Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Black Eyed Peas and Greens 3 Ways




I love Black Eyed Peas . I always eat them along with greens on New Years day and like to prepare them in different ways.

Indian Spiced Black Eyed Peas and Greens

3 c cooked black eyed peas (1 c dry)
2 T Coconut Oil or EVOO
1 t brown or black mustard seeds
1 T cumin
1 T coriander
1/4 t cinnamon
1 T curry powder
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, pressed
3 T freshly chopped ginger
1 T pickled jalapenos
2 c water
1 bouillon cube
10 oz frozen spinach, drained (or 10 oz fresh baby spinach)
15 oz can chopped tomatoes (or Rotel) or salsa
juice of 1 lime (2 T)
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

Method:
In a 4 quart, heavy bottomed pan heat oil on medium and add the spices. When the mustard seeds pop add the onion, garlic, ginger and jalapenos along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are translucent then add the cooked peas, water, bouillon cube and bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Turn heat down to low, add the spinach and tomatoes. Cover for 10 minutes, then stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve over brown basmati rice or polenta.


Black Eyed Pea Burgers

1.5 c cooked black eyes peas (15 oz can or 1/2 c dry)
1 onion, small chopped
1 red pepper, small chopped
1 green pepper, small chopped
1 T garlic powder
1 T basil
1 t poultry seasoning
1/4 t baking powder
salt/pepper to taste
1 c cornmeal
2 T flax meal
1 T balsamic vinegar

Sauté veggies with the spices then mix everything together with your hands. Allow to cool in fridge for at least 2 hours, but overnight if possible. Shape into 6 patties (1/2 cup each) and cook over medium heat in a cast iron or nonstick skillet with a tiny bit of oil. Serve on a bun or bread with arugula and condiments of choice. I especially like this with cranberry chutney mixed with vegenaise.

Chipotle spiced Black Eyed Pea Soup
3 c cooked peas
2-4 T EVOO
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, pressed
1 t dried thyme
1 t marjoram
1 green pepper
1 red pepper
2 stalks celery
1-2 canned chipotles in adobo
1 large sweet potato, cubed
1 small head green cabbage, chopped OR 1 small bunch Kale chopped
15 oz canned tomato (stewed, crushed, sauce, whatever you have on hand)
8 c water or stock
bouillon cube
2 T Umeboshi Vinegar
1 c fresh basil
1/4 c nutritional yeast
salt/pepper to taste

Method:
In a heavy bottomed 4 quart soup pot over medium heat, add the oil, onion, garlic, spices and veggies up to the celery along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are quite soft (around 10 minutes) then add 1 chipotle pepper, sweet potato, cabbage , water and bouillon cube. Turn heat up and bring to a boil uncovered for 3 minutes, then turn heat down to med-lo, add the cooked black eyed peas, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in umeboshi vinegar, basil and nutritional yeast. Taste and add another chipotle if desired and season with salt and pepper.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, SAFE New Years Eve and this year is the best year ever for all of us! I am excited about this year. I can't wait to see what happens in my life!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A bit of this and that..

My body craves raw food since my raw challenge this summer. I make a point of having a large green smoothie daily and huge salad daily. My smoothies are really simple and not thick at all. My favorite blend is 2 cups baby spinach, 2 T flax meal, 1 frozen banana and some frozen pineapple in a quart of water. I have been away from my house since yesterday, so I packed a huge salad for myself (and to share with others).. I made a raw ranch dressing based on cashews and mixed it with my raw 'parmesan'. Everyone loved it.
Raw Pineapple Chia Pudding
I must really need the nutrients that chia seeds provide because I crave them. You can make a simple 'pudding' with fresh fruit and chia that is very satisfying.. at least to me it is. This one had pineapple, lime juice, chia and a tiny bit of stevia.
I adore my pressure cooker. This lentil soup was ready in 15 minutes. I literally only cooked the lentils for 2 minutes (after bringing to high pressure). I turned the heat off and let the pressure come down naturally and the soups was done. What an energy efficient way to cook! I actually could have just brought it to pressure and turned the heat off because the lentils were VERY well done. I took this soup to my brother's house for Christmas dinner. My SIL actually made the main course, which was great. I rarely have anyone cook for me! She made a delicious lasagna.
This was a simple barley edamame salad with asian flavors. I used tempeh as well... and took this to holiday dinner.

My famous salsa! My brother and sil love this so much, so I made them each a half gallon. I have to give it to them in separate containers or they fight bitterly over it! This time, I added some chipolte. I like my traditional version better, but this was still good. I have some for myself as well.
I made a delicious coconut cake topped with a nutmeg/orange infused cranberry apple topping and oatmeal streusel. No pic of that though.. I was too busy taking pics of my beautiful nieces!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and are enjoying Hannukah.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Raw Chocolate Biscotti and Quinoa Eggplant Soup Recipe

Raw Chocolate Biscotti with Orange Infused Ganache

This was an experiment from Saturday night and I am thrilled with the results! They actually got crispy in the dehydrator. The next time I make them, I am going to write down the recipe. I see endless possibilities with these babies! The ganache was made from leftover chocolate sauce from the freezer. It was a cashew based chocolate sauce (raw of course). I added orange zest and let it sit overnight. It was perfect marriage of flavors and textures with the smooth ganache and crunchy biscotti. It's funny because I've only had traditional biscotti once. I took a bite and spit it out. The eggy flavor was too much for me to take. I know that there are tons of great looking vegan biscotti recipes out there, but due to my past experience just the thought of them turned my stomach. These actually came together by accident. I was planning on making another crust for a raw cheesecake for the holidays and as I formed the dough into a ball to put in the freezer the idea came to me to try biscotti. I'm sure glad I did! I will take these to our family holiday dinner.

Last post, I promised the recipe for my Eggplant Quinoa soup.. so here it is! You'll notice that I listed between 1-4 T of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in the recipe. You can use even less and coat the pan with cooking spray or use the full amount depending on the calories you want to add to the soup. I used 1 T and it is delicious. I think the orgins of this soup were based on the Tomato-Rice soup recipe in Veganomnicon if I remember right.



Eggplant Quinoa Soup
serves 6
1-4 T EVOO
1 large onion, diced
8 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 t red pepper flakes
2 t dried basil
1 t dried marjoram
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 t dried rosemary
pinch salt/pinch pepper
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 medium eggplant, diced
3 c white bean of choice (29 oz can)
8 c water or stock
vegetable bouillon cube if using water
28 oz canned tomato (whatever you have on hand, crushed, sauce, stewed, whole)
1/2 c quinoa
Salt/Pepper to taste
Fresh Basil (optional, but VERY good)
Baby Spinach (optional)
1 t EVOO and 1 T nutritional yeast per bowl for finishing (optional)
Method:
In a heavy bottomed 4 quart pot over medium heat add the oil, onions, dried spices and a pinch salt/pepper. Sauté for several minutes then add garlic. When the onions are translucent, deglaze with vinegar. Add the eggplant, beans and water or stock, tomatoes. Bring to a boil for several minutes, then turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat, add quinoa, around a cup of fresh basil and cover for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with more fresh basil, baby spinach and a teaspoon of evoo and lots of freshly ground pepper!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Raw and the Cooked.. a fine balance

Raw free form Turnip Ravioli with Macadamia Nut Cheese

I used some of the cheese from my last entry for this super fast dish. I sliced turnips on my mandoline and topped each layer with the cheese, sun dried tomatoes and a fresh basil leaf. I made three layers and garnished it with my raw parmesan, evoo, sea salt and black pepper. Cherry tomatoes and kalamata olives complimented the flavors perfectly. The best part of this dish was using these HUGE basil leaves as a wrap for all of the filling that was left behind. The flavors were spot on.


Raw 5 Spiced Lettuce Cups

This was my lunch today and again, it was just delicious. I used a lot of spice and felt warm and cozy after eating it. I remember reading a while back that certain hot tastes can cool you off and others can warm you up. Ginger and Chipotle are two that I remember being used to warm the body, while habaneros are actually used to cool the body off in a hot climate.
This filling used a lot of ginger and some serrano chiles along with walnuts, turnips, basil, cilantro, carrots, 5 spice powder, garlic, shallots and lime juice.. oh and I used some stevia as well. The avocado and tomatoes brought everything together and this dish was very satifsying. I will definitely make it again.

Spicy Eggplant and Veggies

I had this for dinner a week or so ago.. super spicy eggplant, garlic, veggies, ginger, siracha, toatsed sesame oil.. If I remember right, I had a green smoothie with chia seeds as well that night.

Tempeh Reuben Burger and marinated Mushrooms

Again, this is from a while back.. The burger was made from tempeh, sauerkraut, chickpea flour and spices. I served it open faced with raw 1000 island dressing, arugula and raw marinated mushrooms..


Using leftovers, this salad was born. I adore arugula. It can hold its own with strong flavors and textures which makes for a very satisfying meal.

We got around a foot of snow last night are are due for more tomorrow. Perfect soup weather!

I've got eggplant that is begging to be used! I'm thinking I will make my tomato/eggplant/quinoa ... and this time I'll write down the recipe because it is sooo good!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Catching up...

Raw Nacho Macadamia Nut Cheese
I still have an abundance of nuts in my freezer leftover from my bulk order this summer. I spent around $300 or so at the beginning of my 30 day raw challenge. The Macadamia are good in cheeses and other raw food, but I prefer cashews. That being said, this cheese is still delicious and I've been making a batch a week or so. This was a Nacho Cheese like spread spiced with lime juice, smoked paprika and fresh serrano chiles. I use this in collard wraps, thinned out on a salad for dressing and as a sour cream substitute. It is super delicious in my Chipotle Citrus Black Bean Soup and it totally passes the kid/ex factor.

Raw Taco
Jerk Seitan Quesadillas with Tropical Salsa

I had a Personal Chef gig a while back and made these delicious quesadillas as part of an appetizer for a Martini Party. The Jerk Sauce was sweet/spicy and tangy. Just like it should be and tropical flavors of mango, pineapple, habanero, red pepper and other spices really complimented the seitan.
Lowfat Sag Tofu
This is a repost of a pic I took last year.. but the dish is the same. It is one of my staples and it freezes so well.
Quick and Easy Lowfat Cauliflower 'Cheese' Soup

If you want to be included in the Free Wheatgrass Juicer Giveaway, the information is in my last post.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wheatgrass Juicer Giveaway and Raw Eats!


Image courtesty of 877myjuicer.com

I am so excited to host this Wheatgrass Juicer Giveaway! 877Myjuicer.com will mail you your juicer. To enter, leave a comment telling me why you want it! It's that simple. The contest will be open until January 5th (my birthday!) then juicer will be sent to the winner! Again, this is for a Wheatgrass Juicer. (click on the link to see the juicer).
Raw Thai Noodle Bowl
serves 2
3 large collards, chopped finely OR 2 spiralized zucchini (enough to produce 4 c of veggies)
1 medium carrot, shaved into noodle shapes
2 c mushrooms, sliced and marinated in Braggs hot pepper and black pepper
1 clove garlic
2 inches ginger
4 T dried coconut
1 t toasted sesame oil (optional)
Siracha to taste (or cayenne)
juice of 1 large lime
Braggs to taste
3-4 c water
stevia or other sweetener to taste
1 c cilantro
fresh mint/basil (optional but VERY good)
sesame seeds
black pepper

Chop the collards. I like to chiffonade then so they will be somewhat “noodle like”. I used a julienne peeler to peel the carrots into noodles.

In a blender place the garlic, ginger, coconut, sesame oil, siracha, lime juice, Braggs and water. Blend for several minutes (to get it warm) Add stevia or sweetener to taste. Pour over veggies and top with chopped cilantro, mint, basil and sesame seeds. Taste and adjust seasonings. I like to warm mine gently on the stove and I added a lot of hot sauce, so it really warms me up.

Collard Wrap with Tropical Salsa and a Black Bean Burger (high raw)
Tropical Kale salad with Chia Crackers

Italian Kale Salad

I really just love Kale. It is sooo versatile. The Italian Kale salad had sundried tomatoes, raw 'parmesan', kalamata olives, carrots, garlic and a balsamic/evoo dressing along with fresh parsely and fresh basil.

I have a pretty big backlog of pics, so I will be posting much more than I used to.

Don't forget to leave a comment if you want the juicer!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chipotle Split Pea Soup & News


It's been a while since I've blogged. So much has happened. Unfortunately, I was laid off from the Blue Moon Cafe. Stupid economy. I am sad because the job really fit me well and I enjoyed my co-workers a lot. Oh well, no one ever said life would be simple!

I am not quite sure what I will do in the future.. it will be interesting to see what the next step in this journey is! I am for hire if you need a vegetarian/vegan/RAW chef in the Boston/Portsmouth/Portland area!

I've been taking pics, but not blogging.... so there will be many pics coming up this week.

Also, there will be a Wheatgrass Juicer Giveaway happening in the next couple of days... stay tuned for details!

Now, onto the food. We just experienced a HUGE ice storm.. my EX lost power for 2 days... and it's been bitterly cold. My dog had to come stay with me.. (and both my kids were here at the same time!).. My kids both had head colds, so soup and the Good Stir Fry were on the menu. Also, Andrew begged for Sushi, so I had to bring the Wasabi on! We enjoy eating sushi like a wrap, so I used what I had on had to fill these up: Kale, Sweet Potato, Avocado, Cucumber, Carrots, Pickled Ginger, Salt/Pepper and served it with wasabi, siracha and soy sauce with toasted sesame oil and seeds.. Next time I will line the nori with kale instead of putting still warm sweet potato on it! (duh)

Chipotle Split Pea Soup
2 T olive oil
1 t thyme
1 t basil
1 t tarragon
1 t rosemary
1 large onion, 1.5 cups chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced or 2.5 T
1 medium carrot, chopped
2 medium stalks celery, chopped
1 lb dried split peas
6 -8 c water or vegetable stock
2 bouillon cubes if not using stock
1-3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo chopped
salt/pepper to taste
1 T balsamic vinegar
fresh parsley or cilantro if desired

In a heavy bottomed soup pot over medium heat add the dried spices,
onions and garlic and saute for several minutes. Add the carrot and
celery and saute for several more minutes, then add the peas. Stir to
coat with the veggie/spice mixture then add the water or stock. Bring
to a boil for several minutes then cover and turn down heat to a
strong simmer. Cook for 30 minutes or until the peas are tender. Add
the bouillon cube and more water if needed and the chiles. Cook for 15
minutes more, then stir in the balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust
seasonings. Top with fresh herbs if desired.
This was another version of my Happy Chicken Soup. I used Tempeh instead of tofu and I think it works even better. My kids aren't a huge tempeh fan (and I'm not either unless it is prepared correctly) so I was cautiously optimistic... Turns out everyone loved it!

Tomorrow, I will post the Wheatgrass Juicer Giveaway info and share an awesome Raw Thai Noodle Bowl Soup Recipe along with other raw eats I've been enjoying!