Thursday, October 14, 2010

I've Moved!

Sorry to all my faithful readers and any new comers that happened this way in the last couple months but I've quite obviously been away.  The fella, our fluffy dog, and I decided to say tata to Wisconsin and a big happy hello to Portland, Oregon.  It has been an epic adventure. The moving cross country and all the packing, unpacking, and job hunting that goes along with it was pretty all consuming and sadly the blog and my cooking have suffered.   Now that I've unpacked the kitchen and found all the gluten free friendly grocery stores I'm ready to get back to cooking fabulous things.

The sad news for all my French Diet followers is I've learned that being gluten free and finding out my other allergies are pointing me towards eating mostly vegan, doesn't allow me to do the Montignac Method any longer.  So unfortunately I'm stepping down as the queen of braised cucumbers and becoming mistress of local food for the dietary restricted here in Portland.  The Year on a French Diet blog will stay here for everyone's enjoyment and I might update every once in a while but I'm moving on to other things.

Which brings me to my new blog Gluten Free Vegetarian in Portland.  It is pretty rough shape at the moment since I don't have much energy to put into designing it but I hope you'll follow me over there as I explore food in the Pacific Northwest. 

It's been a fun ride.  Feel free to email me about French Diet stuff if you like, I still think it's a great style of eating it just doesn't work for my overly picky body.  But I still highly recommend it to those that want to give it a try.  Hope to see you all at my other blog!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Quinoa and Asparagus Salad

This is another one of those insanely easy side dishes that would be well suited for taking to a summer picnic.  I made the quinoa earlier in the week during a cooking frenzy so when it was time prepare this recipe all I did was toss it together and eat.  It's filling, delicious, and just spicy enough to keep things interesting.  I of course made it vegan my using dairy free butter spread but I'm sure it's even better with the real thing.

I didn't change a thing so this very short post is brought to you by my love for 101Cookbooks where you can find the recipe for this simple salad.  Go check it out if you've been hiding under a rock and haven't discovered this trove of healthy whole food recipes.

Monday, July 12, 2010

White Bean Dip

This is what dinner looks like when I neglect to plan out recipes ahead of time.  Don't get me wrong, it was delicious but more random than I'm used to.

The fella and I were both hungry and uninspired.  All we had were a couple random vegetables and a bunch of dry beans that no one wanted to put the effort into boiling.  Then while looking through the oddities of my cupboard I found one can of white beans neither of us could remember buying.  Not one to look down upon random dinner providing beans, I whipped them into a dip I remembered seeing in my food blog browsing earlier in the day.  And tada we had protein and an almost balanced meal.

I'm not a fan of raw garlic (it's not a fan of me either I found out in my elimination dieting so at least the feeling is mutual) so I cooked mine before adding it.  But if you're a the garlicky-er the better type and loss in a few cloves raw, this is the easiest dip imaginable.  It's like hummus for when you're all hummus-ed out or not in the mood to plan ahead for soaking chickpeas.  Especially on the forbidden corn chips this dip was extraordinary. 

White Bean Dip

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) cooked white beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 a lemon, juiced 
salt and pepper, to taste

If you decide to cook the garlic, saute it briefly in the olive oil over medium heat just until it is no longer raw before tossing in the food processor.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse them, then place in food processor.  If using dried beans, cook 1 cup of white beans of your choice using your preferred method and put in food processor when cooked through.

Put all of the remaining ingredients in the food processor with the garlic and beans and pulse a few times until the mixture is very smooth.  Check the seasoning to see if more salt, pepper or thyme is needed.  Also add additional liquid at this point if you would like the dip to be thinner.  Blend again until well combined. 

Modified from an original recipe at Affairs of Living blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adzuki Bean and Mango Curry

In case you've never tried adzuki beans let me tell you that you're missing out.  They have the texture of a black bean and a flavor along the lines of a sweeter version of a kidney bean.  You can use them in place of any similar sized bean for something different. 

The only problem is these pretty pink beans are a bit hard to track down.   I get mine in the bulk pins at Whole Foods (I know it's a gluten free no no but I wash then thoroughly and have never had a problem.)  Eden Organics also has them canned flavored with seaweed at all the local groceries I go to so they are out there if you look.

Putting beans regardless of how unique they are with mango in a curry might sound odd.  I thought so too until I actually gave it a try.  The sweetness of the mango mellows the spices and gives this curry a really interesting mouthfeel making it seem much richer than it really is.  With the coconut milk included this either becomes a weight maintenance only dish or a curry to eat while skipping the rice.  To make this for a low fat/high fiber meal just sub out the coconut milk for some vegetable broth and add a bit of tomato paste to get a thick sauce without the fat.

I found this Adzuki Bean and Mango Curry recipe over at the City Life Eats blog along with a handful of other really tasty ideas for recipes for us picky allergic eaters.  It's sometimes a hard blog to navigate but this recipe is perfect so I'm just sending you over there to check it out since I didn't change a thing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Peanut Butter Brownies with Chocolate Chips

This is my attempt at modifying another recipe from the Lisa's Kitchen blog to make it gluten and sugar free.  I was hoping to make it 100% Montignac friendly as well but I couldn't justify putting almond flour in something with a cup of peanut butter in it so I used brown rice flour instead.  That means this is a decent treat for dessert on the maintenance phase since it just has a hint of carby goodness in it instead of a refined flour.

My version isn't perfect as its a little dry so feel free to play around with the ingrediants and let me know if you could up with a different flour ratio.  Besides slightly dry baked goods are an excuse to have ice cream along side it and ice cream makes everything better.  And we all know how well peanut butter and chocolate go together so there really isn't anything else I should have to say to sell you on these yummy bars.

Peanut Butter Brownies with Chocolate Chips

7 tablespoons of melted vegan shortening (I used Earth Balance butter flavor spread)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (divided use)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
scant 3/4 cup chickpea flour
scant 1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate finely chopped (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips)

Grease an 8 inch square pan with shortening. Line with parchment paper, leaving some overlap. Grease the paper in the bottom of the pan with more shortening.

In a large bowl, combine the melted shortening, agave nectar and 1/2 cup of the peanut butter until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gently beat in the flours, arrowroot, baking soda and cream of tartar. Stir in the chocolate and remaining peanut butter.

Spread evenly into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until it passes the tooth pick test.