Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

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Before I met my husband, I had never even heard of Hot Cross Buns. Then once he made some… OMG! I was hooked! All of the spices mixed with the fruit in a warm, slightly sweet cinnamon bun…YUM!

Needless to say, when we went vegan and gluten free, this was one thing we thought was off limits. I’m not one to give up on things, so I gave a vegan, gluten free version a shot and we were both really surprised and pleased with the results! Now, anyone that bakes gluten free knows that the texture will never be the same as regular flour. The texture of these is somewhat like a cake, but the taste is spot on!

Vegan Gluten Free Hot Cross Buns

Here’s what you need:

Wet Ingredients

  • 2/3 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1 T Coconut Oil
  • 2 T Coconut Sugar
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour Blend (I used this recipe: Gluten Free Flour Blend )
  • 3/4 Cup Almond Flour (not almond meal)
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Coconut Sugar
  • 4 T Cold Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Cloves

Fruit Mixture

  • 1/2 Cup Raisins
  • 1 Apple (chopped in small pieces)
  • Zest of an Orange
  • 1 tsp Orange Juice
  • 1 tsp each of: Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice

Topping Options

  • For the cross piping: GF Flour + enough water to make a paste.
  • Apricot Jam
  • Vegan Frosting (I brushed the tops with this: Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting)

Here’s what you do:

  • Heat almond milk in microwave until it’s about the temperature of warm bath water (not too hot, not too cold).
  • Stir in the rest of the wet ingredients and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes to let the yeast activate. (It should be poofy on top.)
  • While the yeast mix is activating, combine all the fruit mixture ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients.
  • Add the yeast mixture to your dry mix and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  • Gently fold the fruit mixture in.
  • Lightly coat a pie plate with coconut oil.
  • With a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop out dough, not completely filling the measuring cup, and drop onto pie plate.
  • Continue until you have about 8 equal size buns.
  • If you are piping the cross, do this now by placing your paste in a baggie with one corner cut off or a piping bag.
  • Preheat the oven to 350
  • Cover the pie plate with plastic wrap and set on top of the preheating oven for 30 minutes to proof.
  • Remove plastic wrap and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.
  • Brush with your preferred topping as soon as they come out of the oven.
  • Enjoy! ❤

 

 

 

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Vegan Chili Mac

One of our favorite meals before we became vegan was Chili Mac. Over the weekend, I veganized it! It turned out really great, so I thought I would share! We had wanted to try this new shredded cashew cheese that we found at our health food store (for all you locals, it was Village Foods). It was made by Parmela Creamery, and had far less ingredients than Daiya, so of course we wanted to give it a taste! Let me tell you… this stuff is DELICIOUS!

This is so super easy to make and it makes a lot! It’s one of those meals that’s even better the next day. 😀

Vegan Chili Mac

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Here’s what you need:

  • 8 oz Package of Gluten Free Brown Rice Elbow Pasta (I used Field Day Organic)
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 14.5oz Cans of Tomatoes and Green Chilies (I used Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Medium Green Chilies)
  • 1 Package Beyond Meat Feisty Crumbles
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1-2 tsp Sea Salt (depends on your taste)
  • 1-2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 T Chili Powder
  • 1 Package Shredded Vegan Cheddar Cheese (I used Parmela Creamery Aged Nutcheese Shreds)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the pinto beans, tomatoes with green chilies, the package of Beyond Meat Crumbles (I tossed them in frozen), and all of the spices.
  • Cook pasta for approximately 7 minutes. Since it will be baking, it doesn’t have to be completely done.
  • Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.
  • Add pasta to the other mixture and stir well.
  • Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and put in the oven to bake for about 30 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove from the oven, and sprinkle the cheese all over the top.
  • Place back in the oven until cheese is melted -or- if you like it a little crispy on top, put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until it’s as crispy as you like it.
  • Let it cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Menu Planner Printable

WeeklyMenu

Meal planning is one of the best ways to go when you’re trying to change your eating habits. If you have a whole week’s snapshot of what you’re making and when, you are less likely to impulse buy, or cheat.

If you’re running to the grocery store every night to pick up something for dinner, it puts you around temptation much more often than if you were doing your whole weeks worth of shopping in one go. When you plan out your meals and only buy what is actually on your grocery list, it sets you up for success!

I’ve created this simple little Weekly Menu Planner Printable to help get you started! Just click the link and it’ll take you to a pdf version for ease of printing.

Happy Healthy Eating! ❤

Vegan-Gluten Free “Sausage” Balls

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When trying to decide what to take to our family’s Christmas Eve get-together, I just couldn’t quit thinking about sausage balls. We always had them around the Holidays when I was a kid, and everyone always loved them. So, when you’ve gone vegan, and you don’t eat gluten, I wasn’t optimistic that I would ever get to eat them again. I figured I would try an experiment and see if it worked. Let’s just say that it worked so well, we had them again for New Years Eve too!

It was super simple, and they were totally delicious…especially when dipped into some homemade vegan ranch (recipe coming soon!).

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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@BeyondMeat makes amazing products for vegans who also eat gluten free! Check them out!

 

_MG_0586Vegan-Gluten Free “Sausage” Balls

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Package Beyond Meat Burgers
  • 2 Cups Daiya Cheddar Cheese Shreds
  • 1 1/4 Cup Pamela’s Gluten Free Biscuit & Scone Mix
  • 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds
  • 2 Teaspoons Sage
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • Dash of Black Pepper
  • (optional) 1-2 Teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes

Here’s what you do: 

  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  • Using your hands, knead until everything is evenly mixed together. (If the mixture is too crumbly, add a teaspoon of water at a time until it holds together when you form it into a ball.)
  • Using a 1/8 measuring cup, scoop the mixture out, then roll into a ball.
  • Place onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown.
  • Serve warm with ranch and Enjoy!

**Makes approximately 20

Vegan Gluten Free Bread

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I love, LOVE me some bread… So, when you can’t have gluten anymore, it’s pretty devastating to have to give it up. During our meal swaps with my parents, my mom was making this super tasty gluten free, vegan bread. I just couldn’t get enough of it. She gave me the recipe she had been using, and I only made a few little adjustments to reduce the oil and sugar… and, I didn’t have the exact ratios of flours, but it didn’t make a noticeable difference in taste. Next time, I’m going to test it out using unsweetened applesauce instead of the oil and see how that turns out. 😀

If you are looking for a fairly simple, but super yummy vegan, gluten free bread, this is a great one to try. It was adapted from A Little Insanity, Soft Gluten Free Vegan Bread. She has a lot of great gluten free recipes on her site.

Vegan Gluten Free Bread

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Here’s what you need:

YEAST MIX:

  • 1½ Cups Warm Water
  • 2½ Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast

AQUAFABA:

  • ¼ Cup Aquafaba – Liquid from canned Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas)
  • ½ Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

DRY MIX:

  • 1 ¾ Cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 1 ¼ Cup Tapioca Flour
  • ½ heaping Teaspoon Xanthan Gum
  • 4 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

WET MIX:

  • 1/8 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

 

Here’s what you do:

YEAST MIX:

  • Measure out warm water (not too hot or cold). Stir in Yeast. Set-aside & let proof while you are preparing everything else.

AQUAFABA:

  • Pour the Aquafaba (Garbanzo Bean Liquid) along with the Cream of Tartar into the bowl of your stand mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. With a spatula, scoop out the mixture into another bowl and set aside.

DRY MIX:

  • While the Aquafaba is mixing, combine all of the Dry Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

COMBINING IT ALL:

  • Add proofed Yeast to the stand mixer bowl.
  • Add in Dry Mix ingredients with the yeast. Beat slowly while adding in the Oil & Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Mix on Medium speed until dough is smooth.
  • Stop the mixer, then add in your aquafaba.
  • Mix on low speed until everything is well combined, being careful not to over-beat. (It only takes about 30 seconds.)
  • Spray a 9×5 Loaf Pan.

LET IT RISE, THEN LET IT BAKE:

  • Pour the bread mixture into your loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Set somewhere warm while your oven is preheating.
  • Preheat your oven to 375.
  • Let your dough rise about 20 minutes. It should not rise above your loaf pan.
  • Bake between 50-60 minutes.
  • Once the top is nice and golden brown and the center is cooked through, remove from oven and let cool only 1-2 minutes, then turn it out onto your cooling rack (lay the loaf on its side). Allow to cool completely before attempting to cut into slices.
  • Enjoy! ❤

 

Fudgy Almond Bars

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We don’t eat sweets very often, so when we do indulge, it had better be delicious! These certainly were! Yum! 😀

 

Fudgy Almond Bars

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Here’s what you need:

CRUST

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 8 large dates (pits removed)
  • Pinch salt

ALMOND LAYER

  • 1 cup almond butter (or sub other nut or seed butter)
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • Pinch salt

GANACHE

  • 1 bag of vegan dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cocoa) (I used HEB Organics 70% dark chocolate chips in the 10 oz bag)
  • 1 can coconut milk (with about 2 tablespoons of the water poured out)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder

Here’s what you do:

Crust

  • Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse until you have a coarse mixture that holds together when you mash it.
  • Empty mixture into 8×8 dish that has been lined with parchment paper. Pack down until it’s evenly placed on the bottom of the dish.

Almond Layer

  • Add all ingredients in a small bowl and stir together.
  • Empty out onto the top of the crust and spread evenly.
  • Place in freezer.

Ganache

  • This will make more than what’s needed for the top of the bars (unless you want an insanely thick layer of ganache!). You can save the rest to eat on its own!
  • Place chocolate chips in a large glass bowl.
  • Heat coconut milk in a sauce pan on top of the stove until it just starts to boil.
  • Pour on top of the chocolate chips and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  • Add cocoa powder.
  • Whisk all of the ingredients together until creamy smooth.
  • Place in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to let it start setting.
  • Remove the crust/almond layer mixture from the freezer and add ganache on top (use as much or as little as you like.), spreading it out smooth.
  • Return to the freezer and let sit for about 30 minutes, or until the ganache is firm.
  • Cut into 12 squares, serve and enjoy.

**You can keep them either in the freezer or the fridge, depending on which you like better. If kept in the freezer, you can actually just pick them up and eat them. If kept in the fridge, you’ll need a fork. 😉

Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce”

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So, my Mom, Husband and I have all gone Vegan. I’ll write more about the “why’s” later. Until then, check out: Forks Over Knives, What the Health and Eating You Alive. So eye-opening!

I’ve been posting pictures of our meals on Facebook, just to show how yummy Whole Food Plant Based meals can be (gluten free also). Since I’ve had some requests for the actual recipes, here’s the one for the Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce” that I made last night. They were SO good! 😀 ❤

 

Spinach Pesto Lasagna Rolls with “Cream Sauce”

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Here’s what you need:

10-12 brown rice lasagna noodles

“Cream Sauce”:
1 cup cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Pesto:
2 cloves garlic + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 cups fresh basil, loosely packed
1/2 cup shelled pumpkin seeds + extra for topping
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Ricotta:
1 1/2 cup cashews, soaked at least 2 hours
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper

Spinach:
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz baby spinach

Here’s what you do:

Cream Sauce:
Drain cashews. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until completely smooth.

Pesto:
Place all ingredients in a blender  and blend. It should not be completely smooth. Thin with water to get it into a spreadable consistency. Reserve half for the inside of the rolls and half for topping.

Ricotta:
Drain cashews. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Spinach:
In a large cast iron skillet, saute garlic in olive oil for about 1 minute, then add about 8-10 oz of the spinach (setting aside the rest) and cook until wilted.

Make the noodles:
Cook noodles according to instructions on package. You want them to be more al dente. Once cooked, drain them in a colander and run them under cold water to make them suitable for handling.

Assembling:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray a 9×13 inch casserole dish or line with parchment paper.
  • Spread about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture evenly over each lasagna noodle.
  • Spread about 1-2 teaspoons of pesto on top of the ricotta mixture of each lasagna noodle.  (Alternatively, you could mix half of the pesto with the ricotta to cut out this step.)
  • Line about 3 tablespoons of spinach mixture over the ricotta/pesto mixture.
  • Use the rest of the fresh spinach to cover the top of the mixtures of each lasagna noodle.
  • Carefully roll each noodle up and place them seam side down in the casserole dish.
  • Pour the white sauce all over the rolls.
  • Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and white sauce is thickened.
  • Remove from oven, spread on the remaining pesto and sprinkle extra pumpkin seeds on top.
  • Place under broiler until the tops and pumpkin seeds are golden brown. This doesn’t take long, so watch it carefully!
  • Remove, serve and enjoy!