Beet Hummus

IMG_21712 medium beets; prep as described below
1- 16 oz can chickpeas; drained (or 3/4 cup dried chickpeas cooked till tender)
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1/4 cup fresh pressed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Cook beets till tender; cover with water in a saucepan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain, cover with cold water until the water is warm, drain and cover with more cold water then simply rub the skin off. Cut into 1” chunks.

Place all ingredients in a blender and process till smooth. Add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.


Hot Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

This is a vegetarian recipe inspired by a hot sandwich my mother made with left over Thanksgiving turkey.
image2 cups cooked (or canned) chickpeas
1 carrot; shredded
2 stalks celery; finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion; minced
1 sweet apple; finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2-3/4 cup mayonnaise for consistency
8-10 slices bread (I had “Food for Life” brown rice gluten free bread, my husband had Ezekiel’s sprouted whole wheat)

Preheat the oven to 375. Place sliced bread on a baking sheet. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place all ingredients into a bowl, mix well, dollop onto bread slices and bake until golden on top, about 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Gluten Free White Bean Burgers

Served with spicy roasted sweet potatoes and kale with red cabbage slaw.

1 1/2 cups dry white beans; soaked and cooked till tender
OR 2- 15 oz cans white beans
3 Tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion; minced
2 stalks celery; minced
2 carrots; minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic; crushed
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoons oregano
pinch cayenne
1/2 cup oat flour (I grind my own in a coffee mill designated for gluten free grains)
extra virgin olive oil for frying

If using dry beans soak the beans for 8 hours (I normally put them in a bowl in the morning fill with water to cover with 2″ water and let sit while I am at work). Drain, rinse, put into a medium sized pot fill with water to cover with 2″, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook till tender. I used small white beans so they cook up quickly (within an hour).

Saute onion, celery, carrot and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in olive oil covered on medium low heat till the vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes). Stir occasionally to prevent burning. In the meantime I prepared the kale and red cabbage slaw and roasted sweet potatoes.

Preheat frying pan over medium high heat. Drain and rinse the cooked or canned beans. Place in a medium sized bowl and mash with a hand held blender or pastry knife (or even a fork). Add the garlic, sauteed vegetables, 2 eggs, another 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, black pepper, oregano, cayenne and oat flour. Combine well. Coat the pan generously with extra virgin olive oil. Drop 1/3 cup scoops of “batter” onto the hot and oiled pan and fry till crispy and browned, flip and fry the other side.

I made a large batch because the burgers freeze really well. Put wax paper between the layers of burgers.

Puerto Rican Rice and Pigeon Peas, Spicy Coconut Shrimp, Sautéed Spinach and Onions and Plantain Fries

IMG_1749Puerto Style Rican Rice and Pigeon Peas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 red pepper; diced
1-2 cloves garlic; crushed
(¼ cup olives; optional)
½ cup tomatoes sauce
1 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
14 ox bag frozen pigeon peas (found in the frozen Goya section)
2 cups brown rice; soaked in water 3-8 hours, rinsed and drained
3 1/2 cups water

Preheat a heavy bottom pot over medium heat, add olive oil, onion and salt and sauté until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and garlic, sauté for 3 more minutes. Add optional olives, tomatoes and spices. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Add pigeon peas, rice and water. Bring to a boil, stir and turn down heat bringing the rice mixture to a slow simmer. Simmer without a lid until almost all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Do not stir as this can make the rice sticky. Cover, turn heat to low and allow to slow cook/steam until rice is tender and all of the water is absorbed, another 10-15 minutes.

Spicy Coconut Shrimp
2 lb raw shrimp; peeled
2Tablespoon coconut oil
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
ground cumin

Preheat oven to 375. Meanwhile, melt coconut oil into a cast iron skillet (or any broiler proof pan). Arrange peeled shrimp in a single layer on coconut oiled skillet/pan. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and spices and oregano. Turn on broiler, broil shrimp till they curl, turn pink and just crisp on some thin edges (7-10 minutes depending on size of shrimp).

Plantain Fries
2 yellow plantain
extra virgin oil for the pan
sea salt to taste

Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Peel the plantain- this can be difficult depending on how (not) ripe they are when picked. Cut along one ridge from stem to end and begin to feel sideways. I keep a paring knife handy to slice away any left over peel. Cut as you like into roughly 1/4 inch thick pieces. I normally do disks but wanted to try “fries” today. Add olive oil cover the bottom of the pan. Place the sliced plantain in the pan and fry until yellow-golden just turning brown. Turn each piece till cooked on all sides. Place on a serving dish and sprinkle with salt.

Sautéed Spinach and Onions
1 onion; quartered and sliced
22 oz baby spinach
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper

Preheat a large stock pot over medium heat. Put the butter in first followed by the onions sprinkled with salt and top with spinach. Cover and stir occasionally until the spinach is wilted. Toss in the black pepper.

Lentil Balls with Pasta and Marinara Sauce

1 cup green lentils; picked through and rinsed
2 1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small (1/2 large) onion; minced
1 clove garlic; crushed
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1/2 cup (gluten free as needed) oat flour (I grind my own in a coffee mill turned gf seed/grain grinder)

Bring clean lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients and place in a bowl. Strain and rinse lentils, add to the bowl with other ingredients and mash together to combine; I used a pastry knife but a fork or potato masher will work just fine. When well combined, set aside and let rest for 20 minutes.

Prepare marinara sauce (recipe below) and pasta (gluten free as needed).

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 2 Tablespoons of the lentil ball mixture and form into a ball. It will be sticky (if it’s ridiculously sticky add more oat flour) so it will need to be rolled and otherwise manipulated into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake sheet in the oven for 25 minutes.

Top pasta with lentil balls and marinara sauce. Top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast if desired. I recommend serving with a salad on the side.image

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 onion; minced
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 cups boxed/canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
pinch thyme
3 cloves garlic; crushed

Preheat a wide bottomed stock pot over medium heat and chop the onions. Add olive oil, onions and salt and saute under cover until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to the sauted onions, put the cover on, bring to a boil, reduce heat, add herbs and spices and lightly simmer.

Vegan Vegetable Masala Soup

IMG_13762 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 onion; diced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 celery stalk; diced
1 carrot; diced
1″ piece fresh ginger; minced
2 cloves garlic; crushed
1 Tablespoon garam masala
2 cups crushed tomatoes (in season use fresh tomatoes; diced)
2 cups water

Preheat a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium-low heat. Add coconut oil, onion and sea salt. Cover and saute 5 minutes. Add celery and carrots, stir, cover and saute an additional 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic and garam masala, stir, cover and saute another 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water, increase heat to boil, reduce heat and simmer an additional 30 minutes.

While the soup is cooking/simmering prepare the rest of the meal. I served vegan baked potatoes and salad but a sandwich would be wonderful too.

Vegan Baked Potatoes

IMG_1375extra virgin olive oil for pan
4 medium potatoes; skin on
3/4 cup red lentils
3 cups water
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; quartered and sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
ketchup (optional)
nutritional yeast (optional)

Preheat oven to 375. Oil a cast iron skillet or small baking sheet. Scrub potatoes, cut in half and place cut side down on oiled pan. Place in preheated oven and bake until potatoes are soft (30-40 minutes depending on thickness)- test by gently pushing with the end of a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile prepare filling.
Cook red lentils till tender; place lentils in a sieve, rinse under running water, place in pot with water, bring to boil, reduce heat and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
While the lentils cook saute onions sprinkled with salt in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Stir occasionally allowing onions to get golden to slightly browned on some pieces. Add the smoked paprika and black pepper, stir and reduce heat to low.
Drain the cooked lentils in the sieve, rinse with running water and drain all water. Add lentils to the onions, stir, bring to a simmer over medium high heat and remove from heat.

Flip the baked potato halves to cut side up. With a fork or spook break the cut side, now a crispy and golden brown crust, in several areas. Top each potato with a generous spoonful of the onion and lentil filling. Squeeze an optional dollop of ketchup on top of each and sprinkle with the optional nutritional yeast.