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Posts Tagged ‘Gluten-Free’

In my last post I talked a little about the  anti-inflammatory diet I’m doing for a few weeks. Today is the 13th day and I’m absolutely dying. I was hoping to last 3-4 weeks but I don’t know if I’ll make it much longer. What I want the most is pizza; gooey, cheesy pizza, with a delicate tomato sauce. Which is exactly why I’m craving it, it’s everything I can’t have: bread, dairy and tomato. Not being able to eat what I want leads me to get creative.

The original recipe for this cake came from the famous Nigella Lawson clementine cake I posted about back in 2010. I really love the clementine cake and it fits nicely with this diet since it’s dairy and gluten free. The only issue is I’m not supposed to have citrus while on this diet and clementines are not in season yet. This led me to experiment with peaches since they are really good right now. In my first try I did the recipe exactly as the original expect for substituting peaches. I was very pleased with this recipe. The major difference was the texture didn’t turn out cake like, it was much more custardy. In my second attempt I added oat flour to the recipe and it turned out perfect and fluffy.

Peach Cake

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 1 (8-inch) cake

  • 5 peaches (about 2 pounds total weight)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups ground almonds or almond meal
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Start by boiling the peaches whole. They only need to boil for 10-15 minutes, until they are soft and you can poke them easily with a fork. Remove them from the water and let them cool slightly so you can touch them without burning yourself. Once cool, cut the peaches and remove the pit. At this point you should be able to smash them with a potato masher or run them through a food processor until pureed.

Oil and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, salt, almonds, almond extract and baking powder. Mix well, adding the peach puree.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan.

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I just turned 30 on Sunday and thought to myself “what a great time to start blogging again.” Turning 30 was overall uneventful, besides the minor 1/3 life crises that I had. I won’t bore you with those details, but I will tell you about my 3 week cleanse that I started on my birthday.

I’ve decided 30 is a year for self reflection and inner peace. Therefore, I’m starting with a basic anti-inflammatory cleanse for 3 weeks. These typically mean, no dairy, gluten, alcohol, nightshades (tomatoes, peppers and eggplants) and citrus. I think those are the big ones but I could have missed something. This is absolutely hard because my diet mainly consists of  bread, pasta and cheese. Further, it’s the beginning of tomato season here, which I look forward to all year. But I’m pretty convinced I’m allergic to all nightshades so it’s very important to do this.

I ran into this recipe a few weeks ago. The original calls for tomatoes but I figure I can substitute mushrooms and still be happy. Of course I also had to leave out the cheese. I was pretty happy with the overall recipe and it turned out quite flavorful.

Zucchini Rice Gratin

Adapted from Gourmet, March 2008

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Level: Medium
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1/3 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
  • olive oil
  • 10-15 large crimini mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Splash of white wine
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Cook rice according to package instructions. I like to cook my rice with chicken broth instead of water to give it more flavor.

While rice cooks, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper in a shallow baking pan. Toss mushrooms with 1/2 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper in another baking pan.

Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and mushrooms in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for mushrooms; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.

Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Simmer for a few minutes until the wine is reduced slightly.

Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme and additional salt and pepper if needed. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini and mushrooms. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini/mushrooms, then top with remaining zucchini and mushrooms.

Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

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Black Bean Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes, it is absolutely delicious. The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to soak the beans beforehand since you’ll be cooking it in the slow cooker for several hours. You can also soak your beans for an hour or two and either cook it over the stove top or in a dutch oven.  I soaked my beans overnight and started my cooking process on the stove top and moved it to the oven.

Black Bean Soup (2)

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium-size red onions, chopped
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 16-ounce package dried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles* (I skipped this cause I didn’t want it to be spicy)
  • 7 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker (I moved mine to the oven). Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water (I don’t think I added this much water, it seemed too much). Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker (I pureed mine with an immersion blender). Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt into each bowl (I skipped the yogurt and added fresh cilantro). Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets and many supermarkets.

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Clementine Cake

I ran into this recipe on another food bloggers site and I have to say I was so ecstatic to try it out. I was absolutely mesmerized that it claimed to be a tasty flour-less and butter-less cake, not to mention that the recipe uses the entire clementine. Without further anticipation, here is Nigella Lawson’s Celementine Cake.

Ingredients

  • 4 to 5 clementines (about 1 pound total weight)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups ground almonds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Put the clementines in a pot with cold water to cover, bring to the boil, and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the seeds. Then finely chop the skins, pith, and fruit in the processor.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Butter and line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper.

Beat the eggs. Add the sugar, almonds, and baking powder. Mix well, adding the clementines.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you’ll probably have to cover the cake with foil after about 40 minutes to stop the top from burning. Remove from the oven and leave to cool, in the pan on a rack. When the cake is cold, you can take it out of the pan.

Notes from Nigella:

I think this is better a day after it’s made, but I don’t complain about eating it anytime.

I’ve also made this with an equal weight of oranges and lemons, in which case I increase the sugar to 1 1/4 cups and slightly Anglicize it, too, by adding a glaze made of confectioners’ sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Once I was done making the cake. Neil asked “what are you going to do with the left over water?” He was referring to the what left in the pot from boiling the clementines. I hadn’t thought of doing anything with it tell he asked. I measured about 3 cups of water and decided to add 3 cups of sugar to it to make simple syrup. I put it away in glass jars in the fridge so we can use it later for tasty drinks. I’m thinking clementine infused mojitos. Yum!

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Lentil Soup

I love making soups when it’s cold outside. One of my favorites is lentil soup; it’s so delicious and easy to make. My mom would make lentil soup all the time when I was a kid. I used to not be that big into it tell one day my mom told me that she makes it specially before we have big exams. She explained that lentils are brain food. I was hooked and after that.
I decided to use a recipe from Alton Brown.

Ingredients
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onion
• 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
• 1/2 cup finely chopped celery (I skipped the celery)
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 1 pound lentils, picked and rinsed
• 1 cup peeled and chopped tomatoes (I skipped the tomatoes)
• 2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground toasted cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise (I didn’t have this so I skipped this also)
Directions
Place the olive oil into a large 6-quart Dutch oven and set over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and sweat until the onions are translucent, approximately 6 to 7 minutes. Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth, coriander, cumin and grains of paradise and stir to combine (I added a little bit of turmeric). Increase the heat to high and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook at a low simmer until the lentils are tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree to your preferred consistency (I skipped this process cause I don’t think it’s necessary). I topped it off with some fresh cilantro, but I also like it with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve immediately.

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