Category Archives: Secret Recipe Club

SRC – Mom Francesca’s Eggplant and Onion Casserole

My Secret Recipe Club assignment for the month of November was The Recipe Taster.  I loved reading how he became interested in food and cooking at a young age:

“My childhood in Sicily was spent splattering colors or sketching on anything at hand and getting dirty with clay or gypsum. Soon though, TV chefs motivated me to take advantage of the free kitchen in those few afternoons that I was left alone at home.  I can still remember the first gooey meringues I prepared; perched on top of a silver presentoir, over a delicately embroidered white linen napkin, they waited on the kitchen table for my parents’ return, a token of gratitude for what they did and will be doing for me.
It wasn’t until I moved to Florence, in 1997, for University that I found myself in charge of my own food. The big city meant exposure to foreign food, new ingredients, new inspirations that fed my ever increasing curiosity. Soon all my house-mates relied on me for their dinners.”

When perusing the blog there were many recipes that were worthy of a feature, however I decided to make “Mom Francesca’s Eggplant and Onion Casserole” for TWO reasons…

  1. I really like eggplant and am always looking for new ways to prepare it.
  2. My mom’s name is Francis and she had Italian as one of her majors in college

It was simply meant to be.

I made the recipe according to the instructions below from The Recipe Taster’s website, with the exception of the olive oil.  I used the tiniest amount to grease the bottom of the casserole and did not drizzle any more oil onto the casserole.  What resulted was a casserole which was a bit dry looking on top after baking, but that was easily remedied by mixing the casserole prior to serving…you won’t even miss the oil and your heart will thank you!

MOM FRANCESCA’S EGGPLANT and ONION CASSEROLE 

Ingredients (serve 4-6 people):

  • 300g onions, mixed red and yellow 
  • 600g eggplant, about 2 medium ones 
  • 45g/1/4cup quinoa 
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (optional) 
  • dried oregano, to taste 
  • 1 small can chopped tomatoes in juice 
  • extra virgin olive oil (I barely used any)
  • 1/3 cup white wine 
  • salt 

Method:

Set your oven to 200C/390F and while it is eating up prepare the vegetables.

Trim the stem and flower ends from the eggplants and cut them into 3-4 drums across their length. Lay the drums cut side down and cut them vertically into planks about 5 mm/1/5″ thick and set aside.

Peel the onions, cut them in half and then into slices about 3mm/1/10″ thick.

To build the casserole, chose an oven-proof dish that could accommodate the ingredients in at least 2 layers. 

Grease the bottom of the dish with about 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (I used about 1/2 of that), place some of the onions on it followed by the eggplants (if the pieces are too wide to fit in, tear them in halves using your hands). Sprinkle the eggplants with some of the quinoa and salt. Add a pinch of oregano, red pepper flakes (if using). Cover with some of the tomato pieces. 

Continue layering the ingredients as described until either the oven dish is filled up or the ingredients run out. 

Finish the casserole with a layer of onions a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour the white wine over the vegetables and bake the casserole for about 1h-1h30m or until cooked through. To test for doneness try a piece of eggplant, it should still retain some bite but must be cooked through. Check the casserole every now and then and if the top is browning too fast, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. 

Baked Casserole Prior to Mixing

Baked Casserole AFTER Mixing

Let the casserole cool down a bit before serving since it will be boiling hot. Coincidentally, this dish is great even served at room temperature. 



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Filed under Gluten Free, Grains, Main Dish, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SRC – PEACH ICE CREAM

I was assigned the blog, Feeding Andy, for my September Secret Recipe Club assignment.  The blog’s author, Peggy, is a culinary student and her blog follows her progress through school as well as her daily exploits working at Louisville mainstay, Jack Fry’s.

I bookmarked a lot of recipes when trying to decide which recipe I would go with.  Some of the finalists were Rice Pilaf, Spicy Pickled Carrots & Asparagus, and Indian Spiced Lentils.  I ultimately decided to make her Peach & Clove Ice Cream after my latest trip to the farmer’s market since the peaches there were so ripe it felt like I was slapped in the face with their wonderful perfume.

What a perfect Summer dessert!

INGREDIENTS

1-1/3 lbs ripe peaches; peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 peach; peeled, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. Triple Sec (I dislike the taste of alcohol, so I eliminated it)

1 teaspoon ground cloves (I wanted the flavor of the peaches to take center stage, so I eliminated it)
3/4 cup sugar (I used 2Tbs. SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia/sugar replacement)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1 single-serve container of So Delicious Vanilla Almond Milk Greek Yogurt)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer)
1/2 cup milk (I used So Delicious non-dairy milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
juice from 1 lime (I used the juice from 2 tangerines)
.

Combine the coarsely chopped peaches and water in a medium nonreactive saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until peaches are soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat.  Mix in SweetLeaf Sugar Leaf stevia, and set aside to cool to room temperature (or speed-up the cooling process with an ice bath).

Add the cooked peach mixture to your high speed blender with yogurt, cream, milk, vanilla, and tangerine juice. Process until smooth. add the finely chopped raw peach and blend VERY briefly so some chunks of peach remain.  Chill thoroughly in refrigerator, about 6-8 hours (or speed-up the process once again by pouring the mixture into a glass jar and cooling it in an ice bath). Once chilled, transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions.

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.



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Filed under Cooked Fruit, Dessert, Frozen Treats, Fruit, Gluten Free, Ice Cream, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – Apple Cinnamon Waffles

This summer is flying by and that is made all the more clear to me by the fact that it is again time for another Secret Recipe Club post.  This month I was assigned Amber’s blog, Bluebonnets and Brownies.  Amber is a true Texan married to a Brit with a shared love of breakfast tacos (who doesn’t love breakfast tacos???).

I had a lot of fun rummaging through her blog and bookmarked more than a few recipes to try.  I ultimately narrowed it down to her Cucumber Tomato Salad, Borracho Beans (which I am DEFINITELY going to make), Oktoberfest BBQ Sauce, and Apple Cinnamon Waffles.  My son and I decided to go with the Apple Cinnamon Waffles and began the process of making them vegan, gluten-free, and oil-free.

The results were fantastic.  Apple-cinnamony goodness.

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

INGREDIENTS – Makes 3 to 4 large waffles

3/4 cup all-purpose flour*
1/4 cup cornstarch*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder*
1/4 teaspoon baking soda* (Used a total of 1 cup Bisquick Gluten Free Pancake & Baking Mix in lieu of * ingredients)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Used 1 tsp…we really like cinnamon!)

1/2 cup organic skim milk (Used 1 cup almond milk…we needed to use more liquid since working with gluten-free flours)
1 6 oz cup of Apple Cinnamon Chobani Greek Yogurt (Used Almond Dream Plain Yogurt…it is THICK)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (Used a snack size container of applesauce)
1 egg (Used the equivalent of 1 Energ Egg Replacer egg)
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (Used 1 heaping tsp Sweetleaf Sugarleaf)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 apple, peeled & finely diced (we decided to add this to the recipe)

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large bowl, combine pancake mix and cinnamon. Whisk together to combine and aerate.
  • Add the almond milk, yogurt, applesauce, Energ Egg, Sweetleaf Sugarleaf, and vanilla extract directly to the flour mixture. Mix again with the whisk until all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed and incorporated, and you have a smooth batter.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 30 minutes to overnight.  We prepped the batter at night and put it in the refrigerator until morning.
  • When ready to cook, heat your waffle iron. Allowing it to go through its heat cycle a couple of times will ensure crisp waffles.
  • Fold the finely diced apple into the batter.
  • Cook the waffles according to your waffle iron’s instructions.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.



17 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oat Free)

My how time flies!  Somehow it is already May and brochures have started coming in the mail for summer camps, etc.  I don’t feel ready to plan the summer yet.  I LOVE having my kiddos home with me, but I am sitting here wondering what the heck happened to winter???  Time needs to slow down a bit.

A new month means another Secret Recipe Club assignment and this month’s was a good one.  I was assigned the blog, An Opera Singer in the Kitchen which got me all excited because I had already spent quite a bit of time surfing Noelle’s blog prior to even being assigned it.  We both share similar food styles (she has a fondness for vegan food) and both of us are very into the health aspects of food, so this is a great pairing for me (Click HERE to learn more about Noelle).

There were a LOT of recipes I wanted to try; Fluffy Pumpkin Biscuits, Farmhouse Veggie Burgers, Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic & Mint (A post she did for SRC), Lasagna SoupI could go on and on.

When i sat down to make my final decision I was in a sweet / crunchy kind of mood and decided to make the recipe she posted for Peanut Butter Granola Bars since it looked so AMAZING.  I have always loved peanut butter and I am a granola monster, so I knew this would be a winner.  I had a truckload of gluten-free oats in the pantry, so I thought I was all set to make this recipe and then I found out…I am ALLERGIC TO OATS!!!  I had been suspecting this for a while and during my last appointment with Dr. Galitzer I had him test me and he informed me that my body REALLY doesn’t like oats.

Despite my new found knowledge that I have an oat allergy, I was bound and determined to make this granola bar recipe because I had my heart set on it, so I lugged myself to Mother’s Market on a quest for quinoa flakes.  When I got there I was pleasantly surprised to discover Eden Organic’s Short Grain Brown Rice Flakes (Roasted & Rolled).  These puppies looked very similar to rolled oats.  Score!  They are harder than rolled oats, but that is easily rectified by adding a little bit of liquid.  I made the recipe as listed below with my notes in red.  The next time I make these granola bars (you’d better believe there will be a next time, and a next time, and a next time), I plan on adding 1/4-1/3 cup of liquid (water, fresh juice, nut-based milk) to soften the brown rice flakes even more.

This recipe was a winner…

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
makes 18 bars

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (1 1/2 cups Eden brown rice flakes)
1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup puffed millet cereal (3/4 cup quinoa flakes)
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cup dried sweet cherries (3/4 cup raisins & 3/4 cup dried cherries)
3/4 cup brown rice syrup
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter with Roasted Flaxseeds (organic peanut butter)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and line a medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with coconut non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients.

In a small bowl add the peanut butter and the brown rice syrup. Place in microwave for 30 seconds (or heat in a saucepan on the stove over low heat…I would add the extra liquid at this point too).

Add the warmed wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well until evenly distributed.

Pour the mixture on a lightly greased baking sheet or casserole dish. Pat until evenly distributed.  I pressed the granola mixture down as evenly and flatly as I could and then placed an identical pan on top and pressed that down to compact it further and even it out as much as possible.

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Using a knife, cut into 4×2 inch bars.

NOTE – I accidentally dropped the pan when I was flipping it onto the cutting board (oops!).  The pieces that I couldn’t rescue and make into bars became granola.  I broke them up into a pan and baked them for another 7-10 minutes…delicious!!!

Cool completely and then wrap individually in Saran Wrap or store in a glass container (glass mason jar works perfect for the granola.



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Filed under Breakfast, Cookies / Bars, Dessert, Energy Bars, Gluten Free, Grains, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club

MARCH SRC – Pumpkin Rice Pudding

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Tea and Scones.  Margaret of Tea and Scones has some amazing baking on her site!  While I have to agree with her that scones are amazing, I was drawn to her Pumpkin Rice Pudding recipe.

In her post Margaret mentioned that the recipe made A LOT of rice pudding, so I halved the recipe.  I also took her advice to pump-up the spice a bit.  Since I wanted to veganize the recipe I made the following substitutions; maple syrup for honey and So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk for the cow’s milk.  Lastly, I reduced the amount of sweetener (in my case maple syrup) because in general I do not like my desserts as sweet as most people do.

Life was a bit busy the day I decided to make the rice pudding, so I decided to take a chance and make it in my rice cooker vs. on the stove and then in the oven.  The results were great! As my daughter would say, this recipe was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

INGREDIENTS – Serves 4

½ cup Arborio rice
1 1/2 cup Unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk
1 cup water
½ cup organic canned pumpkin
¼ cup organic maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt

Place the Arborio rice into the rice cooker.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk to incorporate well.

Pour the mixture into the rice cooker over the Arborio rice and lightly stir.

Program the rice cooker to cook on the “brown rice” setting and press start.

When the rice cooker completes the brown rice cycle, simply mix the pumpkin pudding well and serve either warm or chilled.  The picture immediately below is of the rice pudding prior to stirring and the bottom image is immediately after stirring.

If serving the pudding warm (my favorite way), top with non-dairy milk.  If serving chilled, top with non-dairy whipped cream.  I also love topping the pudding with some raisins.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.



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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Grains, Pudding / Mousse, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – Microwave Caramel Popcorn

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I was assigned Barbara Bakes.  Barbara has amassed quite the following and I can see why.  My mouth was drooling while searching through her recipes as I went from one decadent recipe to another decadent recipe.

Ultimately I settled on the Microwave Caramel Corn recipe that I stumbled upon (Barbara got this recipe from Real Mom Kitchen).  I know… not the healthiest, but I did make it healthIER than it originally was.  For years my sister would make the most amazing caramel corn during the holidays and it looked pretty labor intensive.  This was so EASY!  I was dancing around the kitchen when I finished making it because it was so much FUN and an absolute breeze to make.  It’s official, I am a complete cooking geek.

I ended-up making this recipe twice.  The first time I made the caramel corn I made it pretty true to form albeit veganizing it by switching out the butter for Earth Balance and using brown rice syrup in place of  the corn syrup.  I also used more popcorn and trust me, there was still more than enough caramel on each piece of popcorn.  The end result was VERY tasty, however my husband even commented that he didn’t think there needed to be as much butter.

The second time I made it I cut the amount of butter IN HALF (down from 1 stick to 1/2 a stick) and added 2 Tbs water to the recipe in order to replace the liquid from the missing butter.  I also used EVEN MORE POPCORN and the results were great!  My kids didn’t even notice the difference and loved it as much as the first time I made it.

Enjoy!

 

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup butter (I used vegan Earth Balance)
1 cup brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup organic brown sugar & 1/2 cup turbinado raw cane sugar)
1/4 cup light corn syrup (I used brown rice syrup)
2 Tbs. water
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2-4 quarts popped popcorn (all just depends on how coated you want your popcorn) (I used 4 1/2 quarts of AIR popped popcorn)

.

1.  In a large, microwave-safe bowl, microwave vegan butter, brown sugar, water, brown rice  syrup, and salt on high for 2½ to 3 minutes until bubbling.

2.  Remove from microwave and mix in baking soda.

3.  Put popped popcorn in a paper grocery sack and pour caramel over popcorn.

4.  Fold down top of grocery sack and put in the microwave.

5.  Microwave on high for 1 minute and 20 seconds.

6.  Take sack out of microwave and shake to evenly coat the popcorn.

7.  Pour out on cookie sheet to cool.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.



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Filed under Dessert, Holidays, Kid Friendly, Quick, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

SRC – Broccoli Red Pepper “Cheddar” Chowder

It’s time again for another Secret Recipe Club post.  I was so excited when I was assigned The Mommy Bowl because I am a follower of her blog and we have been leaving comments on each other’s blogs for some time now.  Reading the tagline of Deanna’s blog, “Filled with the gluten-free, dairy-free good stuff,” you know that she and I have A LOT in common.

There were so many great recipes to choose from, but I ultimately decided to make one of her wonderfully nourishing chowder recipes since this season is filled with so many sweets and treats.  I also had all but one of the ingredients (I didn’t have tahini) on hand  for her Broccoli Red Pepper “Cheddar” Chowder, so the decision was made.

I doubled the recipe since I had quite a bit of broccoli in the freezer, eliminated the coconut oil, and substituted cashew butter for tahini, but otherwise I made the recipe as written and it was great.  This chowder served as lunch for me for most of the week.

Thanks Deanna!

INGREDIENTS

1 T. coconut oil (Use water instead to sauté.  Add more if veggies stick)
1 onion, chopped
1 potato, diced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 1/4 cups gluten-free veggie broth
1 t. whole mustard seed
1/2 t. ground mustard seed
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
A few generous grinds of pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 small head broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 T. tahini (I used cashew butter)
1 T. lemon juice or more to taste

In a 2 quart kettle, heat the onions, red pepper, potato, mustard seed and cumin. Sauté several minutes until onions begin to soften (add water if the vegetables begin to stick).  Add the garlic.

Add the broth and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to simmer until potatoes are soft and broccoli is tender. Remove from heat.

Using a stick blender or regular blender, puree the soup. If you so desire, you can scoop out a few pieces of broccoli before you puree it. Leave some chunks since this is a chowder, not a cream soup.

Add the nutritional yeast, cashew butter and lemon juice.  Salt and pepper to taste if desired (I didn’t).

For a printable version of this recipe click HERE.



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Filed under Gluten Free, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Soup, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SRC – Rosemary Root Veggie Pot Pie (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

As I mention a moment ago in my post for Cherry Oat Scones,  I was fortunate enough to be asked to post twice for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal today.

The second blog I was assigned was A Couple In the Kitchen.  I love the tag line for their blog, “The couple that sautés together, stays together.”  How much fun is that?!?!?!  It sounds like this couple has a blast together in the kitchen.  While looking through their blog I was really excited to see that they participate in Meatless Mondays.  I had a tough time choosing which recipe I would make, but I narrowed the field down to two… Spicy Chickpea and Carrot Tangine or Rosemary Root Veggie Pot Pie.  Ultimately I chose to make their Rosemary Root Vegetable Pot Pie because I have been meaning to veganize and gluten-free-ize (totally not a real word, but you know what I mean) a pot pie for a long time.

Since the Couple in the Kitchen used puff pastry, I knew that I would need to come-up with a vegan/GF savory pie crust and I did so pretty successfully.  My goal was to reduce the overall fat content in the recipe and up the protein content.  I also added some peas to the veggie mix since I am partial to peas in pot pie.

The end result was really REALLY tasty, but I did learn a few things that I will take with me the next time I make this (there will definitely be a next time).  I had way too much filling for my family of four, so next time I am going to use a total of 4 cups of veggies (and will add sub in some parsnips for some of the potatoes) , but I will still make the same amount of sauce because I wanted the filling to ooze more than it did this time.  I will also add 1 more cup of liquid to the sauce next time (equal parts broth and non-dairy milk) to make it a bit more loose (It was pretty darn thick, but that is probably due to the fact that I used GFree flour vs. wheat flour…adjustments always have to be made when converting recipes to GFree).

To view the original recipe click HERE.  

INGREDIENTS

CRUST
3 Tbs. flax meal
¼ cup + 2 Tbs warm water
1 cup gluten free flour mix
1 cup almond flour
¼ tsp Herbamare
¼ cup Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread or Earth Balance vegan butter spread
 
FILLING
4 cups of chopped fingerling potatoes
2 cups chopped baby carrots
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, with leaves removed from the stems
½ tsp dried thyme
Salt to taste
Small splash olive oil
 
SAUCE
2 Tbs. Earth Balance vegan stick butter
1/2 of a finely chopped onion
1 celery stalk, diced
1/4 cup gluten free flour
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 pkg. Trader Joes Organic Baked Savory Tofu (7 oz), chopped into ¼ – ½” cubes 
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Non-dairy milk for brushing tops of pies
 
~

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

To make the crust begin by making your flax egg by combining the flax meal and warm water in a small bowl.  Set the bowl aside to allow it to congeal.

Combine the gluten free flour mix, almond flour, and Herbamare in a mixing bowl.  Once well mixed, cut in the coconut spread with a pastry cutter.

Once the coconut spread is completely cut into the flour mix, add in the flax add and mix until the dough forms a ball that easily stays together.  If your dough is too dry add some water (I didn’t need to).  Place the dough in a bag and put it into the fridge to rest and cool.

In a large bowl, toss the chopped potatoes and carrots with the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, and some salt. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes until tender.

When there is about 10 minutes of roasting time remaining, melt the butter in a medium stock pot over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion and celery until softened, then add the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to brown.

Slowly stir in the vegetable stock and milk, and cook, stirring often, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the gravy along with the peas and chopped pressed tofu; mix well. Cover and turn off the heat until you are ready to fill the pies.

For my pies I used a mini pie pan from Sur La Table.  To prepare the pie dough for my molds I removed the dough from the fridge and rolled half of it out to about 1/8 of an inch thick.  I then used the pie mold cutter and prepared the bottom halfs of each pie.  I repeated the step with the remaining pie dough and prepared the top pie shells for each mold.  I had enough pie crust and filling left that I used a bread pan and made a pot pie casserole of sorts.

Brush the tops of the pies and casserole with some So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk and put them in the oven for 15-25 minutes.  The individual pies cooked in 15 minutes and I left the casserole in for 25 minutes.

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Filed under Gluten Free, Main Dish, Recipes, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SRC – CHERRY OAT SCONES

It is time again for the Secret Recipe Club and this month I was lucky enough to be asked to make recipes from two blogs!  The first blog I was assigned was A Tale of One Foodie’s Culinary Adventures.  I was really excited when I received this blog again…many of you may remember that I was assigned this blog last month and chose to make her Oat Roasted Pears (click here for my version).

Lately I have been scouring the web and cookbooks trying to figure out my holiday menus and one of the categories on my watch-list has been Christmas morning breakfast recipes.  When I saw Erin’s recipe for Cranberry Oat Scones a lightbulb went off in my head…perfect for Christmas morning!  I love taking a conventional recipe and veganizing it.  I have also been meaning to try Earth Balance’s new Organic Coconut Spread and thought this would be a great opportunity to try their new product.

This recipe is definitely more sinful than usual for me, but Christmas morning is truly one of those special occasions you hear me referring to.  It is fine to indulge on “occasion”…the problem is that most people use that term too liberally.

As for changes to the original recipe, I used a gluten free flour mix (click here for the Gluten Free Goddess’ recipe) instead of conventional wheat flour and upped the amount by 1/4 cup (GFree flour acts differently than wheat, so sometimes the amount needs to be adjusted), coconut sugar instead granulated sugar, eliminated the salt (the coconut spread was salty enough on it’s own), used dried cherries instead of cranberries (that is what I had in my pantry), and used So Delicious Original Coconut Milk Creamer instead of the buttermilk.

This recipe veganized beautifully and you would never know that it is gluten free!

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 cups gluten free flour mix
4Tbs coconut sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup Earth Balance Organic Coconut Spread, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup dried cherries
2 tbsp finely grated orange zest
2/3 cup So Delicious Coconut Creamer

Preheat the oven to 425F.

In a food processor, combine the flour, 4 Tbs of coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cubed coconut spread and pulse until it is chopped into small pieces and the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the oats and cherries.

In another bowl, whisk together the orange zest and coconut creamer and add to the dry ingredients. Stir quickly with a fork until the batter begins to cling together.

Having made scones before, I knew that the dough in the picture above was too wet and it was at that point that I determined that when making these scones gluten-free it is necessary to add an additional 1/4 cup of gluten free flour mix.  Once I added the additional flour, the scone dough was the perfect consistency.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently pat into an 8 inch square about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into four 4-inch squares, then slice each square crosswise to make 8 triangular scones (shown below) and cut each triangle in half again to make a total of 16 scones.

Set triangles on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet (what I used below). Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops with coconut creamer and sprinkle the tops with coconut sugar.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden (mine took 15), then transfer to cooling rack.

I served my scones with Tart Cherry Jelly and the combination of the scones with the jelly was amazing.  This will be the perfect Christmas morning treat!

For a printable version of this recipe click here.



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Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Scones, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian

VEGAN RANCH DRESSING MIX – Orphaned SRC

Happy Halloween!

On a day like today when candy is king, here is a great recipe to use in order to get some salad into your little ones before they go out trick-or-treating.

I was contacted this morning by Amanda from the  Secret Recipe Club because the blog, A Cooks Quest, was orphaned in this mornings reveal.  I checked-out her blog and instantly found the recipe I wanted to make.  My son has been begging me lately to make a vegan ranch dressing that ACTUALLY tastes like ranch and thanks to A Cooks Quest I just made a vegan version that will fool the most discerning ranch aficionado!  My little guy is going to be soooooo  thrilled with me (major mom points!).

I did need to alter the recipe a little since I could not find dried minced onions (my grocery store had 4 different brands of onion powder, but no minced onions) and I think that the next time I make the mix I will reduce the salt a little.  It did not taste overly salty, but I am trying to reduce my family’s salt consumption.

Click here for the original recipe from A Cooks Quest.

INGREDIENTS for Ranch Dressing Mix

3 1/2 teaspoons organic onion powder
8 teaspoon parsley flakes
4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika

**Cook’s note-this recipe is easily modified!  I love to add salsa to it for taco salads and roasted garlic for a delicious dip**

Mix together in a bowl and then pour the contents into a coffee grinder to reduce the size of the parsley flakes.  That’s it!  Store the mix in an air tight container (I used a small mason jar).

Now you have a great mix that you can use to make Ranch Dressing and Ranch Dip.  Since I did not use the minced onions and the powder had a smaller volume, I had to adjust the amount of mix you use to make the dressing and dip.  Thank you Google for helping me figure out that 1/3 cup total mix – 16 teaspoons.  I knew that the mix would yield 4 full size dressing or dip recipes, so I was able to figure out that 4 teaspoons of mix is needed for each recipe.

To veganize the recipes I used Vegenaise and Sour Supreme by Tofutti sour cream.  I also reduced the amount of mayonnaise (originally was 1 cup) to reduce the amount of fat in the total recipe.  I replaced 1/3 cup of the mayonnaise with So Delicious Original Creamer.

DRESSING RECIPE *
 Mix 4 teaspoons dry mix with
2/3 cup Vegenaise
1/3 cup So Delicious Original Creamer and
1 cup vegan sour cream

DIP RECIPE *

Mix 4 teaspoons dry mix with 2 cups vegan sour cream

*Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend nicely.

Enjoy!


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Filed under Dip, Gluten Free, Quick, Recipes, Salad Dressing, Sauce / Spread / Jam / Yogurt, Secret Recipe Club, Vegan, Vegetarian