Saturday, March 26, 2011

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Like Regular Tabbouleh, but With More Protein!

Serves 4
1/2 C. Quinoa
1 C. Water
1 Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Large, or 4 Roma Tomatoes
1/4 Sweet onion
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Juice of One Lemon
Salt to Taste

In a mesh colander, rinse the quinoa until the water runs clear. Soak the quinoa in hot water for 5 minutes, then rinse once more (this helps to remove the hulls, which can make the quinoa bitter). Combine the quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed (about 20-30 minutes). Once done, take the lid off and allow the quinoa to cool. While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Dice the onion and tomato into small pieces and add to a large bowl. Pluck the leaves off of the parsley and chop into very fine pieces and add to the tomato and onion. Add the cooled quinoa and stir. Add the lemon, olive oil and salt and stir again. You can eat the tabbouleh right away, but it's even better if you let it sit overnight.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Veggie Rolls

These Rolls Are as Good as Any I've Paid Way Too Much For at a Restaurant!

Serves 2 (12 Rolls for Each Person)

4 Sheets of Nori (the thin sheets of seaweed used to wrap sushi)
1 Large Carrot
1 Cucumber
1 Avacado
 Optional Veggies:
   4 Spears of Asparagus (1 for each roll)
   1 C. Sprouts
   2 Green Onions
   1 Daikon Radish
1 C. Sushi Rice
2 C. Water
1 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Tsp. Agave Nectar

Rinse the rice until the water runs clear, drain and put into a large pot with a lid. Add the water, vinegar and agave. Cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat. Simmer until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. If you have a bamboo steamer, use that instead. That way your rice won't be over or under cooked or too soggy. Once done, remove the rice from the heat and transfer to a bowl, so that the rice can cool while you prepare the veggies (often times, I prepare the rice in advance, and just pull it out of the fridge when I'm ready for it. 
Peel and julienne the carrots and cucumber (and daikon if you're using it), using a mandolin  if you have one. Thinly slice the avocado. If using sprouts or asparagus, leave them whole. If using green onions, cut them into thin rounds.

To make the rolls:
Lay out a sheet of nori on a cutting board. Wet your hands and gently press some rice onto the nori, making a thin layer. Continue adding rice until all but the top 1/4 of the nori is covered, continuing to wet your hands if necessary. Lay your veggies horizontally across the rice covered nori, just about in the middle of the rice.

Dip your fingers into water and use them to slightly dampen the uncovered 1/4 of nori. Using your fingertips to hold the veggies in place, gently roll up the sushi, rolling towards the uncovered edge. If you roll to loose, the roll will fall apart when cut, but if you roll too tightly, the nori can split.

Once rolled up, allow the roll to rest for about 5 minutes (I just keep on rollin' new rolls, then cut them all at the end.)
Slice into 6 pieces and serve with sushi ginger*, wasabi** , and soy sauce. 

* "Canning for a New Generation" has an awesome recipe for sushi ginger

** Powdered wasabi is a great option to have on hand. It really does taste just as good as the wasabi you would find at a sushi restaurant. All you have to do is reconstitute it with hot water. Eden Foods brand is great, because it doesn't have dyes or other weird ingredients.

Wonton Soup

Finally! Wonton Soup Fit for a Vegetarian!
Added bonus! See note at bottom for fried wontons. 

Serves 4

1 Pkg. Wonton Wrappers
1 Egg, Beaten and Put Into a Small Bowl
2/3 Pkg. White or Baby Bella/Crimini Mushrooms
2 Heads Baby Bok Choy
2 Carrots
2 Celery Stalks
2 Green Onions
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
a bit of Sriracha or Garlic Chili Sauce, if You Like
1/3 Pkg. White or Baby Bella/Crimini Mushrooms
2 Green Onions
1 Tbsp. Better Than Bouillon 
Soy Sauce to Taste (approx 1 tbsp.)
6 c. water

Using the shred blade on your food processor, shred the mushrooms, carrots, and celery. Put into a large bowl (you can do everything by hand, but it will take a lot more effort and time). Finely chop the garlic and bok choy and slice the onion into very thin slices, add to the bowl and mix everything together. Heat the sesame oil in a large pot. Once hot, add the veggie mix, soy sauce and hot sauce(if using). While the mix is cooking, use the slice blade on your blender to thinly slice the rest of the mushrooms. Slice the green onion on a diagonal, by hand. Also, put the water on the stove, so it can come to a boil while you are preparing the wontons. 
    Once the veggie mix has become tender, remove it from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mix back to the bowl, squeezing out the liquid before you transfer the mix. Line a large plate and a cutting board with parchment or wax paper, so that the wontons don't stick to the plate or cutting board. See directions below on making the wontons. 
    Once the water is boiling, stir in the Better Than Bouillon and soy sauce.  Once the Better Than Bullion is dissolved, add in the sliced mushrooms and onions. Gently add in 15 wontons. Boil for 15 minutes, or until the wontons are cooked through. Be sure to take the soup off of the heat once it has been served. The longer the wontons cook, the more likely they are to fall apart. The good news is that even if every wonton falls apart, the soup will still taste yummy!

Wrapping the Wontons:

1. Place about 3/4 tsp. or wonton mix in the center of a wrapper.

2. Using your fingers, or if you're too dainty for that, a pastry brush, brush all four edges with beaten egg.

3. Bring 2 opposite corners together and seal the sides by running your fingers along the edges , pressing out the air as you go (too much air in the wontons is bad news. As the wontons heat up in the soup, the air will expant and try to find its way out of the wonton, causing a potential for your wonton to break open and fall apart).

4. Bring the bottom two corners of the triangle towards each other, using your finger as a bar to bend the center of the wonton over.

5. Bring the two corners together, dabbing a bit of egg between them to ensure they stay together. 

Transfer each wonton to the parchment or wax paper lined place after it is made, making sure to keep the wontons separate, so that they don't stick together.

***For fried wontons, make the wontons as you would for the soup, but stop after step 3. Pan fry the wontons in sesame oil, flipping once, until golden brown on each side. Place the wontons on a stack of paper towels (or a kitchen towel that you don't care about staining) once removed from the pan to drain off some of the oil. Transfer to a plate to serve and serve with soy sauce, sweet and sour sauce, hot mustard, or all three!

You may find that you have way more wontons and veggie mix than you need. Good news! Any extra wontons you have made can be frozen! Just arrange the wontons, so that they are not touching, on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer for 2 hours. After two hours, transfer the wontons to a Ziploc bag and toss 'em back in the freezer. Making wonton soup will be WAY easier next time. Just toss your frozen wontons into the soup, and there you go!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

Quicker to Make Than it is to Say

Serves 4
1 Large Sweet Potato, Peeled and Cut into 1" Cubes
1 Jar of Roasted Red Peppers, Drained, or 2 freshly Roasted, Peeled, and Cored Red Peppers
1/2 Large Sweet Onion Chopped
1/2 Tsp. Paprika
1/2 Tsp. Chipotle Powder
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt to Taste (Approx 2 Tsp.) 
4 C. Water
Sour Cream (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the onion. Once the onion has become translucent, add in the sweet potato, salt, paprika and chipotle. Saute until the spices become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the peppers and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the sweet potatoes are very tender. Turn off the heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, puree the soup. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream. If vegan you can use some Better Than Cream Cheese as a creamy substitute.

Tip: Mason Jars are a great way to store soups! They take up way less space in the fridge that a tupperware!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Curried Raw Sweet Potato Chips

One Is Never Enough...

Serves 1-2

1 Large Sweet Potato
1 Tsp. Cold Pressed Oil
1 Tsp. Brag's Liquid Aminos
1/2 to 1 Tsp. Curry Powder, depending on how curry-ish you like it.
Food Dehydrator (See note at bottom if you don't have one)

Using the slice blade on your food processor, slice the sweet potato into thin slices. You can also do this by hand or with a mandoline, but it will take a lot longer. P.S. If you are using a mandoline, don't be a foo, use the hand guard unless you want to lose a fingie! In a large bowl, toss together the sweet potato slices with the oil, Brags and curry powder until well coated. Place the soon to be chips on the dehydrator, making sure that none of the slices overlap. Dehydrate until very crispy, rotating the trays every few hours, unless you have a fancy schmancy dehydrator.

*Don't fret if you don't have a dehydrator! You can still make these yummy chips. Instead of putting the chips in the dehydrator, just place them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Put them in the oven on the lowest setting and check on them often. To be truly considered raw, food must be kept at 115 degrees or less, but that doesn't mean that un-raw sweet potato chips won't taste just as good!