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Monday, January 30, 2012

Buttery Millet Mash

Here is a great recipe I made for the Cleanse Phase of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse. Everyone at the session loved the flavors and paired with sweet baked butternut squash and a Kale Walnut salad all the taste buds were satisfied.

For those with gluten intolerance millet is a gluten free seed with the consistency of cooked grain. It is easy to digest, supports stomach and spleen, is beneficial to the kidneys and helps to create an alkaline condition where there is too much acid. You can serve this recipe in place of mashed potatoes, then spoon the leftovers into a baking dish to cool and set up, similar to polenta. The next day you can slice and grill or mold into millet burgers and serve with a pesto sauce surrounded by lightly sautéed vegetables.

Buttery Millet Mash

Makes 10 servings, so plenty of leftovers for burgers or add to soup

1 cup millet, rinsed
3 cups water
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh black pepper, to taste
3 cups cauliflower florets
2 tablespoons ghee or butter
2 tablespoons Garlic Red Pepper miso (South River brand)

1. In a medium saucepan combine the millet, water, salt, garlic, pepper and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
2. When done, add the ghee or butter, and miso stirring well. At this point you can mash the millet with a potato masher to blend all the flavors.
3. Serve while warm topped with fresh chopped parsley.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Polenta Lentil Salad

I love salads with complex flavors and a variety of ingredients. For the Transition Phase of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse this past Sunday I created this dish to represent some of the foods that can be eaten over the next 2 weeks of the program. Bursting with flavor this Polenta and Lentil Salad can make a light meal or served with a warm bowl of Butternut Carrot Soup a comforting end to a long day.

For the polenta I used Bob's Red Mill Corn Grits and followed the recipe on the back of the package. When it called for butter to be added I substituted 2 tablespoons of Ghee (clarified butter), and eliminated the parmesan cheese, but added 1/3 cup of nutritional yeast to give it a cheese like taste and loads of B vitamins. I also grated in some dried garlic and black pepper before removing it from the heat. I then poured the polenta into a baking pan and let it cool. 

When cool I sliced the polenta into cubes and served it on a bed of lettuce. I had roasted some locally grown beets in olive oil the night before and spooned these on top along with a few tablespoons of cooked French lentils, some Goji berries (soaked in water about 10 minutes), toasted almonds and a few tablespoons of this fabulous dressing:

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fig vinegar
1 tablespoon black current vinegar
3 tablespoons blood orange vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar

Each part of the dish can be prepared ahead of time and assembled when ready to eat. Loaded with protein this dish will give your taste buds the sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter flavors they crave, leaving you sated and satisfied.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Garden Gazpacho

Between my garden and the Farmers market there is an abundance of fresh produce ripening before my very eyes. Expecting guests for lunch today I brought the blender up from the basement, spent some time in the garden picking vegetables and set to work creating this delicious cool summer soup. I call it an Irish gazpacho, because, well, because I made it up and though not exactly true to the Spanish version it deserves some recognition of its own.

I suggest serving this soup chilled with a garnish of chopped chives, scallions and cherry tomatoes to add a bit of chew to the creaminess of the puree and because I left out the garlic and onion so as not to overpower the taste of the other ingredients.

Garden Gazpacho
Yields 5 cups or 1 blender full

3 large yellow tomatoes
6 fresh basil leaves
Handful of parsley tops
1 small green pepper, seeded, chopped
1 sweet banana pepper, seeded, chopped
1 5" cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped (I used a pickling cuke)
1 teaspoon Ume Plum vinegar
3 tablespoons Brown Rice vinegar (or to taste)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

1. Slice the tomatoes and squeeze them into a bowl or measuring cup. Make sure to remove all the seeds. Set aside. Slice the tomatoes and put them into the blender.
2. Add the basil, parsley, peppers and cucumber.
3. Place a small strainer over the blender and strain the juice from the inside of the tomatoes into the blender. Press down gently to extract as much of the juice as possible.
4. Add the vinegars, oil and 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt. (You can add more after the first puree)
5. Puree the ingredients on high until it is well blended and smooth, with no lumps. Season to taste adding more salt or vinegar as needed.
6. Chill well before serving. Serve with minced chives, scallion and cherry tomatoes. You can also hold back some cucumber and pepper to add to each bowl as well.

NOTE: If you do not have Ume Plum vinegar (a salty vinegar) on hand use more salt and some extra rice vinegar. Add small amounts at a time and blend briefly, to get the taste you want.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Lunch From the Sea

There has been a lot going on in the StillPoint Schoolhouse kitchen these past few hot summer weeks. There was the July Fermenting/Pickling class, then I played hostess to out-of-town guests, and finally the Herbal Medicine making class last night. In between I picked up some wild Alaskan pollock.  Wanting a grouper type of sandwich, I marinated the pollack in a combination of Honey Ginger vinegar, toasted sesame oil and tamari soy sauce. This marinade works wonders with wild salmon as well.

On the side I sauteed onions from the garden and a fat red pepper, then served it over a bed of fresh garden greens while still warm, which also worked to soften the topping of herb goats cheese. So delicious! The pollock was then grilled and served on a spelt bun toasted on the griddle. I love to combine Vegenaise with salsa and pour that over fish, but others might prefer their own condiment to finish off this amazing lunch.

Ingredients List
Serves 1 hungry person

1/2 pound wild Alaskan pollock or other white fish
1 spelt hamburger bun
Marinade (to your taste): Honey Ginger vinegar, toasted sesame oil, tamari soy sauce
1 small sweet onion, cut into half moons
1/2 red pepper, seeded and sliced
Drizzle of sesame or olive oil (to saute the onion and pepper)
Handful of fresh garden greens and edible herbs, hand torn

Sauce: 1 teaspoon Vegenaise to 1 tablespoon chopped fresh salsa

See instructions above.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Broccomole and Pesto Cole Slaw

There is a lot happening here in Blairstown as the town folk gear up for the 4th of July festivities. I was invited by the Foodshed Alliance to prepare a few dish's for today's Farmers Market that might off set the heavy yang pork flavors wafting from one booth to the other. A whole, huge pig torched midnight black rested beneath the lid of a giant black roaster set up just for this special occasion, a Pig Roast. Indeed! And the line never once wore down to a trickle. Instead eager beavers, mouths wet in anticipation looked to their plates for salvation.

And I was the alternative to the pig, mother Delia admonishing the crowd to eat their veggies.

To that end I made a few recipes that stood their own against roast pork on the bar-bi. I knew there had to be plenty of flavor, a Wow surprise factor and then the realization that this was actually good for you. There was also the challenge of using what is now in season and the field was narrowed down, but not by much. I present to you here my incredible Broccomole (not a misprint) and the quintessential Cole Slaw that every 4th of July outing demands.

I figure that if Jamie Oliver can do a handful here and a sprinkle there, when writing his recipes, and that is how I cook, so be it.  The recipe for Pesto Cole Slaw was created in the early morning as the sun lifted over the lip of the garden fence while Maya, Seamus and me harvested fresh herbs for the afternoons festivities. The dew still wet upon the leaves may have something to do with the flavor, but then I bow to the earth Mother in all her glory, generosity, and culinary greatness.

Yield:  4 servings

½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 scallion, chopped
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
½  teaspoon sea salt
2 cups broccoli stems and tops, lightly steamed or blanched and cooled
1 ½ Tbs. fresh lemon juice 
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame butter)
1 tablespoon Garlic Red Pepper miso

1. Combine cilantro, parsley, garlic, scallion and olive oil in a food processor and puree until smooth (as in a pesto consistency).
2. Add the cooked broccoli and pulse to break down and combine.
3. Add the tahini and miso and run the processor, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time.
4. When at a spreadable consistency adjust seasoning and salt to taste. Serve on crackers, crudités, or chips.

In the picture I served it with grilled tempeh and arugula on a gluten-free millet bread and it was really delicious.

Pesto Cole Slaw
Serves a crowd

1 green cabbage, chopped
½ red cabbage, chopped
sea salt
Handful fresh basil leaves, rinsed
Handful fresh parsley, rinsed
2 handfuls fresh arugula (spicier the better), rinsed
10 chive stalks, rinsed
2 cups ends of young spring onions (the green, above ground parts), rinsed, chopped
¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup Vegenaise (a good quality mayonnaise is fine)

1. In a food processor pulse the cabbage half a processor bowl at a time. Move the pulsed cabbage to a larger bowl, sprinkling a small amount of salt over the cabbage, before adding more cabbage to the processor.
2. When all the cabbage has been pulsed into small pieces get your hands in and toss the cabbage well, mixing the two colors and coating with salt. Cover with a cloth towel and allow to sit for at least 1-2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, rinse and dry the processor.
Add the basil, parsley, arugula, chives and onion greens to the processor along with the olive oil and blend to a smooth consistency.
4. Spoon in the Vegenaise and continue to blend until smooth.
5. Spoon the pesto aioli into the cabbage making sure to mix well. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Quick Summer Salsa

I have been eating light meals during these summer days and found myself thinking about creating a complex flavored salsa without the work of chopping multiple items.  I hit on the idea of buying a quality salsa from my local health food store, not the thick, jarred kind, but a refrigerated, juicy salsa made by a local farmer. It was loaded with tomatoes and young onions, with a taste of pepper, cilantro and garlic.

 About this time I came upon a sale on mangoes and avocados and bought one of each for my creation. For the past two days they have ripened on the kitchen counter and one more day would have tipped them over the edge of ripeness. So, this morning I snipped a handful of fresh cilantro, basil and mint from my herb garden, took out my salsa bowl and set to work. Into the bowl went the tomato salsa, along with the diced avocado, cubed mango and the minced herbs. The juice of half a lime tied it all together and with a side of whole grain and seed chips a lovely appetizer was born.

Actually, this salsa could be served over fresh grilled fish or shrimp (if you can any that are not contaminated) or for vegetarians serve it over grilled tofu, tempeh or a big fat Sun burger. The complex flavors of sweet and sour, sweet and salty, bitter and sweet, with a distant pungent taste are just enough to put a smile on your face. Let me know how you serve it in your home, I'd love to know.

Summer Salsa
Makes about 4 cups

1 16 ounce container of Tomato salsa, with juice
1 ripe avocado, diced
1 ripe mango, cubed into small pieces
Handful of fresh herbs, minced = about 2 tablespoons each or more of your favorite:
cilantro, basil, mint
Juice of half a lime or more as your taste dictates.

In a medium size bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. Chill before serving if you can wait that long. It looks great served in a colorful dish to match the reds and golds of the salsa.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Pesto Potato Salad

Springtime in New Jersey and we make do with what is growing in our gardens and what the Farmers Market offers to us in the way of herbs, greens and root vegetables. Take this simple potato salad for example. I found the small baby red potatoes in my local farm stand, washed them off and placed them in a pot of water. I brought them to a boil, then covered and removed them from the heat to cook and cool. You can do this just before bedtime and let them cool overnight or just before leaving for work in the morning and they are ready for your return home.

The Garlic Scape Pesto was featured in this blog once before, but I will repeat the recipe here rather than make you try to find it. Make a big batch of the pesto and freeze it to use on pasta, pizza or a dollop in soup or chili. One of my favorite taste treats.

As with all potato recipes the amount of salt is important and you should always adjust a recipe to your taste. If you used more salt in the pesto then go gentle with salting the potatos as it all ties in together. And with the addition of Great Northern Beans you have a protein-fat-starch combination that works for a one dish meal. You can make this for a summer picnic or bring to a pot luck with friends and family. Most importantly, chew well and enjoy the flavors.

Pesto Potato Salad
Serves 8-10

1 pound small red potatoes (about 12-15 potatoes)
1 14.5 oz can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced spring green onions
1 stalk celery, slice thin and diced
1/3 cup Garlic Scape pesto (see recipe below)
1/4 cup Vegenaise

1. In medium saucepan cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off heat and leave until cool, about 4 hours.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto.
3. When potatoes are cool slice into quarters and place in a medium size bowl.
4. Add the beans, spring onions, celery, pesto and Vegenaise, mixing well.
5. Salt to taste. Cover and chill 4-24 hours.

Garlic Scape Pesto

2 cups garlic scapes, chopped
2 large handfuls fresh arugula, washed and dried               
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 to 1 cup extra virgin olive oil (as needed)

1. In a food processor chop the scapes into a fine mash.
2. Add a 1/4 cup of the oil and puree.
3. Add the arugula and pulse to combine.
4. Add the basil and pulse to combine, adding more oil as needed.
5. Add the sea salt and keep the machine running while you drizzle the oil in through the chute.
6. Stop from time to time to scrape down the sides then continue to puree until it is a smooth consistency.

A note on garlic scapes: these are the flowering stems that grow out of the garlic bulb. Some people call them garlic curls and they have a short season for enjoying. This makes them all the more precious and can be used in a stir-fry, dressings, to flavor oil, or to make into a pesto. They are aromatic and pungent at the same time, so no need to add extra garlic to kick the taste up a notch.