Cinnamon Bun Pancakes GF

My friend Sue posted the link to this recipe on Facebook this week.  I looked at the recipe and commented that they looked good and should be easy to convert to gluten free. 

To convert these pancakes, I replaced the flour with Bob’s Red Mill GF All-Purpose flour and added about 3/8 teaspoon of xanthan/guar gum.  (In the GF baking class I took the baker recommended mixing xanthan and guar gum 50/50 and using in the plcce of straight xanthan gum.  It has worked great and makes it a little less expensive.)

I’m not big on pancakes, but the men in this house love it when I make them.  I have to say these were good!  Definite shades of cinnamon rolls.  Plates were cleaned and not a crumb remains.  I added a splash of vanilla to the frosting recipe.  Jesse threatened to drink any  left overs.  Sorry Jess, it was washed down the drain.  I used a 1/4 cup measure to pour the pancakes on the griddle and got 21 pancakes from the recipe.

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Let’s Eat Cake!

We had two birthday’s in our immediate family during a two-week period.  Which meant I had the opportunity to try out gluten-free cake recipes.  Let me just say there is nothing healthy about these except for the fact they won’t cause problems because of gluten.

I’ve been going through cookbook after Gluten Free cookbook from our local library and both of these cakes came from one of those books. 

For those who really know me it should come as no surprise that my cake was lemon.  Lemon Layer cake to be exact.  The cake was lemon, there was a lemon curd filling and lemon frosting.  It was excellent!  Probably one of the best lemon cakes I’ve ever had!

The cake was slightly more crumbly than cakes made with wheat flour, but that wasn’t a problem.

Jesse chose a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday, it was also superb!

Again a little more crumbly that non GF cakes, but we had no problem scarfing it down.

The cookbook —

The library copy I used was copyrighted in 2006, however a second edition was released in 2008 with several more copies.  After trying these two cakes, I decided this was a book worth owning and it has now been added to my cookbook collection.

Oh all the cake is long gone, so it won’t do you any good to stop by for a slice.

Tamale First

I currently subscribe to 295 blogs and that number increases every time I find another one that interests me.  This morning as I was reading new content through Google reader one of the blogs had step by step instructions for vegetarian tamales.  It caught my interest because the tamales were naturally gluten-free and because they were vegetarian.  I had never had tamales.  They are sold from cars along the road here, but most of them are some sort of meat, usually pork and they generally have lard in the masa portion.  When I saw the recipe, I thought why not?

Several hours later I had this stack of tamales ready to steam.

The steaming process took 1-1/2 hours and finally I had my first taste of tamales.

As you already know I have nothing with which to compare these.  So I’m going off taste alone — I thought they were very good, as did Guy and Nolan.  As soon as Jesse heard it was something new,  he  had already decided he didn’t like it — so his opinion doesn’t count. 

They were labor intensive, but worth doing again.  I got 21 out of the recipe and froze half of them.  So where did I find the directions?  At the Tasty Kitchen blog.  I think these could be made vegan without too much trouble — try Earth Balance margarine rather than butter and just leave out the cheese.

Pancakes (GF)

I have several posts worth of Gluten-Free pictures on my camera, but shortly after my last posts a couple of discs in my neck decided they were tired and started misbehaving.  I’ve had numb fingers, a numb face and shooting pain down my right arm and shoulder.  I’ve been visiting the chiropractor several times a week and we are making slow progress.  It even hurts to type.  I’m tired of not being able to do much and this will be a short post, so I’m going to go for it. 

Today is a holiday for the boys and Guy and there was time for a leisurely breakfast which meant trying a new recipe for pancakes.  I decided on this recipe from Bob’s Red Mill.

I ate mine with Marionberry syrup which my MIL brought from Oregon.  I have to say I’m not a big fan of pancakes.  All my life they have just felt heavy in my stomach.  But I don’t have that problem with GF pancakes!  Good news even without gluten issues.  Everyone liked these and I did double the recipe, after all I’m feeding two teen males.

The recipe uses Bob’s Red Mill GF All Purpose flour.  The really good news it that Costco is now carrying that flour, so it is available at a lower cost than in natural food stores.

Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Bread

***Edited — This recipe was not GF, but when Zucchini comes into season again, I think I will try it with Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose GF flour.***

I was craving something sweet!  Ann very kindly gave me zucchini from her husband’s garden in addition to the yellow squash in the last post.   (Guy was horrified when I bought zucchini in the grocery store once.  Comes from growing up with a garden and an over abundance of zucchini.)  So I went on the hunt for a vegan zucchini bread.  I found this one at vegweb.com.

As usual, I wasn’t good at following directions and made some modifications to make it slightly more healthful.  The recipe  called for 1 cup of oil, I substituted 2/3 of cup of apple sauce and then used 1/3 cup of oil.  I think I can go  with even less oil next time.  The recipe also called for 2 cups of sugar, I reduced that to 1-1/2 cups and will drop it to 1 cup the next time.  It was supposed to be baked in 2 9×5 loaf pans.  I didn’t have two of that size so baked it in three smaller pans.

It is delicious!  Jesse questioned the zucchini, but scarfed it down.

Potato Gnocchi with Tofu Alfredo Sauce

***Edited — This recipe was NOT gluten free, and since it was in a library book I don’t have it handy to look at and see if substitutions would work.***

I picked up The Candle Cafe Cookbook by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza at the library.  A lot of the recipes look really good and I went to Amazon thinking I might buy it.  It had mixed reviews.  A lot of the reviews were outstanding, but a few questioned the quantities used in the book.  I’m glad I read the reviews before proceeding with this recipe.  I’ve never made Gnocchi before so this was  a first.  This recipe included sun dried tomatoes and roasted red pepper and was pretty good.  I was out of whole wheat pastry flour so substituted a half and half combination of whole wheat flour and unbleached flour.

 The Alfredo sauce called for a whole head of garlic to one pound of tofu.  I cut the garlic almost in half and it was still very strong garlic (I liked it, but it could have a little less garlic.) 

Just in case the Alfredo sauce wasn’t a hit, I also heated a basil spaghetti sauce from a jar. 

I rolled and cut the gnocchi as the recipe directed, but I tossed it in a bowl prior to boiling it.  That was a mistake.  The gnocchi in the bottom of the bowl lost its shape and returned to dough.  The recipe made a lot and at the end I was just scooping the dough by small spoonfuls and dropping it in the boiling water.  Everyone here agreed this dish was acceptable.

As you can see we also had summer squash (a gift from my friend Ann from her husband’s garden), I sautéed that with a very small amount of olive oil, added a little salt and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herbs and it was yummy!

The green beans were from a can — no salt added, then I could add a more acceptable amount of salt while cooking.

Mac and Cheeze

***Edited — If one substituted GF macaroni noodles and either omitted the bread crumbs or used GF bread crumbs this would be a great GF dish.***

This recipe came from Vegan Comfort Food by Alicia Simpson.  I looked at this book in the book store and couldn’t decide whether I wanted to buy it or not.  So I put a request in at our local library for them to buy it.  We are very fortunate in our local library system in that they will usually buy any book less than 2 years old that is requested.  Not only did they buy it, they bought four copies and since I requested it, I was first on the hold list.  The reason I hesitated to buy the book is that while it is vegan, it didn’t look particularly healthy!  My main reason for trying to cook vegan is for the health benefits.  Don’t get me wrong, I stopped eating meat entirely when my dad sold my pet cow when I was about 12.  Prior to that I ate fish or poultry on very rare occasions and we almost never had it at home.  I can only remember eating beef once.  I love the taste of dairy products and do partake on occasion.  However, if one reads about factory farming (dairy and egg) it is pretty gross.  Anyway on to the recipe.

I’ve had trouble getting the males in this household to eat dishes billed as “cheese” in vegan recipes because they do not like the taste of nutritional yeast.  This recipe did not include that ingredient.  Some of the ingredients in the sauce include Yukon gold potatoes, carrot, onion and nuts.  I made a few modifications to the recipe and will modify it even further the next time.  The recipe called for 2/3 cup of oil (see what I mean about less than healthy?)  I cut that to just slightly over 1/3 cup and will reduce it further next time.  The ingredients also include both cashews and macadamia nuts.  I did not have success finding macadamia nuts in the local grocery store so substituted raw cashews for them.  I also used whole wheat macaroni noodles.

You may have noticed a said I would make changes the next time I made it, YES, I will make it again.  Finally a hit with everyone!  I get lots of questions now whenever I try a new dish.  I did not tell them this was supposed to be Mac and Cheeze, I just billed it as pasta.   I only told them there was nothing in it that they didn’t like.  Even Opicky Wan liked it.  Guy snatched the leftovers for lunch and said he would be willing to eat every week.  I will add a disclaimer — I don’t think this really tastes like cheese, but does have a similar consistency and a good flavor!

Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-Fry

***Edited — This recipe is gluten free as long as you use Tamari and not regular soy sauce.  You could also use Bragg’s Amino Acid.***

This is the first time I tried this recipe from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan by Dreena Burton.

I made a few slight modifications to the recipe rather than making a trip to the grocery store.  The recipe calls for blackstrap molasses and I only had regular molasses on hand so used that.  It also calls for tamari sauce and I had some just not enough so I added enough light soy sauce to make up the difference.  I had rice sticks in the pantry so I served it over that.  It would have been good over rice as well.  Finally a new recipe that most of the family would be willing to eat again!  The “boys” (all three of them) entertained themselves playing with the rice sticks throughout the meal.  I thought it was very tasty entrée.

Edited to add:  Dreena has the recipe on her blog now — you can find it here.

Lemony Couscous with Garlic

***Edited — Couscous is made from Semolina and is NOT gluten free.***

I was apparently on a couscous kick when I created my last menu.  This is another new to us recipe from Vegan Express by Nava Atlas.

I wasn’t paying attention when I added this to the menu — it is a warm dish and I really didn’t need to be using the stove tonight!  This was once again OK, but not a hit.  It has dill in it and I think that is a turn off for Jesse.  I don’t think the rest of the family has the same fondness for lemon that I do.  😉  I will probably not make this recipe again in the near future.

Spaghetti Primavera

***Edited this version of the Spaghetti Primavera is NOT gluten free, however I have posted a GF version here.***

Dinner tonight was not from a new recipe — it is in fact Guy’s favorite!  He says it is better than anything he has ever had at a restaurant.  He will eat the leftovers cold.  Even Jesse said it is probably his favorite way to eat vegetables.  Tonight’s Spaghetti Primavera recipe came from Tofu Cookery by Louise Hagler.  I’ve had the book for years and checked Amazon.com to see if it was still available.  Not only is it still available, but it is a revised 25th Anniversary edition.  The book has received several really good reviews.  I admit I haven’t tried that many recipes from the book, but it would be worth the price just for this one!

I make a few slight modifications to the recipe.  I replace a portion of the broccoli with carrots, leave out the mushrooms (Jesse won’t even look at something with mushrooms), make sure that I cook the vegetables in enough water that I can use that for the liquid rather than soy milk, and I reduce the 1/3 cup oil called for in the sauce to 3 tablespoons.

After looking at the reviews at Amazon there are a couple more books I’d like to check out by this author.  One of them is at our local library so I’ve placed a hold.  I love being able to search the library catalog online!

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