Gluten-Free Whole Grain Montina Cornbread Recipe and Vegetarian Eggplant Lentil Soup Recipe

May 22nd, 2009 yum Posted in Baked Goods, Bread, Eggplant, Middle Eastern, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian, beans 6 Comments »

soupbreadThis week I went to my local Indian grocer and found a beautiful eggplant that just cried out to be made into something delicious. Lately I’ve been obsessed with tahini, and I thought that an eggplant dip like baba ghanoush would be a tasty way to use my eggplant… but I also had a lovely container of prepared lentils in the fridge from Trader Joe’s that needed to be used up. I thought the Middle Eastern flavors of roasted eggplant and tahini would go beautifully with lentils in a soup, so I came up with the following recipe. And, because I wanted to serve bread with the meal, I decided to make a whole grain corn-based flatbread to dip into the soup. The meal was a success. The DH who is rather skeptical of eggplant gobbled up the soup and bread to match, and I relished every bite as leftovers. Why not try making this fusion recipe the next time you have some eggplant and don’t know what to do with it? I think you’ll enjoy it! What are your favorite ways to enjoy eggplant? Share in the comments. (Recipe URL’s welcome)

Having trouble finding the ingredients? I bulk order through Amazon for the best prices on Pamela’s and some of my flours…

Roasted Eggplant Lentil Tahini Vegetarian Soup Recipe
1 lg. eggplant
smoked paprika
olive oil

1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 scant stalk of celery, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
zest from 1 fresh lemon

4-6 cups water(enough to fill about half of a medium size dutch oven)
salt to taste
parsley, fresh & chopped or dried
generous amounts of smoked paprika
3 tbsp. tahini

1 cup milk (dairy or dairy-free unflavored)
1/2 package of Trader Joe’s cooked lentils OR 2 cups cooked lentils that you have prepared in lightly salted water

sprinkling of brown rice vinegar to taste

Roast halved eggplant in 375 oven lightly basted with olive oil and seasoned with smoked paprika and salt flesh-side-up for 30 minutes, and then turn and bake for 15 more minutes or so. Remove and reserve. When cool(ER) peel and cut into cubes.

Heat olive oil in dutch oven and saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic cloves until onion starts to turn translucent. Add water, parsley, lemon zest, and salt and bring to a low boil until the water is infused with vegetable flavor. Add tahini and let dissolve into broth along with reserved eggplant cubes. Let simmer for a bit and then whisk in milk. Taste and season with additional salt, smoked paprika, and parsley as you like. Take off burner.

Use immersion blender to blend all ingredients into a smooth soup. (You can remove some of the garlic if you like before doing this step.) Return to the burner on low-medium and add lentils whole without blending in. Heat soup until lentils are warm.

To serve, remove from burner, let cool SLIGHTLY sprinkle a little brown rice vinegar in the soup (making sure it doesn’t separate when you add it, and if it starts to, let soup cool more or drizzle vinegar in individual servings of soup.

Hearty Grain Cornbread with Pamela’s baking and pancake mix recipe
1-1/4 cup Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix
3/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup montina flour (or other whole grain hearty flour
1/4 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper and grease if you like. Preheat oven to 370.
Whisk ingredients together in a medium-large bowl.
Pour batter into pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan and then gently use knife to remove bread from edges of pan and release onto a cooling rack.
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Gluten Free Greek Recipes: Vegetarian Tempeh Moussaka Recipe with Vegan option

November 4th, 2008 yum Posted in Dairy, Eggplant, Soy, Tempeh, Vegan, Vegetarian 9 Comments »

The first time I had moussaka was back in February, when I made the recipe from the Vegetarian Meat and Potatoes Cookbook. That recipe didn’t really wow me, being just a simple eggplant and tomato casserole with simple spices covered in a soy milk sauce. However, I had hope that future experiments would yield a more exciting vegetarian moussaka. Obviously, I didn’t think about trying it again for quite a while… Until the DH suddenly made a request for more hearty “European style” family meals. Ok, moussaka being Greek would be better characterized as Mediterranean than European, but it is certainly a hearty family dish.

But what is Moussaka, anyway? According to my friend Wikipedia:

“Moussaka is a traditional eggplant-based dish in the Balkans and the Middle East, but most closely associated with Greece and Turkey. The Greek version, which is the best-known outside the region, traditionally consists of layers of ground meat, sliced eggplant and tomato, topped with a white sauce and baked. Turkish musakka, unlike the Greek version, is not layered. Instead, it is prepared with sautéed and fried eggplants, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, and minced meat. In the Arab world, moussaka is a cooked salad made up primarily of tomatoes and eggplant, similar to Italian caponata, and is usually served cold as a mezze dish. ” (source: Wikipedia Moussaka Entry)

Those all sound lovely, except for the whole meat and (probable) gluten thing. I decided that instead of ignoring the usual “meaty” element of moussaka, I would replace it with a vegetarian substitute. I considered using Trader Joe’s Soy Vegetarian Chorizo, but I found myself shopping at Whole Foods instead of Trader Joe’s this week, and I was unexpectedly inspired by the tempeh. Turtle Island Home-Style Soy Tempeh is labeled gluten-free, and I thought that the grainy texture of the fermented soy would work beautifully for replicating a “meaty” texture in moussaka. I found inspiration from the Vegan Coach blog’s Tempeh Sausage Recipe, but the resulting recipe was mine, all mine.

Happily, the DH thoroughly enjoyed the Moussaka, gobbling it up with some jasmine rice and a salad with kalamata olives and a light italian vinaigrette dressing. I was at last satisfied- and felt like I had truly made a “real” complex and tasty moussaka that could compete with its less vegetarian friendly cousin. And happily, I had come up with a way of preparing tempeh that even the tempeh-skeptical DH could thoroughly enjoy. We both gave the recipe a nine out of ten on the yum scale, and I will definitely be making this recipe again.

Perfect Gluten-Free Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe
Tempeh “ground style”:
1 8 oz. Gluten-Free Tempeh
1 cup vegetarian broth
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
poultry seasoning to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 sprig fresh rosemary diced
1 sprig fresh thyme, diced
2 cups button or crimini mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup pecans chopped
2 Tbsp. GF Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or other GF WF Tamari
smoked paprika, to taste

Basic White Sauce:
3 tbsp butter OR vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
3 tbsps. brown rice flour
2 cups milk- dairy OR vegan: soy milk etc.
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

Moussaka Ingredients:
2 medium eggplant
Pasta seasoning blend (like Trader Joe’s with fennel)
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 or 2 garlic cloves, pressed
Tempeh “ground” (recipe above)
1 cup chopped, canned tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. tomato paste

2 cups white sauce (recipe above, dairy or vegan version)
Option A: 1 egg yolk OR Option B: 1 egg replacer “egg” recipe AND 1 1/2 tsp. mustard OR 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast OR 1 tsp. turmeric.

To prepare tempeh, slice the tempeh in half horizontally and bring one cup vegetarian broth (from bullion is fine)to a boil in a small saucepan. Immerse the tempeh in the broth and turn down heat to low. Cover and simmer for fifteen minutes or more. Remove tempeh from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Mash with a potato masher until you have a nice crumbly texture. Heat olive oil in a nonstick fry pan or cast iron pan and then add your mashed tempeh, distributing it evenly in the pan. Season with spices. Let tempeh brown and then turn. Add mushrooms to the empty edges of the pan and let begin to brown, eventually stirring into the tempeh. Add pecans to the edge of the pan again, letting toast, and then stir into the rest of the ingredients. Add your tamari evenly to the dish and mix again. Sprinkle with smoked paprika. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Make sure the tempeh has browned thoroughly before you remove from pan and reserve.

Prepare eggplant for Moussaka by slicing into rounds. Sprinkle pasta seasoning blend in a small measuring bowl (really, really small) and add olive oil and salt. whisk ingredients together and then baste eggplant rounds with seasoned olive oil on both sides. Place on baking dish (like a cookie sheet) and broil until browned. Turn and broil the other side until golden brown. Remove from oven and reserve.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Take your nonstick pan and heat a little more olive oil. Add your onion and let it begin to turn translucent. Add your pressed garlic cloves and begin to cook. Add the prepared tempeh “ground” that you made, above. Combine and let flavors marry and heat. Add tomatoes, oregano, and tomato paste. Taste and season with any additional salt or pepper if needed. Cook for a few more minutes. When it has approached sufficient yumminess, remove from heat and reserve.

For white sauce:
Take a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan and heat your butter or vegan margarine over a medium-high heat. When it has melted, remove from heat and whisk in your brown rice flour until you have a thick, creamy roux. Still OFF THE HEAT, slowly add in 1/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy), and whisk until you have a smooth sauce. Add the rest of your milk, whisk, and then return to the burner on medium-high heat. When it starts to thicken and bubble, lower heat, whisking occasionally, and let continue to thicken to desired texture. Take off burner and whisk in either either your egg yolk OR egg replacer + yellow condiment.

Assemble Moussaka immediately!
Take a pretty casserole dish and layer starting from tempeh “ground” to your seasoned broiled eggplant, repeating until you end with the eggplant slices. Pour white sauce over the top eggplant in a thick, even layer.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating halfway through so that it is evenly browned. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and serve hot.

DH could tell it contained tempeh, but still loved it. A first for him! An easy 9/10 for both of us. A little time intensive, but the best moussaka I’ve had- when I made it before from a recipe, I found it bland. This was so flavorful!
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