I have a lovely and impressive friend, Jesse Silver, who recently teamed up with other lovely and impressive women to start the online magazine, Betty Does.
Betty Does is a new San Francisco collective publication celebrating women and their work.
I had been following their posts and reading their interviews since they began a few months ago, so to say I was thrilled and flattered beyond belief when Jesse asked me to be her first interviewee is an understatement.
She asked to interview me about my cake making, food blogging, and acting, and we decided it would be fun to make a cake in the process. Since the lovely and impressive Betty photographer, Margo Moritz, was also coming over to document the interview, I offered to make them both dinner as well...
Like so many people out there, Jesse has a gluten intolerance so I decided to recycle an old idea I had of using shreddings of zucchini for a pasta rather than wheat noodles.
I made a vegan pesto by blending raw cashews I had soaked overnight with a few handfuls of organic basil, several cloves of garlic, a squeezed lemon, olive oil, sea salt, cayenne and pepper in the food processor.
I wanted to make some type of protein in the form of a "meatball" for the pasta, so I quickly improvised with the left over quinoa dish I had made the night before. I started by chopping some carrots, raw almonds, and sunflower seeds in the food processor.
I added a cup or two of the leftover quinoa dish I had made that consisted of quinoa, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, spinach, apples, vegan sausage and the lot of my usual spicing (salt, pepper, cumin, curry, cayenne, cinnamon, braggs and lemon.) I also threw in a few spoon fulls of organic re-fried beans I had open to help bind the mixture when it came to forming balls.
I heated up sunflower oil (good for high heat) and lightly fried them on all sides until they were crunchy on the outside.
I then set them on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.
I boiled water in a pan and cooked my "zuc noods" for a few minutes until soft and then drained them.
In another pan, I sauteed an onion, some garlic, and several shitake mushrooms in olive oil and then salt and peppered them.
I threw the mushrooms and onions in with the pesto and "noodles" and mixed well.
I made a fresh salad of lettuce, spinach, orange segments, avocado, snap peas and almond slivers and tossed with a tahini-tomato dressing.
The Betties seemed quite pleased! Jesse brought a lovely Riesling to accompany the meal and it all made for a perfect appetizer to the Mango-Ginger-Sage cake that was made! (Coming soon in the Betty Does article!)