Thursday, November 20, 2014

Cornbread or Corn Muffins (Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free)

This is probably my favorite cornbread recipe ever because it is almost like eating cake. Because this is gluten-free it may be a bit more crumbly than you are used to but it tastes so good that you won't mind. Be sure to use a fine, blanched almond flour for this recipe; a coarser type more like almond meal won't give you the same result.

1 c cornmeal
1 c almond flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp xanthan gum
1 TBSP ground flax seed + 2 TBSP warm water
¼ c safflower oil or other mild oil (walnut oil is actually great but not all walnut oil has a flavor I'd recommend)
¼ c agave
1 c unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium to large mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. In a separate small bowl or measuring cup, stir together flax and water and allow that to sit for a few minutes then add it to dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and stir until lumps are gone. Grease an 11x7 (or similar size) glass baking dish with vegan margarine/oil or spray it with cooking spray. Alternately, you can use muffin tins with liners (this makes about 12 muffins). Pour the batter in, ensuring it spreads evenly, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done (edges will brown slightly and knife inserted in center will come out clean).

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Black-eyed Pea Soup

This is a hearty, flavorful soup with a slightly spicy, smoky kick to it. Sadly, as soup is not the most photogenic food, I don't have any decent photos to include.

2 TBSP safflower oil
2 large green bell peppers, diced (about 3 cups)
1 very large (or 2 medium) Vidalia onion, diced (about 3 cups)
1 to 1.25 lb white mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1” pieces about 0.25” thick
4 medium tomatoes, diced (about 3 cups)
24 oz frozen black-eyed peas
6 or 7 cups vegan “chicken” broth or vegetable broth
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 bay leaves
2 TBSP Earth Balance soy free buttery spread
½ cup organic potato flakes

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium. Add pepper and onion and cook covered, stirring periodically, until the onions and peppers start to soften. Add the mushrooms, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and broth before turning the heat up to high. Combine salt, pepper, and smoked paprika and stir them into the soup along with the potato flakes. Gently stir in the bay leaves and buttery spread. Once the soup reaches a boil, cover it again and turn the heat to low. Simmer until all the vegetables and the black-eyed peas are tender. Remove the bay leaves before serving.

For the broth, my first choice is definitely vegan “chicken” broth. Both Better Than Bouillon and Edward & Sons make it, the former is paste while the latter is cubes. Make it with at least as much bouillon as the package says to use, possibly extra to suit your taste.
If you wish to substitute canned black-eyed peas for frozen, be aware that they will be softer; frozen works best in this recipe.
To lower the fat content, skip the oil and use the buttery spread to cook the onions and peppers instead of adding it later.
Do not use regular paprika in place of smoked paprika! The smoked paprika gives this soup a delightful smoky flavor that you won’t get from regular paprika.
This makes a lot of soup because I like to make enough to have leftover soup to last several people for days. If you want to make a smaller amount of soup, see the halved ingredients list below:

Half Recipe Ingredients
1 TBSP safflower oil
1 large green bell peppers, diced (about 1.5 cups)
1/2 very large (or 2 medium) Vidalia onion, diced (about 1.5 cups)
8 to 10 oz white mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 1” pieces about 0.25” thick
2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 1.5 cups)
12 oz frozen black-eyed peas
3 or 3.5 cups vegan “chicken” broth or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP Earth Balance soy free buttery spread
¼ cup organic potato flakes