Chicken and Avocado Salad

img_0178This is an excellent recipe to take to a pot luck. It is inspired by a recipe that I discovered on Yummly.com. The recipe uses avocado instead of mayonnaise so it is a soy-free and egg-free chicken salad.

4 c. chopped cook chicken

1 zucchini, chopped

1 c. chopped carrots

1 bunch green onion or chives, chopped

1 pt.  grape tomatoes, halved

4 avocados, mashed (or guacamole for a stronger flavor)

Salt, pepper, and other herbs to taste.

Pre-cook the chicken with your favorite herbs and lots of garlic and onion. Prepare all of the vegetables and mix it together. Add other herbs, salt and pepper to taste. You can customize the recipe by using different vegetables, or with guacamole instead of plain avocado. Instead of cilantro in the guacamole, try fresh basil. I’ve also thought of adding a cup of cooked quinoa in to it, but there was already more than enough to fill a container with the recipe in the current state.

 

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Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

Soy Free and Propellant Free Oil Sprays

img_01751Recently, I had heard about a soy free and propellant free oil spray from a morning TV show that I caught by chance while out of town. I had never heard of it before, and was very grateful to have caught the segment. Every oil spray that I had seen had soy lecithin,  an anti-foaming agent, and a propellant in it.

Although I’m allergic to soy, soy lecithin has never bothered me. The idea of ingesting a propellant is what really bothered me, though. Despite not wanting to ingest such unnatural ingredients, I have used a canola oil spray grudgingly when I bake cakes and sweet breads (hoping that the small amount of chemicals won’t be problematic). My cakes turn out better when I use a spray than when I don’t.

While shopping at Walmart, I found three types of cooking oil sprays without soy lecithin or a propellant. The prices vary a lot online, and it may be difficult to find these in the stores. Some of these sprays can’t be found on Walmart’s website even when they may be in a store, and cost a lot more from Amazon.com.

Bertolli’s Organic Olive Oil Spray cost $3.85 at Walmart. Chosen Foods Avocado Oil Spray is 100% avocado oil. It was $4.48 at Walmart. Avocado oil is as healthy as olive oil due to being high in antioxidants. It is beneficial for lowering cholesterol. Thrive Culinary Algae Oil Spray is 100% algae oil. Algae oil is supposed to be good for the heart. This is difficult to find in the spray form online. Although I saw it at Walmart, the spray was not available on the website today. The price on Amazon.com is twice as much as it should be. It can be found at LuckyVitamin.com for $7.49, which is still much more than I’d want to spend for an oil spray. Pompeian also makes sprays without propellant from avocado, coconut, grapeseed, a canola olive oil blend, and extra virgin olive oil. I haven’t seen them in the stores yet, but they appear to be easier to find online.

Although olive oil sprays are less expensive than the other oils, it is not as good for baking due to its strong flavor and lower smoke point. Avocado, coconut and grapeseed oils are better for baking due to having a more mild flavor and a better heat tolerance. Pompeian’s website has a good guide describing each oils heat tolerance and what type of cooking it should be used for: https://www.pompeian.com/products/cooking-sprays.

 

Note: My product reviews are not paid advertisements of any products or stores mentioned in the articles.

Gingerbread Sunbutter Bars

This is a great recipe for Thanksgiving, winter holidays, or all year long. The Sunbutter bars on my Blog can all be cooked easily with gluten free flour.

2 c. flour

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. canola oil

1/2 c. Sunbutter

1/2 c. apple sauce (or molasses)

1/2 c. water

1 t. vanilla

1 – 1 1/2 t. ginger (1 1/2 t. ginger may be a bit too much for some people’s taste.)

1/2 t. each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves (or your preferred mixture)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease an 8 x 8 in. pan. It’s easier to mix in the Sunbutter if you mix all of the other ingredients together first, then mix the Sunbutter in slowly at the  end. Cook for 30 min.

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes, Sunbutter

Mint Chocolate Sunbutter Brownies

2 c. Flour

1/2 c. Sugar

1/2 c. Canola oil

1/4 c. Cocoa powder

1/2 c. Sunbutter

1/2 c. Apple sauce

1/2 c. Water

1 1/2 t. Mint extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8 x 8 in. pan. Mix all of the ingredients together. Cook for 30 minutes.

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes, Sunbutter

Chickpea Flour as an Egg Substitute

Chickpeas are said to have many health benefits for people with many different health problems. It is a high fiber legume that can help to improve heart health, bone health, digestion, and lower blood sugar. As someone who is allergic to soy I have been cautious to try chickpeas. Some people who are allergic to soy are also allergic to chickpeas, but some are not. I’m allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, cottonseed, and kiwi. However, the person that I met who is allergic to soy and chickpeas is also allergic to wheat, but not to eggs. I have not had any allergic reaction to any other beans besides soy.

Lately, I have been very experimental with chickpeas and have been trying to add new recipes to my diet. I had read a lot about aquafaba, the water from the chickpeas can, and how it can be used as an egg substitute. However, I rarely buy canned products, so I haven’t tried it. However, I came across this excellent chart for egg substitutes on Madhurum’s Eggless Cooking site which listed chickpea flour: https://www.egglesscooking.com/egg-substitutes/. Three tablespoons of flour mixed with three tablespoons of water equals one egg.

Chickpea flour is also commonly called garbanzo bean flour, besan flour, or gram flour. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find in regular grocery stores. I found Bob’s Red Mill at very small local health food store. I found an Indian brand (besan flour) being sold for a better price at a local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern market.

The flour works very well as an egg substitute for breads, casseroles, pies, and even dishes that are meant to be made out of egg. I have used it successfully in a challah recipe which I made in a bread machine. Recently, I discovered baked oatmeal being sold at a cafe. This recipe can easily be altered by replacing the egg with chickpea flour. It can easily be made as a vegan recipe with your chosen dairy substitutes. It’s a great recipe to be eaten hot or cold, so you can easily bring it to a potluck. Chickpea flour can also be used to make vegan egg dishes like the Spanish omelette, that has been featured on many vegan blogs, or this Chickpea Frittata.

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

A New Orleans Favorite: Beignets

Due to being allergic to soy and peanuts, I can rarely eat deep fried foods at restaurants. Half a Dunkin’ donut or Krispy Kreme donut or about half a plate of fries will cause an allergic reaction for me. However, this doesn’t stop me from trying to deep fry food at home. Canola oil and corn oil are both suitable oils for deep frying food at a high temperature.

Keeping with the theme of Southern cooking that I started, it seemed fitting to highlight beignet recipes this week. Beignet (pronounced ben-yeh) is the French version of a doughnut or a fritter. The original French recipe is quite different from the New Orleans version. The French Beignet pastry dough is a sweet yeast bread recipe, made with egg. Check out this authentic French Beignet Recipe: https://www.monpetitfour.com/french-beignets/.

The New Orleans style beignet, as popularized by Cafe Du Monde, is really a biscuit recipe. The Cafe Du Monde mix is just like a box mix for a buttermilk biscuit. It can be found in Southern grocery stores in the cake mix section, near the corn bread mixes. Fried in the right oil, the mix is easy to make for people with egg or soy allergies. It only requires water. However, other individuals, or cafes, do make beignets with egg in the recipe: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/new-orleans-beignets/. Here’s an interesting version made with Greek yogurt and yeast, instead of egg: https://www.theworktop.com/breakfast-brunch-recipes/yogurt-beignets/. They are traditionally sprinkled with powdered sugar.

As a Northerner, my first thoughts of biscuits are of the cans of biscuits. I don’t really think of it as much of a delicacy. Being more used to eating yeast bread, I always thought the texture to be a bit odd. However, biscuits are really an iconic American food, and were historically seen as a delicacy. Having been developed out of a need to make bread quicker, it is no wonder that the bakeries of New Orleans decided to stop making authentic French Beignets and made fried biscuits instead. They are much better deep fried than baked.

For the quickest option, you can try to deep fry Annie’s Organic Flaky Biscuits or Immaculate Baking Company Organic Flaky Biscuits.  They have no soy, egg, or dairy in them. Cut a whole in the middle, to make donuts and donut holes. After frying, top them with any of your favorite glazes or toppings.

For making a vegan biscuit recipe on your own, which can be deep fried as beignets, check out this version: https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12949-vegan-quick-biscuits . You can easily use that same recipe with dairy products instead of the dairy substitutes.

There are a number of gluten free biscuit recipes that can be found on other blogs. Many of them are also made with dairy and egg. This one is a dairy free recipe, that has egg in it: https://www.mamaknowsglutenfree.com/gluten-free-biscuits/. Here is one that is completely vegan: https://minimalistbaker.com/easy-vegan-gluten-free-biscuits/.

And last but not least, is the sweet potato biscuit. I’ve previously used a sweet potato biscuit recipe to make cinnamon buns and King Cake (another Louisiana favorite). Here’s another sweet potato biscuit recipe: https://www.chowhound.com/recipes/sweet-potato-biscuits-10886.

 

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes

A Pumpkin Bread Experiment

September 20, 2018 Leave a comment

41807195_884540248398576_6591992737355005952_n.jpgPumpkin bread has really become one of my favorite snacks. I found a great eggless pumpkin bread recipe on the Internet that I add orange extract to for variation. The other day, I decided to try to add some more protein to the recipe by substituting Sunbutter for the apple sauce. Surprisingly, it made green bread! It looks very odd, but tastes normal. This recipe is really a great food chemistry experiment. It is actually the mixture of baking soda and sunbutter that makes it green. You could call it Swamp Monster bread for Halloween!

Eggless Pumpkin Bread

1 c. sugar

2 1/2 c. flour

1 can pumpkin

1/2 c. apple sauce (or Sunbutter to turn the bread green)

1/2 c. canola oil

2 t. baking soda

2 t. salt

3/4 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. allspice

1/2 t. orange extract

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. Mix all of the ingredients together. The original recipe just had apple sauce in it. To make the bread turn green, add Sunbutter instead of apple sauce. Cook for 60 min.

 

Categories: Blog Posts, Recipes, Sunbutter
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