Tag Archives: oats

Easy Vegan Breakfast on the CHEAP!

I get up kind of early… okay not that early. I mostly get up to watch the bunnies bounce around and have coffee with Brent before I head off to the laboratory. For the record, my older sister turned me on to this and THANK-YOU! I keep the ingredients for my breakfast in my desk. by the time I get to work I’m starting to get hungry so it’s the perfect time while I wait for my experiments to get going.
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This is all you need:
1/2 cup rolled oats (my Bag of Bob’s Red Mill cost me just shy of $4)
pumpkin pie seasoning or cinnamon (this little jar cost me $.99)
1 tsp rice nectar (the jar cost me $5)
1-2 tbsp raisins (the tub cost me $5)
1 cup of water
a pinch of salt

I microwave the oats, water, spice, salt and nectar at 30 second intervals until it starts to bubble up and get thick and creamy. Sometimes I add a touch of almond milk but it isn’t necessary. Then I throw in the raisins and know I’m getting some awesome heart healthy oats in a delicious breakfast that takes moments to make even when your brain is on auto-pilot.

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The other beauty of this breakfast is that it contains about 280 calories, has a low-glycemic index and a heap of filling fiber for a very low cost. I like the texture of Bob’s Red Mill oats best but the generic store brand costs a mere $2 for a large tub. Each bag of oats lasts at least 3 weeks and tub of raisins lasts me at least 6 weeks. Try doing that with bacon and eggs and still having money leftover for your Lipitor!

This is Christie, signing off.

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No Need to Knead Gluten-free Vegan Bread

I’m going to start this post by thanking 2 bloggers who have inspired me to take a stab at vegan baking. Somer of Vedged Out and recently featured on Forks over Knives and an Unrefined Vegan who has organized Virtual Vegan Potlucks have tickled my eyes, nose, mind and mouth in the best kind of way. They are two bloggers who seem to bake effortlessly. Vegan baking is certainly a nuanced thing but if any of you are experienced with baking gluten-free know that these recipes require lots and lots of eggs. So what’s a girl to do when she wants bread without gluten or eggs?

For baking bread today I’m using ground flax seeds. Flax is full of omega fatty acids and other important nutrients but practically speaking they’re also loaded with long chain polysaccharides that make it a great binding agent. With chicken eggs, protein forms the binding agent along with lots of cholesterol and recent studies bolster the claim that eggs are worse for your body than smoking. I don’t want that in my body so flax it is! Combine your ground flax seeds with water half an hour before baking (mix well) and you’ll notice the gelatinous texture that will help hold your bread together forming in your container. To start, we assembled the following ingredients

1 3/4 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I’m using Bob’s Red Mill)
1/8 cup oats
1/8 cup quinoa flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp agar agar or suitable vegan gelling agent
1/4 cup lightly packed coconut sugar
5 tbsp flax meal in 1/2 cup of water (mix well and allow to sit for 20-30 minutes)
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons almond milk or other vegan alternative
1 tbsp active dry yeast (no need to put it in water first, seriously)

First, Brent combined all the dry ingredients in a large bowl including the yeast.
In another bowl, I combined the vegan milk, oil and flax “eggs”. It looked kind of gross.


I added the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Beat the batter until smooth. This can be done with a stand or hand mixer, but I like to use my Brent for this; his muscles are amazing. The batter should be thick but not doughy.


I sprayed a non-stick pan with olive oil. Then I poured the batter into the bread pan and sprinkled the top of the batter with sunflower seeds and buckwheat groats. You can also sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

We set it aside to rise for about 50 minutes or until the batter was peeking above the rim of the pan.


We baked it in a 375°F pre-heated oven for 50 minutes; until a toothpick comes out clean. We let it cool for 15 minutes. Then we removed from the pan and cool thoroughly on a rack. A glass pan might be better for next time.


As a first effort to bake gluten-free and vegan in about a year and a half, I’m pleased. The texture of the bread was good, lightly crispy outside and fluffy inside. I have had problems in the past with vegan gluten-free breads being far too dense for my taste.

The taste was lightly sweet and nutty but nothing special. Next time I plan to add some nutritional yeast or carob and maca powder and Braag’s aminos to bring out more of the flavors in all those grains and seeds. Quinoa, flax, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, rice, sorghum, oats and almonds make for awesome bread.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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Granola: not just for hippies and hikers anymore!

Food dehydrators aren’t just for apple chips and other dried fruits and veggies. They’re also great for making your own granola. Brent and I have a generic recipe that’s pretty much fool proof.

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup buckwheat groats

1 tbsp flax or sesame seeds (optional)

1 cup dried fruit (we’re using 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup goji berries)

1 cup  nuts (we’re using slivered almonds)

1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)

1 tablespoon of carob or cocoa powder (optional)

2-3 tablespoons of  jam (we’re using raspberry)

Combine the following in a large bowl and mix in the jam until the mixture begins to stick together. Spread it out on a drying sheet and dehydrate 4 hours. My dehydrator doesn’t have any heat settings or a timer. If yours does, don’t worry: this is fool proof, remember?

Buckwheat groats add a lovely crunch even if you decide not to add jam and dehydrate the mixture. When we make that instead, we call it museli. It’s got less sugar and is just as delicious. We put museli and granola over soy yogurt, fresh fruit, non-dairy ice cream or with regular cereal. It’s also great by itself as a snack. Buckwheat, oats, nuts and dried fruit are loaded with balanced protein, soluble and insoluble fiber, iron, essential fatty acids, important trace minerals and lots of vitamin C and B vitamins.

 

It’s also versatile: you can add a pinch of cinnamon if you’re so inclined; switch jam for rice nectar or maple syrup; add any fruits you like – apples and bananas are great! Use quinoa flakes instead of rolled oats… okay, now I’m hungry.

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Tofu Burgers with portobello mushrooms!

I’ll make just about anything into burgers. I just like the format. In this particular case we tried using a beloved burger recipe as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms. Whether you want patties or stuffed ‘shrooms, all you need to do is gather the following:
12 oz silken tofu
2/3 cup quinoa flakes (rolled oats work too)
1 tbsp flax meal
2 small carrots, grated
2 small stalks celery, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
tamari or soy sauce to taste

I shredded my carrots and celery in my food processor. I put everything into a bowl with the tofu and then Brent went to work mooshing. Watch him showing this future burger mix who’s the boss. You can also use a food processor but Brent is an expert moosher. Add more quinoa flakes if you find they’re not firm enough.

Shape into patties. Heat a skillet or grill and grill the burgers until each side is crispy and golden brown.

We decided to use it as a stuffing for portobello mushrooms and that’s just another option. We baked some portobellos drizzled lightly with balsamic vinegar at 350C/180F for 10 minutes.

We then stuffed each mushroom cap with the burger mix and baked an additional 20 minutes.

We topped with cheese and baked another 10 minutes. This is Heidi Ho organics, chipotle cheddar. We liked that it was low calorie (about half that of dairy cheese) and it had a nice chipotle flavor but it wasn’t particularly cheesy and didn’t melt like some other vegan cheeses. This didn’t stop us from eating the entire block. It was tasty, just not cheesy.

These burgers were definitely a hit. We ate all three and then fried up the rest of the burger mix and dipped it in buffalo sauce. They came out crispy and tender. Double win! If you try it, let us know what you think. Until then, stay tasty!

This is Brent and Christie, signing off!

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Strawberry crisp: delicious, easy, healthy… what’s not to like?

I went strawberry picking with some friends Sunday. You might ask, “it’s the middle of December and you’re doing WHAT!?” It’s Florida, our weather is so good it’s criminal.
I’m going to make a quick note about sugar before we start. You might notice that I haven’t listed granulated sugar in any of the recipes I’ve submitted to this forum. It’s always molasses, agave nectar, etc. The granulated sugar that you buy at the supermarket isn’t vegan. It’s bleached using the charred bones of animals. If that wasn’t icky enough, brown sugar is granulated white sugar mixed with molasses. WTF?
Anyways, other available sweeteners have unique flavors and nutrients that are removed from granulated sugar during processing. For example, I use molasses for most of my sugar needs. I like that it comes from plants and has iron in it. Girls need a little extra iron, right? Ounce for ounce, molasses has almost 3 times the iron of beef and none of the cholesterol. Black strap molasses has a unique earthy flavor robust enough to eat drizzled over plain tofu. I also like maple syrup because it’s delicious and promotes preservation of old growth forests. It has a light woody flavor that’s great for cookies and cakes. Sometimes I get granulated coconut sugar at my farmer’s market. It’s lightly fragrant and creamy in flavor. I’m a big fan of agave and rice nectar: both have low glycemic indexes and a light mellow honey-like flavor but it’s beginning to sound like all unrefined sugars are my favorite. Let’s talk strawberry crisp. In this recipe I used turbinado sugar (which is actually semi-refined sugar) but granulated coconut or maple sugar work fine.
You can use any kind of sweet non-citrus fruit for this recipe as far as I’m concerned. Frozen or fresh – it doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s ripe. I’ve done this with peaches, apples, blueberries, and today I’m using strawberries.
5 cups fresh fruit, pitted and sliced (I like to leave the peel on but you can take it off)
2 tbsp turbinado sugar
2 tbsp corn starch, tapioca flour or arrowroot starch
juice of 1/2 lemon (about 2 tsp)
I just mixed them directly in a glass baking dish
For the topping,
1 cup quinoa flakes or rolled oats
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (granulated maple or coconut sugar are fine too but harder to find)
1/2 cup flour (I used rice but whatever kind you like)
almond milk to texture
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp olive oil
cinnamon or pumpkin spice to taste
In a medium sized bowl, stir the dry ingredients together.
Work the olive oil in, and then the almond milk. Stop adding when it starts to get crumbly. Sprinkle the topping over the fruit and bake 375F/190C, for 30 to 35 minutes, until the fruit is tender and the topping starts to brown.
Serve hot and enjoy! Soy or coconut milk ice cream is an excellent compliment.
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