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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Do you sometimes get inexplicable cravings? I’m not referring to the sudden craving for a little something sweet or salty in the afternoon. I’m talking about the sudden, strong craving for a specific dish.

Well that happened to me about a month ago. I suddenly started craving Gado Gado, the common Indonesia salad of fresh vegetables, egg and peanut curry sauce. We don’t go to any Indonesian restaurants here in the Bay Area, so it’s not like I simply hadn’t been in a while and was missing a favorite dish. In fact, we typically go to an Indonesian restaurant only once a year, when we’re in Amsterdam visiting my husband’s family during the summer holiday. But we missed going this year–despite having a reservation at Kantjil in Amsterdam, since our flight from France was severely delayed. (Do not get me started on Easy Jet flight horror stories!)

The strong craving I experienced came on suddenly and would not go away. But luckily, I have a great recipe for Gado Gado that’s super easy!

This is a basic recipe (for 4) which you can modify to your liking. For example, you can substitute other vegetables, but I think this combination makes for the best in terms of taste, texture and color. The great thing about this salad is you need very little prep time, and you can often make it with ingredients you already have on hand.

 

Ingredients

1 tsp salt

1-1/2 cups green beans, trimmed

4 large organic eggs

1-1/2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1-1/2 cups radishes, trimmed and quartered

1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices

1 package 14oz extra-firm tofu

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tsp red curry or Madras curry powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp avocado oil

 

Peanut Sauce

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

3 tbsp hot water

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp Thai red curry paste

1/4 tsp sea salt

2 tsp sambal oelek or Sriracha (optional)

 

Preparation

Place tofu on a plate layered with 2-3 paper towels. Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rolling boil; cover, turn off heat and let stand 12 minutes. Remove eggs from pan using a slotted spoon; rinse with cold water; peel and cut in half.

Return pan to boil; add green beans and cook 4-5 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain; rinse with cold water; pat dry and set aside.

In the meantime, prepare the tofu. Cut the block lengthwise into four 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the slices on 2-3 layers of paper towels on a plate. Cover with more paper towels and a plate turned upside down. Let stand at least 5 minutes. Cut cross-wise to make 1/2-inch cubes. Combine cornstarch, curry powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Gently toss tofu to coat.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan. Add tofu and cook for 10-12 minutes or until nicely crisp and browned on all sides.

Prepare peanut sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together. Adjust seasoning to taste. If the sauce is thicker than you want, add a little extra hot water to thin it down. Note: I leave out the samba oelek or Sriracha if it’s a family dinner since my kids don’t like things too spicy–yet.

Cut the green beans into 2-inch pieces; arrange on a platter. Arrange eggs halves, bean sprouts, radishes and cucumbers. Serve with sauce on the side. Store leftover vegetables and sauce separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. They make a great lunch the next day!

Enjoy!

 

 

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These gluten-free, grain-free scones have become a favorite in my home. They boast enough flavor on their own that you don’t need to add jams or spreads (although I think a light spread of whipped coconut cream would make them taste even better). I also like that they don’t come out too dense like so many recipes that rely primarily on almond flour. The three to one ratio of almond to potato starch ensure these baked treats come out light with a beautiful crumb and a slightly crunchy top.

This recipe is just slightly altered from the one in Brittany Angel’s wonderful Paleo cookbook, “every last crumb.” I use slightly less sugar, chocolate chips and fruit. You can use dried cranberries, currants or other dried fruit in place of the cherries. They all work well!

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour

1/2 cup potato starch, plus a little extra for the work surface

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 cup or 1 stick chilled unsalted butter or butter substitute

1/3 cup coconut or evaporated cane sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

1/4 cup chocolate chips*

3/4 cup cherries, fresh, frozen or dried, halved and pitted*

2 tbsp tapioca starch for dusting the cherries

*Brittany’s recipe calls for 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup chocolate chip and 1 cup fruit. I think the scones can handle as much as you want. For me, it’s more a question of whether you’re wanting a breakfast bread replacement or dessert.

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, whisk the almond flour, potato starch, baking soda and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture consists of pea-sized lumps.

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In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Whisk in the sugar and vinegar. Pour into the flour mixture and mix briefly–just until the dough comes together. Do not overmix.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

In a small bowl, toss the cherries in the tapioca starch. Fold into the dough.

Dust a sheet of parchment paper with a couple tablespoons potato starch. Place the dough on the dusted paper and pat into a circle about 6-7 inches in diameter. Slide the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Note: I like to slice my scones before baking, but Brittany’s recipe calls for popping the scones in the oven now and slicing later.

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Bake for 35-40 minutes or until firm and golden. (You can cover with foil halfway through baking if you find your scones are at risk of becoming too dark, but this hasn’t happened to me yet.)

Note: Brittany suggests melting an extra 1/2 cup chocolate chips for 1 minute in the microwave, and drizzling it over the scones when they’re out of the oven.

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Serves 6.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve been cooking and eating plenty. Aside from a two-week holiday to six East Coast cities and towns, I have spent countless hours in biblical history. What’s that, you say? Well, in reality, it’s likely just the result of the drought we’re experiencing throughout California, but we’ve been plagued with everything from mites on the chickens to fleas on the cats to ants invading our kitchen. And I’m not alone in this plague of pestilence. Even the restaurants in our local towns have been battling the ant problem. Ask for a cup of tea, and you’re likely to get it with a pinch of tiny ants. Every possible little pest is hungry and thirsty and running amuck since temperatures continue to run higher than normal and their normal food supplies are scarce–or so I’ve been told. Now I could launch into a larger discussion about global warming, but let’s save that for another time and get back to food.

The most amazing plums keep piling up on the produce stands in my area. They’re rich in color, incredibly juicy and sweet as can be. I don’t know many recipes that use plums, but plum crisp would beat them all anyway. I find that cooking plums with a little lemon zest and sugar really concentrates their flavor. I’ve made this crisp using plums and apples, but plums alone offers the most intense flavor.

 

Ingredients

7-8 plums and/or pluots, pitted and quartered

zest from a lemon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cornstarch (optional)

1 tbsp coconut or cane sugar

3/4 cup porridge oats

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1/2 cup almond flour/meal

1/2 coconut or cane sugar

1 pinch of sea salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 pieces

 

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a medium-size bowl, mix the plum segments, lemon zest, and vanilla. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp sugar and the cornstarch if using, and toss to coat evenly. Evenly divide and scoop the fruit mixture into four ramekins.

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In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Break down any lumps in the almond flour and stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Using a pastry cutter or two knives and two good hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon out evenly over the fruit in the four ramekins.

plums filled

Place the ramekins in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the crumb topping turns golden brown and the fruit mixture is bubbling. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes (or tongues will get burned!).

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut milk ice cream.

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Enjoy!

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zucc verticalzucc close

 

I don’t know what’s at the root of my latest obsession with zucchini, but I find myself wanting to discover more and more ways to cook the tender, dark green squash. Maybe it’s because I feel they’re an under-appreciated vegetable. Zucchini may not provide a lot of protein or fiber, but they’re very low in fat and carbs (for people watching their weight) and are a rich source of poly-phenolic antioxidants which help fight damage from free radicals. We all can remember someone serving us slices of zucchini, horribly over-cooked in a steamer to the point of sogginess, with absolutely zero flavor. But when zucchini is cooked properly, it’s delicious and goes with any number of meats or other vegetables. Zucchini soup is one of my family’s favorites, as is zucchini bread, and I regularly make zucchini and potato pancakes as a base for smoked salmon and apply chutney.

These fritters are so flavorful, you don’t need to top them with anything except a dollop of spiced yogurt. A fried egg served on top would also be delicious (probably not with the spiced yogurt though). I appreciate that you can eat these for breakfast, lunch or dinner–they’re very versatile! And I like that this recipe is gluten- and grain-free–perfect for people following a Paleo diet or simply trying to reduce the amount of grain they consume.

 

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, washed and ends removed

Coarse-ground salt

1 organic egg

2-3 tbsp almond flour/meal

1 tbsp coconut flour

1 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced, white parts and a little of the green

2-3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Fresh-ground pepper

2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, optional

 

Spiced yogurt

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 small garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Fresh-ground pepper

 

Preparation

Grate the zucchini on the large, round setting. Spread out on a colander, sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess liquid and place in a medium bowl. Stir in the egg, parsley, scallions and almond flour and coconut flour. Season with salt and pepper and stir until well-mixed.

 

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Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron or other skillet over medium heat. Make sure there’s enough oil to cover the bottom with a shiny layer. Spoon the zucchini mixture into the skillet using a large tablespoon or soup spoon. It should make 4-6 fritters depending on how big a spoonful you use. You may need to cook them in batches. Fry for 4-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown (or even slightly browner so you get a nice crunch on the outer edges). Transfer to a plate lined with a paper-towel.

While the first batch of fritters is cooking, mix together the spiced yogurt mixture in a small bowl.

When the fritters are done, serve them warm with a dollop of spiced yogurt on top.

 

Enjoy!

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