Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gluten-Free, Vegetarian Recipe: Bullet Blender Experiments

Like all of my "recipes", there's really nothing exact about these, so if you're one of those people who needs to know down to the half-cup of vegetable broth or shredded cheese exactly how to make something, you're gonna have a bad time. 

I just kind of wanted to post some of the things I came up with after investing in a $29 mini bullet blender, given my restrictive diet and limited resources (teeny tiny semi-outdoor kitchen, no oven, no microwave, no fresh herbs, etc.) in Korea. Like I usually say, maybe they'll give someone else an idea.

Aside from the delicious and very simple spinach fritatta thing I already posted, my blender creations included: broccoli cheese soup, apple-lemon-ginger smoothies, blueberry-cherry yogurt smoothies, mango smoothies, tofu-cauliflower pancakes, and salty roasted dark chocolate sunflower seed butter.

So, this one time last summer, shortly after buying my little Magic blender, I opted to buy fruit instead of paying my utility bills. This was the only time I had cherries in two years, and they were glorious.

The mixture here was about 1/3 blueberries and 2/3 cherries, more of which were added once the fruit was pureed and more space was freed up. I also added one carton of plain drinking yogurt (damn, I loved that stuff), one small paper cup of little ice cubes, and a dash of milk for drinkable consistency. It's better not to add very much ice because you want it to be smooth.

Mmm, I love the taste of murder in the morning.

The finished product is the smaller container on the right! It was so rich and so good.

Okay, next up is the tofu cauliflower pancakes. I saw some recipes for gluten-free pizza crust that used cauliflower "dough", and wondered if pan-cooking something with blended up cauliflower powder stuff in it would yield similar results, even though ovens are obviously much drier than pans. 
No matter how hard I tried, though, I couldn't get enough water out of the fresh cauliflower and tofu before cooking it, and accidentally oversalted it in my attempt to draw out more water.

Yeah, these first ones didn't hold together. I ended up adding potato powder, which is fine like powdered sugar and a great thickener.

There we go! They look like actual pancakes, huh? The texture wasn't great, and I think it'd be much better with chunks of other cooked veggies in it, like carrots and bell peppers. They'd make a nice side dish as little medallions, and are nice cold straight out of the fridge, too.

Next up is the broccoli cheese soup. My first batch involved spinach, and the flavours really do not work together, so don't get curious and try it like I did. 

If nothing else, it did match the collage I was working on, I guess.

This version was delicious. On the left you can see vegetable broth concentrate, minced garlic, and preserved vegetable broth from other veggies I'd cooked before. I think I used most of a regular-sized onion, first sauteeing it and the garlic together, then adding the finely- and roughly-chopped florets of one and a half heads of washed broccoli. The rest I pureed and added in to cook after several minutes. 
What I had there was not a large amount of veggie broth - maybe half a litre - and was quite concentrated for flavour. I filled out the rest with milk and most of the package of orange cheddar (which I found on sale at HomePlus at the time; I was so excited), letting it all cook together while stirring frequently and seasoning with salt , a little Korean red pepper and cumin, and powdered black pepper until finished. 
Then, of course, I added more cheddar on top of my individual servings.

Finally, there was the hearty sunflower butter I made with a rather old package of hulled sunflower seeds roughly the size of that package of shredded cheddar, but fuller. I simply put them in the hot, dry, wok-like pan I used for everything - because there's always a little residual oil left in your pan that comes out when it's heated - and tossed them with a generous pinch of sea salt until they went from the picture on the bottom left to the one on the bottom right:

The amount of seeds above produced a huge amount of butter. I'm not sure how many grams it was, but it was also very difficult for my Magic Bullet knock-off to take on, as it simply isn't as powerful as a food processor. 
I added tiny amounts of soybean oil and water just so that the mass would move; it never actually got smooth, but was still manageable. I also added the remainder of my cocoa powder, and it came out quite salty and rich.

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