Pear Blackberry Cake

Pear-Blackberry-Cake

Who would cut a cake like this? I ask. Someone in my kitchen did… This was what I woke up to this morning. Pears are in season now. Believe or not, pears have more nutritious value than apples and prices are comparable. Use them. Ripe timing of pears seem to be shorter than apples, but for this cake, the ripeness of pears don’t matter since they will be cooked in the oven. This batter seems rather dry before it bakes, but juice of fruits come out as they are baked and loosen up the batter. The result is a very moist cake, more like a pudding.

Ingredients (for 9×9 baking pan):
3 pears
1 lemon (juice and zest)
2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup raw almonds (grind them to meal)
1 1/2 cup gluten free flour mix
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
1/4 cup orange juice or any vegan milk
1/4 cup sunflower oil or earth balance
4 oz apple sauce

To Serve (optional):
1 Tbs blackberry jam per serving
1 Tbs lemon juice per serving
1 Tbsp water per serving
vegan ice cream or coconut whip cream

  1. In a small bowl, put 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds in. Add 1/4 cup orange juice or any vegan milk. Stir. Let it soak.
  2. Core pears. Dice them. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 Tbsp brown sugar.
  3. Oil the baking pan. Dust with flour.
  4. In a big bowl, mix oil, soaked flaxseeds, almond extract, and applesauce.
  5. Add the rest of ingredients in the  big bowl. Mix.
  6. Fold pears in the batter.
  7. Pour the batter in the baking pan. Flatten the surface with a wet hand. It’s chunky, I know.
  8. Scatter blackberries on top.
  9. Bake at 350 ºF for 40-50 minutes or until done. The top looks golden and if you press it, it’s springy.
  10. Let it cool at least 10 minutes before you cut.
  11. If you want to dress it up, in a small sauce pan, heat up 1 Tbsp blackberry jam, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp water until it melts. Add a scoop of ice cream or whip cream on a side, if you like. Pour the sauce all over the cake.

*I like this cake to be warm.

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Millet with Roasted Broccoli

Millet-Broccoli

My first trial to cook and eat millet as millet. I always used millet as an ingredient for my gluten free flour mix, but never as millet by itself. Millet makes gluten flour more grainy and crumbly, so that I was little suspicious to eat millet as millet. This recipe adapted from Thug Kitchen Cook Book that I received as a birthday gift, is a mind changer. Every sentence in this book has fxxk in it, which is tiresome to read, but many recipes are good. Who would have thought a peasant grain, millet, can be this tasty.

Ingredients: 
1 cup millet
2 cups water
1 head broccoli
1 tsp olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 cup or more Roasted Carrot Garlic Dressing (recipe is on my blog)

  1. Roast broccoli. Cut up florets small, about 3/4″. Peel the tough skins of the stem. Cut up the peeled stem 1/2″ cubes. Toss with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Spread out on a baking sheet. Roast at 375 ºF for 15-20 minutes until they become slightly charred.
  2. Cook millet. Put millet in a medium sauce pan, and put it on medium heat. Stir it around for 2 minutes until it becomes fragrant. Add 2 cups water. Heat it up until it boils. Reduce the heat to simmer. Cover with a lid. Let it simmer for 15minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it for 10 minutes.
  3. Assemble. Put roasted broccoli and cooked millet in a big bowl, pour roasted carrot garlic dressing and mix. Add more dressing, if you desire. Yum!

Roasted Carrot and Garlic Dressing

RoastedCarrot-Garlic-Dressing

This is an awesome paste/dressing for grains and potatoes. It takes time to roast vegetables, but it’s totally worthy it. I use an oven toaster instead of a real oven to roast, if I was only making this dressing. Of course if you are roasting something else, throw carrots and a garlic in it.

Ingredients:
3 medium carrots
1 head garlic
1 Tbsp and 1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup carrot juice or orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 tsp smoked paprika

  1. Roast carrots and a garlic head. Dice carrots in 1/2″ cubes, toss with 1 tsp olive oil, a pinch of salt, and cumin. Put them in a shallow pan. Cover it with aluminum foil. Wrap a whole head of garlic in aluminum foil. Roast them at 375 ºF for 30 minutes or until they become tender. Let them cool. I used an oven toaster to roast them. Hit dark toast 3 times.
  2. Make dressing. Squeeze garlic meat out with fingers. Put roasted vegetables and the rest of the ingredients in a blender until it becomes smooth. Hand blender works fine, too. Season with salt and black pepper.

 

Red Velvet Smoothie (a.k.a. Beet Smoothie)

BeetSmoothieI never liked beet in smoothies although I love beets. After a few trials of errors, I settled on this concoction. A velvety smooth, rich reddish purple drink for breakfast. The key was to use cooked beets.

Ingredients: 
1 medium red beet (I cooked whole beets with skins in a pressure cooker for 8 minutes)
2 cups packed kale leaves
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
3/4 cup apple cider
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Put everything in a vita mix, and blend until smooth.

Mulligatawny

Mulligatawny

Mulligatawny

With perfect amount of spices and sweetness of root vegetables, Mulligatawny is one of my winter-time favorites. Grains, beans, carrots, potatoes, kales, and lemon, all in one.

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
2 large potatoes
1 cup lentils
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
2 carrots
1 large yellow onion
3 stalks celery
2 cups slices kale leaves
1 bunch scallions for garnish
1/2 cup wild rice
1/2 head garlic
1″ fresh ginger
1 cup yogurt
2 Tbs peanut oil or olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 Tbsp mustard seeds or 1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 cup dried coconut
1 28 oz tomato can  or 4-5 fresh tomatoes
8 cups vegetable stock or mineral water
(optional: 1/2 head cauliflower if you have it. This will add a very nice flavor.)

  1. Chop onion, celery, peppers. Cut carrots, potatoes in bite size. Slice cauliflower if you are using. Crash or mince garlic cloves. Grate ginger.
  2. In a large soup pot, heat oil up, Sauteé onion, celery and ginger until tender about 5 minutes. Add all spices, salt and sugar in. Keep sauteéing until fragrance is coming out, but careful not to burn the spices.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, rice, lentils, peppers, tomatoes, dried coconuts and stock. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 40 minutes or until rice and lentils are done.
  4. Stir in kales, crashed garlic, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and yogurt. Heat 2 minutes.
  5. Ladle the soup in a bowl, garnish with chopped scallions.

*This soup gets better next day.

Almost Vegan Gluten-free Christmas Dinner

Michel's Salad

Michell’s Salad

Fettuccine Mrinara

Fettuccine Marinara

Escarole with White Beans, and Mushrooms over Polenta

Escarole with White Beans, and Mushrooms over Polenta

Apple Crumbs

Apple Crumbs

My sister-in-law, Michell is a professional chef. She has been on gluten-free and 80% vegetarian diet for a while since she was diagnosed as a gluten intolerance level 5, which means a piece of bread would not kill her but gives her stomachache. I’m glad that she found out about it now than later. And I’m a beneficiary of this outcome because now she cooks fabulous gluten free almost vegan feast for her family and friends. The pasta she used for me was gluten free but included eggs, and tasted very good, cooked at al dente.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

I accidentally took this recipe down. So here it is once again fabulous roasted butternut squash recipe. For a vegan Thanksgiving, this is a must dish.

Ingredients:
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds after peeled)
3 cups chopped kale (packed)
2-3 cloves garlic 
a handful of parsley 
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup raw walnuts or pecans
1 Tbsp nutritious yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2~3 Tbsp olive oil

  1. Peel butternut squash. Halve it. Seed it. Chop it in inch cubes. Mince garlic. Mince parsley.
  2. Preheat the oven at 375 ºF.
  3. Put butternut squash, garlic, and parsley in a deep large enough pan or baking sheet. Sprinkle olive oil over, and toss with your hands. Cover loosely with foil.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes until butternut squash is almost done. Test with a folk.
  5. In a small bowl, mix roughly chopped nuts, nutritious yeast, and salt and pepper. Chop kale.
  6. Uncover the butternut squash. Pour chopped kale and nuts mixture over. Mix well with a spatula.
  7. Roast at 350 ºF for another 10 minutes or so until kale is welted.