Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Recipe for the Unexpected

Well, well, well...
What is going on this week? 
I'm sure by now you may have noticed that I didn't put a recipe up yesterday. 
Let me tell you a little story...
I'm a bit of a control-freak when it comes to my home, my work, and my goals. The hardest thing for a gal like me is to accept when things don't go as planned - and to not beat myself up. There's something to be gained from situations that we can't control, right? For me it comes down to peace; taking a break, a couple of deep breaths, a long run on the beach, and gaining perspective. Knowing that I can't do everything all of the time, and knowing that I'm still "okay". 
Sure, sometimes it's easier said than done - but what I'm confronting this week is "being okay" with not being able to do as much as I'd like to on AtV, and in other areas of my life as well. 
The beauty in this? I know I'll bounce back! But rather than bouncing back out of frustration from failed plans and goals, bouncing back from a more healthy emotional place. 
*Whew* It's kind of exhausting!
I am SO grateful to be able to share with you all what I am truly deeply passionate about.
Addicted to Veggies has turned into so much more than just a recipe site for me. It's become a way to reach out to wonderful people who, like myself, share an intense love of food. 
I hope you'll excuse my break in recipes this week.
I have a LOT to catch up on, a lot of yummy recipes, and a lot of big changes!
I can even begin to tell you how bright the future looks when you truly take care of yourself in the present.

Sarahfae - AtV

P.S. Lucy says "Hi"

Friday, July 22, 2011

After these messages...have this Chocolate Yogurt and Fruit Salad, pretty please?

I'm taking a little unexpected day off, as the busy weekend seems to be kicking off a little early. I hope you'll accept this repeat recipe as a humble offering (and easy way out) in place of a new one. I mean, really, who could turn away chocolate yogurt?
Watermelon Ice-cream(click for recipe)
If you've already made Wednesday's Watermelon Ice-cream (or planning on it), then here's a great way to use up the extra AtV Sour Cream that you'll have hanging out in your fridge.
(it's also keeping with this weeks "sweets" theme): 

Wishing you all the very best in food, health, and happiness.
See you back here on Monday!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Easy Watermelon Ice-cream (with no Ice-cream Maker)

 If you're the kind of person who wishes they could eat a creamy icy bowl of fresh Watermelon - without the seeds, and with all of the flavor...well my sweet, this recipe is for you. 
I even got the picky-finicky Mister AtV to try it and give his honest seal of approval:
"Tastes like Watermelon, and Ice-cream. It's good!"
I'm not a die-hard lover of Watermelon flavored things, but the fresh unabashed flavor of pure Watermelon as Ice-cream is truly something else. It's aromatic, sweet, icy cold, and creamy. How much can you ask for, really?
The other wonderful thing about this recipe: it's SO simple. 
Sure, you will have to plan a little bit in advance and prep a couple of things, but the process of making this takes only about 5 minutes, and turning it into ice-cream without an Ice-cream Maker adds about 2 hours onto that. But it's worth it - I promise!
Yes, you read right - the best thing of all:
No Ice-cream Maker necessary! 
Just a little bit of time and patience.
Here's what else you'll need:
--- A Food Processor 
Mine is an old 9 cup Cuisinart 
Or another type of Liquid Sweetener of your choice
And of course, Watermelon - seeded, sliced and frozen.
Now lets make some Ice-cream!
Easy Watermelon Ice-cream
Makes roughly 3 cups
2 & 1/2 c Frozen Watermelon - sliced & seeded
1/2 c Date Paste //or// Liquid Sweetener of choice, to taste
1 tsp Vanilla 
Into your food processor place all of the above:
Puree for 3 to 5 minutes, until everything is smooth and creamy like so:
After you're pureed your Ice-cream mixture, pour it into a Glass or Metal pan (glass or metal will ensure that it gets nice and cold in the freezer:
Place your Ice-cream *uncovered* into the freezer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes have gone by, remove your Ice-cream and stir it very well, smoothing/spreading it evenly out, and place it back into the freezer for another 30 minutes.
Repeat the above at least 3 times, until your Ice-cream has reached desired consistency, like this:
(My ice-cream took about 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.)
Serve your Ice-cream with fresh Berries, you could even add additional fresh Watermelon sliced on top...or in my case fresh mint.
Not planning on eating your Watermelon Ice-cream all at once? 
If you leave your Ice-cream in the freezer without stirring it for hours it will turn into a solid frozen block. But don't be sad - here's how keep this from happening:
Freezer Baggy and Food Processor: 
Place your Ice-cream Mixture into a plastic freezer bag, flatten it, and place it into your freezer letting it freeze in flat/thin form inside the freezer bag. When you're ready to eat it, simply break your thin frozen Ice-cream mixture into chunks, place it into your Food Processor, puree, and you've got instant Ice-cream!
Enjoy - all of you Watermelon lovers!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Lazy Day: Raspberries and Cheeze bites

Looking in my fridge this morning, and out at the grey skies, then back in my fridge, grey skies, fridge...you get the idea. 
Some days just feel a little less inspired than others. Not that I'm "uninspired" today, but in all honesty I'd rather be snuggled up with puppies, reading a book, eating a plate of snacks, and listening to my Leonard Bernstein album.
This right here is my FAVORITE all time album in the entire world.
The other truth to this situation, having nothing to with weather:
There's a LOT of leftovers in my fridge. Like, a LOT.
So this week is going to be dedicated to the lazy-cozy-cloudy weather, featuring simple easy recipes with whatever I have deep in the catacombs of my fridge. I hope you don't mind!
Alrighty! Lets see what I dug out of mister fridge this morning....
My fridge.
I'd show you the inside, but part of my duties today include cleaning it.
Maybe next time.
Nut-free Bread from THIS recipe post (click)
Parm Cheeze from THIS post (click)
A few Raspberries 
Now lets put it all together...
Sprinkle a little bit of Coconut Crystals (also known as Coconut Palm Sugar) on top of the Cheeze. You could also mix the Coconut Crystals into the Cheeze for an even sweeter bite.
Top with Raspberries...
Take advantage of the perfectly overcast outdoor lighting, and take a bunch of pictures while building up your appetite...
Yummmm. These were practically perfect in every way.

In addition to lazy leftover recipes this week, I'll be taking another look at one of my least favorite foods:
The Eggplant.
In an effort to try and love all things grown from the ground, I hope to find a new exciting way to "treat" this Aubergine devil.  
Wish me luck, I need it!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Watermelon Caprese Salad with Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette

Thank you to everyone who "piped in" via Twitter & Facebook with your favorite ways to eat Watermelon. 
I already had somewhat of an idea as to what I wanted to do with the juicy/sweet melon - but I'm always interested in hearing what you guys like, first and foremost!
The perfect bite of food for me goes something like this:
Sweet, Salty, Acidic/Tangy, and Aromatic. 
This recipe brings all of those components to the table, and to your palate. 
Oh my goodness, what a pleasant surprise! 
The first thing I thought after savoring every bite of this lovely delicate salad was: 
"This would be the star at an appetizer buffet!" 
And how much fun would it be to have an appetizer buffet? I'm always daydreaming about feeding people and hostessing parties, but rarely do I really get a chance to gather a bunch of people underneath one roof. I think the next event I host will have to be an appetizer buffet - including this amazing gem of a dish!

Important Note About this Recipe
I've mentioned before that fresh Basil doesn't agree with me, so in this recipe you'll won't find it. Instead you'll see Thyme and Mint in its place. Of course, like I always say: "No rules here, only suggestions"
If you're a lover of fresh Basil, then by all means include it. I recommend taking out the Mint and replacing it with Basil, leave the Thyme - because it's so wonderful!
You don't need a Food Processor to make this! 
I've noted 2 separate Cheeze recipes for you to choose from. The first is one of my personal favs and does require a food processor - the second Cheeze recipe does not. So, you really don't have any reason to not make this dish. I specifically picked these 2 cheezes because their flavors go well with this dish, and complement the aromatic flavors from the herbs. If you decided to make your own cheeze recipe (or use real dairy cheese) then I recommend a pungent and salty cheeze. Stay away from anything sweet (like some Cashew based Cheezes) because the Watermelon adds enough on its own.
There are SO many ways you can plate this salad and/or serve it. In today's photos I've simply stacked it like a classic Caprese, but just because I did doesn't mean you have to!
You could serve this as a chopped Salad, leaving the Cheeze on the side for your guests to add themselves. 
I've paired this Salad with a lovely (and super simple) Cherry-Watermelon Herb Salsa, which I'll include at the very end of this recipe post. 
Watermelon Caprese Salad

Step 1. 
Make one of The following Cheezes:
Food Processor Required: 
No Food Processor Required:
Step 2.
Thyme-Mint Vinaigrette
Into a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the following:
1/2 c Grapeseed Oil 
1/4 c PLUS 4 Tbsp Water 
4 Tbsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tbsp Date Paste //or// Coconut Nectar
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme leaves - coarsely chopped
1 tsp fresh Mint leaves - coarsely chopped
1 tsp Onion powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
Whisk Everything Together! Let it sit in an air tight container in your fridge for up to 1 hour (over night is even better) so the herbs can marinate and develop their full flavor potential.
Step 3.
Putting it all Together
It's as simple as this: 
Thinly slice your Watermelon
Stack/Spread your Cheeze (if you make one of my cheezes stick it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so it can firm. This will allow it to slice better)
Garnish with fresh mint or Thyme
Gently Drizzle/Drop your Vinaigrette on top of  your Salad...
Bonus Recipe!
Cherry-Watermelon Herb Salsa (seen paired with this Salad)
Makes Roughly 1/4 Cup
5-6 Dark Cherries - pitted and then quartered
3 Tbsp minced Watermelon
pinch of minced Fresh Thyme
pinch Sea Salt
Mix everything together, let sit for 5 minutes so the juices of the Cherry and Watermelon can dance around together. 
Plate your Caprese Salad on top of this Cherry-Watermelon Salsa and enjoy!

Wishing you all a wonderful Weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sprouting Red Quinoa & Nutty Quinoa Salad with Lemon and Herbs!

Wanna know something I've been doing a lot these days? 
I never thought in a bazillion years that I'd be so "into" sprouting. The truth is, once I got over the intimidation factor (that comes along with sprouting and a wealth of other kitchen science-type things) I quickly learned the simple fool-proof method. Take it from someone who likes to make food as easy and simple as possible -  if I can do it you can too! 
In today's post I'm going to share with you one of my favorite Sprouted Salads featuring Red Quinoa. I make this all the time now, and enjoy it in a variety if different forms. It's super filing and nutritious, and the Quinoa will keep for up to 2 weeks in your fridge. 
It's so easy! Just follow these simple steps:
How To Sprout Red Quinoa
Tools you will Need:
- 3 cup (24 oz) Wide Mouth Mason Jar with Lid & Screw Band
- Cheesecloth
- Strainer or Dish Rack
- Paper Towels
One more thing before you get started!
Red Quinoa almost always DOUBLES in size after its been sprouted. In the following steps you will begin with 1 and 1/2 cups Quinoa and end with roughly 3 cups of Sprouted Quinoa. Get it?
Okay, one more time:
1 & 1/2 cups Dry Quinoa = 3 cups Sprouted Quinoa.
Step 1. In your Wide Mouthed Mason Jar place: 
1 & 1/2 cups Red Quinoa
Cover your Quinoa with 2 cups of Water and seal with lid
Let your Quinoa soak overnight (8 hours roughly)
Step 2. After your Quinoa has finished soaking remove the lid, cover with Cheesecloth and secure cheese cloth with Screw Band
In this photo I'm making a
Double Batch
Step 3. After you've secured your Cheesecloth to the top of your Jar with your Screw Band, proceed to hold the jar over your kitchen sink, turn the jar upside down and shake all of the water out!
Step 4. Once you've drained all of the soaking liquid from your jar (or as much as you can), place it upside down in a Mesh Strainer or on a Dish Rack, place your strainer on a plate or shallow bowl to catch any access liquid:
Cover your Jar with a towel and let the Quinoa sit upside down for 5 to 6 hours.
Step 5. Rinse your Quinoa every 5 to 6 hours (or 2 to 3 times a day) by pouring water through the cheesecloth (you don't need to remove it), gently "swooshing" the water around so it touches all of the Quinoa, pour the water out of your jar and into the sink, and place your jar back into the strainer (or dish rack) upside down.
Step 6.  From start to finish your Quinoa should only take a total of 48 hours to fully sprout. You will know it's done when the tail of the sprout is roughly a quarter to a half inch long. Example:
Finished Sprouted Quinoa
Final Step - The Most Important Step!!
I can't stress to you the importance of properly drying your sprouts. If you don't then they won't last as long in the fridge, and that's just a travesty!
My Method for drying Sprouts:
Lay out (on a flat dry surface, like your counter-top or dining room table):
Two layers of Paper Towels - large enough to thinly spread all of your sprouts onto. 
Thinly spread all of your Sprouts onto your Paper Towels 
 Proceed to add another layer of paper towels on top of your Sprouts, pressing down on the paper towel so as to soak up as much of the moisture from the sprouts that you possibly can:
Let your Quinoa sit and dry out in the open (while sandwiched between the Paper Towels) for an hour or more. Making absolute sure you've soaked up all of the access moisture from the Quinoa.
When your Quinoa is dry, place it in an air tight container and store it in the fridge. 
And you're done!
How about a recipe using that lovely and nutritious Sprouted Quinoa?!
Nutty Quinoa Salad with Lemon & Herbs
Follow the directions above to get the proper amount of Sprouted Quinoa needed for this recipe.
Step 1. Grating your Macadamia Nuts
It's the return of the itty-bitty-grater!
Measure out 1/2 cup Macadamia Nuts
 Using your tiny grater (any small tooth grater will do - but aren't tiny graters adorable?!!) proceed to grate all of the Macadamia nuts into a fluffy nutty yummy pile:
Your Macadamia nut fluff should now equal roughly 3/4 cup
Set this fluffy goodness aside and move onto the next step.
Step 2. Making your Salad 
 Using some herbs from my very first
bucket garden feels very rewarding!
Into a large mixing bowl combine the following in order:
3 c Sprouted Quinoa
3/4 c Grated Macadamia Nut (from Step 1)
Using a fork, mix together your Quinoa and Macadamia nut:
continue to add:
1/3 c fresh Chive - minced
1/4 c fresh Dill - minced
1 Tbsp Lemon zest
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Onion powder
 1 tsp Garlic Granules
Sea Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix everything together evenly!
Enjoy right away, or for a more intense and robust flavor:
Warm your Salad in either your dehydrator or oven (set at it's lowest heat leaving the oven door cracked open) for up to 1 hour.
Lawdy this is good!
Another variation of this salad, which I happened to have this afternoon for lunch...
Chard Wrap with Cheeze, Quinoa Salad, Carrot julienne, chive, and tomato. 
Make extra wraps and surprise a friend with lunch! 

Thanks for coming by!