Sunday, June 30, 2013

Simple 100% Teff Injera with video!

The Boyfriend and I LOVE Ethiopian food, so we created our awesome Ethiopian Spice mixtures, which allow us to create amazing dishes in to time at all.  Many come together in less than 30 minutes, but the elusive Injera was a bit of a mystery that we have finally figured out!  You see, Injera is a flatbread made from Teff flour. Teff has naturally occurring yeast and will create an amazing, sour, fluffy dough, or at least that's what we assumed the first time we made it.  As you can see in the picture below, it is not fluffy or airy at all and it was very hard to work with.  It was delicious though!

Here are links to the recipes for the dishes we served:

Notice how dense the Injera is?  Here is a picture of the Injera we enjoyed at Fasika. 

See the difference?  Well, we did some research and we realized that many restaurants cut the Teff flour with white flour and add yeast to get the airy texture.  The next time we made Injera, we took batter from our previous batch (from the freezer) and added some white flour, water and yeast.  Our Injera was very similar to what we were used to getting in a restaurant.  We had to fiddle around with the cooking process a bit, but we realized that a non-stick pan heated to medium high with no oil worked the best.  Here is an impromptu video we shot while we were making it..  You can see the cooking process.  You only cook injera on one side.

So, fast forward to a couple days ago.  We scored some whole Teff at Market Basket (BEST store ever!).. and since I have my awesome Vita Mix, I pulled it out and ground up some flour.  You can buy Teff flour at many Whole Foods or online.  Bob's Red Mill is the brand I have used, both for the flour and the whole grain.  

I knew that we could make the Injera with the added white flour, but wanted not only a whole grain product, but a gluten free product as well, so I decided to experiment with yeast. The Boyfriend, being awesome as usual, suggested we use a couple tbsp of our Sauerkraut liquid to jump start the fermentation process.  

If you don't have live sauerkraut, you could probably add a tablespoon of yogurt (dairy or vegan, just make sure it's plain and full of live bacteria).  

100% Teff Injera
  • 2 cups teff flour
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp live sauerkraut brine 
  1. stir everything together, allow it to sit, loosely covered in a very warm place for 24 hours. 
  2. take 1 tsp of yeast along with 2/3 cup water and a pinch of sugar or honey; allow mixture to bloom for 5 minutes, then stir it into the teff mixture along with 2 tsp salt. 
  3. Let the yeast/teff mixture sit uncovered for 3 hours
Ladle into a hot pan and cook until all of the air bubbles come to the surface (see video) and below:

It was really as easy as it looks.  Just made sure you are patient and allow it took cook completely before trying to take it out of the pan. I like to roll mine immediately and stack them, otherwise they tend to stick to the plate or each other. 


I hope that you will give this a try. I know our method is very different from a lot of recipes online, but trust me when I say that this Injera ROCKS!  You will love it. 

I also used it as a wrap for my New Mock "Tuna" spread made from whole soybeans.  Recipe coming up tomorrow! 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Spicy Taco Cabbage Cups & Life Challenges

So, my life has changed a lot in the past 6 weeks. I am no longer able to work the job I was loving in Boston due to my foot issues I have two stress fractures on the bottom of my foot, along with severe arthritis and a bone spur on the top of my big toe from an old childhood injury. I am seeing another specialist Tuesday to see if there is some sort of surgical option that could help speed up the recovery process. 

I am extremely frustrated and angry that my mobility has pretty much been taken from me.  It may sound extreme, but I work on my feet.  I also walk between 3-6 miles a day JUST TO GET TO WORK.  I don't have a car.  I live 1.5 miles from the commuter rail station and then my job is another 1.5 miles away from South Station.  If my boyfriend can't drive/pick me up then it's 6 miles a day of walking.  The kitchen I work in is in the basement of the building, so I go up and down stairs all day long. 

Obviously, my boss can't make accommodations for me or hold my job until the foot is well enough for me to put that much strain on it. 

I am struggling financially. I haven't worked in a month and won't be able to work up to being on my feet again in a  full time job again for at least TWO MONTHS. 

I am also dealing with stress, because the way I normally handle it is through exercise and walking. I LOVE strapping on my headphones and going for walks, and I loved my walks to and from work.  I have been gaining weight; 25 lbs since September.  This week, I decided to become meticulous about calorie counting. I need to be, since I am not active like I was.  Hopefully, I will be able to drive (the boyfriend's car) and start  swimming soon.  

So.. enough with the depressing stuff.  Since I am counting calories,  you can expect new recipes! That's a good thing, and I'm putting together some E-books to sell too!

I love using Cabbage and other greens instead of tortillas or bread.  I save a lot of calories and eat more veggies!  What's not to love about that.  When I "diet", I do find myself relying heavily on beans and greens!  So hearty and satisfying.  The other day, I made a batch of my Southwestern Beans using pinto beans.

I have my Southwestern Sauce on hand, which is super low in calories and very delicious! 

Of course, I have a bunch of Devilish Habanero Sauce in the fridge as well. 

To make the cabbage cup tacos, I warmed up 1 cup of the beans, took two large outer leaves from the cabbage and shredded up a bunch of the rest of the cabbage.  I mixed with cabbage with some cilantro, lime juice, a tiny bit fresh sage and mexican oregano from our garden.  I topped the mixture with the salsa, southwestern sauce, onions, and some Almond Cheese.  

The end result was super delicious and so healthy! Two large "Taco Cups" is a large portion with impressive nutritional results. 
  • 400 calories
  • 10 grams fat
  • 53 grams carbs
  • 18 grams fiber
  • 19 grams protein

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sesame Glazed Soybeans

I was craving something sweet, salty, and spicy today so I created this simple dish to snack on.  We are lucky to have found Bamboo Smoked Black Sesame Seeds, but if you don't have them, regular, toasted sesame seeds will be super delicious as well.  I cooked up a bunch of soybeans, so I used them, but you could use chickpeas.

Sesame Glazed Soybeans

  • 3 cups cooked soybeans or chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil (I used hot sesame oil)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds


  1. In a skillet over medium heat add the beans, oil, soy sauce mirin, sriracha and molasses. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

20 Minute Savory Chipotle - Broccoli Oat Bran

I'm a huge fan of Savory Breakfasts.(Gingered Tofu with Zucchini) 

I have been loving Oat Bran lately, but I've been preparing it with my Bean Milk, raisins, chia seeds, cinnamon and a bit of psyllium husk, and while that is delicious, I get bored eating the same thing over and over.

So, this morning, I took a look see in the fridge and freezer and saw that I had some leftover Chipotle Hummus and frozen broccoli and one of my favorite quick soups came to mind.  

I decided to replace the quinoa with 1/2 cup of oat bran and it came out super yummy.  The whole pot was ready in 20 minutes.  Win win!  I made a quick topping of onions, tomato, cilantro and pickled jalapeno and green olives.  

Yum yum!  

Friday, June 07, 2013

Wasabi-Ginger Curried Tofu Salad on Homemade Gluten Free Bread

I guess I'm in the mood for curry today!  I just enjoyed this simple curried tofu salad sandwich on my Gluten Free Sandwich Bread.  

The flavor combination might sound a little weird, but it came out really yummy and was so fast to make, I wanted to share it with you.

Tofu Salad:
7 oz firm tofu, drained
3 tbsp Wasabi Ginger 'Mayonnaise' 
2 tsp curry powder

-Mash everything together with a fork and enjoy.  This makes enough for two sandwiches (or 4 open faced sandwiches)

I topped the sandwich with spinach, red cabbage, jalapeno and green olives, tomato and lots of pepper.

30 Minute Jamaican Curried Black Eyed Peas, Collards and Mushrooms

I used my Curry In a Hurry Method to create this simple, yet very flavorful meal.  It was SCREAMING hot, because my Devilish Habanero Salsa was the base of the sauce and the Spicy Jamaican Curry Powder was also hot.   

You can use mild salsa and curry powder or whatever floats your boat!  I made a single (large) serving for myself.  What I love about my method of having 3 base sauces, 2 cooked legumes and 2 cooked grains on hand, is that I can create endless combinations of meals that come together in 30 minutes or less, but taste like they've been cooking all day long!

Here's the recipe! Serves 1 hungry person or 2 with normal appetites.

Curry In a Hurry Jamaican Beans and Greens 

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • pinch fresh nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp curry powder of choice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked black eyes peas or legume of choice
  • 3 cups raw collards, kale or other sturdy green
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms
  • pinch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water if needed
  • Soy Sauce/Black Pepper to taste
  1. Heat a cast iron or large skillet to medium; saute the onion, garlic ginger, nutmeg, curry powder and cinnamon along with a hefty pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add the legumes, greens mushrooms and fresh thyme along with the salsa and 1/2 cup water. 
  3. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. If needed, add more water. Taste and adjust seasoning and enjoy! 
I love eating savory dishes for breakfast.  The spicier the better! 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Devilish Habanero Salsa & Links to more salsa recipes.

This sauce is SCREAMING HOT!..  With and intense amount of garlic and habaneros, it is not for the sensitive palate to say the least!  I like it it a lot... in small doses, plus it can be used like Sriracha or tobasco in small doses, like one or two drops.  

Me, being me, has enjoyed 1/4 cup at a time, dipping broccoli and cauliflower into it.... but I did drool a lot; just a warning! 

I used a food processor, and processed the garlic and salt first for an even texture.

1 tbsp salt
20 cloves garlic
22 habanero peppers
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup cilantro
2 packets stevia (or one small pinch)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  1. Pulse the salt and garlic until it is a paste; add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Heat in a pan over medium heat until it comes to a boil; turn off heat and chill for 4 hours before serving.
Yield, 1 qt of VERY hot, but super flavorful salsa. If you are looking for a more palatable salsa click here for my Salsa Recipe

If Tomatillo Salsa/Green Sauce is more your thing, click HERE for my yummy recipes.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Chickpea Brown Rice Yeasted Sandwich Bread (Vegan, gluten and soy free)

Well, I had pizza dough leftover from Sunday and it's been proofing in the fridge for that past two day.  I decided to see how it worked as a bread, and boy oh boy, color me impressed.

I baked it at 375 for around 45-55 minutes.  I made half a loaf, but now I know that the pizza dough recipe will work as bread too.  Yay!  Cup for cup, my flour mix has 100 less calories and 33 grams less of carbs compared to whole wheat flour.  I'm really excited to experiment more with my baking mix!  It's not just for pizza!

Monday, June 03, 2013

Gluten Free Pizza and homemade chickpea flour/brown rice baking mix

I'm a huge fan of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix, but I wanted to cut calories a bit and see if I could come up with a whole food version of my own.  I apologize to those of you who don't have a Vita Mix or high powered blender.  It will be difficult to make a big batch of flour , but you can still make this if you have a decent coffee grinder to grind the brown rice.  I did not grind my own chickpea flour, instead I bought Besan at the local Indian Grocer. 

Speaking of Besan, have you made my Chickpea Flatbreads?  They are super simple, nutritious and a fast to make.

I digress...  as I said before, I love Bob's GF mix and actually have simple Gluten Free Crust Recipe I make from it..

OK, back to this recipe.  I originally thought I would be calling this my "High Fiber, High Protein Gluten Free Baking Mix", but upon plugging in the nutritional information I was shocked to find plain, whole wheat flour had a higher amount of protein and fiber oz per oz, so if you are not sensitive to gluten whole wheat flour is pretty darn nutritious! 

I did manage to reduce the calories by 100  per cup and the carbs by 30 grams per cup compared to whole wheat flour, so that's pretty impressive! 

I am going to use this for other baking purposes and report how it works.  For now, I've only used it in pizza dough. 

Melomeals Gluten Free Baking Mix: 

  • 4 cups brown rice
  • 4 cups chickpea flour 
  • 1/4 cup xantham gum
  • 1/4 cup psyllium husk

Grind the brown rice into flour, mix with the rest of the ingredients. Sift together and store in an air tight container. 

Here is the Pizza Recipe.  Now, it does have a mild Chickpea Flour taste.  I, personally, don't mind it, but this may not be for everyone.  My original Gluten Free Pizza Crust recipe does not have that taste! 

  • 4 1/2 cups Melomeals GF Baking MIx
  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 2 c warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional) 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (optional; I did not use, but I think it would add nice flavor to the crust)
  • 1 tbsp salt

Bloom yeast in the water with the sugar, pour into baking mix along with the spices and salt; knead until dough comes together.  You might need to wet your hands a bit.. I don't add more flour like I would with regular dough.  It will be sticky. Cover and let proof for an hour.  Follow THESE  baking instructions.  

and enjoy your pizza! 

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Citrus Fruit and Nut Bars (raw, vegan, gluten, soy and grain free)

Just a quick FYI, you can use the crust recipe from my Raw Blueberry Cheesecake to make these awesome citrus infused date-almond bars!  They make a perfect dessert, snack or even breakfast!  They keep in the fridge for at least two weeks and in the freezer for 6 months.  Pat the crust mixture in a 9 by 9 square baking pan and chill, then cut the bars into whatever shapes you like.  You could also roll them into balls if you find yourself with time to kill.

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Raw Blueberry Vegan, Gluten, Soy and Grain Free 'Cheesecake'

It was our friends 40th birthday a couple weeks ago and she is on a very strict elimination diet.  I was excited to make her a 'cake' she could actually eat!  The pictures aren't very good.. but that doesn't matter, because the cheesecake sure was.  I learned something making this cake, which is cool, because I have made probably at least a 100 raw desserts and never run into this problem.  If you use frozen fruit, thaw it completely first!  I used frozen blueberries and mixing it with the coconut oil, it never fully incorporated into the smooth, velvety texture that we all know and love in traditional cheesecakes.  It was still good, but if you look closely, you can see how grainy it is.  It should NOT be that way! Also, there were several pieces of solidified coconut oil in the cake. I was kind of embarrassed serving it, but I've been told not to apologize for my food and I"m not going to, even though I should have known better AND I know how MUCH BETTER it could have been..

That being said, it was still delicious and oh, so rich.  You could easily get 24 slices out of a 9 inch cake.

Note: There is honey in this recipe.  If you choose not to eat honey, I have provided the alternative of agave for vegans.

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

Crust 1 ½ cups almonds
1 cup coconut
12 large dates pitted (about a cup loosely packed)
Healthy pinch salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Pinch stevia powder
3 tablespoons warm water

In a food processor, pulse all of the ingredients except the water until it resembles very course flour. Add water by the tablespoon until the dough comes together; press into spring form pan and put in freezer while you make the filling.

2 ¾ cups cashews that have been soaked in warm water for 10 minutes (soak them while you are preparing the crust)
1 cup coconut oil
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of two medium lemons
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom and nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 cup honey or agave for vegans
14 oz blueberries (around 2 cups) you can use either frozen or fresh. If you use frozen, thaw them first!

Place everything in a food processor and process until it is very, very smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary. This can take up to 5 minutes of processing.
Fill the spring form pan with the filling and place in the freezer for at least two hours before serving.

2 cups frozen mixed berries
3 tbsp hot water
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp psyllium husk
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup honey

Blend everything together until smooth.

Here are some links to more Raw or Almost Raw Desserts!