Living without gluten, casein, soy, eggs and peanuts. Living with ASD and ADHD. Life is good!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Potato Hash with Cilantro and Lime

Well, it's been awhile.  I can't believe I've let a month race by without posting any recipes.  Time just slips through my fingers like sand.  I blink, and a week has passed.  It seems like every time I look at the girls they look bigger, taller, stronger.  I find myself thinking of them as babies a lot lately, pulling down memories of their toothless grins and baby drool.  I wonder if my nostalgia is due to them growing like weeds, or the unpleasant thought that I'm teetering on the brink of forty.  It's probably both, but more the latter.  Teaching middle school students is not helping me feel any younger, either.   Today's writing exercise was to describe our class alien and his origins.  I was throwing out ideas to help prompt some creative thinking and to my horror, I almost said our alien likes to listen to rock and roll.  Rock and roll?  That sounds so 50's!  Then I thought, no wait, he listens to heavy metal!  Which brought up an image of big hair and skin tight pants from the 80's.  No, that wouldn't do either, as all of my dear students were not even born until 2 decades later.  So I blurted out that our class alien might be a nose-picking opera singer.  Because if your teacher can dream up a nose-picking alien, she can't be that old.  Right?

Sweet Potato Hash
I had this dish once at a restaurant some time ago and I recreated it based on memory.  It's one of my favorite fast dishes to throw together on weekends.  It's great with eggs or sausage...and it's great all by itself, too.

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1/3 cup diced green or red pepper
1 shallot, diced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tsp. lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
2 slices cooked and chopped bacon, if desired

Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.  Add the potato, green pepper and shallot.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the potato is tender.  Turn off the heat and add the cilantro, scallions and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper and adjust lime juice to taste.  Add cooked and chopped bacon, if desired.  Toss well and serve hot.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Nori Wrapped Asian Marinated Salmon

For Christmas, DH and I received some Forbidden Rice - a black rice that retains a deep purple color throughout the grain even after being cooked.  The color made me think of seaweed, which set off a search for Asian staples in my pantry and chain of thoughts that ended up in this dinner - Nori Wrapped Asian Marinated Salmon, steamed broccoli, black rice, and Vegetable Summer Rolls with Peanut Free, Soy Free Dipping Sauce.  I also included UnSoy Ginger Dipping Sauce on the table as a replacement for soy sauce for those who were so inclined.  It was a fabulous dinner.  

Most recipes for Asian marinades I found had either soy sauce or hoisin in the ingredients, but I found one here that looked agreeable to modification.  I found good instructions for wrapping the salmon in nori sheets here.  The salmon was excellent - everyone loved it (even cold the next day!).  I did not get pictures that do the salmon justice, but next time I make this dish, I'll post prettier pictures.

Nori Wrapped Salmon hot out of the oven.

Nori Wrapped Asian Marinated Salmon

For the Marinade:
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 tsp. dried lemongrass or 1 stalk fresh lemongrass (see how-to here)
2 tbsp. mirin
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp. fish sauce
2 tsp. maple syrup

Whisk together all ingredients until well blended.

To assemble the salmon:
1.25 - 1.50 pound pound salmon filet, bones removed
nori sheets

Remove the skin from the salmon and cut into equal portions (see how-to here).  Place the salmon in a large zip-lock bag, pour the marinade into the bag and seal, making sure salmon is thoroughly coated with marinade.  Marinate 4 - 6 hours, turning every 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.  Have your nori sheets and salmon portions ready to assemble.  Place a nori sheet on a cutting board or other flat surface.  Place a piece of salmon, skinned side up, onto a sheet of nori.  Fold long ends over the salmon one at a time, then tuck short sides under and flip salmon seam side down onto the prepared baking sheet.  There is no need to seal the nori with water, it will stick to the wet salmon and seal as the salmon bakes.  Repeat with remaining salmon portions.  Discard the marinade.

Bake salmon about 10 minutes until salmon is cooked through. Remove salmon from oven and let sit a couple of minutes before serving hot.

Nori Wrapped salmon cold the next day - and still delicious.

Peanut Free, Soy Free Dipping Sauce

The other day I had a hankering for summer rolls with peanut sauce.  An Asian restaurant close to us makes a really good peanut sauce that is gluten free and as best as I can tell, it consists of peanut butter, sweet chili sauce, sugar and water.  The girls can't do peanut so they never get to partake.  I decided to make a dipping sauce at home they can enjoy.  I used crunchy almond butter, but you can use cashew butter or sunbutter.  I used this recipe here and what I remember of the restaurant's peanut sauce as my guides.  The sauce turned out really good.  The girls loved it, and that makes me happy.  I might sneak in a batch of my own sauce next time we go to the restaurant so the girls can enjoy a safe sauce with their summer rolls.

Seen here are Cabbage and Carrot Summer Rolls with Peanut Free, Soy Free Dipping Sauce. 

Peanut Free, Soy Free Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup almond butter
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. coconut aminos
1 tbsp. sweet chili sauce
2 tsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. water
1 tsp. grated ginger

Whisk together all ingredients until well blended.  Serve with summer rolls, or omit the water and serve with satay.