Desert, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Spiced Fruit Compote

Compote

So . . . I was having a discussion this week with a friend about ways to use up large amounts of apples that need eating, and she suggested an apple compote with cardamom, cloves, and ginger.

I was planning on making the Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes from my Day 24 post for Sunday brunch, and this seemed like the perfect thing to give this already decadent recipe that extra little something special. I used apples, dried apricots, and dried cranberries, but you can pretty much use any fresh and dried fruit combination that takes your fancy.

Making fruit compotes like this is more about adding a dash of this and sprinkle of that rather than an exact science; so the measurements below are approximations. Use your own discretion and tastes to make the recipe perfect for you.

Although I used butter, simply replace it with Olivani or your favorite non-dairy butter like substance, to make this a vegan treat.

Spiced Fruit Compote

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 small apples, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 – 5 cloves
  • 3 – 5 whole cardamom pods
  • 1/4 cup water

Place the fruit, butter, brown sugar, and spices into a saucepan over a medium heat. Cover the pot, and let the fruit cook down into the the butter and sugar liquid and start to caramelize.

Let fruit cook for 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally so that nothing starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep a watch and if there does not seem to be enough liquid add water a little bit at a time. If you like your compote more saucy use more water, if you like it more chunky than use less. You may or may not use the whole 1/4 cup of water.

Taste the compote during the cooking time and adjust spices to your personal tastes.

Before serving, remove the cloves and cardamom pods.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Mains

Day 24 – Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes with Spiced Fruit Compote

Day24

One recent comment from a Herbivore reader is that everything on the blog is so healthy.

I have to admit I do not eat super healthy all the time; what is the fun in that!?! You have to have that extra fat and calories sometimes, and in my opinion, Sunday brunch is the perfect time to be a bit naughty. With that in mind, may I present my take on Jerry James Stone’s Ricotta Stuffed Sweet Potato Pancakes.

Being in New Zealand, I used orange kumara instead of sweet potato and the fruit compote topping idea came from a dinner time discussion I had with a friend about easy ways to use up apples that need eating. Click here for my Spiced Fruit Compote recipe.

Earlier this week, I was having the discussion about kumara vs sweet potato and if they are the same thing.  Kumara is the Maori name for sweet potato; as far as I can tell they are both from the same plant family, but they are actually a different variation.  Some people claim that kumara are sweeter and more flavorful, and if my memory of sweet potato is correct than kumara does have a slightly different distinct flavor of its own.

The fresh ricotta came from yesterday’s visit to the La Cigale French Market, where a lovely Italian couple sells amazing Mozerella, Scamorza, and Ricotta cheeses that do not contain rennet.  This is an enzyme produced in a cow’s stomach and used in cheese production to coagulate the milk causing it to separate into curds and whey. Many vegetables have enzyme properties that do the same thing, and vegetable rennet is becoming more and more popular in modern cheese production.

These pancakes, fresh squeezed juice, and couple bottles of bubbles made an incredibly decadent boozey brunch. We certainly needed to take a bit of a walk after eating, but it was the perfect chance to enjoy another sunny winter day.

Ricotta Stuffed Kumara Pancakes with Spiced Fruit Compote

adapted from: Jerry James Stone

MAKES: approx. 12 pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large orange kumara or sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 ⅓ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • warmed maple syrup
  • spiced fruit compote
  • pecans, dry roasted and chopped

Peel the kumara or sweet potato, wrap it in tinfoil and bake it for about an hour at 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C in a pre-heated oven; you want it to be very tender.

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, and then add the brown sugar.

Crack and separate the two eggs. Whisk the egg yolks and the milk together so they are just combined.

Remove the kumara or sweet potato from the oven when it’s done and puree it either with a ricer, a stick blender,  a potato masher,  a fork, or any other kitchen implement that will get the job done. Add the puree to the dry mixture, mixing it well. It should create what looks like a bright orange smooth dough (made me wonder if it would be good for gnocchi).

Work in the egg and milk mixture, until completely combined. Using a whisk to make sure there are no floury lumps.

Beat the egg whites until they are fluffy and stiff.  Fold the egg whites into the mixture, but do not overly mix it.

In a buttered skillet, over a medium heat, ladle in the sweet potato pancake mixture. When bubbles form on the top and the edges look crispy, flip the cakes.

While these are cooking, whisk the ricotta cheese in a small bowl, giving it a creamier texture and making it easier to spread.

When the pancakes are done, layer them with ricotta and top with maple syrup, spiced fruit compote, and chopped pecans.

ENJOY!!

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Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan

Harissa

Harissa

Mmmmm . . . Spicy chili goodness!!

Harissa is a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia, but its use has spread to other North African and Middle Eastern countries . The main ingredients are hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some kind of vegetable or olive oil.  Recipes for harissa vary according to region and country; variations can include the addition of cumin, red peppers, garlic, coriander, and lemon juice. In Saharan regions, they add a smokey flavor to harissa.

I needed a harissa paste to use in my Day 23- Harissa Ravioli post, and a friend suggested that I try making my own. Brilliant idea!! After a bit of research I found a recipe on the Food52 blog site, that seemed to be easy enough, use ingredients I mostly already had around the house, and was open to my own interpretation. You are supposed to let the harissa paste sit for over 24 hours before using, but since I needed it for a particular recipe I could not wait. My version of harissa worked perfectly in the dish, and I cannot wait to taste the intensity of the flavors 24 hours from now.

Harissa

MAKES: approx. 1 1/2 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 red jalapeno or serrano chiles, stemmed, chopped with seeds (the more you add, the hotter the harissa)
  • 2 large or 3 medium red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded, coarsely chopped (I actually used jarred roasted red peppers and it worked just as good)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

Toast cumin, coriander and caraway seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until aromatic, 1 minute. Transfer to a mortar with pestle, and grind seeds to a fine powder.

Combine ground seeds, garlic, smoked paprika, chiles, red peppers and 1 tablespoon olive oil in bowl of food processor. Process, adding additional olive oil if necessary, for a thick sauce-like consistency. Add ground pepper and salt.

Let harissa sit at least one hour and up to 24 hours before serving. (Refrigerate until use.)

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Mains, Side Dish

Day 23 – Harissa Raviloi

Day23

It was a bright sunny Winter’s day here in Auckland . . . my favorite kind of day!!

Blue skies and sunshine, with a slight chill in the air, always makes me want to go to the markets. I was looking through a couple of my Heidi Swanson cookbooks over coffee this morning, and this recipe for Harissa Ravioli caught my eye.  After coffee I headed to the La Cigale French Market, which is pretty much my favorite Auckland Central market destination. The stalls have such a delicious range of foodie treats, hot coffee, well priced vegetables, and yummy baked goods. Today, there happened to be someone selling fresh ravioli, and I figured something in the universe was telling me to make this recipe.  I purchased the spinach ravioli, which I thought should go well with the harissa and broccoli flavors, but in hind sight the pumpkin ravioli probably would have done the trick just as well.

The main flavor component of the sauce is harissa, a spiced chili paste originally from Tunisia. You can usually find this as a pre-made condiment in middle eastern or high-end food stores, but I decided to make my own; click here for the recipe. Supposedly you need to leave it for 24 hours to reach full flavor, but I used it right away and it still tasted great, I can only imagine with delight how much more flavor it will have later on.

This recipe came out quite tasty . . .  The flavor combination of harissa, lemon, good quality olive oil, toasted seeds and feta made a delicious sauce for the ravioli and was a great way to spice up the broccoli.  I am not an olive person, so I left that ingredient off, but to each their own. I suspect broccoli with this same harissa oil and toppings would make an excellent side dish on its own right. This theory may have to be tested later on this week.

Harissa Ravioli

by: Heidi Swanson

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces or 340g fresh or frozen cheese ravioli or tortellini
  • 8 ounces or 225g broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sliced almonds, or pine nuts (I used a combination of all three), toasted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 or 6 black oil cured olives, pitted and torn into pieces

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Put this aside in a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and good quality olive oil. Taste and add more salt if needed.

When the water boils, salt it generously and add the ravioli cooking them until they float and are cooked through (about 1 to 2 minutes). around 30 seconds before you think the ravioli will be done add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, and then drain into a colander.

Place the ravioli and broccoli into a large mixing bowl and toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas/almonds/pine nuts. Taste and add more salt, if needed.  Turn out onto a serving platter or plates and top with more harissa oil and the remaining pepitas/almonds/pine nuts, the feta, and olives.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan

Day 22 – Wild Rice Salad

Day22

Mmmmm . . . I love the nuttiness of Wild Rice and I am constantly on the look out for new ways of preparing it.

Wild rice is the grain from four species of grasses of the genus Zizania, which has been historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China.  This type of rice grain has a chewy outer sheath with a tender inner grain that has a slightly nutty taste.  Because of its nutritional value and taste, wild rice increased in popularity in the late 20th century, and commercial cultivation began in the US and Canada to supply the increased demand.  Typically sold as a dried whole grain, wild rice is high in protein, the amino acid lysine, dietary fiber, B Vitamins, minerals, it is low in fat, and like other rice varieties it is gluten free.

I found this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi , a London based chef who is a rising star of the cooking world. His food tends to combine simple raw ingredients with influences from his Mediterranean background. I am already familiar with Ottolenghi’s vegetarian cookbook “Plenty“, which I borrowed from a friend a while ago, and was very sad to have to give back. This made me very excited to find out that he shares recipes on his website and in his weekly Guardian newspaper column.  I think I will be spending some time on the Guardian website this weekend. Still, I would love to have the cook book in my collection . . . wink, wink,nudge, nudge . . .

Wild Rice Salad

by: Yotam Ottolenghi

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g/1 1/4 cups wild rice
  • 60g/ 1/3 cup peeled pistachio (I used almonds because I had them around the house)
  • 150g soft dried apricot, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
  • 1 small bunch of mint, leaves picked
  • 1 small bunch of rocket
  • 3 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the rice in a large pot and cover with water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes, depending on the variety, or until the rice is cooked aldente. Alternatively you can cook the rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/2 cups of water. Drain the rice and rinse under cold water.

While the rice is cooking, roast the pistachio or almonds in a dry pan over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Coarsely chop them with a large knife. Drain the apricot and coarsely chop them too.

In a bowl mix the rice, apricots and pistachios, and then add the rest of the ingredients, toss well and season with salt and pepper to taste.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes

Day 21 – Portobello Mushroom Skillet

Day21

Well . . . was supposed to be at a friends house for dinner, but that fell through.  I ended up inviting the few friends who were still keen on dinner around to mine, but then had to figure out what to make.

To adhere to everyone’s dietary restrictions, the meal had to be vegetarian and gluten free. I already had the Gluten Free Dinner Rolls, from my Day 20 post, that I made last night, and in my stash of untried recipes, I found this recipe for a Portobello Mushroom Skillet, from How Sweet It Is. This recipe is quick, simple ,gluten free, and vegetarian; so, essentially just what I was looking for. Plus, the added bonus of being warm and cheesy on a chilly night.

I served the mushrooms with the Gluten Free Dinner Rolls,  a last minute concoction of roasted potatoes and green beans that had been tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and lemon zest, and of course a lovely bottle of red wine.

Portobello Mushroom Skillet

by: How Sweet It Is

SERVES: 2-4

  • 8 portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 (8 oz) bag of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 8-10 slices of fontina or havarti cheese
  • fresh parsley for garnish

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add shallots and peppers with salt and pepper, cooking until soft – about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and spinach, cooking until spinach wilts, then stir in smoked paprika and parmesan.

Remove spinach mixture from skillet and set aside in a bowl. Add remaining olive oil in skillet, then place mushrooms in the pan stem side down. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then flip. Cook for 5 minutes more, then fill each mushroom with an equal amount of the spinach mixture. Turn the heat under the skillet off, and heat the broiler in your oven.

Dizzle balsamic into pan and gently stir mushrooms to coat, then add a slice of fontina or havarti on top of each. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese gets bubbly and melts. Serve immediately,

Garnish with parsley, if desired, and with crusty bread (or in my case gluten free dinner rolls)

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Baking, Breads, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 20 – Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

Day20

Now I like my gluten as much as the next person, but more and more people are finding they are fully Coeliac, have some sort of intolerance to gluten, or that eating less gluten makes them feel better on a day to day basis.

Personally, I fall into that last category. I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease same as Coeliac disease. Studies have shown the same allergic reaction that causes the stomach to react to gluten causes antigens to form in the blood stream that may case swelling in joints, especially areas already weakened by arthritis. The simple version of this is that i have less swelling and pain in my joints when I eat less gluten. I also tend to feel more clear headed and have more energy.

I am going to a dinner party tomorrow night, where I know there will be other people who do not eat gluten, so I decided to make these Gluten Free Dinner Rolls, which is a recipe from my favorite gluten free resource: Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess. Her recipes for gluten free goodies always come out tasty, and although I have not tried this recipe, I am confident that it will make something yummy for me to bring along to the dinner party.

From Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess I have learned the key to gluten free baking is Xantham Gum. Produced by a bacteria grown through fermentation of glucose, sucrose, or lactoseis, Xantham gum is commonly used as a food additive or thickening agent. In gluten free baking it works as a binding agent replacing that natural property found in gluten.

this recipe provides for Vegan substitutions making these dinner rolls a perfect accompaniment to the Vegan/Gluten Free Split Pea Soup recipe in my Day 19 post.

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls

by: Karina, The Gluten Free Goddess

MAKES: 12 Bread Rolls

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup sorghum flour- aka jowar flour
  • 1 1/2 cups tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)
  • 1/2 cup millet flour or brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup GF buckwheat flour or GF millet flour
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut flour or almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour or brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 packet rapid rise yeast
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm liquid (3/4 cup dairy  or non-dairy milk plus 3/4 cup hot water)
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 2 free-range local organic eggs, beaten or Ener-G Egg Replacer
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice or rice vinegar

Turn your oven on and off briefly to warm it. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and sprinkle the cups with GF flour; set it aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.  Then add in the wet ingredients and beat until a thick batter forms. This bread dough is not puffy and stretchy like wheat-based dough, it is more akin to a sturdy muffin batter. Beat until smooth.

Spoon the bread dough into the twelve greased and floured cups. Even out the tops using wet fingers or the back of a wet tablespoon. Place the pan in the center of the warmed oven to let the dough rise.

Set your timer for 50 minutes. At 50 minutes, turn your oven to 350ºF. (It should come to temperature within a few minutes.)

Bake until the rolls are golden and firm- about 22 minutes. Thump them with a fingertip- they should sound hollow. Note: If your oven is slow to heat, you may have to bake the rolls longer to cook all the way through.

When the rolls are done baking, remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool a bit. Using a thin knife, loosen the edges of the rolls from the pan and ease the rolls out. They are tender when warm.

Serve immediately with butter or vegan substitute.

ENJOY!!

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