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Archive for the ‘Dinner’ Category

Carrot Tagliatelle

 

Carrot Tagliatelle

It occured to me recently that I’d never posted the recipe for the homemade tagliatelle I’d made to accompany the saged carrot pasta sauce.  Since Autumn in all its glory is on my mind these days, I figured this would be a good time to add the method for this wonderfully autumnal-hued pasta.    If you’d like to recreate the dish pictured above, just top this carrot tagliatelle with the velvety sauce found here.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup semolina flour

1/2 cup unbleached flour

1 tsp walnut oil

few tablespoons carrot juice

Directions:

Place dry ingredients into a food processor.  Pulse to mix.  Add in oil and then add the carrot juice a tablespoon at a time while the machine is running until the dough pulls off the sides and forms a ball.  Move to a floured surface and knead a few times.  Shape into a flattened disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to relax for at least an hour before rolling.

Flour the dough and run it through a pasta machine at the highest setting a couple of times.  Progressively run it through higher settings until the thickness you wish is achieved.   Cut into long strips and lightly dust with semolina flour to prevent sticking.  Let pasta rest for 15 minutes or so before cooking.

Fresh pasta takes only a couple of minutes to cook.

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If you’re craving Americanized Mexican food, this is a wonderfully quick meal to toss together and makes a great portable lunch the following day rolled into a tortilla.  Garnish them up with freshly cut radishes, crisp romaine and heady cilantro, or grilled onions and green peppers.  You could, and I often do,  add some diced bell pepper, kale, carrots, zucchini or any other vegetable to the onions as they sauté and add yet more goodness to the mix.  It’s also wonderful garnished with some chili beans.

 

Tempeh Taco/Burrito Filling

Ingredients:

8 oz tempeh, ground to crumbles in a food processor [Careful not to overprocess and turn it pasty.]

1 medium onion, diced ~ ½ cup

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T chili powder [I used Ancho chili powder]

1½ tsp cumin

1 tsp Mexican oregano

¼ tsp onion powder

¼ – ½ tsp red pepper flakes, depending upon your tastes

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

water

oil for sautéing the onion and tomato paste [I use a small dollop of coconut oil, macadamia nut or olive oil.]

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic until softened.  Add the spices and cook until fragrant.  Clear a spot in the pan and add the tomato paste.  Cook for a couple of minutes to rid it of the metallic flavor from the can.  Add the tomato sauce and tempeh.  Mix well and add water to the consistency you prefer, I used ~4 oz of water. 

Serve with chili beans and garnish with fresh cilantro.

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This dish was an awesome pairing of two of our favorite seasonal offerings:  asparagus and morel mushrooms.  I’ve found that roasting [rather than steaming] asparagus takes this already sublime stalk to its ultimate level of tastiness as those natural sugars caramelize and the tips slightly crisp.  I figured that if I then smothered that roasted asparagus in some earthy mushrooms, cooked in a tartly sweet and creamy balsamic sauce, and then further wrapped it all up into a calzone that had been spread with a lemony cashew “cheese”, it might just delight H.  Phew…what a mouthful; and it was!  I was right, but I had a pretty good hunch going in that this would be a winner.

This recipe yielded 4 calzones.

 

Creamy Balsamic Morels

Ingredients:

½ cup diced shallot

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 oz mushrooms, diced [I used morels; you could use whichever mushroom you enjoy most.]

1 T olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt [I used So Delicious Plain Coconut Yogurt]

Directions:

Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat.  Sauté the shallots and garlic until translucent.  Add the morels and sauté until softened.  Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until the mushrooms have absorbed the liquid.  Add the yogurt and mix well.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Lemony Cashew “Cheese”

Ingredients:

½ cup cashews, soaked for one hour

1 tsp lemon zest

1 T lemon juice

Directions:

Drain the cashews and place in a food processor.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Pulse until a paste forms.

12 roasted asparagus spears [Toss in olive oil and roast at 450°F until they start to caramelize ~10-15 mins.]

One large pizza dough at room temperature [I buy this at my local grocery; your local pizzeria would probably sell you a ball of pizza dough]

***

Assembling the Calzone:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. [Also preheat your pizza stone or sheet pan.]

Divide the dough into 4 portions.  Stretch each into a small pizza-sized round.  Add ¼ of the cashew cheese to ½ of each round.  Lay 3 spears of asparagus [trimmed to fit] atop the cashew cheese.  Add ¼ of the creamy balsamic mushrooms.  Fold the top of the pizza round over the bottom and seal the edges by crimping and rolling over as you make your way around the semi-circle [as you would a pie crust].  Using a knife make a couple of vent holes on the top to allow steam to release as they cook.  You can also brush the surface with some olive oil.

Place upon a pre-heated pizza stone or sheet pan.  Bake until golden.

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It’s nearly summertime and the farmer’s markets are beginning to burst at the seams with produce! Use whatever vegetables you have on hand in this. Aside from the gorgeous okra I picked up, I added some crisp bell pepper, carrots and green cabbage to give this stir-fry some color and wonderful texture.

Okra and Yuba Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

2 cups dried yuba bowtie knots, rehydrated in warm water

2 cups okra, sliced lengthwise

2 carrots, sliced into coins

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 head cabbage, cut into a large dice

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup sake

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup ponzu sauce, without bonito [could substitute soy sauce or tamari]

1 tsp roasted sesame oil

1 tsp garlic chili paste

cornstarch, divided  [Mix 1 T in 1/2 cup cold water to thicken the sauce.  You shall also need some to dredge the yuba in.]

ground ginger

coconut oil

Directions:

Spoon a little bit of coconut oil into a pan and heat to medium-high.  Drain yuba in a colander and pat dry.  Toss with a small handful of cornstarch seasoned with a bit of ground ginger. Allow excess cornstarch to fall off and add to the hot pan,  Cook until the edges have crisped.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add another drizzle of oil to the pan, if needed, and stir fry all vegetables except the cabbage.  When the vegetables begin to cook yet are still crisp add in the cabbage.  Stir fry for a few minutes longer then add vegetables to the bowl with the yuba.  Add all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch to the pan and bring to a simmer.  Add cornstarch a bit at a time until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Return yuba and vegetables to the pan and mix well to coat with sauce.  Serve over steaming brown rice.

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The New Black

…is an ancient black.  Forbidden rice not only has all the nutritional goodness you find in brown rice such as a high fiber content and B vitamins, it’s also packed full of anthocyanins.  Bite per bite the rice contains more of these antioxidant flavonoid pigments than blueberries.  It’s satisfyingly chewy in texture like my beloved short-grained brown rice and tastes wonderful.  We have rice or grain bowls for meals on a regular basis and usually steam some kale and another vegetable [carrots in this example] and then add a wonderfully flavorful sauce to the mix.  Bowls also make fantastically easy and filling lunchbox meals.  Here is a quick and tasty gingered carrot sauce that’ll flavor up any bowl or steamed vegetable.

 

 

Gingered Carrot Sauce

Ingredients:

16 oz carrot juice

2 T sake

1 T light miso

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp chili garlic sauce

2 tsp freshly minced ginger

1 T cornstarch dissolved in ¼ cup cold water

Directions:

Reduce the carrot juice by half over medium heat.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Add the cornstarch slurry a tablespoon at a time, allowing the sauce to come to a simmer in between additions until you achieve the consistency you desire [1 T of the slurry was perfect for me].

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Cauliflower melds really well with briny Mediterranean foods like olives and capers.  Making this chunky-style pasta topper is a great way to integrate another cruciferous vegetable into your diet.    I like to serve it over olive oil-dressed spaghetti squash.

Oh and…save those tender outer green leaves that cradle the caulifower!  They’re full of great phytonutrients because they, unlike the cauliflower, were exposed to the sun while the plant grew.  Use them in your salad or garnish the plate with them for a little nibble on the side.  [Ever wonder why cauliflower is white?  No need to produce pigment-rich anti-oxidants if you’re already protected from the elements!]

 

Spicy Cauliflower with Olives

Ingredients:

1 small head cauliflower [@ 3.5 cups florets]

1 large onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1-28oz can chopped tomatoes

½ cup capers, rinsed

~24 black olives [Whichever kind you prefer, I used Botija olives because I had them on hand.]

3 cloves garlic, sliced

1 T dried oregano

2 tsp dried thyme

2 tsp dried red pepper flakes

2 tsp fennel seeds

2 dried Turkish bay leaves

2 cups water or vegetable stock

sea salt

freshly-cracked black pepper

olive oil, for sautéing the vegetables

Directions:

Sauté the onions, bell pepper, garlic, oregano, thyme, fennel seeds and red pepper flakes over medium heat in a drizzle of olive oil until the vegetables have softened.

Add the cauliflower florets, tomatoes, capers, olives, bay leaves and water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is tender and the water volume has reduced by at least half.  Season with salt and pepper.

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Rainbow Soup

 

At the end of this rainbow lies a pot of soup!  This gorgeous vegetable soup will flood your senses with vibrant natural colors and deliciously fresh flavors.  It’ll also nourish your body through diversity of root, stem, leaf,  flower and fruit, and help protect your cells with a broad-spectrum influx of antioxidants and other phytonutrients.  I even snuck in a cruciferous vegetable to help the liver detoxify the body from daily adventures through urban landscapes and just plain old living.

This recipe makes a very large pot of soup.  I kept the numbers even or whole so that you could easily divide the recipe in half if you wanted to make a smaller volume.  I like to make a big pot and freeze some for a rainy day.  You can also add some cooked lentils to your soup bowl to make it a heartier meal.   [Another thing to consider is that if you do not like a particular vegetable, such as yellow bell pepper, substitute in another yellow vegetable such as squash or corn in order to keep the benefit of that particular color vegetable’s antioxidant profile.]

 

Rainbow Soup

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, diced

4 stalks celery, sliced

1 large yellow bell pepper, diced

1 medium zucchini, diced

2 cups Peruvian [purple] potatoes, diced

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

2 cups chopped cabbage [Kale would work really well as a substitute]

4 cloves garlic, sliced

1-28 oz can whole plum tomatoes, broken into pieces by hand with juice reserved

12 cups vegetable stock [I prefer Kitchen Basics unsalted vegetable stock]

1 T olive oil

Fresh herbs for garnish [Parsley, oregano and basil are my favorites]

Directions:

Place a stockpot on the stove and turn the heat to medium.  Once hot, add the olive oil.  Add the onion, celery and garlic.  Sauté until softened.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, potatoes.  Cook with periodic stirring for about 10 minutes.  Add in the cauliflower and zucchini.  Add the tomatoes with their juice and the stock.  Bring to a low simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender.  This should take about 30 minutes.  Season to taste with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper.  Garnish with fresh herbs, if you wish.

 

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