Tag Archives: pumpkin

Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin, Sundried Tomato Bread!

I’ve been working on my baking with encouragement and inspiration from Somer at VegedOut and Annie of An Unrefined Vegan. These two ladies are ace bakers and manage to survive without eggs, milk and sometimes even wheat. Pastries are a little easier since lower protein flours have a good texture for cakes and cookies, but not bread. Bread is the one thing we can’t reliably get that’s gluten-free, vegan and tasty. Usually commercially available breads fit one or two of those three criteria. Therein lies my quest.

My early attempts at gluten-free vegan bread were unreliable and didn’t always rise properly so things have come up a few notches since then.

One of the big things was getting a stand mixer with a dough hook. I can knead bread myself, but this makes mixing much more consistent. I got a cheap used $55 3.5 quart stand mixer. I’ll probably get something nicer when this one goes, but for now it’s perfect for experimenting.

The biggest issues I find with gluten-free vegan bread is that it’s usually dry, crumbly and/or dense. I’m still struggling with these issues, but things are improving slowly but surely.

My ever evolving bread recipe is currently as follows.

1 cup garbanzo flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1 cup teff flour

1/2 cup chopped sundried tomato

1/2 cup chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin pits (shelled)

1 tsp herbes de provence

1 tsp salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp yeast (or one packet)

1/4 cup flax meal

1 cup water, warmed slightly in the microwave

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup tinned unsweetened pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C. I combine the dry ingredients (except for the yeast in a bowl. Mix them lightly.

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I combine the water (warmed) and dissolve the yeast in it and then put that and the rest of the wet ingredients including the pumpkin in the bowl of my trusty stand mixer and give it a quick mix on the lowest setting. Then I wait for 3-5 minutes until the yeast starts to activate and look bubbly.

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After that I start to add the dry ingredients one cup at a time until it’s all mixed and doughy. It’s usually pretty sticky but holds its form well. I plop that onto a floured baking sheet and quickly mold it into a loaf form. (I haven’t tried any other formation, but you’ll know when I do!)

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I slash the top of the loaf to allow some of the steam to escape. When I tried skipping that step I ended up with a loaf of bread that looks like it exploded in the oven. I baked this for 2 hours and then started checking every 5 minutes to see if it was cooked all the way through by checking to see if a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf came out clean.

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This bread is still a little dense, but the flavor and texture are getting there fast. We’ve been enjoying it for simple things like grilled ‘cheese’ or toast with jam or vegan cream cheese.

 

This is Christie, signing off!

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Crazy Easy Three Bean Chili and a Giveaway!

Three bean vegan chili is nothing to sneeze at when we make it. Before I talk about chili though, I’m going to tell you about Muir Glen – I’ve been using their organic canned tomatoes for years.

I grew up farming and tomatoes have a special place in my heart. In fact I’m a tomato snob. I usually turn my nose up at tomatoes in the supermarket and in restaurants because they’ve lost their flavor through refrigeration, artificial ripening techniques, and through selective breeding for other traits like improved shelf life. Subsequently I turn to canned varieties unless I can get good ones from my garden or from my farmer’s market. Muir Glen has a range of organic tomato products including their roasted diced tomatoes, tomato paste and regular diced tomatoes. Whatever they’re doing over there definitely makes a difference and this is a giveaway so you can see for yourself without spending your hard earned cash.

Back to chili. Tomatoes are important for chili recipes. I can’t imagine chili without them: they provide a crisp base and a source of important nutrients like lycopene and vitamin C. To begin we assembled the following:

1 onion, diced

1 jalapeño, minced

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp coriander

1 15oz. tin of pinto beans

1 15oz. tin of kidney beans

1 15oz. tin of black beans

1 15oz. tin of diced tomatoes

1 15oz. tin roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup TVP (use a 15oz. tin of pumpkin puree if you’re sensitive to soy or both if you want a mellower chili)

1 tsp flake red pepper (more if you like spicy food)

salt to taste

1 tsp olive oil

We sauteed the onion, jalapeño and spices and sauteed it in olive oil until the mixture was fragrant and steamy.

Then we added the tomatoes and heated them until it started to bubble.

Then I added the rest of the ingredients (don’t drain the liquid from the beans or tomatoes). I added both TVP and pumpkin. That’s just how I roll. After it was nice and hot, I adjusted the spices and served up topped with Daiya and some home made bread.

This is a flavorful chili that will fool a lot of meat eaters with how hearty it is. The roasted tomatoes add an additional depth of flavor that you can’t get just by adding liquid smoke. The textured vegetable protein will confuse a lot of vegans because it’s so meaty. It’s cholesterol-free, high in fiber and low in fat.
So now on to the giveaway. This is a promo by Muir Glen: they’re going to send you a 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, a 14.5 oz can Reserve Harvest Sunset Organic Diced Tomatoes, a 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies, a 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Organic No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes and recipe booklet featuring a variety of recipes created by award-winning chefs from around the country. Of course you’ll only need the recipe book for using the other cans of tomatoes because you’ll want 2 of them for my recipe.

In order for me to select winners, all you have to do is the following:

1. like and follow our blog

2. like us on FaceBook

3. comment below on what you use tinned tomatoes for most often in your kitchen

Then I’ll ask each of the randomly selected winners (5 in total) to email us their mailing address before midnight Sunday, October 14. I’m excited to pass on some free products that I’ve been enjoying for years so that I can be sure I’m not crazy for liking Muir Glen.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Pumpkin Lentil Lower Carb Burritos!

This is one of the easier things Brent and I have made in a while, all we needed was the following:

1 head of cabbage, raw

1 14.5 oz tin of pumpkin

1 cup of dry lentils

1 cube of veggie bouillon

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 jalapeño (optional)

chili powder or chili paste and salt to taste

Start by cooking the lentils. Combine them with 2 cups of water and your bouillon cubes and microwave at 2 minute intervals until all the liquid is absorbed. You can also cook them on your stove at low heat until the liquid is absorbed.

Now put them into a sauce pan with the pumpkin and spices. Heat until it’s all steamy. Adjust the seasonings as necessary. You can also add a can of diced tomato and a diced onion but this recipe is designed to accommodate a friends with tomato and onion allergies, respectively. It’s delicious and filling just as I’ve written it.

Now carefully remove a cabbage leaf, add a scoop or two of your burrito filling and whatever other things you like (we’re adding cilantro and Daiya cheddar cheese).

Roll them up and insert into your face.You might not even realize you’re eating a cabbage leaf. This is a great way to have a low carb, low calorie wrap for your sandwich or burrito and doesn’t cost a whole lot. I hope you like it!

 

This is Brent and Christie, signing off.

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