Category Archives: GF – Gluten free

Colby uncheese with crackers

When becoming vegan, one is always afraid of missing to eat cheese in all kind of forms: in sandwiches, roasted, as a spread, dipping sauces, … However, and to my surprise as well, there are substitutes that work perfectly well and I would say that they are even better than the real cheeses.

Recently I have made several different recipes that required cheese however following some recipes and reading in different blogs, I made an awesome “cheese” banana cake, a “cheese” dipping sauce and what it is posted here a “cheese” for crackers. All the recipes are soy free and if you want to be a bit more inventive and create alternatives for cheese without soy products, I really recommend you this book: “The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook“. There are a lot of different recipes with cheese alternatives and the author gives you the alternative to cook with soy or be soy free. A heads-up with respect to the key ingredients, you will have to fill up your cupboards with nutritional yeast, white kidney beans, cashew nuts and agar agar.

The uncheese from the photo resembles “Colby cheese” and really believe me it is awesome

Artichokes

Do you know which is my favorite vegetables of the winter that grows in Valencia? Yes yes you guessed right, Artichoke. We eat it all the winter long in all kinds of forms: with Spanish omelet, baked, in stews, barbecued,  in soups, raw in salads, … more and more ways … The artichoke is known for its anti-age properties, for the vitamin E and other more interesting properties but even if they were unhealthy I would still eat them, they are so good!

Stewing the artichokes is one of the best ways to eat them. They come out really tender and full of flavour. Basically remove the extra leaves from the outside, open the center with your hands or hit them against a table, clean the inside with water and place them as in the photo in a thick bottom pan. Then pour water until the artichokes are covered half and in the center of each of them sprinkle salt and olive oil. Cover the pan and cook at low flame for around 45-60 min (depends on the size and the tenderness of the artichokes). If at the end of the process there is no more water, you can add extra and cook for a while more. This broth  is great to pour into the artichoke or to cook with something else.

Double chocolate cookies – GF

I made two different version of the cookies from  Manifest Vegan.

This resembles those Spanish sweets: polvoró.

Risotto & stew veggies

As a kid growing up in València, you always get white rice with olive oil, laurel and garlic when you have stomach ache (such as indigestion). We believe that it is easy to digest and has a mild taste. I loved it as a child and I still enjoy a lot to eat a good plain risotto with olive oil. It is so tasty and yummy, however one has to use the proper rice (in my opinion, the best one is rice from “L’horta de València“).

We served the risotto with a veggie stew made of carrots, onions, courgette, aubergine, broccoli, cauliflower, red and green pepper and … I think that I did not forget any veggie.

If you want to know a bit of history of València, I found a nice article (it is in catalan, try to translate it otherwise ask me for help). In this article you will see that actually the paella is not a Spanish dish, as it is known in the rest of the world. The traditional Spanish cuisine does not use rice, even though Spanish people can eat a lot of it. You will find out that the rice comes from the Catalan countries, as well as most of the traditional rice dishes eaten by Spanish. 

First soy milk experience

Today was my first time doing soy milk from scratch.

  • Good surprises, it was really easy to do and I did it without rare tools. I just used a blender, a cheese cloth and a pan. That was all!
  • Another great surprise, the taste was really similar of what I am used to drink as commercial soy milks and not artificial flavor or additive.
  • Another unexpected fact was OKARA. This is what is left from making soy milk. It can be used with bread, burgers and a kind of parmesan cheese.

Interesting … right!

Thai red curry with 3 types of quinoa

Since my first time that I went to a Thai restaurant, I fell in love with the red curry. I tried several times to do it from scratch myself but it was never as good as in the restaurant. After that, I searched for a red curry paste that was vegan and that took a while. But finally I found one that did not have prawn or fish taste.

As you see from the photo, we use 3 types of quinoa (white, red and brown). To my surprise each of them has a different flavor. If you can find them, give them a try.

Ingredients:

- 1 0nion

- 2 cloves of garlic

- 2 carrots

- 1 red pepper

- 100g runner beans

- 250ml coconut milk

- 2 tablespoons red curry paste

Procedure:

Start by stir frying all the vegetables in a big wok. When they are golden add the red curry paste and let it heat for a while. Just right after add the coconut milk and let it cook. I do not recommend you to add salt before the red paste, usually those pastes contain salt and add already a strong flavor to the dish. Try it before adding the salt. Do not let the coconut milk cook for a long time otherwise you will end up with no sauce (I let mine cook around 10min in small fire). In a separate sauce pan, cook the quinoa until it becomes soft (usually 20min). And voila! mix quinoa with the sauce and enjoy it.

Hummus and Veggies, lovely snack :-)

That might be the last post that I do from the lovely city of Lisbon. I had a great time here although the weather was too hot to my taste. However, this weather helps to have great veggies all year round. Yesterday was a hot day and we just felt to eat some nice veggies with a dipping sauce. You can use this recipe as party snack, as a starter in a meal or as you wish, but try it, it is worth it.

Ingredients:

  • For the hummus:

- chickpeas (in a can or cook them in advance)

- garlic

- 1 green chili

- cumin powder

- coriander powder

- olive oil, salt and pepper to taste

  • Veggies to dip:

- 3 carrots

- celery

- 1 green and red pepper

- 2 tomatoes

- some broccoli

Procedure:

  • Hummus: with a blender, mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add some water if the paste is to thick and the condiments as you like.

With the veggies sliced, place them on the plate and …. start to dip in!

Veggie sushi with lemon-ginger sauce

I always thought that making sushi was a difficult task however I found it was really easy to do if you have the right tools.

Tools: bamboo mat, it is really useful since will help you to roll the nori sheet.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup rice

- 1 cup water

- 4 nori sheets

- 1 cucumber

- 2 carrots

- 1 advocado

(Actually the ingredients depend on the sushi filling that you will use). In my opinion the best one was the cucumber filling, it is nice since the cucumber is watery and give nice texture to the rice.

Procedure:

First, soak the rice in water for around 20 min (this process will ensure your rice to not be too sticky). In a boiling pan, place two cups of water and bring it to boil. Then add the rice and just leave on an small flame for 20min. In some recipes for sushi, at this point some rice vinegar is added to add more flavor to the rice.

Now it comes the rolling task with the mat, place a nori sheet on top of it (usually nori sheets already have some indications from where to roll, place it correctly) and in one edge start to put a one finger thick layer of rice. On top of it, place the filling. Take the edge from where you placed the rice and roll it with the help of the mat. Do not be afraid, nothing will fall out. Once you get the other edge rolled, pour some water on it for a glue effect. And now with a sharp wet knife, cut the nori sheet as indicated by the stripes on it, otherwise 3 fingers wide.

We served the sushi with a nice lemon-ginger sauce from Vegan Eats:

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ heaping teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
Instructions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves.

With the rolling procedure, I found hard to get the edges full of rice or with filling. Try to put more rice on the edges so then they will be full.

By the way, he also has a nice variation of sushi with quinoa, which I believe is worth to try. As well, I read that with brown rice will also work fine but you have to soak the rice more in the water.

Caldo verde

I will spend my summer in a lovely city: Lisbon. As most of you know already, Portugal is known as the soup country for their hundreds and hundreds of different soup recipes. Caldo verde is one of them and actually really simple and tasty. One of the key ingredients is collard, if it is hard to find in your grocery store I am sure that with kale (nl: boerenkool) it also tastes fine.

Ingredients:

- 6 potatoes

- 3 onions

- 4 cloves of garlic

- collard leaves thinly chopped

- olive oil and salt to taste

Procedure:

First bring water to boil and add the onion and potatoes without any salt or oil (I read some recipes and that is how the grandma in Portugal does it). When that is done, sprinkle salt, oil and add the cloves of garlic and blend it until it is smooth. Later, add the collard and boil it with the mix for around 6-8 min.  And your soup is ready to eat!

It is really simple soup but believe me, the raw garlic with the potatoes and the collard is an amazing combination.

Stuffed mushrooms

Enjoy eating big mushrooms stuffed with soy sprouts and tofu.

Ingredients:

- 8 big size mushrooms (white mushroom)

- 2 onions

- 200g of sprouted soy

- 100g tofu

- oregano, salt, pepper, oil and cayenne pepper

- Salad is a suggestion for the serving

Procedure:

Stir fry the onions, the sprouts and the tofu in a pan and add the salt, pepper and some cayenne to taste. Meanwhile, clean the mushrooms and remove carefully the stem. Place the mushroom up side down in an oven plate and when the vegetables are already well cooked, stuff the mushrooms with the vegetables and put some oregano on the top. Place them in the oven for around  20 min and bon appetite.