Tag Archives: egg free

Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

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

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I belonged to a book club many years ago.  There were about 7 of us and each month one of us would pick the book and host the dinner/discussion.  The club dissolved with my friend Helen’s quick and very unexpected passing.   Without Helen (whose book choices the rest of us always questioned) it was just too hard to regain momentum.  Skip forward several years and one of the original book club members decided to revive it but with a slightly different cast of characters.  After much debate a book (My Brilliant Friend) and a date for the meeting was chosen.

I confess that, as is/was usually the case, I put off reading the book until the last minute.  Three days before the meeting I started reading – and I’m happy to report I finished it with 2 hours to spare.  The dinner was to be at the organizer’s home and then, of the seven reading the book, only 3 of us (host + me + 1 other) made it to the discussion/dinner.

All this is just leading up to the fact that our host had prepared a wonderful dinner including my new favorite-salad-ever.  She found the recipe on a blog

kale and brussel sprout salad from www.onceuponachef.com
I went to the blog only to find that the blogger, Jen Segall, took and altered the recipe from Bon Appetit  http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/kale-and-brussels-sprout-salad
The recipes at both sites use Parmesan style cheese which, being paleo, I omitted.   They both make really big batches (Bon Appetit serves 8 to 10 and Once Upon a Chef serves 6 to 8) and I wanted a more normal sized yield (mine serves 4 to 6).  Proportionally, they both used more dressing, but I honestly feel the amount here is PLENTY!  And, I went with the Bon Appetit choice of almonds rather than walnuts.
Here are some of the things that make this my new favorite salad
It’s DELICIOUS!
It’s easy to prepare – I found already shaves Brussels Spouts and washed and chopped kale at Trader Joe’s, making this salad a snap to make.
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It’s versatile –  add cooked chicken for a whole meal salad; add chopped apples and raisins/craisons/currents for a sweeter version; add beans for a heartier vegetarian/vegan salad
It can be prepared in advance – unlike many salads that just get soggy/slimy when dressed too soon, this one gets even better when allowed to stand
Hope this becomes your most favorite new salad too!   Enjoy!

Continue reading Kale and Brussels Sprouts Salad

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

Leftovers – Gluten-free Dairy Free Turkey Pot Pie

Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free *

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I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving!  I know I don’t usually post recipes on Fridays, but this is the day after Thanksgiving and it would be cruel not to give you at least one recipe for that mound of turkey currently in your refrigerator.  Here are two ideas – Turkey Hash (which I published right after I started this blog), and today’s recipe:  Turkey Pot Pie.

Turkey Hash with Egg
Turkey Hash with Egg
Turkey Hash Patty with Egg
Turkey Hash Patty with Egg

 

Turkey Hash
Turkey Hash

 

Let’s start with “Before There Were Leftovers”.  Here’s what I served (there are links to the recipes that are already on this blog):

Tahini

 

Turkey and Gravy
Turkey and Gravy
Paula's Stuffing
Paula’s Stuffing
Vegetable Medley with Fresh Herbs
Vegetable Medley with Fresh Herbs
Colcannon
Colcannon
Maple Glazed Butternut Squash with Pears and Cranberries
Maple Glazed Butternut Squash with Pears and Cranberries
Pickled Beets
Pickled Beets
Cornbread
Cornbread
Pene's Cranberry Sauce
Pene’s Cranberry Sauce
Maple Pumpkin Pie with Nut Crust
Maple Pumpkin Pie with Nut Crust
Apple Galette
Apple Galette

Everyone at my table had a great time and it was completely gluten and dairy free!  Hope yours went well too and here’s the Turkey Pot Pie recipe:
Continue reading Leftovers – Gluten-free Dairy Free Turkey Pot Pie

Supermoist Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken

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I really love kitchen gadgets.  The problem is I need a bigger kitchen to store all the gadgets I’d like to have. On the other hand there are also plenty of gadgets that I think are just a waste of money (not to mention valuable storage space).  Vertical roasters fall somewhere between great gadget and waste of money.  They are available in the whole gamut of prices – I’ve seen them for as little as $3.99 and as much as $229.00.  I honestly don’t know if they work differently enough to warrent the price differential.

Why roast vertically?   Two reasons:  The skin is crisp all around the chicken, not just on top; and the chicken cooks more evenly.  That’s because the metal tube on the inside conducts heat cooking the  chicken from both inside and out instead of just from outside in.  So here’s my solution to the should I buy a vertical roaster…the bundt pan.  It’s something I have on hand and can do the same thing as the vertical roaster – in fact it’s even better because you can cook the vegetables and make sauce in the bundt pan – which is a feature only of the very high end vertical roasters.  There is a down side to using a bundt pan and that’s that you can really only make a smallish (about 3 to 3 1/2 pound) chicken on it.  Larger chickens just won’t balance on the short tube in the bundt pan.  On the other hand, I already own (and store) bundt pans and further, I rarely cook chickens larger than 3 1/2 pounds.  So this kitchen trick works for me.

Hope it works for you too.
Continue reading Supermoist Bundt Pan Roasted Chicken

Maple Roasted Pear Halves

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

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Happy New Year.  Sorry I was too busy with the holidays to post last week but I hope today’s post will make you so hungry you will find it in your heart to forgive me.

Last week’s fruit from the CSA was pears.  I ate a few and gave away more but still was left with four, by now overly ripe, pears.  So here is my dessert of the week.  They’re easy to prepare and quite yummy and would also be great served with vanilla ice cream (if you can have it) or coconut sorbet.
Continue reading Maple Roasted Pear Halves

Ratatouille

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

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I was going to devote this post to explaining my absence of posting last week – but – it’s TOMATO SEASON and I just made the most fabulous Ratatouille I ever made or tasted.  What made it so special were the amazing, home grown, organic tomatoes my friend Irwin grew in his garden in The Hamptons.  This recipe couldn’t wait until next week or the week after because now is when you can get fabulous local tomatoes too.

I have been making Ratatouille since I graduated from college and got my first apartment.  To give you a sense of how long ago that was, let me say that my very large studio apartment with separate kitchen in Greenwich Village rented for $140/month.  My favorite story about that apartment was when my father’s uncle, Walter, who was close to 80 at the time, was visiting from Argentina he entered my apartment and announce that now he had been here twice.  I assured him that it was only his first visit – but he retorted – “yes, my first and my last!” (did I mention it was a 5th story walk-up?)

But back to Ratatouille.  I usually put a little vermouth or wine in my recipe and, if necessary, some sugar and even tomato paste (that’s when the tomatoes are not perfection), but just to give you a hint about what I’ve been so busy doing – I’ve been on the Whole30 – a very strict paleo routine.  This plan eliminates every speck of sugar and alcohol so when I sat down to write this version (there are others in one or two of the books I’ve written) I was worried the end result wouldn’t be as good as my usual recipes.  Imagine how delighted I was when the recipe came out sheer bliss – even better was using it as a nest for my poached eggs for breakfast.

This recipe is written a little less exactly than I usually like because, once again, all the cooking times and ingredients will vary depending on how ripe and sweet your tomatoes are.  Just use the photos as a guide to see what the mixture should look like at the various cooking stages.
Continue reading Ratatouille

Tapenade

Paleo * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve *

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I worry sometimes that I might be a food hoarder.  I buy replacements for things when they are less than half empty and I must have a complete supply of ingredients on hand at all times.  So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I tell you I just threw this together with stuff I had in the refrigerator.

Now I sometimes justify my immense pantry and overstocked refrigerator with the fact that I am, and have been for the last 30 or so years, a food writer.  There’s nothing more annoying than tasting a recipe you’ve just written and finding that it needs “just a little something” to make it perfect; figuring out that “the little something” should be pomegranate molasses or fresh rosemary (or ketchup or vinegar or garlic powder or fresh lemon juice, etc.), and then finding the bottle empty or the herb very sadly wilted.  So I keep everything imaginable in my refrigerator and pantries (notice there is/are? more than one not-to-neat, over stocked pantry in my New York City apartment – where space is at a premium).

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Tapenade is one of those items I like to have on hand.  It’s fairly salty and slightly acidic so it’s a good perker-upper for dishes that may seem a little bland.  Here’s a sampling of things I might do with it:  Add some to plain spaghetti sauce to make instant Putenesca sauce, stir it into cream cheese or tofutti to make a very zippy cream cheese and olive sandwich (that was when I was eating dairy and wheat), stir it into mayonnaise (or yogurt or some combination of the two) for a dipping sauce for crudities or shrimp or artichokes (microwaved, of course) or for a salad dressing; combine it with diced tomatoes or roasted red peppers as a topping for bruschetta or sauce for fish or chicken; add to vinaigrette to add zip or to use as a marinade; toss a little into scrambled eggs or the filling for omelets; stir some into tuna or egg salad; you get the point.  It’s nice to have something versatile in the fridge when you just need a little something.  Oh, and of course I’ve forgotten the most common use for tapenade which is to serve it as an hors d’ouvre with bread (if you eat it) or (gluten free) crackers.
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Microwaved Artichokes

Paleo * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve *

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Sorry I’m so late posting today but there have been some big things going on.  First and foremost:  Congratulation Julie and Sean on the arrival of Spenser Bernard today!

But since Spenser was born in California, and I am in New York – his arrival did not really take up too much of my time.  What has been looming largely and taking up my time is my new lifestyle.  Early in July – on July 1st to be exact – I switched to a Paleo diet (that’s the diet where you eat like a caveman).  The very short version is no grains at all (making it automatically gluten free) no dairy, no beans, and no sugar.  WOW!  Who would have thought I could ever live with such restrictions?

In fact, it’s not at all hard when I factor in all the big benefits that have occurred.  Most importantly I have so much more energy and so many less aches and pains.  I can honestly say I feel 20 years younger!  In truth, however, being a sugar-aholic (this is the first time in my life that giving up sugar was no big deal – a miracle in itself) and starch-aholic I did miss some dense carbs.  While reading up on the Paleo (Nerd Fitness, Robb Wolf, Paleo Leap), diet I found a small reference to something called the Perfect Health Diet (PHD).  Which to my intrepretation is Paleo + white rice.  That was enough to keep me totally satisfied.  The Jaminets reason that white rice is what they call a safe starch because natural toxins produced by plants for their protection is contained in the outer bran – which is removed when producing white rice.  PHD also allows white potatoes – a subject hotly debated amongst Paleos.

The reality of this diet is I find it easier (not necessarily more satisfying) to cook simply.  My meals mostly consist of a protein + a salad + a vegetable + a piece of fruit.  Boring, right?  Well, no.  Not when you vary the proteins and the veggies and the salads.  However, it does affect this blog in that I’m just not creating interesting recipes on a daily or maybe even weekly basis.  So starting next week, I will be cutting my posts down from twice a week to once a week – Tuedays only.  Hope you are okay with that.

Now to today’s “recipe” which is really not much of a recipe – Steamed Artichokes.  They were always a special treat growing up.  I think that because they required a fair bit of prep – removing the sharp thorns from each leaf, and boiling them for a fair amount of time.  But that was before microwaves – now they take very little time – and – thanks to some genetic engineering, don’t seem to have the same dangerous thorns they used to.  Enjoy this easy way to prepare artichokes.
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Crunchy Red Cabbage Salad

Paleo * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve

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I love red cabbage salad.  Growing up my mom made what we called Ketchup Salad every time the ketchup bottle was getting low.  She would add vegetable oil and red wine vinegar to the remaining ketchup (Heinz, of course) in the bottle and shake – great way to use every drop of ketchup – then pour it over shredded red cabbage and shredded carrots – add plenty of salt and pepper and a family favorite was created.  Jump forward 40 or 50 years – I’m working in the soup kitchen and we get a case of red cabbage donated.  I know just what to do with it – Ketchup Salad!  My fellow volunteers were horrified but I stood firm and insisted we add ketchup to the vinaigrette.  Guess what – they all loved it too (except Lenny who wouldn’t taste it) and every now and then one of them announces s/he had made Ketchup Salad at home that week.  So though I don’t have exact proportions of oil/vinegar/ketchup to give you, I encourage you to make up your own Ketchup Salad, if you dare!

Continue reading Crunchy Red Cabbage Salad

Mango Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

Paleo * Gluten free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve

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I went to lunch with my friend Paula one day and we ate at Pan Quotidien, one of my least favorite restaurants, because it was conveniently located and had many gluten-free items on the menu.  I don’t remember what either Paula or I had, but I do distinctly remember the dessert because it was both gluten-free for Paula and dairy-free for me (that was before I gave up wheat).  We shared a Chia Seed Pudding with Passion Fruit Puree on top.  It was sort of a crunchy tapioca pudding and we were both surprised at how good it was.

Although chia seed is the darling of all health advocates, I still can’t help but think of it as hair to grow on silly clay pots.  So I was thrilled to find that it makes an easy, no-cook dessert that is good for you.  I have recently been eating this for breakfast with fruit topping for a tasty way to start the day.  There are tons of ways to vary this recipe.  Start with toppings – any fruit combo is good, or you can make a puree or if you want something thicker, just add cornstarch to fruit juice or puree and bring to a boil, then cool.  You can also vary the liquids in the pudding:  use nut milk instead of coconut, use any fruit juice or nectar or no juice and make it completely coconut.  Use any sweetener you like – or none at all. Play around with the recipe, you are sure to like the results.
Continue reading Mango Coconut Chia Seed Pudding