Thursday, May 14, 2009

Healthy and delicious eats

The latest and greatest in my quest for healthy cooking and eating:

As some of you know, I am participating in a “cleanse” of sorts. Don’t get alarmed. It does not involve cayenne or lemon juice or inhumane digestive craziness. But, it does involve avoiding cheese, meat, gluten, alcohol, sugar and other foods that make life worth living. I started this on Monday and I have actually been eating really, really delicious food! As I have mentioned on this blog before, one of my favorite cook books is Super Natural Cooking and I have been making recipes from this book a lot lately. The two recipes below are from this book and both are quite delicious and easy for weeknight meals. Enjoy!

Brown Rice, Garbanzo Beans, and Asparagus Salad with Tofu “Cream” Sauce

This is easy! Make a bunch of brown rice in the rice cooker (or wherever). While the rice is cooking chop one medium sized onion, three cloves garlic, and one large bunch of asparagus (about one inch pieces). Drain one can of garbanzo beans. In a large skillet, heat up enough olive oil to coat the pan (the inside of the pan – of courseJ). Add the beans and sauté until crackling and hot. Maybe 7 minutes? Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the asparagus and cover the pan for a few minutes, until the asparagus is beautifully bright green. I am sure I added some sea seal somewhere in here. I probably added it several times to be honest. I never pass up an opportunity to add sea salt. Add in the rice and you are done, baby, done!
Now for the sauce – add to a blender: approximately 8 ounces tofu (silken would probably be best but I used firm and it was fine), a few tbsp water, a smashed cloves of garlic, juice from half a lemon, and sea salt. I blended it all together and added more of the ingredients to taste. It ends up kind of tasting like a lighter version of hummus. Mix into the salad and eat. Yumsters!

Brown Rice Bowl

Make brown rice. Great. Next…sauté thin tofu slabs on a nonstick skillet. I didn’t use an oil or anything and it was great. Heat until browned but still fluffy. Add to the rice. Add half an avocado, sesame seeds, a couple sliced green onions, and some dried seaweed to the rice bowl. Now you will make the sauce – Put into a small sauce pan the juice of one entire orange and half a lemon with two tablespoons sugar. Heat until it reaches a light boil. Add two tablespoons brown rice vinegar and two tablespoons soy sauce. Again heat until it reaches a gentle boil. Add the zest for the orange and lemon used before. Whisk, add to the rice bowl and enjoy the citrus deliciousness.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Simple White Bean dish

Last night I made a simple white bean dish that I got from one of my favorite new cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking. The recipe below is from this book with a couple of my own adjustments.

Making beans:
I have never actually bought dried beans before and made them myself, but this was so easy and cheap and delicious that I will probably start doing this all the time. Soak the beans overnight, or at least for five hours. After soaking, rinse them and put in a large pot. Add enough water to cover the beans by at least two or three times the volume of the beans. Add a chopped onion, carrot, and/or celery. You can also cook the beans without these extra veggies but I think they
make the beans even more yummy! Let the beans simmer until the tender. For the little white beans I used for this recipe it took about 50 minutes. Depending on the size and type of bean it could take much longer to cook. Once the beans only have about 15 minutes left, add a generous amount of sea salt to the simmering pot. You don’t want to add the salt too early or it will make the beans disintegrate a bit. Once they are done drain the beans and veggies together.

Little white bean dish:
Get a large frying pan and melt a hearty chunk of butter (about two tablespoons) in the pan. Add the beans in a single layer and let them fry. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes on medium high heat on each side. You want the beans to get nice and crispy. At first I thought, why does it have to be a single layer? Well, the beans get crustier with a single layer and that means it is more delicious! Salt to taste. After the beans are nice and crusty add one chopped onion and 4 or 5 chopped cloves of garlic. Sautee until the onions get soft. Add 6 big leaves of chard. The chard stem should be chopped and the leaf cut into thin strips. Sautee until the chard has wilted,
not too long. That is it! When I was sautéing the onions with the beans I thought things were getting a little dry so I added some olive oil. Feel free to add it at any point during the process. Enjoy!