Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

Several years ago someone gave me Love Real Food by Kathryne Taylor for my birthday. At first glance, I wasn’t very inspired by the recipes, which seemed pretty basic for a lifelong vegetarian. I made one underwhelming recipe and put it on the shelf, where it sat for the last few years. But lately, I’ve been trying to revisit old forgotten cookbooks instead of turning to the internet every time I want to find a new recipe. So I rescued Love Real Food from the bottom of the pile and started looking through it with a more receptive spirit. I was able to find several recipe I could try making, even if none of them seemed particularly original. This recipe for carrot cake breakfast cookies was my first attempt at a dessert recipe from the cookbook, but my second attempt at a carrot cake cookie. I embarked hoping this try would be more successful than my first disappointing version.

I was a bit skeptical of this recipe, since it contained neither eggs nor an ingredient that I consider an egg substitute (like apple sauce). Despite my misgivings, I followed the recipe to the letter (except for leaving out the raisins). This was a super simple recipe. I wasn’t sure whether to melt the coconut oil or not, but I followed my instincts I used it in its solid form. The recipe says to use a hand mixer to cream it with the maple syrup, which worked well. Using the solid coconut oil ended up working well, but the first batch of cookies didn’t spread out at all. For the second batch I smooshed down the dough balls and they came out perfect.

I was super impressed with these. The mixture of spices, maple syrup, and coconut oil made for a sweet and savory effect that leaves a great taste in your mouth. Without the raisins I wasn’t sure the cookies would be sweet enough; they only have 1/2 cup of sweetener. But the sweetness level was just right for me. Plus they’re pretty low calorie (less than 70 calories each by my calculation!). My only complain with these cookies was that they’re a bit crumbly (they’re basically carrot granola clumps). They came apart a bit when I took them off the baking sheet. With the second batch I let them cool for a minute or two before moving them off the sheet, which helped with the crumbling. I might try adding a single egg to these to help them stick together better, but otherwise I thought they were perfect.

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Marinated Tofu Cabbage Salad

On a day when my feet were hurting too much to go to the store or spend much time in the kitchen, I found this simple recipe for marinated tofu cabbage salad in my old copy of Diet for a New World. Except for the celery seed, everything in the recipe, which has a very limited list of ingredients, was a already in my kitchen. It came together super fast. The tofu is just marinated and added to the salad uncooked. I was a bit skeptical of this, but it came out really tasty. The soft texture of the tofu actually works really well in the coleslaw like salad. Instead of using all sunflower seeds, I used half sunflower seeds and half pumpkin seeds, which I think added some extra interest to the dish. I halved the oil called for in the recipe and thought there was definitely enough oil in it. Even Ian who adds extra oil to a lot of things I make ate it without any amendment. This is a fantastic weeknight dish. Easy, satisfying, and surprisingly tasty for something so simple.

Soy-Braised Tofu with Bok Choy

I had a bunch of bok choy left over from another recipe and was looking for something fast to make for dinner. I found this recipe for soy-braised tofu with bok choy. The recipe says it takes 20 minutes to make. On a hungry weeknight, that sounded perfect to me! I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap by cooking the garlic and scallion whites first separately in oil and then tossing them out. Because I added this step, the recipe took my closer to 30 minutes, but was still relatively fast and easy. Also, since spicy foods make me sick, I used only 1/4 tsp of doubanjiang (reluctantly since I love doubanjiang). Since doubanjiang is very spicy, the dish still had a bit of a kick to it. If you don’t like spicy foods, but want a little sizzle, definitely cut the doubanjiang in half.

This was very tasty and as easy as billed. The tofu was so good! My main objection was that there wasn’t enough veggies. I’d double the bok choy next time. I might also add some baby corn, since that makes everything better.

Crispy Potato Kugel

Potato kugel is a staple Ashkenazi dish that I’ve eaten many many times. But I don’t actually like it all that much. It’s always kind of bland and uninspiring, especially next to the triumph that is my grandma’s dairy dairy kugel. Still, for some reason I decided to make potato kugel recently. I found this recipe for crispy kugel (which actually translates to extra oil) on New York Times. Usually I cut down the oil in recipes, but I kept this about the same as what the recipe calls for. Totally worth it.

I adapted the recipe to make it low fodmap. I used onion oil instead of an onion. Then I added a bunch of chopped wild onions (green parts only) to the potatoes. The recipe doesn’t specify an amount of sale. I think I used 1.5 or 2 tsp table salt.

The dish came out so flavorful. I think it has more egg than the average kugel, which makes it more satisfying than most. This dish is an absolute winner. I’ll definitely keep it in my back pocket for guests. It’s easy and something everyone (but vegans) will like. Just be sure to have some greek yogurt or sour cream on hand when serving.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re like me and crave sweets everyday, you might be looking for a great weeknight cookie that can satisfy your cravings without going overboard on the butter and sugar. These zucchini chocolate chip cookies really fit the bill. The zucchini provides moisture so that you don’t have to add much extra fat. And the cookie is slightly sweet rather than super sweet. I’ve used vegan yogurt and found that work fine. The extra moisture from the zucchini causes the cookie to puff up, so the texture is a bit cakier than your average chocolate chip cookie. But I really enjoy them. And I find one is satisfying. This will be a staple for me anytime I have zucchini in the garden.

https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50702/zucchini-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

Rice Noodles with Egg Drop Gravy

A few weeks ago I was prescribed an antibiotic. I react really badly to antibiotics; I usually get nauseous and lose my appetite while I’m on them. While I was taking the medicine, I could only get myself to eat pasta and oatmeal. The week after, I started to regain my appetite, but was still only eating light soups etc. I found this recipe on New York Times when I was looking for something soothing to help me transition back to regular food. It was pretty easy. I think it would make a great weeknight recipe.

I added about 1.5 cups of broccoli along with the other veggies in the recipe, which seemed like the exact right amount. Because the noodles and gravy are made separately, you can keep them separate in the fridge and eat this as leftovers without the noodles going mushy. I used the wrong type of noodles though. The recipe calls for thick rice noodles. I used medium rice sticks. (the kind used for pad thai) They formed a mass when fried and were hard to pull apart immediately after cooking. As leftovers they were impossible to pull apart and I just had to chop them up. Next time I’d use a much wider noodle like shahe fen, chow fun, hor fun, or sen yai. You have to do a lot of stirring and scraping while frying the noodles to prevent them from sticking to the pan, but the flavor is great. I really liked the flavor of this dish. I thought it was just a tad too sweet. Next time I’d use 3/4 tsp sugar instead of 1 tsp. Make sure to be very careful to pour the egg very slowly. It’s easy to mess that part up. As you can see in the photo, I didn’t pour slowly enough and ended up with clumps of egg instead of strands.

One-Pot Turmeric Coconut Rice With Collards

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from New York times, but I made a lot of changes to the flavor profile and the greens and also made it low fodmap. This was possibly the best rice dish I have ever made. So so good, super easy, and all in one pot. A great weeknight dish. It also keeps really well for leftovers. Here’s the recipe:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice, such as jasmine or basmati (I used white basmati)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 bunch wild onion or scallion, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated (I used the wild onion that grows in my yard)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry turmeric
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp grated fresh tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1(14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 strands of saffron
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 bunches collard greens
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced (keep zest and juice separate)
  1. Rinse rice until water runs clear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium pot or Dutch oven, toast the coconut and sesame seeds over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning.) Transfer to a small bowl.
  3. In the same pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-low. Add the scallion whites and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until as dark as possible without being burned (4-8 minutes)
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove the garlic and scallions (If you don’t need this to be low fodmap you can skip steps 3 and 4 and just add the scallions and garlic in with the coconut oil in step 5)
  5. Add the ginger and fresh tumeric to the oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. While the ginger is cooking, bloom the saffron in small bowl of very hot water.
  7. Add the dry tumeric and black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 1-2 minutes
  8. Add the rice and stir together. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  9. Add the coconut milk, saffron with its water, and 1/2 tsp salt. Fill the empty can of coconut milk with water and add it to the pot. Give the mixture a good stir to separate any lumps and bring to a boil over medium-high.
  10. Once boiling, cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  11. As rice cooks, remove and discard the tough stems of the collards. Cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.
  12. When the rice has cooked for 10 minutes, arrange the greens on top of the rice in an even layer and add final 1/2 tsp salt.
  13. Cover, and cook until the rice is tender, 5 more minutes. In the last minute of cooking, stir in the lime zest.
  14. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 5 minutes.
  15. Stir in lime juice, coconut-sesame mixture, and the scallion greens.

Vegan Acorn Squash Burgers With Cranberries and Pecans

Last month I was experimenting with adding soluble fiber to my diet. I overdid it and ended up with a week of stomach aches. But during that period I tried several recipes that use oats in interesting ways. This vegan burger recipe is one of them. Since I haven’t been eating beans, I haven’t made veggie burgers in a while. I was intrigued by this bean-less burger recipe, which uses squash as the binder and pecans as the protein source.

I made some modifications to make them low fodmap and increase the protein. I chopped up the cranberries and used half what was called for (since I wasn’t positive how they’d digest). I also doubled the flax seeds and added some extra walnuts (maybe 1.3x what was called for?). I fried the onion in the oil and then removed it. I then added about a cup combined of shredded carrot and zucchini to the oil and fried for another two minutes.

I was a little unsure how an oat-based burger would come out. But I was really surprised by how much I liked them. The flavor was really good and I enjoyed the texture as well. These were festive for fall, easy, and tasty. I’d make them again.

Pickled Rice Tabbouleh

I’ve been sick so much of the time lately, I haven’t felt like cooking. But one thing I have been playing with is experimenting with ways to increase the soluble fiber in my diet. Since barley is one of the few low fodmap high soluble fiber foods, I was intrigued when I saw this recipe on a list saying it was good with barley instead of rice. The recipe is rather unusual for something calling itself “tabbouleh”. It uses a pickle juice base and incorporates a raw herb sauce instead of the standard chopped herbs and veggies you’d find in tabbouleh.

I wasn’t crazy about the dish overall. I found the pickle juice flavor weird and I didn’t love the barley in it. I also really missed the usual tabbouleh veggies. I added some cherry tomatoes and found they really enhanced it.

But oh my gosh, this toasted pumpkin seed sauce…it’s like nothing I’ve ever made before. And jeeze is it good. I won’t be making this dish again but I’ll definitely incorporate this sauce into some other dishes. Plus, pumpkin seeds are also high in soluble fiber. So win win!

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/pickled-rice-tabbouleh

Roasted Veggie Tahini Bowl

I found a recipe for roasted broccoli and mushroom bowls in the New York Times, which gave me the idea for this recipe. I adapted it to be vegan, low fodmap, and gluten free and made it for Ian. We both loved it! Ian had thirds. I’d definitely make this again, but next time I’d add a third (and 4th?) veggie to reduce the fodmap content, since this ended up being too much broccoli and mushroom for me to tolerate.

For the bowls:

2 cups cooked rice

Prepare the tofu:

2 blocks tofu

1 tbsp canola or olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 425

Drain and press the tofu

Cut the tofu into 1/2 inch squares

Use half the oil to oil a cookie sheet

Spread the tofu out on the cookie sheet

Brush the rest of the oil on the tofu and sprinkle the salt

Cook for 30-40 minutes, flipping half way through

Prepare the veggies:

1.5 lbs broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces

1 lb mushrooms (I used baby bella), cut into thick slices

3-4 tbsp olive oil

3/4 to 1.5 tsp salt

Mix half the olive oil and salt into the broccoli and spread it onto a cookie sheet

Mix the second half of the olive oil and salt into the mushrooms and spread them out onto a second cookie sheet

Put in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes

While the veggies are cooking, make the dressing (I didn’t measure so this is approximate)

Combine together and blend:

3-4 tbsp tahini

1/2-3/4 tsp salt

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 sprig fresh sage

1 tbsp wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

water or broth as needed to reach dressing consistency (I think I used 4 tbsp)

Serve with walnuts on top of the bowls.