Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Accidentally gluten-free

By Giselle Wedemire

I cook a lot in my daily life, and I find that browsing for recipes often takes up a sizeable portion of my down time. This isn't a bad thing at all -- in fact, I'd be willing to file this admission under the 'first world problems' category of personal issues -- and it means that I have food ready and waiting for me in the fridge.

Lately, however, I've noticed that about 85 per cent of the recipes made in my house have not only been vegan (as is to be expected, what with my veganism and all), but accidentally gluten-free as well.

If you were to draw a venn diagram of what diets most of the dishes recently cooked in my home have been catering to, it would look a little something like this:

A 'happy medium' is no longer a saying -- I'm living the dream by regularly eating dishes that are both vegan AND gluten-free.
The best part of it all is that this pleasant surprise has showed me that eating vegan and gluten-free does not automatically limit anyone's dining options to rice cakes and salads (although there's nothing wrong with eating copious amounts of those two items. I won't judge you). 

What do some of these vegan/gluten-free meals look like, you ask? Let me show you!*

Roasted brussels sprouts with rice and cranberries from Thug Kitchen (swapped the recipe's quinoa with rice because why not?)

African sweet potato and peanut stew from The Vegan Table (recipe available here)

Edamame succotash adapted from Food Network. Check out my veganized version of this recipe here.

Fresh herb potato salad from Thug Kitchen.

*Sometimes, in my haste to dig into whatever I've just cooked, I forget to snap some food photos. While I deeply regret the fact that you won't be able to get your dose of food porn for some of the glorious gluten-free/vegan foods I've recently made, you can at least try them out yourself. Here are some of the scrumptious recipes that were so good, their end results never got a chance to be photographed:

Tofu scramble
Pumpkin pie cookies
Black bean brownies

So there you have it: it's completely possible to make your own drool-worthy vegan and gluten-free food without having to resort to basic, uninspired meals.

What are your favourite vegan and gluten-free recipes? Please feel free to tweet us with your recipe suggestions at @PickyBitchez.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Suffering succotash!

By Giselle Wedemire

Sometimes I just need a really quick, reliable, and healthy dinner option that takes no time at all to prepare. It sounds like a tall order, but I think I've found something that works as a great side dish in any time-pressed, last-minute dinner menu.

With Looney Tunes on the brain one day, I decided to research succotash, the source of Sylvester's infamous catchphrase. 

That night, I learnt four things:

1. Succotash was popular in the Depression because its core ingredients are fairly inexpensive.
2. Succotash is incredibly easy to make and comes together in no time.
3. Succotash is amazingly delicious and I constantly wish I had more of it in my tummy.
4. 'Succotash' is ridiculously fun to say (and to type).

While I had to adapt an online recipe to suit both my vegan needs and the contents of my pantry/freezer, my veganized version turned out well so I figured I'd brag share it with you.

*Note: this recipe was inspired by Food Network's online recipe for a similar edamame succotash. The recipe I've concocted (below) is both vegan and gluten-free.

Edamame succotash

What you'll need:

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 stalks finely chopped green onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen edamame
2 cups corn kernels (fresh or frozen is fine)
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp black pepper

What you'll need to do:

In a skillet, heat the oil and sauté the onion and garlic. 
Add the edamame, corn and green peas and cook until heated through. 
Once cooked, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy.