Sunday, November 28, 2010

Besan (Gram Flour) Puda (Dosa)

Rob was searching for recipes again and found this recipe for a tortilla type shell. It turned out AWESOME!

Here's where he found the recipe, there is also an instructional video:

Makes 5 pudas.

  • 1 cup besan (gram flour) (aka Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean flour)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (we used Sea Salt)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies (chop very finely or you will have large chunks)
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini (Italian squash)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (green coriander)  We didn't use Cilantro)
  • About 6 tablespoons of oil to cook
  1. Shred the zucchini with the skin and keep aside.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients togather In a bowl, besan (gram flour), rice flour which helps for the crispness, salt, and cumin seeds.
  3. Add the water slowly to make a smooth batter batter should be consistency of pancake batter or Dosa batter.
  4. Next add the chopped green chilies, chopped cilantro (green coriander) and shredded zucchini. Mix well.
  5. Use a non-stick skillet and place on medium-high heat. To check if the skillet is ready, put a few drops of water on it. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
  6. Next pour about 1/2 cup of the mixture on the skillet and spread evenly with a back of spoon. Starting from the center, spread in circular motion outwards until it is evenly spread about 7 inch circles.
  7. When batter start drying. Put 1 teaspoon of oil and spread over gently, using a flat spatula. Lift the puda from one side using a flat spatula (A flat spatula makes it easy to flip the puda). Flip the puda when it turns golden-brown.
  8. Next, press the puda lightly with the spatula all around so the puda cooks evenly. The puda should be golden brown on both sides to ensure it is crispy.
Spresd the batter quick, otherwise batter start drying and cannot be spread.
Serving Suggestions:
  1. You can serve the puda with yogurt, chutney, spicy pickles, or ketchup.
  2. You can also fold the puda with shredded cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, or roasted vegetables.
  1. Zucchini can be replaced with finely chopped spinach, shredded potatoes, or very finely shredded cabbage.
  2. If you make the puda without vegetables, do not use rice flour. This will cause the pudas to be very dry.
  3. If you don’t have cilantro, you may replace with ground coriander powder. If you don’t have green chilies, you may replace with red chilly powder or flakes.

Dropping about 1/3 cup of mixture on hot griddle

Spreading the mixture around

Spreading the mixture around:

All Browned up

It's a Quesadilla

Soft Taco :-)

Soft Taco

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken Nuggets & Nachos!

Nachos aka Papadum, basically same recipe as the Bhaji just different way of cooking

Chicken Bhaji

Onion Rings

Onion Bhaji

Chickpea Flour/Garbanzo Flour/Besan Flour (pronounced Basin) is the nectar of the Gods :-)  It is AMAZING and you can do so much with it.  We discovered if a few months ago when we were testing out pizza dough recipes.  Well Rob has been experimenting this morning & made Onion Rings this morning.   This is what it is called 'officially'

So see you can be grain/sugar free and still enjoy yummy foods!  Rob is the MASTER of making our meals delic, and I just LOVE that about him.

The recipe is really simply
Besan (chickpea flour)
Seasonings (he used garlic/onion, cumin)
you can also add Baking Powder to make it a little fluffier.  (We use our baking powder substitute).

He has also made turnips bhaji, jicama bhaji

Here's an indian recipe for it:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cream of Mushroom Soup Chicken w/rice

So Rob can have brown rice on occasion (about once a month) and I wanted something different for dinner so I made one of our 'old' staples we used to eat once a week, but haven't had since August.  Cream of Mushroom Soup Chicken w/rice.

I used our Cream of Mushroom Soup (homemade) recipe we had in the freezer
Cream of Mushroom Soup Recipe
2 Cups Cooked Brown Rice
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts cubed & cooked (seasoned with garlic/onion powder, salt/pepper)
1/2-1 cup Chicken Stock
Thickened with Arrowroot

Easy peasy & yummy for my tummy!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Rosemary Pizza Crust

Rob is a pizza addict, HE LOVES pizza.  We have been having it every weekend, we had a recipe we had liked but something in it wasn't agreeing with Rob so he searched and found a couple of recipes that he combined.  So far it's the best recipe!  We have even talked about making a 'cornbread' type bread to have with chili (minus corn of course).

Rosemary (Socca) Pizza Crust

This tasty chickpea-base flat bread is part of the staple fast food diet of the residents of both Nice on the French Riviera and its neighbour Genoa on the Italian Riviera.
There is even an historical rivalry between these two cities regarding ownership of the recipe for this irresistible pizza-like bread. Socca is quick and simple to make and it is an ideal substitute for cereal and grain based breads. Socca is traditionally made in a wood-burning oven using a copper pan, but it is just as good when made in a very hot oven at home.

1 C   chickpea flour (available in health food, Indian and Middle Eastern shops)
1 C   room temperature water
2   Tbs virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp baking powder (optional, as this is not a traditional ingredient, but it does lighten the bread slightly if added)  We used our substitution 
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1   Tbs onion powder
1   tsp ground dried rosemary

Chickpea batter: Sift the chickpea flour into a large mixing bowl and add salt,
pepper and baking powder (if using). Gradually pour in the water, whisking
constantly to eliminate lumps. Then slowly stir in half the olive oil and mix thoroughly
for a minute or two until a runny dough has formed. Add the rosemary and any other
additional ingredients, then cover and set aside while the oven warms, or better still

To cook: Preheat oven to very hot (220C-240C or 430F-470F), then heat a dry, round 50cm (20 inch) pizza dish, or equivalent, for about 5 minutes. Remove and spread the remaining oil evenly over the hot dish. Then pour in the batter, spread out thinly, and immediately bake for 8-10 minutes until bread is firm and starting to brown. Remove the socca bread from the oven, lightly brush the top with olive oil and place under a hot broiler for about a minute until the top turns a golden color and there are a few slightly burnt tips. Slice into pizza like wedges and serve hot.
This delicious bread is meant to be peppery-hot, with a distinct rosemary flavour.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

We made this into a Cheesecake pie :-) Very yummy!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

* 1 recipe shortbread crust (see recipe below)
* 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
* 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
* 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
* 2 eggs
* 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Dried Coconut Flakes(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan with coconut oil.
Press shortbread dough into prepared pan with corn starch dusted fingers (double recipe if you want a thicker crust). If needed, refrigerate for a few minutes until firm.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg just until creamy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin and salt and beat until just blended.
Pour over crust and top with coconut flakes if using. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes. Filling should be set but still jiggle slightly if you shake the pan. Cool then refrigerate until cold before enjoying.

Substitute for Sweetened Condensed Milk
1c. instant dry milk (solid)
2/3 cup Sugar substititute
1/3c boiling water
3 T melted butter

In blender, combine instant dry milk, sugar, boiling water and melted butter. Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Yields approximately 14 ounces (a little less), about the same as a store bought can

Gluten Free Shortbread Crust:

* 1/2 cup butter, at room temp
* 1/4 cup sugar or substitute
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 tablespoons coconut flour
* 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn starch (we used Arrowroot Flour)
* 1/2 cup brown rice flour

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy; add vanilla. Beat in remaining ingredients until a dough forms. Use as directed.

 This Post is Linked to:  Slightly Indulgent Tueday

Monday, November 1, 2010

Do you have to give something up in order to 'diet'?

A blog I read, Maes Monkey Biz (Mariann) wrote this blog, and it really got me thinking. Mae's Monkey Biz: Is Giving Up Something Always the Right Road?: "I am not sure what it was this evening, but something got me thinking. Does Dieting mean Giving Up Something? Or Should it mean that rathe..."

Here was my comment:
My hubby & I recently had to give up Grains & Sugar, not by choice, but because his health & life depends on it. He's diabetic & grain intolerant (inflammatory process). It has been VERY VERY hard at times, one of his favorite foods in Potatoes & he can't have those anymore, but we are slowly finding alternatives to the things we love, tonight we had grain & sugar free pumpkin cheesecake. I know how hard it is to give stuff up and I have done it in the past with trying to low carb etc, but going grain & sugar free hard as it has been, has been one of the best things for my hubby & his health. I think if you truly want to give something up, you can, I just think there needs to be substitutions if that was your 'food crutch' so to speak.

& more of my thoughts on this:
I think a lot of times the reasons diets fail in general is too many people try to give up the foods they love then life or stress happens and you end up going overboard and oftentimes gain more weight back than what you lost. At least that is my pattern. I think if something is truly your 'crutch' or your comfort food, find a healthier alternative. I think it is 'healthier' to think if dieting as a lifestyle change as that is what my hubby and I have done, we no longer have to go down the candy aisle at the grocery store to grab what isnt' good for us anyway, didn't have to worry about eating the leftover halloween candy as we didn't buy any (we only had the doorbell ring like twice so no biggy). Yes we do still eat candy but it is sugar free, sweetened with sugar alcohols or splenda. We are VERY thankful for Russell Stovers (I think that's what it's called) for their wide variety of sugar free candies. It's nice to have a sweet sometimes. Is it frustrating to go to the grocery stores, YES definitely almost every time we go, as we have to check the label on EVERYTHING now and so much stuff has unnecessary CRAP in it, stuff that is not good for you, and not really needed, I mean seriously why do they need to put Sugar in breakfast sausage if it's not maple flavored? GRRR! But it has taught us a lot and helped us be more resourceful in what we eat/cook etc. It's been great as far as that goes.
We are Rob & Heather, have been happily married for 8 years. Well the day before (August 23rd, 2010) Rob's 40th Birthday we got some scary news from the Dr, he felt that Rob is sensitive/allergic to grains and they were creating a constant inflammatory process in his body. So this is our journey to be Healthy while Living Grain Free! What exactly is a grain free diet? Click Here to see what a Grain Free Diet is All About

Favorite Substitutions

These are some of our favorite substitutions:
When we say we use Baking Powder we use a substitution
Baking Powder Substitution
Our Favorite Sugar Substitute: ZSweet Natural Sweetener
Replacement for regular flour