Famous Flax ‘n Oat Bar Recipe

Posted by on April 7, 2010 | 33 Comments

Okay, we all have a different definition of famous – but the wonderful folks at Enjoy Life Foods have featured this recipe on their blog. You can view the full post here on the ELF blog.

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars

I know, I know, it isn’t exactly Martha Stewart, but this company is fairly big, and one of my favorites. They use a dedicated allergen-free and gluten-free facility, which is hard to find these days. And, some of their products are surprisingly awesome. I love, love, love their mini chocolate chips (yes, they are even soy-lecithin-free), and their soft cookies. They are gluten-free, which I am not, but still awesome all around. I enjoy their granola too, but I am mostly a bake-at-home granola eater.

Anyway, I really wanted to have the recipe here for you all to access on my blog too, so here you go …

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars

 

No Bake Chocolate Chip Flax ‘n Oat Bars

Recipe adapted from my No Bake Granola Bar recipe in Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living.

Since I often make mini-batches of no bake snacks, but I don’t have an assortment of mini-pans, I typically make “rounds” instead of bars using silicon muffin pans. No cutting or greasing required, and anytime we need a snack, we just pop one out! This recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and/or vegan.

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, optionally Nut-Free, and optionally Vegan.

  • 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup, Honey, Corn Syrup, or Agave Nectar (your choice)
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Evaporated Cane Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut or Palm Oil (not shortening)
  • 1/2 Cup Peanut Butter, SunButter, or Your Favorite Nut or Seed Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • Generous Pinch or Two of Salt (omit if using salted nut or seed butter)
  • 2 Tablespoons Ground Flaxseed
  • 1 Cup Quick or Rolled Oats (use certified gluten-free oats or give quinoa flakes a go for gluten-free)
  • 1 Cup Perky’s Crunchy Flax Cereal (can sub their rice cereal or crispy rice cereal)
  • 1/2 Cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

In a medium-sized saucepan or skillet, combine the two sweeteners and the oil, and gently warm over low heat while stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved. This should just take a couple of minutes.

Stir in the nut or seed butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Remove from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the flaxseed, followed by the oats and cereal.

Now you have two choices here. If you want the chocolate chips to stay intact, let the mixture cool for few more minutes, and then stir in the chocolate chips. Or, if you are antsy like me, stir in the chocolate chips right away. They may melt a little against the warm pan, but I like them that way.

The mixture will be crumbly, but that is okay. Press it firmly into an 8 x 8 pan (use saran wrap or wax paper over your hand if it threatens to stick while pressing) or into 10 to 12 muffin tins. Make sure it is packed in there nicely, then place the bars into the freezer to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.

Cut into bars or pop them out and eat. I store them in the refrigerator, this keeps them fresh and from getting too soft.

Yields 10 to 12 snack bars

Chocolate Chip Flax 'n Oat Bars - Vegan, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey “Butter”

Posted by on April 3, 2010 | 14 Comments

I think the hardest thing about running a blog (at least for me) is making the time so I don’t feel like I am “missing out” on the fun stuff. There are so many fabulous blog events, and try as I might, I just can’t seem to get posts and recipes done in time to join in on most.

But, a few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread, and atop that bread was a delicious, dairy-free honey-buttery spread that I whipped up for a treat.

Simply Cinnamon Spelt Bread

I had mentioned posting the recipe for that easy spread, but of course, lost my notes on the ingredients! Nonetheless, when Five Star Foodie announced that the March Five Star Makeover theme was Compound Butter, I knew I had to get back to the drawing board to share this little combination.

I did change the ratios a bit, I am sure of that, I also added some more spice, and I didn’t use dairy butter or margarine to make this spread. Rather, I used a combination of nutritive oils that firm up nicely for slicing, spreading, whipping, and melting.

Dairy-Free Spiced Coconut Honey Butter

As many of you know, presentation isn’t my strong suit. With that in mind, you can mold this butter into something more attractive than my roughly done “pats.”

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey Coconut Butter

 

Spiced Honey “Butter”

This makes a rather firm “butter.” If you want a softer butter straight from the fridge, feel free to change the oil blend 50/50. That is, use 2 tablespoons coconut oil and 2 tablespoons of the other oil. The more nutritive oils will impart their own flavors. For the most neutral taste, I use Extra-Light Olive Oil, for a richer taste, I used Hemp Seed Oil (the Green Gold Hemp Oil from Foods Alive – not as strong as some other brands in flavor).

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free (if coconut is a concern, see the sub note), optionally Vegan, and Free of Refined Sugars.

  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted (Palm Oil can be substituted)
  • 1 Tablespoon Good Quality Oil (Hemp, Flax, Olive, Walnut, etc. – I used Foods Alive Hemp Oil for one batch and Extra-Light Olive Oil for another)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey (use Agave Nectar to make it vegan)
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Chinese 5-spice Powder (sold in most spice sections)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • Pinch Salt

Quick Cheater’s Method: In a small dish, whisk all ingredients together. Place in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and vigorously whisk with a fork to smooth it out. Return to the freezer for a bit more. Whisk again to make it smooth. It should be quite firm at this point. Shape or pipe as desired and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Assuming your house isn’t too warm, the “butter” will stay solid at room temperature, just softening a bit, but will melt readily atop warm toast or steamed veggies (try carrots, sweet potatoes, golden beets, or other honey-loving veggies).

Yields about 1/4 cup of flavorful “butter”

Carrot Love (Spiced Honey Roasted Carrots)

In the pictures I simply steamed some carrots and let the sweet “butter” melt overtop. But, if you would like to prepare some sweet roasted carrots for the holidays – simply place 3/4 to 1 lb of cut carrots (or baby carrots) in a pyrex dish in a single layer, and mix with 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of the Spiced Honey Butter. Roast at 450ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, giving the carrots a stir after the first 15 minutes. If you like them really caramelized, you can always roast longer.

Dairy-Free Spiced Honey Coconut Butter

Additional Notes:

Blog Giveaway – Megan’s Munchies offers up a Wanchai Ferry “Perfect Night”. Giveaway includes Asian entrees, some Asian table goodies, and a $25 Target gift card!

Events – This post was also submitted to Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade.

Best Wishes to You All for Easter and Passover,

Don’t Pinch My Blog, I’ve Got a Green Recipe!

Posted by on March 17, 2010 | 15 Comments

As mentioned in my last post, we are on week one of our first CSA. It was like Christmas pulling out one surprise veggie after another … until I got to the final item, the lump of coal at the bottom. “What’s this?” I said. It didn’t quite look like kale or chard, but similar. I went to the inventory sheet and my fears were realized – collard greens.

My first and only experience with collard greens was purchasing them in a bag on sale at a mega-grocer about seven years ago. Terrible, terrible, terrible. But determined to polish off that entire CSA box and give every veggie a fair trial, I headed to one of my favorite healthy cookbooks, Whole Life Nutrition. I was confident that Alissa (gotta love her name) would have a recipe to turn those greens into something good. In fact, she had two. One was for Apple-Spiced Collard Greens, which sounded rather tasty, but I didn’t have any apple juice on hand. The second was for Collard Green and Hummus Roll-ups. Now hummus, that is something I almost always have on hand!

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

My version is more of a guide / idea than a recipe, but let me tell you, it really worked to turn those nice big collard leaves (perfectly flat and excellent to work with, unlike kale or stiff chard leaves) into a tasty large snack or small meal – however you view it. And I realize Collard Greens don’t exactly shout “St. Patrick’s Day,” but hey, they are GREEN!

Now it is quite possible that there will be more of these collard greens in today’s CSA box, so please do tell … Do you have any ideas or favorite recipes for using Collard Greens?

 

Collard Green and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, and optionally Vegan.

  • Collard Green Leaves, nice full healthy ones
  • Hummus, your flavor of choice
  • Carrots, for shredding
  • Avocado, sliced (optional – I didn’t have any)
  • Leftover Chicken (optional – omit for a vegan option)
  • Olives (optional – my hummus was kalamata olive hummus so I could resist)
  • Other Veggie Toppings of Choice (go wild!)

Lay the leaves flat, and cut them in half, carefully cutting out that thick stem. Spread each leaf half with your favorite hummus (I was using an olive hummus, hence the darker color), and sprinkle with grated or shredded carrot.

Okay, get ready, this is my first ever step by step photo – except it is just one step …

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Now, simply roll them up tight for a very light snack (I did this once, and they were tasty just like this!), or top them with your choice of toppings. The second time I made them I had some leftover chicken and olives, so I went with this, which made thicker rolls.

Yields as many as you like

Collard Greens and Hummus Mini-Wraps

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Creamy Green Garlic Soup

Posted by on March 15, 2010 | 18 Comments

This recipe is an ever so slight detour from my ususal “grocery store” fare (though regular garlic can be used, as noted), because I have at last joined the CSA world! Last week I got my very first ever CSA veggie box. Now that we live reasonably close to some of those great California farms, and since all of you wonderful food bloggers have introduced me to this concept, I had to join up. I was actually on the waiting list for Mountain Bounty Farm (who delivers to the Tahoe area), and was able to cut in mid-season.

I must say, I am not the least bit disappointed! A close friend splits a share with another friend, and she thought I was insane getting a whole share for just myself and my husband. But, I think she underestimated 1) my twisted love for vegetables and 2) how much food bloggers relish quality, organic goods. Lets just say, I have had no problem polishing off the entire box, and have still picked up some other veggies at the market this past week.

Since I was new to a few ingredients, like green garlic, I have been trying to stick to recipes with few ingredients, so that I can really taste what these veggies are all about. Green garlic is interesting, as it is the immature version of the bulb garlic we buy at the grocery store. It is milder, and to me it did have a “green” taste. It did seem to be a cross (in both looks and flavor) between large green onions / spring onions and mature garlic.

This is really just a very basic creamy potato soup made with green garlic. You could easily sub in a few cloves of regular garlic, or even a bulb of roasted garlic for a different, but delicious variation. Actually, I think if I were to choose, I would try this soup next with roasted garlic, but the green garlic was a nice variation that was a touch sweeter and had that “cold-kicking” garlic essence that I was craving after a big snowstorm hit.

creamy, dairy-free green garlic soup

 

Creamy Green Garlic Soup

Cheap russets or baking potatotes are the best for soups like this due to their high starch content. Yukons have a medium starch content and will also work well, while adding a touch of their “buttery” feel. This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, and optionally Vegan / Vegetarian.

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Dairy-Free Margarine (I used olive oil)
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced (about 1-1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 lb Green Garlic or 3 bulbs, thinly sliced and cut in half (I used the whites, pink, and part way up the green) – can sub 2 to 4 minced medium garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lb Yukon Gold or Russet Potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I didn’t peel)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt, plus more to taste (I used 1 teaspoon total)
  • 1 Quart Vegetable or Chicken Broth (I used Pacific Foods Free Range Chicken Broth)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Dairy-Free Margarine (optional)

Heat the oil or margarine in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they begin to soften and become translucent.

Add the garlic, potatoes, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and saute for another 5 minutes – keeping things moving. If the pan dries out, splash in a wee bit of the broth to keep the ingredients from sticking.

Add the broth and bring the soup to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, allowing the soup to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nice and tender.

Using an immersion blender, or in two batches in a regular blender, puree the soup (garlic, onions, potatoes and all) until it is nice and smooth. I did it in my blender, allowing each batch to spin for a couple of minutes. Use caution when you turn the blender on, making sure you have a firm hand on the lid to ensure that no hot soup escapes. Trust me, that is never fun!

Return the soup to your pot and season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. As noted, I used a fair bit of salt, because I was craving it, but go for what you like best. If you have some miso on hand, I might try mixing in some of this for a different flavor variation instead of the extra salt.

If desired, serve with 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of margarine swirled in to each bowl.

Yields 3 light lunches

Creamy dairy-free green garlic soup

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

Posted by on March 10, 2010 | 12 Comments

I swear, sometimes I feel like Celine reads my mind when it comes to trialing out baked goodie recipes. I purchased some all-fruit spread solely for the purpose of coming up with some jam-filled muffins and PB&J granola for my husband’s morning snack … when low and behold, I opened her new book 500 Vegan Recipes (co-written with Joni Marie Newman) to discover recipes for both!

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls

She calls these muffins “rolls,” which I suppose is fair since they really aren’t very sweet, save for the jam surprise in the middle. Nonetheless, they are perfectly yummy and satisfying for breakfast. I had to modify the recipe a wee bit, based on what I had on hand. I did use honey (sorry, I know it isn’t strict vegan practice, and have no fear, 500 Vegan Recipes is honey-free!), but you can stick with their suggested sweetener or agave as I have noted.

 

Jam-Filled Snackin’ Muffins (or Soda Rolls)

Recipe adapted from 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman

They do specifically recommend soymilk for this recipe since it curdles best; though you may have success with other milk alternatives. Though we don’t typically stock soy in our house, I was reviewing this soymilk for Go Dairy Free, so I decided to use it here. This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free, and optionally Soy-Free and Refined Sugar-Free.

  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-1/4 Cups Plain Soymilk (see above note for other soy-free milk alternatives)
  • 1-1/4 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 Cup Whole or White Spelt Flour (I used whole spelt)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey, Raw Sugar or Agave Nectar (I used un-vegan honey)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used extra-light olive, but you could use grapeseed, canola, or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
  •  1/4 Cup Jam or All-Fruit Spread
  • Melted non-dairy margarine (optional)

 Preheat your oven to 400ºF, and lightly grease 12 muffin cups.

Combine the vinegar and soymilk in a medium-sized bowl or glass measuring cup, and allow it to sit as the vinegar “curdles” the soymilk.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the sweetener, oil, and applesauce to the now curdled soymilk. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture in your large bowl, and gently stir until just combined. No over-mixing!

Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the batter in each muffin cup. Top each mound of batter with 1 teaspoon of jam. Top the jam with the remaining batter (another heaping tablespoon per cup).

Bake for 15 minutes. As soon as you remove the rolls from the oven, brush the tops with non-dairy margarine if desired. Personally, I would skip this step next time, as I wasn’t a big fan of the salty margarine topping … but I am sure many people would love it. Pop the muffins out (they seemed to come out of the cups nicely, even while still quite hot) and indulge.

Yields a dozen sweet and savory muffins

Vegan Jam-Filled Soda Rolls

Hoki-Dokie Oven “Fried” Fish Filets

Posted by on November 3, 2009 | 8 Comments

As promised, I have some delicious recipes for using the cereal in my U.S. Mills Organic Breakfast Giveaway (see that post to enter to win now).

This particular recipe was a huge hit after a series of fish fillet bombs. For some reason (whether it be frost-bitten fish or questionable recipe), every piece of mahi or salmon I made was coming out too dry, too chewy, or too bland.

But the combination of this popular New Zealand fish (that I stumbled upon at my local grocer) and this easy cooking method left us with wonderfully flavorful and flaky fish. Even my husband, who only likes his fish raw, proclaimed it was “Excellent!”

Of course, cod, halibut, or other firm white fish will work beautifully in this recipe should hoki not be available to you.

Dairy-Free Oven "Fried" Fish

Hoki-Dokie Oven “Fried” Fish Fillets

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Low Fat, and optionally Gluten-Free. Did I mention it is positively delicious too?

  • 10 Ounces Fish Fillets (I used Hoki, but any thin white fish filet should work well)
  • 1 Tablespon Dairy-Free Margarine (I used Earth Balance Soy-Free)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 Cup All-Purpose, Whole Wheat, Spelt, Chickpea, or other Gluten-Free Flour (I actually used oat flour – oats ground in my spice grinder to a powder)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Cup Cornflakes, crushed or whizzed into crumbs (I used Erewhon Organic Corn Flakes)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper (black or white)
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Baste both sides of your fish fillets with the margarine, and sprinkle them with the flour until lightly coated.

Beat the egg in a shallow dish, and briefly set it aside.

Combine the corn flakes and all of the remaining ingredients (I actually combined the flakes and spices / salt in my spice grinder and gave them a few good pulses to turn the corn flakes into crumbs and combine everything), and place them in a large zip-top baggie.

Dredge one of the fish fillets through the egg (both sides), place it in the zip-top baggie and give it a good shake to coat, remove and place it on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining fillets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets. You may opt to flip them midway, but mine worked well without the flip.

Yields 2 healthy “fried” entrees

Random Bites of Autumn Deliciousness

Posted by on October 30, 2009 | 16 Comments

I haven’t created many unique and stellar recipes this past week … in fact, since we have been quite busy, I have been enjoying simplicity a bit. Don’t worry, this isn’t just a “what I ate” post. Think of it like a collection of mini recipes.

Lunch all week has been two poached eggs atop whatever vegetables need to be eaten most urgently. But, I did fit in a “new to me” veggie. What could that be nestled in that pile of cabbage? …

kabocha, cabbage and eggs

Why kabocha squash of course! I finally gave into the food bloggie peer pressure (and the fact that organic kabochas were on for $.49 a pound!). Since I was a kabocha virgin, I didn’t experiment, I used this tested recipe for Japanese Style Simmered Sweet Kabocha. I didn’t have dashi, so I just used water, and it still came out delicious! The only thing I couldn’t figure out was if I was supposed to cover the pan as it cooked. I did, and ended up with tons of liquid left, so if you try it, don’t cover. I ate the squash skin and all (my first time for that too!) and it was wonderful.

For some reason, I was obsessed with making a Pumpkin Pecan Pie Spread for our morning rice cakes. After three mornings of trials, I was satisfied, but never did get what I would call perfection. Nonetheless, since the husband was getting a bit burnt out on pumpkin, I called it a day. Here is where I left off …

pumpkin pecan butter

  • 2 Tablespoons Pecan Butter (I used some Artisana I was trialing, but you can also make your own)
  • 1/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (I took the middle ground with 1-1/2)
  • ½ Teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Generous Pinch of Salt
  • Protein Powder (optional)

In a small bowl, whip it all together. If desired, stir in protein powder to your desired taste and consistency. I like to add a little egg protein powder; it also thickens it up a bit.

This spread really is so simple that you could easily customize it to your tastes by tweaking an ingredient or two, or even simply subbing the maple syrup for your sweetener of choice. This yielded enough for four rice cakes, two each, perfect!

Now, for my sweet treats of the week, I seemed to have a bit of a graham cracker obsession … cinnamon graham crackers to be specific …

cashew butter and chocolate chip grahams

This is nothing more than a cinnamon graham topped with lusciously creamy cashew butter (seriously, this stuff is like frosting!) and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Mmmm.

But the following may have even topped that one …

maple pecan grahams

Maple-Pecan Graham-wiches

  • 1 Tablespoon Pecan Butter (would probably be awesome with any nut butter!)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
  • 1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil or Coconut Butter, melted
  • 2 Whole Cinnamon Graham Crackers (each broken in half, so you have four squares)

Combine the nut butter, maple, and coconut oil or butter in a small dish. Refrigerate it for just a few, allowing it to thicken just a bit as the coconut oil cools and solidifies. Top two cinnamon grahams (cinnamon-side up) with the butter, top with remaining graham. Enjoy the oozing goodness.

If you don’t like messy sandwiches, try this snack open faced.

Hopefully you have found some delicious inspiration amongst this haphazard post! I have just a few quick shout-outs to end with.

  • Thank you to All Access Pass to Jack for the Lemonade Award. I will have to pass this on very soon!
  • Zesty is having another blog makeover giveaway! I want to win so bad that I am telling you all to enter just to get myself one more entry. Logical?
  • I have another big giveaway coming up too. Stay tuned, it will be up in just a couple of days! (I have to go write it up now).

Oh yes, and Happy Halloween!!

Cauliflower “Risotto” (Grain-Free AND Dairy-Free)

Posted by on October 20, 2009 | 44 Comments

Recently, I stumbled across the idea of Cauliflower “Rice” on a Paleo / Primal Diet blog. Smitten by this idea for incorporating even more veggies into my dinner (and sneaking cauliflower in on my husband, hehe), I went with it. My first attempt was this Cauliflower “Risotto,” which amazingly turned out awesome right out of the shoot!

Dairy-Free and Grain-Free, Cheesy Cauliflower Risotto with Basil

I have since made it a few times with the nod of approval from my usually cauliflower-hating husband. I have also made some basic cauliflower “rice” to serve as the base under stir-fries. It has worked out well, but my husband agreed that the risotto is just better.

Another Bonus: Surprisingly, a large head of cauliflower only makes about 3 to 4 healthy servings. When grated, the cauliflower seemed much less overwhelming than eating large florets.

 

Cauliflower “Risotto” with Fresh Basil (Grain-Free AND Dairy-Free)

This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, and Sugar-Free.

I like to use just a bit of nutritional yeast, but keep the amounts moderate so that it enhances the meal without creating an overpowering fake cheesy taste. Nutritional yeast can easily be found online and in the bulk bins of some natural food stores. Make sure it is specifically called “nutritional yeast;” brewer’s (which the grocery attendants will try to hand to you) is not the same thing. If you don’t have any on hand, try this recipe without it, I am sure it will still be quite yummy!

  • 3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts (about 1 ounce)
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt, or to taste
  • 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Grapeseed, Olive, or Coconut Oil
  • ½ Cup Minced or Diced Onion
  • 3 Cups Grated Cauliflower (about ½ medium to large head – if you have a food processor, you are golden; I grated by hand)
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • ¼ Cup Broth (chicken or vegetarian)
  • Chiffonade 6 to 10 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Fresh Ground Pepper, to taste (optional)

Combine the nuts, nutritional yeast, and salt in your spice grinder, and give it a few pulses. The nuts should grind up, and begin to clump. It is best if it stays a bit powdery and doesn’t turn into a paste, but if it does, no loss. Set aside while you cook the cauliflower.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the grated cauliflower and continue to sauté / stir-fry for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and suate for 1 minute more. Add the broth, reduce the heat to medium-low, stir, cover and allow it to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. This cooks it to the perfect “al dente” consistency for us, but feel free to cook it to your desired tenderness.

Remove the lid, turn off the heat, and stir in the reserved nut mixture. It may clump a bit, but continuing to stir it in the hot pan will help it to distribute and become creamy. Stir in the basil and fresh ground pepper to taste, if using. Serve.

Yields about 2 side servings

 

No Onion? I ran out of onion the second time I made this dish, so I skipped the onion sauté, but added ¼ teaspoon of onion powder to the nut mixture. The fresh onion was better, but this was still tasty in a pinch!

To Serve: This versatile dish can be served with a salad or steamed veggies (broccoli or asparagus would be nice) to keep it light and vegetarian. For an omnivorous meal, we found it went quite well with baked chicken, and also made a quick lunch with leftover chopped chicken added.

Lower Fat Option: I haven’t tried this as of yet, but I think this would work with just 2 teaspoons of oil if you were trying to go lower in fat. I would just sauté the onions in the oil, add the cauliflower and sauté for just 1 minute, and then add the broth and cover. Cook until it reaches your desired tenderness. You may need to use a touch more broth. Don’t skip the pine nuts though; they add richness and nutrition!

Dairy-Free and Grain-Free, Cheesy Cauliflower Risotto with Basil

Blog Events: I am submitting this post to:

Smoked Salmon Crustless Quiche, sort of

Posted by on September 27, 2009 | 19 Comments

Since my last Dutch Baby venture was such a dee-licious success, I set out to create a savory version the other day. But, I couldn’t stop with that one challenge alone. Oh no, silly me decided to go for the gusto and make it grain-free too! Luckily it worked out okay, but I used ground almonds, and was surprised at how bready the first trial turned out. It was good, but somehow the texture didn’t really go with the flavor. So in round two, I switched to cashews, using half the amount, and a star was born!

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Smoked Salmon Quiche

However, this new concoction wasn’t really a Dutch Baby anymore. Determined to find a name, I went online to read about the various types of egg dishes (yes, I do waste too much time on completely useless activities once in a while). The most comparable dish I could find was a quiche, but since this recipe contains no cheese, cream, or dairy of any kind, it seemed like a bit of a stretch. I mean, a healthy quiche?

I have never really had a quiche, so I turned to my husband for his taste-testing expertise. He said, “It’s kind of like a quiche, but different. It’s good though!” And thus, this name was born …

 

Smoked Salmon Crustless (Sort of) Quiche

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, and Soy-Free. I got a gread deal on wild smoked salmon ($1.50 for 4 ounces per package!), which is why I opted to use it in this dish. Feel free to use fresh salmon if you prefer.

  • 2 Ounces Cashews (can sub almonds)
  • 1 Cup Unsweetened Almond Milk or Unsweetened Coconut Milk Beverage
  • 4 Medium Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Tahini
  • 4 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast (optional)*
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Dried Dill or a scant Tablespoon Fresh Dill
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Ounces Smoked Salmon, flaked or diced (depending on the type you use)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Oil (your choice) or Dairy-Free Margarine

Preheat your oven to 425ºF

Grind the cashews in a spice grinder for about 30 seconds, or until they turn into a powder.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the cashews, milk alternative, eggs, tahini, nutritional yeast, dill, onion powder, and salt. Stir in the smoked salmon.

Place the oil or margarine in a 9″ pie plate, or divide it between four ramekins. Place the dish(es) in the oven to warm up for a few minutes. Remove and make sure the oil/margarine nicely coats the bottom of the dish.

Give the egg mixture another quick whisk, and pour it into your prepared dish(es). Bake for about 25 minutes, or untili the egg dish is nice and puffed, and just beginning to brown. It will deflate upon removal from the oven, so if you want a picture, be quick!

*You can use more or less nutritional yeast based on your tastes, or omit it altogether. I wasn’t really going for “cheesy” which is why I didn’t use a bunch, but rather a well-rounded and slightly bold/hearty flavor.

Yields 2 hearty servings or 4 servings with a big salad

Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Smoked Salmon Quiche

Treading Lightly into Fall: Cheap Chinese Chicken Salad

Posted by on September 17, 2009 | 22 Comments

**Don’t Forget, Giveaway: 9 Special Diet Cookbooks, 9 Winners!**

Do you find your tastes migrating as the summer heat dwindles? I mean, I know I will be craving hearty soups and pumpkin goodies very soon, but even my salad desires are slowly drifting.

Since we will be moving to a much cooler climate, I am sure that some warm salads will be on the horizon, but right now I guess my tastes are simply transitioning from “bright and fresh” to “comforting.” It is still 90+ degrees out, so by comforting I mean dishes like a quick quiche (recipe coming up!) and this Chinese chicken salad …

chinesechickensalad

I know, I know … it looks just like all of my other salads. I didn’t have any of those crunch chow main noodles, and I used romaine instead of Napa, but trust me, it is all about the taste … and you can use whatever add-ins you like to make it more “authentic” (see recipe below!).

Back to the point, this is one of those simple and flavorful dishes that I have always loved, but for some reason, until now, had never, ever made at home. What a fool I have been … so delicious! As an added bonus, unlike restaurant versions of this popular salad, this one is quite low in fat, and very inexpensive to make!

So I must know (okay, it is my greedy desire for inspiration in addition to insatiable curiosity), do you have any favorites that you have yet to adventure in your own kitchen?

 

Cheap Chinese Chicken Salad

This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, optionally Gluten-Free, optionally Nut-Free, and optionally Vegan / Vegetarian. It was adapted from Ellie Krieger’s recipe on the Food Network.

Don’t let the ingredients fool you, this is a fast and easy recipe! I have broken the recipe into three parts simply so you can make the dressing or the chicken separately should you want to use them for another dish. While the chicken bakes, you will have just enough time to whip up the dressing and chop the veggies for a light and healthy meal on the table in 30 minutes!

Chicken:

  • 1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce or Wheat-Free Tamari
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Large Garlic Clove, crushed or minced

If the chicken breasts are thick, butterfly them. Place the chicken in a single layer in a glass baking dish. Combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic, and drizzle over the chicken. If you have time, allow the chicken to marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight. If not, pop them in the oven as soon as it preheats.

Preheat your oven to 350º. Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it is cooked through. The juices should run clear, but be careful not to overcook the breasts, as they can easily dry out. Once done, slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Dressing:

  • 1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce or Wheat-Free Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar or Sweetener of Choice (agave, honey, or maple syrup will also work nicely)
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons Sriracha or Chili-Garlic Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Minced Fresh Ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons Peanut, Olive, or Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil

 In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients. (I usually combine everything but the oil, and then drizzle the oil in while whisking out of habit. It seems to work well).

Salad:

  • 8 to 10 Cups Greens (In the salad pictured, I used 2 small romaine hearts and 3 cups of bagged coleslaw mix. Napa cabbage, purple cabbage, etc. would also work well)
  • 1 Large Carrot, shredded
  • 2 Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Sliced Almonds

Optional Add-ins:

  • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 8oz Can Sliced Water Chestnuts
  • 1 11oz Can Mandarin Oranges in Water, drained
  • 1 Small Can Crispy Chow Mein Noodles (not gluten-free)
  • Etc…

Combine all of the salad ingredients, except for the almonds, in a large bowl. Add the chicken, drizzle with the salad dressing, and toss to coat. Divvy up the salad amongst four plates, and sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the almonds.

Nut-Free Option: Substitute toasted sesame seeds or crispy chow mein noodles for the almonds.

Vegan / Vegetarian Option: You can use faux “chicken” but a cheaper and more natural option would be to substitute tofu. Use the chicken marinade and baking technique above, but use ¾ to 1 lb of extra-firm tofu. It should bake in about the same time.

Untried Ideas: If you like a peanut-y Chinese Chicken Salad, try subbing 2 tablespoons of PB (or other nut butter) for the oil. But keep the sesame oil!

chinesechickensaladtop3

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