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, Desert, Gluten Free, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 45 – Baked Apples Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds

Day45

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

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

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

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

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

Baked Apples Stuffed with Candied Ginger and Almonds

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

INGREDIENTS

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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

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

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

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

Transfer the apples to a serving plate with a spatula.

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

ENJOY!!

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

Day 44 – Slow Cooked Barbecue Baked Beans

Day44

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

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

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

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

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

Slow Cooked Barbecue Baked Beans

MAKES: 8, 1 cup servings

INGREDIENTS

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

for BBQ Sauce:

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

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

It is as simple at that!!

To make your own Barbecue Sauce:

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

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, 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, Baking, Mains, pastry, Recipes

Day 40 – Puff Pastry Pockets

Day40

The right music always adds to the cooking experience . . .

I received in the mail today the new  Fleur Jack CD, who is a Kiwi singer/song writer and friend currently living in The States.  I stuck the CD in my computer, put it on repeat, and danced my way (wine glass in hand) through this recipe for Puff Pastry Pockets, originally from the Baking Makes Things Better blog.

This was the perfect simple recipe for the end of a work day, that used up many of the ingredients I had around the house. The recipe called for filling the puff pastry with feta, pesto, and sundried tomato, but I added spinach and spring onion/green onion into the mix. There are countless other variation you could do on this as well, to help clean out your refrigerator. I can imagine roast pumpkin, potato, kumara, red peppers, capers, carrot, mushrooms, onion, lentils or other beans, chickpeas, and other kinds of cheese all being great alternatives to the filling I chose.

Puff pastry is not something I have ever tried making myself, although it is on the bucket list. Making puff pastry from scratch is a time consuming delicate process that can very easily go wrong, and it is an ingredient readily available in the freezer section of most super markets. As a vegetarian you have to be careful though, as most pre-made versions use lard or other animal fats. In New Zealand, New Way brand puff pastry is the only one that is vegetarian friendly, and even has the New Zealand Vegetarian Society stamp of approval.

Puff Pastry Pockets

adapted from: Baking Makes Things Better

MAKES: 4 pockets

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 square sheets of pre-made puff pastry
  • 200g or 7 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 4 large sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 packed cup of baby spinach
  • 1 green onion/spring onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Black pepper for seasoning

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

Brush a baking sheet with olive oil.

Cut each of the pastry squares in half.

In a medium bowl mix together the feta, pesto, sun-dried tomato, spinach, green onion, plus a sprinkling of black pepper.

Divide the feta mixture between the four pieces of pastry, and hen fold over the pastry to encase the filling. Press down on the edges with a fork to seal the
filing in. They should look like giant ravioli.

Brush the tops with the egg then bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Serve, while warm, with a simple side salad, or these will also make a great lunch for the next day.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 34 – Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

Day34

With all the heavy carbs I have been making lately, I felt like something simple green and leafy for dinner tonight.

Winter is always a good time for roasted vegetables, and combined with the fresh baby spinach and a tangy mustard based dressing this recipe for Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, and Lentil Salad, from the Hub-UK website, was exactly the kind of meal I was craving.

I have found many people do not know what a shallot is. This vegetable belongs to the same family as onions and garlic, and is thought to have originated in Central or Southeast Asia. Like garlic, shallots form in clusters with a head composed of multiple cloves. Shallots are used in many different cuisines from around the world. They taste somewhat similar to an onion, but have a milder flavour.

You can easily make this recipe Dairy Free  and Vegan by leaving off the cheese.

Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

adapted from: Hub-UK

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 shallots, peeled (If large, cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 grams or 9 ounces of beetroot, cooked
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 225 grams or 8 ounces cooked puy lentils
  • 150 grams or 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and well drained
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces soft goat’s cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 5 tablespoon rape seed or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 190°C or 375°F

Put puy lentils into a medium pot of boiling water and cook until done. Drain the lentils and rinse under water and place in a bowl.

If using fresh beetroot, chop into large pieces and put into a pot of boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the beetroot is mostly cooked.

Put the shallots into a roasting tin, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of oil, toss well and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Place roasting tin in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the beetroot and drizzle with honey and toss well with the shallots. If using solid honey, put it in the microwave first for about 20 seconds to make the honey runny and easier to coat the vegetables.  Roast for a further 10 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.

To make the dressing, mix all of the dressing ingredients together and season with sea salt and black pepper.

When they are ready remove the shallots and beetroot from the oven and mix with the lentils and half the dressing while still warm and leave to cool.

To serve: Place  a large handful of spinach leaves onto a plate, top with the shallots, beetroot and lentils. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top, and drizzle with some of the remaining dressing.  You can serve this on its own, or with a hunk of crusty bread and a glass of medium bodied red wine.

ENJOY!!

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