Thursday, September 30, 2010

Daily menu and Vegan Cornbread Recipe


If I had to pick one of my top 5 Fall comfort foods, it would be Chili. Add cornbread to it and you have a delicious, frugal meal that will satisfy a hungry teenage boy! The fiber in the beans allows the carbohydrates to burn slowly, giving my son the fuel he needs to work out and run long distances. You can add just about anything to chili; it is a true clean out the fridge type of stew. Actually, most soups and stews are great for using up odds and ends of vegetables, grains and legumes.

This cornbread can be made with whole wheat flour or a gluten free baking mix. I like Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Baking Mix myself. It is pricey, though, so I use white whole wheat flour most of the time when I bake for my son.

Basic Gluten Free Vegan Cornbread

1/2 c golden flax meal
1 1/4 c rice milk
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c oil
1/2 t salt
1 c cornmeal
1 c Bob's GF All Purpose Baking Mix
1 T baking powder

Method: Pre-heat oven to 375

In a mixing bowl, add the flax, rice milk sugar and oil. Whisk for several minutes. Sift the rest of the ingredients into the bowl and mix. If you are using gluten free flour, whisk very well, If you are using wheat flour, mix just to incorporate.
Spray a cast iron skillet or 8 by 8 pan and bake for 30 minutes.

For a delicious topping, melt some coconut oil with cinnamon and stevia and drizzle on top of the corbread.

Now, onto my menu for yesterday.

First of all, I am finding this challenge, more difficult this time around. When I began this before, I had a very well stocked pantry. I don't have that anymore, so I am having to be more creative. I don't even many spices. I don't have a stock of dried beans and grains. My freezer is pretty empty. That's OK though!

BBQ Collard Wrap
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, chia seeds and sesame milk
Lunch: BBQ Collard Burgers with fermented nut cheese
Snack: Green Smoothie ( collard, banana, water )
Dinner: Chili and Cornbread

For those with heartier appetites, add peanut butter to the oatmeal, double portions of chili and cornbread and coconut/cinnamon oil to the oatmeal and cornbread. Also, for lunch, burgers on bread instead of collards and add a piece of Pear Ginger Breakfast Bread; protein powder and rice milk in green smoothie.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Menu for Sept 28 and Simple Rice Milk

Tostadas

I am writing down what we eat daily and posting it here. 
Sept 28:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with raisins, chia, and homemade rice milk
Lunch: Raw collard slaw, Pear ginger breakfast bread
Snack: Green Smoothie ( parsley, banana, water, flax )
Dinner: Tostadas and cabbage escabeche

For those with heartier appetites, stir in peanut butter to
oatmeal. 
Lunch was veggie burgers on homemade bread.
Snack: Protein shake with flax
Dinner: Double portions and side of cornbread with cinnamon 
coconut oil 

Raw Collards



                                                                             

Every time I make a soup, I freeze at least 2 ( 2 cup ) portions to have on hand for a quick meal. I pulled some Black Bean Chili from the freezer to top these tostadas. Nutritional yeast cheese, salsa and a tiny bit of avocado finished these off. I served them on a bed of Cabbage Escabeche, which is essentially a marinated slaw. The raw slaw was just collards, carrots, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar, spices and olive oil.

I made a batch of cornbread for my son to have on had. One tip with muffins and quick breads; make a dry mix. Triple the recipe and keep it in containers, so when you want a quick bread, all you have to do is add wet ingredients. Some muffins mixes can also be kept in the fridge for several weeks, so all you have to do is scoop and bake.

Speaking of baking, I have found that rice milk is superior to soymilk in baking, especially gluten free baking. Buying commercial rice milk is expensive and did you know that many of the companies making these products are actually owned buy Big Agri-Business?

It is simple to make your own rice or other milk. All you need is a blender and a strainer.

Basically for rice milk, 1 cup of cooked rice ( I use brown ) and 4 cups of water. Blend well and strain. That's it. You can add some vanilla, a touch of salt and stevia for a vanilla milk if desired. A tip: I often don't even strain this. I have a Vita Mix, so it really purees it, but I like the thickness of the finished product for baking.

I'll post my cornbread recipe tomorrow!






Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Versatile Burger Recipe and Daily Menu


I think we all love a good veggie burger, but they can be expensive and full of processed ingredients when purchased from the store. I have several staple recipes, but this is one of the most versatile. You can use any bean/legume, nut/seed and grain. The combinations are endless and will use what you have on hand! No running to the store for this baby. I used Psyllium Husk as a binder, but you can use ground flax, chia, besan flour, vital wheat gluten or commercial egg replacer.

Veggie Burgers

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 c nuts/seeds
  • ¼ c sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 t liquid smoke
  • 1 T Tony’s Cajun Spice
  • 1 T psyllium husk
  • 1 c cooked legumes
  • 1 ¼ c hot (and somewhat moist) cooked grains

Method: In a food processor, process onion and nuts/seeds and tomato until it becomes a past. Place in bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and let the mixture cool for 1 hour. Form into 6 patties and bake at 375 for 30 minutes.




I like to wrap my burgers in collard leaves. This one was dressed up with buffalo wing sauce and fermented nut cheese and served with coleslaw. You can also saute your burgers like veggie crumbles. I utilized cabbage again in this quick saute with caramelized onions. 


My menu:
Breakfast: Oatmeal, Raisins, Flax Meal and Chia Seeds and Apple
Lunch: Buffalo Collard Wraps with Coleslaw
Dinner: Lentil and Vegetable Soup over Brown rice and Spelt Berries
Snack: Pear Ginger Breakfast Bread

The lentil soup was made in 20 minutes by cooking up an onion, garlic, spices, cooked lentils, marinara and lots of collards. I had a batch of cooked brown rice/spelt berries in the fridge. 

For those with heartier appetites, I serve the burgers on bread and add some toast with nutritional yeast cheese to the soup dinner. I also serve the breakfast bread with peanut butter. 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sugar Free Pear Ginger Carrot Breakfast Bread

Oh lentils, you have so many uses, but what can you possibly add to a sweet breakfast bread? Well, protein, fiber and nutrition for one, not to mention moistness and body.

This breakfast bread is packed full of healthy and delicious ingredients that will keep you going all morning long. It's great for kids on the go!

This bread is vegan, gluten and sugar free, but it still tastes great, I promise.

Feel free to substitute whole wheat flour in place of the Gluten Free flour mix if you desire.

Pear Ginger Carrot Breakfast Bread
1/4 c flax meal
2 T chickpea flour
1/4 t Kal Stevia powder
3 T freshly grated ginger
2 pears, diced
1/2 c shredded carrot
3/4 c cooked lentils
3/4 c non - dairy milk of choice
1/4 c oil
1 t vanilla
1.5 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
pinch salt
pinch pepper
1/2 t balsamic vinegar
1 c gluten free flour mix ( I like Bob's Red Mill ) or whole wheat flour
1.5 t baking powder
Method: Pre-heat oven to 375
Add flax, chickpea flour, stevia, ginger, carrots, pear, lentils, milk, oil and vinegar and stir together very well. Make a well in the mixture and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir very well, then pour into a 8 by 8 square pan or plate. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow bread to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vegan For $3.33 a Day is Back!!



The more things change, the more they stay the same. It's funny like that. I thought I was done with this blog, but life has other, more interesting plans.

I am no longer working full time as a chef. I am concentrating all of my energies on developing my Photography and Chef Business.

I am available for all types of photography, from food to weddings! You can check outmelodypolakow.com for more details.

Since I am creating my own business, I am on a strict personal budget, so I'm back to $3.33 a day! This time it may be more challenging because my youngest son is a very active athlete and has convinced himself that he needs to be eating meat. Obviously, I will not be cooking meat for him. He can eat that at his dads house, but I do need to make him large quantities of food that will satisfy him. Stay tuned for that!

One of the biggest questions/comments/complaints I have received from this blog is that I don't post recipes. The reason why I don't post them is because almost all of the time I cook, I don't use them and to stop and write them down would be a total pain in the you know what! I really want to give you guys METHODS of doing things. Think of this blog as a template! I will write down a recipe or two a week though , for those of you who really want one... but I encourage all of you to experiment with spices and flavors because that is what cooking is all about!

Sooo, onto cooking! The other day I cooked up a pound of lentils. I have used this in several ways so far; a filling for tacos, on top of a salad and a Middle Eastern spread similar to hummus. This morning, I needed a quick brunch type meal that will hold me over for quite a few hours, so I made a 20 minute soup. I added onion, garlic, sweet potato, balsamic vinegar, siracha, spices (cumin, coriander, chipotle) and some gluten free pasta ends. I brought it to a strong simmer and 20 minutes later, I had 6 cups of healthy and frugal soup. I stirred in a tiny bit of my Middle Eastern spread to round out the flavors before eating.