Food and menu planning TO SUIT: ALLERGIES, AVOIDS & VEGANS
Health food for takeawaysand restaurant menus: we need no-fuss alternatives to wheat, gluten,dairy, egg, fish and meat dishes. Sugar also needs to be kept out ofmany foods and some people are allergic to nuts. Others have a strictkilo joule budget, have to avoid fats or are on the blood type diet.What a nightmare! When eating out, most people pig out on disruptivefoods, having to start with their special diets again from thebeginning. This sets them back and hinders their progress in attempts attherapeutic eating. The challenge is to cater for these preferences on amenu. The health trend is growing and discerning patrons need enticingyet appropriate food to dine out on. Have you ever experienced lip andabuse from top establishments who cannot offer a single dish that suitsyou? I have. How many people know that vegetarians may be allergic towheat? Most portions are oversized, overpriced and devoid of nutritionalvalue. As a health researcher who knows how bad eating produces badhealth, I cringe when I see what very sick, obese people eat and paylarge sums of money for. As for suiting their blood type: they couldn’tbother.
Now my aim is to provide a mouthwatering array of healthy and nutritious recipes to create dishes thatlook and taste terrific, even if kilojoules and fats need to be cut downand all the junk is thrown out! Here are some new ideas for the foodindustry, taking all the fuss pots and avoids into account. Even peopleon the blood type diet can enjoy hearty, natural foods that really suitthem. Health foods have come to stay, so let’s keep up with this latestgrowing trend and provide better options for customers who wouldotherwise have to break their diets or go home frustrated.
THE VERSATILE DRIED YELLOW PEA – A GOLDEN TREASURE!
Suitability: no animal ingredients, wheat & gluten free, suit all blood types. High in protein, low glycaemic index. Wow!
Split yellow peas can be cooked inadvance and this pulp can be frozen for months or kept in the fridgefor 4 days. It makes the most wonderful soup and can be used to makeother soups more hearty and nutritious. For a quick alternative tohumus: use yellow pea pulp. It makes a smoother, creamier dip or highprotein topping and you can vary it, adding low fat options. It is alsowonderful for stuffing into vegetables – like mushrooms, aubergines andgreen peppers with other tasty bits and pieces.
Yellow pea flour can be used inbaking: for pizza and quiche bases, to make crispy crackers and tothicken soups and casseroles. It combines well with rice flour tosatisfy wheat and gluten free specifications. There is no need to usewheat flour all the time, just because everyone else does.
1 COOKING PEA DHAL. Cook up about ½ kg split yellow peas. They are now available at Fruit & Veg City and from Health Shops and spice shops.
2 days before: soak the peas in water overnight. Drain and rinse.
Do not use salt during cooking orthey will not soften. Cover in boiling eater to over 2cm in the pot andboil for about 1 hour on low.
When soft and mushy, remover thepot from the stove and allow to cool. In this form, they can be packedinto containers and frozen or kept in the fridge for up to 4 days. Whenneeded, leave out to reach room temperature (or microwave for 1 minute)Add 2 tablespoons of oil, some salt, cumin powder and 2-3 teaspoonslemon juice. Process with a stick blender till creamy. Place in anattractive container in the fridge to firm up before the party. Lovelyas a spread or eaten on bread or crackers with the snacks and dips.Using curry powder and chillies is also an option.
Variation: Add a can of drained smoked mussels or oysters to a cup of the dhal.
SHORTBREAD SAVOURY DOUGH .
Suitability: free from: wheat, gluten, sugar, nuts dairy, egg and animal components. It suits all blood types.
This dough can be used for pastrylinings for tarts and quiches, for mini pizza bases, for savourycrackers and tortilla strips (used with my black bean soup.)
Ingredients: (yield: 24 x small tarts or tortillas)
200ml rice flour
200ml yellow pea flour
15ml health baking powder ( cream of tartar, potassium bicarbonate & gluten free flour – fromHealth Connection)
5 ml Himalayan crystal salt
30 ml olive oil
30ml dark sesame oil
200ml boiling water
Making dough to keep:Mix the flour, baking powder and salt with the oil till crumbly, using afork. Swirl in the hot water and knead into a ball of dough with thefingertips. This is the basic dough that can be kept in the fridge in aplastic bag. It can be rolled into 24 small balls and used as required.It is best used fresh and slightly warm. The dough can also be frozen.
Baking: the tarts and quiches take 15 minutes at 180 deg. C. (best to preheat to 200 deg. C then turn down)
Rolling out tortillas:place the dough ball between two sheets of plastic sheeting and rollout to 1-2mm thin x 10cm. alternatively: squash down with a bread boardtill flat and thin. Ideally you would use a tortilla press if you haveone.
Peel each disc off the plastic sheet and transfer to another one to keep in fridge or freeze and use as needed.
Baking: place dough discs on abaking sheet and spray with olive oil. They can be cut into thin stripsfor garnishes or into halves and quarters to make tostadas, used indips. Grill for 5-7 minutes or bake in a very hot oven for 5 mins.
Pizza tarts. Oil a patty pan tray and form each dough ball into a cavity, to make a hollow shell.
They can be baked empty at 180 deg C for 10 minutes and kept till needed. Grill 5 minutes with the filling.
The fillings can be added to the raw shells and baked for 15 minutes at the same temperature.
Pizza filling: Tomato mixture of onion and sundried tomato dip. Top with grated cheese.
Quiche: fill each case withchopped onion combined with any of the following: mushroom, pepper dews,lentil sprouts, pumpkin seeds, grated cheese.
Pour on egg mixture: for 6 usBaking: the tarts and quiches take 15 minutes at 180 deg. C. (best topreheat to 200 deg. C then turn down)
e: 1 beaten egg with 30ml rice flour and 50ml milk or water.
2 BAKING SAVOURY BITES. These little pastries are a real winner and one of the first items todisappear. They are gluten free, egg free and suitable for all bloodtypes. Make a good load of them and vary the toppings or make themplain. They can be made a day in advance, but are best eaten a few hoursafter baking, or when warm – especially the cheese and tomato bites.
Preheat oven to 180 deg. C. Mix the dries together:
1 cup yellow pea flour
1 cup rice flour
1 cup millet flour
½ cup whey powder (use milk powder if you don’t have any)
Optional: ½ cup cheddar cheese powder.
½ cup oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda.
1 teaspoon salt with cumin seeds, curry spice or chilli powder or BBQ flavouring to your taste.
½ teaspoon citric acid or vitamin C powder . Or use a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Add 1 cup of finely chopped onion. Variants: add celery, leeks or spinach.
Blend all together and fold in about 2 cups of water or fruit juice till a soft sticky, but light muffin batter is achieved.
Spray the baking sheet and / orsmall muffin trays. This mixture will make about 24 tiny muffins, andthe rest can be spooned onto a flat baking sheet for plain little bitesto accompany dips.
For variants: spoon a heapedteaspoon of dough into each muffin cup. Take a teaspoon with a littletomato pasta sauce (Woolies or Ina Paarman) and wham it into a dent intothe middle of the dough. Now pop in a small wedge of cheese – about 1 –2 cm long. A pitted olive can also be used, or ½ teaspoon of choppedonion.
Bake near the top of the oven andturn off the active grill element. Bake for 10 minutes. Then grill tillthey brown on top, watching carefully – for about 1 minute.
3 BAKING CORN TORTILLAS. Although corn only agrees with blood type A-secretors, these tortillasor little round cakes are an excellent treat when you want to stray offthe blood type diet occasionally. Alternatively, they can be made from amixture of ½: rice and ½ millet flour – but no, they will never get theMexican thumbs up!
The yield is: 48 x 7cm tortillas. You can make them bigger, or halve the mixture, but people really snap them up!
A few hours before:
Soak 3 cups of yellow polenta in 3 cups of boiling water . Pour just a little more water over the mixture, so it does not dry out. Cover the bowl.
When the corn has softened after afew hours, preheat the oven to 180 deg. C. spray one or 2 large flatbaking sheets. Alternatively, spray sheets of foil that can be shiftedonto baking sheets or shelves to cook alternatively.
Add 1.2 teaspoon salt
Add ½ cup fine glutinous rice powder.(Ask around – the Chinese shops have it. And it helps to bind. Or usesago flour or a suitable binding agent. Health Connection makes a lovelyrice bread flour mix that can also be used here. )
Mix in ½ cup yellow pea flour – (or rye flour if there is not a gluten or blood type conflict.)
The dough should be quite wet, butmust not ooze if spread onto the baking sheet. Spoon out blobs andflatten by spreading till a flat round disc is formed, a few millimetresthick.
Spray olive oil (from a can – nowavailable at Pick ‘n Pay, etc.) over the completed tray with a sprinkleof salt before baking. Bake near the top of the oven for 10 minutes,with active grill turned off.
Then brown under the grill for a few minutes – but watch over them, till you see them turn brown and crispy.
Cool on a wire rack if you wantthem crispy. For a more bread like soft tortilla, wrap the pile of themin a clean cloth and then in a plastic bag, for a more authentic touch.
Variants: For crispy nacho’s.leave them to get crispy in the oven, switched off for a few minutes.Cut with scissors into wedges. Use for dips, or spread out onto a plate.Drizzle over some tomato salsa and top with grated cheese. Grill for afew minutes and serve immediately.
They typical Mexican accompaniments to these tortillas are:
Gucacamole – avodado mush with chopped tomatoes and onions.
Toppings of sour cream or use yoghurt.
Grated cheddar cheese or a cheese that suits you.
Bean paste. See how to cook and serve black eyed beans in my other recipes.
Chilli sauce to the temperature you can best tolerate.