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!!

Advertisements
Standard
100 Days Project, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 27 – Crumbed Asparagus

day27

Another busy day needs another quick, simple, and yummy recipe . . .

This recipe for Crumbed Asparagus, by The Cozy Herbivore, seemed to be the perfect side dish for the left over Creamy Pearl Barley & Porcini Mushroom Risotto from my Day 25 post. It has lovely flavors of lemon, honey, garlic, and chive added into the freshness of the roast asparagus, and the crunchiness of the panko bread crumb is one of the best parts of the dish.

Asparagus has been eaten as a vegetable and used as a medicine, since ancient times.  It was known in Syria and in Spain, and Greeks and Romans ate it fresh when in season and dried it for eating during the winter.  A recipe for cooking asparagus is in the oldest surviving book of recipes, and the ancient Greek physicians used asparagus as a beneficial herb during the second century AD. By 1469, asparagus was cultivated in French monasteries, and asparagus became available to the New World around 1850.  Because once the buds start to open, the shoots will turn “woody”, only young asparagus shoots tend to be eaten.  Asparagus is low in calories, very low in sodium, and is a good source of many other vitamins and minerals.

I know winter in New Zealand is not asparagus season, so I am being a bit naughty, but this dish was worth the ridiculous amount I paid for the asparagus at the food store.

The recipe can easily be made gluten free by substitutng the bread crumbs for gluten free bread crumbs, and can be made Vegan by substituting the honey for agave nectar or brown rice syrup, and leaving out the parmesan.

Crumbed Asparagus

adapted from: The Cozy Herbivore

MAKES: 2-3 servings

INGREDIENTS

for the asparagus:

  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic granules
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

for the crumb topping:

  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh flat-leafed parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt & freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Trim asparagus spears by snapping off woody ends. The asparagus will break naturally between the fresh stalk and the tough end. Discard the ends.

Juice and zest lemon. Finely mince lemon zest and set aside to use in crumb topping.

In a small bowl whisk together lemon juice, honey, garlic granules and olive oil.  Add a pinch of sea salt & a few cracks of pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

Toss trimmed asparagus spears in lemon juice mixture. Arrange coated spears in a single layer in a casserole dish, and pour remaining lemon juice mixture over.

Bake until just tender, about 10 minutes. They should feel slightly soft and be easily pierced with a fork without being mushy.

While the asparagus is roasting, prepare crumb topping. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, minced herbs, olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the finely minced lemon zest. Using freshly washed hands, toss the mixture together until combined. Add a generous pinch of sea salt & a few cracks of pepper. Taste
and adjust seasonings accordingly.

When asparagus is done roasting, pour bread crumb mixture over and place under the broiler of your oven for one minute, or until browned and toasty. This can very quickly turn from brown to burned so keep a careful watch and do not walk away.

When the crumb has browned, take the baking dish out of the oven and serve,

ENJOY!!

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

Day 26 – No Bake Granola Bars

Photo1(32)

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!!
Standard
100 Days Project, Mains, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 25 – Creamy Pearl Barley & Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Day25

Who Hoo . . . it is Day 25, which means I am a quarter of the way through my 100 Days Project challenge.

Do you ever forget you already have an ingredient in the pantry and buy more? I do . . . recently this has happened with pearl barley; I have more pearl barley in my cupboard than anyone person should realistically have. I figured this milestone called for something a little bit fancy, and this recipe for Creamy Pearl Barley & Porcini Mushrrom Risotto, from Treehugger (my favorite green living website), originally caught my eye when I was going through a phase of experimenting with pearl barley recipes. I never got around to making this one so it was a perfect fit for today’s recipe.

Pearl Barley is the most common form of barley used for cooking. It cooks faster and is less chewy than other, less-processed forms of barley. Similar to wheat in its caloric, protein, vitamin and mineral content, pearl barley is cooked mainly in soups and stews. In this case, using barley in a risotto gives the dish a nutty flavor not usually found with risotto rice.

Porcini Mushrooms are a prized ingredient in various foods and cuisines.  Most often dried, these mushrooms keep their flavor after drying, and are then reconstituted and used in cooking.  Low in fat and digestible carbohydrates, and high in protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre, Porcini mushrooms are commonly prepared and eaten in soups, pasta, or risotto.  They are sold commercially,but are very difficult to cultivate making Porcini mushrooms an expensive ingredient, but I figured Day 25 needed to be special.

Thank you Herbivores for sticking with me so far!! I hope you are enjoying the recipes I am sharing with you and they are inspiring you to do some cooking of your own.

Creamy Pearl Barley & Porcini Mushroom Risotto

adapted from: Treehugger

INGREDIENTS

  • 14g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (use olive oil for a vegan version)
  • 4 good sized shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (be sure it is vegan, if making the vegan version)
  • 4 cups mushroom or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup crumbled fresh soft cheese (skip for vegan version, or use a vegan substitute)
  • 1/4 cup snipped fresh oregano, chives, or other fresh herb of your choice
  • salt to taste

Combine porcini mushrooms with 1 cup hot water in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. Then remove mushrooms, squeezing out and reserving soaking liquid.  Rinse and drain the porcini mushrooms, then chop finely. Strain the soaking liquid through a paper towel lined sieve into a medium saucepan. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add the shallots, porcini mushrooms, and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft but not
browned. Stir in barley until well coated with onion mixture.

Add wine and bring to a boil, stirring until wine has been absorbed. Remember you need to use a wine that tastes nice, because if you use a cheap, bad tasting wine, that flavor will transfer into your dish. Stir in 2 cups stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until stock has been absorbed and barley has swollen and is starting to soften.

Meanwhile, add remaining stock to mushroom soaking liquid and heat over medium-high heat until steaming. Keep this mixture warm over low heat.  Add the hot stock mixture to barley 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often and allowing barley to absorb stock before adding more, until most of the stock is used and barley is tender but still a little chewy, about 20 minutes. You may not use all of the left over stock.

Stir in the cheese and half of your chosen fresh herb. Season with salt and more pepper to taste. Spoon into shallow bowls and sprinkle with remaining fresh herb.

Pour yourself a glass of the left over wine, and . . .

ENJOY!!

Standard
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!!

Standard
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!!

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

Day 10 – White Bean & Pea Shoot Crostini

Day10

Mmmmm . . . Crostini . . .

There is nothing quite like a piece of toasted chrunchy bread topped with an assortment of tasty ingredients. These little nibbles are perfect for a party, an appetiser/entree,  along side of a salad or bowl of soup, or even on their own with a beautiful glass Sauvignon Blanc or other tipple of your choice.

That being said, flavor wise, this probably has not been one of my favorite dishes I have made so far during the 100 Days Project. It tastes nice and full of spring flavors (like lemon and mint), but the inclusion of the raw pea shoots, which I enjoy in salads and sandwiches on their own, did not quite seem to work with the other ingredients.

Th original recipe called for Fava beans, which I could not find in New Zealand this time of year, so maybe the Cannellini Beans I used instead were lacking something to bring the flavors together.

But everyone is different, so if you like the sound of the recipe, give it a try . . . you never know, it could be your new favorite.

You can easily make it gluten free by using a different base for the toppings, and  make it dairy free by leaving off the cheese.

White Bean & Pea Shoot Crostini

adapted from: The Cozy Herbivore

PREP TIME: about 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 20 minutes
MAKES: about 24 crostini
INGREDIENTS:

for the bean spread:

  • 1 1/2 pounds or 1 1/4 cups cannellini beans
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ounces pea shoots, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch or 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch or 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leafed parsley, roughly chopped
  • the juice of 2 lemons (about 2 tablespoons)
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • parmesan or manchego cheese, for garnish

for crostini:

  • 1  baguette, cut diagonally into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly smashed
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • a sprinkle of sea salt and a few cracks of the pepper mill

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the crostini:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Lay baguette slices on a couple of baking sheets and rub smashed garlic clove on top of the bread. Lightly brush slices with olive oil and from, and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Place in oven and bake until bread is uniformly a dark golden brown, checking often so the slices don’t burn.  This will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes. Remove slices as they brown and set aside. Crostini can be made up to two days ahead and stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Prepare the bean spread:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add cannellini beans and boil till soft.  Drain and rinse
under cold water. Alternatively you can use a slow cooker to cook the beans, or you can use canned beans if you do not have dried beans around.

Place cooked beans, olive oil, pea shoots, 4. mint, parsley and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until a thick paste is created. (If mixture is super-chunky, drizzle a little more olive oil through the top of the food processor while it’s running until a
smooth consistency is reached.) Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.

The fava paste can be made up to a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

To assemble:

Spread 1 teaspoon of bean paste onto each crostini. Using a vegetable peeler, shave off long, thin slices of manchego or parmesan cheese to garnish.

ENJOY!!

Standard