Thursday, May 5, 2011

Lunch With A Good Friend

Yup having lunch with a friend on a busy day, between packing, a few laughs, and an upset puppy, it was a success.

I have been wanting to make a vegan biscuit and this gave me the chance to try it out. I have been on this kick with a tomato herb theme recently (although I have always loved the combo tomato, herbs, and bread like products) and I know my brother has always loved this combo too. But I wanted to make them gluten free, too. So I have been trying out spelt flour in recipes recently.

For lunch we had a nice spread of Rosemary Lemon Hummus, spinach, and tomato slices to try and make a sandwich. But that didn't work because when you tried to bite into the sandwich the filling just pushed out, so instead we had open faced sandwiches. Here is my latest recipe:

Tomato Herb Spelt Biscuits

2 cups spelt flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt, plus some to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon onion powder, plus some to sprinkle on top
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus some to sprinkle on top
1/2 cup hot water
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon olive oil top brush on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a sauce pot with 1 teaspoon olive oil, add the garlic and let it cook for 3 minutes, but do not let it brown too much. Add the rosemary and let it cook for a minute, then add the tomato paste, pepper, salt, and onion powder. Turn the heat to medium high. Mix the spelt flour and baking powder together.

Add the hot water to the tomato paste mixture. Pour that into the flour along with the oil and start to combine.

You may have to add a tad bit more water to bring it together.

Sprinkle a board with a little flour. Place the dough onto the board, and pat it out to a 1 inch thickness.

Using a 3inch round cookie cutter, cut out biscuits. Gather any scraps together and pat out again to make a few more biscuits.

Place on the prepared pan.

Brush each top with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until the are crispy on top and slightly browned.

I also made a new type of peanut butter cookie, but I forgot to take pictures while I was making them, but most recipes do not give pictures of every step so hey- I will give the recipe anyway. These are those crisscross peanut butter cookies, but no refined sugars they have agave nectar in it. The base recipe came from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. So here is my take on the recipe:

Agave Nectar Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup agave nectar
1/8 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup cashew butter
2 tablespoons milk (nondairy)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter chips, optional, which could also be chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix the agave nectar, maple syrup, oil, peanut butter and cashew butter, milk, flax seeds, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth. Add in the flours, baking soda, and salt, (add the chips in if using) mix until a soft dough forms. Form into 1 inch balls and flatten slightly onto the cookie sheet. After you have formed all of the cookies, take a fork and press the crisscross pattern into the top of each cookie, the sides will start to crack, but that is fine. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, switching and turning pan half way through baking, and the cookies become golden brown around the edges.

During the week I also made a normal (meaning not vegan) cheese cake for the family.

It was a Mocha Chocolate Cheese Cake that had coffee and Kahlua in the batter and just Kahlua in the sour cream topping.

At work chef bought a surprise for me...golden beets!

I have been trying to find these but I can never find them in any store or farmers market. I was so excited and they are so pretty and yummy. They taste like a ruby beet but slightly sweeter.

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