Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

Brussels sprouts are never number one on my list for eating. I don't hate them but whenever I eat them I feel like there's just something missing. Mike (my husband) loves brussels sprouts and so we find these little vegetables in our house quite often. I literally roasted a bucket full this past weekend when I decided there had to be a way to 'spice' them know, make them deliciously yummy. I knew they needed a bit of maple syrup and of course, a little richness from almonds and tahini. This sauce turned out so incredible! It balances the Brussels Sprouts with just enough sweet and salty. The Almond Tahini sauce takes these green round veggies to a whole other level.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 ½ lbs. Brussels Sprouts
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ tsp ground black pepper

Sweet Almond Tahini Sauce

1 cup Chickpeas
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce...if using soy sauce only use ¼ tsp salt)
1/3 cup water

PREHEAT the oven to 400F.

Cut off any brown ends of the Brussels Sprouts and remove discolored outer leaves. In a large bowl, mix the Brussels Sprouts with the olive oil, salt and black pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the Sprouts onto the sheet. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes shaking the pan half way through to make sure they are roasted evenly. Remove once browned and crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

While the Brussels Sprouts are roasting in the oven, you can start on the sauce. Using a food processor (or blender), add your chickpeas, nutritional yeast, tahini, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut aminos, salt, water. You may have to do this in two batches if using a small food processor. You want this sauce to have a thick creamy consistency so that it slowly pours off a spoon when tipped. You may need to add a bit more water. You can always add more or less to get the exact consistency you want. I covered my brussels sprouts with the sauce and left a bit of dipping sauce on the side (because it is so good!).  

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ravioli Filling

Wow, it took me so long to get to this follow up post to my Ravioli Pasta but finally it's here! Ravioli is so fun... the filling options are limitless and of course, you have all the fun sauces you can create as well. It just doesn't get boring. I know it is a bit of work but the beauty is that you can freeze the raviolis (put them in the freezer before boiling). The recipe below is a guideline, adherence optional! You can add or take away. I wanted to show how incredibly healthy you could make filling and raviolis.

Delicious Ravioli Filling

1 can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
½ avocado
2-3 sun-dried tomatoes ***soaked in water for 30min.
1 ½ cups shiitake mushrooms
½ cup diced onion
½ cup chopped spinach
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
squeeze of lemon
optional ½ – 1 tsp agave nectar

First you'll want to saute your shiitake mushrooms and onions with the 1 ½ Tbsp of olive oil. Saute over a low heat so that the water is slowly pulled from the mushrooms. After about 5-8 min, I would add salt (about ¼ tsp) and the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, throw in the spinach and cook for only a few more minutes...set aside.

In a food processor, add the avocado, 2 soaked sun-dried tomatoes, and garbanzo beans. Blend. This won't be easy as there isn't enough water to let it blend smoothly but do your best by pulsing the food processor then clearing the sides and pulsing again. If you are using a small food processor, you'll want to do this all in sections. Once the avocado/garbanzo/tomatoes are somewhat blended, slowly add a bit of your sauteed mushroom and onions. If you need a little help with the blending, add a bit of olive oil and your bit of lemon juice (only about 1-2 tsp is needed, you can always add more!). Add the nutritional yeast and agave nectar, start with ½ tsp. Pepper to taste. Add more salt if you think necessary. You'll want this blended to a relatively smooth consistency but don't feel you need to make this as smooth as hummus (a little texture is nice).

Fill a large pot with water and bring to a roaring boil (that's when you'll throw in your pasta but a roaring boil takes time so make your pastas while waiting).

Lie your ravioli sheets flat (see below) and scoop spoonfuls about ¾ to an inch apart. Top with a second ravioli sheets and slice down the sections...sealing each ravioli with the end of a fork. If they are not sealing tight enough, simply use some water to close the sides. Gluten-free pasta likes to break so be patient and gentle. Little breaks will not ruin the pasta. Once you throw it into the boiling water most will remain intact. Add your pasta to the boiling water and wait – it should take about 6- minutes for the pastas to rise to the top. At 8 minutes, check to make sure there are none stuck to the bottom...this happens. Scoop out or carefully drain. Add some oil to keep them from sticking and ENJOY!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Gluten-Free Vegan Ravioli Pasta

Oh ravioli, I love you but you can be so difficult to master without eggs and all purpose flour. Well, I've tried a lot of raviolis and this was the first I was proud to call my recipe. You should definitely use a blend of white and brown rice flours because I tried a white rice ravioli and it was way to ricey tasting (lesson learned). I also realized that I needed to use all my weapons in the kitchen to make this dough that meant more than a simple xanthan gum addition - bring on the flaxseed and psyllium. If I owned a dough roller, I would have tried to use it though not sure if this dough would have made it through without crumbling BUT it may have and that would have really helped in getting it nice and thin. That is the key to perfection is thin dough. You do not want your raviolis to be all dough. The filling is truly the main focus and should be able t shine. With too much dough, the filling will be overpowered. 

I didn't have the chance to share my filling recipe today but will try to get that up early next week. Happy Raviolis!

Ravioli Pasta

1 – ¾ cup white rice flour
¾ cup brown rice flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp flaxseed powder
2 tsp psyllium husk powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm almond milk
2 Tbsp olive oil

Add all your dry ingredients (white rice, brown rice, xathan gum, psyllium, salt) into a large bowl. Stir together with a fork using somewhat of a whisking maneuver. Slowly add in your warm almond milk and olive oil. First, you'll want to stir together with the fork then you'll need to get your hands into the bowl and begin kneading the dough into a ball. Once the dough is in a ball, remove from the bowl and flour a dry surface so you can knead the dough using some major arm power. I like to knead the dough for a good solid 10min but probably wouldn't hurt to go longer.

Once you're finished kneading the dough, you'll roll the dough onto a piece of parchment paper. This is probably the trickiest part. You want to get the dough as thin as possible. Using a pasta roller sometimes could work but gluten-free vegan pasta is not as pliable as typical dough so you'll probably have to stick with the old fashioned rolling pin (floured rolling pin) and just be patient. I broke the dough into sections and using the parchment paper, laid each sheet of dough on top of the other.

I will finish up this piece next week showing how to make the perfect ravioli filling. If you want to get started with ravioli today, get creative! You can fill ravioli with anything just sintch the sides of the dough when finished filling and plop into boiling water until they rise to the top but more on that later...