March 26, 2015

Pasta with sugar snap peas and herbs (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in cooking, dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, pasta, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian tagged , , , , , , , , at 10:57 pm by thecatwho

Here you make a pasta sauce by reserving and flavoring some of the pasta-cooking water (inspired by foodnetwork.com).

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil
  • onion, diced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • jalapeño chile, minced
  • salt
  • sugar snap peas, strings removed and chopped
  • brown rice pasta or other gluten-free pasta
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • Swiss chard, center ribs removed and leaves thinly sliced
  • fresh parsley and dried herbs, such as thyme, fennel seed, or herbes de Provence
  • pepper
  • vinegar or lemon juice (optional)
 Method
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, mushrooms, chile, and salt. Cook until softened. Add sugar snap peas and continue cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 to 2 cups of pasta-cooking water. Set aside.
  3. Add garlic and chard to the pan and cook for a minute or two. Transfer vegetables to a serving bowl; reserve the pan. Toss pasta with vegetables in the serving bowl.
  4. Heat reserved pasta-cooking water in the pan. Add oil or ghee and reduce the liquid. Add herbs and cook for another minute or two. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a splash of vinegar if using.

March 14, 2015

Creamy lentils with garlic, rosemary, and beets (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, vegan, vegetarian, world cuisines tagged , , , , , at 5:19 pm by thecatwho

What makes this dish creamy is the chana dal (split baby garbanzo beans). If you can’t find them, use yellow split peas. Why add beets? They give texture plus sweetness to balance the savory in the garlic and rosemary, but you can substitute potatoes, carrots, zucchini, or another vegetable if you like.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • beets, preferably Chioggia or golden beets because they don’t bleed, cut into ½-in. dice
  • green lentils
  • chana dal* or yellow split peas
  • homemade broth or water
  • rosemary sprigs or dried rosemary
  • garlic, minced
  • salt
  • pepper

* Find chana dal online or at Indian markets.

Method
  1. Heat oil in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add beets for a minute or two and then the lentils and chana dal. Cook, covered, stirring often, until beets begin to soften.
  2. Add broth (about 3 parts broth to 1 part lentils/chana dal) to pan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until the legumes are almost soft. Stir in rosemary and garlic and cook until rosemary has fallen off the sprig and legumes are completely soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

March 8, 2015

Collard “enchiladas” with mashed potato filling (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, microwave cooking, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian, world cuisines tagged , , , , , , at 3:28 pm by thecatwho

Looking at what was in the fridge and pantry, I came up with this take on a traditional Mexican entrée. Dried chipotle chiles add a spicy, smoky flavor, and the raisins add a hint of sweetness. In step 6, you could microwave the rolls in 2-minute intervals, covered with a microwave-safe top or plate, until bubbling and heated all the way through if you like.

Ingredients
  • potatoes, cut into chunks
  • collard greens
  • dried chiles, mild, medium, and/or hot
  • raisins
  • pitted green olives, chopped
  • ground cumin
  • roasted pecan and walnut pieces
  • salt
  • pepper
  • store-bought green or red salsa
Method
  1. Steam potatoes until very soft. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  2. Steam or microwave intact collard leaves until soft. Remove center rib and cut leaves in half lengthwise. Pile leaves on a work surface.
  3. Meanwhile, cut chiles into small pieces. Put chiles and raisins in a glass measuring cup and pour boiling water over just to cover. Soak until chiles and raisins are completely soft, then use scissors to cut them into tiny pieces while soaking.
  4. Pour the chiles, raisins, and some of the soaking water onto the potatoes and mash with a large fork, spatula, or potato masher. Stir in olives, cumin, nuts, and more soaking water as needed to create a mixture that is integrated, but not mushy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat toaster oven or standard oven to 375º. Put a dollop of potato mixture on the end of a collard leaf, roll up, and put seam side down in a baking dish. Repeat with each collard leaf. Pour salsa over the rolls and cover with foil.
  6. Bake, checking every 20 minutes or so, until bubbling and a fork easily pierces the rolls. Uncover and let cool a minute before serving.

March 4, 2015

Warm lentil salad with roasted brussels sprouts and citrus dressing (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Posted in dairy-free, gluten free, healthy cooking, salad, sugar-free, vegetables, vegetarian tagged , , , , , , at 8:50 am by thecatwho

This one-bowl meal brings an exciting mix of flavors in every bite. The citrus dressing adds sweetness, saltiness, and sparkle (thanks for the idea, Josie). Use lentils that keep their shape when cooked, such as brown or French lentils—not red lentils, which turn creamy. You can roast broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or any other vegetable in place of the brussels sprouts.

Ingredients
  • lentils, rinsed and drained
  • homemade broth or water
  • kosher salt
  • brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • chopped raw vegetables, such as radishes, kohlrabi, jicama, fennel bulb
  • orange juice
  • lime or lemon juice
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Dijon mustard
  • hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced
  • green onions, thinly sliced 
  • toasted sunflower seeds
  • pepper
Method
  1. Preheat toaster oven or standard oven to 400º. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Put 1 part lentils, 2 parts broth or water, and a sprinkle of salt in a saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until lentils are soft. Turn off heat but keep lentils warm.
  3. Meanwhile, toss brussels sprouts with oil and roast cut side down in the lined baking pan until browned and soft. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Make salad dressing: Whisk together orange juice, lime juice, sesame oil, and mustard in a small bowl, tasting as you go.
  5. Assemble individual salads in bowls: Layer lentils, brussels sprouts, raw vegetables, egg slices, green onions, and sunflower seeds. Drizzle with dressing and season to taste with salt and pepper.

March 1, 2015

Coconut chile quinoa (gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan)

Posted in dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, sugar-free, vegan, vegetarian tagged , , , , at 7:44 pm by thecatwho

There’s something about this combination of ingredients that creates a naturally sweet yet savory dish. For a richer flavor, use both oil and ghee. Any kind of dried chile works—mild, hot, or smoked.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or ghee
  • dried chiles, stemmed, seeded, and broken or cut into small pieces
  • quinoa, well rinsed and drained
  • kosher salt
  • homemade broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • sugar-free dried coconut
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add chile pieces and cook, stirring, until fragrant and softened.
  2. Add quinoa to pan and toast, stirring, until just golden. Season with salt.
  3. Add broth (use 2 parts broth or water to 1 part quinoa), bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and blend with an immersion blender if you like. Stir in coconut, and let stand, covered, for at least 5 minutes.

February 26, 2015

Pasta with artichoke hearts, olives, and potatoes (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in cooking, dairy-free, food, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, pasta, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian, world cuisines tagged , , , , , , , , , at 8:19 am by thecatwho

Sounds like an odd combination for a pasta dish, but the flavors bring to mind a salad Niςoise because of the potatoes, herbes de Provence, and the briny olives and artichoke hearts. My household enjoys spicy tang, so we used pickled jalapeño chiles in place of the vinegar.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, sliced into thin half-moons
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • potatoes, cut into ½-in. dice
  • salt
  • brown rice or other gluten-free pasta
  • marinated artichoke hearts
  • greens, such as kale or collards, center ribs removed and leaves chopped
  • pitted green olives, chopped
  • vinegar, such as white wine or white balsamic
  • herbes de Provence
  • pepper
Method
  1. Heat oil in a large pan. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until softened. Add potatoes and a sprinkle of salt and cover and cook until potatoes are just soft.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving a cup or two of the cooking water.
  3. Add artichoke hearts, greens, and olives and cook until greens are wilted. Mix in pasta. Season to taste with vinegar, herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper.

February 22, 2015

Radish, fennel, and baby arugula salad with tahini dressing (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Posted in cooking, dairy-free, gardening, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, salad, vegetables, vegetarian tagged , , , , , , , , , at 11:01 am by thecatwho

How about a winter main-course salad without the usual suspects? No lettuce here.

Ingredients
  • red radishes, sliced
  • fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
  • baby arugula leaves, washed and dried in a salad spinner
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • super-firm tofu or seasoned baked tofu, cut in ½-in. dice
  • hard-cooked eggs
  • orange juice
  • lime or lemon juice
  • salt
  • tahini (sesame paste)
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  • pepper
  • toasted sliced almonds
Method
  1. Put radishes, fennel, arugula, green onions, and tofu into a large serving bowl. Peel and slice eggs; add to bowl.
  2. Make dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together juices, salt, tahini, sesame oil, Sriracha, and pepper. Adjust seasonings.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. Top with almonds and serve.

February 17, 2015

California-style pad Thai (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, healthy cooking, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian, world cuisines tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:14 pm by thecatwho

A typical vegetarian pad Thai noodle dish has a large portion of noodles with few vegetables. What makes this a “California” version is the bounty of vegetables (you could probably use whatever you have on hand); the addition of toasted seeds; and an inventive, easy sauce. If you don’t have ponzu (citrus-infused soy sauce), use soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free mixed with orange, lemon, and/or lime juice.

Ingredients
  • large dried rice stick or pad Thai flat rice noodles (might be called banh pho)*
  • extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
  • onion, sliced into thin half-moons
  • super-firm tofu or seasoned baked tofu, cut in ½-in. dice
  • sweet pepper, chopped
  • jalapeño chile (optional), chopped
  • broccoli
  • kale, center ribs removed and leaves cut into thin strips
  • garlic, minced
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  • ponzu sauce
  • toasted sesame oil
  • green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro leaves and tender stems, minced
  • toasted sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds

* Find dried rice stick or rice noodles in the Asian foods aisle at well-stocked grocery stores, at gourmet stores, or at Asian markets.

Method
  1. Put noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water to cover and let stand until noodles are soft, at least 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, tofu, sweet pepper, and jalapeño, if using, and cook until starting to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, steam or microwave broccoli until soft but still bright green. When cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
  4. Add kale and garlic to tofu mixture. Cook, stirring, until kale has softened. Stir in broccoli, noodles, Sriracha, ponzu, and sesame oil. Adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with green onions, cilantro, and toasted seeds; serve immediately.

February 10, 2015

Red lentil stew with coconut and cabbage (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in cooking, dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, soup, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 5:14 pm by thecatwho

A can of coconut milk and red lentils made the perfect thick stew for our recent blustery and rainy weather in the San Francisco Bay Area. Serve over your favorite grain, pasta, or cooked vegetables.

Ingredients
  • coconut oil
  • onion, diced
  • root vegetables, such as turnips, potatoes, and carrots
  • mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • salt
  • dried chiles, such as poblano, chile negro, chipotle, habanero, or cayenne, stemmed and seeded
  • red lentils
  • homemade vegetable broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • chopped green garlic or minced garlic cloves
  • canned coconut milk
  • green cabbage, cut into 1-in. dice
  • Sriracha chili sauce
  • sugar-free dried, shredded coconut
  • green onions, thinly sliced
Method
  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion, root vegetables, and mushrooms; sprinkle with salt. Cook, covered, until vegetables soften.
  2. Meanwhile, put chiles in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. When soft, cut with scissors while submerged and stir chiles with soaking water into pot. Add red lentils and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add broth just to cover and cook, covered, until lentils are soft.
  3. Add garlic, coconut milk, and cabbage. Cook, covered, until cabbage softens. Stir in Sriracha, shredded coconut, and green onions just before serving.

February 4, 2015

Chunky potato broccoli soup (gluten-free, vegan)

Posted in cooking, dairy-free, gluten free, gluten-free vegan, soup, sugar-free, vegan, vegetables, vegetarian tagged , , , , , , , at 9:20 pm by thecatwho

I love a hearty soup in the winter. This one satisfies, with one or two beets for sweetness—pink Chioggia or golden beets don’t bleed like red beets, but if you don’t mind a scarlet-colored soup, use red beets. If you don’t have beets, no worries.

Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil or ghee
  • onions, diced
  • shallot, diced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • potatoes, chopped
  • beets, trimmed, scrubbed, and diced
  • salt
  • homemade broth, store-bought broth, or water
  • garlic, minced
  • broccoli, chopped
  • pepper
Process
  1. Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and shallot and cook, covered, for a minute. Add mushrooms, potatoes, beet, and salt and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften. Add broth to cover and simmer, covered, until broth is flavored by the vegetables, about 15 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and broccoli and cook, covered, until broccoli is softened. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup a little, keeping the soup chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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