Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Creamy Pesto Zucchini Pasta & Asparagus Ribbons

This recipe is so simple yet so gourmet. It's full of flavor, wonderful texture, and the perfect dish to spoil a special someone with. Even if you eat it alone in the company of two little begging pups you'll feel spoiled - I promise!
Here's the neat thing about this dish: you can have everything ready and prepped the night before and it literally takes only a couple of minutes to put it all together and warm it up. The Zucchini and Asparagus makes a completely dreamy combination of texture that won't have you missing real pasta. Of course if you must have real pasta then I recommend at least keeping the Asparagus ribbons. They really elevate this dish to a special level of "yum".

Important Note About This Recipe
The only important thing I can think of to tell you is to wait on combining all of the components together until you are ready to eat this as a meal. This is where having all of your ingredients ready and prepped is wonderful.
Think ahead people!
Creamy Pesto Zucchini Pasta & Asparagus Ribbons
This recipe yields 2 medium sized portions. I recommend serving with a hearty side salad or an additional Protein of choice
Step 1.
You're going to want to make 1 Batch of this:
Creamy Carrot-top & Chive Pesto
If you don't have Carrot greens on hand, simply substitute them with the same measured amount (seen in the recipe) for one of the following:
Okay, now that you've made your Creamy Pesto, set it aside (in an air tight container) and move on to the next step!
Step 2.
Prepping your Veggies
2 c Zucchini Pasta
You can do this by using a spiral slicer - or you can do it by hand following the directions seen in this post, by using a veggie peeler:
2 c Asparagus Ribbons
Following the directions for "ribbon slicing" seen in this post, by using a veggie peeler:
Now put your Zucchini Pasta and Asparagus Ribbons together in a bowl...
Add your Creamy Pesto from Step 1.
Mix it all together evenly (I may have used my hands for this)...
Oh la la! You're almost finished!
All you have left to do is warm your Pesto Pasta following one of the two methods noted below:
Dehydrator: Evenly spread your Pasta onto a Parchment lined dehydrator sheet and let it warm for 15 minutes, or until it's warmed all the way through. It's that easy!
Conventional Oven: Evenly spread your Pasta onto a large baking dish or pan. Set your oven at its very lowest heat, and leaving the oven door cracked open proceed to warm your pasta for up to 15 minutes, or until it's warmed through completely.
What happens when your veggie Pasta has been lightly warmed with the Creamy Pesto?
It's basically food magic! The Pesto turns into this amazingly rich and wonderfully textured sauce. You don't really need anything more than that - maybe a garnish of minced Parsley or Chive and a little salt and pepper. You won't believe how simple and gourmet this dish is. I truly hope you make it!

P.S. I might be doing another "Pasta" dish this stick around, k?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Creamy Carrot-top & Chive Pesto

Remember my Farmers Market Carrots from this post?
Before I purchased these lovely Carrots I had a nice conversation with Pete of Willow Creek Farms about what I was going to do with the Carrot-tops. I told him I wasn't exactly sure, but I knew I didn't want to let them go to waste. The thing about these greens is they can often border on slightly bitter, and really don't have a ton of flavor otherwise. The greens alone are rich in minerals, protein, and potassium - and the bitterness  of the green can be wonderfully transformed when combined with the right amount of acid.
Want to know a secret about me? 
Okay, maybe it's not really a secret - but here goes:
 I don't like fresh Basil. 
How scandalous! 
The truth is, fresh Basil has always upset my stomach. So I usually avoid pesto unless it's in very small amounts. Today's recipe is my version of a creamy pesto-like spread. If course, you can always omit the Chive and add Basil if you prefer. No rules here, only suggestions!
Regardless of whether enjoy Pesto with or without Basil - this recipe is a wonderful way to consume the nutrient rich Carrot-top. So the next time you buy a bunch of Carrots, chop off the greens, place the cut ends in glass with a little bit of water (this will keep them fresh until you're ready to use them) and make some Carrot-top Pesto!
Creamy Carrot-top & Chive Pesto
1/2 c Macadamia Nuts - chopped/ground:
After you've chopped/ground your Mac nuts add the following into your food processor:
3/4 c Carrot-top Greens
1/3 c Chive - chopped
2 tsp Garlic - minced (or to taste)
3 to 4 Tbsp Lemon juice
Pulse all of the above together and slowly drizzle in:
1/4 c plus 2 Tbsp Grape seed Oil //or// Extra Virgin Olive oil
Puree until creamy, but don't puree too much. You want to leave a little bit of texture to the nuts and greens.
Store this Pesto in an air tight container in your fridge and it will keep for up to 2 weeks.
You can enjoy this spread with just about anything: 
Sandwiches, a veggie platter, lettuce wraps, appetizers, pasta, or your protein of choice. 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Sprouted Buckwheat Flat-Bread (nut free)

Hi guys and gals! 
Hope you're all doing well. This week has flown by and I'm feeling so much better. Thank you so much for all of your well wishes. 
Here's a simple recipe for Sprouted Buckwheat flat-bread. 
I mean, it really doesn't get much easier than this - there's only three ingredients if you don't count Salt and water. 
I always try to have some kind of flat-bread or cracker in my fridge. It helps with easy snack-attacks, and quick appetizers if unexpected guests show up. I'm always hoping for unexpected guests! This gal right here loves to entertain, and feeding people definitely goes hand-in-hand.

A Note About This Recipe
This is probably the most pleasant and bread-like of all the breads I've made thus far. It has a very nice and pliable texture, and doesn't crumble apart. It seems to hold up very well as an open-faced or regular sandwich. I know I'll be making it again, and most likely it will be a double batch. If you want to make extra you can freeze half of your flat-bread for later on. It will keep wonderfully for up to 3 months in your freezer. Place it in your fridge to thaw and warm in your oven (set at it's very lowest heat) or in your dehydrator to remove any extra moisture after your bread has thawed.
Also - while this recipe is very simple and plain, don't think that you can't make it more exciting! Add dried herbs or spices for a flavor kick. Be adventurous!
Sprouted Buckwheat Flatbread
Step 1. 
Making your flat-bread
5 c Sprouted Buckwheat groats
Sea Salt to taste (I used 1 tsp)
Place your sprouted Buckwheat and Salt in your Food Processor (you could also do this by hand - but it may take some time) Pulse until your Buckwheat has broken down into an even meal-like texture like this:
In a large mixing bowl combine your ground Buckwheat and Salt, and add the following:
1/4 c  Flax seed meal mixed with 6 Tbsp Water - let your Flax seed meal and water sit for a couple of minutes until all of the water has been absorbed by the Flax seed. This is the "glue" for your bread!
Mix all of your ingredients everything together with an electric or hand mixer.
Step 2.
Assembling and Warming your Flat-bread
Divide your flat-bread mixture into either quarters or half (this helps with rolling out an even thickness).
Sandwich your flat-bread between two sheets of parchment paper (for detailed assembly see example here). 
Roll your mixture out into desired shape, keeping your flat-bread no thinner than 1/4 inch. Any thinner and you will run the risk of your bread breaking as it dries. 
Dehydrator Method: Place your Bread (with parchment paper on the bottom) into dehydrator and proceed to heat for 2 hours. After 2 hours remove your flat-bread from the dehydrator and peel off the parchment paper (it should easily peel off at this point). Let your bread cool off - and you will find that as it cools it will become less crisp and more pliable. Your finished bread should be firm but NOT hard...unless of course you prefer a cracker type bread. If all else fails you can put it back into the dehydrator for longer. 
Conventional Oven Method: Place your bread (with parchment paper) onto a cookie/cooling rack. Place the cooling rack onto a baking sheet. Place the bread, rack, and sheet into your oven, leaving the oven set at it's very lowest heat with the door cracked open (roughly 6 to 7 inches open). You will want to check your bread every hour to make sure it doesn't harden or cook to quickly. Turn your bread over after the first hour, and remove the parchment paper (it should peel off very easily at this point). Your bread should only take roughly 1 and 1/2  hours in the oven. Your finished bread should be firm but NOT hard...unless of course you prefer a cracker type bread. Remove your bread from the oven and let it cool. As it cools it will become less crisp and more pliable. 
Yum in my tum!
Happy Friday and happy eating!

Sarahfae - AtV

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Farmers Market & Ouch!

Sadly I have no recipe to share this Wednesday. 
A little sports injury had me in "rest mode" for most of yesterday and all of today. I could complain about this, but it's really nothing major - and I'll be happily visiting my chiropractor tomorrow morning to get things sorted out. Apologies to you all for no new recipe, apologies to my two little pups who won't be getting a walk today, and apologies to Mister AtV who won't get to slow dance with me in the Kitchen (to my favorite 1940's jazz tunes) as per our usual Wednesday night tradition.  
I did however manage to get out to my Farmers Market yesterday morning, and I brought my camera with me too! How about some pretty pictures?
I'd also like to say a special Thank You and hello to:
 Pete at Willow Creek Farms for his beautiful Carrots (and carrot tops!),
Heather at Organic Matters Ranch for her gorgeous Romaine and Red leaf Lettuce, 
and Mike at McIntosh Farm for his lovely Snow Peas. 
All of which you will see in some of my upcoming recipes! 
Support your local growers!
Puppies crashing my Farmers Market photoshoot...
Lucy knows a good carrot when she smells one.
Serious begging skills.

Hope you're all doing wonderfully, and Happy Summer!
See you back here on Friday with something new - I promise.