Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Chick Pea Flatbread with Fava Puree and Kale

Once you discover the deliciousness and simplicity of this flatbread, you'll understand why its is used all over Mediterranean cuisines - Italy, France, Gibraltar, Morocco - as well as India, where I first ate it as a pancake. It's quick, easy and so tasty plain or topped with your favorite vegetables, spreads, or simply olive oil and dried herbs.

Known as farinata in Italy, it is often topped with whatever leftover cooked vegetables are sitting in the refrigerator from the last meal. Since that is always the case in my kitchen, this presents the ideal way to use up those odds and ends for a perfect lunch or light dinner.

For this version I took advantage of the bumper crop of fava beans at my local farmers market to make a simple rosemary fava bean puree. But sweet peas would be equally good as a substitute. In keeping with the pantry nature of this dish, I've eaten it with sauteed onions and steamed broccoli as the topping as well.

Another great upside to this flatbread is that it is of course gluten-free and packed with protein. While I have yet to test-drive it with children, the creamy mouthfeel of the bread will probably be a winner if you can get the vegetables past their lips!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kung Pao Seitan

Do you Kung Pao? I do, whenever possible, and with whatever protein I'm eating at the time. Tofu is my favorite but seitan is fantastic and even tempeh will work in a pinch as well.

You may have believed that this delicious dish was only obtainable in an authentic Chinese restaurant, but think again. With a few key ingredients, you too can Kung Pao with the best of them!

Kung Pao is the reason that I keep Szchewan peppercorns and dark soy sauce in my pantry. You'll find them in an Asian or Chinese market. Don't fret if you can't find the peppercorns, it's not the end of the world. But they do add a nice authenticity.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Raw Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake...raw. Yes, no cooking involved, and vegan, dairy, and gluten free. That's the beauty of raw products. Most of the traditional allergens are gone!

This cheesecake is a product of the magic of soaked cashews plus farm fresh strawberries. Blending them all together with a few other key ingredients and letting your refrigerator do the work and in presto! In a few hours you have a gorgeous cheese cake that is guaranteed to please.

Don't let the "rawness" of this scare you off. You can easily substitute non-raw cashews or coconut oil and vanilla extract instead of pure vanilla. Making it all raw is necessary is that's your audience. I have made it both ways, and it's delicious no matter the ingredients!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Cauliflower Enchiladas with Spicy Cream Sauce

Soooooo who knew that cauliflower would make an incredible enchilada filling? Not me, that's for darn sure. but when Joanne of Eats Well With Others likes it, there is no doubt about its supreme deliciousness. That woman does not mess around!

But when you think about it, what's not to love - roasted cauliflower, cream sauce, and a little heat and spice. Sounds like a perfect match to me.

The original recipe uses butter, queso fresco, and yogurt to make a super creamy sauce; veganizing it with cashews and nutritional yeast was my take on it, and even my omnivore, cream loving roommate thought it was pretty spectacular.

A note on the proportions: the recipe below reflects a doubling of what I originally made since my cauliflower was really small and there could have easily been more sauce. In addition, the original recipe involved roasting poblano chilies and peeling them, and adding them to the cream sauce, which sounds delicious but I only had a single jalapeno so that's what I made. As always, freestyle as you like and with what you've got in your pantry. That's the best way to suit your own tastes! 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cucumber, Mint and Beet Salad

I love salads, particularly what are known as "chopped" salads, which of course involves a lot of chopping. I find chopping vegetables very soothing and zen. Not everyone shares my affinity so I try and limit my chopped salad postings to only the really good ones.

And this one is a doozy.

On a whim I combined cucumber, fennel, and mint and tossed in some leftover beets and what an amazing combination! Adding the balasmic vinegar created a beautiful balance of earthy sweetness and the mint just brought it all together!

So without further ado, here's the recipe!