Archives for posts with tag: gluten-free

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I’ve been mixing chocolate with other ingredients in my bean bakes, but last week I decided to aim for pure chocolate decadence—within dietary and nutritional limits, of course.

I had two pieces for breakfast this morning. The result was that my Chocolate Monster was purring contentedly and, hence, I was very happy. As some of you may know, there’s nothing more aggravating than having a Chocolate Monster nipping away at you.

This bake, which has the taste and texture of a brownie made with flour, extends well beyond breakfast and makes a terrific snack and dessert. In fact, it’s so good, so healthy, and so good for dieters, I posted it on my Food Refashionista site as well.

Note: I used carob chips in this bake because I’m lactose-intolerant, but feel free to substitute regular chocolate chips, if you can.

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Apples + cinnamon + a dash of nutmeg and cloves. Can’t you just smell that delicious aroma right now?

Actually, an apple “pie” bean bake was inevitable, but what held me back were such weighty questions as

  • Do I just add applesauce (easy-peasy) or throw in cut-up, peeled apples (more work)?
  • If I do use applesauce, will that make the texture too soft?

An aging banana and pure laziness solved the problem for me. (Hmmm…laziness is turning into a major theme here. Of course, bean bakes—just throw everything in the blender—lend themselves to anyone avoiding hard work, namely me!)

Okay, back to that blackening banana: I knew that bananas help with bean-bake texture so why not add one along with the applesauce? Then throw in some spices and voilà!

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Guess what? Sweet potatoes and bean bakes play well together! This bake has a great taste—a lot like sweet pumpkin pie with the tang of ginger—and great texture—dry enough to be a finger food, but smooth and moist so that it doesn’t crumble.

I have only one regret: I was lazy. Rather than take the sweet potato-bean mix out of the blender and put it in a bowl to then mix in the currants, I just threw those little guys straight into the blender.

They then became even littler guys and disappeared into the “beanwork,” if you know what I mean. The result was that the taste of currants merged with the bake, and I missed those satisfying sweet “notes.”

It wasn’t until I was writing this that I figured out another way to add the currants and still be lazy (see recipe). Anyway, to give you the idea, I sprinkled currants on top and around the bake for its photo op. But next time they’ll be inside, holus-bolus!

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My version of spicy is another person’s version of bland, but the great thing about this bean bake is that you can “heat” it up all you want. Just increase the spices or add more hot sauce.

Like the other savoury bean bakes, the texture of this bake is dry-ish and bread-like. Have a piece with a hearty vegetable soup, and you have a delicious, low-calorie lunch. Or you can serve it as a side at dinner.

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Yum. Yum. Yum. If you like mango that is. My favourite mangos, the yellow ataulfos (see note below), have made their springtime appearance in the stores and, of course, I had to try a bean bake with them.

My first effort included two mangos and one ripe banana. Nope, not quite right. Between the beans and the banana, the mango flavour was overwhelmed. It was still tasty (we ate it all) but not quite the flavour that I had lurking in my taste buds.

The second try—just with mangos—hit the jackpot. Deliciously sweet and as tangy as I had hoped with with a texture somewhere between cake and pumpkin pie. Perfect. (Sigh.)

Interestingly, after it came out of the oven, the bake appeared to be….well, almost airy. When I put in a knife to see if it was done, it felt like there was nothing beneath the surface. The spouse, who was watching, informed me that, although it was brown around the edges, it had clearly not finished cooking. However, in all things bean-bake, I follow my instincts. The knife had come out clean; thus it was done.

I let the bake cool and then put it in the refrigerator overnight. Next morning, it was just as substantial as all the other bakes I’ve made. (Sigh again.)

Update: I just made this bake again but with two surprisingly tart mangos. I decided to drop the lemon and add ¼ cup additional sweetener. Still tart but the additional sugar took the edge off. Very tasty. Oh, and just as airy when I took it out of the oven.

Note: “Sometimes referred to as Champagne®, Honey Mangos or Manila Mangos, ataulfo mangos are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Generally smaller than other mango varieties, they are a good source of Vitamins A and C, dietary fiber and Vitamin B6. Look for ripe Ataulfos to be bright yellow to orange, giving slightly to gentle pressure. Do not refrigerate. Harvested in Southern Mexico and Ecuador, Ataulfo Mangos are available twice a year, in the spring and fall.” (Adapted from “Ataulfo Mango” at John Vena Inc.)

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Yes, you read the title correctly. 

I intended to make a savoury bean bake because I had leftover, cooked cauliflower that had to be used up.

But my chocolate craving just happened to be in the stratosphere.

What to do?

Use both chocolate and cauliflower in the bean bake, of course. The result? Amazingly delicious and brownie-like without a hint of healthy vegetable lurking in the depths!

Try it on your family and see if they can guess the secret ingredient? The spouse couldn’t and just rolled his eyes when I told him.

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What does a food blogger do when she/he makes a great-tasting dish that’s uglier than sin? Okay, maybe not that ugly?

The dilemma began with 8 cups of marked-down mushrooms, most of which were actually  in great shape. (What was that store thinking?)

Of course, I made mushroom soup (TFR). But I also decided to see what would happen if I experimented with a mushroom bean bake.

As you can see, the outcome wouldn’t win any beauty contests, but I loved its subtle mix of flavours, which were enhanced with a bit of hot sauce.

This bean bake also proved to be a very good complement to the Peanut Butter Tomato Soup (TFR) that I served as the first course in a dinner with some friends. All agreed the bake was good, but no one could guess its ingredients. Now that was fun!

And as to the question I first asked?

This bean bake was too good not to include on this blog, and I decided that discerning readers like yourself would understand that you can’t always judge a bean bake by its “cover.”

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This bean bake was my very first experiment. Its texture was perfect, and its taste so subtle I was reminded of a specialty bread.

I was truly thrilled by it, and it inspired me to continue experimenting. Since then I’ve discovered how lucky I was to have such a successful first go.

As I may have mentioned, I’m still trying to make the perfect kiwi with lemon-lime bean bake, but to no avail. If it isn’t taste, it’s a texture problem. If it isn’t texture, it’s a taste issue.

This afternoon will be my 6th try! The kiwi marketers should give me an award or something.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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This bean bake looks like pumpkin pie filling. It tastes like pumpkin pie filling. It has the creamy texture of pumpkin pie filling.

Add a pie crust, and I’ll bet most people wouldn’t guess that this dish was made with beans instead of dairy.

As you can see in the photo, the bean bake has lost some of its smooth, brown edging. This occurred the day after baking and after the dish had been in the refrigerator still in the pan. When I removed the circular outer part of the springform pan, a lot of the edging came off with it.

Lesson learned—if using a spring-form pan, do not wait to remove said part, but do it right after baking:

  • Run knife around bake and just inside circular edge of pan to separate edge from pan.
  • Pray that none of it is still sticking.
  • Unclasp spring lock.
  • Carefully lift off circular outer part.

Bon chance!

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Are you a serious choco-alcoholic? Me too. Very…very…serious.

I don’t even care about all the good nutrition in chocolate; I just go into a supremely happy-taste place when I have some.

Which is why I am absolutely delighted to be able to feed my addiction with this delicious, rich, and more chocolate-y bean bake than the Chocolate-Orange Bean Bake.

Why, you may be wondering, did I bother making two chocolate bean bakes in the first place? Good question!

And the answer is twofold:

  • The Chocolate-Orange Bean Bake is lower in calories because it has only cocoa powder and oranges.
  • This one is higher in calories because of the banana and the carob chips.

It’s helpful, I find, to have a choice when the chocolate urge hits hits. If it’s a good diet day, the decision will go one way; a bad day, the other.

Also, this bake also has a great texture—somewhat like a brownie.  And I do mean “great” because I am battling texture problems with a kiwi bean bake (more on that later), and I know of what I speak.

So…enjoy!

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