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
Ingredients
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
Directions
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
Ingredients
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)

Directions
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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Packing a gluten-free Vegetarian Toddler Nut-free Lunchbox: Roasted Chickpeas

January 29th, 2012 yum Posted in Chickpeas, JM friendly, Nut Free, Nutritional Yeast, Vegan, Vegetarian 11 Comments »


When we started Kira at her new preschool, we found that it was a nut-free facility. One of my favorite things about the place was that parents provided their own healthy lunches and snack supplements. But I started running out of ideas for things to send to school with Kira. She could only have fruit, crackers, pretzels, and snap peas so many times before it got old. One day I was somehow reminded of a recipe that appeared on many blogger’s pages some time back for roasted crunchy chickpeas. They were a high-protein, nutritious snack that didn’t need to be refrigerated, and it occurred to me that they might be perfect for her nut-free lunchbox. That morning I roasted up a batch and offered them to Toddler Yum. To my delight, she scarfed them down and loved the crunchiness of them. “Crunchy Chickpeas! I want more crunchy chickpeas,” she exclaimed, gobbling them up. I stole some of the batch and had to admit that they were indeed a tasty snack. More than a dozen batches later, they’ve become a household favorite with everyone from my carnivorous dad, low-carb mother, nutritional yeast fan DH and needless to say, me and toddler yum.




I know it has been a little while since I posted. The reason is that we’ve been quite sick with a cold that just wouldn’t quit. Toddler Yum’s cold turned into ear infections, and mine (as well as my mother’s) turned into pneumonia. So, I write this reclining on the couch, with the dear senior cat ra snoring and purring on my ankle and Downton Abbey playing on the television. The DH has been cooking soups for me all day, and roasting vegetables, and roasting chickpeas, and baking gluten-free french bread and brownies. Do I know how to pick them or what!

Stay tuned for any delicious recipes he comes up with… and the next sign up for Adopt a Gluten-free Blogger in early February.

Here’s me and my girl today, post chickpea scarfing.

Toddler or Mama’s Lunchbox Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 tsp olive or grapeseed oil
herb blend (I prefer bouquet garni or herbes de provence)
herbamare or other mild herbal salt blend (salt-free is ok)
smoked paprika
1 tsp. nutritional yeast
Directions
Preheat oven to 400f. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain chickpea in a strainer. You may rinse if you wish to get rid of some of the salt. Put in a bowl lined with a cloth towel. Pat the chickpeas dry and rub off any translucent skins that come off easily. Turn the towel wrapped chickpeas upside down into the bowl, removing the towel. Drizzle your oil over the chickpeas and evenly distribute over the chickpeas. Pour the chickpeas onto the baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with your herb blend, herbamare, smoked paprika, and then nutritional yeast. Roast for 30-40 minutes. If you like them extra crunchy, but don’t want to run the risk of burning them, you can turn off the oven and keep the chickpeas in the oven until they have reached a desired level of crunchiness.
Notes
Toddler Yum loves this recipe!

Here are some of my friend’s recipes:
Diane’s Roasted Chickpeas
Shirley’s Roasted Chickpeas
Jaden’s Roasted Chickpeas

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