• indoor bbq tacos

    July 23, 2013

    indoorbbq

    Baby, it has been HOT outside.

    There’s no better time to kick up the raw with smoothies and salads.  But summer spells barbecue.  So here’s one cool move when you want to do a little grilling without a lot of sweating:

    • the simplest tortillas you can get (I buy Trader Joe’s–made with just white corn, water, and lime)
    • zucchini/courgette, scrubbed and sliced on the diagonal
    • fresh, crunchy sprouts
    • pan-toasted sunflower seeds

    The critical ingredient is my favorite kitchen toy: the Lodge Cast-Iron Grill. This thing is fantastic.  I use it for paninis and tofu (with the matching press), and you can flip it to make pancakes on the griddle side.

    In this case, I turn on both burners under the grill, then put the zucchini slices on top–flipping after a few minutes.  When nearly done, throw the tortillas onto the back part of the grill for a few seconds, flipping those once as well.  Load the veg onto the tortillas, sprinkle with the seeds, and plop a big handful of sprouts atop.  Serve with One-Minute Guacamole.  (Oh, and if you don’t have a grill/griddle, you can also use a grill pan.)

    You probably didn’t even need those directions.  Or me to tell you how fast these go.

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  • tomatoes tonight, times two

    July 16, 2013

    I love alliteration to a fault.

    And the red, ravishing fruit that’s best picked at the height of summer.

    No, not that one.

    These.

    farmtomatoes

    Which you can very quickly make into a snappy soup like this:

    tomatopestosoup.com


    …by blending whole tomatoes with a few spoonfuls of good pesto and simmering over a flame until broken up.

    Or raw and layered betwixt slices of grilled eggplant and fresh mozzarella like so:tomatotrio

    …with a requisite shower of torn basil, a slick of olive oil, a splash of balsamic, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and a scattering of freshly ground pepper.

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  • frozen peanut-butter cup

    June 25, 2013

    pbcup

    Last week I got a Facebook message from a friend and longtime Green Appetite follower — turns out she had a “weird reaction” after trying the lucuma shake in my Milkshake Hacking post.  Oh, no!

    I’d never heard of this happening before.  Then again, lucuma isn’t exactly headline news.

    My friend sweetly offered to send me her unused lucuma (thank you!), and I promptly told her about another shake combo I have nearly every day. Then I realized I’d have to fess up to you, too.  So here it is:

    • almond milk to fill 3/4 of a glass
    • frozen banana (I keep a bunch in the freezer — always remove the peel first)
    • 1 heaping tablespoon peanut butter (the kind they grind out fresh at the health-food store)
    • 1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
    • splash vanilla extract

    Alternatively, you could use 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (instead of the cacao powder) and throw in a date or two (I buy the Israeli ones) — making sure, of course, to remove the pit first.  But I find that cacao nibs are a little tough on my stomach.  And we don’t want any more negative reactions.

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  • eat better naked

    June 3, 2013

    asparagus

    There are generally no rules, but here’s a good one:  when the weather calls for stripping down, do the same with your food.  In this case:  in the buff is the way to go.  See here these beautiful spears of asparagus at a BBQ I went to this weekend.  Standing over a foot tall, they were grown by one of the guests at her home in Howell, New Jersey.  They were as juicy as a peach and required no dipping at all.

    That’s the trick with local and seasonal — it really needs no dressing up. So get thee to a farmer’s market if you don’t have a bountiful backyard, and eat these in their birthday suits.

    And if you’re feeling especially frisky, there’s always this.

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  • sprinkles, reinvented

    May 28, 2013

    tamariseeds

    When I was living in London, I became obsessed with Munchy Seeds.  I’d always have tubs and tubs of these roasted seed mixes on hand (in the freezer, to prevent the fat in the seeds from going rancid) to toss in salads, tuck in sandwiches, and sprinkle over steamed veggies.  They’re also awesome in tacos.  So, what’s a girl to do Stateside?  Answer:

    Scatter a handful of sunflower seeds in a pan
    Add several spritzes of Bragg Liquid Aminos or a few teaspoons of tamari

    Shake or stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the liquid is absorbed but before the seeds get too brown.  Transfer to a plate to cool and store in an airtight container.

    Of course you could also follow Munchy Seeds’ lead and vary the seeds, which I plan to do.  But this is the very lazy, happy version that still delivers the necessary munch.

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  • milkshake hacking

    May 20, 2013

    lucuma

    It’s 4pm.  You want something sweet and creamy.  Slurped through a straw.  Without the guilt trip.

    Enter the milkshake hack.  Here’s all it is:

    • almond milk to fill 3/4 of a glass
    • frozen banana (I keep a bunch in the freezer — always remove the peel first)
    • fixings

    Ah, the fixings.  In this case, I’ve used two tablespoons of lucuma powder, several shakes of cinnamon powder, and a splash of vanilla extract.  Blend everything until smooth, and smirk at yourself for being so smart.

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  • it’s getting warmer…

    May 13, 2013

    cooler

    Which means one of many delicious things:

    It’s time for the ultra-flexible, always refreshing, lovely-to-look-at watermelon cooler!

    Originally inspired by this post I saw on In the Raw, this is easy-peasy:

    • 1/4 watermelon
    • Handful frozen raspberries
    • Juice of half a lime

    Blend in VitaMix until smooth, and that’s it.  You can use this as a base and vary the berries, or add a peeled kiwi for kick.

    By the way, I buy a whole watermelon, cut it into quarters, wrap in plastic, and keep in the fridge.  That’s after I let it hang out on my counter for a few days — to me, the watermelon is one of the most stunning things nature has made.  It also happens to be packed with pure water, slimming fiber, and succulent sweetness.  I like to make this for guests — pour into glasses and pop into the freezer a few minutes before they arrive, then put one in their hand and watch for the smile.

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  • how do you like them apples?

    December 24, 2009

    I know I’m just sliding in with this one so close to Christmas Day, but it’s so good I think you’ll want to make it long after the holiday madness dies down.  So, without (any) adieu, I present:

    new recipe: please pass the pumpkin pie

    I came up with this one last year from a mishmash of recipes, and this year I’m substituting almond milk for soy.  One of the best parts about this pie is the crust made with oats and pecans:

    piecrust

    I wish another experiment had proven as successful.  For months I’ve been reading about raw apple pie and tried some at VitaOrganic in London.  When a work colleague asked about my slice, I gave an enthusiastic “ok,” but the truth was I thought the pie was terrible.  I thought I could do better; and, wanting to put a yet healthier spin on one of my favorite desserts, got in the kitchen and threw together this raw apple pie.  Except that it was labor-intensive and messy, something I don’t mind and am happy to do most of the time.   But I have no desire to try this pie.  I’m not going tell you I love it just because it’s raw, or that I prefer it to regular ole apple pie.  When you look at it you might wonder what I’m talking about.  It sure does look pretty.

    rawapplepie

    Or, you might be like my friend Sarah who exclaimed, “Nothing says Christmas like vegan and raw!”

    I’m going back in the kitchen to bake an apple crisp.  It’ll still be vegan, but I’ll be able to smell it.

    Merry Christmas!

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  • back in black

    December 8, 2009

    I didn’t think it would take this long to settle in, and I’m still not.  I’ve been in Southern California now for over a month, and the change from the London life I knew has been nothing short of extreme.  Surrounded by taquerias instead of pubs, the only thing I’ve been longing for is…some old-fashioned Cuban loving.

    So, after more than a couple of calls to my mom and aunt, I scavenged two Mexican supermarkets and emerged with enough ingredients to replicate that family favorite: black beans, white rice, and fried plantains.

    Yes, this is far from the high-raw focus of not long ago, but when so many changes are underway, comfort (and flexibility) calls.

    new recipe: bring-me-back black beans

    The sofrito
    sofrito

    The platanitos (ripe, fried plantains)
    platanitos

    Arroz con frijoles

    arrozyfrijoles

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  • of aubergines and eggplant

    October 13, 2009

    My friend Caitlin tells me that for the first time in ages more Australians are moving out of the UK than in.  She’s one of them.

    I met Caitlin in London about two years ago at a networking night for freelance writers.  Now, she finds herself living in Noe Valley, a family-oriented corner of San Francisco.  I’m lucky that her husband’s a vegetarian, because when I came over for dinner I was in for a delicious surprise.

    I’ve read a lot about how San Francisco is possibly the foodie capital of the States, and yet one of my favorite meals so far was far from a restaurant.  Caitlin cooked up a wonderful Lebanese aubergine stew served along famous Acme bread and preceded by a silky-smooth butternut squash soup.  I had to get the recipe, and now you can try it, too, all while discovering Caitlin’s writings at her blog Roaming Tales.

    Culture-shock note: I miss my bike and am absolutely amazed at how San Franciscans can power up hills the way they do.  And after getting in a cab that circled aimlessly around the hills trying to get me back to Liz’s, I must affirm that London cabbies are really the best in the world.  Full stop.

    next stop: Kerala

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