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Sunday, February 28, 2016

Gluten Free, Vegan, Chocolate Chip Cookies






Lately I've been intrigued by vegan recipes as I find them so creative and I've also been reducing my dairy and meat intake for health reasons. I recently remembered that I had the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon lying around in my house and that I need to try and make more items from it. 
Awhile ago, I tried making her Double Chocolate Cookies.  This recipe is from her website and can be found by clicking the link [here]. I didn't have some of the ingredients listed so instead of palm sugar, I used brown sugar and instead of rolled oat flour, I used Scottish oats. I also substituted sunflower seed butter with chunky peanut butter and added some chocolate chips. The next time I make these, I will try it with rolled oat flour . Nevertheless, these still came out good and was a nice treat to have with some almond milk. 

Recipe:
Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil (do not melt)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seed butter (see note)
  • 1/3 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients:
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1.5 cups gluten-free rolled oats, processed into flour (or 1.5 cups oat flour)
  • 1-2 teaspoons non-dairy milk (only if needed to moisten batter)
  • 100 grams finely chopped dark chocolate (1 chocolate bar)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside for a few minutes so it can thicken up. Whisk the flax egg again once thickened.
  2. Add the rest of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flax egg (coconut oil, sunflower seed butter, brown sugar, cane sugar, and vanilla). With a hand-held electric mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and smooth.
  3. Now, beat in the dry ingredients, one by one, as you go down the ingredient list (baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, oat flour). If your dough is a bit dry, add a teaspoon (or two) of non-dairy milk and beat the mixture again. The dough should be moist enough to form balls without cracking, but not super sticky.
  4. Finely chop the chocolate (it should be the size of peas). Beat the chocolate into the batter or simply stir by hand.
  5. Shape balls of dough (about the size of a golf ball or 2 heaping tablespoons) and place on the baking sheet 2-3 inches apart. Gently press down on each ball with your hand to form a disc (it should be 1/2-inch thick or so).
  6. Bake for about 12-13 minutes (I baked for 13 mins) until the cookies are spread out nicely.
  7. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 7 minutes or so and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10-15 minutes.
Notes:
Instead of sunflower seed butter, you can try peanut or almond butter 

Recipe and directions taken from OhSheGlows.com

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Happy Chinese New Year


 Happy Lunar New Year! There are several superstitions for a good, fortunate year ahead. Although they may seem silly, they are still fun to know. This Chinese New Year is the Year of the Monkey, which is the ninth animal of the twelve zodiac animals. There are many different traits to each animal sign and predictions for this coming year. Check out the International Business Times for the Zodiac Predictions for 2016.

If you don't know what zodiac sign you belong to, see below, but if you were born in the beginning of the year, be aware that Chinese New Year does not follow the typical Western calendar. 

Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
Tiger: 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
Rabbit: 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
Dragon: 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
Snake: 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
Horse: 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
Goat: 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
Monkey: 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
Rooster: 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
Dog: 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
Pig: 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971


What zodiac sign are you? Are you superstitious? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to Make Sushi Rolls at Home



One of my goals this year is to try one new recipe each week and to cook more often to improve my skills in the kitchen.  I have a strong love for sushi but it can get expensive so I thought why not make it myself at home? There’s something about the pretty bite size pieces that makes this meal one of my favourites. I made this sushi with my brother and let me tell you that the more help you can get in the kitchen, the better. We started our own assembly line in the kitchen and it was just as much fun bonding making the sushi as it was eating with him. For our rolls, we used avocado, cucumber, spicy crabmeat, regular imitation crabmeat, breaded shrimp and sweet potato. Feel free to experiment and put whatever you're craving or have on hand in your sushi.

How I Made It:
For the rice:
-3 cups sushi rice
-1/4 cup rice vinegar
-1 tbsp sugar
-1 tsp salt

Making the Spicy Crabmeat:
-Shred artificial crabmeat and mix in some mayonnaise and sriracha to taste

After preparing all the ingredients, this is how you make the sushi:

1. Plastic wrap the bamboo matt (or use a firm towel) so that the sushi doesn’t stick to the matt.
2. Place seaweed shiny side down onto the matt
3.  Spread rice gently all over seaweed
4. Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the rice (optional)
5. Place all the goodies you want in the sushi towards the middle (Try not to overstuff as it makes rolling more challenging)
6. Roll the matt and seaweed over the stuffing once and press firmly forming a round shape
7. Continue to roll the sushi into  …well..one big sushi roll!
8. Use a sharp wet knife to cut the sushi into pieces (Wetting the knife helps cut the sushi and prevents the sushi from sticking to the knife)
9. Eat up! Feel free to use your hands or chopsticks and don’t forget the soy sauce and wasabi!