Monday, November 25, 2013

Voting Time for the Virtual Vegan Potluck

I happily took part in the latest Virtual Vegan Potluck and was thrilled each time I went through all the participants' recipes.  I keep going back through them and pinning favorites.  If you're more of a visual person, many of the recipes are pinned on the official Pinterest board for the Virtual Vegan Potluck November 2013.

It is now time to vote for your favorites from the potluck--if you are a fan of my beet burger recipe, I would greatly appreciate your vote.  Go here to vote!  The voting is divided into categories, mine being part of both main dishes and featured ingredient (beets!).

A few (of many) favorites from each category:







Main Dishes:


Enjoy the recipes and I appreciate any support!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Bourbon Pecan Pie

I love pecan pie.  I love Bourbon.  I wanted a tasty holiday pie that just happens to be gluten and dairy-free.  Do you?

First, take your favorite pecan pie recipe.  Mine is The Pioneer Woman's Pie That'll Make You Cry.  A few quick substitutions and one wonderful addition later and you'll have something that will make anyone happy.

You'll need:
1 gluten-free pie crust--Pillsbury's Gluten Free Pie Dough is great and accessible
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup corn syrup
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup Earth Balance, melted
3 eggs, beaten
At LEAST a cup of pecans
1 shot of your favorite Bourbon

First, grab the bowl you're going to mix your filling up in.  Add your pecans--I like breaking mine up but you can leave whole as well.  Cover with the shot of Bourbon and mix around.  Leave for a while until the Bourbon kind of soaks in.

Follow the instructions on the tub of pie dough and stretch it out on your pie pan.  Add your Bourbon Pecans to your crust.  Mix up the rest of your ingredients and pour on top of the pecans.  Bake in an oven preheated to 350.  The baking time can really vary, it usually takes me about 50 minutes but it can only take a half hour for some.  The Pioneer Woman addresses this in her recipe.

Let set for several hours before enjoying.  If you prefer chocolate nut pie (again, with bourbon) check out my recipe for that.

"Fake" on the left, "Real" on the right.

Cat approved.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Creamy Mushroom Soup

Still thrilled at having been a part of the latest Virtual Vegan Potluck, tonight I tried my hand at one of the contributed recipes: Sprouts and Chocolate's Creamy Mushroom Soup.  The recipe uses potatoes and cauliflower to thicken the soup- it really ends up quite creamy once blended.

I used cremini instead of white button mushrooms and added a bit of cayenne to the soup.  In addition to the fried mushrooms topping, I sprinkled chives and drizzled Bordeaux (Port would be even better) on top.

I give it a big thumbs up!

Now to decide which recipe to try next...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Virtual Vegan Potluck- Beet Burgers

My contribution to this latest Virtual Vegan Potluck is my Beet Burger recipe.  They're simple to make and I love making a batch to keep in my freezer.  This burger has a great savory taste and a fabulous texture.

I'm sharing my standard recipe but after making these once or twice you'll see how easy it is to make a few or many, change the beans used, the spices, etc.  Have fun with them!


You'll need:
3 Beets
1 Can of Cannellini Beans
1/2 Cup Cooked Brown Rice
1/2 Bell Pepper
1/2 Onion (Vidalia)
3-4 Garlic Cloves
2 Chile en Adobo
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
1 Tablespoon Sorghum
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1/2 Teaspoon Tamari or Gluten Free Soy Sauce
Gluten Free Oats
Big Handful of Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste



Wash and peel your beets.  All red, mixed, whatever you have.  Cut into chunks.

Throw into a food processor and chop well (but not too much, we don't want beet juice).  Put the beets into a bowl and move on to the next ingredient.  Drain and rinse the beans, rice, etc.- all but the oats and parsley.  Mix everything in a bowl and slowly incorporate the oats until your mixture has a consistency easily formed into patties.  Stir in the parsley.  Depending on the beets used your mixture will be a variety of colors!

At this point I usually stick the mixture in the fridge for a bit to make the burger making even easier.  Preheat your oven to 425 and slightly oil a sheet pan.  Place the burgers on the pan and gently drizzle a bit of olive oil on top if desired.

Bake until set, flipping occasionally.  You want the burgers browned on top and bottom, and firm to the touch, like below.

You can eat a burger now but I actually like the texture even better after the burgers are frozen and reheated.  I freeze them flat on a sheet pan and then transfer to a bag.

When I want a burger, I just remove one from the freezer and place in the oven for a few minutes.  Sometimes even the toaster setting does the trick!

This burger lends itself to a lot of different topping.  Today I went classic with a gluten free bun, vegan mayo, mustard, ketchup, arugula, red onion, and cherry tomatoes.  I sprinkled a few sesame seeds inside since I miss a nice sesame seed bun.

The beet burger holds together really well, something that is sometimes amiss in a veggie burger.

Enjoy and stay updated via The Gluten Grapple's Facebook page, Pinterest board, and @grapplegabbler on both Twitter and Instagram.

Now for more recipes!!!

or start from the beginning here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Impatience

I was having a difficult time waiting until Thanksgiving for certain foods so a nice meal of dressing, mashed potatoes, and balsamic and brown sugar glazed carrots happened yesterday evening.  Since the holiday is soon I thought I'd pass along a few hints for easily making your meal gluten and dairy-free.

One of my favorite dressing recipes is for Dave Lieberman's Sourdough Bread Stuffing.  The only substitutions you need to make: use a gluten-free bread, Earth Balance butter, and vegetable broth.  It is important to use a hearty bread, Rudi's Multigrain works well- I dice and toast.

No matter the recipe, just make these simple changes in the butter, broth, and bread (BBB) and you're back to enjoying your dressing.  I love a cornbread dressing too!

For a little something different, bake the dressing in a muffin tin for some stuffin' muffins!  It gives everything a bit more crunch and makes handing out portions really easy.  It also makes transportation easy if you're taking your own side of stuffing to the family dinner.


For mashed potatoes: substitute in Earth Balance and unsweetened original almond milk.


Balsamic and Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

Peel carrots and slice into diagonal coins.  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add a touch of olive oil, and add the carrots.  Sautee until tender--I added a bit of water to mine to help steam them into tenderness ever more.  Turn down the heat and add two tablespoons or so of Earth Balance, enough to coat the carrots and have a bit of extra sauce.  Add a tablespoon each of Balsamic Vinegar and Brown Sugar, adding more sugar and butter if needed.  Salt and pepper to taste if desired.  The best is when your mashed potatoes and the glaze mix together.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Buffalo Tempeh Tacos with Vegan Ranch

Buffalo Tempeh Tacos are one of my favorite quick and easy meals.  I started using tempeh after becoming gluten-free and actually prefer it to the vegan chicken substitutes (containing gluten) I used previously.  The texture is amazing for this.  I finish the tacos off with a quick vegan ranch dressing and my favorite toppings.


Buy a package of tempeh, I use Lightlife.  Slice and chop into bite size pieces.  You can make as much or as little as you want but I use about 1/4 of a package for myself.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a spritz of oil.  Toss in the pieces of tempeh and cook until they begin getting crispy, turning as needed.  Turn down the heat and add your favorite buffalo sauce.  To make the sauce vegan, use Earth Balance in place of butter or margarine.

I usually just throw my sauce together as I go, adding a tablespoon of Earth Balance, Louisiana Hot Sauce, Garlic Powder, and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to the pan.  Toss well.

Move to a tray or platter with warmed corn tortillas, ranch (instructions below), and your favorite toppings.  I like arugula and tomatoes.  Green or red onions are great as well.  I prefer serving it this way so that my tacos don't get soggy while I'm eating.

Vegan Ranch:

Spoon your favorite vegan mayo into a bowl equivalent to the amount of ranch you want.  Thin out with red wine vinegar, whisking well with a whisk or fork.  Sprinkle in some dill, parsley, garlic powder, and salt to taste.  Stir until well combined.