Saturday, September 06, 2008

Going Gluten-Free!

Well, I'm not going gluten-free, but for my monthly Veg Group meeting, I thought it would be nice to try to make a gluten-free dessert. There are some folks who attend who are celiacs, and I realized that making desserts every time that had flour in them was just as bad as making vegetarian desserts for vegans! So, I gave Dreena's Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cake a try. It included white rice flour, which I easily found at the Ukrop's grocery store nearby. Other than that, it was basically a Wacky Cake, which involves using vinegar and baking soda as the leavening. Pretty cool! It tasted decent, I think, and there wasn't much left after the meeting, so that was good for my hips - ha, ha. I used Isa's recipes for Coconut-Pecan Frosting and Peanut Butter Frosting with Chocolate Ganache (both from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World) to cover the two layers separately, instead of stacking them, so that there would be more cake to go around. I thought both frostings were good, but the peanut butter one was a little "weepy," due to the natural peanut butter oils separating, I think. I just love the coconut frosting!!!
Here's the one with peanut butter frosting and ganache. Four stars for both! Yum!

Unfortunately, not all things can turn out so well. For Labor Day, hubby and I (OK, just I) fixed some traditional dishes: grilled corn, grilled okra....and BBQ seitan ribz. (Traditional to vegans! - Lots of family values here!). The corn was a disappointment. Despite being local and freshly picked, it was chewy and starchy. The okra was also local and fresh, but rather dry. I think I could have used more olive oil on the latter. Oh well - it was edible. Two stars for the veggies. Three stars for the good as usual seitan from Susan V.
The last food I'm posting this week is the homemade spanikopita! I've been dying to make these for years, but due to the fiddly phyllo (filo) dough and loads of olive oil, I was always hesitant. Well, with my new year's resolutions in mind (the year is a third over!) I decided to tackle it. Here is the mix, containing tofu, fresh dill and cooked spinach with other spices. Pretty good, but could have used some more garlic.

Next step - take the thawed filo dough out of the package in the fridge, lay out two tissue-thin layers (with olive oil sprayed or brushed in between) and score it the long way into thirds.

Place about a tablespoon of the filling at the top left corner of one of the strips.

Now is when being a Girl Scout came in handy. Just fold the left corner over, then down, then over, repeating like you're folding a flag. Easy! Tuck any lose end under and brush or spray with more olive oil. My heart is saying thank you already, but that's still a lot of oil!

Here is a sheet of the little guys, fresh out of the oven. I think I'm having oven problems, because (like last week's baked goods), I found that these were still underdone. They only got brown on the tips. Delish and authentic, but not brown enough.

I reheated these in my little toasted oven for a great lunch throughout the week. A nice break from fruit salad and smoothies that I ate all summer!

We're going to try some mushroom cashew patties tonight - wish us luck!


VeggieGirl said...

As someone who IS gluten-free, I love seeing all the treats you made :0)

Anardana said...

Cute spanikopitas! Those things are sort of hard to make..

The Happy Vegetarian said...

Wow, everything looks delicious -- How on earth do you find the time! Those pics of the tofu taco's made me very hungry by the way!