Whole-Grain Freezer Waffles

I recently started a full-time job. With an hour of commute time each day, I knew my meal prep time was going to be disappearing. So, the week before work began I spent time making some muffins, granola bars, pita breads, and waffles for the freezer. I intended to get a lot more frozen than that, but it was a start.

The waffles are delicious and work from freezer to toaster. And this week when I didn’t know what I was going to fix for supper, we enjoyed breakfast for dinner. These are gluten-free, whole-grain, and egg-free!

For the waffles, I used a recipe from my go-to cookbook, Nourishing Meals. First make a batch of dry mix (which keeps in the pantry for up to 4 months, so make as many batches you want!). Then make the waffles. I made a triple batch, which made 26 waffles in my rather small waffle maker.

Gluten-free Waffles

WHOLE-GRAIN FREEZER WAFFLES
(from Nourishing Meals by Alissa Segersten)
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DRY MIX
1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1 c. teff flour
1 c. millet flour
1 c. tapioca flour
1/2 c. quinoa flour
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (opt.)
1 tsp sea salt

Place all ingredients into a large bowl. Using a wire whisk, mix well. Place into an airtight container. Makes 5 cups or 5 batches of waffles.

WAFFLES
2 Tbsp waffles
2 Tbsp very hot water
2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 c. milk (I used almond milk)
1 c. Waffle mix

Place the ground flax seeds and hot water into a medium-sized mixing bowl; quickly whisk together until the flax forms a thick gel. Sometimes this doesn’t happen right away so keep whisking until the gel forms. Add the applesauce, coconut oil, maple syrup, and milk and whisk together well. Then add the waffle mix. Whisk together until the batter is smooth.

Heat waffle maker and cook according to waffle make directions.

If you plan to freeze them, cool completely and then layer between pieces of waxed paper and place in freezer bags.

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Red Lentil Balls

I love the versatility of meatballs and in my quest to cook meals that don’t rely on meat, I’ve had to use my imagination a bit. I recently picked up Vegetarian Everyday from the library and was pleased to discover a bean based “meatball” recipe, perfect for the gluten-free vegetarian. The couple that created this cookbook is from Sweden (they have a lovely blog I follow called Green Kitchen Stories) and they call these tasty legume-balls, polpette (which is a fancy word for meatballs, as far as my research can tell me). But anyway, the words flows off the tongue in such a beautiful way.

The photo does not do justice to the deliciousness of this meal, in fact it makes it look rather unappealing, but we loved these! I served them over a bed of zucchini and carrot noodles (long julienned veggie that I blanched in salted water) and we topped them with a little marinara sauce and a little arugula pesto.

Red Lentil Polpettes

RED LENTIL BALLS
(from Vegetarian Everyday by David Frenkiel & Luise Vindahl)
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1 c. red lentils
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/3 c. rolled oats (use gluten-free, if needed)
1 tsp paprika (I used smoked paprika)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
sea salt to taste

Rinse the lentils and place in a saucepan with 2 1/4 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well and cool slightly.

Mash the lentils with a fork. The consistency you want is mashed but still with some lentils left whole. Place in a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir with a spoon until everything is combined. Place int he fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Form balls and place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 17-22 minutes. If you want, turn balls halfway through to get a more even shape and color.

Prepare pasta or veggie noodles and whatever sauce you want.

Dairy-free Queso

I cannot in the least take credit for this recipe. When it comes to homemade, vegan cheese alternatives, I am still very much in the learning stage. But, as I explore the dairy-free world, I’m always happy to find a good recipe. And maybe before too long I’ll be adept enough to create my own dairy-free “cheese” recipes.

I made a batch of this cashew queso recipe, with two notable alterations: I did not add the miso because I didn’t have it on hand and I added a 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile powder for a smoky undertone. Additionally, I made sure to include the optional nutritional yeast. While the recipe is a little labor intensive, I felt like it was worth the effort. Plus the queso keeps and re-heats well. (Note: if you do use the miso, check to make sure it is gluten-free if you need that. As I understand it, not all miso is gluten-free.)

Cashew Queso Nachos

For a quick weeknight meal I made nachos (something we rarely eat, but certainly enjoy) by topping tortilla chips with a spiced pepper, onion, and bean mixture and some queso. I broiled it all for a couple of minutes and then added some guacamole (makes any Mexican dish tastier!) and green onions. It was delicious!

Collard Green Wrap

Today’s post is not really a recipe, but rather a concept. 🙂 Overall, being gluten-free isn’t altogether difficult, but there are times when I miss the ease of everyday breads, tortillas, and other baked goods. It takes more effort to make or more financial investment to purchase adequate alternatives.

My pantry typically includes corn tortillas for soft tacos or enchiladas, rice cakes for snacks, and Rudi’s Multigrain GF Bread for toast, garlic bread, and pb&j sandwiches.  Occasionally I splurge on gluten-free tortillas (other than the corn variety) so I can make hummus veggie wraps or bean and grain wraps.

Recently I tried using blanched collard greens for wraps and it worked out quite well. Once blanched the greens do not have a strong flavor, so you’re able to enjoy the filling. Not only does it save some money to use collard greens, but it also facilitates eating more leafy green veggies, which is excellent for all of us. I’ve seen this idea on a few healthy eating oriented blogs, but I followed the directions in the Nourishing Meals cookbook (are you getting the idea that I used this cookbook all of the time?!).

Collard Green Wraps

BLANCHED COLLARD GREEN WRAPS

To prepare the collard greens for wrapping: Wash the greens and cut the stem off the bottom of each leaf. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the collard greens by submerging them in the boiling water for about a minutes. Gently remove them with tongs and place them on a plate to cool.

To assemble your collard green wrap: Place a collard green on a cutting board. Spoon your desired filling near the stem end of the the green. Fold in the long ends of the collard green about 1 inch on each side and then tightly roll.

Baked Pasta Chee

This recipe hearkens back to my childhood. My mom used to make this and we all loved it. It’s a healthy, tasty, baked, non-dairy mac-n-cheese-type recipe. And it has become a staple dinner at our house. I make it every couple of weeks and we enjoy the leftovers for lunches.

The original recipe comes from an unusual cookbook called Ten Talents. To add extra healthful benefits I’ve altered the recipe to include veggies. Any chance I can get to add more veggies to a dish, I’ll take. I’ve listed the veggies I most often use, but feel free to substitute with your favorites, or what you have on hand.

One note, the sauce includes an uncommon ingredient, nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast flakes are often used to add a “cheesy” taste to non-dairy “cheese” recipes. It can be found at a health food store and there really isn’t any substitute for it. (Active dry yeast and brewer’s yeast are not anything like nutritional yeast.) I hope you might consider trying this dish despite the ingredient list, it’s worth the effort.

(Finally, I realize this is not the prettiest of pictures. But I promise it tastes delicious!)

Baked Pasta Chee

BAKED PASTA CHEE
(adapted from Ten Talents)
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1 lb pasta of choice (use brown rice pasta for gluten-free)
1 c. raw cashew pieces
1 c. water
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 c. nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (opt.)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 c. olive oil
4 mushrooms
1/2-1 bell pepper
1 big handful baby kale
1 c. diced tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In a blender add cashews, water, lemon juice, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, and spices. Blend until smooth while slowly adding the olive oil through the top. Then add the veggies and canned tomatoes and blend again.

Mix the drained pasta and sauce together and pour into greased baking dish. If desired, top with seasoned bread crumbs. Bake for 30-40 minutes to heat through.

Serve with a salad for a satisfying meal.

Savory Spiced Nuts

Nuts are a staple snack in our house. In the interest of health, I’ve been avoiding buying the pre-roasted, salted varieties. So, I buy raw nuts and toast and spice them myself. This is our favorite savory spiced nut recipe thus far. It’s also quite easy as it’s all made on the stovetop. Once completely cooled, store the nuts in a glass jar.

Savory Spiced Nuts

SAVORY SPICED NUTS
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1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne
1 c. raw almonds
1 c. raw walnuts
1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add all the spices and stir to make a paste. Add almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds and stir to coat evenly. Continue stirring the nuts, toasting until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Cool in the pan.

Baked Falafel

I love falafels because of my dad. He instilled a love of ethnic foods in all of us. My first falafel memory is an amazing falafel sandwich at a little mom and pop restaurant with my dad. Now when I have the chance to visit home again, my dad and I enjoy sharing conversation over a falafel lunch.

Traditional falafels are fried which makes them crunchy on the outside (and oh so delicious!). This baked version is much more tender, but the flavor is fantastic. My husband and I enjoyed these falafels piled on top of pita with veggies and homemade hummus.

Baked Falafel

BAKED FALAFEL
(from Parents Need to Eat Too)
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1-15oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp flour or rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, divided
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
Mixture of salad veggies (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, mushroom, bell pepper)
Pitas
Hummus, tzatziki, tahini

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Set racks in upper and lower thirds of oven. Grease or line 2 baking sheets.

In a food processor combine the chickpeas, onion, garlic, parsley or cilantro, spices, flour, baking powder, half of the lemon juice, 1 Tbsp of the olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until well combined but mixture is still relatively coarse, you don’t want a puree.

Using your hands or a small cookie scoop, shape the mixture into 18-24 balls (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). Arrange on the baking sheets and flatten each slightly. Brush the tops with 1 tablespoon of the remaining olive oil.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, then turn patties (rotating trays); bake for another 10-12 minutes. The patties are tender so be careful when turning.

Toss the salad veggies with the remaining lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the falafels with veggies, pita, and hummus (or tzatziki or tahini).

In My Kitchen

It’s been awhile, I know. But I have a few posts planned and thought you might enjoy a brief update on life in my kitchen.

The Year of the Olive experiment is going well. While I don’t love kalamata olives yet, I am enjoying them as an occasional accompaniment. For one dinner I stuffed bell peppers with a Greek-type filling of rice, chickpeas, onion, olives, parsley, lemon juice, etc. Quite tasty. Jeremy and I have also enjoyed sauteed kale with chopped olives and walnuts. I’m not ready to move on black olives yet, but perhaps this summer.

My gluten-free baking skills have taken a hit since my move last fall. Altitude. Texture is a huge factor in gf baking and altitude is forcing me to re-teach myself some of my skills. Everything I’ve made so far has been edible, but the texture is not quite right about 50% of the time. So, you won’t be seeing a lot of baking recipes from me for at least awhile.

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For the past month or so Jeremy and I have enjoyed experimenting with a plant-based diet. Doing without animal products has forced me to think outside the box with my meals (such as the Mediterranean plate pictured above). We’ve eaten very well. I don’t know how long we’ll continue eating this way, but it’s been a great experience. I plan to share a few of our favorite plant-based recipes with you here.

Stay tuned for some new recipes. Until then, I hope you’re finding inspiration in your kitchen.

Zucchini Noodles

A couple of weeks ago I came up with the amazing and revolutionary idea to make zucchini noodles. While I’m more than certain that many people before me have done this very thing, it still felt like my idea. 🙂 While this post doesn’t contain an actual recipe, I’m going to share with you how I made my zucchini noodles. Perhaps it will inspire you as well!

I took my Pampered Chef julienne peeler (a birthday gift last year that I’ve used many, many times!) and cut down the length of a washed and trimmed zucchini, creating zucchini “noodles.” Once I’d sliced all my zucchinis into noodles, I placed the lovely green pile into a fine mesh colander and salted them with about 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt (the salt draws out some of the water from the zucchini).

Then I left it to drain for about 30 minutes, squeezing out the excess moisture before sauteing in a little butter and olive oil for about 5 minutes. I seasoned them with a little more salt, pepper, and Italian spices before topping the noodles off with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, a little sausage, and marinara sauce. It was delicious! I might even like it better then the pasta. And, if you’re a spaghetti noodle twirler, zucchini noodles will twirl around your fork too!

If you too would like to make zucchini noodles and don’t yet have a julienne peeler, I highly recommend you get one. 🙂 It’s a small gadget, but well worth the space it will take up next to your vegetable peeler. I also like to use it to matchstick carrots for salads or stir-fries (they cook up much more quickly!).

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

We love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! We don’t eat them often because I’m anti-all the garbage additives. So, I thought I’d give this refined sugar-free recipe a try (unlike usual, I followed the original without any alterations). While they aren’t Reese’s, per se, they are sweet, peanutty and chocolatey, all good things! 🙂 With coconut oil in the ingredient list, these definitely have coconut undertones, if that’s not your thing, you could try butter and see how that works. If you want a thicker layer of chocolate (I think I might), just double the ingredients for the chocolate layer. I hope you enjoy!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CUP
(from lifemadewhole.com)
Print This Recipe

For peanut butter layer:
3/4 c. natural peanut butter
1/4 c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw honey

For chocolate layer:
2 Tbsp coconut oil
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tbsp raw honey

For the peanut butter layer: Line mini-muffin pan with papers. Melt the coconut oil, then mix together with the peanut butter and honey. Carefully pour into prepared pan. Place in the freezer while preparing the chocolate.

For the chocolate layer: Melt the coconut oil and butter together. Add the cocoa powder and the honey. Stir until smooth. Remove the pan from the freezer and evenly pour the chocolate into each cup. Freeze for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Store in the fridge or freezer. Makes about 24.