Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Bowl is a great time to return to blogging

Hello Tartlets!

It has been a heck of a long time since my last post.  I have missed you, and missed blogging about athletics and food.  On the athletics front, I retired from endurance sport this past year, but I am SUPER excited for my first race in more than a year. On February 8, 2015, I will make my running debut at the Palm Springs 5k.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Now onto the good stuff - Super Bowl XLIX food!

Super Bowl is synonymous with greasy pizza, wings, 8-layer dip, a bunch of beer and the Monday Bloat.  But, it doesn't have to be bad!   Super Bowl fare can be delicious and sans bloat.  Here are a couple recipes to help get you on your way to a fun, vegan and gluten-free Super Bowl Sunday!

BBQ Cauliflower "Wings" (V or V+GF)
Vegan version:
1 cup spelt or all-purpose flour
1 cup water
2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tsp Kosher salt
22 oz cauliflower florets

Gluten-free version (also vegan):
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1 tsp each garlic powder and Kosher salt
3 Tbsp non-GMO cornstarch
1.5 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
10-12 oz cauliflower florets

Spicy sauce:
3/4 cup Frank's Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp Earth Balance

1. Place all dry ingredients in bowl and whisk to mix.  Slowly add water to create a pancake batter consistency.  You want it thick enough to coat the cauliflower, but not too thin so it falls right off.  Add water slowly (you may not use it all!  Depends on the flour and how it hydrates).  Do a test floret when you think you're there.  If you add too much water, add in a bit of flour to thicken.

2. Place florets on a parchment-lined sheet tray.  Bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes, until  light golden and crispy.  Remove cauliflower to bowl, toss to coat with Spicy Sauce or use your favorite BBQ sauce (what we usually do - the Spicy Sauce has quite a kick!) 

3. Return fully coated cauliflower to sheet tray.  Bake another 5 minutes.  Serve hot with celery sticks and your favorite vegan Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing.

Trim Tart Chili (V+GF)
I created this recipe for those days where I want to make a homemade, hearty dinner but it's the end of the week and the fridge is almost empty.  By design, this recipe uses dried spices and canned (or dried) beans, and I always make sure there is everything I need for an emergency batch of Trim Tart Chili in my pantry.  There is nothing lacking in this vegan and gluten-free chili - even your meat-eating family members will be completely satisfied. AND this is a great Super Bowl Sunday pot-luck addition.  It always gets inhaled.  Get yours early.

(PS - sometimes I don't have the red pepper, but I always have an onion.  Last time I added carrots as it was in my fridge.  No worries if you don't have the peppers some nights.)  Lotsa beans is the key!  I always use 4 cans of beans and a can of corn.

1 onion, chopped
1 organic red bell pepper
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (28 oz) crushed or diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) each: black beans, red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, white cannelini (or pinto) beans, rinsed
1 can organic corn, drained (or use frozen)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2-3 tsp vegan cane sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional, if you like it spicy!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
large spoonful of any nut butter (almond or peanut butter) - SECRET ingredient!!
1-2 Tbsp masa harina or quinoa flour

1. Saute onion and bell pepper in a small bit of oil until lightly golden, 2-4 minutes.  Place into slow cooker.
2. Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker.  Stir to mix.  Cover and cook 8-10 hours (slower is better).**

**please note: spices attenuate with long cooking times, such as in a slow cooker.  Your options: (1) add at beginning, and adjust seasoning toward the end of cooking, if you are able.  This doesn't always work on a weeknight when you get home late and are starving - so if you can't add toward end, no worries.  (2)  Add spices in the last 1-2 hours of cooking for the strongest flavor.

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