Subtly spiced dairy-free coconut milk panna cotta topped with chunks of grain-free spiced carrot cake and a little whipped coconut cream, makes for the perfect Spring-inspired treat without the sugar, grains or nuts.
I kinda love that carrot cake has become synonymous with Easter, simply because of the Easter Bunny. Rabbits eat carrots, Easter invites a sweet bunny that leaves baskets and eggs and chocolate for us. Hmmm. It’s a stretch, but I’ll take it – cuz carrot cake rules.
While I have been experimenting with the ketgenic diet since the start of this year and have slowly transitioned toward a fat fueled lifestyle over the last year and a half, my interest and taste for sweets has admittedly all but disappeared. Beyond a solid, super duper dark chocolate, I honestly can’t really be bothered. Not so great as a food blogger, but I make it work.
Having a for-real winter here in Southern California has been especially exciting for many reasons. For the first time since we moved out here from the East Coast 4 years ago, I have been able to really get down with cozy, comforting winter food. Soups, stews, roasts and all the best wintery, soul-warming foods.
Soups have been especially exciting to me this year. This one in particular, this Instant Pot Creamy Chicken Vegetable Soup, has become one of my personal favorites. Reminiscent of a pot-pie filling, with a bit more broth, it’s creamy and rich, without dairy or grains. Best part, it can be made in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker and it’s ready in about 30 minutes, start to finish, but it tastes like it’s simmered away all day. If you want to use already cooked, shredded rotisserie chicken, this soup is ready even quicker. It pressure cooks for just 6 minutes!!
Cue the Boys II Men song, End of the Road. The big event is here and after all the recipe testing, menu planning and grocery shopping it all comes to fruition in the big feast and soon all we’ll have remaining are full bellies, happy memories and hopefully lots of leftovers.
This week has been ALL about getting you prepped for the days after. With minimal cooking and making great use of the leftovers, I want you to just keep the holiday comfort food party going and of course, I never ever want you to throw away any food! This Turkey Pot Pie Soup with Grain-free Drop Biscuits is about as good as it gets when we are talking about comfort food and leftovers. This is the ultimate and without any grains or dairy, you can feel good after indulging!
Alright, here we go! The final stuffing recipe of the season and I am really excited about this one. Shhh, don’t tell the mashed potatoes, but I am pretty sure stuffing is my favorite. It’s a dish that just doesn’t get any love outside of Thanksgiving and I just don’t know why.
While this stuffing isn’t grain-free, it uses my absolute favorite gluten-free bread ever – Bread SRSLY’s sourdough loaf. It would also be delicious with non-gluten-free sourdough (obviously), any crusty French-style bread, cornbread or even with a good grain-free bread. As far as I am concerned, always remember whatever your bread choice, your stuffing (or dressing) is only as good as your bread.
Oyster stuffing is more traditional in the New England region and I believe some areas of the south, along the gulf coast. It isn’t one that I grew up eating, necessarily, but I have had it before and I love it, I also know it’s a staple for so many of you. Veering a bit from the traditional, I paired the shellfish in a more West Coast way, with the sourdough. Think of Northern Cali, San Francisco to be exact, the Hangtown Fry and all the sourdough bread paired with oysters, clams, chowders and so on. It’s a match made in heaven. A little tang, with the subtle, savory brininess of the oysters. This classic stuffing will bring an amazing and unique matrix of flavors to your Thanksgiving dinner.
I know for many of you with families and busy schedules, though the summer is supposed to be about relaxing and chilling, somehow before you know it, the schedule fills up and you are going non-stop. Dinners are eaten on the run and you are quite literally setting up your digestion for a rough go. While it’s far easier said then done, to slow down, I think much of this action can take place with meal planning and preparing meals that can me made start to finish in under 30 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
Surely I can’t be the only one that randomly craves stews and soups in the summer, right? There is something about a meal that requires you to just dump everything into a pot and walk away, that’s just so enticing about the busy, summer months. Obviously, I really love comforting warm meals like this in the winter month, the perfect hearty meal in a bowl, but there is also something about enjoying them in the summer, maybe on an unseasonably cool or rainy day or maybe just because those are the flavors I am currently wanting. I say give into the cravings, who cares if a hot stew seems like a crazy idea! It never is.
You guys know that most times when cooking, I opt for fresh, but when you plan to cook with beans just before mealtime and you just don’t have the time or energy to soak, cook or sprout them, good quality organic canned is always an amazing, quick option. A well stocked pantry, in my mind, is having those staple canned goods, the ones you know always work for you in a pinch. There is comfort in knowing you can always go to the pantry, grab a few items, perfect for making a wholesome, healthy and nourishing meal. Pair them up with whatever is in the fridge that needs to be eaten up and voila! If a few canned goods now and again means you actually opt for a healthy meal versus take-out, hitting a drive-thru or opting for a microwave meal, I am all about it.
Safeway and Albertsons have an amazing initiative, “Cans Get You Cooking“. Delicious recipes and meal solutions to nutrition and sustainability information, Cans Get You Cooking showcases the nutrition, freshness and flavor canned foods offer. With a well-stocked pantry —or “Cantry” (see what we did there?) — you can get through the week with creative healthy, homemade meals.
This Moroccan Chickpea Stew is a perfect weeknight meal. You can walk through the door and dinner will be on the table in just about 30 minutes. This stew has so many deep, rich aromatic flavors going on without any spicy heat. I always have homemade preserved lemons on hand, these, in my opinion are a must anytime you make Moroccan-inspired food, bringing a beautiful tangy, bright, zesty citrus flare. I also recommend adding golden raisins, when serving, their sweetness is a beautiful compliment to the spices and the tart preserved lemon. You can serve this stew over rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice, or just as is. This makes a great meatless weeknight meal, but you could also serve it as a side dish with roasted chicken, lamb, beef or some baked fish.
I am so excited to be sharing this tasty recipe today over on ToriAvey.com as part of her Passover Potluck. If you don’t know Tori, you also may know her as The Shiksa In the Kitchen, the loveliest of converts with a husband who grew up in Israel. Tori has has used her love and passion of cooking and history to explore not just Jewish traditions and cuisines but many others beyond that. She may not know it, but for this particular project I have a new nickname for her, I’ve been calling her my Kosher Guru. She has schooled me on the ways of eating Kosher specifically for Passover. I am beyond fascinated and I have absolutely enjoyed and relished in the challenge.
After moving out here to California, from New York last year, the list of things that we love about living out here just continues to grow and grow. There really isn’t much to complain about when you live less than a mile from the ocean, the sun shines every day and you are living the life you always dreamed of. That said, the one major draw back to being here in California, is being away from family. After living 15 miles or less, away from my family my entire life, being roughly 2,500 miles away from them this past year has been the only thing I don’t love about being in California.
This is something that bothers me most of the time, but for obvious reasons with the holidays it is the hardest. Even the smaller holidays, like memorial day or labor day. Because I know if we were living at home in New York, no matter what we had going on, we would all take a break from our busy lives to get together at my parents house for an entire day, brunch in the morning, cocktails and snacks in the afternoon, playing with the kids and of course, a huge dinner. Since living in California, Mark and I haven’t gone home for any of the holidays and we have done out best to make the most out of them together. Both Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years were full days, planned with friends and majorly delicious meals and we made brand new traditions and memories. Walking barefoot on the beach on Christmas day, definitely didn’t suck. That said, both last year and now likely this year too, we didn’t plan a thing for Easter. It kinda crept up on us.
Easter isn’t a big holiday for my family, by any means, but we would always get together with the family, the kids would have some sort of easter egg hunt, we would often times have brunch with the extended family and then we would have a traditional dinner or ham or something similar back at my parents house.
Read the rest of this entry »
I am so excited to introduce you guys to Ella of Pure Ella today! I recently discovered Ella’s gorgeous website and I was instantly in love. Her gorgeous photos and recipes obviously caught my attention immediately, but her excitement for life and he sweet and positive outlook just sealed the deal for me. Today Ella is sharing a beautiful salad that has been drooling. I cannot wait to try this one.
Lately I’ve had this insane craving for Kimchi! And I just had to have it!
I scoped around several stores in our area including Whole Foods and when I couldn’t find it myself I finally had to ask (in complete desperation) if they could help me find it!
After rechecking with several clerks I was delivered the news “We’re sold out!” (Ok, let’s expand on that exclamation mark!!!! I was completely shocked!) This was my third attempt and it’s like Kimchi has gone extinct! Or just got extremely popular! Maybe both?
“Oh no… but I’m pregnant!” It was no use. Kimchi was just a fantasy at that point. There was nothing I could do and no interest at that time to ferment cabbage for 3 weeks before I could get a bite!
Days went by and I gradually learned to stop whimpering the word “kimchi” with the fridge door open at lunchtime when preparing my lunch. I haven’t really given up but I wasn’t going to go crazy for fermented cabbage… or was I?
And then this happened: My sweet husband just walks in through the front door and hands over a jar of Kimchi to me! I jumped for joy and skipped all the way around the kitchen island to plant a big kiss on him! The guy doesn’t do flowers, but he does Kimchi and I was in Love! (with both of them ;))
The first and last time I had Kimchi before was on our last Summer trip to Montreal, when we enjoyed a stay at a great Asian restaurant in Montreal. I couldn’t get enough of this stuff. My husband didn’t get it. I loved it!
So what is Kimchi anyway? If you’re unfamiliar with the latest super-food – Kimchi is a spicy pickled (or fermented) cabbage that is traditionally from Korea. It has a flavour combination of spicy, sour and a little sweet depending on what variety you get.
It’s been a cultural dish in Korea for nearly 3,000 years so it’s a big part of their daily tradition. Even when taking pictures, people there say “Kimchi” not “cheese” when smiling for their pictures. Fun, right? 😉
African food isn’t something I have a lot of experience with, but after making a batch of preserved lemons recently, I have been dreaming up some tasty and creative ways to use them. Being a traditional Moroccan staple food, it felt right to pair them with the harissa.
Harissa is a bit spicy and it has such a robust and full flavor. So much more than your run-of-the-mill pepper blend. Harissa comes in paste form or as a dried blend, for this recipe I used a dry blend, but you could certainly use a paste, you may want a tad bit more, but use your judgement. Read the rest of this entry »
I had a wonderful birthday complete with the perfect yoga class, a fun day of work, dinner with hubby and so many wonderful friends, a delicious cake and I finished the night off with a glass of wine and a visit to my parents house. A wonderful and blessed day, indeed.
Besides it being my birthday month and my absolute favorite season, the only thing (besides the cold) that I really dislike is how early the sun sets this time of year, and it’s just gonna keep getting earlier, too. I miss the beautiful and perfect end-of-day light when I am in the kitchen cooking, after I am done working for the day. Most nights as of recent, by the time we are done working and dinner is made and ready to eat, it is pitch black outside. For some reason I find that to be so depressing. This also poses a problem for taking photos of the dinner that I prepared, if I plan to share the recipe on here. So this fall and winter I am going to try something a little different, since we work from home, on the days I have a recipe I want to create to share with you guys, I am going to actually cook it and serve it for lunch, this way I can take all of my photos, and we can eat it fresh and hot. Win win. Then I can work a bit later in the day and we can just eat a light dinner. I am pretty excited about this as most days I am much hungrier in the middle of the day anyhow, since I got to yoga in the mornings. I think hubby and our assistant are both going to be more than happy about this new schedule, too.
For this stir-fry I used some of the beautiful veggies we got in this week’s CSA. Bok choy, leeks and lots of peppers, plus I added in some shitake mushrooms and carrot that I grabbed at the Co-Op this morning. I served it all with some kelp noodles that I have been so excited to try. After my obsession with zucchini noodles this summer, I thought kelp noodles sounded like another fun grain-free noodle alternative, especially for Asian meals like this one and woah, was I right. They were perfect in this stir fry and I am already dreaming of other fun Asian inspired dishes that they would be great in. (Please note that kelp noodles do have a unique crunch to them from the kelp and their texture is different from that of regular noodles.)
I included some notes below on preparing the kelp noodles, since they technically do not need to be cooked. I ended up rinsing them and running super hot water over them for a while to heat them up a tad, then I tossed them right in the wok with the stir-fry so they would get mixed right in and served right away.
Have you ever tried kelp noodles? How do you like them served?
[print_this]Vegetable Stir-Fry with Kelp Noodles – Gluten-free and Vegan (Grain-free)
1 16-ounce package of kelp noodles, I used these
Kelp noodles come ready to eat, no need to cook. You just need to rinse them, however they are very crunchy so I rinsed them and ran them under hot water for a bit to soften them up. I found the noodles were best tossed with the vegetable stir fry and the sauce and heated up a bit, they softened up a tad this way rather than just spooning everything over. I have also read that letting them soak in water and lemon for about 30 minutes and massaging them a bit with your hands (as you would kale), makes them a bit softer and not as crunchy. I like the crunch and found it to be a nice texture in the stir-fry
- 1/4 cup gluten-free tamari
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon of corn starch or arrowroot starch
- optional: 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, if not vegan
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, I went with what we had on hand from our CSA and the market
- 2 tablespoons sesame or peanut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 leek, rinsed very well, slice thinly the white and light green parts only
- 2-3 bell peppers, sliced (I used a purple bell, red bell and red cubanelle pepper)
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled then grated
- 1 bunch Bok Choy, sliced thinly the long way, you want about 3-4 cups
- 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
- 4 ounces of shitake mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
- Scallions, sliced
- Sesame seeds
- Roasted Peanuts
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until a drop of water evaporates immediately. Add oil, then stir fry onions, leeks and bell peppers for about 2-3 minutes. Then add in the ginger and garlic and cook for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients to the wok, the bok choy, carrot ribbons and mushrooms. Toss around and cook until the vegetables are just tender. Add in the sauce, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in some of the scallions, peanuts and sesame seeds, leaving some for sprinkling on top.
Serve over the kelp noodles or add the kelp noodles to the wok and toss it all around. Serve topped with sliced scallions, peanuts and/or sesame seeds.
These delicious little treats were the second batch of muffins I made after the first batch ended up too soggy. They were very tasty, but I think that the carrot shreds have more water content than I gave them credit for, so the second time around I decided to add in some finely shredded coconut, since coconut is known to soak up moisture in recipes. You could also give coconut flour a try, but I am not sure if you would want the full 1/2 cup. Experiment.
The coconut flavor is subtle but it really compliments the rest of the flavors in this muffin quite nicely. The walnuts and golden raisins are both optional, but I would say unless you hate them, you should add them in. Their addition to this muffin reminds me of a slice of traditional carrot cake. These muffins are subtly sweet so they would be perfect for breakfast, dessert or even a little snack. Hubby was of course begging for some sort of cream cheese frosting.
I love how rustic these muffins ended up looking after baking, that is why I ended up taking off the papers before I photographed them. The outside of each muffin had such a beautiful toasted, golden brown hue with specs of the shreds of carrots shining through.
Normally when I am writing up a recipe or editing photos, I still have leftovers in the kitchen, so after I am done staring at the photos forever and craving another taste of whatever it is, I head downstairs and grab a little bite. Sadly, I made these muffins about 10 days ago, but we’ve been so busy getting ready for our pop-up shop this past weekend that I haven’t had a moment to edit the photos and write this up. So, now I think I am going to have to make another batch of these ASAP, I want them that badly.
2 flaxseed eggs (or you could also just use two large eggs):
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
6 tablespoons hot water
2 cups blanched almond flour*
1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1/4 cup grape seed oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flaxseeds and water, set aside and allow to get thick and gelatinous.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Add in the shredded coconut, stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup (or honey), vanilla, oil and flax seed eggs and whisk until well combined.
Add the dry mixture to the wet, stirring until combined. Carefully fold in the carrots, walnuts and raisins.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, filling each cup to the top if you want a nice muffin dome. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool the muffin pan on a wire rack for five minutes. Gently pop the muffins out to continue cooling on the rack (don’t cool them longer than 5 minutes in the hot pan they’ll definitely get soggy). Enjoy a muffin after they have cooled 10 minutes, you know you want to.
I find storing muffins covered tightly in the refrigerator or freezer to be the best, especially in the heat of summer. Just pop one out as you want it, heat slightly in the microwave if you want to take the chill off and go.
*NOTE: Something I have learned from baking on my own and from reading Elana’s Pantry, is that not all almond flour (or meal) is created equal. Bob’s Red Mill makes an almond flour, though easy to find, that doesn’t seem to react quite the same as other almond flours. It doesn’t seem to rise as much and it just seems to leave recipes flat. On Elana’s recommendation I now buy Honeyville brand almond flour in a 5-lb bag from their website. [/print_this]
This is gonna be a quick post – I am a bit behind on recipes and my day is full of client work and other projects, but I really wanted to share this juice recipe with you. I have to admit, I was a bit at a loss for a clever and cute name for this juice, so I went with the obvious. I kept wanting to find a way to combine the words “berry” and “brightness” but I just didn’t have it in me this time.
At any rate, this juice is FULL of flavor. It is incredible bright and perfectly tart, with the right about of sweetness. It sounds like and will look like a lot of berries, but sadly they don’t produce a ton of juice, which is why I rarely buy berries for juicing. But even in small amounts they bring a really wonderful tart flavor to juice and the color from the raspberries are just so beautiful. I found this fun fact about raspberries that I thought was interesting “Raspberries possess almost 50% higher antioxidant activity than strawberries, three times that of kiwis, and ten times the antioxidant activity of tomatoes”. Raspberries are low in calories and they are a wonderful source of dietary fiber. Raspberries are also an excellent source of Vitamin C.
I always love adding cucumbers to my juices since one cucumber offers up so much juice and I really love the flavor from it. Cucumbers are almost 96% water, that is naturally distilled, which makes it superior to ordinary water. The skin contains a high percentage of vitamin A, so should not be peeled off. Read on about the many other benefits from adding cucumbers to your juice.
Pears are an excellent source of water-soluble fiber. The high vitamin C and copper content in a pear act as good anti-oxidants that protect cells from damages by free radicals. You can read more about the health benefits of juicing with pears, here.
I’ve already sung the praises of the carrot, in this juice recipe. The main point about carrots are they are one of the most healing foods. Carotenes, the famous ingredient in carrots, is an anti-oxidant that has powerful healing virtues for many diseases. Read more about the health benefits of carrots here.
What would you call this juice?
makes 1 large serving
4 or 5 carrots
1 pear (I used a green Anjou)
12 ounces of organic raspberries
Juice all of the ingredients. Serve immediately with ice, if you wish.[/print_this]
As I have previously mentioned this week, I have been on a bit of a healing path for the last few days. Trying to ease my digestion woes caused by a grumpy ileocecal valve. In addition to avoiding all dairy, I have also cut out caffeine, alcohol, sugar and chocolate. I am also avoiding roughage like raw leafy green vegetables, raw whole nuts and seeds and spicy foods, among other things. One of the things I have been doing every day is after my morning yoga practice, I come home and make a smoothie or a fresh juice blend. This has been a nice way to get some necessary nutrients and to also give my upset digestion a little rest. I have really been enjoying it. Then I have a light lunch and a light dinner. I have been drinking a lot of water, not really snacking much and making sure to self-massage my abdomen (you can read more about that in my last post).
In my research to find the best ingredients for juicing to help with digestion, the ingredients I used in this particular juice seemed to be at the top of many of the lists. Here is just a tad bit of info about each ingredient from what I have read. I’ve learned that carrot juice is considered the golden juice of healing, it is an excellent tonic for just about every ailment imaginable. It can be consumed in large quantities as well. Carrots are a natural blast of high energy and they are a powerful internal cleanser and detoxifier and they can help an inflamed colon (I dunno if mine is, but it can’t hurt either way).
Apples remove toxins from the intenstines; stimulate peristalsis and bowels; flush kidneys; natural acids for digestion. Apples contain pectin which is a form of soluble fiber. This helps with the detox flush that removes cholesterol and toxins through the liver and kidneys. Apples also contain a substance called malic acid, that helps maintain liver function and improves digestion.
Celery has been known to help in diseases of the kidneys, pancreas, liver and gallbladder. The nutrients in the fiber released during juicing, aid in bowel movements. Celery promotes healthy and normal kidney function by aiding elimination of toxins from the body. While eliminating toxins, it also prevents formation of kidney stones. Celery actually boasts a very very long list of incredible powers, these are just some of the many.
Fennel is probably best well known as a digestive aid. It can help with trapped wind, poor digestion and more painful conditions such as gastritis and enteritis. Fennel is also a diuretic and therefore is very effective when dealing with kidney or bladder troubles and fluid retention. It is also a general pick-me-up and helps to combat general tiredness and fatigue.
Ginger helps to soothe and improve digestion by increasing secretions of digestive juices in the stomach. It also aids blood circulation and metabolism, increases the immune system and strengthens the internal organs of the digestive tract.
When juicing you always want to use organic produce whenever possible and regardless if produce is organic or not, you always want to thoroughly wash it. I am absolutely no expert on juicing so please use your own judgement and do your research before jumping into any sort of juice-only cleanse or detox. Leanne of Healthful Pursuit, a holistic nutritionist, has been doing an enlightening series of posts this week talking about her own journey to healing her digestion. Leanne’s posts have all been very thorough and provide some really great information about what she is going through, how she feels and what she is doing. Yesterday’s post (the third in the series) features some really great information as well as two great juice recipes. Be sure to check it out and follow Leanne along her journey, as I am.
Look for more juice recipes from me over the next two weeks and hopefully in that time my photos of said juice will get better. After I was about halfway done with this glass of juice and was looking at the photos, I realized how boring and blah they were. I need a fun glass or I should have put some of the ingredients in the background. Ah well.
What is your favorite juice combination?
[print_this]Digest Ease Juice
1/2 to 1-inch piece of ginger
1/4 to 1/2 of a large fennel bulb (about 4 oz), I also included some stalk and leaves
1 apple (I used a honeycrisp)
2 celery stalks, with leaves
Juice all of the ingredients, saving the celery for last since it is stringy and can sometimes clog the machine. Serve immediately.
I love chickpeas! There is so much you can do with them. A spicy hummus, roasted for a snack, throw them in a curry, in a pasta dish, on a salad, etc. They are a wonderful protein-packed ingredient that works great if you are vegan or vegetarian or is the perfect substitute for your weekly meat-less dinner. In our house we eat vegetarian most nights so I always have at least 4 or 5 cans of chickpeas and a pound or two of dried chickpeas in the pantry. The ideas on what can be done with them just keep coming and each is better than the last.
These croquettes are surprisingly easy to put together considering how fancy and intimidating they may seem. They mix up quickly and cook up just as swiftly and conveniently. Some croquettes and patties have a tendency to fall apart when they hit the pan, but these are very durable. Place the dollop in the pan and leave it be, don’t move it around or continuously press it, just let it cook and brown up. Don’t try to go bigger, as they may start to lose their structure. After the first side begins to brown, flip it over and allow the other side to cook, that’s it. So easy. You can have some fun with the ingredients, try a beautiful red bell pepper for some color, add shredded zucchini, red onion, etc. You can play with the spices and the flavor profile, serve them plain as an appetizer, over rice, or on baby greens for a meal. Top with different sauces or salads. Have fun with this recipe. I decided to serve these over baby greens tossed in a light balsamic vinaigrette and I topped them with a citrusy cilantro yogurt sauce. This sauce can also be as difficult or easy as you wish, have fun with that, too. Obviously skip the yogurt sauce if you are vegan and if you aren’t gluten-free and don’t wish to buy chickpea flour, you can simply substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour.
This is a simple and healthy weeknight dinner that satisfies that urge for crispy fried food without tipping your scale. Though I would hardly called these fried, they are cooked in just a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and are perfectly crisped without the greasy sludge.
Chickpea Croquettes (Gluten-Free) with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
1 handful fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 cup of greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, lemon juice, minced garlic and yogurt in a small bowl. Stir well to combine. Salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
adapted from Vegetarian Times. makes 8 patties
1 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup hot water
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained well
4 scallions, chopped
1 medium carrot shredded
1 habanero or jalapeno, minced (I left the seeds in)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
3 tablespoons olive oil
In a large bowl, add flour, water, lemon juice, cumin and salt. Add more water if needed. Stir until well combined. Add in chickpeas, carrots, scallions, jalapeno, garlic and cilantro. Stir well.
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, over medium heat. Scoop (approximately) 1/4 cup dollops of chickpea mixture into skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. If the dollop is too much of a mound you can lightly press it down with the back of your spatula, just don’t press too hard. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. With a spatula, flip the patties and cook 3-4 minutes more. Repeat with remaining chickpea mixture (the finished croquettes can sit on a baking sheet in a 200º F oven). Serve two croquettes over field greens, topped with the yogurt sauce.
I made such a big batch of Roasted Winter Vegetables last week that I have been enjoying them lots of different ways ever since. Because Mark refuses to eat beets, I have been slowly making a dent in them all by myself and I have been loving it. I had about half of them left, so, I decided to take the remainder and make this ragout over the weekend, I served it over some brown rice with a lot of freshly ground black pepper, for a nice hearty and hot winter lunch. There was enough that I also enjoyed it served over some organic brown rice linguine last night for dinner. There is still one small serving left and that will be a great lunch tomorrow. There really are many ways you can do this, the main point is to create a quick and easy chunky tomato sauce. I didn’t have diced or whole canned tomatoes so I just used the crushed tomatoes that I had and then I added some sun-dried tomatoes slices in. Because there are onions and garlic in with the roasted vegetables you really don’t have to add much. I added baby spinach for some green crunch. This was great over the brown rice and brown rice pasta, it would also be great over polenta, quinoa or millet.
Roasted Winter Vegetable Ragout
3 cups leftover roasted winter vegetables (or however much you have)
1/2 of a 28 ounce can organic crushed tomatoes (put the remainder in a leftover container in the fridge for another meal later in the week)
2 cups organic vegetable broth, low sodium
Pinch or two of dried herbs de provence
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes sliced
2 cups organic baby spinach
Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth to a large pan over a medium-high heat, bring to a simmer. Add in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted vegetables, cook over a high heat about 15 minutes. Stir in the baby spinach and cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, spoon over rice, pasta, polenta, etc.
I wanted dinner for day-one of my cleanse to be special and exciting, something to look forward to. Vegetables are hard to come by this time of year and the selection is limited compared to the warm months, but fear not, winter root vegetables are great! I grabbed a ton of them at the market and decided I would roast a big pan of vegetables with fresh herbs and a little olive oil. I figured this would also be nice as I could use the leftovers in a couple of other meals. Later in the week I plan to roast some potatoes and add them to these leftover vegetables with some tomato sauce and vegetable broth for a delicious ragout.
These vegetables are so satisfying and hearty, there is something about roasting that brings a rustic depth of flavor to just about anything. I served it as a main course over brown rice, it would also be great over polenta or just as is as a side. A pan of roast vegetables like this are great, you can really add anything. I thought about adding some red potatoes but ran out of room. You could also add celery root, turnips, rutabaga, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. I tried to buy organic on everything I could, but didn’t stress over it if I couldn’t find organic. I just made sure to really give all the vegetables a really good cleaning. The key when cutting the vegetables is to try to keep them all relatively around the same size, so they cook evenly. Obviously if you aren’t on a cleanse you could certainly give these a sprinkle with a nice sea salt. I skipped it and it really didn’t even need it. This was a hard one to photograph as the images don’t even begin to show all the colors and beautiful textures. So you’ll just have to make it for yourself to see.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
1/2 lb of brussels sprouts, halved
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into cubes
3 small carrots, peeled and cut into cubes
2 beets, peeled and cut into cubes
1 eggplant, cut into cubes
2 small onions, peeled and cut into eighths
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large bunch of italian parsley, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, roughly chopped
2 sprigs of thyme, roughly chopped
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 475º.
In a heavy roasting pan, combine all of the vegetables and olive oil, toss to coat. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are nicely browned. Sprinkle with a bit of fresh herbs, serve as a side or over brown rice as a meal.
I had a short time at home yesterday between leaving the studio and heading over to the Rock Harbor Yard to set up for the Hallwalls Artists & Models Stimulus event, that we are screen printing live at tonight. I decided since I was eating alone, it would be a good time to try something different and new (in the event I royally screwed it up). I came across this recipe from Anna Getty’s book Easy Green Organic that she shared on etsy and knew it was something I was going to love, since I have become a huge fan of quinoa. Quinoa is gluten-free, high in fiber and a complete protein which makes it a perfect grain for the gluten-free vegan. Quinoa is great as a replacement for rice or couscous.
I changed the original recipe a bit to what I had on hand and also to make it gluten-free. The original recipe called for adding shredded zucchini in addition to the carrots, but since I didn’t have any, I opted to go without. However, I definitely plan on making these again and including it.
The croquettes had just the perfect amount of “fried” crunch, that I actually felt like I was cheating and eating something unhealthy. The quinoa has such a beautifully nutty flavor and there is a subtle tartness from the cilantro sauce. I ate 3 of these as a meal, but they would be great as an appetizer or a side with grilled or roasted vegetables.
These turned out so good and I was sure my husband, Mark, could use a good snack. So, when I headed over to the warehouse to meet up with him, to start setting up our press and to print the first color on our poster, I decided to bring him a small leftover container of the croquettes, and a bit of the sauce to drizzle over. He was so happy and could not stop talking about them.
Quinoa Croquettes with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce
Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium gluten-free tamari)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 small white onion, quartered (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup of non-fat greek yogurt (Goat milk yogurt is great here as would be any other non-dairy yogurt)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup quinoa, washed thoroughly*
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated on medium holes
1 scallion, finely chopped (white and green parts)
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
6 sprigs fresh parsley, stemmed and minced
1 large egg
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tablespoon tapioca flour
Vegetable oil for cooking
(if you don’t wish to make these gluten free, omit the brown rice and tapioca flours and just use 1/4 cup all purpose flour)
To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, and onion in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Stop the motor and add the yogurt and olive oil. Blend until creamy. Transfer the sauce to a container with a lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To make the croquettes, combine the rinsed quinoa with 2 cups of water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the water is completely absorbed. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl to cool.
When cool add the carrot, scallion, garlic, salt, parsley, egg, and flours. Mix well. Using your hands, form the mixture into patties about 1/2 inch thick and 2 inches in diameter.
Pour just enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan, and heat the oil over medium heat. Working in batches, lay the quinoa cakes in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. (You can probably cook 5 to 6 patties at once.) When the cakes are golden, turn them over and cook until the second side is golden. (Check by lifting up a side with a spatula.) Add additional oil as needed, and remove any brown bits that accumulate in the pan as you cook.
Remove the cakes from the pan and place them on a plate lined with a recycled brown paper bag. Serve hot, drizzled with the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce. Or put the yogurt sauce in a bowl for dipping.
*The key to cooking quinoa is to make sure to adequately rinse the quinoa through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the bitter protective saponin coating that protects the grain from being eaten by birds and insects.