Sangria has been haunting me lately. During a weekend run in Prospect Park I got to catch the weekly drum circle. It’s an informal gathering of people mostly from Caribbean countries playing percussion instruments and dancing. Hearing that type of music will relax even the most high strung person. In fact, seeing it last weekend put me in the mood for sangria. (I realize it’s not a Carribean drink).
And just yesterday, on the way to Prospect Park for a run we caught a very Brooklyn moment. A car was traveling just a wee bit too slow for an impatient driver directly behind. The impatient driver began blaring their horn. The slow driver paid no mind, and proceeded to play very mellow reggae music as they continued driving at their own pace. There is something about that music that calms the nerves and made me crave a sangria again.
So we finally decided to give homemade a try. This version includes kiwi, watermelon, mango, orange slices and strawberry. I’d recommend the mango only if it’s ripe but not overripe, otherwise it can disintegrate. The end result was tasty but to get the needed sweetness and a little bit of bubbles we added an ounce of sprite to individual glasses.
1 cup watermelon, chopped small
6 strawberries quartered
1 kiwi, peeled and chopped small
1/3 mango chopped medium size
1 orange, sliced with peel on
1 regular size bottle of of sauvignon blanc (We used Rex Goliath)
Sprite or Ginger Ale to taste (to added sweetness and bubbles)
Fruit for Sangria
Chop up fruit and put in a pitcher. Pour in wine and chill for several hours or overnight if possible before serving. After pouring sangria, add an ounce or two of sprint or ginger ale to taste.
Gluten Free Vegan Banana Muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8-12 minutes (whoopie size; 20-25 minutes standard muffin size)
These mini muffins are perfect fresh out of the oven, especially on a crisp spring or fall day. Bananas bring health benefits like fiber and potassium in addition to moisture to GF recipes, and this one, adapted from Book of Yum uses a cup and half of them (usually around 3-5 bananas). To veganize it, flax meal is substituted for eggs. The flour blend has been modified to give it a heartiness. Lastly, to cut the cook time down from the estimated hour, a whoopie pan was used (from 60 minutes down to 8 minutes). Plus with the whoopie pan it yielded 24 minis to munch on. Note that if you’re using a standard size muffin pan cook time will be 20-25 minutes.
2 cups flour (½ cup tapioca, ¾ cup sorghum, ¾ corn flour)
1.5 t baking powder
½ t baking soda
¼ t salt
½ t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
1 t vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
2 eggs (substituted 2 flax meal eggs)*
1.5 cup mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
½ cup oil
*For 2 eggs = 2 T flax meal combined with 6 T warm water. Shake well in a container and allow to rest for a couple minutes.
Preheat oven to 350. In a resealable container create flax meal egg and set aside for a few minutes. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix eggs, oil, sugar and mashed bananas. Next combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the contents to muffin/whoopie pan. Regular muffins will take 20-25 minutes, whoopies around 8. They’re done when they swell up and brown slightly on top and the edges. Muffins can be tested with a toothpick. If it comes out clean they’re ready. Serve with warm with butter.
I’ve bought this brand several times lately because they’ve been on sale for a buck cheaper ($2.99 instead of $3.99) than Sabra and have some interesting flavors. The Edamame Hummus, like the White Bean Hummus is an off white color. Eaten with tortilla chips the edamame flavor is light but definitely there. It gives it a certain fatty, even meatiness I associate more with something like avocado. There is also a nice touch of tartness at the end of every bite. The roast red peppers in the middle provide a little texture variety along with a juiciness.
We will definitely buy this flavor again which was far superior to the previously reviewed White Bean Hummus. Note: The edamame hummus is explicitly labeled gluten free.
Gathiya is a delicious crunchy snack made of chickpea (aka garbanzo flour aka gram aka besan) flour popular all over India. This version is Jamnagari style, named for a town in Gujarat. It’s seasoned with ajwain (bishop weed), black pepper and cumin. The individual pieces are actually about an inch long making them larger than most other types of namkeen (salty snacks).
The black pepper provides a little punch and a nice contrast to the slight natural sweetness of “gram.” The cumin gives a roasted flavor and the ajwain an aromatic, almost refreshing taste. Despite their appearance they’re only about a 4 on the crunch scale. They a happy medium between crunchy and melt in the mouth. These snacks were an excellent discovery raided from my Parents’ pantry during a recent visit. It was purchased at Patel Brothers. The label doesn’t explicitly state gluten free but there are no gluten ingredients listed in this product.
Gathiya Up Close
Black Beans and Rice with Avocado
A blog a couple weeks ago posted a picture of simple beans and rice. It looked especially appealing because prior to that I saw a bunch of pics of high end foods with instagram used disturbingly often. In my book very little tops beans and rice as one of the cheapest and healthiest foods around – well, maybe dal.
8 oz black beans dried (soaked overnight)
1 cup rice
½ onion chopped
½ tomato chopped or tomato puree
5 cloves garlic, chopped small
1 large bay leaf
Avocado ripe, cut into slivers
1 t cumin powder
chili powder to taste
jalapeno to taste
pepper to taste
salt to taste
In a pan, cook black beans covered on medium for around 2-3 hours or until fully cooked. In another pan, boil one cup of rice. In a separate pan, caramelize onions, garlic cloves and bay leaf for about 7 minutes. Add in tomato, seasoning, beans and mix well for a few minutes. Add in rice in proportion with bean mix. Garnish with avocado slices and cilantro if desired. Lemon goes great as well.
The GF naan experiment turned out fairly successful. The naan was fluffy though not quite as large and pliable as desired. This recipe is adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen with some additional ingredients from this site. For the next attempt I’ll probably switch in brown rice flour in place of sorghum. The final baked product was about 50% thicker than the initial dough mix. It went well with begun bhartha, dal and aloo matar.
2 cups flour (1 cup rice, ½ cup sorghum, ¼ cup potato starch, ¼ cup corn starch)
1 t yeast
¾ cup lukewarm water
1 t salt
1 t sugar
Pinch of baking soda
1 t baking powder
1 t xanthan gum
2 T oil
2.5 T yogurt (or non dairy yogurt)
2 flax meal eggs or regular eggs
Add yeast to the lukewarm water in a bowl. Allow to get frothy for around 15 minutes. In a separate bowl add sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and flour and mix together. Next add in yogurt, oil and eggs, once again mixing together. Finally mix in the yeast and water to this bowl. Mix into a moist dough and cover for 4-5 hours.
Naan in ball form – two were already pressed out.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Once at 500, switch to broil. In the meantime split dough into 6 pieces and shape as desired and place on pan. I recommended making them thinner than pictured. I also caramelized 4 garlic cloves, chopped small for extra flavor before putting in oven for about 5 minutes, flipping once. Surface should brown slightly. Once out of the oven brush with butter/butter substitute.
What was your experience making gluten free naan?
Picture doesn’t do it justice.