Monday, January 31, 2011

Tikka Masala

If you are looking for a dinner that is quick to make and tastes great, then this is the dish to go to!  We have tried a few different versions of this dish and  Vegetarian Nation has beat out the competition. I have made a few alterations to adjust it to our liking. In fact Tyler and I have "fought" over who gets the leftovers the next day for lunch, it's that good!

Tikka Masala Recipe
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 16 oz diced tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk 
  • 2 tsp of garam masala and if you don't have any, use the following:
      • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
      • 1/2 tsp black pepper
      • 2 tsp ground cumin
      • Pinch of nutmeg
      • 1/4 tsp chili powder
      • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro to sprinkle on top when serving 
    • Brown rice
    Boil 1 cup of brown rice  and make the tikka masala while the rice is cooking on low heat.

    Sauté oniongarliccelery, and ginger in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.

    Add *carrots and cook for a few more minutes. Season with garam masala, then stir in diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and non-dairy milk.

    Simmer on low heat until sauce thickens.  Serve over brown rice and sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.

    *I steam the carrots before adding them to soften them 

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Cashew Milk

    I have been making my own raw cashew milk and it is the best non-dairy milk I have ever had.
    Trader Joe's sells raw cashews for $5.49 per lb, this is where I currently buy them. I would like to buy them from azure standard, however I need to call them and find a drop point in Seattle.
    Buy nut milk bags, they work far better than a cheese cloth, plus they are really easy to clean.
    For those interested, Whole Foods has some great health info on cashews.

    I learned how to make nut milk from The Spunky Coconut, Kelly Brozyna has a wonderful gluten free, casein free, and sugar free site.

    Cashew Milk

    Raw Cashew Milk

    • Soak 1 cup raw cashews with 1 tsp sea salt for 8 hours. 
    • Drain the water and rinse the cashews. 
    • Add them to a blender along with 4 cups of filtered water
    • Blend for one minute and strain the liquid through a nut milk bag. The milk will stay fresh for 6 days in the fridge. 

    *I often add a can of coconut milk to the nut milk to thicken it up and make it more rich!
    *Feel free to add a few drops of liquid stevia or a tsp of your favorite sweetener to the milk.
    *This method also works to make other nut milks. I've done almond milk. Mixed nuts: 1/2 cup raw cashews and 1/2 cup toasted peanuts to make a rich tasting hot cocoa. Mix nuts and seeds: cashews and sunflower seeds.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Are you buying real blueberries or just food coloring and sugar?

    I saw this video today and it made me thankful that my parents taught me how to cook from scratch and read nutrition labels. According to this video if you pick up most items that claim they are made from blueberries, it's not true. All you have to do is turn the product around and read the ingredients.
    Better yet buy blueberries and make some muffins from scratch. You will know for sure that there isn't any food coloring, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup going in the batter.

    Blueberries faked in cereals, muffins, bagels and other food products - Food Investigations -

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Gluten Free Sorghum Hazelnut Bread

    This bread turned out soooo good! My husband and I both agreed that we would eat it if gluten weren't an issue. There are no eggs, dairy, or soy in this recipe either. It turned out light and fluffy, which is unusual for the typical loaf of gf bread. This one is a keeper! I got the idea for this bread over at What Life Dishes Out, dairy and eggs are used in that recipe so I changed to to be vegan. 

     I used the sorghum hazelnut flour blend that I posted earlier

     GF dough is more like a batter. So I scrape it into a bread pan with a spatula and smooth the top. I highly recommend this technique of greasing the pan, adding parchment paper, and spraying it with oil again. 

     I cover the dough with plastic wrap which has been sprayed with a little oil. 

     Once it has risen to the top of the pan I bake it. This can take 25 minutes to 60, depending how warm your home is. 

     Bake in the oven for 55-60 minutes. Don't let the bread sit in the pan too long or it will get soggy. Remove the bread after 10 minutes and allow it to continue cooling on a rack. 

    Grab both sides of the parchment paper and lift. The bread should come out very easily without any trouble at all! This method is great for brownies and other bars, they are so much easier to cut this way.
    After it has cooled for about an hour and 30 minutes it's ready to be sliced. An electric knife and bread slicer allow for even, professional looking slices. 

     I was surprised that I was able to bend this bread and it didn't break! 

    I then used some soy free earth balance and apricot preserves to really enjoy this bread. 

    Dry Ingredients
    2 1/2 Cups flour blend (see below)
    1/3 Cup brown rice flour or teff flour
    2 Tbs flax meal or psyllium powder
    1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum
    1 tsp Salt
    1 Pkg Active Dry Yeast (2 1/4 tsp)

    Wet ingredients
    1 cup warm unsweetened coconut milk (any non diary milk will work)
    3/4 Cups Warm Water (110 degrees)
    2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
    2 Tbs apple sauce

    *Sorghum Hazelnut Flour Blend*
    2 cups sorghum flour
    2 cups tapioca flour
    1 cup hazelnut flour or buckwheat
    Spray a 9x5 bread pan with oil. Place parchment paper so that it lays on the bottom of the pan and flows over two of the sides. Spray again and set aside.

    In a large mixing bowl whisk all of the dry ingredients together.

    Mix the wet ingredients together on the stove top on low heat until 110 degrees. Or until is warm to touch, like I did.

    Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and use a mix for 3-5 minutes. A hand mixer works just as well as a bosch or kitchen aid.

    Scrape the dough into the greased bread pan and smooth out the top.

    Spray plastic wrap with oil and lay over the top. Let the bread dough rise until it reaches the top of the pan. Can take 20-60 minutes depending how warm your house is.

    Remove the plastic wrap, place in the center of the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes.
    Here is an update on the bread slicing guide I use. It's made by West Bend. I didn't see any on their site but I did see some on eBay. Mine was a passed down from my parents and I'm not sure where they originally got it. 

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    Dark Chocolate Brownies

    Cakes don't get made very often in my kitchen. The reason behind this is that, well....we are brownie people. Who wants a slice of cake when you can have a moist, rich, fudgy brownie? Since all of the crazy food allergies popped up I haven't had a brownie in a long time, (we are talking months here people!)

    So I began my search to find an allergy friendly gluten free brownie recipe. I ended up making my own since I would find one that was gluten free but it would have eggs, if it didn't have eggs it would have dairy, or it just wouldn't be gluten free! So here is what I came up with and lets just say the hubby was very pleased and told me I better hide them if I want some!

    Next time I am going to try to sweeten them with just dates and see how it goes. I think dates would make them even more fudgy.

    It's dark I know, but we are dark chocolate fanatics in this house! you can easily use regular cocoa instead of the dark cocoa. Here is an interesting article on Dutch vs Natural Cocoa

    Wet mix
    6 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/3 cup coconut oil melted
    1/3 cup raw sugar
    20 drops of liquid stevia
     4 Tbs applesauce unsweetened
    1 teaspoon Vanilla

    Dry mix
    2/3 cup gf flour blend
    2 Tbs flax seed meal
    1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
    1/2 teaspoon Salt
    1/2 teaspoon Xanthan Gum
    1/2 cup Chopped Nuts (optional)

    Preheat oven 350 and grease an 8x8 or 9x5 pan.
    Melt the coconut oil and whisk in the cocoa powder. Mix in the sugar, stevia, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

    In a medium bowl mix the flour, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, and flax meal together.

    Slowly stir the wet mix into the flour mixture. Add the nuts either in the mixture or just sprinkle 2 Tbs on top.

    Pour into greased pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

    Cool, remove, and cut into squares.

    *Trick* grease the pan and lay parchment paper inside so that 2 parallel edges fit perfectly in the pan and 2 parallel edges stick slightly out of the pan. Grease the parchment paper. After the brownies have cooled in the pan lift the paper out and the brownies can be cut evenly.