Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Cranberry Bread

Hello, Fall! Technically, you're still 3 days away but I'm already celebrating your arrival. You are my favorite season, after all! I love you so much that I decided to bake a loaf of gluten-free sweet bread in your honor. And guess what? It actually turned out pretty tasty, even though this is the first time I've made zucchini bread and used teff flour (...will be using it again, it is super-nutritious and scrumptious!).

You've been trying to sneak up on us, but the red and gold leaves rustling in the cool breeze are hinting that you're right around the corner! ... And because this bread was made just for you, it slightly captures your warm shades of earthy orange, fading greens, and even a few sprinkles of red and yellow! Can't wait 'til you're officially here :)! Recipe is below the poem...

And when the silver habit of the clouds
Comes down upon the autumn sun, and with
A sober gladness the old year takes up
His bright inheritance of golden fruits,
A pomp and pageant fill the splendid scene.
There is a beautiful spirit breathing now
Its mellow richness on the clustered trees,
And, from a beaker full of richest dyes,
Pouring new glory on the autumn woods,
And dipping in warm light the pillared clouds.
From Autumn by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Cranberry Bread

Not too sweet, crunchy crust with a moist center.

See Gluten-Free Zucchini Carrot Cranberry Bread on Key Ingredient.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Vegan and Gluten-Free Cheap Eats

If you need a yummy recipe for something sweet or savory, Mare's blog, Meet Me in the Kitchen, is the place to go. Blogs like Mare's make you wish there was an instant 'feed me!' option located under 'file' right beneath 'print'. You know what I mean. I think foodie heaven is something like that.

Anyway, I knew I had to make these Chickpea Fritters when I spotted them on her blog. YUM! The fritters are so appealing because they're made from affordable and healthy ingredients. A can of chickpeas for just $0.89 and a pinch of some spices that are already in your pantry, and you've got a delicious vegan snack or light meal!

Now, I happen to be like many of you food bloggers out there; I'm always 'tweaking around in the kitchen. I don't even remember the last time I actually followed a recipe to the letter. So I present my modified version... oh yeah, and it's gluten-free too :).

Original recipe here

For the chickpea fritters:
1 15 ounce can chickpeas, strained
pinch of saffron threads (like 1/8 tsp)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of all-spice
tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
pinch of cumin
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped & sauteed in olive oil

GF flour blend that coats the fritters:
1 TBSP white rice flour
1 TBSP corn meal
1/8 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/8 tsp paprika

For the yogurt sauce:
about 4 tablespoons greek yogurt
3/4 tsp honey
pinch of salt
about 2 tsp finely chopped fresh cilantro

Start off by sauteing the garlic in a little bit of olive oil (and strain those chickpeas!).
Once it's slightly golden, you'll throw it in the food processor with the ingredients from the first list.
Next, you'll combine all the ingredients for the flour mix in a small bowl.
Start forming the chickpeas into flat patties, mine were a bit thick, and cover them with flour on each side.
Lightly fry them in some olive oil until they're crispy on both sides.
For the yogurt sauce, just mix everything together in a bowl.
See how fast that was!

Now onto our second recipe of the day... QUINOA! I just love saying that, it's such a fun word. Sounds like it should be the name of my future pet (my last guinea pig's name was Mochi, I like naming my pets after food these days). Quinoa is a super-food, pretty much, a grain that deserves more attention. But I must warn you, first-time quinoa eaters, the secret to make a delicious quinoa dish is this: rinse, rinse and rinse again (because you want to get rid of those bitter saponins)!

If there's one food you certainly should not judge by its appearance, it's quinoa. Poor not-so-pretty quinoa. Let me tell you, beneath the little celery leaf, the crushed almonds and finely grated carrots, you'll find a funky-colored but very scrumptious grain that's packed full of protein and other good stuff.

Sweet Potato Veggie Quinoa
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp savory
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 parsnip, peeled and sliced into 3/4 in. long by 1/4 inch wide pieces
(more salt and rosemary for parsnips, and 1 TBSP honey)
about 3/4 cup frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup baked and mashed sweet potato pureed with 1/4 cup apple juice

Start by arranging the cut parsnips on a cookie sheet.
Lightly drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and finish them off with a light drizzle of honey and a few shakes of rosemary.
Raise oven temp to about 400 and bake until they start to brown (20 minutes in an oven that's not preheated). You can put them in before the oven is preheated, just make sure they bake til they're just a little brown on the corners.

For the quinoa:
Rinse the quinoa very well.
Next, add the olive oil to a medium stainless steel pot with the garlic, begin to lightly saute then add the quinoa and continue sauteing and stirring for about 2-3 minutes; add the rosemary and savory.
Now add the water and salt, cover and cook until only about 1/2 cup water is left.
Puree baked sweet potato with apple juice until smooth.
When 1/2 cup of the water is left, add the pureed sweet potato and apple juice.
Continue stirring while cooking quinoa on high with lid removed until all the liquid evaporates.
When the quinoa is no longer watery, mix frozen peas and carrots and the baked parsnips and cook on low for 5 more minutes, until veggies are thawed.

Have an awesome Labor Day Weekend. Need a smile? Click here to check out a cute picture from one of my favorite blogs!