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Posts Tagged ‘Gluten-free’

On a recent quest to detoxify my body, and lacking the willpower for another 7 day liquid cleanse, I decided to stick to a Raw menu for a few weeks. This dish is just one of the many delicious & satisfying meals I have been feasting on, which I decided to recreate after having it at one of my favourite Veggie haunts. To be honest, the idea of eating Zucchini uncooked has never really appealed to me – along with Broccoli, Cauliflower and Mushrooms…And so, despite the hype around Zucchini ‘Pasta’, I hadn’t even considered trying it – until it was the only raw choice on the menu one night, and now I’m so glad I did! Julienning the Zucchini into long, thin strips creates mock noodles with just the right texture, and they’re packed with fibre & water unlike heavy, starchy pasta. But it’s the zesty Basil Pesto and juicy Cherry Tomatoes that make this dish so heavenly – nothing can beat homemade Pesto! I like mine with lots of garlic, so if you’re not a big fan then adjust accordingly. These noodles are topped with Gomasio (a mixture of Sesame Seeds & Salt) for some crunch, but you can just as easily replace it with finely chopped Almonds or Sunflower Seeds…You’ll be surprised by how filling this dish actually is!

Ingredients: (2 servings)

2 medium sized Zucchini

handful of Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1 Tblsp. Sundried Tomatoes, chopped

Gomasio to sprinkle on top (or finely chopped Almonds/Sunflower Seeds)

For the Basil Pesto: (from The 30-Minute Vegan: Over 175 Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Recipes for Everyday Cooking) – makes 1 cup

1 1/2 cups fresh Basil leaves, packed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Pine Nuts

1/2 cup plus 2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

2 Tblsp. freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

2-3 Garlic cloves (I used 3…)

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

1 tsp. Nutritional Yeast (optional)

 

Method:

– After washing the Zucchini, cut the tops & tails off and, using a Mandoline, julienne into long, thin strips (make sure they are not too thick). Place in a large bowl, along with the Cherry Tomatoes and Sundried Tomatoes.

– Combine all the ingredients for the Pesto in a food processor or high-speed blender, and blend until mostly smooth.

– Mix Pesto with Zucchini Noodles (you may only need half the batch), and top with Gomasio.

*Enjoy, guilt-free!

 

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Spaghetti Bolognaise & Lasagne were my two most requested dinners when I was young – I’m sure my Mum must have gotten tired of making them! They were also the first dishes I learnt to make when I moved out of home, before that my specialty was melted Cheese on Toast…To this day I still love a good Bolognaise, except now I make it without the smelly Mince-meat (which used to make me gag when I was cooking it!). This recipe is pretty basic as I just used what I had around that night, but feel free to add some other veggies if you like – Eggplant, Courgettes or Carrots would go well too. You could also roast your veg first, rather than pan-fry, and then add them to the Tomato Sauce before blending, mmm…The ultimate comfort food – tastes just like Mum’s Bolognaise!

Ingredients: (2-4 servings)

1 pkt. Gluten-free Spaghetti Pasta

1 clove Garlic, minced

1/2 Onion, diced

1/2 each of Red Bell Pepper & Yellow Bell Pepper, diced

1 Tomato, diced

1 tin crushed Tomatoes (Fire roasted is good)

handful of Kalamata Olives, halved

3-4 Sundried Tomatoes, rehydrated & chopped

pinch each of dried Basil & Oregano

a few leaves of Fresh Basil, chopped finely

Optional: 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes (if you want it to have a bit of spice…)

 

Method:

– Boil water with a dash of Olive Oil & Salt, and cook Pasta according to instructions on packet.

– In a large Saucepan heat some Oil and sauté Onions until they begin to soften. Add Garlic and sauté until it begins to release its aroma, then add Bell Peppers and pan-fry until they begin to soften.

– Add Tomato, dried Herbs, optional Red Pepper Flakes, and Sundried Tomatoes,  and stir to combine. Pour in the tin of Tomatoes, bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer (add a little water if mixture looks too thick). Allow to cook on low until the vegetables are cooked & softened (about 15mins.), then add Olives & Basil and remove from heat.

– With a hand blender (or in a blender), purée the Sauce leaving about half of it chunky. Add drained Pasta, and serve in a big bowl…

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Raw Carob Cheesecake with Almond Crust...

As I may have mentioned before, I always found raw food recipes to be rather intimidating with all the soaking, dehydrating and time consuming preparation, and have therefore hesitated to try my hand at raw desserts…Well, I don’t know what took me so long! The actual assembly of this dessert is simple & fast – all you really need to do is blend the ingredients & pop it in a dish. The only advanced preparation needed is to soak the cashews the night before, and even this isn’t completely necessary,  but I would recommend it as it gives the nuts a creamier texture as well as activating the enzymes in them and making them easier to digest. Coconut Oil can be a bit pricey, but you will need it for this recipe as it is responsible for ‘setting’ the cheesecake (Coconut Oil solidifies in cold temperatures) – it’s also worth investing in to use for baking & cooking, as it is safe to heat to very high temperatures [incidentally, my Indian friends swear by using it on their hair once or twice a month!]. These ‘Cheesecakes’ are so much like the original, in texture and taste, you wouldn’t guess they are raw…Here are two variations for you to try out:

Raw Lemon Cheesecake (modified version of the one found in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 1/2 cups Nuts (your choice, I used a mixture of Hazelnuts, Walnuts & Cashews) or 1 cup Nut Meal (eg: Almond or Hazelnut)

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/2 cup pitted Dates (soaked in hot water for about 15 mins. to soften)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups raw Cashews (soaked overnight, or atleast 8 hours, in filtered water) and rinsed

3/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice

3/4 cup Agave Syrup (or 1/4 tsp. Stevia powder & 1/3 cup Agave)

3/4 cup Coconut Oil (liquid form)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

zest of 1 Lemon (optional)

1/2 cup Water, as needed (use the soaking water from the dates)

 

Method:

– For the crust: Process the nuts into small pieces with the salt in a food processor. Slowly add Dates and mix well, then mix in Coconut. Press ‘dough’ into the bottom of a Cheesecake dish or pan (9-inch), and place in refrigerator until needed.

– For the filling: Blend Cashews, Lemon Juice, Agave (and Stevia, if using), Coconut Oil, and Vanilla (and Lemon Zest, if using), in your blender/food processor. Add just enough Water to blend into a smooth ‘cream’. Pour onto the crust in the dish and place in freezer for about an hour until firm. Then refrigerate until serving. (Keeps for about 5 days, if it lasts that long…)

Raw Carob (or Chocolate) Cheesecake (based on a recipe in Kristen Suzanne’s EASY Raw Vegan Desserts: Delicious & Easy Raw Food Recipes for Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Puddings, Mousses, Cobblers, Candies & Ice Creams)

Ingredients:

Crust

1 cup Almond Meal

dash of Salt

1/2 cup of pitted Dates (soaked for about 15 mins.)

1/4 cup shredded Coconut

Filling

3 cups of raw Cashews, soaked overnight (or atleast a few hours) and rinsed

1/3 cup Agave Syrup

1/4 tsp. Stevia powder or another 1/3 cup Agave

1/2 cup fresh Lemon Juice

1/4 cup Water (use soaking Water from Dates)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

3/4 cup Coconut Oil, liquid form

3/4 cup Carob powder, or Chocolate powder

 

Method:

– For the Crust & Filling: Same as with Raw Lemon Cheesecake, but adding Coconut Oil and Carob powder at the end for the filling, after blending the rest of the ingredients.

Raw Lemon Cheesecake...

 

*Keep in mind that this dessert is packed with calories, albeit good ones, so take it easy…(says me, who devoured a whole Cheesecake to myself in a matter of 2 days -whoops!)

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I just love the combination of Black Beans, Mango, Red Onion & Coriander, together they make magic – but with the addition of Avocado & Lime you have a real masterpiece! Quinoa is a staple in my kitchen, I try to eat this complete-protein grain atleast 2-3 times a week so I’m always looking to create new dishes with it. The name of this Salad comes from one they serve at my favourite Vegetarian Restaurant here in Hong Kong, but the recipe is based on the one in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook. This meal is a nutrient dynamo that you can either enjoy as is, or pop in a wrap – which is how I like to have it…

Ingredients: (about 4 servings)

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Water

1/2 can Black Beans, drained & rinsed

1/2 large Mango, peeled and cut into small dice

1/2 Red Onion, diced

1/2 Red Pepper, diced

1/4 Cucumber, diced (optional)

half an Avacodo, cut into cubes

handful of fresh Coriander, chopped

juice of 1 Lime (I use Calamansi)

dash of Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Tortillas – if desired (I use Spelt or GF)

 

Method:

Bring Water & Quinoa to a boil in a small pot, once boiling lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 mins. until water absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

– Combine Salad ingredients in a large bowl, except Avocado. Mix Lime Juice, Vinegar and Olive Oil in a jar, add to the Salad & Quinoa and stir to combine. Gently fold in the Avocado. Can be eaten at room temperature or chilled. Serve in Tortillas if desired.

 

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Raw foodism is very popular these days, and it’s not surprising: how can eating uncooked, unprocessed foods not be good for you?! Food eaten in its natural state becomes much more easily available to your body in terms of nutrients, and can be digested alot faster than cooked foods – hence, instant energy! But sometimes Raw food recipes can seem a bit daunting, with all the soaking, sprouting & special equipment needed…These crackers, however, are pretty simple – no fancy processor needed (a simple blender should do the trick), no soaking or sprouting, and they can even be made in your oven if you don’t own a dehydrator! Please note, though, that for the crackers to still be considered Raw they need to be cooked in 46°C (115°F) or less – my oven only goes as low as 80°C, but I still did a batch in there anyway and they turned out delicious (took about 3 1/2 hrs), and tasted almost exactly the same as the batch I put in my dehydrator. The Hummus recipe is not Raw, it’s just something I made to go with the crackers – I’m still unsure as to whether I would make it again, but I have included the recipe at the end just in case you want to give it a try. This recipe comes from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine, and I’m so glad I decided to page through this book again because I’ve realised there is a whole chapter on Raw Food recipes! I plan to try the Apple Pie recipe very soon…

Ingredients: (makes 2 trays)

1/2 cup Ground Flaxseeds

1/2 cup Buckwheat Groats or chopped Almonds

1/2 cup raw Pumpkin Seeds

1/2 cup raw Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup grated Carrot

1 cup finely chopped Sundried Tomatoes

1/4 cup raw Sesame Seeds (I used Black)

3/4 tsp. dried Thyme

3/4 tsp. dried Basil

3/4 tsp. Garlic powder

3/4 tsp. Onion powder

1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)

1 1/2 cups Water

1/2 tsp. Sea Salt

 

Method:

Combine all the cracker ingredients in a bowl, cover with water and allow to absorb for 15 minutes or so.

– Put mixture into a processor or blender and run until mostly smooth with some texture.

– Spread mixture thinly onto a Teflex deydrator sheet (or a lined baking tray), and score crackers into 2 inch squares. Place in deydrator for 8 hrs (or oven at lowest temperature for about 3 -5 hrs). Flip over and continue to deydrate for an additional 4 hrs or until crackers are crunchy.

* PS: These are seriously tasty by the way! They were brought along as snacks in the cinema, as well as for lunch with some veggies and dip…Very addictive!

 

Beetroot Hummus

Ingredients:

1/2 Onion, diced

1 Tblsp. Cumin, ground

2 medium cooked Beetroots, chopped

1 tin of Chickpeas, drained

1 Tblsp. Tahini

2-3 Tblsp. plain Soy Yoghurt

2 cloves of Garlic, minced

2 Tblsp. Lemon Juice

3-4 Tblsp. Olive Oil

Water, as needed

 

Method:

Heat a little Oil in a frying pan and cook Onion for 2 -3 mins. until soft. Add Cumin and cook for a further 1 minute, until fragrant.

In a processor, or blender, process Beetroot, Onion, Chickpeas, Tahini, Yoghurt, Lemon Juice and Garlic until smooth. With the motor running add Oil in a steady stream. Process until combined, adding Water if needed.

(from Vegie Food (Chunky Food))

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Potstickers…

 

This is the kind of dish that looks really fancy, but is actually quite simple & fast to make…My boyfriend, who is of Chinese background, tells me that the authentic way to eat these Dumplings would be with Dark Rice Vinegar – but I’m not a huge fan of eating them that way, so I decided to make a Peanut Dipping Sauce (from You Won’t Believe It’s Vegan!: 200 Recipes for Simple and Delicious Animal-Free Cuisine), which I’ve also included. The cooking method is quite specific apparently: brown each on one side, then steam with a bit of water to cook the inside & soften the dough, and brown the other side. This produces the perfect Dumpling texture (alternatively, you could also boil these but the taste & texture will be different)… If you are not using a non-stick pan, don’t be surprised if you struggle to get them out – hence the name! Chinese tip: try popping the pan on a cold, wet towel and they should slip out nicely.

Ingredients: (makes 20-25 dumplings)

(everything cut small)

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Tblsp. Ginger, minced

handful Chives, chopped

1/2 cup thinly sliced Leek/Spring Onion – white part only for either

4 Shiitake mushrooms, diced

3/4  cup Carrots, shredded (about 1 small carrot)

1 cup White Cabbage (Napa), shredded

handful fresh Coriander

2 Tblsp. Soy Sauce

dash of Sesame Oil

pkt. Dumpling Sheets (can be found in most supermarkets in refrigerator or frozen section – defrost if frozen)

water

chopped Spring Onions for garnish

 

Method:

– Heat a little Oil in a large frying pan or wok on medium-high heat. Add Leeks/Spring Onions and stir-fry until beginning to soften. Add Garlic & Ginger and stir-fry 1 minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir-fry about 2 minutes, until beginning to soften. Mix in Soy Sauce and Sesame Oil, and stir-fry until combined, fold in Coriander. Remove from heat and allow to cool a few minutes.

– Prepare a small bowl with some water, and a large enough surface to put together the Dumplings. In the centre of each sheet, place a small amount of the vegetable filling and with your finger moisten the edge of the sheet with water. Fold each wrapper in half, into a triangle or half moon, and seal by pressing the edges with your fingers.

– Once they are all folded, heat oil in a large frying pan to cover the whole pan. Once very hot, add the Dumplings and let cook on high for 1 minute, or until brown on the bottom. Add about 1 Tblsp. Water and quickly cover with a lid, allowing Dumplings to steam for 2 minutes on low heat. Remove lid, flip Dumplings around and cook other side until brown, about 1 minute on high (add more oil if needed). Remove dumplings, garnish with Spring Onions and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce: (I only made half a batch…)

1/2 tsp. Tamari/Soy Sauce

1/4 tsp. Ginger, minced

3 Tblsp. Rice Vinegar

3 Tblsp. Peanut Butter

2 Tblsp. Sesame Oil

2 Tblsp. Agave Syrup

1/2 cup Water

1 tsp. White Miso

pinch of Cayenne

 

Whisk together all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, or put in a food processor.

 

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I decided to make this traditional dish gluten-free by exchanging Quinoa for the usual Bulgur Wheat, an idea I got from the book The Gluten-Free Vegan: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free, Animal-Free Recipes. For those of you who have not discovered Quinoa yet: it’s an ancient grain who’s consumtion goes as far back as the Incas, and it has the rare property of being a complete plant protein! The Holy Grail for Vegans & Vegetarians…Make sure you rinse it first, to get rid of the bitter coating, though. This Salad is tasty & refreshing – perfect for a light Summer meal.

Ingredients: (about 4 side servings)

1 cup rinsed Quinoa

2 cups Water

1 cup chopped Cherry Tomatoes

1 cup chopped Cucumber

1/2 chopped Red Bellpepper

1/4 Red Onion, sliced thinly and chopped

handful of chopped Spring Onion

bunch of Fresh Mint, minced

bunch of Fresh Parsley, minced

juice of fresh Lime/Lemon

Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper as needed

 

Method:

Boil the Water and Quinoa in a saucepan, lower heat to a simmer and cover with lid. Let cook 12-14 mins. until Water absorbed and Quinoa ‘tails’ visible. Drain & allow to cool.

– Place all Salad ingredients in a large bowl, except Lime juice & Olive Oil. Add Quinoa to bowl and toss to combine. Add Dressing, toss again. Season & chill before serving.

*Tastes of Summer….

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