Posts Tagged ‘gluten-free’

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roasted tomato gazpacho

July 16, 2019

Roasting fresh summer tomatoes makes their flavor even more complex. If you have some sweet, one-note tomatoes, roasting them adds depth. Gazpacho adds everything a sweet tomato needs – acidity, and a little garlic and herb flavor.

If you are thinking, “Haven’t you already posted about roasting tomatoes?” – well, technically, yes, I posted a roasted tomato dip in 2011. This gazpacho is like a yogurt-free version of that dip that celebrates bright summer flavors.

Gazpacho is like salsa – everyone does it differently. BA’s recipe calls for shallots; Alton Brown’s calls for tomato juice and lime juice; Barefoot Contessa’s is mostly cucumber; Andrew Zimmern’s calls for a ton of Worcestershire.

Bloggers put everything from mango, to celery and sugar, to cumin, to a huge jalapeño in theirs.

I know everyone likes it chunky, but I’m tagging this with “soft foods” because I prefer a totally blended gazpacho. It’s such a refreshing incredible summer sipper.

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– a few pounds of sweet and acidic tomatoes
– a clove (two if they are small) of garlic
– sweet and/or hot peppers (optional)
roast above on 450 til roasty

cool, peel, then add to blender or giant mortar and pestle) with:
– splash of olive oil
– splash of Worcestershire
– half a cucumber (optional)
– red wine vinegar and/or lemon juice (any sour will do)
– whatever fresh herbs you have in the house (highly recommend fresh basil, dill, chives, and thyme, if you have it!)
– pinch of salt and pepper
– (optional, bloody mary style) a little grated horseradish, tabasco or other vinegary hot sauce, and extra splash of Worcestershire sauce

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recipe by friedsig, based on recipes from rozanne gold and food network magazine

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turkish-style braised eggplant

July 8, 2019

Craving something sweet, healthy, and vegan?

1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large tomato, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
¼ cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
black pepper
½ cup roughly chopped dill
2 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
pinch of sugar (optional) 1 teaspoon sugar (optional – the raisins make it very sweet!)
Thick yogurt, for serving
Lemon wedges, for serving

1. Trim ends off the eggplant. With a vegetable peeler, cut off alternating strips of skin. Cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes, place in a colander over a large bowl and toss with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to 3 hours, rinse well and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible; do not break cubes up.

2. In a large skillet or saucepan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the eggplant cubes and move them around occasionally, until they are rather tender and somewhat browned, about 7 minutes. Remove from the pan with tongs, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Set aside.

3. Add remaining oil to the pan with the onions and pine nuts and stir occasionally, until the onions are transparent and some pine nuts are lightly browned, 7 or 8 minutes.

4. Return eggplant to the pan with the tomato, raisins, sugar, cinnamon, cumin and pepper. Mix well, then turn heat to low. Cover the pan and cook until the eggplant is very tender but still in distinct pieces, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking, stirring once or twice, until the liquid is somewhat thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from heat and let sit uncovered until it is at room temperature, about 45 minutes. Stir in the dill and parsley, adjust the seasonings to taste and serve, accompanied by yogurt and lemon wedges for squeezing.

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recipe by John Willoughby at the NYT

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I am firmly in the camp of people who never bothers to pan-fry eggplant. Why pan-fry, wasting all that time, when the eggplant just absorbs the oil? This method definitely worked, although the “7 minute pan-fry” was more like 17. The raisins and pine nuts meld perfectly with the other flavors. I cheaped out and skipped the dill and parsley, and it was still good. You can replace the pine nuts with lightly smashed walnuts or even peanuts. Even just a pared-down version of this – pinch of sugar and raisins, tons of eggplant and onions, a few nuts, fresh tomato, cinnamon, and cumin – would be incredible.

The salt cure really extracts a lot of the bitterness, but then again, I used super fresh eggplant from the farmers market that was nowhere near as bitter as the supermarket stuff. I think next time I’ll just roast the eggplant. It’ll turn the dish into more of an eggplant dip than distinct cubes of eggplant, but who cares? It’s easy.

Ended up eating this throughout the week as a dip with crackers, and had no problem finishing the whole thing.

Adding this one to my favorite aubergine / eggplant recipes. If you like the kick of sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the eggplant, this is in the top 3 that I would recommend, along with sweet and sour Indian eggplant, or Georgian-style eggplant stuffed with carrot and parsnip

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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!

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

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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!

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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?)

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

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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!

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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

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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.

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VERSION 3 – from iron chef chen

1 package silken tofu
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
water, for parboiling tofu

3 ounces ground pork
1⁄2 cup green garlic chives, chopped in 1/2 inches (nira)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chinese chili bean sauce (toubanjan or doubanjiang)
1 tablespoon chinese brown bean sauce (tenmienjan, tenmenjan, or tenmenjiang)
2 teaspoons fermented black beans, chopped finely
1⁄4 – 1⁄2 teaspoon ichimi togarashi pepper or 1/4-1/2 teaspoon japanese dried red chili pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili oil
3⁄4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon sake or 1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon szechuan peppercorn (optional)

Cornstarch paste: 1 tablespoon cornstarch + 1 tablespoon water

Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. Heat enough water in a large saucepan, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and tofu pieces. Bring to boil and cook tofu on medium high heat for 8 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Precooking tofu in water prevents tofu from breaking apart easily later. Set aside.
While tofu is cooking, make cornstarch paste by mixing 1 T cornstarch and 1 T water. Set aside.
Set wok on high heat for 1 minute until hot. Add 2 T vegetable oil and swirl the pan, then add ground pork, stirring to separate.
When ground pork is browned, add Chinese brown bean sauce ie tenmenjan, tenmienjan, or tenmenjiang, Chinese chili bean sauce ie toubanjan or doubanjiang, fermented black beans, and ichimi tougarashi or minced dried red chili pepper. Continue to cook for 1 minute.
Add chili oil, drained tofu pieces, chicken stock, garlic chives, soy sauce, and sake. Stir fry gently for 1-2 minutes.
Add cornstarch paste to thicken and add sesame oil. Swirl gently and cook for another 3-4 minutes on medium high heat. Sprinkle Szechuan peppercorn on top.
Serve with steamed white rice.

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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.

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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

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RECIPE 3: (July, 2019) I’m guessing this is the most authentic, as it tastes the least like something from an Americanized Chinese restaurant. Recipe #1 is way too sweet, even for me, but it’s really delicious if you like it sweet. Recipe #2 is super flavorful. Recipe #3 is definitely more subtle. I splurged on some fermented black beans this year, and I really liked their subtle flavor in this. I definitely recommend recipe #3 – it’s delicious.

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BEST MAPO TOFU EVER: for my tastes, I prefer recipe #2 with some alterations. Next, I will start combining all these recipes – a little oyster sauce or hoisin from recipe #1, a ton of chives from recipe #3, using the skeleton of recipe #2. I have made this no less than five times this year!

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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

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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

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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.

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from Archana’s Kitchen

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.