Monday, February 1, 2010

Saturated Fat (aka coconut oil & flakes) Balls

Holiday Macaroons Link to recipe.
I've made 5+ batches of these in the past month. The original recipe uses agave. I substitute in powdered stevia and use diluted glycerine to achieve a similar effect. As I didn't have peppermint extract until this weekend, I've experimented with other flavors. Simply adding cinnamon was my favorite. Next up was carob + cinnamon + cardamon. Caution: You must let this set up for 12 hours for the flavors to marry.

Easy Pan Fish

Small method, Big results. The cooking liquid is available to use as a sauce base.

You need:
A pan with straight edges and a lid
Fish (cod provides lots of healthy wonderful oils)
Small amount of water, just barely cover the bottom of the pan

Bring the water to a flash boil. Add fish. Cover with lid. Cook until flesh in center of fillet/steak is cooked (10 minutes per inch of thickness?). Remove. Use remaining water + fish oils as base for sauce.

Sauce depicted:
Melt Coconut Oil (or butter) and add Green Curry Paste.
Add Kefir (or leben yogurt), then add the Fish Cooking Water.
Cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste.

Simple Steamed Fish

Fun, quick, and delicious.
You may use a banana leaf steamer instead of a cheesecloth hammock.

Fish (rock fish shown here)
Green Onion
Grated Ginger

Steam. Salt to taste. Serve alongside a pressed salad.


Bliss

Listed by descending quantity, combine with a utensil:

Bailey's Irish Cream Liquor
Tahini
Carob Powder
Cinnamon
Cardamon
Salt

Fluffy wonderfulness.
Bliss.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A different sort of fish cooking method


I put my values into action last week by boldly signing up for 10 boxes of Community Supported Agriculture produce via the Full Circle Farm. The gorgeous photo above is of today's CSA box. Beautiful bountiful produce. And even more exciting is that I don't have to go shopping! Everything is already preselected, packaged, and ready for pickup on my route home from work. What could be better? I'll tell you what. The food has been minimally handled: less people germs and less bruising. This means I have the option of actually eating the beet greens; they aren't all stringy, torn, and gross like the one's at Fred Myers.

In an effort to eat more fish without scouring the internet for hours dreamily reading and comparing recipes, I make a point of asking the seafood department fish handlers what fish they like to eat and how they like to prepare it. Today, a fellow advised me on his preferred method of cooking marinated black cod: steamed upon a block of tofu. It sounded intriguing and unusual. I tried it. It worked. The tofu is used to keep the marinade on the fish and what marinade does rub off then flavors the tofu. The guy likes to eat a bite of tofu with each bit of fish. I tried that too. It was okay. I used extra firm sprouted tofu. Perhaps he uses firm to softish tofu? That would've been more smooth. Either way, you start off with about a pinkie-finger-knuckle's depth of water in the pot. By the time all the water has evaporated, the fish and the tofu have been cooked. Bon App├ętit.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Stuffed Roasted Delicata Squash

Taste:
Sweet and wonderful! The flavor of the squash nearly out-shines the canned salmon - not fishy at all!

Inspiration:
+ hungry and no fresh food on hand save a Delicata squash - just returned from a week-long vacation
+ the dry food-stuff in my cupboards
+ the *Beautiful* roasted Delicata squash recipe from the Eggs on Sunday blog

One squash serves 2. Makes enough stuffing for two large squash halves.

Ingredients:
1 Delicata squash - halved and deseeded
Handful of Arame kelp - soaked 15 min
1/2 an onion - chopped
garlic - 1 clove minced
Canned Salmon - 1 can
oregano or other flavorful herb of choice. dried or fresh.
olive oil - extra virgin cold pressed, of course
sea salt
black pepper
red pepper flakes
1/2 cup Couscous - add 3/4 cup boiling water, cover and let sit to aborb
fresh breadcrumbs or crumbled whole grain crackers

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. "Drizzle" olive oil onto the open face of the cut squash and coat using brush, finger, or whatever. Sprinkle on sea salt and black pepper. Pop into the oven in a pan. Roast until fork easily inserts into squash flesh, about 40 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile prepare the filling. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil. Add the arame. Stir. Add the red pepper flakes. Stir. Add the canned salmon. Stir well. Add the herb. Add the prepared couscous. Stir. Add more red pepper flakes if desired. Keep on low heat until squash is ready.

When squash is ready, add the filling and sprinkle on bread crumbs for texture. Roast for another few minutes - about 15 min. Devour with pleasure.










**Note: it's fun to roast the seeds while your squash is cooking! Combine seeds with with olive oil, to coat. Add a pinch of sea salt. Roast for less than 20 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes. Yum!**

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shitake Spinach Saute Featuring Hijiki

I am eating very resourcefully these days. In June I had to cut out dried fruit, sugars (including agave, honey, and maple syrup), refined oils, wheat (yet whole sprouted is fine), cheeses, milk and butter from my diet. Now that the grieving period has mostly ended - the loss of delicious food staple ingredients was not taken lightly! - I can begin to celebrate my progress by sharing here =) My raw nut and coconut meat based sugar free "ice cream" recipe will take a few tweaks before becoming post worthy.

Shitake Spinach Saute Featuring Hijiki
serves 1 as vegetable side

Flavor is greatly enhanced by flax oil and gomashio - so don't skimp!

3 shitake mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup prepared hijiki
2 cups baby spinach or half a bag
white cooking wine
olive oil
flax oil
gomashio (sesame salt) - see Paul Pitchford's "Healing with Whole Foods" condiment recipe

Heat a skillet - somewhere between Medium Low and Medium. Add olive oil and then diced shitake mushrooms. Saute. As the shitake begins to cook, pile on the hijki. Fold in the hijiki. Add on the spinach and give it a generous few splashes of white cooking wine. Cover if you desire a steamed spinach texture. If not, continue by folding the ingredients together. Remove from the heat whenever you'd like: either the spinach will be more raw or more cooked. Add to your plate. Drizzle with flax oil (about 1/2 Tablespoon). Do ensure you put enough on - it carries the flavor of the shitake. Sprinkle generously with gomashio. Enjoy this as an accompaniment to a protein and carb source.

Carb source featured in photo:
Cannellini Beans (soaked with Kombu, sprouted, then cooked with Kombu)
Umeboshi plum - torn into pieces
Onion - diced and pickled in umeboshi vinegar and brown rice vinegar

Fold beans and plum pieces together with a fork. Mash approximately 50% of the beans. Fold in pickled onion. Yum.

Protein source featured in photo:
The wonderful Baked Tempeh recipe posted by Sonja - delish!! http://northwestfoodie.blogspot.com/2008/09/baked-tempeh.html

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sweet Rockfish

This wonderful recipie comes from a fellow at the Renton Uwajimaya seafood department - he knows his fish! This tastes amazing.

Fresh rock fish fillets - Neah Bay, WA
Honey or maple syrup
Bread crumbs - one slice of Ezekiel is plenty for 2 fillets
Sea salt
Hot pepper flakes or powder (not optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse the fillets. Place on pan (I greased mine), add honey to fish and top with bread crumbs. Bake until done; the flesh will puff up and the crumbs will darken - don't let the topping burn! Sprinkle with salt and pepper flakes/powder to taste. Consume with delight.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cocoa-Coconut-Maca.

As always, this recipe is a reflection of a random collection of cravings and available ingredients.

Don't worry if you don't have everything - experiment! That's what cooking's about.

The smoothie turned out to be excellent. Maca adds a nutty flavor (in addition to b vitamins, essential amino acids, an aphrodesiac quality, improved mental clarity...). The tofu makes it creamy without the heaviness of a nut butter, and the orange adds a freshness and brightness.

Blend:
1 banana
1/2 blood orange
a small piece of tofu (for creaminess!)
1 c filtered water
2 tsp raw cacao powder
2 tsp maca powder
a good-sized pinch of dried coconut
a drop of molasses and 2 drops of honey
a drop of vanilla
a pinch of fine red sea salt

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Vegetarian Quinoa Pasta

As I came out of my workout tonight, I wanted some pasta. The problem is that I gave up all grains several months ago. The whole experience has been positive overall (less stomachaches, less acne, reduced capacity for weight gain, etc.), but sometimes, dammit, I just want some chewy, unctuous bread product!

I have recently begun experimenting (and refamiliarizing myself, in some cases) with gluten-free products. I bought a loaf of GF bread at the Farmer's Market a couple of weeks ago that was the size of a softball and weighed 5 lb, for instance. (You know that "Ezekiel 5:9 bread"? My sister and I jokingly call it "Jesus-bread"... ok, maybe it's only funny to us).

Anyway, I was strolling the aisles of the Fremont PCC (natural market - I hesitate to call it a 'co-op'. It doesn't remind me of a co-op in many ways, most of which have to do with it's being a chain of supermarkets. Health food and natural, local food DO abound in it, for which I am grateful (and they sell raw milk!), but a co-op, it is not. (refer to http://www.daviscoop.com for an ACTUAL hippie-run community supported co-op).

Where was I? Oh yes. So, I'm in the PCC, and I spotted Quinoa pasta. I used to use this occasionally in college when entertaining GF friends, but hadn't tasted it in a while. So I bought some, and then decided to make dinner: quinoa pasta with roasted sunchokes, brussels sprouts, garlic, and parmesan cheese shaved over the top.

I preheated the oven to 400 deg F, then cut the brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced the sunchokes (also called Jerusalem artichokes). Note - you don't need to peel sunchokes if you don't want to. Then I tossed them into a Pyrex dish with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, and fresh cracked pepper. Threw them in the oven till I could smell them, then took them out, tossed, and stuck them back in till I was done talking on the phone with my mom. (Such arbitrary cooking times! :) ).

By this time, I had drained the quinoa (actually a blend of quinoa + corn) pasta, and coated it with a light drizzle of finishing oil - in this case, some olive oil my mom bought me that was organic and had been pressed with blood oranges. OMG so good. So I took out a bowl, heaped in the veggies, took a small scoop of pasta, added more of the finishing oil, crushed a couple of cloves of garlic (raw) and chopped them before adding them into the dish, and then topped with a generous amount of shaved parmesan cheese.

I should note that the parmesan had mold on it a few days ago. Since it is such a hard cheese, I cut off the mold, and it's back to being totally fine! Woo!

The verdict? Four Stars!!! The roasted vegetables bring a nice sweetness, the sunchokes remain crunchy through roasting, the quinoa pasta has a nice toothsome bite to it, and the finishing oil maintains it's own perfumey goodness throughout the sharp bite of the garlic.

****

At PCC, I also bought some turkey bacon, so tomorrow might very well see me cooking up some of the bacon to add to the dish for something different.

For Vegans, you could...just not add the cheese. :-) I'm sure it would be fine without it. You could also roast whatever vegetables you feel like and add them to it...

***

Okay! I have to go finish eating!! I am drinking half of a 22 oz bottle of Elysian "Night Owl" dark pumpkin ale (seasonal).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Link: Lentil Snack Balls

While taking a short break from work this morning, I came across an interest recipe for lentil snack balls. They look like mochi balls, but have mostly lentil inside... if I was eating rice, I would totally make them. I might try them substituted with an equivalent amount of tapioca or something.

Spicy Lentil Snacks with Sesame Seeds

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving!

I thought I might post some of the things we plan to make today. I'll update as we flesh out the menu.

Here is the first one I'm excited about - creamy mashed potatoes with jicama, rosemary, and garlic. I plan to serve these with a portabello mushroom gravy (made with garlic, soy sauce, and tahini; sweetened with a bit of red pepper).


Rosemary-Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Serves 4-6

4 cups chopped jicama
1 1/2 cups cashews
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or dried)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
Black pepper, to taste

In food processor, process jicama. Press out excess liquid with a cheesecloth or through a sieve.

Place in high-speed blend with the rest of the ingredients.

Blend till combined. Serve immediately or warm up in dehydrator before serving.

(taken from the Sunny Raw Kitchen.)


Portobello Gravy

We've whipped up the gravy already:

2 large portobellos
1 red pepper
1/4 c almond butter
[a bit less than] 1/4 c soy sauce
2 cloves garlic

blend, adding water as needed. this gravy has a wonderful flavor.


Butternut squash cookies

1 butternut squash
1 orange
2 apples
1.5 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 c honey
1 1/4 c raisins

Peel and chop 1 butternut squash. Add this to the food processor in small amounts at a time with the orange and apples. Process, adding enough liquid for it to run. Add the spices, salt, and honey. Add the raisins for just a second towards the end.

Scoop onto dehydrator trays, and dehydrate to desired consistency.

Enjoy :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thai Style Curried Halibut (link)

Tonight was the second time I have made this recipe, to great effect. The ingredients are simple, low-fat, and tasty.

I think what makes it even better is that I am using halibut that a friend of mine caught a few months ago in Alaska, on her family's annual fishing trip for Alaskan fish: salmon, halibut, and some other assorted fishy odds and ends. (I should mention that her portion of the catch totalled over 200 lb. Yes, they eat a lot of fish, and yes, it will be gone before the next haul).

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/thai-style-halibut-with-coconut-curry-broth-recipe/index.html

only for the very nerdy.

an evil mad scientist shows how to make fractal cookies.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

fabulous fall fennel frumble

another miscellaneous mix that turned out to be delicious.

flavorful fennel is combined with sweet corn, crunchy beets, juicy oranges, and creamy avocado. hempseeds add a nutty flavor; dill and garlic bring it all together.

chop and mix:
fennel bulb
beets
corn, fresh from the cob
oranges
avocado
green onion
dill
minced garlic
hempseeds (if you wish)
marinated fava beans, should you have them

squeeze lemon juice over; garnish with salt and pepper.

slicing and dicing all of these ingredients can take some time - you may as well make a bunch at once. take some for lunch the next day...
...i promise i'll start taking better pictures.

enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Chicken Soup for a Knee

On the way down the stairwell to my car this morning, I noticed a twinge in my knee. Not my "normal" knee pain, which has honestly gone away since I started doing CrossFit 3x/week. But a sharp, insistent pain right about where my tibia (or is it fibula?) connects to the bottom of the whole "knee assembly" (as I'm sure some other enginerd would call it). I pretty much winced the entire day, and took the elevator multiple times, which is ridiculous since I normally traverse the 7 flights of stairs at least once, if not multiple times per workday.

My point, you may ask? Well, I'm not going to pilates class tonight. So... what to do when you have some time and it's nippy out?

Make soup, of course! I have also found that soup is a great diet aid - it's really flavorful, you can make it low-fat, and since a soup is mostly liquid and vegetables (my soups are, anyway), you're filling up on stuff that you should be eating in the first place.

I don't really have a recipe, since I am pretty good at eyeballing what I should buy in order to fill up my relatively small 3 qt pot. But, I will try to come up with something. This is another "use what you have" recipe. If you LOVE garlic and hate onion, then do that. Love cilantro? Add it in! Hate potatoes? Leave 'em out! :) Vegan? Hm... maybe some Sei-tan broth?? ;-) (actually, I feel a mushroom broth might be good here...)



RECIPE (for 3 qt pot. Adjust to fit your own pot!)

1.5 - 2 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (you don't have to use bone-in or skin-on, but in my opinion, these additions really increase the flavor of the soup. Why do you think stock is made with bones? Tastes better! :) )

Filtered water, to cover the chicken thighs

1 small head of garlic, peeled and minced (use as much as you like)

1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces

4-5 stalks celery, ends removed, chopped into 1/2-1" slices

2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off from ear into bowl (or you could use frozen corn)

4-5 carrots, chopped into 1/2-1" pieces (I used pre-cut "baby" carrots, since I had part of a bagful in my fridge)

4-5 small potatoes, chopped into 1-2" pieces

Salt, pepper, assorted spices to taste (e.g. bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cilantro, kaffir lime leaves, etc.)

Assorted flavorings, e.g. jalapenos, bean sprouts, etc.

***

WHAT TO DO:

Put the pot on the stove and turn the heat up to High. Put the chicken thighs in the pot, cover with water. Add a healthy pinch of salt at this point. Add more than you think you need. Cover the pot and let it come to a boil.

Once the pot is boiling, lower the heat down to med / low and let it simmer for about 30 min. In the meantime, you might see white scum accumulate on the top of the water - skim it out with a spoon; it's proteins from the chicken (no harm done!).

Use the time that the chicken is simmering to chop your vegetables. Getting everything to a uniform size aids in uniform cooking, so your potatoes aren't mush when your carrots are done.

Once the chicken is cooked (I fish out a thigh and cut into it till I reach bone, to check for doneness), take the thighs out and let them cool on a plate, on the countertop. Finish chopping your veggies. Turn the stove off and let everything cool down.

Peel the chicken meat off the thighs. Here is how I do it: I have a bowl set aside for "food waste" (since my building has a food waste bin!). I run a slow trickle of cold water and grab a chicken thigh, then put my hands under the water with the thigh. I peel off the skin and put that in the waste bowl, then I use the water to keep my hands from burning as I peel off the chicken meat. I should note that I usually don't want to wait till the chicken is ACTUALLY cooled off. A little extra water in your meat won't really affect anything... this is soup, after all! :)

Dump the chicken meat back in the pot, along with your vegetables. Turn the stove burner back up to medium, and let the veggies and chicken simmer in the broth you just made.

When everything is done to your liking, check for seasoning, and adjust salt / pepper if necessary. :)



Here is a gratuitous picture of my soup after I dumped everything into the pot to simmer. :)


Mangia!!

Free Cookbook Download

I was perusing a local food site, and I came across Nishino Restaurant (in Seattle).

They are a Japanese restaurant near the arboretum that has been around since 1995, but right now they have a free cookbook download, called "Autumn Omakase".

If you go to their site, the link to download the cookbook is there.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Morning Melon

Mel and Sonja can both attest: Californians are downright spoiled when it comes to food. Restaurants aside (Asian, Mexican, Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw...), the farmer's markets are amazing. The melons are one of my favorite indulgences. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors like I have not seen before.

If you cannot procure local melons in October, the supermarket variety should be just fine for the recipes below. The results are bright and fresh on the palate and light in the body. Enjoy!


Recipe 1: Green Ambrosia Smoothie

blend:
1/2 c water
1/2 ripe ambrosia melon*
a big handful of lettuce*
1/2 sweet yellow plum
1/2 banana
a small spoonful of tahini
a bit of vanilla
sprinkle of sea salt
sprinkle of cinnamon

*The melon I used was about 5" in diameter and green on the inside. Any sweet summer melon will do.
*My lettuce was a delicate purple romaine, which almost tasted like butter lettuce.



Recipe 2: Cool Melon Soup
...serves 3, as a light dish to begin dinner

1/2 large melon (I used Cantaloupe)
2/3 avocado
juice of one lime
sea salt
a handful of ice cubes
water as needed

Blend until smooth and serve in small bowls.

This pairs well with a salad of heavy dark greens.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

"Clean Out The Fridge" Stew

It's Sunday, which generally means that I am cooking up something that will last me through at least a few days in the coming week.



My boyfriend was working today, which meant I was out running errands. On my way home, I stopped at the PCC Co-Op market (a somewhat capitalized version of a "health foods co-op", for those not in Seattle. Click here to find a co-op near you!). One of my strange hobbies is wandering the aisles of different grocery stores. You really never know what you're going to find to inspire you, and considering that most people purchase the same few items week in and week out, I try to take my time in the store and see what gets itself into my basket.

I picked up some cheeses, and some cauliflower that looked very fresh in the produce rack. I wandered towards the back of the store, and came across the meat case. I had been hankering for some lamb recently, and came across some reasonably priced packs of lamb stew meat (I don't know what cut this is, but it works remarkably well for grilled lamb kabobs, too!)

As I put an 8 oz pack of lamb meat in my basket, I figured I should make a soup. A soup that cleaned out the fridge.

In addition to various other sundries, I picked up a quart of low-sodium chicken broth and a small pouch (2 lb? OK, I eat carrots every lunch at work, so it's small to me!) of pre-washed / cut / peeled organic carrots, and made my way home (after a, ahem, stop at a yarn shop...but we won't go into that here!).

I got home, unloaded everything, and began my work. I opened up my fridge and excavated everything that looked edible and was in the Plant kingdom. Kale, chard, onion, garlic, peppers, the last of the summer tomatoes (which were on the countertop, because you Never Refrigerate Tomatoes! [enzymes in the tomatoes start to break down in the fridge, and they lose their flavor and texture very quickly]), the newly purchased cauliflower and carrots - it all got chopped up and loaded on a plate. I heated up some olive oil and garlic in the bottom of my 3 qt stockpot and started browning the lamb meat. Once the meat was browned, I added a glass of red wine (thereabouts), then added all the vegetables, less the kale and chard, plus salt and pepper. I added chicken stock to cover, and let it simmer for a bit. Towards the end, I added the chopped kale and chard leaves and let them wilt down into the top of the soup.

I came back and tasted the broth. Missing something! But what? I added a litle more salt and pepper, and a good glorp of Tabasco. Something was still off. I opened my fridge and stared into it, willing divine inspiration from the cold breeze coming out of it. I don't know what made me do it, but a good dash of toasted sesame oil and some Panamanian mild hot sauce (tastes like taco sauce, is probably the closest thing I can align it to) finished off the stew nicely.

I will include the "general formula", then tell you what I used, for those who like following directions. :)

BASIC FORMULA:

- olive oil
- Meat / tofu
- Vegetables: aromatics (garlic, onions, etc.), "fillers" (tomatoes, squash, carrots, celery, etc.), "toppers" (finishing touches: leafy greens, lemon zest, etc. - things that don't need cooking time)
- Cheese or dairy (optional)
- stock of some sort (homemade or not..)
- wine or beer
- hot sauce (optional)
- salt & pepper or mixed seasoning (e.g. Old Bay, Tony Chachere's, Nature's Seasons)

I recommend browning the meat or protein substitute first. Use some olive oil and some aromatics (garlic, onion, shallots, leeks, etc.) in the pot you'll be cooking the soup in, and stir the protein around till it's nice and brown all over.

Start seasoning your soup early on. It takes a surprising amount of salt to make everything taste "more like itself". I know there are studies on this, but I am not inclined to find them today. :) Add some pepper and a dash of hot sauce, if you like.

Add in the veggies that need a longer cooking time, and some wine or beer. About 4-8 oz should be plenty, depending on your pot size. Add enough stock to just cover the veggies and protein. Let it simmer for a while, till you start to smell it coming through the air... Add the "topper" leafy green veggies, and just let it sit a couple of minutes. Taste the broth, and season it till you like it.

Serve! You can grate some hard cheese over it, or crumble in some cheese or a dollop of sour cream, really you can let your mind go crazy. And the best part is that you cleaned out some veggies that were going to wilt in the next couple of days, anyway!! :)


***

What I Used:

- 8 oz lamb stew meat
- 4 oz Charles Shaw red wine (aka "Two Buck Chuck" )
- cauliflower, roughly chopped
- lots of garlic, crushed and chopped
- half a large onion, chopped into large pieces
- some small sweet peppers, chopped
- pre-peeled / cut carrots, chopped in half
- several tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 bunch of kale, stems removed, leaves chopped into "get-in-your-mouth"-able sized pieces
- 1 bunch of chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into "get-in-your-mouth"-able sized pieces
- Tabasco garlic sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- toasted sesame oil
- Panamanian mild hot sauce

...I think some grated parmesan would be good, too...

***

Vegan / Vegetarian Options:

- Swap out the chicken stock for veggie stock.

- Use tofu or mushrooms instead of the meat.

- Don't use cheese if you don't eat dairy.

- Some kombu or other seaweed might be a nice addition to the stew, if you are so inclined. If you ate fish, you could add some shellfish in there like a cioppino-type dish.

These are my basic vegetarian / vegan swaps that I recommend. I feel it's nice to have a reminder that, should you choose not to eat animal products, there are available options out there! :)


-

Monday, October 13, 2008

Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Remember hating Brussels sprouts as a kid? I do, and I'm pretty sure that was just based on rumor and innuendo, because I'm also pretty sure my mom never even made them! (One of the advantages of growing up with a Latin mom - arroz con coco y guandu (a Latin pea...here is a recipe in Spanish from another Panamanian) and weird tropical foods like mamon (aka rambutan) featured prominently, but standard "American" fare like tuna fish casserole and liver & onions were something that we never touched).

When I moved to Seattle, actually, is when I discovered a new love for vegetables. Specifically, vegetables roasted in a hot, dry oven. (My favorites are Brassicas - broccoli, cauliflower, and stuff like Brussels sprouts)...Their sulfurous flavors get toned down and some sugars in the plants caramelize in the heat of the oven, making a lovely side dish.

Recipe:

- Brussels sprouts (fresh, local, organic... these options are always better tasting :) ), stem ends cut off and bigger sprouts sliced in half lengthwise

- 1/2 oz to 1 oz hard cheese, such as Parmegiano-Reggiano or Asiago, finely grated

- 1 - 2 slices Prosciutto di Parma, minced

- Olive oil, to taste

- Sea salt, to taste

- Pepper, to taste


What To Do:

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

Place the sliced Brussels sprouts in a Pyrex dish, as shown below:


Toss in the grated cheese and prosciutto. Pour a good glug of olive oil over the whole thing - my method is to partially close off the olive oil bottle opening with one finger and move it quickly over the top of the sprouts. Sprinkle a healthy bit of salt & pepper on there, and toss if you desire.

(Note: The purple things in the picture are slices of Italian eggplant I added in, because the eggplant was getting soft and needed to be loved...er, eaten).

Place dish in oven, on top shelf, and cook until golden, brown, and delicious. Your kitchen will smell great (and vegetal!) :)

See?

Vegetarian Options:

- Omit the prosciutto. You could use butter if you like, to add a different flavor profile. They are delicious with just the olive oil, too! :)

Vegan Options:

- Omit the cheese. Actually, my favorite roasted vegetable is broccoli tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and allowed to hang out in the 400 deg F oven till the tips are somewhat browned.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Food for your Face

(a.k.a. procrastination)

During a not-so-recent trip to Whole Foods, I struck up a conversation with a random girl in bulk spices. She somehow managed to convince me that I needed to purchase some French Green Clay. This clay, which contains a cornucopia of minerals (in addition to decomposed plant matter), is supposed to be great for your skin. It's sold in bulk. As such, it is relatively cheap.

After a bit of Google, I decided to mix it with avocado (moisturizes), and a splash of apple cider vinegar (promotes circulation, smoothes, and softens):


Apply, in hopes of beauty and youth:


Leave for 20 minutes.

Rinse.

The result? My skin actually feels... really, really nice. Softer, smoother, better circulation, fewer blemishes...



Back to Investment Science.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Commuter Smoothie

This is a smoothie that I often make the night before I go to work. I put it in an insulated mug, refrigerate it, and drink it on my drive in. It's healthy, it packs in a lot of fiber, and it tastes pretty good, depending on your choice of liquid and frozen fruits.

(My other favorite breakfast is fruit and cheese.)

NOTE: Some dairy / frozen fruit combinations do not mix well when left overnight to party. If you feel inclined to use acidic fruits, you may want to try something else, or make it immediately before consuming.

***

Recipe:

- One 4 oz block of soft tofu (i.e. 1/4 of a 1 lb package of soft tofu)

- 1 c frozen fruit: berries work well for this

- 1/2 frozen banana (I peel and cut the bananas in half, then freeze several together in Ziploc bags)

- 2 T of ground flax seed (golden or brown)

- 1 c milk: from the animal, nut, seed or grain of your choice (e.g. cow, rice, soy, hazelnut, hemp, etc.)

- approx 1/2 - 1 tsp of liquid Stevia (an all-natural sweetener), or you could use various sugars to taste

- 1 scoop of whey or soy protein powder (my favorite is "Designer Whey" from Trader Joe's). NOTE: Try to buy unsweetened protein powder - less weird stuff in it that way!

- dash of vanilla extract (all-natural, please!)


What To Do:

Put all ingredients into a blender. I tried to make sure I poured liquid over the protein powder, and that liquid wasn't the first ingredient in the blender, but other than that, order doesn't matter.

Blend till smooth.

Pour into a glass. This will probably make around 20 oz or so...

***

NOTE: I found that rice milk or dairy milk tended to have the smoothest results. I often tried it with Silk soy milk, and I don't know why, but I suspect something in the soy milk would really make the mucilage in the flax seed thicken up, and it was almost impossible to drink the smoothie out of the mug while I was driving... your mileage may vary.

Weeknight Tomato Soup

Hello, Fellow Foodies!

Thanks to Elizabeth for asking me to join in on the NW Foodie blog. I work(ed) with Elizabeth, and really appreciate talking about crazy food with her. :)


So... onward!


Last Sunday, I decided that my tomato plants were "done". The leaves were starting to brown and curl, and - heck! - it's early October in Seattle! Rain was coming, and tomatoes were starting to split.

So I harvested.


Those were the spoils from my two heirloom tomato bushes, grown organically with worm compost tea. (For reference, the circles in the background are my stovetop, and the 'maters are on a 12" dinner plate).
Tonight, after getting home, I decided I should use them up. But how? The split ones were starting to attract fruit flies... so I had to do something. I thought about roasting them, but my Pyrex casserole dish was being inhabited by a roast chicken. (That link goes to one of my favorite roast chicken recipes, by the way).
Soup! That was the ticket. But I just used my biggest pot, a 3 qt size, to start off a batch of corned beef. (I cook in waves, people).
Luckily, I had another 3 qt pot. And the following soup was born:
Recipe:
- 2 qt (approx) tomatoes, chopped and seeded. (If you like, you can peel them. I don't, but I'm lazy, I don't mind tomato skins, and it's not like I'm serving this soup to Julia Child or something...)
- several cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- a good shake of sea salt or kosher salt
- several good grinds' worth of pepper
- One 12 oz bottle of beer (I used Alaskan Brewing's Broken Rake ale)
- Approx 3 c water (I eyeballed it)
- One 4 oz wedge of hard cheese, like Parmeggiano-Regiano or Asiago, finely grated (In the end, I probably used about 3 oz of cheese)
- Approx. 1-2 oz of thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, torn or chopped into bite-size pieces
- Dash of Tabasco, if you like
- One bay leaf, if you have one hanging around
What To Do:
Chop and seed (and peel, if you're into that sort of thing) your tomatoes and drop them into the pot. They should come up about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up the side of the pot.
Peel the garlic cloves and drop them in the pot. I accomplish this most easily using a flat river rock I found on a camping trip, and smash the garlic once to peel it, and again to squish it good.
Pour most of the bottle of beer into the pot. Drink the last few ounces.
Shake out some good sea salt and pepper over the tomatoes, garlic, and beer. Remember, nothing so far has any seasoning, and this is going to aid with flavors, so add at least a couple of good pinches of salt and several grinds of pepper.
Add the water till you're about level with the tomatoes. Make sure to pour it over the salt and pepper, to move them down into the soup. If you have a bay leaf, drop it in.
Cover the pot and turn the stove on high. Bring the soup to a boil, then uncover and drop to a simmer.
After it's been simmering a few minutes, drop in the grated cheese and torn bits of prosciutto.
Let the whole shebang reduce for a while, till you're happy with the consistency.
If you stuck a bay leaf in there, rescue it and discard.
Remove the soup from heat, let cool a tad, and serve! You could whuzz it a little with a stick blender if you like, but I kind of like the chunky rustic nature of the bits of tomatoes and prosciutto roaming around.
***
NOTE: See the green tomatoes in the picture above? I didn't use those. I only used tomatoes who were a color other than green.
The green tomatoes I shall save for roasting, grilling, or frying. I never believed Southerners who espoused their love for fried green tomatoes until I tried one that my friend and I grilled as an experiment in early September. It's GOOD. There are some crazy sugars in the green tomatoes that caramelize and produce a really different flavor than I am used to in ripe tomatoes.
ANOTHER NOTE: Are you Vegan? Vegetarian? You can still make this soup! You could whuzz up some tofu till smooth and drop it in for creamy-ing power. Or soy or dairy sour cream. Or a dollop of creme fraiche on top... I would think you could add tempeh for some bite, or maybe some sort of soy meat product.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Chocolate Melon

...serves one.

1 c almond milk
(1 c water, +
1/4 c almonds, soaked overnight, +
sea salt, +
1 date)
1.5 c fresh, ripe melon
a heaping tablespoon of cacao powder



blend and serve.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Red and Yellow Tortillas

3 c fresh corn
1 1/2 c red bell pepper
3/4 c ground flax
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cumin

process, dehydrate, etc.

these pair excellently with the walnut "taco meat" recipe below.

Tempeh Tomato

spread brown rice miso, raw honey, and strong mustard on thinly sliced european sourdough rye.

add tempeh nori, sliced thin (i did not cook it), and heirloom tomatoes.

Simple Bean Salad

...serves one.

A few small leaves of rainbow chard
One ear of fresh corn
A handful of cilantro, chopped fine
One half of a baby avocado
Juice of one or two limes, as you like,

...and some of those creamy white cannellini beans.

Cut chard into thin strips. Toss with all else.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette Salad

Romaine lettuce (or whatever lettuce, just don't go with something bitter)
few handfuls of raw walnuts, mashed up into little pieces
half a tomato, chopped into small chunks
1 banana, sliced
some onion
some avacado
Ken's Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing
A lot of Sauteed Tempeh (optional, but i like it this way a lot)

Put lettuce in a big bowl or on a big plate first (this salad should cover a dinner plate, and be about 3 inches deep. It should be big enough when done that it is hard to keep it all on the plate. put mashed walnuts on top of salad greens you selected. tomato on top of that, and pile on the rest as you want, with tempeh on top (if you decided to use it).

Should be a pretty big, tasty, and filling salad.

Banana-Walnut-Chocolate Smoothie

Elizabeth gets credit for original idea of this smoothie, I just changed a couple things and added walnuts to get this result instead:

2 bananas
glob of almond butter
water
handful raw walnuts
3 pieces of dark chocolate

put bananas, almond butter, and water in first. Put the walnuts on top of that, and blend.

Add the chocolate a little later, then blend some more (but less thoroughly.) This will leave you with some chunky bits of dark chocolate in the smoothie instead of having it all blended together.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Baked Tempeh

1 package tempeh
1 onion (red or white), thinly sliced into rings (optional)

marinade:
1/2 -3/4 c. water or vegetable stock
1/2 c. dry red wine
1/4-1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
about 1/8-1/4 c. tamari
minced garlic (approx 3 cloves)
minced ginger (same amount as garlic)
1 tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how much spice you like)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp dried thyme


mix all marinade ingredients in a bowl.
cut tempeh into thin strips (as thin as you can with it crumbling - 1/4" or so). place in a glass baking dish, top with sliced onions & pour marinade over top. place in 350 deg oven for an hour, or until all the liquid is gone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mango Macadamia

1 c filtered water
1.5 mangoes
1/3 banana
3-4 medjol dates
2 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
sprinkle of cinnamon
1/4 c raw macadamia nuts, soaked for 2-3 hours
(room temperature, covered glass dish) and drained
(these will stay well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days after soaking)
sprinkle of sea salt

spiced walnut fixin' for tostadas

(similar to "taco meat")
...
1 1/2 cups soaked walnuts, ground
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
3/4 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons nama shoyu
cayenne pepper to taste or 1 1/2 tsp chili powder

add to a food processer and grind.

dehydrate to warm if desired.

serve in a tortilla with salsa, guac, corn, or whatever other fixin's you desire.

shown here with sunflower seed cheese, salsa and guacamole on rawvolution onion bread:
always a crowd pleaser.

enjoy!

Creamy Cumin Tacos

creamy cumin dressing
(amounts are extremely approximate):
1/2 c sesame tahini
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 c chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
some sea salt

blend, adding water to get dressing consistancy.
this dressing is not just for tacos.

mix dressing with a handful of chopped baby greens to coat. combine with 1/4 c finely chopped cilantro and fold into the tortilla of your choice with 1/4 avocado sliced thin, a chopped cherry tomato or two, and salsa.

Super Smoothie

...serves 2-3.

1 mango
1/2 apple
an orange
1/2 big bunch of mustard greens
couple leaves of rainbow chard
1/4 avocado
1/4 tsp vanilla
cinnamon
3-4 black mission figs
a scoop of ground hempseed
1/2 tsp honey

blend, adding water to reach the consistancy you desire.

beware! mustard greens can be very bitter.

Orange and fennel salad

...with sweet miso dressing

salad
herb salad mix (cilantro, dill, & baby greens)
freshly cut orange
thinly sliced fennel bulb
lily (a small, sweet bulb available at some asian markets)
walnuts

sweet miso dressing
white miso
raw honey
sesame oil
apple cider vinegar
ginger

toss and serve...