Gothic Granola

Category Archives: Salad Dressing

Guest Post: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

Another guest post by the ever-knowledgeable Ela Mirowski, creator of the naturally-scented, biodegradable Ticklepaks shoe deodorizers. Check out her site:  See her previous guest post here.



Diagnosis: Eosinophilic esophagitis



The matriarchal side of my family has been plagued with hereditary gastrointestinal (GI) issues. My grandmother died of an unknown GI disease (this was back in Poland around 1986). My mother was plagued with years of heartburn and then eventually the inability to swallow food as a result of her esophagus shrinking. By the time she had these severe symptoms, my mother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and died when she was 65…this was 10 years ago.

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Basic Tahini Dressing

If you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ve probably stared at a plate like this often: cooked grain, beans, and greens.

tahini dressing vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Videre licet, lentils and rice.  Nota bene the rice was cooked with cumin and saffron.

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Vegan “Mayo” and Coleslaw

When my parents gave me a Vitamix blender for a graduation present, my mom and I soon realised, as I was reading the accompanying cookbook aloud one afternoon, that there was a Vitamix “lifestyle.” Much like California cuisine, which highlights fresh ingredients and often merges cultural cooking styles, the Vitamix cookbook emphasized using the freshest ingredients possible and provided options for healthy, vegan, raw, and haute cuisine dishes. Several creamy sauces, including a creamy tomato and alfredo sauces, incorporate tofu instead of heavy cream. While the cookbook includes a homemade mayonnaise recipe (eggs and oil at 2 horsepower blending–woo hoo!), there was not a vegan mayonnaise option, to my surprise. I forgot to buy “nayo” at Sprouts on Saturday when I was buying provisions for our Saturday night barbecue.

 Vegan Mayo | Gothic Granola

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Quick Cucumber Mint Pickle

Quick Cucumber Mint Pickle
This was my third-place recipe for Wednesday’s Foodie Call at ARL WFM. The ingredient was mint and the challenge was to come up with a recipe, make the recipe and get set up in two hours, and “demo” it–serve it in tiny bites with an attractive display–for another two hours.
While I’ve watched cooking challenge shows for years, this took the cake–or the cuke. Since I’m customer service, I could use any ingredient from the entire store to cook. Being vegan and gluten-free, and it being summer (tomorrow), I gravitated towards produce.

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Food Flashback and Labels



This is the 179th blog post on Gothic Granola, formerly Screwfoot Q. It’s time to make a 180 degree turn on some issues.

When I was in college and became vegetarian, then subsequently vegan, my suppers consisted of the following:
greens, crunchy raw veg, beans, nuts, dried fruit, maybe hot vegetable if it was decent, maybe a cup of soup. Dessert was cereal and non-dairy milk and decaf coffee or tea. More often than not, the hot veg entree was some kind of ethnic dish, not half bad. This I ate in the residential college dining halls; at the Center for Jewish Life I would maybe be able to have a hot entree. When I look back on what I ate, I shake my head and don’t wonder why I felt deprived (no real dessert! What nonsense!). The special diets situation has since improved slightly in Princeton’s dining halls, but I do not plan on going back anytime soon to confirm this.

I bought Nature Path’s Mesa Sunrise cereal recently. Sugar is my drug, as frequent readers of this blog know. Sugar for breakfast or in more than 2 tablespoons per day is not good for Q. So I had this cereal for dessert because it contains sugar, and the high-fibre dinner insulated me from its effects somewhat. I know I’m playing with fire, so I will bake with the cereal or manage my intake well. Next time I have a coupon, I’ll stick to the fruit-sweetened cornflakes.

Curry Bean Salad
Inspired by Whole Foods Market

1 16-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 16-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup water
2 cups beet stems, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash cinnamon
dash cayenne
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon tamari

Place the beans and raisins in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, dry-sautee onion with salt until beginning to brown and turn translucent. Add the turmeric, cook for another minute, then remove from heat and scrape into bowl.

Return pan to the heat and add the remaining spices, stirring, to toast for 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the water, scraping up the browned bits of onion. Add the beet stems and the liquid ingredients and stir. Cook for 3 minutes or until the beet stems have softened somewhat. Add the beets to the beans and onions and mix well. Serve over greens and enjoy cereal and unsweetened almondmilk for dessert.

I served mine over raw collards, which with the beans, is probably too digestively hardcore for most people. I drank a lot of water and had a tall glass of zombie tea with the cereal.

curry bean salad vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

Vegan and vegetarian are lovely labels for convenience; living in an urban area means restaurants know what they mean and can prepare food accordingly. However, as with saying my alma interfector, saying I’m vegan tends to suck the air out of the room. Wow, judge much, people? No, I cannot change others. I can change myself.

While it’s cutesy to use “vegan and gluten-free goodies” in my blog tagline, this blog is about being oneself and doing things for oneself. I just happen to not eat animal products and gluten at this time. I can’t eat dairy, eggs, and gluten. Maybe one day I will eat animal flesh again. Labels are convenient tags for experiencing conventional reality, but they have no place in ultimate reality. The more I cling to labels, to marks of this world, the more difficult it will be when we eventually part (in this life, in the next…).

It’s time to begin divesting of labels. Goth, ace, androgyne, vegan, gluten-free, catholic, buddhist, metaphysical. These are the labels I use most often. Even together they form an incomplete picture, a fractured mirror. {Ed. note: No, no! Erasure! Don’t do it!}

What is the best mirror? A boon friend, as Buddhists call it, someone who helps you in your striving for nirvana, for escape from the world cycle. Someone who encourages you to be the best you.

In divesting myself of labels, I’m disrobing my soul, as it were. Labels are protective and keep people at bay (“I dress this way/ just to keep them at bay”). Losing labels affects my art and how I keep my heart on my sleeve as an artist. Pain and pleasure, the extremes and the mundane, are all the more intense when one experiences them with bare awareness, mindful attention, rather than experiencing them with the scratched and coloured lenses of labels.
The harder the cling, the harder the sting. Let ’em go, and there’s no sting. That’s the hardest thing.

Pants and Pomely Present: Salad Dressing Cake

A note in the introduction to Kris Holechek’s 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes alerted us to the concept of salad dressing cake, id est, cake made with mayonnaise.

Breakfast of champions with a banana and coconut peanut butter.

According to an archivist friend who looked it up when Ownie Q  brought the cake into work in 2011, salad dressing cake is so-named because it was originally made with Miracle Whip.  Miracle Whip is too processed to be called a whole food which is why it is called salad dressing.  The mayo—or “nayo” in the vegan cake—replaces oil and eggs.  Making it vegan, and then amping it up to gluten-free, truly takes this cake in a direction it wasn’t meant to go.  However, its bouncy, moist texture allows it to stretch in whatever direction you desire.

Salad Dressing Cake
Modified (is perhaps too light a word) from
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa, unsweetened or Dutch or black
1 cup water
2/3-1 cup organic granulated sugar (your preference; don’t use less than 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup vegan mayonnaise (I always use low- or no-fat, and I’ve used canola and olive oil-based versions to rave reviews)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Grease and parchment or wax-paper line a 9*13-inch pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, and cocoa.  In another bowl or a blender, whisk together water, sugar, mayo, and vanilla until uniformly combined.  Add dry to wet and mix well.  Transfer to pan and bake for 32-35 minutes or Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake springs back when touched, centre is dry, it passes the toothpick test, and it has begun to pull away from the edges.  Cool completely in the pan before removing.

1. A different flour blend
1/2 cup sticky rice flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup King Arthur Flour Ancient Grains GF blend

2. Use coffee or strong tea instead of water

3. Spice
Omit the cocoa and instead use:
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 cup mini chocolate chips

4. Add butterscotch chips to the chocolate version.  Grease the pan well and use waxed paper or parchment, and grease the paper, too.  Butterscotch chips, the Food Lion brand at any rate, tend to melt (which is why they are delicious).
5. Black and Butterscotch
Make the batter without cocoa.  Mix two tablespoons of cocoa and two tablespoons of hot water.  Add half the batter to the cocoa mixture and combine.  Add a cup of butterscotch chips to the plain part of the batter.  Dollop the butterscotch and the chocolate in the pan in alternating piles and tap the sides of the pan to smooth out.  Take a butter knife and run it through the batter zigzagging from one side of the pan to the other lengthwise, then switching the direction and zigzagging widthwise.

Why do Pants and Pomelilly present this?  Why not. Vegan mayo is already strange, and this  cake elevates it to another level of strange. Vegan mayo…it moistens your sammiches, binds yer mock-tuna salads, and springs up your cake. It makes for some very, very mysterious kitchen magick for a “natural” food.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Macadamia Nut Sour Cream (and Here are the Other Stories)

In advance of my Cinco De Mayo taco consumption, I made macadamia nut sour cream.

Macadamia sour cream vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

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