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09 June 2012

Freedom Tastes Like Granola

I am officially no longer defined by my secondary education!  Says me.  Only while driving home from school on Tuesday after graduation did I realise that I have the rest of my life ahead of me.  Yes, I realise there are a tonne of linguistic and logical pitfalls in that statement and I have my education to thank for recognising that.  Sigh.  Three clichés: the mind is a terrible thing to waste/too much education can be a bad thing/ too much work and too little play makes Q a dull cat.



Train Wreck Granola
Like the great train crash at Crush, I ran three granola recipes together since I wanted to make granola and to use up some two-year-old candied ginger.  The ginger is as old as the length of time I’ve worked at my former student job; it’s been frozen more or less continuously since then.

Works consulted: Erin McKenna, “Granola,” in Babycakes Covers the Classics: Gluten-free Vegan Recipes from Donuts to Snickerdoodles (New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2011), 44-5.
Susan O’Brien, “Dried Cherry Granola” and “Oat and Ginger Granola,” in Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food: 125 Simple and Satisfying Recipes, from “Mac n’ Cheese” to Chocolate Cupcakes (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2012), 37, 41.

3 1/2 cup GF oats (I used quick-cooking since that’s what was around)
2 cups GF puffed brown rice cereal (preferably unsweetened and as unadulterated as possible)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries (sour or sweet is your preference)
3/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup almond butter (may want to melt it first if it’s not liquid enough to mix)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet (with sides) with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Pour the wet ingredients over the top and stir ’til everything is evenly coated.  Transfer to the baking sheet and spread out.  Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for another 5-15 minutes or until browned (total 20-30 minutes baking time).  Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet on a rack.  Pack in an airtight container when completely cool.



I baked mine for 30 minutes at 350 and risked some burning on the edges.  Yeah, toast!  If you don’t like super-chewy fruit or vapouraisins, add the dried fruit and candied ginger after baking the grain and nuts.  Granola must refer to roasting grain, no?

Strawberry-Banana-Poppyseed Scones
Modified from Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, “Banana-Date Scones,” in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook (Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2007), 224-5.



Don’t take any drug tests after consuming these and don’t feed ’em to Jamz.

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used “original” soy)
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup banana, mashed (about 3 super-ripe ones)
8 medium strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced
1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup poppyseeds

Glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons non-dairy milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large measuring cup, whisk together the flaxseed and non-dairy milk.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Back to the measuring cup: mash the bananas, strawberries, oil, and brown rice syrup with the flaxseed mixture until uniformly blended (it will look gross).  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (watch for dry spots).  Dollop onto the baking sheet in desired size (I made 8 big scones).  Bake for 30-32 minutes or until the scones have browned on top, spring back when touched, and pass the toothpick test.  Remove from the baking sheet and cool on a rack.  Drizzle with glaze when completely cooled.  For the glaze: add the non-dairy milk one tablespoon at a time to the sugar and cinnamon until desired consistency is reached.  Pour on top of scones or dip scones into glaze and return to rack to dry.  Store in a sealed container in refrigerator!  These freeze well.


Just to be pretentious: the strawberries were organic and local, harvested by me from my grandparents' garden. 

Mom said make dinner.  I said yes, Ma'am.

Baked Tofu Pineapple Rice
Modified and complicated from: http://vegan.sheknows.com/2011/05/02/baked-tofu-pineapple-rice/
Serves 4, but we'll see about that

1 cup jasmine brown rice
2 cups water

16 ounces firm tofu
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons catsup
1 tablespoon tamari
2 tablespoons rice vinegar


1 16-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
1 16-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables, partially defrosted (some sort of "Asian medley")
1/2 tablespoon tamari
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Make the rice: pour the rice and water into a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Do not stir the rice while it is cooking!



Slice the tofu width-wise into 8 rectangles.  On a flat surface, press tofu slices between a towel or sheets of paper towels and heavy objects (I sandwich the paper towel-wrapped tofu between two cutting boards and I stack pans on top of the upper board).  Set aside for about 30 minutes or until the towels are damp with tofu water and the tofu is less squishy.

Once the tofu is pressed, in a 9*13" glass baking dish, whisk together the sesame oil, catsup, rice vinegar, and tamari.  Place the tofu in the marinade and turn over to coat all sides.  Cover and refrigerate for at least half an hour.



Once the rice is done, in a large bowl mix the rice, pineapple chunks, frozen vegetables, tamari, rice vinegar, and black pepper.  If the rice is still hot, let this mixture cool until it is safe to refrigerate. 

     

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the tofu in the marinade for 30 minutes.  At thirty minutes, remove from the oven and using a sharp metal spatula, cut the tofu into cubes (1 slice=8 cubes).  



Mix around the tofu cubes in the remaining marinade, rotate the pan, and place in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Once it has finished baking, remove the tofu from the oven and immediately stir into the vegetable-rice mixture, taking care not to break up the tofu cubes.  Serve immediately, warm it, or chill it.




Alternate super-fast version closer to the original using pre-made components:
combine same amounts as above of baked tofu, cooked brown rice, drained pineapple, cooked frozen mixed vegetables, and spices.  Serve hot, cold, or indifferent.

For a gift for a friend’s birthday, I halved the original recipe for Ranger Cookies.

Ranger Cookies

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed plus 4 tablespoons water
1/4 cup shortening (organic palmfruit)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
scant 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup teff flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, set up flax mixture.  Using an electric mixer, beat sugar, shortening, flax, and applesauce until fluffy.  In another large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Add wet to dry; fold in the big chunks.  Scoop onto a baking sheet and flatten slightly with a  fork.

Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the centres spring back when touched and cookies have browned on the bottom.  They will be soft due to the applesauce.  Makes 27 using a 2-tablespoon scoop.



I have one more recipe I’d like to share, but since it’s part of dinner tonight, it’ll have to wait.

Tschüß,
Q