October 05, 2016

What's on the menu?

The longer it takes me to write a new post, the harder it is to refocus; I have lots of ideas I want to share but 'things' keep getting it the way and I put off writing. Then I become a procrastinator, and writing gets even harder as time moves farther and farther away from what I had intended to post. Does this ever happen to you? For now, I'm going to do one of those random, recap posts to catch up, and try harder to stay up to date in the future. At least that's what I intend.

In my Sept. 13 post, I  described a mini-vacation we took on Orcas Island, and mentioned a vegan, gluten-free sourdough bread we found in the local food co-op. It was a Barn Owl Bakery bread, and it looked gorgeous and tasted great.

I was pretty excited to find the loaf, and started planning how to ferment GF sourdough starter and make bread when we returned home. Before bidding gluten goodbye, I used to be a darn good baker, and regularly made both regular and sourdough loaves as well as the on-demand bread that's made from dough kept at the ready in a tub in the refrigerator.  I was so happy to find the beautiful Barn Owl Bakery bread, and it inspired me to want to bake again.

I made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to take on a day hike and they were delicious. But, after eating the bread, I had much intestinal distress and cramping — not the most horrible cramping, but still uncomfortable. Gluten free readers — what do you make of this? Do you bake sourdough bread at home?

The ingredients look perfectly fine to me. What do you think?

When I get an urge for a sandwich I usually make a batch of bannocks. The last time I got a craving for something in a bun, I lightened up the slightly heavy bannocks with a small recipe adjustment, and used them to hold kidney bean burgers.

My husband made the burgers from a recipe while I made the buns.

The burgers fulfilled my desire for a messy, dripping sandwich, but weren't quite good enough to go on the make-again and-share list. We have other burger recipes we like much better, but it's always fun to try new things rather than use the same old recipes again and again.

My sushi rice cooked in the Instant Pot is getting so much better since the first time I made it when it turned out more like rice pudding. I think the magic ratio is one cup of rice to 1-1/4 cups of water. I used standard measuring cups for the rice and water rather than the cup that came with the Instant Pot, and the rice had a great texture. After the cooking time was up, I let the rice stay in the closed pot for about 20 minutes. I seem to have a never-ending craving for vegan sushi, and even writing about it now is making me want some.

Polenta is another one of the foods I get cravings for, so when I make it (in the Instant Pot, of course) I make extra to use the next night, or for lunch. 

Here is a plate of leftover polenta enhanced with stir-fried tofu and bok choy, sprinkled with toasted peanuts. I suppose the polenta was slightly out of place here, but it sure tasted good!

Top 100 vegan blogs

I don't know how many vegan blogs there are, but I just received notice that my little blog is among the top 100. At least according to feedspot.com. So for whatever it's worth, if you are interested in discovering more vegan blogs, you can use the list of 100 as a starting point. I'm honored to be on the list with so many great blogs.


  1. I can totally relate to that procrastination and the difficulties jumping back on board after letting it slide for longer and longer - it's been happening to be for the last 12 months! Good on you for getting the post out! :) I have been craving soft polenta lately too, I must pick some up at the shops!

    1. I think I've become less willing to keep careful notes as I cook, and more inclined to fall back on my usual a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that cooking style. That makes it harder to share specific recipes. Then I feel guilty. :]

  2. As for your digestive woes, I'd put money on the psyllium seed husks as being the culprit. http://www.livestrong.com/article/496939-psyllium-upper-abdominal-pain/ Even if you've eaten it without issue in the past, it's possible the amount in this particular recipe is more than you can handle. And as I approach my 58th birthday in a few days, I hate to say it, but aging tends to wreck our digestive abilities. Things we once could eat with abandon don't always work for us any more...

    In the meantime, I highly recommend this recipe for gf sourdough buckwheat bread. Super easy and super good!!! http://phickle.com/gluten-free-sourdough-buckwheat-bread-recipe/

    1. You may have a point about the psyllium husks. I remember reading about using them with caution. I did make bread with them a couple of years ago, but as you say, things change. I thought cross-contamination could possibly be an issue, since I don't know anything about the bakery. In any case, I had exactly two cups of buckwheat groats in the pantry, and they are now soaking in preparation for making the buckwheat loaf you suggested. Thank you so much for the link — can't wait to taste the finished loaf.

  3. I completely know what you mean about getting psyched-out about posting... I have such a backlog of content that I'm dying to share, but I totally overthink the whole writing bit, which ends up pushing the posts later and later, and the new material keeps on piling up... It's a vicious cycle!

    In any event, I'm just starting to embrace polenta myself, and love the look of your comforting veggie-ful bowl here. Maybe it's too early in the season to declare, but I'd like to think of this as the autumn of a polenta renaissance!

    1. Oh, the backlog ... folders full of photos that never get published, and stories that are forgotten before they are told.

      As for the polenta, enjoy the creamy decadence and smooth flavor as often as you can. It's the perfect base for so many foods.

  4. I'm emphathising right now about the procrastination side of things. Whenever I have enough time to sit down and write anything, I'm generally too knackered to do it! Your sushi looks amazing - it's something I regularly get cravings for, but never seem to get around to making. I hope you find out what went wrong with the sourdough - it's hugely annoying when you can't find the source of the problem so you can avoid it in future.

    1. I just wish the sushi craving would go away already. I'm beginning to wonder what sort of dietary imbalance causes a sushi craving. I guess I should be glad it's not for something unpleasant. As for the bread, it was from a bakery, not homemade. My first homemade fermented loaf (based on a recipe shared by the first commenter) is cooling on the counter. All will be revealed soon.

  5. I'm constantly struggling with getting timely posts up. I always thought it was just me. :-) I've been making sushi at home regularly too, it's so much easier with a rice cooker or instant pot in your case. I see you like to put greens in your rolls too.

    1. I think it comes from blogging for such a long time. The average length of a blog's life is about a year or two.

      As for sushi, I never get tired of it!


Thanks for visiting Andrea's easy vegan cooking. I love, and read, all of your comments! Please share your thoughts.

There are a few Amazon links in the posts. Thanks in advance if you click on one.

Note: ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS BLOG WERE ACCIDENTALLY DELETED ON 1-21-12. I'M RESTORING THEM, POST BY POST, BUT IT WILL TAKE A LONG TIME. Recipe pages you visit may be missing photos, but all the text in intact. If you find a post without images, let me know so I can fix it. Thanks!


Related Posts with Thumbnails