Tuna Panini

Tuna Panini

Tuna Panini
Tuna Panini

I would never in a million years think that vegan tuna salad would taste good but let me tell you, it does. Well at least this recipe does.

I’m always looking for good sandwiches to bring to work. Nothing beats a tasty meal during that all too quick lunch break. And a bad lunch can totally ruin the rest of your day.

I found this recipe here and only made a couple of very minor changes. So I can take no credit at all for this recipe, well except for the part about turning it into a panini. I tend to turn everything into a panini. You’d think that I wrote a Panini Cookbook or something.

 

Vegan Tuna Panini

  • 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 large lemon
  • 3 Tbsp hummus
  • 1 1/2 cups celery (chopped)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1 sheet of toasted wasabi flavored seaweed (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt + pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the chickpeas/garbanzo beans and add them to a mixing bowl. You can peel them if you like but it’s totally not necessary
Mash the beans with a fork, mortar and pestle or a potato masher
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix
Put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to give the flavors a chance to blend
For a panini, spread the mixture between two slices of crunchy bread. top with pickle and tomato and press in a preheated panini press for 3-5 minutes

 

Note: Trader Joe’s has excellent toasted wasabi flavored seaweed and I think they only cost about $0.99 per package. It gives this recipe a good fish like flavor and also a little bit of heat.

 

If you want to use real tuna fish then it obviously won’t be vegan anymore. But I’d still use the celery, onion, pickle & tomato. Or add cheese for a tuna melt panini.

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

As someone who is not a big fan of pumpkin pie, it’s surprising that I’m totally loving this recipe for pumpkin bread.

You see I spent a lot of time searching online for a great Vegan zucchini bread recipe because like most vegetable gardeners at this time of year, I have so many zucchini that I don’t know what to do with them. Its an annual questions that plagues most veggie growers. What to do with the extra zucchini? I’ve fried them, I’ve grilled them, sautéed them, made them with pasta, with rice, with quinoa. I’ve even made potato zucchini pancakes. And before I start sounding like Bubba from Forest Gump, I even gave them away to people at work. So why not try zucchini bread? But what does this have to do with Pumpkin Bread? I’ll get to that part in a minute.

So I found this great recipe. I eat a lot of vegan food because I have cholesterol issues but that’s a story for another time. I checked the ingredients while I was at work and did some shopping during my lunch break. I was all set when I got home to make some delicious zucchini bread. Except for one thing. After going to the garden, I realized that I didn’t have an zucchini. There were a few football sized one but I don’t like to cook with those because they get too seedy. All the perfectly sized zucchini that I was counting on had some bite marks in them or they were totally eaten. I must have had a visit from a woodchuck or a rabbit.




So without any zucchini, this zucchini bread mission that I was on would probably not work out so well. But wait, I had a can of pumpkin from Trader Joes in my pantry. So I said to myself, why not just substitute it? And that’s how this Vegan Pumpkin Bread recipe was born.

One other minor problem that I ran into was that I didn’t have any baking powder. I did have three containers of baking soda but the recipe called for baking powder. No way was I running out the store or giving up on my veggie loaf, so I quickly found out how to make baking powder from baking soda and cream of tartar.

Despite all the problems this Pumpkin came out awesome. Absolutely perfect for a nice treat at night or even a hearty breakfast. Here’s the recipe.
Yield: 2 loaves

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoonsground flax seeds
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 can (about 2 cups) pumpkin
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup  whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease two loaf pans with cooking spray
  3. Add the flax seeds to warm water and mix
  4. Add the sugar, oil, applesauce, and vanilla and mix
  5. Add pumpkin and stir until combined
  6. Mix in optional chocolate chips if desired
  7. In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt
  8. Add dry mixture to wet and mix until moistened. Do not over mix, some lumps are okay. Pour batter into greased loaf pans
  9. Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes, or until knife inserted in center of loaf comes out clean


Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes

Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes
Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes
Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes

Gluten Free Vegan Cupcakes

I like trying new things and that definitely includes food. When my wife was asked to bring dessert to a baby shower recently, I jumped at the chance to help out. Hey, I’m a guy who likes to do woodworking projects and I also bake cupcakes, deal with it. But these aren’t just any cupcakes, they’re gluten free vegan cupcakes.

The mom to be is a vegetarian who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. She’s also lactose intolerant. So basically, we needed a gluten free vegan dessert to satisfy a pregnant woman. Yikes, you’d think that would be a huge challenge but it actually wasn’t too bad.

It wasn’t too bad because I had remembered seeing vegan cupcakes win it all on the Food Network show, Cupcake Wars. Chef Chloe Coscarelli won with a few different cupcake recipes but the one that I wanted to try was the chocolate strawberry shortcake cupcakes. They really looked delicious, even through the TV. You can find her recipe and lots more vegan recipes at her site, Chef Chloe. Definitely worth a visit. Go ahead and check out her site now, I’ll wait.




I’ve actually made the chocolate cake part of this recipe before, but I just threw all of the batter into a bundt pan and scoffed the whole thing down without any icing. Probably wouldn’t win Cupcake Wars like that but there’s no time to worry about presentation when you’re starving. When I made them this time I wouldn’t be starving and they would also have to be gluten free. Luckily she addresses this in her recipe. To make these cupcakes gluten free you can substitute the all-purpose flour with gluten free flour and 3/4 teaspoon of xantham gum.

Being someone who likes to try new things, I altered the recipe a little this time and messed with the liquids. The recipe calls for 1 cup of coffee, water or coconut milk. I went with 1 shot of Patron XO Cafe (coffee flavored tequila) and topped off the rest of the 1 cup measurement with coffee. I’m happy with the change that I made. I think it added a slightly more intense flavor to the recipe and it wasn’t at all boozy.

My wife said the cupcakes were a big hit at the shower so that worked out well. But I’m more excited about the extra batch that we ate at home. Delicious!

Who wants to make the same old recipes over and over again. There’s so many cool foods out there to try and great recipes can be found with a just a few clicks. I’m glad I tried gluten free vegan cupcakes.

And Chef Chloe is also coming out with a cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way. I’m looking forward to trying some of her other vegan recipes. If they’re as good as these cupcakes were then I’m sold. I already pre-ordered the book, so a review will be in the works.