Editor’s Note: We were so psyched by Allyson’s book and that Autumn – one of our favorite gluten-free bloggers – wanted to get a further scoop, that we decided to feature the book both on the blog and in the magazine. Have fun exploring both Autumn’s Autumn Makes and Does and Allyson’s Manifest Vegan blogs,
and check out Autumn’s recent post for us on Cooking for Vegan Friends!
By Autumn Giles -
Allyson Kramer, author of the popular blog Manifest Vegan, was a committed vegan when she was diagnosed with celiac disease. She answers the question “But what’s
left to eat?” in her new book, Great Gluten-free Vegan Eats. The book, which is organized intuitively by type of dish (breakfasts, main courses, etc.), begins with a chapter on basics. Taking the DIY route to building a gluten-free vegan pantry,
Allyson demystifies kitchen projects like making almond milk, homemade pasta and even a vegan white chocolate baking bar. Rather than admonishing readers to follow her recipes exactly, Allyson focuses on empowering them to feel comfortable using her recipes as a starting point. I love that!
I’m not vegan, so I found myself most interested in the recipes that were closest to stuff I typically eat. That said, I enjoy experimenting with vegan baking and I’ve long admired Allyson’s gluten-free vegan baking prowess via her blog. She uses some clever kitchen science (hello, vinegar) with impressive results in recipes like her
Dark Chocolate Chipotle Cake, which has amazing texture and stayed fresh even
after a couple days on the counter. The cashew-based Chocolate Hazelnut Brownie Cheesecake officially converted me to team cashew cheesecake. However, my favorite recipe that I tried from the book was a savory one: Cinnamon Roasted Cauliflower. This recipe takes all the best parts of roasted cauliflower, which I’m already a fan of, and makes them even better. It’s definitely going into my regular rotation.
The book also features a number of familiar, comfort-food dishes made gluten-free and vegan. I enjoyed the Rosemary, Leek and Potato Pie, which is reminiscent of scalloped potatoes. I had high hopes for the Mac n’ Cabbage Polonaise, but it didn’t end up being my style. I have a soft spot for vegan mac n’ cheese type recipes like
this one and was into the idea of adding cabbage, but didn’t love the crumble
topping. However, like Allyson encourages, it did provide the impetus for me to embark on a gluten-free vegan mac n’ cheese quest and get closer to developing a recipe that suits my taste.
Overall, I think Great Gluten-free Vegan Eats would be a good resource for gluten-
free folks who also avoid dairy or eggs or those who are looking to reduce the
amount of animal products in their diets. Even after cooking from it for a couple
weeks, there are still recipes that I want to try, like these Pizza Crackers.
Reprinted with permission from Fair Winds Press.
Yield: About 70 crackers, 3 crackers per serving
2 cups (260 g) chickpea flour
½ cup (65 g) sorghum flour, plus more for rolling
½ cup (65 g) potato starch
½ cup (65 g) nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 to 3 teaspoons ground pizza seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
1/ 3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
¼ cup (60 g) tomato paste
¾ cup (180 ml) cold water
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4). In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, nutritional yeast, xanthan gum, salt and pizza seasoning until well mixed. Using a large spoon, stir in the olive oil, tomato paste, and cold water. Mix until very well combined. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead just until the dough is uniform in texture and color. Add a little more flour to your rolling surface and pat out the dough to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Sprinkle the top with a touch more sorghum flour and flip over.
With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until it is about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick. Use a circular cookie cutter or a pizza wheel to cut out 1½-inch (3.8 cm) shapes of dough. Sprinkle with additional pizza seasoning. Use a flat metal spatula to scoop up the shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart.
Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through the cooking time. The crackers will have a reddish hue (from the tomato paste) but should be slightly puffy and golden brown on both sides when they are done. Depending on the size of your baking sheets and oven, you may need to make 2 or 3 batches of crackers.
Let cool completely. Stored in an airtight container, these will keep for up to a week.
Autumn Giles adores food and words. She shares the gluten-free food that she cooks and preserves on her blog Autumn Makes & Does. In fall 2011, Autumn started a bi-weekly podcast called Alphabet Soup. Alphabet Soup is about, you guessed it, food and words. Autumn loves connecting with new folks over food. Join the conversation on Twitter @autumnmakes and on the Autumn Makes & Does Facebook Page.