Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food Book Review – Vegan Recipes Included

Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food by Susan O'BrienLooking for classic comfort foods transformed into gluten-free and vegan? Look no further. Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food has 125 recipes from vegan breakfast options like French toast to potluck favorites like baked beans and peanut butter rice crispy treats.

Author Susan O’Brien has also written The Gluten-Free Vegan: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free, Animal-Free Recipes and Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Cooking: Over 200 Delicious Recipes to Help You Live a Healthier, Allergy-Free Life.

Most of the recipes are easy to make; none of them are complicated. More importantly, (to me) many of the recipes use ingredients found in ordinary supermarkets. Not having to make a special trip to a natural foods store to complete a recipe is a big plus for me.

Chapters include breakfast (banana-buckwheat pancakes, cinnamon-oat scones), snacks and party favorites (spinach dip, peanut butter-chocolate chip fudge), kids’ favorites (pizza, roasted yam home fries), all-American sides (garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato gratin), soups and salads (carrot and ginger soup, Sheila’s favorite avocado and corn salad), family classics (black-bean burgers, savory spinach pie), ethnic favorites (falafel patties, nori vegetable rolls), delightful desserts (apple pie, lavender-lemon shortbread), and everything else (peanut sauce, caramel sauce).

Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food reworks a lot of classics and makes a good addition to a cookbook library.  Try the recipes on the next two pages and see if you agree.

Recipe for Black Bean Burgers, Kristine Style
Recipe for Savory Spinach Pot Pie

Black Bean Burgers, Kristine-Style

Black Bean Burger, Kristine-StyleI love black beans, so I developed this recipe and sent it off to one of my recipe testers. Kristine and her husband played around with my original recipe and made it even better, so I decided to name it after her. You can serve them with fresh guacamole, salsa, and hummus, with or without a bun, or you can create a lettuce wrap and add all of the trimmings of a burger. Try the Avocado Mayo found on page 197. You can add a squeeze of lime juice and serve with a Tex-Mex rice. Get creative with this—the possibilities are vast! If you prefer not to fry these burgers, you can also throw them on the grill or bake them.

  • 1 (15-ounce) can of organic black beans, washed and drained (or 2 cups fresh beans, soaked, drained, and cooked per package directions)
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped onions
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds whisked together well with 2 tablespoons water (let sit 5 to 10 minutes, then whisk again before adding to food processor)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or chipotle pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1⁄3 cup sorghum flour
  • Up to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Wash and drain the beans and then place them in a food processor and pulse to mash only partway at this point, so they are half mashed.

2. Next, add in the rest of the ingredients, except for the flour and olive oil. Pulse until mixture is well blended, and then remove from processor and place in a large bowl, so you can work with the ingredients better.

3. Add in the flour and form the mixture into burger-size patties. I recommend washing your hands and then picking up a handful of the mixture and forming it into a ball. Then, press it out on a piece of waxed paper until you have a patty. You should end up with 4 patties.

4. Heat a skillet to medium-high and add in ½ tablespoon of olive oil. When hot, place a patty in the skillet and cook it for about 4 minutes on each side. You want the patty to be crisp on the outside but not too mushy on the inside, so if you need to cook the patty a bit longer, reduce the heat and continue to cook another minute or two. Continue this process until you have cooked all 4 patties. You can use a larger skillet if you wish and cook them all at once.

Makes 4 burgers

Recipe for Savory Spinach Pot Pie

Black Bean Burger photo by Lara Ferroni

Savory Spinach Pie

  • 1 recipe Nutty Piecrust (see page 183)
  • 1 (12.3-ounce) box silken extra firm tofu, drained
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 cup chopped roasted red and yellow bell pepper (from a jar or roasted ahead of time)
  • ½ pound mushrooms (cremini or other) cleaned, de-stemmed, and sliced (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 large bunch of fresh spinach (about 5 cups chopped), stems cut off
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil (or 1 tablespoon dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon Bragg herb seasoning
  • Large pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 cup grated mock mozzarella cheese (rice cheese)
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • Lots of fresh cracked pepper (about ½ teaspoon)

My son Rory inspired me to make this recipe. He wanted me to use the Nutty Piecrust for something other than desserts. When I came up with this recipe, most all of my taste testers loved it! There was one though, my friend Peter, who thought the piecrust was good, but too sweet for a savory dish such as this. So, it’s up to you. You might consider removing maple syrup from the crust recipe (this won’t affect its texture) when making this delicious alternative to spinach and mushroom quiche. You can make the piecrust a day ahead if you wish.

1. Prebake the Nutty Piecrust and then cool.

2. Place the tofu in a food processor and pulse on high until the tofu is smooth and creamy—no lumps. This will take up to 1 minute to really make this a nice consistency. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil to medium-high and add in the onions. Sauté until soft, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add in the peppers and mushrooms and vegetable broth and continue to cook another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Lower the heat and add in the herbs, herb seasoning, puréed tofu mixture, cinnamon, grated cheese, and simmer for a minute or two, then season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into the prebaked piecrust and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. This dish stores well in the fridge, covered, for several days.

Recipe for Black Bean Burgers, Kristine Style

Written by Heather Carr

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