Ok so it might have happened.
I might have decided to keep some of the leftover melted vegan chocolate instead of putting it away in the fridge like a good girl. I even might have taken some peanut butter out of the fridge, and dropped a teaspoon full of it into the melted chocolate. I might have mixed it all together, and taken a wooden spoon, and eaten the chocolaty peanuty goodness like it was a fine soup. That also might just be how I came up with my very own first unique set of gluten free vegan recipes: vanilla donuts with chocolate peanut butter glaze anyone? How about banana donuts with chocolate peanut butter glaze? Oooh: vegan brownies topped with caramelized bananas!! Or better still: vegan peanut butter brownies topped with caramelized bananas! Heck, we could even use almond butter instead, and make chocolate glaze with an almond butter swirl!
Are you drooling yet? I’m going to need some taste testers. Any volunteers?
Suffice it to say that I went off on a cooking and baking tangent this week. These ideas gave way to savory cooking in addition to baking, and I’ve been on a mission. Check it out:
Let's start with my Mother's day tea sandwiches! Apple cheddar dijon sandwiches, beet, avocado, goat cheese dijon sandwiches (a creation by my great friend, Denise Woods), and my famous chocolate chip banana bread!
Pasta anyone? Garlic, olive oil, arugula and tomato. Simple, light - yummy!
How about some coconut curry soup?
I paired this with an Asian Peanut Salad:
Feeling like a good burrito, but not wanting the dairy and gluten, I designed a vegan, gluten free veggie burrito! Homemade mexican quinoa, homemade guacamole, homemade tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and onions, a little Daiya vegan cheese, and some black beans, all on a brown rice tortilla. YUM!
Feeling a craving for sugar, I went back to my roots. I experimented with more donuts. This time: vegan, baked, gluten free chocolate chocolate glazed donuts! My first round of gluten free vegan baking after a lifetime of traditional ingredients was successful. But it was also beginner’s luck. I should have known! These chocolate delights gave me a few problems! The first round taught me a lesson – if you underbake gluten free baked goods, they are extremely difficult to get out of the donut mold! So difficult, in fact, that they don’t hold their shape. I ended up with a stomach ache from eating the crumbs that came out of the mold rather than the pretty little shapes they were supposed to be. Woops!! Once I stopped gorging, I realized – no problemo! I can save the crumbs and use them as a crumb base in some other dessert. Oooh – how about caramelized bananas mixed with the crumb base? Then we can warm it up, and put vanilla ice cream (coconut base) on it! YES!!!
Moving right along: vegan, gluten free, chocolate chip cookies for my friend Steve's birthday. I tasted 5 of them, just to be sure they were good :)
Finally, Joy the Baker inspired me to try her vegan, ginger cookies. I'm not a big ginger fan, but man alive, these are DE-lish!
In the midst of all this baking and cooking (and receipts from countless grocery stores, including a new restaurant supply shop I discovered that has become my new version of heaven) I hit a bit of what can be considered a detour in my journey to Delectable You: the bakery. This sort of thing is inevitable when our minds are left to their own devices for a hot minute, and life swoops in and tries to get us to change course (or to help remind us how badly we want something, and what we're willing to do to get it).
A wonderful friend of mine, Jacki Carr, has been inspiring me since the day I met her. Sometimes, she’ll drop me a line, a note to say hello, or something she saw that made her think of me. Her timing is usually impeccable. She once wrote this to me:
"Whilst in the pursuit of a grand and wonderful dream, should you all of a sudden round a bend and see before you an enormous uncharted mountain with towering cliffs, jagged rocks, and seemingly impenetrable walls, just consider it a sign that your dream is considerably more worthwhile than you had previously imagined, and that you are exactly where you're supposed to be. "
When she sent that to me, her timing couldn’t have been more perfect. So much so, in fact, that I cried (betya’ didn’t know that, miss Jacki! Well, now you know :)). Well, in the last few days, as some more of those jagged rocks have reared their ugly (or shall we say, beautiful?) heads, I found myself having to re-reading this passage. I thought I would share it with you. I don’t know where you are in your life right now – maybe everything is great! If so, save this quote for a rainy day. If not – take solace in the words above – trust that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, and that closed doors will only help lead you to the wide open doors your are destined to walk through.
Now go eat a cookie and forget about it!
P.S If you want some or all of my recipes, ask and you shall receive :)