Sunday, July 31, 2011

Challenge #16 - Stuffed Squash 2 for 1 Challenge

I was at the farmers market the other day and saw 2 kinds of squash I had never had before, golden squash and lita squash.  So I thought I would give them a try, but what to do with them?  I used to make zucchini and squash baked in the oven with a bread crumb stuffing.  The challenge- how to rework stuffed squash.  I thought about making a mushroom stuffing like the stuffed peppers I made in a previous blog.  But them I decided to try something completely different.  Stuffed squash with veggies and pesto (pesto friendly to my new eating habits.
Golden Squash
Lita squash

Ingredients: Squash, small zucchini, carrots, red/orange peppers, garlic, broccoli steams, basil, sea salt, nutritional yeast(parmesan substitute)

Step #1- hollow out the 2 types of squash
Golden Squash Hollowed

Lita Squash Hollowed
Step #2 - Bake squashed at 350 until soft.  While squash is in the oven, saute diced garlic, small zucchini, carrots, peppers, and usable squash from inside of lita as golden squash.
Saute veggies
Step #3- You can use regular pesto, but as I am not using oil,pine nuts, or parmesan, I have a modified recipe.  This is a combination of a few recipes.  In the food processor, mix garlic (1-2 cloves) broccoli stems, half a medium zucchini, basil, sea salt and nutritional yeast(optional) to taste.
Mock Pesto

Step #4 - Add pesto to sauteed veggies and stuff baked squashes.
Stuffed Golden Squash

Stuffed Lita Squash
Step #5- Serve and Enjoy.  This was delicious.  Anther idea I might try next time instead of mock pesto: Marinara on the veggies

Challenge #15 - Farmer's Market Discoveries

I went to the Farmer's market last weekend and found 2 new things to try.
Lemon Cucumbers - After looking these up online, I discovered they are named "lemon" because they are the same size as a lemon.  I have never seen these in the store before, I decided to try one.
Lemon Cucumber
Make sure when you wash them, you remove the little prickly pieces on the skin.  I then sliced mine with the skin left on and through them in a salad.  It has a similar taste to a regular cucumber, but seemed to be more water containing.  I found this very refreshing as the temperature was above 90 the evening I through it in a salad.
Lemon Cucumber Sliced

Kohlrabi - More unusual then a variety of cucumber.  I peeled it and sliced the kohlrabi and had it raw in a salad.  I went online and you can saute it as well as the green leaves, however, it was another hot day and making anything other than a giant salad was not appealing!  According to "wiki" it is a German turnip.  The texture reminded me of an apple.  I would recommend picking one up and experimenting next time you are at the farmer's market.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Challenge #14 - Veggie Sushi

Original Recipe: Veggie sushi with rice
The No's: Rice
The Swap: Millet

I was at a meeting the other day and we took a brief break to go out and get food.  More than half the people came back with sushi.  I hadn't had sushi in months because of the rice.  The light bulb went off as I was inspired by the beautiful sushi surrounding me.  Millet, why not give it a try.  I had just experimented 2 weeks previous with the grain for veggie burgers. When you cook millet, it's sticky, at least the last 3 times I had made it, so why not try it as a rice substitute.  Someone saw me jot the idea down so I wouldn't forget and I think thought I might be out of my mind.  Well, I tried my idea tonight and Success!  Below is the recipe and some photos.  Now I have never made sushi before, so I also share with you attempt #1 and #2 at making a roll (tasted good, but um I wouldn't want to serve to guests!)  So before I went any further, I googled "how to make sushi rolls" and watched a video.  Ah what we we do without the internet.  I tried again and 3rd times a charm.  I could serve this to guests at a party with small adjustments for the next time I make this.
Nori Sheets
Cooked Millet
Nama Shoyu (raw soy sauce)
Any kind of veggies you like (I use zucchini, carrot, and peppers)
Step #1 - Soak Millet overnight, rinse and cook according to directions. I added some soy sauce for some extra flavor as I find millet a little plain
Cooked Millet with a splash of Soy sauce

Step#2- Layer millet on Nori Sheet (Note I made mine too thick, next time I will use less)
Nori with Millet
Step #3- Add veggies of your choosing.
Veggies added
Step #4- Roll.  I recommend watching a video online before doing this.  As you can see, I got much better after watching instructions online.  My sushi became presentable!
Delicious, but not pretty sushi attempts!
Delicious and presentable!
I added some ginger to the side.  I also had some soy sauce on the side for dipping.  As you can see my millet ratio is more than the veggies.  I am going to work on making the proportions more equal for the next time.  I feel like I can make this for a party.  Oh and the best part, it didn't take me very long to make the roll once I learned how.  Most of the work is in the prepping of the veggies, which could be done ahead of time.

Challenge #13- New things at the Farmer's Market

I'm a little behind writing, so I have a few challenges to post.  I tried a few new things from the farmers market these past couple of weeks.
First, my new favorite thing!  Purslane.  Delicious.  I have been putting them leaves and stems in my salad these last couple of weeks. Anytime I see something new at the market, I like to ask the farmer what it is, what can I do with it, how does it taste (sweet, bitter, etc).  He also informed me that Purslane is full of Omega-3, great for me since I don't eat fish.  It will be greatly missed in my salads when winter comes.
I haven't tried this yet as I have been eating this in my salads, but when I googled purslane, I found that you can also saute like spinach.  If I try this, I'll let you all know.
Next is Sunflower Sprouts.  I know this is not something out of the ordinary, but it was the first time I had them.  Fantastic in salad.  Take a look below how beautiful.  Sometime I use the sunflower sprouts and purslane in my salad, sometimes I switch it up.
Sunflower Sprouts