YUCCA CHEESE BREAD

1 1/4 cups tapioca starch/flour

1/2 cup milk

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella

1 egg

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon unrefined brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a muffin tin.

Blend all the ingredients in an electric blender until you obtain a smooth, homogeneous batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin filling each cup about halfway.

Bake until golden and puffy, 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Eat warm. Reheat leftover breads before eating.

Makes 8

Adapted from different sources, mainly Simplyrecipes.com.

EGG-FREE, GLUTEN-FREE BROWN RICE PANCAKES

These brown rice pancakes are egg-free, gluten-free, enriched with flax seeds and most satisfying. The batter works great for waffles too. Simply top them with your favorite syrup and fruit, and enjoy!

¾ cup milk
½ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon agave syrup
1 cup brown rice flour
1/3 cup golden flaxseed meal
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, divided into 6


Whisk together the milk, yogurt, vanilla extract and agave syrup.

Combine the flour with ground flax seed meal, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add them to the milk-yogurt mixture and whisk well to combine. (If the batter looks too thick, add extra milk a little at a time.)

Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt 1/6 of the butter on the skillet and ladle batter onto it, spreading it slightly by twirling the pan. Cook a few minutes per side. When the edges look stiff and slightly browned, it is time to turn over the pancake. Repeat until you’re used all the batter.

Makes about 6

ROASTED RED PEPPER & GOAT CHEESE CHICKPEA SOUP

Roasted red peppers, goat cheese, smoked paprika come together beautifully in this chickpea soup. Taste your soup when it’s done and add more smoked paprika, if you wish to have a smokier flavor.

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 small sweet potato, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 bay leaves
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 (12-oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained (or 2 roasted peppers)
4 ounces soft goat cheese


Place all of the ingredients except the roasted red peppers and goat cheese in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat, 20 to 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.

Add the roasted red peppers and goat cheese. Blend the soup using a stick blender or transfer to a container blender and blend until smoothly pureed.

Serve right away with toasted bread drizzled with olive oil.

Refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.

Serves 4 to 6

PECAN TORTE

2 cups shelled pecans
¼ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch springform or non-stick tart pan.

In a food processor, grind the pecans to a coarse meal.

In a large bowl, combine the ground pecans with salt. Whisk in the honey, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined.

Pour the batter in the prepared pan . Bake until set and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes.

Serves 8

RED LENTIL SOUP

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 ½ cups red lentils
1 cup tomato puree
5 cups vegetable broth
4 bay leaves


In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the red onion until translucent 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant.

Add the lentils, tomato puree, vegetable broth and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook over gentle heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4

SAVORY MOROCCAN CHICKPEA FLAN

This quiche-y chickpea dish is known as Karane in Morocco and mostly popular in the northern regions.

1 cup chickpea flour
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 ¾ cups water
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons hot sauce —I used Sriracha

Ground cumin and chili powder, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpea flour, salt and garlic powder. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking energetically until you obtain a very smooth, soupy batter.

Transfer the batter to an 8×8-inch pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until the flan is set. It is OK if the surface feels a bit soft and mushy; that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Sprinkle generously with ground cumin and chili powder. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

SIMPLE LENTIL STEW

3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 celery stalks, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups green lentils, rinsed and picked over
3 cups vegetable stock
5 cups water
1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


Heat the olive oil and tomato paste in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the celery and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, stock, water, thyme, salt, pepper and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot with a lid and cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

Serve the stew warm. Top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt, some olive oil and minced celery leaves, if you wish.

Serves 4

EASY BAKED ZUCCHINI

2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ cup picante salsa
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded parmesan


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Arrange the zucchini slices in a single layer or slightly overlapped in a large shallow baking pan.

Stir the rest of the ingredients except the cheese in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly on top the zucchini.

Bake 15 minutes or until the zucchini is wilted and sticky from the dried up sauce. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Place back in the oven and allow the cheese to melt, 3 to 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and serve warm.

Serves 4

COCONUT CREAM TRIFLE

Macaroon layer
4 large coconut macaroons

Custard
1 ¼ cups whole milk
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch – kosher)
½ teaspoon coconut extract

Yogurt
1 ¼ cups Greek-style yogurt (I prefer Fage)
2 ½ tablespoons agave syrup
¼ teaspoon coconut extract

Topping
2 tablespoons freshly toasted shredded coconut


Chop the macaroons into ½-inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat the milk in a saucepan, but do not boil it. Place the yolks, potato starch (or cornstarch) and agave syrup in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk until smooth. Slowly add the warm milk to the egg mixture and continue whisking until well combined. Place back in the pan over very low heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens into custard. Remove from heat. Stir in the coconut extract. Let cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, stir the yogurt, agave syrup and coconut extract until combined.

Assemble the trifles by dividing the chopped macaroons among four small dessert cups. Add a layer of custard. Finish with a layer of yogurt. Top with toasted coconut.

Refrigerate for 1 hour before eating.

Serves 3 to 4

MOROCCAN POTATO FRITTERS

3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled, coarsely grated and drained
2 eggs
6 sprigs parsley, chopped
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon paprika powder
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup all purpose flour
About 1 cup canola oil for frying


Soak the shredded potatoes in a bowl of water for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. Dry the potatoes in a kitchen towel to remove moisture.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the shredded potatoes, parsley, cilantro, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and flour.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Roll the potato mixture into balls and flatten to form 3-inch patties. Carefully deposit the patties in the pan and fry them until golden and crispy, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Drain them on absorbent paper towels.

Serve with lime wedges or yogurt sauce.

Serves 8

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