Buckwheat Vegan Pancakes – Gluten Free

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Recently I’ve became more interested in making gluten free “all purpose” flours and recalled a blog post on how to make your own.  I bought a scale months ago so in July I decided it was time I started making my own also.

This post by gluten-free-girl and the chef is my go to when making a new gluten free flour.  I’ll be the first to admit that baking is one of the most applicable and often most difficult uses of algebra, but my 7th grade algebra skills usually prevail!

I was making pancakes for a friend and she requested gluten free, so I decided to make vegan pancakes because I haven’t been buying eggs lately.  I bought a bunch of gluten free flours recently, so I decided to do buckwheat with sweet rice flour.

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I found these vegan pancakes on Pinterest from One Ingredient Chef and they looked delicious so I decided to go ahead and try a buckwheat version.  To my surprise and delight, they were delicious!  Now, be warned that they taste completely different than whole wheat pancakes or even all purpose gluten free flour.  The taste is very difficult to describe, but the texture is a bit chewy.

Follow the recipe exactly (sugar optional) but for the flour substitute 1 cup buckwheat/sweet rice flour, recipe following.

Gluten Free Buckwheat, Sweet Rice Flour Mixture

  • 100 grams Sweet Rice Flour
  • 66 grams Buckwheat Flour

Directions

  1. With an electric scale, measure out separately the sweet rice flour and buckwheat flour.
  2. Mix well until combined.

 

 

Where I’ve been…and where I’m going

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I don’t know how to start off.

I don’t know how or even if I do want to use my blog as my personal branding.

Though I want my blog.

One Domestic Goddess

Previously I focused much on the domestic aspect, building up my repertoire of recipes and learning how to be a host.  I wanted to discover and recreate the tender side of me that had laid dormant for some time.  I wanted to be known as more than an engineer, as a beautiful and strong woman…and one that can cook.

Well, now I want to be the Goddess.  No, not as one that is worshiped, but one that is strong and leads people into battle.  Do goddesses get to do that?  I sure hope so!

So, where am I going if not into battle?

I am currently and I hope for years to come pouring my energy and life into a youth culinary training program in central Long Beach.  My program partner and I have already been “doing it” for more than a year with a hugely successful program and restaurant event in conducted in May.  We are forging ahead, building our vision and our capacity for the future.

I want to share a few pictures here, but if this is something that resonates in you please let me know and I will share more with you.

Our program culminated in a neighborhood dining experience, so many of the photos are from the dining event.  I chose not to use any identifiable photos here, but just wanted to give a glimpse into my life work currently.

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Jacob’s Cattle Bean Tacos with a Kale Citrus Slaw

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As life is getting busier and I am planning more for the future (more to come soon, including a youth culinary training program that I helped to develop and will further develop) and making more life decisions for myself, I am actually looking forward to blogging as a hobby again (and as personal development).  Those late night snacks and cookbook reading will not be wasted! :)

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I am trying to read Eat to Live and so slowly getting through it!  My girlfriend has already read it, followed the recipes and lost weight from much hard work and sticking to a very healthy diet.  It is motivating me to eat less cheese, eat more beans and lentils, and eat more greens i.e. the citrus slaw.

Also, these beans ended up being the beans that kept on giving (haha, that could be taken in another way).  I reused the bean juice, added some extra broth and water to fill the pot, about 2 cups of fresh beans, 1 onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp chili flakes, a serrano pepper, salt and pepper with about 1 cup of remaining beans at the end…then blended it all up for soup.  My friend LOVED it, served with homemade tortillas of course!  She said it reminded her of Cuban Beans.  Ha, I’ll have to check it out.

I hope you like these tacos!  The Kale Citrus Slaw is delicious and perfect for a summer BBQ.

Jacob’s Cattle Bean Ingredients (adapted from in sock monkey slippers)

    • 1 pound dry cattle beans or pinto beans
    • 8 cups chicken broth or stock
    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 5-6 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste (see video)
    • 2 tsp cumin powder
    • 2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)
    • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper flakes
    • 1 tsp salt to taste
    • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper to taste

Jacob’s Cattle Bean Directions

    1. Soak the beans in a large bowl overnight with plenty of water to cover.  The following day, add more water to cover if needed.  Drain and rinse well, picking out any rocks or deformed beans.
    2. Place beans, chicken broth, onion, garlic cloves, cumin powder, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt and pepper in a large pot. Over medium-high heat, bring the broth to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the beans are tender.

Kale Citrus Slaw (adapted from PBS Food)

    • 6-8 large kale leaves, deveined and sliced
    • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, ends removed and sliced
    • 1/4 of a round radicchio or red cabbage, sliced (half and then slice thinly)
    • 2 green onions, finely sliced
    • zest of 1 medium lemon
    • juice of 1 medium lemon
    • 1 Tbs honey or agave nectar
    • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
    • up to 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kale Citrus Slaw Directions

    1. In a large bowl, combine the kale leaves, brussels sprouts (break up if desired), radicchio, and green onions.  Add the lemon zest and lemon juice and combine.
    2. Mix in the honey, sea salt, and crushed black pepper.  Taste and adjust as desired.
    3. Add up to 1/4 cup olive oil until the slaw is just covered.

Assemble the tacos with corn or flour tortillas, beans and the Kale Citrus Slaw.  Add cheese if desired.

Double Chocolate Fudge Energy Bars

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I have followed many bloggers in the last two years and I’ve noted the ebbs and flows of their blog and their struggle to: find time for blogging in their schedule, manage blogging with their work and personal life, and understand why they are blogging just to name a few.  I suppose all bloggers go through similar struggles, regardless of their stats and success, just as most of us are bound to get the common cold at least once a year.

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So to confess and apologize for those of you out their who do CARE about my blog (though many are friends), I really don’t know why I’m blogging right now.  I do see the benefit as a platform to share my culinary journey with friends and family, but I don’t see how it ultimately fits into my career goals and need like all of us to MAKE MONEY.  I think I am struggling not because blogging doesn’t work (by whatever standards I would hold it up to), but because the primary method that I enjoy and desire to connect is through personal connections.  I understand and appreciate social media and one day I suppose I will be on twitter, but for now I feel the need to concentrate my efforts “on the ground.”

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So, what culinary treat do I have to share, some of you ask?  I LOVE dates, so much so that I have a date guy at my farmers market.  Now the trouble is that I only use dates once every few months, usually for something sweet, and my date guy is only at the market from September until March.  I know this sounds strange, and though I don’t fully understand the seasonality of our produce system, my favorite dates from Bautista Family Organic Date Ranch are harvested in August and September and sell out in the spring.  I know that you CAN get dates year round (cold storage), just as you can most produce, but these delicious, sweet, juicy organic dates are no longer available! :(

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I have been desiring to make these Double Chocolate Fudge Energy Bars from Honey & Figs for months now!  They are delicious and packed with good stuff.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, except used date water instead of milk, added 1 Tbs agave nectar and didn’t grind the hazelnuts.  They turned out a little gooey for my liking, so I ended up baking them at 350 for 20 minutes.  Of course the chocolate melted, but this was easier to share.  Unfortunately you can’t taste the crisp of the rice cereal once baked though. :(

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Strawberry & Lemon Crumb Cakes

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My blog lately has become like a friend or family member that I’ve lost touch with.  It was never intended and I always wanted to keep in touch, but I find it so difficult when I can’t share a meal with them, see them laugh, or share an experience.  I am not a very “social” person, but that is not because I don’t enjoy people but because for a connection to be meaningful it has to go deep. A deep connection may be as simple as hitting up the best bbq joint or learning that we have a shared passion.

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There are many bloggers that I want to follow.  I want to rejoice in their new house, share in their job (and blog) struggles, and celebrate when they have a child but I find that I simply can’t.  I can’t be deeply invested in my city and region as I am now and find a deep connection through the web.  It may as well be outer space for me because that is how it feels.

I would really like to do both, but I can’t.  I wasn’t built that way.  You can’t serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to one and despise the other (Jesus talking).  You must choose your master.

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This strawberry & lemon crumb cake was adapted from Aran Goyoaga of Cannelle et Vanille‘s cookbook Small Plates & Sweet Treats.  It is one of the most beautiful cookbooks I’ve seen.  The recipes are all gluten free and this was the first I’ve tried due to the complexity of purchasing multiple flours and weighing the flours.  I see that with a good cookbook like this one, once you’ve purchased the flours and a scale the rest is just baking, but for now I converted the recipe to all purpose flour.

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Makes 10-12 cakes

Crumb Ingredients

    • 1/4 cup light organic brown sugar
    • 1/4 oat bran or oats pulsed
    • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1/8 tsp sea salt
    • 3 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature

Strawberry & Lemon Crumb Cakes Ingredients

    • 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1 stick (8 Tbs) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup organic powdered sugar, sifted
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 medium lemon, finely grated lemon zest
    • 1 egg, at room temperature
    • 1/4 cup apple butter or apple sauce (I used sweetened prickly pear apple sauce)
    • 6 ounces strawberries, cut into small pieces

Directions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350º F.  Line a muffin tin with 4″ x 4″ parchment paper pieces (best done when preparing the cakes) or baking cups.
    2. Make the cake batter: In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and baking soda for the crumb cakes.
    3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth.  Mix in the vanilla extract and zest of almost one lemon (reserve remaining for crumb topping).  Add the egg and apple butter and mix to combine.
    4. Make the crumb topping: In a small bowl, whisk the oat bran, whole wheat flour, salt and brown sugar.  Add the remaining lemon zest. With your fingers, work the butter in until a crumble mixture is formed.
    5. With a large spoon, scoop out spoonfuls of the cake batter into the prepared parchment paper pieces.  Apply some pressure to fit the cake batter into the muffin tin.  Spoon strawberry pieces (best cut right before to preserve freshness) into each cup.  Add the crumb topping as desired (only half is needed, you can freeze the remaining for up to 1 month).
    6. Bake for 20-22 minutes until golden brown and the crumble is set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Why organic sugars?  I understand the desire to go all “Organics” for some, but to me it doesn’t make sense to transition all at once (I do hope to one day).  I do sometimes cringe if I think about what my flour and butter might be made of (GMOs etc), but for now I look for products that are less processed and with less hormones (butter).  Organic sugar simply tastes better and I think it makes great baked goods.  I like good quality and good tasting baked goods, so that is what directs me for now.

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower, Spinach and Mushroom Pearl Barley Salad

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To those of you who are regular followers of my blog, I apologize for my absence!  I go in waves thinking, “I will never be a blogger that allows my life to get in the way of my blog.”  NOTE TO SELF: Life always gets in the way!  And so should it.  Let’s Celebrate That!  Now at this moment, life getting in the way is a good thing so that’s why I celebrate.

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What am I celebrating?  Why not make a list?

  1. I am creating from scratch (with a friend) a neighborhood focused youth culinary training program that will culminate in a neighborhood farm-to-table brunch.  Yes, it’s massive and warrants most of my focus currently.
  2. I am active in my church and serving on a steering committee.  Remember in high school when you were involved because it added to your social life, well I now wish that I was more involved and took on more responsibility.
  3. I am making new friends and enjoying new social opportunities.  Raise a glass to opening up your horizons.

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I chose Pearl Barely over Quinoa because of the high price of Quinoa and that Pearl Barley and Rice are more readily available at the super markets that our youth shop at though I think Quinoa, Bulgar Wheat, and Brown Rice could also work well.

Recipe adapted from she cooks, she gardens.

Ingredients

    • 1 cup Pearl Barley
    • 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
    • 1/8 tsp dried chili
    • 1 head cauliflower, divided into bite sized florets
    • 4-6 Tbs olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 4 oz mushrooms, chopped
    • 1 large bunch of spinach, stalks removed
    • 1 Tbs Pomegranate Balsamic Vinegar or regular Balsamic Vinegar
    • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
    • 1 bunch basil leaves, rolled together, sliced and soaked in olive oil
    • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
    • 3-4 oz crumbled feta cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste

**I recently attended a cooking class taught by a Le Cordon Bleu, Paris instructor and I learned so many good techniques.  I will try and pass some on.  My favorite was that salt and pepper should be added when food first starts to cook, not at the end.  This enhances the flavor.**

Directions

    1. Cook the Pearl Barley according to the package instructions with the fennel seeds and dried chili.  This takes about 45 minutes.  Allow the pearl barley to cool.
    2. Preheat oven to 400º F.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a bowl, mix the cauliflower florets, 2 Tbs olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/2-1 tsp ground cumin, according to your taste. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Spread the cauliflower on the baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking at 15 minutes and turning the heat down to 350º F if golden.  Bake until just tender.  Allow the cauliflower to cool.
    3. Saute mushrooms and 1 clove minced garlic in 2 Tbs olive oil with a dash of salt and freshly ground pepper over medium-high heat until the mushrooms begin to sweat, 3-5 minutes.  If they screech, turn down the heat.  Add the spinach and mix until it starts to wilt.  Add the balsamic vinegar and immediately turn off the heat.  Fully incorporate the balsamic vinegar.
    4. Lay the basil leaves each facing up and roll lengthwise.  Chop the basil and transfer strips to a small shallow dish.  Cover with 1-2 Tbs olive oil. This stops the browning process of the basil.
    5. In a large bowl, combine the pearl barley, cauliflower, sauteed mushrooms and spinach, green onions, basil, and fresh parsley.  Fully combined and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Mix in the feta cheese and serve.

 

Sugar Free Date & Nut Granola Bars

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Every 6 months or so I venture to make my own granola bars.  The first I made, which were simple but sugary, were these Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola Bars.  Months later a friend turned me on to dates in baking and I tried these Cinnamon Walnut Date Balls.  These were low in sugar but stored best in the freezer.  I’ve tried some no bake, but for me they don’t seem to bind.

So, my goal is to create a granola bar that is low in sugar (i.e. honey, agave nectar) and doesn’t require any type of oil or butter (i.e. coconut oil, peanut butter, almond butter, apple butter) and doesn’t crumble upon the sight of a knife.  Agh, what a challenge!

Result:  They actually don’t need any sweetener!! The dates make them sweet enough, but in the future I think I will substitute 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar for 1/4 cup (appx) of dates.  The dates make them a tad bit too rich, so I’ll need to work on a good balance.  I think I’m off to a good start!

Enjoy with fresh berries and greek yogurt drizzled with agave nectar!

Ingredients

    • 2 Cups dates, pitted and soaked in a bowl of water (measure before removing pits)
    • 2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
    • 1/2 cup flax seed
    • 3/4 cup nuts and seeds
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
    • 1 cup dried berries, cherries and raisins
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
    2. Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon and pulse in a food processor, adding additional date water (from soaking dates) until the dates resemble apple butter.
    3. In a large bowl, combine the Oats, flax seed and cinnamon. Add the dates and a few Tablespoons of water (as needed) until the mixture is moist but not wet.
    4. Mix in the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit until well combined.
    5. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper.  Press into the baking pan with another sheet of parchment paper and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and freeze until the bars are firm (about 1 hour).  Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into 8-12 bars.
    6. Store in the refrigerator.
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