Saturday, October 15, 2011

Tasty Alternatives to Traditional Halloween Candy

 Healthy versions of some traditional Halloween treats    

Rice Crispy Chocolate Bars
(my spin on a traditional candy bar)

Ingredients
*I used this recipe for “rice crispy treats” from the Gluten
Free Goddess for the inside of the bars
*One bar of this chocolate for the coating
*Shredded coconut, if desired

How To
*I made the above rice crispy treats, smoothed the mixture out
on a silicone baking mat  – around 1 inch high.  Chilled them
in the fridge until nice and solid.  Then cut them into bars
*Melt an entire bar of chocolate on a double boiler (I fashioned
my own using a small 8″ non-stick saute pan on top of a small
sauce pan filled with some water)
*Quickly cover bars with chocolate, rolling them around
with a wooden pair of tongs.  When fully coated,
transfer immediately to a cooling rack with a baking sheet
underneath to catch the chocolate drippings
*Transfer to fridge until cooled
*These do very well sitting out at room temperature,
the chocolate does not melt.  Perfect to eat like a “candy bar”


These are so decadent.  But I love that the 

chocolate bar is only sweetened with 

filtered beet sugar.  
My husband said the 
coconut covered
ones tasted (like, but much better 
than)
a Mounds bar.



Chocolate Covered Figs
(my spin on a Tootsie Roll Pop)
Ingredients
*Fresh Figs
*One bar of this chocolate for the coating

How To
*Melt an entire bar of chocolate on a double boiler (I fashioned
my own using a small 8″ non-stick saute pan on top of a small
sauce pan  filled with some water).
*Place lollipop stick into fig.  All I had on hand when I made these was a few wooden skewers, a little too sharp on the end for children.  I found some 4″ lollipop sticks here in town the next daymuch better.
*Using a silicone spatchula, drizzle chocolate quickly over fig 
*Be sure to get some chocolate on the area between the stick and the fig, this will provide a nice hold, like a glue, ensuring the fig won’t fall off.  I missed this on a few as you can see in the above picture and these were much more precarious
*Transfer immediately to a cooling rack with a baking sheet 
underneath to catch the chocolate drippings
*Transfer to fridge until cooled
*These do very well sitting out at room temperature,
the chocolate does not melt.  Perfect to eat like a “Tootsie Roll Pop”

These fig pops are so delicious! I was very pleased with 
how they turned out.  These would make super 
cute hors d’oeuvres at a party!


Caramel Pops and Caramel Apples
(My spin on traditional caramel)

Ingredients
*5 Tablespoons brown rice syrup (or Yacon Syrup might work)
*5 Tablespoons coconut sugar
*1 Tablespoon coconut oil

How To
*Spray some oil on wax or parchment paper and strategically place lollipop sticks on paper
*Have a small space on paper sprayed with oil for the apple.  Have apple ready (with wooden skewer firmly in place) 
*In a small non-stick saute pan (same as used above but not as a double boiler) heat brown rice syrup until bubbly, always stirring quickly to avoid burning
*Add in coconut sugar and coconut oil and stir quickly 
*Keep on med/low heat with a slight bubble for about 2 minutes stirring the entire time to prevent burning
*Remove from heat and continue stirring for about 30 seconds
*With a silicone spatchula, pour a small amount of the sauce on the end of each lollipop stick. Let it sit and repeat once more, this will make it a little thicker and give the stick a little more to hold on to
*For apple, hold apple by the skewer and drizzle the sauce quickly over apple and then place on the oiled paper 
*Transfer lollipops and apples into the fridge to cool
*When the sauce has hardened, take out items and remove from paper.  You may get a little paper stuck on your treat, but it peals off pretty easy
*I suggest eating the lollipops right away, as they do get a little soft at room temperature
*Slice apple and let it sit at room temperature before eating.  The sauce turns ooey and gooey when it warms up.  So delicious with the tart apple!
*You will see in the picture below (the pops in the jar) here look a little different than the flat version described above.  For these I made another batch of the sauce and let it cool a little and then started pulling it like taffy.  It took a bit to get the texture just so, but it allowed me to make a thicker sucker
*This recipe may work with honey (instead of the brown rice syrup) or with Yacon syrup, but I didn’t test it out. 

I haven’t had “real” caramel is so long.  It was even years before I was diagnosed.  I never loved caramel, but I thought this would be a fun challenge and I am very please with how it turned out. And I am now remembering that as a young girl I was forbidden to eat caramel apples due to a mouth full of braces.  Bummer.  For fun I looked up a traditional caramel recipe and can I tell you that my stomach started hurting from just reading the ingredients

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Labels: candy alternatives, dessert, Halloween, holidays.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter (Sunbutter)

I am deathly allergic to peanuts.  It’s no fun to have an allergy but I’m so impressed with how far we’ve come with peanut allergy awareness.  What a difference I’ve seen.  I remember as a young child riding on an airplane and feeling so sick to my stomach at the very smell of the peanutsand hungry because I was out of luck in the snack department.  A few years later they started serving pretzels as an alternative to peanuts on flights.  I don’t even think they give out peanuts anymore, do they?  Skylar, my daughter, is not allergic to peanuts and I don’t know if my son Ethan has inherited this allergy?  At any rate, we’ve been using sunbutter for quite some time as an alternative to peanut butter.  It’s a nice change from the usual almond butter.  I like this brand but don’t love the price and don’t love the plastic container.  So I decided to make it myself.  And you know what……SUPER EASY!!! Sky couldn’t even tell the difference between my homemade version and the store bought variety.  And that’s all I needed to move into permanently making sunflower seed butter.  Hooray! 

gorgeous sunflower from my garden!

Homemade Sunflower Seed Butter 


Ingredients:
-3 cups of organic raw sunflower seeds
-Pinch of salt (optional) 

How To
1.  Toast sunflower seeds for a bit until fragrant and slightly brown.  Cool seeds.  
2.  Add the cooled seeds to a food processor and start blending; scrape down sides every minute or so for about 5 minutes.  
3.  After about 6 minutes the seeds will form a ball then become thinner as the oils in the seeds are released.  
4.  After about 8 minutes of processing you can add in a pinch of salt, but this is totally optional. It should be properly blended by this time.  Store in class container in the refrigerator.  
Yields 1 1/4 cups of sunbutter

I have a small, OLD food processor and it works great.  
Just be sure to scrape down the sides a few times so the
mixture has contact with the blades.
Speaking of Sun
It has been so gorgeous here in Northern California.  Finally, finally, cool fall weatheralthough it’s supposed to be up near 90 degrees today, there is still a soft, clean feel to the air.  I adore this time of year.  Below are some pictures from around our yard.  Wish I could just bottle up this weather.
Our neighbor’s lemon tree is showing some action!  
They let me go over there whenever I have the need and pick to 
my heart’s content.  
Our other neighbor has a nice fig tree with a sizable
bunch hanging on our side of the fence!  
So excited for these!
We still have watermelons to harvest!
We had quite the bounty this year.
Our tomato plant is out of control, but still providing 

us with sweet, gorgeous cherry tomatoes.

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Labels: allergy-friendly, dips and spreads, GAPS, lunch, nut free, Paleo, SCD, snacks, vegan.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kale and Golden Beet Salad with Tahini-Cider Dressing

I really love kale, but it doesn’t love me! Having Crohn’s makes it incredibly hard to digest, which is why I rely on green drinks to get my kale.  The other day I was shopping at our local Coop and perusing the salad deli.  There I spotted a tasty looking raw salad with kale as the base ingredient.  I tried it and just about fell over.  It. Was. Amazing.  So I wrote down the ingredients, ran through the store gathering what I needed, raced home and within an hour I had like 5 lbs of this salad – and I am pleased to say it tasted exactly like the deli version.  I was lucky with my ratios, especially with the dressing.  My daughter loved it and we both enjoyed it for our afternoon snack.  It was so good and I tried not to eat too much.  Although  I can’t go wild on this salad, I enjoy making it for others. I served it as an appetizer that evening for dinner and my husband asked if there was Parmesan cheese in the salad.  Pssh…are you serious?, I asked him.  I know, I know he replied, it just tastes so…cheesy.  It really does have a wonderfully complex flavor.
Ingredients
-1 bunch of kale, chopped (with the large vein removed)
-1 large carrot, grated (I used the shredder on my food processor)
-3 golden beets, grated (same as above)
-1 large green pepper, chopped
-1 bunch of green onions, sliced (use both white & green)
-1/2 cup hemp seeds
Dressing
-1/4 cup tahini (start with that and see how you like the flavor, add more if desired)
-1/4 cup walnut oil (or oil of choice)
-1/2 cup coconut aminos
-1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon garlic granules
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon dried basil
-1/2 teaspoon salt
How To
1.  Mix together the kale, carrot, beets, green pepper, onions & hemp seeds in large bowl
2.  Add the dressing ingredients to a bowl and mix until thick and emulsified
3.  Pour the entire bowl of dressing onto salad ingredients and mix
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Labels: raw, salad, sides, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Decrease Kitchen Waste Part I

Blogger inspiration for starting my waste-free kitchen journey: 

When you think of kitchen waste, what comes to mind? 

 I’m guessing food.  Yes food is a huge waste that adds a bulk to your garbage bag that turns against you rather quickly.  But what else?  If you live in a town that recycles, first off, hooray for you, but secondly, weekly recycling doesn’t take care of everything.  I’ve heard of some pretty picky towns where only cans, plastic bottles and cardboard is allowed. What about the bread packaging, inside the cereal plastic bag, frozen veggie plastic bags…if you eat cheese, the plastic around the cheese and don’t even get me started on PLASTIC BAGGIES.  The list goes on and on in the plastic department.  What about paper towels and napkins?  Foil?  Styrofoam?  The wrapping from your deli meat?   

These are all sources of unwanted waste.  I say unwanted because the recycle folks don’t want this stuff.  So it goes in the landfill

My kitchen waste revelation came one day a few years ago when my garbage can smelled so horrid I just couldn’t take it any more…okay, enough is enough.  We didn’t use those hefty plastic bags, we used recycled brown paper bags from our weekly grocery shopping for our garbage, so all our food waste and other gunk was exposed and oh boy it started to take on a life all its own.    

I said to myself…I know I can do better!

I started very, very slow and assessed my waste.  Food was at the top of the list so I started there and slowly worked my down the list finding alternatives and replacing old habits with environmentally frienldy behaviors.  So if you are new to the concept of decreasing kitchen waste, please see below for some very easy ideas to get you going on your journey.  

****************************************

#1
Problem: food scraps   
Solution: compost

*We made a very modest 5×5 box out of redwood in our backyard and started to pile in our uncooked kitchen waste with equal parts carbon and nitrogen.  And I read this quick, simple guide to composting.  There are so many other composting ideas, many I found in the book, but you can also research on-line and find what works best for you.  For example, we are going to start a worm bin soon for our cooked food waste!  

 
#2
Problemplastic baggies
Solution: Stop buying & find eco-friendly alternatives

*Okay, let’s be real for a moment.  Plastic baggies are a hell-of-a-convenience, and if you have kids, well, they may feel like a must-have necessity.  It was difficult, but these were #2 on the list to go for me.  I stopped buying them and looked for alternatives.  

 
~Here are some easy replacement ideas~
 
a.  WasteNot Saks are the most amazing, wonderful alternative to plastic baggies.  I’ve had mine for nearly 5 years and they have held up great.  The design is fantastic and my kids can use them with ease.  
 
b.  SnackTAXI makes a fantastic sandwich pack.  They have not failed me yet.  I also used them for snacks, but they don’t seal all the way across like WasteNot Saks, so they are best for large items such as sandwiches.
 
c.  CareBags are by far my favorite thing found to replace plastic produce bags: see post here.  Here is a good post on the dangers of plastic bags.  Eye opening. 
 
d. Lunch Bots is by far my favorite stainless steel alternative.  My daughter and son use these daily for snacks.  These are my faves.

e.  ECOlunchbox three-in-one.  My daughter takes this for her lunch.  It’s lightweight and easy for little hands to use and maneuver. 
 
#3
Problem: Alternative-milk containers 
Solution: Make your own milk alternatives

*This solution is three-fold.  First of all, milk alternatives are EXPENSIVE.  I did the math and I started saving serious money when I stopped buying packaged milks and started making my own.  Second, you have total and complete control of the ingredients when you make your own milks – awesome for you!   Third, and let’s be honest here, those milk alternative containers are not recyclable.  I shed a tear of guilt every time I had to throw away those huge cartons.  Okay, so problem solved.  Making your own nut milks is so super easy.  I make the following: almond milk, cashew milk, hemp milk and hazelnut milk.  You can find a slew of how-to videos on the internet.  And you don’t technically need an expensive high-speed blender to make these milks.  Before I purchased my vitamix, I used a Ninja Blender for years and it worked fine.  Don’t be detoured my friends!! 

 
#4
Problem: paper waste   
Solution: Stop buying & find eco-friendly alternatives

*Ahhh, this was so hard at first!  I had a very unhealthy addiction to paper towels.  I would use them for everything…if I had them I would go through them like crazy.  I had zero control.  So one day I just stopped buying them and also stopped buying paper napkins.  

~Here are some easy replacement ideas~
 
a.  Use cloth napkins opposed to paper napkins
 
b.  Use a cloth for cleaning the counter top, stove and other non-dish elements in your kitchen
 
c.  Cut up old t-shirts and use them for dusting
 
d.  Purchase a sponge you can wash in the washing machine multiple times before throwing away
 
#5
Problem: Foil
Solution: Alternative products

*I used foil for so many things in my kitchen.  This was difficult at first too.  I tried very hard to clean the foil and recycle it, but it didn’t always work.  And my philosophy wasn’t, “well, it’s okay to throw it away once in a while,” it was to “never again throw anymore foil away into garbage ever again.”   

 
~Here are some easy replacement ideas~
 
a.  Use a baking sheet on top of dishes that require covering in the oven.
 
b.  Purchase a silicone mat for non-stick baking & roasting
(I also use a silicon mat instead of parchment paper for rolling out gluten-free dough).
 
c.  Use glass bakeware opposed to a baking sheet that requires foil for roasting.
 
d.  Use parchment paper if you need to wrap something up to bake in the oven (like fish).  This unbleached parchment paper is the best! And…IT’S COMPOSTABLE!! 
 
#6
Problem: Packaging from meat in the deli
Solution: Glass storage 

One day I purchased a pork shoulder from the meat deli at our Coop and I was appalled when I got home, unrolled it, and saw how much paper and plastic waste was from this single (albeit rather large) portion of meat.  My next trip to the coop I was equipped with my snap glass and Pyrex storage.  It takes some planning, but if you know what you are going to be purchasing it’s not a problem – plus I highly recommend going to the grocery store with a plan and a list.  This saves time, energy and money.   

DSC_0054
I generally have one glass storage for sliced deli meat, one for chicken or turkey breasts and one for ground meat.  I am always surprised by how supportive the meat folks are about me bringing my own packaging.  It’s so easy…they just put the glass container on the scale, add the meat, and then subtract the weight. 

Vegetarians can incorporate this concept when purchasing cheese.  Go to your cheese deli and have them slice out what you need into your glass storage.  Then it’s home and into the fridge.  No more fussing with a half (plastic wrapped) block of cheese.
 
Other easy tips you can start incorporating into your daily routine.
 
1.  Take reusable bags to the store….every time! 
 
2.  If you are going out to eat out, or picking up food to go, take a glass container for your food or leftovers…or else they will hand you your food in the most awful material EVER invented.  I cringe at the site of Styrofoam.  Why it is still being used is a mystery to me.  Okay, so just be prepared – think a few steps ahead.  If you are going to Panda Express, just take your own containers.  
 
3.  If you are going to use plastic bags for your garbage, use these compostable garbage bags.  
 
4.  Take your own utensils from home or keep these in your car/bag
 
5.  Glass straws are so wonderful.  And kids love them.  Perfect for getting smoothies on the go.
 
6.  Take a travel mug if you are picking up your coffee on the go.  Also use for smoothies or other drinks that require a wasteful to-go cup, just bring your own.  Again, planning ahead makes these elements so easy to incorporate into your life.  
 
********************
 
So, okay.  There we have it.
We feeling good!  We feeling pumped and motivated to get going!  
 
You can do it.  
 
Start small.  As a behaviorist, I completely support the process of small approximations toward a larger goal.  In fact, it’s the optimal way to create behavior change.  So please don’t feel like you have to make huge changes tomorrow.  Go at your own pace.  Have a goal in mind.  Write it down if you must, just know what you are working toward.  
 
Good luck friends!!
 
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Labels: green living, green living tips organization, how to decrease your kitchen waste.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Creamy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup

 

Big Sigh.  
Tuesday was a tough day!  My sister moved to New York (sniff, sniff) and our dear friends moved to Connecticut (sniff, sniff).  It’s hard to say good-bye but with modern technology, it’s so easy to stay connected.  I’ll have to get set up with that Skype thingy that all the youngens’ are talking about (did I just say youngens’?)
  
Good newsit’s finally fall here in Northern California.  So glad for that.  But the good-byes and the rain made for a gloomy mood.  Nothing a yummy bowl of soup can’t fix, right.  If only.  I’ve been perfecting this soup for several years now and I have to say, it’s divine. 

Ingredients:
-1 large butternut squash, cut length-wise and baked on 400 until tender (60 – 75 minutes) 
-1 yellow onion, chopped     
-2 teaspoons garlic granules 
-2 large carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
-1/2 can full fat coconut milk (use this coconut milk if SCD, as it’s free of gum)
-2 or 3 tablespoons of oil (I use walnut)
-3/4 teaspoon salt (add more to taste)
-5 cups filtered water (or broth of choice) + additional water/broth to top off 

How To:
This cooking system is designed to maintain the integrity of the squash and allow a melding, not melting of flavors.

1.  To large pot add oil, onions, salt and saute for about 5 minutes
2.  Add chopped carrots, garlic granules, and saute for 1 minute 
3.  Add 5 cups water (or broth) and bring to a boil
4.  Turn down heat and simmer carrots for 10 minutes
5.  Add the baked butternut squash and coconut milk
6.  Add additional water to pot if needed (just make sure your  ingredients are adequately covered to boil)
7.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a rapid simmer for 20 minutes
8.  Turn off heat and let soup sit, covered, for 10 minutes 
9.  Blend soup with immersion blender until creamy

Notes:
*I use water, but I’m sure broth would also be great
*To bake squash, cut lengthwise and remove seeds.  Place face down (flesh side down) in a shallow glass baking dish with a little water and bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until tender.  
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Labels: fall cuisine, GAPS, main dish, Paleo, SCD, soups, vegan, vegetarian.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pesto stuffed Cucumber

In an effort to get more creative with snack time around this house, I’ve been trying to mesh together some of my favorite foods.  The other day I thought, why not stuff a cucumber with somethingand then I found the pestoand then I was a happy girl when it tasted excellent.  This is my daughter’s new favorite snack, and I have to say, it’s very filling.  

Ingredients:
-1 large cucumber, seeded
-1 batch of Vegan Walnut Pesto
-Top with dried parsley and a dash of smoked paprika

How To:
1.  Stuff cucumber with pesto
2.  Eat and enjoy

In other news
We had a fabulous time in Napa Valley.  My husband and I enjoyed a little getaway (sponsored by my husband’s work).  We stayed in Calistoga at The Solage, a very luxurious, fancy spa resort.  It was much needed time away for a busy mommy and daddy!  I was so inspired by the food we encountered!  I will be preparing some inspired dishes this month from our trip.  Can’t wait. 

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Labels: GAPS, Paleo, raw, SCD, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Monthly Round-Up (September)

Picture by my daughter, Skylar –  thought it was fitting for this post!

I find myself getting a bit lost in the endless sea of recipes available on the internet.  It’s wonderful and a little overwhelming at the same time.  I always like it and find it helpful when other bloggers do a weekly round-up of their favorite recipes, so I will be doing a monthly round-up!  Here are my favorites from September. 
Salud!

(I used gluten free pasta…so good!)
(love it)
(love it)
(We used chicken sausage.  My husband made it…awesome)
(Oh my goodness, I can’t wait to make these cheeses!)

(this looks so decadent, and so easy!)
(I look forward to making some of these quick, easy meals)
(We made this yesterdaydelicious!)

(My husband’s favoritehe started to drool when he saw this recipethis will be next in my ice cream maker for sure!)

(still obsessed with these)
Off  to Napa for the weekend with my sweet husband!
See you in October!
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Labels: Monthly Round-Up.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cool Kohlrabi Salad

If you’re looking for a little something different to munch onplease look no further.  Meet kohlrabi.  It’s hard to describe the texture and flavorit’s like cucumber meets radish meets carrotI don’t know, that sounds like a strange combo so just try it and see what you think!  If you are familiar with this delicious (root-looking but not actually a root) vegetable than you are a lucky-duck.  I envision endless opportunities with kohlrabi.  However, I kept this recipe simple and easy.  It’s a stifling 100 degrees here in Northern California and so I wanted something cool, crunchy and delicious.  Kohlrabi gets a check, check and check on that list.  
Ingredients
-3 to 6 kohlrabi, julienned 
-Drizzle of oil (I like walnut oil) 
-Lemon juice to taste 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Dried or fresh herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, dill, etc. 

How To
1.  To kohlrabi, add lemon juice, salt and oil to taste 
2.  Toss and place in fridge for 30-45 minutes
3.  When chilled garnish with favorite herb

**************************
Kohlrabi Benefits

Kohlrabi is high in bioflavonoids, plant pigments that work with vitamin C and other antioxidant to prevent the cell damage that promotes cancer.

Kohlrabi is also high in indoles, chemicals that reduces the effects of estrogen, and thus may reduce the risk of breast cancer.


Kohlrabi helps stabilize blood sugar imbalances and is beneficial for hypoglycemia and diabetes.


Kohlrabi is a good source of vitamin C; a 1/2 – cup serving provides 50% of the adult RDA. This vitamin so essential for maintaining healthy skin, connective tissue, and a strong immune system.


Kohlrabi is a good Source of Potassium. Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the body. Potassium is important for proper functioning of every cell in the body and is critical for muscle contractions and controlling the heartbeat. It also helps to lower blood pressure. Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet can also reduce blood pressure in those who are hypertensive.


Kohlrabi is high in dietary fiber. A serving of kohlrabi provides five grams of soluble fiber – the kind that’s important for heart health.


Kohlrabi is low in calories and fat, with only 36 calories in a cup of raw kohlrabi, it’s a food you can enjoy without regret. Its little fat content is needed to absorb the fat soluble vitamins.


Nutrient Content 
per 1 cup (140g) raw Kohlrabi

Vitamin C: 84mg

Potassium: 472mg

Carbohydrates: 8.4g

Protein: 2.3g

Fiber: 4.9g

Calories: 36 

 

    Shared on: Summer Salad Sunday
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Labels: raw, salad, sides, snacks, summer cuisine, vegan, vegetarian.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Separation Conundrum

I don’t know if anyone else has run into this problem with canned coconut milkor maybe it was just me and a inferior can of milk?  But I have discovered that these two coconut milks are not alike.  After a longtime Thai Kitchen fan I switched over and started using Native Forest a while back because it is a BPA free can.  Great.  The milk has served me well.  There is one caveat worth mentioning.  To my surprise, even after several days in the coldest part of my fridge, this milk did not separate!  Boono fun.  I was getting ready to make some coconut whip cream for a dessert and pulled out the cooled Native Forest can and there was no separation whatsoever.  So be sure to get the correct coconut milk if you want that thick separation, and that would be the Thai Kitchen.  
Or as we all knowyou can always go this route.
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Labels: kitchen tips.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Jamaican Red Bean Stew with Coconut Rice (gluten and dairy free)

Okay, I knowwhat am I doing with STEW when we are still burning up here in Northern California!  The fact is, this is the most delicious meal and a family favorite.  Hot weather or not, I make it and we all eat it up like maniacs! 
Stew:
Ingredients
-1/2 red onion, diced 
-2 carrots, chopped 
-1 large sweet potato, chopped 
-2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
-3 cups cooked red beans 
-1 can full fat coconut milk
-1 cup water (or broth of choice)
-2 tablespoons green curry paste
-1/4 teaspoon Jamaican allspice 
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme 
-3 tablespoons of coconut oil 
-1 1/2 tablespoons garlic granules 
-Salt for seasoning and to taste
-A few turns of the pepper grinder
-2 tablespoons tapioca starch for thickening stew (or preferred thickener) 

How To
1.  Add oil and a touch of salt to a large pot such as a dutch oven and saute onions for a few minutes.  Add carrots, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes, beans and saute together; add a pinch more salt. 
2.  Add allspice, garlic granules, curry paste, thyme, and pepper to vegetables and combine until cozy and beautiful
3.  Add coconut milk and water and bring to a boil.  Add in vegetable bullion cube and turn to low and simmer.
4.  Cook covered for about 45 mins or until sweet potatoes are tender. 
5.  In a small bowl add 4 tablespoons of the hot liquid with 2 tablespoons tapioca flour/starch.  Add back into pot and incorporate.  
6.  Turn off heat and let sit for a bit before serving

Coconut Rice:
Ingredients
-2 cups brown basmati rice
-2 cups full fat coconut milk
-2 cups water
-Oil of choice 
-Dash of salt  

How To
1.  Bring rice, coconut milk, water, oil and salt to a boil
2.  Turn to low and cover for 35-40 minutes

Notes
*Add red pepper flakes for additional spice
*Garnish with dried thyme 
*This meal would also taste great with a meat of choice.  If using raw meat, cook with onions.  If cooked meat, add with the other vegetable ingredients and combine with spice…add more liquid to this dish if using meat, I would add equal parts water and coconut milk

Enjoy! 
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Posted by Amber at

Labels: fall cuisine, main dish, vegan, vegetarian.