Tag Archives: dairy-free

Cool Caribbean Salad Made with Lentils

24 Feb

by Deanne

Photo of Cool Caribbean SaladA few weeks ago Steve’s mom, Mary Jane shared an e-cookbook that she has been using from The Northern Pulse Growers Association

Photo of Steve and Mom

She discovered that pulses, which are peas, lentils, and chickpeas, are good sources of beneficial soluble fiber and proteins.  Since she is on a gluten-free diet she comes up with some good ideas.

According to the book:

Peas, lentils and chickpeas are among the most ancient crops in the world. Peas have been discovered in caves in Thailand dating back more than 11,000 years and lentils have been found in Egyptian tombs.

I am excited to cook my way through this book.  Here is the first recipe I selected.  It was so good, I felt like snorkeling after eating the salad.

Cool Caribbean Salad

 Makes 2-3 servings

1⁄2 cup dry lentils, rinsed (I used green lentils)

1 1⁄2 cups water

1 cup diced fresh pineapple (I used canned pineapple)

1⁄2 cup finely chopped cilantro or to taste

1⁄2 cup finely chopped red onion

Dressing

 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1⁄4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

2 Tbsp peanut oil  (I used olive oil)

1⁄2 tsp grated lime zest

1 clove garlic,minced

1⁄4 tsp salt or to taste

  1. Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain.
  2.  In a small bowl combine dressing ingredients; in a serving bowl, combine cooked lentils with pineapple, cilantro and red onion.
  3.  Stir in the dressing. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

CoolCaribbeanIngred

 

Just Right: Oatmeal Apple Pancakes

27 Jan

by Deanne

I have been working on this recipe for awhile.  I found a recipe online but it made the pancakes too rubbery.  I liked the recipe because there is no added sugar.  The sweetness comes from the apples. With a few adjustments I knew I was on the right track and then Sunday morning Steve and I tried them again. They were delicious! Photo of Oatmeal Apple Pancakes

You will find this to be a super easy wheat-free recipe that doesn’t have any special gluten-free flour or any of the gums usually added to gluten-free flour.   If you are sensitive to gluten, you know the drill by now, to purchase oats that were processed in a gluten-free facility. 

Oatmeal Apple Pancakes  (makes 5 medium to large pancakes)

2 apples, peeled, sliced and cored

1 1/2 cup oat flour*  (156 grams)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 eggs

1 cup milk  (we used coconut milk)

Start by cooking the apples in a pan over low heat.  The apples will  get soft and you can mash them and continue cooking.  If you use a low enough heat you will not need to add any water. 

Combine  oat flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon mixture in a bowl. 

To the dry mixture add the cooked apples, mix in eggs and milk.  Mix away!

If you’ve made wheat flour pancakes in the past you have been told to not over mix the batter. (Like in this recipe by Alton Brown) The reason for this caution is that the gluten in the flour will start to develop to the point of making the pancakes tough.  For this batter you can mix it as much as you like since there is no gluten to develop. So when making pancakes with kids this would be a good recipe to use.

Heat a dry non-stick skillet and spray with a pan release product before you cook your first pancake. 

*How to make Oat Flour

Making oat flour is as easy as taking old fashioned oats and pulsing them in the blender.  If you make extra you can use in other recipes like the Oatcake recipe we did in the past.   Thanks, Francine for teaching me that. :)

No Food in the House Soup

21 Dec
by Deanne

Have you ever come home from work and looked in the fridge to discover that there is no food in the house?  When I found myself in this situation, I challenged myself to respond like the chefs on CHOPPED.  Those inventive chefs compete against each other to come up with a meal based on oddball items in a market basket.

Potatoes, celery, onions, frozen green pepper, turnips (already boiled a week ago) and vegetable stock were the collection of ingredients I found in my “market basket.”

A cooking strategy I picked up from Luke and Steve is to start chopping and sweating onions and celery.  This buys me a bit of time time while the creative juices start flowing.  Eventually I put together a pretty decent tasting soup.  It must have been good because this is the only picture I was able to capture.

Photo of empty bowl

No Food in the House Soup

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/2 cup green peppers

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2-3 turnips, boiled

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1/2 cup water

1.  Heat olive oil in a heavy pot.  Add onions, celery, and green peppers and sweat until soft.

2.  Place already cooked turnips and up to  1/2 cup water in a blender,

3.  Add celery, onions, turnips and green peppers and blend until smooth and creamy.

4.  Boil potatoes in another pan.

5.  Heat vegetable broth and mixture from the blender.  Add potatoes when cooked and mash slightly. 

6.  Heat and season soup with black pepper and rosemary.  Serve immediately or save for another meal.

Celery Root and Apple Bisque

9 Dec
by Deanne

Photo of Celery Root and Apple SoupPhoto of Plant Powered Diet BookHere is a recipe I found in The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD.  This is the book that I mentioned in the  Phytos First post. When I looked in the CSA box, and saw celery root, I remembered this soup Francine made back when she taught me about celeriac for the first time.  Then I saw the apples in the box and decided to try a recipe from the new book I purchased.  According to Ms. Palmer, the phytochemicals in celery root have been linked to brain protection.

Celery Root and Apple Bisque

(makes about 7 cups)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup, sliced, well rinsed leeks

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

3 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 small apple, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 and 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk  (I used almond milk)

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot.  Add leeks, potato, celery root, celery stalk, apple, thyme, and black pepper and saute for 10 minutes.

Add broth and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the milk and process until blended and serve immediately.

A FarmerChef Breakfast Cookie

30 Aug
by Deanne

August and September are the months for me to focus on a project called The FarmerChef Project.  It all started here on our little blog when Francine was living with us prior to her big move

Last winter, I discovered that there were some mini-grants available for supporting or promoting local food so I applied for the grant.  The idea was to expand the FarmerChef project beyond our restaurant.  This has worked out well since we closed our restaurant on August 17th.  (More on our BIG MOVE later.)

You can follow along with the farmerchef project by clicking on our icon which will take you to the  pinterest page. Logo for FarmerChefs

Today I re-read a recipe from a fellow Minnesota blogger, Carole Jones.  I love to see what’s happening in Carole’s busy household at My Kitchen Escapades.   A recipe called, Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookie caught my attention because these “cookies” have no sugar, no eggs, and no flour. Carole credits Kumguat blog with the original recipe.  It is fun to see how she adapted it.  

When I read the recipe I wondered what would happen if I used Omega Maiden Camelina Oil.  Regular readers know that I am a fan of this healthy organic oil grown by our neighbors here in Southwest Minnesota. Photo of FarmerChef Breakfast Cookies

So….here is my version of the recipe:

FarmerChef Breakfast Cookies
(makes 14 cookies)
recipe adapted from My Kitchen Escapades

  • 1 1/2 C whole rolled oats
  • 1 C coconut flakes
  • 1 Tb ground flax seed  (can be found locally, I buy mine at our local store)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  •  3/4 C  Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/2 C raisins or desired dried fruit
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 C Omega Maiden Camelina Oil
  • 1 Tb honey or agave  ( I used local honey!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a large cookie sheet lightly with nonstick spray.  
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then add all the wet ingredients.  
Mix well until combined.
Press about 2 rounded tablespoons of the mixture into a  mason jar ring to form the cookie.
Remove the ring and form the next cookie.  
It seems to work to place them close together because they do not spread.
Bake for 25 minutes then cool completely on the pan.

This is a very adaptable recipe….How many healthy ingredients and locally grown ingredients can be added?   If you adapt it please let me know.

Desert Roots Kitchen: Tempe, Arizona, USA

4 Feb
by Deanne

Desert Roots Kitchen—Tempe, AZ

The month of January 2013 was filled with two of my favorite activities: eating out and traveling to new places.  Steve and I visited family in California and then went to five national parks in California and Arizona. As we traveled between the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park we spent one night and morning in Phoenix.  In search of a place to enjoy lunch after a morning visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, I found Desert Roots Kitchen through an online search for organic foods.

Review: (Real Local Cooking’s criteria)
Localness: 4

Yes, they do source many of their ingredients locally.  There is a page on their website that lists farms and farmer’s markets that they use to purchase their ingredients.  They change their menu daily which is a necessity when one is cooking based on what is available.photo(73)

Flavour: 5

I loved my food!  Red lentil tomato veggie soup with crunchy celery and an olive hummus plate served with fresh pitas, tomato, cucumber, and carrots: Yummers!  The dominant spice for the soup was black pepper and perhaps some cayenne.  Steve made me some soup today because I was going on and on about the memory of my meal.  The chef didn’t overuse soy as many vegetarian and vegan cooks do as an easy trick for adding protein.  The protein came from beans, chickpeas, lentils…..yes all good sources of protein and add desirable fiber content to our diets.   Steve had the wrap of the day which was a mixed bean burrito with enchilada and sweet corn sauce.  I’ve probably said it before, he is very hard to impress, but he really enjoyed the flavor combinations. His two sides were lemon tahini kale rice with chickpeas and red cargo rice with mushrooms, green beans and water chestnuts.

RedLentilTomatoVeggieSoup

Pleasant Surprise: Yes

After eating at some pretty mediocre places, one starts to think, “There just aren’t any good places to eat.”  Then you find something that is fun and flavorful and that is a big surprise.  We ate at about 40 different restaurants in California, Arizona, and Nevada.  This one stands above the rest, even some from places that have highly celebrated chefs.

Comfort+Coziness = The C factor: 5

When we walked in the door we were greeted by one of the three women in the small but inviting space.  Our greeter explained the menu and chatted with us while another person prepared the food.  Soon our plates were presented to us and we wandered outside to find a a spot in the sun to enjoy one of the best meals of our trip.  The owner found a way to take a somewhat awkward space because of the size and location, (they are in a less than obvious and hard to find space in a mixed-use complex with no indoor seating) and make it comfortable with service and outside patio seating.

Overall Rating: 14+

MixedBeanBurrito

They describe themselves as a vegan/vegetarian cafe.  Even though we do not adhere to a strictly vegan diet, we believe we can learn so much from trying new flavors and ingredient combinations from other cuisines and diets.  It is worth noting that they do cater to people with food allergies and intolerance too.

Desert Roots Kitchen on Urbanspoon

FarmerChef Smoothie

4 Dec
by Deanne

Do you think it is still possible this time of year to eat food gathered locally?  We’ve discovered that once a FarmerChef  has the whole grow your own food, preserve your own food routine down, it is easy to incorporate the fruits of our labour into our life.  I was able to use spinach from our raised bed garden, yes it is near 50 degrees here in Minnesota, and strawberries from the freezer that we picked last summer.

Photo of Smoothie

This morning I used our basic recipe, which is really more of a framework for making smoothies. My mind is on no added sugar because I am working on a post for my business Solar’s Real Food blog about the latest research on sugar, especially fructose and the link with health.    (It really makes a person re-think how much sugar a person consumes during the first meal of the day.)

FarmerChef Smoothie

Veggie – add something green like spinach or kale: fresh or frozen

Fruit – berries, apples, bananas: canned or frozen fruit

Fat – seeds or oils like chia seeds or flax seed oil (for more on chia, check out this blogger)

Grains  – quinoa or oat bran

Liquid – juice or milk (can be dairy-free)

Protein – lentils or nutritional yeast

Probiotic – sauerkraut, kombucha or plain yogurt

This recipe works really well if you are on a rotation diet to deal with food intolerance.  I added chia seeds but didn’t include grains  and extra protein today.  I used almond milk (yes it does contain sugar) and took a probiotic supplement rather than include it in my smoothie.  The recipe is pretty flexible and good for those that prefer using what they have on hand rather than following detailed recipes.  The version I made was gluten-free and dairy-free.

If you try this basic framework for making a smoothie tell us what you ingredients you used to make your version. Did you find that is was possible to eliminate or cut back on added sugar?