Showing posts from March, 2018

Meeting with the Food Mood Girl

The Food Mood Girl made her way to the big old city of Harrisburg PA all the way from her home-base of Pittsburgh, PA.

Okay, so in reality, it is not that far or difficult of a trip to make, but since moving back to the Harrisburg area, I still find myself surprised when I find an awesome event (especially one that pertains to good wholesome food).

The event was hosted at Absolute Pilates, Mechanicsburg PA Location. Which, as it turns out, Food Mood Girl (Lindsey) and Allison (owner of Absolute Pilates) actually know one another from their school days.  What a small world, eh?

Lindsey is one of the most authentic people I have met. She is who she is and she is... and she is powerful!

While not adhering to any one diet (gluten-free, vegan, keto, low-carb, plant-based....) she does adhere to what her body is asking for on that particular day.

What an amazing gift she has given to herself, to not only honor her body's needs but to be able to define what it is her body is truly in need…

Banana Flour Brownies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

As promised, I have been doing some recipe experimenting with the banana flour. While some recipes have sort of come out as planned, others failed. I sort of love when recipes fail, as it keeps me determined and adventurous.

For the brownies, I did not measure ingredients and instead just started mixing things until it looked like the right texture.

- banana flour
- mashed ripe bananas
- cinnamon
- water

I mixed well and cooked for about an hour at 375.

It came out moist, chocolate-like taste and a bit addicting.

Banana Flour Fruit Perogies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

I have no idea what I am doing with all this banana flour that I created on a whim, but I know that one will only learn from experimenting.

This coming Friday evening is the last Lenten Church fish dinner of the season and the family and I will be getting together to celebrate. I know one of the many menu options will be perogies so I figured I would give this banana flour a try and create a Nicole-Friendly perogie. For some reason, I wasn't in the mood to make savory perogies, instead, I am going with a strawberry filling.

I used about 2 cups banana flour, some water, and a mashed banana to create the "dough", then rolled it fairly thin, added some sliced strawberries into the center and folded these babies shut.

The next step is to freeze the perogies prior to baking them - I don't think the dough will actually hold to a boil....?

I will top with some sort of nut butter and honey sauce or a mixture of jam and nut butter.

Plantain Burger & Plantain Burger Bun (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

It is burger night with the family and I needed to get creative quickly!
I looked inside my fridge and found plantains, red pepper, beets, and some other odds and ends and figured I would make it work.

I searched my parents' hose and found a good old George Forman Grill and felt like I was already winning.

I steamed the plantain while I prepped some quick pickled beets and prepped some seasonings for my burger (freshly grated turmeric, ginger, and a garlic).

When the plantain was steamed, I placed the red pepper on the grill, figuring it would need slightly more time than the "burger".

I took half the plantain and mashed it into a patty-like substance, adding some flavoring (pepper, ginger, garlic, turmeric....) and then placed that on the grill.

Lastly, I split the remaining plantain into halves and placed it on the grill to resemble a long bun.

I let everything grill for about 8 minutes and then assembled my burger: adding some lettuce, pickled beets, scallions, and a …

Sweet Potato Burger with an Elderberry Hot Sauce (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Ingredients: -1 medium sweet potato -2 small bananas -some backing soda -Cinnamon -salt and pepper -lettuce -elderberry jam -hot sauce
Instructions: -steam the sweet potato, peel it. -mash the sweet potato with warmed banana (I heated mine in the microwave for 1 minute) -mix all ingredients together (except for lettuce, jam and hot sauce) -roll into a patty-like shape -heat in a sauté pan
To serve, place patties on a lettuce leaf, add your elderberry hot sauce (just combine equal parts hot sauce and jam), roll together and enjoy!

Beets Beet Beets

When the farmer practically gives you a case of beets, you make beet juice!
I think I have officially made every variety of beet juice I could think of - some of the additional ingredients added during my juicing are: -celery -ginger -turmeric -cucumber -sweet potato -apple -strawberry -carrot -green papaya -whatever else might have been lurking in my fridge.
I juiced in bulk. Packed them into freezer-friendly Ziploc bags and will enjoy fresh juice as needed.

Banana Flour

I've been hearing a good bit about banana flour and how versatile it is and all of its nutritional benefits.
Having not yet tried it, merely due to the fact that I couldn't bring myself to pay $8+ for a small portion and being allergy-free, you really need to choose wisely which "specialty item" you purchase, I was eager to explore just how versatile it is. I mean, I have seen posts on banana flour pasta, banana flour pizza crust, bread, muffins, waffles and so much more.
I purchase bananas by the case rather often. I typically eat a good 4-5 bunches during the week, bake with some and freeze the others for later use or for my favorite, banana whips.
I thought to myself, why wouldn't I be able to make my own banana flour? I have a commercial size dehydrator and a powerful Vitamix blender….So off to experiment I go.
I did a little bit of research and it seems to be split 50/50 between those that use the banana peel and those that do not. I am all about wasting less…

Root of Lancaster - 100% Vegan and Gluten-Free Accommodating

Back in 2015, Rob Garpstas opened, what is now, one of the hottest Lancaster restaurants, Root of Lancaster. 

While Rob has not always been vegan, he was motivated to change diets after his father was diagnosed with cancer and his youngest daughter showed an accelerated interest in animal activism.

Having close to 20 years restaurant and bar experience, I imagine Rob thought to himself, I want to provide an option that is not only vegan - but offers a mix of modern vegan foods with the classic comfort foods we all hold very near and dear to our hearts (especially during the cold central PA winter season).

Since their opening, I have contemplated a visit to see how Roots stacks up. A couple of things were holding me back:
1. It is vegan, but how much of the menu is gluten-free?
2. Okay, so we offer gluten-free, BUT how about contamination?
3. I'm not a huge fan of small plates, if I am going to eat out, I prefer a larger dinner size portion
4. I had a not so great experience with V…

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Oil-Free Oatmeal Bread Machine Recipe

I’ve been reminiscing about the days when I would make my own bread and lather them up with a nut butter of choice, honey, and bananas!

I knew I had flours of all sorts all over the house and I was about 85% sure I knew where the bread machine was. Now, I just needed a recipe. I hadn’t saved my historical recipes and I know I have no idea where the bread machine cookbook, off to Google I go!

Of course, it was near impossible to find an already created “Nicole-Friendly” recipe but I figured I could find one that looked of interest and adapt as needed.

I found a recipe. Wrote it down. And marked it up with some thoughts on omits, add-ins and changes. The final recipe was formed.

-1 1/4 cup warm water. I needed to almost double this amount to more like 2 1/2 cups.
- 3 Tablespoons honey. I substituted Bee Pollen. Okay, so I’m vegan, BUT I do consume honey!
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast. I substituted equal parts of baking soda and lemon juice
- 2 eggs. I substituted 2/4…

Green Papaya Salad (Gluten-free, Vegan, Oil-Free)