Friday, January 25, 2013

Stir Fry, after all~

Today I poked around a wonderful Asian market and found some beautiful snow peas.  They are one of my absolute favorites so I bought three bags.  I ate one bag on the way home, and decided to eat a second for dinner.  This lucky bag was sitting next to a bunch of other delicious veggies and they all got tossed into an iron together.  Simple. Easy. Healthy. CHEAP. And so, so tasty!

There are tons of veggies you can throw in stir fry... a few of my favorites, but DO NOT limit yourself to:
Mushrooms (yuck)
Water Chestnuts
Bok Choy
Baby Corn (again, yuck)
String Beans
Ginger root
Raw Garlic
Asian Eggplant
aaaaaaaand Snow Peas!

Fun toppings are everywhere but I am partial to toasted black sesame seeds.
Your own sauce can be fun to make or buy, or leave out completely!

Tonight's Featured Veg:
Snow Peas
Baby Bells (and one teenie weenie habanero, shhhh)
Raw Garlic (5 cloves, again, shhhh)
Cabbage ( except for not really, I am out of my favorite veg, but it should have been here)

Cut all your veggies into bite sized pieces, rinse and set to drain.  In a nice large skillet or wok, a bit of oil (peanut, olive, sesame), and let it heat up to medium temp.  Throw your veggies in and add 1/2 cup of water and several healthy splashes of either soy sauce or tamari.  Throw is all around and then let it sit until the veggies are just steamed but still vibrant and a bit crunchy.  Pull out all the veggies and place in serving dish, pour liquid from skillet/wok into a bowl and add the following to taste:
A bit more tamari/soy sauce
Chinese Mustard (powder or paste)
A bit of flavored oil (I am out of sesame so I used a tad of black truffle oil, oh baby)
Red Pepper Flakes
Minced Scallions
And there is always the option of making it thicker with corn starch or arrow root if you choose)

Drizzle it on top of the veggies, sprinkle on your toasted sesame seeds and scarf.  Share if you want.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Zucchini Fritters with Sweet Garlic Sauce

This is a kiss-me-not type of dish to make, serve and eat to only close friends and family.  Or you could just go easy on the garlic, but where is the fun in that?
While making this up tonight, I really did not have anything I actually needed to make fritters.... No AP flour, no seltzer water, no variety of veggies.... But what I threw together was actually quite nice and disappeared before I had to share with anyone.  However, I would suggest you use AP flour instead of the corn flour to avoid the slightly dry feeling the insides of these had.

For these fantastic little baggers, you will need:

1 medium zucchini, grated
1/4 cup potato, cooked/cubed (1/2 inch pieces, with skin)
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1/6 cup each jalapenos, kalamata olives, roughly chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced  (again, if you don't know these people well, 1 garlic clove will suffice)
*opt* veggie bacon, roughly chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1 Tbl fresh or dried dill, minced
1/4 tsp lemon zest
3Tbl nutritional yeast
1 cup AP flour, with extra available
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the Dressing you'll need:
2Tbl vegan mayo ( i LOVE Vegenaise brand)
1 tsp white dijon
1 Tbl unsweetened milk alternative (I used coconut)
1/2 tsp minced garlic OR 1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp lemon pepper

Fresh Parsley
Fresh Apple  ( DID YOU KNOW, fresh apple helps neutralize the garlic flavor in your mouth?)

It's always nice to have a taste tester... June
First, if you are using the veggie bacon, chop it up, and crisp it in a skillet with a spot of olive oil.  Pull off heat once crispy.  Meanwhile, grate the zucchini and put aside, mince the garlic, put aside, slice the onion and place in the now empty skillet (iron if possible) with a tsp olive oil and turn on medium/low heat.  When they are almost soft, throw in the garlic.  In a large bowl, dump the zukes, chopped olives and peppers, dill, paprika, salt/pepper, vinegar, lemon zest and veggie bacon.  Mix together and add onions/garlic once they are soft.  Mix it all together and start adding the flour, 1 Tbl at a time.  When you can form lose patties, add in the nutritional yeast and mix.  If they hold together well, there is no need to add more flour.  If they are still a bit lose, add a tad bit more flour, just until you can form a patty.

In your already bacon/onion seasoned skillet, give yourself a nice coating of olive oil and turn the heat to just above medium.  Wait until the oil jumps with water drops and start forming your patties.  I made 6, rather thick, patties, but you could aim for 8 thinner ones if you care to... or really any number of any thickness you want.  Always play with your food!

Place the patties in the hot oil and let them brown on each side until golden, about 4-5 minutes.  If you have a nifty grill skillet like I do, you can have it heating up on another burner and place the golden brown patties on there to get some 'delicious' grill marks!

While these are browning, you can be making your dressing by simply mixing all the ingredients together and setting aside.  You can also slice your apple and wash the parsley!

When the fritters are done, grill marked and hot, eat them with all the other stuff I mentioned.  They keep pretty well too, so if you can't finish them all an once, refrigerate them and eat cold with unsweetened catsup or sear on each side and serve again with your sweet garlic sauce!  Make a lot of extra and freeze it pre-patty and thaw later!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unexpected Hiatus

Well,  Hi!

2012 offered an unexpectedly long hiatus from my beloved blogging, but I am ready and armed with new recipes, a new camera and a pent up need to share them!  I am happy to announce too, that along with a lot of other changes, 2012 brought along new people and new traditions... including FOODIE NIGHT!  So I met some friends who love food as much as I do.  They are by no means veggie, but all food, prepared with love and good ingredients is a wonderful experience.  It used to be four... but now it has turned into a monthly event of which upwards of 15 chef friends gather at my home and utilize my two kitchens, fire pit and grill and we cook away.  So much love, fun, friends and FOOD.  This just one blessing that last year brought to me, rough as it was.  We make a theme, plan the event, connect with the menu and impatiently await the designated night.  This is the first large group I have been able to co-host and the excitement is multi-leveled.
This Friday will be our Tapas Night!  We are all making different dishes, spanning the Hispanic countries.  Those guests who do not cook will be our 'mixologists' and making themed drinks!  I will have pictures of the feast, our friends and the instructional posts to my dishes as usual.

I am really happy, humbled and excited to start blogging about my food passions again.  I hope you will all join me again and explore new foods as I explore this new chapter in my life!

Here is an image of half the Mediterranean Feast for Four, one of our very first Foodie Nights... All vegan, all delicious! Recipes from this evening will be posted!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blueberry & Walnut Salad

I need to figure a way to get this photo off of my smart phone, but that can wait for now. This salad is so satisfying that I had to trow it up here. It covers all the main food groups and leaves you satisfied and delighted. I have all the these ingredients in bulk in my work refrigerator and literally grab a plate and fork and eat until my heart is content. I love that about a good diet. You can eat like a fat kid and never worry about counting calories etc. Enjoy lunch!

Keep on hand:
Greens (of your choosing)
Carton of fresh Blueberries
Bag of Raw Walnuts
Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Cold Pressed Walnut Oil
Black Pepper

Grab a ludicrous amount of greens, top with as much fruit and nuts as your plate can manage, drizzle with oil and vinegar, sprinkle with some pepper to taste. Scarf and repeat until full. Then take a fat kid nap. Best lunch ever!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Grilled Pineapple

I will get some pictures up here as soon as I can, but the Fam ate them all before I got any shots! I am not really sure why I thought this would be a good idea, but it turned out to be fantastic! I create dishes mainly on wanting to combine different wholesome, compassionate foods to make delectable and satisfying dishes. I use my sniffer to start off my experiments and combine things based off of all the senses. However, I didn't use any of those things on this dish... I would like to claim genius for lack of any other approachable terms. Oh NO! But try this and you will say OH YES... if you say anything at all. My family all groaned in a borderline inappropriate manner. GOAAAAAAALLLLL!

You will need:
Demerara sugar (natural brown sugar)**
Ground Cinnamon
1 frash pineapple

Cut the top and bottom from the pineapple and cut lengthwise down the middle and core out the tough center strip. Leave the pineapple on the rind and slice into 3/4" slabs. mix the sugar and cinnamon on a plate and press each side of the pineapple into the mixture. Either put it on your grill or use your griddle but wither way get those sexy grill lines on there and that fantastic 'caramelization'! Heating the fresh pineapple really brings out the 'apple' in there and combining that with the cinnamon and sugar and the the exotic flavor unique to pineapple is so delicious.
**I use Demerara sugar because it is less refined and I enjoy the flavor, but any sugar will work OR you could leave the sugar out and go with just the cinnamon and get a more earthy flavor and less calories. 6= half a dozen....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blueberry & Banana Bars

It is cold, and I have fresh blueberries and lots of oats. That was all the inspiration I needed to make up this recipe. I was not too sure on the amounts of ingredients but this worked out perfectly, I am so proud of myself that I actually wrote it all down! These can be eaten next to vanilla 'ice cream' as dessert or as a breakfast. Hearty, hot and creamy and really really good for you. Lets bake!

You will need:

~1/2 pint fresh blueberries
~1 large banana, cut into chunks
~1/4 cup agave syrup
~splash of vanilla
~3 Tbl corn starch
~2 Tbl soy milk, or other milk sub.
~1/3 cup pineapple juice concentrate

~1 1/2 cup steel cut oats, quick cook
~1 1/2 cup oats, quick cook
~1 1/2 tsp baking powder
~1/2 cinnamon
~1 cup chunky applesauce
~6 Tbl Agave
~6 Tbl soy milk or water
~1 tsp vanilla extract
~2 Tbl cornstarch or tapioca flour
~scant 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
~3 Tbl flax seeds (opt)

Preheat the oven to 375d. Start with the filling and in a little sauce pan pour in the berries, agave, and juice. Bring to a medium heat. Our goal is to get the liquids heated and mixed and to keep the berries whole. So stirring gently, add in on Tbl. cornstarch at a time and keep stirring until all three are in. It will thicken quickly so do NOT let it burn and remove form heat immediately after it thickens. Now is the time to add in the vanilla, soy milk and bananas and stir until mixed, again keeping it gentle for the berries. Set aside.

For the other, grab an 8x8' baking dish and grease... I use Crisco. In a bowl, dump in all your ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spoon out half and spread out evenly in the baking dish. Pour over the filling and scrape out as much of the 'gel' as you can. Then spoon over the last half of the filling. Bake for 25 minutes. Will be brown and a little crunchy on top. Let cool for ten minutes or more so it will hold it's shape and not burn your little mouth! Enjoy!

A Simple Stir Fry

As with most dishes on this blog, you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge. I happen to have on hand (in this stupid Missouri blizzard) a bunch of Chinese veggies and a random hunk of extra firm tofu I needed to use up. Easy dinner answer; stir-fry.

To make this version, you will need:
~1/2 cup green cabbage, bite size
~large stalk of celery, coarsely chopped
~1/4 small white onion, bite size
~1/4 cup water chestnuts
~small hand full, cashews

~grape seed oil
~soy sauce
~1 hot chili
~ground mustard

~random hunk, extra firm tofu, thick slabs

Heat up the oil on medium/high and add veggies, and let sautee. Add soy sauce and seasonings to taste, and add in nuts. Take your slices of tofu and scrape aside the veggies, throw on a tofu slab, cover with veggies and repeat until all the tofu is on the bottom and covered with veggies. Let sear until browned and flip. Remove from heat and EAT!