stripes

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Very Green New Year



I have grocery shopped at stores near and far,
Even shopped at Costco without a car.
But upon moving to New Orleans I shed a tear,
Oh no! No Trader Joe's is here!

How I miss their rooibus tea,
Give me their frozen vegetable tamales I plea!
Without TJ's Tuscan Pain bread my heart is cold,
I miss their blue cheese with its lovely mold.

$1.99 for greek yogurt was a brilliant deal,
On weeknights their lentil soup was often a meal.
I yearn for their brie wedges and pickled beans,
And life would be easier with their pre-washed greens.

But here I sit in the Crescent City,
With no TJ's near me - such a pity.
So if I want these treats in my mits,
I must remake my favorites using my wits!


Does Trader Joe's still made edamame hummus? That stuff was good enough to eat with a spoon. OR SO I HAVE HEARD.

In any case, after receiving the cutest little food processor you ever did see from Erik, I test drove it with this recipe. I'm in love with the color - who doesn't need something bright and green on January 2nd? So you had too many spritz, indulged on that pre-dinner cheese tray a little too hard, you sprained your ankle and haven't moved at a pace faster than a shuffle in a month. NO MATTER. Eat this green stuff with some carrot sticks and all will be forgiven.


Now there are a lot of recipes out there for what basically amounts to smashing up soy beans with olive oil and spices. Try to think of it like that and do not be afraid to EXPERIMENT.

Edamame Hummus with Roasted Sesame Seeds


1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups edamame (if frozen thaw through first by heating them in boiling water for about 3 minutes)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (I used dehydrated minced garlic from Penzey's)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Optional: other spices (I used 1 tablespoon of Penzey's Sunny Paris)
Water as needed


Place sesame seeds on a baking sheet and roast at 350 briefly. Make sure seeds don't brown and shake the few times - this should only take about 3-4 minutes so be careful!
After sesame seeds have cooled combine them in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Turn on your food processor and just let it run, scraping down the sides if necessary to keep everything moving. At this point you may need to add some water to get the thickness how you want it. It takes several minutes to get the mixture smooth so be patient and hope your neighbors aren't aiming death stares at you through the wall.
When the mixture is smooth taste again to make sure the salt/pepper/spice level is right.






Sunday, November 18, 2012

Inside My Lunchbox Again

One of the things I miss most about Boston is Clover. They have many, many delicious options, but my favorite will always be the chickpea fritter. This is my attempt to recreate that brilliant wrap.

I made "chickpea fritters" or flattened falafels using spices and ground chickpeas with lots of parsley. As I am not a believer in home frying, and in order to keep these on the healthier side I baked the patties. The wrap was made with fresh tortillas, spinach, some plain hummus, and homemade quick pickles (I used the brine from my pickled okra with persian cucumber slices). Served with a side of purple grapes. 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Okra Smokra

Did I ever tell you all about that time during Hurricane Isaac when Erik and I got called yuppies by a stranger?
It was probably 2 or 3 days post electricity, and we were on a hunt for ice. After an unsuccessful trip to the grocery store nearest our house we drove a little further to Winn Dixie, where we found a whole glorious mountain of ice. Upon checking out, the cashier asked if we had a store discount card. When we said we did not, she said, "oh, do you guys usually shop at whole foods?"
I was thinking about this as I rode my vintage bike home from the farmer's market last week with my basket full of vegetables. Yes. I am a yuppie.

Anyway. Let's get real. Does anyone really just like plain okra? If you live in the south, no doubt you have a complicated relationship with okra. On one hand, it is an extremely cheap, healthy, plentiful vegetable and the farmer's markets overflow with local crops. On the other hand, it has a mucus-like quality.
I know, I am selling it here.
The slimeyness of okra is due to mucilage which makes okra rich in dietary fiber. The slime only really comes out when you cut okra, so if you keep the pods whole it can be avoided. These pickled okra are best if you use small pods that can be devoured in one or two bites. The pickling brine is adaptable and can be used with other vegetables too.

Quick Pickled Okra
3 cups water
1 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup salt1.5 pints okra
1 tablespoon Sunny Paris spice (optional)


2 jalapenos, sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
In a saucepan heat up water, vinegar, and salt. Take clean glass jar and stuff all of your okra, jalapenos, and garlic inside. If using additional spices pour over top of okra in jar. Take the heated liquid and fill up the jar to the top. Put the lid on and place jar in refrigerator for 3-5 days. I find they get better if you let them sit a little longer.

P.S. these would make an excellent addition to any Thanksgiving relish tray.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Giant Salad Bowl

Maybe it is because I have been eating red beans and rice everyday for lunch, but lately I have been craving a GIANT salad for dinner.

Now I know you don't need me to give you a recipe for a salad. You know how to make a salad. You are smart and savy. Also your hair looks real good today.

However I have made this the past three days in a row, and last night Erik said it was the best salad I have ever made (high praise?). So consider this a salad blueprint.


Giant Perfect Salad
Red leaf lettuce
Cherry tomatoes
Parsley
Lemon zest
Parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

Tear up the lettuce and parsley into a giant bowl. Add halved cherry tomatoes. Use a microplane to zest half a lemon into the bowl. Add just the smallest amount of olive oil and a little bit more balsamic vinegar. Shake some parmesan and bread crumbs into the bowl and toss everything about. 

Sit on the couch in your workout clothes after a run and eat this for dinner while you watch the daily show on hulu.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coconut Milk Rolls

little poofs of goodness

Hello blog.

It is fall. Time for bread baking and scarf wearing. Only we live in Louisiana so it is not cold enough for scarves yet. But the weather has turned enough to justify making these rolls. These only bake for about 20 minutes - your air conditioning can totally compensate for that.

These rolls turn out so soft and poofy you would swear they are store bought. They have a slightly sweet flavor, but do not taste like coconut, so don't fear feeding these to a picky eater.

I used this recipe from Eating Appalachia. I originally found it while I was searching for a recipe to use up some left over coconut milk. Now I just make these rolls and wind up with the left over coconut milk anyway.

I followed the above recipe with the following modifications:
1. I used 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast rather than a packet
2. I switched 1/4 cup unsalted butter for the earth balance
3. In place of the 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour I used 1 1/2 cups AP flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour

yeast blooming

mixing wet and dry
    
post kneading
it has risen
rolls formed - now into the oven

Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Strawberry Pie




Strawberries are coming out the wazoo in Louisiana. This pie is a delightful way to enjoy them.








Part 1: Crust
I followed Martha Stewart's Press-In Shortbread Pie Crust recipe to a T. This is super easy. If you are intimidated by the idea of making a traditional roll out pie crust you can do this! No rolling or measuring of thickness is involved. Martha wouldn't lead you astray.

Once baked allow the crust to cool and moved on to the filling.

























Wash and trim about 2 pints of strawberries and dice them up.


























In a large bowl combine 10 oz softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, a dash of nutmeg and half of your strawberries.
















Time to make whipped cream. I do this in my magic bullet. 1 cup heavy whipping cream plus 1/4 cup powdered sugar. Whirl it around for 30 seconds and like magic whipped cream pops out.




Fold the whipped cream into your cream mixture along with the rest of the berries. Pink worm, pink ice cream. This must be a silly dream.

Pour your mixture into your cooled pie shell and beautify. A little garnish really AMPLIFIES the class.


Chill a few hours or overnight before cutting in.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Inside my lunchbox

Roasted sweet potato and broccoli. A little bit of black pepper.

Spinach salad with purple cabbage, red pepper, green apple, feta. Balsamic.