Welcome to Kale Week: Menu +Raw Balsamic Onion Kale recipe

February 21st, 2011 yum Posted in Dehydrator Recipe, JM friendly, Kale, Nut Free, Raw Food, Sugar free, Vegan, snack 18 Comments »


Welcome to Kale Week! This week I’m celebrating the joys of an often unappreciated winter green, kale. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, and manganese; a very good source of copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium; and a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, and vitamin B3. (source: WH Foods) That being said, I haven’t always enjoyed kale or found it to be especially yummy. That changed however when I made my first batch of oven-baked kale chips, and I became deeply obsessed with kale when I finally made dehydrated kale, smothered in a delicious homemade tahini dressing before it was dried. You might say that I became a woman obsessed with the green stuff. I started considering making a weekly batch, and researching recipes. A friend of mine made an enticing recipe for salt and vinegar kale chips recently as an entry in Adopt-a-gluten-free blogger, and it made me think. So kale chips could be flavored like potato chips, but without the potato and without all that deep frying. Hmmm… And then this last week I went to Safeway and found myself down the snack aisle with a growling, hungry stomach. Very bad. I found myself walking out with a bag of sweet onion balsamic vinegar potato chips. Salt and Vinegar with a twist! I ate some and liked them, but thought that they could be better if they were raw kale chips and dehydrated instead of fried. I took heart from my brave friends who had made vinegar kale chips before me, and went my own way with it. Some hours later, I had my own balsamic-sweet onion kale chips in a lovely bowl on the table, which I pressed on the DH. “Kale?” he protested. “Trust me,” I insisted. And so he did. And even my greens-hating DH had to admit, this recipe was pretty darned awesome. I knew it was a success when the Baby Yum, recovering from flu and a persnickety tummy, crammed the leaves in her mouth and reached for more. I hope you enjoy it too.

Look for my review of a packaged gluten-free, vegan kale chip company this Wednesday, and a recipe for an un-cheese dehydrated kale chip recipe this Friday. I plan on adding a “Mr. Linky” to Friday’s post, so get ready to share your favorite Kale recipes there!

Because there really aren’t enough days in the week, I thought I’d include my menu for the week as well.

Monday: Vegan
Roasted squash slices with vegan nutritional yeast gravy
Kale in tomato sauce
Gluten-free biscuits

Tuesday: Indian
Mongolian cauliflower and Chana masala
with rice and quinoa

Wednesday: Italian
Pasta with green pesto and broccoli

Thursday: Mexican
Tacos with refried beans, lettuce, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole
Kale with olives and capers

Friday: American
Arugula Salad with Portobella Mushrooms
Broccoli slaw
Baked potato wedges


Baked good of the week:
chocolate cherry cake with frosting

This menu was shared with Org Junkie and Gluten-free Smiles. The recipe was shared with Diane with Real Food Weekly

Balsamic Sweet Onion Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
Ingredients
1/2 large bunch of kale, or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 medjool date, pitted
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)

Needed equipment: dehydrator, food processor or blender

Directions
Rinse your kale leaves and spin dry in a salad spinner if you have it. Otherwise, pat dry with a paper towel.

Combine vinegar, oil, date, and onion in small food processor bowl or sturdy blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.

Put your kale leaves in a medium or large bowl and drizzle the sauce on your leaves. Massage it into them and then spread them out on two or three dehydrator trays. Sprinkle with salt. Dehydrate them on 115F for around 4 hours or until they are crunchy and dry, like delicious dried leaves. Yum Yum!

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A 4th of July Picnic Menu: Gluten free Vegan Sorghum Brownie Recipe

July 5th, 2010 yum Posted in 4th of July, Baked Goods, Chocolate, Dairy Free, Egg Free, JM friendly, Nut Free, Party Food, Rice Free, Sorghum, Soy Free, Sugar free, Vegan, beets, tapioca starch free 8 Comments »


Gluten-free Flax seed, Beet puree, and Agave sweetened brownies, from left to right.

This 4th of July I had one goal. I hadn’t had a good brownie since I went dairy, soy and egg-free after Baby Yum was born, and I was determined to make a vegan brownie that would pass a glutenoid taste test and satisfy pesky chocolate cravings. It is easy enough to make a good brownie with butter and eggs and lots of melty, milky chocolate, but how about without those things? How could you compensate for their absence? As I researched, I found that the real sticking point was the absence of egg. Luckily, vegan bakers are extraordinarily creative, and have come up with all kinds of substitutes, including flax seed, applesauce, and even beet puree. Another sticking point was the chocolate of course. I wanted these brownies to be safe for me and my highly soy-sensitive friend (who avoids even soy lecithin), so I had to find safe chocolate for us. I found baking chocolate (melt in the microwave and add agave or other sweetener to taste), Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips, and cocoa powder (Penzey’s) to be my salvation. I knew a vegan brownie that would pass the glutenoid taste test would be a challenge. And when it comes to that, I’m not a huge brownie girl, either, so it would be tough to find one I liked myself. I like fudgey brownies, not cake-like or bread-like brownies. To find the perfect recipe, I decided to make three recipes, adapted from those above. I called the first recipe “F” for flax seed, the second “B” for beet puree, and the third “A” for agave. Note that except for the applesauce recipe, the recipes linked above are not gluten-free, but of course my versions were. Anyway. Then I lined up my testers. You all (may) know my friend JM, who has inspired many allergen-sensitive recipes here on the Book of Yum. She is free of gluten, potato, soy, avocado, and dairy. Her partner in crime, M, is an adventurous glutenoid who has patiently tried many gluten-free experiments over the years at gluten-free potlucks and the like. Then there was me, gluten, soy, corn, potato, etc. free. And finally, there was my glutenoid DH who loves chocolate and has also been the guinea pig for many recipe experiments over the years.

First: the flax seed recipe. I am a recent convert to this egg substitute, so I had high hopes for this recipe. However, I’m afraid I was disappointed. It had a heavy, vegan brownie feel and the DH condemned it as “Tasting gluten-free.” Darn it. Unexpectedly, our tester M chose it as his favorite, perhaps because he likes that type of texture in his brownie and felt it was closer to a traditional brownie. JM and I gave it a resolute thumbs down.

Second: the beet puree recipe. I had a sneaking fondness for this recipe because I liked the novel idea of adding beets to chocolate, AND it had coffee, which just makes me happy. JM said it had an “earthy” aftertaste and M said it was his least favorite. The DH shrugged and said “well, it’s chocolate” and ate it. I might make this recipe again, actually, perhaps with some modifications. The lack of sweet chips (its chocolate was provided by agave sweetened baker’s chocolate and cocoa powder) may have made this less popular than it would have been otherwise. -I liked its deep dark chocolate flavor and earthiness, personally, but it isn’t for milk-chocolate lovers.

Third: the agave sweetened brownie recipe. This was the only recipe that started out gluten-free, but I had to radically change the flours to accommodate our various intolerances. JM, I and the DH all chose this recipe as our favorite, making it a clear winner. It was the only recipe that wasn’t lowfat as it actually contained oil, which might have helped its cause. The texture was also nice, having an appealing fluffy lightness not often found in gluten-free, vegan recipes. It might not have screamed brownie, but that made me like it a little more, and it was sweet (without being too sweet) and nice and chocolate-rich thanks to the generous amount of chocolate chips it called for.

And so, our gluten-free vegan brownie taste off ended with success and an empty box of brownies. Even the brownies that we supposedly didn’t like vanished from our picnic basket. After all, they were all chocolate, and were all pretty tasty, judging aside. Here’s our favorite recipe to share with you, and a few more gluten-free recipes I found online that I would love to try when my diet includes things like nuts and eggs again. Have any favorite gluten-free brownie recipes? Share the link in the comments and I’ll add them to my list!

If you can have nuts and eggs, try Elana’s Almond Butter Brownies
No eggs, and prefer the raw foods approach? Try Elana’s Chocolate Espresso Power Bar Recipe
Eggs are Ok and you want dairy-free dark chocolate? Karina’s Rich Dark Chocolate Brownie Recipe may be the ticket!

Just for fun, here is a pictures of Baby Yum taken on her first 4th of July. We had a lovely family picnic with friends and were all set for her to see the fireworks- but literally minutes before the show began she decided to nurse and didn’t so much as peek at the show as she fell fast asleep mid-snack. Better luck next year. I can’t believe my baby is almost one!


Gluten Free Sorghum Vegan Brownie Recipes
Ingredients
Spectrum Palm Oil Shortening or mini cupcake liners

1/2 cup your favorite oil (I bet coconut oil would be really yummy, but I used canola)

3/4 cup plus 4 tablespoons sorghum flour

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Penzeys Dutch)

10 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons agave nectar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 tablespoons vanilla

1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso (I use decaf)

2 cups dairy-free and soy-free chocolate chips (Enjoy Life)

Directions
Special equipment: 2 Mini muffin tins or mini donut molds, although they are a bit delicate for the latter.

Preheat oven to 325. Either line mini muffin tins with mini cupcake liners or baste with shortening.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl, mix, and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.

Fill each mini muffin cup (or mini donut mold etc) with 1 tbsp. batter. Put in oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Place muffin tin on a cooling rack and let cool. Don’t put warm muffins on a plate or moisture may make the bottom soggy.

Gently remove mini muffins or mini donuts (the latter is more challenging) and serve. Yummy!

Notes
A light and delicate chocolate feast, winner of our vegan brownie taste-off!
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