Black Bean Hummus// What I Eat

Before I begin, let me just say that it is almost impossible to make photos of bean dip look appetizing. Please believe me when I say that this stuff tastes so much better than it looks though!

I used to not be a fan of hummus, at ALL! Having only tried the store-bought kind that comes in the little plastic tubs, it just seemed like a pretty unappetizing, boring dip. Then a friend gave me a Magic Bullet a few years ago. Looking for new things that I could make in this truly magical invention, I decided to give the recipe for hummus in the little instruction book it came with a try. Yum! And after a little tweaking to better suit my tastes, YUMMM!!!

Lucky for me, hummus is both gluten free and vegan! It’s also pretty low-calorie and high fiber if you’re watching your waistline. Plus, there are so many ways to eat it! My favorite pairing is hummus and bell pepper strips (especially yellow ones), but I’m also pretty fond of tortilla chips. These are my current favorite, Archer Farms brand blue corn with flax seed. Hummus is also great spread on veggie wraps, sandwiches, even on pizzas.

 

Traditional hummus is made with garbanzo beans (also called chick peas), but I like to mix it up and try different beans from time to time. The best thing about this easy recipe is that once you get the hang of it, you try substituting different elements for new flavor combinations! In the summer, I love to mix in handfuls of fresh green herbs like cilantro or parsley. I’ve also tried subbing mixing in an avocado for guacamole hummus! The combinations are endless, and so so yummy!

Basic Hummus Recipe

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 big fat spoonful tahini (sesame paste)

1 garlic clove

1 tbls olive oil

2 tbls lemon or lime juice

3 tbls water

1 heaping palm full of cumin

1 tsp kosher salt

Combine in food processor or blender and mix until creamy and thoroughly combined, adding more water if mixture gets too thick.

For this black bean version, I substituted a can of black beans for the garbanzos and tomato paste for the tahini. I used lime juice and threw in a little dried cilantro too. It’s great on its own, but I added a little dollop of vegan sour cream, just for good measure. 🙂

Pomegranate Oatmeal// What I Eat

I’ve never been much of a breakfast girl. Having celiac doesn’t help; most of the “healthy” cereals are full of wheat and barley.  At my old office, all the girls in my department ate cereal. Every morning they would come in, pull out their bowl and box of choice from their overhead bin, go back to the kitchen and add their milk of choice from the fridge. To be part of the crowd, I decided to find a breakfast food that I could eat. For a few years I ate this cereal called Nutty Flax (my coworkers called it bird seed) mixed with vanilla yogurt. Then I switched to a mashed banana and some peanut butter for a while. At my last job, I would eat a gluten-free english muffin with vegan cheese, tomato and avocado. Once I started “working from home” back in September though, any breakfast habits I had cultivated went right out the window. I found myself getting by on coffee alone until 3 or 4pm everyday. Not a good way to live.

So a few weeks back I set out to find a yummy, healthy way to start my day. I’ve watched enough Dr. Oz to know that steel-cut oatmeal is about as healthy as you can get. Luckily, Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free steel-cut oat and they sell it at my local grocery store. (Bob’s also makes GF rolled outs and quick cooking oats, but I prefer the steel-cut for this recipe. I use the rolled ones in granola and cookies though.) Oats are naturally GF, but almost all are cross-contaminated during growth and production. It may not sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is. Fun fact, oats were the one food that was actually painful for me to eat when I was first diagnosed with celiac. It actually HURT to eat them. So finding a certified GF producer was a huge day of happiness in my home.

The down side of oats is that they take a while to cook. I tried to find ways to get around this, but then I realized that I have all the time in the world so what does it matter. I decided to use the waiting to my advantage and work it into my morning routine. I get up and go straight for the coffee, of course. While I drink this, I usually check email, read blogs, make to do lists for the day, etc. Once my first cup is down, I head back into the kitchen and get the oatmeal started. It takes all of 10 seconds to measure the oats and water in the pan and turn it on high heat. While I wait for it to boil, I make a cup of herbal tea and clean my kitchen. Once it goes back down to a simmer, I put the lid on it, grab my tea and head back to work. Then I forget about the oatmeal. Seriously, every day I forget about it. It takes about 45 minutes to cook, which is plenty of time for my mind to have moved on to other things. The good thing I’ve discovered is that getting it good and sticky (to the pan) actually works better!

Enough chatter, how about I just give you the recipe? I’ve added lots of ingredients to my oatmeal, but I promise it’s really simple to make. Plus each thing adds so many healthy benefits, I swear you feel like a superhero after you eat this! You can of course substitute for taste preferences, but this tastes amazing as it, and its so nutritious you could seriously stop eating for the rest of the day and be good. Ok, maybe not, but it’s definitely a great start!

Yeah for B12!

Cinnamon is great for boosting metabolism; maple sugar doesn't give you a sugar rush... plus both are yummy!

I can get about a weeks worth of seeds out of 1 pomegranate

This is so yummy, plus it makes you feel amazing! Its full of Omegas and fiber and antioxidants and all of those other things that do a body good. Plus, by using maple sugar and pomegranate seeds as a sweetener, you don’t get that sugar rush that comes with eating most pre-sweetened oatmeal. Click on the links in the ingredient lists to see all the health benefits that each item brings!

Pomegranate Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving

1/4 c steel-cut oats

3/4 hot water

Dash of sea salt

Combine in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with lid. Wait until it’s really simmering and no longer boiling to put the lid on, otherwise you’ll have a real mess. This way you can leave it while it cooks.

Go do something else. Read, check email, do chores, take a walk. Forget about the oatmeal. After about 45 minutes, suddenly remember it, shout out-loud, OH NO!! THE OATMEAL!!! and run back into the kitchen. At this point, it will be perfectly cooked. If it’s stuck to the pan a bit, just give it a stir. We’ll take care of that in the next step.

Add to the pan:

about 1/2 c unsweetened vanilla hemp milk

1 tsp Earth Balance “butter”

1 heaping tbls ground flax seed

Stir it all together. Adding the milk will correct whatever overcooking you may have done in step one. Likewise, the flax seed will help absorb any extra moisture that’s in the oatmeal.

Its supposed to look like a hot mess at this point.

Turn the heat up to medium and cook until thick, about 2-3 minutes. While its cooking, add the following:

1 tsp maple sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

about 1/3 c pomegranate seeds (about a handful for me)

Stir, stir, stir!

Once the oatmeal is thick and everything is well combined, pour into a pretty bowl and enjoy!

Vegan Chorizo Chili// What I Eat

Welcome to another new series here on The Fainting Goat Blog, What I Eat. When I tell people that I’m a celiac so I can’t gluten, meaning no wheat, barley, rye, anything with malt, most oats, and most processed foods, often their eyes get really big and they start asking questions like, what about pasta?, no bread?, what about regular flour (as opposed to whole wheat)? Then I tell them that I’m also a sometimes vegan*, meaning no meat, no dairy, no cheese, no edible animal products at all, first they just look at me like I’m crazy. Then, every time, without fail, they ask the same question: Well, what CAN you eat? This is my response…

There is something about fallen leaves and brisk autumn air that makes my body crave comfort food. Warm, hot, bubbly, rich dinners that warm my old, cold house with their spicy smells. Living in the South though, most comfort foods are full of gluten, cheese, and pork… and off limits to me. In the 5 years that I’ve been gluten-free, I’ve learned how to get around the gluten with much success. Now that I’m also a sometimes vegan though, things are getting a little more tricky.

This week I reworked one of my favorite Rachel Ray recipes into what is quite possible the best pot of chili I have ever made. She actually has a recipe for vegetarian chili that I make a lot that is also vegan, but I found some gluten-free chorizo “sausage” at Trader Joe’s last week so I thought I would give this one a try. I don’t eat fake meat usually, partly because most of it contains gluten and partly because it tastes horrible, but this sausage was the perfect addition to this recipe remix.

 

I've got to work on my food photog skills...

 

 

The original recipe calls for both chorizo and ground chicken. I decided to substitute gently smashed black beans for the chicken, to try and mimic the small crumble size. Turns out it wasn’t necessary though; once I took the chorizo out of the casing it crumbled up just like ground meat. The beans did add to the consistency though, so I’d definitely add them again next time.

Vegan Chorizo Chili

Adapted from Rachel Ray’s Chicken and Chorizo Chili

What you need:

1 package gluten-free soy chorizo, removed from casing and crumbled or chopped

1 can of black beans, gently mashed with a fork

1 green or red bell pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic, cloves, minced

3 tablespoons ground cumin ( I LOVE cumin!!)

2-3 tablespoons chili powder

1 can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained*

2 bottles Strongbow hard cider

2 14oz cans fire-roasted tomatoes, diced, drained

First, open one of the bottles of Strongbow and take a nice long drink. You will want to do this periodically throughout the cooking process; it’s that good. Next, in a big pot over med-high heat,  add chorizo to a little bit of extra-virgin olive oil and break apart with spoon. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add black beans.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, to let flavors combine. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, cumin and chili powder and kidney beans. Stir and let sizzle for 3-5 minutes. Pour in entire second bottle of Strongbow and allow to simmer for a few minutes, until liquid is reduced a bit. Add tomatoes and stir it all up. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer until you’re ready to eat (at least 5-10 minutes).

Now comes the fun part! There are so many ways to eat this chili! The first night, I heated up a little polenta (from the log, super quick and easy) and poured the chili over it. Last night, I was too lazy to even do that though, so I added some crushed Trader  Joe’s Veggie Tortilla Chips. Then I noticed an avocado that was about to go bad in my veggie bowl so I scooped that baby in there too. AMAZING!! The chili is thick and hearty, so there are endless ways that it can be served, just use you imagination and let your taste buds guide you!

 

with chips and avocado... O.M.G.

 

 

*I go through vegan phases. I’m currently in one. Since I have to eat gluten-free, I make the occasional exception for Veggie cheese (lactose-free but made with casein, a milk protein) or regular cheese or similar products when faced between a veggie enchilada or a bowl of plain lettuce at my local Mexican place. I do my best and limit my animal products to maybe once or twice a week, tops.

*If you drain and rinse you beans before you cook them,  you loose that gassy effect that beans can often give you.