Tag Archives: gluten-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. :)

Another Way to Be Pink: Watermelon Radish Salad

29 Oct

By Deanne

When I was shopping at the farmers market on Saturday there were a lot of people running around with pink clothing and wigs.  Being a bit clueless, I finally realized that there must have been an event to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.    

Photo of watermelon radish cut into matchsticks or ribbons

Have you heard the term pinkwashing? 

It is an ad and marketing campaign where a company or organization claims to care about breast cancer by promoting a pink ribbon product, but at the same time produces, manufactures and/or sells products that are linked to the disease.

One way to deal with pinkwashing is to learn more about the product you buy. 

In contrast to just mindlessly buying consumer packaged goods wrapped in pink ribbons, consider this Chinese proverb:

“Eating pungent radish and drinking hot tea, let the starved doctors beg on their knees.”

Digging a bit deeper, one learns that radishes are full of phytochemicals like zeaxanthin, lutein and beta-carotene. The lovely pink watermelon radish is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

There seems to be a pattern unfolding on this real food journey:  nutrient-rich, plant based foods can have a large positive impact on our health.  If you agree, join me in developing a FarmerChef lifestyle by shopping and cooking mostly local and real foods. You might even consider planting a raised-bed garden.  It may seem overwhelming at first, but we can make it fun and make a difference to our health.

Francine introduced me to this pink beauty when she returned from China.  I picked one up at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market and decided to make this recipe.  A slight variation to Francine’s recipe which is also very good. The three spices:  cinnamon, turmeric, and cloves are added because of their health benefits and flavor. Photo of watermelon radish Photo of watermelon radish salad

Watermelon Radish Salad

  • 1 large watermelon radish, sliced as thinly as possible
  • 1 small white onion, also sliced thin
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (fresh ground)
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Use a peeler to remove the outside of the radish.  Slice radish and then cut slices into lovely pink ribbons. 

Slice onion and place in large mixing bowl.

In a smaller bowl mix the juice, oil, sea salt, pepper, rice wine vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, and turmeric and make a simple dressing to pour over the radish and onions.

Do you think it would be cool to pass out these radishes at the next #bepink event?  Imagine the conversations and education about the value of real food.

Without a Recipe: A FarmerChef Cooks

19 Jun

By Deanne

Hey there FarmerChefs!  Have you noticed that once you know what goes together you can look at what is coming out of the garden or available at the farmers market, combine it with  what you have on hand in your kitchen and create some sensational combinations?  Whenever we want a little inspiration about what foods and flavors go together we consult a book Steve picked up when he was in cooking school called:  The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. 

Photo of The Flavor BibleToday we combined fresh asparagus with a little garlic and lemon and chicken to make a Lemon Garlic Asparagus rice plate.  Our restaurant’s rice plates are growing in popularity as people are discovering that they are a great way to eat their veggies and whole grains.  Because we combine everything at the last minute this dish can be served without meat or Parmesan cheese for a vegan entree. Photo of asparagus garlic rice plate

According to what we have been learning, asparagus is best cooked in a way the retains all its super powers.  Stir frying or grilling will do the trick.  Loaded with nutrients and unique qualities, Asparagus can help aid our bodies in fighting disease and give a boost to cognitive  function (for old people like me. :)

Photo of asparagusDo you prefer cooking with a recipe?  We have a few asparagus recipes to choose from:

Asparagus Pasta Salad

Asparagus Soup: FarmerChef Style

Italian Sausage Carbonara with Springtime Asparagus

Asparagus Spear Photo credit:  Amanda Petersen Photography

Asparagus Salad: First Taste of the Growing Season

24 May

By Deanne

Photo of Asparagus SaladSnow was the norm for April this year so we have been eagerly waiting for asparagus to do its duty and signal the start of the growing season.  Asparagus season was already over by this time last year.  We made our first post on April 5th in 2013.

This year, we are excited to have guest FarmerChefs again. For this recipe we are fortunate to learn and share a family favorite of Ellen’s.  She works with me at our restaurant

Ellen says:

We first got the recipe after my Aunt made the salad for my brother’s baptism.  After we tasted it, not surprisingly, we asked her for the recipe and have received rave reviews every time we’ve made it.  As soon as we take the first bite after making it you can almost hear the sigh of contentment around the dinner table as everyone in their own turn remarks:  “I love this salad, I could eat this everyday”, or simply, “wow!”

I feel honored to have been given permission to share this family treat. I like the picture Ellen painted in our minds in how she described their family table.  Join us on our FarmerChef journey and cook with local and seasonal food. You can suggest ideas and we will feature your recipe.

Asparagus Pasta Salad

  • 1 lb pasta cooked and drained  (we used gluten free pasta)
  • 1/2 med red onion chopped
  • 1/2 oz. fresh basil  (we used 1 teaspoon dried basil)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can baby artichoke hearts drained and chopped
  • 6 oz grated Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped  (we used 1 tablespoon dried parsley)
  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus hand chopped
  • 2 1/2 oz black olives sliced

Dressing

  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp fresh minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 and 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Oatmeal Applesauce Cake

14 Mar
by Deanne

Photo of Oatmeal Applesauce Cake

Hey there FarmerChefs, it has been awhile since Francine and I shared a FarmerChef recipe with you.  This is a good one for all of you plan-ahead-types who purchased or picked local apples last fall and made applesauce… kinda like Luke (son/brother) did for the first time in his video.

Three cheers for keeping the art of food preservation alive in your family.  If you didn’t make applesauce last fall, you can always add store purchased applesauce.  Click on the image to see up close what my Fooducate app recommends for a pretty clean label applesauce.Screenshot of Fooducate App Fooducate can be downloaded for free on your tablet or smart phone.

Next fall, when the apples are falling from the trees, use this recipe from PBS to get your kids in on the process of making applesauce. 

Oatmeal Applesauce Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Grease 9×13 pan

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 and 1/2 cup applesauce

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup salted butter 

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1  teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon soda

Start by cooking the oatmeal in a pan with the applesauce and water.  Cook until done and set aside.  (Follow the oatmeal package for cooking time.)

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. 

Add eggs and vanilla and continue to mix until well beaten. 

Combine flour, salt, soda and cinnamon mixture in a bowl. 

Add dry mixture and oatmeal applesauce to creamed mixture and gently mix. 

Spread evenly in pan.  Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes clean. 

For a gluten free version you can use Francine’s grandma’s recipe for gluten free flour mix and use one cup in place of regular flour.  We used this flour mix before when we made brownies.

MJ’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

makes 4 cups

1 and 1/2 cup white rice flour

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup tapioca starch

1/2 cup sweet rice flour

1/4 cup potato starch

1/4 cup corn starch

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

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.

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