Saturday, January 13, 2007

Food Round-Up

Hi everyone,

Thank you so much for your comments about my last entry! I promise to post more about Iranian food and recipes in the future.

I apologize that my friday food round-up is being posted late on a saturday, but I was away from home yesterday and did not get a chance to blog. This was our second full week of detoxing, and we were still fairly strict (no refined sugar, no refined flours, no refined oils, etc.) Next week, I suspect we will start re-incorporating some refined flour (even some of the recipes in Alex Jamieson's book call for wheat or spelt flour that is not whole, so I'm guessing that is ok!).

I don't want to be repetitive, so for more information about our detox, click here for last week's entry.

In the interest of keeping the length of this entry down, I'm not providing recipes (unless it's a web recipe I can link to), but I promise if there is a lot of interest in any particular food, I will post the recipe later.

On to the food!

A mediterranean white bean dip with kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, basil, and herbes de Provence. Eaten with Wasa crackers, which have pretty much become a staple for us. If you toast Wasa crackers on low heat (~ 200 degrees Farenheit) for a few mintues, they are even better.

Early in the week, I was tickled pink to receive a book of recipes from Amey. That same night, I made her Croatian potatoes and chard. Words can not even begin to describe how sublime this dish is. Run, don't walk, to Amey's blog and make this recipe RIGHT NOW! To accompany the dish, there was tempeh sausage (recipe here) and sprouted grain bread. The sausage was such a revelation! I'll never buy sausage again, since this is so quick, easy, tasty, and nutritious. This meal was so filling and satisfying, I thought it would be the perfect thing to have at a ski lodge after a hard day in the snow, as you sit cozily by a fire...

One day, while strolling the produce department at the local supermarket, I came across this beautiful Savoy cabbage. I had to have it...

...and made a huge cole slaw with it. But BEWARE! Savoy cabbage is pretty much inedible when it is raw! I can't believe I didn't know this, but for your own good, cook savoy cabbage and save cole slaw for some other variety!

All was not lost however. The cole slaw was merely the accompaniment to a fantastic recipe from the Great American Detox Diet book, the vegetable loaf. This loaf was so crammed with tasty grains, lentils, and vegetables, with a distinct Italian flavor (red bell pepper, olives, etc.) I highly recommend this recipe. In the photo, you also see homemade ketchup (no sugar!) from the same book. I didn't love this recipe as much, but could imagine tinkering with the spices to get something I like. This loaf also made great leftovers.

Some whole wheat pancakes on the new cast iron griddle. I made up this recipe, and for being made with 100% whole wheat flour, they managed to be pretty fluffy and good.

Here they are with some maple syrup. I seasoned the pancake batter with pumpkin pie spice and saffron, and was surprised at how much they tasted like "komach" which is an Iranian stove-top cake. I think I'll call these "komach pancakes."

In some foodie circles this might be sacriligious, but I have to state that I am not a fan of Julia Child. Not only does she come across as hysterically anti-vegetarian, but many of her recipes, veg or not, are duds in my mind. That being said, there is one Julia Child recipe that gets made quite often around here, which is Boston Baked Beans. (We just leave out the ham hock...) Into the crockpot go some navy beans, molasses, onion, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc. and overnight, you get some sweet, spicy, stick-to-your-ribs beans. Mmmmm.

From the crockpot to the pressure cooker, here we have some New Orleans red beans, courtesy of Daiku. In both these and the baked beans, we tried replacing salt with kombu seaweed (kelp), but ended up needing salt at the end anyway. Kombu is still good because it neutralizes the enzymes that cause beans to be so... gassy... but I wouldn't recommend it as a salt substitute.

With the red beans, you see some homemade bread.

Ever since starting the detox, I have been searching in vain for a bread that is 100% whole grain AND vegan AND made without sweeteners and preservatives. Guess what? This is pretty much impossible, so I set about making my own. Here is my loaf after it had risen, about to go into the oven- look at those gluten strands! How fascinating is bread? I just love the stuff, and get so excited when I bake my own.

Here it is out of the oven. I got the recipe from the back of the Arrowhead Mills whole wheat flour bag. I replaced the dry milk powder the recipe called for with soybean powder, and it worked out great. Instead of the loaf pan the recipe called for, I decided to make it free style, and it turned out ok. Molasses gave it a hint of sweetness, and it was dense but satisfying.

The quest for 100% whole grain bread continued with these homemade pita breads. (recipe from Fatfree Vegan here). Only one of my pitas puffed up all the way, so I am anxious to try this recipe again, maybe with whole wheat pastry flour or whole spelt flour instead of whole wheat.

Here are two of my all-time favorite salads:

Tomato, cucumber, onion, red bell pepper, parsely, dried mint, olive oil, and fresh lime juice.

Fennel and orange atop home-grown sprouts, with a citrus dijon vinaigrette.

More whole grains! We tried brown rice pasta for the first time, topped with a simple mushroom ragu. At first the rice pasta freaked us out because it gave off a lot of starch in the water and seemed very sticky. But guess what? This stuff tasted great. It could not be called al dente, but there was something so child-like and satisfying in the toothsome texture. And, unlike regular pasta, of which I usually eat 2 (or 3!) bowls, this one serving of rice pasta was quite satisfying. Definitely something to try. Does anyone have any tips for cooking rice pasta to make it less sticky?

A couple of desserts:

I don't show you this picture because it's pretty (it's not- check out the burned cinnamon on top!) but because this dessert was so simple and good: organic red delicious apples filled with walnuts, cinnamon, and maple syrup. I put some water in the bottom of the dish and microwaved the apples and the result was sweet apples with an apple cider-like sauce on the bottom. So good!

Another recipe from the detox book: crispy rice bars. I used puffed kamut instead of rice, and mixed with a peanut butter/brown rice syrup mixture along with some sunflower seeds and sliced almonds. The fact that I used a smidge of coconut oil to grease the dish gave them a heady coconut aroma and flavor and these were addictive!

Finally, I leave you with my favorite meal of the week, minestrone soup. I know that minestrone is a simple and commonplace soup, but this version was just so packed with veggies and came out so well, it really stuck out. Here are the veggies, herbs, spices, and other ingredients that went into this soup:

olive oil, onion, garlic, shallot, carrot, celery, bell pepper, zucchini, canned diced tomatoes and juice, spaghetti squash, kale, butter beans, garbanzo beans, red beans, whole wheat penne, fresh parsley, capers, dried basil, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper.




Pixie said...

Wow, all that food looks so beautiful. What a fantastic idea, and quick and easy too, for apple dessert. I'll have to try that. Minestrone has always been a favorite of mine as well and yours looks so delicious. I feel like cooking up a big ol' pot of it right now. Thanks for sharing your week of oh so yummy food.

Freedom said...

Wow that's alot of impressive food! Good on you for sticking to your detox plan so well.
I can't believe you don't like raw savoy cabbage though! I eat it all the time, yum yum yum. One of my favourites is to wrap sliced bananas and medjool dates in savoy cabbage leaves and munch away! I was just about drooling when I saw that stunning example of a cabbage. So pretty!

Urban Vegan said...

I don't know where to begin, Bazu--you are such a prolific chef. First--that cabbage photo is so beautiful--like a monochromatic stanied glass window. And your pitas remind me of stingrays, probably b/c I'm going to the Caribbean. Everything looks wonderful and healthy.

Your food round up is very inspiring, as usual.

Dori said...

Wow, very impresive. Looks like you are getting a great start into your ww bread study. I love all of your post, every single dish.

I must stay away from your December post though, way to tempting.

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so great! I need to stop eating cupcakes and do some of this stuff ;-)

We've also done the crispy rice bars thing with puffed kamut and brown rice syrup - which we adapted from the PETA cookbook where they use rice & corn syrup. With plenty of PB in there you really can't tell the difference.

Theresa said...

Everything looks so yum. Those crispy rice bars look like rice krispy treats--something I've occasionally craved since going vegan. I'll have to try it out!

Baking bread really is fascinating. I love kneading it and watching it go from sticky mass to smooth dough.

springsandwells said...

it all looks wonderful! it's really neat to see how much you can eat even on a detox diet. I think I might check that book out!

I would be interested in your white bean dip recipe.. and especially in your adapted Julia Child baked beans recipe! My mom got me a crock pot from the thrift store for Christmas, and I am eager to use it ... I just don't know what to do with it!

Also, I'll check out the home made sausage, what a fun idea. I'm so glad you loved the chard and potatoes - it's so delish!

Your bread is so gorgeous - congrats! It looks hearty and loafy and tasty. :)

Lastly, the "baked" apples look marvelous. I've been thinking about baked apples a lot lately - what with wanting to cut down on sugars, and with the cold weather... so maybe I'll bake some up soon.

Judy said...

Sounds like you are doing really well on your detox, and everything looks great.

I have been using brown rice pasta lately too, on our detox. I like it, but it doesn't reheat very well - if I freeze a portion and then heat it up, the noodles fall apart. For cooking them, I usually add a little olive oil to the boiling water, to help them not stick. I don't know if that's what does it, but my noodles don't stick together.

The crispy rice bar things look great, and sound similar to Dreena's nutty bars that I just made the other day. So yum.

Anonymous said...

I really wish I could come over for dinner. You and Daiku make the most creative and delicious dishes. I would love the recipe for the Boston Baked Beans. I have yet to find one that I like but I'm always on the search. I would also like Daiju's New Orleans red beans. I feel that I should be cooking more with beans and rice but I didn't grow up with it so I'm learning to like it. Both of your dishes look fabulous though.

That tomato cucumber onion, etc. salad is my favorite kind of salad also. Forget the lettuce!!!

Brooke said...

It all looks so good, I don't know where to begin! Thanks for the heads-up about raw savoy cabbage, I didn't know about it either! And interestingly enough, I was looking at a recipe for fennel orange salad last night...I'm not sure I like fennel all that much, but the recipe sounded good to try.

Anonymous said...

I never thought to toast wasa bread...I'm going to give it a shot.
I also love the look and sound of that dip!

aTxVegn said...

I love Wasa crackers, but have switched to rice crackers. I never thought of toasting them!

You certainly have been eating well while detoxing. I would love to make the potatoes and chard. I'm hoping to get back to my farmers market when it warms up to get some greens.

I hope you're enjoying the whole grain flours. I find AP flour to be plain and boring now and really prefer all the different whole grain varieties. I wish I could help you on the rice pasta, but I always find the noodles very sticky, and the lasagne just falls apart. It's weird!

All your food looks amazing, Bazu. I'm freezing here and your soup looks so good!

Emmy said...

What a yummy looking bean dip. That Savoy Cabbage looks perfect. They've been looking very wilty at the grocery stores around here lately. Good score :)

Your vegetable loaf looks really tasty and so do the pancakes. What an excellent way to break in your new cast iron pan. WTG on making your own bread. I love making bread from scratch. Oh yum, brown rice pasta. I always find it to be sticky too. Not sure how to fix that. And I could sure go for some minnestrone soup right now. It's getting cold here. Looks delish :)

Anonymous said...

amazing post, i love each of the photos, thanks for the links too!

Village Mama said...

What a delicious lookin' week you've had.

I got my copy of Alex's book from the library. Her recipes sound good. Have you tried any?

Kati said...

Your food is tempting me into the kitchen, even though I've been in a total anti-cooking mood. Everything looks so good...maybe I could hire you and Daiku to be my personal chefs? =) Geez, I've gotten so lazy lately...

As for the brown rice pasta, that's the only kind of pasta we eat anymore because we grew to like it so much. I find that if you bring the water to a boil, dump the noodles in, then turn the heat way down to medium or lower (I usually do med-low), the finished product is less sticky. The lower heat requires a longer cooking time (usually 10 minutes or maybe more, depending on the brand). It takes some experimenting. I agree about the starchy water, too - a little strange to get used to!

I am envious of your bread-baking - your loaf looks so rustic! I am still not confident in my yeast-handling skills, but I may give it a go one of these days...

Your food is an inspiration, as always!

wheresmymind said...

That white bean dip looks fab :D

Harmonia said...

Everything is looking awesome! I will check out those recipe links! Thanks!

I answered your tea question on my blog in comments and posted another one


Nikki said...

What wonderful food! You are always very inspiring. That bread looks bakery quality!

I have had some sort of a stomach bug that hasn't allowed me to eat without paying a high price, so I'll just sit back and 'eat' vicariously though you.

I try not to eat much pasta, but I've always wanted to try brown rice pasta.

Anonymous said...

I've made Chef Alex's veggie loaf and crispy rice bars, too! I don't know if the cole slaw recipe you pictured here is hers, but I've made that one as well. I definitely need to revisit those recipes soon! :-)


livelonger said...

Amey got her Croatian chard & potato recipe (blitva s krumpirom) from a page I page on my aunt Biserka's recipes:
Dobar tek! (Bon appetit!)

laura jesser said...

Wow, you have done a lot of cooking, and it all looks fantastic! I am definitely going to try the apple dessert--how simple can it get? And your bread looks gorgeous--I want to know how you made it!

Thanks for sharing all of this with us--you give me so many wonderful ideas!

Candi said...

I'm so proud of you and the detoxing!! :) I hope you feel better about the subtle changes that are happening. I know you mentioned being a little frustrated not seeing big changes, but I'm sure they are happening inside!!

The savoy cabbage tip is a good one! Lol! :) It looks very pretty, even though the rawness must have been a little shocking at first.

Thanks for sharing all these foods and photos. I love seeing your detox foods and getting ideas!!