Towards the end of this week I will be traveling to the west coast for a week to assist a family member, so I am spending the early part of the week picking and processing what is ripe in the garden. Today I picked and processed a dozen jars of green beans, some dilly beans and carrots. Since the kitchen was over heated with the water bath canning pot and pressure cooker the oven was turned on to slow roast a batch of cherry tomatoes and garlic for a Mediterranean pearl couscous salad recipe I found on “The Little Spice Jar” blog. The vegetarian couscous salad is tossed with a lovely tomato garlic sauce created from the roasted vegetables and a number of fragrant fresh herbs. After a long day of food prep and preparation the salad will be a nice reward for dinner tonight.
Posts tagged ‘food’
Next week is going to be so busy for me that I spent the entire day today preparing meals for the next 5 days. One of the items that I made was a gluten free, vegetarian version of Swedish meatballs with gravy over gluten free pasta for Sunday dinner. They were simple to make (I cheated a bit by using a vegetarian wild mushroom gravy packaged by Imagine for the sauce) and the herb mixture makes them very tasty.
- 2 cups cooked lentils (green or brown are the best choice since they remain firm after cooking)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 t. fennel seed
- 2 T fresh parsley, chopped fine
- 1 t. dried rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 t. dried thyme, crushed
- pinch of ground allspice
- 2/3 cup gluten-free breadcrumbs
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1 box Imagine vegetarian wild mushroom gravy
- 1 package gluten free noodles, cooked or 2 cups cooked quinoa
- Process the lentils in a food processor until smooth. In a large bowl, mix the lentils with the rest of the ingredients, and let sit for 20 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to soften.
- Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Check the consistency of your meatball mixture by rolling a 1″ ball between your palms. If it feels wet or falls apart, add more breadcrumbs until it holds together. Roll your meatballs and evenly space them on the baking sheet. They won’t spread in the oven, so you can place them right next to each other. Brush the tops with olive oil.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown, rotating the sheets and flipping the meatballs halfway through baking so they brown evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
- While the meatballs are baking, warm the gravy in a medium sized sauce pan. When the gravy is warm add the meatballs and simmer for another minute or two.
- Serve over noodles or quinoa.
- 1 large bunch of small radishes with greens attached
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
- In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender.
- Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.
Today I woke to temperatures that felt more like fall than summer. After two weeks in the 90s this morning registered 47 degrees. So before heading outside for some more gardening I decided to do a little cooking. I tore up some of the kale that I harvested yesterday and turned it into kale chips as a savory snack for the next few days.
It is such an easy, tasty and healthy recipe that I thought that I would share it with you.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch kale, torn
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast *
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
- Drizzle olive oil over the kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with the nutritional yeast and salt. Stir with your hands to coat kale.
- Spread kale onto baking sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven until kale begins to get slightly crisp; rotate racks and flip the chips, and continue baking until completely crisp, 45 to 60 minutes total.
- Make sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn; if you notice certain chips ready much sooner than others, take them out.
* Nutritional values for nutritional yeast vary from one manufacturer to another. On average, 2 tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber). A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It is also a source of selenium and potassium. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of all of the B vitamins, except for B12. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of riboflavin. (source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutritional_yeast#Nutrition)
Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Treats
These easy no-bake treats are free of gluten, dairy, corn, and soy. This version is one of those wonderful comfort foods that with a few changes is now packed protein and fibers, and dramatically reduced in sugar and fat.
1 1/4 cups gluten-free organic brown rice syrup
3/4 cup organic almond butter
2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups gluten-free crispy brown rice cereal (I use Nature’s Path Crispy Rice cereal — it is whole grain, low fat and wheat free)
- Line a baking pan with a piece of parchment paper that extends up the long sides. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, heat the brown rice syrup over medium heat, and stir until it begins to bubble a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla and almond extract. As you stir the mixture, it should thicken and become glossy and elastic, much like caramel taffy.
- Pour the crispy rice cereal into a large heat-safe mixing bowl. Carefully pour in the warm syrup mixture, and using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir to coat all the cereal.
- Scoop the coated cereal into the lined baking pan and spread evenly, gently smoothing out the top surface. Cover the pan with a sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper.
- Pop the pan into the fridge to chill.
- When the bars have firmed to the touch, remove them from the pan, gripping the parchment edges and set them on a cutting board. Use a large sharp knife to score and cut the squares.
- Wrap and chill. Store in the fridge.
Source: Glutenfree Goddess
Tomorrow one of the faculty form the University that I use to work at is coming over to visit and walk the gardens around the house, so I thought that I would bake some gluten-free crackers to serve with cheese and an apple cake as part of the food offering for his visit. The apple cake recipe was posted this past winter and the cracker recipes are listed below.
Flax and Hemp Seed Crackers
- ½ cup almond flour
- ½ cup ground flax meal
- 2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp coconut flour
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt (plus more to sprinkle on top)
- 2 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- 1 large egg white
- Preheat oven to 300° degrees.
- Mix almond meal, flax meal, shelled hemp seed, coconut flour and fine sea salt in a large bowl. Pour melted coconut oil and large white egg over the dry ingredients and mix well to combine with a fork until dough comes together in a ball (you may need to use your hands).
- Roll the crackers out very thinly between two sheets of parchment paper. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into small squares and sprinkle with a pinch of additional sea salt.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until completely dry and crisp.
- Cool on cooling rack and store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- 1 3/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350° degrees.
- Mix flour, sea salt, and rosemary in a medium bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together olive oil and egg.
- Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Roll the crackers out 1/8 inch thickness between two sheets of parchment paper.
- Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut into small squares.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
- Cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes, then serve or store in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
With all the rain and overcast days that we have had recently the vegetable gardens are maturing very slowly to the point that the only items that have reached maturity at this point are the radishes and some of the kale that was started in the greenhouse.
I know, I am just being impatient, but I really miss fresh produce and items that we preserved from last season are pretty much gone. So what is a girl to do… well as Erma Bombeck stated — “When life gives you lemons make lemonade” or in my case, when your gardens produce lot of radishes find a way to use the beautiful greens.
The young greens enhanced green salads but the larger more mature leaves were a bit to tough and bitter for that purpose. I really didn’t want to throw the nutrition packed large bunches away so I decided to try making pesto out of them. The pesto turned out to be wonderful, it really perked up some early season meals. I tossed it with angle hair pasta for dinner one night and served it on black bean burgers another and froze the balance of the pesto for another day.
- 2 large bunches of radish leaves, stems removed
- 2-3 ounces hard cheese, such as pecorino or parmesan, shaved
- 1/2 cup of pinenuts, pistachios, or almonds (I use pinenuts in this batch)
- 3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- a short ribbon of fresh lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to get the consistency you like
- salt, pepper, ground chili pepper to taste
- Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender or mini-chopper, and process in short pulses until smooth. This produces a thick pesto; add more oil and pulse again to get the consistency you prefer.
- Taste, adjust the seasoning, and pack into an airtight container and refrigerate at least 4 hours prior to serving.
- Use within a few days (it will keep longer if you pour a thin layer of oil on the surface) or freeze.
This weekend is filled with gardening and yard cleanup, so I got a quick start on our two days of outside fun by making gluten-free English muffins for Sunday and hazelnut muffins for today.
Hot herbal tea and a couple of hazelnut muffins high in nutrients and fiber were a great way to start the day.
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup teff flour
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 eggs or egg substitute (to make it vegan)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spray a 12 unit muffin pan with oil.
- Combine sugar, flours, tapioca starch, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nuts and raisins.
- Mix eggs, oil and apple juice and add to flour mixture, mixing quickly.
- Fill prepared muffin 3/4 full.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Serve at room temperature and freeze all leftover muffins to keep them fresh.
- 1/2 cup green lentils
- 1/2 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, mashed
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 pinch hot pepper flakes
- sea salt to taste
- 1 sweet potato, chopped into small cubes
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot. Once hot, add onions, celery, carrot and sweet potato and cook about six minutes, until softened.
- Add the garlic and kale and continue cooking until kale wilts.
- Add the lentils, bay leaf, rosemary sprigs, pepper flakes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are tinder and have absorbed most of the liquid.
- Season with salt to taste and remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs before serving.
- Serve with savory gluten-free scones with olives and rosemary.
With the warm weather that we have been blessed with over the past couple of weeks my family has started to ask for salads and cold soups for meals. Last night I made a wheat berry salad that is a big hit with family and guests around my house (yes — we fell off our gluten-free diet with this meal, but it is so rich in nutrients that I just couldn’t pass this salad by).
If you are not familiar with wheat berries here is a bit of background.
- Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They look like thick, short grains — similar to brown rice.
- When boiled, cooked wheat berries have a chewy bite and subtle nutty, earthy flavor. They’re sturdy enough to handle bold salad dressings and still delicate enough to taste delicious with some milk, honey and cinnamon.
- If you like sprouts on salads and sandwiches, add a little water to wheat berries and you can grow your own wheat sprouts.
- Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium.
- 2 cups uncooked wheat berries
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 large carrot, grated
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, mashed
- 1/4 cup finally chopped red onion
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium red pepper, diced
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups crumbled goat cheese
- Cover wheat berries by 1 inch with water in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Add in a generous pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until chewy, about 45-50 minutes (taste and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes if you’d like). Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.
- While wheat berries are cooking, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, water, olive oil, garlic, red onion, and parsley in a small bowl (or shake together in a small jar). Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- While the drained cooked wheat berries are still warm, toss with the vinaigrette.
- Allow the salad mixture to cool to room temperature and then stir in the cranberries, grated carrots, red pepper and goat cheese.
- Chill the salad for at least on hour prior to serving.
The warm weather that we have been having has me starting to cook lighter meals, but unfortunately most fresh vegetables are not in yet, so I am stuck with what I have in the pantry at the moment. Tonight we will have a lentil souffle (serves 2 or one person who like larger servings) with micro greens.
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 1/4 cups of water
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pick over lentils and rinse well.
- Place lentils, bay leaf, herbs and water in a pan and bring to a boil, turn the heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
- Remove the bay leaf and beat the lentils until they are very smooth.
- Beat in the butter, cream and egg yolks.
- In another bowl beat the egg whites until very stiff and fold into the lentil mixture.
- Season the mixture with salt and pepper and fold in the grated cheese.
- Pour the mixture into a well greased souffle dish and sprinkle with a little paprika.
- Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the souffle is well risen, firm and brown.
- Serve immediately with a salad or green vegetable of your choice.
- 3 cups gluten-free rolled oats (naturally gluten free, but depending on where the oats are processed gluten flours may inadvertently get mixed in – so investigate the producers)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/3 cup raw honey (please try to use honey that is local to your area — the pollens help with allergies and other environmental sensitives)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- Heat the oven to 300°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Place the oats, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine; set aside.
- Place the honey, oil, and vanilla in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour over the oat mixture and mix until the oats are thoroughly coated.
- Spread the mixture in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola is very light golden brown, about 5 to 15 minutes more.
- Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and cool the granola to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. (Note: It will harden as it cools.)
- Add the cranberries and pumpkin seeds to the baking sheet and toss to combine. Store the granola in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
I was looking for something that would be easy and tasty to pack for lunches, and ran across a Bisquick recipe that was easy to modify for a gluten free diet. Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on which member of my family you talk to the recipe has a fair amount of animal protein.
The little individual pot pies are made in muffin tins and re-heat quite well in the microwave or can even be eaten at room temperature, so they are ideal for work of school lunches.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb boneless, skinless free-range chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (local if you can get it)
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen organic peas and carrots
- 1/4 tsp ground thyme
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup gluten-free Bisquick
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 eggs
- Add olive oil to a medium size frying pan and cook onions until semi-transparent (2-3 minutes).
- Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.
- Add vegetable broth, peas & carrots, pepper and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken mixture to a bowl and allow to cool while preparing the baking mixture.
- In a small bowl mix the combine the gluten-free Bisquick, milk and eggs mixing well.
- Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with olive oil or use muffin cups, and then place a slight tablespoon of the baking mixture into each muffin cup.
- Mix the shredded cheddar cheese into the chicken mixture and then distribute the mixture across the 12 muffin cups (about 1/4 cup of mixture per tin).
- Place an additional tablespoon of baking mixture on the top of each muffin tin.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until firm.
- Remove from oven and place on a wire rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Store leftovers in a sealed container and refrigerate.
Today I spent most of my day working on my website and cutting fabric for a demonstration that I will be doing at a quilt show next week, so I had little time to creating a dinner for my family. Luckily a quinoa burger (~ 10 grams of protein per burger) recipe came to my rescue — add some jasmine rice and a green vegetable and I had a quick and tasty meal.
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh basil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 cup cooked black beans
- 1 tsp salt (omit if using canned beans)
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry)
- rice flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- Saute onions until translucent.
- Combine everything except quinoa, olive oil and rice flour in food processor.
- Mix blended mixture and quinoa together.
- Divide into 6-7 burgers, roll in flour to make a crust.
- Pan fry in olive oil until browned.
- Serve warm with a few side dishes.