Tag Archives: tamari

kale and radish salad with creamy 5-ingredient dressing

kale radish salad

kaaaaaaaaaaaaale

kale kale kale, I could scream from the top of my lungs!  Or perhaps the bottom.  I believe that would indeed be the most profound.

washed kale

I wouldn’t have guessed, but kale is quite hard to come across in France.  I have the luxury of having a very decently priced little organic market down the street from me.  They never let me down (they even half priced the berries I was buying once as the manager said he tried them and they weren’t sweet enough.  He’s tough public, because I thought they were amazing.)

Neither here nor there with the berries, but the kale, yes, the kaaaale, they have it.  It was almost like running into an old elementary school teacher or something, the way I felt when I looked down the aisle towards the produce and saw green bobs of curl brimming from a wooden-laced carton box.

radi

I don’t know what it is about the salad.  My Grandma thought it was a bizarre thing to eat (isn’t that the plant that grows along roads in dirt or for decoration in planters?)  Yes, but a lot of good things do that, too.  And it’s just so weirdly healthy tasting — in a good way.  It’s one of those things you eat for the first time, you like it decently, but I think it’s so good for your body that when your body sees it again it’s automatically conditioned to want it more because of the good it does inside.  Like garlic.

Gaaaarlic.

I’ll stop.

salad dressing ingredientsdressing in bowl

Here’s a really simple recipe for two brilliant ingredients with a 5-ingredient salad dressing that complements the two just too well.  Takes, like, 3 minutes to make.  <3

Enjoy on a breezy hot summer day!

tossing saladkale and radish salad with creamy 5-ingredient dressing
-vegan-
-gluten, nut, corn-free-

ingredients:
1 large bunch kale, washed, dried
about 12 small red radishes, washed, cut into thin slices (I recommend using a Japanese mandolin)
2 tbs. dijon mustard
1 tbs. agave nectar
3 tbs. rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
6 tbs. neutral oil (grapeseed is my preferred)
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)*

method: Prepare dressing by mixing mustard, agave nectar, and vinegar in a bold until combined.  Slowly whisk in oil to emulsify.  Add soy sauce to taste.  Toss in prepared kale and radish.  Salt and pepper to taste if needed/desired.

*for those with soy allergies, simply salt to taste and don’t add tamari.

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NUT-FREE “peanut sauce” and homemade spring rolls

filet mignon spring rolls with pumpkin seed butter sauceSo, lunch today was kind of unfair.  I had leftover filet mignon from a local butcher and had just devised a recipe for a Thai “peanut sauce” without peanuts.  Yes, that means I had filet mignon spring rolls.  Yes, filet mignon spring rolls with a sauce I’ve never been able to taste in my life.

two springrollsfirst step roll

I’ve been rather addicted to these things lately.  (Spring rolls that is.)  Here’s why:

1. They’re easy to make (soak in water and roll!)

2. They’re naturally gluten-free (just rice and tapioca flour)

3. The texture is light and fun

“Fun” is a word to describe taste.  Oh yes, should I ever be judge on Master Chef, it will be a criteria.

pumpkin seedspumpkin seed butter sauce

Since I am a Bubble Child of the sort where I will die in a very literal sense if I consume even a particle of a nut, I have never tasted a Thai peanut sauce.  My friends swear by it.  It has been something on my list of things to try should I have, say, a definite 1 minute left to live.  It’d be great to never check that list off.

With that in mind, it has taken me years, and by years I mean 5, to figure out the right combination of flavor and spice to recreate the traditional peanut sauce.  It means seeds, it means turmeric, it even means lemongrass powder if you can find some!

galettes de riz

I highly recommend adopting spring rolls into your weekly gastronomic regimen.  The shells save so easily and you can fill with whatever your heart fancies.  It’s like a bunch of tiny burritos you get to eat in a row without feeling like a giant walking bean.

sauce plated

nut-free thai peanut sauce
2 tbs. grapeseed oil
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp. honey or agave nectar (vegan)
1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1/8 tsp. turmeric (freshly grated or powdered)
1/8 tsp. lemongrass (freshly grated or powdered), optional
a few dashes your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tbs. water
4 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Method: Heat oil in saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add seeds.  Sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden browned, about 4-5 minutes.  Remove from heat, let cool two minutes.  Combine with remaining ingredients in blender.  Season with salt and/or hot sauce to taste.  (Tamari already has salt, so taste before adding extra salt!)

roll two

how-to make spring rolls

1. FILLING:*

(a, vegan)– shred and sauté some carrot and radish, blanch, then sauté with ginger, garlic, mint, basil and hot sauce; (b, carnivore)– cook your favorite protein to taste, chop up into fine pieces, then toss with sesame seed oil, mint, basil, ginger and hot sauce

grating carrots2. LET ‘ER ROLL: 

(a) soak one sheet rice paper in water for about 30 seconds, until pliable, then let rest on a clean plate or cutting board for about a minute to dry a bit and get sticky.

(b) place 1-2 tablespoons of filling about 2 inches from top of paper

(c) fold top 2 inches over filling to cover

(d) fold in outer edges to pack filling in tightly

(e) roll over 2-3 times, until any potential holes are covered and filling is secure — trim away extra rice paper

(f) repeat with as many rice papers as you want to turn into spring rolls

Serve with tamari, hot sauce of choice (Sriracha!!!), and/or homemade NUT-FREE thai “peanut” sauce.

final roll*to give an idea of how much filling you’ll need, to make about 6 spring rolls use one large radish and one carrot for vegetarian option, one chicken breast or half a steak for carnivore option.

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why sushi rice doesn’t taste like normal rice

homemade sushiYou know how when you have sushi and it doesn’t taste like just rice and seaweed and raw fish?  Yeah, that’s probably the reason we keep eating it, because as appetizing as the thought of eating an ocean soaked in China’s starch staple sounds, it’s not.

Sushi can either be refined art, think Jiro Dreams of Sushi, or something as casual as a taco cart.  The problem with eating at Japanese restaurants for those with Celiac Disease is that soy sauce is made with wheat traditionally, and most preparations might have a touch of it as it replaces salt in most Asian cuisines.  The problem with making sushi at home, then, would be that rice cooked in just water never seems to taste like “sushi rice” and finding sushi grade quality fish may not be possible in your area.

homemade sushiThe thing is, making gluten-free sushi at home is really quite easy.  What’s more, you know the products you’re using are to your standards (because you bought them) and you have creative liberty to replace salmon with tofu if you’re vegetarian, or add some fun flavors like mango and cilantro if you’re seeking some peppppps.

homemade sushiThe other day I have rice and leftover dried seaweed from an experiment a few weeks prior.  I had leftover bits and pieces of smoked salmon, and no interest to go grocery shopping.  I had forgotten how much I love the convenience (and price tag) of making sushi at home.  The difference, for me, is in the rice.

Homemade sushi lunchSUSHI RICE

Ingredients: 1 cup short grain eastern rice variety (preferably deemed sushi rice, either brown or white– basmati will do in a pinch if you’re really stuck), 1 1/2 cups + 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp. rice or white wine or apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp. agave nectar, 1/2 tsp. powdered wasabi (optional, but highly recommended)

Method: Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil.  Lightly salt water, add rice, stir just once, skim foam off top using a spoon, cover, and reduce heat to low to simmer for about 30-35 minutes.  Once water is absorbed, taste rice to make sure it is cooked enough.  If not, add about 2 tbs. more water, cover, and let steam another 5-10 minutes until water is absorbed and rice is cooked al dente.  Remove from heat.  Keep covered.  In small sauce pan, bring 1/4 cup water, vinegar and agave nectar to a boil.  Let bubble about 30 seconds, remove from heat.  Whisk in wasabi powder (optional, but recommended).  Using a large flat spoon, stir syrup into cooked rice gently.  This gentle stirring serves two purposes: it covers the rice in flavor and it also gently releases the starches while it slowly cools down the rice for optimal texture and binding properties.  Let rice cool to room temperature before using it in your sushi.

sushi rollsGreat.  I’ve got my rice.  WhaaadooIdoooNow?  You get to play with your food!  Maki Sushi refers to the type where the seaweed is on the outside.  This type is really convenient to make at home, as you don’t even need a sushi rolling mat or plastic sheet wrap.

MAKI SUSHI

Ingredients: 2 sheets dried seaweed (available at most grocery stores in the Asian section or at Asian specialty stores), 1 preparation sushi rice (see above), cooked protein/smoked fish/sushi grade raw fish/vegetable of choice cut into long thin cubes, optional additional vegetables cut into thin/julienne size strips (cucumber, mango, carrots, jicama, etc.)

Method: Lay dried seaweed flat on a clean cutting board.  Cover all of it with a thin layer of sushi rice, leaving about 1″ (3 cm) gap at one of the ends (see photo at the top).  On the opposite side of the seaweed, 2″ (6 cm) in from the edge lay out your toppings.  Ready to roll?  Gently brush a tiny bit of water on the edge of the sushi not covered with rice (this serves as glue).  Like rolling up a sleeping bag, start with the rice-covered side and cover the filling.  Keep going, and as you completely roll your filling into the rice and seaweed, pull so that it’s snug and compact.  Roll until it touches the other end, where you will press slightly firmly to seal the dry sushi to the wet sushi, where the added water will act like glue.  To serve, using a sharp chef’s knife, cut into desired piece sizes and serve with tamari, pickled ginger, and wasabi if you’ve got it.

If you wanna get fun, try difference variations, like using last night’s fried chicken with a touch of tamari to give it some Asian flavor.  Making your own sushi may take a few practice rounds to see the exact amount of rice vs. filling, but you can always start over and reuse your rice and protein.  Dried seaweed is cheap as Monday, so don’t feel bad if you waste a few sheets in your trials.   

 

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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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Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

grilled mushroomsHello.  For us to be on the same wavelength, please pull this up:

la musique <–Bienvenue to my night. 

After dropping off my chef’s knives at Courty & Fils in Paris’s Opera district, I soaked in the humid spotty sky, breathing in the crisp whispers, my feet crunching tiny leaves as I admired ingredientsshopkeeper’s newly decorated storefronts.  Paris really wears Fall well.

The neighborhood is home to a dense population of Japanese, Korean, and otherwise oriental restaurants, in addition to a store called “K Mart“, which (unlike the large chain store I grew up with) is one of Paris’s most centrally located Japanese (and Korean) supply stores.  Yess.

My excitement found me with an indoors BBQ tonight, and the marinade is proportionately delicious in flavor.  Earthy yet acidic, mildly sweet with subtle spice.

diner ce soir japonaisEryrgii mushrooms are those big guys you will see in a restaurant sliced vertically and grilled or sautéed.   They’re deliciously meaty, slightly fibrous in texture, and just the right taste of mushroom to balance out their decent water content.  For those with Celiac Disease and strong gluten intolerences, ordering these might have never been an option for you, as marinades frequently involve soy sauce, which almost always contains wheat.  What’s more, for Bubble Children with deadly nut allergies, walking into any sort of Asian establishment can turn from a family dinner night out to a quick trip the hospital with cross contamination.  (Make sure you go somewhere you can trust if your allergies are really bad!)

Forget the restaurant.  Brew some tea, turn on some Japanese tunes, and get cozy with some mushrooms.

Urban Grilled Eryngii Mushrooms

Marinade:

1/4 tsp. wasabi paste

1 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)

2 tsp. sesame oil (can use neutral oil for seed allergies)

1/4 tsp. paprika for mild, or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper+to taste for spicy

1/8 tsp. orange zest (optional but delicious)

1 tsp. red wine, apple cider, or rice vinegar

Main:

3 large eryngii mushrooms (portabello or shitake would work, as well)

+a fish grilling device or some grill to keep them falling into the flames

+a braising or painting brush, clean and dry

Method:

painting mushrooms1. Mix together wasabi and tamari until combined.  Whisk in all other ingredients with a fork or small whisk until homogenous.  Set aside.  Slice mushrooms vertically into about 4 strips of about just under a cm thick. Paint each mushroom generously with marinade, flip over onto grilling device, then paint the other sides.  The more generous you are with the marinade, the tastier these lovelies will be.

grilling mushrooms2.  Either fire up a BBQ like a normal person, or light up your stovetop for flames.*  Place the rack so that the mushrooms are getting licked by the flames gently, and cook them on one side (moving around if need be to avoid cooking one mushroom more than the other) for about 4 minutes, or until starting to color, flip, and repeat with the other side.  Then, keep crisping them in this manner with the flames until they have just got nice grill marks and some decent coloration of dark brown around the outsides.

3.  Remove from heat, serve with some potato starch vermicelli and thinly sliced sushi-grade salmon brushed with the same marinade for a delightful light feast.

*Should you have neither, you can cook them in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on their coloration to know whether to cook longer or shorter).  You simply won’t get the pretty marks and the same crisped effect on the outside.

 

 

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