Breakfast: A smoothie of 1/2 a honeycrisp apple, 1/2 a frozen banana, about 1/2 cup frozen blackberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1 tbsp carob powder, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 4 large leaves of lacinato kale, and 1/2 cup homemade almond milk, accompanied by a Raisin-Almond Butter Cinnamon Roll adapted from “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread.”
Forever enamored by the plethora of yeasty, hearty, whole-grain, scrumptiousness of the recipes featured in Jennifer Katzinger’s “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” I once again opened my already copiously stained copy of the cookbook I received just this Christmas to try my hand at another one of Jennifer’s sweeter offerings—Raisin Cinnamon Rolls. One of two cinnamon roll recipes featured in the cookbook (the other is for Pecan Cinnamon Rolls), these subtlely sweet, intensely-cinnamony rolls boast an extra helping of decadence due to their filling of maple butter and plumped raisins. However, because maple butter costs quite the pretty penny, I opted to employ roasted almond butter in its place, imparting an extra level of unctuousness to the rolls. Though these rolls prove superbly moist and light when enjoyed straight out of the oven, I’ve found that they do not keep well and turn rather dry and crumbly after a mere two days of sitting on the countertop. Thank goodness I only made half a batch! I’ve also slathered these cinnamon rolls in an Orange-Scented Fig Jam spiced with fresh rosemary to yield astoundingly tasty results.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, almond milk, almond butter, garbanzo bean flour, chia seeds, almond meal (last three in cinnamon roll). Whole Grain—brown rice flour, teff flour. Fruit—apple, banana, blackberries, goji berries, raisins. Leafy Green—lacinato kale. Superfood—hemp seeds, goji berries, Amazing Grass powder, chia seeds, carob powder.
Local Ingredients: Kale from Don’s Produce (no website).
Morning Tea: Organic & Pure Peppermint White Tea.
Though I usually harbor an aversion to peppermint tea, the delicately sweet note of the digestion-friendly herb featured in this surprisingly complex tea blend nicely complements the almost perfume-like taste of white tea—perfect for quiet afternoon contemplation and aiding your gut after lunch.
Lunch: A Mushroom-Spinach Melt Sandwich of cashew cheese melted over the filling of Green Kitchen Stories’ Spiced Spinach and Mushrooms in Almond Tartlets in between two slices of the Focaccia recipe in “Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread,” accompanied by a salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, two spoonfuls of adzuki beans, and dulse seaweed flakes all tossed in Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Fizzeology’s “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut.
I recently experienced a bit of an epiphany in realizing that I could craft hot, melty, ooey gooey sandwiches in addition to their (still delicious) cold counterparts with all of the gluten-free bread-baking in which I’ve engaged lately. This Spinach-Mushroom Melt comprises the second hot sandwich I’ve created, right after my quite well-received Roasted Brussels Sprout Grilled Cheese. After warming two slices of herbed focaccia on my built-in stove-top griddle, I piled on the spinach-mushroom saute offered by Green Kitchen Stories, topped it with three thin slices of cashew cheese, placed the now open-faced sandwich back on the griddle, and covered it with a large pot lid until the cheese melted, then slapped the second slice of focaccia on top. Yum.
Meal Checklist: Protein—cashews, adzuki beans, chia seeds, garbanzo bean flour, flaxseed meal (last three in bread). Whole Grain—teff, brown rice, and buckwheat flours in bread. Vegetables—onion, shiitake and crimini mushrooms, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, “farmhouse mix” sprouts, purple carrots, sauerkraut veggies. Leafy Greens—spinach, mixed greens, dulse seaweed, greens in sauerkraut.
Local Ingredients: Purple carrots from JenEhr Family Farm, alfalfa sprouts and mixed bean sprouts from Troy Community Farm, “Ferment of the Month” sauerkraut from Fizzeology, mixed greens from Don’s Produce (no website), “farmhouse mix” sprouts from Garden to Be, spinach from Snug Haven.
Afternoon Beverage: Half a bottle of Reed’s Culture Club Goji Ginger Kombucha.
Though the locally produced NessAlla still wins the place in my heart dedicated to my favorite kombucha brand, the Goji Ginger flavor of Reed’s Culture Club kombucha could give NessAlla a run for its money. Tangy, sweet, and deeply flavored, this superfood-boosted kombucha tastes like a true work of fermented art. Funnily enough, Reed’s also produces my father’s favorite variety of ginger beer—perhaps I can fool him into trying this more nourishing beverage instead…
Dinner: A scrumptious vegan bowl of sprouted quinoa, roasted brussels sprouts leftover from my grilled cheese adventures, Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu adapted from Olives for Dinner, and Parsnip Bacon adapted from Food & Wine, all slathered in a dilly version of Christy Morgan’s Cashew Basil Aioli.
I feel that this meal needs no explanation. How can one ever go wrong with a vegan bowl? I would like to offer one suggestion, however: run to the kitchen and make the Black Pepper & Thyme Tofu immediately. You won’t be sorry.
Also, on a quick recipe-related note, I subbed liquid smoke for the smoked sea salt in the Parsnip Bacon—my mother’s obsession with the concentrated smokiness of this genius product has now transferred over to me.
Meal Checklist: Protein—tofu, cashews. Whole Grain—sprouted quinoa. Vegetables—brussels sprouts, thyme, parsnips, dill. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts.
Local Ingredients: Parsnips from Driftless Organics.
After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.
Comment Provoking Questions: What is your favorite cinnamon roll filling? How about your favorite vegan hot sandwich? Have you tried/seen Reed’s kombucha before?
Until next time, Ali.