Category Archives: gluten free meals

No Hassle Easy Vegan Gluten Free “Meat & Potatoes”

Sometimes you have to raid your pantry and freezer for an easy meal that doesn’t require much thought, but provides maximum satisfaction. We had two burgers kicking around in the freezer and figured why not use them outside of the usual burger and a bun. What I find funny about the packaging is how it says vegetarian/vegan, it really should just say vegan, but I suppose this appeals to more markets. I forget that not everyone knows what vegan means.

The burgers are incredibly good and have a solid texture, nothing too mushy. They’re easy to pan fry, 3 minutes on each side, and I suppose they’d be fine on a grill too if you’re so inclined.

What’s on the plate:
– Mashed potatoes (made with minced garlic, dehydrated onion, Earth Balance, unsweetened soy milk, and a dash of Himalayan salt)
– Garden salad (tomato, cucumber, carrot/broccoli/red cabbage julienne, and mixed greens with Renee’s Italian dressing)
– One Sol Cuisine Mushroom Rice Burger
– Mushroom gravy

Burger Mash Salad and gravy

 

The simplicity of this meal was incredibly satisfying. I would totally make this again and it really was a matter of throwing things together in a short time. Something about this meal reminded me of a 50’s meatloaf and potatoes dish, but a heck of a lot healthier.

Happy eating!

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Vegan Gluten Free Mini Mushroom and Spinach Polenta Lasagna

I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought why not. I didn’t have a recipe, but how hard can assembling items really be? Here’s my take on making mini polenta lasagna.

Ingredients:
1 log of pre-made polenta (Or, if you’re really adventurous make your own)
1 bunch of fresh spinach
1 packet of white button mushrooms
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 jar tomato sauce
4-5 slices of Daiya Cheddar cheese

Directions:
Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch pieces. Be mindful of holding onto the polenta and don’t be a silly like me and let it roll off the cutting board. I don’t use the ends as they’re not flat and flatness is what you’re going for. Before you begin clean your mushrooms and wash the spinach and set aside. Mince a few cloves of garlic, up to 3 tbsp, but whatever you like is fine as well. Now time to sauté! Use a medium sized frying pan and sauté the mushrooms in 1/2 tbsp of vegetable oil with a with half the garlic. Be sure to stir them occasionally.  When the mushrooms are half the size drain them and place them in a bowl and set aside. Sauté the spinach in the same pan and use the rest of the garlic. This should only take a minute. Both the mushrooms and spinach should let out quite a bit of water, so do be careful to drain it as well. Place the spinach on top of the mushroom bowl and set aside.

Then the layering begins! Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the sliced polenta pieces. Break up Daiya Cheddar slices to cover. You can easily use the shreds, but the slices are uniform in coverage. After the cheese, spoon a dollop of tomato sauce and then layer the spinach and mushroom.

TIP: Now why put the cheese on first? Shouldn’t the sauce go on first? If you put the sauce on first it will most likely spill over the edge.

Top with another slice of polenta and then another dollop of tomato sauce. Pre-heat the oven for 400F. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. I baked it and then turned off the heat and left it in the oven for 10 minutes literally because I was trying to keep it warm timing it for dinner while I made a quick side salad.

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polenta, vegan, gluten free, aireater.com recipe, easy vegan lasagna polenta

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final polenta

There you have it – quick and easy vegan/gluten free mini polenta lasagna.

Happy Eating!

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Vegan Gluten Free Spaghetti Lasagna

Sometimes when you have no idea what you’re going to make for dinner a quick look around the pantry works. I really had lasagna in mind, but I didn’t have the shells and so I figured spaghetti would do. I have to say of all the noodles in the world I love spaghetti. Ho Fun is my second favourite. Something about those flat noodles, the texture, oh I cannot even.

The ingredients are pretty simple:

– 1 package of cooked rice noodles
– 1 bottle of tomato sauce
– 1  can of beans, I used Azuki, but anything will do really
– 2 cups of mixed vegetables
– 1 package of Daiya Slices, I used cheddar
– 3 tbsp vegan pesto

For each layer of pasta I was using a pasta scoop amount. It’s not an exact science as it is with lasagna shells, but it’s the only measurement I can really describe.

 

Instructions: Pour sauce into the pan and coat the bottom, then take a scoop of pasta and begin layering the: sauce, veggies, beans, cheese and pesto. I used a small spoon with the pesto and spread it as evenly as possible. For consistency sake, I switched up the layering of cheese to cover evenly.

lasagna sauce in pot

base of spaghetti lasagna

beans for spaghetti lasagna

mixed vegetables

spaghetti lasagna layer

spaghetti lasgana cheese different pattern

spaghetti lasagna with cheese

spaghetti lasagna first layer

final spaghetti pasta

lasagna sauce in pot, vegan , gluten free, pasta Bake at 400F for 20 minutes and there you have it. Easy and delicious. Happy eating!

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Vegan Gluten Free Pesto Pizza

I have fallen in love with pesto on my pizza. I’m sure it’s easy to make, but I honestly just had such a craving that while I was at a local health store I picked some up. I found this pesto made by a local company called Sunflower Kitchen. SF makes their products in  my home part of town, Scarborough, Ontario and that makes me rather happy.

If you go on their website you’ll see their goal:

Our Goal

Inspired by the earth’s bounty, Sunflower Kitchen is a family own business, a vegan, environmentally friendly company, committed to fulfill the promise of creating delicious, fresh, wholesome, ready to eat dishes that you deserve.

Doesn’t that get you in the feels? I can’t remember how much it was, perhaps $4 or $5 and frankly, it’s cheaper to buy than to get the organic ingredients and put them together. Last time I checked Whole Paycheck sells organic kale for $3.99 alone (if you’re lucky).

I’m happy to know that I can trust their products to be vegan and gluten free. I always recommend reading the label on EVERY single product you buy, but it’s nice to know there are companies devoted to this.

Kale and oregano pesto

pesto pizza

 

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The pizza was a case of the lazies, but it was so satisfying. Aidan’s sells these as pitas, but I use them as pizza shells.

What’s on this bad boy:
– Tomato pasted mixed with minced garlic
– Daiya cheddar slices (the better to cover with my dear)
– Sunflower Kitchen Kale and Oregano Pesto
– sliced tomatoes
– sliced portobello mushrooms

Baked at 400F for 15 – 20 minutes and there you have it.

pesto pizza

Happy eating!

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Restaurant Review: Bukhara Grill (Toronto)

Mat and I had the pleasure of going to Bukhara Grill in Toronto on Bloor. They have another location in Mississauga for anyone in the west end. The location we went to was downstairs and next to this health store called Peachtree. It’s somewhat easy to miss the entrance to Bukhara Grill as the sign doesn’t stick out as much as you’d think.

So downstairs we went to be greeted by a very courteous host who showed us to a lovely intimate section of the restaurant. We were the first ones in the door, afterwards it started to fill up nicely. They certainly have done a fantastic job making this space their own.

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From the decorations to the mint and tamarind sauce already waiting at each table I really felt they’re trying for an upscale client. By the way the two condiments I mentioned are insanely good. I hope they decide to sell them as a separate product as I would start stocking up. We had no problems ordering and receiving the food the way we asked. They understand vegan and gluten free. Just make sure to pass on the papadums if you’re gluten free as they are made in the same place the naan is. It’s too bad, but that’s what happens when things are done traditionally.

We usually stick to aloo golbi ($9.99) and chana masala ($9.99) as we know them to be naturally gluten free. For a change we ordered Saffron Rice ($3.99) instead of just plain basmati. 

To say we were impressed is an understatement. Everything was flavourful, delightfully spicy, and delicious. We plan on making this our go to place for the weekend. We have a habit now of ordering an additional meal of the same for take away as it makes Sunday afternoon lunch that much easier.

Do not miss out. I cannot say enough good things about this place.

Happy eating!

 

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Asian Shepherd’s pie with 4 cheese mash and homemade “sausage”

As my attempt at recreating One Green Planet’s recipe for Spicy vegan gluten free sausage was a total failure I decided to use half of what I had left (it was a big batch as I was hoping the original recipe would be so great I could freeze some) and try to salvage it. So what’s a girl to do but make a shepherd’s pie?

Components:
1. Mash topping
2. Vegetables
3. “Sausage”

Mash topping
I used organic potatoes, so I just washed them and left the skin on for good measure. I boiled about 4lbs in a pot and when they were done (20 minutes due to the fact that I didn’t chop them up first or they’d have boiled faster) I put them in a large metal bowl and used a hand masher. I then added

– around 3/4 cup of unsweetened original soy milk (I like to use Natura)
– One 1/4 cups of Daiya Cheddar shreds
– One 1/4 cups of Daiya Pepperjack shreds
– 2 crumbled slices of Daiya Provolone
– 2 crumbled slices of Daiya Swiss
– 1/4 cup of vegan ‘butter’

Vegetables
I took the easy route and lightly sautéed asian frozen vegetables from Costco. I love how this mix has the variety of vegetables I have an affinity for.
– broccoli
– green beans
– sugar snap peas
– carrots
– red bell peppers
– shiitake mushrooms
– water chestnuts
– baby corn
– yellow onions

I was preparing everything simultaneously, so you can only imagine what my stove top looked like.

Sausage:

Now comes the part of the recipe that I really wasn’t looking forward to –  the dreaded sausage. It was a complete disaster when I tried to steam the mixture which also was not holding together. Here’s the original recipe. As that wasn’t working for me. I don’t think it made a difference that I used a white kidney bean, I mean a bean is a bean. I also added flax seed and soaked 1/4 cup of chia seed till it became 1 cup. Then I let it chill over night and it was STILL not cohesive to form into a ‘sausage’ link shape. Seriously?

For this recipe I decided to pan fry it. I took it slow, on medium heat as it was so damn sticky, it was hard to break into little pieces to fry evenly. I think I was standing there for about 20 minutes, but it felt like forever. If you can actually make this sausage recipe please let me know, I would be grateful that someone made it properly, give me some hope as it stands I will not try again. I went to a lot of trouble to get the vegan gluten free Worcestershire Sauce and it just feels like a kick in the teeth to work with this unruly mixture. I did it anyway. Finally, it browned up and I then assembled everything into a dutch oven Le Creuset.

4-vegan sausage

3-shep pie covered

2-shep pie mixture 2

1-shep pie mixture

1-Shep pie

 

I baked it at 400 for 20 minutes. The top didn’t brown as much as I’d like, but we were hungry and basically everything is already cooked, so good enough. As always, I have Yoshi, my little kitchen helper meowing at me and watching my every move. I love his little face. He is a mommas boy for sure. He was trying to smell the spoon I had in my hand when I was dalloping the mash on top. I had it in my hand while trying to take a picture. After this picture he climbed on my knee to try to get a better smell. Too bad he’s not a veggie cat. Ah well.

5-Yoshi kitchen helper

So there you have it – I salvaged the sausage and made something lovely out of a horrible time. Hurray!

Happy Eating!

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Triple badass Mac N Cheese + Tofu pups

I had a craving for creamy mac n cheese with hotdogs. Yes, I was reliving a childhood meal I used to make for myself and hey, some things you never grow out of, thankfully now I can make them cruelty free.

1-mac n cheese and tofu pups

I took the time to measure everything, even though I usually eye ball it.

Instructions:
Boil bag of gluten free pasta as per directions. Personally, I enjoy slightly mushier than usual pasta and thus boil the pasta about 5 minutes longer than suggested, but that’s me. The point is – boil your favourite pasta. This time we used Maple Grove white rice elbow pasta. We find this pasta to be just as good as Tinkyada and it’s always reasonably priced. While the pasta is boiling I cut up some Tofu Pups and fried them lightly in an pan until they were golden brown. For my Canadian friends I know you’re asking, what the heck is a Tofu Pup? I love these, more so the Jumbo ones, but they’re vegan AND gluten free hot dogs that are pretty dang good.

While the pups are frying on low heat I ready my cheese. I like to use 3 different Daiya cheese products for my mac n cheese.

1. Cheddar shreds 1.5 bags
2. Pepperjack shreds 1/4 of a bag
3. Chive and Onion cream cheese spread 1/4 cup

Oh yes, this is the holy trinity. Also VERY IMPORTANT – ready 1.5 cups of water on hand.

Once the pups have fried, put them aside as you have things to do. By now the pasta should be done and you’re ready do drain and rinse. I know some people don’t subscribe to the rinsing of pasta, but I am a believer of it. Before you put the pasta back into the pot to get everything together I suggest a tablespoon pad size of Earth Balance, or coconut oil to get things going. Put in the ‘butter’ or oil into the pot, keep the burner on medium and let the dumping begin!

First the pasta, then stir in the different cheese. This is where the water comes in. After each cheese I usually add 1/4 cup of water to see how it’s being absorbed and or coating the pasta. When you’re done with the cheese, don’t forget the Tofu Pups and there you have it.  If you like feel free to add the hot sauce of your choice.

Happy eating!

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Eggless Egg Salad

I decided to test out a recipe from Melomeals – Eggless Egg Salad! Yes, strange to have the main ingredient be substituted, but I figured this would be good. Oddly enough, I never really liked egg salad, I found the consistency to be gross. Thankfully this vegan version is very different and there’s none of that a) cruelty and b) rubbery strange stinky weird mouth feel. Yes, mouth feel is a legit term, for real.

I just happen to have tomato raw bread around. No seriously, I do, I am addicted to making it. My poor food styling attempt is mediocre at best, but I tried to make the cucumbers slices look interesting. Oh well. With this recipe the food processor is your friend. I didn’t even bother chopping anything I just blended it up. I don’t think I’m ever going to grate another carrot. Why should I when the machine can do it easier and faster. Heck, it slices, it dices and makes a dang fine tool in the kitchen.

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If you have a version of eggless egg salad, I’d love to try it, the summer is here and it’s a perfect dish to bring to a party!

Happy eating!

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Loaded Salad with Shiitake and Quinoa Bean Crumble

This is the summer of salads for me and I have been experimenting with the best way to enjoy eating my greens. I have been loving this particular salad so much that I have had it TWICE in one day. When you have this kind of meal it really helps if you’re prepared ahead of time and have everything in little containers, then just pull them out as you assemble. I usually do this kind of prep work on Sunday and it really makes things a lot easier and faster.

For the mushroom part, sometimes I buy a mixed packet of mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, button, and crimini) and do a quick pan fry (olive oil and gluten free soy sauce and other times I go full out shiitake. I cook the whole package and it makes three portions. Again, another thing to have done ahead of time to be able to throw in during assembly.

Ingredients:

Mixed greens – 2 cups or more (However much you can handle in one sitting)
1/2 cup of broccoli florets
1/2 cup of cauliflower
1/2 cup of quinoa bean crumble or one square SEE RECIPE HERE
2 small carrots diced
2 stalks of celery
2″ of cucumber sliced with peel
2 – 3 tbsp diced white onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/3 pan fried mushrooms with a dash of gluten free soy sauce
A handful of cilantro chopped
A handful of parsley (I prefere curly) chopped
Olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste

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Toss everything to coat and there you have the most amazingly textured salad with protein. I pair the salad with 1/2 cup of cooked rice that includes a tsp of soy free Earth Balance and a pinch of salt. Plus, I share an avocado with Mat so I only eat half of one and I slice it so thin that I savour each bite and stretch it out. I honestly have been feeling very full with this meal and I would highly recommend making this salad to a) be healthy and b) not having a boring salad. All the veggies slow you down and force you to chew. By the time you eat this salad you’ll be so tired from eating and you’ll be full. Not the I’m hungry half an hour later kind, I mean full till dinner and not shaking from low blood sugar. 

Happy eating!

 

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Baked Bean Quinoa Crumble

This is the second time I attempted to make this recipe, but it’s not what I originally made, so don’t hate me if I post something similar again. Don’t you hate when you forget how you made something and then realize it half way through making it? Ah well.

I was aiming for a bean quinoa burgers when I first made this, but the burgers just wouldn’t form. What else could I do but bake it! I used a large rectangle glass baking dish, ask me the size in the comments, I’m seriously too tired to go check. It worked just dandy. After mixing everything together I patted the mixture down into the dish with my hands. I felt like I was making brownies of sorts. After everything baked I even cut the final result like brownies. Who needs circle burgers? I have square burgers, square burgers are cool. (I have been watching too much Doctor Who.)

What I love about this recipe is that I’ve used it as: pasta ‘meat’, taco ‘meat’, salad topping, as a side on its own, and it’s freaking amazing on nachos. I know two people specifically who are fiends like me when it comes to nachos. Let’s face it – nachos are pretty awesome to have with a beer.

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2-Quinoa bean burger

 

As you can see I added a salad and rice with the ‘crumble’. Easy to eat on its own and full of good protein. Tomorrow’s post will feature the salad. This is the salad I’m going to make all summer – it’s freaking fantastic and I am slightly addicted to it.

quinoa crumble with salad

 

Here’s how I made this bean quinoa crumble:

Ingredients:
2 cups of cooked beans
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1/4 cup flax seed
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp BBQ sauce
3 tsp chia seed
2 tsp oregano (dried)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp gluten free soy sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika

Mix everything in a food processor until fully integrated. Grease baking glass with coconut oil – it will not flavour the food. Pat in mixture with your hands and make it even. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. I cut mine into squares like when you make brownies. Cool for 20 minutes. These will store for a week and freeze for at least a month. They’re amazing on the budget as they are so many options for use. I highly recommend making some ahead of time and just using it throughout the week. Sure saves time with cooking when everything is done and meals just have to be assembled.

Happy eating!

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