Tag Archives: garlic

5-minute pizza bread and herb salad dinner

pizza bread and herb saladThere are days when you (I) want to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, tasting every bit of seasoning, perfectly brunois-ing that shallot until it disappears into thin flavor air, geeking out on how amazing it would be if I could infuse smoked rose into something.

And then there are days like today, when after driving 4 and a half hours in rush hour traffic to return home from a weekend in Burgundy (not bad, not bad), I want to do nothing more than have a few slices, a glass of wine, and a Kubrick film I’ve not seen yet.

Bourgogne drive homeThis is France’s version of a rest stop.

There’s really something I miss about living in New York, or Portland, or even LA (gasp!) for this reason: gluten-free “fast” food is so available and us Americans have gotten really creative in making it taste good.  Tonight, I had no PIE by the Pound or Mississippi St. Pizza to call upon.  I have a local organic store down the street that sells gluten-free bread, and some organic Italian tomato paste in my fridge.  And garlic.  But saying I have garlic in my kitchen is like saying I have a kitchen.

I skipped down the street, more like trotted as my ankle is killing me, to the organic store and found some gluten-free buckwheat loaf, and meanwhile found the aroma of the fresh mint in the produce section to be an irrevocable calling for purchase.  Pizza and mint are not my usual idea of a dinner combination, but I’m gonna follow the old nose tonight.

gluten free pizza bread

mint, parsley, and tomato paste

Bless you naval cavities, you did good.  Within 5 minutes of arriving home, I diced up some garlic, put the extra vegetables I had in my fridge through both sorts of Japanese mandolins I have at home, and popped a combination of Italian flavors topping the gluten-free bread in the oven on broil.  What developed was nothing short of a delicious and surprising combination of flavors!

There are nights you want to spend hours dancing with your ingredients.  There are nights like tonight where I think I could now dance for hours after only spending minutes with them.

gooey pizza bread gluten freePIZZA BREAD (serves 1 as dinner, 2 as appetizer)

ingredients: 3 slices your favorite gluten-free bread; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tbs. tomato paste (organic if possible); 1/2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (dried works, too); a large pinch dried oregano; 1 tbs. olive oil; a large pinch sea salt or pecorino or parmesan cheese (low in lactose) or vegan parmesan shreds (both optional but good additions if possible)

method: Pre-heat oven to broil preset.  Top with garlic, olive oil, parsley, and oregano.  Top with tomato paste.  Spread with spatula or finger until evenly distributed.  Top with cheese or vegan cheese or sea salt.  Broil for about 5 minutes, until top has browned and caramelized a bit.

HERB SALAD (serves 2 as a side)

ingredients: 6 red radishes, cut into thin spheres; 3 tbs. fresh parsley leaves; 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves; 1 carrot or 1/4 jicama cut into thin julienne (optional); 2 cups baby lettuce leaves of choice; 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar; 2 tbs. high quality olive oil; a pinch sea salt; a dash paprika

method: mix all ingredients in salad bowl and serve.

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Beans!

mung beans

The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras forbade the eating of beans, as he decreed that the legumes contained something of which the soul was composed.  I think he might have been exaggerating just a tad, but I can understand his enthusiasm for the magical fruit.

Tonight I had a simple rather bistro style dinner of gluten-free toasts and seasonal French cheese (easier to digest as it’s raw) and some leftover fava beans that I made into a sort of spread and topped with basil and mushrooms.  It was awesome.  And I didn’t feel like popping afterwards.

fava bean spread

What’s so good about beans?  Mr. Laertius may have been right about them being something exceptional, but here is the tip of the ice berg of reasons why they should not be banned from your regime:

1. Beans are a huge source of fiber.  Yes, yes, that’s why they are also the “magical fruit”, but if you want to pass things that are not magical in your body, tally ho.

2. Beans have a low glycemic index.  Composed of complex sugars, these carbohydrates take time for your body to break down, but are easier to process.  This makes you stay full longer, reducing cravings, while providing a natural source of sugar your body readily uses, not stores.

3. Beans are full of protein.  In combination with rice, they make a complete amino acid, which is the protein found in meat that most vegans or vegetarians are missing from their diet of they don’t work for it.

4. Beans are full of vitamins and minerals.  Another problem vegetarians might find, or anyone really, is a low level of iron.  Beans have a lot of this– as well as copper, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6, which is a vitamin that is reduced if you’re drinking booze, so if you’re making some parties, jump on board with the beans to get your energy back up!

5. They taste awesome when cooked from their dry form with a bit of thyme and a bay leaf, and then are sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, a touch soy sauce, and some oregano afterwards.  Oh yeah.

…and they’re also gluten-free.  (since you find them on this blog, you can imagine they would be!)

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Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

marinadeIt’s like a six-year-old girl dressing herself: I am going to put together all of the fabulous things I like and it will work.

Sometimes six-year-olds are surprisingly stylish.  This marinade of everything-I-like would be one of those kids, I like to think.

Finally having a full day to play in the kitchen, I went a little nuts.  I coated peas in wasabi and buckwheat flour and fried them, I homemade sushi, crackers, and chicken liver mousse.  I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch.  I sang while doing all of this, just to make sure that if the neighbors weren’t already disturbed from the sound of blenders and smells of garlic that they had a sure idea of my presence.

I also discovered a marinade.  It’s easy, gluten-free, and has a really nice tang with the combination of wasabi with honey and oregano.  I used it on pork, but it would work on chicken or beef or tofu or seitan.

marinating porkafter a few hours tenderizing

dinnerwasabi buckwheat peas, marinated farmer’s pork, watercress pesto, avocado maki

Happy Spring!  Let’s eat!

Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 shallot, finely diced, 1 tbs. fresh basil, chopped (chiffonade is ideal), 1 cm cubed fresh ginger, grated, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 3 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbs. honey (agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan), 1/8 tsp. wasabi powder (available at most grocery stores and all Asian food markets)

Method: combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Marinade your protein of choice in sauce for up to overnight, minimum 2 hours, covered.  Turn protein half way through marinating to disperse flavors equally.  Marinade keeps by itself about a week.  Enough to soak enough protein to serve about 3-4.

wasabi powder

 

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how to make cabbage rad: BRAISE IT with Ginger and Caramel

huntington beach dead of winter<–My dear friend Parisa posted this very recently on facebook.  It’s the dead of winter.

I don’t get it.  My nose is running, I’ve got the average toll up to two layers of socks a day, and my skin is whiter than unrefined sugar.  (I guess that makes it refined sugar?)

cabbage and asian ingredientsI feel like a polar bear.  And in cold times, I want to eat cozy food: things braised, hearty, yet healthy.  Which brought to mind cabbage the other morning when I awoke without the slightest idea if there was even any space between the entry way to my nasal passage and the back of my head.  Stuffed up.

However, when I think of cabbage I think of Beatrix Potter.  That’s sweet, but not exciting.

When I think of ginger, caramel, and hot sauce I want to sweat a little.  In a good way.

So, the two had a playdate and this was born.  I’m on round three right now.  Yum.

ginger braised cabbageGinger Braised Cabbage

2 tbs. sesame seed oil (for Asian flavor) or pork’s fat or high heat oil (neutral flavor), divided
1/4 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 apple, cut into small cubes (you can peel if you don’t like the skins or leave them on)
zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tbs. honey
a large 1/2 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
a few dashes your favorite hot sauce (to taste, some like it hot, some don’t)
1 large curly cabbage, cut into thin strips (use either a mandolin or thin knife cuts)
1/4 cup high quality apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup water
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
1 tbs. fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (optional)

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1.5 hours minimum (about 3 hours maximum)
Serves 4-6

caramel onion garlic giner apples1. Heat 1 tbs. oil or fat over medium heat in large pot.  Add onion, sauté for about 3-4 minutes, until edges are coloring and caramelizing.  Add garlic and ginger.  Sauté another minute, until aromatic.  Add honey and lemon zest.  Cook for 30 seconds to start a caramel.  Once starting to turn more brown, add apple.  Stir to coat.  Let cook for another 2 minutes, or until the caramel is a deep amber brown, not dark brown and burnt.
2. At this point add tamari, hot sauce (optional), another 1 tbs. oil and your cabbage strips right away.  Coat with caramel, and cook for 2 minutes, until heated through.  Add apple cider vinegar, increase heat to high, and reduce until there is no liquid at the bottom, about 1-2 cabbage before cookingminutes, stirring to coat cabbage evenly.  Immediately add water, thyme, and optional fresh herbs.  Bring to a boil, stir cabbage a few times to bring the bottom pieces to the top, cover, and reduce heat to low.
3. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally to bring the bottom pieces to the top, for minimum 1.5 hours.  If the water is running out at the bottom, add a bit more.  At the end there should be a bit of water left, so if you braise it for 3 hours, you’ll have to add water half way through at the least.
finished braised cabbage<–and she’s done!

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Inspiration: Eat to get warm!

It’s no mystery the food we consume has an impact on our internal temperatures and our outward feelings.  With winter coming our bodies are now adjusting to a season that fatigues our bodies just trying to keep warm.

storm coming in from balcony<–it’s a-blowin’ in!

Do your body some good.

roasted sea bass, garlic ginger saladWhile most of us crave really hearty dishes when it is cold, something lighter with dynamic properties could do more of a long-term trick in keeping you warm and energized.

Today’s inspiration: ROASTED SEA BASS with a GINGER GARLIC AVOCADO SALAD

Why it works:

Sea bass, avocado, and sesame seed oil all contain omega fats (the good kind) that are necessary in human bodies to transport nutrients, which will keep you energized, and keep your hair and skin hydrated with the cold weather

Ginger naturally circulates your blood, which will help keep those extremities from getting too cold!

IMG_7692_2Garlic and lemon are natural germ-fighters internally and will help you from getting sick or kill those bad things that have already crept in there

Lettuce and salads are low in caloric density and high in water content and nutrients, which keep you hydrated and fill your stomach, while regulating your digestion and feeling of mobility.  (Cold weather already makes you feel lethargic, so why increase that when you can actually decrease it?)

It tastes incredible, so the endorphins won’t hurt, either.

To make the salad, use the Bubble Child Creamy Ginger Garlic Vinaigrette recipe here and drizzle it over some lettuce and sliced avocado: http://bubblechild.com/2013/10/06/you-say-ginger-i-say-salad-dressing/

To roast your sea bass, simply season it with salt and pepper, cut it into portions, and pop it in the oven on parchment paper or a lightly greased pan at 225 degrees F for somewhere between 8 and 15 minutes (depends on your oven and the thickness of your fish).  You want the fish to be opaque, meaning it isn’t raw or cold in the middle and is cooked through.  Serve with a side or rice, quinoa, or cooked millet for a filling and fresh complement.

IMG_5348

or you can just have red wine in snow and call it a day.

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