Archive for March, 2007

Vegetarian and Gluten Free Recipes: Introducing Teff
March 2, 2007

This month, I want to show you that quick and easy cooking with whole foods is possible—and enjoyable. My approach to cooking is all about abundant choices. Here are two versions of a recipe featuring teff, a gluten-free grain with a subtle hazelnut, almost chocolate-like, flavor and a moist texture similar to millet, but more exotic.. A nutritional powerhouse, teff is low in fat, high in fiber, and full of protein, calcium, and iron. I am also including something for those with a sweet tooth—a vegan chocolate mousse pie recipe that is quick and easy to make.

Tinier than a poppy seed, teff is quick cooking and a nutritional powerhouse. An eight-ounce serving of teff yields 20 grams of protein, 32% of the USRDA for calcium and 80% for iron. Teff is low in fat (1 gram per 2-ounce serving), and high in fiber (8 grams per 2-ounce serving). And that’s not all. Teff is a good source of niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, zinc, magnesium, copper, manganese, boron, phosphorous and potassium. If I sound excited, I am; teff is my favorite grain. Here are recipes from my cookbook. Going Wild in the Kitchen.

Ethiopian Grain Loaf
Sweet potatoes and collards cooked with teff, herbs and spices make a robust loaf with a beautiful mosaic pattern.

Serves 8

3 1/2 cups thinly sliced yams
3 cups water
1 cup teff
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped leeks
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 cups coarsely chopped collard greens
½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1. Put yam, water, teff, and sea salt in a 4 quart stockpot. Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to low and simmer for total of 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch fry pan over medium heat. Add oil, leeks, fennel and cumin seed, sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.
3. Add collard greens, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until collards are bright green.
4. Add collards and spices to simmering yams and teff.
5. When all the water is absorbed, turn off the heat. Stir in basil and cilantro.
6. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
7. Pour into a loaf pan. Let stand for about a half hour, or until solid like a brownie.
8. Slice, and serve.

Spring Variation
Asparagus, peppers and thyme create a tasty spring variation. Here, I used a little more teff, too.

Serves 8

4 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups teff
1/2 cup coarsely chopped leeks
1 ½ cups coarsely chopped green pepper
1 cup 1-inch asparagus pieces
2/3 cup coarsely chopped collard greens
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

1. Place oil in a 4-quart stockpot over medium heat. Add (in this order) teff, leeks, peppers, asparagus, and collard greens. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until green vegetables are bright green.
2. Add boiling water, and stir in basil, cumin, and thyme.
3. Bring ingredients to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.
4. Adjust the seasonings, if desired.
5. If teff is a little creamy, you can serve it as a creamy side dish, or transfer to a loaf pan. Let sit for 30 minutes before slicing.

Vegan Chocolate Mousse Pie
Chocolate mousse is a favorite dessert in my family. This is quick and easy. You can use the mousse for a cake frosting, or serve as is, or pour into your favorite piecrust. Recipe is adapted from Leslie Cerier’s cookbook, Going Wild in the Kitchen, which features several pie crusts including an exotic piecrust made with Bhutanese red rice flour, teff flour and hazelnut butter.

Chocolate Mousse

1 ¾ cups chocolate chips or 8.8 ounces, chopped into ½-inch pieces (70%) dark chocolate
1 pound silken tofu

1. Drain tofu. Puree in a food processor for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
2. Melt chocolate in a 9-inch frying pan over low heat. Stir occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until chocolate is melted. Or melt in a double boiler.
3. Add melted chocolate to food processor. Blend tofu and chocolate for about 2 minutes, or until thick and smooth.
4. Taste and add more melted chocolate if desired.
5. Serve immediately, or pour chocolate mousse into baked piecrust. Slice and serve. Enjoy!

Source: Leslie Cerier’s cookbook, Going Wild in the Kitchen (Square One Publishers).
Want to learn more about whole-foods cooking? Please visit my cooking class link and come to one of my cooking classes. If you are particularly interested in Going Wild in the Kitchen: Quick and Easy Meals with Whole Foods, I will be teaching at Kripalu, April 8-13