100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Desert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 45 – Baked Apples Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds

Day45

Baked apples make me think of Grandma and Grandpa Mills . . .

Growing up, we had dinner with my grandparents every Sunday. There was a cafeteria style restaurant they liked to go to, and everyone’s favorite from the desert bar was the baked apple. Those baked apples were not nearly as fancy as this Baked Apple Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds recipe from Jerry James Stone and Treehugger’s Green Wine Guide, but it still makes those memories float to the surface.

I had a friend over last night for a Sunday night game of intense competitive Scrabble, which was a game I always played with with my Grandmother as well. Maybe that is why this recipe seemed like the perfect fit. Unfortunately, I got a bit distracted when reducing the syrup and it turned into more of a caramel that almost candied the baked apples, but it was still quite delicious, and I supplemented it with warm maple syrup to make sure the apple was not too dry.

I served the the baked apples with maple walnut ice cream and a small glass of port. The three made quite a good winter desert combination and an excellent Scrabble treat!!

You can easily substitute the honey for another unrefined sweetener for Vegan alternative . . .

Baked Apples Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds

MAKES: 4- 6 Apples, depending on the size of your apples

INGREDIENTS

  • 4- 6 large apples (Rome or Braeburn)
  • 1/3 cup candied ginger, chopped
  • 3/4 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • Water, for the baking dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brown sugar, vanilla and honey and mix well. Then mix in the ginger, almonds, cinnamon, clove and lemon zest, and set to one side.

Core each apple; be careful to remove all of the stem and seeds. If need be, trim the apple bottoms so that they sit steadily on a flat surface. Place the apples upright in a baking dish, and spoon the filling into hollow of each apple .

Fill the baking dish with enough water to form a 20 mm or 1/2-inch pool around the apples.

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the apples are tender.

Transfer the apples to a serving plate with a spatula.

Pour the reaming liquid from the baking dish into a small saucepan, and cook over a medium-high heat until it becomes syrupy, about 15 minutes. This is where you need to make sure not to reduce it too long that it becomes a caramel. Drizzle the syrup over the top of each apple, and sprinkle some additional almonds and candied ginger on top.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan

Day 44 – Slow Cooked Barbecue Baked Beans

Day44

Her is another great slow cooker recipe for you my Herbivores . . .

The best thing about slow cookers is how you can pop everything into the insert the night before or in the morning, the slow cooker does all the work, and you get to eat the yummy results.  This recipe for slow cooked barbecue baked beans, from Skinny Ms, is not exception.

I love the smokey maple flavor of a good BBQ sauce, and unfortunately, until recently, that can be hard to find here in New Zealand. I used to make the trip out to Martha’s Backyard, the American Store in Mt. Wellington, just for BBQ sauce. Luckily now some of the fancier food stores like Nosh and Farro are bringing BBQ sauce in from the US. Even one of my favorite brands, Kansas City Cowtown BBQ Sauce. I got so excited when I saw this at a friend’s house that she bought me a bottle the next time she came over for dinner. A friend that brings good BBQ sauce is a good friend indeed!! The Bonz Kajun Kitchen in Elliott Stables makes great locally made BBQ sauce that they bottle and sell, but you have to ask nicely for a vegetarian version, because he will normally put pig fat drippings in his sauce otherwise.

The thing that makes BBQ sauce so good is the combination of smokey, savoury, spicy, and sweet all perfectly balanced for optimal enjoyment.  When slow cooked with these beans, it makes a great side dish or can easily be turned into a main, like I did, by spooning the beans over a baked potato and adding a bit of spring onion/green onion and cheese.  A Kiwi favorite is baked beans on toast, and this recipe can be be used to make a great version of that dish as well. Add a fried egg on top, and you got a yummy savoury breakfast!!

If you do not have access to a good BBQ sauce, you can easily make your own with the recipe included below.

Slow Cooked Barbecue Baked Beans

MAKES: 8, 1 cup servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  •  1.7 kilograms or 60 ounces cooked Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup barbecue sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sweetener, (choices of unrefined sweeteners: Madhava Coconut Sugar, honey, molasses, pure maple syrup, sucanat, sorghum)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste

for BBQ Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 – 230 gram or 8 ounce can tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup mild molasses or sorghum
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Sea Salt to taste

Add all ingredients for the BBQ beans  into the slow-cooker.  For the unrefined sweetener, I used a combination of golden syrup and molasses, but any of the other options will do).  Cover, turn to low and cook 6-8 hours.

It is as simple at that!!

To make your own Barbecue Sauce:

In a medium sauce pan add canola oil, turn to medium-low heat and saute onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining barbecue sauce ingredients, stir and simmer until sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Viola!!

ENJOY!!

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

Day 43 – Crispy Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Herbed Dressing

Day43

So this recipe is not a single new recipe, but kinda a combination of two cauliflower recipes I have been holding onto.

I realized I had never made either recipe because each, on its own, seemed a bit too simplistic and bland, but if I combined elements of both recipes together, I thought it could work quite well. The result was certainly worth the experimentation.  One recipe was from Healthy Food and the other one from Treehugger.

Normally, I would use dry chickpeas for a recipe, and soak them over night. Since I was not necessarily planning on making this recipe, I had to use my “emergency ” can of chickpeas that I keep in the pantry, but that is what it is there for.  For most beans I prefer to use the dry version, as it less expensive and usually tastes better (not having been stored in that preservative thick liquid in cans). But sometimes you are making a last minute meal and those emergency cans can be quite handy.

The greens of this salad are Silverbeet, otherwise known as Swiss Chard. This leafy vegetable has been bred to have highly nutritious leaves at the expense of the root, and is subsequently considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables available.

This recipe is another great use for that chickpea flour you may have bought at some point for one recipe, like my Day 42 Panelle post, and are now trying to figure out what to do with the rest.

Crispy Spiced Cauliflower Salad with Herbed Dressing

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 1 kg
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 3 tablespoon gram flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 400 grams cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cups chopped silver beet leaves (Swiss Chard), stalks discarded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

for the dressing

  • Generous handful of parsley
  • 6 bushy sprigs of mint
  • Handful of basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Break the cauliflower into florets. Boil in salted water for a couple of minutes, and then drain thoroughly.

Blanch or microwave silver beet for 1-2 minutes until tender. Then combine cauliflower, chickpeas, silver beet and olive oil in a large bowl, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the dressing before you fry the cauliflower, so that the cauliflower will still be warm when serving. Chop all the herbs quite finely, and then stir in the garlic, mustard and capers. Pour in the olive oil slowly, beating with a fork to make sure the oil combines with the other ingredients.  Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and black pepper. Be generous with the seasoning, tasting as you go.

Get the vegetable oil hot in a deep pan (if you do not want to fry the cauliflower I imagine this would taste almost as good baked).

Toss the cauliflower with the gram flour, a little salt and pepper, cumin, and smoked paprika. When the cauliflower is coated, fry in the hot oil till crisp, a matter of three or four minutes or so. Drain with a paper towel before adding the cauliflower on top of the silverbeet.

Drizzle with the dressing, and serve warm with additional dressing on the side.

ENJOY!!

 

 

 

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegan

Day 42 – Panelle

Day42Mmmm . . . Deep fried chickpea goodness . . .

A friend of mine posted this recipe, from the New York Times, on her Facebook page, and I knew I was going to have to try making it at some point. Panelle is a type of Sicilian street food that is very similar to polenta, which is made of corn meal. Instead, Panelle is made from chickpea flour (Gram flour), which means it has the added benefit for vegetarians of being high in protein. They make a tasty and interesting and healthier alternative to potato fries, and can be used in the same way for a quick, but filling, snack

These “chips” went extremely well with the left over Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté from my Day 41 post of the 100 Days Project challege.

Panelle

from: The New York Times

INGREDIENTS

  • Vegetable or olive oil for greasing and frying
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Grease an 8-by-8 baking dish or a quarter sheet pan with some oil.

Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Put the chickpea flour in a large bowl, and when the water comes to a boil, gradually add it to the chickpea flour, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Scrape the mixture into the saucepan you used to boil the water, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bring the chickpea flour mixture up to a boil, stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then reduce to a gentle simmer. Only continue cooking for about a minute.

Scoop the chickpea mixture onto the baking dish or sheet pan and spread it into an even layer. Let it cool, and cover loosely with parchment or plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours.

Put at least 15mm or 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cut the chickpea mixture into “French Fries”, about 3 inches long and blot any excess moisture with a paper towel. Working in batches, gently drop them into the hot oil. Cook, rotating them occasionally until they’re golden all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain fries on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Serve hot, with lemon wedges.

Pour yourself a glass of wine and  . . .

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Gluten Free (with Substitutions), Party Food, Recipes, Vegan

Day 41 – Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté Toasted Baguette Sandwich

Day41

I thought this was just going to be a fancy hummus . . .

I found this recipe for Warm Artichoke and Chickpea Pâté  on the Huffington Post website and thought it would make a good filling for a wintertime sandwich. Much to my surprise and delight, the artichoke pureed with the chickpeas, along with the other spices and herbs, gave the pâté a texture and flavor very different from what I was suspecting. It turned out much creamier, and had a consistency similar to tuna fish salad (if I am remembering tuna fish correctly). In fact, I think this pâté would probably make a great vegetarian tuna melt alternative.

Artichokes are actually the bud of a large flower head before it comes into bloom; once the flower blooms, this bud becomes stingy, coarse, and barely edible. Both the ancient Greeks and Romans ate artichokes, and it is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean cooking. The heart of the artichoke is the softest, the best part to eat, and most often used, but often the outer leaves can be cooked and eaten as well.

For me the surprising ingredient for this recipe was the use of Chinese Five Spice Powder. This mixture of star anise, cloves, chinese cinnamon, sichuan pepper, and fennel seeds is not something I cook with often, and I was unsure how well the flavors would combine with the artichoke. In fact, both fennel and anise are flavors that I do not really like very much, but I figured when it comes to unknown spices,  it is always worth trying a recipe the first time how it is written and you can always change it up a bit later. I am glad I did, because the recipe works very well seasoned with these spices, and it would not normally been something I would have tried.

You can use  this recipe for the chickpea and artichoke pâté on its own, as a topping for crackers, or in a sandwich as I did.  It would be gluten free and vegan without the bread or the cheese I used, and these items can easily be swapped with gluten free or vegan substitutions .

Warm Chickpea & Artichoke Pâté Toasted Baguette Sandwich

adapted from: The Huffinton Post: TASTE

INGREDIENTS

  • 390 gram or 14-ounce cooked chickpeas
  • 200 gram or 7-ounce jar of artichokes packed in sunflower oil or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh coriander,chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 French baguette , for serving
  • roasted red peppers, sliced for topping
  • parmesan cheese, shaved, for topping
  • lettuce, for topping

Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F.

Drain the chickpeas and artichokes.

Roast the five spice in a hot, dry pan until fragrant.

Blend all the remaining ingredients to a fine purée. I found this easiest to do with my stick blender directly in an oven proof dish.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish, if you are not using a stick blender, and then bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.

Cut a length of baguette to your desired size, and slice it open. Toast baguette in the oven while warming the pâté.

To build the sandwich: Place the lettuce and a thick layer of the warm pâté onto the toasted baguette,  and top with the sliced roasted red peppers and shaved parmesan cheese.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Party Food, Recipes, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegan

Day 37 – Dolmades

Day37

Since I started off last night with my Day 36 Feta & Pesto Stuffed Peppadew Peppers post, I decided to keep up the theme for the weekend with recipes for small plate tapas type dishes. Dolmades seemed like the perfect fit!!

Dolmades or Dolma are a stuffed vegetable dish common in the Balkans and surrounding regions of the Middle East. The word Dolma comes from the Turkish for “stuffed thing”. Generally, grape or cabbage leaves are wrapped around a rice based filling, that can be meat or vegetarian, and includes onion, herbs like dill, mint or parsley and spices. While meat Dolma are served warm, vegetarian ones are often served cold or at room temperature. There are numerous variations of ingredients and fillings across the many countries that make a Dolma-like dish.

I first made and had Dolmades as a pre-teen at summer camp. Two kids from every cabin had to help out the kitchen staff with food prep every day. Probably not hard to believe that this was one of my favorite tasks on the chore rotation. I remember one day when we came in, there was a big industrial sized bowl of rice filling and all these grape leaves. I had never thought about eating an actual leaf before (not including lettuce) and thought this was a bit strange. I followed instructions on how to fill and roll the grape leaves into Dolmades, and was pleasantly surprised when it came to dinner time that this strange dish was actually quite yummy!! Although I have eaten Dolmades many times since then, this was probably the last time I tried making them myself until today.

Dolmades

adpated from: Kitchen Classics – Gourmet Vegetarian

MAKES: approx. 40 Dolma

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 spring onion (green onions)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup long grain rice
  • 15 grams or 1/2 ounce fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup artichoke hearts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted.
  • 235 grams or 8 1/2 ounce packaged pickled grape leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, extra

Heat the oil in a medium sized sauce pan. Chop the spring onions and add them to the pan, cooking them over a medium heat for only one minute.  Stir in the rice, mint, dill, half the lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Dry roast the pine nuts until they are toasted and golden brown.

Remove the lid, and fork through the currants, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and toasted pine nuts. Cover with a paper towel, then the lid, and leave to one side to cool.

Gently rinse and separate the grape leave, then pat dry with a paper towel and trim any thick stems off with scissors.

Line the base of a 20cm or 8 inch pot with any torn of misshapen leaves. Choose the larger leaves for filling and sue the smaller ones to patch any gaps.

Place a leaf shiny side down, vein side up,  on a cutting board. Spoon a tablespoon of filling into the center of the leaf.  Bring in the sides, and roll up tightly from the stem end of the leaf. Place seam side down in the base of the leaf lined pot arranging them close together in a single layer.

Pour int he rest of the lemon juice, the extra oil , and enough water to just cover the top of the dolmades. Cover them with an inverted plate and some sort of weight to firmly compress the dolmades and keep them in place while cooking (I had trouble finding something for this, but a tin of canned vegetables might work). Cover with the lid, and bring the liquid up to a boil reducing it to a simmer for 45 minutes. Let them cool and serve at room temperature.

These would make a great side dish to go with my Lebanese Red Lentil Soup.

ENJOY!!

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Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

RedLentilSoup

This soup is one of my favorite easy recipes to make, and is great for a winter weekday, when you just want something simple, warm, and full of flavor.

The recipe, originally from the Allrecipes.com website posted by JENP1, is closest I have been able to come to my favorite red lentil soup served at Mezze Bar in Auckland CBD.  It was not originally a vegetarian recipe, but with the substitution of vegetable stock for chicken stock, and a few small tweaks of the spices, I do not think it has lost any of its flavor.

Red lentils, which are very high in protein, vitamins, and nutrients, are often used in Middle Eastern style cooking. Lentils were one of the first domesticated crops, but may have been eaten by humans almost 13,000 years ago. Red lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils, but that means they cook up quicker and you do not need to soak them overnight.

This recipe originally calls for fresh coriander, which is typical in a Middle Eastern dish, but I forgot to buy this ingredient at the store, so substituted with fresh chives. It still tasted nice, but would recommend going with the coriander for authenticity, if you have the option.

Lebanese Red Lentil Soup

adapted from: JENP1, Allrecipes.com

SERVES: 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 450 grams or 1 pound  red lentils
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Bring vegetable stock and lentils to a boil in a large soup pot over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and spices and cook until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes.

Stir onions into the lentils, and continue simmering until the lentils are tender, about 10 minutes.

At this point if you are in a hurry, you can puree the soup in a standing blender or with a stick blender to get a smooth consistency, but I prefer to turn down the heat to low and let it continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, and the lentils will break down themselves.

Stir in the fresh coriander and lemon juice before serving, and garnish with feta cheese and a bit more coriander. Leave off the cheese if you want to keep this soup Vegan.

ENJOY!!

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