Monday, December 21, 2009

raw burritos

Happy Holidays!

We were invited to a vegetarian potluck holiday party, and what a festive party it was! I love trying out new recipes for potlucks, and I also like bringing something that is easy to transport and serve. With a dozen very large beautiful collard green leaves in the fridge from the weekly CSA box, I decided on raw burritos. I found and tweaked some recipes from the internet, and even watched a video on how to roll the collards. It was fun, and the burritos disappeared very quickly at the party....they were a hit! Quantities in my instructions below are approximate. I ended up making 9 burritos, which I cut in half, (they were huge!) and I had extra filling left over, which mixed together over some lettuce makes a tasty taco salad!

Taco seasoned nut filling:

3 cups raw walnuts, soaked about 4 hours
2 cups raw hulled sunflower seeds, also soaked about 4 hours
1 TBS ground cumin
1 TBS chili powder
2 TBS Nama shoyu
2 TBS Olive oil

Put in a food processor and blend to a chunky consistency.

"Cheese" sauce:
2 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked about 4 hours
1/2 cup pine nuts, (not soaked)
2 TBS lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 cup water

Put in a food processor and blend for a few minutes until it is very creamy.

3 avocados
1/4 of a red onion, diced
4 plum tomatoes, diced
splash of lime juice
1/2 tsp cumin

Mash avocados with a fork. Add other ingredients and stir until well blended.

To assemble:
Lay collard leaf dark green side down on a cutting board or counter. (In the picture, the collard leaf should have been flipped over, they look nicer the other way.) Cut off the stem end.
Spread some of each filling (nuts, cheese, and guac) horizontally along the length of the leaf. I had some baby spinach leaves in the refrigerator, so I laid some of these on top of the fillings. Then, fold the bottom of the leaf up over the fillings, fold the sides in, and start to roll up the burrito, folding the sides in as you go. Secure with a toothpick.

Here's the link to the video for rolling the burrito

I will have fun experimenting with different filling variations in the future, these are definitely going to be something I'll make often!

Friday, December 18, 2009

roasted fennel, dandelion greens

Tonight's adventure in cooking farm vegetables.....
I started by slicing a bulb of fennel and quartering some turnips, tossed them in a baking pan with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. While that was happening, I steamed chopped dandelion greens and sliced garlic, and made a tahini sauce with water and tamari.

It was late, and we were hungry, so I didn't take any photos, but it was an attractive meal. The fennel was so yummy roasted, I have only tried it raw before. I would leave the turnips for a different dish next time.

The dandelion greens were really bitter, but I like bitter greens, so I was pleased with them! They grow on you after a few bites, so give them a try! The tahini sauce was very nice.

Now it's off to make more vegan cookie dough!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Foodie blog?

OK, so I'm thinking of trying my hand at a foodie blog. Our family belongs to a fantastic CSA (Worden Farm in Punta Gorda, FL) and each week we get a huge box of locally grown, organic produce. Each week, I get to figure out how to use up all the beautiful veggies.

Box day is Wednesday, so today I went and picked up the third box of the season (it's FLORIDA, we grow stuff over the winter!) but I still had a huge bunch of cilantro in the fridge from last week.

(side note: I found that a great way to store herbs is to stand them upright in a glass jar and put enough water in the jar to cover the stems, not the leaves. Then, invert a plastic bag over the leaves....recycled produce bags from the grocery store work great!)

Our family loves pesto, and I'd heard that you can make a nice pesto sauce with cilantro. I wasn't sure about it....I've never really been a big fan of cilantro, it reminds me of something soapy, but I decided to give it a go, since I had to make room in the fridge for the contents of this week's box.

WOW! It was a snap to make, looked gorgeous, and tasted fantastic. Somehow the bite of the garlic counter balanced the fragrance and flavor of the cilantro, and the result was a zippy, tasty pasta sauce. A nice, light alternative to basil pesto.

1 very large bunch of cilantro, about 4 cups
4 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli)
2 TBS kalamata olives (about 8-10 olives) pits removed
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (first cold pressed)
1/4 cup water
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Simply put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy.
Spoon pesto on top of hot pasta and mix well.

My son sprinkled parmesan cheese on top of his, but without the cheese it was very light and refreshing!

This recipe made enough for 2 lbs of pasta.