Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sunshine Slaw

This tasty salad features kumquats and sun-colored bell peppers, sliced thin and tossed with green onions, grape tomatoes, and a rice dijon vinaigrette. Fatty avocado and earthy greens offset the slaw's sweet acidity.

My brother lent me the idea for this salad, and we refined it together. He's a 27-year-old bachelor who writes comedy and hates kitchens, so that means a lot.

The main ingredient is the kumquat, a thumb-sized citrus fruit. Unlike most citrus, the skin is sweet, and conceals a pucker-worthy interior. My mother has a small tree in her backyard, from which the little gems fall all Winter. If you're not fortunate enough to have a homegrown source, they can be purchased at most groceries.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Edamame Pesto

When Spring arrives, I tend to eat more raw foods, more green things. Everything outside has burst into color, and my body begins to crave it too.
Pale green Edamame Pesto is a great way to celebrate this verdant season. Rich in vitamins and minerals, it's bright flavor is perfect on crudites, as a sandwich spread, tossed with pasta, or spooned into bowls of hot soup. And it's completely raw, so every garlicky bite is rich with enzymes.
Edamame Pesto
about 1 1/2 cups

2 cups shelled edamame, thawed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1-3 tablespoons water

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except water, and process well. The pesto should be dense and pasty, but not quite smooth. Drizzle in water by the tablespoon, and continue blending until pesto reaches the desired consistency (this will vary depending on how you plan to use it).
The pesto can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to a month.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Carrot Patch Cake

I have a thing for carrots; they hold a lot of romance for me. And this dessert is no exception: dense pecan-studded cake layered with lemon cashew buttercream.

The cake is entirely raw, made from fresh carrots, almonds, coconut, sultanas, and pecans. The frosting is sweetened with dates, which lend it a soft ivory color.

Agave-soaked carrots are rolled into rosettes which adorn the cake, while the leaves get a bit of Springy color from powdered spirulina algae.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Blood Orange Sorbet

There are scads of reasons to go ahead and get an ice cream maker. Among them, a scarlet-hued sorbet made simply from blood orange juice, agave nectar, water, and a toss of vodka.

And with hot weather nearing fast, the promise of icy goodness is an easy one: just shell out the $35 for a cheap machine or do a bit of searching at your local thrift store. You'll be rewarded with an endless array of perfect-for-Summer desserts.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Portabella Sandwich

A portabella mushroom, cooked quickly on a hot skillet and sandwiched between slices of crusty bread to soak up its inky juices, is one of my greatest pleasures. And simple; it's what I eat at 10:00 p.m. when ravenous from a long day and too exhausted to make anything else. Oven fries are the perfect accompaniment.

Portabella Sandwich

For each sandwich:
2 slices bread (I used ciabatta, but sprouted grain, sourdough, or day-old foccacia are all good choices)
1 portabella mushroom
1/2 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
1 tablespoon veganaise
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2-3 slices tomato
several slices red onion
4-6 fresh basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat. Sprinkle a portabella mushroom cap with salt and pepper, and rub with a bit of olive oil, if desired. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until wilted and softened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place bread on the skillet, cut side down, and toast until golden. Remove from heat, and spread with veganaise and dijon mustard. Layer with the portabella, tomato, red onion, and fresh basil leaves. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper. Eat.