vegan green lentil dumplings made with rice flour #glutenfree

This recipe is sponsored by my friend who was moving out from the UK and kindly gifted me some food items. There was couple items I never tried before, so I decided to make some experiments and prepare dumplings made of rice flour with green lentil filling.

I found a recipe for rice flour dough somewhere on the internet and it worked quite good, especially for the first attempt. Lots of this kind of recipes usually needs some practice, but this one came out surprisingly well.

Rice flour dough is much different than regular and it requires different method of preparation. But actually it was quite easy to make it. More complicated was trying to stick dumplings together without breaking gentle dough. Rice dough is much less elastic than regular wheat flour dough due to gluten that makes the dough more flexible and easy to work with. So the rice dough is more prone for breaking, what you can see on the photos. But surprisingly I lost only one or two dumplings in the process of cooking. The best thing is not to roll out the dough very thin, make it a bit thicker than regular – there’s less chance that it will break during cooking.

And now the taste. The dough has quite specific texture and taste, it’s not bad at all, but I prefer regular wheat flour dumplings. But if you absolutely cannot eat gluten, definitely you should try this recipe. It may need some practice to perfect it, but it’s definitely worth trying. The filling is really tasty, good enough that my partner wants me to make more green lentil dumplings. Next time also instead of adding sesame oil I will fry some onions and use it as a garnish, because sesame seeds oil was a little bit bitter in this case.

Final opinion: this recipe will stay in my menu for longer, although with wheat flour rather than rice flour dough. The more that green lentils are great source of protein and fibre, and will be a great replacement for meat. Lentils contain more complex carbohydrates and are great source of iron, which is essential for functions such as carrying oxygen to the body, generating energy and accelerating metabolism.

Have you tried rice flour dumplings? Do you have other dumpling dough recipe ideas that I could try?

vegan green lentil dumplings made with rice flour

NOTE: my measuring cup is 250ml regular glass

INGREDIENTS for dough:

  • 1 cup of rice flour plus some for dusting
  • couple tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp natural rock salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 425ml water

INGREDIENTS for filling:

  • about 450g precooked green lentils (I used precooked So Organic lentils from Sainsbury’s)
  • 1 small brown onion
  • pinch of natural rock salt
  • couple white mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp thai 7 spice (mix of: cumin, lemon pepper, chilli powder, garlic powder, ginger, mustard seed and cloves)

DIRECTIONS

Start with preparing the dough. It’s much different than regular wheat flour dough, also preparation is much different.

Boil water with salt and olive oil. When water is boiling, switch off the heat and add rice flour, stir it quickly – it will become thick in couple seconds. Sprinkle pastry board with couple tablespoons of cornflour and transfer dough on the board. Let it rest for a while, so you’re not going to burn yourself when kneading.

In the meantime prepare lentil filling. On a non stick pan heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Chop and fry onion until golden. Peel and chop white mushrooms also add to onion. At the end add precooked lentils (drained from water) and spices. Sprinkle with some salt if needed. Switch off the heat and let it completely cool down.

When dough cooled down start kneading. If necessary, add water or rice flour – the dough should be delicate and a bit sticky. Cover it with foil or kitchen towel and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 6 parts. Roll out each part previously dusting pastry board with some rice flour. Don’t roll out too thin, because dumplings may break during cooking. Rice flour dough is more delicate and much less elastic, so you have to be quite gentle. Cut out circles using a glass or cookie cutter. Place some filling on each circle and stick the sides together.

In a large pot boil some salted water, when it starts to boil gently put your dumplings, one by one. When they start floating on the top carefully cook for about 5 minutes on a low heat and gently remove using a slotted spoon.

Drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. The best are freshly cooked.

mascarpone cheesecake with chia & sweet cherry (keto & no flour)

I’m not a master of baking, I like simple cakes and desserts that everyone could make themselves without feeling of disaster when it’s not going to look as on Instagram. Most probably it’s simply because I don’t have so much patience to spend hours on baking, mixing, waiting to cool down (hate it!) and decorating the cake that will finally end up being sliced and smashed with a spoon or fork. That’s why I admire so much these who can spend hours to bake, prepare layers and than patiently, with watch-making accuracy decorate with all these small beautiful details that someone will just eat. For me it’s a form of art and I would be sorry to just eat something that took someone hours of creative work. Because let’s be honest – these beautiful cakes that you see on Instagram or Pinterest it’s usually hours of sculpting. It’s like you would get a beautiful wooden sculpture, chop it and put to a fire to get yourself warm 😉

That’s why I like simple things, so you won’t find beautiful, art looking cakes on this blog. Although I find some charm in this simple cake forms, a bit rustic and imperfect.

This mascarpone cheesecake was on my mind for weeks or even months. I did it only once, and God knows why only once, because I remember that it was delicious. Velvety, creamy almost buttery and very light considering the amounts of fat it contains. Mascarpone is made with cream, not with milk, so it contains about 80% of fat. It’s like butter 🙂 Due to the high content of saturated fatty acids, is not a product that we should eat every day. It’s like Mary Berry said:

“Cakes are healthy too, you just eat a small slice.”

Mary Berry

That’s actually quite smart, because comparing to “freshly baked in store” sugar cookies I’ve been rumbling about in my previous posts, most probably you won’t be able to eat more than one slice of mascarpone cheesecake. It’s so fulfilling! Unfortunately I cannot say the same about sugar cookies and cheese crackers 😉

Oh and I have to mention about sweet dark cherries and chia that makes delicious topping. I was thinking how to thicken the sauce without using any kind of starch and chia seeds just popped into my head as an obvious answer. They worked like charm. They not only thicken the sauce but also added some interesting texture to it.

mascarpone cheesecake with chia & sweet cherry

INGREDIENTS:

  • 600g mascarpone
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 4-5 tbsp xylitol or other sugar replacement
  • 2 tsp madagascan vanilla extract
  • 2 handfuls of cherries (I used frozen ones)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • optionally: 1 tpsp of xylitor to add to cherries
  • little bit of coconut oil or butter to grease the baking tray

DIRECTIONS

First prepare baking tray and heat the oven, so both will be ready when you need them. I placed piece of baking paper on the bottom of round baking tray and greased the sides with coconut oil.

Heat the oven to about 140-150°C. My oven is weird and very quickly burns the top of every cheesecake, so I had to lower the heat to 140°C. I also have only an option to bake with a fan, so fan always rise the temperature. If you have the same issue with your oven place a piece of baking paper or aluminium foil to prevent cheesecake from burning.

Beat the eggs with handheld mixer until fluffy. Start adding xylitol, spoon by spoon and keep beating until eggs will triple the volume and become creamy, fluffy and light in colour. Then start adding mascarpone. Do it in parts, the same as with sugar. Also add vanilla extract and mix until it combines. It will be quite liquid, but it’s fine, don’t worry about it.

Pour it to a baking tray and place in the oven. I place it in another baking tray in case it would leak and start dripping on the bottom of the oven. Bake for about 60 minutes. As always cheesecake will rise beautifully and then deflate quite a bit. But that’s how it always ends 😉

Let it cool down in the oven, open it just slightly so the temperature won’t drop suddenly. When it’s cooled take it out of the oven and let it cool down completely.

In the meantime prepare cherries. In a small saucepan heat 2-3 tablespoons of water and add cherries. Simmer until cherries defrost (or if you use fresh cherries until it starts boiling) and add about a tablespoon of chia seeds. Let it simmer for 2-3 minutes on a small heat. Then switch off the heat and let chia suck all the liquid. If you like it more sweet than add some xylitol.

When cheesecake is completely cold transfer it from the baking tray on a plate or cake stand and place cherries and chia on top. Because cheesecake deflates more in the middle than on the edges it’s perfect to place cherry and chia topping.

Cheesecake is ready to be eaten. Store it in the fridge up to 2-3 days.

polenta & cheddar breakfast muffins

Maybe it’s weird but I never ate polenta before, so on my last online shopping trip I grabbed one pack to my basket without any idea how to use it. That’s very common for me: buying food items without particular reason and then looking for a way to use it. The same was with polenta. Boiling it with water or broth would be to easy, so I was scrolling internet looking for something more complicated and found this recipe on BBC Good Food. And I wouldn’t be myself if I would not make any changes to this recipe. Original recipe required adding plain flour, but I skipped this and used only polenta. Instead of butter I used olive oil and because I haven’t got any buttermilk I used almond milk (and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice) instead.

And that’s how I got this sunny morning muffins, a bit grainy in texture but very tasty with a hint of warming chilli flavour. Great when hot straight from the oven or on the second day, sliced in half, toasted and smeared with some butter or cream cheese of your choice.

Where actually polenta comes from?

The dish was created during the Venetian republic. Peasants fighting in the army had a limited ability to cultivate the land, but they had to find some source of food. The answer to their demand was corn, which was then imported from America. Corn was hardy and easy to grow, so it was used as an ingredient in the daily diet, including the base of polenta. Unfortunately, due to the low nutritional value of polenta, many cases of avitaminosis, i.e. extreme vitamin deficiency.

It’s not surprising as polenta contains mainly carbohydrates, a bit of proteins, some pottasium, sodium, a little bit of vitamin A and Iron. So it’s not something I would include into my everyday diet, but as a weekend breakfast, from time to time it’s a quite good idea, especially that in compare to white flour, polenta has lot less carbohydrates. Serving of 100 g of polenta has around 15 g of carbohydrate, bread in 100 g contains about 50 g of carbohydrates. Polenta also doesn’t contain any gluten, so if you have issues with gluten, that’s a good choice for you.

Actually I was quite surprised, because I had couple of them for my breakfast and I was afraid that after an hour I will be hungry again but they kept my belly full for couple hours, so it’s a nice surprise. Moreover if you want to go the whole hog, add to them some crispy fried bacon. I’m sure your loved ones will be very happy with this kind of weekend breakfast.

polenta & cheddar breakfast muffins

NOTE: my measuring cup is regular 250ml glass

INGREDIENTS for 12 muffins:

  • 1½ cup polenta
  • 1 cup almond milk (use any milk you like)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 tbsp fried onion (about half of an onion)
  • 1 tsp natural rock salt
  • 100g extra mature cheddar cheese (grated)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS

Finely chop half of a brown onion and fry until golden with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

In a pot or a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients: grated cheddar, polenta, baking powder, salt, chilli flakes. In a separate bowl whisk 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, milk and lemon juice. Pour wet ingredients to dry ones and using a spoon combine them all together. Then add drained sweetcorn, fried onion and give it a good stir. It will be quite liquid, but that’s absolutely fine – polenta will soak all the liquid while baking. Set aside and prepare muffin tray.

I encourage you to use muffin liners, if you don’t have any, simply cut baking paper in squares, using a cup or a glass give them a shape of a muffin liner and place in a muffin tray. It will be much easier to remove the muffins after baking.

Heat the oven to 180°C. Place 2 tablespoons of polenta batter in each muffin liner. Place them on the middle shelf of you oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes.

After baking let them rest for couple minutes, and they are ready to be eaten. They are great on their own or on the next day, sliced in half, toasted and smeared with some butter or cream cheese.

You can store them for 2-3 days in airtight container.

Source of knowledge:

https://www.natureword.com/tag/polenta-glycemic-index/

https://www.med-health.net/Polenta-Nutrition.html

https://www.pyszne.pl/foodwiki/wlochy/polenta/