Thursday, September 30, 2010

Beans - Cheap & Nutritious

I'm going to start posting quite a few recipes with beans - they're so cheap and nutritious, and actually fast and easy in the pressure cooker.

So far, some of my favorite "bean" dishes are spinach-black bean burritos, black bean tortilla pie, and bean stir-fries with rice (like azuki beans and mushrooms).

For all of the recipes, I start by soaking the beans overnight and cooking them in the morning in my pressure cooker.  The pressure cooker will cook most beans in about 3 minutes (not counting heat up and cool down time, but it usually only takes about 10 minutes to heat up, 3 minutes to cook, and you can cool fast by placing the pressure cooker in cold water, or, for softer beans, let the pressure come down on its own).  Then you can put them in the refrigerator and freeze the extra beans for later (to stir into soups, make dips, etc.)  However, you MUST follow the directions that come with your pressure cooker for cooking time, the amount of water, and usually about 1 T. of cooking oil to prevent the beans from foaming up and creating one huge mess.  For example, I have a 6-quart pressure cooker and I usually make one 16 oz bag at a time, soak the beans in cold water in the refrigerator overnight, rinse them, place them in the cooker with just enough water to cover, 1 T. of oil (do NOT forget the oil!), and seal.

Of course you could always use canned beans, but I think it's healthier and cheaper to use the dried, especially when the pressure cooker is so efficient.

 Tortilla Black Bean Pie (from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Great Food Fast Cookbook)
4 flour tortillas (I used brown rice from Trader Joe's, or, make your own) VillaWare is a nice tortilla maker.
1 T. cooking oil (or olive oil is ok too)
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno chile (if desired, or I used 1 green pepper)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t. ground cumin
kosher salt & pepper
black beans (I used about 3/4 of a 16 oz. bag prepared), or you can use 2 cans
recipe calls for 12 oz. beer, but I used 1 1/2 c. water and it was way too much - probably about 1/2 c. water will do
1 package frozen corn
4 scallions, sliced
2 1/2 c. shredded Cheddar cheese, about 8 oz, or, you can use yogurt cheese (no lactose) or soy cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  The recipe says to trim the tortillas to fit in a 9" pan, but I used them straight from the package and they fit in a 9 1/2" glass pie plate.

Heat the oil, and add the onion, garlic, cumin, salt and jalapeno pepper and fry until soft.  Then add the green pepper (if using) beans, corn, scallions, and beer/water and simmer with the top off for about 8-10 minutes, until liquid has mostly evaporated.

Prepare the pie by placing one tortilla down, then topping with the bean mixture (I got too much water so I had to use a slotted spoon), then cheese, then repeat with 3-4 tortillas, the top layer being beans, and then cheese.  Bake about 20-25 minutes, sprinkle with a few extra scallions, and serve.  We chose to serve it with avocados, lime juice, and sour cream (dairy and/or soy sour cream).

Azuki Beans & Mushrooms
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small shallots, chopped
1 package sliced mushrooms
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/4 c. marsala wine (optional)
1 can azuki beans (I used Eden Brand, I have not been able to find dried azuki beans)
fresh tarragon
kosher salt & pepper to taste

In a large frying pan, fry, uncovered, the garlic, shallots, mushrooms and carrots until soft (about 10 minutes), stirring frequently.  Add the wine (or use apple juice or water), and beans, cover and simmer about 3-4 minutes until heated through.  Add fresh tarragon, salt & pepper.  Serve with rice.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fall Pumpkin Pecan Ginger Pancakes

1 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. brown rice flour
3 t. baking powder (aluminum-free)
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
2 eggs (or 3 t. egg replacer mixed with 4 T rice milk)
1 c. coconut milk
1 c. rice milk or soy milk
2 T. safflower oil
1 T. dark raw agave syrup or honey
2/3 c. pumpkin puree
1/3 c. chopped pecans (if allergic to nuts, use pumpkin seeds or omit)
2 T. finely chopped candied ginger (I use a quick chopper)
dried cranberries to sprinkle on top
maple syrup or a little powdered sugar mixed with coconut milk as a glaze

Combine flours, baking powder, sea salt, and spices in a large bowl.  Whisk eggs or egg replacer in a smaller bowl, add milks, oil, agave syrup, and pumpkin puree and whisk until smooth and combined.  Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing in the pecans and candied ginger.  If necessary, add more water to thin the batter so it is thick; but spreads easily.  Cook as pancakes on a medium-high griddle.  Top with cranberries & either maple syrup or the powdered sugar glaze.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lentil Soup

I made up this lentil soup, while it is not vegetarian (could be if you used soy sausage), it is tomato-free - and it's hard to find soups without tomatoes!

2 t. oil
2 leeks (trimmed & washed, sliced thinly)
1 pound Italian pork sausage (or you could use chicken/soy - yes, pork is terrible for you but it is actually one of the few meats my husband is not sensitive to)
3-4 carrots, peeled & sliced
2-3 potatoes diced in about 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed
2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Fry the leeks in the oil in a large stockpot, then remove the casings from the pork sausage and crumble into the pot.  Fry until no longer pink, then add the carrots & potatoes.  Fry about 1-2 more minutes, then add the lentils, broth and enough water so that everything is covered.  Simmer about 1 hour.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Genotype Gatherer Cookies

I think I'm a "Gatherer" - Blood Type O+. Here's a cookie recipe that contains most of the "super-foods" on the Genotype Diet Gatherer List:

1/2 c. vegetable (palm oil) shortening (it's avoid - but I don't know what other "shortening" to use!)
1/4 c. molasses (Superfood)
1/4 c. maple syrup or agave syrup (maple is a "black dot")
1 t. vanilla
1 c. amaranth flour (Superfood - diamond)
1 c. millet flour (Superfood - diamond)
1/2 t. cinnamon (Superfood - diamond)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder

Cream the first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer. Stir in the four. For shaped cookies, roll out the dough in small portions on a cutting board, using lots of amaranth flour. Roll thick, about 1/2" thick. Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Gluten-free/Vegan Cake Brownies

These "cake" brownies turned out very of the yummiest "healthy" snacks I've had in a long time!

1/2 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. brown rice syrup
1/2 c. safflower oil
1/2 c. carob powder
3 t. Ener-G Egg Replacer
1/4 c. rice milk
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. rice milk
1 c. buckwheat flour
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 T. Vegan Rice Protein Powder
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 c. chopped walnuts (optional) or vegan chocolate/carob chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 15X10X1-inch baking pan (I used a 9X9X1-inch pan for a thicker "brownie"). I use all-palm oil vegetable shortening from Spectrum or 365 (Whole Foods' brand).

In a glass bowl, using a wire whisk, combine the syrups, oil, and carob powder. Mix the egg replace with the rice milk in a separate cup and combine with the syrup. Whisk in the vanilla and rice milk until smooth.

Add the flour, protein powder (optional, but I have found this adds a little protein to gluten-free flours so the bake goods aren't as crumbly) baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well with the whisk, stir in the nuts if desired (or coconut/chocolate or carob chips). Pour into the baking dish.

Bake approximately 40 minutes for the 9X9X1 - inch or until a toothpick comes out clean, bake about 20-30 minutes for the 15X10X1 inch pan.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

New Apple Pie Crust Recipe

I'm working on making a better apple pie crust dough, and in general, gluten-free baked goods that don't fall apart so easily. I know Xanthan Gum is supposed to provide some structure, however, I have had some great results with this Rice Protein Powder lately.

New Pie Crust Idea:

1 c. finely milled buckwheat flour (like Hodgson Mills)
1 c. brown rice flour
(you can use some millet flour if you like, or try any other flours)
about 1/2 T. Rice Protein Powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. vegetable shortening or coconut oil (I use Spectrum)
8 T. cold Rice Milk

Mix the flours and salt. Use a pastry blender to cut in the vegetable shortening. With a fork, add the cold Rice Milk, 2 T. at a time. Stop adding Rice Milk when your dough is starting to hold together well (or add more if it's a dry day!)

Make a ball with the dough and cut it in half. The secret is to roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Take one half, roll it out between the two pieces of plastic wrap, carefully remove the top layer and flip the crust in the pie dish. If it is falling apart, just pick up the dough and carefully work in a little more rice milk.

Poke a couple fork holes in the bottom layer, add the filling, the top, and poke a couple more holes or cut slits. Bake at about 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Caramely Popcorn

This is kind of like caramel corn, except it's faster - there's no baking involved. I used Indian ingredients.

I didn't measure anything for my first try, but here's what I did - have fun experimenting!

Popped Popcorn (I usually pop mine in a little safflower oil) Spread the popcorn on 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
about 1 T. Ghee (clarified butter, it is only the fat so it is sometimes ok for people allergic to dairy)
about 1/2 c. Brown Rice Syrup
about 1/2 square of Jaggerty (raw sugar, available at Indian stores)

Cook the ghee, brown rice syrup, and jaggerty in a small sauce pan, bring to a boil then simmer until about 230 degrees on a candy thermometer. Mine got up to 250 and was a little too crunchy.

Quickly drizzle the candy over the popcorn and salt the popcorn. Let cool before eating.