Monthly Archives: July 2009

Three-Bean Salad

Three Bean Salad

This is one of our favorite recipes.  It comes from a book called Favorite Vegetarian Dishes published by Paragon. We make it all the time, especially for cook-outs, picnics and traveling.  When I take long international flights (as I often do), I make a large batch of this and take it on the plane. I’ve learned my lesson that if I don’t, the airlines usually forget my non-dairy vegetarian meal and I end up going hungry.  This keeps real well and feeds me until I can get to a grocery store in whichever country I happen to land in.

Ingredients:

– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 1 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tbsp tomato paste
– 1 tbsp chopped chives
– 6 oz green beans
– 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed*
– 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
– 2 tomatoes, chopped
– 4 scallions, chopped
– salt and pepper to taste

* The white beans can be any kind – I like butter or great northern, but the original recipe calls for soy beans. In fact, we often make this with whatever beans we happen to have on hand. Sometimes it even ends up being a four bean salad!

Also, the original recipe calls for these ingredients, which I leave out but my husband adds for his portion:

– 4.5 oz feta cheese, cubed
– 1 tbsp light malt vinegar

For my part, I like mine with a ton of gomasio (sesame seeds, salt & seaweed) and sometimes some cubed tofu to stand in for the feta cheese.

Directions:

– Mix together olive oil, lemon juice, tomato paste, vinegar if desired, and chives in a large bowl; whisk until well combined
– Cook the green beans in boiling, lightly salted water for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked. Drain, then rinse with cold running water. Pat or spin dry.
– Add all beans, tomato, scallions and dressing together. Add feta and tofu if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Considering how often we make and enjoy this dish, it is highly deserving of the rating of 5/5 happy monkeys.

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Filed under 5/5 Happy Monkeys!, Anti-Candida Diet, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Lunch, Sugar-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers

We grilled out for the Fourth of July and made fantastic black bean burgers.  I based this on FatFreeVegan’s recipe, but then amended it quite a bit.

Ingredients:

1 can black beans (about 16 ounces), drained and rinsed
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen pepper strips (red, yellow, green)
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1.5 cup cooked wild rice
1.5 tsp penzey’s chile con carne seasoning (or chili powder and cumin)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
1 egg
3 tbsp garbanzo bean flour
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Start by sautéing the pepper, spinach and onion in a tablespoon of water, just until they start to soften. Mash the black beans and chickpeas. Add the peppers and onions and the other ingredients; mix well.

Flour your hands with chickpea flour and form into patties. Place on a hot outdoor charcoal grill. Grill until well-browned on each side, turning until done.

This makes about 6 medium-sized burgers.  We ate these with sliced tomato, onion and lettuce and they were delish! I give them 4/5 happy monkeys.

Next time: I would like to try to make these grain-free and vegan.  So no rice or egg.  Unfortunately, these are what help hold these together, which you really need if you make them on an outdoor grill.  It might work if we make them on a griddle though.

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Filed under 4/5 Happy Monkeys, Cheating, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Berry Crumble Muffins (Grain & Dairy Free)

Blueberry Crumble Muffins

I was inspired by the Nourishing Gourmet’s Red, White and Blue Muffins, so I did my best to adapt them to be more anti-candida friendly by reducing the sugar.  They didn’t come out quite as well as I had hoped, or nearly as pretty as Kimi’s but this is still a recipe I’d like to try adapting again.

I substituted 1 tbsp agave for the 1/3 cup of honey.  Also, by accident, I used coconut butter instead of the coconut oil the recipe calls for–not a huge problem, but I wouldn’t recommend this since they are pretty dry without the honey.  I baked them for 20 min.  They came out good but a little burnt around the edges, really crumbly and stuck to the cupcake tins.

I give them a 3/5 happy monkeys for now, but I think if we can make them hold together next time, they’ll get a 4/5. 

Next time: I need to really oil the cupcake tins, maybe have paper cups and press the batter firmly together into the cups.  Also, next time I want to use fresh berries, or at least defrost the frozen ones first.  Also, I’m not sure they need any sweetener at all, to me the berries are pretty sweet by themselves.  Of course, my husband, who eats chocolate chips for breakfast, called them “a little bitter.”  It all depends on your sensitization to sugar I suppose.

Ingredients:

    1/2 cup coconut flour
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    3 eggs, gently beaten with a fork
    1 tbsp agave
    1/3 cup of coconut butter
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup frozen mixed berries

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

-In a medium size bowl, place the coconut flour, sea salt, and baking powder. Whisk to remove any lumps.

-Melt agave and coconut butter in a small saucepan, just until melted (if you have over-heated it all, let it cool before combining it with the eggs so that it won’t curdle it. Combine wet ingredients (eggs, honey, coconut oil, vanilla), and whisk thoroughly into dry ingredients.

-Fold in berries. In papered or lightly greased muffin tins, put about 1/4 cup of batter in each muffin tin.

-Bake for 375 degrees until the muffins are lightly browned on the top and a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the middle of the muffin (20-28 minutes)

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Filed under 3/5 Happy Monkeys, Anti-Candida Diet, Breakfast, Cheating, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Vegetarian

Almond-Coconut Cookies with Chocolate Frosting

Coconut-Almond Cookies

Check out these fantastically yummy cookies from Girl Gone Primal–visit her original post here.  Many, many thanks to her for this delicious recipe.   These are currently my favorite cookies.  Of course, they are the only cookies I’ve found so far that stays within the No Food guidelines, so they’re the first cookies I’ve had in four months!

These are wonderful plain, but even better with chocolate frosting.  The frosting has 1 tbsp agave in it, which at 16 g of sugar per tbsp is crazy cheating, but this made 14 cookies for us, which only amounts to 1.14 g added sugar per cookie.  Yeah, I know I’m just trying to justify my bad behavior 😉  We should have used xylitol or stevia instead so as not to feed my candida, but xylitol is gritty and we don’t have any stevia (yet).  That will be for next time.

We’ve made these twice in one week so I think that qualifies them for the coveted rank of 5/5 happy monkeys.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups almonds
1/2 cup of shredded coconut
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 egg
1t cinnamon
1t nutmeg
1t vanilla (ground vanilla beans preferably)

Chocolate frosting:

3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp agave syrup (substitute with xylitol or stevia if concerned about candida)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Combine all ingredients in food processor and mix well. Roll dough into a long tube, then slice into 12-15 cookies.  They don’t rise much so cut them about how thick you want them in the end.  Press them onto a tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden and beginning to brown around the edges. Oil will leak out of the cookies and foam as they cook – this is a good thing! Place cookies on cooling rack lined with paper towel to absorb any remaining liquid, leaving you with light, crisp cookies.

Mix together the frosting ingredients and spread on cookies once cool.  Try not to eat them all in one night.

Next time: I’d like to try the frosting with stevia and making these raw.  We just got some raw SweetLeaf stevia and a $5 dehyrator from craig’s list, so we’re all set for next time.  My only question is what to do about the egg?  Not sure if we’ll use it, or if it would even work in a dehyrator.  Maybe it’s not even necessary.  Any advice, let me know!  Otherwise, we’ll just have to experiment and see!

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Filed under 5/5 Happy Monkeys!, Anti-Candida Diet, Cheating, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Snack, Sugar-Free, Vegetarian

Kelp Noodles Rock My World

Peanut Kelp Noodles

God created the perfect noodles and they are called kelp noodles.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to have discovered these!  They are raw, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free… free of basically all allergens.  They have 0 g fat, 0 g sugar and only 1 g of carbs per serving.  And get this–they have a ridiculously low 6 cal per serving!  What they do have is .15 g calcium (15% DV) and 0.72 mg iron (4% DV).   I’ve also been told they have loads of iodine, which is good for all of us out there who have thyroid issues, although it doesn’t say exactly how much on the package.  Wikipedia lists the nutrition values for raw kelp here but keep in mind they are different because the kelp noodles are not pure kelp, but contain water and sodium alginate as well.  Sodium alginate is a sodium salt extracted from the walls of brown algae.  Sea Tangle confirms here that kelp noodles are a raw food, but keep in mind that the sodium alginate goes through a significant extraction process.  More on that after the recipe.

I adapted this recipe from Organic and Thrifty.  I made mine cooked with a peanut sauce, but you could easily eat this recipe raw.  Amounts are approximate because I made this last week and I’m having trouble remembering exactly what I did. 😉

Ingredients:

– One package raw kelp noodles
– 1 tbsp olive or coconut oil
– 2 cups broccoli
– 2 cups frozen pepper strips (red, yellow, green)
– 2 eggs, beaten
– 1 cup Peanut Sauce

Peanut Sauce Ingredients:

– 2 garlic cloves, peeled
– juice of 1 lime
– 1/2 bunch cilantro
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
– 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
– 1/2 cup vegetable stock
– generous amount of powdered ginger
– cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

Mix all ingredients for peanut sauce in food processor. Set aside.

Heat oil in large pan, add broccoli and pepper strips. Saute until tender. Make a hole in the vegetables in the center of the pan, pour in eggs and scramble until cooked. Mix eggs and vegetables together. Drain and rinse kelp noodles and add to vegetables. Add sauce as needed to coat noodles/vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes until noodles are soft and heated through.

Raw Directions (I haven’t tried making them raw yet but this is how it’s supposed to work):

Drain and rinse the kelp noodles. Instead of putting the lime juice in the peanut sauce, squeeze it directly over the noodles. Set aside for 5 min while you make the sauce. This should help the noodles soften so they aren’t crunchy.  Add vegetables (no eggs though). Make sauce and pour over.

Another recipe I’d like to try is Carmella’s at the Sunny Raw Kitchen.

I give both the kelp noodles and the peanut sauce 5/5 happy monkeys.

Here’s some more information on sodium alginate from wikipedia.  According to Sea Tangle, it is the sodium alginate that gives the kelp noodles their crunchy texture.  You can decide for yourself if it is something you mind eating.  I myself am not totally pleased with it as an additive, but I think the benefits of the kelp noodles outweigh this downside.

Extraction of Alginate (from Wikipedia)

To extract the alginate, the seaweed is broken into pieces and stirred with a hot solution of an alkali, usually sodium carbonate. Over a period of about two hours, the alginate dissolves as sodium alginate to give a very thick slurry. This slurry also contains the part of the seaweed that does not dissolve, mainly cellulose. This insoluble residue must be removed from the solution. The solution is too thick (viscous) to be filtered and must be diluted with a very large quantity of water. After dilution, the solution is forced through a filter cloth in a filter press. However, the pieces of undissolved residue are very fine and can quickly clog the filter cloth. Therefore, before filtration is started, a filter aid, such as diatomaceous earth, must be added; this holds most of the fine particles away from the surface of the filter cloth and facilitates filtration. However, filter aid is expensive and can make a significant contribution to costs. To reduce the quantity of filter aid needed, some processors force air into the extract as it is being diluted with water (the extract and diluting water are mixed in an in-line mixer into which air is forced). Fine air bubbles attach themselves to the particles of residue. The diluted extract is left standing for several hours while the air rises to the top, taking the residue particles with it. This frothy mix of air and residue is removed from the top and the solution is withdrawn from the bottom and pumped to the filter.

The goal of the extraction process is to obtain dry, powdered, sodium alginate. The calcium and magnesium salts do not dissolve in water; the sodium salt does. The rationale behind the extraction of alginate from the seaweed is to convert all the alginate salts to the sodium salt, dissolve this in water, and remove the seaweed residue by filtration. The alginate must then be recovered from the aqueous solution.

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Filed under 5/5 Happy Monkeys!, Anti-Candida Diet, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Raw, Sauce/Dip, Sugar-Free, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Best White Beans

Best White Beans

This is my favorite bean recipe. It’s so simple and yet, somehow, miraculously, so amazingly good.  And shockingly enough, for once it actually came to me via allrecipes.

Ingredients:

– 1 tbspn olive oil
– 1/4 large onion, chopped
– 1/2 cup frozen pepper strips (red, yellow, green)
– 1 (15 ounce) can great Northern beans (or any white beans), partially drained but not rinsed
– generous amount of Italian seasoning
– ground cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper

Directions:

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion, cook until translucent. Stir in peppers, and cook until tender. Partially drain the can of beans, until the top liquid is poured off but there is still liquid in the can. Pour in beans and liquid. Season with oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through and the liquid has boiled down to your desired consistency.

I like to make a double batch of this because it’s so easy and yummy.  An easy 5/5 happy monkeys!

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Make your own stock!

Making Stock

I love making stock.  Freaknoodles posted a fantastic recipe here, which basically boils down to this:  save all your vegetable ends from the week, throw them in a large pot, fill with filtered water and boil until done.  You can add salt/pepper/herbs to taste if you want.  Usually I let it boil for about an hour to an hour and a half, until the stock looks dark enough.  Then strain it through a mesh colander and save the liquid.  I usually do this about every two weeks. 

What’s usually in my stock?

– The green ends of leeks
– Broccoli and cauliflower ends
– Celery ends
– Leftover onion skins or whole onions if I have extra
– Leftover garlic clove ends/skins or whole garlic cloves if I have enough
– Red pepper tops
– Asparagus ends
– Fresh herbs that are no longer so fresh

You’ll notice I don’t use any carrots, potatoes or other starchy veg common to store-bought vegetable stock.  Not only is this a good way to use up those veg ends you would just throw away, so its very economical, but it is more anti-candida friendly as well.

I save all my peels, skins and end bits.  I wash them first, but don’t bother to peel, etc.  My husband has finally learned not to throw any vegetable bits into the trash anymore!

This is such an automatic part of my routine now that it has to get 5/5 happy monkeys.

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