Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Karina and Alma Unleash a Quiche!

My friend Alma and I hadn't had the occasion to cook together for far too long, so we decided to make a decadent brunch. She had the idea to go wild with a quiche, using both sweet and savory ingredients such as apples, eggplant, mint and shallots. I gladly jumped on board and suggested that we take our "breakfast pie" one pie-notch further by making it with a graham cracker crust.

I chopped up a pack of whole-wheat organic graham crackers with some melted Earth Balance in the food processor. I added salt, curry and cinnamon to twist in some flavor.

I coated my baking dish with olive oil and packed in an even, tight layer of graham mix and put it in the oven at 400* for 10 minutes.

We prepared the apples, shallots and mint by chopping them and setting them aside.

Alma began chopping cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, green onions and more mint for an Israeli- style salad to serve on the side.

In a small bowl I mixed 1/2 cup of flour with a teaspoon of salt and teaspoon of baking powder. I added it to the 7 eggs I had cracked in a larger bowl.

I mixed this well with a fork until as smooth and blended as possible.

Alma had been busy sauteing our onion, sweet potato (that we had already boiled to soften), eggplant, zucchini, apple, basil, and mint in light olive oil. She spiced with salt, paprika, cayenne, cumin and lemon.

We spread out our cooked veggie lot evenly over the graham crust and then topped it with the egg batter.

I sprinkled a nice coat of cayenne over the top to give it some nice color.

Alma finished off the salad by adding fresh avocados, olive oil, salt and lemon.

We put the quiche in the already hot oven, turned it down to 350* and cooked it for about 35-40 minutes until it was set up completely and brown around the edges.

We used our leftover sweet potato-veg mix as a side and served up this mouth-watering quiche with a generous serving of salad.

We were both blown away with how well the graham cracker crust worked and couldn't stop eating this quiche all day long!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ariel's making ... carrot and zucchini cake

for my auntie yam's bday i decided to make her a carrot and zucchini cake. oh so healthy, right?

for this cake, you'll need:

1 c. grated organic carrots
1 grated organic zucchini
1/2 c. organic molasses
1 organic free-range egg
1 stick organic butter, melted
2 T. organic cinnamon
1/4 c. each of organic raisins, organic sunflower seeds and organic shredded coconut
1/2 t. each of baking powder and baking soda
1/2 c. organic fair-trade sugar
1 1/4 c. organic whole wheat flour

mix everything together except the flour. then add the flour to the wet mixture. (it's really that simple!)

pour the thick cake batter into a buttered cast iron pan and bake 350* for about 25 minutes or until it passes the clean toothpick test.

i topped it with some organic fair-trade powdered sugar and two tiny-mini organic carrots when it was all cool, and served it with some straus vanilla ice cream.

there was probably enough cake for about ten people ... but the five of us had no trouble devouring almost the whole thing in one night!

happy baking!



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Karina's Greens and Garden Rolls...

So in my last post, I told of my recent visit to Santa Cruz where I visited my sister Alia's garden. Here's the booty I snuck away with:

And here is what I did with it:

Already I had in my produce drawer an onion, thyme, basil and mushrooms- so I sauteed them up together with some olive oil, braggs, salt and pepper.

I soaked some sunflower seeds and cashews in water for a half hour and then drained them and threw them in the food processor with the mushroom/onion saute.

I added a half of an avocado that I had, a spoonful of tahini, some braggs, lemon juice, agave, curry, cayenne, cinnamon, salt, pepper and cumin. It reached a wonderful texture and taste- thick and almost meaty. Dynamic, deep flavors with both spice and sweetness. YUM! I set this aside.

I cut up the rest of my onion and all my garden produce (zucchini, yellow baby squash, eggplant and Pablano peppers) into long strips like I would use with sushi. I sauteed these in olive oil and lightly spiced.

Simultaneously , I had been steaming the garden kale until cooked yet not completely soft and wilted, and drained it to cool down. I placed it in a large bowl and added fresh lime juice, agave and braggs.

I had scored bag of my sister's cherry plums from her tree, so I cut these up to add to the kale, deciding to make cold salad.

I cut up the fresh squash blossoms we had picked off her squash plants and added them raw.

I added raw sunflower and sesame seeds.

Lastly, I finished with carrots I had and the cucumber from her garden. I set my salad aside once it was tossed in some light olive oil and more lime.

Back to the mushroom/nut "pate"...

I found some nori sheets in my cabinet and quickly decided these where the perfect vessel for my improvised pate.

I spread a thick layer of pate over 3/4 of the nori sheet like I would with rice for sushi.

I lined up stripes of my sauteed veggies in the middle of my spread...

And rolled and sliced the same as sushi.

My roommate Annie and I ate and ate until we could eat no more...

And even though we were beyond full, it felt so light and clean it kept me energized and stoked all day long! I seriously could eat this 5 times a week and not get bored or sick of it!

ariel's making ... cantaloupe sangria

i love sangria. i lived in spain for six months and i totally fell in love with this sweet, fruity wine drink. you can really use any fruit in it, but i had a fresh cantaloupe, so i decided to us it!

for my sangria i used:

12 organic cantaloupe melon balls
1 bottle of organic wine
2 T. organic fair-trade sugar
juice of 2 organic meyer lemons

mix it all together and add the wine!

serve with ice and enjoy!

as they say in cadiz, spain ... que guay!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Karina learns to "milk" a Cucumber!

I went down to Santa Cruz this week and visited my sister's garden one last time before she made the big move to a new place. This meant one last raiding of her plentiful, lovely organic garden.

My next post will be feature the killer meal I made with all of her lovely garden gifts, but first I wanted to share this trick Alia taught me to get any bitterness out of fresh cucumbers. To leave them as delicious as possible- you simply MILK them!

First you slice off the top of the cucumber and set it aside. With as much force as you can muster, begin digging your thumbs along the skin of the cucumber, always pushing and twisting towards the open top. Do this for a few minutes.

Next, take the set-aside top, and begin swirling it in small circles against the the open cucumber surface. Do this for several minutes.

Foam will start to form around the edges. This is the bitterness being pulled out!

The longer you do it, the more foam will be drawn out.

Wash off the foam and you're ready dig in to your fresh, non-bitter cucumber!

Thanks, Sis!