Last Saturday Gail held up 2 bunches of parsley and declared, "I'm going to make chimichurri sauce!" I thought that was a great idea, so I said, "I'm going to make chimichurri sauce too!"
We have the most lovely bunches of herbs right now at the Saturday Morning Market, and chimichurri sauce is a fabulous way to make good use of them. If you are not familiar with the Argentinian condiment, it is a fresh, bright-green sauce that brings tons of flavor to any meal. Parsley, cilantro, garlic and jalepeno combine with olive oil, red wine vinegar and lime juice to produce a bright, tangy, slightly spicy party in your mouth.
Traditionally, chimichurri sauce is served with steak.. and I can't speak to that, but it does go well with any protein. This week I'm pairing it with tamari-roasted tofu sticks for you to taste at the Market. These tofu sticks are a great snack to keep around, or travel with, they're savory and chewy. Hope you enjoy!
Roasted Tofu with Chimichurri Sauce
For the Chimichurri Sauce:
1 bunch cilantro
2 bunches parsley
3 cloves garlic
1/2 jalapeño, seeded
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
Combine the first 4 ingredients in a food processor. Gradually add the olive oil, vinegar and lime juice, tasting as you go to make sure the flavors are balanced. Process until smooth, like a pesto, but more saucy.
For the Tofu:
1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu
Drain excess water from the tofu package, but hold onto the carton. Cut the tofu block in half from it’s narrowest side, then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Put the tofu back in the carton and add about 1/4 cup tamari, or just enough to cover the tofu. Allow it to marinate at least 15 minutes, but the longer the better. Arrange the tofu on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Flip the tofu and bake another 20 minutes, until the tofu is crispy on both sides.
I am not a big fan of cucumbers. I tend to pull them off a house salad. I do like pickled cucumbers though. This salad is sort of something in-between. Before using the cucumbers, they are salted and set to drain for at least 30 minutes. This removes excess water from the cucumbers, to keep them more crisp, and also gives them a partly-pickled taste. The vinegar and Fire Salt give the cucumbers a nice tang, the scallions and mint (or basil) add interesting flavor, and it is the kind of salad you could eat on its own as a side, or use as a condiment with something else.
This recipe is adapted from Joshua McFadden's "Cucumbers, Scallions, and Dried Chile" recipe, from his cookbook, 6 Seasons. If you don't know the 6 Seasons cookbook yet, get it - it's fabulous. It is organized by growing season and vegetable, so it's more or less in order of the vegetables you can find at the farmer's market throughout the season. I have to say, I was enamored with the way he cuts cucumbers on a strong bias, so I wanted to try this recipe. In my version, I use Fire Salt, which is a habanero and pink Himalayan salt, made by Lifegarden Farm in Lakeland, FL. The Fire Salt is perfect for this dish, just the right amount of heat and salt to balance the vinegar and cucumbers.
Cucumber Salad with Scallions and Fire Salt
1 pound cucumbers, seeded and sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 small handful of mint leaves, or basil
1/2 t Fire Salt, or dried chile flakes
3 T rice wine vinegar, or white wine vinegar
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
Peel the cucumbers if the skins are too thick, otherwise just seed and slice on a bias. Toss the cucumbers with a teaspoon of salt, and allow to sit in a colander for at least 30 minutes to draw excess water out. Rinse the scallions, or soak in cold water for 20 minutes to take the sharpness out, then drain. Combine cucumbers, scallions, red onion, mint (or basil), Fire Salt (or chile flakes), and vinegar. Taste and adjust salt, spice or vinegar as needed. Add olive oil as desired, and mix again.
Adapted from Joshua McFadden’s recipe, “Cucumbers, Scallions, Mint and Dried Chiles,” from Six Seasons.
You can find Fire Salt at Lifegarden Farm's booth at the St. Pete Saturday Morning Market.
I have been perplexed by these crimson succulent-looking flowers at the farmer's market. I have tasted the leaves a few times, they are tart, cranberry-like. But what to do with them?
Roselle, I found out, is a type of hibiscus used in cuisines all over the world, and is also known as Sorrel and Jamaica (in Spanish). Many parts of the plant are edible and nutritious, but the petals are most commonly used in jams and drinks. The petals are actually the calyx (like the green stem-top of the tomato or persimmon), and they are sort of succulent, being somewhat related to the okra plant.
There are a lot of health benefits of Roselle. It is high in vitamin C, calcium and iron, and has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The American Heart Association did a study that showed that 3 cups of hibiscus tea a day for 6 weeks significantly lowered systolic blood pressure in people with hypertension.
For the Farmer's Market, I decided to make a refreshing tea from the Roselle calyces, and I tried a few variations. My favorites were this fruity-gingery recipe below, and another with infusion of cucumber and lime-basil. Feel free to cook some Roselle and then add your favorite flavors for different variations.
The Ginger Turmeric Honey Bomb is a spicy-sweet honey product made by one of the local vendors at the Saturday Morning Market. The blend of honey with lots of ginger, turmeric and spices adds a ton of flavor, sweetness, and immune-boosting properties to this tea as well. I added fresh juice from the local citrus vendor to highlight and sweeten the tartness of the Roselle, and infused the tea with slices of pineapple. I have to say, it is a winning combination!
Heart-Healthy Immune-Boosting Roselle Tea
2 pints of fresh Roselle, seeds removed (note below)
12 cups spring water
3-4 oranges, juiced
2 cups of sliced/diced pineapple
4 oz jar of Ginger Turmeric Honey Bomb
To remove the Roselle seeds: Cut the stem side off at about the line of the small petals near the stem. The seed pod should easily pop out. Discard the seed pod and keep only the petals for cooking, plus any parts of the red stem that don't have seeds attached.
Bring the Roselle and water to a boil, and cook for 20-30 minutes, until the Roselle has lost most of its color and is soft. Pour through a sieve into a pitcher or glass jar. Add the Honey Bomb and stir to dissolve. Add the orange juice and pineapple slices. Refrigerate and serve cold.
So exciting when the farmer's market starts up again in St. Pete! I can't wait to see what the local farms have to offer. A farmer fairy told me that there would be bountiful bok choy and greens to start, so I came up with this refreshing and tasty salad:
Sesame-Ginger Bok Choy and Kale Salad
1/3 C toasted sesame oil
1/4 C rice vinegar
1/4 C finely grated ginger
2 t umeboshi plum vinegar
2 T maple syrup
2 T tahini
2 t water
2 t white miso
1 big bunch kale, washed and sliced into thin strips
1 large bok choy, washed and sliced into thin strips
1 large carrot, grated
2 scallions, sliced thin
1 cup sprouts
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
2 T toasted sesame seeds
4 oz firm tofu, cubed
Make the dressing. Then toss all ingredients with enough dressing to coat, let sit 15 minutes, then serve.
To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of raw foods. I find cooked food (and of course, carbs) so much more comforting and satisfying. But on my last trip to San Diego, I tried this raw pesto and zucchini dish at (of course, my favorite place) the Ocean Beach People's Co-op and was so impressed with it. I think it's the pesto that lends a rich and creamy flavor and texture to the dish, and the zucchini noodles frankly are even better than cold pasta, the way this is served.
This is a great Spring dish to make right now when we have lots of basil again, and fresh zucchini. I think that patty pan squash would work well with it too, and I may try that tomorrow at the Saturday Morning Market. The other beautiful thing about this dish is it's simplicity - only 6 ingredients (including olive oil and salt), no "cooking," and it's a snap to put together and eat throughout the week. I hope you give it a try at home and enjoy!
Thanks to OB People's Co-Op for the best food in San Diego, and for sharing this dish!
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T garlic
1/2 bunch basil
1/2 t sea salt
4 medium zucchini
Blend all ingredients except zucchini in a food processor until smooth. Using a mandolin, spiralizer, or vegetable peeler, make the zucchini into thin noodles. Toss with the pesto sauce and serve!
This recipe is modified from the Ocean Beach People's Co-op Cookbook
It is not a stretch to say that while in acupuncture school Robin Roarke kept me healthy. She brought me vegan food for nourishment, amazing homemade skin care products, and this soup - her beet borscht, with a kick! Dr. Robin is a very talented acupuncturist in Englewood Florida, and true healer - she puts a bit of magic healing into everything she does.
Finished Master Tonic Fire Cider (needs to be strained)
Dr. Robin’s Immuno-Borscht
Makes 2 quarts
2 carrots, chopped
1 potato, chopped
1/2 green cabbage, chopped
2 large beets, chopped
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 T garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1 quart vegetable broth
1/4 C Master Tonic Fire Cider* or apple cider vinegar
Cook onion and garlic in oil, add the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 25 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Season to taste with salt, pepper and fennel seed.
*Master Tonic Fire Cider:
Chop equal portions, all organic:
Fill a jar 3/4 full of veg, top with apple cider vinegar, let sit for 2 weeks, filter out solids. Take preventively for colds and flu, or as a cure-for-what-ails-ya!
Kishium (pronounced: kish-eem) is an Israeli dish that I learned to make from my mom. It is a fairly simple dish to make, and can be served as a side dish or stand alone as a nutritious meal. Kishium is another one of my go-to's, I make it regularly when zucchini and summer squash are in season. Basically, it is cooked squash, onion and tomato with rice, seasoned with lemon juice and black pepper. Delish!
I make my version of kishium with short grain brown rice; it is the perfect dish to make when you have leftover rice in the fridge. My mom would make kishium with minute rice, which of course you would not have to cook ahead of time, and it would cook stirred in with the vegetables. She also makes hers with butter or margarine, and I make mine with olive oil. Both ways are great.
I did a Google search to see what other kishium recipes were out there, and surprisingly found only ONE reference to it in all the interwebs! It is a transcription of a cookbook from 1956, "Favorite Recipes From the United Nations." This is the young nation of Israel's submission to the UN cookbook:
Area: 8,048; Pop.: 1,979,933.
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 medium-size onion, finely shredded
2 tablespoons stewed or canned tomatoes
2 pounds squash
Juice of ’/z lemon
Melt shortening in 2-quart saucepan, add
shredded onion, and cook until light brown.
Add the tomatoes and peeled squash cut in
2-inch cubes. Add lemon juice, salt, and
pepper. Cook over low heat until squash
is tender (about 7 to 10 minutes). Yield: 4
I LOVE that the United Nations put out a cookbook in 1956. However, I have to wonder where margarine wasn't legal..
Anyway, this recipe doesn't even include rice, but other than that it's pretty close to what we make. Of course, I much prefer my fresh cherry tomatoes to canned or stewed..
I hope you all enjoy this lovely dish.
3-4 summer squash or zucchini (depending how large they are, and the size of your pan), cut in 1/4 in rounds, or halved and then cut in 1/4 in pieces if the squash is larger.
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
1.5-2 cups of cooked brown rice (I use short grain, but any will do)
Juice of 1 lemon
Black pepper, to taste
1 T olive oil
Cook the brown rice ahead of time, or use leftover rice.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, sauté the onion, and then add the squash/zucchini and tomatoes. Cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium-high heat, until the vegetables are tender. Add the rice and allow to cook another few minutes. When everything is heated well through, and the vegetables are well cooked, turn off the heat and season with lemon juice and pepper. Mix well, allow to sit for a few minutes, and serve.
I make this salad 3 or 4 times a week. It is my go-to because it goes with everything and is so easy to throw together (once you have the cashew parm in the fridge). Once you've made the cashew parm, you'll see how easy that is to throw together too! I don't measure the ingredients, I just throw a clove of garlic in the food processor with what looks to be a cup or so of cashews, add some salt, and buzz till fine. Then I store it in a jar in the fridge, so next time I want this salad everything is ready.
A word about the vinegars: This recipe calls for red wine vinegar and umeboshi vinegar. If you haven't heard of umeboshi vinegar, it is a Japanese condiment made from the pickled plum and beefsteak leaves (shiso). You can get it at your local health food store. It is a wonderful condiment, more salty than vinegary, and it is absolutely delicious over steamed vegetables or greens. I highly recommend trying it out. But, as an alternative, this salad can also be made simply with olive oil and lemon juice, and omit the vinegars. You may need to add a little more salt to taste, but it is very good this way too.
If you haven't discovered the joy of Little Pond Farm's red and green leaf lettuce, or their red and green romaine, you have been missing out. All through the season I can't seem to get enough of these perfect tender heads of lettuce, they are nothing like what you can buy in a store! However, you can use store-bought lettuce too, or even arugula - the peppery taste goes so well with the parm.
Finally, I'll share with you that I sometimes make this salad a meal in itself, by adding some chopped pan-seared "chicken tenders" that I get at Trader Joes. Processed vegan meats are not the healthiest choice, but once and a while they really hit the spot, and work great in this salad.
For the cashew-parm:
1 cup roasted cashews
1 clove garlic
1/2 t salt
Combine in a food processor, process until the cashews are fine, like grated Parmesan.
Store in an airtight jar for up to 1 week in the fridge. This recipe is enough for 4-6 salads.
For the salad:
1 head lettuce: red leaf, romaine, green leaf
2 T olive oil
1-2 T red wine vinegar
1 T umeboshi vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the “butt” off the bottom of the lettuce and wash the leaves, or dunk them in a bowl of water. Let them drain in a colander for a minute. Tear or chop the lettuce into 1 inch pieces, in a large salad bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegars, salt and pepper. Add about a 1/4 cup of the cashew-parm, and toss well with salad tongs. Adjust for more vinegar, salt or parm to taste.
Every time I go to San Diego for Sports Medicine Acupuncture training, I eat lunch every day at Ocean Beach People's Food Coop. Their deli is an homage to California vegetarian food - the cuisine that started the "fad" for healthy, fresh, plant-based dishes that is so popular everywhere now. When you go to People's you know that you can get fresh whole-food vegan meals, with plenty of vegetables. One of my favorite dishes to see available in their deli case is the Almond Kale Supreme.. it is a rich, creamy kale salad with plenty of crunch! It goes with just about everything, and I simply can't resist it whenever it is there. The people at People's were kind enough to share their recipe for Almond Kale Supreme, I hope you enjoy it too!
p.s. the cooler weather is the perfect time to use kale.. it gets sweeter when it's colder out!
Slightly obsessed with OB People's Coop? My bumper sticker :)
Almond Kale Supreme Salad
2 bunches kale, sliced thinly
2-3 stalks celery, sliced thin
2/3 bunch of scallions, sliced thin
1 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
2/3 cup tamari roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup almond butter
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
Blend or mix the dressing well, pour over all other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Recipe is courtesy of Ocean Beach People’s Food Coop.
One of the main goals of this blog, and the taste cart at the Saturday Morning Market, is to expose people to seasonal produce that they may not be familiar with. Including me! For instance, I’ve never cooked with mustard greens before. The Evans Farm next to the taste cart has the biggest bunches of mustard greens, along with collards, and huge heads of cauliflower and romanesco broccoli. So I wanted to pick a recipe this week that would feature these big bright green leaves.
I consulted Nava Atlas’ cookbook, Wild About Greens, for inspiration. This cookbook is an excellent companion for anyone who shops at farmer’s markets and wonders about all the different types of greens out there, and what to do with them. The first section describes each type of green vegetable, how it is best used, and tips for preparing them. This is what she says about mustard greens: “The flavor of mustard greens has been described as pungent or peppery, though I’d characterize it as sharp, like horseradish. Like many greens that have a certain bite to them, mustard greens mellow quite a bit when they’re lightly cooked.” I read through some of her suggested recipes, and settled on making a curry, which I adapted from her recipe, “Coconut Cauliflower Curry with Mustard Greens & Spinach.”
Golden Curry With Cauliflower and Mustard Greens
1.5 T olive oil
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, chopped
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bunch mustard greens, chopped
1 small jalapeño, seeded and minced (optional)
2 t ginger root, grated
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 can light coconut milk
2-3 t curry powder, or to taste
1/2 t turmeric
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large soup pot, add the onion and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic. Add the sweet potato and carrots, 1 cup of water, cover and simmer 10-15 minutes, until they are half tender. Add the coconut milk, chickpeas, cauliflower and jalapeño (if using), ginger, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the mustard greens and simmer another 5-10 minutes until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from Nava Atlas’ recipe “Coconut Cauliflower Curry with Mustard Greens & Spinach” from Wild About Greens
This week I'm cooking my go-to dish when I have leftover rice in the refrigerator. The nice thing about this dish is that you can use any vegetables that you want (as long as you have scallions, and tamari on hand!). It's called fried rice, but it's not really fried. Instead, in the style of macrobiotic cooking, the vegetables are layered in the pan (longest-cooking vegetables first), the rice is layered over that, and covered, so the dish steams. I only use a little bit of sesame oil in the pan, and the only seasoning is a little bit of tamari. It is so simple, but satisfying and delicious.
Macrobiotic cooking is a theory, a lifestyle, a medicine, and a style of cuisine. It is based on a form of Japanese homestyle cooking, founded by George Ohsawa in the early 20th century, in response to the introduction of sugar and processed foods into Japanese culture. Ohsawa linked the rise in disease and poor health to the "Westernization" of Japanese cooking. He advocated for a more traditional cooking style that takes into account the season, the nature of the food, and the condition of the person. Macrobiotic cooking uses whole foods, simple ingredients, and mild cooking methods to preserve the quality of the food and create a more balanced (as in, closer to neutral) meal. It is a great, simple way of eating that definitely promotes feelings of health and wellbeing!
For more information, check out any of Michio Kushi's books, Aveline Kushi's cookbooks, or Annemarie Colbin's "Food and Healing," or "Cooking the Whole Foods Way."
Macro Fried Rice
2 cups cooked short grain brown rice
1.5-2 cups broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into small florets
2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks or julienned on a mandoline
1/2 cabbage, shredded thinly (or bok choy)
3-4 scallions, sliced thinly in rounds
2 t sesame oil
2 T tamari (or coconut aminos)
Heat a frying pan or wok over medium heat, add the sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add the broccoli first, then the carrots and cabbage. Turn the heat down slightly, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. If the pan is too dry, add a couple of teaspoons of water. Add the rice on top of the vegetables, and then the scallions. Cover and cook another 2 minutes. Add the tamari, cover again, and cook another 2 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Mix everything together and enjoy!
When you visit Florida, you want it to be hot and sunny.. But I feel like I wait all year here for a few days of cloudy, cool "winter" weather. It's 65 and grey today, so I'm taking this opportunity to make Carrot-Ginger Soup, a nourishing and nutritious winter soup.
2 t vegetable oil
1 lb carrots, chopped
1-2 potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup ginger, grated
4 cups vegetable broth
pepper, to taste
(optional: parsley for garnish)
Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the onion and garlic, and cook until translucent. Add the carrots, potato and celery, cook 10 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, ginger and pepper, and simmer 20 minutes. Puree with an immersion blender.
Hint: The longer this soup sits, the better it tastes. Don't be surprised if it's even better the next day.
One of my favorite vegan cookbooks is a hard-to-find slim paperback called Cookin' Southern, Vegetarian Style, by Ann Jackson. The recipes are flawless, everything in it is delicious. Jackson inventively takes vegan ingredients and makes classic Southern dishes, without sacrificing any richness or flavor from the original meat-y versions.
In this recipe, for Black-Eyed Peas and "Fatback," aka Hoppin' John, she creates a marinade for the "fatback" out of tamari, sesame oil and Pick-A-Peppa steak sauce that gives the tofu an unbelievably rich flavor. For those who think that vegan Southern food can't be done well, I urge you to try this book, or Jackson's second book, Heart of the Home.
I'm making the Hoppin' John dish this week for New Year's Day.. black-eyed peas and greens are supposed to bring luck, money and health for the new year. The Evans Farm (next to the Taste Cart) grows their black-eyed peas and collard greens a couple hours north of St. Pete, and I am so looking forward to trying this dish with fresh, local peas. Come visit at the Saturday Morning Market to taste this vegan Hoppin' John, and get your black-eyed peas from hard-working local farmers to spread the luck and wealth in this New Year!
Black-Eyed Peas and "Fatback": Hoppin' John
Recipe by Ann Jackson, from Cookin' Southern, Vegetarian Style
1 pound block of firm tofu
2-3 cups black-eyed peas, washed and picked through
1 white onion, chopped
2 t ketchup (optional)
1/2 t dried savory
1 t salt
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
2 t dry mustard
2 t Pick-a-Peppa sauce (or Worcestershire sauce, A-1, or Perkin’s Steak Sauce)
1-2 cloves garlic
2 T toasted sesame oil
Combine marinade ingredients. Cut the tofu into squares and marinate for at least an hour, the longer the better.
Put the black-eyed peas in a pot with enough water to cover them, bring to a boil, and add the onion, ketchup, and savory. Turn down the heat and let simmer for about 45 minutes. When the peas are half done, add the tofu and the rest of the marinade, the salt and pepper. Continue simmering and stir gently until the peas are soft.
Serve this with hush-puppies or cornbread, collard greens, and boiled potatoes for good luck on New Year’s Day.
From, Cookin’ Southern, Vegetarian Style, by Ann Jackson. Also check out her cookbook, Heart of the Home.
Imambaldi, or Imam Bayildi, or as I thought it was called growing up, "mumbaldi," is a Turkish stewed eggplant dish that is incredibly simple, and deceptively good. I recently learned that the name means "the Imam cried," because legend has it that this last-minute dish served to him was so good. According to the Internet, Imam Bayildi is said to be a stuffed eggplant dish, but my mother always made it this way which is much simpler (and I would bet, even more satisfying). My mother learned this dish from her mother-in-law, whose husband spent time living in Turkey. She would serve it as an appetizer with bread, to soak up the savory oil. Years later, we would toss Imambaldi with pasta for dinner. It could also easily be served with rice, lentils and greens for a delicious whole meal.
Imambaldi: Turkish Stewed Eggplant, Onion and Tomato
1/2 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
2 medium eggplants (or 1 large), peeled and sliced in rounds
2 medium onions, halved and sliced
3/4 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (or 3 large tomatoes, quartered)
1 t salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Layer the eggplant and onion slices in a large pot with the olive oil, cook on med-high heat, stir occasionally. When it starts to cook, add the tomatoes and salt. Reduce heat to low, stir occasionally, cook for 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in vinegar. Serve at room temperature with toasted bread or a flatbread.
I’ve had Fattoush on my mind lately.
There’s really not a better salad to feature all the lovely vegetables and herbs that are in season now at the farmer’s market in Florida. Fattoush is less about the lettuce than it is about the fresh cucumbers, mint, radishes, and the nice crunch of toasted pita lightly covered in a lemony-vinaigrette. But the secret flavor in Fattoush is sumac. If you’re not familiar, sumac is a deep-red dried powdered herb that gives many Middle Eastern dishes that flavor that makes you pucker a little, and come back for more. It tastes tart, a little like lemon but less astringent. It is also the secret ingredient in Zaatar - a spice mix of thyme, sesame seed and sumac that is made into a paste with olive oil and spread on pita for a true party for your taste buds! If you have Zaatar but not sumac at home, you can substitute it in this recipe.
If you are in St. Petersburg and wondering where to get sumac, Zaatar and pomegranate molasses.. Cedar’s market on 54th Ave N, near 65th St. has it. If you’re in Sarasota, try Sahara restaurant on 41, just north of Bahia Vista.
To make this recipe gluten-free, I used Sami’s Millet and Flax pita chips. Sami’s is a Tampa-based bakery that supplies a lot of our local stores with great vegan and gluten-free baked goods.
1 head romaine lettuce (or similar lettuce), chopped
2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
6 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/4 red onion, sliced thin (optional)
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 bunch mint, chopped
Several large gluten-free pita chips (Sami’s millet and flax chips), broken in pieces
1 t sumac
4 T olive oil
1 T lemon juice
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a bowl, add the rest of the salad ingredients. Sprinkle sumac over everything and toss.
Pictures from our beautiful vegan Thanksgiving feast!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we have a term, "food stagnation," to describe that feeling of fullness, being stuffed, maybe a little nauseous, often belching, after a big meal where we overindulge. Otherwise known as After Thanksgiving Feast.
Even at my vegan Thanksgiving, with lots of salads and veggies, I tend to eat way more heavy, rich foods that are special for the occasion.. And of course, pies! Even though it makes me so happy, this leaves me feeling heavy, bloated, and sluggish.
In Chinese Medicine, we have excellent herbal formulas to relieve that uncomfortable feeling of food stagnation. But we can also treat diet with diet - and eat foods that will help move that stagnation along. Daikon radish works very well to relieve sluggish digestion, and has been used for centuries especially in Japanese cuisine specifically for this reason. Daikon contains natural digestive enzymes that help break down fatty, rich foods, and its pungent, peppery flavor helps to stimulate the digestive tract (and, it also works as a decongestant!).
This week I chose to make a Bok Choy and Daikon Salad as a "Post-Thanksgiving Digestive". The cool, crunchy raw vegetables have a high water and fiber content, and will make you feel light and refreshed as they help to get your digestion back on track. There are a lot of nutritional benefits to this salad - Bok choy is considered a "superfood" because it contains a high amount of vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene and the mineral selenium. All of the vegetables are high in antioxidants, and the pea spouts are especially packed with nutrition. The light, sweet dressing pulls all the flavors together and will make you crave this salad after all the heavy holiday meals!
Bok Choy and Daikon Salad
1/2 large bok choy (4-6 stalks), thinly sliced
1 cup daikon radish, peeled and cut into thin half-circles
1 bunch (5-6oz) tatsoi or mizuna (or both), chopped
1 cup green sprouts, pea shoots are great
3 small seedless clementines, or other small orange, sectioned
2 T sesame seeds or 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
Sesame-Ginger Salad Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T sesame oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 T agave
2 T tamari
2 t fresh grated ginger
1 T sesame seeds
Combine the dressing ingredients, shake or mix well, and toss with salad ingredients.
This recipe is taken from Nava Atlas' cookbook, Wild About Greens, and her recipe, "Tatsoi or Mizuna & Bok Choy Salad."
Do you ever go to the farmer’s market and see vegetables that you’ve never seen before? Do you wonder about cooking with them? I do, All The Time. It’s part of the fun, taking a chance on a new food to experiment with, learn about, and taste. This week, I encourage you to try something new from the farmer’s market. Do some research online to find an interesting recipe, figure out how to use it, be Curious about your vegetables, make it Fun!
I have been curious about Malabar spinach for some time. At the farmer’s market, it is a heap of thick curvy vine with shiny bright green leaves. The leaves resemble something like a very hearty-looking spinach. But Malabar spinach is only distantly related to the spinach we’re all used to. And the stem is really a long-growing mucilaginous vine, that grows proficiently in the Florida heat.
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. It is also a good source of soluble fiber. Malabar spinach contains a decent amount of protein, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein.
From my research online, most people recommend cooking Malabar spinach by stir-frying it with oil, garlic and ginger. I will have to try this.
For this week’s recipe, I substituted raw Malabar spinach leaves for regular spinach leaves in a simple salad with roasted sweet potatoes and red onions. I haven’t tried it before, so this will be an experiment for all of us. And if you live in St. Pete, come down to the Saturday Morning Market 11/3 and we can try it together at the Taste Station!
Fernando, a farmer at Little Pond Farm, with Malabar spinach
Roasted Sweet Potato and Malabar Spinach Salad
1 lb sweet potatoes or winter squash, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 bunch Malabar spinach, or regular spinach
2 oz mixed greens (optional)
1/3 c pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 t stone ground mustard (I used a Sweet German Beer Mustard from Urban Canning Co)
1/4 t black pepper
1/4 t salt
Directions: Toss the sweet potato cubes and red onions in a little olive oil, sprinkle with some salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check and toss about halfway through, and when they’re done allow to cool completely.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid, and shake! Tear the leaves of Malabar spinach into pieces, add mixed greens if using, and pumpkin seeds. Add the roasted sweet potatoes and red onions. Dress to taste, toss and serve!
With friends at SMAC, learning the best acupuncture techniques!
I didn't cook last week. I was in San Diego, CA, for another seminar in Sports Medicine Acupuncture, an advanced training program for orthopedic assessment and acupuncture techniques. In addition to feeding my brain, every day I ate lunch at the Ocean Beach People's Co-op, a vegetarian, organic food market and deli. Here, they serve an ever-changing assortment of salads and hot dishes, and I knew I could always get a nice dose of fresh vegetables for my day.
This recipe is only slightly adapted from People's "Red Kale Salad," one of a few recipes they graciously shared with me. Because I don't know exactly what vegetables will be in harvest and available this week at the Saturday Morning Farmer's Market, I gave some options for substitutions. Feel free to mix in other similar vegetables - I don't think you can go wrong with this lovely Miso-Ginger salad dressing.
Kale Salad with Miso-Ginger Dressing
2 bunches kale, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
1 beet or daikon radish, shredded
1/4 - 1/2 red cabbage or bok choy, shredded
1 med crown broccoli or cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup miso
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and minced or grated
Directions: Blend all of the ingredients for the dressing. Pour over the vegetables and toss!
Many thanks to Ocean Beach People's Co-op for sharing this wonderful recipe!
People's Co-op Red Kale Salad
Summer may be over in most of the country, but here in Florida it's just like the first harvests of July up North.. and that means lots of beautiful basil and summer squash. Whenever I see a bounty of basil at the farmer's market, the first thing I think of is pesto.
Grab a couple of bunches of basil (or more) and blend up a batch of pesto that you can freeze and use throughout the season (Tip: freeze in an ice cube tray for easy portioning).
Pesto is a wonderful addition to many dishes including roasted vegetables, scrambled tofu (or eggs), pizza and sandwiches. For this week's Taste Cart at the Saturday Morning Market, I'm making gluten-free Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Summer Squash.
I used a combination of Tuscan and Italian basil, with walnuts, for my pesto this week. The Italian basil is what most people are familiar with, but the curly Tuscan basil is just as good. Feel free to experiment with these types, and your choice of nuts. Traditionally pesto is made with pine nuts, but walnuts work just as well.
Pesto Pasta with Sauteed Summer Squash
2 bunches of basil, Italian or Tuscan (or one of each), washed, thick stems removed
2 cups of walnuts
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a food processor, grind the walnuts, garlic and salt. Then add basil, olive oil, pepper and blend again. Taste and add more salt, pepper or olive oil as needed. Portion in containers or ice cube tray, cover and freeze. Keep some fresh if using right away.
4 pattypan, yellow squash or zucchini, sliced thin
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 bunch kale, collard greens, tatsoi or other leafy green, washed and chopped (hard stem removed)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine or mirin
salt and pepper
1 package gluten-free brown rice & quinoa pasta (fusilli), or pasta of your choice, cooked
Directions: Toss cooked pasta with 1/2 cup pesto, season with more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Heat 2 T olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add lemon juice and half the wine or mirin, garlic, some salt and pepper. Allow this to bubble up, and cook garlic 2 minutes. Add the squash, cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cherry tomatoes and kale, season with more salt and pepper, and add the rest of the wine. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until squash is tender. Pour mixture over pesto pasta, toss and serve.
Today is the first day of my new gig at the St. Pete Saturday Morning Market, where I will be cooking vegan meals highlighting fresh produce from local farmers, and giving samples to people for FREE!
I firmly believe that going to the farmer's market and buying and cooking fresh, locally grown vegetables, is one of the best things we can do for our health and wellbeing. Here's why:
1. Eating more vegetables is the healthiest thing you can do for any diet. Regardless of whether you eat meat or are vegan or vegetarian, all diet experts agree that adding more vegetables to your meals is the best way to get the most nutrition and maintain a healthy weight.
2. Locally grown produce is better for you. Buying and cooking vegetables that are grown ethically close to home ensures that the produce retains more of its nutritional value. And, you are eating what's in season and climate-approved. In our busy world, this brings us a little bit closer to the Earth, and nature.
3. You are supporting your community. These farmers and vendors work hard all year round to bring us the highest quality produce and products every week, and often at much better prices than the supermarket. Vote with your dollars for your community!
4. Making time to cook is a great way to de-stress. Giving some dedicated attention to meal preparation allows us to slow down and connect more to what we put in our bodies. This allows our nervous system to relax, which is also the best way to improve digestion.
Greens and Almond Quinoa Salad
1 bunch kale or collard greens, stems removed, chopped
1/4 red cabbage or 1 cup of bok choy, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 handful of cilantro, chopped
4 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup tamari-almonds, chopped
1 cup of quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 T sesame oil
3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or chopped
1 clove of garlic
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t salt
1/8 t cayenne
1 & 1/2 limes, juiced
Directions: Blend the dressing ingredients and toss with everything else!
This recipe was modified from Megan Marlow's Kale & Quinoa Salad with Thai Peanut-Ginger Dressing, graciously passed to me from my friend Suzanne :)