Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Zesty Gluten-Free Lentil - Quinoa Pasta Sauce, Soy-Free, Vegan

Protein-rich Gluten-free Zesty Lentil and Quinoa Pasta Sauce
This delightful warming sauce with its plant-based proteins of lentils and quinoa, is adapted from the "Lentil Quinoa Bolognese Sauce" recipe in Kathy Hester's The Great Vegan Bean Book: More Than 100 Plant-Based Dishes Packed With The Kindest Protein In Town.  

I love beans-- well, legumes of all ilk-- and I love how Hester has put together this cookbook, with recipes that meet people's dietary and health needs (gluten-free, soy-free, no added-oil, nut allergy recipes are labeled) and in a way that shows the diversity of the protein-rich bean.  There are recipes for everything from the familiar hearty savoury dishes straight through incorporating beans into breads and other baked items to amazing beany desserts (like, how about "Double-Chocolate Devil's Food Cookies" using cooked or canned black beans?)  I hope you enjoy this take-off on her sauce.  I do 'adaptations'when I don't have all the ingredients in my pantry, or when something needs to be made free of the gluten ingredients in the original recipe.  Sometimes I adapt because my husband and I prefer other ingredients to the ones listed.  In any case, here we go with the recipe:


  • 1 C. (92 g) Lentils, green, brown or beluga
  • 3 medium   Carrots (peel if not organic) each chopped into 4 big pieces 
  • 1-2 C. (235 - 475ml) Water (I used 1 C. Water, 1 C. Ginger Tea)
  • 2 T. (28 ml) Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Small Onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • *2 Cans (398 g each) Organic Tomato Sauce from Costco, Kirkland brand (or canned chopped Tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried Oregano
  • 1 T. (2 g) dried Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Mexican Chili Powder (optional)
  • 3 C. (about 201 g) fresh Kale, torn into small pieces, stems removed (optional)
  • 1/2 C (87 g) well-rinsed Quinoa
  • 2 T. (28 ml) Organic Balsamic Vinegar (or Fresh Lemon Juice)
  • Celtic Sea Salt-Kelp Mix (see below) and Pepper, to taste
  • Gluten-Free Pasta, cooked
  • In large soup pot cook Lentils, Carrots, and Water until Lentils are soft (20-30 min.)
  • Meanwhile, in Olive Oil in fry pan, saute Onions 5 minutes, Garlic 1 minute more
  • After Carrots-Lentils are cooked, put Carrots in Food Processor/Blender and whirl up with Tomato Sauce, Oregano, Basil, Chili Powder, and Kale along with Onions and Garlic
  • Add Quinoa and Vinegar to the Soup Pot with Lentils and bring to simmer with Medium heat, then cover and turn down heat to Low until Quinoa  starts to show their white tails.
  • Add the puree to the Lentil-Quinoa combo and simmer on LOW until cooked through (20 min.)
  • Each person can stir in a pinch of the Salt-Kelp mix and the Pepper can be ground on individually
  • FREEZE left over sauce in muffin tins (scroll down to see)

This combination is not a requirement of the recipe-- you can always just use regular salt.  But the flavour is soooo wonderful AND you get 82+ minerals.  We use and eat this mix with everything-- have not had "regular" table salt in our home for years.  I only started adding in the Kelp Flakes when I saw a pricey mix at the Health Food Store... do it yourself and save a bundle $$.
I buy Celtic Sea Salt in the bulk section at the Health Store
Bull Kelp from Salish Sea Products

Sea Veg Blend from Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Shake the Sea Veg Flakes into a Mason Jar of  Sea Salt and Shake! Cap.

                                                                 FROZEN TREATS

I freeze any left-over sauce in a Silicone Muffin Pan so they can be popped out easily and then I transfer them to a freezer ziplock-type baggy so that we can enjoy the sauce at future meals with little fuss but all the gourmet / home-made delight!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Activated Charcoal as a de-Glutenizer

I was recently present during a live presentation about the benefits of 'activated charcoal'-- live in that the presenter dumped a half-teaspoon of the black charcoal powder into a glass of water (which instantly turned black) and drank it down in front of us.  I am Seventh-day Adventist, so I have known about activated charcoal for a long time, but had never really paid much attention thinking that it was probably some old-fashioned, ineffective remedy, maybe even poisonous.  Now I think of all the tummy aches and gas-y upsets in my past (and in my children's pasts) when a 1/4 teaspoon of Activated Charcoal would have set us straight again.

To make activated charcoal you begin by burning wood to very high temperatures in an air-free environment.  Following this, the burnt material is reheated with the addition of oxidizing gases which activates the charcoal. The pure black powder that results is odourless and tasteless.  (It is, however, gritty).  When ingested, the activated charcoal adsorbs toxins-- it attracts toxins to its molecular surfaces (binds with the poisons) and takes them out of the body before they can be absorbed.   Activated charcoal has a lot of different applications that you can read about.  Most of the processes related to detox have had clinical studies to support the rather miraculous functions of this black powder (let's not call it 'black medicine').

Gluten is a poison to people who are sensitive to its effects.  How often have you experienced headaches, cramps, gas, diarrhea, etc. because you have eaten something that contained 'hidden' gluten in its contents? Amazingly, activated charcoal binds with the gluten molecules and issues them out so that you can return to pain-free balance.  (Don't take painkillers and other pharmaceutical medications, though, because they will also be eliminated.)  Some people who have been "glutenized" find that Activated Charcoal is a wonderful sleeping aid.

Make a slurry of about 8 ounces of water with a quarter of a teaspoon of pure activated charcoal powder added.  Stir well and cover for about 15 minutes.  Pour off the water into another glass and drink this.  Or take one or two activated charcoal caps.  This sure has worked well in our household. (And although the charcoal looks like it will stain, it washes away quite well-- people even brush their teeth with it to whiten them).
I suggest that you do your own research (there's a lot online about activated charcoal) and it is a good idea to talk to more than one "health care provider" because even they appear to differ in their opinions.  Check with the various 'gluten-sensitivity' and 'celiac' forums to see what others have to say.  "Activated" charcoal is DIFFERENT FROM: the charcoal briquettes used to cook meat (potentially poisonous fillers and fire-starter chemicals), the char on burnt toast, and charcoal used to draw with.  Please don't ingest any of these other forms of charcoal.

If you are unable to find bulk charcoal locally, a good source is usually your nearest ABC (Adventist Book Center).  Contact them for further details.

Disclaimer:This blog reflects my own personal beliefs about the health benefits of being gluten-free. I am not a Medical or Health Care professional and any information or products contained in this blog are not meant to replace your responsibility to consult with the appropriate health care provider about your own circumstances and concerns. I am also an affiliate for many of the products promoted on this site meaning that I get a commission if you click and purchase. Thank you for supporting my continued ability to provide information through this website.

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