Sunday, June 6, 2010

The sandwich

I have another recipe that is not really a recipe. I don't know if you have noticed a theme in the few blogs I have posted so far, but a lot of what I make tends to evolve out of what needs to be used up and what vegetables I have in the fridge. You know, what can you throw into the quiche, or what can up wrap up with rice paper? This time the question is how many vegetables can you possibly fit between two pieces of bread. It is hard to write a recipe for some of these things because I make it different every time.

My husband and I were talking about this last night. He jokingly said he was going to start a blog about eating the food I make. He thinks it is great that we have been married for 6 months and he has never eaten the same thing twice. At least for dinner. There have been multiple times he has eaten Raisin Bran for breakfast and I have packed him turkey sandwiches many a lunch. But even I can't think of anything I have made more than once for dinner. Even if it is spaghetti there is always a different sauce with different vegetables and different kinds of noodles. Maybe I like change too much, maybe I am forgetful and never can remember the way I made it before, or maybe there are just too many recipes I want to try to be able to make any one recipe more than once. Whatever the reason it makes it difficult to write down recipes, but this is something I am working on and whatever I get a picture of is how the recipe will be.

Therefore, my recipe for today will be a veggie sandwich. Sorry the picture is so terrible. I am trying to work on my photography skills and editing skills. In the meantime I am commissioning my husband to take some of the pictures for me. We do have a big challenge with limited lighting, but we are trying to get that fixed. I guess you could call it a work in progress.

Veggie Sandwich
2 slices ezekial or whole grain bread
1 radish sliced
1 pickle sliced
1/4 avocado sliced
4 cucumber slices
3 tomato slices
handful of spinach
LOTS of spicy brown mustard or other condiments of choice

Prep all the veggies, toast the bread, and assemble.

Quick, easy, and super tasty! I made a different sandwich other day that was delicious. I used 1/2 zuchinni sliced and baked, roasted red pepper, tomatoes, and goat cheese. It tasted great. So next time you get hungry and have two pieces of bread just look in your refrigerator and see what crazy combinations you can come up with. Happy eating :)!

Yummy yummy summer rolls!

Let me tell you about a discovery I made a couple months ago. Vietnamese Summer Rolls. They are similar in concept to spring rolls except you don't fry it and the wrappers are made out of rice and tapioca. There are a lot of things you could use as a filling, typically rice vermicelli noodles, fresh herbs, and vegetables. You can put chicken, shrimp, pork, or whatever meat you want but I generally keep mine vegetarian. Since I first tried these I have eaten them at least once a week. It is another food that is extremely flexible and generally I just throw in there what I have in the fridge. I have used any combination of spring mix, spinach, bean sprouts, sliced carrots and cucumbers, avocado, sushi rice, rice noodles, etc. I have never met a spring roll I didn't like.

I haven't been able to find the wrappers at the grocery stores around me. I finally found them at an asian grocery store so hopefully you will be able to find them easier. But they are definitely worth looking for. I think I paid $2.50 for a package of at least 20 and they lasted for many meals of summer rolls.

It is hard to know how to write a recipe for this because I make them different every time. I will tell you what I put in the ones I ate yesterday.

Summer Rolls
3 Rice Paper Wrappers
1 de-cobbed corn on the cob
1/4 avacado
1/2 cup broccoli thinly sliced
1 medium carrot thinly sliced

Dipping Sauce
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 tsp chili paste
1/2 tbl. coconut aminos or soy sauce

Fill a shallow pan with warm water. Take one wrapper and soak in water for 20 seconds and it will be very flimsy. Spread it flat on a plate and place 1/3 of each filling in the center. Try not to put too much because they will be very difficult to roll as the wrapper is quite fragile and tears easily. fold over sides, then roll it up like a burrito. Once you get the hang of it they are super fun to make and even more fun to eat!

Friday, June 4, 2010

What can you do with a carrot?

Carrots are great. Crunchy and sweet, high in beta carotene, as well as a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fiber and potassium. I tried 3 recipes and went through 4 pounds of carrots yesterday.

My first recipe was a dud. Down went 2 pounds of carrots into the trash can.

The second recipe I made was enchilada sauce with carrots. It was super simple and tasted delicious! I will post the recipe with pictures when I make the enchiladas later this week.

Finally, I made carrot cake. I got the recipe from a cookbook my Mom gave me called "Uprisings". The recipes are from a variety of whole grain bakeries throughout the United States. It is a cookbook I love and refer to often. Everything I make has turned out great. But I haven't used it in a while because everything has wheat in it. I am trying to live as gluten-free as possible and so I have avoided this book. But one of my summer goals is to do gluten-free baking, so I did some research. I found that gf oats when ground into a flour tend to make baked goods gummy, and brown rice flour tends to make baked goods grainy. Yet, when mixed together they balance out well. I happened to have both on hand, and substituted my gf flour mixture for the wheat flour in the recipe. It tasted wonderful and I will definitely be using this flour blend as a substitute in other recipes. At least until I can get my hands on other flours I want to try like buckwheat, sorghum, quinoa, and millet to name a few.

This recipe came from "Uprisings", and the only thing I changed is I decreased the honey from 1 1/3 cups to 3/4 cup. It was still plenty sweet for me but my husband says I am not a good judge of how sweet things should be. haha So taste the batter and add honey if you think it needs more. I thought everything about it was delicious and I might just go and grab me another piece. Enjoy!

Carrot Cake
Mix together:
1 cup oil (next time I might try 1/2 cup applesauce to replace 1/2 the oil and see how it tastes)
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup flax seed mixture *(see below for explanation)
1 Tbl. vanilla
3 cups grated carrots

In separate bowl mix together:
2 cups gf oats ground into flour
2 cups brown rice flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbl. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder

Stir wet and dry ingredients. Pour into oiled 10" or 8x11" pan. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until center is firm.

*The flax seed mixture is to replace the eggs in the recipe. Take 1 cup whole flax seeds and grind in food processor until decimated. Add 3 cups water and blend. This should have the consistency of eggs. Then store whatever you don't use in the fridge for other recipes. Or you can buy ground flax from the store and mix 3 Tbl. of flax with 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbl. water. water to make a paste for this recipe. Flax seeds are a good source of whole fat so it is a good substitute for eggs and oil in baked goods.

Mixed Greens Quiche

It has been awhile since I posted and I have lots to share.

The last two days I have been busy with trying several new recipes and some turned out great and others not so great. I have made crispy sesame carrots, homemade enchilada sauce, gluten-free carrot cake, tofu peanut butter smoothie, quinoa and millet waffles, and a black bean and corn quinoa salad. But before I blog about any of that I want to share with you a quiche I made a couple of weeks ago.

It started as most improvised recipes start; the question of what to do with whatever is going bad in the refrigerator. This time it was spring mix. I tried my best but I couldn't eat a pound of spring mix all by myself in one week. The idea of a quiche sounded great and one of the things I love so much about them is how versatile they are.

I didn't make a crust for it this time. I have read about making a crust of thinly sliced potatoes that you pre-bake before you put in the filling. I also read about mixing up some brown rice with an egg and using that as 'dough' for the crust. Both interesting ideas that I want to try eventually, but I didn't feel like waiting for rice to cook or potatoes to bake. Nevertheless, the quiche was great. Bursting with mixed greens, tomatoes, and onions with some red pepper flakes for spice, I relished every bite. I had the recipe written down but it has been a while and I seem to have lost it. But I will try my best to remember what I did.

I also made hashbrown potatoes that turned out great! There is something so satisfying about potatoes and butter. I normally try not to cook with a lot of butter, but I will occasionally, and boy was it tasty with the potatoes. I believe splurging every once in a while is good for the soul.

Crustless Mixed Greens Quiche

3 cups mixed greens
2 roma tomatoes
1 lg. onion quartered and slice thin
2 chicken sausages chopped
4 oz. goat cheese

7 eggs
3/4 cup non-dairy milk (almond, rice, hemp, soy)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (use less if you don't like it spicy)
A few shakes of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 425F.

Saute the onions and chicken sausage until they start to brown. Carefully dump into an oiled 9" pie pan with diced tomatoes, and mixed greens. Crumble goat cheese on top.

Whisk together eggs, non-dairy milk, and seasonings and pour over the mixture in the pan.

Place in oven at 425F for 15 minutes. Then decrease oven temperature to 3ooF and bake for 30 more minutes or until golden brown on edges and firm in the middle.

Serves 4-6

It should look like this.

Quite a satisfying dinner. You can find a recipe here for the potatoes.