Showing posts with label zucchini. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zucchini. Show all posts

Oct 3, 2016

warm spinach salad with barley bacon

Barley Bacon. Why not? Barley is nice and chewy when cooked and lightly crispy when cooked in some oil; it's actually a delicious bacon!


My husband asked me to make him a warm spinach salad and the other week we had a dish with barley. The chew of the barley gave me the idea to make it into bacon - as long as I could achieve a crunch on them.

I loved how these turned out! They were smoky, salty and just crunchy enough to make passing by the bowl without snagging a few a near impossibility.

A pressure cooker is really the best appliance to cook barley and barley that is whole grain is the best grain for this. Pearled barley cooks faster but isn't a whole grain and might not give that distinctive texture.


The black cardamom is the smoke (but you can use liquid smoke) and the sun-dried tomatoes offer a complexity. Once they are done cooking in the pot, it's time to cook them in a pan. I add porcini mushrooms to the pan, which brings its own set of texture and flavors. Working together, these ingredients are perfect to offer that bacon-y experience.


Of course, I had to add some other veggies to the mix! I sauteed leeks and zucchini, but cauliflower or kale would be equally delicious.


To clean your leeks, cut them in half lengthwise and slice them into 1/2-inch pieces. Fill a large bowl with water and add the leeks. Swoosh them around, breaking up the clumps, and set them aside for a few minutes. The dirt will fall to the bottom of the bowl and you can scoop out the leeks with your fingers. Water your plants with the water.


Keep the vegetables warm while you heat up your dressing and toss all the hot ingredients with the spinach.


Serve immediately with the barley and pepitas. Pepitas are extremely high in protein, are delicious and offer another satisfying crunch.








Warm Spinach Salad with Barley Bacon 
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup hull-less barley, rinsed
2 small black cardamom or 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 sun-dried tomato halves
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, white part, sliced in half and cut into 1/4-inch slices 
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Sea salt and black pepper
2 bunches (about 8 cups) fresh spinach
1/4 cup toasted pepitas

1. Combine the barley, cardamom, tomato, bay leaf, water and tamari in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Remove and discard the cardamom and bay. Drain the barley, reserving the tomato and the broth. Set aside.
2. Combine the mushrooms and the reserved broth from the barley in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to rehydrate, about 10 more minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the broth, and rinse the mushrooms lightly. Strain the mushroom/barley broth through a coffee filter or reusable tea bag. You should have about 1/4 cup. Rinse the pot and add the broth. Bring to boil and reduce by half. Add the vinegar, sugar and plenty of black pepper. 
3. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the barley. Chop the porcini mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes and add to the barley. Cook until the barley is slightly crunchy, but don’t over cook. Remove, leaving as much oil as possible in the skillet, and set aside. 
4. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until golden, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
5. Warm the dressing if it has cooled. Add the spinach to an extra large bowl and top with the vegetables and dressing. Toss well. If it isn’t wilting, warm the bowl slightly (stainless steel only!) on the stove while tossing the spinach. When lightly wilted, divide among 4 bowls and top equally with the barley and pepitas.  Serve.
 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


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Aug 13, 2016

pantry+ zucchini satay with spicy lime sauce and quinoa

It's been a hectic week! My son and his partner just moved up to Berkeley, where he is finishing up his bachelor's in film; he is graduating this coming May! Look out for his work - he is the next hit film director.

My girls just returned from Europe (they paid for it all, btw - we have college budget, not traveling budget!) after a month long stay and they have college starting this month, too.

I just sent in the final draft to my new cookbook Aquafaba: Sweet and Savory Vegan Recipes Made Egg-Free With the Magic of Bean Water (Amazon, B&N). It is coming out in October. I don't know how much of a mess I'll be getting myself into, but I've also committed to creating a YouTube channel for aquafaba. :}

As you can see, we are as busy as the next family! In that vein, here is an easy and fast recipe that you can throw together using only 4 pantry items and 5 fresh/non-pantry items!

Zucchini Satay with Spicy Lime Sauce and Quinoa.

Equipment:
Very fine mesh strainer
Blender (optional)
Bowl
Medium Pot
Skillet or grill pan

Pantry ingredients are:
Reduced-sodium tamari
Vegetable broth
Sriracha
Sugar (optional)

Fresh ingredients are:
Lime
Zucchini
Cilantro
Quinoa
Nut/Seed Butter




There is a story behind that empty Sriracha bottle that I will be sharing with you soon. Hint: Sriracha comes in a plastic bottle (at least the ones I can find here do).

This dish is simple and quick enough, but you have to get the quinoa cooking right away because it takes about 30 minutes to make. After rinsing it, add it to the already warming broth and cook for 15 minutes, covered. Remove from the heat and set aside to steam for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, add the marinade ingredients [butter (peanut or sunflower seed), lime juice, tamari, broth, sriracha and sugar (if needed)] to a blender and process until smooth. You can even do that using just a whisk and a bowl, but your butter has to be soft enough to whip easily.

Cut the zucchini into 1-inch thick pieces and thread onto skewers (or not; it can be a hassle, but it makes a great presentation).

Cover with the sauce and set aside while you heat up your skillet or grill pan (preferably cast iron).




Then just grill or cook in the pan until tender and golden. Serve it with the fluffed quinoa, the rest of the sauce and garnish with the remaining cilantro. The zucchini takes about 10 to 13 minutes to cook based on the size you cut it. I cut it to 1-inch thickness so I would have less zucchini to thread onto skewers. If you cut them thinner, just cook it for less time.

Before I give you the recipe, Susan Smoaks, please contact me about you winning the Jazzy Vegetarian DVD set. If you don't contact me by Tuesday I will have to pick another winner. Thanks!








Zucchini Satay with Spicy Lime Sauce and Quinoa 
Makes 4 servings
Pantry list is HERE.

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (retain zest for garnish)
1/4 cup reduced-sodium tamari
3 tablespoons peanut or sunflower seed butter
2 to 4 tablespoons sriracha
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
4 small to medium zucchinis
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1. Quinoa: add the broth to a medium pot and bring to a boil. In the meantime, rinse the quinoa very well and add it, and the salt, to the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium-low and cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside, still covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and add a few tablespoons of chopped cilantro to the quinoa. 
2. Satay: Combine the lime juice, tamari, butter, sriracha, broth, and sugar (if using - taste and add to the sauce if needed) in a small blender. Blend until smooth. 
3. Cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces and thread onto skewers that will fit comfortably in your skillet. Place the skewers of zucchini on a platter and cover with the sauce. Heat a cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Add the skewers and cook 5 minutes on each side until tender; baste the zucchini every few minutes or so. Season with salt and black pepper. 
4. Serve the quinoa with the satay, the remaining sauce and garnish with the remaining cilantro.


© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.



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Oct 29, 2015

stuffed peppers with polenta + adobo pepitas



I have been looking to come up with an awesome stuffed pepper recipe for years now and short of using a ton of cheese, it hasn't occurred to me what to stuff it with. I'm not a fan of dry stuffed peppers and I didn't want it to be mediocre. After a long time, I've come up with something really great!

Stuffed Peppers with Creamy Polenta and Adobo-laced Pepitas. Yeah.

Ingredients? 12 total, plus salt, sugar, black pepper and water.




The polenta in these peppers is creamy and luscious. I used coarse cornmeal, so my polenta took about 45 minutes to cook until tender, but it was so worth it! It goes to show, when your cornmeal is coarse, don't be afraid to cook it longer than you would cook a finer version of cornmeal.




I cooked the onions until caramelized, cooked the polenta and added raw zucchini at the end. After cutting the tops off the peppers, leaving just enough room to add the polenta, I baked them in a very simple tomato sauce.




Speaking of the tomato sauce, once baked, it is crazy good! If you love sauce as much as I do, go forth and double its recipe.




Then there are the pepitas! Did you know that pepitas are super high in protein and they are so tasty. Pepitas can be roasted in hundreds of different ways and here I add an adobo seasoning to them.




Adobo seasoning is a Latin American mixture of spices, sometimes including cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, turmeric and/or bay leaves (just watch out for meat ingredients). There are organic versions or traditional ones available at any grocery store and you will find yourself using it often. If you have a few spices, HERE is a recipe (sub the fresh garlic with 1 teaspoon garlic granules).

That's it! Enjoy!









Stuffed Pepper with Creamy Polenta
Prep time:30 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 4 

Polenta:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup cornmeal or polenta
1/4 to 1/2 cup non-dairy plain, unsweetened milk
Sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 -inch dice
4 small peppers (bell, poblano or 6 medium Anaheim) 

Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste (not concentrate)
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sweetener
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pepitas:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup raw pepitas
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning

1. Polenta: Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onion, cover and cook until caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of broth if the onions are sticking. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, add the water and bring to boil. Add the cornmeal slowly, using a whisk to stir while you add the cornmeal. Bring back to boil and reduce to medium-low. Cover partially and cook until tender, about 20 to 45 minutes, depending on grind, stirring occasionally. When tender, add the milk, season with salt and black pepper, add the lemon juice and zucchini. Add more milk if needed.
2. Cut off the sides of the peppers just large enough to add the polenta. Fill the peppers.
3. Sauce: While the polenta cooks, heat the oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and oregano. Cook until golden, about 1 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook until the paste darkens a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, sweetener and salt. Whisk well to combine, bring to boil and transfer the sauce to a 9X9 baking dish. Add the stuffed peppers on top of the sauce. Heat the oven to 400-degrees F (no need to preheat), and bake the peppers until they are tender, about 45 minutes. 
4. Pepitas. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas and cook until lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the adobo and salt, to taste. Cook for another 30 seconds. Serve the pepitas garnishing the baked peppers.



 © 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.