Monday, October 16, 2017

Fermentation!

One of the many kitchen projects I enjoy involves letting vegetables ferment in jars on the counter!! It sounds horrible I know, but it's the same beloved practice that makes sauerkraut. Vegetables sitting in a 2% brine will become delicious, pickled versions of themselves. Lactobacillus bacteria converts the natural sugars to lactic acid. This prevents bad bacteria from growing, while the lactobacillus (probiotics!) thrive. It's a tangy, healthy treat. However, it takes several weeks usually to get to the right ph. This means jars of things, submerged in salt water, with air locks on top, just waiting to become tasty. Oh, and watching it occasionally bubble throughout the process.

So, here's pics of the set up and my current fermentation attempt - Brussels sprouts!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Savory Acorn Squash (Original Recipe)

cooking spray
1 acorn squash, chopped into large chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp turmeric
cayenne, to taste
basmati rice

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, then arrange squash chunks so that they are not crowded together.
2) Spray squash chunks with cooking spray and then sprinkle with seasonings (salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne). Bake for 30 minutes, or until squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
3) Remove baking sheet from oven and scrape squash chunks away from the peel (discard peels).
4) Serve over basmati rice. (I cheated and used a 90 second microwave pouch of rice).

Review: I got more squash in my CSA, so I had to find a savory use for it. I really don't like the focus on making it sweet and gooey every time. I tossed these seasonings together and it was an amazing match. It had a bit of exotic flavor, combined with the good, savory taste I was looking for. Basmati rice was the perfect bed for this squash, though I could have eaten it without!

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Golden Squash Quinoa

2 delicata squash, seeds removed, halved lengthwise and then sliced
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs turmeric
1 cup quinoa

1)  Preheat oven to 400F. On a greased baking sheet, place the squash slices evenly so there is no overlap. Spray with cooking oil (I love olive oil spray) and then dust with salt, garlic powder and turmeric. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.
2) In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups of water to the quinoa. Cover and boil for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
3) Serve squash slices over a bed of quinoa.

Review: I got two delicata squashes from the CSA last week. Somehow, this is the first time I've ever had delicata squash.This blows my mind, as I've tried so many obscure versions and yet missed this one. So, I didn't want to go the traditional sweet route with this one. I'm so happy to have found a version with turmeric as it's my new favorite spice. It's so versatile while remaining exotic and fancy. Too bad it stains everything yellow . . . but I digress. It really makes this dish savory. The turmeric balanced with the garlic picked up the sweetness of the squash without being a sugary mess.
Adapted from:
http://www.skinnytaste.com/roasted-delicata-squash-with-turmeric/

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fiesta Potatoes (Original Recipe)

2 Tbs avocado oil
1 lb potatoes, diced
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground chipotle
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground cumin

1 cup frozen roasted corn
1 large tomato, diced
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1)  In a large pan, add oil and potatoes, cover and sauté over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking.
2)  Once the potatoes begin to brown, toss in the seasonings, stirring to ensure even coverage. Add the frozen corn and cover, ensuring all ingredients are heated.
3)  Once the contents of the pan are evenly cooked, stir in the vegan cheese. Stir until evenly melted (or as evenly as vegan cheese can melt . . . ). Stir in diced tomatoes.
4)  Serve hot, topped with cilantro.

Review:  I have been OBSESSED with tacos for the last week. I had tacos, I had taco salad, and yet, I still can't stop thinking about tacos. I picked up our CSA today and challenged myself to not make another stirfry. So, I end up making this taco flavored dish with the potatoes and a tomato from our pick-up. It was beyond delicious. I also added some minced, fermented peppers to the top. I had made lacto-fermented peppers with the intent to make hot sauce. Instead, I ended up with a tasty paste. It added extra flavor to the dish, and tons of probiotics!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Red Lentil Hash (Original Recipe)

1 cup basmati rice
2 Tbs avocado oil
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 potatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste

1) Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside.
2) In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and potatoes, sautéing until carrots begin to soften (about five minutes).
3) Add garlic, cilantro and lentils. Toss for 30 seconds, until blended well.
4) Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until broth is fully absorbed.
5) Serve lentil mixture over a bed of basmati rice. Salt to taste.

Review: I've been buying food on whims, and coupling this with the weekly CSA, I've got too much food on my hands. I've been trying to clear out the stockpile. This cleared out a bag of lentils, an older carton of vegetable broth, and the fresh carrots and potatoes from last week's CSA. I wasn't 100% sure what seasonings I should use, but many online recipes combined lentils with garlic and cilantro. I figured it was worth a shot, but it wasn't quite enough. I think some turmeric, cumin or coriander would have been great. I really loved the carrots combined with the red lentils, which just felt so hearty on a chilly evening!!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Roasted Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa
2 zucchinis, sliced into half-moons
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 avocado, diced
2 cups frozen roasted corn
1 pkg chipotle baked tofu, diced
15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
1/8 cup lime juice
1/2 bottle smoked tomato dressing

1) Preheat the oven to 450F. On a greased baking sheet, place the zucchini and bell pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
2) Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa with two cups of water (and maybe a dash of oil to keep the foam down). Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
3) In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Chill and serve cold.

Review: We ate out on a whim last night. B.Good is a chain restaurant that prides itself on healthy food made with local ingredients. My dish was incredibly tasty, though I wasn't a fan of the kale as it didn't seem to match the rest of the ingredients. And, though it used a red pepper vinaigrette, I thought I could easily make a fair knock-off with some leftover smoked tomato dressing. This had the perfect blend of roasted, spicy, smoky flavors that I love, while still being light enough to call a salad. It's certainly a winner that I'll make again.
Adapted from:
b.good's Spicy Avocado & Lime Quinoa Bowl

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Monkey Cakes

1 cup gluten free flour
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1) Mix the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, canola oil, vanilla extract and egg, until the egg is well blended.
3) Pour the bowl of liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well and set aside. Gluten free flour dough needs to 'rest' for a bit in order to hold onto heavier ingredients such as banana and walnuts.
4) In a small bowl, mash the banana with a fork. You'll want it to be mostly mashed, but with some small chunks for extra flavor. Mix in the walnuts.
5) Carefully stir the banana/walnut mixture into the pancake dough. Do not stir too much, as you don't want to overwork the dough.
6) Pour palm-sized bits of dough onto a heated (medium-high heat) griddle and cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until browned evenly.
7) Top with your topping of choice - maple syrup, sliced bananas, more walnuts?

Review: Last weekend, Mike really wanted pancakes. I told him we didn't have all the ingredients and he didn't believe me. He searched through the kitchen and proudly declared that we did indeed have what was needed. I directed him to find the maple syrup, which didn't exist. So, I won the argument but he seemed so heart-broken. So, we bought more maple syrup and I promised pancakes this morning. As I started preparing myself, I remembered there was an overripe banana on the counter and walnuts leftover from the scones I made earlier this week. So, I needed to make monkey cakes! These were pretty tasty and filling, making 12 palm-sized pancakes.
Adapted from:
http://dadwithapan.com/recipe/banana-walnut-pancakes/