Sunday, September 16, 2012

Come With Me!

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mexican-Style Slaw and Other Raw Selections

Another long absence, but these things do happen. I have a new recipe to share in a few, but I want to start by showing a raw items I made during a food prep spree I went on last week.

First was a recipe straight off my friend Amber's website, Almost Vegan. I originally was going to make plain coconut butter from her book, but given the sheer number of strawberries this time of year, I instead opted for Strawberry Coconut Butter. I had been saving an empty coconut oil jar for just the occasion, but the pink stuff inside is all sweet, delicious spread that goes with damn near everything. Also in the photo to the left is my own Banana Carrot Bread.

Also from the mind of Amber (and from her fantastic raw cook book, Practically Raw, that came out earlier this year) are the Naked Kale Chips. I substituted coconut oil for the olive oil in the recipe, and also added a couple cloves of garlic. The result was a crispy treat that tastes great on its own or dipped in hummus. Amber has several hummus variations in her book, but I opted to make my own. Here is the massaged kale laid out on a dehydrator tray, ready to get to work:

And here is is all shiny and crisp, post dehydration:

A few select kale chips:

 I also dehydrated some zucchini into chips:

Now onto the recipe. We had tacos for dinner last week, and I wanted a light side dish that didn't involve heating up the stove, as the summer heat makes cooking a little less fun. I came up with this simple Mexican-style slaw using pre-packaged shredded broccoli. For even more Mexican flavor, use cilantro instead of the parsley (which I used to accommodate the aversion to cilantro the oldest spawn has). After dinner, we had about half the slaw leftover, so the next day I added a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) to make it a meal of it's own.

Mexican-Style Slaw

1/4 small red onion, minced
2 green onions, minced
1 tbs spicy mustard
zest and juice from 1 lime
1/4 c olive oil
hot sauce, to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 bag broccoli slaw (about 2 cups)
1/4 red bell pepper, diced
kernels from 1 ear of corn
1/4 c parsley, chopped

Whisk together onions, mustard, lime juice and zest, oil, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and pepper.

Toss the dressing with the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for at least half an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld. 

To the right, you can see the slaw alongside our tacos of Morning Star Chick'n, homemade salsa, and avocado.

Below is the slaw with black beans added.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Veg-uary minipost: Bar Fare

Who says you can't dine in vegetarian style at a bar? Here's my veggie wrap with seasoned fries from Cronin's Bar & Grill. It's stuffed full of mushrooms, green peppers, onion, jalapeño, and cheese. I got salsa and sour cream, as well. Yum! It's the perfect accompaniment for my Boulevard Irish Ale.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Veguary minipost - Raw Tacos

I just found out there's an app to post to this site (how'd I not know?). I'm going to use this to post my eating out Veguary-capades.

Here's a test post to show my meal thus far. Last week I made the fixin's for raw tacos and snapped a photo at work (shown below). I had the rest of my tacos last night.

The "meat" is walnut filling made with walnuts (duh), sun-dried tomato, serrano pepper, and spices. The tortillas are zucchini-avocado based. I topped them with homemade salsa, avocado, and goat cheese. I need to work on the walnut filling, but these were still super-tasty!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dong Gu Dau-Fu Pan (or Shiitake and Tofu Stir-Fry)

Welcome to Veg-uary (explained here)! I admit to having a certain amount of trepidation eschewing meat (and especially fish) for the next 28 days, but I remain excited and committed to expanding my culinary (anti-) skills. Plus, as the oldest spawn has decided she wants to follow a vegetarian diet, I have a certain amount of obligation to accommodate her nutritive wishes. I will be documenting here our vegetarian exploits, so expect lots of food porn over the next four weeks!

This is the last week for the Door to Door Organics contest, so for my first recipe of Veg-uary I've butchered another one of their recipes. Their "omnivore" option this week is Moo Goo Gai Pan, an Americanized version of a Cantonese stir-fry. I've transformed it into a vegetarian/vegan friendly meal by switching the "gai" (chicken) for "dau-fu" (tofu), and using augmented vegetable stock instead of the poultry-based counterpart. Shiitake mushrooms were on sale, so I went that route instead of the typical button mushrooms.

I'm no Cantonese linguist, but as far as I can determine through limited Google research, here is the break-down of the vocabulary used in the title of this dish:
  • Mu Gu = button mushrooms, which I opted to switch with shiitake mushrooms (dong gu).
  • Gai = Chicken, which I've substituted in favor of tofu (dau-fu).
  • Pan = Slices (well, at least I left one part unadulterated!).

  • You can visit the link above for the original recipe (which inexplicably neglects to tell when to add the mushrooms....weird). My version is below.

    Dong Gu Dau-Fu Pan

    1 12oz block of firm tofu, drained and pressed
    3 tbs peanut oil
    salt and pepper
    1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    1/2 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
    2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
    1 lb (about 2 cups) baby bok choy, sliced
    1 c vegetable stock*
    1 tsp arrowroot powder
    2 tablespoons nama shoyu or tamari, if desired (I used this in favor of additional salt)
    4 c prepared rice or oriental noodles, as desired

    Preheat oven to 375F. Slice the pressed tofu into strips about 1/2" thick. Using about a teaspoon of the oil, coat the tofum sprinkle with salt, and place on a baking sheet. Flipping halfway
    through, bake for 30 minutes (or until tofu is golden).

    Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat in a large wok. Add onions and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and sauté another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add bok choy, and stir-fry an additional 5 minutes.

    Combine arrowroot with 2 tablespoons of the broth and set aside. Pour the remaining broth into the wok and bring to a boil. Add the tofu and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes, then stir in the arrowroot mixture. Allow sauce to thicken over medium-low heat, adding nama shoyu (if desired) and adjusting seasoning to taste. Serve over prepared rice or noodles of choice. As you can see in the photos, we had ours with noodles. Makes 4 2-cup servings.

    *Regarding the vegetable stock: To impart more umami flavor to the stock, I simmered the mushroom stems, onion peel, a few peppercorns, and one whole allspice berry in the broth for about 20 minutes, then strained the broth before using. This extra step isn't necessary, but it's an easy way to kick up the mushroom flavor of the finished dish.