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no gluten

This Banana Coconut Date and Cranberry Loaf is Gluten-Free and Delicious

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This post is part of Zoë Desborough’s September Recipe Roundup

This banana coconut date and cranberry loaf is packed with fibre! Better yet, it’s gluten-free. Too good to be true? Nope! Make it for yourself, and maybe only for yourself. Right. Now.

Recipe and more links below

  • 2 cups of oat flour (blend about 3 cups of regular oats/gluten free oats in a blender/magic bullet/food processor, until you get a flour texture)
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (YES, you can use olive oil for this recipe, or any other of the aforementioned oils)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar + 1 tbsp. for dusting
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup of whatever mix of dried fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, etc. you want
  • 3 tbsp. of oats for dusting

Now, once you have all your ingredients out in front of you, preheat your oven to 350F.

Once your oven is preheating (and you made sure that there was nothing inside the oven), line a bread loaf tin/pan with parchment paper.  I use parchment paper since you don’t need to grease the tins (easier cleaning).

In a big mixing bowl, mash your bananas (for an extra workout, mash them by hand… if you’ve already had your arm workout for the day, go ahead, use an electric beater). Add your sugar, vanilla and oil and beat until creamy (I swear it’s not a good idea to do this right after a hard core biceps/triceps workout).

In a smaller bowl, combine your oat flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, and mix to combine.

Add in your oat flour mix gradually, and keep stirring so you can avoid lumps and air pockets. I find it easier adding dry ingredient to the wet ones, than the other way around.

Once everything is combined, fold in your 2/3 cup of whatever (in my case, I mixed unsweetened shredded coconut, chopped dates and chopped cranberries)

Once everything is combined, pour it into the loaf tin. Sprinkle the extra oats and brown sugar over it.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean. As I said, it is quite dense so don’t be too worried.

Let me know what you think!

Cheap and Tasty Vegan Pho Soup

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This post is part of Zoë’s September Recipe Round-Up. Check out her PumpUp recipes here, follow her blog, and follow her on PumpUp @zoedesborough. 

For this recipe, you will need

  • Thumb of ginger, grated or minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, preferably minced
  • 3 green onions (spring onions), finely chopped
  • Mushrooms (the more the merrier!), roughly chopped (Mix it up! Cremini, Portobello, Enoki, King, Oyster, etc.)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 5 cups of low sodium gluten-free veggie/chicken broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • Vermicelli rice noodles, follow instructions on packaging
  • Bok Choy (I use spinach because my grocery store rarely carries Bok Choy) leafy parts, shredded

To garnish

  • Bean sprouts (known to carry E.coli and other gross things, wash them carefully, and since I’m super paranoid, I steam mine in the microwave for 2 minutes before serving them)
  • Coriander
  • Lime wedges
  • Sriracha
  • Gluten Free Soya Sauce

Chop/grate and prep all your ingredients first, it will make your life much easier. Add a glug of vegetable oil to a large pot on medium heat and add your ginger, garlic, onions, and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.

Chop/grate and prep all your ingredients first, it will make your life much easier. Add a glug of vegetable oil to a large pot on medium heat and add your ginger, garlic, onions, and mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes.

Once things have sautéed, water evaporated and mushrooms browned, add your broth and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add vermicelli noodles…depending on the brand, they take between 2 to 5 minutes to cook. Add your green stuff (Bok Choy or spinach) about 1 minute after you added your noodles

To serve

If you have pho bowls, great! If not, you’ll want a deep bowl and serve with the garnishes on the side so everyone can customise their own soup to their own taste!

This is a vegan (unless you use chicken broth) soup, you can totally add pre-cooked chicken, pork, beef, and tofu.

My mom likes adding carrots and other things in hers, but I stick to this recipe… It’s a great substitute to Chicken Noodle Soup.

Freezer-Friendly Vindaloo

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This post is part of Zoë Desborough’s September Recipe RoundUp. Follow her on PumpUp (@zoedesborough), check out her blog, and the rest of her recipes

I love making this recipe (and a few other Indian recipes) since it makes such a big batch, super flavorful, and easy and quick options for those days you just don’t have time to cook. It is one of the hottest dishes you can order in a traditional Indian restaurant, so beware! This recipe is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook. I highly recommend investing in his cookbooks! And if you don’t want to purchase them, go check out his website!

It’s definitely not a recipe you can whip up in 30 minutes, but it is an absolute crowd pleaser!

First step is to make your curry paste (SO MUCH BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT)

Ingredients for the paste

 *** DISCLAIMER: I AM A BIG BABY WHEN IT COMES TO SPICE, SO I MAKE MINE MILD… YOU ARE YOUR OWN JUDGE WHEN IT COMES TO THE HEAT YOU WANT IT TO PACK! ***

-        2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped

-        Thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

-        2-3 dashes of dried chili flakes (you can use Sriracha, hot sauce, or 4 dried chili peppers)

-        1 tbsp. turmeric

-        1/3 tsp. sea salt

-        3 tbsp. canola oil (peanut oil is an ok substitute)

-        2 tbsp. tomato paste

-        2 fresh chilies, roughly chopped (I omitted them…. You’ll understand why when we get to step 2)

-        Small bunch of cilantro, washed

-        1 tsp. coriander seeds

-        2 tsp. fennel seeds

-        1.tsp fenugreek seeds

-        4 whole cloves

-        1 tsp. black pepper corns

Ok, so this is actually the most complicated part of the recipe. You will need to pull out a food processor/blender and stick all the ingredients in EXCEPT the coriander, fennel and fenugreek seeds, cloves and black peppercorns… You’re going to want to toast these in a pan for a few minutes on medium heat until they start to brown and smell good…. Add them to the food processor once they have been toasted. Blend everything and set aside in a glass bowl.

Why glass bowl? Unless you want your plastic containers/utensils to be stained with turmeric (you should see the amount of yellow items I now own), you’re going to want to be quick about it! Yeah, you don’t want to reheat this in plastic containers because the color will leech into the plastic…hello orange or yellow tinted Tupperwares…

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Ok! So hard part is done! You now have a delicious and spicy paste. Now for the main part…

Ingredients for the main dish

-        2 medium onions, finely chopped/sliced (1 ½ is ok)

-        4 cloves of garlic, minced

-        Thumb size piece of ginger, minced

-        1-2 fresh chilies, minced (REMOVE THE SEEDS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE SOME OF THE HEAT OUT)

-        Fresh cilantro STALKS… yes stalks…. Keep the leaves for garnishes

-        4 ripe tomatoes, quartered

-        Choice of the following

  • chicken thighs, whole or chopped
  • pork shoulder, diced
  • lamb, leg part
  • beef, any cheap cut… stewing beef would be good
  • Tofu, dice it!

-        1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

-        1 tbsp. honey

-        Vindaloo paste

-        Glug of olive oil

-        Pat of butter… think of it as the size of a marble

DO ALL YOUR PREP BEFORE YOU MAKE ANYTHING BECAUSE THIS IS A STEP BY STEP PROCESS

In a large pot (you’ll want the biggest one you have) on medium heat, add the butter and oil, then the onions, garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks, chilies and sauté for 10 minutes until translucent and fragrant. Turn the heat down if it starts sticking at the bottom… You really just want this to be super fragrant and almost watery. If you’re wondering why oil and butter, it’s because the oil will prevent the butter from burning.

Once that has been sautéed for 10 minutes, add your meat/meat alternative and cook until there is no visible pink, then add your balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute. Add Vindaloo paste, honey and tomatoes and stir to combine. Before putting a lid on it, add 1 1/3 cup of water to the pot.

Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a simmer for 45 to an hour. Stir it from time to time so nothing sticks and burns to the bottom, and add a bit of water if it’s starting to look dry.

In the meantime, you’re going to want to clean and wash your dishes, set the table, and put a pot of rice on to boil. You’re going to want to serve this dish with something that can easily absorb the heat, so I definitely suggest basmati rice, quinoa if you want to change things up. Since we’re doing this gluten free, I won’t suggest that you serve this with the traditional Naan bread, unless you can find some gluten free Naan bread! I tend to avoid any baked goods because of my other allergies (eggs, nuts)… If you can’t find Naan, Greek style pita or just plain old pita bread is fine.

Oh. Your dish should be done by now! Serve your Vindaloo over rice/quinoa or next to your Naan/bread. I highly recommend having a tiny bowl of plain yogurt nearby, a little dollop will help reduce the spiciness. Garnish with the reserved cilantro leaves!

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About Zoë: 

I’m 23, Canadian and bilingual (those who want the recipes in French can always comment on my profile for me to translate the recipes). I started my fitness journey in January 2012 when I challenged myself to get back into shape by setting myself a goal, accomplishing a triathlon that August…which I completed! Since then, I have been determined to become a better me. I have completed a duathlon and four 5km races since then, and dropped around 30lbs. I’ve always had a great passion for food and fitness, and my dream is to one day have my own real cookbook. Living with life threatening allergies isn’t always easy, especially when you’re trying to get healthy and all you see in books and magazines are things that can potentially kill you.

These Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Muffins Will Give You Life

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This post is part of Zoë Desborough’s September Recipe Roundup. Follow Zoë’s blog, her PumpUp account (@zoedesborough), and check out the rest of her recipes here

So around this time last year, I was looking for some form of gluten free fall dessert I could make for myself that wasn’t so horrible.

Having a gluten intolerance by itself, it’s manageable honestly. It’s not that hard to avoid nowadays. But add in life-threatening egg and nut allergies. It’s like a pyramid, either you remove two and you’re still stuck with one, or you try to make up for one, and you have two you can’t handle. It’s a pain in the ass, especially when it comes to baking. You can easily remove gluten from your baking recipes, but you’re going to have to double up on binding agents (enter eggs), or use a different type of flour (enter almond flour). You see what I mean? There are plenty of substitutes for each of these allergens, but all of them combined in a recipe usually calls for disaster… I just have a memory of trying to make chocolate brownies once with rice flour and using a potato flour egg substitute… it looked like a pan of soil. Seriously.

Ok, so that was a depressing intro, but don’t fear! All that sadness had to be put out there so I could cheer you up! I have for you a gluten free, nut free and egg free donut/muffin recipe! Now, the original recipe intended for you to make donut holes, but depending on the type of flour you use, your batter may or may not have enough consistency to be shaped into a ball. So we’re going to go with muffins!

Homemade Pumpkin Spice mix (you probably have all these ingredients on hand so don’t go out and buy a pre-made mix)

-        3 tbsp. ground cinnamon

-        2 tsp. ground ginger

-        2 tsp. nutmeg

-        1 ½ tsp. ground allspice (also called Jamaican spices)

-        1 ½ tsp. ground cloves

Mix all together and store in container!

Pumpkin Spice Muffin/donut holes

For the muffin/donut holes

-        1 ¾ cups of rice flour (any other gluten free flour is fine EXCEPT FOR QUINOA)

-        2 tsp baking powder

-        ½ tsp. salt

-        2 tsp. pumpkin spice

-        ½ tsp. xanthan gum… most GF flour mixes have it already as an ingredient, so omit it… my grandfather is coeliac and my grandmother NEVER uses xanthan gum in her baking so its quite optional according to me.. but may explain why I couldn’t roll my dough in balls… to be determined

-        1/3 cup vegetable oil (walnut oil is a good substitute)

-        2 heaping tbsp. (1/4 cup) plain yogurt (vanilla is ok but NOTHING FRUITY)

-        1 tsp. vanilla extract

-        ¾ cup pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)

-        ½ cup milk

Preheat your oven at 350 and line a mini-muffin tin (mine holds 24) with those paper cups, or grease it. In a large mixing bowl, combine all your wet ingredients and combine. In a smaller bowl, combine all your dry ingredients and combine.

Slowly combine the dry ingredients to the wet ones, and stir to make sure there are no air pockets or dry bits. Spoon your batter into the muffin molds. If your batter holds, you can roll them into balls and plop them in the paper cups.

Now they go in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool on a rack… Take time to inhale the amazingness they produce… My apartment smelled like a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte for a few hours after I made these babies the other day.

If you made balls, you can dip them in melted butter then roll them in a mix of cinnamon and white sugar and let them sit. I am debating on making these for a Halloween party, but dipping them in chocolate to make like Pumpkin Cake pops kind of things. Yes?

Those who are used to baking gluten free, you’ll get used to the texture fast enough. If it’s your first time subbing eggs, well you’ll notice that these will be a little denser than what you are used to.

Secret. The recipe actually called for 1 egg. But I cheated ;)

I wanted to take the time to thank the PumpUp management for this opportunity, and also take the time to thank all of you lovely people, my PumpUp family, for encouraging me and pushing me to get up and get out on the days I really don’t want to do it!

Oh and if you happen to try any of my recipes, tag them with #healthyhungrystudent I want your feedback!

Follow Zoë’s blog and check her out on PumpUp @zoedesborough!!!