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Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

We are blessed right now to have eggplants coming out of our ears!!! (or just choke on our plants). So…I invoked this recipe from my repertoire. This recipe is a slight twist on the many variations of Indian dish Baingan Bharta.

All Baingan Bharta recipes have many ingredients in common: eggplant, onions,  tomatoes, ginger, pepper and garlic. Many add garam masala, coriander, turmeric, etc.  I learned to make this during my very first vegan phase in my early early 20’s. To make it heartier (more protein) I started adding chickpeas, and to counterbalance the heat in it, I favored adding a few plump raisins at the end. So in reality it is a bit far from any Baingan Bharta you would order at an authentic Indian restaurant, but in my opinion mo betta!

 

Recipe for Indian spiced eggplant (Baingan Bharta) with chickpeas and raisins

 

Servings: 4+ (~1 cup each)

eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 medium size eggplants

katies tropical kitchen

  • 1-2 medium-large tomatoes (chopped fine)
  • 1 large onions (chopped fine)
  • 1 Hawaiian chili pepper (chopped fine)
  • 5 garlic cloves chopped fine
  • 2 inch (½ in diameter or so)piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 inch(¼ inch diameter or so) piece of turmeric grated
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 and ½ cup (or to liking) cooked chickpeas

ingredients for baingan bharta

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lay eggplant on baking sheet, pierce eggplant to help let out steam.
  2. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes and then turn over. Bake another 15 minutes or so until a knife enters easily skin starts to separate from the flesh of the eggplant
  3. Once cooled peel eggplant and roughly chop and mush
  4. Heat oil in large sauté pan (med-high heat) and add onions until they start to become soft, stirring very often
  5. Add ginger, garlic, and turmeric and stir constantly for less than 1 minute
  6. Add tomatoes, cumin, and garam masala and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for a time until tomatoes incorporate themselves into onions mixture.
  7. Add eggplant and mush a bit with your spatula or mixing spoon, allow to heat up and cook another 5 minutes or so on medium heat.
  8. For the last 5 minutes add chickpeas and raisins.
  9. Enjoy warm with rice, alone, over greens, or with naan, etc.

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Dairy-free chicken pot pie

This dairy-free chicken pot pie recipe is almost as a simple as making soup. You just need to take a little extra time to make the crust. It is a healthier, and dairy free alternative to other pot pies. I use coconut oil for the crust instead of lard or butter.

ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 and ¼ cup flour (Einkorn, Spelt, Wholewheat)
  • ¼ cup chilled coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ ice cold water

ingredients for the filling:

  • oil (1-3 teaspoons olive oil)
  • 2 chicken breasts chopped
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • about 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 cup chopped summer squash
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 cups broth
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons flour, or 1-2 tablespoons tapioca starch (or other thickener)
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Steps:

  1. Make the pie crust dough by combining dry ingredients, cutting the coconut oil into the flour and adding the water gradually (you may not use all of it) until crumbly mixture. Roll into a ball without handling too much and chill for at least 1 hour in the fridge.
  2. Add oil or butter or both to a skillet, heat to medium/medium high and fry the onions, carrots, and other vegetables, and garlic for 5 minutes
  3. Then, add the bit sized chicken and brown a little in the pan stirring constantly for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped fresh herbs and veggie broth, let simmer 15 minutes
  5. Take out some of the broth, add 2 tablespoons flour (or other thickener), whisk until dissolved. Add the thickened paste into the pan again and let simmer another 5-10 minutes.dairy-free chicken pot pie
  6. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary (I add a little soy sauce and more salt and pepper)
  7. While simmering roll out the pie crust.
  8. If you have stainless steal or other oven proof skillets you can put the crust directly on top of the pan and bake, otherwise, transfer to oven-safe pan.
  9. Cover with pan with the crust, seal around the edges, if you top doesn’t have holes, make sure to poke some to let out released steam.
  10. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until crust appears golden brown and pot pie is bubbling
  11. Enjoy!

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Variation: Hamakua Mushroom and Chicken Pot Pie

This recipe follows the basic steps from above including the crust but uses Hamakua Piopinni Mushrooms to dominate the flavor of the dish.

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 2 lbs or more fresh mushrooms (we use Piopinni and a few Grey Oyster Mushrooms)
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 gloves garlic
  • 1 carrot diced small
  • 1 celery stalk diced small
  • 2 cups broth
  • A few rosemary springs
  • Salt, pepper, soy sauce to taste
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Gluten-free breaded chicken and veggie nuggets

Do you remember what you used to like about chicken nuggets or fish sticks? Cross that with eggplant parmesan…mmmm… that breaded, warm, crispy, yet moist mouthfeel. This recipe steps those memories up to high level breaded and baked health food realities. This recipe does not require the chicken and veggies to be fried. Instead, they are coated lightly with olive oil and baked. This breaded chicken nugget and veggie recipe is also friendly for gluten-free fans. I use the broken bits of gluten-free bread. Food For Life “Rice and Millet Bread” and “White Rice” varieties are good but the corners often break off. Then, I save these in the freezer and then make a big batch of breadcrumbs by adding a little oat flour and blending them.

I recommend using high quality chicken either local, organic or free-range. Conventional chickens are probably the worst of all the meat products in terms of their impact on the environment, and the impact on your health.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that organic livestock:

  1. that animals have year-round access to the outdoors except in extreme weather.
  2. that they are not without antibiotics (except in cases of sickness)
  3. can not have added growth hormones
  4. their feed is prohibited from having animal byproducts, urea, and arsenic compounds
  5. must be raised on certified organic land
  6. all animals feed needs to be 100 percent certified organic.
  7. cattle, sheep, and goats must need to have access to organic pasture for 30 percent of their diet

In contrast, the difference between conventional and free-range chicken is only that free-range chickens are required to have some access to the outdoors. Although this access is not specified in size or time and is not regulated by periodic instructions.

Servings: about 4

Equipment: blender, oven, optional oil sprayer

ingredients:

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  • sliced chicken breast (4 breast), eggplant (2 small or one large), zucchini (2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon or less olive oil (for the baking pan)
  • about ¾ cup gluten-free flour
  • 3 eggs (plus a little (<1/4 cup water)
  • 2-3 cups homemade breadcrumbs (see recipe below)
  • ½ – 1 cup shredded, hard cheese  for adding to bread crumbs (manchego, parmesan, romano, etc.)

Steps/ingredients for bread crumbs:

  1. IMG_3519About 8 slices worth of left over bread (I freeze the ends of gluten-free bread my hunny doesn’t eat, and break them into pieces for the blender) and ½ cup oats or other gluten-free flour.
  2. Plenty (a handful or two) of fresh herbs (any variety of oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, etc.)
  3. 1 teaspoon salt
  4. Mix bread and flour in high speed blender or other chopper
  5. Place in deep dish with shredded hard cheese like manchego or parmesan.

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How to coat the goods:

1) Coat the sliced chicken, eggplant or zucchini in flour. For eggplants, it is good to salt them after cutting and before dipping in flour to draw out their water.

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2) Dip the veggies and chicken in egg  and let them drip a moment.

3) Then, coat in the chicken and veggies in prepared breadcrumbs

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4) Place on an oiled pan and bake at 375° F for an initial 10-15 minutes (depending on what and how thick it is) until golden on top and browning on the bottom.

gluten-free breaded chicken

5) Flip and bake another 10-15 minutes

6) Enjoy!!

IMG_3508gluten-free breaded chicken

 

Resources

  1. https://chriskresser.com/is-organic-meat-better/
  2. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-buy-organic-dairy-meat.html
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