Sunday, 27 September 2015

Ila's Vegan Veggie Pizza with Spelt and ChickPea Flat Crust

Blessed Love to the I,


Before I share my ultimate vegetable, vegan, dairy-free, wheat-free pizza (yay!) I want to remind you to link with my page on Instagram if you use IG of course. - it is no longer @italafrika, but @rastawifeline....I changed the name but the same page, as it was more fitting for the blogspot to have the title of the page. so on the IG I share pics of what new recipes I try before they actually reach the blog. And when I am finished with some other projects I will be posting on more than just food, but branching into other areas. You can actually see my IG feed from my website www.iloveafrika.com under the page ILA NEWS. Feel free to use the hastags #WombWellness and #RastaWifeLine to share your meals and tips as well, this needs to be something that InI Dawtas can use to share and inspire one another to be healthier and happier.



So, I really miss pizza, and I have finally finally found the perfect wheat-free crust, so that I can have a guilt-free pizza anytime I feel like it! And the bonus is that it doesn't take long to make. The vegetable prep is the same as making a salad or food, and the dough is quite simple with mixing it all together and rolling it out. A simple and perfect and better alternative to regular pizza that usually has wheat, table salt and dairy in it, which cause cramps, pain and other PMS problems.

Remember that my aim is to share "Period Friendly Meals" here which are vegan or Ital. Foods that will cause I and I to have smoother moon cycles without being sick and out of it. Though the spelt and garbanzo flours maybe on the expensive side, at least you can get good uses out of them over time, the key is to also cut down on any recipe that involves flour as such will still break down to sugar and affect sinuses and periods or whatever issues you have with mucus in the body. Spelt is like a parent relative to wheat. It is a whole grain that has not been genetically modified like all wheat that we get in our flour, and it is also not bleached or enriched with any unnatural products. These flours can be substituted for others such as whole wheat and corn flour if you don't have any other. You can also try quinoa or almond flour if they have a texture like wheat, corn, spelt or garbanzo. I am yet to try these two types of flour myself. I have also done this pizza using breadfruit flour which is available in Barbados, so you can try that as well if you ever see it on the shelf.






Flat Crust Vegan Vegetable Pizza

1 ½ cup garbanzo/chickpea flour
1 cup spelt flour (plus extra for kneading)

Or for a gluten-free, corn-free option try:
2 cups Breadfruit flour or 2.5 cups garbanzo flour

¾ cup slightly warm water
1/4 cup Coconut or olive oil with extra for pizza pan
1.5 tsp baking powder (or 1 tbsp flax)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano


Pizza toppings

Seasonings:
3 stalks chive,
1 onion,
3 pimento peppers or the like
5 clove garlic
1 big leaf of shadon beni
All finely diced.

And any combination of vegetables you have, for example:
3 sliced  Tomatoes
1 cup sliced Pineapple
1/4 thinly sliced Eggplant
3 leaves chopped pakchoi or other greens
1 cup each shredded or grated pumpkin, carrot, zucchini and beet

3 large spoons full Tomato paste (Matouks in the jar)


Pizza pan
Baking or wax paper
large bowl



Combine dry ingredients well with spoon: flour, salt and dried seasonings

Add the oil to flour. You will add 1/2 cup of water to this and mix with a spoon first and then use your hands when the flour is all wet. Add a little more water if you need it. Add sprinkles of spelt to make the right consistency as you start with your hands. It doesn’t take too long to knead. It should be smooth, soft and moist but not wet or too dry (add more spelt or water if you need to). 
I use my hands and make a flat circle and just set it aside in the bowl with a towel over it, while I put all the ingredients away.

(Note you can make mini pizzas by rolling dough into balls)





On your counter top, place a sheet of baking paper. Flatten the dough onto baking paper in a nice flat circle using your four fingers. knead all cracks. Cover that dough with another sheet and start to make a circle with rolling pin. When the circle has gotten a little wider and flatter it will stick to the paper, so take off the top sheet slowly and finish getting the circle bigger and evenly spread with the rolling pin. You shouldn’t need to add flour to dust. This is not that type of dough that you need it all floured up, it should not be sticky, but soft and smooth and very very firm.  keep kneading all cracks



Using the bottom baking sheet flip the circle onto the greased pizza pan and carefully peel the baking sheet off the back. Use your hands to further press dough around the pan. In my photo you can see what happens when you try to sprinkle flour, it doesn't blend in!
Do not bake with paper or it will stick -learned that the hard way!


Spread tomato paste on first with a large spoon.

Cover that paste with the finely chopped onion garlic chive pimento.

Evenly spread the vegetable toppings. I start with the pumpkin, carrot and beets, then the tomatoes and greens.


Bake pizza at medium heat of 150 C for 25 minutes or til edges are golden brown. 

Voila!





Grate my vegan almond nut cheese over everything when it comes out and allow to cool a bit before slicing and serving.
Makes four big slices or eight smaller.


 



My favourite part of this pizza is the crust. It's soft and yet has a slight cookie texture as well because of the chickpea flour.

Do try! and keep up with my Ital recipes also on Pinterest @iladesigns in the board "Ital with Ila"


Rastafari!
Sis Ila

Friday, 25 September 2015

Raw Almond Cheese and Eggplant Mini Pizza

Greetings!

I wish to share a recipe for a very simple nut cheese that I came up with when making veggie pizza. Now unfortunately this cheese will not melt because it has no liquid in it like water or almond milk, so while I call it a cheese, it is more of a topping, that reminds me a lot of coconut flakes in texture. Now I personally don't think vegetable pizza actually needs cheese, the way I make it (a recipe to followup very soon as I plan to give it a second test tomorrow) so if you are looking for a melting cheese you can try what I have put below which is what I did in my cashew cheese recipe. I have to try it also to see how it will melt. You can also check some other vegan bloggers.

This almond cheese goes perfectly with salad or even a sandwich as a topping. If I still ate tofu eggs I'd definitely add to my omelet. The added bonus is that you can use as much as you would like and not be overpowered in flavour (because of the soaking).



ALMOND CHEESE

TOPPING
1 cup almonds raw
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp dried basil (optional)


Soak almonds overnight in the water or at least 6 hours. Make sure they are well covered. Peel off the skins when time is up. A lot of people do not soak their almonds to retain the great oils and flavour, be that as it may, almonds unsoaked will not digest in the tummy because the blocking enzymes have not been neutralized by soaking.




Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor until it becomes I thick paste that is soft and spreadable.  You have to mix and stop constantly because it is a very dry mixture, it just requires a bit of patience especially if using a plain ole blender.





It will still be grainy in a very fine texture but with no visible chunks of almonds.




Scrape it all into a bowl and mash around with a spoon.






Mould into a ball and place in a ziplock bag. Freeze for at least 2-4 hours.

It should be hard enough to grate over pizza.

The crumble will not melt.


For a cheese that can spread try adding these ingredients:

2 tbs apple cider vinegar or juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic
two stalks of chive
1 cup Water (slightly warm to help the almonds blend)
Blender or food processor
2 tsps nutritional yeast

If you want a mild taste leave out chive and garlic. nutritional yeast just for flavour it is not necessary.



Now for a recipe that will put your new almond cheese to great use!


EGGPLANT PIZZA


This is the same concept as baking or grilling seasoned eggplant slices, but with some fresh grated and chopped veggies on top.




1 eggplant
Turmeric powdered
Cumin powdered
Dried basil
Dried Italian seasoning
Dried parsley
Baking tray
Coconut or olive oil

small piece pumpkin
small carrot
small beet
1/2 sweet pepper
2 medium tomatoes



Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thin circles.
Grate pumpkin, beet, carrot; and chop sweet pepper and tomato. I actually used the veggies from my rainbow salad to whip up these pizzas to show how easily they can be prepared!






Put half in a big bowl and sprinkle all the seasons on the pieces. If it is dry sprinkle a little water to help the seasoning to stick.
Do the same to the rest of the eggplant. 





Transfer to greased pan with or without foil, it is up to you. Cover each piece of eggplant with the vegetables prepared. 




Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes on medium heat around 150 C.

Pull out and allow to cool 15 minutes.




Serve with grated almond cheese on top.
Two bites and they’re gone! Lovely little mini pizza substitutes. 
Will not be a favorite of anyone who doesn’t like "mushy" eggplant however.





Stay tuned for more to come, now that I have internet, I will be able to keep things going here on RastaWifeLine and InI YouTube channel.





Sunday, 20 September 2015

A Chickpea Patty Bake Crouton for Salads



Greetings and Blessings dear Sistren,


I return finally with another post which will be a recipe - My reasonings will be on the channel soon. The reason I haven't posted as much is because I haven't really been creating recipes, just eating more raw salads and juicing trying to cut out grains and starches - like rice and potato and any other floury product - to be more gluten-free or wheat-free but not totally because I sometimes I eat bread. I also use a spelt flour which is the original grain to wheat, the ancient grain, without being genetically modified like whole wheat. I am also trying to be soy-less. So this is why I decided to try making my own version of Burmese tofu which is not made of soy like Chinese tofu, but is made with chickpea flour.

This recipe I did functions more as a crouton than tofu - though my intention was to make Burmese tofu I didnt like the soft inside I achieved and decided to bake it all, which I preferred. Because it is made with chickpea and has a nutty cheese-like flavour and as it stays in the fridge and cures it doesn't stay soft on the inside. It has a grainy texture like mock fish. And it is also like a flat patty that you could cut into bigger squares and use as chickpea patties or burgers. The patty could also use used as a half-sandwich to just top with fresh tomato and the like. These are ideas I will try the next time I buy a bag of flour.

My favourite is to have it with sweet potato and salad with my seasoned ginger dressing. Just delicious. I definitely recommend adding a tablespoon of nutritional yeast if you have it since it adds more cheesy flavour, as I have heard!


Ila's Chickpea Patty-Crouton



 The flavor of chickpea is always a satisfying addition when going meatless, fishless and soyless. I find it tastes better with each day. The texture changes. In fact, I recommend making this the day before you want to eat them.


2.5 cups chickpea flour or 1 bag of Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Bean flour

4 cups chilled water

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp powdered Turmeric

1 tsp powdered Cumin

½ tsp powdered ginger

Dried seasoning leaves: parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary

Organic cold pressed coconut oil



Stir all dry ingredients together in a nonstick, flat wide pot.



Combine with water in a pot, pouring gradually and mix well it will be a smooth liquid with no lumps or very little. This mixture must be constantly mixed at a steady pace til it reaches the dish. 



Place the pot on the stove at medium heat and stir continuously til mixture thickens. It must be nice and thick like a mousse or texture something of that creamy nature.

Place in a flat greased baking dish and allow to cool for 15 minutes.






Place in the fridge for two or more hours. Remove, the texture should be springy and quite firm (if not don’t worry). You can cut it into one inch squares at this point once it is really firm. This is considered the prepared tofu as shown in the cross section below. But I do not like this consistency. That is why I bake it at this point.

 

Bake in oven set at 140-150 C for half an hour or less, ideally the flour bakes until it is golden brown all over. You can use the shelf you would for baking bread.

Take it out when it is golden brown around 40 minutes and cut into small one inch squares if you didn't already. It will look like a flat cake. Be gentle in cutting so you don’t destroy the top setting of the “cake.”





Then bake again to allow the inside to fully cook through for another 10 minutes.

Check it again using the knife going through the lines again, it may still be quite soft inside. So this time bake at bottom shelf and turn heat down ten-twenty degrees. Bake for another 15 minutes. Overall bake time 1 hour give or take 5 mins or until you see it become dark and golden and very crispy, the top layer should raise up and be stiff. It will likely have a little softness in the middle, Don't worry about that because it dries out when you toast it again to reheat.




Set the dish aside and allow to cool completely.

Remove the squares with a knife or spoon from the pan into a container.

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge when not in use.

I prefer to toast them before eating. Will keep stored in the fridge for a week.



This is the texture after 5-6 days, a grainy flat bread when you bite, I love them like this!




Note this recipe does not taste like tofu. It just is a simple crouton-like recipe (because I eat it with salad) that was inspired by other bloggers who made Burmese tofu with chickpea flour as a soy tofu substitute.

Take care and IYAH's blessings
Sis Ila