I admitted over coffee the other morning that this adjustment period has been somewhat depressing. Being someone who sniffs out stinky cheeses and salivates over a crunchy baguette, trying to adopt a diet that is gluten, dairy, and egg free is sort of maddening. I realize I’m being ridiculous; First of all, some of these things can make a reappearance one day (I hope) and more importantly, I am incredibly fortunate to be as healthy as I am and also to have the resources to accommodate this new way of eating. Also important to note is the fact that I feel really really good. It’s pretty amazing what a medicine food can be.
The warmer weather brings inspiration that lacks at the tail-end of the winter months. I find myself reserving all sorts of cook books and then methodically working my way through and marking my favorites with ripped pieces of scrap-paper. I am counting down the days until the first of spring produce shows itself at the weekly farmer’s market in our neighborhood. Till then, we stick with our freezer stockpile.
This cashew chili is gluten free, vegan, and insanely delicious. It’s a tweaked version of the chili I wrote about years ago, with the spices adjusted and updated ratios. It is one of my favorite dishes in my arsenal. The jalapeno corn bread is a vegan and gluten-free newbie to our house. While not as moist as I would like, it’s perfect for dipping and the jalapeno peppers are just right to round everything out.
I love doubling the chili and keeping it in the cooking receptacle for easy dispensing for lunch and dinner during the week.
2 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. celery, diced
5 c. peppers (combination of red, green and yellow), roughly chopped
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/3 c. cashews
2 c. kidney beans
3 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. water (optional)
Heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic and let cook, being careful not to let it burn. Add celery, peppers and spices and toss to coat in oil. Add tomatoes and cashews, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer then cover halfway. Let simmer for 15 minutes then add kidney beans and water if you wish to thin it out a bit. Cook for 5-10 minutes more or until cashews are soft. Adjust seasonings as necessary and enjoy!
Vegan and Gluten-Free Corn Muffins
Slightly adapted from Food Republic
Note: The biggest change I made was using buckwheat flour instead of regular. If you go this route, know that the color ends up much more brown than yellow.
1 c. almond milk
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 c. buckwheat flour
1 c. cornmeal
2 T sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T. coconut oil, melted ( + more to grease tins)
2 T. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. corn kernels
1 jalapeño pepper sliced and de-seeded as you wish
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease muffin tins with coconut oil and drop jalapeño slices on the bottom.
Measure out the milk and add the apple cider vinegar to it, then set aside to curdle.
Mix together buckwheat flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix milk, oil and pumpkin. Add to the dry ingredients and combine, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in the corn kernels.
Fill each muffin tin most of the way with batter. Bake for about 20 minutes or until done.
Remove from oven and let cool.
Try both and report back. Lastly, there are a lot of really amazing things happening lately that I must recognize here: 1: My best friend is having a BABY in 2 weeks!!!! 2: I am getting MARRIED in just about 2 months! 3: Our cousins are having a BABY in 2.5 Months! Happiness abounds! And exclamation points!