Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Super Easy Bean Dip!

Here is a seriously easy white bean dip to prepare for your next party. You can also spread it on bread for bruschetta! Enjoy!

To start:
2 onions, roughly chopped
10 small leaves of sage
1- 15oz. can of white beans, drained
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper

Cook: Heat a medium skillet on med-hi heat with 1 T. oil. Place chopped onions in the skillet and stir/flip onions until caramel in color. You may turn the heat down to medium, be sure not to burn the onions. Also, adding a bit of water will help accomplish color. Place all ingredients including the onions in the food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse and blend until smooth. Add more salt and pepper if you like. Just remember if you are preparing this for a crowd, they might be sensitive to salt and pepper taste. The following mixture tastes simply scrumptious on top of this dip.

Tomato Topping: 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup roasted red peppers

Roughly chop the tomatoes and peppers together and apply as garnish. Enjoy and see you in the kitchen!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Spicy Cuban Black Beans and Cilantro Coconut Basmati Rice

A few nights ago I made this wonderfully spicy dish and invited my sister over. Luckily, she likes spice. I was a bit worried after I added my 3 chipotle peppers to my beans. OOoeee they were hot! Fortunately, the mango puree and coconut rice balanced it all out. To add a little crunch I made a Tahini dressed Napa Cabbage Coleslaw. Add some ethnic flare to your favorite grain or legume for an excellent treat.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet Brandy Apple Hazelnut Tart!

On each of my days off from work I wake up and think of what else then...food. I even dream about food! So, last Wednesesday I woke up to the thought of my silver square tart pan given to me by my grandparents this last Christmas. I love it, but definitely forget about it cooped up in my oven side cupboard. Then I closed my eyes again, rolled over and thought of sweetening a pie dough with raisins, then came my brandy thought :) Yes, brandy thoughts at 8 am. What goes well with the sweetness and dense flavor of raisins, and not to mention the soft yet deep notes of brandy? Apples of course!
I began with the making of the crust. I enjoy putting flaxseed meal in pie doughs to add more fatty flavor and to ensure the dough stays together. Also, it is just a healthy additive. I don't like using vegan margarine because of it's excessive amounts of un-sustainably harvested palm oil and Crisco is filled with GMO related products and icky hydrogenated oils. So, instead I used properly harvested coconut oil and a blend of raisin puree and flaxseed meal. The dough came together very well, even with the large ratio of hazelnut meal. I blind baked it for 17 minutes then cooled and awaited the arrival of the delicious apple filling.
Yes I realize apples are not in season, but luckily Washington apples keep very well through to the spring. Despite the price of the 2 giant apples I got, they were the perfect choice. There was no way I was gonna buy a Chilean apple for cheaper! Anyways, I sauteed the peeled and cored Fuji apples in coconut oil, brandy and molasses. When tender I neatly layered them on my previously blind-baked crust. Popped it in the oven and voila! Ready to serve! My house smelled of toasted hazelnuts with hints of raisin and molasses. I shared this tart with my sister, Emily and boyfriend, Jon. Emily liked it so much she came back for seconds the next day. We topped our servings with coconut cream. I do have to say the next night we ate it with chocolate and coffee soy ice cream and that was a great accompaniment as well.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Whoa! Lots and lots of Garlic!

For my friday night dinner alone I decided on Italian food. I wanted something with tomato and garlic, of course. I made myself a creamy sauce consisting of potatoes, cauliflower and garlic. It looked much like an alfredo sauce, until I added the tomato paste.
First, I placed roughly chopped potatoes, onion, cauliflower and garlic cloves in a pot with boiling water. After all the contents of the pot were softly cooked, I strained them, saving the liquid, and placed them in my food processor. Pulse, pulse, pulse, then blended till smooth and silky. I added small amounts of the remaining water throughout the blending to produce the right consistency. Next, I added a bit of tomato paste and a couple more garlic cloves, along with a dash of rich olive oil. There it was a steaming smooth and oh so garlicky sauce ready to lay atop my bed of spinach and quinoa linguine. I added the sun-dried tomatoes to the sides and I was finished. Hope you enjoy the idea and see you in the kitchen!