Posts Tagged ‘baking’

h1

food

November 23, 2009

I think it’s been a while now since I wrote about food but it’s right near the top of the list in what I’ve been working with lately. When I first got to school I was excited to get back to baking budget friendly snacks; crackers and muffins in particular. It was all going well for a few weeks and then I started to notice that it wasn’t all agreeing with me. Of course I continued baking for a little while longer.

At the same time, the naturopath I’ve been seeing here was pointing towards my possible challenges with gluten. Having been wheat free for the better part of 7 years I didn’t listen very well at first. Doh! During this time the variety of grains I’ve been using has been on steady slide with spelt being the only thing in my cupboard here. I didn’t truly wake up to my possible gluten challenges until after a couple of restless nights in late October when I was using barley rather than the usual buckwheat in a magic bag to warm my bed. It was as if I’d just eaten an offending food before slipping into bed. It took hours to fall asleep, the sleep never lasted for long and I would feel soooo tired the next day. Quite simply, I should have known better.

I’m hopeful that my body will accept spelt, barley etc. more pleasantly after a bit of a sabbatical so lately I’ve been testing out gluten free. I started with Bob’s GF rolled oats* that I was grinding up in the blender to make flour. This form of oat flour doesn’t take up as much liquid as spelt but it seemed to work well for cookies. Then I had the nerve to try making muffins. Fail!

I was quite defeated by the muffin failure and it took a good 10 days or so for me to recover enough to start looking at what else might work. Fortunately I have some familiarity with the other options since Kevin has been gluten free for the past few years. Mind you, he can’t have corn or soy and I can’t have rice. He’s been doing his own baking ever since his gluten discovery. I’ve helped find recipes but that’s about it. I’ve often felt bad about this but somehow unable to get past it and just try making something I can’t sample. Sadly, I think this new hyper-sensitivity to gluten may be just what I needed. Being able to provide food, especially of the baking variety, has been so important for me and I’ve really felt the void these past few years.

This weekend I got Kevin to share some of the recipes he’s got at home and I’ve stocked up on almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour and xantham gum. No doubt it’s going to take some work but I suspect there are far more vegan GF baking resource out there now. If you know of any I’d be happy to learn.

Oh, and after about 3 weeks of searching I finally found buckwheat pasta for less than $10 a package. It’s made in China but at this point I don’t much care. I can eat pasta again and we’ll be able to share the same pot of food when I get home. Yay!

* Oats are a problem with some GF folks but so far so good for me. I also know from tests that I had done in university that I don’t have celiac disease.

Advertisements
h1

meal plan for the week

October 4, 2009

Last week my meal planning was a gong show.  I forgot about things I already had and wanted to use up and I forgot my shopping list EVERY time I went out.   The whole week was strange – I had trouble sleeping, was over tired and by the end of the week a little sour.  I even ate out on Friday night and Saturday night.  Surely it was more than the wet, rotting leaves outside that were affecting me.

This week I pledge to do better so today I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen.  I cooked up beans, made corn bread, minestrone soup and then tonights dinner of jerk chicken, broccoli and quinoa.  I also made some welsh cakes for my lunches and pulled some extra ginger cookies out of the freezer.  Later in the week I’ll need to get more apples and grapefruit but right now there’s no room in my part of the fridge.  For the rest of the week I’m planning to make:

  • bean salad, green salad and corn chips (vegan)
  • turkey tacos
  • minestrone soup with corn bread (vegan)
  • chicken casserole bake (chicken with tomatoes, onions, peppers and pasta)
  • pizza!
  • fish, potatoes and green beans

To help me with my shopping I’ve started using a mini note-book with tear out pages that a friend gave me.  It stays in my purse and should be a lot easier to keep tabs on then my random pieces of paper from before.

h1

back to food

January 26, 2009

It’s so easy for us to get in a rut and make the same meals week after week. Same goes with getting accustomed to buying snack foods that someone else has prepared.  It’s so expensive and thinking about the changes this next year is going to bring I’ve finally convinced myself that it’s time for a change.

In the past month we’ve been eating more vegan meals (three to five days a week) and I’m getting back to baking.  It’s so great to have more than 2 cookies to choose from and to revisit some of my favourite muffin recipes from before.  And of course saving moolah never hurts!

Early on in our relationship I was introduced to a beat up version of the Purity Cookbook that Kevin’s mom used religiously when he lived at home.  When I saw a reprinted version of it last year I decided to take a chance and try it out.   The organization and index aren’t overly user friendly but I’ve found some great traditional cookie recipes that are hard to find anywhere else.  On Sunday night I tried  these:

01-food2

Thimble cookies, but not the way my mother made them (she always used blackberry jelly which I never liked as a kid).

The wheat free version I created is definitely going in the next edition of my cookbook, although I’ll likely double the recipe.  Here’s what the 16 cookie recipe I tried last night looks like:

1/2 cup vegan margarine

1/4 cup raw sugar

2 tsp lemon juice (that’s not even a substitution!)

1 flax egg (1 Tbsp flax meal with 3 Tbsp water)

1 cup whole spelt flour

1 cup crushed nuts

a little bit of berry jam

It’s pretty simple.  Cream margarine and sugar, then mix in lemon juice and HALF of the flax egg.   Add the flour and you’ve got a fairly gooey cookie.  Roll the dough into 2-3 cm diameter balls and then roll them in the remaining flax egg, before coating them in the crushed nuts.  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Before popping them in a 350 F oven, use your finger to create a divot in the middle (the jam will go here later).  They bake for 15- 17 minutes and while I didn’t need to deepen the hole partway through the cooking you might want to check after the first 5-7 minutes of cooking.  As soon as they come out of the oven, fill the holes with jam. Mmm mmm good!

I know they contain a good amount of oil but I’m preferring this nutty raspberry jam cookie to the margarine coated popcorn I eat when there’s nothing else in the cupboard.  Plus they’re surprisingly quick and easy to make with ingredients we always have in stock.  They’re going quickly too – I’m already down to 9 and I’m the only one who can eat them.