Tag Archives: egg free
I’m going to be honest – I don’t really like to bake.
I mean, don’t get me wrong – I sure enjoy eating baked goods, but I find the process of baking to be incredibly nerve-wracking. When it comes down to it, cooking and baking are fundamentally different. Baking is very much a science – you need precise measurements of each ingredient for it to work out, while I’ve always been more of a “glug of this, a pinch of that” kind of girl. I wind up standing in front of the oven the whole time, wringing my hands to thoughts of sunken cakes and black-bottomed cookies. For the most part, all my “homemade” baked goods are boxed mixes that I’ve doctored up with various spices.
For a few weeks though, I’ve had grandma’s Pineapple-Walnut Bread on the brain.
The bread, making its debut on my maternal grandmother’s Thanksgiving table nearly forty years ago, has since become something of a staple in my house, being mailed off as holiday gifts and gracing the table of nearly every family gathering that I have ever been to. When my mother bakes for the holidays every year, my father requests his own individual loaf, which he generally enjoys for breakfast the morning after Thanksgiving. I can’t say I blame him – pineapple chunks and walnuts enveloped in a buttery, not-too-sweet bread are a superb way to begin any day.
This, of course, sent my already level-orange baking anxiety into overdrive. Not only I would have to find substitutes for the butter and eggs, but I was also determined to make it gluten-free so that my mom, who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when I was in high school, could enjoy a slice.
The butter and flour were both easy swaps – I used Olivio Coconut Oil Spread and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour for both. In an effort to find an egg replacer that wouldn’t add a lot of calories, I decided to use 2 tablespoons each of cornstarch and water to replace each egg in the recipe.
After a nerve-wracking hour in the oven, the breads came out looking golden brown and beautiful. They have a slightly crunchier crust than the original, but for a gluten-free, sugar-free and completely vegan version of the original, it comes out pretty darn close. I also used pineapple chunks, which my dad suggested were a little on the large side, so next time I would try lightly crushing them, or pineapple tidbits.
Mom and I generally bake this bread recipe into one large loaf for parties or mini-loaves for gifts (or to up the cuteness factor). I’d imagine that they would make fantastic muffins too – just remember to grease the tins well!
Gluten Free Pineapple-Walnut Bread
2 cups gluten free all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Splenda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil, melted
4 tablespoons cornstarch + 4 tablespoons water, combined
1 cup undrained, unsweetened pineapple chunks, slightly crushed
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Add Splenda and chopped walnuts.
3. Add the melted margarine, cornstarch mixture and pineapple. Mix only enough to moisten – the batter should be on the thicker side. Pour into a well-greased loaf pan.
4. Bake for about one hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Slice and enjoy!
Nutrition per Serving: 171 calories, 10g fat, 21g carbohydrates, 3g protein.
If you haven’t noticed, most of the dishes I make are “clean out the fridge”-type dishes. Rather than making a list and buying specific ingredients, my kitchen inspiration is instead guided by standing in front of the fridge thinking, “how can I put these things together?”
After a terrible experience in the past involving a very bitter breakfast quinoa, I thought I had been turned off the stuff forever, but since we had a bag of the stuff leftover from a cousin’s visit, I decided to give it a second try.
Quinoa is a pretty interesting food – while it looks like a grain, it’s actually a seed that, if not harvested, will sprout into a leafy vegetable. It has a pleasant nuttiness, is naturally gluten-free and boasts 8g protein per cooked cup – that’s nearly double the protein of cooked brown rice for about the same amount of calories.
Aside from the quinoa, these crisp peppers are filled to the brim with a variety of cooked veggies, some leftover soy sausage and topped with an easy tomato sauce. If you want to leave the soy sausage out, be sure to add some tomatoes or tomato sauce to the stuffing to keep it moist. These peppers are a great make-ahead meal too – they’re even, dare I say it, better the next day.
I parboiled my bell peppers before baking, but if you like a more robust pepper flavor, feel free to skip that step.
Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
4 bell peppers, hollowed with tops removed
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 large red onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 lb. button mushrooms, chopped
4 oz. baby spinach
6oz. soy sausage
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Parboil hollowed bell peppers for 3-4 minutes. Remove and place in a baking tray. The peppers should fit snugly.
2. In a large pan coated with non-stick spray, cook the onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms unless carrots are soft and mushrooms have cooked down. Add the baby spinach in handfuls – it will cook down considerably.
3. Squeeze soy sausage from its casing and mix into vegetables, enough to incorporate the sausage and warm it through. Add cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly.
4. Divide the filling evenly between the four peppers, filling each one to the top. Top each pepper with a generous dollop of the tomato sauce. Pour a good amount of sauce in the base of the dish to ensure maximum moistness and flavor.
5. Bake peppers at 350º for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then serve with any remaining tomato sauce.
Nutrition per Serving: 297 calories, 7g fat, 46 carbohydrates, 19g protein.
Think outside the pepper: Try the quinoa-veggie filling in a burrito, over crisp romaine, or in your favorite stuffed cabbage recipe.
For the sauce:
1 small can tomato paste
2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 cup water
Pinch of sugar
1. Crush stewed tomatoes with fingers leaving it as smooth or chunky as you like.
2. Add tomato paste, vinegar, water and sugar. Mix well.
But for a lot of vegans, breakfast – especially a quick, easy breakfast – can be something of a challenge. Of course, tofu scramble is a popular favorite, but when it’s still dark out and I’m getting ready for work, I like being able to reach into the fridge, grab a few things and head out the door – bonus points if it’s something I can feel good about by lunch.
I make a big batch of these mini frittatas in the beginning of the week so that I have them waiting and ready in the refrigerator for breakfast, or a protein-packed snack. And, as with most of the dishes I make, the recipe is a great fridge-cleaner. Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand (or whatever tickles your fancy).
By themselves, these mini frittatas make for a low-calorie (but filling!) breakfast – two frittatas packs 21 grams of protein into 222 little calories. However, when I look at these little colorful muffins, I can’t help but imagine them piled on an english muffin with soy cheese and a vegan sausage patty to assemble – dare I say it? – a McVegan.
And you thought your breakfast sandwich days were over!
Mini Tofu Frittatas
Vegan & Gluten-Free
16oz. extra-firm tofu, drained
1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced finely
1/2 red onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 stalks scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons brown mustard
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 375º.
2. In a small skillet, sweat the onion, garlic, bell pepper and scallions until they are just softened and have not yet started to brown.
3. While the veggies soften, use your hands to crumble the tofu in a mixing bowl until it resembles ricotta cheese – the finer the better.
4. Add the spinach, cooked veggies, soy sauce, turmeric, mustard and nutritional yeast to the tofu and mix until well-incorporated. Press the mixture into a well-greased muffin tin.
5. Bake mini frittatas for 25-30 minutes. They should be slightly browned on top and start to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Nutrition per Serving: 111 calories, 4g fat, 6g carbohydrates, 10g protein.