The first tomato of each season I dedicate to Gramma Helen and her love of tomata sammiches. Read more about this sandwich in a previous post.
Category Archives: Seasonal Ingredients
It’s mildly embarrassing to me that the raspberry bush that the “birds planted” in my yard does better than the one that I water and actually care for regularly. No matter, the birds dropped it in the perfect spot, my old garden box, so I get to benefit from their ingenuity I suppose in some form. The raspberries that humans planted were sparse, but large, red and delicious while the raspberries that the birds left us are small, black and a little more tart so I looked for a recipe where I could combine them to get the best of both worlds and I found it, in a cake on one of my fave websites The Smitten Kitchen. I veganized it and was good to go with what is now one of my favorite recipes for any berry. This recipe makes one thin 9-inch cake.
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (56 grams) unsalted butter substitute, softened ( I used Earth Balance )
2/3 cup (146 grams) plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar, divided ( make sure it’s a vegan brand )
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest ( it’s optional but man does it take this to a new level of yum )
1 large (57 grams) vegan egg of choice, I used a flax egg
1/2 cup (118 ml) well-shaken buttermilk ( to make vegan buttermilk, I took 1T of white vinegar – you could also use lemon juice for this – and added it to 1/2C unsweetened Califia almond milk, let it set for a few minutes and then beat the crap out of it with a whisk – very technical, I know)
1 cup (5 ounces or 140 grams) fresh raspberries, I used a mix of red and black
Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. “Butter” and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat vegan butter and 2/3 cup (146 grams) sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla and zest, if using. Add egg and beat well.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with vegan buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Be careful, make sure the middle is not more dense than the sides here or you will have a dry outside and too moist of a middle. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 grams) sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.
Yesterday I made the tacos that I sometimes dream about in the winter, full of summer veggies practically radiating sunshine, tender-crisp, and juicy. I love tacos, but even I can’t eat them every night for leftovers, so this seemed like the perfect solution: taco soup for the freezer and rest of the week.
Cook all veggies using summer tacos recipe found here spices and all, we will add a little more flavor below due to the dilution from the water. While I was charring all the veggies, I set half of each batch into a soup pot to create taco soup for later in the week.
To that add:
- 1 tsp epazote
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1-2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp to 1T chipotle en adobo (sauce), depending on your like of heat
- 2-3 C or 1-2 cans black beans, drained
- 3 cans diced tomatoes, these can be fire roasted or normal diced tomatoes
- 2 cubes veggie boullion
- 4-6 C of water, depending on your thoughts on consistency of soup
Heat all ingredients through give it a taste and adjust the seasonings (salt for sure). Serve warm with a squeeze of lime, vegan sour cream, and tortilla chips or freeze to preserve the summer.
This recipe comes from a dear friend and client The Canning Diva who taught my book group how to make and can everything from garlic to pickles to strawberry jam and salsa this year. Check out one of her canning, preserving or food dehydration classes in west Michigan or book a private party like I did and bring the Diva to you.
Before corn season ends and just as pepper season is starting up, I can’t think of anything better than canning a bunch of corn relish then having it retreat to the shelf waiting for winter- a time when I’m hopelessly longing for summer’s sun.
Homestyle Corn Relish
- 4 C white vinegar
- 1 ¼ C raw vegan sugar
- 2 T sea salt
- 8 C corn kernels, fresh is best but frozen corn can be used too
- 3 C red and green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 C jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 ¾ C celery, diced
- 1 C onion, finely chopped
- 2 T dry mustard
- 2 tsp celery seeds
- 2 tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ C water
- 2 T ClearJel (The Canning Diva has also substituted Liquid Pectin with great results)
In a medium-sized stock pot, combine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat being sure to stir until all sugar is dissolved. Gradually add corn, peppers, celery and onion being sure to keep everything boiling. Stir often to avoid scorching. Add the spices and stir.
Combine the water and ClearJel, mixing well to create a paste. After making the paste, mix it well into the vegetable mixture while it is boiling. Reduce heat and boil gently for 5 minutes being sure to stir often to avoid scorching.
Ladle hot relish into hot jars being sure to leave ½” head space. Wipe rims with a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar and secure lids and rings. Hand tighten.
This recipe can be hot water bathed. Place jars in water bather and cover with warm water. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Remember, timing doesn’t start until water has come to a full rolling boil. After
processing, remove lid and let sit for 5 minutes before removing jars.
Growing up my family didn’t do a tremendous amount of gardening unless it was in the form of flowers, which my mother has always been extremely fond of. The landscaping of our home was meticulous. My grandma however, had a pretty good size garden which was kinda like a neighborhood garden before community gardens were all the rage. She and her neighbors would plant their favorite veggies between the sticky cherry tree and big tire swing, in front of the pine layer separating her home from the IGA, and just beyond the sandbox so that none of us would “go messin’ with it.” The garden made for two things: 1) the most amazing go-cart racing track was formed from its perimeter, and 2) the amount of tomatoes that came from it in August/September was something of the stuff legends are made.
This is the “grown up” vegan version of the tomato sandwich that we would eat nearly every day in the summer at the peak of tomato season which was comprised of gooey Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, heavy with salt, and layered with iceberg lettuce and fresh, juicy tomatoes. So messy and heavy that you would have to eat the sandwich over the sink or end up changing your shirt after lunch.
- 2 pieces soft vegan bread, toasted lightly
- 1 medium sized ripe tomato of your choice
- 2 big knifefuls of Vegenaise, use BBQ flavor if you want it to really make it sing
- 1 handful, fresh picked greens of your choice, pictured here, arugula
To assemble: spread Vegenaise on bread, layer tomato slices with arugula, smash and enjoy over the kitchen sink.
You know you have good friends when they take a veggie gift and your smartass comment about blogging for you and actually do it. So Jon and Kolene over at VeganGR have been the recipient of some ridiculous veggies from my summer surplus…Jon, the resident chef, and Kolene, the photographer came up with Sauerkraut when faced with a do or die cabbage situation a few weeks ago. Here’s what happened, according to Jon:
Faced with an exorbitant amount of cabbage (I mean, A TON of cabbage. See previous post about Adrienne’s gift of 40lbs of veggies), there was only one choice.
Now, let’s be clear about this. I am lazy, and I hate waiting. I also have a mild fear of home fermentation. Recent attempts at rejuvelac based cheese turned into a science experiment into mold than a delicious vegan chèvre. I am determined to plod on, but until I become the king of producing lactic acid, I needed another solution.
A Google search for “quick sauerkraut” turned up far fewer hits than you’d think. This recipe looked promising, so I went with that.
I didn’t have apple cider on hand, ‘cause like, who does? So I doubled the water. To balance and bring in the sugar I think the cider was intended to, I added a little sweetness. The result was really nice, and the hit of a recent summer barbecue!
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced very thin
- 1 medium green cabbage, sliced thin
- 1 ¼ C apple cider vinegar
- 1 C water
- 1 T salt
- 1 tsp caraway seed
- 2 T sugar
- Heat oil in pan, and add onion. Cook over medium heat until onion turns translucent.
- Add rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook covered over low heat for 30-45 minutes. You want the cabbage nice and tender. Keep an eye on it, you may need to add a little more water.
I have a small problem: I bite off more than I can chew. This would explain a few things: 1) my 15 lb weight gain in the last two years, 2) my zest for ordering multiple appetizers and never being able to eat an entree at a restaurant, and 3) subscribing to multiple CSA’s in the summertime and then freaking out when it gets to July/August and I have like, triple of everything.
I hate letting good food go to waste so I act as veggie broker to my friends giving them extras of my goods that Mr. Wonderful and I will just watch shrink and die in the confines of our fridge. In the case of eggplants, luckily I can broker all of them off to friends. It’s the only veggie I do not like, well, at least I thought I didn’t until my friends at VeganGR got a hold of my surplus and made eggplant into gravy!
I told Jon Dunn to write a guest post for me and then I could keep my own mouth shut up there, so here’s what he has to say:
There are lots of advantages to being friends with Adrienne and Derek. But the best is that they give us veggies. LOTS of veggies.
Seriously, Adrienne has admitted she’s been overwhelmed with the summer haul from her three (3!!) CSA shares. So, she’s been kind enough to share the wealth. The only requirement was that we blog about what we did with them.
So today, let’s talk eggplant. Adrienne is not a fan, so it was an easy decision to slough them off on us. It’s a good thing, because I can’t get enough of them! I thought I’d share with you a unique recipe I created one time that was kind of an accident.
I had an eggplant, wasn’t sure what I was making for dinner, but threw it in the oven. Then I started making other foods that were ENTIRELY unrelated to an eggplant. So here I was, with a beautiful roasted eggplant and mashed potatoes. So naturally, I made gravy.
Combined with cashews, garlic, and a bit of herbs, the eggplant comes together in a really silky smooth gravy when you blast it in a high power blender. Make sure you fully roast that nightshade. Hopefully for those of you that hate this wonder-veg, that dread of seeing the eggplant in the CSA box will vanish with this recipe!
- 2 medium eggplants
- ½ C raw cashews (these need to be soaked if you’re not using a high power blender such as a vitamix)
- 1 C water
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp salt (more to your taste)
- ½ tsp thyme
- pepper to taste
- Cut your eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the skin, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Roast the eggplant in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the skin looks all nice and toasty.
- Remove eggplant from the oven and remove the skin (let that sucker cool a bit before you go burning yourself!).
- Drop all the ingredients into your blender, set it to high and let it go for a couple of minutes. You’ll know when it’s ready when it’s all silky smooth.
- Serve over mashed potatoes, baked tempeh, chicken fried tofu, or any other amazing food that begs for a nice home-style gravy.
I’m not a baker. It involves measuring, math, and patience. I’m not good at any of those things. Crisps are perfect for people who care not to measure. They are obviously a rebel dessert. It’s the end of peach season in Michigan and I could not put the siren sound of the white and flame peaches out of my head a second longer and so I bought maybe a few too many which resulted in sharing. I’m so good at sharing!
I give you a recipe for people who hate measuring (for those of you that can’t help yourself, approximate/actual measurements accompany my very scientific ones): Rustic Vegan Peach Crisp
- A dozen or so peaches, prepped in removal of skin and pit and sliced (I got 4-6 slices per half of peach-they were quite large-see very scientific here)
- 2 handfuls of brown sugar (this is roughly 1/2 C total)
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- Dash of salt
- 4 handfuls of oats (use the real kind, not the quick ones-this is roughly 1 C total)
- 1/2 stick Earth Balance, at room temperature (margarine-which is 1/4 C)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Prep peaches, if you work quickly you don’t have to bother with lemon juice to keep them from browning. Put slices into a pie pan or other small baking pan you have. I made three batches, used 2 pie pans and an 8 x 8 baker.
- Sprinkle cinnamon and salt on prepped peaches.
- In large bowl combine, oats, Earth Balance (softened) and sugar. Squish around with your hands until chunky and mixed well-this is your “crisp.”
- Put crisp onto peaches in pans, you are making a little crust to seal in the peach juices.
- Bake x 15-20 minutes, until your peaches are tender and the crisp is well, crisp.
Note: With some crisps there is a bunch of juice associated with the fruit caused by adding lemon juice, or letting it sit for too long before baking. If you hustle you won’t have to add anything to thicken the juice (as there won’t be much to thicken) and you get pure fruit flavor with nothing to get between you and immediate bliss.
Categorizing this under “breakfast” and “dessert” as I did eat it for breakfast this AM-don’t judge me.
Who can really argue with the taste of a Michigan tomato in July? I can’t. So in taking all the mystery out of this post…some nights you simply eat tomatoes for dinner. Shown below are heirloom varieties Green Zebra and Beefsteak from Good News Farm.
Slice, cube or dice. Salt and pepper to taste. Noms.
So you went crazy this past weekend and picked a zillion berries and now you are worried that your fresh strawberries might not be so fresh by the time you want to use them? Here’s a little trick from The Canning Diva to buy you a little bit of time while you process those berries:
- Put your strawberries in a large bowl and run cold water over them.
- Add 1/4 cup of vinegar (distilled white or apple cider) to every 2 cups of water.
- Let them soak for about 5 minutes.
- Drain, rinse, and dry on a towel-lined cookie sheet.
Now get to work using the fruit of your labor in this unusual dish sure to delight at your next porch party or holiday party. In the dead of winter, if you pull out a jar of this to take for a dish to pass, you will look like a rock star. This past weekend, my friend Jen, her mom, Mrs. Jen and I went to work churning out two batches of this sweet and savory salsa. I can’t wait to try it over some vegan cream cheese on a cracker or a corn chip.
- 12 cups of bite-size chopped strawberries (about 4 quarts)
- 1/2 cup Agave Sweetener
- 5 cups of raw, unbleached sugar (if this huge amount freaks you out you can use more Agave, Stevia or Splenda, consistency will vary however-we used 3 C sugar and a mix for the rest)
- 1 1/4 cups Vidalia onions, size is your preference (mine are diced small)
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 cup of jalapeno (if you want more heat, keep some seeds) I remove all seeds and chop fine in my small food processor
- 4 ounces of fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3/4 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups of apple cider vinegar
Directions from the Diva: Boil sugar, vinegar and agave sweetener until sugar has dissolved. Add all onions, peppers, herbs, lime juice and spices and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and add the strawberries. Mix well.
Using a slotted spoon, hot pack salsa into pint size jars being sure to include ample liquid in each jar so long as the salsa isn’t too watery. Leave a ½” of headspace for proper processing. (I filled 7 jars with salsa and had 1 pint left over that was pure liquid. Process the liquid the same as the salsa and use it as a marinade or the base of a sweet and savory cocktail)
As always, be sure to wipe your rims with a warm cloth to remove any liquid. Seal each jar with lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 20 minutes. Processing doesn’t begin until after the water is at a rolling boil!
My friend Jen had to sell me on this idea big time as every other time I have had or used chia seeds except in a granola bar, I have come away feeling icky with bloating, and all those black seeds sticking in my teeth, gelling and [in my imagination] growing [cha, cha, cha chia]. This however, seems like an appropriate place for chia seeds-in freezer jam.
This recipe was adapted from Oh She Glows and came together in a blender, in a blink. Since this is freezer jam, pop it into a freezer safe container AFTER you let it sit for a few hours and be sure to leave plenty of headspace for the chia to work it’s magic.
- 6 C blended strawberries [AFTER blending you want 6 C which is about 12 C of whole berries]
- 3 T maple syrup (or other sweetener of your choice)
- 6-12 T water
- 3 T chia seeds
- 2-3 T lemon juice
- zest from 2 lemons
Wash, hull, blend strawberries together, stir in syrup, chia, zest, juice and 6 of the T of water. Depending on the consistency you want from the jam, add up to 6 T more water. We added all 6 as our chia were already thickening past the point we really liked it while it was sitting waiting for us to scoop it into the jars.
Ladle into freezer safe jars, allow to sit 6-8 hours before putting in the freezer to gain perfect chia thickness. Store in freezer up to 6 months. The Mountain Mama Cooks adds vanilla to hers if you would like for a more “cooked” versus raw taste. If you are a purist, Eating Bird Food always has strong chia recipes even for the chia-shy like me.
This recipe tasted like a fresh picked strawberry with a kick. I will need that come winter.
I love veggies. I mean it would be tough to be veganish and not adore vegetables (let’s just pretend that eggplant is a toxin because save eggplant, I love all veggies-I hate, no loathe, eggplant); but veggies pickled? Well that has to be about as close to bliss as one can get eating summer food straight from a jar in the off season (if mine last that long).
My day job is as project director at a public relations firm, this past winter we retained a client called The Canning Diva. She came to our first meeting with a jar of salsa and even if she walked out the door as a client tomorrow, I would remain close friends with her. She’s “good people” as my friend Josh Hiller would say. I’ve drank the Kool Aid. I now measure and use ratios in the kitchen. The Canning Diva makes canning accessible and dare I say fun. She teaches preservation methods to all from novices to seasoned veterans and everyone in between, her enthusiasm for the art of canning is frankly unmatched. I mean she is TRULY excited about preserving food as art.
About a month ago, I invited The Canning Diva to my book group (we stopped reading books like years ago) and we created all sorts of delish cocktail delights like pickled Brussels sprouts, carrots, and asparagus; a session from which all members left feeling confident, inspired, and maybe a little drunk…we had to TRY the cocktail pickles The Canning Diva brought that showed us our finished product- I mean it was absolutely necessary we know what we were getting ourselves into, right? Sidebar: do not even get my friend Julie talking about the dry wine pickled garlic cloves…she might be having a love affair with them. They are exceptional.
I held off experimenting with pickling until Michigan asparagus came into season at my fave local farm, Krupp Farms, whereupon my gal pal Jen, her mom, Mrs. Jen, and I decided to take a cloudy summer Saturday and turn in into a canning extravaganza! We canned over 140 jars of delish summer surprises in one very full day.
While my goodies sit on a shelf, waiting to “cure”, I leave you with one of my favorite things to come out of a jar since peanut butter…The Canning Diva’s Pickled Asparagus recipe. I’ll share the strawberry recipes we worked on soon too.
The Canning Diva says: a great side to a frothy beer or an excellent alternative to celery in a Bloody Mary! If you would prefer a non-alcoholic splendor, they taste excellent in a salad or an addition to a relish tray.
- 7 lbs asparagus
- 5 cups white vinegar
- 5 cups water
- ½ cup pickling or canning salt
- 6 cloves of garlic, whole
- ½ tsp dill seed
- ½ tsp mustard seed per jar
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes per jar
As usual, prepare all of your jars ahead of time and have your lids and rings setting in boiled water. If you don’t know how to do this…please, get with Diane, AKA The Canning Diva at one of her Canning 101 classes offered in GR. It will open a whole new world to you for food preserving and SAVING MONEY by preserving the summer harvest.
In a large stainless steel stock pot, combine vinegar, water and salt. Stir well and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt. Place a garlic clove, ½ tsp dill seeds, ½ tsp of hot pepper flakes and ½ tsp mustard seeds in each jar. Raw pack the asparagus into each jar leaving a generous ½” head space.
Ladle hot liquid into jars being sure to maintain the ½” headspace. Remove any air bubbles using your canning utensil or the handle of a wooden spoon. Adjust headspace if necessary.
Tip: If you run out of pickling liquid, use half the parts listed above, boil and fill jars accordingly. Never fill your remaining jars with just water – it will lessen the acidic level and cause food to spoil.
Using a warm wash cloth dipped in vinegar, wipe each rim and screw bands. Place lids and rings on each jar and hand tighten. Place jars in water bather and cover with water. Process the jars for 10 minutes. Remember, processing time doesn’t begin until the water is at a full rolling boil.
We canned 10 lbs of asparagus in varying sized jars from pint to half pint, so we doubled this recipe AND then needed an additional recipe of JUST pickling brine so we whipped up 3 brine recipes in all. Super simple to fix a brine error if it happens is what I’m getting at.
Full disclosure: The Canning Diva is one of my clients, I paid for a class as did a bunch of my gal pals about a month ago, then we were unleashed into the world of canning. I wrote this blog to share this info, a divine recipe, and help bring awareness to this craft during the Midwestern summer bounty, not necessarily to promote her business; however, if that also happens…AWESOME because this is a skill I should have learned a long time ago. Thanks Canning Diva!
A Thanksgiving miracle…two blog posts in one week. I dare you not to put this on everything at your Thanksgiving meal.
Pretty great dressing or dip. Pretty good FOR you too.
In a food processor or blender, blend the following until pureed:
- 2/3 C. maple syrup
- 1/3 C. apple cider vinegar
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. coarse mustard
- 1/2 Tsp. salt
- 1 Tsp pepper
- Slowly add 1 C. extra virgin olive oil.
I served mine over just about everything from quinoa and chickpea bowls, to brussels sprouts to a salad of roasted squash, onions, apples and pears (shown). Try it out at Thanksgiving dinner.
Courtesy of Jen & Company, a food and fitness blog.
Last week’s vegan (cheeseless) pesto recipe gets a workout here on a hodge-podge salad from seasonal veggies. A “clean out the fridge” recipe that turned out pretty delish. This could easily be made vegan or gluten free with the appropriate pasta.
- 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
- 1 large heirloom tomato
- 3-4 cubes pesto
- 2-3 lemons, zested and juiced
- 4 small zucchini
- 1 C toasted walnuts
- 2 C white beans
- 2 C arugula or other seasonal greens, hand torn
- 1/2 C packed fresh basil, hand torn
- 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked al dente
- Select a large bowl or rectangle pan for the elements to be assembled. As the ingredients are finished with their first phase you can just toss them together as you go to avoid destroying the integrity of the veggies by trying to stir or toss together at the end. The pesto will incorporate easily this way as well. You do not want a huge bowl of mush at the end.
- Tear arugula and basil into pieces and put in the bottom of this large bowl or pan. The warm ingredients added will wilt this for you saving you a cooking step.
- Boil water and cook your choice of pasta noodle, al dente, drain water and toss back into warm pan with pesto cubes, juice and zest of two lemons. Turn noodles to coat. Toss into big bowl-this will wilt your greens easily.
- Warm a little olive oil (1 tsp or so) in a wok or fry pan, toss in walnuts and toast until slightly browned and super crisp. Toss into big bowl.
- Cut zucchini into little wheels of uniform size. In the same pan without adding more oil, saute the bite-sized squash pieces for a few minutes, then add the juice and zest of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste. Do this over high heat and don’t let your zucchini get soggy. Remove when it still has a bite to it and toss into the large pan with the other ingredients.
- Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Toss into big bowl.
- Finally add your two cups of white beans. Mine usually come from the freezer as I bulk make beans every few weeks, but using canned is cool with me. If you do so, be sure to rinse them well, to get all the unnecessary ick off them.
- Toss all ingredients together and serve. This makes a TON of salad. It keeps well in your fridge for up to a week if you don’t let it dry out. I make sure plastic wrap is touching the leftovers and that seems to keep it fresh, not dry. If yours becomes dry, refresh with a little bit of olive oil, water or lemon juice before serving.
- 1 1/2 C + 1 T all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 C soy yogurt (I used passionfruit flavor)
- 1/2 C sugar (increase to 1 C if you are using nonflavored yogurt)
- 3 flax eggs (1 T ground flax seed, 3 T water)
- 3 tsp grated lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 C vegetable oil
- 1 1/2-2 C fresh blueberries, picked through for stems
- 1/3 C freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 C sugar
- 1 C confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 to 3 T fresh lemon juice
I’ve been asked for this recipe at least a dozen times in the last few days. Here is a re-post of Pepper Jelly.
Turns out, I can grow jalapenos. Lots of them in fact. I picked most of them today, grabbed a few red bell peppers from the Fulton Street Farmer’s Market, gloved up, and started chopping. I make a few batches of this so that I can gorge myself in the summer, and then later I get serious about storing 6-8 jars for holiday gift giving, and/or unexpected guests fa-la-la-la-la-ling up at my house and me with nothing to serve. This makes a great show off appetizer in the dead of winter with a cream cheese base, served over a cracker. Summer on a wheat thin. Plus, you look all Betty Crocker-like for having something preserved (ohhhhh, ahhhhh) on hand. It’s a win-win. I modified this recipe from my friend Lins Ray’s recipe.
- 3 large red bell peppers (you can use green, yellow, whatever you want here-I prefer red)
- 14-18 medium jalapenos
- 1 SMALL thai chili pepper (only if you like it HOT)
- 1/2 c fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 c cider vinegar (could also use white in a pinch)
- 6 c sugar (no substitutes)
- 6 oz liquid fruit pectin (do not use powdered)
Chop all peppers into a really, really small dice removing seeds and most of the white vein inside the peppers. Wear two sets of latex gloves for this task, you will thank me later. Combine the lemon juice, peppers, vinegar and sugar in a large pot and boil for 15 minutes stirring occasionally, keep an eye on this as it will start to boil, then boil over like spaghetti does without any warning, then you are dunzo. Add liquid pectin, boil 3-5 minutes more. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Spoon into jars or plastic containers, do not fill to top. When this freezes like all other liquids it expands. Full to the brim means a crack and loss of your precious jelly. Store in freezer for up to 6 months, if it lasts that long. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO MULTIPLY OR DIVIDE THE RECIPE. For whatever reason, when you make jam, doubling or dividing the recipe results in utter failure. Period.
To serve, pour thawed jelly over a log of cream cheese for a treat on crackers. I have also, in a bind poured this over tofu “meatballs” in a crockpot and served as an appetizer. The possibilities are endless. Taste it and you will come up with some of your own. Then come back here and post them for the rest of the Interwebs.
Pesto. No cheese. Just make it. So good and simple, saying anymore would spoil the beauty.
- 3-4 C washed, loosely packed stemmed fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, parsley, mint
- 1 C shelled, roasted walnuts or pine nuts
- 6-7 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil, as needed
- Sea salt, to taste
- Big pinch of red pepper flakes
Season with sea salt, to taste.
Inspired by : glutenfreegoddess.com
Fruit this summer was super duper expensive in Michigan due to premature 90-degree days in April followed by a super freeze that was experienced which sadly killed most of the premature fruit buds. Michigan produces 70-75% of US cherries and this year, crop was at a loss of more than 90%. This of course put a premium on fruit including blueberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, well you get the idea, Michigan produces a ton of fruit.
While in Hart for a Girls Get-a-Way, I was lucky enough to grab a bag of Starfire peaches and nectarines which cost me a pretty penny, but the sweet treat was WELL worth the premium. I crammed most of them in my face over the first two days, then let the last of the fruit ripen over the course of the week. Today, I made a simple peach pie so no peach was left behind.
- One nine inch pie crust, Pillsbury (accidentally vegan)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 7 cups fresh sliced peaches, 7 or 8 medium peaches
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Put pie crust in nine ince pie plate. Prick crust with a fork to prevent bulles during baking and flute edges.
- Mix sugar, flour and cinnamon in large bowl.
- Stir in peeled and sliced peaches and lemon juice.
- Pour into pie plate. Put foil around edges of pie to prevent burning. Remove the foil during the last 8 minutes of baking.
- Bake about 45 minutes or until the filling is bubble and the crust in golden brown.
- Let set for 30 minutes before serving.
Last year at about this time I concocted a vegetarian version of zucchini fritters and zucchini pancakes that were pretty darn good. This year, I tried for a little less batter, a little more vegetable and no animal products. Adapted from Simply Recipes (zucchini fritters) and Smitten Kitchen (zucchini fritters) I give you, Vegan Zucchini Corn Pancakes.
- 1 pound (about 2 medium or approx 4 C) zucchini, shredded
- 1 flax egg
- 1 C corn kernels cut fresh from the cob
- 2 tsp water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Olive or another oil of your choice, for frying
To serve (optional)
- 1 cup non-dairy sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1 to 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- Pinch of salt
- 1 small minced or crushed clove of garlic
- 1/4 C Vegenaise
- 1/4 C salsa of your choice
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- Kosher salt to taste
- Non-dairy milk to thin this concoction to your desired consistency (I used soy milk)
Trim ends off zucchini and grate them either on the large holes of a box grater or, if you have one, using the shredding blade of a food processor. Either way, be sure to squeeze out the excess moisture in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels until practically dry.
Add zucchini shreds to a large mixing bowl. Taste and if you think it could benefit from salt, then add a little, you should season as you go here. Stir in corn, flax egg and some freshly ground black pepper. In a tiny dish, stir together flour and baking powder, then stir the mixture into the zucchini batter.
In a large heavy skillet — cast iron would be great, but I settled for an electric griddle — heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Drop small bunches of the zucchini mixture onto the skillet only a few at a time so they don’t become crowded and lightly nudge them flatter with the back of your spatula.
Cook the fritters over moderately high heat until the edges underneath are golden, about 3 to 4 minutes-this could take up to 6 minutes this first side, don’t let burn, but let it cook and rise completely. If you find this happening too quickly, reduce the heat to medium. Flip the fritters and fry them on the other side until browned underneath again, about 2 to 3 minutes more. Drain briefly on paper towels then transfer to baking sheet in a 200 degree oven if you prefer them warm. Leave them on a cooling rack if you don’t mind them at room temp-they dry out well if left out and keep their crunch. Repeat process, keeping the pan well-oiled, with remaining batter.
For the topping, if using, stir together ingredients for whichever topping you prefer. Dollop on each fritter before serving. To assemble as shown in the picture. I took a sandwich thin, halved it and then placed on each half 1 piece of lettuce, a slice of tomato, some leftover grilled onions, the fritters, a little of the salsa dressing (above) and a few pickled jalapenos.
Do ahead: These fritters keep well, either chilled in the fridge for the better part of a week and or frozen in a well-sealed package for months. When you’re ready to use them, simply spread them out on a tray in a 325 degree oven until they’re hot and crisp again.
Even Peter Piper couldn’t pickle a pepper faster than these babies turn out. I had a few jalapenos leftover from making jalapeno jelly, so I put them to work in a bath of pickling spices. I can’t wait to try these on a BBQ pizza, nachos or in chili.
- 1 + 1/4 C water
- 1 + 1/4 C distilled white vinegar
- 3 T white sugar
- 3 T kosher salt, this is NOT the same as iodized or table salt
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tsp dried epazote
- 3 tsp dried cumin seeds, crushed a little
- 10 large jalapeno peppers, sliced into rings
- 2 large red bell peppers, sliced into strips
- Combine water, vinegar, sugar, kosher salt, garlic, epazote, cumin seeds, and oregano in a saucepan over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stir in jalapeno and red peppers then remove from heat. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
- Pack peppers into jars using tongs, cover with vinegar mixture, cover, and refrigerate until needed – should keep for up to 6 months.
This recipe for me yielded 5 (12-oz) jelly jars full of peppers and pickling juice and 2 (12-oz) jars of extra juice that I dropped some baby carrots into for an experiment.
Adapted from Chef John
The zucchini from two CSA’s and and Doorganics has nearly won. I struck back today making a double batch of vegan zucchini bread. Nice try zucchini.
- 3 Tbs ground flax seed
- 1/2 C water
- 1/2 C canola oil
- 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
- 1 Tbs white distilled vinegar
- 1 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 2 C grated zucchini (about 1 medium zucchini)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 C flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 C chocolate chips (Ghirardelli’s semi-sweet chips are accidentally vegan)
Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease two 8x4x2″ loaf man, 4 mini loaf pans or 2 muffin tins. In a mixer, combine the flax meal and water and blend until thickened. This is your “egg” portion of most recipes. Add the oil, vinegar, and sugar, and combine. Stir in the zucchini and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add chocolate chips. Stir the entire bowl to make sure no dry areas are left. This is quite a bit of batter. Divide the batter evenly into the two loaf pans (or pans of choice) and bake for 60-70 minutes. (40-45 mins for mini loaves; 30-35 for muffins).
I snuck in a picture of the cutest Bagel in the world, Walter too. He was sleepy after a vegan treat.
Recipe adapted from Epicurean Vegan
I love naan. I love it a little less now that I’ve investigated what it is that I am actually eating. It’s not exactly health food. I have been buying these delicious commercial naan bread that I typically see at my deli counter and now they are available at Costco, double whammy. After I made this sandwich, I started researching recipes online for a healthier, more importantly vegan naan and I came up with a few that I will be trying for my next foray into sandwich-making.
Sometimes not eating meat poses problems in the sandwich area-going to a deli can be less than successful most times. Instead, you have to make up for it in your own kitchen. Pictured is a toss together sandwich made from Tin Foil Beets and various other items found in the fridge. These items would also make a great salad with a squeeze of lemon or orange juice for the dressing. Contents of the sandwich on naan bread are: smear of hummus, fresh baby spinach, avocado with lemon juice and roasted beets. I serve this in a pocket sometimes with sprouts, arugula and carrots. A Mr. Wonderful fave and perfect beach food as they travel well.
This is a twist on a previous post: Curried Tofu & Wilted Arugula Scramble . I won’t bore you with the details, but this update is awesome when you add the garlic scapes and kohlrabi it turns slightly more sweet than the original. Proof that really you can toss anything into a tofu scramble and it will taste good. Flex your imagination, or simply look into your CSA bag for inspiration.
- 1 tsp canola or olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, diced finely
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 garlic scapes, minced
- 1 medium sized kohlrabi, peeled and diced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 large handful, pea pods
- 1 1/2 T fresh ginger, peeled and diced
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1/4-1/2 inch dice
- 2 tsp regular (sweet) curry powder
- 1 tsp hot curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- a few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 C baby arugula or spinach
- 2 T crushed roasted peanuts
- Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and kohlrabi in oil for about 4-6 minutes covered, until translucent and tender. Add the garlic, scapes, and ginger, saute for 2-3 minutes. Add tofu and pea pods to the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the tofu has browned on some of the sides.
- Add the curry powder, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice & a few splashed of water if it’s too dry. Mix in the arugula. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the arugula is wilted (cover if you want this to go faster).
- Taste for spices and add another teaspoon of curry powder if needed. Plate, add crushed peanuts on top and serve!
I’m already thinking of dishes to take to 4th of July festivities. So many salads have mayo (gag) in them and have a short potluck shelf life. This one can stay at room temp indefinitely.
I could eat this every single day of the summer, mixing and matching veggie add-ins. It’s really THAT good.
Adapted from the NY Times.
Try it for yourself.
For the salad:
- 1 cup uncooked red quinoa
- 1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup fresh corn (optional) *see note
- 1 small avocado, chopped into 1 inch pieces
For the dressing:
- 4-5 tbsp of fresh lime juice (juice from 2 small limes)
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin, or more to taste (I used 1 tsp, I love cumin)
1. Cook 1 cup Red Quinoa according to package directions.
2. While quinoa is cooking, prepare the chopped vegetables and whisk together the dressing.
3. Allow quinoa to cool after cooking for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Add the beans and vegetables and toss well.
4. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss well with salt and pepper to taste. Bring salad to room temperature before serving. Keep fresh in a sealed container for 1-2 days. Makes about 5 cups.
Note: I defrosted and drained frozen corn before adding it to the salad, but the result was rubbery corn. I painstakingly picked out every, single, kernel after that eff up. I would suggest using fresh corn only, if the season applies, otherwise I wouldn’t bother with the frozen stuff.
Most of the recipes I come up with that are truly “my own” are straight out of my lack of want to go grocery shopping. I hate, no loathe, the grocery store. As a result of this…Roasted Turnip and Sweet Potato Pizza was born right from the contents of my pantry, fridge and deep freeze.
- store prepared or homemade hummus (I used Sabra, garlic flavor)
- store prepared or homemade pizza dough (I used a ball of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat dough from the freezer)
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into thin discs (skin on or off, your choice)
- 1 small red onion, sliced into rings
- a handful of turnips, cut into thin discs (skin on or off, your choice)
- goat cheese (unless you are vegan, then sub your fave non-diary cheese or go without)
- extra virgin olive oil (about a glug’s worth from the bottle-we are very scientific here)
- salt and pepper
- flour for counter top to roll out your raw dough
Wash, cut up and roast veggies tossed with olive oil, either in a foil packet on the grill or in a 400 degree oven until they are tender. In the photos, I took them out of their foil packet and put them right on the heat for the last minute or so to get a char. They are high sugar content veggies, so do not leave them unattended [if you were to by chance do this…you just end up with potato chips, so win-win at least]. You could roast your veggies up to 3 days in advance and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use. I would do this if I were more organized…alas, I am not…so keep reading.
While your veggies roast away, roll out your dough blob to desired crust thickness and let rest until your veggies are off (I have a VERY small grill-large grill owners you can do both at the same time is space allows). Brush crust on one side with some olive oil and put directly onto grill grate. DO NOT MOVE the dough until you can see the grill lines developing on the underside, or you will tear your perfect crust-give it a peek after a minute or so to see where you are at. This grated side is going to be your topping side.
Flip dough after it is firm yet not burned. At this point you can apply your hummus to the first cooked side, scatter around your potatoes and onion then drop your goat cheese or cheese substitute on top, cover and allow for the cheese to melt. When your cheese hits the melty stage, remove entire pizza. Let cool a few minutes then slice it up.
I find hummus is an awesome base for pizza-I use it more than the traditional tomato-based sauces. You can put just about any combination of toppings on this, sub what you like or what you have on hand, add fresh herbs to increase the wow value…if it were up to Mr. Wonderful we would make grilled pizzas every day.