Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

h1

persian chopped salad

April 15, 2019

Shirazi salad, also known as Persian chopped salad, is an amazing bright, fresh, and summery vegan treat. It doesn’t get much healthier than this raw crunchy salad.

The only necessary ingredients here are a veggie or two, lemon or lime juice, and something herby. It’s too early in the season here for fresh garden herbs, but dry mint was great in this!

Chop any combination of the following:
raw fresh cucumbers
raw fresh tomatoes
raw onion
raw garlic
fresh hot chili pepper
fresh herbs like mint, parsley, or cilantro

Add chickpeas if you like. (I do!)

Dress with lemon or lime juice, and any combination of salt and pepper, dry or fresh mint, dry or fresh dill, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil.

(If you’re leaving out the fresh herbs, make sure to add extra citrus, and some dried herbs like dill-and-garlic seasoning or capitol hill blend!

+

recipe adapted from a variety of sources, including Persian mama and Cleveland clinic.

+

Similar to a fattoush or “Israeli salad” – this infinitely adaptable salad goes with everything. I highly recommend the chickpeas. Chickpeas add an interesting texture, and lots of protein and fiber!

If you like spicy, Sichuan cucumber salad is your best bet. But what if you want something clean and fresh, not doused in spicy oil? The dry mint in this recipe makes it super refreshing.

This is basically a textbook example of a “detox meal” – something that makes you feel alive again after a winter of eating junk food like super-greasy crispy fried tofu. Easy to make low-sodium, great for a potluck, and a great way to use local veggies from your backyard garden or your farmers’ market.

It doesn’t get much healthier than this!

Advertisements
h1

salt-free herb ranch seasoning

April 12, 2019

You’ll be surprised how often you find yourself using this savory herb blend. Of course it’s amazing mixed into plain yogurt or sour cream for a great dip. Yes, it’s fantastic sprinkled on pasta or pizza as a no-sodium umami boost. But then you will try it on popcorn. Sprinkled in the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich. On mashed potatoes. On roasted veggies. In your veggie/meat burgers. On fish. If you’re on a low sodium diet, this may quickly become one of your go-to seasoning blends.

The ranch I grew up with was mostly cheap soybean oil with an unbelievable amount of sugar and salt. The label’s serving size (two tablespoons of ranch) contains almost 300mg of sodium – that’s 20% of the salt someone with high blood pressure should eat for the entire day (source: ranch / American Heart Association)!! I grew up dipping my pizza crusts into that greasy sludge. If you think that’s what we’re making here, think again!

It reminds me of Capitol Hill seasoning (shallots, dill weed, parsley, chives, salt and pepper; all dried) – a perfect umami kick to top anything bland.

2 T dried parsley
2 t dried dill
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t dry flake onion
1 t black pepper
2 t dried chives
1 t oregano
buttermilk powder (optional. I hear this adds a great tang like a buttermilk ranch, but I left it out and it’s still great.)
(note to self: maybe try with dried orange or lemon zest next time to add the tang of buttermilk?)

+

adapted from gimme some oven and from some other recipe I can no longer find rip

+

Made this for the first time in early April, and by mid-April I already used almost an entire batch of this on everything from charred onion and cucumber salad to roasted potatoes to Persian chopped salad. Such a great springtime blend to add something different to your healthy diet!

Just one teaspoon of salt has 2300mg of sodium – that’s way more than people with high blood pressure are supposed to have over the course of a day (source : Harvard). Even though most people get most of their sodium from processed foods like frozen food and bread, it can be easy to go overboard on the salt shaker when you are cooking blander food like potatoes and rice. This is an awesome way to give you the flavor bomb you want while cutting back on your salt intake!

It doesn’t taste like the ranch you grew up with – if you want that, add cheap soybean oil, sugar, MSG, tons of salt, and egg yolks. Even if you hate ranch, give this a try! But if herbs aren’t your cup of tea, try some other salt-free spice blends from around the world!

h1

mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐)

March 25, 2019

Quest for the perfect mapo tofu!

VERSION 1 – a sweet, Americanized version by Shirley Cheng for epicurious

•1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
•1 1/2 pounds soft (not silken) tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
•2 tablespoons Chinese hot bean paste (also called chili bean sauce)
•1 tablespoon Chinese black-bean paste or sauce
•4 tablespoons oyster sauce (note: this is too much, and will make your dish very, very sweet)
•2 tablespoons Asian chili powder (note: this is clearly too much for most westerners; add a little at first and more to taste)
•1 tablespoon cornstarch
•1/4 cup peanut oil (I mixed in some hot chili oil from dan dan noodles)
•4 ounces ground beef
•1 (1/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
•2 cloves garlic, minced
•1 scallion (white and green parts), thinly sliced on diagonal
•1/4 cup Shaoxing rice wine (or dry sherry)
•1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), washed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 1/2 cup)
•1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
•1 tablespoon light soy sauce
•1 tablespoon dark soy sauce

recipe by Shirley Cheng for epicurious

+

VERSION 2 – from omnivore’s cookbook

•120 grams (4 ounces) ground meat (pork, chicken or turkey)
•2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (or Japanese Sake)
•1 teaspoon light soy sauce
•1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

For braising
•1 teaspoon cornstarch
•2 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns increase to 3 teaspoons if you like your dish extra numbing
•1 tablespoon vegetable oil
•3 tablespoons Doubanjiang spicy fermented bean paste
•2 tablespoons green onion, chopped (note: I didn’t have any, so I used 2 cloves of garlic)
•1 block (400-g / 14-oz) firm or medium firm tofu , cut into 1.5cm (1/2 inch) squares
•1 cup water or stock
•2 teaspoons Chinese chili oil; 1 teaspoon for a less spicy dish (note: for a mild dan dan noodle chili oil, you will need all 2 teaspoons.)
•1/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
•1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
rice or another grain to serve

1. Combine ground meat/veg, cooking wine, soy sauce, and ginger in a bowl. Mix well.

2. Combine cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

3. Cut and prep ingredients.

4. Heat vegetable oil and Sichuan peppercorns in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When the Sichuan peppercorns turn dark brown and crispy, scoop them out with spatula and transfer into a bowl layered with paper towel to soak extra oil. Save to use for garnish the dish.

5. When oil is hot, add ground meat and bean paste. Stir-fry over medium heat with a spatula, until pork is evenly coated with bean paste. Add green onion and stir fry for another minute.

6. Spread tofu evenly on top of ground pork – don’t stir until it braises for a few minutes, so the tofu doesn’t fall apart. Add chili oil, five-spice powder, and sugar. Pour in broth/water and simmer, covered, over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until tofu becomes tender and the sauce has reduced to half the original amount. Taste the tofu with some broth. Adjust seasoning by adding salt. If the dish is too spicy, add another teaspoon of sugar. Gently mix well with spatula.

7. Mix cornstarch water again until fully dissolved and swirl it into the skillet. Gently stir a few times with a spatula, until sauce thickens. Turn off heat and transfer everything to a bowl.

8. Garnish with green onion and Sichuan peppercorns, if using. Serve warm over rice or another grain.

+

RECIPE 1: I’ll be honest – I hardly followed the recipe. I made my own low-sodium versions of bean paste, since I ran out of fermented bean paste a few months ago. I combined miso, a homemade version of hoisin with peanut butter and tamari… the substitutions were a mess. Sherry for Shaoxing wine, sesame oil for peanut oil… I barely had anything the recipe called for at all. But this was still one of the best things I made all winter.

Hits all those comfort food notes. Greasy, sweet, salty, savory, texturally interesting, and absolutely numbing and spicy. Just… yes. I used some extra chili oil from last month’s batch of dan dan noodles (dandanmian), and a ton of Sichuan peppercorns toasted and ground, although nowhere near the teaspoon called for in the recipe.

A comment on the Epi review recommends iron chef Chen‘s recipe as slightly more authentic and less sweet. Since I used half my oyster sauce on this recipe, I’ll definitely try it.

+

RECIPE 2: I was worried it’d be too spicy, so I cut the bean paste from 3T to 2T. It wasn’t spicy enough last night, but the leftovers sat and got spicier and spicier! Today it was just perfect. I’d say cut it to 2T if you’re making it for tomorrow. Otherwise, go for the whole 3T! Very different from the super-sweet oyster sauce version. They’re both so good! I would say version two is a little more savory and simple, and recipe one is a little more of a flavor bomb, much saltier and sweeter. The first is perfect for American palates, and the second is great for people who don’t care for sweet food. I highly recommend both! I can’t wait to try iron chef Chen‘s recipe to complete this trifecta of tofu!

Added this to the “rotation” tag because I plan to try all the different versions of this amazing dish. I made this twice so far in March. What a rad way to use up the last little bit of ground meat in your fridge!

 

edit: help I can’t stop eating this incredible spicy meal

h1

khandeshi dal (Indian Maharashtrian coconut lentils)

March 11, 2019

This lentil recipe is from Khandesh, a region in Maharashtra (the second most populous state in India.) You’ll want to add this coconut masala to everything

+

2 tablespoons whole green moong dal
2 tablespoons pink masoor dal
2 tablespoons split toor dal
2 tablespoons split white urad dal
2 tablespoons chana dal
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
cooking oil, as required
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 bay leaf (tej patta)
3 teaspoon lemon juice
salt, to taste
coriander/cilantro leaves, to taste

pakka masala recipe:
1/4 cup dry coconut (kopra), grated
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1.5 tablespoon coriander-cumin powder (dhania-jeera)
3 Kashmiri dry red chillies
3 cloves (laung)
2 cardamom (elaichi) pods
1 inch cinnamon stick (dalchini)
3 whole black peppercorns
4 cloves garlic

+

make the pakka masala:

Heat the oil in a wide pan. Add grated coconut (I used thin strips of dried coconut instead of shredded) and sliced onions, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add dry red chillies, coriander cumin powder, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and black peppercorn. Sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes on low-medium flame.

Add garlic and sauté on medium flame for few seconds. Turn off the stove. Let it cool down completely.

Once cooled, blend in a mixer or in a blender to a smooth powder/paste and keep it aside.

make the dal:

soak dal for a half-hour or more.

cook on stove, or, pressure cook dal and moong with 2 cups of water, salt and turmeric powder.

Add 1/2 of the prepared masala powder/paste into dal, mix well and keep it aside.

For tempering, heat oil in a tadka pan and add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add the dry red chillies and bay leaf. Sauté on medium flame.

Add the prepared dal mixture, mix well and cook. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, and stir continuously.

Add some more masala paste to taste. Add lemon juice and adjust the salt accordingly.

Cook on low flame for a couple of minutes more and turn off the stove. Garnish with some chopped cilantro (optional) and serve immediately.

+

from Archana’s Kitchen

+

Really fantastic! I used the leftover masala paste in stew, spread on the inside of a grilled cheese, mixed into cornmeal mush… I want to keep a jar of this stuff just to season my food throughout the week! The masala paste is similar to this Goan coconut sauce. Can’t wait to mess around with the ingredients and turn this into an herb-based hot sauce this summer!

This is one of my favorite recipes for dal, along with my favorite gujarati dal, and maybe dal makhani.

If you like caramelized onions and coconut and spice, give this a try!

h1

salt-free seasoning blend

January 9, 2019

My first salt-free seasoning blend was improvised without a recipe. I made a ton, and it was perfect. No clue what I put in it, but my goal is to craft a recipe. Here’s round 2:

1 T coarsely ground black pepper 1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 T whole white pepper, coarsely ground
1 T whole mustard seed, coarsely ground
1 T garlic powder or roasted garlic powder
1 T dried minced onion
1 T paprika
3/4 T ground chilli or cayenne
1/2 T dried chives
1/2 T dried basil
1/2 T dried thyme
1/2 T whole coriander seed, toasted and ground
1/2 T whole black or white sesame seeds, coarsely ground
1/4 t powdered ginger
3/4 t dried powdered orange zest
1/4 t smoke powder

There is no particular logic to how this ended up this way besides reading recipes by linda larsen at the spruce eats, bake at midnite, and christina at allrecipes, and whatever I read the first time I made this.

+

Needs WAY less black pepper, WAY more sour (lemon zest?), and way more diversity of seasoning. Next time, I will add more smoke powder, more seeds or nuts, lemon zest, and way less pepper!

My salt-free seasoning blends are an essential part of my pantry, so I’m tagging this “favorite”. This will be a living document, edited constantly over time, so check back in to see its evolution!

+

I’ll also be doing some different salt-free blends this spring – looking forward to trying a ranch seasoning with no dairy, and a mess of new smokey meat salt-free blends with the smoke powder Mark got me for the holidays. But for now, check out some of my favorite salt-free seasoning blends – like ras-el-hanout, bokharat / baharat, and numbing xi’an spice.

h1

charred onion and cucumber salad (vegan!)

January 6, 2019

In the middle of the winter, it’s easy to get tired of your favorite soups and heavy, stewed dishes. After a few weeks of holiday eating, I was craving something light and fresh. This recipe is from bon appetit.

+

1 medium English hothouse cucumber, sliced into rounds

1 small to medium onion

1 Fresno chile, thinly sliced into rings, seeded if desired

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon dried oregano

+

GRILL DIRECTIONS:

Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Combine chile and 2 Tbsp. vinegar in a small bowl; set aside.

Place onions on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 Tbsp. oil; season with salt and pepper. Turn to coat. Grill onions directly on grate until lightly charred and softened, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with remaining 2 Tbsp. vinegar; let cool.

Coarsely chop ½ cup grilled onion and return to bowl. Add chile and soaking liquid, cucumber, dried oregano, and 2 Tbsp. oil and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with more oil.

+

NO GRILL DIRECTIONS:

Heat a cast-iron to be ripping hot on the stovetop, probably at least medium-high heat. Combine chile, vinegar, cucumber, oregano, and oil. Set aside.

Heat onions on cast iron until charred. Remove from pan and transfer to separate bowl with vinegar. Let soak five minutes, then combine everything.

+

The seasoning of just red wine vinegar and oregano makes it taste exactly like an East coast style sub sandwich/hoagie. I found it extremely nostalgic. This was great brought along to lunch and used to top salads, sandwiches, and grains. The flavor is simple and uncomplicated. Next time, I will experiment with charred onions and cucumbers by adding some other spices, so it doesn’t taste like a sandwich. Mark suggested adding some toasted cumin. I think I will try something even more balanced and complex, like dukkah, or numbing xi’an spice. Or maybe it’s better to go simple, with some fresh dill and other herbs, and a pinch of sugar to bring out the caramelization of the onions. Whatever you do, charring the onions does add something interesting, so experiment and let me know what you think!

(If you live on the East coast, this red-wine-vinegar-and-oregano combo might not be all that exciting, so can I recommend slicing cucumbers and adding some garlicky Syrian yogurt and tahini sauce? It’s one of my favorite ways to eat a cucumber.)

+

recipe adapted from bon appetit by friedsig

h1

laghataq (vegan eggplant, tomato, and pepper dip from afghanistan)

January 4, 2019

one whole eggplant
one red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes

2 cloves garlic
1 T whole cumin seed
1 T whole coriander seed
1 t paprika
pinch of garlic powder

1 T tomato paste
1 small can tomato sauce
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

+

preheat oven to 300

roast eggplant whole on 425 in skin. strip and discard some skin and anything burnt, and slice eggplant into rounds. place on baking sheet in one layer.

separately, toast coriander and cumin in dry frying pan. grind. grab your blender and add the ground cumin/coriander, a small can of tomato sauce, 1 T tomato paste, 2 whole cloves garlic, lots of olive oil (to taste,) and a pinch of garlic powder.

back to the baking sheet. layer sliced pepper and tomatoes on top of eggplant. top with sauce.

bake 1.5 to 2 hrs, or until eggplant is soft.

let eggplant cool. add everything to blender and pulse until chunky but not pureed.

top with plain, unsweetened yogurt with a little garlic powder and salt mixed in.

+

recipe adapted from Humaira’s recipe at Afghan Culture Unveiled – adaptation by friedsig

+

This was a little disappointing. I felt it could really benefit from lemon juice or vinegar, or something else acidic to cut the bitterness of the eggplant and the tinned tomato sauce flavor. I cut the tomato sauce from a regular can to a small can because I’m trying to eat low-sodium now, and added a bit more olive oil. Hard to imagine this dish with any more tomato sauce – it was extremely tomatoey. It tasted more like a mildly seasoned spaghetti sauce than a dip or an eggplant dish. I used a good quality Palestinian olive oil, but if you only have supermarket olive oil, you may want to skip this recipe, as a ton of the flavor comes from the olive oil. I also cut the cumin and coriander from a tablespoon of ground spices to a tablespoon of whole spices toasted and then ground, because it seemed a bit excessive, but maybe using the whole amount would help cut some of the aluminum can flavor.

Reminds me a lot of Mughlai-style eggplant from India, but lighter without the ghee and heavy cream.

My other tomato paste and eggplant recipe is Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrots and parsnips, but laghataq is less sweet without the carrots and parsnips. I think I’d still recommend the Georgian-style dish over this one if you wanted something healthy and interesting and very different from a tomato sauce. You could also serve as a dip with fresh pita, crackers, raw carrots and other veggies, or whatever you like – but I far preferred this as a tomato sauce than as a dip. For my tastes, this laghataq is not exactly a dip. However, if you are looking for a really unique spaghetti sauce, or a tomato sauce to eat with grits, or something to flavor white beans or okra, or something different for an egg dish like shakshouka, or something to freeze and bring down for chicken parmigiana, try this laghataq!