Showing posts with label lime. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lime. Show all posts

Nov 8, 2010

native foods (MoFo 5)

Native Foods is the brain child of Tanya Petrovna, who opened the first Native Foods in 1994. She will be opening the seventh very soon! That is impressive; a vegan restaurant that will be celebrating another grand opening. What is more impressive, though, is the food. I am literally licking the plate that I served the Azteca Ensalada on - that Mango-Lime Dressing rocks!

Another impressive feat is the preparation of her tempeh. While she actually makes the tempeh on the premises, my store-bought version did not suffer any using her technique. Delicious! If you are one of those tempeh-phobes this is the recipe for you. If after having tempeh this way you don't like it, then you never will and you may fearlessly throw in the proverbial towel. 

To the recipes...

Let's face it, nachos are good. Most any nachos. But these Native Nachos are great! Chef Tanya shares her Native Chi's recipe that go on this and the taco 'meat' is TVP. You can freely use seitan ground, however, or omit it at will and double the beans. Nothing processed. Even the cashew sour cream I have on there is very easy to make. THIS is one loaded nacho plate and go ahead and customize it to your palate.

Now for that salad I was drooling over in the beginning - assorted greens with tomato, onion, jicama or apple or asian pear, cucumbers, cilantro, mango, raisin, pumpkin seeds, quinoa (superfood!) and that outrageous Mango-Lime Dressing and you not only have a complete meal but a little piece of heaven.

The last item on our tasting menu is the Gandhi Bowl - two kinds of rice, steamed greens, curry sauce and that tempeh of hers - blackened. Cajun-meets-Asian. Another out-of-the-park dish. She is batting a thousand.

The only real criticism I have is that she is inundating the east coast with her restaurants and is leaving the mid and west coast to suffer without her culinary contributions. Pure selfishness.

Cost Breakdown:

chips: $3 
cheeze, cashew sour cream: $3
TVP, beans: $4
tomato, onion, olive, pepper: $3
Total to make apps for 8:

greens: $4
Asian pear, tomato, cuke, mango: $4
mango, lime, oil, cilantro: $2
raisin, pumpkin: $1
quinoa: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

rice: $1.50
curry, coconut milk: $2
tempeh: $3
greens, cauliflower: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Native Nachos

Ensalada Azteca

Gandhi Bowl

Oct 9, 2010

thai curried coconut eggplant with noodles

Asian Night

Mikel requested this as a repeat. I had made it once before - last year. Having made it before, I felt free to experiment a a bit. The original recipe is from Buddha's Table, a vegan Thai cookbook, but whereas most of the recipes form this book have been a knockout, I had cryptically written "Find galanga next time?" as my note. Yeah, not too helpful regarding our thoughts of the recipe, I'm afraid.

Having made more than a few of his recipes, and realizing that while having the original-authentic ingredients is ideal, substituting appropriate equivalents is at least acceptable. So galanga became ginger and lemongrass became lemon zest. Also, the original recipe is a bit complicated so I simplified it.

The outcome was outstanding - even David loved it and asked if there was more.
I'm positive he didn't last time.

I salted my eggplant slices to remove a lot of the moisture so the eggplant would keep its shape during cooking. I stir fried my eggplant until golden and removed them to set aside. I repeated the same for any of the vegetables I wanted cooked.

I had made red curry paste for another recipe a few months ago and froze half. This was what I used as my red curry paste which I fried in a little oil. I added some vegetable broth and coconut milk, added back the eggplant slices and simmered the curry until the eggplant was tender.

As accompaniments, I had bean sprouts, tomato slices, yellow and green pepper slices, lime, green onions, the stir fried green beans, cabbage and garlic slices.

I poured the curry sauce over the noodles and added the accompaniments to the dish.

Cost Breakdown:
noodles: $2
peppers: $1
tomato, green onion, garlic: $1.50
bean sprouts, green beans: $2
lime, cabbage: $2
coconut oil: $1
red curry paste: $1
Total to feed  a family of 5:

Sep 4, 2010

achiote rubbed zucchini tacos

Rick Bayless says that achiote-seed-marinated pork is very popular in a certain region of Mexico - forgot exactly where. He makes a taco with pork marinated in ground achiote seeds and garlic. It sounded good to me - except for the pig, of course, so I decided that zucchini would be the ideal sub. Why? Because my CSA says so!

I put about a bulb of peeled garlic, 1 T of ground achiote seeds (a.k.a. annatto), 1 t of ground allspice, 1 t ground pepper, 2 t Mexican oregano, 1 t salt, and 3 T of cider vinegar, in the food processor and ground everything together. I marinated my zucchini slices in the mixture for an hour and grilled them until tender. 

I made a great roasted corn sauce (again because my CSA says so - I have about 10 ears of corn), by roasting them in a cast-iron skillet and blending them with 2 dried yellow peppers and some lime and orange juice (just a little orange), adding a bit of water as needed.

The picture is of the zucchini in corn tortillas, but both David and I found the corn to be overkill and had another taco in flour tortillas and this is what we recommend. This was great in the flour tortilla with a little hot sauce!

Wonderful summer flavors! 

Cost Breakdown:
corn: $1.50
zucchini: $2
tortillas: $2
lime, orange, onion (pickled): $1.50
spices, herbs: $1
rice: $1
Total to feed a family of 5:

Aug 22, 2010

potato-chickpea enchilada

Wrapping up Terry Hope Romero's Viva Vegan! Cook-athon is a Potato-Chickpea Enchilada with Tomatillo Sauce and Mango-Jicama Salad.

Stu-unning. Awesome flavors in the enchilada filling! We only had one dissenter in the family, everyone else loved it. The Tomatillo Sauce recipe has you boiling the tomatillos to remove the skin, but I roasted them instead and blended everything very well so the skins did not become an issue.

The Pine Crema recipe calls for silken tofu, which I do not care for, so instead I made a Cashew Crema for which I will be posting the recipe. This made the entire meal soy free! Love that! 

In conclusion, while some of the flavors of this cookbook need a little getting used to, don't all ethnic cuisines require some adjustment? If they didn't, honestly, what would be the point of eating them? 

Terry has written a great book, full of practical and needful advice regarding Latin fare. She has written creative recipes that my week of cooking has barely scrapped the surface of - 200 recipes is nothing to sneeze at. This is one cookbook that is needed on the shelf because ethnic cuisines are something we should all try to make at home and when it is written by someone who has lived it, then it becomes a treasure trove of yet-untasted flavors and experiences. 

Cost Breakdown:
chickpeas: $2
potatoes: $1
tortillas: $1
mango, jicama: $3
cilantro, lime: $1
peppers, onions, garlic: $1
cashews: $1
Total to make 5 servings:

chimichurri tofu

For this dinner, I made three recipes from Terry Hope Romero's
Viva Vegan!: (Link through

Chimichurri Tofu, Lime and Cilantro Rice and Braised Brazilian Kale. All three recipes were simple to make and tasted great. Our favorite was the kale, to which I added the rest of the chimichurri sauce after the tofu was done marinading in. Also, I used brown rice for the Rice dish instead of the white. It just extended the cooking time, but the flavors were spot on.

We were very pleased with the meal! Another three great recipes from this book.

Cost Breakdown:
kale: $4
onions, garlic, shallots: $3
parsley, cilantro, lime: $3
rice: $1.50
tofu: $2
Total to feed a family of 5:

Aug 5, 2010

indian-spiced rice

Another fridge cleaner! When you have freshly roasted and ground spices, fresh stir-fried vegetables and gremolata, you can't really go wrong.

I don't usually make Indian food at home because we live so close to a great Indian restaurant, and one of the best things about going to Indian restaurants is the variety. Realistically, am I going to cook four different curries and make 2 different breads as well as a whole bunch of other wonderful Indian dishes for a weeknight meal? And it is the variety I love - as well as the food, naturally. 

But today I felt the need to make something Indian inspired (maybe it's because of Top Chef last night). It had to be fast though, I'm still cleaning. I am hosting a couple of Literature Groups for my kids over the next year and I need it to be spic and span, otherwise I can feel my Mom shaking her head.

So I toasted some fenugreek seeds, yellow mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and ground them up. I cooked the rice with this spice mixture, adding a chopped tomato, turmeric and paprika. 

When the rice was almost done cooking (and brown rice takes a while), I stir-fried sunflower seeds (remove from pan and set aside), 1/2 onion, 1 corn (kernels removed) and zucchini, diced (these takes longer to get color so make sure it has before adding...), a 1/4 of a red cabbage, chopped. Quickly stir-fry after adding the cabbage so it stays crisp tender.

Add the rice to the veggies and sunflower seeds, squirt it with thejuice of 1/2 lime, adjust seasoning and serve with the gremolata.

1/2 c cilantro, minced
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
zest of 1 lime
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and mince everything together or process all in a machine. 

Cost Breakdown:
zucchini: $1
cabbage: $1
corn, onion, garlic: $1
brown basmati rice: $1
tomato: $1
cilantro, lime, spices: $2
Total to feed a family of 5:

Aug 1, 2010

grilled vegetables

What better way to kick-off August summertime than with a delicious grilled vegetable plate? Grilling veggies is such a taste treat! There is nothing like it. The sweetness of the vegetables is enhanced with grilling and the smokiness of them has no parallel.

There are so many ways to serve these scrumptious grilled vegetables: between slices of bread with veganaise or hummus, chopped and mixed into a grain like couscous or quinoa, drizzled with balsamic reduction or just plain right of the grill. I also grilled some lemon and lime to be squeezed on the veggies after they cam off the grill.
Grilled citrus is  so exciting!

These are just basic grilled vegetables: sliced 1/4 in  thick, rubbed with some olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. You can make them more regional or ethnic by adding certain seasoning or marinading them before grilling. Any way you like it is bound to be wonderful.

Cost Breakdown:
squash: $1
zucchini: $1
eggplant: $1
onion: $1
corn: $1
lemon and lime: $1
potatoes (leftover baked): $1.50
Total for a platter of grilled goodness:

Jul 30, 2010

sin carne asada tacos

We had Mexican tonight.

'Carne Asada' translates to 'roased meat' and it tends to mean a BBQ, party, get-together, etc. The meat is usually marinated in a lime based marinade or rubbed with seasonings before being grilled.

I marinated my Firm Seitan, after slicing it thin on the diagonal, in a blend of garlic, lemon, orange, lime and olive oil. I let it sit in the marinade while I prepared the sides and the toppings. I made an ancho salsa with dried ancho peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and whatever was left of the marinade - not to worry, this is not meat so I can use my marinade however I wish.

I grilled the seitan slices on my grill, put them in a tortilla and topped it with my salsa. Some avocado, lettuce or nondairy sour cream would also be very appropriate.

Yum, Yum.

I LOVE Sin Carne Asada - smoky, flavorful, spicy (if you want it to be), juicy. Yum. Everyone loves this, and I love that.

Cost Breakdown:
seitan: $4
tortillas: $4
lemon, limes, orange: $3
garlic, cilantro, spices: $2
Total to feed 10 people: