Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beet and blueberry salad

Beets are one of my favorite fall vegetables. When pickled, I can eat jars and jars of them. In this dish they retain their earthy, sweet aroma accented by the fresh blueberries

4 small beets
1 pint blueberries
1 mango
6 oz goat cheese
12 oz spring greens mix

0.5 cup blueberries
0.25 cup maple syrup
0.25 cup red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
black pepper

Wash and wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 400F oven for an hour. Allow to cool and peel. Dice.

Peel and dice mango. Wash and drain blueberries. Blend 0.5 cup blueberries with the maple syrup, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and black pepper to taste.

Chop the greens and toss with half of the vinaigrette. Distribute onto four plates. Top with mango, blueberries, goat cheese chunks, beet cubes, toasted pecans, and a little more of the dressing. Serve.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thai rice noodle soup

I have prepared two versions of this, using chicken in the first and tilapia with green beans in the second. Both were delicious and served perfectly. If you desire a slightly fishy flavor, and some veggies. Add fish toward the end and green beans at the beginning in place of the chicken.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 large cloves garlic
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 tbsp red Thai curry paste
8 oz chicken thigh meat (or 10 oz green beans and two tilapia fillets)
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
3 tbsp fish sauce
2/3 cup coconut milk
6 oz rice vermicelli noodles
1 lime
red onion
hot pepper flakes

Crush the garlic, grate the ginger, and mix with curry paste.

Cut the chicken thigh meat into small pieces. Heat the oil and add the curry paste mix. Cook for a few minutes, until spices extract.

Add the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth, fish sauce, and coconut milk. Mix in rice vermicelli and cook for 10 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chili flakes, lime, red onion, jalapeno slices, and cilantro.

Roasted vegetable medley

I received some yellow squash, green beans, and beets from a friend's overflowing garden. They made an unbelievably tasty and healthy set of meals.

yellow squash
green beans

Preheat oven to 400F. Line baking sheets with foil. Wash the beets and wrap with foil. Place onto baking sheet. Wash the green beans and remove ends. Toss with a bit of oil, salt, and black pepper. Distribute onto foil-lined sheet in a single layer. Cut the yellow squash into 1-inch pieces. Toss with a bit of oil and salt.

Bake the beets for an hour. Cool and peel. Dice.

Bake the green beans for about 30 minutes. Flip once.

Bake the yellow squash for 15 minutes on each side. Do not crowd on the pan.

Toss vegetables with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, mixed with garlic if desired. Salt to taste.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Udon noodles with kale and carrots

Many foodies are into zoodling these days...and the alternative veggie noodles are indeed a healthy choice. While I haven't tried zoodling, it seems anything should work better then a vegetable mandolin for preparing julienned veggies in large quantities. I used to shred, cut, slice, dice, and stab my fingers every time I tried shredding hard vegetables on a mandolin or on a grater. Until I discovered the julienne peeler. I use this appliance very happily for a number of dishes...without ever adding parts of me to the dish by accident.

1 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp soy sauce
0.25 tsp fish sauce
4 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp Sriracha
6 oz Udon noodles
1 bunch of Kale
2 carrots

Remove the leaves of the kale from the hard ribs. Chop carefully and massage with a tsp of sesame oil.

Julienne the carrots using the julienne peeler.

Boil the udon noodles per package instructions and drain.

Mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, peanut butter and Sriracha. Toss with carrots and Kale, then add noodles and mix well. Serve. Top with scallions sliced at an angle, pepper flakes, or hot chili slices.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Garlic sticks

When I was an undergrad, there was this pizzeria called Neil and Otto's a few streets from the college. On long nights of cramming for exams, we used to order garlic sticks from them. They came with nice dipping sauces, and were delicious, greasy, salty, cheesy...and kept away all vampires all night. And the next day as well. The pizzeria has since closed, but I was craving some late-night snacks of the kind, so reproduced the delicacy here.

1 cup flour
0.25 tsp yeast
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pizza spice
2 tsp oregano
3 large cloves garlic
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbsp butter

Mix the yeast, salt, pizza spice, and flour. Add the water and mix in. Cover and allow to sit overnight.

Cut dough into two equal pieces on a well-floured surface. Roll into balls and stretch into a circle after letting it rest for 10 minutes. Place onto parchment paper pieces.

Preheat oven to 425F with a pizza stone in it.

Melt the butter and mix into it the crushed garlic. Spread it on top of the pizza dough. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake until golden on top. Allow to cool on a cookie rack. Sprinkle with oregano.

Slice into sticks and serve with ranch sauce and your favorite, sweet cherry tomatoes.

Burger buns

Hamburgers are one of those food items I prefer to eat at restaurants, rather than preparing them myself. But I am going for a veggie burger in the near future, and...because bread is my favorite, I wanted to have a perfect bun recipe first.
These buns are light, but sturdy. They will hold up well under a pile of toppings..

3 tbsp milk
1 cup water
2 tsp yeast
2.5 tbsp sugar
2 eggs
3.3 cups flour
1.5 tsp salt
2.5 tbsp butter

Mix the water, milk, and sugar. Microwave until warm, and dissolve the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow to bloom.

Preheat the oven for two minutes, to get a good bread proofing temperature.

Mix the flour with the salt, rub butter into flour between fingers, to create a crumble. Stir in the yeast mixture and one beaten egg until dough forms, using a kitchenaid mixer. Mix for 10 minutes.

Shape dough into a ball and return into the lightly oiled bowl. Allow to proof in the oven for an hour.

Cut dough into 8 portions. Shape them into a ball and place onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to rise for another hour in the oven.

Set a baking pan with water into the oven and preheat it to 400F. Brush tops of rolls with egg wash made from the other egg. Bake for about 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Cool on cookie rack.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Kale veggie wrap

This was such a surprisingly delicious twist on kale, that I had to repeat the recipe several times in a one-week period. The key is really the aioli and the cheddar cheese as it melts into the crispy kale.

2 cups of kale leaves
2 whole wheat wraps
2 eggs
1 jalapeno
8 cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp minced onion
3 tbsp mayo
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp sriracha
3 oz cheddar cheese

Spray a pan with vegetable oil and lightly brown the shredded kale, turning occasionally.

Cut the tomatoes in half and cook them on low heat until they dehydrate a little. I place them skin-side-down, and do not turn them.

Cook the onions and the sliced jalapeno until softened slightly

Mix the mayo with the crushed garlic and the Sriracha. Shred the cheddar. Fry two eggs.

To assemble, heat the wrap in a pan and place the kale and shredded cheese in the center.

Spread with the aioli and top with the tomatoes, peppers and onions. Top with one fried egg on each wrap. Fold and serve hot.