Friday, June 29, 2007

Pesto Fries

Why didn't I think of adding pesto to potatoes sooner?!

Pesto Fries:
2 large potatoes
Olive oil 2-3 Tablespoons pesto
Marinara for dipping

Roast th potatoes like normal at about 425 F. When the potatoes are about 5 minutes from done take out and toss with a few tablespoons of pesto to cover them. Place back in the oven for a few minutes for the pesto to cook in.
Sprinkle with salt and serve warm with a warm bowl of marinara for dipping.


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Berry Picking

One of the greatest things about living in Portland is summer-time and with summer-time comes berry season!
This past weekend a few friends and I went berry picking on Sauvie Island. We gathered blueberries, raspberries, marrionberries, and strawberries!
I prefer my fruit fresh and simple.
Here a few of the ways I've been enjoying the fruit.

Fruit on skewers with a side of cashew cream and raspberries. Putting fruit in skewers just makes it more fun to eat!

Fruit layered between cashew cream.

Check out Jess' blog because you know you'll be doing something crazy with berries!

Nori Popcorn

Another Friday Popcorn Night Invention.
There's a great restaurant in Portland called Proper Eats and they have a great spice mix that's a play on a traditional Japanese mix. I forgot the name, like many Japanese dishes I try to create.

Nori Spice Mix:
2 Sheets Nori
1 Tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon white salt
1 teaspoon black salt

Blend the nori sheets in a food processor or coffee grinder under powdery or only small flakes remain.
Toast the sesame seeds.
Combine all ingredients in the food processor and blend together.

This is a great topping for rice, stir frys, salads, hummus, and of course, popcorn!

Another thing I did with this mix was use it as the base of a marinade with soy sauce and water. The results were wonderful! Mr. Bolsh called it "Sushi Tofu." The marinaded and broiled tofu was served on a bed of steamed carrots and zucchini with a sprinkling of the nori spice mix.

Pesto and Hummus Sandwich Spreads

I told you my food processor would make my life exciting again!

Pesto and Hummus sandwich:

Webly's Pesto:
3 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
1/4 cup cashews
1 cup tightly packed basil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Throw it all in the food processor and blend until smooth.
The mixture will be a bit thick, like peanut butter.
I like to keep it this consistency until I know what I will be using it for. The thick consistency is good for a sandwich spread but if you're using it with pasta you'll want to add more oil to make it more like a sauce.

I didn't write down my ways of making hummus, but it's pretty straight forward with chickpeas, lemon, thanini, garlic, paprika and olive oil. The only thing I do different is cup the normal massive amounts of olive oil with some water.

Coconut Pie

I had to scratch the idea of coconut cream pie and just go with a coconut pie for this one. I will continue to work on the coconut cream pie at a later date.
This is a wonderfully fatty, melt in your mouth pie that goes great with just a touch of chocolate and a side of fresh fruit.

Coconut Pie:
1 1/2 cup coconut cream
1/4 cup Earth Balance
3/4 cup sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
1 tsp. coconut essence or extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Heat the coconut cream in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until liquid.
Take out a few tablespoons and mix with the cornstrach in a separate bowl until fully mixed. Make sure the coconut is not too hot or else you'll get lumps in your corn starch.
Add the sugar to the warming coconut cream and stir constantly until well dissolved.
Add cornstarch mixture and earth balance and stir or wisk constantly for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Turn off heat and add flavors wisking as the mixture cools.
Pour into your favorite crust. I went with a chocolate cookie crust.
Let sit in the fridge for 2-8 hours until firm.

Cashew Cream:
1 cup soaked cashews
1/4 cup coconut milk or cream
1 Tablespoon maple syrup
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Soak 1 cup of cashews in some warm water for about 1-2 hours.
Blend cashews in a food processor until course. Add coconut cream and let mix until starting to smooth.
Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. You may need to add more liquid to get the correct thicken you want.

To assemble:
Spread a bit of coconut cream on a plate, place the piece of pie on top, drizzle with a chocolate ganche and serve. Serve again and again.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


Since I haven't been to the farmers market in a few weeks the house has been lacking many vegetables. Below are some simple meals with mainly grains.

Garlic Israeli Cous Cous:
1 cup Israeli couscous
1 cup vegetable broth
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch garlic scapes

Cook couscous in broth until tender.
Saute 4 cloves of garlic for 1 minute before adding the small chopped garlic scapes.
Sprinkle with your favorite salt and serve warm.

Shells and Fresh Herbs:

Since visiting a great new Italian joint in my neighborhood I have been craving pasta - something I've stayed away from for years.
It also helps that my little herb garden is growing into a medium sized herb garden.
Here I used a similar mixture as I did with the popcorn, but with the special inclusion of garlic, and lots of it. Shells are easily my favorite pasta.

Roasted Corn and Rice:
1 cup rice, I used a mix of brown and black
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup corn
1/2 cup frozen spinach
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tomato

Cook rice as normal.
Saute corn on high until it looks like it's burning a bit, just give it a good char. Add garlic and spinach and stir until the spinach is hot.
Mix the cooked rice and corn mixture. Add more powdered vegetable broth, pepper and salt to taste.
Serve warm with a side of tomatoes and sprinkling of salt and chopped parsley. This mixture held together really well and were almost like burgers so it went perfectly with the tomatoes.

Raspberry Lime Fruit Salad Dressing:

Juice of 2 limes
1/8 tsp guar gum
2 Tablespoons seedless raspberry jam/jelly
1/8 round of fresh ginger root, or to taste
1 teaspoon toasted poppy seeds

Juice the lime, add the minced ginger, guar gum (it acts as a thickener, if you don't have it, don't sweat it) and raspberry jam. Blend together until well combined. Add toasted poppy seeds and toss with the fruit.
I used grapes, cantelope, cherries and apples. This dressing was wonderfully tart, and spicy and a little bit smoky with the seeds. Enjoy this salad on your deck with good friends on a warm day.

My life no longer lacks a food processor. My kitchen feels complete. For the salad. I was able to use my food processor to juice the limes, mince the ginger and blend everything together. It was so quick and simple. I can't wait until I can whip up my favorite carrot salad in just a few minutes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Since I move to my new house I have ignored my usual Friday Popcorn Dinner. Last Friday I rekindled popcorn dinners and it was a huge success!

Sun Dried Tomato Popcorn Topping:
2 Tablespoons dry sun dried tomatoes
2 tsp. vegan parmesan
1 tsp. salt, to taste

Grind the sun dried tomatoes in a clean coffee grinder or food processor. You want a powdery substance. Mix with parmesan and salt and sprinkle over popcorn.

This makes for a nice and zesty, sometimes sweet popcorn mix. If only it wasn't so wonderful I could have taken a photo before devouring it all.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cheesiness and Sweets

Cheesiness and sweets, but not together, that would just be gross.

Cheesy Sauce and Neatballs:
As you know I've been working on the perfect cheesy sauce for Mr. Bolsh. This one had more lemon juice in it and that seems to be the way he wants to go with the recipe.
We poured it over cauliflower and Trader Joe's Meatballs.
New Farm Mac and Cheese:
Wow, this sure is a fat filled dish. 1 full cup of earth balance. Good thing it's going to an IPRC fund raiser tonight! All the fat sure does make it taste great though! I added some chili powder to give it a bit more of a kick.
Coconut Pie Pudding:
We've been enjoying dinner outside on our new covered deck.
I've been working on my coconut cream pie recipes for awhile now. Sunday morning I had a disaster where the crust ended up inside the filling. I don't know what happened, but I decided to just go with it. I lightly mixed the crust into the filling and called it a pudding. It has gone over well. Unfortunately, it's not the right consistency yet for a pie filling. But I am getting closer!
Behind the pudding is cherry limeaid - perfect for hot summer days!New Farm Brownies:
Brownies from the New Farm cookbook. It's a great chewy brownie. Emilie, from Conscious Kitchen, recently posted a brownie recently that contained yam. This seems like a great recipe to do that with. In this recipe you make a paste with hot water and flour. It's not very flavorful so I would want to replace it next time with a blended fruit.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Summer Salads!

It's been getting hot again - my favorite weather, so I've been making some salads to cool us down.

Chili Lime Salad:
Marinated tofu with lime, garlic and chilis; broiled, then chilled.
Mixed with some cold glass noodles, chopped carrots, ginger and garlic.
Garlic Bean Salad:
Briefly saute a lot of garlic with oil and a sprig of fresh chopped basil; mix with cooked beans and set aside.
Steam garlic scapes.
Mix with some shredded carrots and serve cold.
I sprinkled mine with black sea salt and pepper.

Sesame Noodle Salad:
Julieanne a large handful green beans and 1 carrot.
Saute 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 inch of ginger in some peanut or sesame oil. When the garlic is just about clear, add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Mix sauce, glass noodles and veggies. Add more oil if it needs it.
Serve cold.
Chocolate Mint Cookies and Cream Cupcakes!
Disaster struck as I was creaming the earth balance and remaining powdered sugar for the frosting and reached for the other box of powdered sugar and it wasn't there!
To make up for it I had to chop (I can't wait until I get my food processor) lots of cookies to make a nice earth balance and cookie crumb frosting.