Sunday, August 28, 2011

Moroccan Chickpea Patties

This is not a Rachael Ray dish.  You will not have this on the table in 30 minutes or less.
This is a dish that you will spend an hour or more making and will dirty your food processor three times.

You could easily serve these badboys with a simple lemon tahini sauce and call it a day.
I tend to go into freak out mode if I don't get my daily dose of vegetables, so I normally go the extra mile and pair these with some simply steamed broccoli and miso whipped sweet potatoes. 

I make this recipe whenever I have a can of chicpeas on hand.  I figure it's better than making hummus and eating the ENTIRE batch myself.
It's also one of the few ways I can get my husband to eat chickpeas.  Yes, he's a garbanzo hater.  Issues, I know.

Moroccan Chickpea Patties (from vive le vegan by dreena burton) Serves 4

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped (stalks and core discarded, roughly 1-1/2 - 2 cups)
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 medium clove garlic, chopped
1-1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil for purée
2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon cumin
3⁄4 teaspoon paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄3 - 1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/2 cup good quality breadcrumbs (see note)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil for frying patties
In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the fennel, salt and pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes. Add the red pepper and cook for another 5 minutes or until the fennel has softened. Remove from heat.
In a food processor, combine the chickpeas with the garlic, vinegar, olive oil, ginger, salt, cumin, paprika and cinnamon and purée until the mixture becomes smooth (scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed). If still a little chunky, add a touch more oil or water, and purée again until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the fennel/red pepper mixture and green onions. Stir through to combine well. If you have the time, refrigerate for at least an hour—the mixture will firm up and be easier to shape.
Mix the breadcrumbs, sesame seeds and sea salt, and pour onto a plate. Take a mound of the chickpea mixture (roughly 1/3 cup) and form patties; then dip both sides in the breadcrumb mixture.
In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and fry the patties for about 7-9 minutes on each side, until lightly browned (flip only once or twice to prevent breaking up patties).

Lemon Tahini Sauce

1/3 c. tahini
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 t. salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 c. water (more or less depending on how thick you like your sauce)

Place all ingredients except water in a food processor. With motor running stream in water.  Taste and adjust lemon, garlic and salt depending on personal preference.

Miso Whipped Sweet Potatoes

2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled cut into 1" chunks
1-2 T. miso
salt, to taste

Boil sweet potatoes until fork tender. Allow to cool a bit, then transfer to a food processor. Add miso and a pinch of salt.  Process until creamy.

Steamed Broccoli...

broccoli + steam.

Make this on a rainy day.  You'll be in the kitchen for a couple hours.
Just sayin'.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lickity Split Granola Bars

These take five minutes to make.
They contain five ingredients.
Five year olds will love them.

And... so will you.

I love granola/energy bars.  They are great for breakfast or as a snack or are perfect for those times when your blood sugar is going to crash and you are ready to kill someone.

I adapted this recipe from this site
They are highly versatile.. you can use different nuts and seeds, dried fruits, nut butters and sweetners, depending what you like and what's chilling in your cupboards.

Get crazy with it.

Lickity Split Granola Bars (makes 9-12 bars)

2 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. sunflower seeds
1/2 c. raw cacao nibs
2/3 c. sunflower seed butter or any nut butter
1/2-2/3 c. honey or agave

Line a 9" by 9" pan with aluminum foil.
In a large bowl mix together the oats, raw cacao and sunflower seeds.
In a seperate bowl mix together the honey and sunflower seed butter.
Pour the honey/sunflower seed mixture into the oat mixture and mix until all ingredients are incorporated.
Press mixture into the lined pan. Place another piece of foil on top and press down even more. 
Refrigerate for at least for hours.
Cut into squares and keep stored in the fridge until ready to eat.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Savory Oat and Nut Vegetable Burgers

This veggie burger is no joke.
If it got into a fighting match with a boca burger it would do some serious damage.

I'm not a big fan of storebought frozen vegetable burgers. 
1.They are super expensive.
2.They have way too many ingredients.
3.They taste like cardboard.

These burgers are cheap to make, contain whole food ingredients (oats, almonds, walnuts, vegetables etc.) and come together in two shakes of a lambs tail (aka mad quick)

oats, walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and other savory spices..

grated carrots, onion, parsley and cooked oats...

All together now!

Savory Oat and Nut Vegetable Burgers (makes 2 large burgers)

1/2 c. oats
1/4 c. cooked oats
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
2 T. parsley, chopped
2 T. onion, diced
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 T. sesame seeds
1 T. tamari
1/4 c. almonds, ground
3 T. walnuts, ground
1/4 t. rubbed sage
1/4 t. mustard powder
1/4 t. celery seed
1/4 t. black pepper
1/4 t. sea salt
oil for frying

First, cook up some oats.  Place 2/3 c. water, a pinch of salt and 1/4 c. oats in a small saucepan.  Cook on medium low heat until oats are cooked. Set aside to cool.
Place 1/2 c. oats, the ground nuts, sesame seeds, nutritional yeast and spices in a medium sized bowl.  Add the onion, carrot, parsley and tamari.  When the oats have cooled a bit stir them in and mix thoroughly.  Place in the refridgerator for at least one hour.  This will help them to firm up so they don't fall apart.
When you are ready to cook 'em up, heat a small amount of oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Form the mixture into patties and place in the hot oil.  Cook 3-4 minutes each side or until lightly browned.  Gently flip and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side.  Place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any excess oil. 
I served these up on toasted sourdough bread with some lettuce, red onion and a little dijon mustard mixed with some vegenaise. 

Crack open a cold beer, make yourself a burger and get down with it...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

caprese salad and aglio e olio

99.9% of the time I'm a tomato hater.  I don't like bloody mary's, ketchup or salsa fresca. The thought of putting a tomato on a sandwich makes me cringe. 
Yes, I have issues.
For one brief moment, usually mid-August to mid-September (aka now) a tomato actually tastes like a tomato!
Strange concept, I know.
I decide to put my tomato phobia aside and do what anyone in their right mind would do with a bunch of local fresh picked tomatoes.

Make caprese salad.

In my eyes, this is one of the most quintessential summer dishes.  Basil is plentiful and tomatoes are everywhere.  Grab yourself a ball of fresh mozzarella and you're in business!

Slice up some tomatoes, tuck in some fresh mozzarella and basil.  Drizzle with a nice extra virgin olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

I decided to follow this up with the simplest of pasta dishes, aglio e olio (aglio=garlic. olio=oil).

Aglio e olio in seven steps

1. Bring a large pot of  salted water to a boil
2. Add pasta.  Cook till al dente. Reserve a 1/2 c of the cooking water. Drain pasta and rinse under cold water.
3. In the same pot, heat a nice glug of olive oil. 
4. Add lots of grated garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.  Cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly.
5. Add the pasta back in along with a splash of the pasta cooking water and some grated parmesan or pecorino romano. Cook for a minute or so, constantly stirring pasta. 
6. Throw in some fresh chopped parsley.
7. Serve with more grated cheese, cracked black pepper and a nice drizzle of olive oil.

Easy peasy summer eats!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Salt and Pepper Tofu, Baby Bok Choy and Jasmine Rice

I love the asian supermarket. 
There are few places you can purchase durian, green bean popsicles, mayonnaise in a squirt bottle and fifty pound sacks of rice.
I walk in with a ten dollar bill and walk out with an arm load of babybok choy, a brick of tofu, scallions, chilis, ginger and a huge bag of jasmine rice. 
Two words. Bargain shopper.

I am one of those people that prefer to use a few dishes as possible when I cook, but sometimes you have to fill every single burner and dirty every pot in the house.  You will dirty three pots, some bowls and couple of plates. You will also love every single bite.

This recipe is adapted from the awesome ladies over at

Salt and Pepper Tofu (serves 3-4)

1 15 oz. block extra firm tofu, pressed for 30 minutes*
1 T. mirin
2 T. tamari
1/4 c. arrowroot
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2" piece of ginger, minced
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 t. coarse salt, kosher is good.
1 T. brown rice vinegar
1/3 c. scallions
grapeseed oil  (or another neutral oil) for frying

*To press tofu: wrap in a tea towel, cover with a plate and place a heavy object (something in the 3 lb. range) on top for 30 minutes. Pressing the water out will allow your tofu to take on a nice marinade and will give it a nice firm texture.

Cut pressed tofu into 1/2 inch cubes. In a large bowl mix together the mirin and tamari.  Add the tofu to the marinade and let it sit 20 minutes.  Place the arrowroot in a seperate bowl large enough to hold the tofu.  After 20 minutes, drain any excess marinade from the tofu and gently coat with the arrowroot.
Heat a swirl (appx. 1 tablesspoon) of grapeseed oil in large non-stick skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, gently slide the tofu into the pan and fry a couple minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. 
Transfer the tofu to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess oil.
In the same pan, add another swirl of oil.  Add the ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.  Sautee for thirty seconds then stir in the tofu.  Sautee the tofu for one minute, then add the brown rice vinegar.  Cook another minute then add scallions.  Cook one more minute and serve hot along side some jasmine rice and baby bok choy sauteed up with a little ginger and garlic. Top with some scallions and a spinkle of sesame seeds.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

I should be feasting on summers bounty.. tomatoes, corn, zucchini, basil etc.. But, I still want asparagus.  In the past year I've really made an effort to eat seasonally. Not only does the food taste way better but it's alot cheaper too.  A skimpy bunch of basil in December will set you back $4, whereas a pimpin' bunch will cost a buck in August at the farmers market.  A tomato or a peach in January will taste like carboard and winter squash mid-summer is mealy and flavorless. 

Asparagus is a spring time food.  One of those foods that I fantasize about after eating hearty stews, squashes and root vegetables all winter long.  It's at it's peak in April and May but you usually see it kicking around supermarkets until August.  I'm pretty sure this was my last fling with asparagus until next spring, so I made it count.

Most people don't know that you can eat asparagus raw. 
You can.
It's delicious.

I like to shave it.

Grab asparagus at the bottom and peel it like you would a carrot.

Pretty ribbons!  Sometimes I'll add some lemon, olive oil and a nice shaved cheese and eat it as a light salad.
Pizza sounded better than salad.

I got to work on my dough.  I'm a big fan of thin crust pizza. This recipe:
has been my go-to for years.  The dough doesn't need to rise, so it's great on evenings when you want homemade pizza in under an hour.

Flour. Yeast. Salt. Water.

Perlini!  Aka mini mozzarella.

So... roll out your dough and brush with some olive oil.  You can use some roasted garlic oil if you want to get your crazy on.
Toss your asparagus with some olive oil, sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
Scatter some cheese on the crust.  Pile on the asparagus. Top with more cheese.  Pop it in the oven and bake till cheese is melty and the crust is browned. 
I topped it with some grated pecorino romano, some roasted garlic and a drizzle of fancy extra virgin olive oil before serving to make it even MORE delicious.

My pee stunk. But, it was well worth it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Rawsome Banana Cacao Ice Cream

Holy amazeballs this stuff is no joke.

Banana ice cream has been all the rage lately. I mean what could be easier than throwing some frozen bananas in a food processor and having a creamy treat in less than five minutes.
I decided to give it a go, but wanted something a little more decadent.

I mixed together some unrefined coconut oil, raw cacao powder, raw cacao nibs and some honey to transform this dessert into a superfood treat!

Coconut oil has gotten a bad reputation for being unhealthy since it contains saturated fat.  However, most of the saturated fat in coconut oil is easily digestible and turned into quick energy, and therefore is less likely to cause obesity.  It has also been shown to have anti-microbal benefits and can boost immunity.

RAW cacao is known as food of the gods and is actually one of the healthiest foods on earth.  No joke. It has one of the highest levels of antioxidants on the planet.  It lowers blood pressure and can prevent heart disease.  It has more magnesium than any other food (the one mineral westerners are most deficient in). Magnesium helps to reduce stress, relaxes the muscles and builds strong bones and teeth. It also makes me feel amazing!! After consuming raw cacao I feel more energetic, like a great coffee buzz but without the crash.

RAW honey is anti- bacterial, ani- microbal and anti- fungal.  It boosts immunity, is great for ulcers and aids digestion and has anti-cancer properties.  A spoonful of local raw honey is also great for those of us that suffer from seasonal allergies.

So... now that you know how good the stuff is.. Let's do this!

Fun with science:
Coconut oil is solid below 76 degrees and turns liquid at any temperature above that. When the liquidy coconut cacao mixture hits the ice cold banana puree it instantly turns solid.  Hello, magic shell!!!

Rawsome Banana Cacao Ice Cream (serves 2-4)

5 bananas, peeled, cut into pieces and frozen for at least 12 hours

Magic shell:
1/4 c. coconut oil (if your coconut oil is solid, heat it gently till it becomes liquified)
1/4 c. raw cacao powder
1 T. raw cacao nibs
1 T. raw honey

In a small bowl mix together the coconut oil, cacao powder, nibs and honey.
Meanwhile, place the chopped frozen bananas in a food processor and give it a whirl, scraping down the sides every thirty seconds or so (it took about five minutes to get a creamy texture).  When the texture is nice and smooth, add in half of your "magic shell" ingredients and pulse a couple times to incorporate.  Divide the ice cream between bowls and top with the remaining shell mixture.  Dig in and prepare for a serious energy boost!

Next time I'm totally adding peanut butter.  Just sayin'.