Monday, December 31, 2012

Mix it in a mincer and pretend it's beef...

Easy meaty pasta sauce made with bulgur wheat.  This whole grain power house is not just for hippies anymore.  Satisfying meal ready in 20 minutes.  Bulgur was suggested as a meaty substitute by a friend when I was making chili last summer, so I bought some and figured it was time I finally used it.

Boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions.  Sauce makes about 2 servings.

In a saucepan, add 2 TBS bulgar to 1 cup veggie broth, 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds, and 1/2 tsp liquid smoke.  Bring to a boil.  Add 1 small 8oz can tomato sauce and let simmer 15 minutes until thickened.  Add cooked pasta and let sit a few minutes to absorb the sauce.

Top with equal parts pine nuts and nutritional yeast with a dash of salt blended together for a quick vegan parmesan topping.    

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Urban Vegan's General Tso's Soy Curls

I've had some soy curls lingering in the pantry and I hadn't tried them out yet.  

Urban Vegan posted General Tso's Soy Curls and it became the perfect time to try it out.  The sauce is sweet, spicy, and salty and the soy curls add just the right amount of meaty bite.  I'll be making this again!   

I recently discovered a great way to make to go cups out of mason jars.  Cuppow!  The lid screws on with the regular mason jar rings.  These lids are also fantastic for  delivering a sprinkle of sesame seeds.  I mixed the tan and black ones together.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

Instant Mac & Cheese with Stewed Tomatoes

Stewed tomatoes and Mac & Cheese.  A Delaware classic popular in school cafeterias in the 80s.  What's not to love?

No measure instant mac & cheese 

Boiling water
Elbow macaroni ( I used 3 handfuls - made 2 servings)

Non-dairy butter
Non-dairy milk
Nutritional Yeast
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder

1 Can Stewed Tomatoes

Cook macaroni and heat tomatoes.

Dran macaroni and return to pan. Add spoonful of butter and big splash of milk.  Add a few spoonfuls of nutritional yeast, a dash of salt, a shake of onion powder, and a sprinkling of garlic powder and stir.

Serve with stewed tomatoes and enjoy!

My friend Carey adds a lot more sugar to the stewed tomatoes, but they're OK right out of the can, too.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Du pain, du vin, et du Boursin

Vegan Boursin that is.

Miyoko Schinner's Artisan Vegan Cheese is an interesting new challenge for making vegan cheeses at home.  Most of the basic types are derrived from a cashew cheese which includes rejuvelac.  Rejuvelac is produced by soaking sprouted grains in water for a few days.  The result is a sourish liquid that can be used as a cheese starter.

My husband accidentally took a sip from a mason jar in the fridge thinking it was lemonade and was not pleased.  However, I like a good fermented drink, so it's weird, but in a good way like Kombucha.  Apparently it's good for you on it's own.  Probiotics and stuff.

I'm not going to repost the recipe, but if you want to test it out, the rejuvelac, cashew cheese, and boursin are included in the book preview on Amazon.

It's pretty true to form.  Nice consistency and good flavor balance.  Enjoy with some crusty French bread and your favorite wine.  Perfect for a Les Miserables party.  Tastes like France.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

No dissin' the Quinoa

If there isn't pent up sibling rivalry over Thanksgiving then what's the point?  My fancy chef brother Travis - of Spoons Bistro* in Victor Idaho nestled in the Grand Tetons near Jackson Hole Wyoming - is not a fan of quinoa.  His argument is basically: Why bother with quinoa; I'd rather make risotto.  Point taken, but despite having a nice bag of organic quinoa sitting unopened and lost in my pantry for probably about a year, I felt the need to defend this little grain, because I actually like it.

I tried quinoa long before it was popularized by the gluten-freeists.  It's ridiculously easy to cook, just add water at a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio, boil, then cover and simmer 10 minutes.

I just got back from vacation in the aforementioned Jackson Hole area and I haven't gone shopping yet, so I decided to tap into the five day meal box I have on have hand for emergencies thanks to Vegan Unplugged.   There's a lovely recipe for a Quick Quinoa Pilaf that was the base for the dish.  I had a few Thanksgivingy looking acorn squashes that were also begging to be stuffed with something.  I recently had a similar type stuffed squash shepherds pie kind of dish at a meet-up at Sweetgrass Grille in Tarrytown for Meatless Monday with blogger friends JL and Jodie.

Kind of a side dish**, but excellent as a meal in itself.  Quinoa stuffed squash fit the post thanksgiving craving and reminded me that I do like quinoa for more than just argument's sake.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Quinoa stuffed acorn squash

1 acorn squash, sliced in half, seeds removed and roasted about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
2 tsp bullion
1 tsp onion powder
1 can carrots; drained - or obviously cooked carrots
1 can peas; drained - see above obvious note
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1 TBS dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Toast quinoa in dry hot saucepan for a minute or two.  Add 2 cups water, bullion, and onion powder.  Boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add carrots, peas, sunflower seeds, and parsley.

Scoop out most of the flesh from the cooked and cooled squash halves, leaving the skin shells intact, give it a rough chop, and add to the quinoa.  Season the quinoa mixture to taste with salt and pepper.***

Add quinoa mixture back to the squash halves and warm in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until ready to serve.

*Like most fancy chefs, Travis will happily make you an awesome vegan meal at Spoons, especially if you tell him that his sister said he couldn't do it - just don't expect quinoa.  He changes the menu regularly, but the Spaghetti of Zucchini is fantastic and the black bean burgers are a delicious menu staple.

**I had a friend ask via facebook for a vegan Thanksgiving side dish and I did not do a fair representation of all the interesting potential vegan side dishes.  This one's for you Sarah. 

***Because I used bullion, canned veggies, and salted sunflower seeds, I did not add any additional salt.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

MoFo #28 - Vegan Unplugged - duh

If you know who Sandy is and you don't have a copy of Jon Robertson's Vegan Unplugged and a 5 day pantry stash, well, then you'd better make some plans to evacuate on over to my house.

Keep the book with your pantry stash.  This is one instance where I recommend a real book over an e-book.  Not so helpful if your battery has run dry...

But to keep you entertained while you're still charged, check out Jon's novel Permelia Lyttle's Guide to the End of the World.  I won't dish any spoilers, just read it already.

And don't forget, animals need a plan, too!  Gary the cat's emergency pet preparations.

Here's my current emergency can stash (emergency Buffy DVDs to the left for power/laptop power, but no internet/cable situations.)  To keep the stash fresh, if you have the means, donate what you don't use to a food pantry at Christmas and replenish for the new year.  The full recommended 5 day list will only run you about $70 bucks and can be found for less if you shop store brands and for sales.

Right now despite it not even being stormy yet, I'm in the "using up fresh stuff I have" phase.  However, I'm prepared to be off the grid and will probably cook some emergency grub even if we don't lose power.  I had a lot of fun cooking unplugged during Irene last year where I didn't even lose cable.  Here's a sample.  Hit the links for the original blog posts...

White Beans and Greens Soup

Pasta with Creamy Pumpkin Walnut Sauce

Layered Tortilla Skillet

 Last Resort Lasagna

Stay safe everyone!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Mofo #23 Eat more vegetables

There's just no way around it.  I'm a lazy MoFo.  Here's tonight's random vegetables over rice in a totally improvised sauce.  Looks like a big ole' brown mess in the middle, but there's onion, green pepper, garlic, eggplant, mushroom, roasted turnip, and roasted sweet potato.  It's topped with natto, avocado, and black sesame seeds.  

Pretty photo it's not.  But delicious it is.  - Yoda

Natto is one of the weirder Japanese ingredients.  It's fermented soy beans in a soy mustard sauce.  Sometimes the sauce has seashells and stuff in it, so if it does, just discard and substitute with soy sauce.

Rice with random vegetables

1 cup short grain rice
1 cup water

1 sweet onion minced
1 green pepper minced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small eggplant cubed
1 portabella mushroom cubed
2 turnips cubed roasted
1 sweet potato cubed roasted

1/4 cup dry white wine or saki
1 TBS thai curry paste (red or green)
Soy sauce
1/4 cup tahini

Cook rice in rice cooker (because rice cookers are awesome)

Saute onion, pepper, garlic until browned.  Add eggplant, mushroom, turnip, and sweet potato, (mine were already roasted, so if raw just add water and extra time until they are cooked) add wine, curry paste, soy sauce, and tahini and heat through.

Serve over rice.  Add natto, avocado, and black sesame seeds.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

MoFo #7 Sesame Miso Vegetable Noodles

Vegetable inspired Asian noodles.  

Eggplant, yellow squash, kale, shiitake mushrooms, and squash blossoms were part of my CSA haul this morning, so it doesn't get any fresher than this.  Rice noodles became the perfect canvas.  A little sesame paste, miso, ginger and soy sauce to round out the sauce and voila, the perfect Sunday brunch.  Garnished with squash blossom leaves and black and tan sesame seeds. 

Sesame Miso Vegetable Noodles

Peanut oil
Vidalia onion
Summer Squash
Japanese Eggplant
Shiitake Mushroom
Miso paste
Soy sauce

Rice Noodles

Boil water for the rice noodles.  In a sauté pan, heat oil and sauté onions, garlic, and ginger until caramelized and brown.  Add squash, eggplant, kale and mushrooms and about a 1/2 cup of water to cover.  Cover pan and let steam for 10-15 minutes.

Cook noodles according to package directions.

Add to the pan about a heaping tablespoon of miso, tahini, and soy sauce to taste to make a creamy sauce.

Add cooked noodles and sauté to combine. Serve with a garnish of squash blossoms, and sesame seeds.                                                             

Friday, October 5, 2012

MoFo #5 - You got cookie! So Share it Maybe?

Vacation this year included a trip to California with a wedding in Berkley.  We were there just before all the students came back and had a lovely lunch at Gather.  Eco Friendly and I didn't even have to ask if anything was vegan.  

It was a brisk day out so the soup was perfect.  I don't even remember what was in it, but it was warming and delicious.

The Pizza had a fantastic nut cheese with a spicy kick.

I couldn't resist the vegan chocolate chip cookie!

 You got cookie?  So Share it Maybe!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

MoFo #3 - Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips

Dude, it's salt & vinegar chips, but on kale!  This super snack is local, raw, and vegan.  New York Naturals rocks.  They use the whole leaf, so there are some stems, but they seem to stay whole better than other kale chips I've found.  You don't end up with a huge pile of crumbs at the end.

I don't even need words for this.  Snacking heaven.  Not too salty or vinegary either.  Perfect balance.

Monday, October 1, 2012

MoFo #1 - Weird Al Yankovic

I was having trouble coming up with a MoFo theme this year, but was trying to come up with something to do with entertainment. I was flipping through the channels and found the Weird Al Yankovic episode of Behind the Music.

Weird Al has been vegetarian and mostly vegan since 1992. So to start off vegan mofo 2012, here's a link to Weird Al going to be a jedi.  Cheers!

Also check out Vegan Sci Fi  who pretty much has the vegan entertainment idea all the time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Farmer's Market Chili Verde

Once again, I really can't resist a cooking competition.  Two guys at work were having a Texas vs. South Boston chili showdown which turned into an office summer social event.  So I found myself spending the weekend trolling the farmer's market and vegetable stands for peppers and other chili fixin's.  Since I'm already the odd one out with my vegan chili, I might as well up the non-traditional factor even more.  I'm really going for that you-definitely-didn't-get-this-from-a can kind of flavor profile.  

Here's my offering of a Chile Verde topped with corn tortilla chips, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, cilantro, papalo, green onions, avocado, chile lime crema, and chipotle mayonnaise.

For some reason, I didn't have a crock pot so I broke down and bought this travel ready version which did the trick.  

Ideas from friends, surfing the internet, and fresh local ingredients were the inspiration for this dish.  Just don't call it soup.  This is chili.  It started off too spicy for main stream, but the beans really did soak up a good amount of the heat.  It still had a nice kick and I had some Serrano chilies on the side in case anyone complained it wasn't hot enough.

Everything that could come from the farmer's market or CSA did.  There's no point in using exact measurements.  Just use what you've got and as much as fits in the pan.

Chile Verde:


Cubanelle Peppers
Poblano Peppers
Bell Peppers

Green Onions
Yellow Squash
Chili powder

Cooked Kidney Beans
Cooked White Beans
Cooked Black-eyed Peas

Peel husks and wash tomatillos.  Cut a cross mark on the bottom of the tomatillos and place cut side up on a foil lined baking sheet and broil for about 5 minutes.  Turn off oven and let sit about 10 minutes.  Blend to the consistency of crushed tomatoes.

Saute the onions, garlic, carrot, peppers in some vegetable oil until they start to really get brown.  Then deglaze with beer and let stew.  Salt to taste.  Blend until well combined.

Chop green onions using as much white part and green part that you can.  In food processor chop zucchini and yellow squash into fine pieces about the size of a corn kernel.  You could also use a grater.  Slice the corn kernels off the cob.  Saute the onions, zucchini, squash, and corn in vegetable oil, sprinkle with chili powder, salt to taste, and add tequila to deglaze pan.

In a large pan or crock pot mix together the tomatillos, pepper mixture, squash/corn mixture, and add beans.  Taste and adjust seasonings and heat thoroughly.

Top with corn tortilla chips, cherry tomatoes, tomatillos, cilantro, papalo, green onions, avocado, chile lime crema, and chipotle mayonnaise

Chile lime crema
Mix together:
Vegan Sour Cream
Green Tobasco Sauce
Lime Juice

Chipotle Mayonnaise
Mix together:
Vegan Mayonnaise
Chipotle peppers with adobo sauce, seeds removed, and chopped finely

I won 2nd Place!  Yay!  OK, so there was a tie for 1st, and then the tie-breaker was a tie, but I'm still calling it 2nd.  :-)  A fun time was had by all.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

BBQ chicken & cheddar burritos

BBQ Gardein chicken & Daiya cheddar burritos

This one isn't going to win me any cooking contests, but might win over an omni to try something vegan.

Gardein chicken cutlets marinated in bottled BBQ sauce, on flour tortillas with melted Daiya cheese topped with avocado.  I sauteed some fresh CSA onion with the Gardein so I don't lose all my culinary street cred.    

I've been drooling over Vic's kid friendly bbq zucchini avocado pizza, so this came sorta close...I did make fried CSA zucchini, but, um, kinda ate them all before they even cooled off...uh,next time they'll end up on a pizza or something...

Vegan Chopped! Red Velvet and Mango Coconut Parfait

The secret ingredients are fresh mango, a bunch of red beets, dried unsweetened coconut, and crisp rice cereal.

So I'm throwing down with a red velvet and mango coconut parfait.

This light and refreshing dessert is a parfait of red velvet "cake" and mango coconut "frosting."  A surprisingly good combination!

The red velvet is beet juice, cocoa powder, crispy rice, rice milk, and coconut water.  It's unbaked, but definitely has a nice cakey texture.  The mango coconut layer is fresh mango, dried unsweetened coconut, and coconut milk.  They layers held up pretty well when digging into it.    

Vegan Red Velvet Coconut Mango Parfait

Red Velvet
Bunch of beets with greens (about 2 beets)
1 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup Crisp Rice Cereal
1/4 cup Rice Milk
1/4 cup Coconut Water

Coconut Mango
2 fresh mangoes peeled, pit removed, and chopped into bits
1/4 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup regular coconut milk
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Juice the beets & greens.  Blend together beet juice with cocoa powder, cereal, rice milk and, coconut water. Adjust ratios as needed to get a cake batter like consistency.  The beets will stain, so don't make this in your party clothes.

In a medium bowl mix together the mangos, coconut, coconut milk, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer and try to get it as fluffy as possibly.  Depending on how sweet the mango you have is, you can add more sugar if you want a sweeter "frosting".

Layer red velvet then coconut mango in a parfait or pretty glass so there are at least 2 layers of each starting with the red velvet and ending with the coconut mango.  Garnish with a sprinkling of coconut and a slice of fresh mango.  Serve & Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Squash Blossoms! Wow!

Squash blossoms from the CSA this morning.  I usually just lightly saute them in a little olive oil, but this time, I decided to go all out and stuff & fry them.  

Not entirely sure what to actually stuff them with, but I had some chickpeas already cooked and figured I was going with a ricotta type consistency.  The tofu never made it out of the package, but pretty much everything else went into the filling.  I made way too much, so I won't even give a recipe.

There's potato, cauliflower, chickpeas, cashews, pine nuts, tahini and every French type herb (thyme, basil, etc.) on the spice rack.  I probably wouldn't add the tahini in the future, because I can definitely taste it in there.  I might use some miso, though.

Stuffing these buggers was challenging.  I followed a non-vegan internet instructions to blanch then ice water bath, which was a BAD idea.  My blossoms were pretty small, so this made them kind of get too stuck together.  For more mature blossoms, this may have worked, but I just opened the rest by hand which worked just fine.

A trick is not to overstuff them.  Just a bit in the bottom, then fold over the flowers.  Keep in the fridge until ready to cook.

The batter was a flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and sparkling water concoction.  Again, measuring wasn't a major factor.  Light pancake batter consistency.  

Dust with flour, then dip in the batter, fry in cast iron about a minute a side.

Here's the final product.  The photo does not do it justice.  These were light and tasty and the filling was almost melty despite containing nothing cheesy.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Vegan Chopped - Black Celebration Pasta: Black linguine with black-eyed pea balls with blackberry Marinara

Depeche Mode isn't able to join me for dinner, but let's have a Black Celebration anyway.  Multi-tasking is the key to getting this completed in about the time it takes to listen to this classic 80's album.

The lovely and amazing Isa posted a Chopped challenge and I couldn't resist the throw down.

The Challenge:  Make a vegan entree using Blackberries, Fresh Mint, canned Black-Eyed Peas, and Bittersweet Chocolate

I thought this up at work on Friday, and I am shocked and amazed at how delicious and interesting this turned out.  I'll try not to hurt myself patting myself on the back.  I was seriously worried about the chocolate pasta.  I'm delighted with the results.
Black Celebration pasta garnished with challenge ingredients:  Blackberries, black-eyed peas, mint chiffonade, and chocolate shavings.

Black linguine is usually made with squid ink and used to be a big favorite of mine.  I took out the seafood element and whipped up a dark fresh pasta with meaty balls and a fresh homemade sauce.  

Black Linguini
1 Cup all purpose flour
2 oz Bittersweet chocolate (melted)
1/4 cup water (approx) 
1/2 tsp salt

Blackberry Marinara
Olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 small sweet onion
Fresh herbs - Mint, Basil, Oregano
Large Can Tomatoes with juice (28-35oz)*
1 Pint fresh blackberries

Black-Eyed Pea Balls**
1 Cup canned black-eyed Peas rinsed
1 TBS olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
Fresh herbs - Mint, Basil, Oregano, Thyme
1 Heaping TBS dried Italian Herbes (or combo of Italian herbs like basil, oregano, etc)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (panko)

Boil water for pasta (salt when ready)

Trio of components with authentic splatter
Linguini part 1: Mix together flour, melted chocolate***, and water.  Add additional water/flour as needed to form smooth ball.  Knead for a few minutes or throw into bread machine/mixer/food processor for a quick knead.  Wrap in wax paper or plastic and set aside.    

Simmering Blackberry Marinara

Marinara sauce:  Heat olive oil in saucepan.  Chop garlic and onion and add to pot to saute.  Chop herbes and add to pot.  Squish up tomatoes (reserve juice) and add to pot.  Blend blackberries with juice from tomatoes and add to pot.  Let simmer until ready to serve.  I didn't need to add any salt.

Frying Black-eyed Pea balls
Black-Eyed Pea balls:  Heat vegetable oil in cast iron fry pan.  Blend black-eyed peas, olive oil, salt, water, fresh herbs, and dried herbs.  In medium bowl, mix together wheat gluten and breadcrumbs.  Add black-eyed pea mixture and mix together with your hands to form dough.  Knead a little.  Break into just smaller than golfball sized pieces and shape into a ball. Fry until golden brown.   Tip: If you slightly flatten 6 sides to kind of make a square with them, they'll be easier to get brown on all sides.  

Linguini part 2.  Break off a small ball and roll as flat as possible, then slice into ribbons.

This would have worked much better with a pasta maker, but I wanted to make sure this worked if you didn't have one.  Cook in boiling salted water for about a minute or 2.  

The cooked linguini which now actually kind of looks like sea creature tentacles!

The pasta was definitely chocolatey on its own with a slight bitter edge.  Paired with the rest of the ingredients, though, I'm not sure you could tell that it was chocolate if you didn't know.  Kind of like mole sauce.

The marinara sauce also had a definite sweet and sour flavor that I knew was the blackberries, but I don't think you could pick it out if you didn't know.  The seeds were present and if I were a gourmet chef, I probably would have strained them out, but I'm me, so I prefer them rustic.

I love the black-eyed peas in the balls.  If you know your beans you can easily identify them.

The mint is more subtle and blends well with the other fresh herbs.  You get an occasional distinct minty bite from the garnish and it's not weird.

*Not quite tomato season, so canned was the better option.  Hoping for no hurricanes this year so I can can tomatoes this fall.  (Intentional can-can.)

** The Chickpea cutlets from the Veganomicon have been my inspiration for many, many, many meaty bean balls/cutlets, so if those proportions look familar, that's why.  I've adapted it so many times, but usually remember to give the inspiration props.  Lots of experimental combinations, but perfect results every time.

***Melting the chocolate:  I don't have a microwave, so I put a glass bowl over the boiling pasta water to melt.  I know it seems obvious, but just remember the bowl will be hot.
Black Linguini ready to cook

Awesome Chopped Challenge.  Can't wait to see what everyone makes.


Love all the comments on the facebook.

I made the rest of the pasta and shared with my neighbor who I "forced" to judge.

Yay, she loved it!  Definitely digging the bean balls.  Seriously, she wanted to lick the bowl.  What better compliment is there?

She set up a makeshift table with candles and we dined al fresco on the patio.  Other neighbors and lots of people out walking their dogs looked jealous of our sweet set-up.

Declan the cat also looked quite envious.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Magical Maitake Mushroom and Garlic Scape Soup

Mmmm mushrooms.  There's a fancy mushroom stand at this year's farmer's market.  Yeah, the exotic 'shrooms are a little pricey, but well worth it.  I picked up some Japanese Maitake Mushrooms or "hen of the woods" and was a very happy shopper.

My normal soup preference is to smash a bunch of vegetables to oblivion in the vita mix and call it a potage, but the unique texture of the maitake mushrooms begged to be savored in a warming garlicky broth.   

I got to thinking about the mushroom texture, and it is a bit reminiscent of shredded chicken.  Perhaps that's how they got the moniker hen of the woods.  I'll have to experiment with that another time.  

Magical Maitake Mushroom Soup
6-8 fresh garlic scapes
1/2 pound fresh maitake mushrooms
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp dried herb mix such as herbs de provence or similar thyme based seasoning
Soy sauce or salt to taste

Chop the scapes into small pieces and saute in olive oil in a soup pan.  Break apart the mushrooms and add to the scapes.  Saute for a few minutes.  Add enough water or veg broth to cover and simmer for 15-30 minutes.  Add seasonings and salt or soy sauce to taste.  Serve garnished with fresh chives. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler (Raw and Gluten Free if you want to...)

This Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler is kind of accidentally raw and gluten free.

I got some lovely strawberries and rhubarb from the farmers marker.  I had planned to bake it, but it just happened that the other ingredients I had on hand were also raw.  So voila, super healthy dessert (or breakfast.)  The soy whipped cream isn't raw, but is obviously optional and I was trying to use that up, too.    

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
4 stalks rhubarb
1 Qt. fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar in the raw
2 cups raw granola (or raw oats with raisins & nuts)

Slice the rhubarb into small pieces.  I slice the stalk in half, then cut about 1/4 inch slices.  Stem & quarter the strawberries.  Macerate the rhubarb & berries in 1/2 cup sugar for a few hours - I left mine overnight and it was fine.  Top with granola and serve.  You can also bake for about 20 minutes at about 375 degrees for a warm dessert.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Kaiware avocado sushi

Yup.  More avocado and sprouts...

Kaiware are daikon radish sprouts.  They're pretty potently spicy all alone, but really perk up the same old avocado rolls.  I'm no expert sushi roller, and you don't even need to spring $3 for the rolling mat.  A piece of wax paper or a dish towel works just fine, too.  Sharp knife helps.


Here's the daikon sprouts rinsed and in a bowl.
Daikon Radish Sprouts (Kaiware)

My sprout set-up.  Wide mouth quart mason jars.  Ventilated lids.  A plastic shoebox.  Sprouting seeds/beans/grains.
From left to right:  Alfalfa, fennel, garbanzo beans
Soak seeds, drain, tip downwards.  Rinse & drain twice a day.  I thought I would forget or it would be annoying, but I rinse them in the morning and before I go to bed.  It only takes a few minutes.    

Saturday, June 2, 2012

California Burrito Grande

I was missing the California Burrito Grande from Boca Grande in Cambridge, MA.

I've been sprouting alfalfa (and adzuki beans, fennel, and daikon radish, but more on those later,) and the California Burrito Grande seemed like the perfect showcase for alfalfa sprouts.  I made this for my mom last weekend and she enjoyed it too.  The avocados* came from SoCal Avocados.  I saw an ad on facebook a few months ago and now I get 20 perfect avocados delivered every month.

California Burrito Grande
1 tortilla (officially flour, but corn works, too)
1/4 to 1/2 avocado cut into chunks (or guacamole)
2-4 TBS Salsa or tomatoes
Handfull of Sprouts

Warm the tortilla**, top with avocado, salsa, and sprouts, then wrap up and enjoy.  I like to add jalapeno hot sauce and a little lime juice, too.  You can also add some chipotle or ancho chili powder on the avocado for an extra kick.

Don't add warm beans and rice, though.  Have them on the side if you want them.  At Boca Grande they normally come on a burrito so they would always ask and one time I mistakenly said yes.  It's a totally different burrito and you loose the freshness of the sprouts.  I'm not knocking a good rice & bean burrito, it's just not the same thing.

*Did you know you can freeze avocados?  Just ripen, then split and take out the pit.  Scoop out the entire half and place it in a freezer bag.  Just thaw and mash into guacamole or don't even bother thawing them and add half to a smoothie. Yum.

**Here's how I normally warm a tortilla:  Wet the tortilla under running water and shake off the excess.  It shouldn't be drowning, just dampened.  The idea is to quickly steam it.  Put it in a toaster oven on high heat for about 2 minutes.  Check it and it should be warm and still pliable.  Adjust time or heat to your liking.
Leaving it for too long on too high heat is a definite fire hazard because it will likely puff up and hit the heating elements.  If you're making a whole bunch, you can wrap them in foil and stick in the oven.  Most packages have instructions for warming.  I don't recommend a microwave unless that's all you got, but wet 2 paper towels and put the tortilla between them and nuke for 30-45 seconds.