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.