Posted by Noelle on February 1st, 2015
Categories: Breakfasts
Tags: ,,,,,

One challenge about going gluten-free and already being a vegan, is trying to find satisfying breakfast and brunch meals, especially on the weekend. Oatmeal is awesome... but not when that is pretty much your daily routine. So that's where these pancakes come in, they are hearty and filling while still being fluffy and light... and not to mention beautiful! One of my favorite things to have is blueberry pancakes, but I wanted to create something a bit more special and gourmet. Since I also don't indulge much in sugar, wild blueberries were the perfect way to bring tons of flavor with a just touch of sweetness. No need to pour on the syrup, unless of course that's your thing, these pancakes are the perfect vessel for mopping up all that blueberry goodness. Buckwheat is a unique flour that really has an earthy quality to it. The cinnamon added to the flour works perfectly to complement the earthiness. Try it, you are going to love it.

This is a simple and easy recipe that brings a wow factor to the table. It really makes the whole pancake presentation one that feels so special. This is a great dish to invite family and friends over. No one will be thinking about the fact that these are vegan, gluten-free, and pretty healthy... they will just be filling their eyes and tummies with these oh so delicious cakes. Oh and of course getting their hearts filled with love 🙂

Vegan Buckwheat Pancakes

Vegan buckwheat pancakes with wild blueberry compote

Ingredients:

Buckwheat Pancakes:

  • 2 cups buckwheat flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups almond milk, unsweetened (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Blueberry Compote:

  • 2 cups frozen organic wild blueberries
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • dash of sea salt

Directions:

In a mixing bowl, whisk together dry ingredients until well combined. In a separate small mixing bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together. Add to the dry ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the blueberries, syrup, lemon juice, and salt, stir gently to combine. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the blueberries are hot and just start to burst. Set aside.

To make the pancakes, heat a couple tsps of oil (I use canola or grapeseed) in a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add about 1/3 - 1/2 cup of batter per pancake, I use a large ice cream scoop to keep them consistent. Cook them for 3-5 minutes until the bottom is golden brown, flip and let cook another 3-5 minutes until cooked the whole way through. Transfer to a platter. Repeat until all the batter is used. Top with blueberry compote and serve while warm. This makes 8-10 pancakes.

Vegan Pancakes with Blueberries

Buckwheat and wild blueberry pancakes

Vegan Pancakes with Wild Blueberries

Posted by Noelle on January 24th, 2015
Categories: Breakfasts, Desserts
Tags: ,,,,,

My dear friends, it has been way too long since I have been able to post. Life has been challenging and I needed to take some time to gather up my strength and more importantly heal. Things are getting better, slowly, but we are definitely getting there. It is a huge lesson to realize that most things are out of our control, and also to be reminded that some things are. This year has forced me to step back and focus on my own health. I had been having crappy digestive issues, and am still battling daily with it. So I started digging much deeper into nutrition and trying to figure out how to heal this sensitive gut. This led me to an elimination diet... right before Thanksgiving. I know, totally insane! I somehow managed not to kill any innocent people during this time, I will chalk that up to a miracle. I learned a lot from doing the diet. I learned that corn really messes up my stomach and gluten does even worse things. Sigh. I have determined that I can have soy in moderation, but I am still experimenting with it, so it may be temporary. So let's start with corn.... corn made me spend a ton of time in the loo (sorry TMI) for almost 2 weeks. Yay what fun. Gluten, the sworn enemy of many, I thought I was going to be fine with... wrong!

I had planned for weeks what my first gluten treat was going to be... Stuffing (hey it was the holidays)! I bought a frozen loaf of organic whole grain bread, thawed it, and cut it gingerly into cubes... Salivating the whole time. It got mixed oh so thoughtfully with sauteed onions and celery, etc, and baked lovingly until the top was just crunchy and the interior moist. I savored every single bite. Then weirdly, not more than an hour later my ears started to clog up and be painful. What?!?! Then the dizziness with a foggy head (although it's debatable whether that is normal for me), then a long headache followed by laying in bed the entire night with immense stomach pain. Sharp stomach pain. Then me and the toilet did our dance. It was so bad, that I haven't had a bite of gluten since (at least not knowingly). I did subsequently rule out the yeast as it did occur to me that it could have been an offender. So as a vegan who needs to eat both gluten and corn free (and for a long while soy free), it has been interesting trying to find recipes that are satisfying and tasty. This recipe is a life saver and is also low in sugar, we'll get into that another time. Truly one of the first recipes that made my want to cry tears of joy for eating something that felt normal and slightly indulgent. Sometimes we all just want to feel normal. Seems like a simple thing, but for way too many, not that easy a thing to feel at all.

These are divine with a hot mug of tea, and perfect for a snowy day. This recipe is adapted from Oh She Glows Toffee Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars. The changes I made were to drastically reduce the sugar and to make maple the superstar. You can find the original recipe here: Toffee Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookie Bars. I really appreciate that there are so many wonderful sites out there that provide hope and healthy options for all. Sending you all a hug and hoping that life has been kind to you and yours.

Vegan Salted Maple Bars

Salted Maple Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients:

  • flax egg mixture (1 TBS + 1 tsp ground flax mixed with 4 TBS water)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS coconut oil, softened
  • 1/4 cup + 1 TBS coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 TBS maple extract, try to find a natural one
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour in the food processor
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 TBS mini chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper allowing paper to come up the sides for easy removal later. Spray the paper with non-stick spray after it is in place.

Make the flax egg by mixing the ground flax with water, stirring well, and set aside. Place the coconut oil jar (with lid on tightly) in a bowl with hot water for a couple minutes to help soften the oil. You want it softened but not melted. In a large bowl add the softened coconut oil and the coconut sugar. Use an electric mixer to cream the oil and sugar together until there are no lumps of oil left. Next, add the flax egg and maple extract, beat with the mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add baking soda and salt, and beat again to combine.

Add the oat flour, oats, and almond flour to the bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients into the wet, take your time with this. The batter will be very thick. If needed, you can add a teaspoon of water if it seems too dry. Stir in the 1/4 cup of chocolate chips, making sure they get distributed evenly. Scoop the mixture into the pan. Wet your hands with water and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, making sure to get into the corners. Wet your hands as needed to keep mixture from sticking. Smooth out the top as best you can and try to make sure the layer is even. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on the top and gently press into batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes until the edges start to turn golden brown. Let cool in pan for about 15 minutes on a cooling rack. Remove from pan using the parchment paper and slice into approx 15 bars. Store these in the fridge or freezer if you need them to last more than a few days. Enjoy!

Salted Maple Toffee Bars Vegan

Vegan Maple Toffee Oatmeal Bars

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Posted by Noelle on May 20th, 2013
Categories: Sides
Tags: ,,,

This recipe is completely inspired by my first, but hopefully not last, visit to Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia. The hubs and I were celebrating our veganversary and wanted to go somewhere special. Special does not begin to describe Vedge. From the minute I walked in, my vegan heart skipped a beat. As we were ushered past the vegan bar and into the main dining room, the ambiance and decor came together like magic. Minimalist in it's style, yet warm from the ample glowing ceiling lights, with every detail of this historic building thoughtfully restored... all with a neutral palette which quickly draws your eye to the gorgeous food on the tables. That is the real star of this place. We sit down and are given the menu and the day's "dirt list" which is the daily farm-to-table special collection of vegetables. We quickly order beer and begin the hard task of figuring out what food to order. Kung pao cauliflower with peanuts, black vinegar, and cilantro or asparagus & garlic mustard soup w/ preserved lemon and pepitas? How about both. So the food arrives and we dig in. Food orgasms begin. Sorry but seriously, those vegetables were that good. So we order two more plates of veggies. Brussels sprouts, shaved and grilled with smoked mustard arrives. We moan our way through it, savoring every delectable bite. It dawns on me that I have never had vegetables coaxed to such beautiful perfection before. It makes me want to cry tears of joy. I need to take a moment... Needless to say there were many more plates of food and of course dessert, which will require a whole post on it's own. I left Vedge so impressed and so inspired. The hubs and I set out to create our own version of those Brussels sprouts that would be quick, simple, and easy... but still taste special. And here you have it. This truly feels gourmet. It would be a great side dish to impress dinner guests with, or to make the foodie in you sing... or to just celebrate this gift of life. Peace!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Smoky Mustard & Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb or more Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on what saltiness you like)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a grill with a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Next, make the mustard sauce. Pull all ingredients except the water into a bowl and whisk rapidly until combined. Slowly add water while whisking until the mixture becomes a thick creamy sauce. Add more water if needed to help thin it out a bit.

In a large bowl toss the Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt & pepper. Once grill and pan are heated, add sprout mixture and cook stirring and tossing frequently for 3 - 5 minutes or until the sprouts just start to get browned on the edges. Be careful not to overcook, you still want them to have some texture. Pile them neatly onto a serving platter and drizzle with mustard sauce and more fresh cracked black pepper. Makes 4 generous sides.