Kitchen Sink Crackers

The great thing about crackers, is that you can mix up the ingredients so easily, from substituting flour combos, to seeds added, to what you include with herbs and spices. These lovely kitchen sink crackers are great to have on hand for snacking, or as a bread substitute for an open faced sandwich; cut to your desired shape and size.  (yield: 20 2.5×3 diameter crackers)

Ingredients: 

1 cup chickpea flour

1 cup King Arthur Gluten Free Ancient Grains Flour Blend (amaranth, millet, sorghum, and quinoa)

2 tsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. turmeric

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water +

1/2 cup mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, black sesame seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together chickpea flour, King Arthur flour blend, nutritional yeast, Himalayan salt, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, turmeric.  In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil & water.  Combine wet to dry, making sure to coat all of the dry blend. I like to hand mix this. Wetting  your hands beforehand help to prevent sticking. Fold in pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and black sesame seeds. Adjust with more water if needed to prevent crumbling. Lay a sheet of parchment onto a countertop. Dump the dough onto the parchment, cover with another layer of parchment. Flatten by hand initially with dough between two layers. With a rolling pin, roll over the parchment crackers to maintain even thickness. With a bench scraper, you can cut and trim and shape the edging to get an even thickness and measurement.  Once you have rolled out an even dough, then take a knife or bench scraper and cut to desired dimensions.  Remove top parchment, keep the crackers on the bottom parchment and slide onto a sheet tray.  Bake for 10 minutes, rotate, and bake for 10 more. Or until edges have slightly browned.  Allow to cool completely before serving.

 

*shown photographed with cashew cheese, cherry tomatoes, english cucumber, kalamata olive, and oregano.

 

Agretti & Mixed Veggie Pasta

I had never heard of agretti. Ever.  I only happened upon it while strolling our local farmer’s market last week with my family. Having the desire to try new flavors, I saw this wildly beautiful bundle of what looked like land seaweed nestled amongst some herbs at an organic farm stand.  Agretti, is also known as salsola soda; or friar’s beard.  And that is exactly as it looks.  It’s more commonly known over seas, and is a sought after vegetable for local restauranteurs.  I found it to taste similar to spinach, loved the texture, and was quite pleased by my middle daughter excitedly exclaiming, “This is my new favorite vegetable!”

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic, roasted

15 heirloom cherry tomatoes, oven roasted

8 oz. crimini and oyster mushrooms (variety optional); coarsely chopped

1 red bell pepper, large diced

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

8 oz. green beans

1  16-oz bag of fusilli pasta (or other pasta type)

1 bundle of agretti, (10-12 oz.) rinsed

1 lemon, juiced

5-6 Tbsp. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions for pasta dish:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice off the top of the head of garlic to expose some of the garlic cloves. Place the head into a piece of foil, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, Roast until cloves are tender and lightly brown; about 30 minutes. Toss tomatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt & pepper onto a sheet tray and roast for 15-20 minutes. The roasting will make the flavor burst. In a pan, toast pine nuts for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning and to get a nice golden hue. Set aside.  Remove seeds and ribs from bell pepper, and cut as a large dice. I like to use the same pan I toasted pine nuts in, to heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat, add bell peppers and chopped medley of mushrooms, and sauté for 10 minutes or until tender.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a separate saucepan (one large enough for your pasta), place a steamer basket and fill pan with water just below steam basket. Bring to boil, and steam your green beans for about 5 minutes.  You can use the same water you prepared your green beans in, making sure there is enough water, (about 5-6 quarts) to then cook your pasta. Add a pinch of salt to water, bring to boil, add 1 16-oz bag of fusilli pasta for 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking, clean your agretti; removing any woody stems. You will add it to the cooking pasta in the 8th minute.  Drain the pasta & agretti, and begin adding your prepared components to the final dish: whole roasted garlic cloves, roasted tomatoes, Sautéed mushrooms and red bell peppers, toasted pine nuts, steamed green beans, juice of one lemon, & toss dish with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Salt & Pepper to taste. Rewarm if necessary.  I like to top this all off with a basil pesto. Recipe below.

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Pesto Recipe:

yield: 2  cups

Ingredients:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

2 cups of basil leaves, rinsed.

1 tsp. garlic

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 tsp of salt, or to taste

1 Tbsp. of water to adjust texture (if you are using a blender)

Directions:

1. Wash Basil . Toast pine nuts as in above recipe on medium heat for 3 minutes.

2. Combine all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.