Thursday, July 10, 2008

Clean Plate Club Approved: Maya Kaimal & Akara

One of these days I am going to get around to labeling my posts with categories, like most good bloggers do. I'd have a dessert section, a vegan section, and a entree section all to make browsing for recipes that much easier. Another label that I would use would be one for the Clean Plate Club, a term that me and my friends (and I'm sure many other people in the world) use when we, well, clean our plates -- in the sense that that meal was so delicious I cleaned every last bit of food off of my plate and am therefore now a member of the Clean Plate Club. And since life doesn't always allow me to cook from scratch -- I'll post about some tried and true gluten-free, dairy-free products that I love.

This should be a lesson to all food manufacturers out there: list every single, specific thing you put in your products on the product's label. Pretty simple, huh? Well, not too many companies actually do that. I see way too many "natural and artificial flavorings" listed which, when you have a serious food intolerance, means there's no way in hell I am going to buy that. Natural flavoring could easily mean barley -- "caramel color" in fact, is often made with barley and "maltodextrin" can be made with wheat. So, if any food manufacturer happens to be reading this someday, please, I beg you, take note from Maya Kaimal and Akara (and many more products out there) and clearly list what your products are made of. The millions of vegans and food allgergy and intolerance sufferes out there will thank you ( and buy your products).

Now on to how delicious the above (and below) simmer sauce is. Think of your very favorite Indian restaurant. Now think of your very favorite curry dish from your very favorite Indian restaurant. Mmmm.... I'm thinking of mine. Well, this is like that -- but better. Better in the sense that you get to cook it yourself and it only take ten minutes. The Maya Kaimal Tamarind Curry fresh simmer sauce was located in the refridgerated section of my local supermarket, right next to the hummus and tapenades and what really stuck out to me was that it was clearly labeled, right on the side of the packaging in clear, bold letters VEGAN AND FREE OF ALL ALLERGENS was written. Hallelulah -- this simmer sauce was made with coconut milk! In a large pan, over medium high heat I added a pound of cubed chicken, the simmer sauce, and about ten minutes into the cooking -- some fresh kale. Delicious gluten-free, dairy-free curry ready to be eaten.

I don't think I've ever eaten an African beancake prior to my first purchase of these little gems, but I'm glad I tried them. I found them in the freezer, gluten-free section of my local health food store (The Good Health Store in Quincy, MA has the most amazing selection of gluten-free goods). Always open to try new things I popped two of the beancakes into the oven (they have to be defrosted first) and baked for about seven minutes. They came out delicious and slightly crispy without any "weird" bean taste (I usually don't care for bean flours in baking, so I was slightly worried I wouldn't like these) The most wonderful thing about these beancakes is that they remind me of corn fritters that I've had in the south. Corn fritters are deep fat fried and horrible for you and usually loaded with gluten, but are quite delicious. These are a much healthier (only 110 calories for two of them), gluten-free, vegan version. They'd make awesome appetizers for a party or as an entree with a salad. Akara -- the brandname is a local company, based out of Sunderland, MA which makes me like them even more.


Ricki said...

Yes, categories, please! In the meantime, those products do sound very good. I've never had African bean cakes, either--but would certianly try one now!

Tiffany said...

Those bean cakes sound interesting. I love corn fritters as well, so I'll have to see if I can find them. The curry sauce sounds nice also :)

The Good Eatah said...

I admire your categories, Ricki. You're so well organized! I'll get on that :)

I definately recommend them both if you can find them, Tiffany. The simmer sauce was almost identical to my favorite restaurant's curry.

Ali said...

Oooh, I'll have to give those bean cakes a try - Good Health is my go-to-store for GF items, too! :) Thanks for the blog, and for the tip about Woodman's... I've been missing fried clams desperately, and am definitely making a field trip up north a priority!