Sunday, September 19, 2021

jollof rice


Last year I got into the "Jesus and Jollof" podcast a little bit (hosted by two Nigerian-American ladies); sadly, there have been no new episodes dropped lately. Anyhoo, I also listen to the "Happier with Gretchen Rubin" podcast, and one of her recommendations for a happiness booster was to make a dish or drink that you've only ever read about or heard about, but had never tried. So jollof rice it was! And I have since made it several times---it's so flavorful and packed with new tastes (new to me in that combination). Here's the original recipe, but I don't put as much heat in as it calls for. I do that at the table for my plate only with Tabasco or sriracha. I halve the recipe (the original one calls for 4 cups rice).

You'll need:
  • 400 g canned tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper, roughly chopped 
  • 2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
  • 2 onions (purple or white); one roughly chopped and one thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups stock
  • 2 teaspoons butter or ghee
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Do this:

In a blender, throw in the roughly chopped onion, the red pepper, the can of tomatoes, and 1 cup stock, blitz, then pour that liquid into a big pot and simmer for 10 minutes on the stove.

Also on the stove, saute the thinly sliced onion in a little bit of oil till soft, then put in a pinch of salt, pepper, the bay leaves, the curry powder, the thyme, and the tomato paste and stir around for a minute. Then add all that to the big pot of simmering sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes with the lid on.

Add the last 2 cups of stock to the big pot of tomato sauce and boil for a minute.

Stir in the rinsed rice, the butter or ghee, then cover the pot with foil plus the lid and turn down to low for 30 minutes without taking the foil and lid off. Then release the lid and foil carefully (lots of steam), stir, and serve with coleslaw, tomatoes, boiled eggs, and fresh sliced onions for the top. 

I can attest to the fact that this dish does indeed make me very happy. Thank you for the suggestion, Happier podcast! 

chicken tofu garlic ginger rice-noodle soup


No need for a fancy nomenclature for this bowl of deliciousness; just make it and eat it already. (I have posted about this before back in 2009, but I've upped the yum factor now.)

You'll need:
  • 1/4 head of cabbage
  • chopped green onions
  • splash of soy sauce
  • dash of sesame oil
  • 200 g rice noodles
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into small bites
  • hard tofu
  • fresh garlic, minced (lots)
  • fresh ginger, grated (again, lots)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 veggie bouillon cube
  • water
  • salt and pepper
  • rayu chili oil for seasoning each person's own bowl
Do this:

Add your veg, chicken, and seasonings (except the rayu), then water to your liking, and bring to the boil. When the chicken is cooked and the veggies are tender, add the uncooked rice noodles. They will cook right in that pot while you stir. 

Dress your own bowl with as much or as little rayu chili oil as you like. I like. 

rice-cooker gluten-free and dairy-free pineapple-ginger cake


I honestly don't remember where I originally got this recipe, but I've changed it quite a bit so maybe it won't matter too much that I don't credit the source (sorry, whoever you are!). It's basically a cake made in a rice cooker from a pancake mix, but it's super-duper easy and has minimal dirty dishes to take care of afterward. One of the boys wanted it on his Vaccine Day, so have it he did. 

You'll need:
  • 3 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free pancake mix
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons oil, plus extra for greasing the rice-cooker insert
  • 100 g soy milk, or milk of your choice
  • 1/2 large can (400 g or so can) pineapple, cut into small bites
  • soy cream, a teaspoon of sugar, and a splash of vanilla for whipping
Do this:

Grease your rice-cooker insert with oil. In a mixing bowl, beat your eggs, pancake mix, oil, ginger, and milk, then stir in the pineapple by hand. Pour into your rice-cooker insert and press start. No need to choose a fancy setting; your rice cooker is a smart cookie.

Whip your soy cream, teaspoon of sugar, and splash of vanilla to dress your cake. As you can see, we do like a little bit of cake with our whipped cream. 

I shared the photo of the finished cake in a gluten-free group I'm in, and one of the other group members called it "the peaceful delicious moon." Exactly. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

the best gluten-free and dairy-free salmon patties


I'm pretty sure I've posted a number of salmon patty recipes, but this was my favorite of them all so far. I served them with colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage and leeks), peas, homemade pickled beets, and a chickpea, cucumber, and tomato salad. Out of the four of us, I'm the only one who does this, but I love sriracha hot sauce on my salmon patties. 

You'll need:
  • 3 small cans salmon
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and pulsed in food processor 
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • karashi hot mustard powder (I used about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • about 1/4 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
Do this: 

Mash all together and form into patties, then fry on both sides till browned. 

Serve with humor and hot sauce. 

Thursday, June 3, 2021

gluten-free and dairy-free corn pudding in honor of aunt ann

My Aunt Ann passed away recently, and this was the dish that I remember her bringing to family functions, so I decided to try and make it (with the food restrictions that I have now). It's so simple: just mix eggs, cornmeal, green onions, and a few other ingredients and bake as a casserole. It brought back many poignant memories for me. So, in honor of Aunt Ann...

I got the recipe from Feed Me Phoebe, and I modified it just a little. Here's my take.  

You'll need:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 500 g corn kernels (I use frozen organic and thaw them first)
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup organic soy milk
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons katakuriko (potato starch, but you can use cornstarch)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • large handful of chopped green onions
Do this:

Preheat the oven to 170 C, grease an 8 x 8 inch glass casserole dish, mix your ingredients with a whisk in a big bowl, pour in, and bake for about 30 minutes. Let it set for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven. 

Enjoy the sweetness and remember your loved ones. 

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

chickpea burgers

You'll need:

  • 4 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • chopped green onions
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup rice flour
Do this:

Throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until blended but not a paste. I like to keep some of the chunkiness of the chickpeas. Form into patties and fry on both sides in grapeseed oil or another neutral oil.

Monday, May 3, 2021

green bean and ground beef okazu (rice topping)


This is such a super-easy dinner! I got the recipe here on Allrecipes, but I use less sugar and I add onions. Here's my take. 

You'll need:

  • 1 pound (450 g) ground beef
  • 1 pound (450 g) frozen organic green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
Do this: 

Saute the onion in a little bit of oil till almost soft, then add in the ground beef and cook till done. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for a little while. I serve this over rice with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. 

One of the boys just told me that he loves this except for the green beans! 

gluten-free and dairy-free red-bean-paste-filled taiyaki


We just love taiyaki---Japanese sweet pastry treats shaped like tai fish! You can buy them at festivals or sometimes in store lobbies, filled traditionally with sweet red bean paste, but sometimes custard or Camembert cheese. Recently I bought myself a cheap electric taiyaki maker and we've had a lot of fun with it so far! We've made cornbread, curry breads, and more traditional ones with the bean paste, which you can buy ready-made in a can. For the batter, I use an allergen-free pancake mix from the Aeon grocery store. 

You'll need:

  • 150 g pancake mix (I use allergen-free)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (to make it lighter and fluffier)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 150 ml soy milk
  • filling---be creative! 
Do this:

Mix the pancake mix, apple cider vinegar, sugar, and soy milk together. Rub some oil on your taiyaki maker and pour a bit of the batter in, drop on a spoonful of whatever filling you're using, and dollop a bit more batter on top of that. Cook till crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. 

Here, fishy, fishy, fishy! 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

dairy-free banana-tofu milkshakes or pudding

These were delicious! 

You'll need: 

  • soft tofu (300 g)
  • 1 large very ripe banana
  • 2 t. maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Do this: 

Blend, and add ice cubes if you'd like it colder and frothier. This made four small milkshakes. 

If you want them to be more like a pudding, don't add ice cubes, and refrigerate until set. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021

refreshing and more-ish chinese smashed cucumber salad


I couldn't stop hoovering this salad the other day when I made it to go with fried rice, and so I'm making fried rice again tomorrow just for an excuse to make this salad again. It's that more-ish! 

Here's where I got the recipe, and it's so simple. The steps are easy, but make sure you give yourself thirty minutes or more to let the cucumbers sit in the salt, and then one hour or so to marinate after you drain the cukes and then add the other ingredients. 

You'll need:
  • 4 Japanese or English cucumbers, the thin kind
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons rice or black vinegar (I used black)
  • 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce (I use gluten free)
  • 1 dried chili pepper, de-seeded and sliced, or chili flakes
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
  • sesame seeds
Do this:

Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and then into 1-inch chunks. Place the cut sides down and smash with the side of a chef's knife, then put the cucumbers into a bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let it all sit for at least thirty minutes, and then drain the released water from the bowl.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir, and let marinate in the fridge for about an hour before serving. This can be made a day ahead of time if you like, but with each bite that is taken at odd times, you might not have any left by the time you're ready to serve it.

Friday, February 19, 2021

gluten-free and dairy-free herb-y savoury drop biscuits


I've made these guys before, but I liked them better this way: lighter and fluffier. Here you go! 

You'll need:

  • 300 g gluten-free baking mix (includes baking powder)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • mixed dried Italian herbs, garlic powder, and dried parsley
Do this:

Whisk everything together, drop on to baking pans with silicone sheets, and bake at 170 C/350 F for about 14 minutes. 

Enjoy with homemade sauer klops (meatball) soup! Perfect when you have many snowy days in a row.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

gluten-free and dairy-free banana and black-sesame bread

This little jar of black sesame paste kept staring up at me from the cabinet, with a best-before date looming. So I stared at a few online recipes and settled on this one (which I changed a bit). 

You'll need:
  • 200 g gluten-free pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds (I used white but you could use black or white)
  • 1/4 c. black sesame paste
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
Do this:

Just beat everything with a mixer in a big bowl, oil the insides of a couple little loaf pans, pour the batter in, top with some black sesame seeds if desired, and bake at 180 C for 25 minutes then at 160 C for about 10 minutes (or I suppose you could cover it with aluminum foil and keep it at the higher heat instead of lowering to 160). 

It was a good combo of nutty and sweet, and a tad bit of salt to perk it up even more. I will be buying more black sesame paste just to make this again! 


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

dairy-free and gluten-free savoury salsa-yogurt muffins


These were a last-minute decision (to use up some salsa and to accompany eggs for a main meal) and an unexpected delight. I was pretty tired and opted for scrambled eggs and hash browns for dinner (and yes, sadly and deliciously, canned peaches for dessert). I had no idea that anyone in the house would like these, but I went for it anyway. Here's what I conjured up. (One of the boys liked them reheated and with a side of sliced ham today for a midmorning snack.)

You'll need:
  • 300 g baking mix (I used gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (I used soy)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • dried parsley for sprinkling on top
Do this:

Whisk everything together, slosh into muffin cups, top with dried parsley, and bake on 170 C/350 F for about 12 minutes or so. That's it! 

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

ayurvedic dairy-free turmeric latte


Oh boy, this was delicious! I had remembered reading something about turmeric lattes a few years ago and wanted to try it in winter. This recipe was wonderful, and here it is with a few of my own tweaks. It actually made me feel really good and I felt much more energetic after I drank it. Maybe I need to try it in the morning and not at night! 

You'll need:
  • 1 cup milk (I used organic soy)
  • 1 teaspoon grapeseed (or other) oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • sprinkle of cardamom
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • ground black pepper
  • 3 drops liquid stevia 
Do this:

Put everything except the stevia into a pot on the stove and gently simmer and whisk for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and drop in the stevia and then pour into a mug. I sprinkled mine with a little bit of extra black pepper. 

It's so warming, refreshing, and energizing all at the same time!

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

my best salmon cakes so far


I still like to play around with upgrading my salmon cakes game every time I make them! Here's the latest iteration, and if I say so myself, the best yet. I usually add a little dollop of mayo, but this time added some yogurt, too, and I think it elevated them to another yumster level.

You'll need:
  • 3 cans (170 g/6 oz. each) salmon
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 T. yogurt
  • 3 T. mayo
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 T. dried parsley
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup rice flour, or enough to hold these cakes together
Do this:

Form into patties and lightly fry on both sides in a pan or griddle with a thin layer of grapeseed oil. Serve with mashed taters and a vinegary coleslaw (cabbage, carrots, equal amounts of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and dried parsley). 

Serve the salmon cakes with Tabasco and ketchup for some hot and sweet. 

Friday, January 22, 2021

new york-style vegan and gluten-free cheesecake

Isn't she a beaut!? We totally enjoyed this for our New Year's Eve party-at-home, just the four of us. It's thick and rich so it lasted us a few days, fortunately. I'm blogging all this, including my own tweaks, because my son Matthew wants to have this again for his birthday in March. I used a storebought and imported jar of Finnish strawberry-rhubarb jam for the topping, and it was the perfect tartness with the richness of the cheesecake. 

For the crust, I used this recipe from Gnom Gnom, and this is how I interpreted it for us.

You'll need (for an 8.5-inch/22 cm springform pan, which I oiled and lined the bottom with baking paper):
  • 2 cups almond flour or meal
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • a sprinkle/pinch of sea salt
Do this:

Toast the almond flour in a dry pan on the stove for a few minutes, until it turns a bit darker and is fragrant. Put that into a food processor and whiz up with the other ingredients. (Don't whiz it too long or it will liquefy!) Press it into the bottom of the springform pan and bake at 170 C/350 F for about 8 minutes or so. Let it cool and rest while you get on with making the cake filling. 

For the cheesecake (based on this recipe from A Virtual Vegan)...

You'll need: 
  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked them in just-boiled water for 15 minutes and then drain)
  • 1 can of cooked chickpeas (about 1 cup, drained and rinsed)
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons katakuriko (Japanese potato starch), cornstarch, or arrowroot powder
  • 120 ml or 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 400 ml soy cream (thick cream for whipping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Do this:

Preheat your oven to 320 F/160 C. Blend the filling ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and then pour into your prepared pan with base. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until it's firm. 

Cool overnight in the fridge and then top with a fruit topping if desired. Enjoy that sucker! It's so festive, and a perfect substitute for the New York cheesecake I grew up on from Andrea's Quality Cheesecake in Orlando.