Sunday, September 16, 2012

Come With Me!

My blog has moved to a new location:

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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.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

    For some reason, I cannot seem to get enough soup lately. Usually, I'd blame the cold weather, but Kansas City has had an absurdly mild winter so far. This recipe, as the previous, is inspired by a featured recipe on Door to Door Organics for their Good Food Made Simple Contest. As always, I put my own spin on it. First, I opted to make this soup vegan. I've been experimenting with using more whole foods, which lead to the second big change: Eliminating pre-made stock. So far, I've been pleased with my stock/broth-free adaptations. Additional bonus? Less salt in the final product!

    The soup is yummy topped with croutons, cheese, or additional basil. We went with a twist on the traditional and had it with basil grilled cheese.

    Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

    2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into fourths
    1 lb tomatoes, cut into fourths
    1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
    2 medium carrots, cut into 2 inch lengths
    1 stalk celery, cut into 2 inch lengths
    1 large red onion, peeled and cut into fourths
    4 tbs light olive oil
    1/2 tbs salt
    5 c water
    10 sprigs of fresh thyme
    2 large bay leaves
    1/2 c fresh basil, chopped
    1 can lite coconut milk
    additional salt and pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 450F.

    Place peppers, tomatoes, garlic, carrots, celery,and onion in a large baking dish (I used a 10x13x3 lasagna pan). Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables start to brown.

    Transfer the roasted veggies and the liquid in the bottom of the baking pan to a large stock pot. Add the water, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes.

    Remove the thyme stems (if any leaves remain attached to the stem, strip them off and return to the stock pot). Remove bay leaves. Add chopped basil and coconut milk; purée the until smooth. Return the soup to stock pot over medium-low heat for another 10 minutes and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Makes about 8 servings.

    Estimated Nutritional Info: 217kcal, 19g fat, no cholesterol, 615mg sodium, 425mg potassium, 12g total carbs, 2.7g fiber, and 3g protein. Bonus: It's really high in vitamins A and C!

    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    Back from Blogging Hiatus with Salmon Broccoli Chowder and Veg-uary!

    Dear Recipe Blog:
    I'm sorry I left. Please take me back.
    sincerely, the Anti-Chef.

    I've been away for so long....that was never my intention, but that pesky thing called Life (outside the kitchen) demanded my undivided attention for quite awhile. I've been keeping chicken-scratch notes of my cooking adventures that I hope to share with my corner of the internet, but that will take some time. More immediate is....


    Let me explain. My oldest spawn mentioned wanting to try a vegetarian diet. I haven't done the vegetarian thing in awhile, so I decided we could do it together. We picked February to be vegetarians (hence "Veg-uary"). Several people expressed an interest in doing this with us, so I made a Facebook group for everyone to join for support and ideas. The group is open to anyone, so if you feel this is something you'd like to partake in, feel free! I'm excited to revisit some of my favorite non-meat recipes, as well as create a few more along the way.

    On the not-so-vegetarian side of things, I made salmon chowder today. The weather has turned (finally!), and nothing says winter comfort food like a nice, thick, hearty soup. My original inspiration is a salmon corn chowder from Door to Door Organics (my organic co-op of choice). I've done a considerable amount of editing as I'm not a big corn fan, nor did I have vegetable stock on hand. I hope you enjoy my debut recipe of 2012!

    Salmon Broccoli Chowder

    4 tbs light olive oil
    1 small head of broccoli
    1 lb salmon filets
    salt and pepper to taste
    2 tbs oil of choice (I use coconut oil)
    1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    1 large carrot, chopped
    2 stalks celery, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tsp anchovie paste
    1 bunch fresh thyme
    1 stalk oregano
    2 cups milk
    6 cups water
    3 russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
    2 large bay leaves
    1 dash hot sauce of choice
    parsley to garnish, if desired


    Coat broccoli and salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place broccoli on one side of a baking sheet and put in the oven. With the broccoli in the oven, preheat oven to 375F. Once the oven is preheated, add the salmon filets to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes per inch of the salmon's thickness. Remove from oven and set aside.

    In a large soup pot, heat oil of choice over medium-high heat. Saute onions and carrots until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Add celery, garlic, anchovie paste, thyme, and oregano; saute another minute.

    Add milk, water, potatoes, bay leaves, a teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and lightly boil until potatoes are very soft--about 20 minutes.

    Once the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaves and herb stems (if not previously removed). Blend soup until smooth, then return to pot over medium-low heat.

    Flake the salmon, discarding the skin. Cut the broccoli into florets. Stir salmon, broccoli, and hot sauce into the soup and heat another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste, garnish with parsley (if desired), and serve.

    Makes 8 1-1/2 cup servings, Roughly 290kcal, 12.5g fat (half of which is monounsaturated), 1100mg potassium, 24g total carbs, 5g fiber, and 20g protein.