Sweet Potato Flatbread Gluten Free, Grain Free

For various reasons, I’ve been experimenting with gluten free recipes lately. In this case, I needed something to go with my Ethiopian food since the injera (a kind made with a blend of flours, not just teff) hasn’t been sitting well with my tummy. I ended up with a Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flatbread that comes out looking somewhat like an orange pancake, although you can make it any shape you want. It went perfectly with my Ethiopian veggie combo, and would also taste great with curry.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flatbread | Orthodox and VeganThe batter is thin enough to scoop, but not as thin as pancake batter

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flatbread | Orthodox and VeganUsing the back of a spoon, you can spread the flatbread batter into whatever shape your little heart desires.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flatbread | Orthodox and Vegan
Gluten Free Sweet Potato Flatbread
1 med Sweet Potato, that has been baked/nuked, peeled, and mashed
2/3 C chickpea flour*
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic
3/4 C water

In a medium bowl, combine first four ingredients. Mix in the water 1/4 cup at a time. Once combined, scoop batter into a non-stick skillet over medium heat and quickly spread into whatever shape you want using the back of a spoon – you’ll need a light touch. I used a 1/4 C to scoop, but you can use however much you want as long as you have room in the pan to spread the batter to 1/8″.
Cook the flatbread for about 3 minutes, or until it is firm enough to flip. You’ll need to start by gently slipping the spatula under the bread and loosening it around the edges. Once flipped, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove flatbread to a plate, and allow to cool completely.
Makes 6 flatbreads when using a 1/4 C scoop.

*Chickpea flour may also be labeled gram, besan, or garbanzo bean flour. You can normally find it at a reasonable price in Indian or Middle Eastern markets, although it is available for slightly more on Amazon. It has a bitter taste until it has been cooked through, so you’ll not want to sample the batter uncooked.

I tried the sweet potato flatbread at various times to see when it had the best flavor. I preferred it after it had cooled completely and sat covered at room temp for a few hours (I made them before work, and ate some when I got home). They were also good right away after cooling, just not quite as good.

What will you do with your Sweet Potato Flatbread?

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread

Recently I was asked about vegan cheeses that don’t need to be fermented, and I realized I didn’t have much to offer here in my recipe collection. I decided to experiment a little, and I actually came out with this really great Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread on the first try! It’s very simple to make, and I think it took about 15 minutes.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread Quesadillas | Orthodox and Vegan
I used the cashew cheez to make vegan quesadillas – you should be able to get six to eight small quesadillas out of this recipe, depending on how thick you spread it. I like to use the little corn tortillas.

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread in Bean Dip | Orthodox and Vegan
I didn’t get quite so many because I used most of it making delicious cheesy bean dips! I folded the quesadillas and filled them with bean dip. It was a little messy…but wonderful. And did I mention this cashew cheez recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day?

If you’re cooking a meal for a family of four, I would recommend using all the cashew cheez spread for the quesadillas, and topping them with black beans or bean dip, guacamole, and chopped veggies or salsa. Then, instead of making a mess like I did, eat them with a knife and fork!

Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread | Orthodox and Vegan
Spicy Vegan Cashew Cheez Spread
3/4 raw cashews
1 clove garlic
2 tsp nutritional yeast
2 tsp tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
1/8 tsp chili powder
3/4 C vegetable broth
3/4 C water or plain unsweetened almond milk
Dash of chipotle powder or cayenne pepper
Dash or turmeric, for color

Blend all ingredients until smooth (you may not get it perfectly smooth if you don’t have a high-powdered blender). Pour into a small sauce pan and whisk over high heat until it thickens into a spreadable consistency. It will not be completely firm, although it will continue to firm up if you chill it. This cheez doesn’t get to the point of being sliceable.

Spicy Cashew Cheez Spread is great for:
-Queso Bean Dip (or Queso “Beef” Dip with TVP & taco seasonings, or Queso Fresco with salsa)
-Cheezy Chili Veggie Dog

Vegan Pea Protein Porridge

Is there anything more Lenten than porridge? I can’t think of anything. I’ve been working on ways to incorporate pea protein into my diet other than just sticking it in a smoothie (pea protein has a mild flavor that is easy to mask, but when unmasked…it’s rather unpleasant) and this is my first of many recipes for Lent. In this pea porridge, we have plenty of spice and one surprise ingredient.

Okay, it’s a pickle. And there’s peanut butter. It’s like a peanut butter and pickle sandwich, but less weird to eat in front of other people ’cause they won’t know what’s in it.

Lenten Pea Protein Porridge | Orthodox and Vegan
The recipe can also be modified to make a soup for two by adding an extra cup of liquid and adjusting the seasonings, however I made it a single-serving porridge so it would be easy to get a ton of protein all in one meal. Using a fortified almond milk instead of water is another great way to add nutrients.

This is meant to be a main meal on fasting days when we are eating less. So, while it packs 44 grams of protein in one single serving, it also has about half a day’s worth of sodium – just something to keep in mind if you’re watching that.

Single-Serve Pea Protein Porridge
1 scoop pea protein
3 Tbsp green pea flour
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried dill
1/8 tsp celery seed

1 1/4 C plain unsweetened almond milk, or water
1 tsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1/2 – 1 kosher dill pickle, finely chopped

In a small saucepan, add dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Whisk together almond milk (or water), soy sauce, and peanut butter, then slowly pour into dry ingredients while whisking to prevent lumps. Over medium heat, bring to a low boil and then immediately lower to a simmer. Continue whisking as porridge thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in chopped pickle and remove from heat. Let sit for one minute before serving.*

*If the pickle cooks in the porridge for more than a minute or two, it will become flavorless.

This recipe is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day.

Have you ever tried the PB&Pickle sandwich combo?

What I Ate Wednesday: Portland Edition

Hey guys! Today I’m bringing you a very special What I Ate Wednesday all the way from Portland, OR! I am staying with my bestie after she had a sweet little baby, and part of what I get to do to help is…COOK!!! 😀 We hit up two of my favorite Portland-area grocery stores, and a restaurant I’ve been dying to try since last year. I’ve been here since Saturday, so I have a lot to share with you.

What I Ate Wednesday: Pasta with Zucchini | Orthodox and Vegan
The first meal I cooked during this trip: I just used whatever I found in the kitchen. I sauteed two ginormous cloves of elephant garlic in olive oil with salt, pepper, thyme, basil, oregano, and parsley. When the garlic was soft, I added whole wheat pasta with just enough water to cover it. After boiling it according to the instructions, I added about 1 Tbsp of flour to create a creamy sauce – all in one pan, and that could’ve been a meal on its own! But we had zucchini fresh from the garden, so I chopped and sauteed one zucchini and added it to the pasta. Served with garlic toast.

What I Ate Wednesday: Greek Food | Orthodox and Vegan
Sunday we all piled into the car and drove out to the Greek church in Portland for Liturgy, the Byzantine chant there is amazing. Unfortunately I hadn’t looked closely at their schedule for the week – they started Liturgy early because of their Greek Festival. Liturgy was over when we arrived 🙁 But at least we got to see the festival, even if pretty much the only thing I could get was this hummus & veggie dish (actually there were also Lenten/vegan cookies sold by the dozen).

What I Ate Wednesday: Groceries from Fred Meyer | Orthodox and Vegan
You know when I’m home in Michigan I *LOVE* shopping at Meijer, the midwest chain founded by Frederick J Meijer. Well, when I’m in Oregon I shop at Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer has a bigger variety of kombucha and a better price for Ezekiel bread. Meijer has a larger selection of Daiya stuff. Other than that, they’re about equal.

What I Ate Wednesday: Breakfast Sausage & Avo Salsa Toast | Orthodox and Vegan
After grabbing a few essentials at Fred Meyer, I was able to make this wonderful breakfast. Patties made from Gimme Lean Breakfast Sausage, toasted Ezekiel bread with Better Than Cream Cheese topped with salsa, and avocado on the side. I ended up adding the avocado to my toast, too, and it was wonderful.

What I Ate Wednesday: Groceries from Food Fight! Vegan Grocery Store | Orthodox and Vegan
My haul from the all-vegan Food Fight Grocery. Every time I go to Food Fight I tell myself I’m only buying a couple things. Yeah right. I bought myself a big ol’ pile of candy, Dandies pumpkin-flavored mini marshmallows, Follow Your Heart ranch dressing, VeganMozz from Miyoko’s Creamery, Parmageddon from Vegan Magic, and VEGAN CAVIAR. And even more exciting, I got my all time favorite Food Fight treat: A Dillo. Dillos are the vegan version of Twinkies!

What I Ate Wednesday: Brownie Explosion Shake from Next Level Burger | Orthodox and Vegan
Last year Next Level Burger was supposed to have their grand opening in Portland during the weekend I was in town for the Vegan Beer & Food Festival, but the opening was delayed. Monday night we finally got to try it. We each had a burger and tater tots smothered in vegan cheddar, bleu cheeze dressing, and BBQ sauce. And then we split this Brownie Explosion shake with chocolate sauce 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday: Veggie Lovers Pizza & Buffalo Tofu Pizza | Orthodox and Vegan
And finally last night was pizza night. The crust was homemade, but we cheated and used half a jar of store bought marinara for the sauce on the veggie pizza, which also had onions, fresh garlic, roma tomatoes, kalamata olives, green olives, bell peppers, mushrooms, and vegan sausage, with Miyoko’s VeganMozz and Vegan Magic Parmageddon. The other pizza is buffalo tofu and onions with Follow Your Heart ranch as the sauce.

When I am eating a giant slice of thin crust pizza loaded with toppings, I can’t help but hear the voices of everyone that ever said to me, “It must be so hard to find things to eat.” Nah. I have pizza, burgers, shakes, and pretty much anything else I want. Vegan life is good.

What’s your favorite vegan dish to make for friends?

Grilled Cheese Sandwich for Grownups: Aged English Smoked Farmhouse

No matter how old I get, my love for a perfectly browned and crispy grilled cheese sandwich never fades. It seems kind of silly, but even when I found a fancy cheese like Miyoko’s Creamery Aged English Smoked Farmhouse on sale at Whole Foods, the first thing I thought of was making a grilled cheese sandwich!

Grown-up Grilled Cheese with Miyoko's Smoked Farmhouse | Orthodox and Vegan

The round thing that looks kind of like a burger is the smoked cheese!

I grabbed a variety of olives and teeny tiny pickles from the olive bar, and Tofurky Bologna slices. Believe it or not, before I went vegan, I used to love fried bologna and cheese sandwiches (and I also really loved spam). So I think even when I eat vegan junk food it’s a big step up from the way I ate before 😀

The cheese from Miyoko’s Creamery is hardly junk food, though. It’s made with cashews, chickpea miso, nutritional yeast, salt, and cultures to ferment it. Miyoko describes it as “Semi-hard with rich, smoky, sharpness that lingers.”

It’s so good I could just slice it up and eat it on its own. Luckily I saved some for this sandwich, though 🙂

Grown-up Grilled Cheese with Miyoko's Smoked Farmhouse | Orthodox and Vegan
Grilled Cheese Sandwich for When You Adult
2 slices of bread
Approx 1oz Miyoko’s Creamery Aged English Smoked Farmhouse, sliced*
5 slices Tofurky Bologna
1/4 C sliced olives
garlic powder

Lightly spread margarine on one side of each slice of bread, and sprinkle that side with garlic powder. Place one slice margarine side down on a skillet. Layer on half the sliced cheese, olives, bologna, remaining cheese, and top with the second slice of bread margarine side up.
Cook over medium heat until bread is browned, then very carefully flip the sandwich and brown the other side.

*You don’t have to weigh the cheese, just make sure it’s enough to cover each slice of bread.

Cashew cheese doesn’t get gooey when it melts, but it does soften and is delicious warmed, no matter if the box says it’s best served cold or at room temp!

What’s your favorite way to dress up a grilled cheese sandwich?

Louisiana Okra and Cheese Grits

As promised, today I’m pleased to share this Louisiana Okra and Cheese Grits recipe passed on to me by Esther, the dietitian from Rouses Market in New Orleans. All of the necessary ingredients can be found at Rouses, and luckily you can probably find these simple ingredients in your hometown, too!

Louisiana Okra and Vegan Cheese Grits | Orthodox and Vegan
Esther writes:
Here in Louisiana, grits are a staple in many dishes – don’t forget the okra and tomatoes! Usually, these come as sides, but I believe it’s time for them to join forces to become the main meal.

Louisiana Okra and Vegan Cheese Grits | Orthodox and Vegan
Usually this will include bacon or sausage, but not for this vegan dish.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
3 cups sliced okra
1 14.5 ounce canned (no salt added) tomatoes

In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about three minutes. Add okra and tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the cheese grits.

Vegan Cheese Grits
3 Tbsp Daiya dairy free shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grits
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste

Over the stove, boil water in a saucepan and add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cover allowing grits to thicken – stirring occasionally. Once cooked to desired thickness, add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve grits and top with okra and tomatoes!

Thank you, Esther!!! I shared my meal with two non-vegans, and they both enjoyed it.

I have to admit I used way more than 3 Tbsp of Daiya in the cheese grits, I can’t resist adding more fat to every meal 😀 I may have added something like 1/2 C. I also added a few cloves of finely chopped garlic with the onions in the okra stew.
I appreciated the simplicity of needing nothing more than salt and pepper for seasoning, it really did come out beautifully.

Shout out to Esther and to Rouses Market for taking the time to reply to my email, to send me a HUGE list of every single vegan item in the entire store, and for putting together this fabulous recipe. It’s obvious Rouses cares about their customers, and I greatly appreciate it.

If you’ve got a favorite southern food you’ve learned to veganize, let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to stop by a Rouses Market next time you’re in Louisiana.

Taco Bell Copycat Vegan Crunchwrap

Taco Bell Copycat Recipe: DIY Vegan Crunchwrap | Orthodox and Vegan
So, although I had gotten tons of requests for a Vegan at Taco Bell guide, I was still really surprised by the popularity of that post! So I figured I’d share this DIY Vegan Crunchwrap recipe with all you Taco Bell fans. It’s super easy, and you will wonder why you never tried it at home before 😀

Taco Bell Copycat Vegan Crunchwrap
flour tortilla shell or gluten free wrap (at least 10″)
fillings of choice
oil, for cooking

Start by quickly heating your tortilla or wrap in the microwave for about 12 seconds, so it will be flexible. While it’s in the microwave, get your lightly oiled skillet heating on the stove over medium heat. I usually just give the skillet a quick spray of cooking oil.

When your tortilla is warmed, place the tostada in the center. Layer on the fillings, keeping everything centered on the tostada. If you’re adding anything that could make the tostada soggy, first add a “protective” layer – I usually use a piece of lettuce.

Now, take the edge of the tortilla and fold it in towards the center. Hold it in place with one hand, and use the other to fold in another portion of the tortilla. Continue until you have made a sort of rounded hexagon…or in my case, a six-a-gon. Don’t have to be perfect!

Place your crunchwrap folded side down in the heated skilled until it begins to be brown – about 30 – 60 seconds. Flip it and brown the other side. Eat it as soon as it’s cool enough to handle, otherwise the tostada will get soft!

DIY Vegan Crunchwrap

I use a 10″ tortilla and I’ve never ever been able to get it completely closed. Ah well, I’ll just have to keep practicing which means I’ll just have to eat more crunchwraps.

*If you don’t have a tostada (a flat, round, toasted or fried little tortilla), you can use tortilla chips. Make a circle shape by placing the chips side by side with the pointed ends facing in. Different brands will be different sizes and you may have to play around with them.

Vegan Crunchwrap Fillings

You can pretty much put whatever you want in your vegan crunchwrap, as long as it fits. My favorites include:
-Refried Beans
-Frank’s Redhot Sauce
-Vegan Cheese (try it with Homemade Coconut Milk Cheese)

I put the cheese on last so it’ll get all melty – yum!! Even though I can never close the thing completely, I’ve never had an issue with my fillings spilling out. I think it’s because I layer it in such a way that everything sticks together inside.

Pro Tip: Add a second tostada or layer of tortilla chips to make your vegan crunchwrap EXTRA CRUNCHY.

What are your favorite crunchwrap fillings? Tell us below!!!!!

Response to Bon Appétit’s VeganEgg Review

Follow Your Heart VeganEgg

Vegan food has come a long way over the years. We’re living in pretty exciting times with the recent explosion of vegan products hitting the market, giving people a huge variety of alternatives to foods made of factory farmed animals. So when a friend pointed me to Bon Appétit’s critical review of VeganEgg, we decided I had to respond.
(It’s possible the review is an attempt at satire, but that should’ve been noted somewhere since this is supposed to be a reputable food magazine)

As soon as I could, I whipped up a beautiful omelet, capturing it all on video for you…an upside-down video because I don’t really have equipment for that sort of thing and I used velcro to attach my tripod to the handle of the microwave that sits above my oven. I really didn’t like that video. So…I tried twice more, forcing myself to eat an omelet each time. The final video, below, is about as good as it gets for me (my camera is perched on an upturned pot), and includes my cat going nuts playing with a pen.

Let’s talk about the review
1. “There are very few things I’m good at: finishing other people’s leftovers, ordering an appetizer so big I’m full by the time the meal arrives, and cooking scrambled eggs, the absolute limit to my culinary skillset.”
Right away he establishes his lack of cooking skills.

2. “I added two tablespoons of powdered egg to half a cup of water”
The water REALLY needs to be ice cold. Was it ice cold water, as directed?

3. “It’s probably three or four rubbery bites, tops.”
But the package clearly states 2 Tbsp with 1/2 C water equals one egg. You made one egg to divide between yourself and two guests.

4. “I made them salty baby food.”
Might have something to do with the “hefty dose of salt” you mentioned adding.

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg

VeganEgg makes a great omelet

On the other hand, one VeganEgg is a great serving size for one person, depending on how you serve it.

Now I admit VeganEgg is a little on the bland side. After all, for baked goods you generally wouldn’t want a strong sulfur taste that is characteristic of cooked eggs. So when you’re simply making a scramble, omelet, or quiche, you may want to liven things up with a little kala namak (black salt) – find it on Amazon. But other than that, I’m calling user error here. I’ve served VeganEgg to several non-vegans. Some knew in advance, some didn’t. They all agreed it had the taste and texture of eggs.

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg

But don’t just take my word for it. Thanks to a few other foodies, we can see just how beautifully VeganEgg turns out when used appropriately. Note: Some of these recipes may require more than one VeganEgg.

Check these guys out on Instagram:

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg
SunnyDazeAhead also made a beautiful omelet, complete with vegan sausage and hashbrowns

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg
_plantbased serves her scramble topped with Daiya shreds, and a side of avocado toast

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg
__lora’s amazing custard & raspberry pie

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg
Scramble on toast with mushrooms & vegan sausage by emmabrindley – I love ketchup on scrambled eggs 🙂

Response to Bon Appétit's Review of VeganEgg
And finally, a giant veggie quiche by vegan_cyclist

P.S. You can follow ME on Instagram @timetovegan

Looking for more recipes?
Vegan Quiche by The Spooky Vegan
Gypseavegan’s Chorizo Omelettes brought to you by the Herbivorous Butcher
Kale & Spinach Spanakopita by Eat Drink Shrink

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
This week I tried Beyond Beef Crumbles. I’ve had the Beyond brand Beast Burger, and it is amazing, so I wanted to check out their other products. Beyond Meat products are vegan, gluten free, and soy free. They bulk up the product with pea protein.

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
I bought the Feisty flavor. The stove top cooking instructions are simple: Add a little oil to a pan, and heat until warm. I could smell the seasonings so I thought maybe I wouldn’t have to add anything to the crumbles – especially since the name is Feisty, but after tasting it I realized that was not the case. I added salt, pepper, garlic, and chili powder (besides already having sauteed some onions before adding the veggie meat). Oh, I probably also added a little pinch of nutritional yeast since I add it to practically everything!

Review: Vegan Beyond Beef Crumbles
I made a quick layer dip with refried beans & Frank’s Red Hot Sauce on the bottom, then guacamole, Better Than Sour Cream combined with Follow Your Heart Bleu Cheese dressing, salsa, and finally the Beyond Beef Crumbles.

The texture of the crumbles was not as meaty as the Beast Burger, and they definitely have a more…vegetarian taste. Not bad, just not what I expected after the Beast Burger. The individual bits are also way bigger than, say, Boca brand crumbles. It made them kind of awkward to eat with chips. It’s also disappointing they’re already seasoned but still need to be seasoned! Still, if you’re avoiding soy and gluten, this is probably your best option. I would buy it for my gf friends.

What’s your favorite allergy-friendly vegan meat?

Cleansing Vegetable Soup

Vegan Cleansing Vegetable Soup Recipe
This is the other dish I brought to the Lenten potluck earlier this week. I looked through a bunch of detox soup recipes online, then used the ideas to throw together this gorgeous green vegetable soup. It’s packed with veggies, easy to make, and this recipe makes a large pot so you could eat it for days…I would have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I were more disciplined.

Cleansing Vegetable Soup
2 pounds dried split peas
2 heads broccoli
1 pound carrots
1 pound celery
1 bunch green onion
1/4 C peeled & chopped turmeric (or more to taste)
2 bunches kale
6 C vegetable broth (homemade or high quality store bought)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
optional: 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Cook split peas according to instructions, allowing them to get very tender and soft (even a little mushy!).
Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables except kale, and add to large pot with turmeric and vegetable broth – include the leafy celery and carrot tops, they add a great flavor and are very nutritious. Bring to a simmer over medium low heat, and simmer until veggies are tender and falling apart, adding salt and pepper to taste (and nutritional yeast, if using). Tear kale from stems and add to veggies. Simmer until tender.
Let the vegetables and split peas cool slightly, then blend in batches – I did a few ladles-full of vegetables along with a big scoop of split peas in each batch. You can blend it all until completely smooth, or leave some of the veggies in chunks.

Vegan Cleansing Vegetable Soup Recipe
At home, I serve the soup with nutritional yeast sprinkled on top and finished with Mediterranean black lava salt (I love finding fancy salts at Home Goods). The split peas bulk it up and make it pretty filling on its own, but it would also be wonderful over rice or potatoes. I bought a container of rice with chickpeas from the monastery, it had bits of onion and dill in it, and it was delicious with the soup mixed in.

This soup is oil free and perfect for a strict fasting day…unless you accidentally grab a vegetable broth with safflower oil in it, which is a totally unnecessary ingredient and why you should make your own broth. But it is better to eat the soup than let it go to waste 🙂