Healthy Meals: Pan Roasted Cauliflower with Pinenuts, Currants, and Feta

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Delicious and quick vegetarian lunch or side dish

Delicious and quick vegetarian lunch or side dish

Pan roasted cauliflower with lemon, garlic, toasted pinenuts, currants, sumac, and feta

1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup Olive oil

1 Lemon, zested and juiced

1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced

1/8 t Calabrian Chile flakes

2 T Pinenuts, toasted

2 T Currants

1/2 t Sumac

1/4 block Feta, crumbled

  • Heat saute pan on high heat.
  • Add oil and heat until almost smoking.
  • Add cauliflower florets to the pan and brown on one side, turn and brown on other sides.
  • Add garlic, salt and pepper
  • Add chile flakes.
  • Continue to cook until cauliflower starts to soften.
  • Add pinenuts and currants.
  • Add lemon juice and zest.
  • When the cauliflower is tender, add the sumac and feta.
  • Toss to combine.

This makes a great side dish or main dish for lunch. If you omit the feta it is still delicious and makes this vegan. The combination of lemon, garlic, chile, and sumac is delicious. I hope that you try this easy and delicious dish!

Happy Eating

Chef Sean Gallagher

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Coconut Chia Pudding

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My weakness is sweets. Always has been, always will be. I was going through my usual run of looking at food blogs, magazines, and Pinterest a few weeks ago and saw a Chia pudding. I thought how smart is this, and I have to try it out. I totally forgot about it until last night when I was gathering things for dinner and saw my lonely bag of chia seeds in the cabinet. That’s when I knew I had to try this out. I have to say, this is by the far the easiest dessert I have every made. It takes only a few minutes to make and you literally have something very similar to tapioca pudding.¬†

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Coconut Chia Seed Pudding

(No) Cook Time: 5 minutes ūüôā

 

1/4 cup Chia Seeds

1 can coconut milk

1 T vanilla extract

2 T honey

pinch salt

pinch cinnamon 

  • Place chia seeds into a bowl, pour over coconut milk.
  • Stir with a whisk or fork slowly for 5 minutes.
  • The chia seeds will absorb the liquid and swell.
  • Mix in the honey, salt, and vanilla
  • Refrigerate for 10 mins – 1 hour to allow the chia seeds to fully swell.¬†
  • Eat with a drizzle more of honey and a pinch of cinnamon if you desire, unsweetened toasted coconut would be decadent on top as well.

This is so easy and would be delicious with fresh fruit, nuts, dried fruit. This version is vegan and refined sugar-free.

Here’s the thing about this dish, chia seeds can absorb any liquid so you can make this pudding with your desired flavor. You could easily make this with rice, almond, or soy milk. Also you could change the vanilla extract for almond or fresh vanilla bean. Honey can be changed for rice syrup or agave. There are many different ways to make it and it’s all delicious. I used coconut milk which is already viscous and I’m sure that is why it was so creamy, if you were to use a different liquid, I would pull back on the amount of liquid to start to avoid it being watery.¬†

 

If you have any questions, email me at Chef.seangallagher@gmail.com

 

Cheers!

 

Chef Sean Gallagher 

Yummy NYC, Vegan Delights

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I know for most of you, there’s NOTHING better than a freshly baked cookie. Hot out of the oven, melted chocolate chips, butter coating your mouth, delicious chew and crumb as you devour the morsel. Yea, nothing better.

For most people, this experience is routine. Nothing out of the ordinary. Just as eating pizza, sandwiches, french toast, or cereal is just a normal rite of passage. All these items contain a wheat product, and because of this they all contain the protein gluten. *For %5 of the population wheat intolerance equates a life with NONE of these foods.

This intolerance is called Celiac’s¬†Disease. Celiac’s Disease¬†is an auto-immune disease, with an intolerance to gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. Having an allergy to gluten is like being allergic to air, it’s everywhere. It is the building block of most foods we consume and because of this is widely used. Because wheat is such an important ingredient in many foods we consume daily, ¬†living with Celiac’s¬†Disease is incredibly difficult and trying. Also there is a large part of the population who live with the disease without ever being diagnosed.

On the bright side, more research is being done than ever to produce high quality “Celiac friendly” foods.¬†Although Celiac’s Disease is increasingly becoming common knowledge, and there are manufacturers producing gluten-free products; most of them taste like cardboard. (In my opinion)

Now imagine having Celiac’s Disease, and not being able to enjoy that cookie experience…

Recently I ¬†had the pleasure of reconnecting with a friend, Katie Madonna Lee, whom I met several years ago while she was attending film school and I was visiting a friend in New York City. The years have passed, and now she is an accomplished film maker and ¬†I ¬†live with that friend, in New York City. Of all the things to come both our ways, one thing that Katie has come to find is that she has Celiac’s Disease. The diagnosis may seem like a nail in the coffin, but for Katie it was a relief. An answer to years of uncomfortable feelings, pain, and not knowing why she felt this way. Coping with Celiac’s was something she had to learn. She had to adopt a new way of life. When she finally started feeling better, that’s when she realized that there weren’t any “good gluten-free baked goods.” Then and there she decided to change that and get in the kitchen. Through this process she developed Yummy NYC, a line of gluten-free, vegan cookies.

Katie’s Story:

For Katie heading to film school meant a different diet. Food has been the core of my life since I was child, my father was a Tex-mex chef, my aunt a very popular cake decorator  and I worked in high volume restaurant kitchens and cafes since I was 15 years old. My life with food changed when I went to college and became a filmmaker. The hours were restrictive and I would have limited or no time to cook. Unfortunately, pizza, hamburgers, starchy foods are staples choices on film sets and on campuses. The stress and schedules and lack of raw, whole foods took its toll.

With limited meals options and undiagnosed Celiac’s Disease, Katie started feeling it… quickly.

After years of struggling with rashes, ill-health, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease, which runs in my family.

Once diagnosed, Katie did her research and found that creating a new diet, her way, would give her the happiness and inspiration she needed.

I was the first in my family to deal with it through maintaining a gluten-free diet and incorporating both elements of veganism and raw food diets as well. I lost a lot of weight and my skin is awesome now! The day I was diagnosed, my doctor said to me, “Your life is going to be rough, there’s nothing you can really eat.” Which was true. That is if you depend on mainstream diets to provide choices for you. I discovered so many more foods, and choices because of Celiac disease.

Katie had a hard time at first, but once she was aware of herself and her limitations she grew comfortable with her Gluten-free lifestyle. In time she decided something was missing, and she was going to figure out how to change that.

Of course, the first three to four months were devastating. I felt that the whole world was saying “No” to me. Especially when I went for my comfort food: cookies. I ate every product out there and I could not find anything that could match what my palate was missing. I knew I would have to dive right into alternatives.

Katie got to work. Using techniques she learned from family members, she started to make her own cookies. Made from all natural ingredients.

The one thing I noticed with gluten-free baked goods is that they go heavy on the sugar to mask the loss of texture and over all bland taste of the Gluten-free Three (that’s what I call the most popular gluten-free flours used in baked goods: Brown Rice Flour, Tapioca Starch, Potato Flour Starch). The main issue is always finding a binding ingredient, which is why I use Flaxseed meal and coconut flour. It gives the cookies that kick and also is fulled with nutrients and solves your binding problem. I used many baking techniques I learned from my aunt and all the knowledge working in kitchens for years, which helps when baking in a commercial kitchen.

All natural ingredients, sourced locally, and prepared day of

Through this process of being diagnosed, and living with Celiac’s Disease, Katie has developed a line of cookies that are gluten-free, contain nothing but all natural, organic ingredients that she sources herself. She ultimately has created a product that is delicious and perfect for people with Celiac’s Disease or anyone for that matter that just wants to enjoy another delicious cookie experience!

Yummy Cookies

Delicious vegan, gluten-free cookies

Katie’s company, Yummy NYC, brings you vegan cookies that taste like COOKIES!

The other day I received samples from Katie. Her instructions were to keep them refrigerated and enjoy. So I stashed them away till after dinner… and then. I popped one in my mouth. It was the Double Chocolate Cherry, and it was out of this world. So complex in flavor.. tangy, subtly sweet, chewy, with great mouth feel. I loved it.

Yummy Cookie packaging

Beautiful packaging by Katie Madonna Lee

Next, I enjoyed the Peanut Butter Poppers, very strong peanut butter flavor, sweet and creamy. A peanut butter lover’s dream.

Then I had the Chips in a Blanket,¬†this cookie had the best “cookie texture.” It was chewy, and had great flavor.

Last but not least was the Banana Bread Chocolate Chip, this one had a strong banana flavor, great crunch, nice texture, and overall delicious cookie.

cookies

Yummy Cookies

All cookies were delicious and tasted authentic. Like real food, and it’s because they are. Katie grinds flaxseed meal fresh daily, buys products from purveyors that hold true to their promises so that she can deliver “the best” to her customers.

This is a great company and I hope you try her cookies, simply amazing!

Where to buy: 
Via online at¬†www.yummyvegan.org. “We bake by order and deliver in the city.¬† We sell glass jars of Yummy Cookies for $5 and a large jar for $20, free shipping for orders over $25 dollars.”

For more information, follow Yummy NYC at

Facebook.com/yummyvegan

Also,

Celiac.org is a site set up to inform the public about the conditions associated with Celiac’s Disease, diagnosing, and living with systems. There is also ways to help their cause through volunteering and donations.

If you are feeling charitable, please make donations at Celiac’s Donations.

[* Statistical information gathered from Living Well]

Thank you for reading. Please email me with questions at

Chef.seangallagher@gmail.com

Best,

Sean Gallagher