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, 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, 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!!

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100 Days Project, Mains, Side Dish

Day 23 – Harissa Raviloi

Day23

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

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

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

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

Harissa Ravioli

by: Heidi Swanson

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

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

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

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

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

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

ENJOY!!

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

Day 22 – Wild Rice Salad

Day22

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

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

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

Wild Rice Salad

by: Yotam Ottolenghi

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

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

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

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

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

ENJOY!!

 

 

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