The kids are back in school and I am one happy camper. (But don’t tell them this). As much as I love the kids being home and all of Summer’s fun-filled moments, I am now looking forward to getting back into some sort of routine. Especially the routine of doing what I absolutely love – and that is writing about all the delicious gluten-free and plant-based dishes that have made the voyage across our dining room table and into our much appreciated tummies.
This particular post is well overdue.
Back in June, I had the pleasure of attending Ottawa’s 5th Annual Veg Fest (and its 1st Annual Yoga Fest) with my extremely veg-curious sister. I absolutely love hanging out with this girl! She nearly always makes me laugh – not when we were kids, though 😉 – and she is so enthusiastic about trying new things.
We were super excited about our Veg Fest weekend. This event had an excellent line up of speakers including a showing of the 2011 documentary film “Forks Over Knives”.
There was one lecture that particularly sparked our interest. It was a lecture by Canada’s own Laurie Sadowski. After grabbing a couple of Simply Raw’s black bean wraps and a bottle of Flexi Lexi’s green lemonade, we made our way into St. Paul’s University Amphitheater for an extremely informative lecture on “Gluten-Free Vegan Baking”.
I immediately liked Laurie, otherwise known as “the allergy-free cook”, from the moment she told us that she was in love with her Kitchen Aid stand mixer. Naturally, I hung on everything this girl had to say. Let’s just say that Laurie is a wealth of information and, quite frankly, a walking encyclopedia on gluten-free flours.
I was quick to buy Laurie’s cookbooks shortly after her presentation. It’s no wonder her books were flying off her display table! Laurie uses nutritionally superior flours in all her recipes such as, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and teff flours. These flours contain more fiber and protein than rice flour – a flour which is prevalent in so many commercial blends.
Knowing that I am a freak for cookbook authors and culinary celebrities, my sister snapped a picture of me with Laurie. Here I am proudly holding autographed copies of her two books 🙂
Laurie’s recipes are all gluten-free and contain no dairy or eggs. Her latest book “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies” (2013) is also soy-free. Laurie uses minimally processed sweeteners in all her recipes. One cookie that is absolutely loved in our house is her “Chocolate Chunk-Tahini Cookies”. These cookies are sweetened with maple syrup – one of my personal favourites. 🙂
My sister was loving her role as photographer this particular fine day. Here, I am standing all giddy-like with Natasha Kyssa (you may recall my raw food cleanse posts) and Flexi Lexi (we loved her green lemonade!).
Both my sister and I are looking forward to next year’s Veg Fest. As far as I know, the date has not been released, but we have it “penciled in” from mid to late June. We are also looking forward to Laurie Sadowski’s new cookbook, “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Pies and Desserts” which is expected to be released later this year.
I will end this post with a dessert that I made last month. The recipe is from “The Allergy-Free Cook Bakes Cakes and Cookies”. I made it as a bundt cake and it turned out perfectly delicious. Let’s be honest – it’s addictive. Seriously. Try stopping at one piece. (My daughters and I are guilty of polishing off half of this cake, within minutes, while standing in the kitchen watching it cool). Thankfully, I remembered to take a photo before we dug in.
WILD BLUEBERRY (BUNDT) CAKE
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup unrefined sugar (I used coconut sugar)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canned coconut milk (I used lite)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) wild blueberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil bundt pan.
Put the flours, baking powder, lemon zest, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a dry whisk until combined.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the sugar and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy and well combined. Add 1/4 cup of the coconut milk, the vanilla extract, and vinegar. Beat until combined.
With your mixer on low-speed, alternately add the flour mixture (in 3 additions) and the remaining coconut milk (in 2 additions). Beat well after each addition. Turn off the mixer and stir in the blueberries using a baking spoon.
Scrape the batter into your prepared pan using a rubber spatula. Smooth the top with the spatula. Bake in the center of your oven for 40 to 55 minutes*, until golden brown.
* If using fresh blueberries, check your cake with a toothpick after 40 minutes. Frozen and very juicy berries will require a longer baking time.