Monthly Archives: November 2011

Potato and kale winter salad.

For dinner today I made this fabulous warm salad from Epicurious, with roasted potatoes and garlic and kale, and a tahini lemon sauce. I didn’t use cheese, as I am off dairy lately, bit I did sprinkle in some nutritional yeast. Not sure if it made much difference. Because I had thick curly kale, I figured it wouldn’t wilt like it said in the recipe, so I blended it with the potatoes towards the end of the cooking time and let the kale roast for a few minutes (not long enough to make kale chips..) Great sauce, great flavors, great way to eat lotsa veggies. Will make again!

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Bean and pesto mini muffins (vegan, gluten-free)

I saw a food intolerance doctor this past week, and for the time being, I am eating gluten- and dairy free. Given that several important people in my life already do, the adjustments I am having to make are fairly minor – gluten-free oats for breakfast instead of rye bread, soy/rice milk cappuccino. (This is the worst part, honestly! I am finding that a mix of vanilla soy and unsweetened rice milk produces tolerable results). Communal meals were already gluten and dairy free anyway. The biggest challenge I foresee is snacking outside the house – I need to be careful about bringing snacks, since I can’t eat nuts. It seems to me to be the most readily available gluten-free snack, certainly my husband is always nibbling on nuts.

So I have been trying to cook up some food options for bringing to work and having in my bag this week, hence these little savory mini muffins. The base of these muffins are those white beans with lemon and rosemary I made a while back. You can definitely just replace with plain white beans from a can. Then you might think to add some other flavoring (herbs, onions), but you might not need to, since the sundried tomato pesto is quite overpowering. I had some beans left over in the freezer, so I just defrosted them.

This recipe is gluten free and vegan, and this little ones will work nicely as an accompaniment to soups. I think they would also make a great hors d’oeuvre if you are making a fancy dinner or cocktail party for gluten-free friends.

Bean and red pesto mini muffins

  • 1 cup white beans (mine were already seasoned with onion, garlic and spices, see this recipe)
  • replacement for 2 eggs (I used Orgran No-Egg, 2 tsp no-egg plus 4 tbsp water)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • scant cup of unsweetened rice milk or other unsweetened milk substitute
  • 2 tbsp nut-free and dairy-free sun-dried tomato pesto (or normal pesto, if you like, but they often have nuts in them. At any rate, check that it is without nuts and dairy! I use this one)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

In a food processor, add the beans and the other wet ingredients (including pesto). Process until you have a fairly smooth mixture, with few lumps.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Stir well to disperse the guar gum in the mixture. Add to the food processor, and process on low speed just until the flour is entirely incorporated.

I baked them up in a mini muffin, at 180C for about 10-12 minutes. You could also make them normal-sized, adjusting the cooking time accordingly. A knife or pin should come out clean.

Pear and parsnip soup and a bare bones bento.

Pear parsnip soup

I can’t take credit for this soup – the recipe comes from Ricki over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, and I barely made any changes to it. I halved the recipe, since I am just cooking for myself today, and I added a glug of white wine and a roasted elephant garlic to the mix after the sautéing step. I used a low sodium stock cube instead of proper vegetable stock. I served it with a sprinkling of hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds, and it was a lovely supper on a wet fall night! The rest of it goes into tomorrow’s lunch. Highly recommended!

Simple lunch

This was my very simple lunch today – left-over millet, cold-smoked mackerel (from the grocery store) and some cucumber.I picked out the two cupcake molds and reheated the millet in the microwave, and then mixed in the mackerel. Kind of salty-satisfying 🙂