Chickpea, Sweet Potato and Quinoa Patties (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sugar-free, soy-free, vegan)

If you love quinoa and sweet potatoes as much as I do, this recipe is a must for your side dish repertoire.  It easy to make and delicious to eat, flavorful from the herbs and garlic as well as the sweet potato, crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.  Garnish with your favorite aioli or eat them plain.  Be sure to add lots of scallions to garnish as well since sweet potatoes love them.  I used a curry aioli which I made by adding 2 teaspoons of curry powder to 1/2 cup of hot olive oil.  Let it cool before you begin blending the aioli. Make sure you don’t heat the oil after you add the curry powder or it will burn very quickly.  Makes 6 servings (2 patties each).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You’ll need:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, whatever color you like
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 15 ounce can drained chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 of a medium onion
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 2 scallions sliced for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon seasoning mixture such as Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax, preferably golden
  • 2 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups breads crumbs, with seasonings added — remember if you need more, you can add more but you can’t take it away or use it again once you’ve covered your patties.

Mix the ground flax with 3 tablespoons of hot water and let sit until cool.  In a food processor, add the chickpeas, garlic and onion.  Blend until well mashed.  In a bowl, put the quinoa, sweet potato puree, chickpea mixture, flour and seasonings.  In a small bowl, mix the arrowroot with the other 3 tablespoons of water (cold this time).  Combine the arrowroot and the ground flax mixtures and add to the quinoa mixture.  Mix until thoroughly combined.

Spread the bread crumbs in a small baking dish (I used a small cookie sheet with sides). Scoop out the quinoa mixture by 1/4 cups (it doesn’t have to be exact).  Put the scooped mixture on the bread crumbs and cover with more bread crumbs as you flatten it.  Place on another sheet while you finish the remaining patties, make sure you wipe off excess bread crumbs.

Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and when the patties are browned, put them on this cookie sheet in a single layer. In a large skillet, put 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and heat (more may be needed as the patties fry).  Add the patties to the skillet without crowding and brown on each side.   When all are fried, bake them for 15-20 minutes to heat through and cook inside.  Garnish with aioli and scallions.

Sweet Potato Hummus (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)

I love hummus but regular hummus loses all its taste when compared with sweet potato hummus!  Oh it is so good be sure to only make it when you have company to help you eat it or you’ll end up devouring the entire batch yourself in one sitting — it is really that good.  And easy to make with canned sweet potato.

In a food processor or blender:

  • 1  15-ounce can drained chickpeas
  • 1 cup of sweet potato puree
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin oil (or avocado or olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon papika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Blend until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.  Garnish with scallions — be generous, they add another layer of flavor and go very well with this hummus.  Serve with crackers or raw veggies (I love mine with plantain chips),  pitas or flatbread.

If you’re looking for a healthy snack that your kids along with anybody else will love, try this alternative to sweet potato hummus:

Carob or Chocolate Hummus:  In your food processor, add:

  • 1 15-oumce can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup date syrup, agave or coconut nectar (add more if you want it really sweet)
  • 1/2 cup carob or cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Blend until smooth.

Shepherd’s Pie (dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free)

One of my mother’s old standby’s, shepherd’s pie is a definite comfort food for many New Englanders.  Warm and filling, it gives us energy and the calories we need to go out and shovel the snow or rack the leaves (which is what I spent some time doing this morning).  Here’s my take on it, feel free to use any ground meat you like, I’m limited since I’m allergic to most red meats.  Traditionally, its made with mutton or lamb but I use turkey or chicken in mine.  Serves 4.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  You’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground meat, lean
  • 10 ounce bag of mixed peas and carrots (organic if possible)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • Seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, garlic powder – about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of each)
  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free flour such as brown rice or all purpose
  • 1 1/2 cups of stock (whatever you have on hand works; I used vegetable in mine)
  • 2 cups mashed potato (or as in my case, celery root and parsnip mash see recipe under side dishes)
  • 2 quart baking dish

In a steamer, steam the peas and carrots until just tender.  Put them in the baking dish.  In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes until tender.  Add ground meat and seasonings.  Stir as the meat cooks to crumble the meat up into small chunks.  When meat is cooked, add the flour and stir to incorporate.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes and add the stock.  Stir and cook until thickened, another 2-3 minutes.  Add to the baking dish; stir into the vegetables.  Spread the potatoes or celery root/parsnip mash on the top and bake for 20-30 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

Butternut and Chard Tart (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan)

I enjoy savory pies just as much as sweet ones.  I wasn’t a believer in mixing squashes and cheese until I tried this tart.  So yummy and such a great side dish for Thanksgiving.  Feel free to substitute pumpkin or sweet potato, maybe even a different squash like acorn or hubbard.  Serves 6-8.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  You’ll need for the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, toasted and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold water

Since this is a gluten-free crust, the oil and water may change depending on the flour blend you use.  Mix the above with a food processor or a fork until crumbly.  Spread in a 9″ pie plate, pressing on sides and bottom.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  When cut this crust will act more like a graham cracker crust than a regular pie crust.

For the filling, you’ll need:

  • 3 cups diced squash
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 diced shallots
  • 2 medium diced garlic cloves (or one large)
  • 1/4 cup toasted and chopped pepitas
  • 4-5 cups of sliced rainbow chard
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (1 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses could substitute for both the vinegar and agave nectar)
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar (or honey would work)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (approximately 1/4 teaspoon of each)
  • 4 slices of non-dairy provolone or other creamy cheese
  • 1/3 cup aquafaba combined with 1 teaspoon arrowroot starch (if you can use eggs, you can substitute 2 large eggs here)

Roast the squash for approximately 1/2 hour until tender, turning once so that it doesn’t burn on the bottom.  Meanwhile in a large skillet combine the olive oil, diced shallots and garlic and saute for about a minute until tender.  Add chard, vinegar, agave, and seasonings, combine and cook for another 3-5 minutes until chard is tender (I cooked mine a little longer because I like the stems along with the leaves and it takes a little longer for them to get tender).  Add the pepitas, cheese and aquafaba (or eggs slightly beaten if you can use them).  Stir in the squash and pour into the pie shell.  Add another 4 slices of non-dairy cheese on top and bake for another 20-25 minutes until filling is set (the aquafaba may still be a little runny when you take it out of the oven but will set as it sits).  Serve warm.

Chicken “a la king” with leeks and peas (dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free)

My mother didn’t make chicken a la king very often but it was a favorite of everyone in my family.  Here’s my updated version with the addition of peas, mushrooms and leeks instead of onion.  Very tasty with a variety of starches like gluten-free toast, baking powder biscuits, rice, or quinoa.   I make it now to use up leftovers from rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.  Makes 4 servings.

You’ll need:

  • 6 inches of leek, white part only, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 stalks of celery, washed and sliced on the bias
  • 8-10 mushrooms such as baby bellas, cleaned and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup cooked diced chicken
  • 1 small jar of pimentos (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk, anything but soymilk
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried herb blend like Mrs. Dash
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

In a 7-9″ skillet, heat the olive oil and add the leek, celery, and mushrooms.  Saute until softened (feel free to lower the heat to low and cover them), about 5-8 minutes.  Stir in the brown rice flour and let simmer for a few minutes to cook the flour (about 3 minutes).  Add the chicken, pimentos, peas and seasonings.  Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your taste.  Stir in the non-dairy milk and simmer until thickened, stirring occasionally.  Serve with your choice of side such as gluten-free toast.