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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Irish Eyes are Smiling Dressing

Wow. Sorrel. Sweet lemony goodness, where have you been all my life? I believe I tried this two years ago with my first CSA at Lalibela Farms, but it wasn't until my recent CSA pick-up from Little Ridge Farms where I realized that it just may be my new favorite food. It has a citrus taste, much like a lemon, and can be used in a number of ways - sauteed in quiche, pureed in a soup, salad dressings, in salads, or as pesto. For tonight's dinner I was feeling the salad - I think it must be the warmer weather really kicking my desire for raw foods into high gear. I wanted to use the sorrel, but not just as a green. Then I remembered I was out of the honey mustard vinaigrette I made last week. Thus the birth of this delicious dressing, named after Sorrel Island, Ireland.

Irish Eyes are Smiling Dressing
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
small clump fresh chives
1 T mustard
1 lime, squeezed
3 large sprigs fresh thyme

Puree everything except the olive oil together in a food processor on high. Slowly pour in the olive oil until well mixed.

I then took fresh greens, cucumber slices, carrots, sunflower seeds, and sliced tomatoes, and placed them on a spinach wrap, then drizzled over some of the dressing. Divine! I meant to take a picture, but i devoured it before I remembered to photograph it. Guess you'll have to make this green goodness for yourself.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Raw Sushi

Lately I have been addicted to a local sushi bar in Brunswick, Little Tokyo, and it's not unusual for my fiance and I to drop $50 on lunch there. Well, as you can imagine, that's a bit pricey - of course the sushi is DEFINITELY worth it - but I was looking for a cheap alternative. I have never made sushi at home, and I don't have any of the fancy equipment, but I got it in my head that I needed sushi last night. But I wanted it to be a bit healthier than regular sushi, and with sticking to my 90% RAW diet, I came up with this recipe. Instead of sushi rice I used celeriac - quite possibly my new favorite vegetable - and the results were scrumptious.

Raw Sushi
3 nori sheets
1 celeriac, peeled, washed and cubed
1/2 avocado (eat the other half for desert with a little salt sprinkled in it), cut into think slices
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced into sticks
6 T rice vinegar
1 T brown sugar
soy sauce

1. Mince celeriac in food processor until rice consistency.

2. In a saucepan add vinegar and sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Mix into celeriac

3. Lay out a nori sheet and pat down celeriac on top of it, spreading all the way out to the side edges, but leaving about an inch on the top and bottom edges clear.

4. Place some carrot sticks and avocado slices along the edge closest to you, on top of celeriac, then roll tightly into a tube. To make nori stick to itself, dab a little water on the edges.

5. Using a sharp serrated knife, with a wet blade, slice sushi roll into 2 inch pieces and place on a plate.

6. Repeat 2 more times and serve rolls with soy dipping sauce and wasabi.

YUM! Enjoy this delicious alternative to sushi. And don't be afraid of the process, it's so easy and quick. Also, be creative, fill it with whatever veggies you have on hand. Cucumbers would have been amazing, too....or even smoked salmon, cream cheese....the possibilities are endless! If you make this, please comment on what you filled your sushi with.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I-Must-Be-Irish Soup

In my "sneak peak" share from my Little Ridge Farms CSA I got a whole mess of leeks. These are one of my favorite veggies, and my kids, because of their mild onion flavor. My boys LOVE potato anything soup (it must be the Irish in them), so I decided to whip up this seasons first batch of Potato Leek soup. I had some cabbage from my last winter CSA still sitting in the fridge so I added that case the soup wasn't Irish enough!

2 quarts stock (or water if you don't have stock on hand....or a mix of both)
4 large potatoes, washed and cubed
3 large leeks, white and pale green parts sliced thinly (set aside dark green tops)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
4 T butter, unsalted
salt & pepper
2 T soy sauce
Olive Oil

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Toss leeks with olive oil and place in roasting pan. Roast in oven, stirring one or twice until starting to brown.

3. Meanwhile, bring pot of stock/water to boil and add potatoes. Cook until soft.

4. Remove potatoes from heat and puree in food processor (most like this will have to be done in batches and very carefully). Return pureed potatoes and stock into pot over medium heat, adding 2 T butter.

5. Add leeks, garlic and cabbage. Stir thoroughly and cook for 30 minutes, until cabbage is soft.

6. Meanwhile, slice green tops of leeks thinly. Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan and fry leeks until starting to brown. Remove from heat and place in a bowl, then toss with salt.

7. When soup is done, add 2 T butter, a bit of pepper, soy sauce and salt if necessary. Stir thoroughly until butter is melted.

8. Serve in bowls with a garnish of fried leeks.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sweet and Salty

Even though we've been eating mostly raw, I still wanted to toss in a beef meal to help my son's iron levels. This week I bought a sirloin tip from Caldwell Farms and then loooked through the cupboard for anything to add to it. I must admit, after being a vegetarian for 4 years, I have a really hard time cooking meat. I find I can't get the spices right, and I don't know if I should leave it bloody or not. So far, every meal has been alright, but if I could just get the cooking of the beef right, it would be great. Tonight falls into the mediocre category. The meal (aside from the beef) was perfect. The sauce on the beef was divine, but the beef itself was just alright. Then again, maybe I just don't like beef....Anyway, try this one out. And for those that cook meat often, please comment on tips for me to enjoy the darn stuff!

Sweet Candy Squash
1 small sweet dumpling squash
2 T local honey
1/3 C water
2 t Cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in 1/2 from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds. Slice the squash into wedges, working from center, outwards, all the way around. Peel and place in a baking dish. Mix honey, water and cinnamon and pour over squash. Add more water if necessary to fill entire bottom of baking dish with a smidgen of sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn't burn. If it's still a bit tough when you pull it out, bump up the oven temp to 425 and bake for another 5 minutes.

Sauteed Veggies
1/2 head of cabbage, cored and sliced
2 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced into sticks or half moons
4-6T unsalted butter
salt and pepper

While squash is cooking, melt butter in large skillet. Add carrots and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until they start to brown. Add cabbage and stir thoroughly. Sprinkle in salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes.

Beef Tip in Mushroom Sauce
1 lb sirloin tip
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1 T oil
1/2 C mixed dried mushrooms (I used Oyster Creek's Maine Wild Mushroom Mix), reconstituted for 30 minutes in 1 C hot water (keep water after removing mushrooms)
3 T unsalted butter
2 T onions, minced
4 Cloves garlic, minced
salt & pepper
1 T flour

In a cast iron skillet, while cabbage & squash is cooking, heat oil over medium heat. Heavily pepper sirloin tip on both sides and add to skillet when oil is hot. Place sliced onions over the top and cook 7-8 minutes. Flip over meat so onions are under it and cook 5 minutes. Pour 2/3 of the mushroom water over steak and cover, turning to low. Meanwhile in a saucepan melt butter and add minced onions and garlic. Chop mushrooms and toss into saucepan, stirring thoroughly. Add salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes to release flavors. Add remaining mushroom water and stir. Bring to boil and add flour then boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Remove beef from heat, keep covered until ready to serve.

To plate: Place squash in center of plate and add a cut of beef to the top, making sure to get some of the onions from the skillet. Top with a large dollop of mushroom sauce. On the side place a serving of cabbage and carrots. Enjoy the wonderful mix of sweet squash and salty beef and veggies. This was a very filling meal even though we split the tip between 4 people.