21 6 / 2012
Well, summertime has officially hit in D.C. Or perhaps it would be more aptly named “Swimming in Steam.”
(Maybe that’s a touch dramatic).
But I’ve been battling the flu all week and there is nothing more uncomfortable than having to choose between the evil twins, Frigid A/C and Stagnant Hot Air. When plagued with alternating fever and chills, let me tell you, both feel terrible.
On a more positive note, I’ve found this brilliant summer recipe and got the chance to sit outside for hours last night on a beautiful rooftop catching up with an old friend. There’s nothing better than getting lost in summer nights and suddenly realizing it’s 11 pm and you’re still sitting outside in a dress. I also like to pretend that walking through summer air and the sensation of wearing Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak are the exact same thing. So there’s that…
I found this recipe at one of my favorite blogs, Edible Perspective. It’s super easy and I’ve already made it with broccoli instead of kale and can imagine I’ll use a lot of other veggies to make pestos in the coming months. You can use it on pastas, fish, sandwiches, or just, you know, eat it with a spoon. Not that that’s what I did…
1 bunch kale, washed and de-veined
2 tablespoons walnuts
3 tablespoons almonds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons cooking water from kale
Place kale in a saucepan or pot and bring to boil or until kale is dark green and cooked. This should only take a couple of minutes. Strain the kale, setting aside a couple tablespoons of the cooking water.
In a blender or food processor, process the nuts and garlic until fine. Add in kale, olive oil, salt and pepper and process until well combined. Lastly, add in nutritional yeast and a couple tablespoons of cooking water and process again until you get the consistency you like best.
12 6 / 2012
There are just so many puns to make, I don’t even know where to start…
So maybe I won’t. Though I will say that dates are one of my favorite treats — and I do consider them a treat since they are too sugary for me to eat too often. I once played a trick on my roommate by leaving date pits on our windowsill and feigning ignorance when he repeatedly asked me what they were. When I would reply “I have no idea what those are,” he would always stare at the pits sternly with a confused look, look back at me, look at the pits, and then drawl/giggle, “Oh, Mushhhhh” (that’s what we call each other) and continue laughing as if he got the joke. He never got the joke. And he still doesn’t know what those date pits are.
This is probably one of the easiest and most adaptable snack foods to make. Even better if you have a sweet tooth like me. If you’ve ever had a Larabar, that’s exactly what this is, except made with more love and less plastic. For these I simply used dates, chopped almonds, cocoa powder and a smidge of salt but I give you full permission to go wild and try other combos. As long as you start with some dates you should be good to go!
12-15 dates, pitted
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a food processor, blend dates until nearly smooth. Toss in almonds, cocoa powder and salt and pulse until combined. Transfer into a tupperware container or small 8x8 square pan and compress using the back of a fork or a spatula. Chill in the fridge and, when you can’t wait any longer, tap the date mixture onto a cutting board and cut into squares.
Other possible combinations:
Dates + ginger + shredded carrot + walnuts
Dates + peanuts + cocoa
Dates + sunflower seeds + dried cranberries
Dates + wine + love = babies
OK that last one was a pun! Ijustcouldn’thelpmyselffff.
06 6 / 2012
Or: “How to Eat an Entire Bunch of Kale in 15 Minutes or Less.”
I think kale is the pretty much the perfect vegetable. It’s pretty, it’s green, it tastes good cooked, raw, or in chip form. The only problem is that there never seems to be quite enough of it.
This recipe was brought to me via the friendways but was adapted from the one over at Joy the Baker. It combines the saltiness of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) with the sweetness of shaved toasted coconut and has a gentle garlic bite. If you like spice, you can also add sriracha to the mix (I opted out since it has sugar). I think this recipe is best when you bake the kale just enough to be cooked and the coconut is totally, but not quite to the point of kale chips. I would otherwise never advocate for soggy anything, but you’re probably going to want this a little bit on the saucier side.
Toasted Coconut and Kale
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon sriracha
scant 1/3 cup olive oil
5 cups kale, ribs removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup unsweetened large flake coconut
I served mine with a warm chickpea millet salad (recipe forthcoming).
05 6 / 2012
Considering my fairly nomadic lifestyle, it might be hard to believe how many kitchen appliances I have. When I made the move from Chicago to DC this winter, I was determined to bring my food processor safely with me. I gave away 5 bags to Goodwill and shipped 5 boxes to make way for it. It took up 1/4 of the space in suitcases which may seem a little extreme when you consider the amount of more essential items (like, say, clothes) that needed to come with me but, believe me, it was totally necessary.
Lately, I’ve been making almond butter like the apocalypse is coming and I need some extra stores. It’s infinitely better than store-bought almond butter and (I think) a bit cheaper. I’ve made it using both roasted and raw almonds — raw is a bit sweeter but takes about 2-3 times as long to process fully.
Normally when I make almond butter I keep it simple. I just grind the almonds until smooth and add a bit of salt. But I’ve had this recipe idea on my mind for a while and am just now getting around to trying it out. Brown butter is one of my favorite things to make because it makes everything takes like toffee…kind of.
Brown Butter, Almond Butter
3 cups whole almonds, roasted or raw
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon stevia, honey, or agave nectar (optional)
In a food processor or hefty blender, process the almonds and salt for 5-15 minutes (raw takes much longer) until smooth. If you want chunky almond butter just remove about a 1/2 cup of the coarse almonds.
In a saucepan, heat butter on medium until it turns slightly brown and gives off a warm, nutty smell. Add the butter and sweetener to almond butter and blend.
22 12 / 2010
I’m a slacker. These photos are from summer. And these fried squash blossoms weren’t even made by me! Post-collegiate ennui has really set in…
Bookmark this recipe for a really unique party appetizer or a gluttonous late-night snack.
My sister bought them at the Columbia City farmer’s market in Seattle. We spent a good while talking to the man working at the stand who was in culinary school and recommended that we stuff them with bacon, goat cheese, jalapeños, and just about anything else that would strike any sane person’s fancy. His general message, however, was that squash blossoms can be used with almost anything that you’re craving.
My sister and her boyfriend made two fillings. One with goat cheese, leeks, salt and pepper, and another with apple-smoked bacon and pepperjack cheese. Whatever you choose to stuff with, make your fillings beforehand and set them aside. Gently open the squash blossoms and cut out the stamen in the middle. It’s tougher and leaves more space for delicious ingredients once you remove it.
Next, get some hot oil going in a large pan over medium. After the oil has heated up, dip your stuffed squash blossoms in your batter mix, and gently lower them into the oil. Leave them until they are crispy and golden on the outside. Remove and place on paper towels.
1 cup brown rice flour
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 cup seltzer water
25 9 / 2010
I’ve been hearing about kale chips for a while now and I’ve been curiously hesitant about making any. A lot of the recipes I could find seemed pretty stripped down with just olive oil and sea salt. As alluring as that sounds, I wanted to make the kale chips a little more flavorful and interesting so I got some kale from the local farmer’s market and roughly measured out a tahini mix.
So I chopped up a head of kale, washed it off and patted it dry with paper towels (or you could use a salad spinner). Then I tossed it in a mix of tahini, tamari, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast. These are super addictive and tasty.
- 1 bunch of kale, chopped into 3-4” pieces
- 1/3 cup tahini (with oil on top included)
- 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
Preheat over to 350 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently fold kale. Arrange on a baking sheet so that the kale isn’t overlapping and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and move the pieces around. Bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the chips are thoroughly dried out.
16 9 / 2010
04 6 / 2010
I’ve been home in Seattle for the past week to see my family and go to Sasquatch Music Festival, the event that I literally plan my year around. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Sasquatch, I digress. It is perhaps one of the greatest, grimiest, and most fulfilling music festivals around. Not only is it located on the Columbia River Gorge, it is three glorious and showerless days of drinking, dancing, grass-napping, beautiful music and friends. It is essentially the coalescing of all of my favorite things in the world. Add in brownies and you have an Ari-topia. Oh and did we ever add in brownies.
All ‘quatching aside, this week has been a veritable wonderland of gluten-free treats. I know a lot of the best gluten-free blogs are coming out of Seattle and now I can see why. There are GF options everywhere! Of course, I had to eat nearly all of them for the sake of journalism.
First on the bill was a visit to Wheatless in Seattle, an ADORABLE little house-bakery in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. My sister, boyfriend and I got a couple treats to share, like these blackberry bars and chocolate cupcake. They also had some custard-filled larger cupcakes that I restrained myself from getting but they looked like gluttony incarnate. Wheatless in Seattle had a lot to offer, from pizza to sweet treats, not to mention the quaint, warm neighborhood feeling that walking into this little house evokes. To be perfectly honest, however, I was a little underwhelmed by their products. The ones we sampled tasted a little like they had been made from mixes and the frosting on the cupcake was oily which, although not unpleasant tasting, was slightly off-putting.
I’m still rooting for this place out of principle. They source a lot of their products to local restaurants and markets which makes me happy for all those wheatless Seattlites who feel deprived.
SO, in order to give them a second chance, I decided to make a stop off at Blue Moon Burgers in Fremont which serves gluten-free buns from Wheatless in Seattle. I just needed to, you know, make sure that there were some decent GF products out there. So really, I was doing a service to the public by eating this BBQ Chicken Burger. You’re welcome.
Sidenote: upon looking at their website just now, I realized that they have a “Wednesday Night Half Price Burger Special” from 3 pm to close. Cheap meat!? That’s always a great selling point…
But really, they are delicious and source all their meat from Eastern Washington which is substantially more local than that mystery meat you would get almost anywhere else.
But to get back to the point, this wasn’t your average burger bun. It definitely had the softer, chewier taste of a bun made primarily with brown rice flour, but I won’t argue that it was absolutely delicious. Maybe I’m just getting accustomed to that texture but I really liked the bite that this bun added. My conclusion? Kudos Wheatless in Seattle, Kudos.
After Blue Moon, my sister and I strolled on over to PCC Natural Market, perhaps my second favorite place after Sasquatch. Is it sick that my favorite places are either a dirty music pit or a ridiculously expensive natural foods store? Probably.
We left with an armful of GF goods like these Ginger Molasses Cookies from the beloved WOW Baking Company. Fun fact: “WOW” stands for Without Wheat! That’s right, this blog is not only gluten-free, it’s educational too.
These cookies have that funny cookie-cutter shape that are reminiscent of most GF store-bought cookies and make them look like little ginger patties. I don’t know why but I find the shape both comical and endearing. They even have little bits of ginger in them that give them an extra little kick!
Only 2 hours later and there was an surprising twist in the plot. My delightful mother stopped by and what did she have with her?
Gluten-free cookies of course and LOTS OF THEM. Is it a coincidence that WOW upside-down spells MOM? I sure doubt it…