Adults-Only Chocolate Orange Sauce

As a “grown up”, I’ve gotten used to the fact that some things I could get away with eating as a kid would raise more than a few eyebrows if I tried it now. Spoonfuls of Nutella and/or peanut butter out of the jar, frozen McDonalds french fries (don’t know why my mom used to freeze them but they were so good), corn syrup on toast and tubes of raw cookie dough shared amongst my closest friend all come to mind – along with the reminder that there was a reason I topped 200 pounds in my early teen years. Moderation was preached at home, but when left to my own teenage devices it left the building entirely. 

Adults - Only Chocolate Sauce

One of the other goodies I used to be able to get regularly at the local Tim Hortons was cups of chocolate milk – we’re talking the fountain-drink cups here, with a Large running at 24oz of cold, rich tasting, sweet dairy. With the evolution of the menu (and inevitable price increases for “real” food and skilled labour), the fountain-style chocolate milk disappeared and was replaced with the cartons, just as “freshly made” doughnuts transformed into pre-baked, frozen pucks that are reheated and glazed on site. While carton-style chocolate milk wasn’t the worst thing in the world (and was certainly better than Quik powder), it didn’t quit have the same indulgent feel going for it. When I stopped being able to drink “regular” milk, I started experimenting with a few variations of chocolate pastes, syrups and sauces added to various non-dairy milks – partially to cover up any off flavours and/or textures (looking at you, off-label soy milk and most rice milks) and partially to see if I could get anything to taste similar to what I remembered, dairy or non. 

Luckily, adulthood brought with it the freedom to experiment with extra flavour options, and I took a leaf out of my mom’s “chocolate-orange love” book when I came up with this beauty. The first and foremost flavour in this just-thick-enough syrup is definitely bittersweet chocolate – so much so that the milk chocoholics out there will probably shy away from licking the spoon (more for us!). However, a lingering, ever-so-subtle whisper of orange creeps in afterwards thanks to a hint of Grand Marnier. It’s not cooked out, hence the “adults only” moniker, but it is definitely a throwback to after-school snacks as a kid. The syrup is just thick enough to make for an artistic drizzle over cake, ice cream or fruit, but my personal favourite is to add a shot to a (cashew milk) caffe latte for a wicked twist on a hot mocha. I’ve yet to test it out on the heavier drinkers here making cocktails though – let me know what your favourite would be!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Adults-Only Chocolate Orange Sauce
Makes ~12 fl. oz, 12 (1 fl. oz) servings
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp amber agave (or honey, if not vegan)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch salt
½ tbsp Clear Jel
2 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine the water, sugars, agave, cocoa and salt in a pot over medium heat, whisking to combine.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the Clear Jel and cold water and add to the simmering mixture. 
  4. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat, stir in the Grand Marnier and vanilla and pour into a jar or bottle.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 44.3
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.2 mg
Total Carbs: 11.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.3 g

Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam Toast Topper #69

Strawberry and rhubarb jam has, I believe, become my new favourite flavour of Toast Topper. I’m not an overly sweet person when it comes to fruit (I love tart cherries and raspberries, for example), especially in the summer when it’s a billion degrees out. Luckily, our garden is bursting with rhubarb, which tempers the saccharine nature of the perfect local berries finally making it to market. 

Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam

Of course, it is jam we’re talking about, and when I make preserves for holiday gift giving, the sugar does play a certain role in that respect. Most pectin demands sugar to work, and while I’m always playing with low-sugar options like Pomona’s and Ball’s, but sometimes having the convenience of perfectly proportioned ingredients trumps fancy-dancy fine tooling. Since I can a lot of things at a time to conserve energy (water bath canners take forever to heat up!), by jam #4 I’m getting ready to call it a day. Not willing to toss the ingredients into the freezer for another day, thereby admitting defeat, I pulled out one of my fail-safe jamming secrets when time is short – sugar with pectin already added and mixed in. Using the bag of that set up a ton of strawberries and rhubarb, and thanks to the natural thickening properties of rhubarb, the mix gelled more than the directions say it will (meaning less sugar per serving!). 

Since it still seemed a bit too sweet for my taste, and mom loves the combination of strawberries and black pepper, I chopped up a handful of my beautiful, zippy homegrown nasturtium blossoms and tossed them in with a dash of white pepper for interest! The floral peppery-ness really amps up the fresh flavours of the berries, and is definitely something I will continue to do!

Are you a fan of savoury and sweet combinations (like pepper and strawberries)?

Peppery Strawbarb Blossom Jam
Makes 8 cups, 64 2-tbsp servings
600g (~4.2 cups) fresh or frozen whole strawberries, thawed if frozen
2 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/3 cup chopped nasturtium blossoms, plus 8 whole ones
1 full bag (1 kg / 5.218 cups) Redpath’s QuickSet for Jam (or another jelling sugar, around here it’s either Redpath or Lantic)

  1. Combine the berries, rhubarb, water, lemon juice and pepper in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cook, mashing berries and rhubarb to a chunky pulp, for 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chopped nasturtium blossoms and Quickset and bring to a full boil.
  4. Cook, stirring constantly, for 4 minutes.
  5. Ladle into sterilized jars and top each with a whole nasturtium flower.
  6. Seal and process in a waterbath for 10 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 69.2
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.2 mg
Total Carbs: 17.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.3 g
Protein: 0.1 g

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars #CreativeCookieExchange

Wow. I don’t know what’s happened to my brain these days, but I am all out of focusing power. Since I have the summer “off” (fellow teachers know that’s a huge lie), I’ve been stuck in the mentality that I’m “multitasking” during the day when in reality I’m doing a lot of things and getting none of them done. It’s been hot as blazes the past week or so too, meaning that the oven is off 90% of the time (which also saves us on energy costs), whatever fruit I glean from the farmers market with the eventual goal of turning into jam is banished to the freezer, and the ice cube trays are getting a workout. That said, I have learned that frozen lemon slices are perfect for chilling large cups of water, T-shirts make great re-usable shopping bags, a pair of socks can turn into an owl and I’m better at altering clothing than I thought.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars



Normally at this time of year I’d also be regaling you with stories about the garden’s glorious bounty. While the produce and herbs are coming along perfectly fine themselves, we unfortunately have attracted a family or two of voles, which have decimated all my early harvest lettuce, kale, heirloom peppers and some of my prized heirloom tomatoes. Until those pests are under control for good, I’ve decided to patrol my little plot every morning, filling in holes and mourning my losses. Needless to say, this year’s haul might be somewhat spartan, and this realization has slightly deadened my usual drive to live the kitchen, heat be damned.

What has convinced me to crank up the oven lately are the almost weekly BBQ cookouts my family has. Voles aside, we have a spacious, well taken care of and (if I say so myself) rather pretty backyard, and now that our gazebo is once again securely anchored and screened in after an early season windstorm, it’s a decently comfortable location for a small group to dine. While mom takes care of making the burgers, corn, salads and fruit trays, she’s often too pressed for time to think about a secondary dessert option. I’m not saying fruit isn’t a good Summer sweet, but one can only have so many slices of watermelon in an afternoon, and when there are kids involved you know eventually one of them is going to pine for “real dessert”! 

Chocolate Chip Banana Bars

In the interest of pleasing both the sweet teeth of all our guests as well as the goals of many of the adults to stay svelte this season (and their desire to limit the kids’ sugar consumption) I devised these thin, cake-like banana bars. Essentially squares of indulgent chocolate-chip banana bread, they get a dense crumb and light tang from cream cheese that makes them perfect for a backyard BBQ or picnic lunch. The recipe makes a big pan’s worth and freezes beautifully, making the most of your oven time in the midst of the summer heat. With all the chocolate chips peppered throughout, you’d never suspect they were vegan, nut free and full of fibre from oats and whole wheat. If you need to dress it up, just spoon over a handful of seasonal berries and grab a fork! 

For #CreativeCookieExchange this month, we’ve decided that cheese makes everything better – even cookies! Sweet or savoury, you can find all sorts of inspiration here!

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month!

If you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

Banana Chocolate Chip Bars
Makes one 15×10 inch jelly roll pan, 36 pieces
¼ cup non-hydrogenated shortening
½ cup cream cheese (I used Tofutti)
⅓ cup sugar
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 tbsp Lyle’s golden syrup (or corn syrup)
4 mashed over-ripe bananas
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup rolled oats
¼ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips 

  1. Heat the oven to 350F and line a 15×10″ jelly roll pan with parchment.
  2. In a bowl, beat together shortening, cream cheese, sugars, vanilla, golden syrup and bananas until smooth.
  3. Whisk together the flours, oats, nutmeg, baking powder and salt and add to the banana mixture, mixing to combine.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until firm.
  6. Cool completely in the pan before slicing

 Amount Per Serving
Calories: 104.5
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 20.5 mg
Total Carbs: 18.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3 g
Protein: 1.6 g

Blue Raspberry Chia Jam: Toast Topper #68

Sometimes the simplest things are the most delicious. Around here, especially in the height of summer, our table sings with the bounty of both our backyard and the local farms that sell on the market days. It’s a time that flies by way too fast in my opinion, since it seems like only yesterday I was hauling my first load of rhubarb from and planting my tomato seedlings in the garden, and now we’re halfway through July!

Anyways, my latest foray into the farmer’s market netted me with two boxes of wild Ontario blueberries, which (after careful taste testing!) were carefully stashed away from prying fingers. I had picked up a bag of frozen Ontario raspberries the week before, and had been grabbing the occasional handful right out of the freezer after a few hours in the 35C heat in our backyard, and it occurred to me to combine the two fruits in a lightly sweetened, lightning-fast Toast Topper. After all, we had a fresh loaf of Pain au Levain to gild!

Blue-Raspberry Chia Jam

I’m not kidding, either, when I say this recipe is an exercise in simplicity – or frugality. It can be as easily made in the dead of winter with frozen berries as in the height of summer with fresh, and doesn’t contain any added sugar – the minimal boost in sweetness for this batch came from a boiled apple syrup I cooked down from fresh juice and tempered with added lemon juice and zest. To thicken the medley of berries, a dose of chia seeds went to work, making for a spread that is not so stiff that you have to cut through it with a knife (yech!) but thick enough not to run off your bagel in the morning. While the mixture is less alien today than a year or two ago when the chia craze first hit, I’ve still yet to find many people (outside of my Home Ec classes!) that have truly tasted it like this. Hopefully this recipe will spark another group of eager eaters!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Blue Raspberry Chia Jam
Makes 2 cups, 16 (2 tbsp) servings
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
3 tbsp Boiled Apple Cider Syrup (I made my own but you can use this too)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp raw sugar (optional, I didn’t use any)
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp chia seeds

  1. Combine berries, syrup, zest and sugar (if using) in a medium pot and bring to a simmer, mashing the berries slightly. Cook 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and chia seeds.
  3. Process in a waterbath for 25 minutes.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 16.8
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 3.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.5 g
Protein: 0.4 g

Pain au Levain avec Banane #BreadBakers

Pain of whatnow?

Relax, the fancy-schmancy French name I gave the hearty, crusty boule made for this month’s #BreadBakers event simply means Banana Sourdough. There’s only six ingredients – five if you don’t count water – and there’s no added sugar at all. All the sweetness comes from the namesake fruit, and in lieu of added butter or oil, a scoop of all natural cashew butter adds the “peanut butter and banana sandwich” nuance along with everlasting moisture.

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

Of course, sourdough anything, regardless of the sweetener or fat used, is usually far from being a mindless pursuit. There’s a starter to maintain (sort of… mine pretty much lives in the fridge unless I decide to bake one morning), baking stones to heat in the oven, and hours upon hours to wait for each rise. I’m not denying these steps exist with this loaf, either. They do – from almost a full day, followed by an overnight, rise as well as multiple stretch-and-folds in place of a one-shot knead. However, all this fuss and time allows the relatively heavy dough to strengthen, rise and eventually shape nicely into it’s final round.

Looking at it, of course, it’s not impressive. In fact, the perfectly baked loaf is pedestrian at best, not large or beautifully embellished with washes, score marks or egg paint. It’s something that would sit in the breadbox, untouched by passerby – and definitely nothing that would fly out of a boulangerie. The secret to this bread only reveals itself when it’s cut into – and even without butter or any other Toast Topper I dare you to declare it’s not delicious!

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

All our naturally sweetened breads:

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

In brackets, I have included the baker’s percentages so you can easily scale up or down as you need.

Pain au Levain avec Banane 
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, 20 slices

350g 100% hydration, recently fed (preferably rye) sourdough starter    (100%)

350g whole wheat bread flour  (100%)
246g mashed banana  (70.18%)
55g smooth cashew butter (this is my current fave) (15.79%)
49g water  (14.04%)
11g salt (3.16%) – use less if your cashew butter is heavily salted

  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Mix ingredients on low speed for 2 minutes, just to combine, then cover and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Knead for 12 minutes on medium-low speed. 
  4. Cover and let rise 2 ½ hours, stretching and folding (30-40 times) every 50 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  6. Place in the fridge overnight.
  7. Bring to room temperature, shape into a round loaf and let rise 4 hours on a sheet of parchment.
  8. Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven and heat to 410F.
  9. Transfer dough (on the parchment) to the stone and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Reduce temperature to 375F, tent with foil and bake another 25 minutes.
  11. When fully baked, the loaf will be 190F internally.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.6
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.6 mg
Total Carbs: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 3.7 g  

Chufa Chocolate Chippers

Are you a “chunky” type of chocolate chipper? Growing up, you’d never catch me with chunks of anything other than chocolate in my cookies – raisins, chopped nuts and seeds, granola were verboten by us kids, and my poor chocolate chip-pecan-oatmeal cookie loving mom obliged year after year, batch after batch. Eventually I started to come around to the “heartier” side of things, but I never really liked the semi-bitter flavour that walnuts and pecans brought to the sweet party, not to mention I could barely bring “nutted” goodies anywhere anyway, after the explosion of allergies in schools, camps and even some offices.

Chufa Chocolate Chippers

Luckily, as years passed and I started paying attention to alternative options, I devised a recipe that had all the texture my mom (and many others) desired, but was allergy-friendly too. In the end, the basic formula switched extremes in a way – from being packed with nuts, eggs, dairy, refined sugar and gluten to lacking every single one of those. My secret was a blend of sorghum flour, ground chufa nuts (AKA Tigernuts) and sunflower seed flour for the base “dough” – making for a sweet and earthy cookie – then adding chopped Tigernuts for texture and a stevia/agave mix for sweetening. A few batches in and I was starting to get requests for them – leading to a bag of them in everyone’s Christmas boxes last year!

A note, which applies to almost all gluten free baking and certainly good chocolate chip cookie manufacturing: let the dough rest. In this case, it’s not to relax the gluten (there isn’t any!) but to allow the dough to hydrate – no sandy gluten free cookies!
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Shared with Gluten Free Fridays (#200!)

Chufa Chocolate Chippers
Makes 24
¼ cup canola oil
¼ tsp stevia extract powder
½ tsp vanilla
⅓ cup water
1 tbsp agave nectar
100g tigernut flour
50g sunflower seed flour
50g sorghum flour
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
½ tsp guar gum
pinch nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda
⅓ cup miniature chocolate chips
¼ cup chopped tigernuts (optional)

  1. In a bowl, beat together the oil, stevia, vanilla, water and corn syrup until blended.
  2. Beat in the flours, flaxseed, nutmeg, salt and baking soda.
  3. Fold in the chocolate chips and tigernuts.
  4. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment.
  6. Scoop 1 tbsp balls of dough and flatten slightly.
  7. Bake 15-18 minutes. Cool on the sheet.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 85.9
Total Fat: 5.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.2 mg
Total Carbs: 9.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.9 g
Protein: 2.3 g

Beerinara for a Father’s Day #SundaySupper

If I had any doubt that Father’s day was coming close, I’d only have to look at the tables, shelves and cubbies of our school classrooms to wipe it away. Just from Home Ec alone, 75 glass jars have floated in and out of the building, filled with everything from candied pretzels to BBQ sauce, flavoured salt and a KFC style chicken coating. The goodies, being made by kids, are of course all “child friendly” and nut-free – things like beer cozies and spiced nuts are pretty much verboten, not to mention a good chunk of our student body’s parentage does not touch a drop of alcohol.

That said, at home, my dad loves a good beer on a hot Summer day, not to mention he (like his daughter!) adores his garlic. Really, it’s a wonder that both of us have hypertension given she sheer amount we consume, but genetics does weird and wonderful things (at least I know I belong to my parents, who both have genetic hypertension!). But I digress. I found a bagful of tomatoes roasted and frozen from last year’s crop when cleaning out the deep freezer a month or so ago and knew I needed to do something with it, as well as some of the zillion tons of zucchini I had shredded and individually frozen for baking but never used. Inspired by The Beeroness, I took a quick trip to the store which netted me a lovely Quebec-made gluten free ale and some fat heads of garlic begging to be roasted. A hint of homemade, salt-free lemon pepper added just the right amount of zip without the extra salinity, and the whole works canned like a dream for enjoyment both now and down the road. In fact, I can’t wait for my July tomatoes to start coming in just so I can try this out with other beers! 

This #SundaySupper is celebrating dads! Does your dad love to cook or would he rather leave that to someone else? What is his favorite recipe he likes to make or have made for him? Is your dad the king of the grill (or not!)? Let’s share stories about dads/father figures and all the delicious foods they loved to eat or make!

Appetizers & Snacks:

Beverage:

Breakfast:

Condiments & Sauces:

Desserts:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Plus What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement
Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Beerinara
Makes ~ 9 cups, 36 (1/4 cup) servings
2 large heads of garlic, papery overcoat removed but unpeeled
3 lbs tomatoes (ideally plum or other meaty variety), halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced
1 large carrot, shredded
3 cups shredded zucchini
12 ounces gluten free ale or IPA
6 oz tomato paste
¼ cup fresh basil, divided
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp salt-free lemon pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Cut a small amount of the tip off the head of the garlic heads to expose the cloves and place on two small pieces of aluminum foil. Fold the foil tightly around the garlic, place on a baking sheet.
  3. Add the tomatoes (cut side down) to the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the tomatoes and the garlic for 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Allow to cool.
  5. Pass tomatoes through a food mill into a bowl, set aside.
  6. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
  7. Add the onion and cook until golden.
  8. Stir in the carrot and zucchini (along with any zucchini liquid) and cook until carrots begin to soften.
  9. Add the beer, tomatoes, tomato paste, half the basil, thyme and paprika.
  10. Squeeze in the roasted garlic cloves the cloves into the sauce.
  11. Reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, cover and cook 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavours blend.
  12. Stir in remaining basil, salt and lemon pepper.
  13. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree until smooth.
  14. Can in a waterbath for 35 minutes

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 27.1
Total Fat: 0.6 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 108.1 mg
Total Carbs: 4.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.1 g
Protein: 0.9 g

"Caramel Doughnut" Cake #SundaySupper

As a Canadian, I always forget that my friends to the south celebrate their “long weekend” – Memorial Day – a week after our Victoria Day holiday. In my household, at least, July 1 (Canada Day), not late May is the herald of Summer’s beginnings – in fact, this year’s blast of near 40°C (104°F) heat is a total anomaly that we didn’t even see in the middle of July last year!

Because of the swath of heat and humidity we got this week (not complaining at all!), we’ve been grilling outdoors or making no-cook meals more than usual. That said, the sweet teeth around here sometimes just need a baked treat. Nothing super-sweet or rich, but toothsome enough to fill that craving whenever it strikes. Coffee cakes, in my opinion, fit that purpose to a T – especially when they’re homemade, since you can keep the sweetness below tooth-aching storebought levels, add your own spices and ingredient twists, and (of course) know that it is perfectly fresh.

Remembering the Summer road trips my family took when I was young, where we always stopped at a local doughnut shop halfway to our destination, I decided to recreate the flavours of the “old fashioned” doughuts and muffins we used to savour all through the Summer. I decided to switch up the sweetener, ditching granular sugar for my favourite vegan caramel sauce (made with soy milk this time) to give it a richer, rounder flavour that worked perfectly in the 100% whole grain batter and heightened the spiciness of the nutmeg and light smokiness from the salt. To get the “edge” of savoury that comes along with the true “old-style”, tallow-fried doughnuts, I added just a hint of nutritional yeast – the popular vegan “cheesy flavour” secret for sauces. Thankfully, the cake doesn’t taste anything like those sauces – just delicious! Of course, being topped with a decadent streusel doesn’t hurt either! 

This #SundaySupper we’re helping celebrate Memorial Day and the beginnings of Summer by sharing our BEST recipes for our summer gatherings! How do you mark the start of hot, humid, happy weather and fun times? Take a look at all our recipes this week, hosted by T.R. Crumbley of Gluten Free Crumbley

Appetizers

Sides and Salads

The Main

Desserts

Plus Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake and Best Potluck Dishes from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

“Caramel Doughnut” Cake
Makes one 9″ cake, 12 slices
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
1 cup spelt flour
1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
½ tsp smoked sea salt
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ cup vegan “buttery sticks”, cut into cubes
¼ cup shortening, cut into cubes
¼ cup large-flake rolled oats
2 tablespoons coarse raw sugar
¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
2 tbsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
⅔ cup Simple Salted Caramel Sauce – made with soy milk for nut free

  1. Heat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9” springform pan.
  2. Whisk the flours, nutritional yeast, salt, nutmeg, baking soda and baking powder.
  3. Add the margarine and shortening, cutting into the flour mixture to create coarse crumbs.
  4. Reserve ½ cup crumbs, add the oats and coarse sugar and set aside.
  5. Combine the milk, vinegar, vanilla and caramel syrup, then stir into the remaining flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Spread in the pan and top with the crumb mixture.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes in a preheated oven. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
  8. Cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then release the sides and cool completely.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 237.3
Total Fat: 8.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 149.6 mg
Total Carbs: 39.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.5 g
Protein: 4.5 g

Aquafaba Meringues

I know it’s coming around to the Summer “bikini season” when the treats in our staff room start getting less rich and more on the “pseudo-virtuous” side of things. While nothing that appears in our small haven away from the children could truly be classified as a nutritious choice (except the veggie tray which appeared – once – and was subsequently ignored), lighter tasting treats like raspberry coffee cake and “low fat” biscotti are cropping up to tempt our palates. With the seasonal change, it was the perfect time for me to try out a recipe that I’ve had saved away for a while now – vegan meringues.

Now, a few years ago, the concept of a “vegan meringue” was only contemplated by molecular gastronomes, if not considered outright laughable. However, a combination of genius, science and experimentation by several people eventually resulted in the Aquafaba (literally, “Bean Water”) Meringue recipe. Since then (early 2015), subsequent other uses for the starchy cooking liquid have been tried and shared on the Vegan Meringues – Hits and Misses Facebook page – including a spiced Bundt cake that I’ll be sharing soon!

Whether it’s the (minimal) protein content, the starch, magic or a combination of all the above, the liquid you normally drain away from canned chickpeas and other beans whips up perfectly into a light and fluffy foam that stiffens into glossy meringue with the addition of cream of tartar and sugar – resulting in light-as air, fat free, gluten free, vegan cookies. In my opinion, using aquafaba is actually easier than using egg whites (you don’t have to be as uber-careful about fat, and it’s impossible to overwhip them), not to mention any “common” allergy issues would be null as well.
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“Cake Batter” Flavoured Funfetti Meringues

The question I first asked when thinking about using aquafaba was whether or not the finished meringues, etc would taste like beans. Well, thankfully, nothing I’ve made with it (regardless of the bean type) has tasted remotely of the legume it surrounded – if anything, it’s exceptionally bland, taking on any and all flavourings like a sponge. The first time I whipped up AF meringues, I used the standard chickpea brine, adding pure vanilla and mint extracts and vanilla sugar, while the “cake batter” variety got a pinch of nutmeg and sprinkles with the flavour extract. Black bean aquafaba made its way into brownies (not unlike the ones from this book) and the liquid left over from cooking up some Tongues of Fire beans made a perfect carrot loaf cake. I can’t wait to play some more!
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Shared with Gluten Free Fridays 
 

Aquafaba Meringues
Vanilla-Mint Meringues


Aquafaba Meringues
Makes ~45
2/3 cup aquafaba*
¼ tsp cream of tartar
3/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp (150 g) superfine sugar
flavouring / colouring of choice
coloured sprinkles (optional, for “funfetti” meringues)

  1. Heat the oven to 215F (190F convection).
  2. Combine the aquafaba and cream of tartar in a stand mixer and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form – about 15 minutes.
  3. Slowly beat in the sugar one tablespoon at a time, beating at least 10 seconds between additions.
  4. When all the grittiness is gone, add 1 tsp of your flavouring of choice (I’ve used vanilla, mint, and even “Cake Batter”) and colouring (if using) and whip to incorporate.
  5. If using sprinkles, fold in by hand.
  6. Drop or pipe the foam onto a parchment paper-covered cookie sheet (I don’t recommend SilPat for meringue, it deflates it for some reason).
  7. Bake for 2 hours. Do not open the oven door during this time.
  8. Turn off the oven and cool inside for 30 minutes, then crack the door and let meringues cool to room temperature.
  9. Store the completed meringues in an airtight container.

* Have more or less than 2/3 cup of aquafaba on hand? Use the ratio of 1 part AF : 1 1/3 parts superfine sugar, plus ¼ tsp cream of tartar for every 2/3 cup AF

More info: http://aquafaba.com/

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 13.9
Total Fat: 0.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.0 mg
Total Carbs: 3.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.0 g

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup #SundaySupper

While the weather is definitely starting to warm up (albeit slowly!), around here we’re still in the throes of ever variable climate conditions day to day. This past week, for example, I went from wearing a fuzzy winter jacket, mittens and hat to a light sweater and back to a spring coat – and inside vs. outside temperature is even more variable due to the heating / cooling systems in different buildings.

Even if it was consistently hot and sunny outside, it’s almost guaranteed that soup will play a role in our weekly menu at home. For me, it’s often a quick-fix dinner after a full day of work or a busy weekend of lesson planning or prep work. My mom, though, savours the pleasure of a warm potage at lunch (with homemade bread, of course!), and is as eager to travel the world via tasting as I am through cooking. Soup is perfect for taming even the most savage of beasts (hunger or otherwise), and I love this one in particular because it’s a filling, protein and fibre-rich, flavourful blend with a built-in antibacterial forcefield from the hefty doses of herbs, spices and garlic!

While the ingredient list seems long, a lot of it is spices that are fairly commonplace. The starch I chose – sorghum – is one of my favourites in the flour world, and when I found a bag of the raw grain at my local Asian grocery I snapped it up and fell in love. The slightly sweet, buttery, nutty flavour the sorghum has pairs perfectly with the mellowed garlic and onions, while its texture reminds me of Israeli couscous or tapioca. That said, brown rice (especially a short grain variety) would play just as well here and regardless the whole thing is basically an excuse to eat a bowl of hummus for dinner!
 

Tunisian Garlic and Chickpea Soup

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#SundaySupper is focused on “Spice is Nice & Some Like it Hot” this week – if you love spicy food of any kind (not just the “hot” spices), this event is one to check out! This week’s host is Sarah of The Chef Next Door

Aromatic Appetizers

 
Distinctive Drinks
 
Daring Desserts
 
Masterful Mains
 
Seasoned Sides

Plus Homemade Ginger Ale and Spice is Nice Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

 

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Tunisian Garlic Chickpea Soup
Makes 10 servings
2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
1 large, sweet onion, diced
5 stalks celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
25 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
¾ tsp paprika
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Zest of 2 Meyer or 1 regular lemon
7 cups vegetable broth
½ cup sorghum grain or short-grain brown rice
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp Meyer lemon juice (or 2 tbsp regular lemon juice)
⅓ cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp minced lemon thyme (or regular thyme + ½ tbsp extra lemon zest)

  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the garlic oil over medium until shimmering.
  2. Stir in the onion, celery and carrots. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until onion is beginning to turn golden.
  3. Add the garlic and spices. Cook 2 minutes longer, until fragrant.
  4. Add the broth, sorghum (or rice) and chickpeas and simmer for 45 minutes.
  5. With an immersion blender, partially puree the soup, leaving some whole chickpeas and vegetables (alternatively, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree, then return to the pot).
  6. Stir in lemon juice, parsley and lemon thyme (or thyme / zest combination). Serve.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 151.5
Total Fat: 4.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 379.2 mg
Total Carbs: 26.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.5 g
Protein: 5.3 g