Archive for April, 2011

Coconut Basil Satay


This is a really great “wheat meat” to use in rice paper wraps with rice noodles, fresh veggies, cilantro and mint.  It’s also wonderful as the anchor for a southeastern Asian-styled meal.  Seasoned from the inside out with coconut milk, Thai basil, ginger and chili pepper, it’s full of flavor and has a chewy texture that is very satisfying.


Coconut Basil Satay Seitan

Dry Ingredients:

2 ¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garbanzo bean flour

2T Bill’s Best Chik’Nish Vegetarian Seasoning

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp allspice

Wet Ingredients:

1 medium onion, small dice

8 cloves garlic, minced

1 stalk lemongrass, fibrous outer leaves removed

1 serrano pepper, finely diced

½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

½ cup Thai basil, chopped

1-inch knob of ginger, finely minced

5.5 oz can coconut milk

2 T soy sauce

2 T sweet chili sauce

2 T coconut oil, for sautéing plus more for pan-searing the satay patties

Cold water



Add all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together until homogenous. 

Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and Serrano chili in the coconut oil over medium heat until soft.  Using a spatula, scrape the contents of the pan into another bowl.  Add the remaining wet ingredients except for the coconut milk and water.

Add the coconut milk to a measuring cup and then add enough cold water to bring the liquid volume to 2 ¼ cups.  Add to the bowl with the wet ingredients.  Mix well.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients using your hands to gently knead them together until you no longer see any dry ingredients in the bowl. 

Break off whatever sized pieces you wish to form the patties with.  [Mine were roughly golf ball-sized.]  Using your hands, form them into the patties and then either cook in a pan with a bit of coconut oil for about 4-5 minutes per side over medium heat, or place in a Panini press for about 5 minutes.  [I used a Panini press for this and it worked beautifully.]  The length of time is going to be determined by how firm you wish the patties to be.  The longer they’re cooked, the more they toughen up in texture.   You can also place a flat lid,  that is smaller than the pan in which they are cooking, atop them to add some weight to hasten cooking time.

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Outside of Asian markets, I think that the daikon radish is under-appreciated as a vegetable.  This radish is fabulous!  It’s hot and spicy, wonderfully textured and drop-dead gorgeous plated out against the dark green of its own cooked tops.    I’ve found that the tops of vegetables meld really nicely with their roots when cooked together so when I’m presented with a choice, I’ll always grab the vegetable with their tops intact.  [If you do this, remember to use them very soon because the tops are still drawing nutrients out of the roots as long as they remain attached.]


Agave-Glazed Daikon with Walnuts


4 cups daikon radish, cut into bite-sized pieces

Daikon radish tops, chopped [If you are unable to find any daikon with the tops attached, a couple cups of kale or mustard greens would substitute well.]

1 T light miso

1 T agave syrup

Coconut oil

1/3 cup raw walnuts


[The radishes can either be sautéed in coconut oil, or in some water depending upon how you feel about added fats.  I chose to sauté them in a couple teaspoons of coconut oil in order to get some browned sides for textural and flavor reasons.]

Sauté the radish pieces over medium heat until slightly softened.  While they are cooking, mix the agave and miso together in a small bowl.  Add to the radishes along with the walnuts and toss well to coat.  Spread the radish tops around the pan evenly and cover.  Take off the heat and set aside for a few minutes to let the greens wilt. 

When you remove the lid, make sure that the condensed steam that’s collected on the lid drips back down into the pan because the greens will have given off some liquid.  Mix well and serve.

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I’m not a baker, which is odd considering how many years I spent working in laboratories weighing and measuring precise amounts of reagents to incorporate into an experiment.  Thing is, when it comes to food, I really just like to wing it.  I take a bit of this and a bit of that and toss them together to make something that tastes really good.  I’d heard that Essene bread was really easy to make and basically just required mashing together some sprouted grain and then tossing it into the oven to bake.  Sounded like just the kind of baking I might enjoy;  there was truth in that notion.

This bread is amazing, in my book.  Not only do you get the goodness from using sprouted grains which changes the entire chemical nature of grains making them more digestable and lower in gluten, but the texture was exactly what I love in bread:  Hearty and moistly chewy inside and crunchy and crusty on the outside.  That little hit of saltiness from the sea salt I sprinkled atop each loaf really brought out the contrasting flavors of all the grains as well.

I’ve been  making raw dehydrated breads and they’re very nice, but these slow-cooked loaves were meant for dipping into a gorgeous stone crushed olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar, sliced garlic and herbs and savoring each bite, slowly.  It is especially good when served warm, fresh out of the oven.






Sprouted Multigrain Bread


2 cups grains per loaf [You could use wheat alone if you would rather.  I used a multigrain mix called Amber Waves from Sprout People that contains 11 different grains and pseudograins.]

2 chopped dates per loaf [optional]

Coarse sea salt [I used Pacifica Hawaii Salt’s Blush Lava that we picked up when we were in Kaua’i this past January.]

Good quality olive oil [Bariani is a gorgeous stone-crushed and unfiltered olive oil that has become our olive oil of choice.]


Sprout grains until the sprouting tails are about ¼ -inch long or, basically, as long as the grain itself. [Since I used a multigrain mix, I used the wheat berry as the indicator grain rather than checking each individual type of grain.  This took two days after an initial overnight soak in filtered water.  Depending upon the grains you choose and temperature of your home, the length of time may vary.]

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Rinse the sprouts and let drain until somewhat dry.  Transfer to a food processor and process until you have a sticky paste.  Transfer to a large clean surface and knead for @10 minutes.  [This dough is really sticky and I found having a dough scraper on hand was really helpful.]

If adding dates to the loaf, now would be the time to incorporate and knead them in.

Form a long loaf about a foot long and place in the oven on a non-stick surface.  [I used a Silpat sheet.]  Lightly daub some olive oil onto the tops of the loaf/ves and sprinkle a few pinches of large crystal sea salt atop.

Bake for @ 3 hours.  The bread will be moist, sweet and chewy inside and crusty and golden outside.


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This was a “I’m in the mood for curry, what do I have in the pantry” kinda dish.  More specifically, I was in the mood for a rich tomato-based curry flush with lycopene and lutein and…yes, I really do think this way.  Colorful foods make me feel good in so many different ways and I try to include the entire spectrum into each day’s food choices.  This curry turned out to be a great way to use up leftover baked squash as well!


Tomato and Squash Curry with Yellow Split Peas


1 medium onion, thinly sliced

10 oz squash, cubed @ 2 cup’s worth  [Mine was already cooked, but raw squash could be used]

16.5 oz chopped  tomatoes [I used a box of Pomi]

1/2 cup split yellow peas

4-6 T red curry paste

2 cups vegetable stock

1 – 15 oz can lite coconut milk

red pepper flakes, to taste

coconut oil, for sautéing the onions

* Optional – freshly shredded herbs, for garnish [basil, cilantro and parsley are all good options]


Sauté the onion in coconut oil over medium heat until softened.  Add in the curry paste and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple of minutes, spreading the paste evenly over the pan so that it’s all exposed to the heat.  Add the coconut milk and whisk the paste into it.  Add the peas,  tomatoes, squash and vegetable stock.  Cook at a low simmer until the peas [and squash, if added raw] are soft.

If the curry becomes too thick, you can easily thin it out with some additional stock.


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