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!