Homemade DIY Bean Butter

Homemade DIY Bean Butter

The rise in nut and seed allergies in children has necessitated some old-fashioned culinary ingenuity on my part.

Up until recently, Yaffa’s favorite lunch was humus with almost anything or a peanut butter sandwich.

However, due to today’s severe nut and seed allergies, humus and/or peanut butter are no longer an option.

I needed to learn how to adjust and adapt: What could I make that is healthy, all natural, nut-free, seed-free, vegan and also suitable for a pack-n-go lunch??

My friend Malka suggested trying soy butter instead of peanut butter. That suggestion was quickly vetoed. No one liked the taste or the consistency of commercial soy butter.

In addition, I prefer to limit our soy consumption.  Soy is ubiquitous in so many products today. I worry that eating too much of anything, even if it is supposedly healthy, is ultimately unhealthy.

Malka’s suggestion, however, got my creative juices flowing. I thought: “If it is possible to make soy butter, why wouldn’t it also be possible to make something similar with different beans instead?”

Eureka! It worked!

The formula of 1 ½ cups roasted beans: 2 tablespoons of oil: 1 cup of water works with all sorts of beans. I have made this with black-eyed peas, kidney beans and white beans. Our current favorite is chickpeas.

The trick is to make the beans more “nut-like” by roasting them and then adding oil.

To save time, I make a large amount at one time and then freeze it in smaller amounts. This way I only need to defrost as needed. One batch can last for quite a while.

I also stagger each step in the process. One night, I make the beans in the crockpot. The next day, I roast the beans in the oven. Up to a few days later, when I have the time, I mix everything all together. By chunking each task, it feels less time consuming.

Homemade Bean Butter

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cooked and then roasted beans

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste

Optional: Cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla

Directions:

Cook beans and then roast in 425*F oven. I add a bit of oil, so that they will get slightly crispy.

Soak roasted beans with water and oil until soft and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Pulse in food processor or an immersion blender until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary.

Add sugar, salt, cocoa powder, cinnamon and vanilla to taste. Process until smooth.

Here are the step by step pictures:

 

img_1744

Chickpeas after they were roasted

My new way of keeping track of what I cook. Make a picture!

 

img_1804

Soaking the beans until the water is absorbed.

img_1805

Pureeing with an immersion blender.

Pureeing until smooth

Final product. Adjust the amount of liquid until desired consistency.

I find that a little bit of sugar makes the spread more palatable. Malka suggests making a more savory version using salt, herbs and spices.

For people who need to avoid nuts and seeds, this is a healthy, yummy alternative.

Try it, you’ll like it!

Enjoy!

Apple or Fruit Crisp

This apple crisp was made in honor of the patients in one of my groups, in particular Walter.

For weeks we processed in the group their disappointment over not having a holiday party funded by the hospital for them.

Something that seems so trivial, kicked up all their stuff about not feeling worthy, validated and cared about.

We spent weeks talking about “what makes you feel cared about?” Who do you give gifts to, and who gives gifts to you?”

Finally, after much effort and discussion, the patients agreed to hold a pot-luck party.

I tried to help behind the scenes by calling all the patients and reminding them about the party and keeping track of who was bringing what.

I must say that the patients completely redeemed themselves. I am so proud of them!

Everyone brought something and a few people who haven’t been to the group in such a long time actually heard from word of mouth from others in the group and showed up too.

I often find my patients very inspiring. I marvel at their strength of character despite their adversities and their comfort expressing simple acts of faith, gratitude and prayer.

Before eating, all the patients took off their hats while another patient, Davis, led the group with a prayer. The blessing that Davis shared was so beautiful, I wish I could have recorded it! In all my years, I have never witnessed such respect and cohesiveness.

During the party, patients enjoyed a casual conversation, which focused around:

  1. What are you grateful for?
  2. What are your best wishes for the group?
  3. What are your goals for the New Year?

 

Patients enjoyed the party and they were very grateful that everyone was so generous with each other and for the opportunity to give and receive from each other. It was truly a heartwarming!

APPLE or FRUIT CRISP

Ingredients

Filling

5-6 cups fruit, cubed (I used 3 cups apples and 2 cups cranberries)

1/2 cup sugar

Optional: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1- 11/2 tablespoons cornstarch or 2 teaspoons of tapioca

Optional: 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional: 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or allspice

Topping

1 1/2 cups oatmeal

Optional: substitute 1/2 cup flour instead of oatmeal

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

Optional: 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon salt

Optional: 2 tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350*.

Combine fruit and filling ingredients in a greased or parchment paper lined baking dish

Combine the ingredients for the topping and mix until blended.

Sprinkle over fruit

Bake until fruit is soft and topping is slightly browned.

If topping becomes over cooked, cover loosely with aluminum foil.

Cool before serving.

Placed fruit in pan.

Ingredients for the filling.

Mix until well blended.

Ready to go in the oven.

Voila! Fresh out of the oven!

 

Here is a picture from the party:

I am happy to say that the fruit crisp was almost completely eaten! Even Walter said that he liked it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cumin Beets

Cumin Beets

As I have shared in the past, I consider myself to be a pressure cooker and crockpot Queen, in addition to the Arch Duchess of the rice cooker. 

To save time, I am always looking for ways to make fast and easy recipes. 

I was very excited to make this new way to cook beets. It can easily be made in a crockpot, stove top, or in a pressure cooker.

Ingredients

Beets, sliced

1 onions, chopped

1 teaspoon cumin

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 can (14 oz.) chopped tomatoes, juice included

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Optional: fresh chopped herbs such as cilantro or parsley 

Instructions:

Wash and scrub beets. Slice with a food processor. If desired, beets can be peeled or left whole. A longer cooking time will be needed for whole beets.

Saute onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beets, water and canned tomatoes.

In pressure cooker: bring to pressure for 2 minutes and release the pressure. Simmer if needed until done.

In crock pot: place in crockpot and cook on low until done. If a longer cooking time is needed, then leave beets whole, so that they can cook all day.

Stove pot: bring to a boil and let simmer until done.

Adjust seasoning as needed once fully cooked. 

Fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley add a special gourmet touch.

 I made this just before Shabbat, so unfortunately I have only one picture.

Freshly made, and without any adornment.

 

This is a fast and easy and super tasty way to cook beets. Everyone loved them, even my husband who is not a fan of cumin.

Enjoy!

 

Lima Beans and Carrots

Lima Beans and Carrots

I am very excited about this recipe. Since we try to have 1 plant based meal a day, I am always looking to create simple, fast and easy vegan recipes.

This is an adaption of my Chicken and Carrots recipe. Lima beans were easily substituted for the chicken with success!

Ingredients:

1 lbs. Lima beans (about 3 cups)

2 cups carrots, sliced on the diagonal, or use baby carrots. I personally do not like baby carrots, as I feel they are less flavorful and crisp.

12 cloves garlic, peeled and whole

6 cups wine, broth or water.

1 teaspoon thyme, or use fresh oregano at the end of the cooking

¾ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

Place beans, carrots and garlic in pot. Add salt, pepper, thyme and water water. Cook on low.

Crock pot: Cook on low until done. Less water is required. Adjust seasoning.

Stove top: bring to boil and let simmer until done. Adjust seasoning.

Pressure Cooker: 12 minutes to pressure and then release the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done. Adjust seasoning.

I call this maximum taste for minimal effort. A winner!

Here are the pictures:

img_6270

Just completed, and in the crockpot.

I wanted people to see the actual beans. Yum!

I wanted people to see the actual beans. Yum!

Everyone liked it. I am so happy!

Enjoy!

 

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

Shabbat In 2 Hours: Mashed Potatoes

This is almost one of my non-recipe recipes.

My family loves mashed potatoes. However, mashed potatoes are something that need to be made fresh and served immediately. As I am time challenged, I find it difficult to make anything that requires precise timing. Up until now, I rarely made them.

This past week, I was so excited to have discovered cooking the potatoes in the crock pot. The potatoes cooked while I was at work. Then, when I came home, I mashed them just before Shabbat. In very little time, we had wonderful, fresh mashed potatoes.

I know that this seems like such a little thing. But, it was very exciting for everyone. Sometimes, it is the little things in life that count.

little_things

Ingredients

potatoes, whole and unpeeled

water to cover

salt, pepper to taste

olive oil, to taste

Optional: butter or margarine

Optional:sauteed onions

Optional: fresh crushed garlic

Optional: spices as desired

Optional: paprika, for added color

Instructions

Place whole potatoes in crock pot, and add water to cover. Since I made this early in the morning, I added more water than necessary, to avoid overcooking. However, overcooking is not a high risk proposition. Since they are going to be mashed, overcooking will not harm the final outcome.

When I got home, the potatoes were cooked, and not even over cooked!  I peeled them, and mashed them, adding the cooking water to desired consistency. As I mashed them, I added the salt, pepper and olive oil.

Placed whole in the crock pot, cover with water.

I peeled them after they were cooked.

Mashed and ready to serve!

The variations of mashed potatoes are endless. So far, I have not been too adventurous.

My plan was to leave some of the potatoes whole for a potato salad for lunch on Shabbat day. However, that turned out to be unnecessary.  Everyone in the family devoured the mashed potatoes! I actually ran out.  A definite hit!

Now, everyone is looking forward to having them for Shabbat dinner again.  I am so happy that it will be possible to make this dish more often.

Enjoy!

 

Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

shabbat-cat

I love cats. I couldn’t resist.



Shabbat in 2 Hours — Baked Apples

I hesitate to call this an actual recipe. However, my friend Malka introduced me to baked apples for Shabbat. It is even faster and easier than my fruit compote, and I bake them while I have everything else in the oven.

Ingredients:

Apples, cut in half, and seeds removed

cinnamon

Instructions:

Cut apples in half and remove the core and any other blemishes. Lightly spray oil the pan and sprinkle cinnamon over the bottom. Add apples, cut side down.

Bake in 350* – 375* oven until done. The house will smell heavenly!


Enjoy!

Just for fun, I thought I would post this.

shabbat-coke-image

Many blessings to all for a beautiful shabbat.

Saturday night begins the first night of Channuka and Christmas Eve. Happy holidays everyone!


Love,

Carol and family.

Cold Cucumber Soup

Since the girls started school, it feels like a whirlwind of nonstop activity! It seems as though I am even more time challenged than ever before. 

I want to post this recipe, however, before the winter really sets in and no one can even think about making a cold soup. There is always the possibility of an Indian Summer.


This recipe is the outcome of one of my wonderful patient’s generosity. Bob shared with the group a few weeks ago some of his fresh, homegrown, basil, peppers and cucumbers. With such luscious produce, I experimented and came up with this recipe for cold cucumber soup. 

This recipe is extremely fast and easy. It’s almost like salad in a bowl. And, it’s perfect for those time challenging moments when you want something slightly different and slightly fancy.

The measurements are imprecise and VERY flexible.

Ingredients

2 English cucumbers

1 zucchini

(The idea is to have twice as much cucumber to zucchini)

1/2 onion

1/2 pepper

1 lemon juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh basil, chopped

Water to desired consistency, but be careful not to add too much.

Instructions

Place all ingredients into food processor and blend to desired consistency.

Simple, easy & elegant!

I am happy to say that this was a successful experiment. Everyone loved it! The fresh basil made all the difference!

Nothing beats garden fresh produce.

Enjoy!

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon — Joint Post

Zucchini Tofu Napoleon

The blogging world has opened up so many new culinary opportunities.

The beauty of blogging is that I get to virtually visit the kitchens of people all over the world and then adapt the recipes to suite my family’s taste. Hence, I recently posted a recipe which I called Lentils Napoleon. Here is the link: https://cookingforthetimechallenged.wordpress.com/2016/08/09/lentils-napoleon/

I adapted the recipe based on The Eggplant Napoleon recipe posted by Dolly, who is behind the apron of koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com.

Here is the link to her wonderful blog: https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/

Here is the link for her post on Eggplant Napoleon:

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/eggplant-napoleon/

However, I must apologize for an inadvertent culinary faux pas: Lentils Napoleon is really a misnomer.

Through this joint post, I have learned that my lentil dish should have been named Lentils with Cumin and Sumac.

And, how did I learn this?

Because Dolly, who is a dedicated teacher, kindly reminded me that “Napoleon” really refers to anything baked in thin layers interspersed with something creamy.

My lentil dish was certainly not that. I simply liked the spices she used and thought I would use lentils instead.

BUT, my malapropism has led to this current hands-on learning experience.  Dolly is a genuine educator: she suggested that we do a joint post on a “real” Lentils Napoleon.

Our goal is to post as simultaneously as possible both of our recipes, using the culinary concept of layering vegetables interspersed with something creamy, the real culinary definition of Napoleon-style dishes.

Here is the link to Dolly’s post on Beets and Beans Napoleon. I am sorry but I don’t know how to make a short link:

Beets and Beans Napoleon – koolkosherkitchen

https://koolkosherkitchen.wordpress.com/2016/08/19/beets-and-beans-napoleon/

For me, this has been a real opportunity to see how unique we all are.  We infuse our own special spark into everything we do.

Our own special spark

Raizel’s painting from camp.

Based on a more careful reading of Dolly’s post, and some online research, I discovered that Wolfgang Puck, the original creator of Beets Napoleon, used goat cheese between layers of beets.

For this post, I decided to use thinly sliced zucchini between a tofu-lentil creamy layer.  I thought that tofu, with a dash of vinegar, would recreate a more goat cheese-like texture. In addition, I had run out of lentils, and I didn’t feel like shopping for more.

Raizel was my hands-on helper in this activity. She came home from camp this week, and was very excited when I suggested we make this dish for our joint post.

Raizel helped with the actual cooking, and she also took some of the photos. Raizel has a unique gift for coming up with recipes that are often quite good. But, photography is one of her passions; and of course, she loved using my phone as a camera!

Lentil-Tofu Napoleon

Ingredients:

For Tofu-Lentil Layer:

1 lbs. firm tofu

Spice mix:

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1-2 teaspoons garlic power

1 teaspoon pepper, and cumin

½ teaspoon coriander, and sumac

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Optional: 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Optional: fresh cilantro

Optional: Leftover Napoleon Lentils

Vinegar to taste, in order to get a slightly tangy taste for the tofu. I used red wine vinegar, but I think that apple cider vinegar would be good too.

Vegetable Layer:

3 Zucchini, sliced thinly

2 cloves garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

Lentil Tofu Creamy layer: Slice the tofu about 5 mm thick and sprinkle spices on top. Spray oil grill, and cook the tofu until done.

I took the leftover lentils from when I first posted the recipe and pureed it together with the tofu and added the vinegar.

The vinegar gives it a nice tang and a creamy texture.

Then I adjusted the seasoning.

Raizel said, “It looks terrible but it tastes great.”

Vegetable layer: Slice the zucchini is thin slices. I have a wonderful compact grater/slicer that I used. It is very sharp and is able to slice 2 different thickness. It also has 3 blades for various grating. Raizel actually sliced the zucchini and she did it very well!

Sauté zucchini in pan, sprayed with olive oil. Add crushed garlic and salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 350*F.

Layer zucchini in a small, lightly oiled dish. Next add layer of tofu-lentils, and continuing layering until near the top. Top layer should be of zucchini.

Bake covered for 20 minutes or until cooked.

I made this in individual servings. I think that it could be made in a larger pan, and then sliced when cooked. However, it might be difficult to  maintain the desired layered look. Wolfgang Puck, I believe, used a cookie cutter to get a uniform and attractive serving portion.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Here are the pictures. Since I made it with Raizel and she likes photography, we took quite a few.

 

Tofu marinating with the spices.

Raizel slicing the zucchini. Go Raizel!

Sauteing the zucchini.

Raizel placing the tofu on the grill.

Raizel cooked the tofu by herself!

Pureeing the tofu

Ready to cook!

Voila! The final product!

 

The verdict:  The recipe objectively came out great. However, subjectively, is was not well received.

After it was so beautifully prepared, my husband reminded me that he does not like anything creamy. Raizel, who was very excited and very enthusiastic during the whole process, also didn’t eat it. Despite her protestations, Raizel does not like anything creamy either.

In the end, I was the only one who ate it. I thought it tasted great.

I also ate the leftover tofu “cream” during the week, as a spread on rice cakes.

Overall, I would say that this recipe is delicious, but for someone else’s family.

What did I learn?

I have my own song in the kitchen. 

Everyone has their own song.

For my family, simple is best.

Finally, I had lots of fun discussing and planning this with Dolly. We had a bonding experience!Thank you Dolly!

 

 

Gazpacho Soup

Today, I had a wonderful group with my patients.

Sometimes, when I run a group, I ask patients to introduce themselves with the following questions: “what do you love to do?” Or, “what do you do that makes you lose track of time?”

Surprisingly, such a simple question generates a lot of discussion. It engenders positive feelings of well-being and it is an opportunity for patients to share with each other their passions in life.

One patient, Henri, (I wrote about him in The Birthday Party https://coffeeklatchinsight.wordpress.com/2016/04/18/the-birthday-party/) shared in an earlier group that he loves to garden and he even grows his own vegetables.

Today, he surprised us. He brought in his first crop of tomatoes. With such luscious tomatoes, I decided to make gazpacho soup.

I have not made gazpacho soup in years. I forgot how great it is.

This recipe comes from my Aunt Perel (A”H). Aunt Perel was a fabulous cook! I think of her often, especially when I cook.

Cooking was Aunt Perel’s passion in life. She could quote the source and the originator of a particular recipe the way other people discuss academic research.

This soup is particularly great when using fresh, ripe tomatoes. It feels like eating salad in a bowl.

Ingredients

1.5 lbs ripe tomatoes

3/4 cup onions

1 cucumber, peeled

1 small green pepper

1-2 garlic cloves

1.5 teaspoons salt, to taste

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup olive oil (can add up to 1/3 cup, but my family does not like things with too much oil)

1/2 cup wine vinegar

1/2 cup water

Optional: 3/4 cup dried breadcrumbs, or serve with croutons

Instructions

Place ingredients in food processor and pulse until desired consistency. Adjust seasoning. Serve chilled.

tomatoes shared during our group

voila! final product

I must say, this soup surpassed my wildest expectations!

My husband loved it! He said, “this is fantastic! I don’t even like gazpacho….. Can I have some more?”

A true vote of confidence!

Many blessings to Aunt Perel (A”H) for sharing her wonderful recipes and culinary expertise.