Gothic Granola

Tag Archives: Going Nuts

We Need More (Peanut butter) Cookies!

We do. We need some kind of handheld snack to eat while playing with (aka: sorting) our latest LEGO horde, courtesy of TC’s dad.


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Honours Student Breakfast: Museli

Before I had my licence/parents would let me drive, for the super-early National Honor Society morning meetings, Ownie Mom would drive me to school. As usual, she gave me breakfast: a thermos of Earl Grey tea, a pot of Stonyfield Farms organic, low-fat yoghurt (chocolate please!), maybe an apple, and a bag of enhanced trail mix. Trail mix with more stuff became my vice in later years: GORP, M’n’Ms, peanutbutter-filled pretzels, and Quaker Oatmeal Squares. Of course I ate it to stay awake in 2006-2008. I made it for myself and ate it to fill some hunger for the same love and care for my success in 2009-2010.

Reframing and curse-reversing time. I like to eat Bob’s Red Mill GF Museli in green juice (at work, which indicates a hunger for something not-food, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt). When I kept seeing Nutrition Stripped’s Nourishing Museli on Instagram, I knew I could redo my favourite snack/breakfast.

While not as whole-foods-y as McKel’s original, mine is a healthy indulgence served in the same ways the originator recommends: straight, over a green smoothie, or on vice cream. Hiding GF cereal in museli is a good way to make it more nutritious and more of a meal than it is by itself.


2 cups GF rolled oats
3 cups GF cereal (I used Kashi Simply Maize and Van’s Cinnamon Heaven cereals)
12 GF sandwich cookies, quartered and squashed (I used Kinnitoos Chocolate Sandwich Cremes)
1 cup almonds
1 cup walnuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup hempseeds
2 cups raisins
1 1/4 cups goji berries (I used up a bag)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash sea salt

Mix it all together and store in airtight containers. Portioning is recommended.

With some Marley Coffee Rawmeal protein powder and ground flaxseed: breakfast!

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

On Hold: Chocolate Pumpkin Peanut Butter Soup

Whew!  I feel like I’ve been putting my life on hold.  It’s still on hold ’til I write one more final tomorrow.  Until I can answer the call, though, here’s a recipe, which I ate with pumpkin bread.

Pumpkin Chocolate Peanut Butter Soup

22 ounces pumpkin puree (16-ounce can plus about 6 ounces I had frozen)
12 ounces unsweetened almond milk
fresh ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
cayenne to taste
3/4 cup unadulterated chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
2 cups water
1 16-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch rainbow chard, beribboned
2 more cups water

In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the pumpkin and the almond milk.  Grate in the ginger and garlic.  Stir in the cayenne.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and stir in the peanut butter until it is completely melted.  Whisk in the cocoa and 2 cups of water.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Add the beans, chard, and more water.  Cook at a pretty high simmer until the chard is wilted, about ten to fifteen minutes.  Add more water if it’s too thick for ya.

It doesn’t photograph well, but hey, it’s the phone camera.  By the bye, my life is literally on hold since I accidentally doused my phone on Monday.  Talk about a wake-up call for learning just how much I appreciate having a smartphone.  Let’s not focus on lack, though; I have gained some lovely, still walks with the freedom found in unreachability.

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

Decompressing: Chocolate Pecan Brownie Pie

Hello from Alexandria!  

I have been having a wonder-filled fall break back in the D.C. metro area.  After making excellent time from NJ (3.5 hours!) last Thursday, I made a pumpkin pie as soon as I arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house.

The next day was an ideal day: woke up, did my usual morning thing (morning pages, pray, meditate, exercise), made a smoothie, and then got to work cooking.  I made a Moroccan butternut-lentil stew and chewy peach brownies (for the D.C. Steam Cemetery Potluck).  I also baked two kinds of cookies to give to my brother and my friends: Anzac biscuits

 and sunflower-espresso cookies.  

The idea for sunflower seeds and espresso chocolate going well together came from dorm desperation earlier in 2011.

My aunt put in her dessert requests a while back and requested, among other items, a pecan brownie pie.  I had already figured that “fudgy pecan brownie pie” meant chocolate pecan pie filling in a brownie crust, when I decided to check my aunt’s source, Rachael Ray.  Fudgy pecan brownie pie is brownies with pecans baked in a circle?   No, thanks, I’ll stick with pie.  My mash-up of different recipes makes a decadent pie that is a little outside of my norm for dessert, but, hey, gotta break the mould once in a while.

Chocolate Pecan Brownie Pie

Brownie modified from: Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, 138-40.
Filling modified from: Robin Robertson, 1,000 Vegan Recipes,  462-3.

Brownie Crust:
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used a birthday present of a 3.5-ounce bar of Ghirardelli Twilight Delight, 72% cacao—it’s vegan and GF, technically, but sometimes I find I have a lactose reaction to it.  Use your noggin.)
1 cup pureed pure pumpkin (say that three times fast)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Chocolate Pecan Filling:
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup water (no, this is not a mistake to have two different measurements of water)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 cups pecan halves, broken into bits

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Though this is pie, it needs to be baked in a metal pan.  Grease a 9” springform pan or line an 8” square with parchment (or line a metal pie plate with a parchment circle; glass is not recommended since the crust needs to be sturdy and brown a bit).

Begin making the filling: in a small bowl, MIX the cornstarch with 1/4 cup water (seriously, blend it up, because you don’t want cornstarch lumps in your filling).  In a medium-sized saucepan, bring the maple syrup, 3/4 cup water, and brown sugar to a boil over high heat.  Boil for five minutes.

While the filling is boiling, melt the chocolate for the crust.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.  Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the oil and pumpkin carefully so as not to make the chocolate seize (cold pumpkin will do that).  Add wet to dry and mix well.  Dollop the stiff crust batter into the pan and spread to the sides. 

The weight of the filling will hold down the centre so there will be a crust around the edges of the pie, as long as you pour the filling into the middle.  Since this may take more than five minutes to assemble the crust, don’t worry, you can come back to the crust once you tend to the filling.  This recipe is an exercise in multitasking.

Once the filling has boiled for five minutes, stir in the salt and cornstarch mixture.  Continue to cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes shiny, thick, and bubbles break open on the surface.  Turn down the heat and stir in the chocolate, then turn off the heat.  Add the margarine and vanilla and stir to melt completely.  Fold in the nuts and stir to coat.  Finish up the crust and put it in the pan if you haven’t already.  Pour the filling into the centre of the crust.  

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the crust bounces back when touched, passes the toothpick test (reasonably well; there will be chocolate on the tester but it shouldn’t be wet), and the filling does not jiggle too much in the centre.  Cool completely before refrigerating.  If you used a springform pan, remove the sides of the pan once the whole assemblage has pulled away from the sides in the course of cooling.  Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before serving.

Aw yeah.

It also works well baked in a regular pie plate.

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

A Hard Day’s Work: Pecan pie

I’m back at school.  My room is double the square footage of last year’s 87-square-foot closet.   The kitchen is in the same building, which is convenient.  The oven in this kitchen does not have a timer.  Tell me that’s not a safety hazard in a dorm of absent-minded undergraduates.  Go on, tell me people are responsible.

Cynicism as a side dish, here’s a recipe I made last week at home.  My dad took my car to get fixed (long story), and so I made his favourite dessert to say thanks, pecan pie.  I am enormously proud of my pies that I’ve veganized and gluten-free-ized, and thus I was happy to add another notch to my fuselage with this recipe.  I shouldn’t take too much credit, though, lest I become conceited and forget that I found this recipe in a cookbook.  The flour substitution is the only factor I changed.  This is Yankee pecan pie because it uses maple syrup instead of corn syrup in the filling.

 Picture of the finished product, so as to encourage you that, yes, it exists!  It existed, anyway.

Pecan Pie (modified from Robertson, Robin.  1,000 Vegan Recipes.  462-3.)
Makes 1 9-inch pie.

3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour Blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed

3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted pecan halves or pieces (or 1 cup pecans and 1 cup walnuts)

For the crust:  In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, and sugar.  Use a pastry cutter, fork, or two butter knives to cut in the margarine until the mixture forms pea-sized clumps.  Add the water one tablespoon at a time and blend thoroughly after each addition.  Stop mixing just as the dough comes together.  Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 30 minutes or even overnight. (I mean it.  Chill it.  It’ll be fine if you don’t chill it for exactly 30 minutes, but thirty minutes is the bare minimum.  In hot, humid New Jersey summer weather, that chilling time is important, even though I was at home in the sticks, and it’s relatively cooler up north.  Doesn’t matter.  Chill that sucker.)

Filling: After the crust has chilled for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit while you make the filling.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and ¼ cup water and set aside.  In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining ¾ cup water, maple syrup, and brown sugar, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Boil for five minutes.  Then stir in the salt and cornstarch mixture.  Cook, stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes shiny and the bubbles break open on the surface.  Remove from heat and stir in the margarine and vanilla.  Once the margarine is melted, stir in the pecans (or other nuts).

Spray a 9-inch glass pie plate with nonstick spray.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured (with brown rice flour) work surface to about 10 inches in diameter.  Transfer the dough to the pie plate and neaten up the edges (if you’re Q, that means just making sure the edges are about even all the way around, nothing fancy).  Prick holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork (this is a serious step and should not be taken lightly.  Poke those holes!).  Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside.  Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour the filling into the prebaked pie crust and spread evenly.  Bake for 30 minutes or until edge of crust is golden and filling is set and a little bit darker.  Cool on rack for 1 hour then chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.  Tastes extra nice with rice or soy whip.

Today as I was walking to the student lot to my car, a young man said, “Nice Dresden Codak t-shirt.”  He recognised my “I will do science to it” little Kim t-shirt from Codak’s comic Hob.

The above picture shows a little bit of gluten-caused rash, rashes which I kept getting as I detoxed from gluten.

Happy Autumnal Equinox!

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