Fab Falafels

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Omigoodness, these were incredibly tasty! I will DEFINITELY be making these again (and again, and again 🙂 ). They were so savoury and satisfying, I guarantee they will not disappoint!

Serves 4-6 hungry people

Falafel Ingredients

500 ml dried chickpeas (not canned!)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves
2 -3 slices stale gluten free bread (if the bread isn’t stale, I usually just toast it and then grind it in a coffee grinder or food processer)
3.5 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoons chilli flakes
1 tablespoon gluten free flour (any kind will do: brown rice, tapioca, sorghum etc.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 water
1-2 tablespoons good quality oil if pan frying

Falafel Directions

1. Wash and place chickpeas in a large bowl, cover generously with water and soak overnight (at least 12 hours and up to 24)
2. Drain chickpeas and place in food processer. Add onion, garlic, bread, and parsley. Run processer until food is clumpy (don’t over process, or will become too paste-like).
3. Add spices, flour, baking powder and water. Mix well.
4. You can wet your hands and shape your falafels in balls or whatever shape you fancy (I used a 1/3 measuring cup and shaped them into patties for this time around).
5. If baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing halfway in between cooking, or until browned evenly on the outside.
6. If pan frying, heat oil on medium heat and fry until golden brown.

Now, for the sauce: I recommend using my recipe as a rough guideline and throwing in whatever you please. Me and Irfan made separate sauces as he likes it more sweet and I like it more tart. Don’t be afraid to experiment my friends! 🙂

Adapted from food.com

Ingredients for Sauce

3/4 tahini (super easy to make at home, don’t be a chump and buy it – I will poste the recipe soon!)
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 to 2 juiced lemons
1/3-1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
3.5 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2-3 tablespoons ground chia
2-3 tablespoons almond butter (also super easy to make at home – recipe to be posted soon!)
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup (if you are like Irfan and like it sweet)

Directions for Sauce

Throw all ingredients in food processer and mix.

You can place your falafels into gluten free pita with all the traditional fixings or if you are like me and too lazy to make a gluten free pita (b/c you know buying it is going to be way too expensive – we are FUNemployed after all 😉 ), you can just eat it with brown rice and a side of steamed greens. Still super de-lish!

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Tofu Burgers

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Okay, these are pretty darn delicious! I have made these twice, and I think I have managed to perfect the texture as the first time was too crumbly.

Makes 10 medium sized burgers

Ingredients

2 (16 ounce) packages firm tofu
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups diced onions
1 cup peeled and grated carrot
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried dill
2⁄3 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons Braggs Liquid Aminos
1 -2 tablespoon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon ground chia
3 tablespoon water

Directions

1. Mix the ground chia and 3 tablespoons of water in a cup, let sit (this is used as a binder)
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
3. Generously oil baking sheet
4. Place tofu between two plates, and rest heavy weight on top plate
5. Press for about 15 minutes
6. Drain off liquid from bottom plate
7. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet, and sauté onions, carrots, oregano, basil and dill for about 7 minutes, or until vegetables are just tender
8. Crumble pressed tofu into large bowl
9. Stir in walnuts, bread crumbs, tahini, miso, braggs and mustard, if using, with the tofu
10. Add sautéed vegetables and chia water mixture, and mix well
11. Using about 1/2 cup burger mix per burger, form 10 patties by hand, and place on baking sheet about 2 inches apart
12. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until burgers are firm and browned

Adapted from food.com

I served these on some brown rice tortillas (I didn’t have any gluten free buns on hand) topped with some guacamole and mustard, with a side of asparagus and collard greens. A super tasty and healthy meal!

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Happy Anniversary Van & Adnan! Chocolate Cake #1

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Last week was my brother Adnan and sister-in-law Vannary’s 9th wedding anniversary! Pretty big deal – almost a decade!

Initially Irfan and I were going to buy a happygut (i.e. gluten & vegan) cake but I cringed when I found out it cost $20. I decided to make one myself instead 🙂

Feel free to use the recipe as a base and tweak it as you see fit. I’ve made a few gluten vegan chocolate cakes and although this may not be number one for taste, it is definitely the best for consistency and texture.

Ingredients for Chocolate Cake #1

2 cups brown rice flour or sorghum flour
½ cup tapioca flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup ground chia seeds
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup prunes
½ cup safflower oil or virgin coconut oil
1 cup maple syrup or agave nectar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions for Chocolate Cake #1


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan.

In a medium sized bowl place the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and sea salt; mix together well with a fork or wire whisk.

Place the prunes in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand for about 10 minutes.

Place the prunes and water into a blender or Vita-Mix and add the oil, maple syrup, chia seeds, water, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. Blend until very smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well, though be careful not to over mix.

Immediately pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes in the pan and then gently invert onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.

Adapted from: http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2009/02/gluten-free-vegan-sugar-free-chocolate.html

Ingredients for chocolate frosting

1 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup earth balance softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp lime juice

Directions for chocolate frosting

Process all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy


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Zucchini Curry

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Fatima came over for linner (lunch/dinner of course!) 🙂 I wanted to make something quick and gave her the option of a veggie stir fry or a Pakistani style zucchini curry. Fatima likes her spices and opted for the zucchini. Turned out pretty good, check it out for yourself if you please!

Ingredients

3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 small chilli pepper (cut in half if you like it spicy)
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 cumin powder
1.5 coriander powder
1.5 garam masala
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
optional: 1/2 – 1 tsp chilli flakes

Directions 

1. Saute onions over medium heat in skillet
2. Add ginger and garlic when onions START to brown and saute for 1-2 minutes
3. Add all spices, chilli pepper, chilli flakes (if using) and mix
4. Add a LITTLE bit of water if needed so that it doesn’t burn (the zucchini will release a lot of water so make sure not to put too much water or will become soupy)
5. Add zucchini, cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes (over low-medium heat) or until desired tenderness, stirring every 5 minutes
6. Remove from heat, mix in lemon juice
7. Serve with your favourite type of grain or my rice roti. I like to include grilled tofu for some protein.

Enjoy!

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Black-eyed beans

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I like to eat relatively simple meals. Things that are made with whole foods, are quick, tasty and happygut friendly 🙂 This meal fulfills all of these criteria.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 cup dry black-eyed beans soaked overnight (or any other bean e.g. pinto, adzuki, black beans, etc.)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 small onion chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp tumuric
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 green chilli whole
2-3 tbsp Braggs
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup water
optional: bay leaf

Directions 

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in pot
2. Saute onions with garlic and ginger until onions just START to brown
3. Add all spices, whole green chilli (you can cut the green chilli in half if you are a fan of spice!) and bay leaf (if using) and mix, add a little water if needed so it doesn’t burn. Let cook for 1-2 minutes.
4. Add soaked beans and 1 cup of water
5. Bring to a boil, cover and then let simmer on low-medium for about 35 minutes or until beans are soft stirring every 10 minutes, adding more water if needed (if you are using a pressure cooker it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes)
6. Remove from eat, stir in Braggs and lemon juice
7. Adjust spices to taste
8. Serve with your favourite grain/bread, greens and, my personal favourite: avocado (I love avocado with beans!)

I served mine with some gluten free bread (I drizzled some olive oil and dill on it), half an avo and some kale. So incredibly satisfying, try it for yourself! 🙂

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Bhindi Curry (Okra)

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I love LOVE okra! I love the texture, I love the colour and I especially like the way it tastes in a Pakistani curry – so tangy and savory!

Our apartment has some water problems and so we have been staying with my Mom for a few days. That means getting Mom’s home-cooked meals 🙂

Today she made bhindi and it was awesome!

Serves 2

Ingredients

3 cups chopped bhindi
3 tbsp oil (I use grapeseed)
1 medium onion sliced
1 small green chilli whole
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumuric
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chat masala
1/4 chilli flakes
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions

1. Heat oil in large frying pan over medium heat
2. Add bhindi (okra) and fry until it just STARTS to brown
3. Mix in all the spices and onions
4. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes
5. Adjust spices to taste if desired
6. Remove from heat and serve with rice roti with a side of your favourite greens (I like to throw in some tofu for my protein)

Courtesy of my Mom 🙂

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Yellow Moong Dal (Punjabi Stylezzz)

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I love my Mom’s dal. Irfan, my partner, is a vegetarian and so we eat A LOT of dal, especially a lot of moong as I find it easiest to digest.

Ingredients

1 cup of yellow moong [you can also use 1/2 cup yellow moong & 1/2 cup masoor (red lentil) mix]
4 cups water
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumuric
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 small green chillies whole
optional: 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Tarka Ingredients

1 small onion chopped
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic (not minced)
1/2 tbsp chopped ginger (not minced)
4 tbsp olive oil

Directions for Dal

1. Soak dal overnight or for 8 hours
2. Place water in pot and bring to boil
3. Add dal, ginger, garlic, green chillies and all the spices EXCEPT garam masala and cook over medium heat for about 25-30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes until dal is soft (NOT including tarka ingredients). If you have a pressure cooker, cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes
4. Remove from heat

Directions for Tarka

1. Head olive oil over medium heat
2. Add onions and chopped ginger and garlic
3. Saute until they brown. You want them to brown but not burn

4. Pour tarka mixture over the dal and mix
5. Adjust spices to taste if desired
6. Sprinkle garam masala and chopped cilantro

Eat with either brown basmati rice or my gluten free rice roti with a side of your favourite greens.

Enjoy!

Courtesy of my Mom 🙂

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Butternut Squash Soup 2 (without coconut)

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I absolutely love the “Butternut Squash Soup 1 (with coconut)” recipe I posted previously. I was craving it a few days ago but needed to make it withOUT coconut as I am on a 6 week parasite and candida cleanse (parasites love their coconut ;)).

I experimented with stuff I already had in the fridge and it turned out good! Not as delicious as it would have been with coconut of course, but it’s the next best thing!

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp ginger, minced
4 carrots, sliced
1 apple (the sweeter, the better), sliced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 small or one large butternut squash, peeled and chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
2 tbsp chopped fresh sage or 1 tbsp sage powder
2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2-1 tbsp nutmeg
1.2-1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 cup soy milk/almond milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a large soup pot, sautee the onion and garlic in olive oil until onions turn soft, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the carrots, apple and celery and cook for another 3 to 5 miutes.

Add the squash and stir just to coat, then add the vegetable broth and spices (not salt & pepper). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer. Allow to cook for at least 25 minutes, or until squash is soft.

Using a potato masher or a large fork, mash the squash until smooth, or, alternatively, you can puree the soup in a food processor, blender or hand blender.

Stir in your dairy free milk and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Tofu Satay with Almond Sauce

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This is another ridiculously tasty dish. If I were on death row, this would be on my short-list for last meals. Maybe the analogy is too dramatic but you get my drift.

I’ve made tofu satay twice and always receive PLENTY of compliments.

Enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

1 block medium to firm tofu
optional: 1/2 purple onion/yellow onion/1 carrot/3 beets/1 zucchini
1 pack wooden skewers

SATAY MARINADE

1/4 cup minced lemongrass, fresh or frozen-prepared
2 shallots OR 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
3-4 cloves garlic
1-2 fresh red chilies, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, sliced
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. tamari
3 Tbsp. braggs
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
sea salt to taste

ALMOND SAUCE (for dipping)

1 cup unsalted almonds
1/3 cup water
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. tamari
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2.5 to 3 Tbsp. regular braggs
1/2 tsp. tamarind paste OR 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, OR 1 tsp. Thai chili sauce (more or less to taste)
1/3 cup coconut milk

Directions for satay marinade

1. Slice tofu into strips or workable pieces (on the thin side for weaving the satay sticks    through). Place in a bowl large enough for marinating and set aside.

2. Place all marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blitz to create a dark, rich satay marinade. Taste-test the marinade for salt, spice, and sweetness. Tip: with this mariande, you should first taste SALTY, followed by SWEET and spicy. Add a little salt if needed, or more sugar if not sweet enough. Add more chili for more heat, if desired.

3. Pour marinade over prepared strips, turning the tofu to cover all sides. Add the other veggies (if using) and gently turn toss all together. Set in the refrigerator to marinate at least 1 hour, or cover and leave up to 24 hours.

4. Thread the tofu pieces onto wooden or stainless-steel skewers (soak wooden ones in your sink 10 minutes beforehand to prevent burning). Retain the bowl with the leftover mariande for basting.

5. If grilling, lightly brush grill with oil, then set skewers over a hot fire. Grill until lightly browned, basting generously with leftover marinade.

6. If using oven, lay prepared satay on a baking sheet (cover first with parchment paper, if desired). Set oven to BROIL and place a rack on the highest or second-highest rung of your oven. Slide satay under the broiler and broil 5 minutes per side before turning. Continue broiling in this way until nicely browned and onions are lightly charred. Baste halfway through cooking with leftover marinade, and follow serving instructions above.

Directions for almond sauce

1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend or process until sauce is smooth. If you prefer a runnier sauce, add a little more water or coconut milk.

2. Do a taste test, adding more tamari/braggs if not salty enough, or more cayenne if not spicy enough. If too salty, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice. If you’d prefer it sweeter, add a little more sugar.

3. Serve warm or at room temperature with my the tofu satay. It also makes a great dip with fresh veggies, fresh rolls, or other Asian finger foods. Or combine with noodles to create a Thai-style noodle dish or cold noodle salad. Enjoy!

Note: This sauce tends to thicken as it sits – just add a little water or coconut milk to thin it out, as needed. Otherwise it stores well if kept covered in the refrigerator (keep up to 2 weeks; freeze thereafter).

Adapted from
http://thaifood.about.com/od/vegetarianthairecipes/r/Vegetarian-Thai-Satay-Vegan.htm & http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaicurrypasterecipes/r/Easy-Satay-Sauce-Recipe.htm

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Rice Roti

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My background is Pakistani and so I grew up with a lot of rotis to say the least. I used to buy the Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas as a roti substitute when I first became gluten free which worked well for a number of months (thank you for that Food For Life!). However, like other gluten free foods I was purchasing, I quickly realized that I could make it myself for a fraction of the cost.

Here is my rice roti recipe. Feel free to use it as a base and add whatever else you please. Sometimes I add onions, cilantro and spices if I’m feeling fancy (makes a dosa type roti).

Makes 4 medium sized rotis

Ingredients

1 cup brown rice flower

1.5 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt (optional)

Directions

Heat oil in frying pan over medium eat. Mix brown rice flour, salt (if using)and water into bowl until smooth (no clumps). Pour a thin layer of batter onto hot frying pan (I usually use a ladle for this). Let cook for 5 minutes (or until it starts to brown), flip and then cook for another 5 minutes (or until it starts to brown).

Serve warm.

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