Buckwheat Soba with Peas, Spinach + Sunflower Seed “Parm”

Gluten Free Buckwheat Soba with Peas, Spinach and Sunflower Seed "Parm" | ourfourforks.com | #glutenfree #recipe #vegan

Gluten free buckwheat soba made without wheat flour are hard to come by. I know this because I’ve been off-handedly searching for it for years. My local Whole Foods sometimes carries it, but it’s expensive. I’m talking like $10 for 1 package (of dried noodles!), which is hard for me to justify. A while back, I tried to make my own soba using only buckwheat flour and water, but as this article on the Kitchn noted, it is difficult to do without the presence of wheat flour. It worked ok, but the noodles began to dry out as soon as I rolled them and didn’t hold together very well once boiled.

Recently, I came across a gluten free buckwheat soba recipe that I hadn’t seen before on Fork and Beans. Rather than support the buckwheat flour with wheat flour, Cara uses arrowroot powder and psyllium husk powder. The recipe worked perfectly; the noodles were easy to roll out without sticking or drying and held together when cooked.

This hearty gluten free buckwheat soba is a nice contrast to the creamy lemony sauce in this springtime dish. Coconut cream is a perfect substitute to heavy cream and gives the dish a subtly sweet flavor. The peas and spinach are my favorite springtime vegetables, but really any vegetables would work here. Just don’t skip the sunflower seed “parm,” which gives the dish a layer of salty, crunchy texture.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Soba with Peas, Spinach and Sunflower Seed "Parm" | ourfourforks.com | #glutenfree #recipe #vegan

Read More »

Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles

Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

My breakfast routine changes a lot. I don’t mix it up every day, but stick to one thing for months until I’m over it. I’ll have several weeks of smoothies and eggs, then months of rice porridge with yogurt, then granola in smoothies, and (currently) sweet potatoes with coconut butter, apple butter and sausage. Protein is pretty much the only common denominator; I feel better when I start the day with a balanced meal.

Because I’ve been feeling a bit trapped inside from the snow, I’ve been making a point to exercise in the morning before work. I eat my full breakfast at work, but in the car between the studio and the office, I’m starving. These protein truffles are the perfect post-workout portable snack; full of healthy fat, protein and easily digestible carbs.

I don’t eat protein powder every day, but when I do, I’m super picky about which ones I eat; my favorites, aside from pure hemp protein, are Vega and Sunwarrior. I tested a couple of different powders with the protein truffles and I like Sunwarrior’s classic protein (vanilla and chocolate) best for this recipe.

Vanilla and Chocolate Protein Truffles | ourfourforks.com | #vegan #glutenfree #recipe

Read More »

Butternut Squash Pot Pie

Butternut Squash Pot Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

I didn’t intend to make this butternut squash pot pie.  A couple weeks ago, right in the middle of third (or fourth) blizzard, Josh was stuck in Baltimore and I was alone in the apartment in need of a project. I wanted to make pie crust – a gluten free and vegan pie crust – and after some searching, I came across this recipe. The pie crust called for vegan butter and vegan shortening, neither of which I usually buy, but included recipes to make both from scratch. Made with a coconut oil base and without weird ingredients, I decided to give both the butter and shortening recipes a try.  The butter surprisingly tasted similar to real butter and the shortening looked convincing, so I continued on to the pie crust. The recipe calls for regular wheat flour, but I used gluten free all-purpose, cup for cup. I was skeptical of the reviews that said the pie crust was “flaky, tender and buttery” and that the dough “rolls like a dream,” but the science was explained and I decided to give it a shot.

As those of you who are gluten free and/or vegan know, many things that claim to “taste like the real thing” are lying. But this pie crust is legit. Roasted butternut squash goes with anything in my book (as seen here, here, and here), and leeks make anything taste comforting to me. The filling for this butternut squash pot pie is extremely forgiving. If you’re vegan, simply substitute the chicken and bacon with chickpeas (as noted in the recipe), more vegetables or even tofu. If you eat meat, other types would be great here too (ground beef, chicken breast, pork – just remember to buy pastured, organic when possible). Leeks, cranberries, sage and thyme give this pot pie a distinctly wintry flavor that will go well with whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand, so feel free to experiment.

Butternut Squash Pot Pie | Our Four Forks | #vegan #glutenfree

Read More »

Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | ourfourforks.com

It’s weird – I love cornbread, corn muffins, corn tortillas, corn bread stuffing, but I’ve never been into polenta. It’s not that I disliked it – I just didn’t have the urge to make it, order it or eat it. But my polenta perspective shifted recently when I ordered short ribs and polenta at friend’s birthday dinner and liked the polenta as much as the beef. This week, I saw a recipe for smoked porter-braised beef short ribs with polenta in Food and Wine (via the women at Food52) and made it immediately (with gluten free beer). And it was as good as it looks.

 

As a new polenta fan, I ventured into my cookbook library to find some polenta recipes I had previously skimmed over. Moosewood Restaurant New Classics, an old favorite, inspired me to bake and “bread” the polenta after letting it set, which is what I’ve done here. Crispy baked polenta with sun dried tomato pesto it full of flavor, texture and seasonality. It’s warm and comforting, but the little pop of basil gives a nod to warmer months to come.

 

Crispy Baked Polenta with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto | ourfourforks.com

Read More »

Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce

Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.com

January is when winter truly starts for me. The excitement of the holidays and warm weather vacations mask the cold of November and December pretty well. January in Boston – especially after spending some time in the Bahamas – is when real winter sets in.

 

I felt like I dove headfirst into January this week – right off the airplane into 20-degree weather and into the work week. Since it’s January I, like most people, would like to eat a little lighter and healthier than I have over the past couple of months but sometimes being slammed back into real life makes that seem difficult to do.

 

Instead of order from our neighborhood Tasty Burger, I decided to use of some healthy ingredients I had stored away and make enchiladas with pumpkin enchilada sauce. Using pumpkin purée and salsa from my pantry and vegetables and corn tortillas from my freezer, I was able to make a comforting, healthy and delicious meal to last a few nights – and avoid a tired, hungry, after-work trip to the grocery store.

 

Pumpkin enchilada sauce is vegan, gluten free and full of Mexican flavor with the seasonal creaminess of pumpkin. To fill the enchiladas, I roasted some vegetables I cubed and froze from my CSA – butternut squash, beets and parsnips– but any veggies will work here. Frozen corn, chopped kale, broccoli– get as elaborate or keep it as simple as you want. I always keep small 100% corn tortillas in the freezer for quick gluten free meals, but brown rice tortillas would also be good.

 

Winter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.comWinter Enchiladas with Pumpkin Enchilada Sauce | ourfourforks.com

Read More »