Sunday, May 02, 2010

Raw Marinated Artichoke Salad

I stumbled upon the BSI (Blogger Secret Ingredient) Event and thought it sounded like fun.  This week the ingredient was artichokes.  With my recent live foods kick, I was worried about whether, this could work.

From Google, I learned that raw artichokes are commonly served in Greece and other countries.

Here's my first brush with raw artichokes:

This salad is the kind of thing you just throw together, so feel free to make substitutions or changes.  My recipe and instructions are below.

Raw Artichoke Salad Recipe

2 fresh artichokes
chopped tomatoes
marinated mushrooms (baby bella is what I used)  and onions
Kalamata olives
crumbled cheese (cashew cheese in this case)
greens (baby arugula in this case)
sliced scallions
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
lemon juice
Nama Shoyu or soy sauce
Italian spice blend

First, slice the mushrooms and onion.  Mix  a splash of Nama Shoyu, olive oil, and vinegar with a generous sprinkle of the spices.  Add the mushrooms and onions and mix to coat.  Refrigerate for a few hours or days.  The longer the better. (Shaking the bowl to mix it up occasionally is a good thing.)

Juice a lemon and mix with a bowl cold water to prevent the artichoke from browning.  Prepare the artichokes by removing tough outer leaves and the fuzzy choke as well as any purple leaves in the center.  Dip in lemon water as you work.  Slice the artichoke thinly and leave in the water while you prepare the salad.

Mix tomatoes, chopped olives, marinated mushrooms and onions in a bowl.  Add the artichoke slices and a splash of vinegar.  Stir again to combine.

To plate:  Start with greens, add the artichoke mixture.  Garnish with crumbled cheese and sliced scallions.

Hope you enjoy it!

The artichokes were a little tough at first, but the texture grew on me.  I've added my remaining artichoke slices to the mushroom marinade in the fridge and will check to see if that softens it up without destroying the color.

ETA: I'm so excited to say that this recipe actually won the contest.  It is very encouraging so see a vegan recipe beat out standard fare.  In this case raw vegan made the grade!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Raw Beet Patties

I saw a recipe for smokey beet cakes that Alicia Silverstone posted and decided they could easily be converted to a raw dish.   With a few ideas in mind, I also searched to see what others have already tried.  This recipe followed pretty closely to what I was thinking already.

Soaking walnuts takes up too much time, so I opted to use sunflower seeds and ground flax instead.  The rest was a matter of what was in the fridge.

The final product with some onion bread and crumbled cashew cheese.

There were a couple of  Twitter requests for the recipe.  It certainly wasn't exact, but here's an attempt at documenting it.  
Raw Smoky Beet Patty Recipe
1 cup of carrot/celery pulp leftover from the juicer (whatever you have will work)
1/2 red beet
1/2 yellow beet
1 onion
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tomato
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 Tbl of ground flax seed mixed with 2 Tbl of water
1  tsp of smoked paprika
Salt or Nama Shoyu to taste

Food process to incorporate, adding water if necessary.  Basically, you just need a consistency that allows for making patties.   Form patties, then dehydrate at 105 degrees overnight.   These were best right out the dehydrator with a crispy outside.  Though they are still great the next day and keep well.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tal Ronnen and Gardein - Conscious Cooking

Today I was excited to know Tal Ronnen would be demonstrating recipes at Whole Foods near my office.  At lunch time I headed over there.  He was set-up in a small area speaking to an audience of about 10 people and showing them how to make recipes.

I sat down and watched while he made Gardein Chik'n Marsala.  The sample was delicious.  You can get the recipe on Gardein's site by clicking here.  Unfortunately, my seat didn't facilitate photo taking for this dish.  Tal was so friendly and down to earth and really tried to speak with everyone.   At one point he took a break to sign cookbooks.  I was bummed that my copy was on the shelf at home. 

The second recipe that Chef Ronnen prepared was Asian Gardein Beefless Stir Fry.  While he was making this dish he talked about his cookbook, The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat. I was surprised to learn how popular it is outside the vegan community.  The book actually made #3 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Epicurious also named it one of the top ten cookbooks of the year!  While it is great to see a vegan book making a mainstream smash, it is disappointing that some of the other great vegan cookbooks out there don't have as much commercial support.  Hopefully, Tal's influence will make people explore some other titles.

Below is a picture of the stir fry before Chef Ronnen served it up.  This dish was also mighty good.  After that, it was back to office for me!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Raw Kale Chips

With the recent bout of warm weather, I've been experimenting with a high raw diet. So far I'm really digging it and feeling great.

Most of my meals are simple salads, fruit or smoothies. Occasionally, I've prepared a more involved entree like raw tacos. This week I'm planning on raw pizza. The crust is actually in the dehydrator right now!

Awhile back I checked out Prana Raw Cafe and really enjoyed the kale chips that came with my meal. These have been on my list to make for awhile. Google turned up some complicated recipes, so I opted to wing it.

Basically, I mixed together a little cold pressed olive oil, nama shoyu, and raw sesames seeds. Then I poured the mixture over some kale leaves that I had torn up. After mixing it up well and making sure all the pieces were coated, I tossed them in the dehydrator for about 5 hours. These came out great. Prana definitely used more oil, but I was happy with these results.

The yellow/orange you see in the picture is some nutritional yeast.  I sprinkled about 1/3 of the chips with nutritional yeast, to add some cheesy flavor.  Both varieties are great.

Many people make kale chips in the oven, so no dehydrator necessary.  Soy sauce works fine in place of the nama shoyu if you aren't trying to adhere to a raw diet.

Give these a try, kale chips will surprise you.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Puerto Rican Pink Beans

Joyfulgirl415 posted a family recipe for Puerto Rican Pink beans on a vegan forum I frequent.  The post got a lot of attention and I decided to give it a try.

The first thing I needed to figure out is what exactly pink beans are.  I originally though this was just another name for pinto beans.  That is incorrect.  Pintos and pink beans are good substitutions for the each other though.  It turns out pink beans are their own variety.  Sometimes they are also called chili beans.  They are smaller and lighter in color than kidney beans.

I bought a bag of the dry beans and used the pressure cooker for 5 min to avoid the long soak time.  Then, I followed the recipe here.  Note that Joyfulgirl415 originally forgot the green olives and listed them later on in the thread.   When I googled around to learn more about this dish, I found that it is commonly topped with slices of avocado.

The recipe is simple to make, healthy, and really delicious.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

Update:  The link above doesn't work, so I googled and found the recipe on her blog.  It can be found here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Candied Orange Peel

I've been doing some recipe testing for the upcoming Vegan Bakesale Cookbook.  When I saw Dundee loaf, it was tops on my list to try.  It is a slightly sweet bread with marmalade, fruit, and other tasty flavors.  One complication was that the recipe called for candied orange peel. 

None of the local stores around here carry it.  Online the prices were pretty crazy, so I opted to make my own.  Believe it or not, this is deceptively simple.   Here are the steps to make your candied orange peel:

1.  Use the larger side of a zesting tool to slice strips of orange peel (preferably organic as the skin is where pesticides and wax would be concentrated).   If you don't have a zester, no worries.   I didn't either, so I sliced thin pieces of peel off the orange.  Then used a small knife to cut off as much of the white bitter pith that was still visible on the pieces.  After that, cut into strips. 

2.  Mix 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of water and bring to a slow boil to dissolve.

3. Add the orange peel and let simmer for 30-45 min until the peels start to get translucent.

4.  Put 1/2 cup of sugar on a shallow plate.   Scoop some of the peel  up with a fork and toss it in the sugar to coat.  Then put it on a tray to dry out for a few hours.  Repeat.  

Save the orange syrup for use in tea, lemonade or other flavoring!