter for Sunshine Poppy Seed Muffins.  🙂

UPDATE 2/12/13: Apparently the cardamom I used the first few times I made these had been around awhile.  I purchased fresh (as fresh as you can get in the store) and used it in the recipe yesterday and the cardamom flavor was way too strong for my tastes.  If you like it strong, stick with the 2 tsp, but I’m adjusting the amount to call for 1/2-1 tsp.  Also, I felt the need to improve texture a bit.  I wanted to lighten them a little; do something to help them rise a bit more (always tricky with fat/free, vegan baking).  I added ground chia seeds/water and was very happy with the end result.  You can grind them in a clean coffee grinder or blender.  

Umami Sauce Recipe (vegan, low-fat, gluten-free, oil-free)

If any of you are familiar with the restaurant True Food Kitchen, you may know they make a sauce for their Brussels sprouts called umami sauce.  Umami is one of the 5 flavors identified by our tastebuds; salty, bitter, sweet, sour, and savory or umami.  Their sauce is AMAZING!  Unfortunately, as is the case with most restaurant food, it’s loaded with fattening oil.  I found the recipe online but tweaked it to significantly reduce the fat and cut the oil.  If you can find oil-free hummus, this would be considered an oil-free dish.  The hummus I had on hand did contain a small amount of oil.

I roasted a mixture of Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, onions and white beans (pictured) to serve with the sauce, but you could use this sauce with any vegetable, bean, grain or even as a salad dressing.  Enjoy!

BBQ Jackfruit Tacos

BBQ Jack WHAT?!? If you’re thinking “She’s lost her mind.  What weird vegan food is she eating NOW?” bear with me!  Jackfruit, the young/unripened variety, is popular primarily in Asian countries.  It can be found in Asian grocery stores and is sold in cans.  It has a mild flavor and poultry-like texture.  I know it sounds weird; trust me, I was skeptical too, but it’s really good this way, and a heck of a lot healthier than pulled pork!  Can be made gluten-free when using a gluten-free BBQ sauce.

I enjoyed this dish off of the Seabirds’ vegan food truck and have done my best to recreate it here.  Tasted the same to me, only theirs was spicier (I’m a spice wimp so I didn’t use hot sauce).