tasty (re)creations

February 14, 2012

Wheat-Free Sugar Cookies with Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce

Filed under: Sweet — sophiestatz @ 1:25 pm

Sometimes you just get a craving for some chocolate hazelnut spread, so why not whip some up.  These sugar cookie sandwiches with chocolate hazelnut filling were pretty amazing.

Wheat Free Sugar Cookies


1 cup sugar

1 cup coconut oil

2 egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 1/4 cups Flour Blend (see below)

teaspoon salt


This is easier to do with a mixer, but can be done by hand. Cream sugar and coconut oil in a mixer at medium speed. Add egg yolks and vanilla and continue to mix until well stirred. Add flours and salt.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour or longer.

Like most w/f dough, this didn’t roll out as easily as for wheat flour dough, but if you do it in small batches you can roll it quite thin. Although be careful because it is somewhat crumbly.

Once it’s at the right thickness, use cookie cutters to make some beautiful shapes.

Bake at 350°F for 8-15 minutes. Be careful as they brown quickly.

Gluten-Free Flour Blend: 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup corn starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. You can store the remainder to use again. This is the perfect flour blend for sugar cookies.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread


1 cups hazelnuts

1 cup walnuts

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup cocoa

2 tbsp walnut oil (though any would do)

2 tbsp coconut oil


Start by placing nuts in the food processor, once they are finely ground add other ingredients. Can add a small amount of soy milk to make creamier.


January 4, 2012

Another amazing healthy ice cream

Filed under: Sweet, Vegan — Emma Lillian Banks @ 1:43 pm

Inspired by the healthy shakes over at Chocolate-Covered Katie whose site you must check out.  Sorry no photo, I’ll work on it. This tastes like frozen mousse.  You can add whatever flavouring you like, my fave being cocoa powder.  I actually like this so much, that I eat it almost daily and do not miss regular ice cream.  This makes one serving.  Double, triple etc. away.  Tip: if you don’t have a food processor use a blender and let your banana thaw a little first.

Blend the following in a food processor: 

-1 1/2 very ripe frozen bananas

-1-2 tbsp full fat coconut milk

-add-in’s of choice

That’s it!

Some suggested add-ins, before or after blending depending on desired texture:

-1-2 tbsp good cocoa powder

-shaved coconut

-1/2 tsp vanilla or other extract


-chocolate chunks or chips



November 11, 2011

GF Chocolate Banana Bread

Filed under: Breakfast, Sweet — Emma Lillian Banks @ 11:51 am

I have been meaning to try out banana bread recipes at altitude for a while.  I was especially craving it last night after a rainy day, but apparently had not actually printed the two recipes I was going to play with.  Oops.  However, I had just bought some corn starch and remembered that it’s excellent for GF baking (especially since I can’t get things like xanthan guam in Bolivia).  This banana bread was perfect right out of the oven.  I should try making up recipes more often.  If you want to make this in a loaf pan or have thicker slices, I suggest doubling it and baking at least 15 minutes longer.


2 med or 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg (sub with flax egg or extra banana if you want this vegan)

1/4 C oil (I used olive and loved the results, but I bet coconut or sunflower or even melted butter would be great)

rind of one lemon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 C raw sugar (optional since banana is naturally sweet)

1/2 C corn starch

1/2 C quinoa flour

1/2 tsp baking soda (I would say 3/4 tsp at sea level)

1/2 tsp cardamom (or use cinnamon or cloves)

4 oz chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips


1. Combine first 6 ingredients in mixing bowl.  Whisk thoroughly.

2. Add corn starch, quinoa flour,  baking soda, and cardamom.  Mix well with big spoon.

3. Add chocolate and stir.

4. Bake at 350 F in greased 8 inch pie or cake pan for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown at edges.  Keep an eye on it, since you want this to still be gooey.  Store uncovered, so it doesn’t get mushy.  If you want to keep it for a few days, cover lightly with tin foil and keep in fridge.

October 28, 2011

Pomegranate Cashew Tartlet

Filed under: Sweet, Uncategorized — sophiestatz @ 11:23 am

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. Moving back to Brooklyn, writing the dissertation, and filling the apartment with furniture and catching up with friends takes its time and energy. So I haven’t had much to spend of either on cooking. But, I had to share these delicious tartlets. They are wheat-free, almost dairy-free, and low sugar and insanely delicious.

I used most of the recipe from The Raw Chef, but changed the crust to an almond crust.

Tasty indeed!

For the Crust:

Start with about two cups of almonds (I used slivered almonds because that’s what I had, but you can use whole as well), blanch them by dumping then in boiling water for one minute and then drain them. Then process them in either a very high-power blender or a coffee grinder until you have almond flour, don’t process them too long otherwise you will have almond butter.


2 cups blanched almond flour

1/4 cup butter or coconut oil

2 tbsp sugar

1 egg white

dash of sea salt


-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. (If you are making one big tart, or 350 if you are making several small tartlets)

Combine all ingredients in a mixer and mix until combined. The dough won’t be fully formed together, but should be well-mixed, about three minutes.

Place even amounts of dough in each tartlet pan, or all dough in one large tart pan. use your fingers to spread evenly.

Bake the shells for about 25 minutes for tartlets or between 30- and 35- minutes for tart. The shells should be golden brown.

Allow to cool, can also put in fridge to help process.

Once cool you can take shell out of pan.

For the Filling:

Generally when I use recipes I modify them in some way, but for this one I really just followed what The Raw Chef provided and loved it:

3 cups cashews, soaked for 1 – 2 hours
1 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup agave
1 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1/2 cup beetroot juice (optional, just for colour)

– Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender under smooth.

– Pour on top of the base.

– Place in the freezer to set. Once it’s set, the cheesecake can be moved to, and stored in, the fridge until ready to eat.

September 2, 2011

Banana Quinoa Pancakes

Filed under: Breakfast, Sweet, Vegan — Emma Lillian Banks @ 4:19 pm

In a quest to cut down on gluten, I’ve been experimenting with alternative flours.  Since quinoa is grown in Bolivia, it’s become a staple for me.  I haven’t been able to find guar guam or other gf-baking leaveners, but the protein in quinoa flour seems to help things bind.

These vegan, gf pancakes are excellent.  Naturally sweet, fluffy, and filling.  You can make the batter the night before for an easy week-day breakfast.  I like to eat the batter on its own.  Pre-run, a few spoonfuls makes a great calorie boost, and post-run the cooked pancakes make a great refueler.

This recipe makes one serving of 3-4 small but very filling pancakes.  Double, triple etc. for more people or if you are super hungry!


-1/4 cup oats (use gf if you are sensitive)

-1 super ripe banana (it’s ok to use frozen)

-2 tbsp raw sugar (optional)

-2 tbsp water

-1 tbsp oil (I use sunflower)

-splash of vanilla extract

-pinch of cinamon

-1/8 tsp baking soda

-1/4 tsp baking powder

-1/4 cup quinoa flour


1. Pulverize the oats for a few seconds in a food processor.  Add banana, sugar, water, oil, and vanilla. Blend.

2. Pour mixture into another bowl of just pull out the blade from your food processor use that as a bowl (nobody likes to do dishes in the morning).  Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.  Add more water and/or flour depending on how thick or thin you like your batter.  If you have time, let your batter rest at least 15 minutes.  I like it best after a night in the fridge.

3. To cook, heat your favourite pancake skillet on medium-high heat.  Add a splash of oil or nob o’butter.  Spoon about 2-3 tbsp of batter onto pan (these cook better if they are small).  Repeat until you have no more batter.

4.  Cook each pancake until both sides are golden brown.  Serve immediately.  Top with whatever you want or just eat plain.

August 6, 2011

Basil Peanut Sauce

Filed under: Uncategorized — sophiestatz @ 1:02 am

I always make this peanut sauce to serve with spring rolls. It’s a great combination of spicy, savory, and sweet, and the basil adds a significant amount of the deliciousness factor. It also only takes around ten minutes from start to finish.


1/2 c peanut butter (chunky or smooth)

1/2 c hot water

1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (depending on preference, I generally use about 1 1/2)

Juice of one lemon

1tbsp honey (sugar works well too)

dash of sriracha or other hot sauce

dash of cumin

1/3 c chopped basil

To prepare:

Combine peanut butter and hot water until creamy. Add remaining ingredients, wait until end to add basil.

I always make spring rolls to go along with them, such as the ones below.

July 20, 2011

Healthy, instant ‘gelato’

Filed under: Sweet, Vegan — Emma Lillian Banks @ 10:35 am

I don’t have an appetizing picture for this particular dish yet…I am working on it.  All my attempts last time I made this gelato made it look kind of like baby poop in a bowl (Update: I added a photo, which is a mini portion I made for myself as a snack).  But I swear it’s delicious!  And how would have thought that raw, vegan sugar-free gelato would be delicious?  It’s creamy, oh-so chocolately, and silky.  Yum.  You can also make this with non-frozen bananas for a kind of pudding.  The possibilities for add-ins are endless!

Combine the following in a food processor:

-2 super ripe frozen bananas (I like to freeze bananas once they get too mushy)

-1/2 ripe medium-size avacado

-3 tbsp (or more depending on personal taste) good quality cocoa powder

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Blend it all together and eat.  Makes one large serving (which you can eat for dinner guilt-free….not that I do that).

Some possible add-ins, either before or after blending:

-sweeteners (honey, agave, raw sugar etc.)

-chocolate chips

-peanut or other nut butter

-booze (rum or whiskey would be amazing)


-chopped nuts

July 13, 2011

Quinoa “Oatmeal” with Walnuts and Cranberries

Filed under: Breakfast, Uncategorized — sophiestatz @ 5:29 pm

We’ve been on an oatmeal kick lately and are loving it, and this morning I decided to try it with quinoa. It’s my new favorite breakfast, ever. Delicious and really easy to make, and crazy good for you.

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Boil the following

Two cups water

One cup quinoa

Pinch of salt

Handful of raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Stir frequently, till soft and it reaches an “oatmeal”-like consistency. Top with what you like! Honey, yoghurt, dried cranberries, and walnuts is pretty stellar.

July 11, 2011

Savoury Braised Figs

Filed under: Savory, Small Plate — Emma Lillian Banks @ 4:48 pm

As Sophie alluded to in the previous post, I made these delicious figs as a topping on polenta bruschetta.  I bet they would also be amazing on top of bitter greens.  You can make a sweet version (great on oatmeal, pancakes etc.) by increasing the maple syrup, omitting the rosemary and vinegar, and adding cinnamon and vanilla.


about 15 fresh figs

1 tbsp butter or olive oil

2 tbsps maple syrup

1/8-1/4 cup good balsamic vinegar, depending on pan size and personal preference

2 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried rosemary

water, as needed

salt and pepper, to taste

toppings (optional): goat cheese, ricotta, vegan cream cheese etc.


1. Remove any woody parts from the top of the figs and slice them in half.

2. Add oil or butter to deep frying pan or skillet and set over medium-high heat.  Once sizzling, add one layer of figs, flat side down.  If not all the figs fit in a single layer, you can make multiple batches or save the other figs for something else.

3. Once the figs start to brown, add the vinegar, rosemary, and maple syrup.  Let it come to a nice bubble and then turn down the heat.  At this point, you can cover the pan, but I like the way the vinegar etc. reduces, so I recommend just leaving as is.  If the liquid doesn’t seem to be high enough to cook the figs, add some water (and/or more vinegar).  I usually add some as the sauce reduces to avoid burning.

4. After 8-10 minutes, the sauce should be reduced and the figs should be soft. Add salt and pepper. Plop them onto whatever serving you like and top with your preferred vegan or non-vegan dairy product.

June 26, 2011

Butternut Polenta Bruschetta

Filed under: Savory, Small Plate — sophiestatz @ 7:45 pm

For my going-away dinner when I left Cochabamba, Emma and I threw a great dinner party. We each made polenta bruschetta. Her’s were amazing and included fresh braised figs (hope she shares the recipe!).

Butternut Squash Topping

peel and slice one butternut squash in thin strips

toss with olive oil and rosemary

bake at 400 fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, stirring often

Sundried tomato “cheese” spread

place the following in a food processor:

1 block silken tofu

4 cloves garlic (i used roasted garlic, but fresh is also good)

1/2 cup basil

4 olives

1/4 cup reconstituted sundried tomatoes

salt and pepper

mix together until creamy


bake a pan of polenta (follow instructions on the polenta you purchase, Emma used dried polenta, bakes it in a pan, and then cut it into triangles that served as the base for our bruschetta)

Prepare: take your base of polenta, top with some of the “cheese,” and place a couple strips of butternut squash on top. Bake for about five minutes in the oven.

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