Gluten Free and Vegan Elvis Panini Sandwich!

I have been trying to eat more healthfully lately. In fact, ever since I went gluten free I have found it hard to make up the ridiculously delicious recipes I was used to creating in the past. But today I dreamed up an idea for an amazing unhealthy sandwich that at first I was skeptical of being able to pull off to meet my needs. As I continued to think about it, I devised the methods that could make it healthier, and is the perfect combination of delicious, ridiculous, healthfulness, and satiety level!

This sandwich is a peanut butter and nanner sandwich, with baked vegan rice paper bacun, made with light tapioca gluten free bread, grilled in a panini maker. This definitely is not a very original idea, I’ve seen many a vegan version of this sandwich on blogs and in cookbooks, but this is my version!

It came out so well, that my panini maker has been given a new life outside of sitting in my basement!

Let me walk you through the steps, in picture form. It’s easy!

Bake the rice paper bacun. I did this recipe’s marinade, minus the ground coconut, soaked the rice paper strips in cold water, then in the marinade, and put them on a cookie sheet sprayed with coconut oil. Then I baked them in a 350 degree F oven for about 15 minutes, checking and flipping every 5 minutes (some got done sooner than others, when that happened I took the ones that were done out and put it on a plate while the rest continued to cook)IMG_9197

Set aside.

Take two pieces of Ener-g gluten free light tapioca loaf bread and spray coconut oil on one side of both slices of bread. Put the coconut oil side down on a plate.

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Take out the peanut butter. This is a locally made, all natural, salt and sugar free peanut butter. It’s so good!

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Place one tablespoon of peanut butter on each slice of bread.

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Cut half a banana into slices. Place on one slice.

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Layer the rice paper bacun you made earlier on top of the bananas. Put the peanut butter slice down on top of the bacon to make the sandwich.

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Place the sandwich into a pre-heated panini grill on medium high for about 5 minutes, more or less depending on your device (check on it).

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Ready to go!

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Enjoy!

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Vegan MoFo Day 6: Post #6 Thai Peanut Massaman Curry with Coconut Rice

Today’s theme for Vegan MoFo is to recreate a restaurant meal.

There is a Thai restaurant in my town called Tong-D that is really vegan friendly. However, at one point I was assuming my favorite dish I used to get, Peanut Massaman Curry with tofu was fully vegan based on the description on the menu. Well, one day my mom went a step further than I did, and tried to confirm that it was vegan with the waiter. They wouldn’t say what is in it that does not make it vegan, but I knew from that point on it wasn’t. So, I’ve eaten there other times and ordered different stuff, but I’ve missed this particular dish.

A few months ago I went to Market Basket and found a package of Massaman Curry paste that’s both vegan and gluten free. The implications for this ingredient was obvious. I was going to recreate this dish. And since I could, instead of tofu, I decided to use Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips.

Additionally, the restaurant in particular has the most amazing coconut rice they serve as a side. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me. I have been wanting to recreate it for so long, but all of the recipes I’ve tried online do not come out as good. So, I decided to try and experiment with how I think it should be done to re-create the taste, and it actually came out pretty much exactly spot-on.

Peanut Massaman Curry

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 package Kanokwan Massaman Curry Paste
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 9 oz package Beyond Meat Chicken Free Strips
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • about 2 cups chopped red potatoes
  • 1/3 cup peanuts, plus more for topping

Directions:

  1. Steam potatoes in a covered microwave proof bowl or casserole dish with a small amount of water (you don’t want to cover the potatoes with the water). Microwave for about 5 minutes or until a fork can easily be inserted into a piece. You don’t want it anywhere near the softness you’d need for mashed potatoes
  2. Pour the coconut milk into a heavy bottomed saucepan and put the curry paste into it. Stir on the stove on medium heat constantly until the paste melts and oil appears on the top.
  3. Mix in the peanut butter until it melts.
  4. Add the chicken free strips and cover, stirring occasionally until they defrost.
  5. Add the onions and microwaved potatoes.
  6. Turn to low heat and stir every so often until the onions are soft.
  7. Fold in the peanuts.
  8. Serve with coconut rice (recipe below) and top with peanuts.

Thai Coconut Rice

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Directions:

  1. Mix the sugar into the coconut milk and water.
  2. Place the rice and coconut milk, sugar, and water mixture into a saucepan or rice cooker bowl.
  3. You basically cook this as you would normal rice (if you don’t know how to cook rice on the stove, I highly suggest you invest in a rice cooker. They are usually $20 or less and make perfectly cooked rice every time. They also make cooking a heck of a lot easier because you can focus on other things–like making curry– while your rice is cooking.) You may need to stir it a bit more at the end before letting it sit for a bit. It turns out my rice cooker was broken when I went to use it, and so I had steamed the mixture for a bit before I had to transfer it to a pan to cook on the stove. It still came out awesome.

Enjoy! The first full week of MoFo is done, and was pretty successful! Yay!

Vegan Mofo Day 4: Post #4: My blog’s 2 year anniversary is today!

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Hey y’all,

Today is my blog’s 2 year anniversary! I made a cute card for the occasion 🙂 It seems like it has been longer than two years, honestly. I’m so proud of how far I’ve come, too. And although I am currently frustrated with being gluten free AND vegan now, I have a feeling this year I will work out some of the problems I’m having with learning to bake vegan AND gluten free. I am going to try to learn through various cookbooks, which is how I learned to cook/bake in the first place. Then once I feel confident enough, hopefully I can go back to creating my own original, unique recipes. I look forward to sharing these adventures with you! This will also hopefully make my blog more accessible to more people!

This is also my second year participating in Vegan MoFo! Woohoo! I’m finding it a little more challenging than last year however, especially as I am finishing my last few bits of work for school before I have my degree!

Today’s theme was to tell everyone about a weird food combination I love. Well, I don’t really have a really weird one, but some people may find this weird: sometimes I get cravings for a peanut butter and potato chip sandwich. I didn’t make one today, because I’m trying to eat a little bit more healthy than usual, and I don’t have that particular craving/am not in that kind of mood…but an especially crispy potato chip (I like Utz’s chips that have ridges in them best for this) can trigger this desire. I like it best with white bread and smooth peanut butter. I think this comes from eating chips with my sandwiches as a kid (I was rarely even allowed to eat chips!) and making sure each bite of my sandwich included a chip at the same time. Eventually, as I became more autonomous in making my own choices about food, I just put the chips directly into the sandwich.

It’s childlike, weird little things like this that can make me happy.

Oh, and here is a picture of some raw brownie cupcakes I made today that I’ll pretend were in celebration for today.

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Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sundaes!

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In my honest opinion, peanut butter and chocolate is the best combination of flavors in the world. So, I was looking in one of my mom’s cookbooks recently to veganize a Chinese Chicken Salad recipe, and found a recipe for peanut ice cream. It calls for egg yolks (which I veganized with aquafaba) and cream and all kinds of non vegan stuff, so I adapted it quite a bit. It came out quite good. Here’s the recipe:

Peanut butter ice cream sundaes

(Adapted from a non-vegan recipe in the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook)

Ingredients:

For peanut butter ice cream:

  • 1 can full fat regular coconut milk
  • 1 can Trader Joe’s coconut cream (you can use another can of coconut milk if you don’t have a nearby trader Joe’s, it may not come out as creamy but it will still be good.)
  • 1 15 oz can’s worth of drained chickpea liquid (also referred to as aquafaba)
  • ½ cup vegan sugar
  • 2/3 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup smooth natural peanut butter

For fudge sauce:

  • ¾ stick Earth Balance (6 tbsp)
  • ¼ pound block of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup vegan sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • 1 cup coconut milk from a can
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

For ice cream:

  1. Drain the chickpeas and set aside the liquid. Place in a small saucepan and heat on low until fizzy and reduced to 1/3 cup. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Place the chickpea liquid into a ceramic mixing bowl along with the sugar. With an electric mixer, beat for about 5 minutes until peaks form and ribbons fall off the beaters.
  3. Pour the coconut milk and coconut cream into a large saucepan. Whisk a bit by hand until the clumps come out of the coconut cream and it is smooth. Heat on the stove until hot but not boiling.
  4. Take off the heat and add in the chickpea liquid/sugar mixture and whisk by hand until combined.
  5. Place on heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. It is ready to go when the liquid coats the back of the spoon.
  6. Allow to cool for at least a half hour off the heat. Add in the peanut butter and peanut butter powder and transfer to a blender. Blend until combined.
  7. Place in a container and refrigerate overnight.
  8. Follow your ice creamer maker directions and then stick in the freezer after it’s ready for at least another hour before serving.

For fudge sauce:

  1. Melt the Earth Balance in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Shut off the heat once melted, and add all ingredients except vanilla.
  3. Heat over medium heat until boiling while stirring constantly.
  4. When boiling, turn to low and stir for an additional 5-10 minutes until smooth and thick.
  5. Take the pan off the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  6. Allow to cool briefly and serve while still warm on top of ice cream. You will need to refrigerate and reheat (try steaming with a double boiler) when using again.
What the chickpea liquid and sugar should look like before you add it to the coconut

What the chickpea liquid and sugar should look like before you add it to the coconut

The ice cream when done

The ice cream when done

The chocolate sauce when done

The chocolate sauce when done

Top your ice cream and fudge with peanuts and coconut whipped cream (that is if you can master it! I haven’t been able to for some reason…go figure).

Vegan MoFo Day 3- Worldly Wednesdays-Sushi Burrito!

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This recipe is one of those things that you can improvise and improve whenever you have leftover rice and other delicious ingredients such as edamame, avocado, mango, or whatever other vegan sushi ingredients you can think of…the idea is similar to the summer rolls I make, but wrapped in Nori instead.

Sushi Burritos

For the peanut butter sauce:

  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup navel orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp wasabi powder

For the burrito (ingredients for just one, but you can make more if you want!):

(It’s best if you let the hot ingredients cool first or else the nori gets quite hard to chew)

  • 1 nori sheet
  • 2 tbsp peanut sauce
  • 1/3 cup prepared or leftover brown sushi rice
  • 1/4 cup shelled edamame, boiled and rinsed to become cool
  • 4 strips of mango
  • 1/4 tsp black sesame seeds
  • avocado if desired, I didn’t use it this time around, but it would be really good!

To make the sauce:

  1. With a metal whisk in a medium sized bowl, stir the peanut butter, soy sauce, and orange juice until combined together and cohesive without the peanut butter being thready or clumpy, it takes a bit of time and elbow grease to get it that way.
  2. Stir in the ginger and the garlic and wasabi powders.
  3. Set aside.

To prepare the burritos:

  1. Place the nori sheet onto a large plate.
  2. Drizzle the peanut sauce on top.
  3. Place the rice in the middle in a vertical strip, as you would when making a burrito.
  4. Sprinkle edamame on top of the rice, then place the mango on top, and finally, sprinkle the sesame seeds on it all.
  5. Roll the nori sheet into a burrito wrap.
  6. Eat!

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Vegan peanut butter and fluff craving? No problem

I have been craving a peanut butter and fluff sandwich for awhile, and finally tonight was the tipping point. But, the store near me that carried a vegan fluff alternative stopped carrying it, and I never liked the taste and texture of that product anyhow. 

There’s a recipe in Betty Goes Vegan, but the description explained how difficult it was to get right, and I also didn’t have much time to make it, I wanted it right away.

So I created my own with a little idea. It took less than five minutes. I kind of whipped everything together without thinking about it, so the proportions may be off a bit in this recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp vanilla almond milk

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients with a spoon in a bowl.
  2. If needed, add more powdered sugar or rice syrup to make a consistency to your liking. 

 

Foodie (Photo) Friday #5: Eating out, Pumpkin/Chocolate muffins, Tofu Satay

Hello hello! It’s foodie (photo) Friday! Annnd… I did not make much food this week because I ended up going out to eat quite a bit.  I’ll talk about my dining experiences first before going on to the food pictures and recipe reviews:

I went to a burrito place that had seitan as a filling option (which I was very excited about) in Amherst, Massachusetts,  an Asian restaurant in Providence, RI  (the menu had mostly Thai and Chinese dishes but also some Cambodian I believe) where I got orange crispy tofu, garlic eggplant, and sticky white rice, and then tonight to The Grange in Providence where I got a pretzel bun po’ boy with fried oyster mushrooms, vegan remoulade, pickles, lettuce, and cole slaw.

It’s a big toss up between whether I liked The Grange or the Asian food better. I want to say I liked the Grange more. I was so excited when I was eating that sandwich. The flavors in it are amazing. And all the textures together worked really well. A mix of 3 crunchy elements (the pickles, lettuce, and mushrooms) and two soft/creamy (the bread and the remoulade). I was worried that the restaurant might not live up to the hype I’ve heard about it, but I was impressed by the food at least. The only complaint I may have but am undecided about is that I found the atmosphere kind of weird, it was noisy and too dark (I don’t really like dark restaurants, but maybe that is because my vision is not great in the dark? I honestly do not know!

The Asian restaurant (called Gourmet House) had a lot of options for tofu which is always a sign of a good Asian restaurant for me. Almost all the dishes you could choose tofu or tofu and vegetables with. The orange tofu was so good. I was not expecting it to come the way it was though. This tofu was more like what I remember the sauces being when I was an omnivore and had ordered lemon chicken. It was a thick, citrus-y orange flavored sauce, with no hint of soy sauce or anything that I was expecting. I liked it so much I may have gone a bit overboard by eating the whole plate of it. Oops. And the eggplant and rice were also very yummy. I liked the stickiness of the rice, I don’t think I’ve actually ever had sticky rice before. It’s kind of sweet. The eggplant was savory but also had a sweet flavor to it at the time. The eggplant itself melted in my mouth.

Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of my food at the restaurants, I was embarrassed to do so, heh.

Anyways, on to what I made from some tasty recipes this week.

The first:

venus chocolate pumpkin muffinsVenus Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from Bake and Destroy by Natalie Slater. These are half and half pumpkin/chocolate muffins with a streusal topping. They’re difficult to make half and half so they look good, but they do taste pretty good. Next time I might omit the walnuts in the pumpkin, because I’d like a stronger pumpkin flavor. I think the walnuts might overpower it.

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Also I had a hard time with my oven getting them cooked well enough. Even with the max time listed with the recipe they were still totally liquid in the middle when I put a toothpick in the center, I think I cooked them for 5-10 minutes more. I honestly cannot remember, sometimes my oven is a bit weird lately.

Overall, these tasted pretty good and the recipe was pretty straight forward and easy despite having to make 3 separate parts so I give it a 4 good banana, one bad banana. It lost one good banana because it just didn’t have that “wow” factor when I tasted it. But they’re good otherwise.

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Second, was Tofu Satay from The 30 Minute Vegan cookbook.

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I made it into a bowl with some quinoa and added extra peanut satay sauce on top. The satay sauce was perfect, it tasted exactly like the kind of peanut satay sauce I like, that I remember getting from the Thai restaurants I have been to. Sometimes people and companies make a type of peanut satay that doesn’t taste this good, maybe without coconut milk and less of a peanut buttery taste, but this was amazing. The tofu came out pretty good, but I wish I had baked it longer until it got a little more crispy, except I was hungry and impatient so oh well. The addition of raw scallions and red pepper made it a complete and tasty meal all together with the quinoa. So yay! I think this probably deserves a 5 good banana rating!

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That’s all, folks! I have some couple neat ideas for a few different kinds of posts this week, hopefully I’ll get some time to post them, but I do have some exams coming up as well, so I don’t know! But I hope so!

Until next time!

In deliciousness,

Laura