Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Teff Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Teff Cookies

Teff is one of the smallest and oldest known grains on the planet, and it sure is one of the mightiest. Native to Ethiopia, teff is used in a wide variety of ways, enjoyable just cooked up as is into a porridge, shaped into savory cakes, incorporated into soups, or ground into a flour and made into spongy injera breads to be served up with a variety of legume and vegetable dishes — or, as in this case, as a feature of sweeter creations. Teff is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, iron, calcium and protein.

This is my first time baking with teff flour, and it surely won't be the last. Here teff flour is the star in these gluten-free vegan-friendly cookies that are now my new declared favorite peanut butter cookie. I know I've made this declaration before, but I've made a few batches of these teff and peanut butter cookies already, so until the next great idea comes along, I'm smitten. The rather mild but distinctly earthy and nutty flavor of teff combines perfectly with peanut butter in these delectably soft, moist, melt-in-your-mouth delights with chunks of divine dark chocolate. They also happen to be healthy enough to enjoy for breakfast with a fine cup of coffee. Peanut butter and chocolate are truly one of those desert-island-must combinations that would be hard to do without.

Read this recipe »

Chana Palak (Spicy Chickpeas and Spinach)

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Chana Palak

I used to get confused about the difference between chana saag and chana palak. The common elements are chickpeas, split or whole, and leafy greens. As it turns out, palak means spinach, whereas saag can mean any leafy green, including spinach but also mustard greens, kale, fenugreek leaves or whatever suits your fancy.

No matter the greens you choose to include, this classic North Indian dish deserves to be served up often. The creaminess of silky spinach and coconut milk embraces the plump buttery chickpeas and the range of spices used to aromatically enhance the experience. It's a luxurious dish that is nonetheless not overly spicy nor too rich. Serve up with brown rice for a special earthy and nourishing meal, or with your favorite flat breads.

Read this recipe »

11 Comforting Vegetarian Soups and Salads, for NCR

Happy New Year to my family, friends and readers. Wishing everyone good eats, prosperity and health for 2017. What better way to do that than present The No Croutons Required roundup of vegetarian soups and salads received for the early winter edition? Settle in and see what is on the menu this time around. As always, a special thanks to everyone who contributed something from their table.

Mushroom Noodle Broth
Recipe: Japanese Style Mushroom, Tofu and Noodle Broth

Chef: Heta
Blog: The VegHog
Location: UK

I can't think of a better way to start the new year than serving up some mushrooms. This warming vegan dish features spiralized yellow carrots, mixed exotic mushrooms, radishes and tender chunks of tofu in a delightful spicy broth with udon noodles. This dish speaks pure comfort.

Chickpea Lentil Soup
Recipe: Autumn Chickpea and Lentil Soup

Chef: Janet
Blog: The Taste Space
Location: Canada

Chickpeas are essentially a weekly affair in my kitchen, and pair them with lentils and meld them into a glorious soup with carrots, tomatoes, sage, oregano, basil and kale and you have everything you need.

Cabbage Apple Salad
Recipe: Cabbage, Apple and Cashew Salad with Peanut Dressing

Chef: Helen
Blog: Roast Chicken and a Country Walk
Location: UK

Next we have a gorgeous salad featuring cleansing Asian flavours. Cabbage, spring onions, chili, apple, carrot, bean sprouts, coriander and cashews are all dressed up with peanut butter, tamarind, chili sauce and lime juice.

Carrot Lentil Soup
Recipe: Spiced Carrot, Lentil & Kale Soup

Chef: Jacqueline
Blog: Tinned Tomatoes
Location: UK

My co-host for this long running event contributes this mouthwatering and nourishing soup. This lovely bowl features onion, garlic, ginger, plenty of carrots, lentils, cumin, coriander, turmeric and kale. Whiz it all up and serve with some crusty bread for a most satisfying meal.

Pumpkin Leek Soup
Recipe: Roasted Pumpkin, Ramiro Pepper and Leek Soup

Chef: Kate
Blog: The Gluten Free Alchemist
Location: UK

Pumpkin is one of my favorite additions to autumn soups and now I've found yet another lovely soup to enjoy. Roasted vegetables, in this case, pumpkin, Ramiro peppers and leeks are blended with onion, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Served up with a dollop of cream or yogurt, yes please.

rainbow salad
Recipe: Rainbow Salad with Orange and Sesame Dressing

Chef: Johanna
Blog: Green Gourmet Giraffe
Location: Australia

This colourful salad is indeed a feast for the eyes and it packs a good dose of nourishment too. Cabbage, carrots, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, chickpeas and spinach are dressed with a zesty mixture of orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. This is sure to brighten your table, no matter the occasion or time of year.

Rainbow Carrot Salad
Recipe: Rainbow Carrots, Puy Lentil and Barley Salad

Chef: Shaheen
Blog: Allotment to Kitchen
Location: UK

Next up is another colourful and comforting salad. Chewy barley features here with rainbow carrots, puy lentils and scallions. This is my type of winter salad too and it's a complete meal in a bowl as well.

Roasted Tomato Bread Soup
Recipe: Roasted Tomato and Bread Soup

Chef: Katie
Blog: Katie Cakes
Location: UK

A thick and delightfully creamy tomato soup is surely one of the most comforting cold weather meals. Roasted tomatoes, garlic and onion feature here with basil, chili flakes and ciabatta. The ciabatta creates a wonderful depth to this soup that is sure to warm and nourish.

Leek Potato Soup
Recipe: Leek and Potato Soup with Wholemeal Parmesan Croutons

Chef: Katie
Blog: Feeding Boys
Location: UK

No croutons are required but wholemeal Parmesan croutons sure do shine in this hearty and robust bowl of soup made up of potatoes and leeks and some complimentary seasonings. Satisfying and nourishing and surely one to please everyone at the table.

Quinoa Soup
Recipe: Kale Butternut Squash Quinoa Soup

Chef: Mala
Blog: Mala's Kitchen
Location: India

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains and always a fine feature of soups. This balanced and fulfilling dish combines the quinoa with kale, squash, tomatoes, chana dal and spices. Just what you need for a complete and comforting meal.

Mushroom Barley Soup
Recipe: Hearty Mushroom and Barley Soup

Chef: Lisa
Blog: Lisa's Kitchen
Location: Canada

My contribution this month is a hearty and earthy mushroom and barley soup loaded with vegetables, herbs and spices. It's a warming and satisfying soup and serves up nicely with some crusty bread on the side to complete the experience.

And that concludes the No Croutons Required roundup for November and December. Jacqueline, my co-host for this event, is hosting the next edition of NCR. Check her post for details and to submit a recipe.

Aromatic Chana Dal Kitchari with Saffron

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Aromatic Chana Dal Kitchari with Saffron

After seasonal feasts, it not uncommon to crave more cleansing and nourishing dishes such as kitchari (or kitcheree or khichdi). Essentially a one-pot Indian meal, the common feature of a kitchari is a digestive aiding combination of split legumes, rice and spices and often vegetables. Such preparations are open to an endless number of variations.

This particular version has long been a favorite, and although there are a few more steps involved than many of the kitcharis I have made in the past, the addition of saffron-infused coconut milk subtly enhances this humble one-bowl meal with elegance and sophistication. Combine this with the comforting wholesomeness of chana dal and rice, aromatic spices, a bit of chili heat and some zesty lemon juice for all that your body and palate requires.

Chana Dal Kitchari

Read this recipe »