Hello, hello! I'm back after a long hiatus to bring my littlest son, Simon, into the world. Isn't he cute?!
So when given the choice of playing with him, or toying around in the kitchen, he won...every time. Until, that is, I learned that my perfect little baby has a not so perfect allergy to milk. And since I'm nursing him, that means that I'm going dairy free for the next year or so. *sigh*
It's bad enough to think about a diet with no cheese, ice cream or yogurt, but what's even more challenging is no milk and no butter because it is in EVERYTHING--except Oreos, go figure (makes you wonder what's in that creamy filling). Despite what some say, I'm finding that most dairy alternatives (soy yogurt, rice cheese, etc) taste either like nothing or like dirty socks.
But being the good mommy I am, I looked at this as a chance to spread my culinary wings and dig through online recipes and my local library's cookbooks. The problem is, all I want to cut out is dairy. I don't want to be a vegan, and I don't want the every-allergy-under-the-sun cookbook. And for the love of Pete, don't give me super weird ingredients that I can only get for $100 at the health food store!!!
I started simple. Muffins. All of the ingredients I found in my local supermarket, Jewel, although I will warn you that the Almond Meal/Flour is $12/bag. I nearly fell over until I saw that the only ingredient was blanched almonds, and it took quite a bit of nuts to make that bag.
And if you're going to say that quinoa is a weird ingredient, you have no idea what I was up against. If you're reading this blog and have never tried quinoa (pronounced keen-wah), it's time to go out and buy some of this protein packed super grain. It rocks.
Apricot Almond Quinoa Muffins
adapted from Veganomicon
1 cup sweetened vanilla soymilk
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/4 tsp each vanilla extract and almond extract
1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup almond meal/flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each: salt, cardamom, cinnamon
1 1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup diced dried apricots
Preheat over to 350 degrees and grease your muffin tin.
Mix in a small bowl the soymilk, flaxseed, oil, agave and extracts.
Whisk in a large bowl the flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
Make a well in the middle of flour mixture, add the soymilk mixture and combine, being careful not to over stir.
Stir in the quinoa and apricots.
Fill the muffin tin and bake for 20-22 minutes.