Welcome to Kale Week: Menu +Raw Balsamic Onion Kale recipe

February 21st, 2011 yum Posted in Dehydrator Recipe, JM friendly, Kale, Nut Free, Raw Food, Sugar free, Vegan, snack 18 Comments »

Welcome to Kale Week! This week I’m celebrating the joys of an often unappreciated winter green, kale. Kale is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, and manganese; a very good source of copper, tryptophan, calcium, vitamin B6, and potassium; and a good source of iron, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B2, protein, vitamin B1, folate, phosphorous, and vitamin B3. (source: WH Foods) That being said, I haven’t always enjoyed kale or found it to be especially yummy. That changed however when I made my first batch of oven-baked kale chips, and I became deeply obsessed with kale when I finally made dehydrated kale, smothered in a delicious homemade tahini dressing before it was dried. You might say that I became a woman obsessed with the green stuff. I started considering making a weekly batch, and researching recipes. A friend of mine made an enticing recipe for salt and vinegar kale chips recently as an entry in Adopt-a-gluten-free blogger, and it made me think. So kale chips could be flavored like potato chips, but without the potato and without all that deep frying. Hmmm… And then this last week I went to Safeway and found myself down the snack aisle with a growling, hungry stomach. Very bad. I found myself walking out with a bag of sweet onion balsamic vinegar potato chips. Salt and Vinegar with a twist! I ate some and liked them, but thought that they could be better if they were raw kale chips and dehydrated instead of fried. I took heart from my brave friends who had made vinegar kale chips before me, and went my own way with it. Some hours later, I had my own balsamic-sweet onion kale chips in a lovely bowl on the table, which I pressed on the DH. “Kale?” he protested. “Trust me,” I insisted. And so he did. And even my greens-hating DH had to admit, this recipe was pretty darned awesome. I knew it was a success when the Baby Yum, recovering from flu and a persnickety tummy, crammed the leaves in her mouth and reached for more. I hope you enjoy it too.

Look for my review of a packaged gluten-free, vegan kale chip company this Wednesday, and a recipe for an un-cheese dehydrated kale chip recipe this Friday. I plan on adding a “Mr. Linky” to Friday’s post, so get ready to share your favorite Kale recipes there!

Because there really aren’t enough days in the week, I thought I’d include my menu for the week as well.

Monday: Vegan
Roasted squash slices with vegan nutritional yeast gravy
Kale in tomato sauce
Gluten-free biscuits

Tuesday: Indian
Mongolian cauliflower and Chana masala
with rice and quinoa

Wednesday: Italian
Pasta with green pesto and broccoli

Thursday: Mexican
Tacos with refried beans, lettuce, homemade pico de gallo and guacamole
Kale with olives and capers

Friday: American
Arugula Salad with Portobella Mushrooms
Broccoli slaw
Baked potato wedges

Baked good of the week:
chocolate cherry cake with frosting

This menu was shared with Org Junkie and Gluten-free Smiles. The recipe was shared with Diane with Real Food Weekly

Balsamic Sweet Onion Dehydrated Kale Chip Recipe
1/2 large bunch of kale, or 1 small bunch of kale, deveined

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 medjool date, pitted
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt (or more, to taste)

Needed equipment: dehydrator, food processor or blender

Rinse your kale leaves and spin dry in a salad spinner if you have it. Otherwise, pat dry with a paper towel.

Combine vinegar, oil, date, and onion in small food processor bowl or sturdy blender. Blend until you have a smooth sauce.

Put your kale leaves in a medium or large bowl and drizzle the sauce on your leaves. Massage it into them and then spread them out on two or three dehydrator trays. Sprinkle with salt. Dehydrate them on 115F for around 4 hours or until they are crunchy and dry, like delicious dried leaves. Yum Yum!

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Gluten Free Vegetarian Indian Recipes: Dal Vada/Dal Pakora and Cilantro Chutney Recipe

July 1st, 2008 yum Posted in Indian, Protein, South India, Vegan, dal, snack 15 Comments »

When I went to India for two weeks during Winter break, I was thrilled to be invited into the home of a family in Bangalore twice for elaborate and delicious home cooked meals. Every dish was delicious, but my and my husband’s absolute favorite dish was dal vada, or a dal pakora made out of ground channa dal. It was a naturally gluten free dish that fulfilled every fried-food fantasy I’d had since I arrived in India, where most fried foods were off limits. DH and I gobbled up way more than our fair share of this delightful appetizer, and I absolutely had to ask for the recipe. When we got back home, I immediately bought channa dal at my favorite local Indian grocer. And then- life intruded. There was absolutely no time to make elaborate dal fried dishes, so I had to leave the recipe in my recipe file. Luckily a few weeks ago the CeliacSF Bay Area support group held a potluck at a member’s home with an Indian food theme. PERFECT! I thought- time to pull out all my favorite authentic Indian recipes, including this one for dal pakora. To my intense joy, the recipe came off without a hitch- and everyone at our potluck seemed to enjoy this authentic Indian recipe. And, the nicest compliment of all- one new member had brought her mother, visiting from India, who said that while she had her own similar recipe, she really liked mine too. I was thrilled with that generous stamp of approval, and slightly startled when I came back for seconds and found only three lonely little pakora left out of a huge batch. Apparently I’m not the only GF folk to enjoy the occasional GF fried treat!

Here’s a pictorial guide to making Dal Vada:

First soak chana dal overnight. Then drain, rinse, and grind it in a food processor with garlic and ginger until it’s a nice, smooth dough.

Then mix in all the other ingredients, including cilantro and red onion. Form into little balls, flatten, and deep fry until cooked all the way through and deep golden brown.

And, here’s a video for a similar recipe using combined dal:

powered by ifood.tv

And, if you want another video, here’s a great video showing in great detail how to make authentic dal vada

By the way, channa dal is a dal that I really enjoy. It’s a yellow lentil similar to yellow split pea, but a little larger. It almost looks like a dried corn kernel. It’s fantastically low on the glycemic index, and tasty too. You can do lots of things with channa dal. If you’ve got channa dal left in your pantry after making this yummy recipe, try one of these recipes:

Channa dal with Spinach Recipe
Sukhi Channa Dal Recipe
Another Channa Dal Recipe
Spicy Channa Dal Recipe

You can also try my Mint Cilantro Chutney Recipe
with this dal pakora recipe
if you have some mint on hand. Enjoy!
And, here’s my post describing the dinner party in Bangalore where I first enjoyed this recipe.

*IMPORTANT REMINDER: The Adopt-a-gluten-free blogger deadline is July 7th. Please send me the URL of your post about your adopted blogger, photo, and description of the recipe NO LATER than this date, as I will be flying to Japan on the morning of July 9th. If you don’t get your entry in by this date, you may not be included in the roundup until (retroactively) in early August… You can email me at seamaiden399(at)gmail[dot]com. Thanks guys and can’t wait to see your posts!

Chana Dal Pakora or Dal Vada Recipe- revised
250 gm (8.8 oz) Bengal Gram (Channa/ Chana Dal)
1 1/2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
2-3 finely chopped green serrano chili
2-3 cloves (Loung?)
1 stick (1 inch) cinnamon bark (dalchini)
salt to taste

Cooking Oil for deep frying
50 gm.(1.75 oz( Ginger (finely crushed but Not paste)
1/2 or 1/4 head of garlic (finely crushed)

Chutney to serve- mint or cilantro chutney is lovely. Mint AND cilantro chutney is also nice. A red tomato chutney or even ketchup offers a nice contrast.

Soak 250 gm. (washed) Bengal gram for 5-6 hours. Strain the water and grind the strained dal along with crushed garlic, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon bark. It’s hard for the food processor to break up the cinnamon bark, so make sure to start with it. You may have to break up pieces by hand. Put the ground mixture in a bowl and mix finely chopped onions, fresh cilantro leaves, salt, and green chilies. Mix it well with spoon or by hand. Make round, flat patty shaped balls and deep fry on medium flame in oil heated on medium heat. If the oil is smoking, it’s too hot! I find that it is very easy to burn the first few while trying to get the temperature right, but you’re shooting for a cooking period of about 2.5 minutes, then turn for 2.5 minutes more. If you fry them too fast, the inside will be raw, so you really want that type of extended frying period.

*Tip: Before you start frying, set up a cooling area with an (edged) cookie pan and a cooling rack. You can line the cookie pan with paper towels if you like, but place the fritters on the rack when they’re done. Then the oil can drip down but the fritter won’t get soggy like it would on a paper towel.

This is a South Indian recipe that our friends (originally from Northern India) had been introduced to by their sons caretaker. They liked it so much they adopted the recipe- and after weeks in India drooling over all the gluten containing fried snacks I couldnt have, it was a thrill for me to enjoy this in their home. I begged them to make it again when we visited their house a second time- and it was just as wonderful as I remember! Probably my favorite thing I ate over the entire duration of our trip. :)

I finally made this recipe in my own kitchen on the first day of summer because my local Celiac support group was having a potluck with an “indian foods” theme. I wanted to bring all my favorite recipes that I discovered while visiting India, so I made this recipe, as well as homemade rasgulla and aloo jeera. It was all sooo yummy! And everyone gobbled up the Dal Vada, because as DH put it- of course everybody wanted gluten-free fried goodness. :)

Cilantro Chutney Recipe
1 1/2 chopped, de-seeded serrano chili
3 tbsp lemon or lime juice
3/4 inch ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp. oil
dash of asafoetida/hing (use one made from Rice Flour, like Whole Foods)
1 very large bunch chopped cilantro or 2 medium bunches
1 tbsp sugar (or less, taste and adjust to your preference)
Combine everything in a food processor except for the cilantro and sugar. Add the cilantro a bunch at a time and combine. Add 1 1/2 tsp sugar, taste, and add more if you like. You can also add more salt or lemon juice if you prefer.
These are perfect frozen in ice cube trays and defrosted as needed. It’s best to freeze them as soon as possible after making the sauce to preserve color and flavor.

Manjula suggests combining 1 part chutney to 3 parts yogurt for a dip, 1 part chutney and 2 parts cream cheese for a sandwich spread (Me: how about with cucumber slices? Yum!), or even as a component of a vinaigrette.

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