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Archive for October, 2010

 

This is such a nice autumnal soup and the spiced beets add a wonderfully unexpected twist!

Saged Butternut Squash and Asian Pear Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 butternut squash [1.75 lbs], roasted

1 onion

1 asian pear, pan roasted

1 green apple, pan roasted

4 clove garlic

1 T olive oil

8 Fried sage leaves [Reserve the olive oil you use to fry them for use later to sauté the onions]

4 fresh sage leaves

¼ tsp mace

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground sage

½ tsp white pepper

Juice of one lemon

1 quart vegetable stock

1 T umeboshi paste [optional]

½ cup white wine

8 scrapes of fresh nutmeg

Directions:

Roast the squash 400°F for 45 minutes.  Pan roast the pear and apple, sauté the onions in the olive oil used to fry the sage leaves.  Add everything to blender.  Adjust seasonings.  Garnish with the fried sage leaves.

 

Chai-Spiced Beets

2 cups unfiltered organic apple juice

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 T date sugar

1 inch ginger

zest of ½ lemon

¼ tsp mace

6 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 cinnamon stick

6 green cardamom pods

½ tsp black pepper

1 cup diced beets

Directions:

Add everything to a pot.  [Place cloves and cardamom pods in a tea strainer for easy removal.]  Simmer until the beets are tender.  Drain and spoon on top of the soup.

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For whatever reason, the health virtues of  rye have been popping up left and right in my reading material recently.  That prompted me to pick up some dark rye flour from Bob’s Red Mill the last time we were in Portland.  On the drive home I was contemplating how I could use the flour in a meal and I started thinking about what I used to love rye with.  The Reuben sandwich was the hands down winner.  So how could I transform this sandwich classic into an alternative meal?  With a smile on my face it occurred to me that I could make a dark rye pasta with caraway seeds…and the daydreaming just went on from there.

Russian Dressing Pasta Sauce

This is a wonderful sauce that can also be used as a salad dressing or sandwich spread when cooled.

Ingredients:

1 onion, medium dice

3 oz tomato paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 package organic firm silken tofu

1 T vegan worcestershire sauce

1 tsp chili garlic paste

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil for sautéing the onions

Directions:

Sauté the onions in a small drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add the tomato paste and spread onto the bottom of the pan to caramelize.  Add the stock and whisk gently until the tomato paste is incorporated into the sauce.  Add the worcestershire sauce and chili garlic paste.  Mix well.

In a food processor, pulse the tofu until creamed.  Add a ladleful of the tomato sauce to the food processor and pulse.  Transfer the contents to the pan on the stove containing the tomato sauce and mix until fully homogenous.  Simmer over medium low heat for 15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Dark Rye Pasta

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup dark rye flour [Organic Dark Rye Flour]

1 cup semolina flour

1 tsp caraway seeds

4 tsp olive oil

12-16 oz of water [more may be necessary depending upon the moisture level of your flours]

Directions:

Add the flours to a food processor.  Drizzle in the olive oil and pulse.  With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the water and continue to do so until the dough pulls off the sides and clings to the center “S”-blade.  Remove the dough from the processor and place upon a flour coated surface.  If the dough is too tacky then incorporate in more flour until it is no longer tacky to the touch.  Knead the dough a dozen times or so and then shape into a flattened round.  Wrap in plastic and set aside to rest for 15-30 minutes.

Remove plastic and divide into two.  Run through the largest setting on the pasta roller twice, then repeat two settings higher.  Either cut with the fettuccine attachment or by hand into strips.

When ready to cook, gently drop into salted boiling water and cook until the pasta comes to the surface.  This should take between one and two minutes.

Pastrami-Spiced Tempeh

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 – 8 oz package tempeh, cut in 1/2-inch strips

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp smoked salt [I used an applewood-smoked salt]

1 T  sweet paprika

1 tsp corriander seeds

1 tsp brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp yellow mustard seeds

1-1/2 tsp black peppercorns

1 tsp white peppercorns

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp dill seed

3 allspice berries

2 juniper berries

Directions:

Grind the whole spices in a spice grinder and then add the rest of the spices and sugar to the grinder and pulse to mix well.  Transfer to a gallon-sized zip bag with 1/3 cup olive oil and mix well.

Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes to remove its bitterness.  Set aside to cool.   Once cooled, add to the spiced oil in the gallon bag and even coat each piece, gently.  If you need more volume to completely coat all the tempeh pieces, add more oil.  Refrigerate as long as possible up to a few days.  The longer the rub sits upon the tempeh, the deeper the flavors will penetrate.  Gently flip the bag every few hours or so in order to evenly marinate the tempeh.

Brush off any spice clumps that may have formed on the tempeh.  If you do not do this they shall burn in the grill pan.  Place the strips upon a heated grill pan and sear.  Crumble into bite-sized pieces.

 

To assemble the dish you shall need:

1/4 cup crisp sauerkraut per person [I used It’s Alive’s Raw Sauerkraut with Dill]

fresh dill, for garnish

caraway seeds, for garnish

2 sliced green onions, for garnish

Place the cooked pasta on a plate and top with a generous amount of Russian dressing pasta sauce.  Add a layer of tempeh pieces.  Sprinkle with some sauerkraut, caraway seeds, sliced green onion and  fresh dill.

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Raw food, how I am growing to adore you…You are beautiful to look upon and grace my meals with vitality and health. 

 

Raw Falafel

Ingredients:

2 cups sprouted legumes [I used a combination of garbanzo beans and lentils]

1 cup freshly chopped parsley

3 cloves garlic, minced

Juice and zest of ½ lemon

½ cup raw walnuts

¼ cup chopped shallot

¼ cup raw tahini [What a wonderful flavor this has!  It reminds me of an unsweetened halva, something regular tahini has never hinted at to me]

1½ tsp ground cumin

1½ tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

crushed red pepper flakes [I used about ¼ tsp for a little zip, add more if you like it spicier]

sea salt

freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I used raw organic collard green leaves as wrappers for the falafel and rolled them with a slice of tomato and cucumber.  I served this with some dilled raw tzatziki sauce.

 

Raw Dilled Tzatziki Sauce

I purposefully made this sauce on the thin side because I wanted it more as a dipping sauce rather than a dip.  If you want a thicker sauce, use ½ cup cashews.

Ingredients:

⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours

¼ cup water

Juice of ½ lemon

1 -2 cloves garlic, depending upon how garlicky you like it

2 T fresh dill, divided

¼- ½ cup cucumber, deseeded and diced

Sea salt

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Directions:

Place the cashews, lemon juice, 1 T dill and one clove of garlic in a blender and pulse until combined.  Slowly add the water until you reach a pourable consistency.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if you wish more garlic flavor, add the second clove.   Blitz again until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a container and add the remaining dill and cucumber.

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This is an unabashedly cheese-less pizza, and it is all the more delicious for its absence.  The savory richness of the chili-peanut sauce,  the fresh and vibrant vegetables, leafy greens, crunchy peanuts and chewy pizza crust will have you craving this combination from the first bite forward!

Spicy Thai-Style Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

⅔ cup peanut butter [creamy or chunky works equally well]

⅔ cup warm coconut water [warm water could be substituted]

⅓ cup soy sauce [I use low sodium]

2 T lime juice

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

2 garlic cloves

1-2  tsp garlic chili sauce, depending upon your heat tolerance

1 tsp dark [roasted] sesame oil

Directions:

Mix the peanut butter and warmed coconut or plain water together first, dissolving any clumps with a whisk.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Pizza Ingredients:

1 large portion of pizza dough or large pizza crust  [Whichever type you prefer.  I do not make this from scratch, but rather buy it premade at a local grocery store.  It is in the refrigerated section in a plastic bag.]

1 block of tofu, broken into medium-sized crumbles

1 large zucchini, sliced

1 carrot, cut into thin strips using a vegetable peeler

1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced into rings

2 cups mesclun lettuce mix

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup cilantro leaves

½ cup sliced green onions

4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

⅓ cup whole peanuts

1 T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning [This seasoning tastes like powdered chicken soup, without the chicken ;-)]

Pizza pan [I have an aluminum pizza pan that was really inexpensive price-wise but that has become an invaluable kitchen tool.]

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Stretch out the dough to the size of a large pizza and place upon a pizza pan.  Set aside to rest.

Sprinkle the tofu with the Chik’Nish and sauté over medium heat until lightly browned.  Set aside.

Sauté the zucchini, bell pepper and garlic over medium heat until slightly browned.  Set aside.

Assembling the pizza:

Spoon out a generous amount of the spicy peanut sauce over the pizza dough and disperse evenly. [Remember to save a bit of the sauce to dress the mesclun salad greens.]  Next, simply spread out the cooked ingredients:  tofu, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic.  Top with an even layer of carrot strips and peanuts.

Bake in the oven until the crust and toppings are browned.

Dress the mesclun greens with some of the spicy peanut sauce.  Top the pizza with the sliced green onions, cilantro, mung bean sprouts and dressed mesclun.

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