Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 13 - Raw Tacos

This week was the last night of my raw foods class at SWIHA. The class was really informative and fun. As always there were so many inspirational people in class. Some of their own health tranformaion stories blew my mind and reminded me of how much what we put into and on our bodies matters. Our instructor, Janet, is truly passionate about raw food and its ability to heal and keep people healthy.

For my final project I wanted to make a WOW dish. I have had the raw tacos from Pomegranate Cafe in Ahwatukee and loved them. This is my attempt at recreating them. They aren't exactly the same, but they were pretty, delicious and RAW! When I eat traditional Mexican food, I always feel bloated, heavy and tired. After eating these you will feel satisfied, energetic and not at all bloated. These are great for an entree or a pot luck!

NOTE: This recipe does require a dehydrator.

Chow Locally produce used:

Yellow Onions from Sleeping Frog Farms
Roma Tomatoes from Crooked Sky Farms

Kim's Raw Tacos

Makes 15-20 small tacos

2 cups raw walnuts (soaked and dehydrated)
16 oz. cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/2 cup unpeeled zucchini, very small diced
2 tablespoon minced white or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 large lime (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons tamari or nama shoyu
1/3 cup chile powder (I like it hot, but you can use mild, medium or hot)
1 teaspoon mexican oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

15-20 leaves radiccio or other firm cabbage, lettuce or green for the shell NOTE: If leaves are large, tear them down to "taco shell" size, about 4 inches or so.

Pulse walnuts in food processor until they resemble a very coarse meal. Don't make them too fine or the final texture will be too soft. Transfer walnuts to a mixing bowl. Place mushrooms in the food processor and pulse until they are in very small pieces. Add mushrooms and remaining ingredients to mixing bowl. Combine well.

Spread mixture evenly on a dehydrator tray lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Dehydrate for 2 hours at 110 degrees. Remove tray from dehydrator. Carefully scrape taco "meat" from the tray into a bowl. Crumble mixture.

To assemble tacos, place 2 tablespoons taco "meat" on each lettuce leaf. Top with your favorite taco toppings. I highly recommend tomatoes, avocado, chives (or green onions). Add a generous amount of Salsa Fresca and your favorite raw cashew sour cream (I used Judita Wignall's version).

If not serving immediately, the taco meat will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Just warm it up in the dehydrator for 20-30 minutes before serving.

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 12 - Salsa Fresca

Dang! I still haven't gotten to the giant pattypans yet! Oh well. Sometimes raw food classes move you in a different direction. I can't blame the raw food class really. I just veered my own way. There were some beautiful chives in last week's box that were going to go bad if I didn't act. So in a Superwoman style saving mode, I rescued those green, lush beauties. Oh and I am using this salsa as part of my final project for my raw food class!

The Chow Locally featured ingredient for this recipe is:

Garlic or Onion Chives from Taylor Herb Garden - Chives can be used in so many different ways fro dips to salads, to cooked meals. Store in the crisper with a damp towel.

Salsa Fresca

Makes Approximately 2 1/2 cups 

3 cups fresh tomatoes (I recommend heirlooms), roughly chopped
1 fresh medium hot Hatch green chile or medium green chile*
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/4 cup garlic or onion chives, very thinly sliced

Place tomatoes, chiles, garlic, lime juice, sea salt and black pepper in blender. Pulse until peppers are minced. Make sure not to puree! When you are using those precious heirlooms you want some of that beautiful tomato texture and flavor. Pour mixture into a medium non-reactve bowl. Stir in chives. Refrigerate for at least two hours to let flavors meld. Overnight is even better.

* If you prefer hot salsa, substitute hot chiles or jalapeños

OK so salsa is the ketchup of the southwest. Enjoy this on EVERYTHING! If you are raw, this one is for you! Freshness and flavor abound!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 10 - Black Bean and Red Potato Stuffed Marconi Peppers

Today's recipes features the following Chow Locally veggies:

Dried Garlic from Sleeping Frog Farms - Garlic is a staple ingredient for so many recipes and can store for a long time. Keep with onions in a cool dry place in the pantry (I keep mine in the fridge during the hot summer)

Dried White Onions  from Sleeping Frog Farms - These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool dry place and away from any potatoes.

Marconi Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - These large peppers are quite versatile and can be used in salads, salsas, pastas and more. Roast, grill or fry to your heart's content. Store on the countertop. My notes: This variety is actually a sweet red variety from Italy. It is also very tasty raw. I'd love to try them red!

I am on a spicy Southwestern kick this week. I had it in my head to make some potato stuffed Hatch chiles. The shape and size of these were similar, so I figured, let's stuff 'em! I got some red potatoes over the weekend and the farmers' market. To make it a complete meal black beans were added to add some protein action. These can be served as a fun side dish or as an entree. 

Black Bean and Red Potato Stuffed Marconi Peppers

Makes 12 side dish and 6 entree portions

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, unpeeled 1/2 inch or so dice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used soy)
1 - 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed.
6 Marconi peppers (can substitute Anaheims or Hatch Green Chiles)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place potatoes in a steamer and steam until very tender, about 30 minutes. While potatoes are steaming, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions just start to brown, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ancho, chipotle, smoked paprika and salt. Saute for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside until potatoes are done.

In a large mixing bowl, add potatoes, onion mixture, nutritional yeast and non-dairy milk. Mix on lowest speed of hand mixer until fairly smooth. I personally like mine a little bit chunky. Add more non-fairly milk of they are too stiff. Be careful not to mix too fast or too long or potatoes will get gummy. Fold in black beans. 

Slice peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and pith. I like the way they look if you can keep the stems on. Over stuff each pepper half. Place stuffed pepper halves in lightly oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Lightly spray tops with olive oil. Bake for 15-18 minutes until potatoes just start to brown. Let sit for 5-minutes. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 10 - Berry Berry Kale Smoothie

I'm interrupting the Chow Locally program today. I had a crazy busy day yesterday, so I am posting a backup post for today. While it does deviate from the theme, it DOES keep in line with my goal of including more raw food into my world.

I made this smoothie a couple of weeks ago and I think it may be the best one I've had. This is an excellent way to sneak some kale into the bellies of unsuspecting children (and adults as well for that matter). Use organic whenever you can. Make sure to use organic strawberries for sure as they are on the Environmental Working Groups dirty dozen list again this year. I couldn't find the smoothie pic, so enjoy this bonus butterfly from our East Coast trip.

Berry Berry Kale Smoothie

2 Servings

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh strawberries
1 medium banana
2 cups kale, lightly packed
3/4 cup filtered water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 pitted medjool dates
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup ice (optional)

Add all ingredients to blender. Blend on high until smoother. Drink and be happy!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 9 - Filthy Cajun Rice

Today's recipe features the following ingredients from the Chow Locally box:

Dried onions (I really don't know why they are listed as dried, they are regular white onions) from Sleeping Frog Farms - These great onions are a staple ingredient for innumerable recipes. Store these in a cool dry location, such as a pantry away from any potatoes.

Mixd Bell Peppers from Crooked Sky Farms - Bell peppers are a nice vegetable to use in cooked or fresh meals. Their crunch adds texture to salads, or they can be sliced up for snacks. Store in the fridge crisper.

I had planned to make something with the giant pattypan squashes I got in the box this week, but suddenly, I went an entirely different direction. We had a significant flood here last night. It certainly wasn't the magnitude of Katrina, but the images on the TV reminded me of what the folks in Louisiana endured back then. I thought it fitting to do something Cajun inspired. This is my play on Dirty Rice. Tempeh stands in for the flecks of meat. Somehow I forgot the garlic when I made mine, it still tastes really good without it, but I put it in the recipe cuz it should be there!! Look at dat! You know you want some.

Filthy Cajun Rice

Makes 6 - 8 servings

Cajun Spice Mix

2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme

Blend in a small bowl and set aside.

2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 - 8 oz package tempeh
1 medium white or yellow onion, medium dice
1 bell pepper (green is traditional, but I used a light yellow one), medium dice
1 stalk celery, medium dice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 - 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, liquid drained
1 tablespoon creole or other hot mustard

In a 4 quart dutch oven or other pot, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Heat slightly over medium heat. Crumble tempeh into pot. Saute until the tempeh has browned, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. Sauté the holy trinity of cajun and creole cooking: onions, celery and bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of oil until just softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until it is just fragrant, about 1 minute. Add Cajun Spice mix and sauté for another minute. Add browned tempeh, broth, rice and liquid smoke. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and simmer covered for 45 minutes. DO NOT LIFT THE LID! Turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes. It is really important to leave the lid in place for the whole time without peaking or the rice will not cook all the way through and you will be sad.

After the 15 minutes has passed, stir in tomatoes and mustard. Let sit for a few minutes to let the tomatoes warm up.

Serve over sautéed greens.

I'm excited to announce the winner of this week's Chow Locally share box…

#6 Cindy P! Yay! I'll be contacting you today to set up your chow locally pickup point. Thanks to all who participated. You can have another chance to win next Monday, so be sure to come back and comment then!

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 8 - Chow Locally Giveaway #2 and Apple Cranberry Hand Pies!

Good Morning. It is a very rainy day here in the Valley of the Sun, so I must leave early for work this morning. Before I head off, I wanted to post a picture of the delicious hand pies I made last night with the gala apples from my Chow Locally share box. I will post the recipe when I get home tonight. It's pretty easy and these are slightly addicting.

Apple Cranberry Hand Pies

Makes 8 pies

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced peeled gala apples (about 2 large or 3 smaller)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 - 1.1 pound package vegan puff pastry sheets, thawed
coconut spray oil 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour lemon juice into large bowl. As you are peeling and slicing apples, toss slices in lemon juice to prevent browning. Add maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves to bowl. Combine well. Let sit for about 10 minutes until apples start to release some of their juices. Stir in cranberries, walnuts and coconut oil and combine well.

Roll puff pasty on floured surface to approximately 10" x 10" squares. Cut 4 - 5 inch circles from each sheet. Put a generous 1/3 cup of apple mixture on one half of each circle, making sure to leave enough of a margin for sealing the pies (about 1/2 inch). Fold puff pastry over mixture and seal using fork tines.
Make three small cuts with a sharp knife in the top of each pie. Place pies on baking sheet leaving approximately 2 inches between pies. Spray tops with coconut spray oil or there neutral flavored oil. 

Bake for 20-22 minutes until pastry is golden brown. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving. Can be reheated in oven for about 5-8 minutes at 400. 

Now the most important thing to post is GIVEAWAY #2. 

This giveaway is closed and the winner is….

#4 - Cindy P! Congrats! I will be contacting you to set up your pickup spot!

As a reminder, here are the rules:

1 - You must live or be in the Phoenix area.

2 - You must be able to pick up your fresh produce on the day specified for  the pick up location you chose. (I will contact you with details on pick up locations/times).

3 - Please leave a comment about you favorite fall dish by midnight tonight. Only one comment per poster please. Make sure to leave a way to contact you or check back tomorrow to see if you are the winner and contact me.

4- Winner will be drawn at random tomorrow.

Good Luck!!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 Vegan MOFO - Day 7 - Summer Squash Pasta with Walnut Basil Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

My raw foods class has inspired me, there is no doubt. When I saw summer squash in this week's Chow Locally share box, there was no question what it's destiny would be. Last September, I got a spiral slicer that has been all but ignored. Tonight it was dusted off and very much loved.

I spiralized the summer squash and made some uber flavorful pesto with basil from Horny Toad Farms (another awesome local farm). I sliced up some Sunizona cherry tomatoes and fed it to Fred and my awesome neighbor. The pesto blanketed the fresh veggies and made it one heck of a way to usher out summer.

Zucchini "Pasta" with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes

2 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash
2 cups cherry tomatoes (any color) halved
1 recipe Basil Pesto a la Kim.

Using a spiral slicer on the smallest setting for noodles, spiralize squash. Alternatively you can use a mandolin in a thin setting or use a vegetable peeler to make thin noodles (do not peel squash).

Place prepared squash in large bowl. Add cherry tomatoes and pesto and gently toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Basil Pesto a la Kim

1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup raw walnuts (soaked and dried if you are raw)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil

Place garlic and walnuts in small food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles a meal. Add basil nutritional yeast, lemon juice and salt. Pulse until basil is in small pieces. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula. Turn processor on to finely chop basil, scraping sides occasionally. Slowly add olive oil in a stream. Process until fairly smooth. It is good to have a little chunkiness.