Black Bean Mushroom Burgers with Cilantro Aioli

My kids fought over who got the last burger. THAT is a good sign. This was an attempt on my part to create a gluten-free burger that was satisfying, full of flavor, and a great source of fiber/protein.  Cost effective, and easy to prepare, this recipe is definitely a keeper.

Ingredients (yield: 6 burgers)

Burger:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 cup diced leeks

1/2 cup diced crimini mushrooms

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds coarsely chopped

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

2 Tbsp. flax meal

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 tsp. chili powder

1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder

Breading:

3 Tbsp. ancient grains GF flour

1 Tbsp. organic cornmeal

1 tsp. sea salt

Cilantro Aioli:

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 clove of garlic

4 Tbsp. mayo substitute (Just Mayo)

1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup filtered water

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

1/8 tsp. jalapeno pepper hot sauce

Directions: 

Burgers: In olive oil, sauté leeks, mushrooms, and garlic for 7-10 minutes. Add pumpkin seeds, and cooked black beans, sauté for 5 more minutes. Add flax meal, cumin, paprika, sea salt, chili powder, and cinnamon.  Saute for 5 more minutes.  While still warm, mash well with a potato masher, then set aside while preparing breading and aioli.

Breading: Combine ancient grains, cornmeal, and sea salt onto a platter.  Mix well.  Form burgers mixture into circular patties (about 2 inch L x 2 inch W x 1/2 H) Bread each side of burger with the platter mixture.  Lay on parchment and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for two hours+ prior to grilling.

Cilantro Aioli: This is not a traditional aioli. There are no eggs in this combination.  To prepare this mixture, you can place all the ingredients into a bowl and emulsify until pureed.

To Grill Burgers: When you’re ready to grill the burgers, heat olive oil in a pan and carefully grill on each side until darkened.  They are gluten-free, so handle with care. I served mine with avocado, butter lettuce, grilled pineapple, grilled red bell peppers/red onions, and cilantro aioli on a sourdough baguette. Sourdough, from research, is better for digestion. Some gluten-free folks believe it is okay to consume because of the fermentation that occurs when preparing. If you are incredibly gluten-free sensitive, and prefer not to take a chance, I know Udi’s make’s decent burger buns.

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Matcha Tea Ice Cream

I’ve been on a matcha kick lately. Traditionally introduced in Japan as part of meditation, it is an incredible source for antioxidants, detoxification, enhances mood/concentration, and boosts metabolism. Additionally, it helps fight cancer, calms the mind/relaxes the body, and is an excellent source of vitamins. I typically enjoy matcha as a warm beverage, but decided to try it as a dessert component today. Subtly sweet, this creamy treat needs nothing but your smile.

Ingredients (yield: 1 1/4 quart)

32 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1-14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut creme

1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashews

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. unsweetened matcha powder

1/4 tsp. almond extract

5 medjool dates, pitted

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.  Add to an already frozen ice cream maker, and turn on until thoroughly frozen.  Enjoy with a smile.

 

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Split Pea Soup

The weather got down to 33 degrees here in WA  a couple of days ago, with expected snow on Thursday.  Nothing sounded better after a family soccer scrimmage then a hot bowl of Split Pea soup.  Split Peas are high in protein and fiber. Simple, yet satisfying alongside oven roasted garden grown potatoes, a green salad and cranberry-pumpkin loaf.  Absolutely loving experiencing seasons. In southern CA, we never got to completely grasp true weather fluctuations.  It’s truly fun.

* Un-soaked peas take from 1 to 2 hours of simmering; soaked peas take about 40 minutes. Also, the only difference between yellow and green split peas is color. Split peas absorb lots of water as they cook, so check the soup often and add liquid as needed. The peas only need to be cooked until they are tender.(yields: 6-8 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of split peas

1/2 white onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced thin

1 1/2 stalks of celery, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 cubes of bouillon

8 cups water

salt and pepper

olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a soup pot saute onion, carrot, and celery along with garlic in a splash of olive oil (roughly 2 Tbsp. of olive oil). Allow the vegetables to soften for 5-7 minutes.  Add the split peas to the vegetable mix and stir in for 2 minutes coated well.  Add the water and bouillon cubes and bring to boil for 8 minutes. Then place on simmer for up 1-2 hours (depends on if you soaked the peas beforehand) Check your water often. If you like a thicker soup, then 8 cups should be fine. If you like a looser soup, alter the water as you cook.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

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Pumpkin & Apple-Fennel Tamales with Cinnamon Masa

A favorite thing of mine to do is develop recipes. I love getting creative in the kitchen, and look forward to the outcome.  One important word of advice given in culinary school was….experiment. Sometimes things turn out great, other times you go back to the drawing board and make alterations here and there.  In the end, it only helps to make you a better cook.

Tonight I needed to use up some fresh pumpkin that I had roasted and pureed for a previous recipe; my cranberry pumpkin loaf.  I love to bake, but unfortunately cannot live off of baked goods. So, the pumpkin & apple-fennel tamales were born.  Seasonally appropriate, these tamales were delicious.  (yield: 10 tamales)

MASA INGREDIENTS:

3 cups masa harina

2.5 cups warm water

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup olive oil

1 tsp. sea salt

TAMALE FILLING:

1/4 cup carmelized onions

1 tsp. orange zest, minced

1 Tbsp. fennel fronds, minced

1/4 cup apple, minced

pinch sea salt

1/8 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. organic brown sugar

* 10 tamale corn husks, soaked.

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the masa: Place 3 cups of masa harina in a bowl. Add cinnamon, and sea salt and whisk.  Drizzle in water and olive oil and fold the wet into the dry.  Set aside

Soak the tamale husks in warm water for 3-5 minutes to soften.

Prepare the filling: In a saute pan, caramelize onion. Add orange zest, fennel fronds, and minced apple.  Saute for 7 more minutes. Add a pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.  Then add pureed pumpkin and 1 tsp. brown sugar.  Saute for 3 more minutes.

Prepare the tamales: Place husks flat with pointed tip towards you (almost like a triangle tip) and the wider side away from you.  Press 1/8 cup of prepared masa onto the husk and make a flat surface to place the filling.  Place 1 heaping Tbsp. onto the masa and then cover filling with another 1/8 cup of masa; encasing the filling with the dough.  Take the pointed tip and fold onto the pile of uncooked tamale, then fold one side towards the other, rolling in the process.  You can tie the tamales with twine if they feel loose, or keep them piled with the fold on the bottom to prevent unfolding.  Repeat this step for each tamale.

Cooking the tamales: I have a 30-year-old tamale steamer I use, but I suppose you can use a steamer  if there is enough space for the tamales to cook thoroughly.  Allow 60 minutes to cook completely due to the pumpkin puree.  Otherwise, it will be mushy.  I like to accompany this meal with cumin scented pinto beans, Spanish rice, fresh salsa, a side vegetable, and home-made guacamole.

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Plant Based Power Smoothie

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Sometimes all I want in the morning is a power packed smoothie.  Sometimes it’s a mid-day snack or a evening dessert.  Either way, this smoothie I concocted is packed full of greatness!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 cups pre-made from scratch cinnamon flavored oatmeal

1 banana

1 cup of power greens (spinach, mizuna, kale, and chard)

2 Tbsp. almond butter

3 Tbsp. organic dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. of chia seeds

1 Tbsp. raw local honey

8-10 ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

* almond butter for protein, oatmeal for fiber, banana for potassium, power greens for vitamins, cocoa for antioxidants, chia seeds for calcium, almond milk & honey for the vitamins and natural sweetener.

 

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Gluten Free Pumpkin Orange loaf

A great flavor for Halloween; a wonderful way to embrace that full pumpkin fare.

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 GF Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour

1/2 cup rice flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup safflower oil

2 Tbsp ground flax meal

1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup cranberries

1 Tbsp. freshly grated and minced orange peel

1/4 cup toasted walnuts

1/4 cup almond milk

1 cup of Pre-baked and pureed pumpkin

DIRECTIONS:

* Pre-bake and puree peeled and seeded pumpkin. To do so: slice, peel outer rind, cube and place on oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes until tender.  Add to a blender and place on puree.  If it seems too thick, add 1 Tbsp. at a time until you get the desired consistency. Should be the consistency of baby food. (In fact, if you have a baby, this is a great way to introduce solids; full of nutrients)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the all purpose flour, rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and orange peel.  Whisk.  In a separate bowl, the maple syrup, safflower oil, flax meal, almond milk, and pureed pumpkin.

Add wet to dry. Mix well. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.  Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  It is sweet enough on it’s own to go without icing or powdered sugar.

 

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Ginger Molasses Cookies

When I think of cookies, I think of derby.  When I think of derby, it makes me miss home and miss my league High Tide Derby. My derby name was Cookie Cut-Her.  It suited me for all the love I have of baking.  High Tide Derby was part of me, and the coaching was motivating and hard; I loved every minute.  I miss the camaraderie and the physical outlet.  I miss lacing up my skates.  I tried skating here in WA and the roads were so steep I flattened my wheels trying to slow down.

Tomorrow I look forward to meeting up with a friend at a roller rink 30 minutes from town.  It’ll bring that inner joy that reminds me of being a kid.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop roller skating, nor will I ever forget loading my league up with home-baked cookies.  Here’s a recipe for you  coach Albert & coach Eddie, and all you fine ladies.  Thanks for all the fond memories. Missing you!

COOKIE DOUGH: (yield: 18-20 cookies)

1/2 cup fresh chopped ginger

1/3 cup of organic cane sugar

2/3  cup sugar – divide. (1/3 for the recipe and 1/3 for the rolling)

6 Tbsp of  Earth Balance

1/4 cup molasses

2 tsp. of egg replacer by Ener-G

1 Tbsp. almond milk

2 cups organic unbleached all purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground ginger

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

DIRECTIONS:

In a blender or food processor, whirl fresh chopped ginger with 1/3 cup sugar until ginger is finely ground.  Set aside.  In a bowl, hand blend Earth Balance, 1/3 cup of sugar until fluffy.  In the same bowl, add ginger/sugar mixture, molasses, and egg” replacer with the bit of almond milk.  Hand blend until combined well. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Combine wet ingredients to dry.  Chill dough for one hour.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Shape dough into balls about 1 inch size and coat or roll in remaining sugar.  Place the sugared balls 2-3 inches apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes.  Allow to cool.

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Gluten Free Apple Spice Loaf

I created this recipe today for my darling Margeux.  Poor thing has such a sensitivity to gluten. I got lazy over the last month, and was not as careful or restrictive with her flour and she has been experiencing more issues lately. So, back on the wagon I go.

LOAF INGREDIENTS:

1 cup all-purpose GF flour

3/4 cup white rice flour GF

1 1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

2/3 cup organic cane sugar

1/3 cup safflower oil

2 Tbsp. ground flax meal

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

1 cup apples, peeled and diced small

1 tsp + 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut milk

ICING:

1/4 cup organic powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 tsp. coconut milk

DIRECTIONS:

oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, combine the flax meal with the water. Whisk and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, white rice flour, baking powder, sea salt, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, & ginger.  Whisk well.  In a separate bowl, combine oil, vanilla, coconut milk. Add flax meal mixture to wet, and whisk well.  Combine wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and then fold in apples and walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from center of loaf.  Allow to cool for 15 minutes before glazing.

For the glaze, combine all three ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.  When apple loaf has had 15 minutes to cool, drizzle on lemon glaze.

Allow apple loaf to cool thoroughly before cutting.  Cooling overnight in a refrigerator will bind the loaf better.

 

 

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Faux Chicken and Dumpling Soup

Based on my last few posts, the crisp fall air is obviously affecting my food choices.  But, what the heck, soup is so full of nutrition, and with the abundant amount of apples that we just picked from the orchard, my next post will be apple based. So, soup lovers, I hope you enjoy this one too. For me, I can never get enough soup. I think an absolutely wonderful meal consists of soup, salad, and bread crisp.

The first time I encountered this soup, my dear friend Brianne Wells had prepared it.  At the time, we lived right next door to one another, and it was truly a Melrose place experience with other besties, Peder and Phi, on the other side of the yard, and my younger brother one street over. It proves to be one of the highlights of my twenties, and having that experience being surrounded by amazing friends.

Brianne and I would often share food that we had prepared by hollering over the fence and trading.  Being able to invite at a whim’s notice, for dinner guests was quite the blessing.  Our dinners often consisted of all 6 of us around the table, enjoying food and company.  When we began having children, the gatherings became even more memorable.  Oddly, we moved into our first homes the same exact day.  Though 20 minutes apart, and with new experiences, I really miss having that bond.

Though I slightly altered it, whenever I make this soup I think of her, and inside thank her introducing it to me. Yield: 8 servings.

SOUP:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 1/2  stalks of celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 cloves garlic

1/4 of a white onion, diced

1 cup green beans, roughly chopped

8 cups water

2 bay leaves

2 cups faux chicken strips by: Beyond Meat (gluten-free/vegan)

3 cubes vegetable bouillon (The Organic Gourmet)

dash of freshly minced rosemary

DUMPLINGS:

1 cup finely ground spelt flour

1/2 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/8 cup olive oil

1/4 cup almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

For the soup: In a soup pot, saute celery, onion, and carrot and garlic in olive oil until al dente. Add green beans, water, and bay leaves. Allow to slightly saute with the other mixture for 5 minutes. Add water and bring to boil, then lower to simmer for 10 minutes. Add  “chicken” and bouillon cubes and simmer for another 10 minutes; stirring frequently.

For the Dumplings: In a mixing bowl add spelt flour, baking powder, and sea salt together. Whisk. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, and almond milk.  Whisk well.  Combine wet to dry, and with a spatula, fold together.  Form the dough into balls the size of golf balls.  While the soup is in the last stages of simmering, place the balls one at a time into the soup mix.  Allow each one to float to the top before adding an additional dumpling ball (to prevent sticking).  The dumpling mixture makes 8-10 dumplings.  Enjoy.

 

 

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Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Yesterday afternoon it began sprinkling. My hopes began. I said a quick prayer for rain, and then it happened.  An entire night of blissful tappity-tap-tap on the barn’s tin roof.  Yes, we sleep in a barn. There are no animals in the barn, unless you include a hamster and a family dog; or three children.  When we transitioned from Southern California to Washington, we were blessed with living quarters on my parents six acres to focus on business and family; get away from the hustle and bustle and jobs that drained us spiritually & emotionally.  A fresh start.

These six acres also blessed my oldest brother and his family 4 years ago when he pioneered his way here from San Luis Obispo seeking the same change we do now.  This homestead is nestled amongst antique maple trees, and settled upon a hill overlooking the Puget Sound.  Not only am I able to see Mt. Rainier on one spectrum, I can also see the Olympic Cascades.  In all the wonder lust, these six acres provide the space my children need to run, play, scream, and laugh to their heart’s content. To play in dirt, run barefoot in rain, forage for berries, and hunt for chanterelle, this place is a nature seekers Heaven.  It’s like an adventure playground for kids and adults. My palate has never been more satisfied at all the fresh offerings right on this property.

One of my favorite things here is that each morning, my oldest runs down to spend some time with her grandparents.  There is something so completely peaceful and important about this.  Her sisters eventually join her, while I prepare breakfast and daily home school lessons.

But, back to that tappity-tap-tap.  That rain! Oh, that rain! That rain brought 2 1/2 inches in less than 24 hours. I was in my glory!  I may be a native Californian, but I do love my rain.  It was such a perfect setting to enjoy fall flavors of fare and to pour my energy into an evening of preparing creamy potato leek soup (home-grown potatoes and garlic).  From fresh made rustic bread, to home-made crackers, from-scratch hummus with hand-picked cucumbers, and farm picked fruit smoothies, this potato leek soup was just one of the many recipes that were dived into with utter appreciation today.  This place is amazing!

POTATO LEEK

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 cup of freshly chopped leeks

4 large potatoes, cubed 1/2 inch

2 cloves of garlic

6 cups of water

2 bouillon cubes (I like using The Organic Gourmet-Vegetable Bouillon)

salt & pepper to taste

*** If you have vegetable broth, use that in place of the water and bouillon cubes.  Use 6 cups just as you would water.

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a soup pot, saute leeks and garlic in olive oil, until tender.

2. Add chopped potatoes and continue to saute with the leeks and garlic for flavor.

3. Add water and bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn to simmer for another 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste

4. With an emulsifier or blender, blend until completely creamy or pureed. Garnish the way you choose. We like to eat ours alongside a salad with a toast crisp.