Happy Wednesday to you, and if you’re coming off of a 4-day long weekend, welcome back to reality! I’ve got lots of foodie chat for you today, so let’s get straight to it.
1. Recipe of the Week. Not long ago I put out a question on my Facebook page, asking for your recipe requests. Lots of feedback was given, and today’s recipe fulfills some of those requests. Many of you, as well as my “real-life” friends asked for a bright, colourful, plant-based dinner or lunch, similar to some of the ones I’ve been posting on Instagram. To be honest, most of those aren’t really recipes – they’re just a jumble of fridge ingredients that I spend far too long playing with – but regardless, I have a new one for you today!
Based on past chats with friends, it seems folks have their go-to BBQ sauce or hot sauce that they put on everything. Sriracha and Frank’s fans, I know you’re out there! In my childhood years, my sauce was ketchup. In my teens, it was salsa (and still very much is in many cases). But when it comes to grilling things, a simple maple balsamic recipe is my go-to. A simple blend of olive oil, dark balsamic, maple syrup, garlic, and a wee bit of water is all it takes to turn my grilled favourites from good to freaking mindblowing – well, in my opinion anyway.
So what have we got here aside from the marinade? And what is it that we’re making anyway? It’s a Maple Balsamic Grilled Tempeh and Veggie Quinoa Bowl, which is a mouthful to say but I promise you, it deserves its long, grand title. A whole bunch of grill-friendly veggies, plus some sliced tempeh that you’ll marinade and cook in the exact same way. I’m all about easy recipes, and this is definitely one of those.
If you really want this dish to taste great, try setting the veggies and tempeh in their marinating bags before you leave home in the morning. By the time you come back, they’ll have absorbed heaps of flavour and all you’ll need to do is pop everything on the grill for a few minutes. Toss it over some quinoa and drizzle some extra marinade on top, and you’ve got dinner – a pretty tasty one too!
2. Homemade VEGAN gummies! Remember last week when I made healthy gummy bears with gelatin? They were good, but obviously, not an option for those of you who are vegan or vegetarian. I did a little bit more research on agar agar, which is a plant-based alternative that has the the same effect. Agar agar is made of sea vegetables, and when boiled, pressed, and dried, can be shaved in to flakes. I bought a bag of these flakes over the weekend because all throughout the past week, there’s been an idea brewing in my brain.
Last week I thought about making the gelatin gummies more flavourful by adding something like Emergen-C, or more tart fruit than the berries I’d used. I was out for a run, thinking about what my fueling strategy is going to be for my race in 2 weeks, and started thinking about using Vega electrolyte hydrator but turning it into gummy form. Coconut water is also really high in electrolytes, and as these ideas converged, my level of excitement to give them a whirl skyrocketed.
I worked on the recipe over the weekend, and last night after work, started experimenting in the kitchen. What I did was a very close variation of the gelatin gummies. The main difference (aside from these being vegan-friendly) is that agar agar needs to be boiled in order for it to set, whereas gelatin should never be boiled. With that in mind, here’s the recipe (again, adapted from here), as well as the procedure I followed:
Vegan Raspberry Electrolyte Gummies
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins
Ingredients (appx 18 small gummies)
- ½ cup pureed raspberries at room temperature
- 1 serving Vega electrolyte hydrator (I used lemon lime but I’m sure berry would taste good too!)
- ½ cup coconut water
- 3 tbsp agar agar flakes
- Puree the raspberries in a blender with a little bit of lemon juice if needed to get things moving.
- Measure out ½ cup of raspberry puree and set it aside in a wide-mouthed container. (You need to be able to fit a whisk inside.)
- Stir the Vega Electrolyte Hydrator into the raspberry puree.
- In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup of coconut water on high heat until it comes to a boil. Whisk in the agar agar flakes until they dissolve. Let the mixture boil, stirring continuously for 3 minutes. It will get thick – this is a good thing! Keep stirring.
- Pour the agar agar gel into the pureed raspberries. Note that the puree should be at room temperature and pureed frozen raspberries won’t work.
- Pour the liquid out onto a plate and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut out your gummy shapes.
This is what the mixture looked like just before I set it in the fridge…
… and my pink puddle of goo was completely set within about 40 minutes. All I had to do was use my cookie cutter to cut out some star shapes, and in the end, they looked like this:
I wondered if the hardened gel would stick to the plate, but this was totally not the case – the stars slipped right of really easily, with nothing left behind on the plate or the cookie cutter.
In comparison to the gummies made of gelatin, these ones were WAY more flavourful. The Vega Electrolyte Hydrator is calorie-free, sweetened with stevia, and contains no artificial ingredients, and is definitely responsible for the improved taste. Texture-wise, the vegan gummies were a bit more slippery but held their shape just as well as the gelatin ones did. Since I only just made these yesterday I haven’t tried toting them along on a run, but I might try this weekend!
So tell me…
- What condiment do you put on everything?
- Have you used agar agar flakes before?
- Did you try anything new yesterday?