Dia’s Cotolette di Melanzane (Gluten Free & Vegan)

Posted by ♦***Admin--Dia***♦ on April 30th, 2012

cotolette di melanzane

Gosh, it seems like it has been raining non stop for the past fortnight, so today was the first chance I got in a while to photograph food with some natural sunlight. I don’t have a posh studio or anything near to that, I just have a small kitchen and a window, and well…if it’s raining, the pictures won’t be as nice. I need that beautiful sunlight to come in to saturate the colors of the food, and today it did! Horrah!

I guess you could say I am going back to my “roots” with this recipe. I am Italian American, and Cotolette di Melanzane was something I frequently ate growing up. The first time I ever tried this dish I was over my dad’s apartment, and he neglected to tell me what was hidden inside the breadcrumbs…he just wanted me to eat it without being fussy over eggplant. I sliced into it and said, “This isn’t chicken!!!!” He laughed. I ate it up and said, “Well the inside looks unappealing but it tastes really good.” I still feel the same way. The look of the inside of cooked eggplant isn’t my favorite image to think of, but you can’t deny how great it tastes!
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Dia’s Gluten Free & Vegan Black Sesame Seed Balls

Posted by ♦***Admin--Dia***♦ on April 15th, 2012

These are a great little snack that you can whip up in a matter of minutes. The key ingredient is glutinous white rice flour, also known as sweet rice flour or sticky rice flour, this flour is completely gluten free even if the name is somewhat deceptive. It’s called glutinous because it has a very glue like consistency!! You can’t make these sesame balls without it.

The other important ingredient is black sesame seeds which are basically unhulled sesame seeds. Sesame seeds only change color when hulled. I chose to use black sesame seeds because the flavor is much nicer, and paired with the filling of mashed sweet potato and brown sugar it’s quite delicious!

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Dia’s Gluten Free & Vegan Sticky Carrot Cake (One for the kids)

Posted by ♦***Admin--Dia***♦ on April 1st, 2012
  1. Dia's Vegan & Gluten Free Sticky Carrot Cake

When I was a child I occassionally had the treat of carrot cake. The carrot cake I was first introduced to was soft, smooth and creamy. I loved it! So when I went out to a diner one night and ordered their carrot cake for dessert I wasn’t very happy with what had been served to me. Keep in mind I was only about 6 years old at the time. Much to my dismay this diner’s carrot cake was bulky, nutty, grainy and oh… it had carrots in it that were visible to the naked eye. “What?!? This isn’t carrot cake!!!” I proclaimed to my father. He said, “Yes, that’s carrot cake.” “But it tastes nothing like the carrot cake I have been eating, and look at all these carrots in it!!!” I grumbled. He said, “Dia, this is actually real carrot cake, the stuff you’ve been having at home was coming out of a box.” Ohhhhhhhhhhh. But still as I grew older I searched for a smooth and moist carrot cake not overwhelmed with nuts and grated carrots, but I never found one. Sigh. So, I just had to go and make my own. :D

Now, I have revamped this recipe especially for my nephew Rex who is just about 10 months old. He needed something softer, more like a British steamed pudding in texture, and I came up with this.

Based on the memory of my 6 year old palate, I do think children will enjoy this carrot cake.
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Dia’s Gluten Free & Vegan Ravioli with Spicy Haricot Bean Mousse

Posted by ♦***Admin--Dia***♦ on March 25th, 2012
Dia's Gluten Free & Vegan Ravioli with Spicy Haricot Bean Mousse

This is not a traditional pasta dough by any means. Of course that’s because it contains no gluten or eggs. I’ve experimented many times over the past few years on how to get a similar pasta dough to the one I used to make before switching my diet. My favorite dough is this one, and it is very simple to make. The easier the better…right? I think so! What’s the secret ingredient??? Continue reading »

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Dia’s Gluten Free & Vegan Hot Cross Buns (Banana & Chocolate)

Posted by ♦***Admin--Dia***♦ on March 20th, 2012

Dia's Gluten Free & Vegan Hot Cross Buns

It’s that time of year again…spring has sprung! The snow drops have gone, the croci are just about over and the daffodils are in full bloom. In a couple of weeks my tulips will be out, and it will be Easter. Whether or not you celebrate that holiday, you can still enjoy these delicious hot cross buns. These were typically served on Good Friday to symbolize the end of Lent, but hot cross buns are not only a Christian tradition–They are devoured year round (especially in England) by people who come from all walks of life. Baking them at home however can be left for a special occasion, since it takes quite a while!

Traditionally hot cross buns are made with candied fruit, raisins, orange peel, etc., but I decided to make a bun I’d actually want to eat more than once, and bananas and chocolate immediately came to mind. Continue reading »

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