Veganly Delicious

Julie-Juliaing one cookbook at a time.

First Impressions of “Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats” + Menu #1

on October 8, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving To Canadians! 🙂

Well it’s tomorrow, but we’re going to celebrate this a day early. My thanksgiving involved having some Field Roast Celebration with some flat bread and Daiya Harvarti (yum), and my orange sauce (nothing special, just mix mayo, ketchup and mustard together. It’s so tangy and yummy). And the rest of my soup.

I made some more sugar cookies from the book, I had a craving. This is where I have to give a lot of thanks to my cookie scoop. It’s several shades of amazing. I made some pretzel apple cookies as well, for the holiday, and I actually got the 2.5 dozen it should make. (shocked, I know, I never ever get that). 🙂

Again, I am not ignoring the blog, I really am enjoying blogging about my food exploits. Again: 12 hour days, and I do have other stuff to do. 😦
This week that’s not GGFVE related, I made some cranberry apple butter. It… it rocked my world, y’all. I love apple butter. And it’s the beginning of cranberry season so I figured, hey? Why not buy some. I was fully intending to make cranberry applesaucebut something told me to make butter

This was spiced with caradmon, cloves, a little nutmeg, a little mace, a vanilla bean and other stuff. I did add sugar. (Next time, I might reduce it a bit, I don’t think 1.5 cups were needed), and some apple cider. I also used my honeycrisp apples I got at the farmers market. It took about 12.5 hours from start to finish (I used my crockpot. Not Chuck, just a crockpot), to really get it all reduced. Making this teaches patience. I thought it would reduce somewhat quickly, but it didn’t get buttery and thick until like the 12 hour. (and truthfully, I could have made it go another hour, but I didn’t want it to reduce too much).

For 14 dollars. (10.00 for the honeycrisp, 3 for the cranberries, and 1.00 for the apple cider, everything else i had), I got 2 HUGE jar fulls of Cranberry Apple butter, one small pint jar for my friend, and 1/2 a jar for breakfast. I am kicking myself for not canning these so I can have it later, but it ain’t going to be the last time I’m making this. And to be honest, this stuff is really only good for the winter.  (the small tiny jar I buy at the health food store, (or at Superstore) is 6.99. and it is a TINY jar. So for double for what I spent, I got 4 extra jars of the stuff. Chalk one up for homemade).

Book Finds:

Allyson Kramer’s Great Gluten Free Vegan Eats Gone Global is now available for pre-ordering (which I did..), as well as Chloe Coscarelli’s Chloe’s Vegan Desserts.. Now, I don’t really know why I preordered that one. I haven’t even cooked from Chloe’s Kitchen yet. But I have this thing about free shipping. I’d rather spend the extra money to get the free shipping, than the spent like 6 dollars on the taxes + shipping. It’s some weird logic I’ve got. My mom’s tried to hammer it out of me for ages. But I mean if you could spend 14 dollars to get a free book, or 6 on shipping, wouldn’t you want the extra money for the book? See, Logic?

(and crikey moses, I lost 1/2 my blog post. grr!). So Let’s just get into the book analysis 🙂

Book at a Glance

I have to say this is one gorgeous looking book. It’s your average size book, so it doesn’t make your bookshelf look all wonky, but it’s the colouring. It’s big and bright and green (squares), against the white book, so if you were at the bookstore, it would be the first thing that would grab your eye.

What Im giving a lot of bonus points of, is that each section has a different colour heading. So when you look at the signatures (sorry, Librarian term, the pages of the book), you see a rainbow of pink, blue, green, etc. Which means that you don’t need to flag or anything . You can just pick out the section right away. (I have bought a lot of flags from WalMart so I can start separating meals and stuff).

Something that you will notice right away.

Pictures.

Pictures, pictures everywhere. Pictures on the front cover, pictures inside…. There are no plates of pages (sorry, librarian term again), there are not inserts of pictures in the middle. Every single recipe in this book, has a picture facing the recipe.. Win. (I recently found out it is the publisher’s decision to either have pictures or not, and how they will be included. Let’s here it for Fair Winds Press (who actually does a lot of my favourite authors) for making an awesome decision here).

As with all vegan cookbooks we’ve got a Pantry section – which actually tells you how to stock up a xgfx (gluten free) pantry. what flours you’ll need and so on. (Almond Meal, Sorgum, Chickpea, Buckwheat, Teff, etc etc). Allyson uses Superfine Brown Rice Flour, for a lot of her bakes goods. This flour is available on Amazon.com, but sadly it will cost me like 40+ dollars to get a 20.00 bag. (thank you amazon.com and your fair pricing, really appreciate it). I can’t get this ordered in Canada, so I am going to just be using regular brown rice flour/white rice flour. I was told in some cases it won’t be as “all purpose floury” but it will still get the job done. I am working on the Superfine though.

We’re also given an introduction to why Allyson is xgfx, how one can be xgfx & vegan, and encouragement to “make the recipe your own.” 🙂

Then it breaks down to

Basics  (this is attached to the Gluten Pantry, aka, what you’ll most likely want on hand).
that have basic every day items – milk, pie crust, bisquik (heh), a bread recipe, basic pasta recipe and so on

Breakfast, Main Courses, Soups, Appetizers, Dessert, Resources.

Now. I have to say this. I like the order of this. Maybe it’s because I’m single, but I don’t get why the appetizers always go near the front of the book. 9×10 for me, that’s not the first thing I flip through, I go through things I’m going to be eating every day. So the order really works well for me here.

Something that I also kind of like – she has nutritional info!

(I can take it or leave it. It’s very easy to do it yourself on various websites, and there are often variables. E.G: I don’t know what soyrizo is, and I don’t seee it at my store. But I’m assume it’s some sort of soy-crumble, thinger. So I can use t.v.p. All of a sudden the NI is different and I’m eating something different). I might not use the same milk as she does etc. So the NI makes no difference to me because the variables are different. But it’s good to have the basis. Where Allyson gets extra bonus marks is that she says what the severing is (5 balls, 2 enchiladas, 1 scoop), where as in Quick & Easy Low Cal Vegan Comfort Food, the serving wasn’t always broken down.

The font is really clear (and she uses a nice interesting “handwritten” font for the little basic information (like the little blurb at the beginning  of the chapter, for the serving sizes).

My cookbook holder likes this book (but to be fair my cookbook holder is dumb, i truly need another one).

All the recipes follow on one page, so there is no flipping back and forth.

This reads like a gorgeous picture book. If you like to read your cookbooks like novels. (Raise hand) it’s great to to do that with. And there are a little side recipes as well 🙂

So my first menu from this book was:

Basic: Brown bread
Breakfast: Banana Bread Scones (with Isa’s Scrambled Tofu with Mushrooms, & Zucchini)
Main Meals: Pumpkin Chili (It is Thanksgiving after all) &  Black Bean, Potato and Cheese Enchiladas
Appetizers: Pizza Crackers

The cost of gluten free shopping isn’t really cheap, especially when you are not xgfx. I think I have to go to the bulk store and stock up on a lot of flours because it will cost more than buying them organically at my local organic health food store. But then again to be fair, I spent a lot this week, to make a lot of different things. (aka: cranberry apple butter, and spices from the spice shop). If I take those out, plus take out some things I bought for thanksgiving, I spent about 80 dollars on this week’s menu. Which is pretty on par for me.

(and yes. that means I spent a lot this week, but I have a lot of food for the up coming weeks, so eh. Plus I really needed my spices).

 

Pizza Crackers: 
Some came out thin (and burnt) but the ones that were nice and thick, baked up really nice and puffy like real crackers. I was very impressed. The one drawback that I have with this book again is that Allyson is assuming you can purchase pizza seasoning (or soyrizo). Which I can’t, and I can’t. So I made my own pizza seasoning, just by doing a Google. It wasn’t a big deal, but it would have been nice to be given a recipe, or a suggestion of where they could be.

Anyhoo these made up really fast. I finally figured out I had a freaking cookie cutter. (I still intend to get some biscuit cutters the minute I can get to the kitchen store, or Bed Bath and Beyond). The recipe said 70 crackers, I got about 50 or so, so good for me the serving size dunce. I think for me I won’t bake these at the full 30 minutes either, (that’s how some of the thin ones got burnt). but again I think they need to be a bit thicker, so that’s my error.

Don’t eat these until after they are cool. When they are hot, they taste kinda…. off. but I think it just needs to cool down and taste the awesome pizza flavour 🙂


Basic Brown Bread
This came out really well. I need a smaller bread pan (actually I need a bevy of bread making supplies). but this formed out exactly how the book said it will. Mine is a bit more dense. But what whole wheat is for people who eat wheat, Buckwheat is to the xgfx world. It has this nice taste of whole wheat bread but a bit lighter 🙂

Good result. It doesn’t rise like “real” bread (wheat bread) and not as chewy but still good. This bread has a date with some apple butter, just sayin.

Black Bean, Cheese and Potato Enchiladas. 

I will totally tell you the truth. I wanted to do these with large flour tortillas. I wish I had because my corn tortillas were so tiny, the filling popped out. (sad face). but it really worked. I’ve never even had enchiladas before, but making them (including sauce) was easy. But bigger tortillas were totally necessary for these. This was the “longest” thing I had to make, because I did the sauce (and I didn’t read the instructions so I had a tonne of sauce left over, but this just means now I can defrost, and use sauce, without having to worry about other steps, so it saves me time!. I used Daiya pepperjack, but I really have to start seeing about Follow Your Heart. (this one is a soy based cheese, but it melts really well… or you know, just start making some more cheese from my cheesy book!) 🙂

Banana Bread Scones
I was going to wait on these, and let my bananas get really, really ripe, (and just eat the brown bread with the tofu, but I really wanted these now). These. are. good. VERY good. I made these with both walnut and pecans, for extra yum. These didn’t take too long to make, but my batch came out really crumbly. (Like the dough never really came together, very dry, like it needed some milk or something). But I did my standard, “squish with my hand” trick to get most of the flour and it worked pretty well. These are totally makeable. (and really easy). lesss than 45 minutes. start to finish.

 

I will report on how “leftoverable” these are later, and include pictures.

Stay tune for my interviews!

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