Gluten & Dairy-Free Living. Info, recipes & experiences!

Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

Addendum to MC Veggie Puffs … :)


Well … I added 5 eggs (whipped), about 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, 1 cup of coconut flour (slowly – add a bit, mix … etc.), 1/4 cup quinoa flakes, 1 tsp. salt and for some reason I had the idea to add 1 tsp. of baking powder.

1st photo – the consistency you want to have – the wooden spoon stands up and you can make a definite hole in the mixture without any of it running in. Dryish not too dry. Still quite wet when you are rolling it but does stick together.
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You then proceed to roll them into little balls and flatten out a bit, placing into the pan with the coconut oil. Oven is at 350℃, ready to go. I made 48 in the second pan and 35 in the first – just jammed them a bit more in the second pan, (was getting tired of rolling!).
And here we are:

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Five are already missing … must do a taste test … 😉

They will be a perfect grab and go snack!
The rest – yes, there was MORE mix … I put into an 8 x 8 pyrex dish and it is cooking now. This is the one I will be sampling for the next few days!
Definitely a keeper recipe as they smell delicious, taste divine – puffy, spicy but not too much, just a hint of warmth and notes of curry and will go well with any number of dips/sauces or just a quick bite, straight out of the fridge when you are on the go.
Next time, I will reduce the amount of coconut flour and add mashed potato and cauliflower, see what the difference would be. When I do, I will let you all know!

These would go well with a Salsa Verde, Tsatsiki (made with Toffuti Sour Cream), or a Mango Chutney/Salsa.
Wine pairing: Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, Rosé, Beaujolais Nouveau.
Happy Cooking!

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Why Turkey?


Ever wonder what we would be dining on at our Christmas dinner if the Pilgrims had “found” a deer … moose … duck … fish … instead of a turkey … Yep, you get where I’m going with this …

Festive holiday dinners are for family, friends … sharing time, food and stories together.  A time of cheer, fun, love and laughter.  Stressing out over the cost, presentation and “perfection” of a holiday meal drains the spirit!  Whether you serve up a roast beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, lasagna, mousaka, ribs, fish, tofu, … a meal made with joy is one remembered by all.

After many years of large turkey dinners, that took at least 3 days to prepare (leaving me exhausted and a little cranky) … I changed tradition … egads!  The first Christmas we enjoyed a roasted chicken (roasted in the grocery store and spiced up and re-cooked by me), sweet potatoes, peas & carrots, green salad, a tomato salad and a store bought pie – it was relaxing, tasty and FUN!  Instead of waking up at 6 a.m. and stuffing a huge bird, we slept in – as much as possible when young children are a part of your life – opened gifts together, visited friends in the afternoon, revelled in the company of friends at dinner – and … clean up was soooo easy!  The following years were a mix of going to the mountains with friends/family,  dinner shared at a friends home or dinner at our table with guests bringing a dish to share – the dinner options are endless.  Make it simple, relaxing and fun!

This years’ menu for 10 will be a roast leg of lamb with potatoes – sweet and russet, broccoli & cauliflower salad, peas (must have!), pickled beets, tomato & avocado salad … maybe carrots, maybe a green salad – depends on what the day brings, another dish or two supplied by guests … add music, a few candles and voilà a celebration.  I am looking forward to enjoying the time with family and friends!  Beats stressing out over dinner and table settings … 🙂

Enjoy!  The perfection of a meal is in the love added by those who make it and the enjoyment of the loved ones sharing it.

Photos will be posted on Christmas Day!

Leg of Lamb

Lamb
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Red wine
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh garlic
Mustard
Oregano or Thyme
Black pepper
Cumin

Poke lamb and stuff with garlic cloves – as many as you like!
Pour lemon juice, wine and oil over – in this order – making sure that all areas are covered
Spread mustard – Dijon or regular – all over – except bottom
Sprinkle on herbs & spices
Start roasting, time depends on size and your oven!

Potatoes

Potatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Garlic
Paprika

Cut up potatoes into bite size pieces.  Mix in the remaining ingredients (be liberal!)
Add to lamb roast.
Depending on size of pieces, cooking time is usually one hour.

Broccoli & Cauliflower Salad

Broccoli & Cauliflower – fresh
Lemon juice
Black pepper
(Is there a theme here?)

Place cleaned cauliflower head (take off leaves and cut out center – from the bottom) in a pot with approx. 4 cm. (2 inches) of water.
Arrange Broccoli “trees” around cauliflower
Steam, covered, medium to low heat, for 5 – 10 minutes.
Drain and cut up in pot by running a sharp knife through the veggies in a checked pattern.
Drizzle oil, juice over all and sprinkle pepper.

 

Keep posted … More holiday recipes coming … with photos!

Easter


Growing up in Canada with a Canadian mother and a Greek Father made for the best of both worlds during Easter.  We celebrated “Canadian Easter” by painting eggs, hunting for the goodies the Easter Bunny brought and a wonderful family dinner.  For Greek Easter, Orthodox Easter, (which was almost always on a different Sunday), we had a feast with lamb as the star dish.  There was church too … a lot of church services during the week before Easter.  The Friday before Easter was the celebration of the Epitaphio – a cloth, decorated with the image of Christ after he was removed from the cross – displayed on a bier with many, many flowers.  For a complete explanation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epitaphios_(liturgical).

The following evening, Saturday before Easter Sunday, EVERYONE went to church.  This was the celebration of Christ arising from the dead and is really quite a beautiful liturgy with all the lights going out at midnight and everyone sharing the light from the one lit, blessed candle on the altar.  A wave of shared light, making it’s way to everyone, even those latecomers who stood outside.  As the light is passed from one to another we say “Christos Anesti”, meaning Christ has arisen, the response to this is “Alithos Anesti”, “Verily He has arisen”.  Lots of chatter and happy smiles, then the procession and then FOOD!

Before anyone walks into the home, the holy light which has been kept lit (I once drove 10 K home, alone, holding a lit candle in my hand, hoping it would not go out! Silly but that’s how important this light is!) is used to draw a cross, actually blacken the underside of the top door molding, on every outside door in the home.  A light meal of soup, cracking of the red eggs (and eating them, with the blessings of Christos Anesti/Alithos Anesti) – the one whose egg remained uncracked was said to be the lucky one for the year, (Greeks like to mix superstition/mythology with religion – quite fascinating really). Bedtime at 2:00 a.m. and up at 7:00 a.m. to help with the preparations for the Easter Feast.

The period of Lent was once a very strict fasting time, nothing from an animal for 40 days, with the exception of shrimp, shellfish or crab on certain days.  During the last week of Lent there are days with no olive oil – can you imagine a Greek not eating olive oil?  Nowadays with 9 to 5 jobs, kids in school all day, busy people with busy lives, the church has relaxed a bit and asks us to follow the Lenten restrictions during the last week, if possible.  Some do, some don’t, but this was one of the reasons the Easter Feast was so important, a celebratory breaking of the fast.  Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Olive Oil and of course, the sacrificial Lamb, were mandatory items for the Feast.  Tsoureki is the traditional Easter Bread, Koulourakia (a mix between biscotti and shortbread), the cookie favoured by ALL children and dish after dish of delicious food.  Traditionally the whole lamb is stuffed and roasted on the spit – the men’s job – but today a roast leg, chops or souvlaki would do, as long as lamb is presented, all is well.

A few photos …  A recipe at the end.

Image  Koulourakia – not gluten free or dairy free but I will be posting the recipe on the website.

Tsoureki served with butter.

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Lamb roasted on the spit.  The lamb on the spit is stuffed with lemons, garlic, onions, and sometimes feta cheese.  Olive Oil, Lemon, Oregano, Garlic, Pepper & Salt are used to baste the lamb, any lamb, whether it’s chops, souvlaki or roast.

Image Lillies, Holy Light & Red Eggs on the table, with greek salad, chees pies, spinach pies, cheese, meatballs, potatoes, beans, roasted veggies and much more!

Greek Salad, Egg Salad (I make Devilled Eggs using the cracked eggs – everyone loves to crack them, it’s fun and dressed up eggs taste better than plain, hard-boiled!), Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves), Pastitsio (Greek Style Lasagna), Tiropita, Spanakopita, Meatballs, Bread, Egg & Lemon Chicken Soup or Euvarlakia (Meatball Egg & Lemon Soup), Lemon Roasted Potatoes, Cheese, Fish, Stuffed veggies (Peppers, Eggplant, Zucchini, Squash Flowers …), platters of roasted, grilled, baked vegetables.  And of course, Ouzo, Wine, Retsina before, during and after the food is consumed and many, many sweets and fruits offered at the end of the meal.  Truly, one rolls away from this feast, thank goodness for the dancing – traditional dancing, belly dancing – that is incorporated throughout the day!

Image Red Eggs, Koulourakia, Tsatsiki, Lamb & Potatoes.

Image Vegetarian Pastitsio (one of my daughter’s is vegetarian) with a meat patty on the side for those who would like it with meat.  Pastitsio is usually made with a mixture of minced lamb & pork and sometimes just beef (hamburger).  This one I made meat, dairy and gluten-free.

THE RECIPE:

This dish is called Anginares me Araka (Artichoke & Peas), if you can’t find artichoke use leeks or zucchini cut into 3 cm. (1 inch) thick rounds.

Chop up tomatoes (3 small to medium sized), garlic (1-3 cloves), 1 small dry onion, 1/2 cup sliced carrots, a few small pieces of potato (1/2 cup?), 1 tsp. fennel seeds and begin frying in Olive oil over medium heat, stirring frequently.  Stir in one small can tomato paste and 1/2 tsp. sugar (I use 1 tsp. honey).  Add 1 cup of either artichoke hearts/leeks/zucchini (chopped in bite sized pieces/circles, pepper and salt to taste (1 tsp. & 1/2 tsp. respectively). Stir in well, add 2 cups peas, reduce heat and cover for 5 min.  Sprinkle with fresh dill (1 Tbsp. or more) and mix in.  Great side dish for the lamb!

Kalo Pascha to all!

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