Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beet Burger Sliders with Chipotle Mayo and Avocado

Perspective is a funny thing. Like the photo above. It looks like a normal size burger on a regular size plate, but it's not. It's a slider, about 2 inches across with a tiny plate, all sitting on a table that is a mirror. So the plate appears to be floating in the trees...

And I was really excited about these burgers since the vegan world was all abuzz about them about a year ago. Turns out, perspective or hype is all relative. While these burgers tasted pretty good, they weren't as good as I would have liked. A little too beety for me and I love beets. The search for the perfect homemade, gluten free, burger continues, but this one may be exactly what you're looking for. It's all relative!

I found this burger bun recipe which was great and I highly recommend it. I followed the directions to a T which meant making small buns and from the comments, it appears that the buns would need to cook longer if you make larger buns. Just keep an eye on them, checking every couple of minutes until they are browned on top to your satisfaction.

Incidently, I used cold leftover burgers as crumbles in a salad with a creamy dressing and they were super delicious!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Mahi Mahi Piccata

The fish counter at our local co-op generally has a pretty good selection of wild caught fish, which I prefer. So when I spied some Mahi Mahi at a great price ($10/lb) I scooped some up and made Piccata!

Piccata is simple, tasty and perfect for any kind of fish that is a firm white fish like Mahi Mahi, which I usually use in fish tacos. It's flavor is pretty mild which is the perfect foil to the tanginess of the lemon, caper white wine sauce of piccata.

The other fun part of piccata is it looks fancy but is a quick dinner that makes any week night feel special. Here I added some steamed spinach and mashed potatoes for a total comfort food meal and everyone loved!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kale Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Not all kale salads are created equal. Yes, I'm sure you've endured the minimalist version, lemon juice, salt, olive oil, maybe some avocado to sooth the harsh bitterness of kale, particularly the curly kind. And you felt virtuous and healthy as your stomach protested the harshness of the roughage entering your system. Everything has its place, and so does a delicious kale salad. Really, it's ok to eat the tasty salads as well.

Bitter greens are great for you but that doesn't mean you need to have a bitter or overly acidic dressing. This honey mustard dressing provides the balance that I believe bitter green salads should have. Adding in the radishes brings a bit of pepper and crunch to the salad. Shaving some hard cheese like Asiago, Parmesan or even Pecorino Romano into the salad is completely optional, but the creamy nuttiness adds another level of flavor complexity.

And if you love your minimalist kale salads, good for you! Just remember those people with less hardy stomach might actually enjoy kale salads when they're dressed with something a little more enticing!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Tempeh Tikka Masala

A picture is worth a thousand words, but don't judge this recipe by the photo, which is less than ideal. This recipe is, however, close to perfect!

Tempeh is one of the plant proteins that I have finally managed to understand and come to love. Here it really is the perfect foil for this silky, tangy spicy curry from India. Take a break from tofu or seitan and give tempeh a try; trust me, you'll get hooked.

As with so many ethnic cuisines that I did not grow up eating, finding a recipe that fits my particular palate is always a challenge, but this one hit the sweet spot for me and my family. We all loved the complexity of spices. The steamed and then sauteed tempeh soaked up just enough of the flavors but held its form to make this a dish that will be in my regular dinner rotation!

We enjoyed this along with some Palak, Indian style Creamed Spinach and some Besam Chapati (chick pea flour pancakes). But it's also great over rice or with Naan. 

Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients, it's mostly spices. Do try and get all of the ingredients; the dried methi and asafoetida will probably be the hardest to come by so don't stress if you can't find them. But do take the time to find the others; you'll love the recipe so much that you'll be making it again soon and will appreciate having the spices at the ready.