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Sarah Lawrence

Christmas Menu - a Gluten Free Vegan Feast

Christmas is such a wonderful holiday... celebrating the gifts of love and friendship... enjoying time with our family and friends.  For me, it's a joyful time.  In the kitchen, I want comfort and cozy... and I want tasty, healthy food that doesn't take all day to make!  I confess that I usually try new recipes at holiday time.  This year is no exception.  I'd love to share the inspiration for my 2 favorite dishes with you and hope that they can be a spark for you too! Okay, the ladies over at PPK are simply brilliant.  With a few modifications of the PPK vegan Macaroon recipe my Gluten Free Vegan version was born.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy coconut and the macaroon is just one of those things that’s eluded me… but no longer!  Now you can enjoy them too!   I played with these a little and my favorite variation was pressing a whole almond into the top of the mound of dough, baking and then drizzling with chocolate instead of dipping the bottom... kind of like an Almond Joy if you're into that!  GFV Macaroons GFV Macaroons 3 oz extra firm silken tofu ¼ cup coconut oil 2 tablespoons coconut milk 1/3 cup sugar 2 teaspoons almond extract 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ cup sorghum flour or ¼ sorghum + ¼ cocoa powder (for a chocolicious version) ¼ cup almond meal ¼ cup arrowroot starch ¾ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 ½  cups unsweetened shredded coconut whole almonds, optional ½ cup chocolate chips, melted using a double boiler Variations recommended by PPK: Chipper: Add 1 cup mini chocolate chips to the batter Touch of Orange: Add 2 tsp orange zest and omit almond extract Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheets with parchment. Puree tofu, oil and milk in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Scrape the sides to get everything back into the mix.  Add the remaining ingredients except the coconut.  Pulse to combine.  Tip out into a large bowl and mix in the coconut.  The dough will be stiff. Scoop tablespoons of dough out of the bowl and onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  I use my nifty Pampered Chef medium ice cream scooper to get uniform balls of dough.  These cookies don’t spread, so you can get a TON onto a baking sheet.  But, don’t overcrowd them or they will take longer to bake. 15 minutes in your preheated 350 degree oven should do the trick… golden bottoms and lightly toasted tops. Transfer to a cooling rack while you melt the chocolate (I like the double boiler method where you place your bowl with the chocolate over a pot with a bit of boiling water on the stove… the bottom of the bowl shouldn’t touch the water, rather it should be big enough that it rests on the rim of the water pot so the steam and heat from the boiling water will gently melt the chocolate as you stir.) Once the chocolate is melted dip the cooled cookies in and coat their bottoms.  Then set them back onto the parchment lined baking sheet to set. Pop them in the fridge if you need them quickly, otherwise, a while at room temp will also set them up just fine.   The other super stars of our holiday feast were these chickpea almond tart shells.  Green Kitchen Stories is a new blog to me, but I am already in love!  David and Luise created a stellar GFV menu for Bon Appetit and their filled version of these shells was totally inspiring!  The recipe posted here includes my modifications based on our tastes.  I found the original recipe to be a bit too salty so I've cut the salt.  Also, the coconut oil I use is raw and tastes very coconutty, so for our tastes and with the pantry items we use I prefer to use Earth Balance to play off the nuttiness of the almond and chickpea flour without giving the added coconut note (even though I love coconut... it just didn't work for me here).  I added flaxseed meal to bump the nutritive value of the shell and loved the extra nuttiness that the flax gave.  So, try the original version and try my version... then make your own!  The beauty of cooking is that you have the freedom to create things that suite your tastes.    I spread a thin layer of garlicky roasted eggplant puree on the bottom of each baked shell, then added a layer of braised kale (chopped kale, garlic, shallot, parsley, veg broth), and topped with a dollop of herbed mashed potato. GFV Christmas Feast 2011 Served these alongside Quinoa studded with cranberries, pecans and roasted yams; mesculin greens with raspberries; steamed carrots seasoned with cardamon... and the meal was divine. Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Chickpea Almond Tart Shells Makes 6-8 tart shells depending on the size of your pans Tart shells 1 cup chickpea flour (besan) 1/4 cup flaxseed meal ¾  cup almond flour or almond meal 1/3 cup potato starch, tapioca starch, or cornstarch 1/8 tsp sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 3 Tbsp fresh herbs of your choice or 1 ½ Tbsp dried 6 Tbsp Earth Balance + 6-9 Tbsp cold water special equipment: small tart pans Preheat oven to 375°. Combine all ingredients in your food processor and pulse until a nice dough forms. Tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface (using either the chickpea or almond flour).  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and press into your tart shells.  If your pans are non stick there shouldn’t be a need to oil them, but if they’re not then definitely give the pans a quick coating. Take a piece of dough and press it evenly onto the bottom of the 1st tart pan, then work it up the sides.  Use your thumbs to keep the dough from going over the edges while forming a nice uniform thickness on the sides.  Since I don’t know the size of your tart pans, you may need more of less dough to make this work.  The shells that we liked the best had less than ¼ inch thickness to the sides and bottom.  They bake up crisp and are not dense. Place tart pans on a baking sheet and pop into the preheated oven.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Remove the sheet from the oven and let the shells cool before filling them.  The bottoms will get soggy if you leave a filling in for too long, so be prepared to serve within about 45 minutes from the time you fill these little beauties.

Sarah Lawrence

Polenta Pizza (gluten free vegan yumminess!)

Polenta Pizza (makes 6 servings) 2 cups polenta 5 ½ cups water 1/3 cup nutritional yeast ½ tsp sea salt 1 tsp pepper Topping ½ cup tomato sauce ½ cup shredded non dairy cheese, like Daiya Prep a 9 x 12 glass baking pan by rubbing or spraying with oil.  Set this aside. Bring water to a boil in an appropriate sized pot.  Add polenta slowly and whisk continuously as you are adding the corn meal; messing up this step will mean lumpy, uneven polenta… so stay alert and whisk, whisk, whisk!  Whisk in the nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.  Stand near the pot because for the next 20 minutes you will be on hand to whisk every minute or so… we don’t want the polenta to burn or get too stiff. When 20 minutes has passed, the polenta should be stiff-ish but still creamy.  Spoon it into the prepared glass dish and press it into the corners while smoothing the top to make it an even layer.  Next, top with the tomato sauce as you would pizza dough.  I like to spoon it on and spread it to the edges.  If you prefer a saucier top, add more sauce to suite your taste.  Finally, top with your cheesy shreds.  You can pop the whole thing into a hot oven for a few minutes to gently melt the cheese, but I don’t find that necessary.  Just wait about 5 minutes for the polenta to set up firm and then slice it and serve.   [caption id="attachment_509" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad"]Polenta Pizza with herbed broccoli and salad[/caption] Nice, soft change from crispy GF pizza crusts.  This is a big hit with our 5 year old whose favorite food is pizza!

Sarah Lawrence

Banana Goji Berry Smoothie

Add this guy to your smoothie list… this one tastes like banana while having the antioxidant benefits of the goji, omega 3’s from the flax oil and the killer nutrient punch from the kale.  It’s an earthy orange color and my kids gave it two thumbs up!  Nervous about adding kale or greens to your smoothie?  I was too... but the thing is that you really don't end up tasting them.  In this recipe, you taste the banana and the goji's and the color masks the greens well.  In some of my other recipes, I use blueberries or other berries to make the smoothies more appealing to the eye while also making them taste like fruit.  The BIGGEST ISSUE with adding greens to smoothies is usually the texture.  If you have a vitamix you'll be fine because that thing blends just about anything to a silky smooooooth perfection.  If you're using another blender you may find the texture to be grainy.  If that's the case you can try steaming the greens without any seasoning and then adding the wilted greens to the blender.  Another thing to note is that smoothies are a great way to incorporate your powdered probiotics.  I use a product that has a very high count of beneficial bacteria to manage my autoimmune imbalance.  Even though I use the unflavored version, it doesn't taste good when mixed with just water, so I pour out everyone elses portions of smoothie and then add in my packet, blend and I'm good to go! Looking for other smoothie recipes?  Use the search box on this page and type in “smoothie” or check out my smoothie page.  I am working to update the list.  We start every day with a fruit and vegetable packed smoothie, so I’ve not even typed up a fraction of the ones we’ve made… [caption id="attachment_505" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="This one is a nice earthy orange color"]Banana Goji Berry Smoothie[/caption] Banana Goji Berry Smoothie (serves 3) 3 bananas 2 cups almond milk 2 Tbsp flax oil ½ goji berries 2- 3 cups kale (I just pack the Vitamix with kale and blend) Blend everything in the Vitamix until smooth. Serve.

Sarah Lawrence

Quick Veggie Pad Thai (gluten free vegan goodness)

After the ridiculous story that broke yesterday about pizza being qualified as a vegetable by the USDA for US School Lunches, I just have to write!  When the pizza industry rules the world, it’s a SAD day!   According to an ABC news article the details boil down to cost and big business influence where dairy, wheat and mystery meat are the standard.  Well, this momma doesn’t play that way... and I'm not alone!  I think it’s time that we stand up and say, “There’s a new sheriff in town!” and actually mean it!  UGH!  Stand with me and make a change in your family.  Start where you are able.  If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that I adore Dr. Fuhrman.  His “Nutritarian” approach to eating literally changed my health in the span of a few months and has given me back a balanced, nearly pain free body despite my psoriatic arthritis diagnosis.  I make  nutrient dense foods the main players in my meals (I almost wrote that I “try” to make them the main players, but, as my inner Yoda reminds me: “Do or Do Not.  There is no Try.” LOL!)   Now, if any of you follow Dr. Joel Fuhrman, you may have heard this acronym that he uses “GOMBBS” --- it’s an easy way to remember a list of potent antioxidant rich foods that Fuhrman cites not only as being superfoods, but also as being part of a cancer preventative way to eat.  So, GOMBBS foods are Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries/Beans, and Seeds/Nuts.  There is a plethora of science backing the goodness of these guys.  You can read more about that here.  My vegetable rich, GOMBBS filled Pad Thai is an example of how I pack our family meals with all the goodness I can while still making something that tastes great, is high in fiber, gluten free and dairy free (to meet our requirements from allergy and intolerances). I used to make this dish with white rice noodles but have found brown rice noodles that offer more fiber than their counterpart while adding a pleasant nuttiness.  If you can find them, give them a try.  If not, use traditional white rice maifun.  Either way, know that you are making a meal that is colorful, flavorful and healthful!  This makes a generous 6-8 portions and it reheats beautifully for lunch or a meal another day. Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_500" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Quick Veggie Pad Thai"]Quick Veggie Pad Thai[/caption] Quick Vegan Pad Thai with Veg, Greens and Goji (serves 6, 15 minutes start to finish) 2 packages dry brown rice noodles (maifun) 1 package firm, cubed tofu (I use Nasoya organic), drained 4 cloves garlic, minced 1 lb cabbage or bok choy, shredded ½ lb carrot, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb celery, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks ½ lb onion, sliced thinly ½ lb kale, shredded ½ lb mushrooms, sliced ½ lb zucchini, sliced thinly on the diagonal or into matchsticks (optional) ½ cup peanuts, unsalted 1/3 cup gluten free tamari 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 1 Tbsp tamarind paste 1/4 cup goji berries dash of sriracha or fresh red thai chili 2 dates green onions, for topping 1-2 Tbsp oil for the pan Put rice noodles into a large bowl and pour hot water over them.  You want the noodles covered with hot water so they soften. In the now, heat a wok or large cast iron skillet and add a bit of oil.  Toss in your garlic and tofu.  We want them to get golden, but not brown.  Stir often with a metal spatula and remove everything to a big serving bowl after about 5 minutes or when yours are golden and fragrant. In the same hot skillet that you just took the garlic and tofu out of, throw in all the veggies except the mushroom and get them going.  These guys are going to work for about 4 minutes. While the veggies are sweating, mix the tamari, vinegar, tamarind, sriracha, goji and dates in your Vitamix or food processor until you have a smooth sauce.  Taste it and adjust the seasoning to suite your taste if necessary. Check the veggies and give them a few good stirs.  Add the mushrooms into the mix.  We are looking for the veggies to get soft, but not mushy and the mushrooms end up keeping a nice toothsome bite since we're arriving to the party fashionably late.  Give the veggies another 3-4 minutes then transfer them to the serving bowl right on top of the garlic and tofu. Add a tiny bit of oil to your pan.  While it’s heating, drain the noodles that were soaking.  Add the noodles to the hot pan and immediately stir them around.  Pour the sauce over the top and use tongs or a big spoon to combine everything.  You want to keep the noodles moving so they don’t stick.  Once they’re hot and the sauce is fragrant tip the veggies, tofu and garlic back into the pan.  Add the peanuts.  Use tongs to combine everything.  Transfer the lot to the serving bowl or straight onto dishes if you prefer.  Top with the sliced green onion and extra peanuts if you like.  YUM!

Sarah Lawrence

Gluten Free Sorghum and Socca Pizza Crust

Gluten free warriors, good pizza crusts are not a thing of the past! The 3 superstars here are powerhouses of fiber, protein and iron… and this stuff is not only nutritious, but also tasty!  If you haven’t tried chickpea flour (also called besan), you are in for a treat! Bob’s RedMill chickpea flour is available in my local market, but if you can’t find it you can order it online or try your local Indian Market.  Ask for besan, which is what chickpea flour is called in Indian cuisine.  Sorghum flour adds a level of sweetness to balance the earthiness of the chickpea flour.  Sorghum is also a fiber rich, protein packed and iron filled grain.  Rounding out the triumvirate is Golden Flax.  Blend it into a meal and it won’t be noticeable; if you prefer a bit of a seed bite for an artisan style crust, try leaving the flax seed whole. Put your cast iron skillet to use here and you won't believe how easy it is to have great gluten free, dairy free, nut free, vegan friendly pizza! Gluten Free Sorghum and Socca Pizza Crust 2 cups chickpea flour ¾ cup sorghum flour ¼ cup golden flaxmeal ¼ cup lemon juice 2 cups water 1 tsp salt 1 tsp onion powder ½ tsp grated lemon zest 1-2 tsp seasoning mix of your choice 1 Tbsp oil, for your pan Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.  If you have pizza stones, put them in to get nice and hot. Mix flours, salt, zest and spices in a bowl. Add lemon juice and water and whisk to combine. The batter should be thick but not stiff; think pancake batter consistency.  Adjust your liquid if necessary.  Thinner batter will yield a thinner, crispier crust.  Thicker batter will yield a more dense, toothsome crust.  You really can't go wrong, so experiment! Coat a cast iron pan with oil and heat oil to medium high heat. Pour batter into pan as you would pancake batter… this is quite like making pancakes, actually! Tip the pan if you need to get the batter out to the edges. You can make your crust thicker or thinner depending on how much batter you put in your pan. Your pan may not be the same size as my pan, so the amount of batter you use will also likely be different than mine. I use a 12 inch cast iron pan and was able to pour 1.5 cups of batter in to cover the bottom, twice, for 2 beautiful crusts.  Definitely can squeak 3 crusts out of this recipe if you use closer to 1 cup per pour for 3 moderately thin, crispy crusts. So, the bottom of the crust will get crispy and the top will start to look a little bubbly and set like a pancake. You can take a peak at the bottom by lifting an edge with a spatula to see if it’s getting golden. The fun part comes next, so grab a spatula or two and get ready to flip the crust. I use two spatulas that are meant for use on an outdoor grill. They are long and flat and are perfect for this sort of thing! [caption id="attachment_493" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Top of crust, bubbly and set"]Top of crust, bubbly and set[/caption] When you’re confident, slide the spatulas under the crust and flip it over. Let this side get crisp for a minute and then transfer the crust to a hot pizza stone in your preheated oven. [caption id="attachment_494" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Flipped and golden"]Flipped and golden [/caption] Ladle on the tomato sauce of your choice and any other toppings that work for you. I made a quick sauce by blending a carton of Pomi crushed tomatoes with 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes. Topped ours with a light sprinkling of Daiya Cheddar. In a few minutes everything is hot and ready to take out, slice and eat! Enjoy! [caption id="attachment_495" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Finished Pizza"]Finished Pizza[/caption]

Sarah Lawrence

Lemon Goji Smoothie


Kids developed this smoothie this morning and it was quite a neon shade of orange but tasted of lemon all the way!  A keeper!  They called it "lemon-neon"...

Lemon-neon smoothie
3 carrots
3 small oranges, skin removed
1 organic lemon, skin removed from half
1/2 cup Goji berries
3 Brazil nuts
2 cups water

Place all ingredients in vitamix.  Blend until smooth.  Taste.  Sweeten with a few drops of liquid stevia if needed.

It was a perfect foil for our omega 3 liquid supplement as well as a hefty dose of probiotics! 

P.s this is my first mobile upload... a bit of a test.  Figure I need to post when its convenient or I may not have time to post!  Fun android phone!

Sarah Lawrence

Seasonal Salad Dressings

If you're anything like me you won't be able to pass up the incredible bounty of tree ripened fruits that are available at this time of year.  In New England, apples and peaches are plentiful.  Weekend apple picking means a week full of applicious eating.  I've been dicing my red beauties and adding them to salads, oatmeal, smoothies, muffins... and salad dressing.  Flavoring with whole foods is an adventure because moisture content/juiciness varies as well as sweetness/tartness.  So, I can guarantee that your dressing won't taste just like mine... but it will taste great and recipes like this one give you license to play with your food!  You need to taste and adjust and experiment.  The dressings I'm sharing today showcase the beauty of whole food dressings.  You'll get nutrients and healthy fats from the nuts and avocado, so additional oils aren't necessary -- the dressing will come together in a beautifully emulsified and creamy way. Dress salad greens and veggies or change it up and dress a cabbage slaw mixed with apples and serve over naked greens.  Top with a sprinkling of pecans or walnuts and a tsp of chia seeds per serving for that boost of calcium.  [caption id="attachment_484" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Harvest Salad with Apple Dijon Dressing"]Apple Dijon Dressing[/caption] Apple Dijon Dressing (yield 1+ cup, depending on size of your apple) 1 macintosh apple or other tart apple ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard ½ cup avocado 2 cloves garlic 1 Tbsp ginger, fresh 4 brazil nuts, optional 1 medool date, optional Combine all ingredients in Vitamix, other blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.   If your apple is quite tart and you need to balance the dressing, adjust the flavor by adding a date and blending again.  The brazil nuts add a hint of creaminess and a ton of selenium, but don’t really effect the flavor.  Use them if you have them for that nutrient boost.   Spicy Peach Dressing [caption id="attachment_485" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Apple Celery Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Spicy Peach Dressing over romaine"][/caption] (yield 1+ cup, depending on size of your peach) 1 ripe peach, cut in half, pit removed ¼ cup apple cider vinegar ½ cup raw cashews 2 cloves garlic 2 Tbsp ginger, fresh 1 tsp Bragg’s Amino’s sriarcha, to taste, optional Combine all ingredients in Vitamix, other blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.  Add ¼ cup of water, if necessary, to loosen the consistency of the dressing.  Everything depends on the juiciness of the peach, so if the dressing is too thick just add that water and blend again.  Spice up the dressing with sriarcha… I reserve a portion of dressing to toss with greens for my boys and then liven up the remaining dressing by starting with 1 tsp of sriarcha.  If you’re not feeding kids or if you prefer things spicier, start with 1 tsp and taste, then adjust if you want more heat.

Sarah Lawrence

Apple Walnut Muffins (gluten-dairy-egg free)

Apple season is upon us and the bushel of apples on my kitchen counter are calling to me to use them!  These apples are so beautiful that you can shine them up on your pant leg and sink your teeth right in for an oh-so-sweet-crisp-tangy-amazing bite and be at one with the apple bliss.  That's a given.  But, so are these... Cinnamon apples, apple chips, apple slices, apple granola, apple smoothies, apple sorbet, apple butter, apple pie, apple cake.... and, ah, apple muffins! I make mini muffins more than full size muffins not only because they're cuter, but because they are easier to pack in lunch boxes, easier to freeze and just the right size to have with a cup of tea.  Check out the alternative fruit and nut combinations and have fun making muffins with or for your loved ones!  Know that you're getting whole grains and healthy fats in these little gems. Apple Walnut Muffins [caption id="attachment_478" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Apple Walnut Mini Muffins"]Apple Walnut Mini Muffins[/caption] (yield 24 mini or 12 regular muffins) Flour blend: ½ cup sorghum flour ½ cup quinoa or millet flour ½ cup amaranth flour ½ cup arrowroot flour 1 tsp xanthan gum ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp gluten free vanilla powder (or add 2 tsp gluten free vanilla liquid extract to the liquid mix) Liquid blend: ½ cup rice syrup or 3 medool dates, softened in ½ cup water and blended until smooth or ½ cup maple syrup 1 Tbsp chia seed ¼ cup hot water ¼ cup coconut oil 1 ripe banana, mashed 1 tsp apple cider vinegar Fruit/nut mix*: 1 ½ cups apple, small diced ¾ cup walnuts, chopped *other fruit/nut combos to try are pear/almond, banana/pecan, peach/cashew.  Substitute these fruits for the apple at the 1 ½ cup portion, however, for great results make sure to choose very firm, almost under-ripe fruits since these are all juicier or more liquid forming than apples.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Line the muffin pan of your choice with paper liners.
  • Combine the flour blend in a mixing bowl.
  • Combine the chia and hot water in a small bowl and set aside until the chia absorbs the water.
  • Combine the chia gel with the remaining ingredients for the liquid blend in another mixing bowl.  Make sure that the banana is very well washed and everything is quite a smooth liquid.   If you aren’t partial to the nubby bite that chia adds to baked goods, you can blend the liquid mixture in a Vitamix or other blender until the chia is smooth.
  • Pour the liquid blend into the flour and stir well to combine.  Fold in the diced apples and nuts.
  • Scoop tablespoon size portions into mini muffin cups or ¼ cup portions into regular muffin cups. 
  • Bake the mini’s for 12 minutes or until golden; bake regular muffins for 18-20 minutes.
  • Check the done-ness of one muffin by inserting a wooden tooth pick into the center and pulling it out.  If there is a goo on the stick, you need to bake for a few minutes longer.
  • Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them from the tin to a cooling rack.  Gluten free baked goods have a tendency to be more moist than glutenous baked goods, so allowing these muffins to cool and get great air flow underneath the papers will help ensure bottoms that aren’t soggy.
  • Serve or freeze (freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer the frozen muffins to a zip lock or freezer safe container).

Sarah Lawrence

Ingredient Adventure: Black Chickpeas

I love trying new ingredients.  This bag of Black Chickpeas has been in my pantry for a little over a month now and I decided that tonight was their opening night in our kitchen!  Most of the recipes I've seen that use black chickpeas describe them as a snack or side dish and use them in a spiced sauce with some gamey meat.  Instead of using these little nuggets in their traditional supporting role, I've used them as the star.  This meal was rounded out with a gorgeous saute of ripped kale, seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper as well as a scoop of steamed quinoa.  I also created a Gingered Coconut Almond Cream to top the Chickpeas, just because... I love ginger and I love a creamy sauce that I can dip into or swirl into a dish.  About 1 Tbsp topped each serving of Chickpeas. The Family Verdict: My 9 year old enjoyed the meal; the 5 year old mixed everything together and ate all but a few bites; my sweet husband left some of the kale and noted that because the black chickpeas look like black beans he expected them to be softer.  I cooked the chickpeas just past al dente, but it would be really easy to cook them a bit more to soften them. Notes: the Black Chickpea soaks and cooks the same as a tan chickpea, though this variety seems much smaller than tan chickpeas.  The taste is also very similar if not the same as the tan variety.  My next 2 experiments will be dry roasting them and trying a Black Chickpea hummus. [caption id="attachment_475" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Black Chickpeas with Kale and Quinoa"]black chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce[/caption] Black Chickpeas in Spiced Tomato Sauce (yields 6-8 servings) Adapted from this Chana-chanp recipe 2 cups dry Black Chickpeas, soaked 1 tsp coconut oil 1 lb Onion, chopped 1 cup coconut milk + 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 lb Tomato, crushed 1 Tbsp cumin powder 1 tsp turmeric powder 3 Tbsp Garlic, chopped 2 Tbsp Ginger, chopped 1 Tbsp chili powder or a generous squeeze of Sriracha, optional handful fresh Cilantro, chopped Salt, to taste Prep: Rinse the chickpeas in cool water to clean them.  Soak the chickpeas over night; drain. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions until soft.  Add the tomatoes, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder and cumin and boil until chickpeas are soft, about 45 minutes.  Once the chickpeas are cooked, turn off the heat and add the coconut milk/lemon juice mixture.  Taste.  Season with chili powder or sriracha as desired.  If you are serving children, you may want to reserve a portion before seasoning with the hot pepper options. Top with minced cilantro and serve.   Ripped Kale 1 bunch of kale, ripped or chopped into small pieces 1 tsp coconut oil Heat coconut oil in a wok or saute pan and add the kale.  Saute over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the kale is vibrant green and wilted.  Season with a hint of salt and pepper if desired.   Gingered Coconut Almond Cream (yields 1 1/3 cup) 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup raw almonds 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger Combine all ingredients in the Vitamix or other high powered blender.  Blend until very smooth.  The flavor or the cream intensifies the longer it sits.  Fresh ginger yields a stronger flavor faster.


Hearty Oat Breakfasts: fiber rich and good for Fall

The cool night air is spilling over into our mornings; soon it will be hanging on to our daytimes... Fall is here!  Put away your tee-shirts and release those comfy sweaters from their hibernation. While we enjoy gluten free oats year-round because they are a great fiber rich, whole grain gluten free option, we especially enjoy them in Fall and Winter for their warming properties.  I love preparing oatmeal for my children as a nutritious breakfast.  On days like today when our oldest goes straight from school to gymnastics, it gives me great joy to power him up in the morning with one of these oat meals.  Adding quinoa to our oats is a simple way to ensure that we are protein rich and ready to face the day!  Quinoa is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  The fiber in these recipes is also impressive... through my personal tally based on the dry weight of our starting ingredients, the Apple Oat Meal contains about 9 grams of fiber per serving(5 from the oats, 3 from the quinoa, 1 from the apple).  9 grams is about 1/3 the RDA for most people.  Not bad for a bowl of oatmeal! The American Heart Association guidelines for daily fiber intake vary by age.  To give you an idea of what you need and what your children need, check out these numbers:  Gender/Age Fiber (grams) 1–3 years (19 grams) 4–8 years (25 grams) 9–13 years: Female: (26 grams); Male: (31 grams) 14–18 years: Female: (29 grams); Male: (38 grams) 19-50 years: Female: (29 grams); Male: (38 grams) 50+: Female: (30 grams); Males: (30 grams)  The recipes I share with your today use seasonal fruits with oats and quinoa.  One recipe starts with leftover, cooked, unseasoned quinoa and the other starts with raw quinoa and cooks the seed along with the oats.  Both take about 15 minutes from start to finish, so you can easily get this nutritious breakfast on the table even on a busy morning! Enjoy! Harvest Apple Oat Meal Harvest Apple Oat Meal (makes 4 servings) 2 cup gluten free oats 4 cups water ½ cup organic raisins 1 cup cooked quinoa maple syrup, optional Apple Cream 1 organic apple, quartered or chopped ½ cup raw cashews, soaked if necessary Place oats, raisins and water into a pot. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the oats don’t burn and everything cooks evenly. To make the apple cream, place nuts and apple in your Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy. If you are working with a regular blender, soak the cashews in ½ cup water for an hour before blending and chop the apples before adding them to the blender. You may need to add more water to get a creamy consistency if you use this method, but it is equally yummy (it just takes some prep time.) Stir the cooked quinoa into the oats and spoon into your serving bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup if desired and top with a dollop of the apple cashew cream.   Peaches and Cream Quinoats (makes 3-4 servings) ½ cup quinoa, rinsed 1 cup gluten free oats 3 ripe peaches, diced 3 cups water Cashew Cream 1 cup raw cashews 1 ½ cups water 2 medool dates, pit removed Place grains, water and half of the diced peaches into a pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the grains don’t burn and everything cooks evenly. To make the cream, place nuts, water and dates in your Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy. If you are working with a regular blender, soak the cashews and dates in the water for an hour before blending. You may need to add more water to get a creamy consistency if you use this method, but it is equally yummy (it just takes some prep time.) Spoon grains into your serving bowls and top with the cashew cream. Enjoy!