Herbaceous Babe is going to be a little less regular in the days to come as the author gets launched in her professional career. Keep checking back, because there's no telling when a new post will appear!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Energy Bites

Perhaps "bite" isn't quite accurate, since each 1-1/2" morsel takes 3-4 bites... but "balls" isn't a very appetizing word.

The hardest part of making this delicious snack is deciding which fruit and nut combination to use (alright, the rolling segment is pretty messy, but that's half the fun)! 1-1/2c dried fruit and 1c nuts makes 32. We used figs, cranberries, and almonds roughly chopped in a food processor, hand-rolled, then coated Shake-n-Bake style in almond meal to minimize stickiness. So simple, and perfect for taking the edge off of afternoon munchies :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Lentil "Meatballs"

Since becoming a vegan, I've lost my desire for animal products almost entirely. So when I start craving meatballs with potatoes and gravy, I get really confused.... Blame it on the fact that the holiday season is upon us, bringing with it the nostalgic awareness of how much I can't eat. But there is hope, for countless others who have gone before have emerged victorious with gluten-free, soy-free alternatives to the food we once loved!

Lentil "meatballs" over mashed sweet potatoes with a dollop of sweet onion gravy.

The lentil mixture I made up the day before. Make sure the lentils are quite soft and mash more than half of them to help the balls hold together. I didn't end up using any flour (gf or otherwise). The potatoes took about 10 minutes, the meatballs about 5 (cook time, after prep).

Second day, I cooked them closer to med-low for longer, as I waited for the rice, creating a crispier, more meat-like consistency, and they held their heat better to boot.

Honestly, the sweet potato and lentils were a bit of an odd couple (so why do I keep doing it??), and I would have preferred a smooth mushroom gravy instead of the onion. The braised broccoli and rice, however, complemented the "meatballs" incredibly well.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cozy Mushroom Bowl

Sometimes it's fun to experiment with raw recipes. But not when it's cold outside. Then I want something that hugs me from within. Like this Cozy Mushroom Bowl from Oh She Glows:

The original recipe uses millet, but quinoa is my eternal favourite. Flavour, consistency, nutrients, warmth - this dish has it all. When all is said and done, what more is there to do but make it, love it, and repeat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Eggless! Mushroom Kale Quiche

People keep asking, "How is that even possible?" The French word quiche comes from German kuchen, meaning cake. No eggs required.

Allow me to over-simplify this recipe:

Combine cooked chickpeas, cashews, water, tahini, lemon juice, thyme, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch), and chives in a food processor. Sauté  mushrooms in olive oil and liquid aminos until brown, add garlic and kale, then stir until wilted and bright green. Add vegetables to food processor and pulse. Place batter in muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. I added a bit of salt, but I didn't use nutritional yeast.

Mine are considerably greener than the original recipe. I probably used twice the amount of kale. It was dark. It was a bit crumbly. It was good. Still, I wish the chickpeas had been a bit more prominent. Next time, I'll either save the extra kale or serve it on the side.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Garbanzo Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Surprise bonus post! These cookies are a real hit with celiacs and non-celiacs alike. Serve them at a party and enjoy your friends' reactions when they find out the "secret ingredient."

You know how some alternative recipes brag that they taste just like the real thing? Well, these ones really do. You can't taste the chickpeas any more than the baking powder through all the peanut butter, chocolate, agave, and vanilla.

Texanerin says this recipe does not taste good without the chocolate chips or cold. She's absolutely right. They're not bad after they've cooled, but they keep that fresh-from-the-oven gooey-ness even at room-temperature, which just feels weird... But hey, even the fourteen-year-old liked them, so I'd say this recipe is for keeps.

*If you're making this recipe from dry chickpeas instead of canned, 1/2 cup of dried beans will make about 1-1/2 cups cooked. It takes more time, but produces less gas.

*Making your own peanut butter is easy: raw peanuts, a little oil, and a little salt in the food processor until smooth.

*For a more uniform chocolate experience, I grated a semisweet chocolate Baker's square (If you don't have one, chop your chips or use cocoa powder and a little extra sweetener).

Now, I keep getting the question: "Are you sure chocolate chips are gluten-free?" Many chocolate chips are made with GF ingredients but not necessarily on GF equipment, so shop depending on your level of sensitivity. If you're wary of cross-contamination, Enjoy Life  and Sunspire sell chocolate chips that are both gluten-free and vegan.

My blueberry scones were much less successful.

We could blame it on the fact that we made our own rice flour in a coffee grinder, or we could place the fault squarely on the shoulders of the coconut, but these babies tasted like chalk-dust. (I speak from experience on this one.) Being determined to eat my failures as well as my successes, this was my breakfast for several days in a row (accompanied by a tall glass of homemade nut milk).

Then came the road trip. Halfway to Texas, I was groping blindly through the food box for some delicious, salty trail mix when my fingers fumbled upon some sort of dense powder. As I mentally reviewed the packing list, my curiosity grew. The bag was opened, and an unmistakable odour assaulted my olfactories: coconut. My last scone had bitten the dust, and I felt no guilt in ditching its remains at the next trash receptacle.