Tag Archives: dairy free

Sophie and brownies

When Dinner Becomes Dessert…

I usually like to have the kids help me cook, but I was anxious to get these blonde brownies in the oven before the kids came inside from playing. The hidden ingredient, also the number one ingredient, was chickpeas and I wasn’t going to tell them about it!

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are among the healthiest legumes you can eat. They are an incredible source of fiber- the kind your body can use easily. This type of fiber helps with digestion which improves absorption of nutrients, and also stabilizes blood sugar. Imagine a snack that fills you up, boosts your health, and tastes like a brownie…the recipe is below. These brownies work because the chickpeas have a nutty taste and buttery feel. After I made them we ate the whole batch in one night.

Let me know if you can trick your kids too.

Ingredients

Simple ingredients if you keep cans of chickpeas in your pantry

Simple ingredients if you keep cans of chickpeas in your pantry

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (look for BPA free can)

½ cup almond butter (ok to substitute PB)

1/3 cup maple syrup (agave or honey would work too)

2 teaspoons vanilla (not a typo. Remember chickpeas don’t have much taste)

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

Chocolate chips, somewhere between ¼-1/2 cup

 

Instructions

1. Turn the oven to 350 degrees and spray a pan. The recipe above will fill a 8×8 pan.

2. Put everything on the ingredient list except for the chocolate chips in a food processor. It will make a rich, thick batter.

  1. Everything goes in at once

    Everything goes in at once

A food processor would get this smooth. I didn't mins it a little lumpy.

A food processor would get this smooth. I didn’t mind it a little lumpy.You can stop right here if you want. This would be a great fruit dip. Go ahead and lick the spoon but don’t eat it all!

 

Because there is no egg you can lets the kids lick the spoon

Because there is no egg you can lets the kids lick the spoon

3. Spread the batter in your pan and shake the chocolate chips on top. Use a spoon to press them down a little.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes. They are ready when the edges are just starting to brown. Just like traditional brownies it is ok if that center piece is still a little gooey.

Pirogi Event, a Generational Connection

Rose and Sophie

Rose and Sophie

Pirogi making is a tradition in my family handed down generation after generation. In this photo is my great grandma Rose who taught my grandma Sophie, who taught me (Rose) who just taught my daughter (Sophie). Below is a photo from today.

 

Rose and Sophie

Rose and Sophie

When you look at cultural food you notice almost every culture has some sort of dumping style food. Pirogi are a staple of Polish cuisine. Like most ethnic dumplings, pirogi can be made with what you have on hand, such as potatoes, cheese, onion, beef, mushrooms, and sauerkraut. I learned to make pirogi from my grandma, who tended to use a filling of potatoes and cottage cheese. We frequently eat store bought pirogi, but on Christmas Eve I like to make them from scratch. My husband calls this day “the pirogi event.” This year there were two unique aspects to our pirogi event, first, my daughter Sophie wanted to help, and two, my son is on a wheat and dairy free diet. Here is how it went, along with some instructions so anyone can follow along. 

You will need these ingredients.

2 cups flour

2 eggs

1Tablespoon warm water

1 large or two small potatoes

½ onion sautéed

¾ Cheese (any kind)

doughWe start with the dough. It could not be easier. It is one egg for each cup of flour, and a little warm water to help get the consistency right. I put the flour right on the counter and press a spot in the center for the eggs. I start mixing it with my hands and sprinkle a little water as needed. The amount of water varies depending on the type of flour size of egg so I just keep a cup on hand- you will need it later. It turned out I had no normal flour in the cupboard so we made a batch with whole and a batch with a gluten free baking mix flour (rice flour, fava bean flour, tapioca flour). Here is a picture of the two dough balls side by side. Once the dough is in a nice ball I set it aside and cover with plastic wrap while I work on the filling.

the whole wheat dough is on the left. The gluten free is on the right.

the whole wheat dough is on the left. The gluten free is on the right.

For the filling I start with potatoes. I peeled a large potato and boiled it until soft. To keep it authentic like my grandma I did not spend much time mashing it smooth and left it lumpy. When the potato was boiling I sauteed half an onion chopped fine. I mixed the potato, onion, and cheese together. As you can see from the photo below, the first batch had cottage cheese and cheddar cheese, and Andrew’s batch and non dairy cheese made from almond milk.

potatoes, cheese, and onions

potatoes, cheese, and onions

My grandma taught me to roll the dough long, and cut off about 1/2 inch chunks. It is important not to over work the dough. Sophie and two of her friends helped me by rolling the dough into oblong shapes. We scooped the mix into the center, and played around with how much to use by trying to fit as much as possible and still fold the dough in half. By dipping our fingers into the water we sealed the dough together. They were all sorts of shapes but that is ok. It is the taste that matters. The whole wheat flour was fine to work with, but the gluten free was falling apart. I found it worked best to leave the pieces thick. It also helped to flatten the dough in my hand instead of the counter so I wouldn’t have to peal it off.

cut into chunks, fill, seal with water.

cut into chunks, fill, seal with water.

The next step is to put the dumplings into boiling water. As soon as they float, which takes only a few minutes, they are ready. I use a slatted spoon to take them out and set them is a dish with melted butter to keep from sticking. They are best fresh but will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

When they float they are done. The whole wheat pirogi look weird to me but they taste the same

When they float they are done. The whole wheat pirogi look weird to me but they taste the same

I hope you get the chance to make these. Remember, use what you have on hand and don;t worry what they look like!