Tuesday, August 23, 2011
BLUEBERRIES, SAVORY AND SWEET
You can see over 100 color photos of many of the recipes in my new book, World Vegan Feast, in this photo album. There are now twenty-seven 5-star reviews of "World Vegan Feast" on amazon.com.
Blueberries are one of the prides of the Pacific Northwest and there is a bounty of them available right now. Sure, we can freeze some, or make jam, but it's so wonderful to be able to simply eat all of the fresh ones you can hold! Although I am trying not to make tempting desserts right now, I was sorely tempted to make a luscious blueberry pie, but I decided against it in favor of a blueberry shortcake. (I didn't make both-- trying to reign in the calories!) Besides, we (sadly) hadn't had a shortcake yet this year (DH LOVES shortcake!). We also had a British friend over for lunch one day and she had never had real American-style shortcake with the hot biscuits-- as good an excuse as any to make it. We had vegetables for lunch so that the dessert could be the main attraction!
Blueberry Shortcake with lemon juice and zest in the filling, along with organic sugar; a bit of corn flour in the shortcake, and my homemade Almond Cream Whipped Topping (recipe here) from my new book, "World Vegan Feast"
Because I am trying not to make desserts very often (so hard when there's all this fruit around and pie-making beckons!), I'm looking for savory ways to enjoy berries (besides adding them to salads). One night last week I had to make a super-fast meal, so I got some Gardein "Chick'n Breasts" out of the freezer (actually, they were President's Choice Blue Menu brand, from the Great Canadian Superstore, but Gardein makes them) and made a quick savory sauce that was as delectable as it was fast. (Other possibilities for the protein part of this dish could be my Crispy Marinated Tofu Slices from World Vegan Feast, or "Breast of Tofu" from my other books, or your own or Chinese mock "chikn" cutlets.) Served it with stir-fried asparagus and snap peas, on a bed of bulgur wheat pilaf.
PS: I'm off to Portland for about a week-- I'll do the Nutrition Facts when I get home!
BRYANNA'S VEGAN "CHICK'N BREASTS" WITH SAVORY BLUEBERRY SAUCE
(Other possibilities for the protein part of this dish could be my Crispy Marinated Tofu Slices from World Vegan Feast, or "Breast of Tofu" from my other books (and recipe here, photos here), or your own or Chinese mock "chikn" cutlets.)
4 frozen Gardein or PC Blue Menu (made by Gardein) "Meatless Chick'n Breasts" (see alternatives in recipe intro)
Cajun Spice or Old Bay Seasoning (homemade recipes for these here)
flour (unbleached or whole wheat)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
1/3 cup dry red wine (can be non-alcoholic)
1/2 cup vegan "chicken-style" broth
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon grated organic lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste
Rub the "breasts" with Cajun Spice or Old bay Seasoning all over, then dredge them in flour. Heat the oil in a 10 to 12-inch nonstick skillet. When hot, add the floured "breasts and brown them over medium-high heat on both sides. Remove them from the skillet and add the onion and garlic, salting lightly. Saute them until softened over medium-high heat, stirring often and adding a splash of water when necessary to keep from sticking. (ALTERNATIVE METHOD: While the "breasts" brown, place the onion and garlic in a microwave-safe casserole or Pyrex pie plate, salt lightly, cover and microwave for 5 to 7 minutes on High power-- or until they have softened. Remove the "breasts" from the skillet and scoop the cooked onion and garlic into the same skillet. )
Add the wine to the skillet and cook over high heat until it has cooked down to about half its original volume. Add the broth, blueberries, lemon zest and rosemary and tuck the "breasts" into the sauce. Simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, turning the "breasts" once, until they are heated through and the sauce has thickened a bit. Taste for salt and pepper.
I love berry vinaigrette and I wanted to make one with a hefty dose of fresh blueberries in it and not too much oil. I had read about a commercial blueberry and pomegranate vinaigrette, but I've never seen it around my neck of the woods, so I thought I'd add some pomegranate molasses to my recipe for extra tang (and antioxidants). This one is delish!
BRYANNA'S BLUEBERRY/POMEGRANATE VINAIGRETTE
Makes 2 cups
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup aquafaba or Fat-Free Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic
Blend everything together in a blender until smooth. Place in a covered jar and refrigerate.