Completely Board Post #18: Crockpot Wild Rice Porridge

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

Not only am I allergic to gluten, I’m also allergic to oats (yes, even if they’re certified gluten free).  I try not to whine too much about the things I can’t have since there are so many things I can have.  But, I miss hot oatmeal.  I like the hearty texture and the way it just screams warm comfort on a cool morning.  I’ve used quinoa flakes and they’re decent (though a little strong) and I like warm buckwheat, but I’m always on the lookout for another warm cereal*.  I present to you this lovely Crockpot Wild Rice Porridge featured on the PBS website that I pinned a year ago. (It’s a non-vegan post, but they don’t show anything yucky…lists dairy milk as an ingredient…non-vegan site and I haven’t perused to know of the yucky factor.)

I haven’t had much wild rice, but what I’ve had in the past, I’ve always liked.  So I figured why not give this a shot.  Besides, when you add in dried cranberries and pecans, there’s not much that wouldn’t taste good to me.
Yes, all you do is throw all the ingredients in the crockpot, stir, and leave it for a few hours.  When you come back to it, it’s ready to top and eat.   The only substitute I made was almond milk for the dairy milk.  And, I had to cook it just a little longer (about 15-30 minutes extra).  The one thing the recipe neglected to say that I think is important is to remember to rinse the brown rice.

After I dished it out from the crockpot, I topped it with a few extra dried cranberries and pecans, a tiny drizzle of maple syrup, and a couple dashes of ground cinnamon.  Then I sat down and enjoyed it in all its nutty, warm, comfort foody goodness. YUM!

Crockpot Wild Rice Porridge

* Technically, wild rice is not a cereal, but it eats like one here, so I’ll leave the biology lesson for another day. 



Completely Board Post #14: Mini Sausage-Cheese Scones

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

I had a hard time deciding how to name this post because I set out to make one thing and ended up with something completely different.  Here’s the story…

I was inspired by this pin that was on Panda With Cookie‘s old blog.

Pin of Vegan Sausage Balls

It led me over to the I-40 kitchen for a recipe for Sausage Balls. I remember going to oh-so-many church events growing up that had the non-vegan version of these on the table.  Ten year old me thought she could live on these.  Thankfully, no one let me try.

So, I set out to re-create this treat from my childhood.  I didn’t get them.  But, I ended up with something that I think I liked even better.

First of all I had to overcome the bisquick problem.  There is a gluten-free bisquick, but there’s something in it I can’t eat (I think it’s a soy product, but I don’t remember).  So, I searched the web for a gluten free substitute.  I found this one.  Just a heads up that it actually makes a little more than 3 cups.  (For the potato starch/corn starch, I actually used a combo of those two)

Then there were the sausage and Worcestershire ingredients.  I don’t know of any vegan versions of these items that are both gluten and soy free.  So I set off to find alternatives.

For the sausage, I used the beefy variety of Beyond Meat Crumbles.  As I browned it, I mixed in 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp ground fennel, and a pinch of cayenne to give it a more sausage-y taste.

For the Worcestershire, I once again relied on my handy Google skills and found this site of substitutions which said to use “2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice,1/4 teaspoon sugar and a dash of hot sauce for every tablespoon Worcestershire the recipe calls for.”  I used my usual substitute for soy sauce — Coconut Aminos.

So, I had all my ingredients, and I began to mix up my sausage balls.  It was SOOO dry.  John at the I-40 kitchen warned they’d be a little crumbly but would come together soon. I mixed for a couple minutes and still just a dry crumbly mess. Where did I go “wrong”?  Well, it could be that I browned the crumbles first which could have made them a little drier.  It could have been that gluten free flours are just often a little drier than all purpose flour.

Whatever happened, I knew the only way to come out with anything was to add liquid.  Out came the trusty almond milk.  I ended up using 3/4 cup before I got anything that would stick together.

What I didn’t think of is Bisquick+milk=biscuits.  I proceeded to brush a little olive oil on top to help with browning (it didn’t help that much) and pop those bad boys in the oven.  I did not end up with the greasy little sausage balls of my childhood.  What I did end up with was something remarkable: tiny little round scones.  Yes, the were sausagey and cheesy and biscuity.  Scones, I tell you, savory scones.  Next time, I may change them into a flatter shape so they look like a scone instead of being a poser sausage ball, but I won’t change anything else.  They were delicious!
Sometimes accidental food is the best food.  Ok, not usually.  But this time, it was completely true.  Below is the final recipe so that you don’t have to go through the notes above if you want to try them.

Gluten-Free Vegan Sausage – Cheese Mini Scones

Makes 35

Gluten Free Vegan Sausage Mini Scones

In a big bowl, combine:

2 c Daiya cheddar shreds
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 – 11 oz package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles, browned with 1/2 tsp sage, 1/2 tsp ground fennel, and a pinch of cayenne (or cayenne to taste if you want more kick)
3 c gluten free bisquick substitute (despite the note on the recipe – it makes more than 3 cups)
1 t sage
1 t vegan Worcestershire (my sub = 1 tsp of this mixture — 2 teaspoons coconut aminos, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice,1/4 teaspoon sugar and a dash of hot sauce)
1 t onion powder
a few drops liquid smoke
black pepper to taste
3/4 cup unsweetened original almond milk

Line baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350F.  Mix all ingredients except the almond milk and 1 Tbsp olive oil until well combined.  Add almond milk and mix to make a nice dough. Roll into balls (I haven’t tested flattening them into little biscuits yet, but I think that would work too to make them look more like scones) .Brush tops with remaining olive oil.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  They won’t brown much, but there’s a tiny bit of browning on the bottom and the biscuit dough will be thoroughly cooked.

Completely Board Post #4: Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are good for Saturday morning brunch.  So when I saw this beautiful Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole, I was so there.  Seriously…pumpkin, coffee, and a sweet crumble crust all wrapped up with the protein-y goodness of quinoa.  How could it be a miss?


The author of original recipe over at Healthful Pursuit said she liked it even better the next day cold.  So, I set out Friday night to whip up this bad boy.  I’d have a little snack of it on Friday night and then look forward to it cold for part of Saturday morning’s breakfast.  Mmmm…so excited.

The directions were easily followed and it cooked pretty much as expected (I had to add 5 minutes cooking time to the first cook of the quinoa).  I got out my little bowl and dug right in.  And? Meh.

It wasn’t bad.  And I could see where other people might like it, so don’t let me completely discourage you.  But, I didn’t love it.  I couldn’t even put my finger on what I didn’t like.  I couldn’t tell if it was too much spice or too little, or something completely different.  That sounds strange, I know, but that’s what happened.

Not willing to give up on a casserole based on a pumpkin spice latte (sounds amazing, right?), I had another helping for breakfast on Saturday.  I ate it cold as suggested.  And? Still meh.

My two lovely Vegan MoFo testers (my mom and my sister) had basically the same reaction.  My mom even liked it less because she doesn’t generally like quinoa anyway.

On the upside, I did learn that you could cook quinoa in the oven in a casserole dish.  I see this having some yummy, savory applications (vegetable broth, quinoa and mushrooms, anyone?)

So there you have it.  This pin is one that I’ll just delete once I get the quinoa to liquid ratio required for baking quinoa.  Not a total miss I guess, but not one I’d bother with again.


You can find the recipe by clicking on the image of my original pin below

Pumpkin Spice Latte Quinoa Casserole

Completely Board Post #2: Banana Maple Walnut Chia Pudding

Veg-am's Completely Board - Vegan Month of Food 2014

As I mentioned in my last post, I did some menu planning testing earlier this year. One of the things I became fond of (read: addicted to) during that was chia pudding. Before that, I had always been a little afraid to try it. Little did I know it would become one of my favorite breakfasts. So, when I started looking through my Pinterest boards to decide what to try for MoFo, I jumped at this one. I pinned it from Don’t Get Mad, Get Vegan last year during MoFo and, like most of my other pins, I kinda forgot about it…until now.

If you’ve been afraid to try chia pudding before, fear no longer. It’s really super simple and it’s delicious. If you’re afraid of the texture, try taking MamaChandra’s advice to run it through the blender after setting…it really does give a creamy pudding texture. I actually don’t mind the texture, but the look of the black chia seeds in a white pudding is a little gross to me. I can usually find my way past it, but the blender took care of that problem too.

My favorite chia pudding up until now has been a chocolate one with strawberries, nuts, and coconut, but this banana maple walnut pudding may have knocked that one off its pedestal. Sweet, but not too sweet. Creamy with a little crunch from the walnuts (and the few cacao nibs I added). It’s like banana nut bread in a glass. Nom nom nom.

Banana Maple Walnut Chia Pudding

The only thing I think I would do differently next time is a little more chia or a little less milk because it was just a little thinner than I like.

In case you are wondering, yes, I do always put my chia pudding in a cocktail glass. What better occasion to break out the glasses than a healthful breakfast on a brand new day?


To get the original recipe from “Don’t Get Mad, Get Vegan”, just click on the image of my pin below.

Banana Maple Walnut Chia Pudding


Breakfast Bowls: Buckwheat Banana Almond Cereal

In case you don’t already know this, I love breakfast. I’m not always so set on it being traditional breakfast fare though. If I ate it for dinner yesterday, I’m ok with having it for breakfast this morning. Because of the nature of most traditional breakfast foods, that kind of attitude is especially helpful when you’re vegan and gluten & soy free.

Of course, I like traditional breakfast and brunch foods as much as the next person. Waffles, pancakes definitely happen on some weekends around here. But, during the week, I don’t have time for that. So when I want something more breakfast like but more nutritious than boxed cereal, I make my own breakfast bowl.

I think I first got the idea for using cold whole grains in place of cereal when I was reading Thrive by Brendan Brazier.

I use different combinations. Sometimes it’s warm, sometimes it’s cold. But the basic template is this: a grain (cold or warm) , a nut, a fruit & any other flavors you might want to add. Then, I top it all with unsweetened almond milk.

Because I typically eat mine cold (except for the very coldest mornings), I like to keep a grain or two (or three) in glass jars in the refrigerator. I cook enough for a few days and then they’re ready each morning before work.

I’ll try to post some of my other combinations, but this is a favorite:

Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl

Cold buckwheat, 1/2 banana, almond slices, coconut flakes, a sprinkle of cinnamon. Top with cold almond milk and enjoy!

Breakfast Stuffed Apples

I love breakfast.  One of my favorites in recent days has been a cooked grain or pseudo-grain.  I especially enjoy buckwheat*.  If you’ve only had buckwheat pancakes or something else from buckwheat flour, you haven’t really had buckwheat.  When you cook buckwheat from the toasted groats, they have a mild, slightly nutty taste instead of the more intense flavor of the flour. I like to put cooked buckwheat in a bowl with fruit, nuts and some almond milk and eat it as “cereal”.  I prefer cold, but warm buckwheat cereal is good too.

The problem is, I often don’t leave myself the time to sit down to eat a bowl of cereal and need to take my breakfast to work with me.  Smoothies are good for that.  Unlike most people, I’ll eat anything for breakfast that I’ll eat any other time of day so even leftovers from last night’s dinner are good for that .  But, I do get to missing my buckwheat cereal.   I decided to figure out a way to make it to go.

Breakfast Stuffed Apple

Breakfast Stuffed Apples

Makes 4 apple halves, 2-4 servings

  • 2 large Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup cooked buckwheat
  • 2 Tbps Coconut Flakes
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Walnuts
  • 1½-2 tsp Coconut Oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with foil.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, almond milk, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended.  It doesn’t have to be completely smooth, but you don’t want clumps of almond butter.  Set aside.

Wash the apples and remove stem.  Cut in half vertically.  Using a metal spoon, (and the help of a paring knife if necessary) remove the seeds and the hard core and discard.  Use a paring knife to cut off the calyx* (that little thing on the bottom of the apple where it was attached to the blossom) and discard.  Then using the metal spoon, dig out the flesh of the apple,  leaving a rim around the edges and not going too close to the outside wall.  Because of the shape of the apple, there will be thicker chunks where the stem/calyx were, but that works out fine.

Stuffed Apple Shell

Chop the removed apple flesh and add it, along with the buckwheat, into the almond butter mixture.  Stir until well combined and coated.  Fold in the coconut, cranberries, walnuts.

Using a spoon or your hands, put the buckwheat mixture in the cavity of the apples and lightly pack it even with the rim of the apples.  Then use the remaining buckwheat mixture to go back and round off the top of the stuffing.

Brush a thin layer of coconut oil over the stuffing and the cut edges of the apples.

Put apples on baking sheet (stuffing side up) and bake until apples are soft-crisp, about 20 minutes.  The thicker parts might still have a little crunch to them.  Serve warm.

If you want breakfast to go for the next morning, let the apples cool, wrap them in foil and put in the refrigerator.  I would expect they would warm up fine in the microwave (remove the foil!)  or oven, but I haven’t tried them warmed over. I ate it cold this morning. Since I like my apple pie cold too, it was reminiscent of a piece of pie.  For breakfast.  Yes, please.

A few things to note:

1. Even though I made the apples to go, these are not eat-while-I’m-driving to go. They’re a bit too unpredictable as to whether the stuffing will stay in place when you bite into it for that.  It stayed in place better cold than warm.  But, either way, it’s more of an eat-at-my-desk-when-I-get-to-work kind of to go.

2. If not all of the coconut oil soaked in while baking, there may be a couple little chunks of that on top.  I’m fine with it, but If that bothers you, by all means, warm it up.
3. These are only mildly sweet.  If you have a sweet tooth and want to kick up the sweet a couple notches, just add a little extra maple syrup in the almond butter mixture or drizzle it over the top of the apple right before eating.

* Buckwheat is not related to wheat at all. Despite how it sounds, it is gluten free.
**Yes, I had to google the word calyx.  I had no idea what that thing was called.



Breakfast always wins. Especially if it’s waffles.

Hi all!  I’m sorry I missed posting yesterday.  That was not the plan.  But when your dad unexpectedly ends up in the hospital, plans change.

But, today I am back and oh so excited about this post.

Entertaining Thought #5:

Breakfast always wins.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 6 am, 6pm, or 1 am, people love breakfast.  I’d serve breakfast food for almost any occasion at any time of day.  Nothing says “I’m glad you’re here” to a house guest like a leisurely breakfast in the morning.  And what’s more leisurely than waffles? I can’t think of anything unless it’s waffles while still in your pj’s.

It’s time to break out your waffle iron, some fresh fruit and the juice glasses because being gluten-free is no longer a hindrance to having amazingly good waffles.  I’ve tried the recipe for buckwheat waffles in Vegan brunch.  And they’re amazing using this gf flour mix.  But, I’ve really missed “regular” waffles for a long time. And I’ve found out (though I don’t understand it) not everybody likes buckwheat.  So here is my answer…

Classic Breakfast Waffles
Makes 4, 6″ Belgian-style waffles

First, I’ll be honest about 2 things…

1. The 4 waffle sections in the picture were not from one single waffle.  I was learning to get the iron filled right and had a couple empty edges.

2. I did not make these for company.  Although I could and would.  I made these for me.  Then I sat down to eat them while watching this week’s episode of Parenthood.  I’m glad I did because I may have been feeling really deprived when Jasmine broke out those gluten-y waffles for Jabar’s breakfast.

  • 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil + extra to oil the iron
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp turbinado sugar

In a small bowl, mix the milk, water & vinegar and set aside.

Using a fine mesh sieve, “sift” all the dry ingredients except for the sugar into a large mixing bowl.  Add the sugar to the flour mixture and combine.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk mixture and the oil.  Whisk until smooth.  Let batter rest for about 10 minutes.

While the batter is resting, preheat your waffle iron.

Oil the waffle iron with a light brushing (most sprays have soy) and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Although you don’t have to with all waffles, it was helpful to spread the batter around the iron to get full edges in the Belgian iron. Each iron is a bit different, so you might need to experiment with exactly how to get yours filled just right.

Quinoa Patty Breakfast Sandwich

I had some leftover quinoa from last week’s Chickpea-Quinoa Salad (from Appetite for Reduction). I could have made a bowl of quinoa porridge, but I was in the mood for something savory. So I came up with this quinoa patty breakfast sandwich.
I didn’t measure anything for the quinoa patties, but it’s cooked quinoa mixed with a little ground flax seed and water. Then I added sausage-y spices: ground fennel, sage, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Just enough corn meal (actually it was masa, but it was so little it wouldn’t matter) to hold it all together. Then a little masa on the outside to help it brown. Brush the frying pan/griddle with a little canola. Cook on both sides until golden brown. You might have to brush a little oil on the actual patties to keep the corn meal on the outside from being dry.
Lettuce, tomato, a mix of dijon/soy-free vegenaise with these patties on a chickpea flatbread. YUM!!

1 food 5 ways, Sweet Potatoes, Way #2: Sweet Potato Pancakes

I’m not trying to build suspense with the last navy bean recipe. Because, really, I’m not even sure it’s going to turn out the way it is in my head. But, I forgot to pick up an ingredient that I really, really want in it. I daresay I need it in there. So, on to sweet potato way 2 (and possibly a couple other sweet potato dishes before the last navy bean post).

Saturday morning breakfast is my favorite meal of the week. I like to take my time in the kitchen and at the table. It’s a chill time. Unless I’m rushing out to Saturday cycling class, which I usually am, and then I have to wait and chill later in the day. But today I couldn’t go, so I got to make a classic leisurely breakfast. I present to you gluten-free sweet potato pancakes!
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Sweet Potato Pancakes
Makes 9-12, depending on size you want
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup arrowroot
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup sweet potato puree, see note #1 below
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
Chopped Pecans, optional for topping
In a medium mixing bowl (preferably with a pour spout) mix together arrowroot, chickpea flour, brown rice flour, salt, baking soda, cream of tartar and spices with a whisk. Set aside.
In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the remainder of the ingredients, except optional pecans, until sweet potato is completely smooth (there shouldn’t be any clumps). Pour this mixture in with the dry and whisk until everything is well incorporated.
Let the batter sit for 2 or 3 minutes to settle.
Pour out the batter onto your preheated/oiled cooking surface and cook until edges start to brown. This batter didn’t bubble up for me like your typical pancake batter so it’s all about how brown they are. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown. It took mine about 2-1/2 to 3 minutes on the first side and then about 2 minutes on the second side on an electric griddle set around 375.
Top with chopped pecans if desired. Then drizzle with your favorite syrup. Actually you can drown them in Earth Balance and syrup if that’s how you like it. But I’m a minimal syrup girl.
1. Make your own sweet potato puree by steaming chunks of sweet potato until soft and then whizzing it all up in the food processor until completely smooth. Easy peasy. The canned kind would probably work just fine though.
2. I got 9 relatively large pancakes. But I made one of them a little smaller just to see and they were a little easier to flip smaller. So next time I’d probably go for 12.
3. These are my favorite gluten free pancakes so far 😀

1 food 5 ways, Navy Beans, Way #4: Breakfast Scramble

One of my favorite easy meals to eat pre-vegan was egg scrambles. I can only assume I’d love tofu scrambles too. But, since I can’t have that, what to do? I do consider navy beans to be the tofu of beans. So…it was a natural jump. This may seem pretty simple to some of you, but it actually took me until this year to realize I could make a scramble out of navy beans. If you haven’t tried it yet, do it! It’s totally yum!

You can put whatever you want in it, but I’m a one scramble kinda girl. In fact, I fancied it up a bit for you by actually using onion and garlic this time. It was good, I think I’ll add it to my usual. Of course, the likelihood that I’ll ever measure it again is pretty slim.

I call it a breakfast scramble, but I eat breakfast for lunch and dinner too. Eat it whenever you want. Call it whatever you want. It’s ok by me.

Here it is pictured with my latest failure of a biscuit. Biscuits seem to be my arch nemesis. But one day, maybe I’ll get it. Finally, the flavor was decent, but they were a crumbly mess.

But I digress… Don’t let the scramble’s homeliness fool you, it’s tasty!

Breakfast Scramble

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/2 tsp crushed garlic (approx equiv 1 clove fresh)
1-1/2 cups navy beans
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp black salt, plus extra for sprinkling at the end
1/2 cup large dice tomatoes
1 cup loosely packed spinach leaves, chopped
1/8 nutritional yeast
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add beans and water. (The water is useful for keeping the beans from sticking, for making the beans a little creamier and making a bit of a sauce with the nutritional yeast). Add in the 1/2 tsp black salt and mix throughout the beans. Cook for a minute or two until about half of the water has cooked out. Add tomatoes and spinach and stir to combine well. Cook for a minute or so until warm throughout. Stir in the nutritional yeast until well mixed. Sprinkle on any additional black salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste. Eat up!


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