Tuesday, June 22, 2010

my cousin Deb's

Here's the last post from my New York trip, at another great spot to dine.. my cousin Deb's. It's definitely an exclusive joint, so I had to call about 2 days ahead to make a reservation. :)

My diet (basically meat, fish, veggies, fruit, nuts & seeds) tends to freak hosts and hostesses out, if I'm coming over for dinner. Especially if I'm going over to a vegetarian friend's or family member's home. Deb had a great idea, which was to create a gourmet salad bar, so everyone in the family could create something delicious for their own mouths and digestive systems.

There were two bowls of greens, pre-dressed (but I can't remember the dressing.. Melissa?) One of spinach and the other for people who don't like spinach. There was a bowl of cherry tomatoes, a bowl of sliced avocados, slices of red onion, sliced grilled bell peppers, roasted cauliflower (I took more than my fair share of this one), raw peppers, and raw cauliflower, radishes, four different kinds of cheeses, hard boiled eggs, sun dried tomatoes, green olives, black olives, and chickpeas..

Thanks Deb! It was fun, delicious, and most of all, full of love.

restaurant review - blossom

I was treated to Blossom, another organic vegan restaurant in Manhattan, by my cousin Eric. Kosher for him and allergen friendly for me, the place was perfect. And we got to sit outside, which I think is important.. no need to waste good weather. This place gets 5 stars from me :)

We started out with all different colored beautiful fruit and vegetable juices.. I looked on their website, but they aren't listed there.. shucks. I should have taken a photo of the menu after all! I remember I had a "pink lady," Paul had something red, Benjamin something orange, and Eric something green.

The second photo was my Red Quinoa Salad:
with red quinoa, navy beans, julienne peppers, watercress, toasted seeds, mango guacamole, and lemon vinaigrette. Simple and delicious.

For dessert (my favorite meal of the day) I had a little scoop of green tea "ice cream" made from cashews, with a dehydrated gf cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookie. yum!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

restaurant review - candle 79

Candle 79 is an organic, vegan restaurant on the upper east side of Manhattan. My friends and I splurged on this meal - but we were on vacation. There are no restaurants like this, probably in the whole state of Missouri, so it was worth it :)

The entree I got doesn't seem to be on the menu, maybe it was a special of the day. I got a Moroccan spiced chickpea pate over root vegetables with broccoli, with a dollop of special date paste and almonds.

Their drink menu was really fun too - especially since I cut alcohol from my diet. I got the homemade ginger ale, made from: fresh ginger, agave, sparkling water, lime, and mint.

Check out their menu for some fun ideas..

baked salmon steaks with capers

Serves 2-4
4 fresh salmon steaks
1 yellow onion, diced
2 lemon, (one cut into wedges, the other for juicing before serving)
as many capers as you're into
salt and pepper
1/4 cup-ish olive oil

Oven! 350.
Wash and dry the salmon
In a glass baking dish, mix the olive oil and the onions.
Place salmon on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper, and rub in the olive oil.
Add the capers, and lemon wedges around the salmon, and squeeze the lemon juice from 1 lemon over the dish.
Cover with top or foil, and cook for 30 minutes.
Done. Serve . Enjoy :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

restaurant review - live

My cousin took me out to Live, an organic food bar in Toronto.. and it was to die for. Check out their website to drool over their menu, and get inspired by some of the descriptions.

I enjoyed the big bowl:
"A high protein salad mix of field greens, and kale topped with carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, mixed seeds, black beans, avocado, and sunflower sprouts tossed with your choice of dressings. Raw option: Substitute sunflower seed pate for black beans."

With the dilly house dressing:
Made of " cold pressed olive oil, tahini, apple cider vinegar, dill, garlic, wheat free tamari, celtic sea salt"

I also split the smoked reuben with my cousin:
"Our sesame kale and carob 'rye' bread smothered with a spicy sesame mayo, avocado, probiotic sauerkraut and our smoked walnut veggie patty. Served with root veggie chips and dill pickles."

And washed it down with a blues buster smoothie made of:
"Almond milk, blueberry, hemp seeds, apple juice, St. John’s Wort"

I wish I took photos of everything I ordered, but it all disappeared before I had time to think, about taking my camera out. Dessert was so hard to choose.. all their desserts were made without flour, gluten, or refined sugar.. I ended up with something small, an almond dream bar, due to the lack of room left in my stomach.

I'm going to try to reproduce some of their desserts, and when I figure them out - I'll let you know for sure :)

cleveland cousins & calico balls

I wrote about this dessert before, but here it is again.. I've made it a lot since the last time I posted the trinity truffle recipe. Here's a photo of one about 1.5" in diameter, along with my two cousins enjoying them. I put them in the freezer instead of the fridge, because we wanted them to be ready to eat faster - but then they got too hard, and we had no patience to let them soften up a little before we started into them.

So! Here's the recipe again.. but a little different.. as usual.

1 cup honey (or agave)
1 cup cocoa powder
1.5 cup almond butter
1/4 cup shredded coconut
extra coconut in a bowl for covering the outside

Mix! You'll need to call upon those muscles for this. Then roll into the size that suits your taste, and roll in extra shredded coconut. I put each one in a paper muffin wrapper, then put them on a plate in the fridge. (if you're in a rush, put them in the freezer - but then leave a few minutes before serving them so they're not too hard!)

chicken marbella at marla's

Sooo.. I've been out of town for the last two weeks. And now I'm going to attempt to catch you up a bit. Probably more than 1/2 of my meals were at restaurants.. a true vacation.. but I did get to do a little cooking all along the way. I didn't take photos of food during the first leg of my trip in Chicago.. but I did sing a lot of jazz and go out tango dancing. The next stop I made was Cleveland, to visit my uncle, aunt, and cousins. Here's one of the dishes we enjoyed together :)

It's the famous chicken marbella from the Silver Palate Cookbook - also on epicurious.
"It's good hot or at room temperature. When prepared with small drumsticks and wings, it makes a delicious hors d'oeuvre. The overnight marinating is essential to the moistness of the finished product: the chicken keeps and even improves over several days of refrigeration; it travels well and makes excellent picnic fare."

(we cut the recipe in 1/2.. to serve 6, instead of the original 12, and we also substituted honey for the brown sugar)

You'll need:
2 chickens, 2 1/2 pounds each, quartered
1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely pureed
2 tbsp dried oregano
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup pitted prunes
1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives
1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white wine
2 tbsp parsley or fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Oven! 350. (I almost just used the words straight from the book.. sorry.. if that's not good enough for you:)

In a large bowl combine chicken quarters, garlic, oregano, pepper and coarse salt to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers and juice, and bay leaves. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, overnight.

Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Drizzle chicken pieces with honey and pour white wine around them.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest, yield clear yellow (rather than pink) juice.

With a slotted spoon transfer chicken, prunes, olives and capers to a serving platter. Moisten with a few spoonfuls of pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Pass remaining pan juices in a sauceboat.

To serve Chicken Marbella cold, cool to room temperature in cooking juices before transferring to a serving platter. If chicken has been covered and refrigerated, allow it to return to room temperature before serving. Spoon some of the reserved juices over chicken.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

strawberries and vanilla coconut creme

Freshly picked strawberries, by yours truly.. and a couple spoonfuls of vanilla coconut creme..

Sorry I haven't been posting.. at all this summer.. but I'm on vacation now - and there will be a flood of recipes and pictures soon :) Do you miss whipped cream? Or maybe you had a dairy allergy forever and never got to try it? This creme recipe is SO delicious (and healthy).. the folks still buying whipped cream are the ones missing out.

I got this recipe (then tweaked it) from a post by Melissa here. It's a simple recipe.. you just blend together all the ingredients, but getting the coconut meat out of the coconut is a little bit of a hassle. But it's so worth it!!

2 cups young coconut meat
1/4 cup honey (agave for the vegans)
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Blend ingredients until completely smooth. Chill for 4-6 hours until firm.

There are so many desserts to enjoy this creme with!! You'll probably be seeing it on my blog more often.