Category Archives: Vegan

Paleo Worcestershire Sauce – Better than Lea & Perrins®

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~

I’ll confess I’ve been using Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce even though it’s not strictly paleo (because it contains sugar – definitely not paleo and molasses – most probably not paleo).  I figure the one drop I use in my Bloody Mary mix or tuna salad will not seriously impact my paleo life.  However, when I’m writing recipes for paleo readers; the integrity of the recipe should be maintained using strictest paleo standards.  When I decided to make paleo barbecue sauce (coming to this blog on Tuesday), I wanted to use a fairly good amount of Worcestershire and just omitting it would diminish the flavor profile significantly.

So, I did what I usually do…I googled “paleo Worcestershire sauce.”  Why reinvent the wheel if someone has already done the work?  Frankly, none of the recipes (and there are many) fit my definition of Worcestershire sauce.  They all seemed to use coconut aminos + spices – and in some cases that’s about all.  Others included ingredients like mustard, tomato sauce or paste, orange juice, and sometimes even molasses.  Not good enough for me!

It made sense to me to start with the ingredients on the Worcestershire label: white vinegar, (skip the molasses and sugar), water, salt, onions, anchovies, garlic, cloves, tamarind (a fruit that is very tart, usually found dried in a “cake” or made into a concentrate), chili pepper.  I used some ingredients to add depth to the flavor like the balsamic vinegar and ume plum vinegar and used a little maple syrup to replace the sugar and molasses.

I kept the yield small (1/4 cup) as I think most people probably use even less than 1 teaspoon at a time and I’m not sure about how long it will keep.  Since none of the ingredients are particularly perishable and the vinegar and salt are preservatives, I’m suggesting it can keep 2 weeks, but truly – I will be using it longer.

Here is the result – and I think it’s pretty terrific.

Paleo Worcestershire Sauce Better than Lea & Perrins®

If you don’t have anchovy paste, you can use 1/2 of a canned anchovy. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute 1/2 of a sun-dried tomato for the anchovy.

3 tablespoons boiling water

1 teaspoon dried tamarind or tamarind concentrate (look for it in ethnic markets)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon ume plum vinegar or additional white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste or sun-dried tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon grated onion (use the fine side of the grater)

Pinch ground clove

Sprinkle of garlic powder

Dash hot sauce or to taste

In a mini processor or the mini processor attachment of your immersion blender (you did buy one…right?) or blender container, combine the boiling water and tamarind. Let stand 2 minutes to soften the tamarind. Process until completely combined.

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Add the remaining ingredients; process until completely combined.

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Store in covered container in the refrigerator for two weeks.

Makes: scant 1/4 cup

 

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo

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I Love blizzards. When I went out shopping this afternoon the snow was coming down so hard that the flakes were more like micro-snowballs and some were even flower and star shapes.  I was so excited I stopped a stranger on Broadway and asked him to photograph my glove and email the photo to me – which you can see he did – aren’t New Yorkers the greatest people on earth??? (okay I am biased on that subject).  I was so amazed by these flakes I stopped several people on the street and in Zabar’s to show them. They probably thought I was a nut, but they all praised my flakes and enthusiasm…and then they (the flakes) melted and that was that.

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By 6 when I walked Bella the snow had tapered off to almost nothing I was thinking this is going to end up a dud blizzard  : (  But here it is 1a.m. and I’m giving Bella her last walk of the day and it’s snowing pretty hard : )

Bella Bleu Cheese
Bella Bleu Cheese

The last blizzard we had I sat in my living room reading three Twilight books (it snowed for 3 days and I read one book each day).  It was pure heaven.

In addition to marathon reading, I love to make soup when it’s snowing.  BP (before Paleo) I would make hearty bean soups – split pea or lentil, now I make hearty vegetable soups.  This one is pretty simple and straight forward and delicious.  Everyone who has tasted it has asked for the recipe.  If you have a cabbage in your refrigerator, you probably also have everything else you need to make this soup without having to go to the store.

Here’s hoping I’ll wake up tomorrow to a winter wonderland.  Happy Snow Day!
Continue reading Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

Intermezzo: Apple Fennel Salad with Lemon Sorbet

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So I hosted a fund raiser for my synagogue this past Saturday night.  If I must say so myself; the food was quite excellent.  My personal favorite of the evening was a dish that came about unexpectedly.  I had decided that I wanted to make a salad with fennel and apple, but once I put the menu together I just couldn’t figure out when to serve it.  I already had an appetizer (Salmon Tartare) and I didn’t think that kind of salad belonged at the end of the meal.  But just as I was about to let it go I had the inspiration to serve an intermezzo (small palate cleanser – usually sorbet).  I already had the lemon sorbet (Sharon’s my favorite brand), but what if….what if I serve it on top of a refreshing fennel and apple salad?  Perfection! (Except for my friend Dori, who hated it.  I don’t accept responsibility for that since she doesn’t like fennel to begin with.)

You don’t have to serve this salad with sorbet, although the sorbet certainly does enhance the salad.  Or, you can change the flavor of the sorbet if you like – I’m quite sure that pear, mango, or passion fruit would work just as well.  Either way I think you will love it (unless, of course, you don’t like fennel to begin with – in which case substitute celery for the fennel).  Enjoy!
Continue reading Intermezzo: Apple Fennel Salad with Lemon Sorbet

I Love My Grill – grilled vegetables

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What says summer more than grilling? As I sit in my den and the temperature outside is 11F, the idea of grilling is really appealing.

Living in an apartment in New York City is, in most things – Great.  However, having an outdoor grill tends to be problematic.   I figure even people with outdoor grills may be interested in indoor grills for December, January and February.  So let’s look at the options for indoor grilling.

First, and probably easiest is the broiler in your stove.  You already own it and anything that can be grilled can be broiled – the only difference is you never get those pretty grill marks.

Also available for use with/on the stove are stove top grill pans.  The Murphy pan and variations of it are pans (frequently cast iron) with ridges that you heat over your burner/s.  They do pretty good job of grilling.  The food gets cooked nicely and has pretty grill marks, but not the same char flavor that comes from direct heat.

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    A second type of stovetop grill is this smokeless grill, I used to own one but it took too long to grill and was so big it wasn’t worth the storage space.

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  • There are also lots of electric griddles/grills, Google them or go to Amazon to see the huge variety available to you.
    I want to talk about the one I own The Griddler
    Cuisinart GR-4N 5-in-1 Griddler, 7.12...
    For many years I owned/used the George Foreman grill – and frankly it did a fine job, especially considering how affordable it is.   I found I was using it very often but it was kind of small.  So I started shopping for a slightly better replacement and ended up with The Griddler made by Cuisinart.
    Here’s what I love about it – it does a great job; it cooks meats quickly searing the outside beautifully; it’s both a grill and griddle; you can open it and lie it flat – which is great when you are making pancakes for a crowd; it’s easy to clean (though I confess I could do a better job of that) – the metal plates pop out easily; it has a waffle option; it’s not hideously expensive (about $80).  On the down side, like the stovetop grills, the char flavor is not the same as an outdoor grill.
    The litmus test for kitchen equipment is:  will I use it often enough to waste precious counter space for it – and The Griddler earns a definite YES!
    I highly recommend this product and hope you love it as much as I  do.
    Here’s how I make my grilled vegetables…

    Continue reading I Love My Grill – grilled vegetables

A Trio of Dukkahs – Great Gift Ideas

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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A trio of WHAT???  That would have been my response to this post just a few months ago.

Let’s start with the answer to WHAT????  Dukkah is a nut and spice mix that is found in markets all over Egypt.  Traditionally it’s served with bread (not our strong point at this blog) and olive oil.  I discovered it at Trader Joe’s.  Just after you enter the store they have a tasting station where unsuspecting customers are seduced into buying products that were not on their shopping lists.

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Most of the time I have to pass up the tasting station because there is cheese or other dairy products in the samples, but on this fateful day they had dukkah (and I was still eating bread at the time).  I dipped the bread in the olive oil and then in the dukkah and tasted it. Hmmm….I’m not sure how I feel about it.  Theirs was very anise-y and I’m on the fence about licorice flavored things – but, I buy it anyway.

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I get home and have an intense need to try it again and BOOM – love at second bite!  Suddenly I’m sprinkling it on everything from scrambled eggs, to tuna or potato salad, to smoked salmon, to hummos, to garnishing soups, seasoning chicken, fish, meats and/or kebabs, dipping bananas and Tofutti Cuties (soy ice cream sandwiches) into it.  Everything tastes better with dukkah on (or in) it.

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Now not being someone who leaves well enough alone, I had to learn more about it.  I checked out wikipedia (the spelling and pronunciation of dukkah are a whole other post’s worth of stories), and article in The New York Times, and chocolateandzucchini.com.

Then I got to work in the kitchen and came up with some excellent (if I must say so myself) recipes.  The variations are totally not traditional and none of them have anise.

Of course there are many ways to present this as a gift here are just a few ideas.

* Buy a really nice spice jar or just a regular ball jar and make a cover for it (not a hard job even if you are not too crafty).  This is a good not-too-expensive gift to give when you have lots of people on your list who you can give the same gift to.  For me, it’s my soup kitchen team.

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*  Put a jar (or 3) of Dukkah or jars of Dukkah ingredients and give them – along with the recipe AND an immersion blender with mini processor attachment

* Make a Dukkah Basket with dukkah you’ve prepared and a bottle of really nice olive oil or balsamic vinegar and fresh bread if you are giving the gift the same day as you pack it.
Continue reading A Trio of Dukkahs – Great Gift Ideas

Curried Zucchini Soup with Rum

Wheat free * Dairy free * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo (variation)

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I bought a lot of zucchini with the thought that I would make it as a side dish for Thanksgiving. However, I went with the vegetable medley and used only a half of one zucchini.  That left me with a few unused ones.  I could have made zucchini spaghetti – and I still might since I only used two of the 3 remaining zucchini for this soup.

I can’t claim inspiration for the rum as I found this combination of flavors in one of my favorite cookbooks:  The Summer House Cookbook by Chris Casson Madden.  It was published in 1979 and I’ve been using it ever since.  It cost $5.95 new – what a deal!  You can find used copies on Amazon for a penny + shipping, it’s worth getting and still a deal!

Enjoy this easy-to-make, satisfying soup.
Continue reading Curried Zucchini Soup with Rum

Homemade Coconut Milk

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Why make your own coconut milk when it’s so easy to buy  canned or in boxes?  I have several reasons…first of which is I’m trying to avoid cans.  I guess if you read enough stuff on the internet you can find that anything you use is harmful to your health, but I’ve decided to buy into the “bad stuff from cans leach into the food” theory.  The coconut milk in boxes have ingredients other than coconut and water; like gums and most importantly carrageenan – I have no idea what that is, but I’ve read it’s not good for you.

Now I understand that the idea of making coconut milk at home may be daunting.  All you need is the shredded unsweetened coconut,

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water, a blender, a strainer, a spoon or soft spatula, and a container to store the coconut milk.  The fact is, it takes less than 10 minutes to make; you know what’s in it; and it’s much less expensive than canned or boxed.  To me this is a no brainer.  I do admit the down side is that you have to wash the blender and strainer and measuring cup and spoon/spatula – buy hey, I have a dishwasher – so it’s not soooo difficult and the fringe benefit is:  I make coconut flour out of the used coconut – but that’s for another post.

What about the flavor?  Although it’s coconutty (duh), it’s less intense than the canned kind, but more flavorful than the boxed ones.  If you want more intense coconut flavor from homemade, double the amount of coconut in this recipe.

Where do I get my coconut?  This is very important…I do NOT use the shredded coconut you find in the supermarket because that stuff is sweetened.  You have to use unsweetened shredded (or flaked) dried coconut.  You can find it in health food stores or ethnic markets that sell Indian or Asian ingredients…or online, of course.  Speaking of not using sweetened coconut, if you are buying canned coconut milk be sure you’re not buying the sweetened one which is like sweetened condensed milk.

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The Asian brands are generally unsweetened as is the Goya pictured at the top of the post.  Just check the label the only ingredients should be coconut and water.

When you’ve made the coconut milk you will see that it separates after it stands for a bit  with the cream rising to the top (just like real milk).

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You can remove the cream with a spoon and that will leave you with “light” coconut milk.  The cream can be whipped to make a non-dairy topping (also for a future post).  I used the full fat coconut milk in the recipe I posted last week for the Butternut Apple Soup and I will be using it in my Pumkin Pie Tartlets coming in the next week or two.

I feel like a real pioneer when I make my own ingredients from scratch.  Try it, it’s fun.
Continue reading Homemade Coconut Milk

Butternut Apple Soup Two Ways

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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I’m serving soup as my first course for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t want to make butternut squash soup like everybody else serves (not to mention that I already have two recipes for butternut squash soup on this blog:  Anti Inflammatory Soup and plain old Butternut Squash Soup) so I decided to use more of my CSA apples and make a slightly curried apple soup.  I made the soup and although it tasted really good, there was only one problem.  The soup only made 6 cups and that’s a little too little for my 8 or maybe even 10 guests.  I looked around and saw I had some  leftover cooked butternut squash from the other night.  I diced it and added it to the soup.  Now I have 8 cups and it looks nice having little floating pieces of squash.  Of course I can never leave well enough alone so I decided to see what it would taste like if I just pureed it…FABULOUS!  So I guess I’m serving Butternut Squash Soup this year – like everyone else.

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On the off chance that you are having less than 8 guests, the original apple soup is a really unusual and delicious choice.
Continue reading Butternut Apple Soup Two Ways

Gearing Up for Thanksgiving: Apple Tomatillo Chutney

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo*

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It’s the week after Halloween, that makes it officially “Start Thinking About Thanksgiving” time.  I’ve already invited my guests and I’m starting to work on my menu.  I’ve also created a new category “Thanksgiving” (column on the right) of recipes I’ve already tested and published that would be suitable for the T-day table.  There are about 25 recipes in this category such as Gluten-free Dairy-free Cornbread, Crunchy Red Cabbage Salad, Fruited Quinoa Salad with Fresh Ginger Dressing, for dessert there’s Apple Galette, Chocolate Torte, or Maple Glazed Pears. Some of the recipes are very traditional some less; some could use tweaking…for instance the Roasted Chicken recipe is exactly what I will be doing for my turkey, however, I will double or triple the rub, depending on the weight of my bird, and of course, the cooking time will be much longer.  I’m planning on using the Tzimmes recipe for my candied sweet potatoes…increasing the potatoes and deleting the carrots and prunes.  So go browse and see if any of these recipes inspire your holiday menu and don’t forget to click on “Older Posts” since there are only 10 recipes per page.

I’m still inundated with apples and this week I got tomatillos from the CSA too.  Therefore, this Thanksgiving, in addition to cranberry sauce and/or relish, I’m going to serve Apple Tomatillo Chutney – you can never have too many condiments on the table and this one is really delish.  I’m also going with an apple soup instead of squash (look for the recipe next week). There are 2 squash soup recipes I’ve already published if you want to go the more traditional route.

So Happy Planning…lots more Thanksgiving ideas/recipes to come.
Continue reading Gearing Up for Thanksgiving: Apple Tomatillo Chutney

Fosolia (fasolia) – Ethiopian Green Beans and Carrots

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo *

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I don’t exactly remember when I first tasted Ethiopian food, but I do remember two things: it was a long time ago and there was a great famine in Ethiopia at the time.  It seemed ironic to me that the Ethiopian people were starving just when we (at least in New York) were suddenly becoming interested in Ethiopian cuisine.  The restaurant was called The Blue Nile and was on West 77th Street.  It was kind of dark and cave-like.  You sat on very low stools and the food was served on a flat basket lined with the injera (bread/giant crepe with a consistency somewhere between a sponge and a crepe and a vaguely sour taste) with various foods on top of it – and no utensils. The injera was then torn and used to scoop up the food.  It was a memorable experience.

I’ve eaten Ethiopian food many times since then (in fact I had it for lunch today) and I love the subtle and not so subtle flavors of the food.  I also love the fact that injera  is a gluten-free bread when made with teff flour as it is in Ethiopia.  So though this is my first Ethiopian recipe here, you can be sure there will be more to follow.
Continue reading Fosolia (fasolia) – Ethiopian Green Beans and Carrots