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. 



1 food 5 ways, Navy Beans, Way #5: Cranberry Nut Muffins

After a really bad failure on a pasta dish, I decided to throw caution to the wind, break out those fresh cranberries I picked up at Trader Joe’s last week and try baking with beans again. I’ve never been so happy to fail in all my life. If I hadn’t failed at that pasta, I would have never even attempted these muffins. I didn’t feel like I had a clue as to what I was doing, but somehow it worked! so much crantasticness in one place. I don’t think anyone will suspect you hid in some extra fiber and protein by way of my little friend the navy bean.

Without further ado, I present to you the beaniful Cranberry Nut Muffin. Now stop staring and get in the kitchen!

Cranberry Nut Muffins

Makes 17


1-1/2 cups brown rice flour

1/4 cup arrowroot

1-1/2 tsp cream of tartar

3/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup turbinado sugar

1-1/2 cups navy beans

1 cup orange juice

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1-1/4 cup chopped fresh cranberries

1/2 cup walnuts


Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin tin w/paper liners.

In a large mixing bowl, mix brown rice flour, arrowroot, cream of tartar and baking soda. Set aside.

In the blender or food processor, blend sugar, beans, orange juice, canola oil, salt and cinnamon until smooth (it’s ok to have some sugar granules, but no obvious beans).

Pour the bean/sugar mixture into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon, just until well combined.

Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

Put 1/4 cup batter into each muffin paper (nearly full).

Bake for 35 minutes, or until muffins are lightly browned and toothpick comes out clean.

Note: It’s probably ok to just lightly oil the muffin tins, but I haven’t tested that yet. I wanted to use my cute little fall muffin papers.

1 food 5 ways, Kale, Way #4: Kale Salad with Lemon-Pepper Dressing

Besides the caesar salad I posted earlier this month, this is probably my favorite salad. The remarkable thing about that is that it’s probably the easiest salad to make! And best of all, it’s autumn-y and sunny all at the same time so I can eat it year round without a seasonal disconnect.
The first time I had a salad like this was a couple years ago at a Whole Foods Market salad bar. I started thinking that even though it was ultra convenient (which is nice sometimes) $7.99 a pound was quite a lot for something I could make for a lot less at home. So I made my own.
That was before pine nuts were $31.99 in bulk. (hint: buy the bags at Trader Joe’s if you can $7.99 for 1/2 lb bag).

Kale Salad with Lemon-Pepper Dressing

8 cups loosely packed curly kale, stems removed and leaves torn into bite size pieces (about 5.5 ozs)
1-1/2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
6 Tbsp Pine Nuts (raw, unsalted)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
In a large bowl, toss all the salad ingredients together.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and oil with a fork. Grind in the pepper and mix again with the fork.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss until everything is well coated.
General notes:
1. This can be served immediately, but personally I like to let it sit together for a little while first. The kale gets softer and and dried cranberries soak in the lemon juice. I have kept it in the fridge for 3 days with no problem.
2. Please note the measurements here are just a general guideline. This is really very forgiving. Change up the quantities to your liking.
3. The dressing is on the oily side, so if you don’t like that cut down the oil. I’m not a usually a huge fan of that, but somehow against the crispy kale it works for me.
4. If you’re not a fan of pine nuts or they’re too expensive or you just happen to be out, then slivered almonds should work just fine.
5. I’ve made this with orange juice instead of lemon. I don’t prefer it, but if you have a lemon hater among you, it works just fine. Not quite as bright a taste, but still good.
6. I really like to taste the pepper against the lemony kale and the sweet cranberries. If you like pepper at all, go for it.
7. The nuts, cranberries and tomatoes tend to slip to the bottom of the bowl. So, if you’re serving it at your holiday functions, tell people to dig deep to get all the goodies. Or, don’t tell them and save those parts for yourself 😉


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