Thursday, August 22, 2013

Brazil Nut and Goji Berry Cheese Spread

Turbokid came home from preschool today begging for grilled cheese. I didn't have any commercial non-dairy cheese in the refrigerator and was out of cashews, so I put together this Brazil nut and goji berry cheese spread. It's tangy and gooey, a great filling for a grilled cheese sandwich or spread for crackers. I think it would also be good mixed into macaroni or penne.


Brazil Nut and Goji Berry Cheese Spread

1/3 cup goji berries
1/3 cup Brazil nuts
1/3 cup quick oats
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
1 Tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1 1/3 cups water

Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the cheese is thick and gooey.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sourdough Cornbread

I love experimenting with my sourdough starter. I wasn't sure how a sourdough cornbread would turn out, but it ended up being great. It's a slightly sweet bread that could be a nice side for chili or baked beans.


Sourdough Cornbread

1 cup sourdough starter
2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup Earth Balance or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease an 8x8" cake pan.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir well. Pour batter into the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Baked Green Tomatoes

I am not fond of fried foods, so I try to find baked alternatives whenever possible. Baking doesn't give quite the same result, but it makes for a much less oily and lighter-tasting result.

A few unripe tomatoes dropped off my vines so I decided to make fried green tomatoes with them. This recipe can be used for fried or pan-fried tomatoes, but I prefer them baked. I ran out of cornmeal making sourdough cornbread, so I added gluten-free flours to the tiny amount of cornmeal I had left. The result was a wonderful, creamy center and a crispy crust. These were especially good with a little Good and Evil Hot Sauce.

Baked Green Tomatoes made with both yellow and blue cornmeal.

Baked Green Tomatoes

2-4 green tomatoes
1/2 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Stir the apple cider vinegar into the soy milk and set it aside to curdle. Slice the green tomatoes into 1/4" rounds. In a small bowl, mix cornmeal, flours, onion powder, black pepper, and salt.

One at a time, dip the tomato slices in the soy milk and then in the cornmeal mixture to coat. Place coated tomatoes on the baking sheet, spray tops with a little cooking oil, and bake for 20 minutes, flipping tomatoes halfway through.

Variations: Try sliced zucchini instead of or in addition to the tomatoes. Experiment with different flour combinations or use 3/4 cup cornmeal and no flours.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Corn Chowder

I have two corn chowder recipes -- a thick and hearty winter stew and a lighter summer soup. This is the summer version, made with herbs and veggies from my garden and vegetables from this week's Door to Door Organics box. It's a little sweet, a little spicy, and surprisingly filling.

The onions were originally one onion that sprouted in my pantry. I planted it and it grew into three small onions. I trimmed the greens occasionally to use in recipes and just let the onion grow. Since the greens were starting to wilt, signalling the coming end of growth, I harvested the onions today so I could use both the bulbs and the remaining greens. The soup had a slight citrus kick from the lime basil I added from my garden, but you can use another variety of basil if you choose. I also grew the jalapeno, the first of my peppers to be ready this season.




Corn Chowder

3 ears of corn
1 jalapeno, minced
1 large (or 3 small) onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil
small bunch of onion greens or 4 scallions, sliced thin
1 lb yellow potatoes, diced (include peels)
4-6 ribs celery, sliced thin (include the leaves)
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh sweet or lime basil, chopped
pinch allspice
pinch ground cayenne
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp liquid smoke
2 cups soy milk

Shuck the corn, then use a sharp knife to strip the kernels from the cobs.

In a large saucepan or a stock pot, saute the onion and jalapeno in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until onion becomes translucent. Add the potatoes and celery and saute for several more minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except the soy milk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until potatoes are soft.

Remove from heat and stir in the soy milk before serving.

Fudgy Marshmallow Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are s'mores for adults - a gooey, fudgy, decadent cookie made a little healthier with a base of oatmeal and whole wheat flour. Regular cocoa powder can be used, but I prefer the darker flavor of dutched cocoa. These aren't the prettiest cookies since the marshmallows tend to melt and explode, but they make up for their homeliness in flavor.

There are two brands of vegan marshmallows that I know of -- Dandies and Sweet & Sara. Both are good, but Dandies have more of the air-puffed campfire marshmallow texture. If you use the bigger marshmallows from either brand, cut them into quarters or eighths before folding them into the batter.


Fudgy Marshmallow Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup dutched cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp ground flax
1 1/4 cups non-dairy milk (I used soy)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup vegan marshmallows (I used Dandies and cut them into quarters)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease two baking sheets.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients except for chocolate chips and marshmallows. Add non-dairy milk, coconut oil, and vanilla and mix well to form a dough. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows.

Drop dough on the baking sheets in 2 Tbsp-sized portions, making sure there is a marshmallow in each cookie. For a little more predictability in marshmallow expansion, you may want to fold the dough around the marshmallows instead of mixing them directly into the dough.

Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a plate or rack to finish cooling.

Kohlrabi Two Ways

My garden has been in full bloom for a while. I planted four kohlrabi starts early in the season and they recently became ready to harvest. I wasn't sure what to do with the alien-looking vegetables since I'd never tasted them before, so I decided to treat them as a root vegetable. If you grow kohlrabi or manage to buy bulbs with the greens still attached, don't discard the greens. They are very edible with a mild flavor similar to collards or turnip greens. One fully-grown kohlrabi produces a 2.5-4 inch diameter bulb with a large bunch of greens.

In addition to gardening from starts and seeds, I have also been growing the onions that sprout in my pantry. The greens are edible with a flavor similar to scallions, so I snip a few as the onion develops and toss them in my dishes. South African Smoked Seasoning can be found in a spice grinder at Trader Joe's. It's optional, but adds a great flavor to food, so I recommend picking up a jar of it or looking for a similar product in other stores.

Kohlrabi fresh from the garden.
Roasted Root Vegetables over wild rice and Greens and Beans.

Roasted Root Vegetables

2 kohlrabi
2 small sweet potatoes
1 vidalia onion
3 carrots
1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh basil
1 Tbsp minced fresh oregano
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
South African Smoked Seasoning, to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Peel kohlrabi and sweet potatoes, then slice into 1/4" rounds. Cut each round in half to make a half-moon shape. Peel and slice the onion. Slice the carrots into rounds.

Place all vegetables into a casserole dish. Toss with fresh herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Cover dish and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover from dish and bake another 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.

Serve over wild rice or another grain of your choice. Season to taste with smoked seasoning, if desired.

Greens and Beans

1 bunch kohlrabi greens
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 onion greens, sliced thin (substitute 3 scallions if you don't have access to onion greens)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
South African Smoked Seasoning, to taste (optional)

Wash the kohlrabi greens well. Remove the stems and tear or cut the greens into bite-sized pieces.

Heat the oil in a skillet. Add garlic and onion greens and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the kohlrabi greens and saute for about 5 minutes, until greens are tender. Add chickpeas and seasonings. Cook long enough to heat the beans, then remove from heat and serve.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Sourdough Pizza Crust

I recently made a batch of sourdough crackers and decided to try using some of the dough for bread sticks. It had the consistency of pizza crust, so I tweaked the recipe slightly and made a pizza with the next batch. Turbokid loved it and even ate the crust, something he rarely does.

Vegan barbecue "chicken" pizza - barbecue sauce, vegan chicken, sauteed zucchini, chopped roma tomatoes, and Daiya mozzarella cheese.

Sourdough Pizza Crust

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Kneed just until dough is smooth, adding a little more flour if the dough is sticky. Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm location for at least six hours and up to twenty-four. The dough can be refrigerated after the proofing time if you're not able to use it right away.

Preheat oven to 375C. Lightly grease a baking sheet, then roll the dough onto the sheet into the desired shape and thickness. You can roll up the edges of the dough to give a thicker edge crust.

Bake crust for 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add sauce and toppings. Return to oven and bake another 10 minutes, until crust is golden.