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

Day 56 – Boozy Baked Cranberry Sauce

Day56

Cranberry sauce is always one of my favorite parts of the Thanksgiving meal.

I think as a young future vegetarian, who did not like turkey very much, Cranberry sauce was one of the things I looked forward to the most. Typically it was just the jellied wobbly canned stuff that comes out with the ridges imprinted in the sides, but cranberry sauce was one of the special foods that may family only ate at Thanksgiving, which made it seem that much more fantastic. Now I am older, and prefer to make food from scratch and use as little processed and preserved ingredients as possible, so when I found this recipe from Jerry James Stone, the idea of making my own Cranberry sauce caught my attention. Especially if you are adding a little booze.

Although, I have a feeling “Boozy” might be a bit of a misnomer here, as I suspect most the alcohol will bake off, but it will still leave behind that lovely residue of sugar and will have helped macerate the cranberries. Maceration is a process in food preparation that uses liquids (often alcohol ) to soften or break up tough ingredients like raw, dried, preserved, or fresh fruit and vegetables and help them release their own juices adding to the flavor and making the ingredient easier to chew and digest.

I am making this cranberry sauce as a test for this year’s Thanksgiving. I am heading home to The States to be at my family Thanksgiving for the first time time since I moved to New Zealand 7 years ago.   Looking forward to seeing my family and helping to cook up vegetarian treats to add to the Thanksgiving table.

Boozy Baked Cranberry Sauce

adapted from: Jerry James Stone

INGREDIENTS

  • 340 grams or 12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ½ cup liquid honey
  • 2 Large Oranges
  • 1 Shot Triple Sec, Gran Marnier, Cointreau or other orange flavored liqueur (a vanilla liqueur could possible work quite nicely as well).

Half the oranges. Then in a large mixing bowl add the honey and juice the orange halves. If you are using solid honey, pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute to help liquify the honey.

Add the liqueur and whisk together the juice and honey mixture so that the honey is mostly dissolved into the juice.

Add in the cranberries and gently mix so they are lightly coated. Then place the cranberries in a baking dish or on a shallow cookie sheet and bake for 40 min on 180 C or 350 F. They are ready when the cranberries have wilted, cracked, and broken open.

You can chill them and serve them later but they are best hot and gooey. Also if you prefer a saucier texture you can roughly pulse the baked cranberries in a blender with some of the left over juice.

ENJOY!!

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

Day 54 – Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

Day54

I am sure some of you may be thinking I have gone a bit crazy with this one . . .

I have to admit I was a bit skeptical at first of  the recipe, from Treehugger,using these type of Mexican flavors in a pasta dish, but my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try it. I have to admit I was pleasently surprised. Not only did the grilled avocado make a delicious creamy Alfredo-like sauce (yet without any dairy) the Mexican flavors worked with the pasta better than I expected them to. I am really keen to try playing twith the idea of an avocado pasta sauce again, but next time with more Italian flavors added in.

This dish is completely Vegan, dairy free, and can easily be made gluten free by substituting a gluten-free pasta.

Black Bean Pasta with Smokey Avocado Sauce

adapted from: Treehugger

MAKES: 2 large servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, or more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne, or more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 serrano chili or medium heat chilli, chopped finely
  • 250g of pasta (Linguine or Fettuccine)

Cut an avocado in half and brush with olive oil. and grill the halves flesh side down until the fruit is nicely charred. Scoop out the warm grilled flesh and put it in a food processor adding 1/2 cup cilantro, the lime juice, salt and cayenne, and one garlic clove. Process to make a purée, and then slowly stream in 1/4 cup olive oil and continue processing until the sauce emulsifies and has a creamy consistency. Taste and add more lime juice, salt or cayenne if necessary, and then set aside.

In a separate bowl mix black beans with finely diced red onion and serrano chile. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice, another 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Stir gently and let sit to meld the flavors.

Cook linguine or other pasta until pasta is al dente. Drain and add avocado puree and mix until well incorporated. Spoon bean mixture over the pasta, dress with a bit more cilantro and serve immediately while still warm.

ENJOY!!

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

Day 53 – Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

Day53

Gah!!! It was on of those way too busy Mondays, when you wish it was still Sunday and you can hide in bed with the covers over your head.   I definitely needed a quick and easy meal for tonight’s dinner.

Treehugger to the rescue!! Their recipe for a simple Red Lentil and Sweet Potato curry was just what I needed.

Curry is the generic English term to describe a wide variety of dishes from multiple word cusines. The similarity between dishes that are called a curry is the use of complex combinations of spices and herbs that is traditionally selected for each dish because of cultural tradition, religious practice, and family preference. Each individual dish usually has a specific name in the language of its origin describing the ingredients incorporated into the curry.

Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

adapted from: Treehugger

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato or kumara, peeled and cut into 40mm or  1 inch chunks1
  • 40 mm or 1inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • green onion/spring onion
  • chili flakes

In a saucepan or kettle, bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil, and add the onion and a pinch of salt to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens (3 to 4 minutes). Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder and bay leaf and continue cooking for about a minute or until fragrant.

Then pour in the boiling water and stir in the lentils bringing the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender (18 to 20 minutes). Season with salt.

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, make rice basmati or jasmine rice for serving, or warm pita bread in the oven.

Remove the bay leaf and dish curry out on top of rice or to eat with the pita bread. Chop green onion to sprinkle over the top along with a small (or large) pinch of chili flakes, and serve while warm.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Desert, Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Vegan

Day 48 – Cherry & Dark Chocolate Vegan “Ice Cream”

Day48

I am never going to be stumped for something to serve a Vegan dinner guest for desert again!!

This quick recipe, from Treehugger, makes a rich a creamy “ice cream” like desert that is completely Vegan and uses no dairy substitutes. How does this work? The answer is  . . . BANANAS!!!

It is great to have another recipe that uses those bananas that are just starting to go too brown and are not so nice for eating anymore. Honestly, there is only so much banana bread a girl can eat, or give away to friends. To make this recipe all you need is bananas, a blender, and about 5 minutes of time. The secret is popping the bananas in the freezer beforehand. Unlike other fruit there is more sugar in bananas than water, so when you freeze them and then put them in a blender they do not break apart and go slushy. Instead, they stick together and turn into a rich creamy mixture not all that dissimilar from ice cream. Once you have the base mixture of blended banana, you can pretty much add any ingredients you want to make your personal ice cream flavor. All sorts of frozen fruit combinations would work here or you can use fresh fruit, but then have to pop in back in the freezer for a bit before eating. Also, nuts or chocolate never go amiss in ice cream.  I chose cherry and dark chocolate, but hey . . . get crazy . . . experiment a little . . . and have fun.

Cherry & Dark Chocolate Vegan “Ice Cream”

Adapted from: Treehugger

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 browning bananas, chopped into 40 mm or 1 inch pieces and frozen
  • 680 grams or 24 ounces cherries fresh or bottled/canned with juice
  • 125 grams or 4 1/2 ounces of chocolate chips

Make sure you peel and chop up the banana into pieces before you put it in the freezer. I did not originally do this, and could not peel my frozen bananas.

Place the frozen banana pieces and your chosen fruits into your blender and pulse. This will help break up the larger chunk of frozen banana to make it easier for your blender to process. Once you have pulsed a few times, blend the banana and fruit into a creamy puree, add more juice for extra flavor.  Mix in any toppings like chocolate chips or chopped nuts.

Your mixture should be the consistency of ice cream, and can be eaten right away.  If it is too liquid from juice or melting, pop it back into the freezer for a few minutes to harden up.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Drinks & Cocktails, Gluten Free, Vegan

Day 50 – Pomgranade Cocktail

Day50

Happy Day 50 Herbivores!!

Today is the 50th day of my 100 Days Project, which means I am half way through. To celebrate  . . . I figured a cocktail recipe was in order.

As I mentioned in my Day 9: French 75 post, gin is my favorite spirit, and I figured I would look for a cocktail that would help use the leftover pomegranate molasses from my Day 46: Pomegranate Glazed Tempeh recipe.  I found a recipe for a gin and pomegranate cocktail on the Fisher & Pykel: Our Kitchen blog . . . PERFECT!!!

I invited a few friends and colleagues around to help me celebrate Day 50, and come up with a good name for the cocktail. To be honest, I thought “Gin and Pomegranate Cocktail” was a bit boring; The Pomgranade was born. The sweet and tart flavors of pomegranate molasses and lime make this cocktail very easy to drink, but the gin eventually catches up with you . . . BOOM!!

If limes are out of season and ridiculously expensive, you can also use lime cordial, but then omit the sugar. If doing this substitution, I recommend Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial, because it is not as overly sweet as some of them can be.

Pomgranade Cocktail

adapted from: Our Kitchen

MAKES:2

INGREDIENTS

  • 60ml gin
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup lemonade
  • 1 cup ice
  • Mint to serve

Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, give it a good shake, pour over ice in a glass, and garnish with a spring of mint.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Vegan

Day 46 – Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh

Day46

I was going through my recipe books with a friend, and she was utterly surprised to find out that I just happened to have pomegranate molasses for this recipe already in my pantry. My cheeky response was  . . . “doesn’t everybody?”

Seriously though, I had bought the pomegranate molasses ages ago for a particular recipe I ended up not liking very much, and have been looking for an opportunity to use it ever since.  Hence my excitement at finding the Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh recipe in Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day” cookbook.

Pomegranate is one of those flavors that it so unusual, just the right mix of sweet and tart. It is a fruit that has been cultivated in the Middle East since ancient times, and has been mentioned in many ancient texts including the Old Testament. Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine, and can give you up to 12% of your daily required intake of vitamin C. You can usually find pomegranate molasses at a middle eastern shop, or sometimes at your local natural food type store.

Tempeh, is a kind of patty made of highly nutritious fermented soybeans. To learn more about the this food you can read my Day 18 – Teriyaki Tempeh Bowl post.

This recipe is Vegan, gluten and dairy free, if you leave off the feta. I served it over a bed of couscous made with currants, green/spring onions, and dry roasted pistachio nuts, but realistically it would go well with almost any grain or pulse: rice, wild rice, Israeli couscous, bulger, quinoa, etc . . .

Pomegranate Glazed Eggplant with Tempeh

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 long thin Asian eggplant (about 225 g or 8 ounce), cut into 25mm or 1 inch chunks
  • 255 grams or 8 ounces tempeh, cut into 10 mm or 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup peeled and diced winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, or kumara
  • grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain, sea salt
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta or ricotta

Preheat the oven to 180 C or 350 F, with the rack int he middle of the oven.

In a large bowl combine the cubed, eggplant, tempeh, and squash.

Prepare the glaze by sprinkling the salt over the smashed garlic, and then turning the garlic into a paste, either in a mortar and pestle or by  continuously chopping and smashing the garlic with the flat of your knife. Combine the garlic paste in a small bowl with the chili flakes and pomegranate molasses. Whisk in the olive oil.

Then drizzle 3/4 of the glaze over the ingredients in the large bowl. Toss well and transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet trying to arrange the ingredient sin a single layer.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the eggplant and squash are soft and starting to caramelize. About 35 minutes into baking give the ingredients a good toss on the pan.

Once out of the oven drizzle with the remaining glaze, and sprinkle with the feta and fresh coriander/cilantro.

Serve warm with couscous or your grain of choice.

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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