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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100 Days Project, Baking, Cakes, Dairy Free, Gluten Free (with Substitutions), Recipes

Day 32 – Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

Day32

Today is my friend’s birthday, and birthdays mean cake  . . .

This particular friend happens to be both Gluten and Dairy Free, which does make baking a birthday cake a bit of a challenge. Luckily, I found this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake, from Dish magazine, in my collection of untried recipes. Besides being quite yummy, with a few simple substitutions I could easily make it fit her dietary restrictions.

The main flavors of this cake are chocolate, chilli, and cinnamon, mimicking the traditional Mexican way of making hot chocolate with these spices.  Ancient Aztecs cultivated chocolate for eating and drinking, and the combination of dark chocolate and chilli dates back to their civilization. Hot chocolate was originally created by the Aztecs by roasting cocoa beans, and then using a mortar and pestle to grind the roasted cocoa beans with water.  They flavored this drink with chilli, vanilla, honey and pepper.  Cocoa beans quickly became a desired crop for the European settlers once  they tasted this delicious drink. In the modern westernized world, chilli and chocolate is once again becoming a popular combination amongst us “foodies”.

This recipe makes a very rich, almost pudding like cake, that when topped with candied pumpkin seeds and vanilla whipped cream (the birthday girl skipped this part) made a lovely mid morning birthday treat.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake

adapted from: Dish magazine

MAKES:8 -10 servings

INGREDIENTS:

for the cake

  • 200 grams or 7 ounces of butter or butter substitute like Olivani
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup castor sguar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour or brown rice flour for a gluten free alternative
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon icing sugar, for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

for the vanilla whipped cream

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the candied pumpkin seeds

  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup castor sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 70 grams or 2.5 ounces of pumpkin seeds

Preheat the oven to 170 C or 340 F

Grease a 20cm (8″) cake tin, and line it with baking paper.

Melt the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, or in a double boiler.  If using the bowl, do not let the water touch the base of the bowl or the chocolate will seize.

Stir int he sugar and vanilla and leave the chocolate to cool, for about 10 minutes.

While chocolate is cooling, put all the ingredients for the candied pumpkin seeds into a bowl and combine well with a fork. Do not beat the egg white until frothy.

Spread seed and spice mixture evenly on a lined baking tray and bake for 5-6 ,minutes, turning once during baking.

The seeds will be sticky when you turn them, but well become crunchy when cooled. break seed sup into pieces once it has completely cooled.

Once the chocolate has cooled, stir in the eggs, and then fold in the  flour, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper.

Pour mixture into the greased cake tin making sure the top is smooth. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the center is set, but not too firm. This actually took about twice that time in my oven. Just make sure the cake has risen and a knife in the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a rack and let cool completely in the tin, where the cake will deflate and set.

To serve: Whip the cream and vanilla to soft peaks. Remove the cake from the tin and gently peel off the baking paper. Place on a serving plate and dust with the combined icing sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. Serve with a dallop of cream and a sprinkling of the candied pumpkin seeds.

ENJOY!!

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Baking, Breads, Dairy Free, Vegan (with substitutions)

New York Style Bagels

Bagels

Today is Bagel Day at my flat!!

Honestly, it’s very difficult to find a proper bagel in New Zealand . . . I am sorry Kiwis, but a bread roll with a hole in the center just does not count!! A few years ago, I was rescued from this bagel wasteland by my friend Stephen, who had a bagel recipe from his sister, who lives in New York, and she originally got the recipe from a Rabbi’s wife. Now that has to be a good bagel recipe!!

Ever since then, Bagel Day was born . . . which just means that a few times a year I spend a Sunday morning making bagels and inviting people around for an afternoon of bagel indulgence. I have been told it is a life changing experience for most of my Kiwi friends.

Bagels were invented by the Jewish population of Kraków, Poland in the early 1600’s.  It is believed that bagels were the Jewish version of the obwarzanek, a lean bread of wheat flour designed for Lent.  Since then, the bagel became a staple of the Polish diet, as well as the diets of people in neighboring countries.  The name may have originated from an old spelling of the Polish word for bow, because traditional handmade bagels are not circles but slightly stirrup-shaped instead.  In the Brick Lane district and surrounding areas of London, England, bagels have been sold since the middle of the 19th century, and bagels were brought to the United States by immigrant Polish-Jews.  Father and son, Harry and Murray Lender, helped to popularize the bagel throughout North America in the 1960s by pioneering automated production and the distribution of frozen pre-sliced bagels.

The thing most people miss when making bagels, is that bagels should be briefly  boiled before they are baked. This gives the dough a thin skin, that when baked, becomes a crunchy outer shell for the soft bagel center. It does take a good chunk of time to go through all the steps of making your own bagels, but it makes a great social activity to do with kids or friends, and you wind up with a warm yummy treat.

The main problem with Bagel Day is I always end up eating way too many fresh out of the oven bagels and spend the rest of the Sunday in a bagel coma on the couch. Just remember . . . you have been warned!!

This recipe can easily be made Vegan by using an egg replacer.

New York Style Bagels

MAKES: between 20 – 40 bagels, depending on how big you make your bagel shapes (the recipe can be easily halved)

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cups luke-warm water
  • 1 packet or 6 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Combine sugar, salt, oil, half of the flour, all liquid, yeast and eggs in a large bowl and mix with wooden spoon until smooth. Cover with tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30-45 mins until risen and bubbly. If you do not have a hot water cupboard or similar suitable warm place, then briefly turn on your oven to its maximum temperature and then turn off again. This will create a perfectly warm environment for your dough to rise in.

Beat in remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic. Put dough into floured bowl, sprinkle a little flour on top, cover with towel and return to the warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours. If using your oven, you may want to turn it on briefly again, but remember to turn it off again. The dough should double in bulk.

Punch dough down and form your bagel shapes. The easiest way to do this is to take a round ball of dough, slightly larger then a golf ball, and pinch it in the center with your thumb and second finger. Insert the first finger of both hands into the hole created by the pinch, and twirl fingers in a circular motion smoothly expending the hole. Make the hole a little larger than you will need, as it will start to close up when the dough rises.  Try to make the surface of your bagel shapes as smooth as possible.

Place bagel shapes on a floured bench space, cover, and leave for 15 minutes to rest and rise slightly.

Now, heat your oven to 220 C or 425 F.

Drop bagels into a pot of slowly boiling salted water one at a time. Leave for about 30 seconds on each side (the longer you boil the bagels the thicker the skin will be). Remove bagel shapes from the pot and place onto oiled baking trays.

Sprinkle on your choice of toppings: garlic, onion, sea salt, rosemary, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon and sugar, pepper, caraway seeds are just some suggestions. This is where you can be creative and experiment with topping combinations and flavors.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until brown.

Cool them on a rack or threaded on a wooden spoon handle to prevent sogginess.

Eat them as soon as they are cool enough to hold in your hand. My preference is slathered with a “shmear” of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, but you can get just as creative with your condiments and bagel sandwich making as you can with the toppings themselves.

Make sure to eat them while fresh, within 12 hours, the crust will have gone soft, and the texture from cakey to rubbery.

ENJOY!!

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

Day 31 – The Gluten Free Bagel Experiment

day31

Today was Bagel Day at my flat . . .

Since moving to New Zealand 7 years ago, I started making my own bagels and sharing them with friends because it is almost impossible to find a decent bagel in this country, but my gluten-free friends have always had to miss out on Bagel Day.  So . . . This time I decided to try and make gluten free bagels, as well as gluten-full bagels for Bagel Day.

Doing research online, I came up with quite a few gluten free bread recipes that I thought might make a decent bagel. The recipe I decided to go with was a gluten free pizza dough recipe from Karina: The Gluten Free Goddess. My thought process being that pizza crust should have the closest consistency to bagels.

Now proper American, New York style bagels are boiled, and then baked, which is what gives you that lovely crunchy shell around the soft inner bagel. Unfortunately most gluten free bread doughs are more like muffin or cake batter than they are typical bread dough. I knew the dough would not have enough elasticity to hold the bagel shape on its own, and unfortunately I definitely would not be able to boil them.  I came up with the solution of using a doughnut pan to create the round bagel shape with the gluten free dough. I also used the fan bake function of my oven, which will cook the outside quicker than the inside giving you a crispier outer shell to your gluten free bagels.

The most important part of any bagel making is the toppings. This is also the fun part where you can get a bit creative. From right to left in the picture above I used garlic and onion and sesame, cinnamon and sugar, sesame and sea salt, smoked paprika and sea salt (my favorite), onion and caraway seeds, and garlic and sea salt. If you think something might taste good on a bagel  . . . give it a try!!

Overall, these were not quite the same texture as normal bagels, but they were quite yummy and I think the idea is worth further experimentation.  My gluten free friends certainly seemed quite happy tucking into their bagel-like treats.

This recipe can easily be made vegan by using an egg replacer.

If you are not concerned about gluten . . . click here for my New York Style Bagel recipe.

Gluten Free Bagels

adapted from: The Gluten Free Goddess

MAKES: 12 bagels

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups tapioca flour/starch
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup GF millet flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons xantham gum
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons organic light brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (between 110 – 115ºF)
  • 1 teaspoon organic light brown sugar
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/4 cup beaten organic free-range egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon light tasting rice vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 F or 200 C, using the fan bake setting if you have one.

Brush the pockets of the doughnut pan with olive oil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and dry ingredients.

Proof the yeast in 1 cup warm water with a pinch of sugar. Once the yeast has gotten puffy, add the proofed yeast to the dry ingredients.

Add the oil, eggs and vinegar, and beat the dough until smooth and sticky. The dough should be more like cake or muffin batter than typical bread dough.

Spoon the dough into the pockets of the doughnut pan. Wet your fingers with warm water, and smooth the surface of the bagels.  Then set the pan in a warm spot to rest and rise a bit- about 15 minutes.

Brush the tops of the bagels with olive oil, and add you choice of yummy toppings.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes till golden.

Eating while still warm, preferably slathered with cream cheese, is always best.

ENJOY!!

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

Day 30 – Carrot, Ginger, & Miso Soup

day30

Carrots again !?! You might ask . . .

Yes, carrots again . . . this is what happens when you buy a big bag of any ingredient. Obviously, things are less expensive when you buy them in bulk, and if you want to be sustainable in your cooking, then it does not pay to let the extras go to waste. Soups are a great way to use up large amounts of vegetables that need cooking.

This recipe for Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup, from Dish magazine, combines the carrots with traditionally Japanese flavors. Miso is a Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley, soybeans, salt and a particular fungus called kōjikin. The result is a thick paste, that is high is protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, used for sauces, spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with soup stock. Miso played an important nutritional role in feudal Japan, and is still widely used, both in traditional and modern Japanese cooking. Typically, miso is salty, but its flavor and aroma depend on various factors in the ingredients and fermentation process. There is a wide variety of miso available, and different varieties of miso can be described as salty, sweet, earthy, fruity, and savory. I tend to always keep Miso in the fridge, as miso soup makes a great quick meal, and it can be used to add flavor and protein into many dishes, both in Japanese cuisine and more western modern vegetarian cooking.

Just a quick tip . . . if you have left over fresh ginger, pop it into the freezer. Once frozen it will last for months, and when used in cooking the frozen ginger thaws and has the same robust flavor as when it was fresh. This trick can also be used for saving chilli peppers.

Carrot, Ginger & Miso Soup

adapted from: Dish Magazine

SERVES: 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5 cm or 1 in piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 kg or 2.2 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, spring onions, and sesame oil for garnish

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over a high heat.

Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and cook for 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Add the carrots and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes.

Add the miso paste and vegetable stock, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Blend until smooth, and then divide into bowls for serving.

Garnish with the spring onion, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, and a drizzle of sesame oil.

ENJOY!!

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

Day 28 – Spiced Eggplant with Herbed Bulgur Salad

day28

Since the last two days have been quick and simple recipes, I figured I would do something a bit fancier for today’s post.

Are you ever in a Doctor’s office or coffee shop flipping through the magazines and come across that amazing looking recipe you want to take home to try? So you very sneakily and quietly, trying not to attract the receptionist’s or cafe staff’s attention, rip the recipe out of the magazine and quickly stuff it into whatever bag or purse you have with you. I know I have done this countless times over the years since I have started being interested in cooking as a teenager. It always leaves me feeling a bit guilty . . . but thank goodness for technology and camera phones; I no longer have this guilt. Now I simply pull my iPhone out a take a picture of whatever amazing looking recipe has caught my attention. This recipe for Spiced Eggplant with Herbed Bulgur Salad, found in January 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine, is was one of these recipes that I snapped with my iPhone.

Eggplants are a vegetable that is native to the Indian Subcontinent, has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia, and the first known written record is found in an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise. It is believed that the eggplant was introduced throughout the Mediterranean by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. The raw flesh of the eggplant can have a somewhat bitter taste, but becomes tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. Many recipes advise salting, rinsing and draining  eggplants to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness that it can have. The flesh is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes, but salting reduces the amount of oil absorbed. Due to its texture and bulk, eggplant makes a great  meat substitute in vegan and vegetarian cuisine.

Bulgur is a whole grain, usually sold parboiled and dried, that has a light nutty flavor and is a common ingredient in Armenian, Assyrian, Lebanese, Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes.  Bulgur can be used in pilafs, soups, bakery goods, salads, or as stuffing. Its high nutritional value makes it a good substitute for rice or couscous.

I was looking forward to making this dish because of the interesting spice mixture that is brushed on the eggplants before they are roasted, and the combination of sweet, savory, and crunchy ingredients that are mixed through the bulgur salad, and this recipe definitely delivered on the promise of great flavor and spice.

This dish can easily be made dairy free and vegan by leaving off the yogurt, and the bulgur can be substituted with quinoa to make it gluten free.

Spiced Eggplant with Herbed Bulgur Salad

from: Bon Apetit, January 2012

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon peel, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 medium eggplants (9-10 ounces each), halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup quick cooking bulgur
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives or capers
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Greek style yogurt

Preheat ovem to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C

In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil, the next seven ingredients, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Score the flesh of each eggplant half with 15mmor 1/2 inch deep diagonal crisscrossing lines, spacing 40mm or 1 inch apart (do not cut through the skin). Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over each cut side, allowing it to soak in. Season lightly with salt. Brush or spoon spice mix on each half diving it equally. Place eggplants, cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until soft ( about 50 – 60 min).

While eggplant is cooking, place bulgur in a large bowl and cover with 1 1/2 cups boiling water. Let soak for 45 minutes to soften and absorb water. Stir in olives or capers, onion, currants, parsley, 1/2 cup coriander, pistachios, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and then let sit for at least 30 minutes for flavors to meld.

Serve at room temperature, with a dallop of greek yogurt on top of the bulgur salad and coriander to garnish.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Raw, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 26 – No Bake Granola Bars

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On to Day 26, Herbivores . . .

Today was a busy day, did not have time to grab breakfast, and got home late. These kind of days are where quick snacks come in handy, and quick recipes. I had seen this recipe for easy No Bake Granola Bars on Food52, and figured I would keep it around for one of these short on time days during the 100 Days Project.

All these ingredients are items I normally keep in my pantry, and I think most people will probably have around. I used rolled oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and dried cranberries, but there are infinite various on this combination. You can easily tailor the recipe to suit your personal tastes. Some other suggestions might be chocolate chips, dried pineapple, cashews, almonds, coconut, or dried cherries, and these granola bars could easily be made gluten free by using puffed millet and other gluten free cereals instead of oats. This recipe can also be made Vegan by substituting the honey with agave nectar or brown rice syrup. Personally I love honey though, I think honey is one of the main reasons I am not Vegan. Well . . . honey and cheese.

No Bake Granola Bars

From: Food52

MAKES:10-12

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled or quick oats
  • 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cups peanut or almond butter
  • 2/3 cup honey (adjust based on how well things stick together)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (adjust based on which nut butter you use)

Mix oats,  seeds, and fruit in a large bowl

I a small bowl, whisk together nut butter, sweetener, and sea salt. I used a half and half combination of Pics Peanut butter and Almond butter, mostly because I did not have enough peanut butter on its own, but also because I thought it would give an interesting taste.  If you are in New Zealand, where it is easier to find solid honey than liquid honey, put the solid honey in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen it up before trying to whisk it into the peanut butter.
Pour into oat mixture, and mix well, till everything is sticky and combined. If it’s too dry, add a bit more honey.
Press mixture into a shallow baking dish that you’ve lined with foil, saran wrap, or baking paper. Cover with more foil/saran, press well into the baking dish (Iused the bottom on another baking dish for this in order to make sure the pressure was flat and even), and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Cut into bar shapes, wrap, and keep refridgerated till ready to use. They will last two weeks in the fridge.
ENJOY!!
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