March NFP 2014

23 Apr

NFP march class

Thai Coconut Curry

2 cups Jasmine Rice, cooked according to directions on package

1 medium yellow Onion, chopped
2 Carrots, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1-2 Japanese Eggplant, in half inch cubes
1 cup Sugar snap peas, ends trimmed
2 Tbsp grated Ginger
1 can Coconut milk
1.5 Tbsp Curry Powder
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Prepare rice according to package directions. *we used veg stock instead of water for cooking the rice*
In a medium sized skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sautée for approx 3 min until they start to become translucent. Increase the heat to med-high, add the carrots and cook for approx another 3 minutes. Add all other vegetables, continue to cook for 5-7 min more. Add the ginger, curry powder, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Once the rice has finished, combine all of it together.

Bean Salad

4 c Canellini beans (drained if canned)
1 c Roasted red peppers (drained if canned)
1 Red onion, medium sized, sliced thin
1 Avocado, cubed
1/2 c Basil, finely chopped
Juice of 1 Lemon
1 Tbsp Apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare your ingredients, combine, and let rest for a minimum of an hour and as much as overnight. Serve with chips (or however you choose).

January 2014 NFP

25 Feb

Potato Leek Soup

3 large Leeks, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 lbs. Red Potatoes, washed and cubed (bite sized)
3 Carrots, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped Garlic
4 c Broth
2 c Water
1/4 c fresh Tarragon
S&P to taste
3 Bay leaf
2 Tbsp “Butter” (we use Earth Balance Buttery Spread)

In a heavy bottomed stock pot, heat “Butter” over medium heat, adding leeks and garlic once it begins to melt. Sautée, stirring almost constantly so the leeks do not brown, for approx. 5 minutes. Next, add potatoes and carrots, stirring a minute to incorporate. Add broth/water, salt and pepper to taste, and the tarragon. Cover with a lid and increase the heat, bringing to a boil for approx 10 minutes (to be sure the potatoes have softened). Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes (and as long as several hours).

Quinoa Breakfast

2 c Quinoa
4 c “Milk” ( we used a quinoa milk but almond, rice, or soy would work)
2 Apple ( we used golden delicious, but any would be fine)
1 c dried Figs
2 Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 c chopped raw Walnuts
1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Bring quinoa and “milk” to a boil, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t scorch. Once boiling, reduce heat to low, adding the figs, apple, cinnamon and vanilla extract (everything except the walnuts). Let simmer until the mixture thickens, a minimum of an hour. Finish with the walnuts before serving.
* this would work well in a crock pot….adding everything at once and leaving on low overnight.
**experiment with mix-ins…cranberries, cashews, almonds, coconut, apricot, no fruit or no nuts….endless options!

Roasted Asparagus

1 lb Asparagus, ends trimmed
3 Tbsp Tamari
3 Tbsp olive Oil
1/8 c Sesame seeds
1/2 Lemon juiced

Marinate asparagus in Tamari and olive oil for a minimum of 20 minutes or up to 2 hours. Preheat oven to 375F. Lay the asparagus on a sheet tray and cook for approx 20 minutes (thicker asparagus will take longer). Remove from the oven once tender. Squeeze a lemon over the asparagus and dust with sesame seeds before serving.

NFP….August 2013

17 Sep

Lots of changes coming up in these next few weeks, friends! We are working on several projects and new recipes and preparing for the holidays and trying to maintain some sanity! Here are the recipes from our August class…..before this week gets any further along and we leave you all hungry for too long! As always, thank you so very much for coming to our classes and checking this humble little blog.

    Pasta & Peppers


Pasta of choice
1/2 Yellow Onion, sliced into half-rounds
2 Bell Peppers, sliced, go for yellow or orange peppers
1 cup Mushrooms, rough chopped
1 Zucchini, chopped
1 Yellow Squash, chopped
3 cups Spinach, chopped
3 sprigs fresh Basil, chopped finely
1 (6 oz.)can Tomato paste
6 oz. Water
1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp chopped garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Follow the directions on your package of pasta and get that started first.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for approximately five minutes until they begin to soften. Next, add the peppers and cook for another two minutes. Add the mushrooms, zucchini, and squash, cooking for approx 3 minutes before adding the tomato paste and water. Once you have all of these ingredients combined, add the basil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover with a lid, reduce heat and let simmer for approx 15 minutes. Serve over the pasta, adding some Italian sausage if you are so inclined.

    Roasted Eggplant Dip


1 Eggplant, diced
3 Yukon potatoes, diced
1/2 Yellow Onion, cut in a few large pieces
1 clove Garlic
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Smidge Yellow Curry

Salt and pepper to taste

Coat the eggplant, potatoes, garlic and onions with olive oil and dust with the curry powder.Roast at 400 for 25 min. Remove from the oven and place the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Add more curry and salt and pepper if desired. Serve with corn chips or pita bread.

    Asian Pea Salad


2 cups Sugar Snap Peas, thinly sliced
2 cups Snow Peas, thinly sliced
2 cups Shelled Peas, thawed if frozen
2 cups Bean Sprouts
1 Shallot, finely diced
1 Red Bell Pepper
1 tsp Black Sesame Seeds
Dressing:
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar (sub apple cider vinegar if needed)
1/4 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 tsp fresh grated Ginger
1 Tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce

1 tsp Sriracha or Tabasco sauce

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Either whisk together or use a small blender to emulsify. In a large bowl, combine the peas, bean sprouts, shallot and bell pepper. Toss with the dressing and finish by adding the toasted sesame seeds.

NFP…July 2013

27 Aug

Faux Quiche

  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 Red Onion, diced
  • 2 cups fresh Spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, roughly chopped (pref Crimini or Baby Bellas)
  • 2 cloves Garlic (or 1 heaping teaspoon pre-chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 packages Silken Tofu, drained of excess water
  • 1 cup GF bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 400°F.  Heat Olive Oil on medium-high heat and sautee the veggies.  Start with the onions and, once softened, add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the carrots, mushrooms and bell peppers.  Once those are all beginning to soften (about 4 minutes), add the spinach, stir to combine.  Cover and remove from the heat.  let these cool off a bit before you add to tofu mixture

Prepare your muffin tin (coat with oil to prevent sticking) and sprinkle the cups with  bread crumbs.   We used a mini-muffin tin and also just spooned drops onto a cookie sheet, but I think a regular muffin tin would work well, too. Just monitor the bake time.  There are 2 options for preparing this….In class, We took all of the ingredients, except for the bread crumbs, and placed them in the blender to incorporate.  The other option is to place the nutritional yeast and the tofu in a blender to whip it up, then fold in the veggies.  This way will give you a more varied texture but could also lead to easier “crumbling”.  The all blended together option will also hide the veggies from the kids if that is what you need to do ;)  Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin and top with a layer of bread crumbs.  Bake, checking after 20 minutes, until they start to turn golden.  Check for done-ness by sticking them with a knife or toothpick.  It should come out fairly clean, not wet.

Plum-Pineapple Salsa

  • 6-8 Plums, pits removed and rough chopped
  • 6 cups Grape or Cherry Tomatoes, rough chopped
  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled and core removed, rough chopped
  • 1 sm can (4 oz.) Mild Green Chilis (do NOT drain the juice)
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 4-5 Mint sprigs, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a glass dish (no acids in metal dishes!) and let sit for up to a day before serving.  All the work is in the preparing of the produce here!

Summer Stir-Fry

**I would like to direct you to this post from last October for directions on this one.  It’s not necessary to re-invent the process!  However, we DID NOT use Spaghetti Squash in class this time.  It is a great choice for the fall, but we aren’t quite there yet.  We used Black Rice this time.  Your veggie selection is always up to preference, but this class we used Broccoli, Purple Cabbage, and Celery in addition to the “required” Onion, Bell Pepper and Carrots. 

We are wrapping up the end of the summery foods (salads and such), but these recipes really translate well to any season, needing just the occasional tweak (for example, skipping the plums in the salsa).  As always, the goal is to use the produce that is in season  to us locally and looks the best.  “In season” has become almost insignificant when shopping since we ship and receive produce from all over the world, but it is always best to use what is in season relative to your location because these are the foods that will provide the most medicinal benefit.

NFP….June 2013

5 Jul

For this class, we focused on foods that had some red color, as it relates to summer and TCM. We also went for ideas that would be fast and packed with nutrition….nobody really wants to spend hours in the kitchen on these hot summer days!

Watermelon Kale Smoothie

4 c Seedless Watermelon
2 c Kale
1 Grapefruit, peeled and seeded
2 c Blueberries, frozen
1 Avocado
1 Red Delicious Apple
1/4 c fresh Mint

Place all items in your blender and GO! The avocado adds creaminess and some protein.

Beet Salad

2 Carrots , diced (about 1 cup)
3 stalks Celery, diced (about 1 cup)
2 cups fresh Beets, julienned
1 jar (15 oz) Pickled beets, chopped
3 med Pink Lady Apples, chopped
1 c Walnuts
2 Oranges, zest of 1 and sections of both

Dressing:

Juice of 1 Orange
Splash Beet juice
1/4 c Dijon mustard

Prepare, dice, chop, and zest the first set of ingredients and place them in a medium sized bowl. In a jar, combine the orange juice, beet juice and Dijon mustard and shake to combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. This salad will keep great for a couple of days in the refrigerator. For extra crunch and punch, serve the beet salad over some greens.

Phast Pho

2 pkgs Pacific Pho Soup Starter
-Bring to a boil, remove from heat and add the following …

1/2 pkg Rice Noodles (vermicelli style preferred)
1 pkg Diced Xtra firm Tofu
2-3 cups Baby Bok Choy, sliced
8 oz. Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
-Let this simmer and soak for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms have reconstituted. Before serving, add the following, to taste…

Sprig of fresh Basil
1 Thinly sliced Jalapeño, stem and seeds removed
Squeeze of Lime
Bean sprouts

Take these ideas and make them your own….let us know what you come up with!

NFP…May 2013

7 Jun

20130607-084531.jpg

Our theme this month was “summer salads”. We don’t often do salads, but the warmest weather calls for some cooler foods. These are all great dishes to make ahead of time and take to a party or a picnic and each could easily stand as a main dish themselves or a great side. As always, these recipes are meant to be a jumping off point…please add what looks the most fresh and makes you happy (for example, the Mediterranean quinoa dish would go great with feta cheese, if that’s your thing). But, also try to keep it clean! We want you to eat well.

Asian “noodle” Salad

2 zuchini, “noodle style” (see below)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha
1 tablespoon agave or honey
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 knuckle of ginger grated/micro planed
1 carrot, thinly sliced or julienned
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced or julienned
5 green onions, bottom 4 inches, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced cabbage (we used purple but napa is good, too)
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced or julienned
1/2 cup julienned bok choy
1 cup bean sprouts, optional
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted, for garnish

We used our mandolin to finely julienne the zucchini so that they were noodle-like. If you don’t have a mandolin, try using a box grater. Rice noodles would work great in this dish as well and still keep it gluten free.
In a medium bowl combine, sesame oil, vinegar, tamari sauce, srirachca, agave/honey, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and ginger. Mix thoroughly and then combine prepared vegetables (and cilantro) and noodles. Garnish with the sesame seeds.

Cowboy Caviar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced fine
1.5 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 firm-ripe avocado (about 10 oz.)
1 can (15 oz.) black-eyed peas
1 can blackbeans (* 1.5 cups each)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1/2 red onion
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1 pint grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, jalapeño, oil, and garlic. Peel, pit, and cut avocado into 1/2-inch cubes. Add to vinegar mixture and mix gently to coat.
Drain and rinse beans and bring corn to room temperature (if needed, toss it in a skillet on med-high for just a minute or two). Add remaining ingredients (beans through tomatoes) to avocado; mix gently to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve it with chips or inside tacos or in lettuce wraps or….you get the point. It’s good any way you do it!

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

1.5 cup uncooked quinoa
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup (about 10) pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 cucumber, peeled and diced, seeds removed
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 jar Pickled beets
1 can Artichoke hearts
Handful chopped spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped mint
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Prepare the quinoa- combine quinoa and water/broth, bring to a vigorous boil then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. The water should be absorbed and thread-like spirals will appear around the grains. Let the quinoa cool. This can even be done a day or two in advance.

In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients (from the onions to the mint) with the cooled quinoa. Toss with the olive oil and the lemon juice, adding more to your taste preference. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Again, all of these recipes are very versatile. You can add some lightly steamed veggies to the quinoa- or add quinoa to the Asian salad instead of the noodles. The more time you spend experimenting with your food, the better you will know what it is that you like. And the faster you will get at cooking.

Please let us know what variations you come up with!

The story of “us”

29 May

I have been doing a lot of reading/researching/obsessing/posting about my fear of GMOs on Facebook….and starting to start the garden I have been wanting for a long time. If you, too, are one of the kindred spirits that thinks about your food, READ THIS! And laugh :)

NFP…April 2013

28 May

Spring gets me craving kale and quinoa, apparently.  I looked back and the inspiration/cooking class for April had similar themes.  I enjoy finding unexpected trends.

Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch of Lacinato Kale (flatter leaves), stemmed and trimmed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil (best quality that you have available)
  • juice of 1 tangelo (or lemon, if you prefer)
  • 1 mango, diced

Mango Vinaigrette

  • 1 mango, peeled and cut from the pit
  • 3 oz.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 oz. Balsamic Vinegar
  • S & P to taste
  • bunch of mint leaves stemmed

Add all (dressing) ingredients to your blender an press GO!  This could certainly be made without a blender, just make sure you cut your mango into diced pieces and that you have a good, tight lid on you jar before you shake it up!

just like in class, I like to put all ingredients in a magic bullet or high-speed blender to get a good emulsification

For the Kale Salad, add the kale, oil, and citrus juice to a bowl and “massage” for a few minutes.  This will tenderize the kale and make it less tough.  Add the diced mango ad whatever else suits you….quinoa, nuts, etc.

Kale Smoothie

Most of us agreed that this one was too “sprouty”….They can’t all be winners!  So, let me refer you back to this one :)

Link

NFP….March 2013

23 Apr

I would say that this class was about egg alternatives.  We had a savory option and one that could be used for baking.  In short, if you are wanting to bake, use the “flax eggs” method; for a breaded item, dredge with Vegenaise!  These two revelations have changed our world over here!  I will explain more below.

Flax Eggs(for ONE egg….)

  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax (if possible, it is best to grind your own for each use because the oil is very sensitive and can turn rancid if let sitting unused for too long)
  • 3 Tbsp boiling water

Combine and whisk thoroughly.  Let it sit for 5-10 minutes (in the refrigerator will quicken the process as well).  The end result is very much like beaten eggs!  Amazing.

Quinoa & Veggie Patties

  • 2 cups prepared Quinoa
  • 1 cup prepared veggies of choice, finely chopped (spinach or kale, mushrooms, zucchini, corn…ANYTHING you want to use)
  • 4 flax eggs
  • 1 cup cereal crumbs
  • 1/2 cup veggie parmesan cheese (the powdery kind) *optional*
  • (Nutritional yeast is a good alternative fora nutty/cheesy flavor)

Preheat oven to 450°F and prepare a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper (to prevent sticking).  You could also pan-fry these in some olive oil but we found this method to be too oily to suit us.  Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.  You want the mixture to be moist enough to stay together but not be soggy.  If you find it is too “wet”, add a bit more breadcrumbs until you get the right texture.  Form them into balls, place on the cookie sheet and gently press with your palm to flatten them slightly.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are golden, turning once if you would like.  Cooking time somewhat depends on how large/thick you make your patties.  Since we aren’t really using eggs, there is no harm done if you “undercook” it.  It just might fall apart and that would just be a bummer.

“Fried” Tofu Nuggets (Slabs, really) These are great over a stir-fry or pasta or even just as a nugget on their own.  We have also used the cubed tofu….we call it “Popcorn Tofu”!

  • 1 package EXTRA FIRM tofu
  • 1 cup of Veganaise (more or less.  honestly, i never measure this)
  • 1.5 cups cereal crumbs or GF bread crumbs of choice (we use a Rice Chex type cereal)
  • Kosher Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450°F.  Prepare the tofu and cereal crumbs (see below).  Set aside a bowl with the Veganaise and another with the cereal crumbs.  Coat each piece of tufu with the Veganaise and then coat with the cereal crumbs.  Place the pieces on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turn once, and bake for another 15 minutes or until desired crispyness and golden in color.

Prepare your tofu- drain the water from the package and wrap the tofu in towels or paper towels.  Squeeze gently to extract what water you can (while not crushing it like The Hulk) and then wrap in towels or paper towels, set a heavy object on top to press more liquid out and let it sit while you prepare your cereal crumbs.

Prepare your cereal crumbs- place cereal and seasonings of choice (salt, pepper, sesame seeds, curry, etc.) into a blender or food processor (we use our Ninja) and pulse until you reach your desired crumb consistency.  I have found that approximately 3 cups of un-crushed cereal makes about 1-1.5 cups of crumbs.

PLEASE….EXPERIMENT with what type of cereal crumbs you use (we love some “Enviro Kids Amazon Flakes” right now.  It’s like frosted flakes but not “bad”.)  Experiment with seasonings.  Experiment with your vegetable choices and even how much you use in the patties.  Let us know what works for you!

NFP….Feb 2013

26 Mar

Apple Cider Vinegar Shots, Artichoke Sauce and Beans & Greens Soup!  It was a hit!

Apple Cider Vinegar Shots

  • 1 oz. Braggs Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3 oz. good quality H2O
  • 1 tbsp. honey/agave nectar or molasses (if needed)

Take 1-3 times per day.

Artichoke Sauce over Spaghetti Squashartichoke sauce

  • 1 medium Spaghetti Squash* cut in half. Remove seeds and coat inside with Olive oil (2 tbsp), season with salt, pepper and fresh herbs if desired. Bake at 450°F flesh side up for approx 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped roasted garlic
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms (I prefer baby bellas or crimini)
  • 2 cups red or orange bell peppers, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 yellow squash, diced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, rough chopped
  • 1/2 cup black olives, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes of olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Prepare your spaghetti squash and work on the sauce while it is in the oven.  In a large sautee pan, heat your oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for approx 5 minutes until they become a bit translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, making sure that it doesn’t brown.  Begin adding the other ingredients in “layers”….Add the bell peppers and let them cook for about 3 minutes before adding the mushrooms.  (At home, I also add a bit of white wine -about 1/4 cup- at this point.)  Next, add the zucchini and squash for another couple of minutes.  Add in the sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and olives, season with the vinegar, salt and pepper.  Toss to combine, throw in the spinach and cover with a lid.  Let the dish simmer on a low/medium low heat for about 10 minutes and you are done.  Serve over spaghetti squash, baked potatoes or regular pasta!  The key to this dish is to have everything prepped BEFORE you start cooking.  It goes pretty quickly if you do it that way.

Beans & Greens Soup

  • 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange), diced
  • 1 to 2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 to 2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, thoroughly rinsed
  • 4 cups of greens, thoroughly chopped (kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc.)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 oz. balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 qt. vegetable broth
  • 1 qt. good quality H2O

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot, over medium heat.  Add the onions, cooking for a few minutes until they start to become translucent, and then add the garlic, cooking for another 3-5 minutes.  Add the celery and carrots, toss to coat with the oil and cook for about 5 minutes until they begin to soften just a bit.  Next, add the rest of the veggies (peppers, zucchini and squash), toss to combine and let them cook for about 5 minutes.  Add the beans, broth/water, and bay leaves, season with salt & pepper if desired and bring to a boil with the lid on.  Once boiling, add the greens and reduce the heat.  Let simmer for 20 minutes before serving.

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