Gluten-free Dairy-free Roasted Eggplant Tomato Risotto and Chickpea Hummus Burger Recipe

August 25th, 2012 yum Posted in Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger, Chickpeas, Dairy Free, Eggplant, Japan, Rice, Vegan, beans 12 Comments »

Here in Japan, it is the season of festivals, fireworks, and finally, the summer harvest. In the Northernmost part of Japan that we are living in, summer comes later than other parts of Japan, and goes by quicker. However, at long last, local gardens are giving up bounty of green peas, bok choy type greens, tomatoes, and edamame soybeans. I have never lived in rural Japan before- which is called “Inaka”, or Ee-nah-kah, by residents and visitors. Honestly, I don’t find Mutsu City (where we are currently living) all that “Inaka” or rural. There are a handful of different grocery stores, tons of clothing stores, lots of restaurants (although we just end up going to the kaiten zushi, revolving sushi restaurant called Kappa Zushi), and a terrific city workout center and city library.

But one thing that does make me think that I’m living somewhere rural is how warm and generous the local people have been to us. I’ve never gotten so many (food) gifts in my life, whether it is the local specialty Beko Mochi for Kid Yum, or random snacks received and redistributed, or, these days, bounty from people’s garden. Just today we were given fresh, beautiful tomatoes from two different friends’ gardens. One woman befriended my Mom at the city workout center (wellness center), and today had her over for lunch and gave her tomatoes to bring home from her garden. Kid Yum’s Preschool friends’ mother came all the way to my research site today and brought me still more tomatoes from her own mother’s garden. We were suddenly swimming in tomatoes! The latter friend also gave me some beautiful garden eggplant. I looked at those two ingredients, and somehow thought that risotto would be the perfect way to marry the two together. I found an interesting recipe online which roasted and pureed eggplant and mixed it into the rice. Since Kid Yum won’t touch any eggplant she can see, I thought it would be a good way to sneak a little variety into her diet, so taking that as my jumping point, I created a new recipe topped with vibrant roasted baby tomatoes.

We’ve been having a wonderful time here in Japan enjoying the festivals. Kid Yum got to participate in our neighborhood Kid Nebuta float and play at pulling the float along with her neighborhood pals. And a week or so later, I got to help carry the City Hall Mikoshi (portable shrine). There’s no place like Inaka, at least, the inaka of the biggest city in Tohoku’s Shimokita Peninsula.

Here are a few pictures and a video to give you a taste of our life here, before you enjoy my latest recipe.

A terrible picture of me, but it was dreadfully hot. Unfortunately the only picture of me in the happi traditional jacket for festivals.

Alta from Tasty Eats at Home is hosting THIS MONTH’S Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger. You can still sign up! Please give her your support in comments and love. Since I’ll be staying in Japan through October, I would love any offers to host for September or October. Please let me know if you are interested in Hosting Adopt a gluten-free Blogger! *hugs*

Finally, a Video from the Tanabu Festival, with traditional dancing and Shimokita’s theme song

Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Tomato Risotto Recipe
2 small eggplant, cut in half horizontally, pierce skin in several places and rubbed with olive oil
2 cups small tomatoes, halved
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine or mirin (sweet rice wine)
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup non-dairy milk (unsweetened, plain- I used soy)
salt or herbamare to taste
smoked paprika
fresh basil, julienned to garnish
Grill eggplant on a bbq, broil in an oven, or grill in a Japanese fish grill (under the rangetop in a japanese house) until soft. Then scoop out the flesh, dispose of the skin, and food process the soft eggplant flesh until smooth and creamy.

Prepare tomatoes by placing on cookie sheet lined with wax paper, drizzling with olive oil and a little salt. If you have a toaster oven, you can roast them in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes. Otherwise, you can use a regular oven or broiler… remove when the bottom starts to brown slightly and they have shrunk in size.

Heat the olive oil to medium in a large stock pan (a dutch oven is great) and add your diced onion. Saute until onion starts to turn translucent, and then add your risotto rice. Stir rice into the onion and let the rice start to turn translucent around the edges. Add your white wine or mirin (I didn’t have wine so used mirin) and stir. Prepare some warm vegetable broth either in a pot or microwave. I used a gluten-free vegetable bullion cube with hot water from a tea dispenser. Add 1/2 cup of broth to your rice, stirring until it is evenly distributing and then leaving the rice until it has absorbed more liquid. Add more broth 1/2 cup at a time, until you have used it all and the rice has become soft, about 20 minutes. If you need more liquid, add water 1/4 cup at a time until the rice is soft. Don’t add too much because the water will dilute the flavor! When rice is tender stir in the grilled eggplant puree and non-dairy milk. Season with salt or herbamare and smoked paprika. Serve topped with roasted baby tomatoes and fresh julienned basil.

Chickpea Hummus Un-Burgers
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 tbsp tahini (if thick, add a little hot water to make liquid)
1 tsp. lime or lemon zest (grated skin)
1 tbsp. potato starch
herbamare or your favorite seasoned salt
dried dill herb to taste
1 tbsp. julinned basil
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Lime slice (For serving)

Place your drained beans in a medium bowl and use either a potato masher or your fingers to partially mash them. Drizzle your tahini on the beans, add zest, and sprinkle potato starch, dried dill and salt, mixing together to form a ball, adding fresh julienned basil at the very end. Form into small, firm patties. Heat olive oil on medium and put in your patties, turning when side is golden brown.

Serve each patty topped with a squirt of lime juice from the lime slice.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Southwestern Black Bean Hummus

August 21st, 2012 yum Posted in beans 7 Comments »

Today I’d like to introduce a gluten-free blogger friend of mine, Shannon L. Brown, of the marvelous gluten-free blog Enjoying Gluten-free Life. She kindly volunteered to do a guest post for me while I’m doing field work for my dissertation in Japan. Thank you Shannon!

I’m honored to be writing a guest post for Sea while she’s busy working on her dissertation. My assignment was to create a recipe with her only restriction being that it be vegetarian. That’s easy. The problem became what to make. The choices are endless.

She *has extended her stay in Japan until October and must be homesick for American foods,* so it seems appropriate to welcome her back with uniquely American flavors. I had always assumed hummus could only be made from chickpeas but Kim Lutz’ Italian Hummus recipe in “Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes” changed my mind.

I started to consider the options and black beans came to mind. Thinking about how they’re a natural pairing with spices of the American Southwest led me to create this Southwestern Black Bean Hummus. I love the combination of spices – the earthiness of cumin, freshness of lemon juice and kick of the chipotle chili pepper come together in a mouthwatering combination.

With either fresh veggies or a chip of choice, this is a tasty snack – or a main course if you get carried away. Some will say this isn’t hummus because it lacks tahini. In that case, consider it to be bean dip. Enjoy either way.

*edited by Sea to reflect her changed plans*

Sea adds: This recipe reminds me of my South American Socca recipe using a black bean sauce. Yum. I just love black beans… Can’t wait to have some again.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Southwestern Black Bean Hummus
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used no salt)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper, ground*
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (delete if using salted beans)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Combine everything in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste for salt and
heat then adjust to your tastes. (I find I like less salt than others and dont tolerate as
much spice.)

*I recently found this spice and like the smoky and spicy flavor. Though not tested, a pinch of cayenne should work instead.**

**Sea’s Note: Since our family is wimpy with spices, we like smoked paprika. It gives a smoky flavor without too much kick, and the 3 year old loves it!

***Shannon says, “In case you looked at the recipe and thought cilantro would be tasty in it, I considered adding fresh cilantro. In testing it, I discovered that the cilantro completely took over and
you couldnt taste anything else.”

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