On Tuesday I posted a recipe for Gluten-Free Pumpkin Brownies and now here’s the chocolate chip version!

If you are tired of using rice flour in your brownies, try these out. The mixture of oat and buckwheat flour plus roasted pumpkin (or sweet potato, if you prefer) is the right combination to make a rich, dense, chocolaty brownie…like this one:

Chocolate chip brownies: moist, delicious, and gluten-free.


Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Brownies,
makes 16 squares

Ingredients:

3/4 cup mashed roasted pumpkin, pumpkin puree, or mashed roasted sweet potato
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (such as Medaglia D’Oro)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup gluten-free semisweet chocolate chips (such as Ghiardelli) or pecans, or both

Directions:

Combine roasted pumpkin or sweet potato with chopped dates. Cover and refrigerate least 2 hours so dates can absorb moisture from the pumpkin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″x8″ pan with foil, allowing 2″ of overhang on sides. Coat with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl combine wet ingredients (pumpkin through vanilla). Set aside.

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) with a whisk. Make a well in center and pour in wet ingredients. Mix until combined.

Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips or pecans, patting lightly with fingers to set the chips into the batter. Bake for 25-27 minutes, center will still be moist when tested with a toothpick.

Cool for 10 minutes and cut into 16 pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge or tightly wrap with plastic wrap and foil and freeze for up to a month. Enjoy!

There are 18 glass jars of spices sitting on a rack next to my stove, plus another two and a half dozen mismatched bottles I keep with my baking ingredients, and about a half dozen plastic baggies of herbs and spices tucked away in the cabinet. On a weekly basis I use only a handful of these spices and the rest are individual ingredients, when combined, make one of the most fragrant blends on the face of the earth: curry seasoning!

We grew up eating a curry that my mom would make with huge chunks of beef, potatoes, and McCormick curry spice. I have to admit that it wasn’t my favorite dish as a kid, but as I grew older I found out there were other kinds of curries besides the one we had at home, and in more colors (and flavors) than green!

There’s Japanese curry, a rich brown gravy that uses beef stock and tastes great with udon (thick rice noodles) or on top of steamed rice. There are the coconut-based Thai curry dishes in red (hot,) green (hot) and, my favorite, yellow (not as hot.) And there are the various herbs and spices that make up Indian curry seasoning (take a whiff, it’s just like aromatherapy!)

A popular and tasty Japanese curry, S&B (image source: http://www.foodpakexpress.com)

My favorite Thai curry, but I cannot find it around here: Mae Ploy yellow curry paste (image source: http://www.amazon.com)

Curry seasoning is so versatile, you can use it in anything from omelets to burgers. Making your own dry seasoning blend isn’t as difficult as it seems, but you will need about ten different herbs and spices, as well as a coffee grinder. Once you make your own curry seasoning, you will find it difficult to go back to the pre-ground, prepackaged blends from the grocery store. And with your ready supply of spices you’ll be able to try new kinds of blends, and maybe even make your own authentic recipe! Check out www.myspicesage.com for a complete selection of seasonings, teas, freebies, recipes, and great prices on spices.

Here’s what we had for dinner: turkey bean burgers! I added a tablespoon of Indian curry powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons of Kosher salt to the mix, plenty of flavor packed into these tasty little sliders:

Spice up your sliders with a spoonful of curry seasoning

In addition to the burgers, I also spiced up the burger topping, which can also be a side dish, sandwich filling, or topped with chopped tomato and wrapped in lettuce leaves for an easy meal on the go!

Below is the recipe for the quinoa-sweet potato topping. The quinoa and sweet potato were already cooked so throwing this together is super fast and easy. Got extra sweet potatoes? Try my sweet potato haupia pie recipe, it’s gluten-free and delicious!

Quinoa and Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Indian Curry Seasoning

Ingredients:

1 roasted sweet potato (poke potato w/fork all around, then bake in 400 degree preheated oven for 20-30 minutes. Cool, peel off skin and use the mushy insides.)
1 teaspoon Indian seasoning, such as Garam Masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Directions:

Mash sweet potato with seasoning and salt, stirring well. Add quinoa, adjusting amount to your liking. Serve as a burger topping, salad topping, sandwich filling, or top with chopped tomato and wrap in lettuce leaves. Enjoy!

Top with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs for a quick and easy vegan dish.

So what’s YOUR favorite curry dish? Do you prefer it home made or at a restaurant? Do you eat it with rice? Potatoes? Roti? Share your curry experiences here, I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Wednesday, everybody! It’s my third attempt at WIAW sponsered by Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and I’ve enjoyed reading all the other bloggers’ pages to get new ideas and inspiration for future meals.

This past week of eats has included more meats than usual. Chicken tikka, barbecued chicken and some grilled bison steak were served up and enjoyed immensely! I still include some raw veggies for breakfast and lunch, as well as with the meaty meals, so haven’t gone too overboard with the change in diet.

Breakfast was a bowl of VeggieNook’s Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Green Smoothie served outdoors (I’ve been eating this pretty much every day, it is that delicious, and my husband likes it, too! ) Next week, I promise I will post a different breakfast picture:

For contrast, I have to include a picture of my husband’s breakfast:

Fresh eggs from my sister’s hens, jalapeno cheese hot dogs and half a strawberry. :)

Lunch was leftover tuna fish-stuffed sweet peppers and salad. I started eating the salad before I remembered to take a photo, but here’s a pic of the stuffed peppers:

Dinner was done Hawaii-style with Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi (I think Justa’s panko-crusted fish got me hungry for this crunchy dish!) I served it with Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce because the fish itself only had flavor on the coating, but you can also make a good dipping sauce with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixed with 1 teaspoon soy sauce. There was extra panko mixture so I cooked up some chicken, too:

Anything panko-crusted is hard to resist!

And dessert was a slice of gluten-free Sweet Potato Haupia Pie, freshly posted yesterday!

For the Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, you can use any fish that is suitable for pan frying. I didn’t know which brand of panko to get around these parts, so my sister recommended Sushi Chef Panko found at Weis Markets (it comes in a black cardboard box, about the size of a cornstarch box.) It stayed nice and crispy and tasted very much like the panko I used to buy in Hawaii.

Furikake Panko-Crusted Ahi, serves 2
Be sure to steam some rice before cooking the fish.

2 ahi fillets (about 6-8 ounces total)
2 tablespoons furikake
1/2 cup panko (Japanese style bread crumbs)
1 egg
1 tablespoon ice water
2 tablespoons flour
salt
oil for frying

Instructions:

Line a large plate with paper towels, set aside.

Place ahi fillets or pieces on a plate in single layer and rub with a pinch of salt on both sides. Set aside. Mix furikake and panko in a pie pan or dish. In another pie pan or small bowl beat egg and water. Pour oil into a large frying pan until 1/4″ depth and heat on medium high.

Meanwhile, dust fish with flour, coating all sides. Next, dip fish pieces into egg wash, one at a time, making sure all sides are coated. Transfer to panko mixture, turning to coat evenly.

To test if oil is hot enough, drop a small dusting of flour into oil,  it should start to bubble and sizzle. Add fish pieces one at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook fish pieces for 2-3 minutes on one side (or less if fish pieces are thin,) turning heat down to medium. Fry for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.  Transfer cooked fish to paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Serve immediately with sweet chili sauce or mayonnaise-soy sauce mix (1 tablespoon mayo to 1 teaspoon soy sauce.)

Eat well!

For those who haven’t tried haupia, this dessert will be deliciously different!

For those who enjoy coconut, or sweet potatoes, or both, this dessert may very well be something for you to try out. Haupia is a firm coconut pudding made with coconut milk, water, corn starch and sugar. Very simple recipe, easy to make, and very popularity in Hawaii. You can easily find haupia in the form of pies, layered puddings or in a small packet of powdered mix that you can just add some water, chill for a few hours and it’s ready to eat. And, of course, you will no doubt come across little paper trays of chilled haupia squares at luaus or Hawaiian food eateries.

Sweet Potato Haupia Pie combines the cool, silky texture of haupia; a rich yet light layer of Okinawan sweet potato filling; and a crumbly shortbread crust usually sprinkled with toasted macadamia nuts.  The haupia lightens up the dessert, giving it a refreshing yet creamy taste, unlike that of a regular whipped topping (which can be added on top of the haupia, if you like!)

I made my own version (used regular sweet potatoes, no Okinawan ones at the market) and admit I couldn’t wait the allotted time to eat it, so my haupia was a bit runny and the flavors not quite developed. Thankfully, I made two pans, so was able to get you a nice photo of this wonderful dessert the next morning. The gluten-free crust is an excellent choice for this recipe. The texture is very light and crumbly, and the addition of coconut and toasted macadamia nuts gives it an extra crunch.

This is a three-step process: baking the crust, making the filling, and chilling the pie with the haupia topping. Be sure to make the haupia after the pie has cooled since it will set up quickly. And though the recipe is for a pie, for convenience I baked it in a square pan.
HAUPIA SWEET POTATO PIE (Gluten-Free)
Makes one 8″x8″ pan, double recipe for 13″x9″ pan

Coconut Crust, Gluten-Free (based on “Tart Shell Crust” recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics):

1 cup Brown Rice Flour Mix (2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 parts potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca starch)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted, unsalted macadamia nuts, chopped (optional)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Position rack in center of oven. Spray an 8″x8″ square cake pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a food processor or large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar and xanthan gum. Add butter and mix (or pulse, or cut with pastry cutter) until crumbly. Add vanilla and mix well. Add macadamia nuts last, if using, and stir just enough to incorporate into dough. Mixture will be sandy, not sticky. Gently press mixture into bottom of square pan. Sprinkle unsweetened flaked coconut on top and press into crust.

Bake in center of oven for about 16-18 minutes or until golden. Set aside while you make sweet potato filling.

Sweet Potato Filling: 

2 cups baked or boiled sweet potato, cooled and skins removed (about  5)
1 egg
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup lowfat soy milk

In a large mixing bowl beat sweet potato to break up, just for ten seconds (potatoes are already very soft.) Add egg, sugar and salt, beat to combine. Slowly add vanilla and soy milk. Mix well, about 1 minute.

Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared crust and bake for 30-33 minutes or until surface begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for about an hour before making the haupia topping.

Haupia Topping (modified from ‘Ono Kine Grindz):

1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup corn starch
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
1/2 cup water

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add water, mix well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, pour in coconut milk and heat on medium high for about 2 minutes or until heated through. Stir cornstarch-sugar-water mixture to ensure everything is mixed well, then add to coconut milk. Stir constantly with wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until mixture starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes (be sure you scrape the bottom of the pot.) Remove from heat.

Pour haupia mixture evenly onto sweet potato filling. Let sit on counter for about 15 minutes to cool off a bit. Make room in fridge so there’s plenty of room for air to circulate around the pan (I even turn down the temperature, normally set to 4, I make it colder to 6.) Chill at least 4 hours, but overnight is best. Cut into 16 squares.