Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Macadamia Nut Cheese Recipe

This vegan nut cheese recipe is perfect for topping homemade gluten-free pizza or for using in between layers of lasagna noodles, vegetables, and sauce. It is easy to make using a high powered blender, such as the Vita-Mix.

I find the flavors of this dairy-free "cheese" sauce are best balanced with the acidity of tomatoes, such as my Homemade Pizza Sauce recipe.

Macadamia nuts are expensive and exotic, I know. Just think of this sauce as a treat. A little goes a long way, macadamia nuts are very rich.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Thin Buckwheat Pizza Crust (Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free, Vegan)


I am not sure how many of you have fond memories of pizza. From what we hear, pizza is sorely missed when going gluten and dairy-free. This yeast-free, gluten-free (and xanthan gum-free) crust recipe is a newer creation of mine. I do have another yeast-risen sorghum crust that I haven't shared yet. What I like about this recipe is that it only has a few ingredients and can be prepared in a snap!

I have made this recipe several times, sometimes making a quadruple batch for large gatherings. It turns out great each time. I have replaced the tapioca flour with arrowroot powder and it works too, though I needed to add a few extra tablespoons of water to the dough.

The predominant flour in this recipe is raw buckwheat flour. Raw buckwheat flour, made from grinding raw buckwheat groats, is quite delicious and very mild in flavor. It is not gritty at all and is light in color. The raw groats are soft and can easily be ground in a coffee grinder (one preferably not used for grinding coffee beans). I use the dry container of my Vitamix now but used to use a coffee grinder before the day of the Vitamix! Just make sure you keep grinding until a soft powdery flour is formed.

Buckwheat is super nutritious! Did you know that buckwheat is not a grain but rather a seed related to rhubarb and sorrel? The nutrients in buckwheat help to control blood sugar and lower harmful LDL cholesterol.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Easy Homemade Pizza Sauce Recipe

Pizza! Yay! Today I am sharing my recipe for homemade pizza sauce. And do you know what that means? Yes, a gluten-free pizza crust recipe to come soon!

This sauce is so easy to make. I use a 7-ounce glass jar of Bionaturae organic tomato paste to start. Then I mix in olive oil, honey, salt, and herbs. That's it! Pictured here is a triple batch. We are visiting with family right now so large batches are the norm these days.

Our two girls and their two cousins played restaurant tonight complete with hand written menus, aprons, and wine! This pizza sauce with a Gluten-Free and Yeast-Free Buckwheat Crust, Homemade Gluten-Free Seed Crackers with apples and french sheep cheese, a large Pear Pomegranate Salad, Whole Grain Flatbread, freshly made butternut squash lasagna with Macadamia Nut Cheese, Vanilla Tapioca Pudding, and a sparkling hibiscus cooler were all on the menu! It was quite a feast for all 12 of us.

Luckily the adults got to relax while the girls busily took orders and ran back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen carrying plates of food!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Candied Walnuts: An Edible Holiday Gift


If you are looking for a great (edible) gift idea during the last minute Christmas frenzy, I've got a quick an easy one for you. Candied nuts made without refined sugars! The girls and I like to make them every year to give as gifts. This year we made them, packaged them in glass jars, placed pretty Christmas fabric and ribbon on them, and gave them as gifts to teachers and friends.

I actually posted this recipe last November, just after I started this blog, before I understood that it is best share one recipe per post. You can view this recipe in my Pear and Hazelnut Salad with Creamy Cranberry Dressing post. Just scroll down, you'll find it.

Happy Holidays to all! Hope your days are Merry and Bright!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Orange-Wasabi Cabbage Salad


I absolutely love raw cabbage. I love the crispy crunch with every bite. I love the way it makes me feel...healthy and alive, my digestion strong. It feels cleansing. Luckily my children like cabbage too, though my girls have decided they like their cabbage plain, no dressing please. I gave this salad to my twin boys who turned two yesterday and one of them loved it while the other one spit it out (photo below).

I have found that the first three years of life is the most important time for introducing foods. Offering toddlers a wide variety of foods is key to their eating habits for the rest of their lives. They will most likely go through phases where they turn their nose up at foods they loved just a month ago. For example, our first daughter, Lily, decided around 3 years old that she didn't like beans. She was almost 4 until she ate them again. I just kept offering and didn't give up. One trick I have found to be helpful is to offer a child a "try-it bite" of a new food or flavor. I tell my girls they can spit it out if they don't like it. Every time we have that food I offer anther "try-it bite" and sometimes, but not always, they decide they like it. The key is to not give up on your children just because they don't like something at first.

So if you have young children, you may want to save some of this salad before dressing it. They can munch on the cabbage and carrots with their meal and then try some with the dressing too.

Fun Food Fact: Did you know that the phytochemicals in cabbage signal our genes to produce enzymes involved in detoxification? In addition, the phtyochemicals in cabbage are cancer-protective. So eat up! :)

Friday, December 18, 2009

Soothing Red Lentil Soup


It has been cold lately, very cold! It seems as if soups and stews are the daily staple now. Today I'd like to share with you a fairly new recipe of mine. One that was created about a week and a half ago. A warming, nourishing......soothing red lentil soup.

We've been very busy lately, and frankly who hasn't these days. I have made multiple batches of this soup since its creation and it has been just perfect for a quick, warming lunch or an easy dinner. The soup is chock full of greens, ginger, garlic, and onions...just the thing to boost the immune system during cold and flu season. I do use a little citrus to liven up the flavors but the soup is tomato-free.


We brought this soup up to the mountains with us in a large Thermos last weekend and it was just the thing to warm our bellies after an afternoon of sledding. My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting with my mom. He liked the soup so much that he asked me to make sure I would send the recipe to his mom. He ate bowlfuls of it everyday while he was here! He also asked me to make sure I send her the Milk Chocolate Cupcake recipe and the Molasses Cookie recipe!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Soy-Free Tamari Roasted Nuts



For those of you following a soy-free diet, and who are desperately missing your tamari, I have found a fantastic alternative! The South River Miso Company makes a wonderful gluten/wheat-free and soy-free tamari! How do they do it?

Here is what they say on their website: In Japanese, tamari means "little puddle" and refers to the savory liquid that collects in a vat of miso. Our genuine tamari is similar to its cousin, soy sauce, but much sweeter and lighter in taste. Friends who buy directly from our shop come back year after year, declaring that there is no seasoning comparable to South River Miso Tamari. Gathered from the vats of AZUKI BEAN MISO -- Made from deep well water, organic brown rice, organic azuki beans, sun-dried sea salt, organic sea vegetables, and koji culture. Aged in wood for a minimum of 3 months.

I was so happy to recently find this soy-free tamari alternative on Kim's Affairs of Living Blog! Kim writes a great blog full of recipes and ideas for Elimination Diet-friendly meals. If you are doing the Elimination Diet, then her site will be a big help.

If you have a chance to try South River's chickpea miso or adzuki miso please do! They are simply delicious. The miso is made using rice koji instead of barley koji. If you live in Bellingham you can find this fabulous miso at Terra Organica. They don't sell the tamari though...at least not yet!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Milk Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Agave Frosting (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

Welcome to day three of our Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! Today's theme is chocolate! I am sharing a favorite allergy-free cupcake recipe amongst the younger crowd. This chocolate cupcake is light, moist, easy to make, and has a mild chocolate flavor. The great thing about this recipe is the fact that all children love it, gluten-free or not. I also have another fun giveaway for you, read on to find out....

My 5-year old nephew was just in town visiting. I made these cupcakes for a bake sale at my children's school this past weekend. Of course I had to save a few of them! My nephew, who isn't gluten-free, loved them and asked me to send the recipe to his mom (along with a number of other recipes I made)!

Like my Soft Molasses Cookie recipe, I use either Sucanat or Coconut Sugar for the sweetener in these cupcakes. I have tested it with organic cane sugar and the overall flavor lacked the depth that only a dark, rich sugar can give. Sucanat or Coconut Sugar work beautifully. If you haven't yet entered the giveaway for the 2-pound bag of Coconut Sugar, you still have time, go to my last post to enter.

If you are interested in baking gluten-free cakes or cupcakes from a mix then I have just the thing! Authentic Foods has offered 6 Vanilla Bean Cake Mixes for a giveaway here. I love using their superfine flours in baking. You'll see a number of recipes on this blog using their flours and arrowroot powder. To be entered in the giveaway just leave a comment. To be entered twice you can share this on twitter or facebook, just be sure to come back and leave a second comment! The giveawy will remain open until 9pm PST on December 11th. I will choose 6 names using Random Number Generator so please check back to see if you won and then email me with your contact info!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Soft Molasses Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)


Welcome to our December Gluten-Free Progressive Dinner Party! This month's theme is desserts. Today I am sharing my recipe for soft molasses cookies. These cookies are delicious and so easy to make, I am sure you will enjoy them. Although I normally use Sucanat to sweeten them (unrefined dried cane juice), I have also tried making them using coconut sugar. I brought a batch, made with coconut sugar, to our large Thanksgiving gathering this year and they were a hit with the children! I have a 2-pound bag of coconut sugar I am giving away today, so be sure to leave a comment to enter!

The trick to making perfect molasses cookies is to CHILL the dough for at least an hour or more! If you are hasty and don't wait for the dough to chill completely, the fat will spread quickly while baking before the other ingredients have a chance to set up. This leads to very flat, thin cookies. The dough can actually be chilled for days before baking. I store mine in a large, tightly covered glass container. I don't use plastic wrap if I don't have too.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan, Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies


Today I am sharing with you a delectable little cookie recipe. A version of chocolate chip cookies that you've probably never seen before. One that doesn't contain any flour, sugar, eggs, or butter. No xanthan gum or starches either. Yep. A true "whole foods" cookie. One that pairs well with a glass of fresh, raw almond milk for dunking.

The base of this cookie is made from almond butter and quinoa flakes. It's a high protein, refined sugar-free, vegan cookie. Crispy on the outside and slightly gooey in the center.

The inspiration for this recipe came from a sample cookie I tried at our annual Gluten Intolerance Group Event a few weeks ago. The company that makes them is called Bonte Natural Foods and they are located right here, just north of Bellingham! I took one bite then looked at their ingredients. It read: Almond butter, eggs, GF oats, date paste, almond meal, honey, vanilla, and chocolate chips. For about a week I mulled the idea around in my mind and then finally created this recipe. It came out perfect the first time but I wanted to be sure so I sent it off to about 25 of my recipe testers.

The feedback I have received thus far has been fantastic. I hope you'll enjoy them as much as we do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Muffin Recipe and a GIVEAWAY!


I have something fun planned for today. First, a wonderful gluten-free, casein-free, refined sugar-free muffin recipe to share that is full of healthy ingredients. No starches, no xanthan gum, just a few whole food ingredients. The recipe isn't mine though, it comes from another lovely food blogger, Kelly of The Spunky Coconut! And second, I'm giving away a free copy of her cookbook, The Spunky Coconut Cookbook (a $30 value). Read on to learn how to enter the drawing.

Kelly's cookbook contains 115 Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, and Sugar-Free recipes with 65 color photos. There are 100 vegetarian recipes and 30+ raw inspired recipes. She does use eggs in many of her baked treats though. But there are still plenty of egg-free recipes for those with sensitivities or who are vegan.

As the name of her book and blog suggest, many of her delicious recipes involve coconut; whether it is coconut milk, coconut oil, or shredded coconut. Here is a taste of a few of her recipes: Butternut Souffle, Chicken Meatballs, Creamy Pea Soup, Caesar Salad, Funa (fake tuna salad), Chocolate Chip Bars, Vanilla Toffee Cake, Pumpkin Ice Cream, Mango Lemon Sorbet, Banana Bread (grain-free), Quinoa Almond Muffins, Creamy Bean Dip, and much much more!!!

You can view a wide variety of sample recipes on Kelly's blog. This high protien, low sugar Vanilla White Bean Cake with Chocolate Frosting is my favorite!

Kelly began to study nutrition in Maryland when her girls were very young. Her daughter Ashley was a baby, and daughter Zoe was a toddler at that time. Both girls were not well. In order to help them, her naturopathic doctor worked with them to radically change their diet (by removing gluten, casein, and sugar). She and her husband soon realized that their own health problems could be resolved as well. It was very eye-opening to see how many kinds of issues could be treated. So, after years of research and experimentation, Kelly has created recipes so similar to the old ones that nobody feels deprived. Together, through diet and biomedical treatments, their family is overcoming celiac disease, gluten-intolerance, ADD, and autism with great success.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Butternut Squash Casserole with Sage and Shallots


Here is a vegan alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey....a casserole with the flavors of Turkey. Poultry seasoning, sage, shallots, beans, squash, and apples all slowly cooked to perfection in the oven. The vegetable stock and arrowroot provide a thick sauce that holds the flavors. Served over wild rice and topped with a cranberry sauce, you have yourself a great meat-free Thanksgiving main dish!

This recipe was inspired by a phone conversation I had with a friend of mine. She was looking for meat-free Thanksgiving recipes, like casseroles with beans and squash, and asked if I had any recipes. For hours after our conversation and while cleaning my house, this recipe slowly evolved in my mind. I made it a few days later and it was good, but tasted a little flat when served without the Cranberry Sauce. It needed something acidic to balance the flavors. I thought about using tomatoes, vinegar, or citrus but wanted to keep those out in order to create a recipe that didn't consist of any common allergens (citrus and tomatoes are common).

Granny Smith Apples! Yes!

I added two peeled, chopped apples to the casserole and made it again today using Cranberry Beans instead of Cannelini beans. It was delicious! I served it with my Whole Grain Flatbread recipe for dinner this evening.

I should mention that my kids didn’t like the casserole….unfortunately. They usually will only eat squash if it is made into a puréed soup. I don’t know why they are picky with this vegetable, but they are. Luckily I had also just made a big pot of lentil soup which they happily devoured!

Please note that these photos were taken with my first batch of casserole. The second batch (the following recipe) has more of a saucy casserole feel from the apples which practically fall apart during cooking.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Vegan Dark Chocolate Almond Tart with a Pastry Crust!


Welcome to day 5 of our Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party! It's time for dessert! Today I am going to share a favorite recipe for the holidays. It is a rich chocolaty tart meant to be shared among many.

It was one of those recipes that came to me in a flash of inspiration around midnight the night before Thanksgiving last year. I was up late baking yummy vegan, gluten-free pumpkin and apple pies, soft molasses cookies, and pumpkin cake to bring to our large Gluten-Free Thanksgiving gathering of friends. I began tossing ingredients for a tart crust together, measuring as I was going, and then whipped up a filling to go with it. It ended up being every one's favorite dessert and I hope you'll like it too!

FYI: This isn’t really a kid-friendly dessert, unless that is, you have an almost 2-year old (or in my case two of them) – who happens to stumble upon chocolate (i.e. crack for children) and grabs the whole slice off the counter (the one on the plate that you are about to take a photo of) and stuffs the whole thing in his mouth as fast as he can before anyone sees him. Not that this happened to me. So who knows you might have a child that likes this rich chocolate tart. My girls won’t touch it. The crust however, they pick off and eat like candy!

The first time I made this crust I did not use any xanthan gum, and it worked. But since then I have made it several times and found that adding 1/2 teaspoon does help with the overall integrity of the crust.

Since I use cashews in the filling I decided to also share one of my vegan pastry creams to use with the crust instead of the chocolate tart filling. I know there are many people reading this blog allergic to cashews and I want to make sure everyone can enjoy this awesome tart crust. After the crust has been baked and cooled, use the pastry cream to fill the crust then top with sliced pears and pomegranate arils and a dusting of cinnamon! Enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pear Pomegranate Salad with Orange Vinaigrette


Today I'm excited to share with you my Pear Pomegranate Salad recipe with Orange Vinaigrette. This delicious antioxidant-rich salad recipe would be a lovely addition to this coming "Giving Thanks" day. The orange-cinnamon dressing pairs perfectly with the crunchy pomegranate, sweet pears, and toasted pecans!

Pomegranates are my children's favorite fruit to eat as of late! Well that and those delightful little satsuma mandarins. Even my twin toddler boys can eat a whole, large pomegranate themselves. In fact, they love this salad, dressing, greens and all!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Orange Pepper Salmon with Cranberry Sauce


Today I will be serving up a main course alternative to the traditional T-day turkey. This salmon recipe is one of my children's favorites. They just love it!

I like to serve it with my Cranberry Orange Sauce. Pictured here, it is also served with a quick red quinoa pilaf I like to make.

If you are vegan or vegetarian, please stop back soon for my Sage and Shallot Butternut Squash Casserole recipe. This recipe makes a great Thanksgiving day main dish, especially served with the cranberry sauce!

The trick to cooking moist and delicious salmon is NOT to over cook it. One or two minutes too long and your salmon can become dry and tough. Make sure you take it out of the oven before it is cooked all the way through. You should still be able to see pinkness in the center of the fillet. Once it is opaque throughout it is overcooked. Remember, fish continues to cook after you remove it from the oven.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sugar-Free Cranberry Orange Punch


Welcome to the first stop of our Gluten Free Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Party! Today I will be serving Cranberry Orange Punch. Our dinner party will be held at eight different blogs on Monday through Friday of this week and you’re invited to attend! By the end of the week you'll have many new ideas and recipes for your gluten-free Thanksgiving day menu. Enjoy!

Today's punch recipe is very simple to prepare and only takes a few minutes. You'll need one 8-ounce bottle of unsweetened cranberry juice concentrate. I buy it from our local food co-op in the juice isle (it is not refrigerated). Simply mix the cranberry concentrate with sparkling mineral water, orange juice, and either liquid stevia or agave nectar. I like to float orange slices and cinnamon sticks in the punch bowl which add extra flavor and make for a nice presentation.

Every year I make a variation of this punch for Thanksgiving and Christmas but never measure. Last night I made this punch eight different ways to get it just right! You'd think it would be easier than that, I mean, it's just punch! Come on, I created a gluten-free, vegan, flourless (and sugar-free) chocolate chip cookie recipe the other day which came out perfect the first time. But the punch? Well, it took a little more work. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Soothing Tummy Tea


The holidays are famous for overeating, aren't they? I thought I would share with you a digestion-stimulating herbal tea recipe of ours. It is a unique combination of roots, leaves, and flowers. First you simmer the roots, called a decoction, and then you add the leaves and flowers to steep.

We make a pot of this herbal brew a few times a week. Sometimes we add nettles, sometimes burdock root, but always ginger and licorice.

I am not an herbalist so I can't explain the details of how this tea works on your digestion, just know it works, and it works well.

Briefly, dandelion root stimulates the liver to help digest dietary fats. Ginger decreases inflammation and is soothing to the stomach. Spearmint relieves gas and nausea. Licorice is soothing to the stomach lining, promoting more mucous production which then in turn reduces acid indigestion, ulcers, and an upset tummy. Chamomile contains compounds which relax the smooth muscles in the digestive tract to relieve pain and cramping.

The tea has a delicious blend of sweet and spicy flavors with overtones of mint and chamomile. It is perfect for the holidays or simply sipped while curled up on the couch with your kids and a pile of books on a windy Autumn day.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Sugar-Free Holiday Cranberry Sauce Recipe


Cranberries are one of my favorite fruits. Blame it on growing up in Wisconsin, or maybe their tart and tangy nature, or beautiful ruby color. Whatever the case may be, I love cranberries!

I created this sauce to go over my Vegan Pumpkin Cheesecake, but it would also work as part of your Thanksgiving feast. Traditional cranberry sauce uses loads of cane sugar. This one doesn't. I use either coconut nectar or raw agave nectar to give it a little sweetness.

Serve it warm or cold, either way it is sure to please. When it is cold I like to use it as a jam to spread over toasted Hemp Bread. Mmmm, so delicious!

Update: This is a cane sugar-free sauce. It still needs quite a bit of sweetener to make it palatable and not overly tart. The sauce is still not very sweet even with this amount. There are infinite ways to make cranberry sauce. Some suggestions include adding diced pears or apples, increasing the orange juice and decreasing the sweetener, or using coconut sugar. Please read the comments below for all of the suggestions. Be creative here and try what works for you. If you come up with something great then leave your recipe in the comments section below. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spicy Dairy-Free Tahini Dip


I thought you might enjoy this thick and creamy dairy-free dip recipe for your upcoming holiday gatherings. It would make a great appetizer! In this recipe I use a fresh jalapeño pepper and cayenne pepper for a very spicy dip, but below the recipe I have a variation for a non-spicy herbed version.

This recipe is a slightly altered version of one found in a very lovely cookbook entitled, I Am Grateful, Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude. This cookbook is primarily a raw foods cookbook (or uncookbook I should say). In addition to the wonderful recipes with color photos, the book permeates warmth and love. Each recipe is an affirmation. I Am Flowing for a veggie noodle dish, or I Am Light for a dairy-free Tzatziki recipe, or how about I Am Cherished for a Cashew Lemon Cheesecake? They all sound so inviting, don't they?

I can feel the loving energy that was put forth to create this book on each and every page and this is why I want to share it with you. I have other raw food books, but I like this one because of how approachable it is. Enjoy!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jalapeño-Lime Kale Slaw


Here is a simple recipe for a raw kale slaw. It is very quick to prepare but actually tastes best about 12 to 24 hours after preparing. The dressing is spicy, not the burn-your-mouth type of spiciness, but hot.

Disclaimer: my kids won't eat this!

Tom and I, however, love it. The spiciness feels just right to warm your belly on a cool fall evening. Last night we served it with warmed black beans and sticky brown rice, diced avocados, and baked delicata squash. I think it would be great with toasted pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top just before serving. The other week we served it atop a curried lentil and yam stew and the flavor combinations were fantastic!

You could go a lot of ways with this recipe. For example, the dressing would be great tossed with shredded Napa cabbage and carrots for another variation. Or use it to dress a salad topped with black beans and toasted pumpkin seeds. You'll probably come up with many ways to use this very tasty dressing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe (Vegan)


If you are looking for a great alternative to traditional cheesecake for your Holiday celebrations, I’ve got one for you. A dairy-free, egg-free cheesecake with a gluten-free pastry crust….and the filling? Well, fresh baked sugar pie pumpkin to start, then cashews, and maple syrup….but what else? Hint: it is also soy-free!

I got the idea for this "cheesecake" from the Lemon Teascake recipe in our cookbook, The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. Though that original recipe came from the vegan, gourmet Café Ambrosia restaurant in Seattle. It was such a lovely restaurant but is no longer in business. Tom and I dined there only a few times as it was a little pricey for our student budget back then, but their amazing food was worth every penny!

Recently on our Facebook Page, Nichole E. left me a little note on our wall asking for a gluten-free pie crust recipe. Well, today I am going to share one of my pastry crusts. Interestingly, I didn’t realize until last week that our Facebook Page had a wall where people were leaving notes and questions for us. I clicked on something and then they all popped up! I am not technical at all, I haven’t even figured out how to use Twitter yet!

You’ll need a 9-inch spring form pan for this recipe, which can be found at most kitchen stores. Here is one from amazon.com if you are interested. I don’t use non-stick bakeware but this one on Amazon is.

This lovely dessert has more steps than most of my recipes but is really very easy to accomplish. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. (All of the little indents in the photo below are from my twins poking their fingers into it while it was setting)!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan Hemp Bread Recipe


This fantastic gluten-free yeast bread recipe utilizes high protein hemp flour along with other gluten-free flours such as teff flour and brown rice flour. It is dark and hearty, perfect for sandwiches. For a slight variation you can create a flavorful "Rye" bread by adding onion powder and caraway seeds.

Here is the feedback from my taste testers: rustic, hearty, "dessert bread," mmm, I'd like to make this!

I buy my hemp flour from our local Community Food Co-op, though here are a few other places that sell it online: Nature's Perfect Food, Essense-of-Life, and Healthy Hemp Food.

Hemp's nutrition profile is no laughing matter. This seed boasts over 33 grams of digestible protein per 100 grams. It contains all essential amino acids; is high in minerals such as iron, calcium, and magnesium; and is high in essential fats.

I won't go into much more detail about the nutritional benefits of hemp, but you can read more about it here
.

Pictured below is the hemp bread with my homemade honey-sweetened blueberry jam.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thai Coconut Fish Sticks (Gluten-Free + Egg-Free)


Here is a yummy recipe I created a few weeks ago for gluten-free fish sticks using halibut. This is one of my super-quick-and-easy meals! I use shredded coconut for the breading and a unique slurry to dip them in....you'll see in my recipe below. I also like to serve these with a Thai Peanut Dipping Sauce (recipe to follow).

I find these fish sticks very filling and only eat about 2 or 3 before I am done. I like to serve them with plenty of fresh, organic greens. I usually just drizzle some of the peanut dipping sauce over the greens for a dressing.

I haven't been posting much lately and the truth is that my 22 month old twin boys are really difficult right now. Last Sunday they figured out how to climb out of the crib at nap time. The daily two hour nap is forever gone I am afraid. I have not figured out how to get them to sleep otherwise. Usually I read them a few books, nurse them, and put them in the crib. Then I blow kisses and close the door. They normally just go to sleep. Not anymore! Evenings are much more difficult now because they are just so darn tired by dinner time...and so am I! They were asleep by 6pm tonight. We had an early dinner that took about 10 minutes to prepare. Got to love that!

Along with the fish sticks and greens, we had leftover brown rice, quinoa, lentils, and green smoothies (for the twins). Tom made his own vegan coconut curry with the Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, napa cabbage, collard greens, onions, garlic, and Kaffir lime leaves. Hope you enjoy my recipe....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Moroccan Quinoa Pilaf


This easy quinoa pilaf is flavored with curry, cardamom, and turmeric. The almonds, currants, carrots, and kale bring color, flavor, crunch, and plenty of nutrients to call this a meal in itself! Try serving it with a mixed green salad using the Fig-Balsamic Vinaigrette. I bet this recipe would also be great as a stuffing for winter squash…acorn, buttercup, or delicata would be perfect to hold this pilaf.

The other week I created this recipe with what we had on hand at the moment. It was one of those nights where we fed the kids early, put them to bed, and then whipped up something for ourselves. It is a rarity that Tom and I get an uninterrupted meal. I mean come on, it’s nice to have a break from quinoa all over the floor for just one night, isn’t it?

I made it again today to take note of amounts and timing so I could share it with you. We had it for dinner this evening with bowls of creamy hubbard squash soup.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Gluten-Free, Vegan Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies


Since it is squash season, I thought I would begin to share the plethora of winter squash recipes I have floating around my kitchen on scraps of paper. Today's recipe is a cookie, a gluten-free, high fiber oatmeal pumpkin cookie. Paired with a mug of hot mulled cider, it creates a lovely fall snack. Crunchy on the outside and soft in the center.

Last week I wanted to create a true whole foods cookie with no starch or gums and I did it! The only problem was that the cookies disappeared before I had a chance to take a photo. I made them again yesterday with my 4-year old daughter and got a photo before they disappeared again.

Yes, they are that good.

The main flour in this recipe is oat flour made from freshly ground rolled gluten-free oats. I have not found an oat flour, gluten-free or not, that was not rancid. You can easily grind rolled oats in a food processor or Vitamix, I use the latter. Just make sure to grind them until a fine flour forms. My favorite brand of gluten-free oats comes from www.GlutenFreeOats.com. Their oats always taste very fresh and work well in baking. I also like this brand which can be purchased through Azure Standard if you have an account with them. 

The cookies in these photos are made with pureed butternut squash because that is what I had in my fridge. You can also make them using canned pumpkin. Fresh pumpkin or squash puree contains more moisture than canned so you may need to add a few extra tablespoons of oat flour to the batter to compensate. The dough should be the consistency of traditional chocolate chip drop cookies.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Links to Products we Use


I have had dozens of requests over the last few weeks for either a post on the products I use or specific questions on where to find a certain product. So here it is, all organized and in one place. I have added a link on the sidebar of this blog under "Essential Posts" to make finding this post a snap!

Click on the links to view the product brand names and to read more about the product.

Salt & Seasonings

Sea Salt: We use RealSalt which comes from an ancient dried sea bed that has never been exposed to modern day pollution. This salt also contains over 50 trace minerals!

Herbamare: Is a flavorful sea salt and herb blend made by steeping fresh herbs and vegetables in sea salt for several months before being vacuum dehydrated. This salt makes very flavorful soups and stews. I buy it from our local food co-op or health food store. You can also make your own Herbamare at home using my recipe here, for a fraction of the price!

Coconut Aminos: Use this soy-free soy sauce made from fermented coconut nectar in any dish calling for soy sauce or tamari. I prefer to add a little sea salt too as coconut aminos are not as salty as soy sauce or tamari. Learn more about using coconut aminos here.


Oils

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: I think this is a personal choice. I like Lucini best, but also like to use Napa Valley Naturals Organic oil because the cost is reasonable and the quality is good. Omega Nutrition also makes an excellent, reasonably priced olive oil.

Virgin Coconut Oil: I use Nutiva oil nearly every day for cooking and baking. I find this brand to have the best flavor. It is also great used as a massage oil!

Avocado Oil: Primal Kitchen Foods makes two wonderful avocado oils. One is for high heat cooking and the other is great for salad dressings. Use avocado oil for higher heat sautéing, roasting, and more!

Grapeseed Oil: I like Napa Valley Naturals best. It is unrefined which you can see with its beautiful green hue. I use this oil for baking and cooking occasionally.

Organic Palm Shortening: I use this for baking occasionally. It is great for biscuits, pie crusts, and scones. I also use it in special occasion cakes! I have found that the Spectrum brand works best.


Vinegars

Balsamic Vinegar: This is one of my favorites. Now you can spend quite a bit of money on high quality aged vinegar but you don't need to for everyday home cooking. I use Lucini brand balsamic vinegar which has been aged in wood casks.

Seasoned Brown Rice Vinegar: Is made from an alcohol fermentation of mashed brown rice. It then undergoes another fermentation to produce vinegar. Organic grape juice concentrate and sea salt are added to create the Seasoned Vinegar. I like to use this for salad dressings or to season a finished vegetable or bean dish. It is delicious over sauteed kale!

Wine Vinegars: Of course this is a personal choice too. For everyday home cooking Spectrum makes very reasonably priced organic vinegars that can easily fit into the family food budget.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: I personally like Braag's raw apple cider vinegar and use it for salad dressings, soups, and stews. A little taken before eating can boost digestion as well!


Natural Sweeteners

Coconut Palm Sugar: Use this low glycemic, nutrient dense granulated sweetener anywhere sugar is called for. It is dark brown and rich-flavored so keep that in mind when baking your favorite recipe! To read more about coconut sugar you can view my Coconut Sugar Apple Crisp Recipe.

Whole Cane Sugar: Whole cane sugar is simply dried cane juice. I rarely ever use this sweetener but if I do I will use Wholesome Sweeteners brand which is gluten-free. Tip: for baking you can pulse this sugar in a coffee grinder or blender to make it finer.

Maple Sugar: Coombs maple sugar is gluten-free and organic. You can also buy small bags of maple sugar from Authentic Foods. I like this sugar best because it is local to the northern latitudes. Reading the Little House on the Prairie series to my daughters brings me back to the simple ingredients used by our ancestors before the commercialization of food. Maple sugar was used for everyday baking back then.

Blackstrap Molasses: Wholesome Sweeteners makes a delicious, organic blackstrap molasses that is great for baking gingerbread cakes, molasses cookies, and other holiday sweets. I also use it in bean dishes.

I also use Grade B maple syrup which I buy in bulk from my local co-op and raw local wildflower honey which I buy locally as well.


Whole Grain Gluten-Free Flours

Sprouted Brown Rice Flour: You can find this flour though a number of different companies including Azure Standard and To Your Health Sprouted Flours.

Sprouted Garbanzo Bean Flour: Use this flour as breading for my gluten-free, egg-free chicken nugget recipe in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. It is also works wonderfully as a batter for gluten-free vegetable fritters! I also use this flour to make dumplings in my Gluten-Free Chicken and Dumpling Soup.

Teff Flour: The Teff Company produces the best teff flour in my opinion. Teff is an ancient grain that originated in East Africa but is now produced in the Snake River region of Idaho. It is high in protein, iron, and other minerals. View my Teff Recipes for inspiration.

Whole Grain GF Flours: Bob's Red Mill produces great whole grain gluten-free flours for baking if you do not want to use sprouted flours. I have a lot of Baked Treats on this site you can check out. You can use a sprouted GF flour interchangeably with its non-sprouted counterpart in any recipe. 

Superfine Brown Rice Flour: I use this very finely ground gluten-free flour for making pie crusts, biscuits, rolled cookies, and a few other treats. I usually blend it with Superfine Sweet Rice Flour

Almond Meal/Flour: Is made from ground blanched almonds. It has a coarse texture and works great in addition to other gluten-free flours in baking to add extra protein and flavor.

Blanched Almond Flour: This flour works for baking grain-free desserts and breads. It is a very fine flour that can not be substituted for Almond Meal.

Pumpkin Seed Flour: Pumpkin seed flour is great to use for grain-free, nut-free baking. I have a few pumpkin seed flour recipes on this blog.


Starches

Tapioca Starch: Also called tapioca flour, is used as part of a flour blend in gluten-free baking. You can also order organic tapioca flour here

Arrowroot Powder: Is used as part of the flour blend in gluten-free baking, can also be used to dredge foods for sautéing, and can be used as a thickener in sauces and desserts. 


Organic Gluten-Free Oats

Rolled Oats: For making oatmeal, for baking, or for grinding into flour for baking.


Other Baking Products

Raw Cacao Powder: Nativas Naturals is my favorite brand for raw cacao powder. Their chocolate products are all gluten-free. Use this high-antioxidant chocolate anywhere cocoa or cacao powder are called for in a recipe. 

Extracts and Flavorings: Frontier produces good quality organic extracts and flavorings that are gluten-free. I use their almond, orange, and lemon flavorings for baking. I make my own vanilla with organic potato vodka and vanilla beans.

Chocolate Chips: I buy organic dark, soy-free chocolate chips in bulk from my local food co-op. The brand they carry is Equal Exchange

Shredded Coconut: I use the finely shredded, unsweetened coconut for baking or breading.



Spices

I like to use Simply Organic's spices most often for cooking and baking. Simply Organic's spices are gluten-free and can be found at your local health food store or food co-op.


I think that's it for specific products. If I missed anything please leave a comment below. Hope you find this helpful! :)



Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spiced Chicken and Rice Stew Recipe

When the weather cools, having recipes for warming, nourishing, gluten-free soups and stews is essential. This chicken and rice stew can also be made vegan by replacing the chicken with kidney beans or pinto beans. Sometimes I make two versions of the same meal for the vegan in our house, though other times we usually have enough leftovers to have a complete meal.

If you are interested in reading more on Celiac Disease and the myriad of nutritional considerations that go along with it then check out Tom's review article that was recently published, entitled, Digestive and Nutritional Considerations in Celiac Disease.

Today's recipe can be made in a snap if your rice is precooked. We almost always have leftover cooked grains hanging around the kitchen which makes dinners go quickly and easily. I like to use short grain brown rice in this stew but I imagine long grain rice or even quinoa would work too.

Serving some sort of raw veggie salad with a stew like this helps to digest the meal. A quick cabbage slaw made from chopped savoy cabbage, grated carrots, chopped parsley, and fresh corn off the cob is quite delicious. I make a dressing that is almost identical to the dressing I use for my Spring Slaw, only replacing the apple cider vinegar with champagne vinegar.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to Make and Can Applesauce


Today I wanted to share with you one of our family's most treasured fall projects: making homemade applesauce and canning it. I use applesauce quite a bit in my vegan, gluten-free baking recipes (which I will be sharing more of this fall) so I thought it would be fitting to demonstrate how to make it with step-by-step photos.

You will save a LOT of money by making your own applesauce, especially if you pick all of the apples yourself like we do. Just the other day the kids and I walked around the neighborhood and picked about 70 pounds of apples, Asian pears, and pears! I always find it amazing how much abundance there is and that people are more than willing to share their fruit. Thank goodness for double baby joggers!

In this recipe we will be making homemade apple-plum sauce though any fruit combination works. Think apple-blueberry sauce, or apple-peach sauce, or just plain apple sauce flavored with cinnamon. I don't have any of the fancy canning equipment so I thought it would be fun to show how to make applesauce with your everyday kitchen equipment.


First, take an 8-quart pot and fill it up with cored, chopped apples. Use sweet apples like honeycrisp, rome, fuji, gala, or red delicious. You can leave the skins on. I use about 3/4 apples to 1/4 other fruit. In this recipe I used pitted Italian plums. Place the pot on the stove, uncovered and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.


The above photo was taken at just about an hour of simmering. Make sure you stir the sauce with a long spoon to keep everything cooking evenly. Cook for about 2 hours total or until the fruit is well-cooked and mashes easily. You can add honey or agave to the sauce if desired. Sometimes I add a little lemon juice to help preserve the colors but it is not necessary.


Place a large colander over another pot or bowl (or use a food mill). Pour the sauce in batches into the colander to remove the skins. This is the fun part where the children can really get in there and help. Use a large spoon and stir the sauce to push it through the colander. The skins will remain in the colander.


After the applesauce is though the colander, dump out the skins and pour in more sauce from the pot. Continue to do this until all of the skins are removed. Place pot back on the stove to keep the applesauce warm until your jars are ready to be filled. While this is happening (assuming your child is doing the work) get your jars and lids ready by boiling them in a large pot to sterilize. I boil mine for about 15 minutes.


Place your empty jars (I use wide mouth pint jars) onto a towel on the counter and slowly pour in the sauce leaving about 1/4 inch of space at the top. Wipe the rim of each jar with a thin, damp dishtowel. This is a very important step! If any sauce remains on the rim you won't get a good seal. Then take the lids from the boiling water bath, using tongs, and carefully place onto each jar. Cap and seal.


Place jars into the boiling water bath. I use an 8-quart pot with a pasta strainer basket. Make sure your water is boiling first, before you put the jars in. I can only fit 3 jars at a time. Boil for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on your altitude (see below). Use tongs (I use stainless salad tongs for this) to remove each jar. Place on the counter to cool. Repeat with remaining jars.

Boil your applesauce pint jars for 15 minutes at sea level to 1,000 feet, 20 minutes for 1,000 to 6,000 feet, and above 6,000 feet boil them for 25 minutes.

After about 24 hours, test each lid by pushing your thumb into the middle. If it pops up the lid didn't seal. This rarely happens but it is important to test. If it does you can just use that jar right away and store it in the refrigerator. Label and date your applesauce jars and store in the pantry! Enjoy! :)

If you are interested in learning more about canning I recommend checking out an excellent blog, Food in Jars.


Applesauce can be used in:
Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Friday, October 2, 2009

Fig-Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe


Figs blended with extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and maple syrup....well, what's not to love? This lovely salad dressing is delicious atop a salad of fresh organic greens, maple roasted walnuts, heirloom apples, and fresh figs. Sounds gourmet-ish doesn't it?

Well, you could pour yourself a glass of wine and imagine yourself sans children dining at one of those fancy, expensive restaurants. I do anyways. It's a nice break from watching the twin toddler WWF wrestling matches we have going on here all day.

This dressing recipe was inspired by a salad served at Cafe Gratitude last weekend. My friend and colleague, Dr. Jean Layton, walked to this wonderful, gluten-free, mostly raw restaurant in San Francisco. I ordered the "I am Celebrating" which consisted of a deep dish pizza made from raw buckwheat groats and sunflower seeds topped with an olive tapenade, fresh tomatoes, and a nut cheese. The large salad that came with it was drizzled with a luscious fig-balsamic dressing. The whole meal was so amazing I decided to order another to go. The fig dressing still lingered with me so I decided to recreate it.....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chipotle Black Bean and Yam Stew Recipe


This black bean stew is warming and comforting, just perfect for a blustery fall day. I like to serve it over cooked quinoa topped with a cilantro and cabbage slaw (recipe to follow). It just feels better to eat something raw with a cooked meal. I always feel my meals are better digested this way.

The great thing about this soup is that it is tomato-free. I love tomatoes and put them in nearly all of my soups and stews, though I know some people need to avoid them. With this recipe I use fresh lime juice to provide the acidity.

Tom made a very large pot of this black bean stew last week. I actually wanted to post it then but didn't even have a second to take a photo and get on the computer. Now that I am back from my trip to San Francisco I had a chance to make it again today and now share it with you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Coconut Sugar Apple Crisp

We really are not just about sweets here. Really we're not! But this week it seems we are, huh. Hope some of you enjoyed the White Nectarine Ice Cream I posted last weekend. More main dish recipes to come next week I promise!

Since I will be going out of town for four days I thought it was high time for another delicious giveaway. This awesome giveaway is for 2 pounds of coconut sugar! I used coconut sugar from Essential Living Foods to make this fabulous gluten-free apple crisp.


What is Coconut Sugar?
Coconut sugar is a low glycemic granulated sweetener with a glycemic index of 35. Compare that to honey of 75, agave nectar of 30, pure maple syrup of 54, or sugar (sucrose) of 95. Coconut sugar or coconut palm sugar as it is also called is made from the dried sap of the coconut palm blossom. Sounds lovely doesn't it? But what does it taste like?

I find the taste mild with slight molasses undertones, possibly even a little like maple syrup. The flavors marry well with spices, which will be quite perfect for your autumn baking needs. Coconut sugar can be substituted 1 for 1 in baking. Use it where you would use brown sugar, Sucanat, or white sugar. I used it in my apple crisp recipe with absolutely delicious results! I have used it before in cookies and muffins and it works great. I have also used it to proof yeast with great results as well. Those with cane sugar allergies will find this sugar suitable for their needs.

To be entered in this drawing, leave a comment below with your name or initials and a brief note if you would like. It is always fun to hear from you! The giveaway will be open until 11:59pm PST on Monday the 28th of September, 2009. I will announce the winner in my next post. So please keep an eye out for your name sometime early next week! Enter twice for more chances to win. Either add a link to this post on your blog or share this on Facebook or Twitter. Have fun! :) Please note, this drawing is now closed.


Gluten-Free, Vegan Apple Crisp Recipe

I am a big fan of just about any type of cooked apple dessert. This is a great recipe to add to a weeknight meal because of the ease of prep time involved. You also do not need to have much experience in the kitchen to make this. So go ahead and enjoy! My favorite variety of apple to use here is Granny Smith though the Gingergold variety works great too!

Filling:
3 to 4 baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin (⅛-inch thick)
2 to 4 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or agave nectar
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Topping:
1 ½ cups rolled gluten-free oats
½ cup sweet rice flour
½ to ¾ cup coconut sugar*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup melted virgin coconut oil (or butter)*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place all ingredients for the filling into a 7 x 11-inch baking pan. Gently stir together with a large spoon. A good gauge for sufficient fruit is to fill your pan almost to the top with sliced fruit. It will cook down quite a bit. See the photo below.

In a small mixing bowl stir together the oats, rice flour, sugar, cinnamon, and sea salt. Add oil and vanilla and stir together with a fork. Using your hands, crumble the topping evenly over the filling.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until the juices are bubbling up and the topping is lightly browned.

*Notes: Use organic brown sugar, Sucanat, or maple sugar in the topping instead of coconut sugar if desired. Sometimes I add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil to the topping if the mixture seems to need it.
Lemon Juice can be omitted if you are sensitive to citrus.

Italian Plum Variation: Use 4 to 5 cups pitted, halved plums in place of the apples or a combination of the two. Toss with 3 to 4 tablespoons arrowroot; increase liquid sweetener to 4 tablespoons; omit lemon juice. Source: www.nourishingmeals.com


Other recipes where coconut sugar would work:


Saturday, September 19, 2009

White Nectarine Ice Cream (Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free)


As promised, here it is, finally, the White Nectarine Ice Cream. Naturally sweetened and of course gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. The photo doesn't do this recipe justice. The consistency and flavors are simply amazing. Even after 24 hours of freezing, it is still soft and easy to scoop just like traditional ice cream made with cream and sugar.

When I make this, my kids practically eat the whole container in one sitting. I have to cut them off and hide the container in the back of the freezer!

So let's celebrate the end of summer with one last hoorah and eat ice cream! This luscious dairy-free ice cream blends a few natural sweeteners for layer upon layer of deep, rich flavors. The maple syrup I use here is not really to add any extra sweetness. Instead it adds an extra dimension of flavor, especially if you use Grade B maple syrup which is less refined, higher in minerals, and richer in flavor.

You should still be able to find white nectarines at most health food stores and food co-ops, at least that's the case here. If not, try yellow nectarines or peaches. I just bought a bunch of white nectarines for freezing so I can make this recipe as a special treat during the year.

This recipe does require a few more ingredients and does take a little extra time compared to my Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream, but the end result is soooo worth it!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Summer Vegetable Kitcheree


Kitcheree is a highly nourishing, hypoallergenic stew made from mung beans and brown rice. It assists in the detoxification process as it is very easy to digest. The spices and summer vegetables create a luscious stew that can be made in just minutes using a pressure cooker, though you don't need one to make this.

I know, I know, summer is nearly gone and Autumn will be upon us soon enough. I am not ready yet. I'm still savoring every last bit of this warm, dappled September sun. Sure, we harvested all of our sugar pie pumpkins and other winter squash today and my daughter was already asking when will I be making pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie, not yet though. Summer is still here, let's just be with it while it lasts.

I'll be sharing the White Nectarine Ice Cream you all keep asking me about in my next post. We'll say farewell to Summer, celebrate the fun times, and eat ice cream. Are you with me? :)

For now, how about using up the summer veggies in this fantastic bean and whole grain stew! This recipe is perfect for those of you who are vegan and following the Elimination Diet, particularly during Phase 2…...and will also work for those of you simply desiring a fast, healthy, and tasty meal. I made this stew and packed it into two large Thermos containers for our recent wild blueberry picking adventures in the mountains. We all enjoyed a bowl of warm stew after the sun had set. There was a certain chill in the air and having a warm meal was just divine! Tastes good + nourishing = blissed out, happy, energetic, and ALIVE!!


Summer Vegetable Kitcheree

Kitcheree is an Indian stew-like meal made from mung beans and brown rice. Spices and vegetables make up the remaining ingredients which can vary widely. Here I used carrots, fresh tomatoes, kale, peas, and cilantro. If you are on the Elimination Diet then this recipe is ideal. *Just keep the tomatoes and chili flakes out until Phase 3. Once nightshades are added back into the diet then have at this recipe in its entirety!

2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
pinch or two of crushed red chili flakes*
2 cups brown jasmine or basmati rice, rinsed
2 cups dry mung beans, rinsed
3 to 4 large carrots, cut into large chunks
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon ground coriander
8 to 10 cups water
4 cups finely chopped kale or spinach
1 to 2 cups fresh or frozen peas
3 medium tomatoes, chopped*
½ cup chopped cilantro
2 to 3 teaspoons sea salt or Herbamare
dollop of chilled coconut milk, for garnish

Heat oil in an 8-quart pot (or pressure cooker). Add ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and chili flakes, gently sauté over medium heat until the seeds begin to pop.

Then add the mung beans, rice, carrots, turmeric, and coriander. Stir together a bit so the spices evenly coat the rice and beans. Then add the water (start with 8 cups and add more after the stew is cooked if necessary). Lock the lid into place (if using a pressure cooker) and bring to high pressure, cook for about 10 minutes, then use the quick release method to bring the pressure down. If the stew needs some more time, bring to high pressure again and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes. Add more water if needed.

If you don't have a pressure cooker simply bring the stew to a boil, cover, and simmer on low for about 45 minutes (add more water if needed).

Once the rice and beans are cooked, add in the chopped kale, tomatoes, peas, cilantro, and salt. Stir until just mixed. Turn off heat, cover, and let stand for about 5 minutes. The tender vegetables will just barely cook in the hot stew. Add more salt to taste if necessary. Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes: Be sure to cut the carrots into large chunks otherwise they will fall apart in the stew while cooking.