Monday, January 19, 2015

Stove-Top Apple-Beans (Vegan, Gluten-free)

Stove-Top Apple-Beans over Spud Bakes

  1. 1 1/2 C. cooked Beans (white, pinto, your choice)
  2. 2            Apples, finely chopped, or fresh unsweetened Apple Sauce
  3. 2 C.       Crushed or Pureed Tomatoes
  4. 4 tsp.     Dijon Mustard
  5. 2 T.       Blackstrap Molasses
  6. 2 T.       Apple Cider Vinegar
  7. 1/2 tsp.  Smoked Paprika or Chipotle (hotter smoky)
  8. 1/2 C.    Water
  9. 1 Sprig  Rosemary
  10. 1 tsp.     Dried Thyme or Dillweed
  11. A few drops of Liquid Smoke
  12. 1/2 tsp.  Celtic Sea Salt (or Smoked Sea Salt)
  13. Black Pepper to taste
  1. In a large sauce pan, combine all the ingredients above (except for the salt and pepper)
  2. Cook over medium heat until the ingredients simmer, then turn down to LOW and put on cover.  Cook for up to 1 1/2 hours until beans are tender.
  3. Add the salt and pepper and serve over potatoes (as above) or quinoa, rice, etc. 

This recipe is based on the lovely Apple Baked Beans Recipe
 in my favourite Bean Cook Book (below):
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Sunday, January 18, 2015

Hot Oatmeal Porridge with Nut Jam Toppings

Creamy Hot Oatmeal with Dreamy Marzipan Topping
I really can't identify with people who turn up their noses at hot oatmeal porridge.  But maybe it's because they have only ever eaten it with the same old milk and brown sugar topping?  Maybe it they tried topping the breakfast with wonderful nut jams (sounds like they might be a bother to make, but they are really easy) they would be converted to l.o.v.i.n.g oatmeal forever!

If you have even the tiniest bit of Scots in your background (or even German, I find out from my hubby), you may have been introduced to oatmeal as a youngster.  Maybe the icky kind: either thin, grey gruel (ugh) or lumpy, unpalatable "porjch" (gag).  My mom cooked the thick lumpy variety and I ate the gruel type when I attended a convent boarding school for a year.  But my friend's mom cooked it 'just right' as Baby Bear's.  And my mother-in-law's was right up there with the stuff you get served at 5-Star hotel brunches-- I think she even made it in a double-boiler.

I've learned to cook my oats so that they turn out creamy (my preference) or add some more to the pot for my husband who explains that he likes his "firmer".  It's mainly in giving yourself some time for the boiling, and stirring, and then turning it off, removing to a cold burner, and putting on the lid for a few minutes of steaming.  

Oats have a pile of health benefits that you have no doubt heard about: 

(1) They "stick to your ribs" (fill you up) without a lot of calories (about 130 in an average big bowl) and generally can get you through to lunch without a grumbling tummy.

(2) Oats have lots of protein, little fat and loads of fibre.  If you eat steel cut oats you get more of the fibre than if you eat the more process flakes, but even with the flakes there is fibre!

(3) Steel cut oats break down very slowly into simple sugars, so you aren't apt to go into sugar-induced shock like you might do with processed cereals (including, of course, those sugar-laced "instant" oats in little paper envelopes).

(4) Even some gluten-sensitive people can eat oatmeal inspite of there being avenin (the oat protein) in the porridge.  However, some folks are highly intolerant of avenin, made worse if the oats have been grown in among a wheat crop (common) or if they are coeliac.  There is such a thing as (high-cost) gluten-free oats, but if you have problems with wheat intolerance or are coeliac, I would suggest you just skip the oats.

And other amazing things have shown up in studies that suggest that oatmeal is the best way to start the day (for those who are not allergic or gluten/avenin-intolerant of course).  

Sesame Slick (like Halvah!) on this porridge
 I'm a huge fan of "gourmet" porridge toppings, as you will know from hanging around this site.  The two that I am featuring today-- NUT JAMS-- can be found HERE : Marzipan Spread & Sesame Slick (tastes like Halvah).  

Other gourmet oatmeal recipes:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Lentil Bowl #4: Savory Middle East Lentil Stew

Savoury Middle East Lentil Stew

This is a quick-to-put-together comfort food for cool winter days or nights, as long as you have the Quinoa (or Rice) and Red Lentils pre-cooked.  A green salad and a piece of fresh flat bread will round it out nicely.  I've made it a little more "world" foodie than actual Middle Eastern, but you can always sub Brown Rice for the Quinoa and Cayenne and Paprika for the Chipotle (I just love the smoky hot quality of Chipotle if you are wondering why it turns up in so many recipes).  I also use Coconut Oil instead of Olive Oil, but please use what you have available, or what you prefer.  If you have other veggies that you would like to saute up with the onions (bell peppers, egg plant, minced garlic), go ahead!  Enjoy!


  • 1 T. Coconut Oil 
  • 2 Onions, chopped fine 
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. ground Cumin (I grind the seeds up in a Coffee Bean grinder-- you could just buy the powder)
  • 1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Chipotle powder (or a combination of cayenne and paprika)
  • 398 ml / 14 oz. can Organic Roma Tomato Sauce (I use Costco's Kirkland brand)
  • 3 C. cooked Red Lentils
  • 2 C. cooked Quinoa (or brown rice)
  • 1/4 - 1/2 C. sliced Olives
  • Celtic Sea Salt (to taste)
  • 1 T. fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice (or lemon wedges for everyone)


  • Heat Coconut Oil on medium and add in onions, saute-ing until translucent. About 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Add in Spices and stir, toasting quickly.
  • Add in Tomato Sauce, stirring until spices are dispersed
  • Add in other ingredients and heat through, stirring to prevent burning.  
  • Serve with individual Lemon or Lime wedges, and additional salt, black pepper, if people desire.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

La Mousse Végétalien Habitude ('The Usual Vegan Mousse') (gluten-free)

I went into the pantry tonight and found a very over-ripe avocado.

 What came to mind? Guacamole? Nope. Chocolate Mousse, of course.  Nothing makes a mousse like avocado.  Especially when you are vegan (all those eggs, you know) or lazy (all those eggs to be beaten up).

  And since I'm trying to cut down on refined sugars, I used Stevia (just a packet of "SweetLeaf") and a few maple chips (little pieces of maple sugar) and a few cacao nibs (what are they? little pieces of hardened cacao I guess-- certainly not chocolate chips!)  So here is the easy recipe for the 2 puddings my husband and I enjoyed (and he gets to 'lick out the blender' as well-- without slicing his tongue on the blade I hope).

(Serves 2, or maybe 1 person who stays up really late and discovers the avo that needs dealing with)

1 large-ish over-ripe Avocado
1 1/2 C. Coconut Dream (or other non-dairy milk)
1 T.   Organic Cocoa Powder or Raw Cacao Powder
1 tsp. Organic Vanilla Extract
1-2 packets "Sweet Leaf" Stevia powder or maybe a dash of Maple Syrup
Crumbly bits on top like Cacao Nibs, Maple Bits, and maybe Goji Berries

Combine the first five ingredients in the blender until silky smooth.  Pour into nice dessert dishes and garnish with the crumbly bits.  Just right-- not too sweet, not too much fat or chocolate to feel virtuous!  Enjoy!

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