Sunday, July 7, 2013

Refreshing Cucumber Salad

Case and I were both quite please with this tart/sweet salad.  We don't typically care for raw onions, but if you soak them in the marinade before hand for an hour or so, they mellow quite nicely. It tasted refreshing and was quick to make as well. It's an excellent alkaline appetizer which allowed us to better digest the main course.

Cucumber Salad
Serves 2 as small appetizer
Adapted from Plenty (Super cool vegetarian cookbook by a non-vegetarian author [the best kind!])

3 Tb. rice wine
2 tsp. sugar
2 Tb. Olive oil
2 Tb. Sesame oil
1 tsp. ginger

1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
1/2 cucumber, very thinly sliced

Dukkah, to garnish (I ran out of sesame seeds)

Soak cucumbers and onion in dressing for an hour, then serve. The original recipe calls for crushed ginger and garlic, as well as cilantro, which I did not have. However, we were quite happy with my simplified (read: faster) version.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Accidental Cherry Jello

Awesomest accident ever! I will feel so silly if everyone knows this but me. Apparently, if you blend cherries, strain it, put it in a cup you will get jello in under five minutes. I kid you not. No added ingredients, just blended, pitted, fresh cherries. Is there something I am missing here? This might not be a big deal. I mean really, why not just eat the pitted cherries instead of going through the extra work of blending it? But if you are like me and you just had your wisdom teeth removed and chewing anything causes excessive pain (because you are pretty sure one of your surgical sites has dry socket), then this is freakin awesome. Having also just had my braces removed, this is an excellent treat if you want something soft. Lastly, it's also fun to eat! So yeah, get some cherries. Toss them in your blender. Strain, pour and wait five minutes. It doesn't even need to go in the fridge. Woohoo!

My bowl of pitted cherries


Cool Tomato Buttermilk Soup

It's been awhile since I've made something I did not like. I blog about it because this flavor profile may be to someone else's liking.

I had to blend this soup with a different vegetable soup I made to eat it. :( That said, I made two versions of this and one of them was just the tomato confit blended with vegetable broth and that was much more enjoyable. However, if you like the tangy taste of buttermilk I highly suggest this soup. I think the dairy was just a bit much for me. My new favorite vegetarian cookbook is herbivoracious by Michael Natkin. I have over a dozen bookmarks in it right now of recipes I want to try. He offers a lot of extra helpful tips throughout the book and has excellent pictures. My dislike of this particular recipe is not a reflection of his book at all. It's just a reflection of the fact that I apparently don't like buttermilk and didn't know this until now. Or I made it wrong.  Either way...

(I linked his general site as this recipe is only available in the cookbook)

Cool Tomato Buttermilk Soup
Adapted from herbivoracious

1/2 cup tomato confit (save extra for garnish)
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup veggie broth

fresh chives

To make tomato confit I halved cherry tomatoes and cooked them at 300 for about 2 hours. The book say's to peel the skin and remove the seeds, which I did not do. I'm wondering how the affects the taste...

After the confit has cooled, blend the ingredients together and pour into a bowl. I used a mixture of raw tomatoes and confit tomatoes for the garnish along with lots of chives.



Saturday, June 29, 2013

More Lovin'

Immediately after our watermelon salad we indulged in a delicious pasta salad. This was loosely based off of Martha Stewart's Orzo Pasta Salad.

Pasta Salad with Fried Zucchini and Corn

2 corn on the cob, kernels cut off
3 small zucchini (I could have probably used a more)
Cooked, refrigerated pasta (I used a gluten-free corn pasta [no - I am not going gluten free])
1/2 Thinly sliced onion
S & P

Heat a pan with EVOO and add zucchini and onion and cook on high heat until soft. Add corn and cook until heated. Add to cold pasta with additional EVOO and stick in fridge until cold. After cold, eat.

Summer Lovin'

Yes! Binging on fruit this summer has been much too pleasurable. I'm trying to stuff my face as much as I can to really take advantage of the bounty. This might actually be the first summer I am doing this. I didn't use to fully appreciate or understand that there was a season for produce unless it was asparagus or fresh peas because I'm pretty sure you can't buy that shit out of season. Stores are stocked all year long with what I want so why only buy during certain months, right?

But now, now I am tasting a huge difference in when I buy produce. It's kinda sad it took me so long. But I'm catching on to what I feel like most people already know.

This post is one that has been floating around on the internets in some version or another. I actually based this recipe off of Plenty - the book I mentioned in a previous post. The only thing I would change about how I did it would be to let the onions soak in some kind of marinade before hand to take the bite out. They were a tad strong. Also, the original recipe called for feta but I am trying to limit my dairy and it tasted awesome without it. Again since this is my own recipe - use the portions appropriate for the amount of people you are serving.

Balsamic Vinegar (I used two kinds)

Cut up the onion and let sit in olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper for about an hour to soften. Cut up watermelon and chop basil. Mix with onion dressing. Eat. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Shrooms, garlic sourdough, and fried egg

I'm pretty much addicted to the library these days. Books. For Free. FREE. Plus music, movies, and the internets too!

That should really be the end of my post because that is awesome stuff right there. The Seattle Public Library System is also extremely vast. I like to support it by turning in my books late and paying fines. Is that tax deductible? 

My new favorite thing to do is to look at highly rated and popular books and put them on hold. I always come across things I wouldn't typically seek out on my own, or pay for. I recently got the book Plenty which is a vegetarian cookbook written by a carnivore. My kind of book right there. He happily mentions which dishes are good with meat and is liberal with his use of cream, egg, and cheeses. I know - I feel like I just posted about limiting dairy in my diet. I am. No more milk. Very little cheese. But eggs - I am totally down for eggs. Hardboiled, softboiled, fried, poached, scrambled. It's all good.

I've been craving them lately. Literally thinking about them during the day. So I made this phenomenal mushroom ragout liberally adapted from Plenty. The original recipe called for a poached duck egg, so if you can find duck egg and you can poach it - go for it!

Sorry - this will be a vague recipe. Just measure the ingredients based on what you like. 

Mushrooms (I used oyster, portabella, and shitake) 
Diced onion
Truffle oil
Sour cream
Garlic, minced 
Olive Oil
Sour dough bread
White wine

Cut up the sourdough into cubes and mix with garlic, oil, and salt. Bake in oven at 400 until brown & crispy. 

Soften onions in a large pan with the truffle oil. Add 1/4 cup(ish) of white wine. Let the wine cook off. While it is cooking off fry your egg. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. I cut the mushrooms up in different sizes to get different textures. Add parsley and sour cream. (I used yogurt instead but it broke on me so I recommend using sour cream as the original recipe calls for). 

On a plate put the sourdough on the bottom, cover with ragout, top with fried egg. Add a little more parsley and cracked pepper to make it look pretty. 

If you like mushroom this will rock your world. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pumpkin Bars

Frankly, I'm not even sure what to call these. Cake? Cookies? Bars? Brownies? Awesome!? All of the above might be best. One Sunday I decided to bake red velvet brownies (didn't turn out) and these guys. Good thing one of my recipes turned out okay. I definitely did a lot of adapting from the recipe I found, mostly because I could not find all of the ingredients so I just did my own thing. You can find the original recipe here.

Basically - I didn't do the filling and instead just folded in white chocolate and semi-sweet milk chocolate chips. And it worked out perfect for me.

What to do with the leftover pumpkin puree? Freeze it in your ice cube tray to make delicious protein shakes.

Two eggs + One banana

My last post contained four ingredients. This post will have even less! Two! Well..kinda. I might be cheating. The toppings will make it five. We don't need to dwell on that.

I found this on Pinterest (aka my new addiction):
  • One large over-ripe banana 
  • Two eggs
I am specific about the banana because I had a small slightly-less-ripe one and it tasted a little too eggy for my taste.

For the "extras" you can add vanilla extract, syrup, and powdered sugar. I wouldn't normally add powdered sugar but it makes the pictures look so pretty! :) It didn't cook very evenly for me so I folded it over to make it an omelet and I loved it. This breakfast is perfect.