Monday, July 27, 2015

Salsa Con Otra Cosas

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped or sliced black olives
1/8 cup vinegar
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 ripe avocado, chopped

Mix all ingredients at least one hour prior to serving.

(I brought this to a party and everyone asked for the recipe.  Quite tasty!)

Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 cup raw, unsalted, cashew pieces
2 pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and halved
11 oz. blueberries
1/4 cup roughly chopped mint

Put cashews into a large bowl, cover with water and set aside at room temperature to let soak for 4 hours or overnight; drain well.  Transfer to a food processor (Vitamix works well!); add dates, vanilla and 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm water and puree until smooth.  In a large serving bowl, toss together strawberries, blueberries, and mint.  Serve with cashew cream.

(This cashew cream is awesome!  A healthy whipped cream alternative that would be delicous served with anything!  Seriously good!)

Sauteed Zucchini with Mint, Basil, and Walnuts

(recipe from Food52)

1 lb. zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
3 small cloves garlic
10 mint leaves
5 basil leaves
1 heaping Tbsp. capers, rinsed
2 Tbsp. walnuts or pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 to 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Additional mint and basil, torn, to garnish

Heat half of the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add half the zucchini and saute, flipping and turning every few minutes, until golden brown, about 15 minutes.  Don't salt them yet!

While your zucchini cooks, chop together the garlic, mint, basil, and capers so that they intermingle and turn into a sort of knife pesto.

When the zucchini is golden, remove it from the pan and cook the remaining zucchini in the remaining oil, just as you did the first batch.  Then add the first batch back into the pan, along with the herb-garlic mixture and the vinegar, to taste.  Taste for salt; add a good pinch, plus a few cracks of pepper.  Toss well.

Scoop everything out onto a serving plate.  Right before serving, sprinkle on the nuts and extra herbs as a garnish.

(Sauteed zucchini is always delicious, and the garlic, herbs and nuts really makes it special.  I added some shrimp and tomatoes to leftovers to great effect.)

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kale, Carrot, and Avocado Salad

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

1 bunch kale, stemmed and finely chopped
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp. soy sauce

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl.  Use your hands or the back of a large spoon to thoroughly mash the avocado into the kale.  Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving to allow kale to soften.

(The kale really softens up and wilts down and mixes with the avocado and other ingredients.  Very nice, light salad.)

Vidalia Onion Soup

(recipe from Whole Foods Market)

2 Tbsp. olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
5 lbs. Vidalia or other sweet onion, halved, then sliced thinly
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups water or vegetable stock
2/3 cup shoyu or soy sauce (or tamari)
1/4 cup dark balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup vegetarian worcestershire sauce (I omitted this)
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup dry sherry

Heat the garlic and olive oil in the saucepan until lightly browned.  Add the onions, thyme, and crushed red pepper.  Allow onions to thoroughly caramelize by periodically stirring over a medium-high heat for appoximately 15 minutes.

Once the onions are well-browned, add the water or stock, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and sugar.  (The sugar will help to offset the acidity of the other ingredients.)  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  Allow soup to simmer covered for approximately 30 minutes, then uncovered for approximately 15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Add sherry, then simmer for another 5 minutes.  Serve.

(This is a delicious vegetarian version of an onion soup!  I loved it!)