July 14th, 2009 yum Posted in Bangalore, Hide your Veggies, Indian, JM friendly, Rice, Rice Cooker Recipe, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian 2 Comments »
This week we had some friends over for a potluck dinner and movie inspired by my friend’s hometown of Bangalore. I made Dal Vada, or Dal Pakora, a delicious recipe I encountered at a dinner party in Bangalore, and cilantro chutney. My friend made a delicious Veg Pulav recipe as well as a lovely dal dish made with Toor dahl. I loved the smoky dal she made (flavored with charred mustard seeds, yum!) but the Veg Pulav was my favorite. It reminded me of our travels in India, and of rice dishes with paneer I’d ordered from hotel room service. The flavor was wonderful too, and I wondered how the mint was infused through the dish. I thought maybe Archana had used dried mint, but it turned out the secret was frying fresh, ground mint and then distributing it throughout. Since rice is such a staple for many of us gluten-free cooks, I wanted to share the authentic flavors of this recipe with you, with the cook’s permission of course. Tired of having rice the same old way time after time? Try this, with or without some cheesy, firm paneer. It occurs to me that tofu might also be a good substitute for paneer- or you can just leave it out if allergies are an issue.
Archana’s Mint Veg Pulav with Optional Paneer
2 cups rice
1 tbsp. or less oil
one cinnamon stick
2-3 bay leaves
1.5 cups veggies (chopped onion, carrot, beans, corn, peas, whatever you like)
1/4 cup or more paneer, cubed (optional)
one bunch of mint leaves
2 green chilies
3 cups water
Rinse rice thoroughly and leave soaking in water. Heat oil in a pan on medium and add your cloves, cardamom pods, and cinnamon. Let them fry for a few seconds and then add your chopped veggies, starting with the onion and letting it cook a few minutes before adding the rest of the veggies and optional paneer.
Meanwhile add one bunch of mint leaves and 2 green chilies to a blender or food processor and blend it coarsely. Add to the pan with the veggies and fry until the raw mint smell fades.
Drain rice thoroughly and add to the pan with the mint and veggies. Salt to taste and add water.
If you have a rice cooker, at this point you can transfer to a rice cooker and run the cycle. If you don’t have a rice cooker, cover the pan and cook on medium for approximately 15 minutes. Remove lid and check for doneness, fluffing with a spoon. Serve and enjoy!
This fresh, tasty rice recipe took me back to our travels in India- love it! I didn’t have it with paneer this time but it would be a very yummy addition. For vegan or to accommodate dairy allergies, just leave it out.
June 23rd, 2009 yum Posted in Bread, Hide your Veggies, Mushrooms, Protein, Soy Free, Vegetarian, beans, cheese 6 Comments »
As a gluten-free vegetarian who also happens to be pregnant, I have definitely been interested in getting more protein in my diet lately. You’ve probably seen some of the gluten-free tofu scrambles I’ve been enjoying for breakfast and lunch. But, even though I’ve been posting a lot of tofu recipes, I’ve been getting my protein from eggs, nuts, and beans as well. One of the more fun recipes I tried lately with beans channeled that old vegetarian favorite, the bean-nut loaf, in a modern way. I happened to use leftover bread from a gluten-free bakery. However, one secret to gluten-free food is that for recipes like this where you only need a bread texture but the flavor is not important, you can use ANY toasted gluten-free bread, even the mediocre processed stuff that is otherwise unpalatable. Red lentils are one of my favorites anyway, and combined with real parmesan, gluten-free bread crumbs, and veggies they resulted in a delightful and savory vegetarian “meatloaf” that both the DH and I thoroughly enjoyed. I highly recommend it for a stick-to-your-ribs dinner… and it is also great as leftovers.
Gluten Free Red Lentil Un-meatloaf Recipe
1 cup red lentils
2 cups your favorite gluten-free vegetarian broth (I used Edward and Sons Not-beef)
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
2 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs (food processed gluten free bread)
1/8 cup pecans, broken into medium sized pieces
2 cups grated hard parmesan cheese (use food processor)
1 small onion, chopped (scant)
3/4 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (just toss your favorite gluten-free bread in food processor)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 beaten eggs
salt and pepper
Bring red lentils, broth and bay leaf to boil in a saucepan and then lower heat, covering. simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all liquid soaks in. Remove bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Prepare 2 lb. bread pan by lining with parchment paper or aluminum foil and grease with butter or margarine. Sprinkle bottom of pan with 2 tbsp. gluten-free bread crumbs and some of the pecan pieces.
In a large bowl, mix together the red lentils, parmesan cheese, onion, crimini mushrooms, 1 1/2 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, and parsley. Add the eggs and lemon juice and stir together. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Carefully spoon into prepared bread pan. Use remaining pecan pieces to attractively decorate the top of the lentil loaf.
Bake lentil loaf for an hour or until it has a golden brown and firm exterior. Slices will be more firm as it cools, but it tastes great hot out of the oven.
We served it with mashed potatoes and arugula, or brown rice pasta in a nutritional yeast sauce. Delish!
Any gluten-free bread (even one you don’t care for) will work in this recipe, as long as it isn’t sweet. You could also try gluten-free waffle crumbs if they are plain or savory (buckwheat). I ground up cheese and bread in my food processor using the cheese grater hole attachment- worked very well.