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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A BOOK IN PROGRESS AND A NEW QUINOA SALAD RECIPE

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A PhotoShopped view of some homemade grain meat


UPDATE: July 2012-- yes, the book has been delayed for a long time, but we're working on getting it going again!

I'm working on recipes for the book I'm doing with Field Roast creator, David Lee. It's been great fun and also very challenging-- learning techniques from the creator, and then developing my own recipes for new varieties, and recipes to use them, and also working long distance with a writing partner. I've learned alot from the experience!

Below, I'm posting some photos from my Field Roast book experiments (I can't divulge the recipes, I'm afraid!). Stay tuned!

At the very end of this post is a lovely recipe for a full-meal summer salad, featuring quinoa, avocado, shelled hemp seeds, and other goodies.


Homemade Grain Meat breakfast sausages and hot and spicy sausages (my recipes for the book)


My own invention-- Grain Meatballs!



Zucchini Grain Meatloaf (my recipe for the book)


Hemp 'n' Herbs Grain Meat Cutlets (my recipe for the book) Piccata


Vietnamese-style Grain Meatball Pho (made with Grain Meatballs--  my invention for the book)


Mediterranean Mushroom Grain Meat Cutlets (my recipe for the book)


Mediterranean Mushroom Grain Meat Roast (my recipe for the book)-- see how thinly you can slice it?


Homemade Breaded Grain Meat Cutlets


Homemade Grain Meat sausages with chanterelle mushrooms


Roasted Red Pepper Grain Meatloaf (my recipe for the book)


Stuffed Homemade Holiday Grain Meat Roast (my recipe for the book)


Grain Meat  Winter Terrine (my recipe for the book)


Grain Meat Roast just out of the pot


Orange Rosemary Grain Meat Sausages  (my recipe for the book)

Now that recipe!


Printable Recipe
QUINOA AND AVOCADO SALAD WITH SHELLED HEMP SEEDS

6 servings

This salad was inspired by a recipe by John Barkley for The Culinary Institute of America, posted on avocado.org

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup quinoa (most quinoa is pre-rinsed now)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/4 cups chicken-style vegetarian broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Vegetables:
1 cup English cucumber, diced (or any kind you don't have to peel)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 2 teaspoons dried)
2 tablespoon fresh chopped mint (or 2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or pickled jalapeƱos
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 large ripe avocado, in 1/2" dice
1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
Washed, dried and crisped Romaine lettuce leaves

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and toast it, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the onions, garlic, and oregano, and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.

Add salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low, cover tightly and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until tender, and until all of the broth is absorbed.

Spread the hot mixture on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer to cool quickly. When it is cool, scrape the quinoa in a salad bowl and fold in the cucumbers, tomatoes, chickpeas, green onions, mint, cilantro, and jalapeƱos. Gently fold in the avocado and shelled hemp seeds. Serve the salad on crisp Romaine lettuce leaves.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving):
302.5 calories; 35% calories from fat; 12.5g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 320.8mg sodium; 686.2mg potassium; 39.2g carbohydrates; 7.5g fiber; 5.1g sugar; 31.6g net carbs; 11.8g protein; 6.3 points.

Enjoy!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

TWO VERY DIFFERENT SUMMER SORBETTOS

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 Chocolate-Orange Sorbetto ready to be scooped out of my new Cuisinart ice cream maker and ready to enjoy!

  UPDATE: The Chocolate-Orange Sorbetto recipe is in my newest book, World Vegan Feast.

I'm so glad I got my new ice cream maker in the summer! I can make delicious frozen treats-- low-fat ones, too-- for company and for just ourselves. The other day I made two very different sorbettos. A sorbetto is the Italian way of saying sorbet, a frozen dessert that is usually fairly intense in flavor and creamy in texture, but containing no dairy products, or even dairy substitutes. They could be called a "water ices", but that sounds so dull! Nothing dull about these treats!

I added Instant Clear Jel (which I talk about in this post) to ensure a creamy texture and no rock-hard freezing. But you can leave it out, if necessary.




Printable Recipe
BRYANNA'S GREEN TEA AND KIWI SORBETTO


Servings: 8
Yield: 1 quart


A friend gave us some large kiwis, but DH isn't fond of them, so I thought I'd make a sorbetto with them, using green tea as the liquid. This is a variation of a recipe that's going around the internet, so obviously, I wasn't the only one with this idea!

3 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons your favorite green tea leaves
3/4 cup organic unbleached sugar
8 large kiwi fruit, sliced in half lengthwise
zest of one organic lime
1 teaspoon Instant Clear Jel OR 1/4 teaspoon Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum

OPTIONAL: Green tea doesn't necessarily make a green brew, so
if your mixture looks kind of "blah" or brown add a few drops of green food coloring or green food color paste (For natural brands see Cooking Tips below.
PS: I have never used this, but I have been told that spirulina or chorella can add a green color, and here is an article about making your own natural food colorings.)

Directions
Bring water not quite to the boiling point in a small non-aluminum saucepan . Remove from the heat and stir in the tea leaves.

Cover and steep the tea for 5 minutes. Strain the leave off (discard) and pour tea back into the saucepan. Add the sugar. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to high and simmer about 5 minutes, or until the tea becomes syrupy. Stir in the lime zest. Set aside in the refrigerator until it comes to room temperature.

Now you need to scoop the kiwi out of it's skin. Hold one half of a kiwi in the palm of one hand, and, using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out all the green kiwi fruit. If the white membrane in the center is tough, discard it. Repeat with the rest of the kiwi fruit.

Place the scooped-out kiwi fruit and cooled tea syrup into a blender or food processor, along with the Instant Clear Jel, and puree it until very smooth.
If the color is not pleasant, add some of the food coloring (be careful not to add too much!).

Prepare your ice cream maker and add the mixture. Freeze according the the directions that go with your machine. Scoop the mixture into a container and freeze until firm.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving):
128.1 calories; 2% calories from fat; 0.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 6.3mg sodium; 302.5mg potassium; 32.3g carbohydrates; 3.1g fiber; 18.7g sugar; 29.2g net carbs; 0.9g protein; 2.0 points.

Cooking Tips
NATURAL FOOD COLORINGS (available online):

Here is an article about Chefmaster Food Dyes, which the author says are"All Natural Vegetable Food Dyes for the Allergy Sufferer, Earth-Conscious, or Chemically Sensitive".  I haven't verified this, but they are available from amazon.com

Another brand is India Tree, also available from amazon, but you have to mix your own colors from 3 basics.


Enjoy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

ASIAN-STYLE SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING; AND A NEW (CHEAP!) GADGET

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What kind of lettuce is this?

This morning DH went to the Denman Is. Saturday Market, which is held on the grass outside of our Recycling Center. We have eaten up all of the lettuce we planted (more is coming), so he bought an enormous lettuce, pictured above. I decided to showcase this in a luncheon salad, and had the taste for something Asian, so, the recipe below is what I came up with and we ate every scrap of it! It's open to adding or using different lettuces, greens (maybe the ubiquitous organic mixed baby greens) and other veggies, so, be my guest!

I wondered what type of lettuce this was, never having seen it before. It felt like an iceberg lettuce, but it was so pretty, with it's dark green and red leaves. So, after lunch, I looked it up and it IS in the "Crisphead" lettuce family-- it's a "Red Iceberg" lettuce! The seeds seem to be widely available online, and, obviously, it grows well in Canada!

It was much nicer than an ordinary iceberg lettuce-- maybe because it was organically home-grown, and we could also use the pretty outer leaves, which you usually never see.



I have to tell you about a new little gadget I got when I was in California-- a Messermeister Pro-touch Julienne Peeler. It was inexpensive and looked like it would be so handy for making julienne carrots, zucchini, etc., to pretty up summer dishes. And, I do love it! It's easier to use than a mandoline or an electric gadget, for this purpose, anyway.

Cuispro, Oxo Good Grips, and Kuhn Rikon also make julienne peelers, but the owner of the kitchen store in Healdsburg, CA where I bought it said she liked the Messermeister best, so I took her advice, and have no complaints. A very handy tool to have in your kitchen!



So, I hope you're having a great summer! The weather here is just perfect-- sunny and warm, but with a nice breeze most of the time. Before our trip to California (with a stop in Vancouver), we had a lovely visit to Salt Spring Island, a little south of us, where DH has family. If you get a chance to visit Salt Spring, it is beautiful! We attended his granddaughter's high school graduation. Doesn't she look beautiful?



I was looking at some old family photos that I recently acquired, and I thought this one, from the early 1950's, was so funny! It's me (on the left), and my sister being read to by my mother, who has such white "English Rose" skin, whereas we were SO brown! We are part Latin American (Peruvian), on my father's side, as you may know, and we lived in central California then. Neither of us get brown like that anymore (we haven't done for years and years, and my mother NEVER went in the sun without covering up and wearing a hat!), but the contrast between us and our mother is quite astounding!



Anyway, I'd better get some "real work done", I suppose! Here is that recipe, and I hope you enjoy it!



Printable Recipe

BRYANNA'S ASIAN-STYLE "CHICKEN" SALAD WITH SESAME DRESSING
Servings: 4 
This was a last-minute invention using what I had in my refrigerator, which included a beautiful Red iceburg lettuce, grown organically here on Denman Island.

4 cups reconstituted Soy Curls™ (4 oz. dry)
(PS: If you don't have Soy Curls, use any vegan chicken substitute that you like, cut into thin strips.) Read about Soy Curls, where to buy, and how to use here.
Marinade:
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce (I used Kikkoman Lite)
1/2 tablespoon dark sesame oil (Asian, roasted)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Chinese  five-spice powder
1 dash Asian hot sauce (such as Sriracha)
2 tablespoons (approximately) potato starch (or use cornstarch-- you can get organic)
1 or 2 tablespoons oil
1 large green onion, green part only, chopped
Sesame Dressing:
1/4 cup rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil (Asian, roasted)
2 tablespoons sugar or alternate
2 tablespoons lightly-toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Salad:
8 cups (approximately) shredded or torn lettuce leaves or salad greens of your choice (washed, spun and crisped before tearing)
Note: Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner is the best on the market
+ any other veggies that you like-- I used sliced English (edible peel) cucumber

Mix together the marinade ingredients and mix well with the Soy Curls™ . Set aside.

Mix the dressing ingredients together and set aside.

Assemble your lettuce and other veggies on 4 plates before you cook the Soy Curls™.

Spread the Soy Curls™ on a platter and sprinkle with the potato starch. Mix well to coat. Add more starch if you think it needs it.

In a large wok, stir-fry pan, or hard anodized or nonstick skillet, heat the oil. When it's very hot, add the Soy Curls™ . Spread them out and let them start to brown on the bottom, then stir and toss until they are golden-brown all over. Sprinkle with the green onion and toss.



Distribute the Soy Curls™ evenly over the salad plates, and then drizzle with the dressing (whisk the dressing before drizzling on each serving).  Serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving)
: 300.6 calories; 51% calories from fat; 18.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 699.6mg sodium; 328.9mg potassium; 27.8g carbohydrates; 5.1g fiber; 9.6g sugar; 22.7g net carbs; 12.9g protein; 6.8 points.

Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

EASY VEGAN CHOCOLATE GELATO!

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Summer is finally in full swing here, and, just in time, I have a new ice cream maker! I have had a Donvier hand-crank machine for years (the kind that you use with a frozen canister, not ice and salt), and it is great, but it only make a quart, and I wanted one that I could leave to its own devices. I finally decided on the Cuisinart ICE-30BC Pure Indulgence 2-Quart Automatic Ice Cream Maker, which is pretty reasonable in price, got good reviews, and is widely available. Amazon.com carries it, and, here in Canada,they now carry it on amazon.ca!


It is great and I have been having lots of fun with it. I just keep the canister in the freezer at all times so that I can make vegan ice cream, gelato or sorbet at the drop of a hat! If your ingredients are cold, all you need to do is whip them up in the blender, pour into the machine and let it turn for about 20 minutes. It gets quite firm, but should be placed in the freezer in a covered container for several hours before serving.

I have to tell you that originally I got the ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which was a little more expensive. However, even after 3 days of freezing the attachment, and 45 minutes of churning, the ice cream did not freeze (this happened twice), so I returned it. A friend told me that the same thing happened to her.

Anyway, I've been playing with my gelato recipe from my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen". I wanted to make it richer, easier, and more servings.

One of the things I did was to use Instant Clearjel® instead of the cooked tapioca flour mixture that I generally use (tapioca thickens the mixture instead of eggs, and it has better mouth feel than cornstarch). This eliminates cooking the starch mixture. Instant Clearjel® is a modified corn starch, which simply means that it is precooked, used to thicken recipes. And the vegan ice cream made with it does not crystallize, or get rock-hard. It's creamy, and has no starchy mouth feel. (I have added the alternative of using Xanthan Gum or Guar gum instead.)

For clump-free, smooth results: "...it is best when first combined with dry ingredients, before adding liquid. It will begin to swell or thicken as soon as it is added to water, milk or juices; it will impart a smooth, short texture when fully hydrated, reaching its full thickness within 5-10 minutes (without requiring any cooking). Instant Clearjel® can be used in cooking as well. The viscosity will increase slightly upon heating. It has excellent heat and acid resistance and can be used in acid containing foods and in those applications where heating is required. It has good cold temperature storage stability, making it particularly well suited for refrigerated and frozen foods." Source

America's Test Kitchen recommends it for fruit pies, BTW. 


It isn't available on store shelves-- here in Canada I had to purchase 11 lbs. of it from a bakery supply company (Snowcap), but maybe a bakery would sell you a smaller amount (I now have a lifetime supply). You can now order it in Canada from the Gourmet Warehouse(Vancouver).


Inn the US, you can mail-order it from (and I believe that they all ship to Canada):



King Arthur Flour 


In Australia/NZ you can order it from the Angel Food online catalog

So, here is the result and we love it!


BRYANNA'S REVISED VEGAN CHOCOLATE GELATO

Adapted from the recipe in my book "Nonna's Italian Kitchen", this is a knockout vegan ice cream treat! June 2008

1 cup soy or almond milk, such as Almond Breeze (I used my homemade soymilk--BCG)
6 oz dairy-free organic, good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, cut into small pieces, or semisweet chocolate chips
2 3/4 cup soy or almond milk
3/4 cup raw cashews or cashew pieces, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes and drained
(If allergic to nuts, or don't have any cashews, use 1/2 cup more nondairy milk, or soy creamer, and 1/4 cup oil.)
3/4 cup  brown rice syrup
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
OPTIONAL: 2 tablespoons Amaretto, Frangelico, Kahlua, or other chocolate, coffee, orange, berry or nut liqueur
1/3 cup organic cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons Instant Clearjel® OR 3/8 teaspoon Xanthan gum or Guar Gum

Mix the first 1 cup nondairy milk and the chocolate in a small pan over medium heat. Stir until the chocolate is melted into the mik. Do not boil. OR (MICROWAVE METHOD) mix the milk and chocolate in a medium bowl and microwave at half power for 2 minutes. Stir. if the chocolate is not melted into the milk, microwave again in 1 minute increments until it is.

Place the remaining 2 3/4 cups milk into a blender along with the soaked, drained cashews, and blend until VERY smooth and frothy (make sure that it is not grainy at all).

Mix all of the remaining ingredients, and the melted chocolate/milk mixture, into this mixture and blend again until it is VERY smooth. (Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula so that no cocoa powder or Instant Clearjel® gets left behind.)

Chill the gelato mixture thoroughly, and then freeze according to directions for your ice cream machine. Scoop into a quart plastic container, cover and freeze for several hours before serving.

Servings: 16
Yield: about 2 qts.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per 1/2 cup serving)
: 179.7 calories; 30% calories from fat; 6.8g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 74.5mg sodium; 178.5mg potassium; 31.9g carbohydrates; 1.0g fiber; 22.4g sugar; 30.9g net carbs; 3.4g protein; 4.0 points.


Enjoy!