The Green Giant Quiche

My mum’s partner is a real green fingered gardener.  Their house is surrounded by a tranquil green garden with shade all year round, which is useful as they live in Israel. On my last viait I spotted some beautifully overgrown Swiss Chard plants in the veg patch at the edge of the garden. I asked, and turns out they didn’t even realise it’s edible! So I just had to do something about that.

We were invited to Friday night dinner with very close friends and I was tasked with making a vegan main course (veganism is the latest trend in Israel). Inspiration soon followed and I made this:

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It got raving reviews and dinners who aren’t keen on coconut didn’t even notice I used coconut crem in it. Suscess!

So when I returned home to the UK I decided I’d make the minimal alterations and suit it to our SCD diet. In the recipe I’ll give both Vegan and SCD options.

Pesto Green Giant Quiche

Ingredients:

For the base:

2 cups ground Almonds
5 sundried tomatoes (in oil or rehydrated in hot water)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2-4 tbsp water

For the filling:

1 large bunch (aprox 500g) fresh Spinach or Swiss Chard, washed
1 large Onion
1 Leak (optional)
2 bunches fresh Basil (I used two store bough packs)
1 small bunch fresh Parsley (It gives a really fresh touch)
3-5 large cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Olive Oil + 1 tbsp for frying the onions
50g raw Walnut Halves
50ml Coconut Cream (dissolve in some hot water to make required quantity or use coconut milk if you have an open can)
2 Eggs for SCD version and for Passover OR 3-4tbsp Garam Flour for Vegan option
1/2 tsp cooking Salt (use more if using Maldon/Kosher salt)
Black Pepper to taste
A handful of Pine Nuts for decoration

Method:

Make the quiche base:

  1. Heat the oven to 160˚c and have two large pieces of parchment paper ready for rolling the base dough.
  2. Dab the sun-dried tomatoes with kitchen paper to soak up excess oil or water and slice into thin strips.
  3. In a medium bowl combine dry base ingredients and mix in the tomatoes and chilli flakes, then add the olive oil and water and mix with a spoon into an oily dough (the dough will just come together and is not flexible at all as it made of ground nuts, rather than a glutinous flour).
  4. Place the dough between the two sheets of parchment paper and using a rolling-pin, roll it out to fit your pie dish (not too thin), then peel off the top piece of paper and transfer the dough onto the pie dish by flipping it onto the dish. Now the bottom piece of paper is on top. Using clean hands, ease the dough into the dish and peel off the paper. The dough will probably tear so just preform some patch work and form it to fit your dish.
  5. Blind bake the base for 15min or until golden brown and dry (no need for baking beans, this dough doesn’t rise). Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Leave the oven on to bake the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. Whilst the base is baking bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch the spinach/chard for about 4min. Transfer the blanched greens into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain well and squeeze the excess liquid out. Leave to one side.
  2. Chop the onion and leak (not too finely). Heat the one tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp water in a frying pan on medium heat, then fry the onion and leak until translucent but not burnt. Keep adding water, a tbsp at a time to prevent the onions from burning. leave to one side.
  3. In your food processor bowl, place the basil, parsley, garlic, olive oil and walnuts. Process until smooth, then add the drained and squeezed greens, coconut cream and eggs/garam flour. Add salt and pepper and process until well incorporated.
  4. Stop the food processor, taste the mix and amend seasoning if needed.
  5. Remove the processor blade and mix in the cooked onions, then tip the batter into the crusted pie dish and scatter the pine nuts over the top.
  6. Bake in the oven (still on 160˚c) for 30-40min, until the quiche is set. Remove from the oven and leave it to cool for five minutes before serving.

Serve with a big salad and enjoy!

I see your unleavened and I raise you SCD friendly: Passover recipe roundup No. 1

It’s been a long time since I posted on this blog and that’s one of the reasons I was so reluctant to start one in the first place. I knew I didn’t have the self discipline to post on a regular basis. But, I’m here now, so if you want some good, Pesscah recipes, read on.

Since my last post we started experimenting with a new diet to try and help my other half’s Crohn’s symptoms. After making gluten free bread sticks for Valentines day, which sent him in a downwards spiral for about a week, we decided to introduce the  Specific Carbohydrates Diet which you can read all about on the Breaking the Vicious Cycle website and book. It worked for about two – three weeks until we had some lentils which, again, caused a week of pain and suffering. So we went back to basics and now stick to the allowed meat and fish, eggs, dairy, fruit and veg. No pulses or legumes and it seams to be working.

It’s relatively easy to follow the diet on a daily basis, if you enjoy cooking and are open to experimentation. Eating out is a bit more of a challenge, but this week it’s the Jewish holiday of Passover and whilst grains aren’t allowed for anyone, Matzah and it’s products is still made out of wheat. The challenge for this week was making traditional Passover food suitable for the SCD diet, without compromising on taste, texture and variety. In some cases, the only change was replacing the sugar with honey. In other the main ingredients had to be replaced and the process amended to suit the SCD way.

These are the foods we made and the recipes to make them:

Steamed CSD Keneidalach (Matzo Balls) Makes about 17 ping pong size balls

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Original recipe by SCD Recipe Roundup and tweaked by me

Ingredients:

4 large eggs
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/4 cup Blanched ground almonds and more as needed.
1/4 cup Coconut flour (this absorbs liquids really well, like the Matzo Mill does in the regular recipe)
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Baking Soda
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a medium bowl, lightly whisk eggs with oil.
2. Add flours, salt, parsley and baking soda and stir till smooth. If the mixture is too wet, add more ground almonds. If it’s too dry, add some water, a spoon-full at a time until it’s smoother.
3. Let mixture stand for 20 minutes so the flours absorbs liquid.
4. If you don’t have bamboo steaming baskets, place a small heat proof bowl up-side-down in a deep saucepan (that has a lid) and place a lightly oiled plate on top of the bowl, then pour hot water half way up the bowl and bring back to a simmer. If you have steaming baskets, bring water  to a boil in a suitably sized saucepan. Prepare about 5 greaseproof paper linings for your baskets and oil them as you go.
5. With wet hands, roll about 1 teaspoon of mixture between your palms into a ball; mixture will be very soft.
6. Place the balls in your baskets or on the plate in the saucepan (I cooked about 5 balls in each basket, they expand but not by much) and steam for 6min. Try one to see if it’s cooked through.
7. Cool on an oiled plate or plop directly into your soup.

Notes on Matzo balls:

Steaming: The first trial I did for this recipe ended up a total mess. I tried boiling the balls and they fell apart in the water. For the second trial I decided to let the batter rest for longer and steamed the balls like Chinese dumplings. That worked a treat and made J very happy.

Flavour and Texture: As we aren’t using Matzo Mill, the flavour isn’t identical to regular Keneidalach, but the outcome has it’s own unique flavour and the egg taste is quite strong. The parsley adds a nice taste and you can try adding a grated carrot too. The balls go hard as they cool but soften a bit in the hot soup. the coconut flout ads a flakey texture.

SCD Matzo Makes a good batch of ‘half matzo’ sized crackers

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Recipe inspiration from Elena’s Pantry

Ingredients:

400gr (4 cups) blanched ground Almonds

A hand full (aprox 1/4 cup) of Pecan nut halves (these are optional and are used for visual purposes only. I think they make the Matzo look a bit more realistic and they do add a gentle roasted pecan flavour)

2tsp Salt (I used Maldon)

2-3 medium Eggs

3tbsp Olive Oil

3tbsp Water

* Make sure you have enough parchment paper

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180˚c (350˚f) and prepare all your cookie baking pans as you will need them all.
  2. In a small food processor or spice grinder pulls the Pecan halves so they resemble thick crumbs (they are meant to look like the brown bubbles on a real Matzo).
  3. Place the Almonds, crushed Pecans and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whist together the eggs (start with two and add one more if dough is too dry), Oil and 2tbsp of water.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry and form a dough. If mixture is very crumbly, add the third spoon of water. if it’s still crumbly, add the third egg, whisked and add more water as needed. If it’s too wet, ass ground almonds. The texture of the dough should be soft and pliable.
  6. Tear a handful of dough and place between two baking parchment sheets, then roll out the dough until 3-5mm thick.
  7. Using a knife, or even better, a Pizza rolling knife, cut out rectangles the size of half a Matzo size and remove the excess dough from around it.
  8. Make it look like a matzo: Using a fork, poke vertical lines of dots onto the dough, so it looks like real Matzo.
  9. Bake for 10 min, until golden brown, then cool on a rack.
  10. Repeat the rolling, poking and baking with the rest of your dough