Monday, March 21, 2011

Bastardized Raw Cinnamon Rolls

Since I've been making my own almond milk, I've got a lot of the leftover pulp sitting around waiting to be used up. Today I decided to try making these raw cinnamon rolls, even though they're supposed to contain dates and raisins, which I can't have. I had a bunch of almond pulp, ground flax seeds and dates sitting around waiting to be used, so I made the recipe as indicated, using the dates, for my roommate to try out. Before adding the dates, though, I removed a some of the "batter" to make my own mini roll, which I filled and iced with almond butter instead of the date and cashew mixtures. I used a little bit of xylitol as a sweetener, and I'm sure stevia would work just as well if that's what you prefer to use. The result was nothing to write home about, but it took care of my cinnamon craving and helped me pack in a healthy dose of flaxseeds and almonds. Plus, it was just nice to have something new, since I've been getting a bit tired of my old standbys.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Carob Milk and Homemade Almond Milk

I've been drinking unsweetened almond milk since I've gone on this diet, using it every day in my breakfast porridge, in smoothies, creamed spinach, and what-have-you. I love the stuff, so much that I'm starting to experiment with making my own. I thought it would take some working out to get it right, but it's amazingly simple to make. Here's how:

Soak 1 part raw almonds in water overnight, just as you would dried beans.
Rinse almonds and place in blender (I used an immersion blender, so I put them in a tall glass)
Add 3 parts water
Blend for a minute or two
Drain the milk with a fine sieve - all the recipes I've seen have said to use cheesecloth or a "nut milk bag," but I had neither and this worked fine for me. I just made sure to press out the excess milk from the pulp with the back of a spoon.

And that's it! Most recipes will call for a date or some sweetener, but that's completely optional and is only there for the taste. You could add some stevia or xylitol if you wanted, but I just kept mine plain. You'll be left with the pulp of the almonds once you're finished, and I'm currently working on what I'll be doing with mine. I mixed a small into my porridge this morning, which was alright, but I'm going to try some more interesting recipes with it.

As for the almond milk - you can drink it as is, but being unsweetened it won't taste too great. I've gotten really into having nice cold glasses of carob milk. I can't stop, really. I just fill up a glass with the milk and vigorously stir a few teaspoons of unsweetened carob powder into it. The carob powder is naturally kind of sweet, so unlike chocolate you won't need to add any sweetener.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Dahl with Greens and Quinoa

The other day I made a batch of this dahl from the Melomeals blog, with yellow split peas and the collard greens I've been trying to use up for what seems like forever. I didn't have all the spices on hand, and those I did have were pre-ground, but it still tasted awesome. I ate it over quinoa instead of rice, and it provided me with a good number of meals for the week. A great way to get in more garlic, ginger and greens. Next I'm going to try something along the lines of this lentil dish made with spinach from I know that yellow split peas are a bit starchier than other legumes, so perhaps people concerned about that might do better using lentils or perhaps green split peas instead.

Sunshine Burgers

I've been avoiding all pre-packaged foods like frozen veggie burgers as part of this diet because they usually contain some kind of processed soy protein, sugar, egg ingredient, flour, or what-have-you. I rarely ever bought pre-made veggie burgers in the first place because I prefer making my own, but I usually use bread crumbs in the recipe and my food takes enough effort to prepare already without me making veggie burgers. I'm really glad I checked out the ingredients on Sunshine burgers though, because they seem great for this diet. They do have some brown rice in them, but should be fine to have if you're not still at the very first stage of the diet. I'm still not really even sure if brown rice shouldn't be included in small amounts in the early stages of the diet, but I've been staying away from it just to be safe.

In any case, here are the ingredients for the Southwestern flavor as listed: organic ground raw sunflower seeds, organic brown rice, organic carrots, organic black beans, organic bell peppers, organic cilantro, organic jalapeƱo peppers, organic ground cumin seeds, organic onion and sea salt.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Website Recommendation

I've been looking through this website, Affairs of Living, for new recipes to try out. Lots of interesting looking bread recipes, I haven't even gotten on to looking at the rest! This is a really useful site because all the recipes are labeled whether they are gluten free, vegan, anti-candida diet, etc., and many fall under all those categories.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Baked Falafel

I've gone a bit chickpea crazy lately, made a big batch of them and have been using them to make the chickpea salad listed below, as well as to try my hand at homemade falafel. I don't know why I never bothered making falafel from scratch before, since it's one of my favorite foods, but anyways, now that I have, I will never go back to the boxed kind again! I used this recipe (which includes a tahini sauce) and substituted chickpea flour for the whole wheat flour, and unsweetened soy yogurt for the yogurt in the sauce. I had some doubt about baking these, since deep-frying is such an integral part of making falafel, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The patties I made stuck together so much better than any sort of fried falafel I've ever made before, and they made for a nice non-crumbly finger food. The tahini sauce was alright, but as a vegan I've gotten used to having hummus with my falafel and I think I prefer it that way. I will definitely be making these again and again.

And I almost forgot, if you haven't made or tried cilantro sauce on falafel before, you should! Just blend together a bunch of cilantro, some garlic, a hot green pepper (optional), a squeeze of lemon juice and some oil in a food processor, and drizzle it onto your falafel. Play with your own measurements, I've never measured when making it and it's pretty flexible.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Curried Chickpea Salad - something different

This one's a bit different from the standard bean/legume salads I've been eating pretty regularly for the past several weeks. I used the curry variation of this recipe for chickpea salad (without raisins), and instead of jarred vegan mayonnaise I used 1/4 a recipe of this homemade mayo. It's basically just like the vegan mayo recipe I've made a few times from How It All Vegan, except calls for olive oil instead of canola. I didn't quite use all the oil called for, and mine set up just fine. Using the olive oil gives it a slight tinge of green, but that's not really noticeable once you mix it into the salad. I used plain unsweetened soy milk in mine, and I'd imagine that almond milk would work the same, although I have not tried it myself.

After I gobbled up that first batch, I used some of my remaining chickpeas to make the salad again without the curry. Not adding the raisins made it slightly bitter, so this time I added a diced up orange pepper to balance out the flavor, and a generous dash of celery seed. I've just realized the recipe I posed calls for black salt - I didn't use any and it was fine, although now I'm intrigued!