This Fat-Free, Quick, and Vegan Bread Machine Whole Wheat Bread has a Secret Ingredient

I was in graduate school the first time I made bread. Years before I became vegetarian, I was trying on vegetarianism as a weight-loss diet and cooking vegetarian dishes out of a popular cookbook of that era. For some reason, the book’s authors recommended cooking whole wheat bread in 2-quart cans, the kind juice comes in, and I followed that advice. (With what we know today about BPA, I shudder to think what leached into that bread.) In those early days of my bread making, there was no white whole wheat flour, no vital wheat gluten, no bread machine, just me and my muscles and the most basic whole wheat flour, and the tube-shaped loaves I created were better suited for weight lifting that eating. My bread made even avowed bread-lovers like my parents run the other way when they’d see me stagger up their driveway with a basketful of heavy, brown cylinders.

But that was a long, LONG time ago, and I’ve learned a few things since then. First of all, I let my new bread machine do all the kneading, shaping, and even baking (in a rectangular pan, thank you very much). And I’ve learned that white whole wheat flour makes a much lighter loaf than traditional whole wheat flour and that vital wheat gluten helps trap more air bubbles so the bread rises higher. Finally, thanks to a tip by Philippa Sonnichsen, a reader of this blog, I found that one small substitution makes an even better loaf of whole wheat bread. And that secret ingredient is…

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Vegan Elote or Mexican Street Corn with Hemp-Lime Sauce

I’m counting down the days (less than three) until my husband D and I drive our daughter to college 796 miles away. Because of the anticipation, the dread, the planning, the shopping, and the packing (or at least the nagging E to pack, without much success), I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, or at least not original cooking. I’ve relied on old standbys, like burritos made with canned beans, to get us through most days, though in the last week I’ve been honoring E’s requests for some of her favorites. At her going-away party last Friday, I served the sesame-peanut noodle salad she’s always loved (and which is much too high in fat to qualify for this blog). Last week we had Pasta and Vegetables with White Sauce, and last night she requested her very favorite meal, lasagna, garlic bread and salad. And don’t tell her but tonight I’m planning to surprise her with Ribz.

All of this is to say I haven’t had much time for experimentation, though I did have one idea floating around in my head that I wanted to try out. I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for Mexican Street Corn, which looks beautiful, but since I’ve been vegan since the Dark Ages, I’ve never tasted. Traditional recipes involve mayo and cheese, but I thought it would be delicious to slather corn in a spicy, limey, vaguely cheesy, vegan sauce, so I did a little experimentation until I found a concoction I loved. The best news is you can put this sauce on anything to liven it up, so feel free to drizzle it on your potatoes and veggies or even toss it with some pasta. Anything goes.

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Oven-Fried Eggplant PoBoy Sandwiches

July 20, 2015
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When I was creating my last recipe, Oven-Fried Okra, I suspected that the batter I used, a combination of cornmeal and brown rice flour, would make a wonderfully crunchy breading for other vegetables. I lost no time checking that theory out on one of my favorite summer veggies, eggplant. I’m happy to say that I […]

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Oil-Free Gluten-Free Oven-Fried Okra

July 16, 2015
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When I was growing up, I knew of only three ways to eat okra–in gumbo, stewed, or fried. As I’ve gotten older and had the opportunity to try recipes from around the world, I’ve grown to love okra in other dishes, such as curries, as well as my favorite (and the easiest) way to prepare […]

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Ridiculously Easy Jalapeño Pickles

June 29, 2015
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At the beginning of last fall, the jalapeño plants in my garden went into overdrive, and I found myself with a whole bunch of peppers all at one time. Now, I love jalapeños. I put slices of them, seeds and all, on sandwiches, tacos, burritos, and burgers all summer long. I love the heat and […]

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Seitan Saltado (Peruvian Stir-Fry with Potatoes)

May 28, 2015
Seitan Saltado

May has flown by and was very close to being the first month since I started this blog that I haven’t posted anything. The end of the school year is always busy for us, but because E was graduating, this May was more jam-packed than usual. But all the activity and anticipation came to a […]

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Banana Bread Pudding

April 25, 2015
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My “little girl” turned 18 last week. I feel like I should have something profound to say on this momentous occasion, but everything that comes to mind is so trite: “Time flies.” “They grow up so fast.” “It seems like only yesterday that she started kindergarten.” There’s a reason those expressions are so overused: The […]

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The Best Rigatoni and Vegetable Casserole

April 13, 2015
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We all make mistakes. But when you’re a blogger, your mistakes are often preserved in time on the World Wide Web. If no one points them out to you, you can stumble upon them long after they’re made and feel the accumulated embarrassment of years. You may be sitting all alone at your desk yet […]

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Vegan Chou Farci (Cabbage Stuffed with Barley and Lentils)

March 26, 2015
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For the first time, my garden managed to produce not one but four heads of cabbage. I’ve had a lot of trouble in the past with heading vegetables; sometimes they never form heads or, if they do, hungry hungry caterpillars get to eat them before I do. But last fall, I planted tiny cabbage plants […]

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Hot Layered Hummus

March 4, 2015
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I can get pretty stubborn about food. Once I think I don’t like an ingredient or a dish, I will avoid it forever if I don’t make myself, from time to time, retry the foods that I’ve had bad experiences with. Call it a very low-risk act of courage. If I can face cilantro or […]

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