Colorful Bell Peppers with Almond-Herb Pilaf

What are they like? 

- Refreshing 

- Full of flavor (lemon, olive oil, herbs & almonds) 

- Bursting with color 

vegan and gluten free stuffed bell peppers recipe
 

Recipe

Serves 2-4, 15 min prep, 40 min cooking

This recipe can easily be doubled.

Pilaf
1/2 cup long grain rice
scant 1 cup water
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4-1/2 cup fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp slivered almonds

Peppers
2 bell peppers, any color
3/4 cup water
juice from one lemon, plus more for serving    
2 tbsp olive oil 

Topping
1 cup plain yogurt OR  plain tahini* (or both!) 
1 clove raw garlic crushed, optional 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. To prepare the pilaf, heat a 2 quart pan over medium heat until warmed. Add 2 tbsp oil, onion, and carrot and sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Then add the rest of the pilaf ingredients, bring to a boil, and then immediately lower to a simmer for 10 minutes or until water is absorbed. The rice will be al dente and it will finish cooking in the oven.

  3. While the rice cooks, slice the peppers lengthwise and remove the stem. Choose a baking dish that is large enough to hold the peppers (an 8x8 pyrex works great). Add 3/4 cup water, 2 tbsp olive oil, and the juice of 1 lemon to the dish. Spoon the pilaf into the peppers, cover tightly with foil, and bake for about 40 minutes or until the peppers are fork tender.

  4. Mix together the ingredients for the toppling.

  5. Before serving the peppers, drizzle with garlic yogurt or tahini and serve. Be sure to pour some of the sauce over the peppers. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon juice.

*You can use 1/4 cup plain tahini for a subtle flavor, which is excellent, or mix together tahini and lemon (if it cuddles and you do not like the texture, whisk in 1/4 tsp lecithin powder to smooth the texture). The garlic is optional. 

Smokey Wild Rice Pilaf

What is it like? 

- Smokey 

- Intense, balanced flavor

- Hardy 

Smokey Wild Rice Pilaf recipe

Recipe

1 cup wild rice
1/2 cup smoked bacon tips* OR vegan bacon
2 chicken thighs OR butternut squash for vegan
2 stalks celery, diced
1 green or red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup white wine, optional
2 cups water
1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp dried dill, 1 tbsp dried or fresh parsly
1/4 cup slivered almonds or 2 tbsp pine nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Rinse rice and place in a pan with 2 cup water over high heat. Once it boils, turn it down to low to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook bacon. If you bacon is regular high fat variety, reduce the heat a little and allow to brown. Then remove and pour out the fat and cook the chicken over medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side.
  3. Meanwhile, slice the celery and pepper. Once the meat is browned (but not cooked through), set aside. Then, sauté the vegetables over medium heat for about 7 minutes. While the vegetables cook, measure the wine and slice the bacon into small pieces and the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Turn the heat up for about 30 seconds and then add the wine (it will boil rapidly so be careful not to get burned by the steam).
  5. Drain the wild rice.
  6. Add the water, drained rice, and the rest of the ingredients and turn the heat up to high. Once it boils, turn it down to a simmer and let it cook for about 20 minutes, or until it is tender and the chicken is cooked through.

Serve with a sprinkling of fresh marjoram leaves (or oregano) and steamed chard or other steamed vegetable. Chard is best when cooked to the point when the leaves’ veins are still crisp.

*You can substitute your favorite regular bacon, especially one that is strongly flavored, like Black Forest variety. If you do not have this kind of bacon, try adding smoked sea salt or smoked paprika instead of regular paprika.

The best dairy free and gluten free Crepe Recipe

What is it like?

- Tender

- Moist 

- Perfect for filling

See the Mushroom Filling recipe below the crepe recipe!

the best crepe recipe gluten free and dairy free

Recipe

Makes about 6 crepes, 10 minutes prep, 15 min cooking

2 eggs
1 cup low fat coconut milk or water
1 cup cashew flour (I bought it at Trader Joe's)
2 1/2 tbsp potato starch
1/4 tsp psyllium powder
1/4 tsp salt
about 1 tbsp coconut oil or preferred oil for cooking

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  2. Allow to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or until the next day.
  3. Place a wide, shallow pan over medium heat. Nonstick works the best, but you can use a different pan with additional oil. Add 1/2 tsp preferred oil to the pan and about 1/4 cup of batter. The crepe will begin cooking immediately after it hits the pan, so quickly tilt the pan so that the batter spreads evenly into a thin layer. If the crepe is too thick, add a little more water for the next one (a tsp at a time). Once the crepe looks firm on top, flip the crepe and cook for about 30 more seconds. Transfer to a plate to serve. 

TIPS:

  • For savory crepes you can add black pepper, a spice, or a dried (1/4 tsp) or fresh herb (1/2 tsp), like parsley or thyme. For sweet crepes you can add 1 tsp vanilla and/or a dollop of your favorite sweetener. 
  • I used to cook whole wheat crepes and the leftovers would become discolored. What is great about this recipe is that they look and taste fresh after sitting in the fridge overnight. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop. 

Mushroom Filling for Crepes

gluten free dairy free crepe recipe
 

Recipe

Makes 4 crepes, 10 minutes prep, 5 minutes cooking

5 oz mushrooms (maitake are excellent but you can use white, crimini, shiitake, or preferred type)
extra virgin olive oil, as needed (about 3 tbsp)
2 oz smoked salmon, optional*
2 cloves garlic, optional
1/4 tsp dreid or fresh thyme
dash of salt

Directions:
Wash the mushrooms and allow to drain. Slice the mushrooms and sauté with garlic, thyme and salt over medium heat in a wide pan with 1 tsp olive oil until they are tender, about 5 minutes. Cook them in two batches so that they do not steam.
Place 1/4 of mushroom filling on a crepe with 1/2 oz salmon divided into very small pieces, and drizzle 1-2 tsp olive oil over filling. Roll up the crepe or fold it in quarters and serve warm.

*If you do not use salmon, you may want to add vegan cheese or regular cheese if you can tolerate it.

TIPS:
Do not over cook your mushrooms! You can test them as they sauté by removing one, allowing it to cool and then tasting it. It should have a bite to it. If it is totally limp, it will have lost a lot of its flavor and appeal.

Pork Chops with Rich Mushroom Sauce

What is it like?

- Classy

- Decadent

- Delicious 

pork chops with mushrooms sauce recipe

Recipe

3 pork chops
1-2 tbsp coconut, grape seed oil or your preferred oil
1 onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms
3 cups chicken stock, divided OR your preffered stock
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 tsp dried tarragon, 1/2 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme), 1/4 tsp salt
thickener: mix 1/2 tbsp glutenous “sweet” rice flour with 1/2 cup stock
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (gluten free type)
2-3 tbsp coconut cream, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pan (see photo) over medium high heat and add 2 tsp oil. Salt the pork chops with 1/4 tsp salt on both sides. Add chops to pan once it is hot. Allow chops to cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked. The chops will stick to the pan while they are browning. Once they are ready to flip, they will be easy to release and you will see red liquid start to release on top of the pork chops. Once they are cooked, set aside.
     
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add 2 tsp oil to the same pan and add the chopped onion with the tarragon, sage, and thyme. Once caramelized, remove and set aside. Next, sauté the mushrooms in two batches with about  2 tsp of oil. Once cooked, set aside in a separate bowl.
     
  3. Turn the heat up to high for abut 20 seconds, then add the wine, followed by the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. (If you do not like the look of the brown bits that release from the bottom of the pan, you can strain the liquid and return it to the pan.) Add the onions/herbs and simmer the stock until it reduces in volume by about 1/3. Then whisk in the thickener and add the mushrooms. Simmer for 2 minutes, until thick. Then whisk in the coconut cream and serve over pork chops. 

The pork chops are excellent served with young broccoli rabe, which can be quickly steamed or sautéed over medium heat with your preferred oil and garlic until wilted. 

Roasted Beef with Eggplant Puree, Peppers & Tomatoes

Smokey, Rich, & Healthy... 
 

sultans delight recipe dairy free

In Turkish this recipe is called Sultan's Delight, and for a good reason: it can please even the pickiest of eaters. Stewed beef, or more traditionally stewed lamb, is served over creamy eggplant béchamel alongside fire-roasted green peppers and tomatoes au jus. It is not your average throw-together meal, but the extra work is well worth it as it is probably unlike any dish you have ever tasted. 

sultans delight recipe dairy free 2
 

Recipe

This recipe is an adapted version from the book Sultan’s Kitchen. It has three components to it, as listed below. 

Stew

2 lbs lamb shoulder or beef chuck, cut into 2 inch pieces OR russet potatoes, 1" cubed for vegan
1 tbsp clarified butter (or preferred oil for vegan)
2 roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cups beef stock or water
2 tsp tomato paste
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp red pepper (optional) 
½ tsp salt OR 1 tbsp soy sauce for vegan option
¼ tsp black pepper (optional) 

Vegan option: 10 oz mushrooms, sliced and sauteed over medium heat with a drizzle of oil. Add to stew when potatoes are still al dente. 

Vegetables
  
4 cubanelle peppers, or 1-2 green bell peppers, whole
4 roma tomatoes, whole (or preferred variety for roasting) 
2 American eggplants or 4 Italian eggplants
2 lemons, juiced
water, as needed

Sauce

Eggplants, mashed
¾ cup coconut cream (or regular cream)
2-4 Tbsp clarified butter (or coconut oil)
2 tsp glutinous rice flour (or cornstarch) 
1 tbsp water
½ - 1 tsp salt, or to taste

Directions:

Stew 

1. Slice the vegetables and set aside. Slice the meat into 1 x 2 inch pieces (or potatoes). Place a large sauté pan over a medium high burner and add 2 tsp oil (clarified butter, grape seed or canola). Brown the meat (or potatoes) in batches on both sides with at least 1 inch space between the pieces. The oil should sizzle when the meat contacts the pan. Set the meat aside and sauté the onion over medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Place all meat back in the pan with the onions and add stock or water to deglaze the pan. Then add the rest of the stew ingredients. Simmer over low heat until meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.

Vegan note: If using potatoes, the cook time will be less than 1/2 hour. 

Vegetables 

2. Place oven rack on top of second most top position in the oven, a couple inches below the broiler. Preheat the oven to a high broil. Lay the vegetables on a large baking sheet with at least 2 inches between them. Roast until vegetables are soft and have blackened spots. The eggplant should be very soft when done (it should feel squishy when pierced with a fork). The tomatoes and peppers will finish cooking before the eggplant and will need to be removed from the baking sheet to cool. 

3. Place the tomatoes and Italian peppers aside. If using bell peppers place in a Ziploc bag (or heatproof container with a lid) for about 7 minutes (or longer) while cooling. This makes the skin easier to remove later. Once cool enough to handle, peel the eggplant trying to just remove the dark skin. Once the skin is removed, place the eggplant in lemon water mixture. To make the lemon water, fill a large nonreactive bowl with enough water to submerge the eggplant and squeeze two lemons into the water. Allow eggplant to sit in mixture for about 20 minutes. Peel the bell pepper if using and set aside. 


Sauce 

4. Rinse the eggplant and mash it with a fork. Set it aside while you melt 2 tbsp butter over medium low heat in a medium sized pan. Add the mashed eggplant and cream (or coconut cream). Lastly, mix the flour (or cornstarch) with about 1 tbsp of cool water and pour into mixture while whisking. Turn the heat up to medium and stir until the sauce simmers and thickens. Salt to taste. 

5. Place ½ cup of eggplant puree on a plate. Ladle beef on top with some of the stew juice. Place roasted tomato and pepper alongside. Serve as is, or with parsley sprinkled over the top. 

 
sultans delight dairy free recipe