vegetarian

Slacker

Hey guys.  I know I’ve been a humongous slacker.  Sorry about that.  There’s been a bit of turbulence in my life recently but I’m getting things back on track.  To make amends I have an easy and delicious recipe for you that I just whipped up.

But first let’s talk about this zoodle trend.  Do you know what zoodles are?  They are zucchini noodles of course.  The spiralized food trend is huge right now and you can buy different kinds of spiralizing tools.  I opted for an inexpensive and small version for my tiny kitchen.  I didn’t want to sink a lot of money into this trend before knowing if I would like it, so I bought the Microplane Spiral Slicer for about $15.  I’ve used my spiralizer just a couple of times.  It’s relatively easy, but I do get a little nervous that my fingers will get hurt when I near the end of the vegetable, so I end up using a knife to finish slicing.  Zoodles are good.  Foodles (I’m assuming that would be the term for finger noodles) would be bad.  And disgusting.  I just grossed myself out.  Sorry.  Anyway, the noodles that the Microplane tool forms are good, but not exactly shaped like swirly spaghetti, which I thought it would be.  Recently I had a chance to try a bigger spiralizer which was on demonstration at Sur La Table.  It was super easy, the noodles more closely resembled spaghetti noodles, and it was only $25!  I would recommend that version if you have the room for it, and as with any specialized kitchen equipment, if you think you’ll use it often.

IMG_0351green spiralized slicer

Now on to the recipe.  I saw this recipe on a morning show that had chef Ryan Scott as a guest.  It is a recipe that works for both raw and vegan diets, and while I don’t adhere to either, I like to try all kinds of dishes.  Also, I had most of the ingredients on hand and was dying to use my spiralizer.  Here is the recipe for the sauce.  You can put it over zoodles, any other kind of spiralized veggies, or of course, regular pasta.

Raw Alfredo Pesto

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews
1/2 lemon, juiced
zest from 1 lemon
1 cup spinach
2 cloves garlic
10 big basil leaves (more if preferred)
1/2 – 1 cup water (adjust as needed)
salt to taste

Directions:

Add the cashews, lemon juice, zest, spinach and garlic into a blender with 1/2 cup of water.  (Tip:  When making a sauce, put the water in the blender first so that everything emulsifies more easily.)  Puree until a paste forms and add water to achieve a pourable consistency.

Chiffonade the basil and stir into the mixture.  (Tip:  Did you know, the more you chop your basil takes away from the aromatics?  Don’t mince that basil to death!)  You can keep this sauce in the fridge for a day or two and only add the basil when you’re ready to eat.

Pour sauce over zoodles (or whatever you choose) and garnish with remaining basil leaves.

Confession.  I didn’t read the recipe correctly the first time and I blended the basil into the sauce.  I thought it was completely creamy and delicious the way it was, but I do believe that adding the basil last-minute would give it a more interesting texture and would look nicer if you were not scarfing it down yourself rather than sharing it with company.  Next time I might finish it with a quick swirl of good olive oil to give it some richness.  I will also admit that I found that a bowlful of zoodles and sauce left me somewhat unfulfilled after a short amount of time, so I would definitely make this as more of a cold salad by adding other veggies or even a protein.  Cherry tomatoes would be pretty.  Cubed up fresh mozzarella, maybe some diced chicken, or roasted shrimp would be tasty.  This recipe really is a good jumping-off point and you can make it as vegan or un as you wish.  Enjoy!

IMG_0298 IMG_0299 IMG_0300
Above are spiralized raw summer squash which I picked up at the farmer’s market.  Yum!

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Hello world!

This is my first post.  Happy New Year! 

I’m not entirely sure what this blog will morph into but as this is a food blog, I thought I’d start by telling you what I made to celebrate the new year.

Hummus is such an easy dish to make and more often than not is one of my go-to recipes when I’m having a party.  I got the recipe from my friend Lauren, who got it from her sister Jen, who got it from The Silver Palate Cookbook.  The original recipe calls for 4 cups (or 2 cans) of drained chickpeas, which in my opinion is far too much.  I’m usually cooking for a party of anywhere between 4 and 25… and let’s face it, if you have 25 people you’re hopefully not serving only hummus.  One can will be sufficient and I halved the recipe from there.

HUMMUS
  
2 cups (or 1 can) garbanzos (chick-peas), drained
¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/6 cup warm water
1/6 cup best-quality extra virgin olive oil
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced or garlic pressed
¾ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
black pepper, to taste 
 
1. Combine chick-peas, tahini, warm water, olive oil, zest and juice of the lemon in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process the ingredients until smooth and creamy, pausing once or twice to scrape down sides of the bowl with a spatula.
 
2. Add garlic, salt, cumin and pepper to taste, and process to blend. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary.  Scrape into a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

 Serve with baby carrots and pita triangles or chips.

Makes ½ quart.

Bombli’s tips:

**  Be careful adding the garlic.  It’s easy to add too much.  First try adding one minced clove and after tasting you could add more.

**  If you taste the hummus and you think the lemon is a little too bitter – add a squeeze of honey.  It’s certainly not traditional, but it helps to cut the acid.

**  For new year’s eve we dressed the hummus up with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.  Delish!  Not only do I love pomegranates – the gorgeous color and the burst of sweet juice… it’s like eating tiny jewels.  They also taste delicious in the hummus and add a festive touch. 

If you like hummus, you should try this recipe.  It’s SO easy and the end result is awesome.  I cannot bring myself to buy hummus at the store anymore now that I know what it tastes like fresh.  Happy eating!