Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Everything-free Quiche!

Hey, it worked! White beans, ground up, do well as a savory pie center. I made it more liquid to accommodate gelatin because I've found that the gelatin is a terrific nutritional booster and also acts as a good binder for creamy things, in general. I always use fresh turmeric since the dried stuff seems to cause a reaction, so the amount is a bit squishy here. I think if you're using dried, you might try about 1/4 teaspoon.

Everything-Free Creamy Quiche

2 cups white navy beans, cooked and drained
1 to 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
a hunk of fresh turmeric about the size of the top joint of a woman's pinky finger
1 tsp sea salt
pepper to taste
1 small onion
5 large mushrooms or so
1/4 cup parsley
pinch oregano
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs fat for cooking - something high temperature-tolerating like beef tallow, duck fat, refined coconut oil, grapeseed, etc. Ghee is good, too, if tolerated. (We used duck fat, which was left over from the Christmas stuffing.)
1/2-1 cup greens (I used lacinato kale - probably tasty with spinach, chard or anything like that)
3 tbs gelatin
boiling water

The night before, wash, sort and soak the beans in water with 2 tbs fermenting medium (sauerkraut brine, coconut kefir, tea kefir, etc.). The next morning, (at least 8 hours later, preferably 12-24,) rinse and drain the beans. Put into a pot, cover with water, then cook until very soft. (That took a while - at least 30 minutes! Imagine if they hadn't been soaked.)

Chop the onion and saute slowly in the fat for 15 minutes at low heat.
While it cooks, chop the parsley. Add that and the oregano. Chop the mushrooms and garlic, then add them to the pan. Saute another 5-10 minutes or so until nicely blended and well-cooked.

Chop the greens. Steam them until soft but not overcooked.

In a blender, put the beans, the turmeric, salt, pepper and coconut milk. Blend well. Continue to add coconut milk until the mixture is smooth and not too thick.

Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water, add to the blender and blend well.

Pour the mixture into a bowl. Add the onion/mushrooms and steamed greens and mix well by hand. Pour into a pie pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until top puffs and browns just slightly.

Chill overnight.

Okay - here it is...

I apologize - the recipe isn't exact. I forgot to take notes while I made it, but the proportions are actually pretty clear and precision is not entirely necessary. The raisins are the sweetener, so start small and add to make it sweet enough. I found that little was necessary because the carrots were quite sweet as was the banana.

The best thing about this one is that it's a vegetable that masquerades as a dessert, and there's enough nut in it to make it an acceptable lunch for us if Little Moo has an adequately protein-laden breakfast, which she does these days. (Recently she's partial to hamburgers in the morning made into a burger and veg sandwich slathered with mustard or kraut. I kid you not. Then lunch is smaller and dinner is very light - not a bad way to live, actually.)

Carrot Nut Banana Pie

5 or 6 large fresh carrots
about 1/4 cup freshly roasted nuts (I used pecans and walnuts, but any kind would be tasty)
1 can coconut milk
about 1/4 cup shredded coconut meat
1 ripe banana
a few tablespoons full of raisins
about 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons Bernard Jensen gelatin
boiling water

Peel and shred the carrots. Steam them until soft.

In blender put the raisins, banana, nuts, coconut, carrots, cinnamon, coconut milk. Blend well. Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Pour this mixture into the blender and mix well. Pour it into a pie pan, cover with a layer of waxed paper and then a sheet of foil. Chill overnight.

Next one: a savory quiche that is non-dairy and has no flour or eggs! We'll see how it turns out. It's baking now...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

GF/DF/EF Stuffing

For Christmas Eve we visited friends for dinner. This is usually a major production for me since I often have to cart over an entire cooked meal for us whenever we go out. A number of our friends are excellent cooks and foodies, but terribly attached to certain types of dishes and traditions in a fairly rigid way. I've never quite understood that. Food for me, even before my allergies were discovered, was a bit of an adventure. I often ate the same things, but that was simply because I didn't have time to learn any other way, or when I was a vegetarian, because I thought I was supposed to. I usually preferred something new and exciting, preferably something that was something entirely new and not a "substitute" food.

Anyway, I've never gotten into the "traditional" stuff that goes with celebratory meals (read: super-sweet candied sweet potatoes with stuffing and a big, often overcooked tryptophan-laden bird with sticky, glutenous gravy - no fermented foods and nothing to relieve the heaviness but a bit of raw green salad with bottled dressing,) although I understand that for many folks it is important.

Our hosts decided to go with the old standbys, but bless her heart - she used ghee in the sweet potatoes so that Little Moo could eat them. She made the turkey herself and it was delicious. I think she gave up entirely on making a stuffing that her husband might like and went and found some at Whole Foods, then I suggested that perhaps I could take all of Little Moo's leftover rice bread-ends and make a stuffing for her and anyone else who wanted it. It was a huge winner. Little Moo had two big helpings, and it went great with an amazingly flavored turkey. Here's the recipe, based on the basic Joy of Cooking for a stuffing made separately from a roast:

Rice Bread Stuffing

4 cups lightly toasted or otherwise hard rice bread, cut into small pieces
about 1/4 lb giblets, cooked overnight in chicken soup
1 onion
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup rendered duck fat
1 cup chicken broth
additional fat for top - can be ghee if tolerated

Finely chop separately: giblets, onion, celery, parsley and mushrooms.

Saute onion for 2o minutes or so in duck fat. This is a good time to chop everything else to make the time go by. Add giblets first, then everything else to the pan and saute another 10 minutes or so.

Pour the bread pieces/crumbs into a 9x12" pan. Pour the sauteed mixture over it. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add more fat if necessary and the cup of broth and mix it in. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Remove foil. If the bread was cut into pieces, you might want to stir and mash it up a bit more if you like a finer grain stuffing. Dot the top with more fat and brown for up to 10 minutes.

What I discovered: when in doubt, add more fat and more broth. :)

My people liked it so much that they had it for Christmas Day breakfast!

Soon to come - Carrot banana nut pie!

Just a heads up - I threw together a version of the flourless/eggless/dairy-less gelatin molded pie with carrots, nuts, banana and a few other things - the batter is even tastier than the squash version. This is promising considering how scornful Little Moo is of the vegetable course generally, and that she often has seconds and thirds of squash pie. Also up my sleeve - "quiche" with white bean mash instead of egg for a savory pie.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Did I really forget? Autumn Squash Crustless Pie

I've been making this for a long time now and Little Moo will gobble down firsts and seconds and eat it for breakfast the next day. As usual, I hid some solid nutrition inside, so it actually does make a great breakfast!

1 cup baked autumn squash (Kabocha, carnivale, butternut and delicata are the tastiest. Oddly enough, pumpkin is dry, bland and has very little character.)

1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
1/2 ripe banana
3 dates, pitted
a handful or so of raisins (to taste - this is the sweetener, and it all depends on the flavor of the squash)
1/2 cup crispy nuts (we prefer pecans or cashews, but if you'd prefer a bigger protein kick, try walnuts or even pumpkin seeds for thematic closure. :) )
between 1/4 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon to taste
1 tablespoon non-alcohol vanilla
3 tablespoons Bernard Jensen Gelatin
about 1/4 c boiling water

In a strong blender, blend the squash, coconut milk, banana, vanilla, nuts or seeds, cinnamon and dates. Taste it and add raisins until it's sweet enough.

Dissolve the gelatin in the boiling water, then add to the mixture. Blend thoroughly.

Pour into a glass or ceramic pie pan. Cover with a sheet of wax paper, then seal with a sheet of aluminum foil. Chill well for 24 hours or overnight.

Feeds 3 people for dessert one night and breakfast the next day with a bit leftover. I'd say that about 6-8 people could finish it off in one sitting.

Elderberry Coconut Kefir - It's a tasty drink...no, it's a flu preventative...no, it's a sports drink!

I had this idea to make a kefir drink that was also a flu remedy recently. The culturing process makes the elderberry syrup even more potent and all the good stuff in the coconut water even better. Get the syrup version that is as unadulterated as possible, sans alcohol. The unsweetened tincture generally contains citric acid and glycerin, but it's still pretty clean.

3 cups coconut water, warmed to room temperature
4-6 tsp elderberry tincture
1 package of kefir starter

Mix the coconut water with the tincture. Thoroughly mix the starter and pour into a jar. Screw on the top lightly and leave at room temperature overnight to 24 hours. Chill and drink.

My daughter couldn't get enough of it...but do remember that 1 or 2 teaspoons of elderberry tincture is what you're supposed to take 2 to 4 times per day, depending on how proactive you're being. So that's maybe a cup at most!