Category Archives: Gluten Free

Falafel From Scratch + Vegan Rooftop Dinner

Over the weekend, I helped host a friend’s Bachelorette party on the roof of an apartment building in Midtown Detroit. My food contribution was a homemade falafel recipe that I had made once before with success. [Others I’ve tried were not nearly as successful (can we say “falafel waffle”?)] Since we were expecting 20+ girls, I doubled the recipe. It did end up being just the right amount of food, but please beware, DO NOT double the recipe unless you are feeding 20 people. Even one batch is quite a lot of falafel ūüôā

Falafel

Now, two days later, people are still asking me for the falafel recipe, so I wanted to publicly share it, and give credit to its author, Elephantastic Vegan.

Ingredients:

  • 2¬Ĺ cups / 500g¬†dried chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon cumin
  • lemon juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ¬Ĺ teaspoon baking powder
  • ‚Öď cup / 30g¬†besan/chickpea flour
  • ‚Öõ cup / 30ml olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
 Method:
  1. Put the dry chickpeas in a large bowl, cover with enough water (the chickpeas will double in size!) and let them sit covered overnight.
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 400¬įF/200¬įC.
  3. Peel the onions and garlic cloves. Put them in a food processor and chop.
  4. In a pan with a teaspoon of canola oil, add the chopped onions, garlic & cumin and let it cook on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until they starten to brown.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and then work in batches by adding the first batch into the food processor and chop until the pieces are really small (you don’t want to make hummus). In one batch add in the parsley to chop it as well. Repeat until all the chickpeas are used. Transfer everything to a huge bowl.
  6. Add the lemon juice, cayenne pepper, salt, ground pepper, baking powder and the onions and garlic. Mix well.
  7. Add in the chickpea flour and olive oil. Mix the chickpea mixture well and form little balls. If the dough does not stick together enough, add more chickpea flour and oil.
  8. Put the falafel on a baking tray and put them in the oven for about 25 minutes or until they turn golden.
  9. You can eat the falafel like that or put them in a pan with a little oil for re-heating when you need them. They freeze very well, so you will have a nice stash of homemade falafel in your freezer, which is super convenient ūüėČ

Note: For this party, I did fry them in a pan instead of baking them. It was a special occasion ūüôā

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Photo credit: Royce Mathew

The beautiful bride-to-be!

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Potluck, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

No-Bake Choco Coco Oat Cookies

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Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 cup raw cinnamon honey [or regular raw honey (+ cinnamon if you please)]
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 t vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Take a 2-cup glass measuring cup, and fill it with coconut oil, melting it slightly in the microwave, until you reach the 1/2 cup mark. Add honey until you reach the 1 cup mark. Add peanut butter until you reach the 2 cup mark.
  2. Pour this mixture into a medium pot on medium heat, and stir until well combined.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the oats, coconut flakes, cocoa powder and flaxseed.
  4. Take the pot off of the stove and add the dry ingredients and the vanilla. Stir until combined.
  5. Drop heaping tablespoons of the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or equivalent.
  6. Freeze for 15 minutes, and then remove from cookie sheet, and store in a tupperware container in the freezer.
  7. You can eat them right out of the freezer, or let them thaw for 10 minutes before serving.

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Feel free to make substitutions to suit your tastes/what you have on hand. It would be hard to screw these up!

Adapted from Dr. Axe

 

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Spaghetti Squash with Fennel, Kale, Lemon & Italian Chicken Sausage

SpaghettiSquash

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 bulb of fennel plus herby tops
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh minced rosemary
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1 bunch of kale, torn
  • 1 package italian chicken/turkey sausage (from a local farm or al fresco brand), cut into coins
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • shaved parmesan cheese, for serving (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375¬ļ
  2. Halve and de-seed your spaghetti squash. Brush with EVOO and season with salt and pepper. Bake, cut side up, for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, dice up your onion, pepper, and thinly slice an equal amount of fennel. Reserve the herby tops in a small bowl for serving.
  4. Mince your garlic and rosemary, and put them aside in a separate bowl.
  5. Heat some EVOO on medium heat in a large pan, and sautée the onion, pepper and fennel bulb pieces.
  6. When they are softened, add in the garlic, rosemary and kale, and cook until fragrant and kale is wilted.
  7. Remove this mixture from the pan, and place in a large bowl. Squeeze one half of the lemon on top, and add your sunflower seeds.
  8. In the same pan, add a bit more EVOO and cook your sausage coins. Add these to the bowl once browned.
  9. When the squash is done, use 2 forks to pull it apart. Squeeze the second half of the lemon on top, and then incorporate into the rest of the ingredients.
  10. To serve, scoop mixture into bowls, and add parmesan cheese and fennel herby tops.

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Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip (The Best 3 Ingredient Appetizer)

This is an appetizer I bring to many a potluck. It is so easy to throw together, having¬†only 3 ingredients. Today’s potluck is a block party on my street, the Vester Festifall. We will be carving pumpkins, jumping on a bounce house, drinking hot toddies, and listening to a collaborative playlist of Halloween music.

Eliza Bounce House

Eliza is not enthused.

Yesterday, my neighbor Eliza and I made posters for the event. She is an absolute doll. Now, onto the recipe.

Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip

Ingredients:

  • goat cheese log
  • jar of pesto (home made or store bought)
  • red pepper(s)

Goat Cheese, Pesto & Red Pepper Dip (The Best 3 Ingredient Appetizer) | real food. home made.

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325¬ļ
  2. Spread the pesto over the bottom of a baking dish.
  3. Chop up the goat cheese and arrange it down the middle.
  4. Dice your red pepper(s) and place them along the sides.
  5. Bake for 15-30 minutes.
  6. Serve with your favourite crackers, pita chips, or baguette slices.

Note: You can either make this in a smaller baking dish, with a small goat cheese log, a small jar of pesto, and one red pepper. Today, however, I am using a monster cheese log, a lot of pesto and 2 red peppers.

In the oven, the pesto will sautée the pepper, and the cheese will melt. Yum yum yum! What a gorgeous Fall day for a block party. Gotta go!

Recipe source: The Polohouse

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Filed under Appetizers, Gluten Free, Potluck, Vegetarian

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions | real food. home made.

I love dinners that are practically all vegetables, yet have enough different colours, textures and tastes where you might not even notice. You might even say: “it has meal appeal out the wazoo!” And did I mention it’s quick? I¬†got off work at 4:30 and have already swung by the¬†post office and bank, stopped at the grocery store for my ingredients, made dinner, did the dishes AND wrote this blog entry and it is only 7:00pm.

Easy Acorn Squash with Mushrooms & Roasted Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 acorn squash, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 red onion, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 10 oz baby bella mushrooms, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • 1 T fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 475¬ļ
  2. Toss squash and onion pieces with EVOO and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast on an even layer for 15-18 minutes, until squash is tender.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium heat, add EVOO, your chopped mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until mushrooms are tender (adding a splash of balsamic vinegar halfway through cooking), then turn heat to warm and add parmesan and parsley.
  6. Arrange squash and onion pieces in a radial manner, add mushroom/parmesan mixture on top, and serve immediately!

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Kayla’s Kobb Salad

Kayla's Kobb Salad | real food. home made.

Kayla’s Kobb Salad

Ingredients:

  • romaine leaves, chopped
  • kale leaves, torn
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • green onions, sliced
  • turkey breast from a local farm, sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • hardboiled pastured egg, sliced into wedges
  • sunflower seeds

Serve with a homemade honey mustard dressing.

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Filed under Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Lunch, Paleo, Salads

Coconut Oil Popcorn

Know what is silly about popcorn?

Coconut Oil Popcorn | real food. home made.

Butter-flavoured microwave popcorn is consistently on Top 10 Worst Foods To Eat lists, but not a lot of people know that homemade popcorn can be one of the tastiest and healthiest snacks you can eat! Following is a simple recipe that produces the best popcorn you’ve ever made at home!

Coconut Oil Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic popping corn
  • sea salt to taste
  • (optional) additional¬†melted coconut oil or grass-fed butter for drizzling

Method:

  1. Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot with tight fitting lid.
  2. Add 2 corn kernels to the oil in the uncovered pot and wait for them to pop.  Then, the oil is ready!
  3. Add the rest of the kernels, put the lid on, and shake every 10 seconds or so.
  4. When the popping slows down considerably, remove the pot from the heat and shake everything around for another 10 seconds.
  5. If  you are drizzling with extra oil or butter do so now, otherwise just add your desired amount of salt and shake to coat.

Now it’s time to curl up and watch a movie! ¬†Last night we watched Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).

I love keeping my extra popcorn in an air-tight container and snacking on it throughout the week. ¬†If you’re lucky enough to have any extra! ¬†I know we didn’t.

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Smoky Thyme Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet potatoes are such a staple in my life; they can be prepared so many ways, and are appropriate for every occasion. ¬†I always like to have 1 or 2 on hand so I can whip up a meal at a moment’s notice without having to go to the grocery store. ¬†Today I felt like brunch, so I came up with this dish.

Smoky Thyme Sweet Potato Hash | real food. home made.

Smoky Thyme Sweet Potato Hash

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and grated
  • 2 large shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1/2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1-2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • grated fontina cheese (optional)
  • 3 pastured eggs, over easy

Method:

  1. Mix the first batch of ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Heat EVOO in a large pan or skillet with lid over medium heat.
  3. Add hash mixture, and alternate between frying and steaming with the lid on, stirring intermittently. ¬†(If ¬†you want to attempt to make them super¬†crispy, more power to you, but I’ve never been able to master the technique.)
  4. Prepare your over-easy eggs.
  5. When your hash is done cooking, put a scoop on your plate, a few pinches of cheese (if desired), and the egg on top.

Smoky Thyme Sweet Potato Hash | real food. home made.

Grant likes his with sri racha. ¬†I have a feeling I am going to be making this a lot for dinner this winter. ¬†I hate going to the grocery store after work in sub zero temperatures! ¬†“Iiiiiiiiit’s SMOKY THYME” is surely going to become my new catch phrase.

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Filed under Breakfast, Brunch, Dinner Ideas, Gluten Free, Vegetarian

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies

Snow day! ¬†I just walked to the local Organic Market and bought ingredients for my black bean brownie recipe I’ve been working on.

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies | real food. home made.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 of a large extra ripe avocado
  • 2 large pastured eggs
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2/3 cup organic raw cacao powder (or unsweetened cocoa powder if unavailable)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup organic turbinado sugar¬†(or light brown sugar if unavailable)
  • 1 t molasses
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350¬ļ F and grease an 8×8 baking pan with coconut oil.
  2. Put everything except chocolate chips into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
  3. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top begins to crack open.
  5. Cool pan on a wire rack, and then cut into 16 even squares.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week as a delicious and healthier chocolately dessert!!

Flourless Black Bean & Avocado Brownies | real food. home made.

I made these to bring to work for my dad’s birthday tomorrow. ¬†I am debating whether or not to disclose the ingredients, or just to present them as “brownies”. ¬†We’ll see! ¬†ūüėČ

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Sweet Potato Noodle & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Onions

Sweet Potato Noodle & Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Onions | real food. home made.

This amazing creation was invented by the wonderful Ali at her inspirational Inspiralized blog.  I made a few changes, and have come up with one of the most perfect quick after-work dinners!  Most of the time I can make this without even going to the grocery store.

Sweet Potato Noodle Bowl with Quinoa and Roasted Onions

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and¬†spiralized
  • 1 large carrot, spiralized
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/3 cups free range chicken broth (buy this one from Trader Joe’s) plus extra, so get a 32 oz carton

For the sauce:

  • 3 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T tahini
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T maple syrup, grade b
  • 1 T chicken broth
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Heat your oven to 425¬ļ.
  2. Spread onion chunks on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes, until pleasantly roasted.
  3. Put quinoa and chicken broth in a medium sized pot with lid, bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat, cooking for 20 minutes.  (I time this so the onions and quinoa cook at the same time with the same timer).
  4. Use this time to mix your sauce ingredients.
  5. In a large skillet with lid on medium heat, pour in about a 1/4 cup of chicken broth and then add your spiralized veggies, seasoning with salt and pepper.  Alternate between stirring and steaming with the lid on, adding more chicken broth if necessary.
  6. When the noodles reach your desired tenderness, put a scoop of them in a bowl with a scoop of quinoa and a scoop of onions.
  7. Top with your delicious sauce and enjoy!’

Vegan Option: Use vegetable broth

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