Curry Sweet Potato Stew

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In my last blog post, I shared Jack’s food allergy diagnosis. It forced us into a wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, and cashew-free diet. I am have been avoiding most of nuts—besides peanuts, he tested negative for those–until more testing is done too. The other day I realized Jack won’t be able to eat most Indian foods now because they contain ghee. My little Fijian baby loves going to Indian restaurants! So I decided to make my own little curry creation that he could eat.

Curry Sweet Potato StewIMG_6949

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbs coconut oil
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, mince
1/4 inch of ginger root, peeled and minced
1 tbs curry powder
1/2 tbs mango powder
1/2 tbs ground coriander
1 tbs gram masala
1/2 tbs paprika
Red chili flakes, to taste
1 can of coconut milk
2 cups spinach, chopped
Salt to taste

Add the quartered sweet potatoes to a large pot of cold water. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium high and boil until tender.

While that’s going, add the coconut oil to a large skillet over medium heat.

Once it the oil is heat, add the bell pepper. Cook until tender.

Add shallots, garlic and ginger. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 2-3 minutes.

Add the curry powder, mango powder, ground coriander, gram masala, paprika, and chili flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Once the potatoes are ready, drain and return to the pot.

Mash them slightly. A few chunks left over are fine, we aren’t making a soup.

Add the spice and veggie mixture to the pot.

Add the coconut milk to the pot and mix well.

Season with salt as desired.

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And there you have it! A tasty pot of sweet potato stew!

IMG_6954The boys are pan-fried chicken and I had lentils. Jack decided he wanted lentils later too. A lovely warm dish for the fall!

Brownie Energy Balls

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Every Friday this summer, Jack and I will be leading a hike with Hike It Baby. Since toddlers (and mamas) get hungry when working up a sweat, I decided to make treats to take with us. This week I made a variation of the recipe I came across called Five Ingredient Ginger Brownies.  I changed the recipe based on what I had in the house and what Jack likes. The peanut butter and almonds are great protein and energy. The ginger gives it a little zing for a pick-me-up. And who doesn’t love a bit of good dark chocolate!

Brownie Energy BallsIMG_4445

7 ounces of pitted dates
2 tbs almond flour
2 tbs smooth peanut butter
1 tps minced ginger
2 tbs cocoa powder
Unsweetened shredded coconut 

Blend everything but the coconut in a food processor until it comes together. It will make loose dough ball when ready.

Roll into any size ball you desire. I went with bite size.

Sprinkle as much shredded as you like onto a plate. Roll the balls in the coconut to coat.

Eat them now or place in fridge for a hour if you want them firmer.

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Pop them in a bag and enjoy them out on the trail! Or your couch….no one will know 🙂

Chocolate Mousse Parfait

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Happy (late) Mother’s Day! I hope you all had a day full of love and happiness! And I hope you called your mom!

We are finally all settled in Oregon (for now at least) and I can cook again! So I made my mom a little treat. She didn’t want a big fuss, but I love her so much that she deserves something special. I just made the recipe up. It’s similar to Chocolate Mouse I made before, but with a few more easy layers. It’s simple, no baking required, and full of protein!

 Chocolate Mousse ParfaitIMG_3608

  • 1/3 cup raw pecans
  • 1/3 cup raw walnuts
  • Coconut Oil (as needed)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1/2 block of tofu (I used firm, but silken would be better), drained
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 cup vanilla coconut yogurt

In a food processor, add the pecans and walnuts. Grind into crumbles that pack together. Add coconut oil as needed to get it to come together. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon for flavor.

Press nut mixture into a pan like a crust. I used a medium Pyrex bowl so you could see the layers.

Rinse out the food processor and add the tofu and banana, blend together well.

To melt the chocolate chips, add them to a microwave safe bowl and microwave them for 45 seconds. Stir and the chips should melt. If not, put it back in for 15 seconds and stir again. Repeat as needed until they are all melted.

Add the melted chocolate to the food processor and blend well.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the nut crust and smooth the top out.

Spread the yogurt over the chocolate mixture evenly.

Lastly, garnish with some nuts, if desired.

Covered and let it set-up in the fridge for at least two hours.

Then scoop out and enjoy!

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It’s nothing fancy, but healthy and tasty. Make one for your momma today!

 

 

 

Rosemary Focaccia

Photo from here

My friend suggested I try making a video blog, so I decided to give it a try. Let me know what you think, I may do more in the future.

Here is the recipe for my video blog, it’s based on one from called Focaccia Bread from AllRecipes.com. I used rice flour (because I accidentally bought it instead of wheat flour) so this version is gluten free, but wheat flour is ideal.

Rosemary Focaccia:
1 cup luke warm water
1 packet of active yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 and 3/4 cup flour (I used rice but wheat flour is fine too)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp salt
2 springs of fresh rosemary, removed from stem
1 tbs olive oil
3-4 springs of fresh rosemary, removed from stem
Sprinkle of salt

This is one of my favorite breads my mom made growing up, I hope you love it too!

Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that effects the small intestine’s ability to process gluten protein. Common side effects are fatigue, severe digestive problems, and even growth problems in children.

Although I do not have a gluten allergy, I have several friends who do and I am always more than happy to post recipes they can eat too. If you do not have Celiac Disease or another type of gluten allergy, than there is no reason for you to cut all gluten out of your diet. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a gluten-free meal every once and awhile, give your body a break from processing the same gluten-heavy stuff over and over again. Like corn, it’s pretty much in every processed food today.

Gluten is a protein that comes from the wheat family, which include rye, barley, and oat. It is a great binder and leavener, which is wheat-flour breads are so common. It’s also used as a thickener, so it is used in a wide array of processed foods.  Because of it’s chewy texture, it is also used in many meat alternatives so gluten-free vegans and vegetarians need to read labels carefully.

My gluten-free friend Michelle asked for a chocolaty dessert, and I instantly thought of this Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse recipe my mom found on VegWeb awhile ago. Remember in the movie Chocolat when Vianne said that chili enhances the flavor of chocolate? She wasn’t kidding. It doesn’t overpower the dish at all, just gives it that perfect little kick. Try chocolate with other spices too, like a cup of Mexican Hot Coco with a dash of cinnamon. Chocolate and spices are loaded with antioxidants.

The only change I made to the recipe was I used grade B maple syrup instead of agave because that is what I have on hand. In the American  maple syrup grading system, grade B just means it is darker and less sweet than grade A.

Chocolate Chili Pepper Mousse
1 package of silk tofu, drained
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tps peanut butter
1/4 tps chili pepper flakes
Berries, fresh or frozen

Throw everything into a blender, except the berries and blend until smooth. I was going to take photos, but this dessert is so simple there really is no need for visual aide. You may want to mix with a spoon after blending to make sure everything is incorporated.

Pour into bowls or decorative glasses. I used martini glasses.

Refrigerate for at least two hours. The flavors develop more the longer it sits.

Top with the berries or any desired fruit. Also good with vegan whip cream or some crushed nuts. Sprinkle a bit more chili flakes if you like an extra kick.

Topped with sugar-covered frozen strawberries.

The texture is so smooth and creamy, it’s hard to believe it’s not dairy—or gluten. It also makes a great pie filling and comes out kinda torte-like if you freeze it. Hope this is chocolaty enough for you Michelle!

P.S. My next two posts will also be gluten-free. Check out the Cinco de Mayo one tomorrow.

Galletas con Chispas de Chocolate…or so Google Translator Says….

Photo from Veg Web user buttercup954

Cookies are one of the best things in the world. And you can still enjoy them as a vegan or even if you are gluten-free like my friend Leslie. She asked me for a gluten-free pumpkin pie recipe at Thanksgiving and I forgot to send her one. To make up for it, I promised to post a recipe for something she misses: chocolate chip cookies.

Unless you are allergic to gluten, there is no reason for you to cut gluten totally out of your diet.  This recipe calls for rice flour, which is gluten free. You can totally use white or wheat flour instead if you do not have a gluten allergy.

Most grocery stores carry rice flour (I bought mine at Safeway), and if not your local health food store will. If you are in Hawaii, Down to Earth sells it in bulk and in bags. Whole food and Trader Joe’s should have it too.

If you can’t find it or just want to make your own, it’s pretty easy. Put dry rice into a food processor and grind into a fine powder.

I, as a broke college kid, do not have a food processor, so if I need to make rice flour, I use my blender. It gets the job done but it takes a lot longer and does not get the flour super fine.

Get it as powdery as you can

Whether you use a food processor or a blender, it’s best to work in small batches, 1 to 3 cups at a time depending on your machine. This ensures all the rice is powdered evenly, because the last thing you want when you bite into a soft chocolate chip cookie is a big rice grain.

I adapted a recipe from Veg Web called Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. If you read the comments on the post, the most common complaint is that the dough is either too crumbly or will not come together at all. The first time I ever made it, the dough held together but turned into a crumby mess when I baked it. The users who had the most success are the ones who made a few alterations to the recipe, so I caution you about following the exact recipe listed.

As for the “vegan” ingredients, you can find them in most normal grocery stores just like the rice flour.  Vegan butters, or “buttery spreads” as they are sometimes called, are made from oil or soy and will do just as good a job as milk butter. I like Earth Balance, which most stores carry. You probably won’t need to go to another store for the vegan chocolate chips either. Just read the labels. Find a package that has no milk or milk products–which includes whey and casein. Usually darker chocolates are the dairy free, and have more antioxidants in them too. 

Galletas con Chispas de Chocolate (Leslie’s Bolivian, hence the Spanish) 

Happy Vegan Indeed

2 cups rice flour
1 tps baking powder
1/2 tps salt
1/4 tps cinnamon (Optional, I don’t taste the difference but cinnamon is great for your metabolism so why not) 
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 cup raw sugar or 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (Or, use plain plus some vanilla extract)
2 tbs flax speeds (Optional, it doesn’t change the taste but adds fiber)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, soy milk, and flax seed.

Add the wet to the dry mixture, and add the chocolate chips. Mix until it forms a ball. It may be crumbly, but add a little more milk if it just a big crumbly mess. It should be able to hold a shape.

Spoon tablespoon-sized rounds onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 7-10 minutes. Or,  if you prefer bars like me, spread the dough evenly in a baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. The cookies, or bars, will be slightly golden, and soft—softer than you think they should be. Let the cookies rest for a few minutes before removing them from the sheet or pan, they stiffen up as they cool.

Mine came out chewy and soft, just how I like them. A nice break from my math homework. Hope you like them Leslie!