When I got the email asking me to review Quinoa Cuisine, I answered with a resounding “Yes!”. This was one of the few cookbooks I would be truly delighted to receive. I love quinoa. I love it’s nutty flavor, I love the way it pops/crunches slightly in the back of your mouth when you bite it, I love the way it pairs with just about everything, and I particularly love its nutritional profile. High protein, high fiber, and here’s a little neat bit of trivia; did you know that quinoa is actually a “pseudograin” related to beets, spinach and chard? Talk about the superfood posse! Quinoa is unarguably one of the best substitutes for grains, and in addition to the protein and fiber, is also rich in calcium, iron, potassium, B vitamins and Vitamin E. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, in the words of my husband’s Grandma Lily, “WCBB?” (“What could be bad?”)
More good news: I’m giving away a copy of this book. To enter, go like me on my facebook page (if you haven’t already) and leave me a comment on the wall, letting me know how you like to eat quinoa, or how you would like to in the future. Again, you need to like my facebook page, if you haven’t already, here). I will enter you into the drawing to win a copy of this lovely book. I will also share everyone’s comments once the drawing has closed, next Thursday, May 17th. So that’s how it works. If you like me, I might be able to give you something, if the fates are in your corner. Seems a little crass! Apologies, apologies….
But I think you’ll want to take a chance on this. This book is the first of its kind. “Quinoa Cuisine” is packed with 150 creative, mouthwatering recipes for breakfast to dessert and all the potlucks and picnics in-between. I was particularly excited to see that authors, Jessica Harlan and Kelley Sparwasser use quinoa in all its various forms, from quinoa flour, to the many different colors of quinoa, to quinoa flakes. And it’s really nice to have the healthy addition of quinoa many places you’d never expect it. For example, in hummus (see recipe below), Thai Summer Rolls, White Bean Dip, Quinoa Frying Batter, Creamed Spinach, and Quinoa Pizza Dough.
These recipes are expertly written. When I said “yes” to reviewing the book, I didn’t realize it was co-authored by Jessica Harlan, whom I used to work with at Lime.com (now Gaiam). I have long admired her healthy and delicious recipes. She’s always been a proponent of healthy eating without sacrificing a bit of taste.
While this cookbook is not top-8-free, nor is it exclusively a gluten-free cookbook, if you have flexibility in your diet, and want to bump up your choices and pack in some extra nutrition, this is a great addition to your cookbook library. I pulled a couple of the top-8-free recipes from the book to share with you below, and there are many others that I will certainly be adapting. In particular, the Quinoa Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting, p.168. Definitely next on my list. Bravo to the chefs for taking quinoa to the next level. Read on for two of my favorite picks from the book.
This back-to-basics Mediterranean spread can be used as a dip or on sandwiches. Vary the recipe by adding roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, feta cheese, or almost anything you please. The quinoa flakes add a pleasing nuttiness and enhance the silky-smooth texture of the hummus.
Makes 2½ Cups
30 Mins or Less, Gluten-Free, Good for Company, Healthy Choice, Kid Friendly, Vegan
½ cup quinoa flakes
½ cup vegetable stock or broth
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon paprika
1. In a small bowl, cover the quinoa flakes with the vegetable stock or broth. Let sit for 2 minutes until the flakes are softened.
2. Place the soaked quinoa flakes, the chickpeas, and the garlic in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Process until combined, about 45 seconds. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, as needed. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the paprika.
Grapefruit, Pomegranate, Avocado, and Black Quinoa Salad
The vibrant colors of this salad really pop against the black quinoa, making for a gorgeous presentation.
Serves 6 to 8
Gluten-Free, Good for Company, Healthy Choice, Vegetarian
⅔ cup black quinoa, rinsed
1⅓ cups water
1 large grapefruit, segmented, juice reserved (see sidebar)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Campari
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1¼ cups pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
kosher salt and black pepper
1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring the quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
2. Place the grapefruit segments in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the grapefruit juice, honey, and Campari. Slowly add the olive oil while continually whisking to emulsify the dressing. Season with a pinch of kosher salt.
3. Add the cooked quinoa, pomegranate seeds, and dressing to the grapefruit slices, and stir to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the mint and avocado. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, as needed. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
To segment citrus fruit
Use a serrated knife to cut the top and bottom off the fruit, just exposing the flesh. Place the fruit with one of the flat sides resting on your work surface and follow the curve of the side from top to bottom to slice off the peel where the pith and the flesh meet. Working over a bowl to catch the juice, use a sharp paring knife to carefully cut along the membrane to free the segments. After all the segments have been removed, squeeze the remaining juice from the peel and membranes.
With asparagus season in full swing and artichoke season rolling in, I figured it was the perfect time to roll out a safe allergy-free hollandaise sauce.
Hollandaise is traditionally made with eggs, one of the top eight food allergens. To replace eggs, vegan versions of the classic sauce usually rely on silken tofu. However, soy (silken tofu) is also one of the top eight food allergens. So I had to put on my thinking cap.
I replaced the eggs and/or silken tofu with a rice milk and olive and canola oil emulsion and added a smidgen of turmeric and a little nutritional yeast for the lovely buttercup hue, and also a flavor boost. And, of course, I used lemon juice, since that zip of acidity is the backbone of all hollandaise sauces.
Bonus: this one is vegan, too, so there’s no salmonella risk. Additionally, unlike traditional hollandaise, it can be made in advance, and keeps well for several days, covered in the fridge. Just bring to room temperature before serving.
Remember when you make this, slow and steady wins the race. Add the oil a little at a time to achieve the creamiest end result. (more…)
In honor of Chinese New Year 2012, I thought I’d finally post this glorious recipe for Gluten-Free Gingery Pork Pot Stickers from Laura B. Russell’s new cookbook, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More, from Ten Speed Press(my publisher too!) I’ve had this book for several months, but in my own crazy frenzy to finish up my new cookbook, I haven’t had a chance to crack open anyone else’s, much less, try their recipes. Until now. And let me tell you how excited I am to get started cooking my way through this book.
First of all, I don’t often have serious cravings, but when I do, they are for Asian food. But so much of Asian cuisine is off limits to me, between my wheat allergy, my shellfish allergy, my fish allergy, and my tree nut allergy. Gluten-free Asian food is often very hard to find, even if you can work your way around the other ingredients. Which makes this cookbook so special. Laura’s beautiful collection is the first gluten-free cookbook to focus exclusively on Asian cuisine, highlighting the delacacies of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Of particular note in The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen is the helpful “Identifying Gluten Section”, which walks you through all the places you might find gluten hiding in your Asian food. There is also a comprehensive sauce section, a really good guide to stocking your pantry, and one gorgeous photograph after another (styled by the brilliant Karen Shinto, who also styles my cookbooks). I can’t wait to try the Porcupine Balls (p.48), the Red Curry Soup with Chicken and Rice Noodles (p.87), and the Yakuza Cucumber and Avocado Salad (p.119). Literally, every page has me drooling.
A note to the soy allergic: this book is not for you. All others, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find many exciting new recipes, that have heretofore been off limits to you. Thank you, Laura, for writing such a lovely book!
makes 28 dumplings
1/2 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour, plus plenty more for rolling out the dough
11/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 pound ground pork
3 green onions, white and green parts, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari GF
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce (page 26), for serving
To make the dough, stir together the tapioca flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the just-boiled water and stir with a fork to combine. Add the cold water and mix well until a dough starts to form. Use your hands to knead the dough together a few times—you can do this right in the bowl—and then form the dough into two balls. Transfer the dough to a large resealable bag until ready to use, up to several hours.
In a second bowl, combine the raw pork, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
To form the dumplings, dust your hands, the counter, and a baking sheet with sweet rice flour. Roll one piece of the dough into a long rope, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 14 pieces and put them back into the resealable bag. Repeat with the other ball of dough for a total of 28 pieces. The dough will dry out quickly; make sure it stays covered.
Keep plenty of sweet rice flour nearby (up to 1/2 cup) for dusting the counter and the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten the dough into a circle with the heel of your hand. Using a small rolling pin—a small dowel works best—roll the dough into a 3- to 31/2-inch circle, turning the dough periodically to prevent sticking. (Alternately, put the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it into a circle.) Transfer the dumpling wrappers to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If you run out of space on the baking sheet, make a second layer separated by plastic wrap.)
Dust a dinner plate with sweet rice flour. Spoon a scant tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Dip two fingers in a small bowl of water and run them around half the circumference of each circle. (This is so the wet side can stick to the dry side.) Lift the sides, forming a half-moon shape around the filling; keep the bottom flat against your hand or the counter. Pinch the dough together at the top and then form two or three pleats along each side; press to seal. (Alternatively, if you have a dumpling press, use it to form and seal the dumplings.) Transfer the dumplings to the prepared plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 4 hours ahead.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the dumplings to the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Holding the pan lid in one hand (to control splattering), add ?1/3 cup water to the pan and immediately cover it. Lower the heat to low and steam the dumplings until cooked through, ?8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium. Cook until the water evaporates and the bottoms of the dumplings are well browned, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining dumplings and oil. Serve hot with the dipping sauce or a bowl of soy sauce GF.
Note: If you do not plan on eating the dumplings all at once (reheating them is fine, not great), freeze some of the uncooked dumplings for later. Freeze the dumplings on a plate or tray before transferring them to a freezer bag to keep them from sticking together. Add the dumplings to the pan straight from the freezer and increase the steaming time by 2 minutes.
The dish calls for Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce. You can prepare it up to 1 week ahead.
Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce
makes about 1/2 cup
1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari GF
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
11/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2–3 slices fresh jalapeño, or large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Stir together all the ingredients in a small serving bowl. The dipping sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 1 week with fresh jalapeño or 2 weeks with red pepper flakes.
Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell. Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong.