Food Allergy-Friendly Dinner Party

Times have changed and now it seems that almost everyone I know has a food allergy or sensitivity of sorts. Personally, I’m a card-carrying lactard. Despite my handicap, I’d still call myself a foodie – I just have to work harder on occasion! Due to my dietary shortcomings, all of the recipes on my blog are dairy-free, many are vegan, and from time-to-time they’re also gluten-free. The recipes below fall under all three categories and, as always, involve ingredients thoughtfully selected to boost your immune system and improve your overall health. Some of the nutritional rockstars in these recipes include:

Ginger: alleviates menstrual cramps; relieves an upset stomach; and has many other natural beauty and homeopathic applications

Coconut Milk: vitamins C, E and many of the metabolism-friendly Bs; magnesium, phosphorous, iron and potassium; may help combat heart disease and age-related diseases because of its high antioxidant content (for more info click here)

Garbanzo Bean Flour: see my post on Sweetly Salted Nut Butter Power Cookies

Turmeric: may prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, melanoma  and many other kinds of cancer; is a natural liver detoxifier (aka a hangover must); and may even play a role in fat metabolism. Need more convincing? Here’s a list of 20 benefits of this superspice.

THE MENU

Starter: Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad w/ Pine Nuts

Entrée: Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach, served with Thyme-Infused Garbanzo Bean Flat Bread

Dessert: fresh seasonal fruit topped with shredded unsweetened coconut and dark chocolate bits

Wine Pairing: Vouvray or your favorite white wine

I wrote a blog on the first recipe earlier this week – click on the link above for details. As for the entrée, keep on reading.

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Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

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What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups red lentils, well washed
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes w/ juice
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 bag spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions (to garnish)

How to Make It:

  1. In a large skillet, sauté onions in coconut oil until soft. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, ginger, cayenne and salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 1-2 min until aromatic. Add tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil, breaking up any large chunks as you stir.
  2. Add carrots, lentils, coconut milk and broth to your slow cooker. Spoon skillet mixture into slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in lemon juice and spinach leaves and continue cooking on high for last 20 min.
  3. Just after adding the spinach, in a medium skillet, sauté shallots in 1 tsp of coconut oil and a pinch of seas salt over medium heat for 3 min. Add shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2 min at medium heat then turn heat to low and cook another 8-10 min until tender and golden brown.
  4. Spoon soup into bowls and top with 1 tbs of thinly sliced green onions and 2 tbs of sautéed shiitake mushrooms.

Thyme-Infused Garbanzo Bean Flat Bread

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What You’ll Need:

  • 1 1/3 cups garbanzo bean flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbs dried thyme
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbs olive oil

How to Make It:

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and thyme. Slowly whisk in water. Let  mixture sit at room temperature for 30 min while oven pre-heats to 350 F.
  2. Place 9″ x 16″ cast iron griddle in oven while it heats. (You can also use a 10″ cast iron skillet here to make a more doughy version, akin to pizza crust).
  3. When batter is ready, whisk in 1 tbs of olive oil. Use the other 1 tbs to coat the griddle. Pour batter onto griddle and bake on center rack for 45 min to an hour (depending on the oven). The flatbread should be firm but chewy. Be careful not to burn. Carefully loosen flatbread from griddle with a spatula and let cool. Cut into strips and serve alongside your soup.

Finally, a great big thanks to my good friends and fellow yogis, Caroline and Jess, for being my test kitchen guinea pigs and great company!

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