Loaded Jicama Fries Two Ways

After Pesach (AKA Passover) everyone is a little sick of potatoes.  Jicama, a large tuber from Mexico with the texture of a turnip and the flavor of an apple is a great substitute for a potato. You don’t get the same crunch as you do with a fried potato, but it is not bad for an occasional change.   Originally I was going to name this  post Jicama Fry Poutine Two Ways, but the recipes moved too far away from a traditional poutine, which is made with cheese curds and gravy.

Mushroom and Cheese Jicama Fries Jicama Fries with Mushroom Gravy and Cheese Sauce

Kosher cheese curds can be very hard to obtain so in my dairy version I substituted a cheese sauce, and the gravy for a mushroom sauce, to keep it all kosher.

 

 

5 from 1 vote
Jicama Fries
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This is a great potato alternative if you want to change it up.  You can try baking them instead of frying, but believe me, it won't be nearly as good.

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 1 Large Jicima Cut in to 1/2"X1/2" Fries
  • 3 tbsp Seasoned Salt To taste
  • Vegetable Oil For frying
Instructions
  1. Put a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the fries and boil for 10 minutes to soften them.

  2. Remove the fries from the water and dry them completely.  A salad spinner works well for this.

  3. Add vegetable oil to your largest, heaviest frying pan so it come 3/4" inch up the side.  If you have a cast iron skillet this would be a great time to break it out.  Put over medium heat.

  4. Once the oil gets to 350°F start adding the fries a few at a time being careful not to crowd the pan.  Fry on each side until golden brown.

  5. Move the fries to a cooling rack, season with the seasoned salt, top with your favorite additions, and serve immediately.

5 from 1 vote
Mushroom Gravy
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian
Ingredients
  • 1 lb Mushrooms (I like cremini AKA baby bellas, but white buttons will work) Stems removed, rinsed, and sliced
  • 2 large Onions Halved
  • 3 tbsp Butter or Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Finely Chopped
  • Additional Olive Oil for Sauteing
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 Cup Vegetable Stock Preferably home made, but store bought will be fine
Instructions
  1. Add a couple of tablespoons olive oil to a large saucepan or a dutch over over medium heat.  Add the mushrooms, being careful not crowd the pan. Work in batches if necessary.  Saute the mushrooms until the are nicely browned on both sides and remove them from the pan.

  2. Add the onion and some olive olive oil if needed.  Saute the onions until they take on a golden color.  Add the soy sauce and the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic just starts to brown.  Then remove the onions and garlic from the pan.

  3. Turn the heat down to low and add the flour and butter or olive oil.  Stir constantly to completely coat the flour particles with the fat.  This is called a roux, it is a great thickener for sauces. 

  4. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, and onions.  Then slowly add vegetable stock, stirring regularly until the desired thickness is achieved.

  5. Serve immediately on top of fries, knishes, pasta, or chicken, the sky is the limit.

5 from 1 vote
Cheese Sauce
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp Butter or Olive Oil
  • 3 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk Or Cream
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
Instructions
  1. Put sauce pan over low heat and add the flour and butter or olive oil. Stir constantly to completely coat the flour particles with the fat. This is called a roux, it is a great thickener for sauces. 

  2. Continue to stir the roux constantly. Once the roux starts to brown add the milk or cream slowly and continue to stir.

  3. Once the milk or cream is completely incorporated, add the cheese and stir the cheese until it is completely melted.  Serve immediately.

Jicama Fries with Shredded Beef and Spicy Salsa Verde

For my meat version, I wanted to something that would stick the ribs, topped off with some heat.  I happened to have had made some Mexican food recently and thought that this was a great opportunity to use up some leftovers.  Pulled beef is a great opportunity to break out the slow cooker (AKA Crock-Pot), and as Ron Popeil always said, set it and forget it. The ingredients for the salsa are grilled, which is a great way to use up the heat from dying coals after a backyard soiree.

5 from 1 vote
Pulled Beef Jicama Fries
Pulled Beef
Ingredients
  • 1 Hunk of Beef Nothing fancy. Neck or shoulder is fine
  • 1 Bottle Beer
  • 29 oz Can of Tomato Sauce
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Roughly chopped
  • 1 Large Onion Sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • Salt and Pepper To taste
Instructions
  1. Throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker (AKA Crock-Pot).  Let it cook for about 6 hours on low.  Shred with two forks.  Serve as a taco, with rice, on fries. or over pasta.  Freezes well.

0 from 0 votes
Pulled Beef Jicama Fries
Spicy Tomatillo Salsa Verde
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

This is a great condiment when you want to kick it up a notch.  You can add more or less chili peppers to control the level of heat.  You can also remove the ribs and seeds from the peppers to decrease the heat.

Course: Dip
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers
  • 2 Poblano Peppers
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers
  • 6 Large Tomatillos Husks removed
  • 1 Large Onion Peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Skin removed
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Handful Cilantro Chopped
  • 1 Lime
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
Instructions
  1. Toss all the peppers, tomatillos, onion, and garlic with the olive oil. Put them on the grill or under the broiler until the skin begins to char and then remove from the heat

  2. Remove the tops from the peppers and add them to a large mixing bowl along with the onion, tomatillos, and garlic.  With an immersion (stick) blender, process until desired texture is achieved. This can also be done in a food processor or a regular blender.

  3. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper and the juice from the lime to bowl.  Stir to combine. Serve alongside chips, or on top of tacos or fries.

Don’t forget to check out Rachel’s Jicama recipe here: Spicy Slaw with Quick Pickled Jicama and Creamy Salsa Verde Dressing

Spicy Slaw with Pickled Jicama and Creamy Salsa Verde Dressing

Welcome back from the Passover craziness! It feels like the Seder meals were forever ago, am I right?  Well, back to the swing of things, and this latest challenge ingredient is “Jicama”, also commonly known as a Mexican turnip.  I think it tastes somewhere in between an apple and a potato.  I love the versatility of the humble jicama – you can eat it raw or cooked and it’s such a neutral base, it’s good in so many dishes.

I had a few dishes running around in my head and tested a few things out, but what I started with was a quick pickled jicama – let that sit in the fridge for a day or so until I figured out my next move.  Just apple cider vinegar, water, salt and coconut sugar (since, if you know me, I don’t even have white sugar in my pantry.  I know, I know…I’m one of “those” people).  Diced it up, poured the brine in a mason jar and let it do its job.  Then, it was on to some inspiration.

Over Pesach, my mother-in-law showed me a new cookbook she got, “Perfect for Pesach” by Naomi Nachman.  Truth is, this is basically what I eat all year-long!  Gluten free, but definitely still delicious, I mean, who are we kidding.  I was really digging it, so I got a copy for myself (can one have too many cookbooks?  I think not)!  I came across a coleslaw with chimichurri and that got me thinking about my jicama dish.  But immediately, my mind went to salsa verde (green salsa). So, I got some tomatillos (they look like green tomatoes with a papery skin on the outside), some jalapeno AND Serrano peppers  (because you know, I live on the edge – maybe that’s another reason why I’m “risky” veggie, aye?), some green onions, garlic, olive oil, sat and pepper.  Broil for about 10 minutes until everything is slightly charred and piping hot and now you have a sudden craving for chips and dip.  Blend it all in a food processor and BAM.  Salsa verde.  I’ll warn you, it does have quite a kick, but you can always remove the ribs and seeds of the peppers before blending away.  But I like it spicy baby!

So that’s that!  I mixed some bagged coleslaw (because I’m not afraid of using shortcuts), sliced radish, pickled jicama, and fresh cilantro (and if I COULD, I would sprinkle cilantro on freaking everything – yea, I’m one of those weirdos that somehow doesn’t think it tastes like soap).  And to mellow out the heat of the salsa verde, I mixed in some homemade mayo, but you can always use store-bought, don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me. 🙂

Fresh, light, spicy, crunchy – now THAT sounds like a perfect spring dish if you ask me.  I served this slaw as a side dish to my Moroccan salmon and carrots – look for that recipe coming soon on my other blog, riskyveggie!Jicama Slaw Menu

And coming up…my light take on Shavuous food!  (say WHAAA?)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t forget to check out Daniel’s Jicama recipe: Loaded Jicama Fries Two Ways

 

 

Traditional Chicken Soup With (Kosher) Bacon Schmaltz Matzo Balls

When it comes to Passover (AKA Pesach), most families have more traditions than Fiddler on the Roof.  I was all set to make you a super traditional matzo ball with homemade chicken schmaltz and gribenes.  I figured this was going to be an easy challenge to beat Rachel at.  How could a vegetarian gluten free dish beat (to quote Walter from The Big Lebowski) “…three thousand years of beautiful tradition, from Moses to Sandy Koufax”.  So I spent hours slowly rendering chicken skin to extract some liquid gold and produce crispy little chicken skin cracklings, and then…and then one of my kids spilled my schmaltz. All over the kitchen floor. Needless to say, I was not happy.

That is when I went in to problem solving mode.  What do I have in the house that is similar to schmaltz? That is where I completely broke with tradition and went to one of my favorite crutches, (kosher) bacon. Ask your Bubby, there ain’t nothing traditional about bacon. That being said, it does provide fat and crunch just like schmaltz and gribenes.

Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments.  Also, let me know if you like my matzo ball soup or Rachel’s better.  You can find hers here: Minestrone Soup with Gluten-Free Matzah Balls

5 from 1 vote
Pho
Chicken Soup
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs
 

A classic kosher comfort dish.  It's good for what ails you, they don't call it Jewish penicillin for nothing. I don't like anything too fancy in my chicken soup so I stay away from things like zucchini and tomatoes, but if you like them feel free to add them, it won't hurt anything.  

One final note, your soup will never taste as good as your mother's for 2 reasons:

1. Memories are a strong force

2. She probably added some soup mix with MSG to give it that little something extra.

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 1 Large Pot
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 4 Medium Carrots Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 4 Ribs Celery Rinsed, tops and bottoms cut off and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Turnip Peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 Parsnip Peeled and cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 Onion Peeled and roughly chopped
  • Salt To taste
  • Pepper To taste
  • 1 Handful Dill
  • 1 Handful Parsley
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Chicken Leg Quarters Remove and save the fat and skin to make schmaltz
Instructions
  1. Put all the ingredients in your largest pot and fill with enough water to cover everything, making sure not to fill too high in order to prevent it from boiling over.

  2. Cover the pot and put over high heat and bring to a boil.  Once the soup is at a boil remove the lid and turn the heat down to a simmer.

  3. Let the soup simmer for about four hours or until the soup reduces by about 15%.

  4. Remove chicken from the bones, adding the chicken back in to the soup and discarding the bones.  Serve within a week or freeze for up to six months. 

5 from 2 votes
Matzo Balls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
 
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Jewish
Servings: 12 Small Matzo Balls
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Matzo Meal
  • 2 tbsp Cold Chicken Stock
  • 2 tbsp Fat (Kosher) Bacon grease, chicken schmaltz, or vegetable oil
  • 1 Large Egg Beaten
  • 2 tbsp (Kosher) Bacon or Gribenes Chopped very fine
  • 2 quarts Chicken Stock For cooking the Matzo Balls
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients except the 2 quarts of chicken stock in a large mixing bowl, stir with a large wooden spoon, ideally one passed down from your Bubby, until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Put the mixture in the fridge for about an hour to hydrate.

  2. Roll out the matzo balls just slightly smaller than a golf ball and cook in chicken stock for about 5 minutes. Serve immediately or remove from liquid and freeze.

Minestrone Soup with Gluten-Free Matzah Balls

Ah, the dreaded “P” word.  The word that we Jews cringe when anyone utters it before Purim. Yes, I’m referring to “Pesach”!  HA!  It’s not that overwhelming, is it?  (Insert shoulder shrug emoji here).  And so it begins. Searching, sweeping, and cleaning out old, weird stuff from the fridge (you know, the stuff you forgot to label, some unidentifiable mushy substance that now has a fresh layer of fuzzy mold?)  Alright, enough of the gross stuff. You are reading about food here anyway.

Quick disclaimer:  Some of you may notice that I have included peas in this recipe.  Peas are “kitnoyit” and only eaten by Sephardic Jews on Passover, so if you’re Ashkenazic, then peas are off limits.  So feel free to omit, if it applies to you.

So this week’s challenge is none other than the traditional “matzah ball” (or matzo ball as it’s most commonly spelled).  Being, well, me…I wanted to take on the challenge to make mine gluten free, and before you get all annoyed with me that I may not making true matzo balls, here me out for a second. Call them whatever you want, but basically these are big gnocchi, and trust me…they turned out pretty delicious if I say so myself.  So no haters here…just wanted to try something different while still appealing to everyone.  I must admit, I had to do some research here.  Survey says – use potatoes as the base.  I went with yukon gold potatoes, mostly because I like the flavor, and when they cook, they get this super creamy consistency that I don’t think you can really get from a big baking potato, and no peeler necessary (though honestly, I hardly ever peel potatoes). The other thing I realized while doing some searching on the interwebs, is that you MUST wait for the potatoes to cool before making the dough (so, insert extra prep time for that).  I didn’t ask questions, I just followed along.

Then came the hard part – what type of soup would I make?  I briefly thought about “tortilla soup”, sans tortillas, but using the matzah balls as a replacement, but my gut told me to go with a simple minestrone.  It’s a week before Passover and aren’t we all trying to get rid of random items in our fridge?  Many of us probably have canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, frozen peas, right?  This is basically a “dump soup” as I like to call them – just dump everything into a pot and call it a day.  That’s the beauty about making soup, you can throw in whatever you want and adjust seasonings as you go, it’s almost fool-proof.  Plus…since these matzah balls are basically gnocchi, why not make an Italian-influenced soup, right?  I’m not trying to change the world here with my out-of-the-box and totally inaccessible recipes that no one will make it.

Before I go, I have 2 tips for you (and one bonus tip in the recipe below), because you KNOW I’m all about handy tips, ya!  So I used a can of whole peeled tomatoes for this and I happen to love these vintage-looking cans, so don’t throw them out (or recycle for that matter), instead use it as a low vase for flowers!

Tip number 2?  I made veggie stock a few months ago and froze it in ice cube trays (I have a few weirdly shaped ones, some heart-shaped, some stick-shaped, but who cares), then instead of buying veggie stock for this soup, I just popped in a few veggie stock cubes and you’re done.  I kinda eyeballed the measurements, but feel free to play with it as you make it!  I added a lot of water and stock because I didn’t want it to end up being tomato sauce.  So start with some water and you can always add more.  Don’t have stock around?  That’s fine too, just add enough after and make sure you season with plenty of salt, pepper, and whatever else you have on hand.  The sky’s the limit!  Don’t have peas?  Throw in some sliced button mushrooms!  Make it your own!

One other thing to add.  If you’re like me and want to multi-task, let your slow cooker be your friend in this scenario!  I didn’t want to babysit my soup, so instead I dumped everything into my crock-pot, and cooked it on low overnight.  I made this for Friday night dinner, so all I had to do was put it back on the crock pot and re-heat it.  Don’t you love when your kitchen appliances can do the work for you?  But obviously you can make it the old fashioned way too.

So that’s it, here we go!  1 week and counting.  Wishing you all a chag kasher v’sameach and a wonderful Pesach with family, friends and hopefully LOTS of good food.  🙂

Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments.  Also, let me know if you like my matzo ball soup or Daniel’s better.  You can find hers here: Traditional Chicken Soup With (Kosher) Bacon Schmaltz Matzo Balls

5 from 1 vote
Minestrone Soup with Gluten Free Matzah Balls
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
2 hrs
Total Time
3 hrs
 


Course: Soup
Cuisine: Homemade, Italian, Jewish, Kosher
Servings: 8 people
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
Gluten Free Matzah Balls
  • 7 small-medium yukon gold potatoes baked and cooled
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 cups potato starch
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 2 tsp garlic powder I roasted some garlic with the potatoes and I added the garlic to the soup, but you can use garlic powder, that's totally ok 🙂
Minestrone Soup
  • 1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 2 small white onions, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 10 oz bag of frozen green peas
  • 1 10 oz bag of frozen carrots yea, I was feeling pretty lazy here, just being honest.
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped optional (I didn't use any because I just used up whatever I had in the house)
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, sliced also optional,
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 3 cups water
Instructions
  1. Make the soup - in a large soup pot, sweat the onions, garlic, celery (if using) carrots and mushrooms (if using) for about 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper.

  2. Open the can of whole peeled tomatoes and carefully (wearing an apron is a must here), use your hands to crush the tomatoes while in the can, so they're not quite as "whole" but a little more rustic.  

  3. Add in the can of tomatoes, frozen peas, stock, water and any other spices or seasonings (thyme, bay leaf, dried basil)

  4. Turn the stove to high and cook until the soup is boiling, then turn down the simmer, cover and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. While the soup is cooking, add the matzah balls ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.  You may have to add in a little more flour if the dough is still too sticky but depends on how starchy your potatoes are, or if you're using extra large eggs.  Knead the dough in a big stainless steel bowl until you get the perfect consistency (you want to be able to roll them in your hands, so not too sticky but sticky enough that they hold together).

  6. Fill a second soup pot with water and bring to a boil.

  7. (Tip #3):  Use a mini ice cream scoop to portion out the matzah ball dough and drop in to the boiling water.  

  8. Cook for a few minutes, until the balls float to the top.

  9. Remove the matzah balls with a slotted spoon and drop them into the minestrone soup to finish cooking. 

  10. Serve the soup piping hot with fresh basil or dill and enjoy!

 

Happy Pi Day: Smoked Duck Personal Pot Pie

Pot Pie

Happy Pi day (at least for another few hours) to my math nerd friends, not to be confused with National Pie Day, which next year will be on Tuesday, January 23rd according to Google. For those of you who don’t remember, Pi (π) is the Greek letter used to represent the magical number needed to calculate the area and circumference of a circle.  Its approximate value is 3.14, hence Pi day is March 14th.  See this link for a much more accurate value for Pi: Pi to a million places. Now that the math lesson is over, on to the food!

Many people make pie for Pi Day because they sound the same and they are generally circular (and who doesn’t want an excuse to eat pie!), and therefore Rachel has challenged me to Pi Day throw down. I had some leftover smoked duck from my Very BBQ Purim Se’udah, and figured pot pie was a great way to use it up.  And yes, this recipe will work fine with roast duck, roast turkey, or even chicken.

Pot Pie Mise

5 from 1 vote
Cut Pot Pie
Smoked Duck Personal Pot Pie
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 20 mins
 
Course: Appetizer, Main Dish
Cuisine: BBQ, Homemade
Servings: 12
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
Duck Stock (Or Just Use Chicken Stock)
  • 1 Duck Carcass Leftover
  • 2 Duck Wings
  • 1 Tablespoon Celery Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Mustard Seed
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Dill
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves
Filling
  • 2 Cups Duck (or Chicken) Stock
  • 2 Smoked Duck Legs and Thighs Bones Removed
  • 2 Carrots Diced
  • 11 Oz Canned Corn
  • 1 Medium Onion Chopped
  • 6 Medium Mushrooms Chopped
  • 2 Stalks Celery Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Chopped
  • 3/4 Cup AP Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 24 Puff Pastry Squares or Rounds
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Egg Beaten
Instructions
  1. Take all the ingredients for the stock, put it in a large pot, and boil for couple of hours. Strain out the solids and preserve the liquid.
  2. Put the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. After 2 minutes, add the flour and whisk until the all the flour is coated in oil and there are no dry pockets. This is called a roux.
  3. Turn the heat down to low and cook the roux until it starts to brown, stirring regularly to prevent burning.
  4. Add all the vegetables, the stock, and the duck meat to the pot and stir, making sure to incorporate the roux into the mixture. Cook until the vegetables have softened.
  5. Spray 2 muffin pans (they usually hold 6 muffins) with cooking spray. Press one puff pastry square into each muffin compartment to form the bottom crust. Add the filling, about 2/3 of the way to the top and cover with another puff pastry square, tucking the ends in. Brush egg on top.
  6. Preheat the over to 350°F and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.

Cut Pot Pie

Let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments.  Also, let me know if you liked my recipe or Rachel’s better.  You can find hers here: Happy Pi Day! Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding Pie with Maple Coconut Cream

Happy Pi Day! Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding Pie with Maple Coconut Cream

Happy Pi Day everyone!  Ah, March 14th, 3/14, where everyone stuffs their faces with pie (much more tasty than pi).  Math nerds, unite!  This latest challenge is none other than (duh)…PIE!  #yum.

Funny, I almost forgot about “pi” day this year, until my chiropractor’s office provided a gentle reminder of their annual “pie contest” on pi day of course (shout out to my peeps at Chiro One)!  I mean, doesn’t this just make for a perfect blog post?  Although it was a wee bit quick after Purim to make something new for this blog, yet again, I did remind Daniel that he didn’t have to re-invent the wheel with this one (and of course, we want to give you all some fresh new content).  “How about using some of your leftover BBQ chicken from your hamantaschen, or the smoked duck from the seudah, and making a pot pie?” But who am I kidding…would there actually BE leftovers?  (In case you’re wondering, yes, there were, let’s be honest, he did make 4 different proteins for like 5 meat-eating adults).

In any case, I got right to work on my pie.  I figured Peikes would make a savory pie (and boy was I right), but for this I wanted to go back to the basics – homemade coffee date nut crust, cocoa powder, sweet potato (your kids will NEVER know they’re eating sweet potato in this), chia seeds for that extra nutrition boost and all around yumminess.  This concoction was mostly a thought of “ok, what do I have in my pantry that I can work on getting rid of, because Pesach is around the corner?”  I ended up with canned organic pureed sweet potatoes (um, super easy and takes way less time than baking your own), raw cocoa powder, and some other yummy ingredients that you’ll see if you take a look at my recipe below. Oh and feel free to use whatever crust you want.  I happened to be making a big batch of my famous coffee coconut date balls (for a friend who had a baby and for a soon-to-be-mom at work), soI ended up using some leftover “date ball” mix for my piecrust. Yea…multitask for the win here. It’s easy to whip together in a food processor, plus it’s gluten free, vegan, soy free, dairy free and sugar free (but NOT taste free). 🙂

Wondering how I made the whipped coconut cream?  Thinking it’s going to be super difficult? Well, fear not my friends because this is the easiest homemade whipped cream (and healthiest) topping ever.  Step 1 – place 2 cans (1 can isn’t quite enough for this pie) of full fat coconut milk in the fridge. Step 2 – remove the cans and carefully remove the coconut cream that has risen and hardened at the top (save the coconut milk for another use).  Step 3 – place in bowl, add maple syrup and mix until fluffy peaks of creamy whipped topping are born (just FYI, it won’t be “exactly” like real whipped cream, so just note that, but it’s close enough, and oh yea, it tastes good too).  Step 4 – shmear on top of pie.  Step 5 – (cool in fridge and then), DEVOUR.  The yummiest part of this pie, in my opinion?  The coffee in the crust!

So that’s it my friends!  My pie for pi day.

Disclaimer: I do not take any responsibility for any extra weight gain on this day, from eating lots and lots o’ pie.

Comment below and let me know how your pie turned out! Also, let me know if you liked my recipe or Daniel’s better.  You can find his here: Happy Pi Day: Smoked Duck Personal Pot Pie

5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Sweet Potato Pudding Pie with Maple Coconut Cream
Prep Time
30 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 30 mins
 
Servings: 1 pie
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup dates I like deglet noor, I just like the texture of them, and I don't have to remove the pits, WOOT
  • 1/2 cup nuts I like pecans, but for this one I used walnuts, because I was out, but use whatever you have on hand
  • 4 T almond milk I like the Califia Farms brand
  • 1 dash cinnamon
  • 1 T good quality ground coffee
  • 1 15 oz can organic pureed sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw cocoa powder
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t pumpkin pie spice cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, allspice - or just use any of these spices you have on hand
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup white chia seeds (this is my secret ingredient, instead of using other thickeners, I use chia seeds - they are a perfect thickener and you won't taste them at all, plus they're a great source of protein, omega-3's and antioxidants)
  • 2 cans Full-fat coconut milk
  • 2-4 T pure maple syrup Add in 1 tablespoon at a time and adjust sweetness as needed
Instructions
  1. Make the crust: add the first 5 ingredients into a food processor and mix until fully incorporated (here's the deal - I don't really measure when I make the crust, but I adjust if I need to - it the crust is too sticky, add in a handful of nuts, if it's too dry, add in a few more dates and some more almond milk. If you don't want coffee in it, omit it, or use leftover brewed coffee from earlier that morning).
  2. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with coconut oil.
  3. Press the crust and use your hands and fingers to press it in the bottom and up the sides.
  4. Place the crust in the freezer while you make the filling.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients into a high-speed blender (to grind the chia seeds) until thickened. Pour into crust and place in fridge for 4 hours or until completely firm in the middle. Place a can of full fat coconut milk in the fridge while the pie is chilling.
  6. After a few hours, remove the can of coconut milk from the fridge, and very carefully, open the top and scoop out the solidified cream (save the milk for a later use).
  7. Place the cream in a stainless steel bowl and using either a hand mixer or stand mixer, whip the coconut cream for a minute or so, and slowly add in the maple syrup, one tablespoon at a time (you can always add more sweetness). Whip until the maple syrup is incorporated and the cream gets a bit fluffy (it won't become the exact texture of whipped cream, but close). Add to the top of the pie and place in fridge to firm up.
  8. Serve chilled - ENJOY!

 

Purim Seudah Menu – the Rachel way

Hi all and happy Purim!

Even though Daniel and I just made our hamantaschen and posted about it this week, I still cannot believe that we’re in March, and even though Pesach is around the corner, I’m still in denial that it’ll be here before you can say “gluten free hamantaschen”.

So here we go – it’s seudah time!  We’re each giving you some ideas of what to serve at your seudah, and here’s mine!

Appetizer:

My caramelized onion, mushroom, fig and goat cheese GF pizza crust hamantaschen (omit the goat cheese if you’re doing a pareve or fleishig seudah).

Main Dishes:

Super Spicy Drunken Noodles

Raw Falafel Balls with lemon za’atar dipping sauce

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Dessert:

My coffee maple date hamantaschen with lemon blueberry chia filling

When I first thought of “Purim” food (ok, besides the obvious hamantaschen), I immediately thought of “drunken noodles”.  I mean, clearly, for the whole Purim theme and all, BUT here’s the kicker – there is not one trace of alcohol in this dish!  The whole point of making drunken noodles is that it’s so fiery hot that you’ll want to drink a vat of alcohol (which I do not recommend, for that matter) after eating this super spicy dish.  Or may I just recommend a nice tall glass of…almond milk to wash it down? 🙂 Only I would say that, right?  This dish is typically made with Asian ingredients, but I would use gluten free brown rice pasta (Jovial brand is my fav – holy delicious batman, it tastes just like the real thing), and add some aromatic spices to the mix, to make it unique.  Some cumin, coriander, curry (or whatever, throw in whatever spices and herbs you like), add in some Thai chilies, sriracha, sambal olek (Asian chili sauce), umeboshi plum vinegar (which I’m a little obsessed with, it has a salty, umami flavor that would be spot on in this), and top with some fresh cilantro and plenty of fresh limes wedges to squeeze over the top and this is one dish worth salivating over.

But after that, I was stuck.  What else would be great to serve for a Purim seudah, without being too cliche or specific to one cuisine?  Then it hit me.  Persian flavors (DUH).  Hello, Rachel, the whole story of Purim happens in Persia.  So, I went with some Middle Eastern flavors (which I did with the noodles, image that), with some Rachel flair of course.  The raw falafel bites is an idea that I borrowed from one of my favorite cookbook authors and bloggers, Megan Gilmore, a.k.a. Detoxinista, and I love that these are raw – so no baking required and they only take a few minutes to whip up in the food processor.  Walnuts, tahini, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, parsley – done.  If you want to add chick peas, by all means, but I wanted to do something a little unexpected, and the walnuts give it a nice texture.  If you want to flatten them and pan fry them into patties, then go for it!  Make sure you experiment with your food, the way YOU like it – after all, you’re the one that has to eat it anyway, right? Serve these up in pita (gluten free or not), or lettuce cups and top with some zesty lemon za’atar sauce.  Just mix in some mayo (homemade is super easy to make, or just use whatever you have on hand), add in some lemon zest and juice, chopped parsley, garlic powder and za’atar seasoning and mix!  Done and done.

And last on the list was the cauliflower tabbouleh.  If you’ve checked out my other blog, riskyveggie.com, you’ll note that I am slightly obsessed with the ever popular cauliflower “rice” – just raw cauliflower chopped into rice-sized pieces.  I love a good tabbouleh – that fresh bite of tomato, cucumber, sharp raw onion, fresh parsley and a refreshing finish of lemon juice (ok now I’m making myself hungry), but instead of bulgar or even a gluten free grain, how about cauliflower rice!  It resembles similar texture and it cooks in half the time!  I just like to throw it in a pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper for maybe 5-10 minutes at max, otherwise it’ll get mushy and I like my cauliflower ‘al dente’.

So that’s the whole megillah, folks (I know, I couldn’t resist).

Hope you enjoy my menu ideas for a Purim seudah!

Freilichin Purim!

Not one, but TWO healthy Hamantaschen!

Okay, so I’m a bit of an overachiever, and for this Hamantaschen challenge, I decided to make not just one type of “hummy” but TWO freaking recipes.  Sweet and savory.  I know it looks like a potchke, but I promise that I’ve given you some helpful shortcuts to make these easier than they look!

For the savory one, I used Simple Mills brand gluten free pizza dough mix (yes, you read that correctly – gluten free). For the filling, I made a caramelized onion, mushroom, fig and goat cheese mixture, with some spices to round it out but I like the contrast of the sweet figs and onions and umami mushrooms (I used oyster mushrooms for this, but use whatever you have on hand). To be honest, I was slightly panicked when I realized I didn’t have any dried figs in my pantry, but to my surprise, I found Trader Joe’s California green figs in my freezer (and perfect timing to clean out my freezer right before Pesach anyway).  So that’s what I used, but if you’re using dried figs, I would put them in some warm water to soften them up before you saute with the rest of the ingredients.

And for the sweet one – here’s the kicker for this, it’s NO BAKE!  Did I hook you guys up or what?  It’s a coffee maple date “dough” with lemon blueberry chia filling! Truth be told, I played around with the dough for a while on this one, adding liquid when needed to make it a little more pliable, but that’s kind of the beauty of this, there’s not really an exact science to it, no precise measuring, just throw some stuff in a food processor and adjust as needed.

So readers, there you have it!  My take on this year’s hamantaschen.

Freilichin Purim everyone!

5 from 2 votes
Caramelized onion, mushroom, fig & goat cheese hamantaschen (GF)
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 8 medium hamantaschen
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
  • 1 box gluten free pizza dough mix I like the brand Simple Mills - you just add water, oil and apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion Use any type of onion you have
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms (wiped clean with dish towel) Again, use whatever you have (I used oyster mushrooms, but any type will work)
  • 1/4 cup figs Use fresh or frozen, but if using dried, soak them in warm water to soften first
  • 1 small handful crumbled goat cheese I just eyeballed this, about 10 crumbles
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp 21 seasoning salute I get this at Trader Joe's - it's a fantastic mix of all different herbs and spices and perfect for savory foods like this!
  • 1 tsp unrefined coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Follow the instructions on the back of the gluten free pizza dough mix - set aside.
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a saute pan and add onions, mushrooms, figs, salt, pepper and spices. Cook for about 15 minutes until fragrant and caramelized.
  3. Add in the crumbled goat cheese and cook for 5 more minutes until melted.
  4. While the goat cheese is melting, pre-heat oven to 350F and place parchment paper on baking sheet.
  5. Wet hands and scoop a golf ball sized amount of dough, flatten into circle, scoop a small amount of filling and fold in the corners to make a triangular shape. You may have to re-wet your hands for this part, so you can seal the corners and the sides, since the dough may crack a bit.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Top with fresh or dried rosemary. Serve warm or room temp and devour!
5 from 1 vote
Coffee maple date hamantaschen with lemon blueberry chia filling
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
1 hr 55 mins
 
Course: Appetizer
Servings: 10 hamantaschen
Author: Rachel Katzman
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup dates I like to use Deglet Noor, I just like the texture better and you don't have to remove the pits, like Medjool
  • 3/4 cup nuts I like to use pecans for this, but almonds or walnuts would be great too
  • 3 T pure maple syrup
  • 1 T ground coffee You can use either leftover coffee, or good quality granules
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or any other dairy-free milk you have handy
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 T shredded coconut
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 T white chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 T unrefined coconut oil
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a pot and add the blueberries, coconut sugar, lemon zest and juice and cook until the blueberries have all popped and mixture has thickened.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the chia seeds and mix well until the filling is thick, like jam.
  3. Add the dates, nuts, maple syrup, coffee, almond milk, vanilla extract and shredded coconut into a food processor and pulse until all combined. Once it's all blended, remove the lid and scoop out some dough to see if it'll hold together when you fold it into hamantaschen. You may need to add some almond milk or water, or more nuts depending on the consistency.
  4. Scoop some dough onto a baking sheet covered in wax paper, and flatten into a circle. Add a small amount of filling and carefully fold up the sides to make a triangular shape. You may need to wet your hands for this one to press down the sides and corners. Sprinkle with coconut sugar.
  5. Place in the freezer to set up for 1 hour, then store in a container. Defrost for 15 minutes before serving.

Let me know how you liked the recipes in the comments.  Also let me know if you liked my hamantaschen or Daniel’s better. His can be found here: Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen

Barbecue Chicken Hamantashen

In honor of the upcoming Jewish holiday of  Purim I challenged Rachel to hamantaschen throw down.  I figure I should be able to best her easily, as they are usually high in sugar and carbs which are Kryptonite  to my compadre.

While hamantaschen usually take the form of a sweet triangular cookie, I went in a completely different direction creating a savory appetizer version.  For the BBQ sauce I recommend my Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce .

5 from 1 vote
Barbecue Chicken Hamantaschen
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs
 
A great a savory twist on a traditionally sweet cookie. It makes a great appetizer.
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, BBQ
Servings: 4
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 12 Round Won-ton skins Thawed
  • 1/2 Chicken Chopped (Roasted, Grilled, or Smoked Store bought rotisserie or leftover chick works great for this
  • 2 Cups BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Whole Egg Beaten
  • Vegetable Oil for Frying
Instructions
  1. Add the chicken and BBQ sauce to a pot and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Add a teaspoon of the chicken to the center of the won-ton skin, brush egg on the edges, and fold the edges to make a triangle with an open center. Repeat for all 12 won-tons.
  3. Fill a heavy frying pan with about a 1/2" of oil and place over medium heat. Fry over until golden brown on each side and serve immediately.

Please let me know what you think of the recipe in the comments. Also let me know if you liked my hamantaschen recipe or Rachel’s better.  Her’s can be found here: Not one, but TWO healthy Hamantaschen!

Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce

This is a great all purpose sauce that takes advantage of that special something you get from the 23 secret flavors that are combined to make Dr. Pepper.  If you don’t want to take the time to reduce Dr. Pepper to syrup you can use Soda Stream’s Dr. Peter Sparkling Drink Mix.

I love this on chicken and often use it balance out spicy rubs on wings.  It also makes a great condiment for burgers.  Please let me know how you like it in the comments.

5 from 1 vote
Pulled Beef Doughnuts
Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: BBQ
Author: Daniel Peikes
Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Dr. Pepper Syrup You can reduce a 2L of Dr Pepper or use Soda Stream Dr. Pete Sparkling Drink Mix
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot and simmer for about 10 minutes on low heat while stirring regularly.