Monday, October 3, 2011

Karina Wraps up her night off!

Wow, how difficult it can be to find the time to cook a creative and thoughtful meal when you're busy! (Let alone document it and post it on your very neglected food that attempts to convince people how easy it is!).

I had a precious night off last week and was thrilled when my dear and equally busy friend, Molly, was able to come over for some dinner and much-needed catching up.

I have recently moved to the mission (but yes, we are still keeping our clever name referring to my living in the haight..) and am excited to have one of my favorite local, organic co-ops, Rainbow Grocery, in easy access to my new location.

Rainbow is extremely dangerous for me, because I just can't stop filling my basket with all of its amazing, colorful organic produce and I always spend too much. It was a really hot night in San Francisco (they do exist from time to time) so I decided to keep it fresh and light and go all out!

For my prep, I chopped up garlic, ginger, carrots, fresh mint, a spicy green pepper, and these amazing little things I had never heard of:

Kiwi Berries!! Its exactly what you would imagine- tasting like a mini kiwi...berry... tart and yummy and so freakin' cute!

I made a salad of the chopped carrots, cucumbers, yellow bell pepper, kale, ginger, a touch of garlic, mint, a tiny portion of the spicy pepper, and several sliced kiwi berries. I squeezed a fresh lemon and lime in it, a few drizzles of olive oil, added sea salt, cinnamon, cayenne, and some agave. I played with all of these things until it had the perfect acidic, sweet, spicy balance. I stuck it in the fridge so that the kale would have a chance to marinate and soften up in the juices.

I next took two super ripe, organic peaches and an avocado, and threw them in the food processor with fresh mint, garlic, ginger, lime, the rest of the spicy pepper, salt, agave and a spoon full of almond butter. I toyed with this sauce for a long time, adding more sweet, then savory (curry, cayenne) and then more citrus until I was getting full from tasting so much of it!

It turned out so smooth, refreshing and tasty, but left you with raging garlic breath!!

One of my favorite things to do is to use purple cabbage leafs en lieu of a tortilla or bread. I cut slivers in the cabbage at the bottom of each leaf, and carefully pealed them off intact and washed them...

In a pan I sauteed a half on onion, these lovely little Asian mushrooms (I forgot to right down the name!) and...

These meatless shitake mushroom seitan strips I found at Rainbow. I try not to endulge too often, but I have such a weakness for fake meats! When they are good that is- and these are awesome and really affordable if you happen to find them!

Once I spiced to my liking- salt, pepper, cayenne, cumin, paprika...I added a bunch of fresh spinach and let it slightly wilt into the saute.

Once I had lastly prepared some thin brown rice noodles, I set up the our very exciting 'build your own cabbage wrap station' in between our empty plates!

The lovely Miss Molly chooses her own wrap adventure with a glass of Rose!

So delicious and fresh I could eat it for days. Wait... I absolutely did!