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appetizers, recipes

Sauerkraut “Kimchi”

Allysia’s Ukranian background often leads us to some incredibly delicious foods, but a short while ago she decided to embark on a little food adventure.  As any Ukranian knows, fermented cabbage is an essential component of life itself.  While we would certainly not argue with them, the world of fermented cabbage seems to be open to interpretation and experimentation.  We decided to make our first attempt at a fairly simple, modified sauerkraut based on one of my new-found-favourite condiments, Korean kimchi.

Kimchi-Style Sauerkraut

Makes approximately two cups of sauerkraut

Ingredients:

1 small head green cabbage, shredded

1 teaspoon salt*
1 inch ginger root, peeled and julienned
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1-2 tablespoons red pepper powder**
1 large outer leaf of cabbage

*I am not normally one to advocate the use of fancy salts, but this is a time when high-quality sea salt is an absolute necessity.  Cheaper salts are loaded with iodine that is harmless to humans (and technically an essential mineral), but strong enough to kill off the bacteria needed to ferment the cabbage.
**the red pepper powder should be some sort of pure pepper powder, not a blend, and certainly not American-style chili powder.  We used an Asian red pepper powder.  Be sure to taste the powder before use, as some of them can be extremely hot (like ours!).  


Directions:
1.  Once the cabbage is shredded, toss it into a bowl with the salt.  Massage the cabbage vigorously for ten minutes until it has released a lot of water.  The cabbage should now be soft and partially broken down.
2.  Add the ginger, garlic, and red pepper powder to the cabbage and mix until uniform.
3.  Sterilize a 2 cup mason jar by boiling it, with the lid, in a pot of water.  When the jar is ready, remove it from the pot with tongs and press the cabbage mixture in it.  Be sure to include the liquid from the cabbage!  Fill the mason jar and press the kraut mixture very firmly, trying to keep everything submerged under the liquid.  If you’ve made a mess on the rim of the jar, be sure to wipe it down.  Use the reserved cabbage leaf as a sort of packing material to hold down the kraut.  Screw the lid on tight.

4. The kraut needs to ferment somewhere between 3 and 7 days.  Every day you should open the jar and make sure that the large cabbage leaf is still holding the kraut underneath the liquid.  Adjust it if needed.  After three days you can start tasting your kraut to see if it is to your liking.  We left ours for five days and it was deliciously fermented.  Discard the large leaf when kraut is ready, and store in the fridge.  

Our kimchi-meets-kraut experiment certainly yielded delicious results.  The cabbage, ginger and garlic taste amazing when fermented together, and the red pepper powder gives it an incredibly strong kick.  Most red pepper powders work well for this – it won’t be as authentic if you don’t use Korean pepper powder, but it will still taste awesome.  As mentioned above, just be sure to avoid chili pepper blends (which have cumin and salt added to them), as well as red pepper flakes – they are not finely ground enough to tint the kimchi that classic orange hue.  

appetizers, recipes

Mushroom Crostini with Roasted Garlic

The second course of last week’s Valentine’s Day Dinner was a mushroom crostini with roasted garlic.  I loved this dish for a multitude of reasons – it was hella easy (that’s my most important criteria), it had lots of mushrooms and ample amounts of roasted garlic, and it’s called “crostini”.  Doesn’t that just make it sound super-fancy?  I could’ve called it “mushrooms on toast”, which is what it is, but it doesn’t sound nearly as awesome.  Ahh, language.

Roasting garlic does indeed take a little extra time, but it’s so low-maintenance and can be done in advance – it’s the second easiest way to fancy up a dish, aside from calling it “crostini”.

These ‘shrooms were my “intro to home wine cookery” class, because since I’m at food school eight hours a day, all food ends up being my lesson, whether I’m at school or not.  The lesson was this: Marsala wine is badass because it makes mushrooms taste great, and can be stored in the fridge for a long time, unlike other wines, which need to be consumed within a day or two of opening.  Don’t get me wrong, I love drinking a glass of wine while cooking, but not three quarters of a bottle.  That’s why wine cookery is best saved for romantic dates or food parties – not so great when you’re flying solo in the kitchen.

Mushroom Crostini with Roasted Garlic
Makes 4 crostini

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil or margarine
1 clove garlic, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, sliced, preferably an exciting variety (shiitake, button, oyster, cremini, etc)
Splash of soy sauce
Splash of red wine vinegar
1/4 cup marsala wine
1/4 cup vegetable broth
4 fresh thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper, to taste

4 small slices of toasted bread (crusty bread, or use a circular cookie cutter on regular bread)
1 head of roasted garlic*

*To roast garlic, cut off the top of the head (to expose the tops of all the cloves), drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil and bake at 400 F for about 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft and can easily be squeezed out of the garlic head.

Directions:

In a medium saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sliced mushrooms and cook until they soften and start releasing moisture, 5-7 minutes.  Add a splash of soy sauce and red wine vinegar to add flavor and moisture, and to prevent the ‘shrooms from sticking.  Deglaze the pan with the marsala wine and vinegar, adding the thyme sprigs, and cook until most of the liquid has reduced, about 7 more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove the thyme sprigs before serving.

Spread a thin layer of roasted garlic on your crostini, and then top with a big spoonful of the mushroom mixture, garnishing with more fresh thyme if you desire.  You could use a wide variety of bread vehicles, but try to keep the bread pieces small-ish, for the sake of eating ease.  Or just go all out and eat a giant serving on a big piece of bread, who am I to stop you – it would definitely be delicious.

Mike: Above is my version of the crostini.  Pretty much the same recipe, just a different variety of mushrooms.  It wasn’t that long ago that we first started experimenting with adding a lot of liquid to sauteed veggies before letting them cook down.  With something like this, the amount of liquid definitely doesn’t have to be exact.  Add more broth or more wine as you see fit, it just means more flavor in the end!  The only thing to watch out for is the added salt that comes with more broth, but if you happen to use homemade broth you could keep the sodium low and boil down an entire cup of flavor into each serving of mushrooms.  This is definitely a good recipe to play around with and modify.  Use it as a base and add your own flare to it, or do it just like we did for a delicious appetizer!

Stayed tuned over the next few days to see the rest of the recipes from our Valentine’s Day Dinner extravaganza!

appetizers, decadent treat food, recipes

Vegan Surprise Dip

Hello from the Great White North!  Even though Allysia is away down in Austin, we figure I can still add a little bit of Canadian food wonder to the blog.  Even though a significant portion of the cooking talent has left the house I think I can still hold my own in the kitchen.  Today’s post comes as a little bit of a blast-from-the-past.

One of the Christmas traditions I honor every year involves my dad’s side of the family (all eighty of us!) getting together on boxing day for a gift exchange, a potluck feast, and a lot of booze.  This was Allysia’s first year experiencing this debacle and my first year as a vegetarian, so when we were tasked with bringing an appetizer I wanted to make something to show off how vegan food doesn’t have to be super different or weird.  Enter: Vegan Shrimp Surprise Dip!

The non-vegan version of this dip is something that my mom has been making for special occasions since I was a kid.  It is a delicious combination of tangy cocktail sauce, fresh veggies, cream cheese with shrimp sandwiched in the middle of it all.  If we were going to make this familiar dish for my practically-carnivorous family, we would need a reasonably facsimile for shrimp.  Luckily, I remembered spotting these in one of the local stores.

The story behind these beauties is an interesting one.  The company’s founders have a daughter named Sophie (hence the name Sophie’s Kitchen) who loved seafood, but also happened to be allergic to it.  With this in mind the parents developed a vegan alternative that looks and tastes like seafood without any of the animal products.  Judging by the rate at which my family demolished the dish I’d say they succeeded on all counts.

With that said, let’s get on with the recipe!

Vegan Shrimp Surprise Dip

Ingredients:

1 tub vegan cream cheese (we used Tofutti brand)
1 package vegan shrimp or other seafood
1 jar spicy seafood cocktail sauce (or replace with homemade)
1 1/2 cups Daiya shredded vegan mozzarella
1/2 large green pepper, diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
Black pepper
Assortment of crackers (for serving)

Directions:

1.  Using a large spoon, scoop the vegan cream cheese into a 9-inch pie plate.  Use the spoon to smooth the cream cheese out so it covers the bottom of the plate evenly.  Sprinkle pepper over the cream cheese.

2. Take the vegan shrimp and dice them.  The shrimp from Sophie’s Kitchen are quite large, so I split them down the center and then cut them into pieces.

3.  Spread the diced shrimp across cream cheese in a layer and then pour on the seafood cocktail sauce.  Homemade cocktail sauce can be made using lemon juice, freshly grated horseradish, and vegan worcestershire sauce (lots of recipes can be found easily online), but I like the stronger “tang” of the store-bought stuff.

4. Cover the cocktail sauce with a layer of Daiya.  Use more or less than stated if needed.

5.  Cover the Daiya with the diced green pepper and tomato pieces.  We garnished ours with a few leftover shrimp, just because.

The funny thing about garnishing the dish with two giant vegan prawns is that all of the omnivorous humans instantly rushed to grab and devour them, not even realizing their non-meaty nature.  And there you have it!  This semi-traditional dip was devoured by vegans and non-vegans alike, though the carnivorous family cat wasn’t too impressed.

See you next time, internet.

appetizers, Brunch, recipes

Homemade Nutella: Redux

Hey all!
This evening I’m dropping in for a few minutes from a busy day at work.  You see, there’s this thing called Nutella, you know the one, chocolate hazelnut spreadable goodness.  Silly Nutella isn’t vegan, but happily for us, it’s ridiculously easy to make at home. 
I made a version of nutella a long time ago (almost two years!) and it was amazing.  So why didn’t I ever make it again?  Probably because I’m cheap.  Hazelnut butter isn’t the world’s most affordable commodity, but for $7 and some inexpensive ingredients like powdered sugar and cocoa, it really is worth the splurge.  

I made a few revisions to the original recipe:

– I only used 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and I still found it sweet enough for my liking.
– Only 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
– I mixed everything by hand instead of using a food processor.  Works just as well, though you might need a little extra oil to keep the texture awesomely spreadable.

Served on toast with a glass of s’milk, this has been my breakfast the last couple of days.  It makes a great snack all on its own, too!  I could shovel this stuff by the spoonful.

When I run out of this (which won’t be long), I’m going to attempt a raw-ish version using a natural sweetener and raw cacao.  Excited for that one! 

And now I’m gonna step back out and do some more of that thing called my job.  It was nice to take a break!
Hope the week’s been going well for you guys!

appetizers, recipes, salad

How To Roll Summer Rolls: A Pictoral Guide


One very, very important skill I learned at Living Light was how to roll summer rolls, or fresh rolls, or Vietnamese rolls, or whatever you enjoy calling them.  Pre-culinary school, I just didn’t know how to get them looking pretty and enticing – instead, they tended to look rather mangled.  But the technique is actually very easy and I want to share some diagrams I made so that you can roll ’em up in style, too!

First things first: Start with two rice paper wraps instead of just one.  This makes your roll far easier to … roll. Soak the rice paper sheets in warm water for about 30 seconds, until they start to soften but aren’t goopy and shapeless.  They should still be a little firm, which makes them easier to roll and hold their shape better when you’re cutting them.

Not only is it a-okay to have veggies sticking out the sides, it’s desirable.  Trust me, it’ll look awesome.  I like laying a couple of romaine leaves on the first third of the rice paper wraps, leaving a little room on the edge closest to you so you can roll it up easier.  Then you can basically pile up whatever you want on top – cucumber, kale, carrots, red bell pepper and avocado all make smashing choices.  Make sure your veggies are thinly julienned for the ultimate roll experience.

Now you just roll it up tightly, kind of like a burrito but without tucking in the sides, which actually makes rolling these much easier.  Squeeze it tight while you roll – the tighter and more compact it is, the better the final product will hold together when you serve it.
Each roll you make will yield 4 pieces.  Follow the above diagram for slicing instructions – if you follow those instructions, you’ll end up with beautiful rolls that look something like this:

What you should be left with are spring roll slices that don’t fall apart and are aesthetically pleasing.  In my opinion, presentation usually makes a huge difference on how much we desire to eat something, and these summer rolls, served with a thick peanut sauce, are so cute and yummy that you totally don’t think about how you’re basically just eating a big salad.  Love ’em.

I’ll catch up with you folks tomorrow, and I’m quite excited that I’ll actually have a bit of time to play in the kitchen for the first time in several days.  Keepin’ my fingers crossed that experimentation goes well and delicious results occur.  Toodles!
appetizers, recipes

Halloween Bat Bites

During the holidays, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, or whatever people celebrate these days, I get a strong impulse to flip through food magazines – you know, the kind that stare at you when you’re standing in line with groceries.  The ones with the catchy titles like “23 best cookie recipes ever” or whatever.

I don’t have to be standing in line for this food-ogling impulse to strike – I don’t even need to be in the presence of a magazine.  Sometimes, when I’m working on the computer and my mind starts to wander, the Interwebz becomes my magazine.  Rachael Ray, Martha Stewart, Epicurious, Cooks Illustrated, Canadian Living…those websites are my vices and I love them so much.  Because, pretty pictures!  And food!  
One day while I was pondering what would make for appropriate Halloween snacking, I stumbled upon possibly the cutest thing ever – these Bat Bites from myrecipes.  So.  Cute.  I mean, pink and frilly and unicorns and kittens are totally cute too, but these are like the badass kind of cute.  
My mission was to veganize the cheese-based bats, which was fairly simple with my super-easy almond cheese in hand.  I also made a smaller batch than the original recipe since it’s just Logan and I – eight bats are more than enough for the two of us.

I’m imagining these as part of a four-course Halloween dinner as the cutest appetizer ever, maybe with some olive spiders hanging out beside them with eight little rosemary twigs sticking out of them like legs.  Yeah?  Yeah.  (Did anyone else notice how many numbers I used in the last few sentences?  Whew, I’m getting all mathy.)

Halloween Bat Bites
Adapted from Myrecipes.com
Makes about 8 bats

Ingredients:

1 cup blanched almonds

1/3 cup water or more, for blending
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or basil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon light agave
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
8 small black olives, sliced
16 red peppercorns
16 nicely shaped blue corn chips


Directions:

1. Combine the almonds and water in a blender and blend until smooth.  Line a few stacked berry containers with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and pour in the almond mixture.  Cover the mixture with extra cloth, place something heavy on top (I used an unopened pasta jar), and put a plate underneath the berry containers to catch extra liquid.  Allow it to drain for at least 3 hours.  Remove the almond cheese from the nut milk bag and place in a small bowl. For more pictures and details of this process, visit my herbed almond cheese recipe.

2. In a small blender or food processor, process the lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, agave, garlic and salt until combined – some texture is okay.  Stir into the almond cheese until it’s combined.  Chill this in the fridge for about an hour so it firms up a little bit, making it easier to roll into balls.

3. To assemble the bats: Spread out the poppyseeds and ground pepper on a small plate in a thin layer. Take about 1 tablespoon of the almond cheese and form it into a ball, and then roll the ball into the poppyseed/pepper mixture until the surface is covered.  Place the ball on a serving plate and add two olive slices for eyes, and then lay 2 red peppercorns in the middle of the olives for eyeballs.  Insert two corn chips into the bat ball as the wings.  Repeat until you’re out of the cheese mixture, and you have an adorable little bat army in your kitchen.

The one in the back looks like he’s freaking out a little.  Maybe it’s because he’s a bat.


Another awesome thing about these little Halloween bat bites is that they actually make a fairly practical appetizer, since everything on them can be eaten and they taste great – rich and tangy with a pleasant peppery kick.  The “wings” make the perfect vehicle for scooping up that cheesy bat goodness, and you can serve some extra chips on the side if you prefer more chip than spread like I do.

These would also be fairly simple to rawify, since they’re essentially raw anyway with the exception of the corn chips.  But I’ve eaten and made raw crackers and chips, so I know this appetizer isn’t out of a rawbie’s reach!

Do you guys have a Halloween menu planned at all?  I’d love to know what you’ll be eating, treats and all!

appetizers, recipes

Quick Guacamole

Today’s gonna be a quickie post since I only have about as long as it takes me to sip a rooibos tea.  But the recipe I’m sharing is called Quick Guacamole, so that should work out splendidly.

Have you made guacamole before?  Yep, me too, about a gazillion times, with most of those times being done completely free-form, with nary a measuring spoon in sight.  And there are a ton of deluxe, fancy guacamole recipes out there, like guacamole with edamame or peas or tomatillos or whatevs, and sometimes I like to get fancy, but usually I just stick with the quickest route that yields the most awesomeness and the least amount of dirty dishes.

So without further ado, here’s my quick guacamole.  I even measured it this time, but I fully expect you not to.  In fact, I recommend you don’t.  Just toss a little o’ this and a little o’ that with a shimmy in your step, since it’s way more fun that way.


Pictured are some of the last ripe garden tomatoes we’ve got, fresh from my auntie’s farm.  So.  Good.

Quick Guacamole
Yields about 1 cup

Ingredients:

2 small and very ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1/4 cup chopped green onion
2 tablespoons minced cilantro (or use parsley if you’re a cilantro hater)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon grated garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

1.  In a small bowl, mash the avocados with a fork until they’re fairly smooth with some chunks left.  The softer and creamier your avocados are, the easier this will be.  Stir in the green onion, cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, cumin, garlic and salt.

Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary – sometimes I’ll add more lime juice, or add more jalapeno if my pepper isn’t particularly strong.  Also, feel free to use minced red onion instead of the green onion if you want more kick – except I’d suggest using only 2 tablespoons.  Chopped fresh tomato is also a great choice for guacamole.

This is my staple guacamole that I whip up whenever I want more punch than simple (but delicious) avocado slices.  Spread it on toast, use it liberally with Mexican-style food, spread it thick on a veggie wrap, or use it for scooping up fresh veggies or corn chips.

I love guacamole because it’s fairly filling and rich but tastes so fresh, and doesn’t sit as heavy in my stomach as do nut- or oil-based spreads.  It’s especially groovetastic in the summer, which by now is starting to become a distant memory – though I ain’t complaining because nothing beats sunny fall weather!  Which, as we speak, is currently staring me in the face and beckoning me outside to enjoy it.

See you folks on the weekend!

appetizers, recipes

Herbed Almond Cheese Recipe

Hey there!

Today was a great day to be in my kitchen.

This herbed almond cheese recipe was born, along with carrot pulp flax crackers, dessert, pies…and there were no complete and utter failures.  Maybe my new-found food education has made me smarter in the kitchen after all.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed for this winning streak to continue.  And I can’t wait to share all of the goodies I came up with today!

My day consisted of sipping tea and writing recipes, grocery shopping, playing around in the kitchen, and then tasting everything to discover that it’s all good.  It wasn’t an easy day – the dishes alone were an epic beast to be slain – but damn was it satisfying to sit down at the supper table and reap the rewards.  And now I’ve got a bunch of great food to share!

It all started off this this Herbed Almond Cheese Recipe.  In school we learned how to make almond cheese, peeling the almonds from scratch, using probiotic powder and fermenting it and stuff.  Well that’s all fine and dandy, but I didn’t really feel like waiting 8 hours for the fermenting process, and I also don’t have any probiotic powder.  And as for peeling almonds, I came down on the side of “nah”.

The non-fermented end result?  A super-easy cheesy spread that tastes great on crackers, as a dip or spread, on toast, whatever.  It’s good eaten from the spoon, too.  A little tangy, a little salty, and filled with the glorious earthy taste of thyme (best herb ever), it makes a great condiment to have on hand.

Or to use in a fabulous Thanksgiving main dish that I may or may not have concocted this afternoon…which I may or may not be sharing with you tomorrow. 🙂

The only thing that makes this recipe take a little bit of time is allowing the blended almonds to drain some, because then your cheese will have a great spreadable texture without being too watery or moist.  So get this going in the morning, and when you come home in the evening (if you do the 9 to 5 thing), it’s ready for action.

Herbed Almond Cheese Recipe
Makes 1/2 (heaping) cup

Ingredients:

1 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon minced red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon light miso
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Directions:

1.  Combine the slivered almonds and water in a blender and blend until smooth.  Line a few stacked berry containers with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and pour in the almond mixture.  Cover the mixture with extra cloth, place something heavy on top (I used an unopened pasta jar), and put a plate underneath the berry containers to catch extra liquid.  Allow it to drain for at least 3 hours.

2.  Place the almond mixture in a small bowl and add the red onion, thyme, parsley, miso, lemon juice, nutritional yeast and garlic.  Stir well to combine.

Enjoy as a spread on toast or sandwiches, as a dip for crackers, or in any of the ways one can enjoy an herbed almond cheese recipe.  Kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator, the herbed almond cheese will keep for around 4 days.

Using plastic berry containers and a nut milk bag, I let this drain on the counter for a few hours.  If you stack several containers together, it allows plenty of room for the extra liquid drain out.

If you don’t have these super handy containers, you could always place the cheese in a fine mesh sieve and allow it to drain into a bowl.  Or you could line a strainer with cheesecloth or a nut milk bag, and keep it elevated so that it can drain.  Whatever you decide to do, make sure to put something heavy on the top to press out the liquid.

The almond mixture gets significantly more dry and awesome even after a few hours.  And a note to those of you who don’t have fancy blenders – I don’t either.  In fact, I only have a little Magic Bullet, and if that thing can pull of an almond cheese recipe, then anything can.

I chose to use thyme and parsley to herb up this cheese, but it’s open to interpretation.  I highly recommend thyme since it’s the best fresh herb ever, but any’ll do.  Try to use fresh herbs instead of dried, though – they really shine in this cheese.

The nutritional yeast and light miso color the cheese a pale yellow, so if you wanted a white color, just use salt instead.  The flavor won’t be as complex and cheesy but it’ll still be great.

There you have it, the end of MoFo week one.  It really flew by, didn’t it?  With Canadian Thanksgiving right around the corner, the weekend promises to be a busy one, but the good, festive kind of busy.

And…tomorrow I get to jam with my band for the first time in nearly two months!  I’m way too giddy with excitement.  I’ll be singin’ until I can sing no more.

Toodles!

appetizers, recipes

How To Make Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Roti is awesome.  It is one of the tastiest cheap foods ever, and there is pretty much no ingredient list – whole wheat flour, water, salt.  Hardly a recipe, but I’m posting it because making it is a bit of an (easy) process.

I’m trying to think of what to compare them to – tortilla shells, perhaps, but lighter and with air pockets, sort of like a pita, but thinner.  It does bear a slight resemblance to naan bread, though roti is simpler to make and is less dense.

I love roti on a plate of Indian food as a final touch for a simple and inexpensive supper.  If you’re in the mood to go all out, make naan bread, but if you want something a little more everyday, roti is where it’s at.

How To Make Roti (Indian Flatbread)
Makes 6 roti

Ingredients:

1 and 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. salt
Margarine (optional)

Directions:

1. Combine the flour, water and salt in a bowl and stir.  Knead for a few minutes until it becomes more smooth, adding more flour if necessary.  Roll into a ball and put back in the bowl, and cover with a tea towel for 30 minutes or so.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat.  If your skillet isn’t non-stick, you might want to add a little oil to the pan.  Divide the ball of dough into 6, and roll out a piece thinly and about 6 inches:

Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Put it on the skillet and let it hang out until it starts to form bubbles, usually about a minute:

Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Flip and cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Flip again and press down on the roti with a tea towel, and it should fill up with air!  It’s kind of a magical experience, actually.

Roti (Indian Flatbread)

Now it’s done!  You can put it aside on a plate, and give it a pat of margarine if you desire. Serve it up with lots of other Indian foodstuffs, like basmati rice and the aloo gobi from the previous post!

Aloo Gobi (Indian Potatoes and Cauliflower)

5 more days until I’m officially a nomad for nearly two months, and one last TCK performance coming up Saturday night at the Exchange!  I’m secretly calling it my going away party.  🙂  And until next time, eat lots of amazing food!

appetizers, recipes

Savory Zucchini Cakes

So last time, I promised I would share some fast and easy recipes.  These zucchini cakes are all that – no more complicated than making regular pancakes – but they’re healthy and filling and yummy.  They even seem all fancy and elaborate, at least to me, since they aren’t A) a sandwich/wrap, B) a rice bowl, or C) soup.

Zucchini Cakes

Served alongside a simple soup, this lunch tasted fancy.  The ingredient list is minuscule, and it takes around 20-30 minutes to cook all 16 pancakes up, depending on the size of your pan.  If you’re not going to eat them all at once, you can cook some of the batter up, and save the rest of the batter in the fridge for later.  I like doing that because then the pancakes are fresh – so much more awesome than pancakes that have been sitting on the counter for several hours.

Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini Cakes
Makes 16 small pancakes

Ingredients:

-3 generous cups of grated zucchini
-2 large, grated potatoes, about 2 cups
-1 c. chickpea flour
-1 tsp Madras curry powder (or other curry powder)
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Oil, for frying

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir.

2. Heat a large frying pan to medium-low heat, and add a little dollop of oil.  If your pan is super awesome and non-stick, you’ll only need a dab.  More oil is necessary for those not-so-great frying pans!

3.  Scoop scant 1/4 c. sized helpings of the zucchini mixture onto the frying pan, and flatten with a fork or your fingers.  This, like making pancakes, is not rocket science.  I like making cute little cakes because they’re easy to flip, and because they’re cute.

4.  Fry 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown.

This recipe yields enough pancakes for 4 people as a side.  Have it with soup, salad, sammiches, or just by itself as a snack or appetizer!

Zucchini Cakes

These taste super yum with salsa, but I’ve also eaten them with Vegenaise which was grood.  A chutney would be great on here and will be the next topping I attempt!  Or a homemade fresh salsa with diced tomatoes and cilantro and onions and a squeeze of lime…nom.

Well my band The Criminal Kid is off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz.  And by that I mean, we’re cruising down to Saskatoon to play the Taste of Saskatchewan festival this weekend.  I’m pretty eager to play on a big stage in the great outdoors for the first time ever (on both fronts), and it looks like the weather will be good, if not a little chilly.

Have a lovely weekend – it’s hard not to when it’s summatime.  🙂  I’ll be back with pictures!