Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lentil Pancakes and Prune Chutney

First off, for those of you who thought Hanger Monster in yesterday's post was a typo ... not so, MoFo. Hanger, it's a word meaning so hungry one gets angry,  look it up.

Anywhoo ... another food post. This will probably be happening a lot over the next few weeks, as food is pretty much all I'm thinking about. I want to stick my face in a sluice of coffee, wheat and sugar and just motorboat the hell out of it. But I can't, so I'll just keep experimenting with tummy friendly foods and sharing them with you, ummmkay?

I've been really missing bready things, and as a result I have a growing collection of non-wheat, gluten free flours. Amaranth flour is supposed to have a slightly peppery flavour, but I haven't noticed it. I've only tried it in a few things so far; these pancakes were the best of the experiments. Yes, more pancakes. But pancakes that (hopefully) won't make my trainers give me their stern voices. Because they're packed with lentils, yo.

Again, both of these recipes are adapted from Recipes for IBS by Ashley Koff, RD, though they've both been changed up a bit.

Lentil Amaranth Pancakes

1 cups cooked pink lentils

1/2 cup amaranth flour

3 tbsp almond oil

1 tsp cumin

1/2 cup almond milk

In a food processor combine all ingredients until well mixed.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and spray with oil. Place a tablespoon of batter in the pan (I use a large enough pan to do four at a time). When the edges begin to brown, flip the pancake and flatten with the flipper. Continue cooking until done and serve with prune chutney.

Prune Nectarine Chutney

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

1/3 cup chopped fresh prunes

1 nectarine, coarsely chopped

1 tsp honey

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp freshly grated ginger

In a heavy sauce pot, cook the shallots in oil over medium heat, stirring to prevent them from burning, until softened. Stir in the prunes, nectarine, honey, ginger and vinegar and simmer approximately 10 minutes until prunes soften and nectarine is cooked.

Serve warm or cold over lentil pancakes. Garnish with toasted pine nuts.


xoxo ~ your friend melissa



Monday, August 15, 2011

Two Soups for You!

Do people under 30 get the Soup Nazi? Am I old enough to have redundant pop culture references? The thought of it ... such sadness.

I'm eight days into a three week elimination diet. My uppity GI system has been the bane of my existence for many years, and I figured it's about time to nut up and get accountable. And this time I won't go hog wild on liqour and huevos rancheros as soon as the three weeks are done, thus rending useless the agony of the effort (see Elimination Diet 2009/ Patrick Wolf at Richards on Richards / brunch at Suze). No, I will diligently reintroduce one food every three days, dragging this process through wedding season, past Hallowe'en and knocking right on the door of Thighmageddon, better known as the Christmas baking season.

Having tried and failed in spectacular fashion last time I attempted this, I like any good Boy Scout, know that the key is being prepared. So I spent a Sunday prepping and freezing soups so I'd have quick options for when the Hanger Monster reared it's ugly head. Little tip - I freeze my soup in ice cube trays and then dump them in freezer bags. Four or five cubes is about perfect, they heat up quickly, and there's no chipping away at a two litre tub of frozen soup.

Both soups were adapted from Recipes for IBS by Ashley Koff, R.D.

White Bean and Fennel Soup

1 large fennel bulb with about 1/4 inch of the stems, sliced fairly thin (reserve leaves)

1 1/4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 15 oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

salt and pepper to taste

Place the sliced fennel, broth, fennel seed, lemon juice and lemon peel in a large covered skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until fennel softens. Reduce heat to low, add the beans and simmer approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. It should look like this:

Transfer to a food processor and puree. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve hot, garnish with fennel leaves, like so:

Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

3 cups onions, chopped

2/3 cup carrots, chopped

1 granny smith apple, peeled and diced

1 3/4 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced

3 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups water

2 cups low sodium vegetable broth

3 tsp fresh oregano

1 tsp fresh dill

1 tbsp curry powder

3 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute onions, apples and carrots in olive oil until onions are soft but not brown. Add squash, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and curry powder and continue to saute for about five minutes, until squash is soft. Add water, broth, oregano and dill. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are soft. Remove from heat.

In a blender, puree the vegetable mix in batches until smooth. Return pureed mix to the pot to heat through before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste, adjust flavour as necessary. Sprinkle with a dash of cloves when serving.


I just now realized that both soups are pretty much table coloured. Nice.

Another little tip - to get your clove sprinkles light and even, tap the spice bottle lightly over the wrist of your other arm. It's an old barista trick, because I was just that anal about never putting out a latte with clumpy cinnamon or chocolate garnish. Works well for soup too.

xoxo ~ your friend melissa, and her grumpy gut