Friday, February 28, 2014

Chunky Celery Soup (that doesn't have the yucky celery taste)

First off, my family hates celery. Cooked, raw, I get the rolled eyeballs or sometimes worse. I wanted to try this anyway because I like the smell of celery chopping and I really love finely diced celery in my tuna sandwich. The original recipe is here from 101 Cookbooks.

1 large onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, diced
3-4 small - medium carrots, diced
10 stalks celery chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
5 cups of water
3  veggie bouillon  (or use 5 cups of broth)
2 cups cooked wild rice
celery/basil pesto (optional)

Chop all vegetables as evenly as possible. In a large soup pot, over medium high heat, water saute the vegetables. Saute until the onions and celery soften a touch and expel some water. Stir in the garlic and add the water and bouillon. Bring to a simmer and let cook for another 10 minutes until the celery, carrot and sweet potato are cooked through. Stir in the rice.

Make your favorite pesto but use half basil and half celery leaves.  I'm still working on my no oil, no parm pesto. I'll change the recipe when I get it down.

The best comment I got for this from boy 3 was "It doesn't taste like celery." He then ate 2 bowls.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

No Oil Salad Dressings

Salad is the main dish
That's what we have to focus on for week three. 2 weeks done and we've done pretty well, but only because we have done this nutritarian focused lifestyle before. What doesn't make it easier is the realization that salad is the main dish, especially for Big Spazz and I who spend really sick amount of times during the day thinking about food.

The focus this week is to continue to prep on the weekends which means making more salad dressings and hone in on my hunger, own it and move on. We eat a huge salad for lunch and salad for dinner, so we usually go through three dressings a week. I make the Kurosawa Kick Ass and these two:

Balsamic Di"tang"o
This is originally a balsamic dijon vinaigrette from Everyday Happy Herbivore, but I wanted to balance the sour with a little sweet, and I wanted to use my plethora of tangerines from my yard, so here's our seasonal balsamic+dijon+tangerine vinaigrette.

2 1/2 T dijon mustard
4 t. balsamic vinegar
4 t. red wine vinegar
4 T water 
2 dates
1/2 c. tangerine or citrus juice (I used tangerines and one grapefruit that was threatening to go bad in my produce bin)

Blend in a high speed blender or food processor. This one is a little sweeter, so  this is good on green salads with fresh fruit, sweet peppers or other dainty greens like mizuna and spring mix.

Spicy Pake Miso Dressing

Compared to the sweet/sour of the balsamic di"tang"o and the wasabi, salty, garlic heaviness of the Kurosawa kick, this dressing is the middle child. It has the creamy spicy of the Kurosawa, but the dates and Chinese five spice give it that sweet licorice note.

The original is here.
1/2 c water
2 T. tahini
3 pitted dates
1 T shiro miso
3 T lemon juice
1 T rice vinegar
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. togarashi (or to taste - I have a wimpy palette)
1/2 tsp. Chinese 5-spice

Blend in a high-speed blender or food processor.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Kurosawa Kick Ass Dressing

Akira Kurosawa is one of my all time favorite directors. His samurai movies are some of my coveted possessions, especially Seven Samurai, Dreams, Rashomon, Ran, Yojimbo. His films kick ass, so this dressing is named after him. This is a creamy wasabi caesar type of dressing - no oil, vegan, with a little bit of wasabi kick. I double batch this as my everyday dressing, but you can divide it in half.

4 T chopped garlic (or shallots)
4 T raw cashew pieces
2 T tahini
2 T shiro miso 
2/3 cup  water
4 T of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp of wasabi paste
3 pitted umeboshi (to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper 

Blend it in a blender or food processor. I have a Vitamix so itʻs a little too powerful for this job and I choose my food processor instead. With the Vitamix, it gets a little gummy and foamy.