Wednesday, October 20, 2010

ariel's making ... pesto hummus

i adore fresh basil ... and i love hummus ... so why not combine the two?

for this dip you'll need:

4 cups of organic cooked garbanzo beans, plus 1 cup of their liquid
juice of 2 organic lemons
garlic ... as much as you dare! go wild!
handful of fresh organic basil leafs
4 T. organic roasted tahini
2 T. extra virgin organic olive oil
1 t. organic cayenne powder
sea salt and pepper to taste

blend it all together 'til smooth.

so good ... and so easy.

serve with fresh veggies and pita and enjoy!!



Sunday, October 17, 2010

Karina's Mini Market Treats Meet Week Two...

Round Two mini vegan cupcakes for the Ashbury Market...

I started with a big batch of my favorite vegan vanilla cake batter and divided it into 3 bowls. I went to the market to see what seasonal fruits and herbs I could acquire to come up with three different flavors.
I decided on: Raspberry- Ginger, Spiced Pear-Mint, and Spicy Chocolate-Chili.

In the food processor I pureed a carton of fresh washed raspberries, about a tbl of chopped fresh ginger, some agave and lime. I added this sweet and tarty mix to the first bowl.

For the second, I pureed two extremely ripe pears, a handful washed mint, agave, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne and lime and added that to the next bowl...

Lastly I melted about a cup of vegan chocolate chips and added sea salt, cayenne pepper and chili pepper powder to it.

I mixed this together. I continued to add more cayenne and chili powder until I was satisfied with the kick.

Perhaps it was the fresh fruit, but for some reason, the first two didn't rise as much as usual..

On the other hand, the chocolate minis rose a little too much and overflowed into each other. I was upset at first and thought they might be ruined, but they tasted delicious and I remembered there is always hope in saving the aesthetic of your cake (or cupcakes) with some good old reliable frosting. I cut the size of mini cupcakes I was looking for out of the mass, leaving the excess, overcooked tops behind. I packed them tightly with my fingers and placed them in mini cupcake sleeves.

I made three different batches of frosting, all starting with earth balance, powdered sugar, sea salt, cinnamon, agave and vanilla. For the first one, I added raspberries and ginger, the second, mint and pear, and the third, with chocolate, cayenne, and chili powder.

Not a flawless batch shape wise, but the flavors were all still really really good and with the frosting and garnishing, they even managed to look pretty cute...

After everything they were a hit with friends, roomies, and co-workers, and I even sold some at the market!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ariel loves ... leftovers

ok -- so we're all busy and sometimes the idea of cooking a homemade meal every night of the week is daunting. but here's how to make it work (without having to rely on take-out!) ... make big portions and eat amazing leftovers!

chef sam and i made this gin-nor-mas vegetarian enchilada the other day and then we had leftovers the next night ... that actually tasted better after a day!

i mean, don't make tooo big of a dish -- four or five nights of the same thing can just be tooo much ... but a dish that lasts for two or three days is usually perfect!

so, have fun cookin' and thinkin' big!



Friday, October 8, 2010

Karina's Corn Tortilla Taqeria...

I few weeks ago I invited my friend Sophie over to join the roommies and me for dinner. I had some leftover fake gound beef I wanted to use up, so I decided to have a taco night!

I noticed I was out of corn tortillas, and as I was about to head out the door to buy some, the idea to make them from scratch popped into my head. I had never taken this challenge on before, I wondered if it might be easier than I imagined...

I happened to have some left over Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina (golden corn four). I looked on the back to see what its recipe called for, and was in disbelief at its simplicity:

Mix salt into the masa harina corn flour. Slowly pour the water into the dough to get a good consistency. The dough should be firm and springy when touched, not dry or sticky. Let rest for about an hour, covered.

Preheat a griddle or flat surface. Divide the dough into 2 inch balls. Press dough between two pieces of waxed paper, or flatten according to a tortilla press directions. Place flatten dough on a hot griddle or flat surface and cook until the top of the tortilla starts to look cooked, about 1 minute. Flip to the other side and heat for a few seconds. Makes 12 – 6 inch tortillas.

I, of course, took the liberty of adding some cayenne pepper and cinnamon...

At first I tried it with just my hands and no wax paper but it was really difficult to get them to stretch wide enough and not fall apart. Then i decided to try rolling them out with a jar. This worked better but to get them not to stick to the jar, I brought out the wax paper and then it worked perfectly.

Sophie jumped right in to help so I could get back to the other elements of the meal!

I had begun cooking some orzo pasta on the stove and decided to saute onion, a bunch of organic spinach, chopped peaches, cherry tomatoes and lastly, pistachios.

Once the orzo was cooked and soft, I drained it and added it to the spinach/peach saute pan. I spiced with some sea salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, thyme, cumin, and a dash of cinnamon. Lastly, I added some chunks of leftover vegan (almond) pepper jack cheese and let it melt in!

I had also sauteed some onion, garlic, and chopped up carrots in another pan before adding the fake ground beef to it. I spiced this with sea salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne...

I took my other peach and some ripe avocados and made a peach-guacamole by adding lemon, sea salt, cayenne and a splash of olive oil.

I took my non-stick saute pan and heated it up for several minutes until it got really hot. Without oil or anything, you simply place a tortilla in it and move it around with your fingers in a small circular movement until it starts to turn golden brown and even dark brown in spots. Then you just flip it and do it on the other side. SO EASY!

I still had some roasted corn hummus I had made earlier in the week so I set that out as another taco topping...

We assembled and devoured. By far the best (and most personally satisfying) tortilla I've ever had. That equals one heck of a taco.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

ariel's making ... a colorful salad

did you know that the healthiest meals are colorful ones? it means you're getting a wide variety of nutrients ... and the more beautiful they are, the more fun they are to eat!

this was a salad i made the other day ... and it was just so colorful that i thought i'd share a few fotos of it ... pretty colorful, right?

so when you're cooking, try to mix up the colors ... your eyes (and taste buds!) will thank you!

happy color mixing!