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Archive for the ‘Greek’ Category

 

Hummus is a true comfort food in our house.  We love to make wraps with it or use it as a healthy and filling vegetable dip.  This version is sweeter than traditional hummus because of the roasted carrots, but it’s fabulous, especially for youngsters who tend to have a sweeter tooth.  It’s also a great way to tuck the goodness of a vegetable into a dish where you’d least expect one to be lurking!

 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

[Makes ~4 cups]

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans

3 cups carrots, roasted [Cut into large chunks and toss with olive oil.  Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes.]

½ cup roasted tahini

¼ cup olive oil

juice of two large lemons, zest of one

1 ½ T cumin

½ tsp coriander

½ tsp sweet paprika

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  [You can adjust the thickness of the hummus by adding in water to thin it out if desired.]

Serve garnished with sesame seeds and a dusting of paprika.

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To my mind, kale is the rock star of all greens.  I integrate it into at least one meal a day and sometimes it’s as easy as simply stuffing a handful of it into our morning green smoothies.  Most times though I try and keep it intact in shape and form and celebrate its texture and flavor through both raw and cooked means.  I think it’s important to incorporate an abundance of raw foods into our diets, along with the cooked,  in order to provide the widest possible variety of nutrients so that we may not simply live but that we may thrive.    

 

Mediterranean Kale Salad

Ingredients:

1 bunch Lacinato/dinosaur kale, sliced into thin ribbons

¼ cup pine nuts [toasting optional]

¼ cup Kalamata olives, sliced

6 sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and cut into slivers

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

¼ cup olive oil [I actually use an omega 3-6-9 blend  for most raw dishes and/or salads that contains olive oil]

2 T fresh lemon juice and zest of one lemon

Freshly-cracked black pepper

Sea salt

Directions:

Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large bowl or plastic bag and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.  The longer it’s allowed to marinate, the softer the texture of the kale will be.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

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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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Tangy Greek Custard-Style Tofu

 

Ingredients:

1 recipe homemade tofu, at curd stage

1 cup non-dairy yogurt

¼ cup nutritional yeast

Juice of one lemon

¼ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

¼ cup capers

½ cup caper/olive brine

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp freshly-cracked black pepper

 

Directions:

Transfer tofu curds into a cheesecloth-lined colander to drain off the whey.  Once drained, move to a bowl and gently mix in the brine, olives, capers, oregano and pepper.  Set aside.

In a food processor, pulse together the yogurt, lemon juice and nutritional yeast. 

Add the yogurt mixture to the tofu curds and stir through, gently.  Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined tofu mold and press for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Unmold [It will be wet and sticky because of the yogurt] and place upon a silpat-lined [or any other non-stick oven-safe surface] baking sheet.  Bake for an hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature to set.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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I was really craving a big Greek-style salad the other day and, although, as a vegan,  I could bring together nearly all the ingredients to fashion one, there was one glaring omission:  feta cheese.  That tangy and salty flavor coupled to a creamy and crumbly texture; oh how I miss feta.  It was time to go back to the kitchen and tinker. 

Turns out, this tofu is delicious enough to stand on its own merits and serve as the star of the show upon a homemade flatbread cracker.  It’s not nearly as salty as feta cheese, but it’s a really nice compassionate stand-in that has worked very well in all the dishes I’ve since used it in.  Plus, it’s just am incredibly beautiful bite of food.

 

Feta-Style Tofu with Olives

Ingredients:

one recipe homemade tofu, at the curd stage

1 cup caper brine

2 T capers

1/2 cup Greek olives and their brine, pitted and halved

juice of one lemon

2 T dried oregano

Directions:

Once you have the tofu at the curd stage, drain in a cheesecloth-lined colander.  Transfer to a bowl and add all of the ingredients.  Gently mix to incorporate.  Let sit for one hour at room temperature to marinate.  Transfer to a cheesecloth-lined tofu mold and press for an additional hour.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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I’d made a batch of Gyros-style seitan and wanted to use it in some traditional Greek-style dishes.  This impulse just happened to coincide with the arrival of a sample of  Teese’s newly revamped stretchy mozzarella-style faux cheese.  So there you have it, Greek-style comfort food was on the menu.  It was absolutely carb coma-inducingly decadent and delicious.

 

Pastitsio

Ingredients:

½ onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 T tomato paste

½ cup red wine

1 28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 T dried oregano

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground cloves

2 cups ground Greek Gyros Seitan

4 oz Teese Mozzarella Cheese, medium dice

olive oil

1 lb tubular pasta

For the Béchamel:

4 T unbleached whole wheat flour

4 T olive oil

3 cups non-dairy milk [I used So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut milk]

¼ tsp Freshly-grated nutmeg

3 cloves garlic, smashed

4 oz Teese mozzarella cheese, grated

Directions:

Sauté onion in a drizzle of olive oil until softened.  Add garlic and oregano and cook for a few minutes.  Add the tomato paste, stirring it about the pan to ensure that it’s being cooked.  [Canned tomato paste will taste tinny unless you first caramelize it a bit in the pan.]  Add the wine and cook until the alcohol has evaporated.  Add the tomatoes, water, cinnamon, clove and bay leaves.  Cook until the sauce is no longer watery.  Remove the bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.

For the Pasta:

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water about ¾ of the way through.  Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking.  Set aside. [The pasta will continue to cook once placed in the oven.]

For the béchamel sauce:

Heat the non-dairy milk in a pan and add the crushed garlic and nutmeg to infuse it with their flavors.  In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and flour, whisking the entire time.  Cook for a few minutes to ensure the rawness of the flour has been cooked out and the roux is bubbly.  Carefully pour the heated milk into the roux while whisking.  Add the shredded Teese and bring the béchamel to a simmer to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper.

Pulling it all together:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Mix the tomato sauce with half of the pasta and the ground seitan.  Place into a greased casserole dish.  Randomly add pieces of the diced Teese throughout the layer, using a knife to plant them well into the pasta.  Top with the remainder of the pasta.  Pour the béchamel sauce over the entirety and place into the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top.

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Seitan. This food fascinates me with its versatility. I want to conquer it and meld its glutenous soul into fantastical creations to satisfy any cravings that H or I may be jonesing over. [I think this is the mad scientist in me expressing herself.]  I want the ability to craft it into textures and infuse it with the flavors of the world,  but most especially into some of my favorite past foods that are no longer in my playing field.  I’ve spent the past days making myriad varieties of seitan.   I have blown through so much vital wheat gluten that I nearly bought out the store.   Yet, after much experimentation and tweaking of both flavor and texture, this recipe now rocks my universe and I hope it shall yours as well. 

Greek Seitan Gyros. 

 

Ingredients:

Dry:

2 T sweet paprika

2 tsp sumac

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp fresh rosemary

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp lemon pepper

2¼ cup vital wheat gluten

½ cup nutritional yeast

¼ cup garfava flour [garbanzo and fava bean flours]

2 T Bill’s Chik’Nish vegetarian seasoning

Wet:

2¼ cup cold water

2 T soy sauce

2 T olive oil

8 cloves garlic, minced

½ yellow onion, finely diced

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sauté onion and garlic in a drizzle of olive oil until softened. While that is cooking, mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and dry whisk to combine well. In a separate bowl, add the wet ingredients and the onions and garlic. Pour the wet into the dry and mix gently with your hands until all the dry ingredients are incorporated and you no longer see any dry patches of flour. Divide the dough into three.  Form three equal-sized logs out of the dough and place them, separately, upon a sheet of aluminum foil. Roll each into a cylinder and twist the ends to seal the tubes you’ve created.

Place in the oven for 60-90 minutes depending upon the consistency you prefer.  [I found that 90 minutes yielded a seitan that was soft and moist and, for H and I, texturally mimicked gyros.]  Allow to cool. Slice and sauté briefly in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil to heat through and crisp up the edges.

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