Tag Archives: dairy-free

Gluten free Falafel with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt

25 Feb

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Craving a quick and light meal? Look no further! You can whip these bad boys up and still have time to do homework watch the Oscars for four hours, uninterrupted!

The key ingredient for me here was the chipotle. Nothing beats that smokiness. It goes surprisingly excellent with the combination of tangy yogurt and nutty tahini.

And of course, this recipe is gluten and sugar free (just like me!). I’ve been on this crazy diet for 13 days now, (which also eliminates all dairy except for yogurt) and honestly, I feel great. More energetic and more alert! I’ve also finally lost those 3.5 Italy pounds (worth it) which is a nice bonus!

For those of you not on a cleanse, fear not. These falafel would be lovely wrapped in a warm pita with onion, tomato and parsley.

Gluten Free Falafel with Chipotle Tahini Yogurt
Makes 16

2 small cans of chickpeas (or one can chickpeas, one can another bean if you’re short- I actually used chickpeas and adzuki beans for this dish), drained and rinsed.
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
1 egg
1 cup of cornmeal
1/2 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste, remember, I like things spicy!)
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 juicy lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Coconut oil, for frying
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. Add beans to food processor and give it a few pulses. Remove half of the chopped beans into a large bowl, and leave the rest.

2. Process the remaining beans with garlic, onion, lemon juice, olive oil, spices, herbs, salt, cornmeal and flaxseeds. Taste for salt. Add egg and blend until incorporated into a thick, chunky paste. Add mixture to bowl with chopped beans.

3.in a large skillet heat oil at medium high (about two tablespoons). Gently ball dough and drop into hot oil. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate lines with paper towel to drain. Serve immediately.

Sauce
1 cup yogurt
2 heaping tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1/4 fresh lemon
Sea salt to taste
1 teaspoon ground chipotle

1. Mix and drizzle on top or serve on the side.

I served this on a makeshift tabbouleh salad- finely chopped parsley with cherry tomatoes, chopped red pepper and cilantro, topped with olive oil,more sea salt and more lemon juice. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and ground black pepper.

Then sit back, relax, and talk smack about celebrities.

M

Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

16 Feb

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While craving bacon but having no eggs, I whipped this up for a Saturday lunch. It was a huge hit. Very flavourful, and so satisfying after a solid week of salad eating (see last post). I used gluten free rice pasta and omitted the cheese, but for all you sensible people reading, this would be magnifico topped with some fresh shavings of Parmesan.

So far the no dairy-sugar-gluten thing has been quite manageable, while cooking at home that is (don’t ask me about the wine and coffee). It just requires making simple substitutions. However, eating in restaurants is much more difficult, and working in one is even harder, especially with all the amazing Valentines Day desserts flying around.

Let’s just say that this dish made up for a weeks worth of discipline! Smoky, salty bacon, sweet caramelized onions, spicy tomato sauce and bright, fresh herbs. No one felt deprived.

Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

Serves 5-6

1 package gluten free brown rice fusilli
1 package organic bacon, chopped into small, bite sized pieces.
1 large onion
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh basil
1 carrot
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon hot red chilli flakes
Olive oil
Stevia (substituted for sugar)
Salt and pepper

This recipe requires juggling a few elements simultaneously. Start to finish it should take about 40 minutes.

1. In food processor, combine carrot, 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 of onion and parsley until very finely chopped. Add some olive oil while processing so it doesn’t all stick to the sides. Set aside.
2. Heat a regular sized pot to medium and add 3 cloves chopped garlic, cook until fragrant and add tomato paste and then crushed tomatoes. Season with salt, mix well and let simmer. (Some water might be necessary if the sauce is too thick)
3. In a larger pan, at medium high heat, cook chopped bacon along with second half of onion, also chopped. Cook until bacon has reduced and is almost crispy and onions are browned, about 20 minutes. Using a spoon, skim the bacon fat out of the pan as it accumulates.
4. Add pasta to pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, return to sauce and add stevia (or sugar) to balance acidity and finish with drizzle of quality olive oil and half of the fresh basil. Turn to low.
6. In a separate frying pan, sauté the onion-carrot- parsley mixture until soft. Once cooked, add tomato sauce along with two tablespoons of the pasta water and stir well.
7. Once pasta is almost done, drain and return to pot, along with the sauce. Mix well. The pasta should finish cooking in the sauce, for added flavour. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the pasta, add the chillis and the rest of the basil, roughly torn and incorporated throughout. Finish with black pepper and (optional) Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a nice glass of red, for me 😉

Hearty and Spicy Potato Leek Soup

2 Jan

Food 400

Christmas and New Years was a whirlwind. From December 23rd to the 2nd of January, my feet barely stepped foot in my own apartment, let alone the kitchen. Today was specifically planned to be a day with no plans. Sleep in, watch some episodes of Misfits (check it out), head to my favourite neighbourhood lunch spot (Zocalo at Bloor and Dundas West) and stock up on some groceries. Scheduling, obligations and rules of any kind were strictly forbidden today. We even skipped yoga.

Pure heaven.

Scott’s parents own a catering business and as a result, we inherited lots of leftover perishables, including  a 10 lb bag of potatoes (!) a 10 lb bag of onions (!!)  and another 10+ lb bag of carrots (!!!). So tonight we made big batches of caramelized onions, carrot ginger soup and potato leek soup.

Food 427

Food 392

The potato leek soup was the stand out winner here (unless eating fork-fulls of pure caramelized onions counts, but it doesn’t). It was the first time I’ve ever made it, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. It turned out to be really fast, with great depth of flavour. This recipe is pretty healthy, being free of cream, and yet is still nice and creamy (and also happens to be vegan and gluten free).  So hearty and satisfying!

Spicy Potato Leek Soup

  • 1 large leek, rinsed and finely chopped (white and tender pale green parts only)
  • 8-10 medium sized potatoes (lost count, sorry)
  • 1 medium sized white onion, sliced finely
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Water (about 6 cups, or just enough to cover the potatoes in a large pot)
  • 1 cube vegetarian bouillon
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh pressed olive oil
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Wash and chop potatoes into medium sized cubes and add to large pot. Fill pot with water just to cover and bring to a boil
  2. Add bay leaves, veggie stock and salt to water. Boil until potatoes are soft.
  3. Meanwhile, in frying pan,  sauté leeks with garlic, onion and white wine until browned, soft and fragrant.
  4. When potatoes are cooked, add leeks, garlic and onion to pot with potatoes.
  5. Remove the bay leaves, and puree mixture until creamy and well incorporated.
  6. Add almond milk (can also use regular dairy)  until desired consistency is reached. Add olive oil and blend well.
  7. Add parsley, black pepper and hot pepper flakes.
  8. Heat gently (do not boil) for a few more minutes, until heated through.
  9. Garnish with caramelized onions, croutons, cheese, or all of the above!

I picked up a spice mixture of peperoncino, aglio (garlic) and Italian parsley (prezzemolo) in a Roman market during my recent foray to Italy, and threw it in at the last minute. I’m glad I did, as the hot peppers added a nice, subtle kick and the parsley some colour. It really enhanced the recipe!

Food 410

Tell me, what would you do with 10 lbs of potatoes?? (I’m asking because… there are still quite a few left over)

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