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Tag Archive: grain-free

Boeuf Bourguignon

February 15, 2015 Print this page

I am such a Francophile sometimes, especially when it comes to French food. This is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France, and while it sounds complicated, it’s not as hard as you might think! I made a few adaptions to lighten the dish up a bit, and I promise you won’t miss any of the butter or flour. 

In the words of Julia Child, the inspiration for this recipe,”BON APPÉTIT!”

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients

Prep Time 30 min
Cooking Time 2 hr 30 min
Total Time 3 hr
Yield 8 servings

8 ounces of slab bacon, roughly diced (I used beef bacon, but pork is fine too)

2 1/2 – 3 lb beef stew meat, cubed into 1-inch pieces

1 lb carrots, washed well and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 large onions, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 cup of cognac

3 cups of good red wine

3 cups of low-sodium beef broth

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 teaspoons of fresh thyme

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb mushrooms, roughly sliced

1 lb frozen pearl onions

2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder + 4 tablespoons of water

Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

Heat a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot on the stovetop over medium heat, then add the diced bacon. Cook until most of the fat has been rendered and the bacon has been browned, about 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

Toss the stew meat with 1 teaspoon of salt and add half of the pieces to the remaining bacon fat in the Dutch oven. Cook until the beef has been browned, about 5-6 minutes, rotating the pieces once or twice to ensure even browning. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, then repeat the same process with the remaining pieces.

Pour off all but about 1-2 tablespoons of the accumulated fat and add the carrots and onions. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and saute until slightly softened and golden-brown, about 15 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a minute more.

Slowly pour in the cognac and red wine. Increase the heat slightly and bring to a boil. Let cook for 3-4 minutes to burn off some of the alcohol, then stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, bacon, and stew meat pieces. Bring to a boil once more, then cover the pot with a lid and place in the preheated oven.

Cook for 2 1/2 hours, stirring every half an hour or so. You’re ready to move onto the next step when the beef and carrots are tender.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt, and cook until starting to brown and becoming soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the beef and vegetables are ready, add the mushrooms along with the frozen pearl onions. Cook on the stovetop over medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of the arrowroot powder with 2 tablespoons of cool water. Pour the mixture into the stew, reduce the heat to low, and stir well. If needed, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of arrowroot powder with 2 more tablespoons of cool water and add to the stew to thicken further.

Let cook over low heat until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with smashed potatoes, your favorite grain, or over a bed of roasted vegetables.


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Peanut Butter Kisses (gluten-free + vegan)

February 7, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Since peanut butter and I have been in a relationship for quite some time now, I thought it was about time I gave him a kiss–a chocolate one, in fact, because chocolate is equivalent to love in my book.

The outcome was magical.

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It’s Saturday night, the night of the girls-ask-guys dance. No, I am not at the venue in a long red dress; I am at home eating roasted broccoli and cuddling up with my striped blanket while listening to Mumford & Sons and The Plain White T’s. There are also some oblique triangles that are definitely calling my name right now: they whisper, “Solve me, solve me, my angles can’t all be right.” I’m such a party animal. 😉

No, people reading this post, I am not a chicken, I did ask someone…who happened to have been taken already…and there was no one else I wanted to go with…so…yeah. *Awkward shrug*

While I love food (NO REALLY) and would definitely consider slapping a bow tie on a jar of peanut butter or a head of kale and claiming either as my date, there are certain times in life when an actual breathing person is required for social functions. And though I put a smile on my face and shrug it off with a laugh at school (then proceed to start singing this in a horribly screechy, off-key voice), I honestly did really want to go, and I’m sad that I will be dancing by myself in my bedroom tonight and not showing off my I-promise-not-so-bad moves on the dance floor.

Oh well, pity parties unfortunately come with no favors. Besides, Haven’t Told Her and Lovers’ Eyes are way better than any slow-dance song the DJ could play anyway. 🙂

Sorry, I just needed to vent to y’all because it’s my blog and I am a real person that thinks about things other than potatoes and cauliflower and yup. I will just keep distracting myself with cookies…

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My best recipes usually just hit me when I least expect it…I’ll just be sitting around and BAM! This was the case with these cookies, and happily, I nailed them on my first try. I love when that happens.

Soft, chewy, and oh-so-peanut-buttery, these little guys are proof that you don’t need flour, butter, or tons of sugar to make a delicious dessert.

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By the way, did you think I would actually use store-bought Hershey’s Kisses?! HA. HA. HAHAHAHA. I laugh. Of course I made them myself, because I’m just cool like that.

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I think these cookies would be perfect for Valentine’s Day because they have kisses and kisses are adorable! Tehee. I love Valentine’s Day, and if someone gave me one of these on February 14th, well, I’d be pretty darn smitten, wouldn’t you?

If you aren’t savvy in the kitchen, don’t worry–these are actually very easy to make: all you really need to know how to do is stir stuff. And even if your stirring skills aren’t up to par I’m sure your sweetheart will still love you all the same. 🙂

Basically, you melt the chocolate…

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…pour it into a mold and let harden…

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…make the dough and roll it into balls…

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…bake, then top each one with a chocolate smooch! Mwah!

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Print this page

Peanut Butter Kisses

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 20 min
Yield 18 kissed cookies

FOR THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

1 cup of your favorite dark chocolate

A kiss candy mold, which can be purchased here

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES:

1 cup of unsalted, unsweetened organic peanut butter

1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of unrefined organic cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

In a small saucepan, double boiler, or a bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate until no clumps remain. If using the microwave, go in 30 second intervals and make sure to stir!

Using a little ice cream scoop or a spoon, carefully pour the melted chocolate into the mold, making sure not to over-fill. Once all the slots are filled, gently drop the mold on the counter a few times to make the tops even and get out any air bubbles.

Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 to 30 minutes, then flip onto a cutting board to get the kisses out. They should pop out easily, but if they need a little help, give them a tap with your finger.

Repeat with the remaining chocolate until 18 chocolate kisses are achieved. Melt more chocolate if necessary. Store the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the water. Let sit until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender, pulse together 1/3 cup of the unrefined cane sugar and the coconut sugar until fine in texture, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and mix with the peanut butter, baking soda, and salt.

Once the flaxseed mixture has gelled, add it along with the vanilla and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the peanut butter. Stir together with a spatula until homogeneous.

Grind the remaining 1/4 cup of unrefined sugar until fine in texture. Pour into a small bowl and set aside next to the prepared baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, shape the cookie dough into balls and roll until spherical all over. Next, give each ball a quick roll in the previously-ground sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. DO NOT flatten.

Bake until firm to the touch and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately upon departure from the oven, top each cookie with a chocolate, using gentle pressure to squish the cookie and seal the kiss.

Let cool in the fridge until hardened slightly, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but these are best within 24 hours. 🙂


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If you could go on a date with any food, what would it be and why? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!

And if you need to find me tonight, consult either my Precalculus with Limits textbook or Beyoncé’s house. 😛


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Peanut Butter Kisses

February 7, 2015 Print this page

Since peanut butter and I have been in a relationship for quite some time now, I thought it was about time I gave him a kiss–a chocolate one, in fact, because chocolate is equivalent to love in my book.

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min
Cooking Time 10 min
Total Time 20 min
Yield 18 kissed cookies

FOR THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

1 cup of your favorite dark chocolate

A kiss candy mold, which can be purchased here

FOR THE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES:

1 cup of unsalted, unsweetened organic peanut butter

1/3 cup + 1/4 cup of unrefined organic cane sugar

1/3 cup of coconut sugar or brown sugar

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal

3 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

Directions

TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE KISSES:

In a small saucepan, double boiler, or a bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate until no clumps remain. If using the microwave, go in 30 second intervals and make sure to stir!

Using a little ice cream scoop or a spoon, carefully pour the melted chocolate into the mold, making sure not to over-fill. Once all the slots are filled, gently drop the mold on the counter a few times to make the tops even and get out any air bubbles.

Place in the freezer until hard, about 20 to 30 minutes, then flip onto a cutting board to get the kisses out. They should pop out easily, but if they need a little help, give them a tap with your finger.

Repeat with the remaining chocolate until 18 chocolate kisses are achieved. Melt more chocolate if necessary. Store the chocolate in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to use.

TO MAKE THE COOKIES:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flaxseed meal and the water. Let sit until thickened, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender, pulse together 1/3 cup of the unrefined cane sugar and the coconut sugar until fine in texture, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour into a bowl and mix with the peanut butter, baking soda, and salt.

Once the flaxseed mixture has gelled, add it along with the vanilla and apple cider vinegar to the bowl with the peanut butter. Stir together with a spatula until homogeneous.

Grind the remaining 1/4 cup of unrefined sugar until fine in texture. Pour into a small bowl and set aside next to the prepared baking sheet.

Using an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon measure, shape the cookie dough into balls and roll until spherical all over. Next, give each ball a quick roll in the previously-ground sugar and place on the prepared baking sheet. DO NOT flatten.

Bake until firm to the touch and beginning to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Immediately upon departure from the oven, top each cookie with a chocolate, using gentle pressure to squish the cookie and seal the kiss.

Let cool in the fridge until hardened slightly, about 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, but these are best within 24 hours. 🙂


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Falafel (gluten-free + vegan)

February 1, 2015 Leave your thoughts Print this page

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Happy February, everyone! We’ve survived the first month of 2015…only eleven more to go before the year I graduate, the year I become an adult, the year where the rest of my life begins arrives.

That’s a while away, though. I’m still getting used to writing the number fifteen so frequently on my papers for school, and I still have so many recipes I want to try and share with all of you, too!

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These falafel–or Middle Eastern crispy chickpea balls–are a dinner staple in my house. I get bored making the same thing over and over again, so for something to be a staple, it must be particularly special. And while it may look plain and simple, this dish is really anything but.

What I love falafel is that they can be made using very little kitchen equipment, require only about ten minutes of hands-on time, and usually yield a ton of leftovers, which are great for lunch and making people jealous. (Though I have brought in falafel for my friends and teachers, too, because I am just oozing with coolness. 😉 ) The combination of flavors and textures is wonderful, and everything on the plate is bursting with nutrition, from the protein in the chickpeas to the healthy fats in the sesame seeds to the vitamins in all of the fresh vegetables.

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Usually, falafel are deep-fried and served in pita bread. Sure, you can opt to do one or both of these routes, but I prefer my falafel baked and served over a bed of veggies for a lighter meal and less mess.

Don’t worry, though. I promise all of the crunch is preserved in the oven! Just follow my advice and you will wind up with a deliciously crispy final meal.

Most bean burgers or fritters call for cooked beans; falafel, however, use dried beans that have been soaked. So, for your first step, make sure you soak your chickpeas in a water bath overnight and up to 24 hours to soften them up.

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The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and invite all of your remaining ingredients–including herbs, spices, onions, and garlic–to the party in the food processor and blend everybody up to get well-incorporated.

Then form into balls and place on a prepared baking sheet…

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…and off to the oven they go! (It’s about to get hot in here.)

After thirty five minutes of baking, let the falafel cool for a few minutes before serving with carrots, lettuce, bell peppers, cucumbers, and a tasty tahini sauce. It’s as easy as that! (I promise.)

Print this page

Falafel

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)

FOR THE FALAFEL:

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of cayenne (optional)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve

FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:

1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)

The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)

A generous pinch of salt

Water

Directions

FOR THE FALAFEL:

Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.

Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.


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What is one healthy dinner staple in your house? Leave me a comment here or on Facebook and let me know!


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Falafel

January 30, 2015 Print this page

These are a go-to dinner in my house. Simple, delicious, and filled with protein, these are absolutely delicious over a bed of fresh vegetables any time of day (or year!). Best of all, they’re baked, so you can spare yourself the mess of frying and still have a crispy final result. Adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe. (Mark Bittman = bae)

Ingredients

Prep Time 10 min (plus soaking overnight)
Cooking Time 35 min
Total Time 45 min
Yield 25-30 falafel (about 6-8 servings)

FOR THE FALAFEL:

2 cups of dried chickpeas, soaked in water for 24 hours

2 large handfuls (about 2 cups) of parsley, mint, basil, or spinach

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

The juice of 1 small lemon (about 1-2 tbsp)

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

A pinch of cayenne (optional)

6 tablespoons of olive oil

Romaine lettuce, carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, and other raw vegetables, to serve

FOR THE SIMPLE TAHINI SAUCE:

1/2 cup of tahini (roasted sesame paste)

The juice of 1 lemon (about 2-3 tablespoons)

A generous pinch of salt

Water

Directions

FOR THE FALAFEL:

Before you do anything, make sure you soak the chickpeas in water overnight. This helps get the beans soft enough to go in the food processor and get mostly broken up, which is what you want. DO NOT use cooked beans–that will make your final falafel too mushy.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a large rimmed baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. This provides a nice base so the bottoms of the falafel will get super crispy.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine all of the remaining ingredients for the falafel with the exception of the remaining olive oil. I have a strong machine, so I don’t need to do much in the way of chopping/pushing the ingredients around. If you have a smaller/weaker device, make sure you chop everything up a little bit before adding it. If necessary, add a tablespoon or two of water to help get things moving. Try not to do this, though, because you want the falafel DRY so it’ll reach maximum crispiness in the oven.

Once everything is a uniform texture, get out a large ice cream scoop and form the falafel into balls. Use your hands to make them spherical, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. You should wind up with 25-30 falafel.

Pour the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a small dish and, using a brush, gently top each ball with a coating of oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes (or until golden-brown on the bottom), then flip over and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating. Serve with a variety of yummy veggies and tahini sauce (instructions below).

FOR THE TAHINI SAUCE:

To make the tahini sauce, simply combine the tahini with the lemon juice and salt, and slowly add water until a smooth, slightly-runny texture is achieved. Tahini is just weird, so be patient and keep stirring.


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