Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - The Candle Cafe Cookbook

I feel like I cheated on this one. There are so many intriguing recipes in this book. It was a busy week, so I opted for an easy and once again very healthy recipe. I love miso soup. This is a good version and super quick to make. Once I get through my first round of my books, I am going to return to this one for sure. Serve this with a seaweed salad and you have a super food bonanza!

Magical Miso Soup (Page 43). by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza with Barbara Scott-Goodman

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - Appetite for Reduction

I love this book. Isa is one of my personal favorite recipe creators. Her dishes are always creative, full of spice and so delicious. This book gives you all that along with reduced fat and calories. I pull this one out often. This fine day, as I like to do, I wanted to make something I hadn't made before. I had a friend who was recovering from a surgical procedure. I wanted to make something for her and her family that was healthy but super flavorful that would reheat well. I checked out a couple of recipes that fit the bill, cooked 'em up and packaged them for the trip. Of course, I had to try some myself. I loved the creamy "Broccoli pots" on their own. They were a great compliment to the tangy, pungent piccata. The recipe for the potatoes called for russets (which I did use) but I think red and yukon golds would work just as well. Another guilt free success!

Chickpea Piccata (Page 115). Caulipots - Broccoli Pots version (Page 54)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - Ani's 15-Day Fat Blast

I have posted a couple of times about Ani's 15-Day Fat Blast. I did the program last year and lost 8 pounds in two weeks. My energy level was great and I felt fantastic. I have drifted back to some not so great eating habits. When I want to give my body a treat and some love, I pull out her book and make some of her clean and simple recipes. This one is one of my go-to's for breakfast. It really is so simple, anyone can make it. It's a good reminder to give your body some raw love often.

Simple Strawberry Shake (Page 125-126). 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

This is a perfect summer salad. It has bright lemon flavor and flavorful fresh basil pesto. I love the fun shape of Israeli cous cous. It is a great medium for salads because those little balls get coated in the delicious dressing so every bit pops with flavor. The cous cous cooks up very quickly, so you can have this all ready to chill in about 15 minutes. While you can serve it right away, I totally recommend letting it refrigerate overnight to heighten the flavors. It's also great in a wrap for a portable meal.

Arugula-Pesto Israeli Cous Cous Salad

6 Servings

2 cups water
pinch salt
1 1/4 cup Israeli cous cous
1 medium zucchini, brunoise (very small dice)
3 tablespoons mined yellow onion
1/3 cup pesto (your favorite recipe)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 large tomato, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 - 15 oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups baby arugula

Bring water and salt to a boil in 2 qt saucepan. Add cous cous. Cook for about 8 minutes until cous cous is al dente. Place diced zucchini in large mesh strainer. Drain cous cous over zucchini so it gets gently blanched. Stir to combine in strainer. Set over pot to drain and cool. Do not rinse the cous cous! This step is important. If cous cous does not drain well enough, the salad will be too liquidy.

While the cous cous is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together pesto, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Place cous cous mixture in large mixing bowl. Stir in dressing mixture until well combined. Gently fold in tomato, beans and arugula. Serve over green lettuce leaf.

* For best flavor, refrigerate for at least 2 hours preferably overnight.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - American Vegan Kitchen

My plan was to go in alphanumeric order, but apparently I can't remember my alphabet. Hee hee. At least I'm still on the correct letter.

I am having fun digging through my cookbooks, however, I may have rekindled my cookbook obsession. I have been really good about not buying new ones…until today. I had to order two raw books for an upcoming class. I HAD to place an order for $35.00 to get free shipping. What's one more added to the collection. I'm looking forward to getting my new copy of Salad Samuri. It's a must have for the summer. Can't wait.

But today is all about an old favorite - American Vegan Kitchen. I was a lucky tester for the book and have written a couple of reviews of it here on the blog already. I've made a lot of recipes from the book; many more than once. My goal for this post was to try something new and fairly healthy all at once. The Portobello Popeye Club Sandwiches (page. 118) sounded like a winner. 

The marinade was super easy to make. The veggies only had to marinate for 15 minutes, plenty of time to whip up the pesto. I found some baby ciabatta bread at Whole Foods and made minis. Today it was actually below 100 degrees, so I didn't have to sweat like a pigaletta at the grill. The herbs in the marinade provided a subtle hint of herby goodness. The veggies are grilled until they are flavorful but still perfectly slightly crunchy giving the onions a sweet flavor. Popeye came into the 21st century as the spinach was replaced with kale. But ladies and gents, the pesto put this bad boy over the top. I highly recommend being strong to the finich when you eat your spina…oh wait. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - The Artful Vegan

This book is definitely not for the novice cook. It is written by the geniuses behind the Millennium restaurant in San Francisco. This beautiful restaurant should be on every vegan (and even not vegan) foodies bucket list. The service, wine list and food are all amazing.

You need to have a lot of time, patience, willingness to make several components and often specialty ingredients or equipment. I wimped out this time and went for the easiest thing I could find in the book. Even this recipe had a couple of components, but didn't require a whole day in the kitchen or any crazy special ingredients or equipment.

I bring you the Chilled Avocado, Tomatillo, and Cucumber Soup with Saffron-Lime Ice. The soup on its own was nothing spectacular. It really came to life with the addition of the Saffron-Lime Ice. I added quite a few toasted, sliced almonds to make it a bit more hearty. I liked it, but didn't love it. I was refreshing on a 108 degree day.

I plan to revisit this book when it cools off and I want to blow Fred's mind with an amazing artistic meal. It will surely bring back some very fond memories of our trip to the Millenium Restaurant in San Francisco.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Cooking from My Cookbooks - 500 Vegan Recipes

Part 2 of my cooking from my cookbooks series features 500 Vegan Recipes by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. There are so many recipes in this book! I narrowed it down by first going to my pantry and picking one ingredient to use. Then I went to the index and found recipes using that ingredient. The ingredient was dried red lentils. The Chickpea Masala recipe on page 149 caught my eye.

I adore lots of spice and flavor. So when I read the ingredient list, I knew it would be a winner. I thought I had some garam masala in the spice cabinet, but I didn't. They included a great recipe for a garam masala spice mix on page 305. I quickly mixed the aromatic spices up in my spice grinder. The thing I love about red lentils is how fast they cook up. This is a pretty quick recipe to whip up. It is really filling and bursting with flavor. It reheats really well. I served it with some kale sautéed in garlic, ginger, lemon juice and tamari. It made enough for 4 good sized servings.