zesty peanut & ginger sauce


Ingredients:

  • 4T Crunchy Adams or other natural unadulterated peanut butter (no added oil, sugar, or preservatives)
  • 1T fresh ginger root (about 1/4 inch root), peeled then minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2T rice vinegar
  • 1 lemon, squeezed, or 2T fresh bottled pure lemon juice
  • about 4T just off boiling water (depending on thickness of peanut butter)
  • black pepper to taste
  • pinch or two of sea salt if peanut butter is unsalted

Instructions:

Measure all ingredients into glass jar with lid, then mix together well with fork. Warm for 30 seconds in microwave to soften peanut butter if needed. Store in glass jar with lid in refrigerator for several days.

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zesty peanut & ginger sauce tofu wraps


Weekends spent working in our Spring garden call for easy and satisfying meals that can be made ahead and create popular leftovers for another meal too. For some, planning to serve dinner as a wrap with a cold beer is a recipe for success. That concept inspired me to revisit my baked tofu with bhutanese brown rice recipe, and this is what I came up with:

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb block firm tofu, rinsed
  • peanut sauce (recipe follows)
  • Ezekiel sprouted grain or whole wheat tortillas
  • lacinato kale, chopped
  • red onion, chopped
  • celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375. Rinse tofu, cut block into 3 slices horizontally, then each slice into half to make 6 servings each about 1/4 inch thick and providing 12 g of protein. Place in square 9×9 baking pan. Prepare peanut sauce. Pour enough peanut sauce over tofu to fully cover, reserving some for serving later. Baked tofu will keep in refrigerator for 5 days, but does not freeze very well as the texture changes upon thawing.

black bean & quinoa with basil baked veggie burger- revisited


Delicious Bajiya patties made by the Horn of Africa restaurant that we ate recently were my inspiration for this recipe. I saw from their menu that theirs were made of ground garbanzos and split peas, lightly fried. I had some things I wanted to use up in my refrigerator, also some good cold beer, and a friend coming over… and came up with this oven-baked delicious veggie burger.

ingredients:

  • 2 cans black beans, mostly mashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 8-10 large leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 c finely grated carrot
  • 1/2 c cooked quinoa
  • scant 1/4 c parmesan cheese, or to make vegan roughly ground walnuts
  • 1 egg, or to make vegan 1T ground flax seed mixed with water to egg consistency
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 t salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:

Preheat oven to 375F, and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Rinse canned beans very well, drain, then mostly lightly mash in a large mixing bowl: leave just enough partial bean chunks to provide for an interesting texture, but not so large chunks as to cause the patties to fall apart when baked. Chop and dice and mix all veggies, then add to the mashed beans with the cooked quinoa, parmesan, and spices. Stir the beaten egg (or in lieu of egg the ground flax seed) into the bean mixture. Batter will be sticky and heavy. Use a 1/4 c scoop, then your palm to form lightly flattened round patties. Bake about 12 minutes, then check the bottoms; flip carefully and bake for another 8-12 minutes or so, until lightly browned both bottom and top, and a toothpick comes out clean. Makes about 8 patties. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. These store well in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple days, also freeze well when separated by wax paper.

 

Chocolate & Kahlua tofu pie


Some days a treat is a really good thing– it could be a celebratory treat, a consoling treat, a seasonal treat. In my childhood home, my mother considered sweet treats to be a really good thing every day– we literally always had a platter in the kitchen with fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, brownies, fudge, cake or chocolates from Van Duyn’s– and an occasional apple pie. Each of the seasons had their own special treats– the first of October was the time for Kraft caramels, of course. My sister and I could pack a “goodie” into our lunch bag, have a goodie after school for snack, and for dessert every night. The only rule was “don’t pig out”. One of the good things about this tradition was we learned discretion and temperance– not to eat a treat whenever we saw one as they were always readily available.

Today I know is going to be a crazy day at the start of a crazy week, and my daughter and her partner are due to arrive for a short visit too– so this morning as I made my coffee and breakfast I decided it was a fine time for me to quickly make this nurturing treat. It’s easy to make, and comparatively healthy for a dessert– far healthier than Kraft caramels’ ingredients of corn syrup, sugar, and palm oil– and no one will know it’s made with tofu unless you tell them.

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Pie Crust:

  • 16 full graham crackers
  • 6-7 oz melted butter
  • 1/2 t honey

Pie Filling:

  • 14-16 oz silken tofu
  • 12 oz 72% dark chocolate
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1 1/2 t honey
  • 1/4 c Kahlua

Preheat oven to 350F. Finely grind the graham crackers in a food processor, then add the melted and slightly cooled butter and honey. Line a 9 inch springform pan with parchment paper (optional) then press crumbly mixture against the bottom and sides of the springform pan using a flat sided 1/4 cup or so sized measuring cup. Bake 5 min, then cool.

Melt chocolate gently over a double boiler, stirring frequently. Remove as soon as melted, while still shiny– do not overheat. Cool slightly. Using a clean and dried food processor bowl (never let any water touch melted chocolate!) blend tofu to smooth consistency, then add melted and slightly cooled chocolate, honey, vanilla, and Kahlua; mix for about 1 minute until consistent color. Do not over mix. Pour into cooled pie crust. Refrigerate 1-2 hours before serving.

Ahhhh, yum.

 

white bean, butternut squash & kale soup, revisited on a winter’s morning


It’s a beautiful sunny winter’s morning here with about five inches of fresh snow that fell after sunset yesterday. I’m feeling happy right now, with coffee and a lovely day ahead of me, vindicated in my decision to go grocery shopping yesterday then soak some beans. My snow dog has curled up now on the deck outside my kitchen watching over our green space beyond, and my cat has curled up on my bed. It’s time now for me to put on a pot of white bean and kale soup, then go play ball while I shovel my driveway.

This is a recipe I first made years ago– over time I have found that a 50-50 mix of Great Northern and Cannellini white beans provides the most delicious flavor and texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1  3/4 cups white beans
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red potato, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 medium rutabaga, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c basmati rice
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary (yes, tablespoons; rub between fingers/palms to crush
  • 2 teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 bunch Lacinato kale, excluding thickest ends of stems, cut into thin ribbons
  • 1/2-1 t salt and pepper to taste, added after beans have cooked
  • parmesan or pecorino cheese

Instructions:

Rinse then soak beans overnight, or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Cover with fresh water, bring just to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour until beans are just becoming soft. Remove from heat.

Using large 5 quart soup pot with lid, saute onion in 2-3 T olive oil for 2-3 minutes, then add garlic and potatoes. Saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring until potatoes are lightly browned. Add butternut squash, rutabaga, carrots, celery and spices. Stir all vegetables until spices are well mixed. With pot over medium heat, add canned tomatoes in their juice, apple cider vinegar and basmati. Stir in 5 cups fresh water that is close to but off boil. Partially cover and monitor heat until soup comes almost to boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes to an hour. Checking water level occasionally, add more water as necessary. Continue to stir and check beans, rutabaga, and carrots for doneness: keep simmering until each are soft but not so mushy as to fall apart.  Add salt and pepper to taste, then add chopped kale, cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so until kale is bright green and lightly cooked.  Serve topped with parmesan cheese. Makes 8-10 servings. Freezes well.

Note on Bouillon: Beware! Many brands of bouillon cubes have partially hydrogenated oils, palm or cotton seed oil, MSG, and a grossly high serving of sodium- all things to be avoided, certainly not added to your food.

celery root, turnip & black bean salad over kale


Some know it as celeriac, others call it celery root, and some have no idea what it is or what to do with it. Whether it’s seen as funny looking, ugly, or intimidating, it’s a delicious vitamin packed tuber. Some claim it was cultivated in Italy during the 1600’s, and it’s common in Europe today if not in all parts of the USA. It’s high in fiber and vitamins B, C, and K. It’s also a good source of phosphorus and potassium. Best of all, it’s a crunchy and tasty winter vegetable available in the Pacific Northwest that can be paired with many yummy companion flavors.

I wanted to make a winter salad with lightly steamed winter white celery root and turnip paired with black beans and black Forbidden Rice to serve over fresh Italian kale. My celery root was good sized so I made quite a bit– and it disappeared fast! so I’ll make it again before the season for it passes.

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In case you’re uncertain about how to best cut into a large celery root: chop off the bottom and then the top to make flat edges. Then with the celery root placed securely on its flat base, using a sharp knife cut/pare away the rough and knoty outer surface working at an angle from the top, cutting downwards several inches each time as you work your way around and down the root. When you get about half way to the bottom, flip it so the bottom becomes the top, and keep cutting downwards several inches each time as you work your way around and down. It cuts easily. Once you’ve cut away the outer surface, slice it into 1/4 inch or so rounds, then chop to your desired shape and size.

ingredients:

  • 1 medium celery root, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • 4 or so good sized shallots, diced
  • 1 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 t sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c dry Forbidden Black rice
  • 1 can organic black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 bunch Italian kale

instructions:

Bring scant 1 cup water to a boil with a pinch of salt, add well-rinsed black rice, then simmer covered for 25-30 minutes until water absorbed and rice has nice texture. Remove from heat, fluff with fork, set aside.

Saute diced shallots in 1 T olive oil until translucent and just beginning to turn brown. Set aside in large casserole dish with airtight lid. Using same skillet and a little more olive oil if necessary, saute chopped celery root and turnip over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add 1/8 c fresh water, cover and simmer for 3-4 minutes until celery root and turnip are fragrant and softened a bit, but not mushy. Drain off any residual water, then add shallots and well rinsed black beans, stir all together well. Transfer to your large casserole dish with airtight lid, and dress with 1 T fresh lemon juice. When ready to serve, rip kale into bite sized pieces (discard the thick center spine), then place some cooked black rice and celery root mixture on top. This microwaves nicely for leftovers, or for the first serving if you like the texture of lightly cooked kale, as I do.

 

carrot & ginger sauce dressing


Spring is coming on soon, evidenced now by the budding of the willow tree I see from my kitchen window. I know that means many people will soon be sniffling. Meanwhile I’ve been reading about the Low Histamine diet for those who suffer from histamine intolerance. I wanted to make a healthy, fragrant and colorful sauce to dress my cauliflower, daikon radish and black beans over mixed greens salad, something that excluded balsamic and rice vinegar but still has a nice kick to it. Here’s what I came up with:

ingredients:

  • 1-2 carrots, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 t fresh ginger root, minced
  • 1 T tahini
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1 T olive oil + 1-3 T olive oil
  • 1/8 t sea salt and black pepper to taste

instructions:

Saute chopped onions in 1 T olive oil in a small skillet with lid. As onions begin to turn translucent, add garlic, ginger root and grated carrot. Continue to stir for a minute or two until onions begin to brown and the spices are fragrant; add 1/4 cup fresh water then cover and simmer on low for 3-4 minutes or so until carrots are bright in color and softened. Add salt and black pepper. Transfer to blender, add tahini, lemon juice, and 1/4 c fresh water. Blend. Add 1-3 t of olive oil if desired and another 1/4 cup water or so to achieve desired consistency. Store in glass container with lid in refrigerator for 3-4 days.