Recipes: Apps & Snacks

Recipe: Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle (gluten-free, vegan, cane sugar-free)

curry coconut pepita brittle

Over the weekend, we had our seventh gathering of the MPLS Food Swappers. The MPLS Swappers is just one of the food swapping groups that has popped up around the world in the last year. I started the group after being inspired by the lovely Kate Payne and her swaps in Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX. Since then, swaps have have popped up all over the place, and it's a huge trend in the local foods scene. So far we're the only one in the Twin Cities area (and I think all of Minnesota) and we've gotten a lot of local press. I guess you could say thatwereallylovepublicity.  

My inconsistent and transitional housing situation lately has not made it easy to keep up with canning, so I'm feeling a little possessive of my preserved food. I was left scrambling to come up with what I would bring to swap. Instead of bringing something from my larder, I whipped up a tasty batch of this Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle using ingredients I had on hand. I was inspired by a recipe in an old issue of Martha Stewart Living which featured a recipe for Coconut Curry Cashews. While it looked great, I wanted something a little different but with the same flavor profile and made without cane sugar. So, I set forth on a kitchen experiment!

It was a total victory, a delightful combination of sweet-salty-spicy-crunchy that always wins me over. And it was a total hit at the swap. In exchange for bags of my lovingly prepared pepitas, I received frozen crappie filets, delicata squash, homegrown horseradish, red pepper jam, pickled garlic, homebrew beer (a great gift for my dad!), roasted pepita-chickpea mix, lemon-herb butter, and a gorgeous bunch of homegrown kale.  I love my swappers.

To learn more about how our food swap works, check out the MPLS Swapper blog. And in the meantime, enjoy some brittle. Happy Thursday!

bags of Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle awaiting bids at the MPLS Swappers food swapwhat I got in exchange for my bags of Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle - score!!!

Coconut Curry Pepita Brittle

yield 6 cups

This makes a very large batch, big enough for a party or perfect for gift giving. Feel free to cut this recipe in half or thirds if you want to make a smaller batch. The spice from the curry powder is tempered by the sweetness of the maple syrup and coconut. And the saltiness combines the holy trinity of flavors to keep you going back for handful after handful. Keeps for two weeks at room temperature, but I promise you, it won't last that long. 

  • 1 cup real maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder (mild or hot, the choice is up to you)
  • 1 tablespoon unrefined salt
  • 6 cups raw unsalted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded coconut

Heat oven to 350º F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place curry powder in a small saucepan and heat over low flame until it is lightly toasted and fragrant. Be careful not to let it burn! Then add maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt, whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. 

Meaure pepitas into a large bowl, then pour maple mixture over them, stirring to mix. Divide pumpkin seeds evenly between two parchment-lined cookie sheets, spreading coated seeds evenly over the surface in a thin layer. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes and rotating between oven racks. Remove from oven, divide coconut evenly between the trays and stir into mixture, then bake for another 15-20 minutes, stirring every 7 minutes and rotating between oven racks, until seeds are golden. I know, I know, it's a lot of stirring and rotating, but you don't want burned seeds and coconut. Then remove from oven.

Place baking sheets on wire cooling racks and let cool completely. The seed mixture will harden as it cools. Areas of the brittle will be very crisp, while other areas will be a little chewy and caramel-like. That's okay! 

Break cool brittle into chunks. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container and consume within 2 weeks. 

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free. Check it out for tons of great recipes!

Update

on 2011-10-15 18:37 by Kim

I just made some adjustments to the recipe - I realized I had made some typos! If you've already printed this recipe off or copied it to use, please use the adjusted recipe above. I hope you enjoy it! xo

*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!

Lemon & Herb Chicken Liver Paté (gluten-free, grain-free, ACD)

Lemon & Herb Chicken Liver Paté (gluten-free, grain-free, ACD)

Lemon & Herb Chicken Liver Paté

Liver tends to be a rather polarizing food - either you love it or you find the idea of eating it absolutely appalling. Back in my veg*n days, I would go on and on about how "nasty" liver is, stunned that people would even consider eating it (although I'd never tried it, of course). Once I started eating meat again, I vowed to appreciate the whole animal from snout to tail. After getting comfortable with the basic cuts, I started by buying more unsual cuts of meat and using bones and skin to make stock. Thanks to a trip to France a few years ago, I saw the glory of liver. Not long ago I had my first run-in with tripe and tendon (not bad!). And I've been eyeing up bison blood sausage, duck fat, and leaf lard at the co-op.  My journey is slow, but I'm trying, and enjoying every delicious minute.  Culinary curiosity beats out hesitancy every time. 

Hey, if that animal is dying for me, I want to do what I can to ensure that nothing is wasted. To guide me along the way, I am reading The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Thomas Keller. I read cookbooks like novels, and these books are genius. I am finding the subject matter absolutely fascinating, and love learning about where each cut of meat comes from and how the organs and other animal parts can be used.  Somehow, this book has made me excited about the prospect of making gluten-free kidney pie and finding an opportunity to butcher a chicken myself.  As Anthony Bourdain would say, bring on the "nasty bits"!  

Where did that veg*n girl go? Whoa.

Sesame Adzuki Bean Dip (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

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This dip packs a surprising amount of flavor - warm, nutty, spicy, pungent.  And it couldn't be easier to make! I am including this recipe in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, the monthly recipe challenge from Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me. This month our featured ingredient is none other than the versatile adzuki bean, one of my favorite legumes. 

I often use adzuki beans for various bean dips, often highlighting them with the flavors present in Asian cuisine. This dip is no exception, featuring toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and scallions. It is rich and creamy, and is a great way to jazz up raw vegetables, crackers, or collard or brown rice tortilla wraps.  Or, if you're anything like me, you'll enjoy a scoop of it served on a plate with brown rice, sauerkraut, and sauteed greens. 

Want to participate in the adzuki bean fun this month? Simply cook up a new recipe–either sweet OR savory (or both)–using adzuki beans, following the usual SOS guidelinesfor ingredients and submission requirements.  Then submit it by linking up to your blog post with the linky tool, below the recipe.  Be sure to add a link to this page on your post, and if you wish, include the SOS logo. 

Your recipe will be displayed on both Ricki's and my blog in the Linky, and will be featured in a recipe roundup at the end of this month.  We look forward to more of your delicious, creative, enthusiastic entries this month!  

In the mean time, here's a few other azuki bean recipes from my blog for inspiration:

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Sesame Adzuki Bean Dip

yield approx. 1 1/2 cups

  • 2 cups cooked adzuki beans
  • 2 Tbsp roasted sesame tahini
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (plus more for garnish, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp South River Azuki Bean Miso (gluten-free and soy-free) or other tolerated miso 
  • 2 tsp umeboshi plum vinegar
  • 1 small very fresh garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger root
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • 4 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (plus more for garnish, if desired - I used black sesame seeds to garnish for a pretty accent)
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped (plus more for garnish, if desired)

Place beans, tahini, oil, miso, ume vinegar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. If too thick for your liking, add leftover bean cooking liquid, broth, or water until it is the desired consistency. Then add sesame seeds and scallions and process briefly to mix in. Serve! If using as a dip in a serving bowl, garnish it with sesame seeds and finely chopped scallion, and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil, if desired.

Refrigerate leftovers in a well-sealed container for up to 5 days.

March SOS Kitchen Challenge: Adzuki Beans


*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!

Socca with Rosemary and Cumin (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

socca with rosemary and cumin

Once you make socca, you'll never want to live a life without it. Socca is a thin, unleavened flatbread or pancake made from chickpea flour.  Known in Italy as farinata or cecina, this chickpea pancake was founded in Genoa and became a popular food of the Ligurian Sea coast, from Nice to Pisa. Socca couldn't be easier to make - simply chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt and spices. It is cooked in broiler or open oven until crisp and charred.  Socca has gained popularity all around the world; depending on where you are in the world, it might be garnished with more olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, harissa, or even jam. 

I like it hot out of the broiler, brushed with olive oil, and sprinkled with French grey salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Despite traveling throughout France multiple times and Italy, I've never eaten socca at the source - my experience with socca is limited to my kitchen.  For a great write up about socca, check out this post by David Leibovitz. I often default to him for just about anything, especially anything French. My default socca recipe is tweaked from the version in that post, and I think you'll love it as much as I do.  It is a great snack, especially for parties, and makes a lovely appetizer for dinners. 

This recipe is also linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free.

socca with rosemary and cumin
socca with rosemary and cumin

Socca with Rosemary and Cumin

yield 5-6 10" socca flatbreads | slightly tweaked from David Leibovitz

I adapted David's recipe slightly, adding rosemary and including a longer soaking period for the chickpea flour with a little acid to help break down the phytic acid in the chickpeas and make it more easily digested. 

If you are concerned about heating olive oil to the temperature required in a broiler, feel free to use ghee or another high temperature oil of your choice. Using melted ghee creates a wonderful, rich nutty flavor - but I often use olive oil, to be honest. I'm willing to take a few free radicals here and there, especially for something as tasty as socca. 

  • 2 cups chickpea flour
  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup water
  • optional: 1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar, raw coconut vinegar, whey, or lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp dry rosemary leaves, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • freshly-ground black pepper, plus additional sea salt and olive oil for serving

Mix together the flour, 2 cups water, and acidic medium, and whisk until totally smooth. Let batter rest for 8-12 hours lightly covered with a towel at room temperature (on the counter is perfect!). It will begin to bubble slightly and become lighter and airier. Then whisk in salt, cumin, rosemary, remaining 1/4 cup water, and 2 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil.

socca with rosemary and cumin

To cook, heat the broiler in your oven. Oil a 9- or 10-inch (23cm) pan with 1 Tbsp olive oil and heat the pan in the oven.  I used my 10" cast iron skillet, which worked perfectly.

Once the pan and the oven are blazing-hot, remove from the broiler, pour enough batter into the pan to cover the bottom, swirl it around, then pop it back in the oven. Thinner batter yields a lighter, crisper socca than heavily applied batter.

Bake until the socca is firm and beginning to blister and burn. The exact time will depend on your broiler.

socca with rosemary and cumin

Slide the socca out of the pan onto a cutting board, slice into pieces (I use a pizza cutter!), then shower it with coarse salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Cook the remaining socca batter the same way, adding a teaspoon or two of oil to the pan and heating it slightly again in the broiler before adding the batter and cooking.


*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!

Hummus with Toasted Cumin and Paprika (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

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These days, hummus is a commonplace food at restaurants, in cookbooks, and in the blogosphere. But I say, "So what?" Hummus is delicious, economical, easy-to-prepare, and has endless opportunity for variation.  Additionally, hummus is wonderfully nutritious, a good source of fiber, protein, calcium, potassium, and iron. Thus, I provide you with yet another hummus recipe.

This is one of my most recent favorite ways to prepare it, spiked with garlic, lots of cumin, and paprika. Rather than using ground cumin, I include whole toasted cumin and sesame seeds for a nutty flavor.  I think you'll like it a lot.

Serve it garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of cumin seeds, and a dusting of paprika. You'll love it with raw vegetables, crackers or breads, in collard leaf wraps, or on salads.  Hummus also is a great base for creamy salad dressings and sauces!

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Hummus with Toasted Cumin and Paprika

yield approx. 2 cups

If you choose to use canned beans instead of cooking your own, I recommend Eden Foods brand.  In addition to being organic, Eden Foods beans are cooked with kombu for easier digestion and are packed in BPA-free cans. Yay!

One other thing - make sure your garlic is very fresh and crisp. You don't want to use elderly garlic that is rubbery, soft, or browning, because it tastes bitter and acrid and will make your hummus taste funky.

  • 1 Tbsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp whole sesame seeds
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sesame tahini
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 very fresh medium garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (smoked paprika is great, but a sweet or hot paprika is good as well)
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/4-3/4 cup bean cooking liquid, broth, or water
  • salt, to taste

Place cumin seeds and sesame seeds in a hot, dry saute pan over low heat. Stir occassionally, toasting until fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool.

Place beans, oil, tahini, lemon, paprika, and cayenne in a food processor or blender, along with 1/4 cup liquid. Process until a smooth paste starts to form, scraping sides often and adding additional liquid as necessary to reach desired consistency.  Add cumin seeds and sesame seeds, as well as salt, processing again until fully combined.

Serve, garnished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of cumin seeds, and a dusting of paprika. Excellent with raw vegetables, crackers or breads, in collard leaf wraps, or on salads.  Hummus also is a great base for creamy salad dressings and sauces!

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days in a well-sealed container.


*The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.

*Heads up! This post may contain some affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links you won't pay a single cent more, but I'll get a small commission that helps keep the content flowing. P.S. I only recommend products I use in my own daily life!