Monthly Archives: September 2010

Gluten-free vegan coconut brownies.

I shoudn’t really say this, but this recipe came to be when I was sitting in statistics class and procrastinating online… My starting point is this recipe (in Norwegian) for vegan blondies, or something like that. I wanted to make it gluten-free, and I also figured that I love chocolate, so I decided to put cocoa. Also, I am allergic to nuts, so the walnuts were out. In the end, the chocolate walnut blondies became these sort of coconut brownies.  The other good thing about making them into brownies is that I could use teff flour without the color looking odd — the cocoa masks the brown of the teff.

They turned out exceptionally delicious, I must say. The best vegan brownies I think I have ever baked, even though they are gluten-free. Wow!

Gluten-free vegan coconut brownies

  • 3 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 100 ml rice milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tbsp coconut oil
  • 200 ml sugar (pref. brown)
  • 100 ml teff flour
  • 100 ml brown rice flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 100 ml chocolate chips (check that they are vegan/gf)
  • 50 ml unsweetened shredded coconut

This list of ingredients got quite a bit longer than the original, which is largely because of the “gluten-freedom”. There is no one-for-one replacement for wheat flour, sadly… There are also quite a few steps to this recipe compared to my usual fare, but bear with me. It’s not actually that complicated.

1. Mix flax meal, rice milk and vinegar and heat for 30 sec in the microwave. Set aside to form a gooey mess.

2. Thoroughly mix coconut oil and sugar, like with an electric mixer. (I had to use half and half brown and normal sugar as I ran out, and mixed with our immersion blender with the whipping attachment. If your coconut oil is very hard you may want to leave it somewhere warm for a bit.)

3. Thoroughly mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl or container in order for the xanthan gum to be distributed evenly. (I put it in a sealed jar and shook it vigorously – worked well.)

4. Add orange juice, vanilla and flax mixture to the butter and sugar, incorporate.

5. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and coconuts. Fold in rest of flour mixture.

6. Bake in greased pan at 180C/350F for 25-30 minutes.

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Simple bentos.

I have had a busy week, so the bentos have not been very exciting. I’ll post them anyway, it can’t always be exciting.

This one has a pear chocolate muffin, steamed broccoli, a turkey basil burger (still frozen) and some brown rice.

This one has some quinoa/rice/amaranth lentil mix, some smoked tofu, some hummus, a carrot and another pear chocolate muffin.

Leftover bento.

This is mostly leftovers from the dinner of the night before – I suddenly had a bizarre craving for mac and cheese. So I got a box of Annie’s Homegrown Wholewheat Shells and White Cheddar (after all, I will not stoop to the level of Kraft Dinner…), which ended up being totally disappointing and unsatisfying. Not cheesy enough. Even after I spiked it with extra ricotta cheese (the only cheese I had), scallions and broccoli, it was just bland. So next time I should go back to making my own — my vegan, gluten-free “mac and cheese” is frankly much tastier even though it has no cheese!

The other compartment has radishes, cucumber and strawberries.

Bento in a hurry.

This little red Lock and Lock box, which I thought would be too small to be practical at about 400 ml, has turned out to be the true workhorse of my growing bento collection. I can always fit it in my bag or purse, and it is somehow very well proportioned, making it easy to pack. I find that with some of the other boxes, food doesn’t always fit.

I basically made today’s bento so that I could eat it quickly and without cutlery… Pairs of small green pea burgers, savory mini zucchini muffins, radishes, and strawberries.

Gluten-free vegan orange poppy seed muffins.

These are simply delightful, and you could fool most omnivores into eating them — they taste neither “vegan” nor “gluten-free”… The orange zest give them a really intense orangy flavor, and the poppy seeds make for a nice crunch.

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 175 ml orange juice
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Sift flours and other dry ingredients, add seeds and zest. Blend the wet ingredients in a blender or with an immersion blender, and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix to combine, do not over do it. Transfer to muffin cups, bake at 400C for about 20-22 minutes until golden.

Back to school bento.

Term started today, and it was really hectic. I was running back and forth across campus most of the day, and I only got to quickly devour this thing as my Public Policy core course was starting. I was the only one eating and I think I made the whole classroom smell of sesame oil…

Left side: radishes, raspberries, vegan gluten-free orange poppy seed muffin.

Right side: brown rice, carrot kinpira and green pea burger; all made yesterday.

Getting bento ready.

Term starts tomorrow, so I have a busy week ahead. I am taking advantage of this quiet Sunday to prepare some bento food for the coming week, so that I can just assemble my lunchboxes quickly in the morning.

I made brown rice onigiri, but then discovered that my new short grain brown rice was not remotely sticky, so they just fell apart and were not really photogenic… Oh well, they’ll still be edible 🙂

More successful: carrot kinpira!

Also, turkey basil mini burgers


  • 1 pack (a pound?) of lean ground turkey
  • a bunch (1-2 tbsp) of finely chopped basil
  • 2-3 tbsp of bread crumbs (I used store-bought gluten-free bread crumbs)
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds, 3 tbsp water)
  • generous seasoning with salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and shape into small burgers (I got 12 out of this). Fry in olive oil, make sure they are cooked through. Freeze. You can just put them frozen in your bento in the morning, and they will be defrosted by lunch time.

I am also planning to whip up a batch of green pea burgers later if I get around to it, and perhaps a batch of muffins. I recently made some pretty good gluten-free orange poppy seed muffins, and I have been thinking I should refine the recipe a bit and post it. All of this should keep me lunchbox happy all week!