Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Indian Food teaser week continues...

Honestly you guys - I had no intention of this week turning out like it has so far. 
Trying to keep my cool, and trudge forward - this evening I'm finally getting somewhere with all of my "Millet Experimentation". 
I've decided to give myself another break, and another day of " recipe tweaking".
This is probably one of the most frustrating ingredients I've worked with so far - and I have a LOT of things to share with you regarding the process. So get ready for a lengthy post on Friday, 'kay?
In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of Curried Cauliflower and Peas:
Thank you so much for your patience in all of this. I promise to end this week with a recipe, Millet or not!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Monday, August 29, 2011

Millet Flour and Bajra Roti Teaser!

EDIT:
Sadly due to error or my part, and lack of experience/knowledge in regards to Millet, the information in this post has been edited/deleted.
For more information and my thoughts on Millet please go here and read more.

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mango Masala & Warm Lentils with Herbs

I'd like to thank every one of you who has nudged me with recipe requests to explore the intimidating world of Indian cuisine. 
I've had a small amount of Indian food in my lifetime, some of it "ho-hum", and some of it seriously "knock your socks off" amazing. The latter of those two has brought me here today (again, along with your encouragement). 
There's something truly magical about good Indian food. It can induce this body high of spicy flavorful emotions, enhancing all of your senses, making you feel euphoric and happy. I mean, if ever there was a food that made me feel like a super hero (who wanted to take a nice long nap) after eating it I'd have to say it was Indian food. 
If you've had good Indian food than hopefully you know what I'm talking about. Otherwise you're probably thinking "Somebody spiked that girls Chai tea".
With all of that said/written...how could I NOT be intimidated by this totally foreign (to me) cuisine?
I found myself in a local bookstore a few months ago with Mister AtV when I realized I should probably "get over" my fears. I apprehensively tip-toed over to the cook book section, and my eyes fell almost instantly on this little gem:
Literally having NO idea what kind of book I should be buying, there was one other Indian cuisine cookbook on the shelf next to this little cutie, but it was about five times as big with about five-hundred more pages. I laughed to myself, rolled my eyes, and reached for the smaller book. What I found inside on the first page made me sure I was heading in the right direction. 
This book is a Novice Indian Cuisine Lovers dream come true! I could probably write an entire post solely based on the information I've learned in the first 65 pages (read while standing in the book store), but since I try to keep things simple at AtV I'm going to encourage you to buy this book instead. If you're a food-science lover like myself you won't be disappointed. For those of you who are vegan, please note that this is not a vegan cookbook, but there is still SO much to be gained from it with a little substitution and creativity.
At the moment I've marked a bunch of pages with my highlighter, and the impending Autumn weather has me  excited about warm flavorful Indian food on stormy weather days.
The first recipe I found in this book (on page 26) is for a simple daag Curry base which can be made in a fairly large amount, stored in the fridge, and used in a variety of Indian dishes. 
The difference between AtV's daag Curry base and the cookbook's? 
A couple of things...
Rather than cooking/frying to enhance the flavors of the daag, I'm marinading mine - which works wonders!
The encouragement that I've found regarding Indian recipes; depending on the region and the person who's making it --- there's a great deal of flexibility to each dish, so long as you know your ingredients and your recipe outline.
 As always, my goal with this Indian food adventure is to create a cooked-food flavor palate using raw food techniques. 
...Let's make some Indian food, shall we?
Important Note About This Recipe
Don't be intimidated by Indian spices like I was! Some of the spices in today's recipe may be new to you, if they are please don't hesitate to ask me where you might find them. Often times you can find whole un-ground spices (like Fenugreek and Coriander) in the bulk spice section of a grocery store. These will more often than not be cheaper than if you were to purchase them already ground. I have a coffee grinder that I use  exclusively for my spices, so buying them as whole seeds doesn't deter me one bit. Another helpful hit when purchasing new (to you) spices; image search them so you know what they look like as whole seeds/spices. This way you won't be lost in the spice isle trying to find something you've never seen before. 
Be brave!
Step 1.
AtV Daag Curry Base 
Store this in and air tight container in your refrigerator. 
Makes enough for 2 servings when made into Mango Masala
Wet Ingredients:
1 large Tomato = 1 cup chopped or minced (it's up to you)
3 Tbsp Oil - Canola, Safflower, or Grape seed
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
3 heaping Tbsp Date Paste
1/2 tsp Lime Juice (optional - for more tartness)
Mix with a fork or wisk
Dried Ingredients 
Proceed to add the following to your wet:
3 heaping Tbsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp ground Garam Masala spice mixture
1/2 tsp Garlic Granules
1/4 tsp ground Mustard Seed
1/4 tsp ground Coriander Seed 
1/4 tsp Ginger powder
1/4 tsp Paprika //or// Cayenne powder to Taste - for those of you who like heat
1/4 tsp ground Fenugreek Seed

3 to 4 pinches ground Cinnamon
3 pinches Cumin powder
2 pinches Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Mix everything together! 
Place your Curry base into your refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours, but I recommend overnight.
-
Step 2.
Making your Lentils
Into a mixing bowl combine:
1 & 1/2 c sprouted Lentils (you can also used cooked Lentils if you prefer)
1/4 c Green Onion - chopped
Fresh Cilantro leaves - as much as you'd like
1 Tbsp Oil - I used Grape seed because it's my fav
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mix it all together!
Cover and set this aside while you move on to the next step.
-
Step 3.
Assembling your Mango Masala
The recipe in this entire post makes enough for roughly two servings
Into a mixing bowl combine the following:
2 c Mango - chopped
1/4 c yellow Onion - minced
Add all of your Daag Mixture and mix together:
Now here's the super special part...
Add 3 Tbsp of AtV Sour Cream:
This elevates your Mango Masala to a whole new level of yum! I promise - you don't want to leave the Cream out.
You have two options next:
Plate up your food and eat it chilled
OR
Warm it gently on your stove top or in your oven (setting your oven at it's lowest heat and leaving the oven door cracked open). 
Either way, make sure you have time to sit down and savor every bite of this delicious dish...
I hope you've enjoyed my very first recipe adventure with Indian Food...I certainly did.

Happy Friday Everyone!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sleepy Summer Days

I have a confession...
I slept in today.
This little self indulgent decision created a trickle affect in my day that has me sitting here on the living room sofa - still waiting on recipes to be done, playing footsie with Mister AtV as he waits for me to finish typing this and join him for an evening stroll.
Basically today consisted of playing "catch-up" as well as new recipe testing.
Not to mention our Indian Summer seems to be in full effect here on the Pacific Northwest. It's wonderful!
My kitchen is practically bursting at the seams with new and exciting food, and as much as I'd like to post a recipe today I'm making another executive decision to tease you with photos instead.
I hope you'll forgive me!

I promise to be back here with a yummy recipe on Friday...Indian food perhaps?
Ingredients for an upcoming Recipe. The middle jar is ground Fenugreek. 
Mango Curry Masala - Zowie! This is good!
See you back here on Friday with a new recipe that you won't want to miss!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Bake "Brown Sugar" Cookies

Let me tell you a little bit about myself...
My favorite cookies in the entire world are sugar and short bread.
I don't eat sweets very often, and when I do it's usually in the form of fresh fruit, with the occasional cheezecake or ice-cream thrown into the mix.
Last night was strange, because I wanted cookies. But not just any cookie. No. I wanted something that would remind me of sugar cookies, with a soft melt in your mouth texture like short bread. Basically I wanted something familiar, in a form that I'd never had before. 
Are you still with me?
So I crossed my fingers, turned on some jazzy tunes, put on my apron and hoped for the best.
The result of my late-night-cookie-experiment was nothing short of a miracle. 
Coming from someone who has never been able to master the art of baking (even boxed cakes throw me for a loop), the fact that I was able to make a cookie that tastes like a real baked cookie, and in my opinion much better...I can hardly stop celebrating!!!
These little gems are SO incredibly wonderful, I can't wait for the Holidays to roll around so I can make batches of them as gifts for friends and family.  
Important Note About This Recipe
First of all - this recipe yields a LOT of cookies. You may want to only make half to start (it will also be less expensive if you do so), or freeze half of the cookie dough for another cookie craving.
This Recipe calls for an ingredient that I don't use very often, but when I do it's always necessary:
I wish I could offer another substitute for Coconut Crystals outside of regular Brown Sugar (in which case would work just fine if you're not holding yourself to a raw diet). Coconut Crystals are my "go-to" dry sweetener of choice for many reasons, starting and ending with flavor. The fact that they are a dry sweetener helps these cookies maintain a melt-in-your-mouth texture, and a caramel-sugar cookie flavor. Date Sweetener just won't cut it where these cookies are concerned, however I may embark on making a date sweetened version of these cookies if I get enough requests!
As always, please feel free to comment below if you have any substitute questions.
AtV "Brown Sugar" Cookies
As I mentioned before, this recipe yields a LOT of cookie dough. Freeze half the batch for a later use, or make it all and be prepared to have a cookie eating marathon. Just don't give yourself a tummy ache, please!
Step 1.
Food Processor Portion
2 c Macadamia Nuts
2 pinches of Salt
In your food processor proceed to grind your nuts and salt into a butter/paste - processing time is roughly about 3 minutes:
Add to your Macadamia Nuts, into your Food Processor:
1 cup Coconut Crystals
1/3 cup PLUS 2 Tbsp AtV Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla
Puree all of the above for 3 minutes. 
Your mixture will become a big oily ball at this point. This is a good thing!
-
Step 2. 
Electric Mixer Portion
Now - Transfer the contents of your food processor to a large mixing bowl, and using your mixer add:
1 c Coconut Flour
1 c Almond Flour (you can either make this yourself, purchase it, or use Coconut Flour instead.
1/2 c (more) Coconut Crystals - yep!
1/3 c Water
Mix everything together!
Finished Cookie Dough!
What I did from here was divide the cookie dough into fours, rolled it out, and cut it up. Pretty Simple stuff:
Sprinkle your Cookies with a mixture of Coconut Crystals & ground Cinnamon.
-
Step 3. 
Warming Method: 
Oven
Set your Oven at it's lowest heat
Place your Cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet
Put your Cookies into your warm oven, leaving the oven door cracked open (about 6 inches or so)
Let your Cookies stay in the oven for 30 minutes to 1 hour
Flip them and let them warm dry for another 30 minutes to 1 hour
When they are finished they will be dry (and warm!) on the outside but perfectly soft and melt-in-your-mouth good on the inside.
Let them cool completely, place them in an air tight container and store them in your fridge!
Dehydrator
Place your cookies on your dehydrator sheets
Warm/dry on 118/120f  
Let your cookies warm/dry for 30 minutes to 1 hour
Flip them and let them warm dry for another 30 minutes to 1 hour
When they are finished they will be dry (and warm!) on the outside but perfectly soft and melt-in-your-mouth good on the inside.
Let them cool completely, place them in an air tight container and store them in your fridge!

Recommended thickness - maybe a little bit thicker. Otherwise your cookies may require a little bit longer in the oven (or dehydrator if you prefer).
Happy eating!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gourmet Purple Green Bean (Nicoise inspired) Salad with Lemon Butter sauce

Purple Green Beans?
For those of you who have never seen these lovely aubergine colored beans before, they are very similar to your regular French Green Bean, only I note a slightly nuttier and sweeter flavor. French Green Beans are also known as Haricot verts - which is kind of more fun to say while channeling my French ancestry
I had to buy a bunch of these beans from the market last week, especially when I heard that they won't be around forever (due to the changing season).
Thanks again to my wonderful pals over at AtV's facebook page for piping in on what they'd like to see today. I have a couple other ingredients in my fridge that I was mulling over, but these purple beans won the vote, and that is why you get to see this recipe!
One more thing about this pretty purple veggie: When cooked, the pretty dark purple color turns to green (how sad!)...but we don't have to worry about that at AtV.

Important Note About This Recipe
This is a No Food Processor/Dehydrator Needed Recipe! Yay!
My inspiration for this dish comes from the very popular Nicoise Salad. While my salad is still fairly different from the Nicoise, you'll find the addition of Parsnip to be reminiscent of potato, and I may have even added something "egg-like" at the very end. 
Don't have Mellow White Miso?
This recipe calls for a Lemon Butter sauce, similar to the herb butter in this recipe, but since a few of you have chimed in saying that you don't have access to Mellow White Miso, I took it out and made a wonderful substitute! So pay close attention - k?
Warming Methods  
I normally note Warming Methods at the end of a recipe, but since Warming is optional here I wanted to note them at the beginning instead. There's a couple of different ways you can warm this salad:
Dehydrator: thinly spread salad over your dehydrator sheet, and let it warm for about 30 minutes.
Oven: Set your oven at it's very lowest heat, leave the oven door cracked open. Thinly spread your salad contents evenly out onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Let them warm (with your oven door cracked open) for about 30 minutes.
Tenderizing Method
Tenderizing: This is fairly important (and awesome too) if you're wanting more of a steamed or blanched texture to your Green Beans without cooking them. Yes - it's possible!  It's very simple, and only requires a little bit of patience. After you've added your Lemon Butter to your Salad place it in the fridge to marinade for up 3 hours (overnight is even better). After your salad has marinaded proceed to warm it using one of the methods above. Eat your salad warm, or place it in the fridge to chill again. 
Gourmet Purple Green Bean Salad with Lemon Butter Sauce
Makes enough for two portions
Step 1. 
Beans & Veggies
3/4 lb of Purple Green Beans (or regular French Green Beans)
Slice your Green Beans on the bias, showcasing their lovely bright green insides...
Add to your bowl of Beans:
1/4 c Chive - chopped
1/4 c Purple Bell Pepper //or// another colored pepper - chopped
1/3 c Parsnip - finely grated
3 Tbsp fresh Dill - minced
Set your veggies aside, and move on to the next step.
-
Step 2. 
Lemon Butter Sauce
You'll need two bowls for this recipe
6 Macadamia Nuts - grated into a fine fluffy powder:
Place your grated nuts into a bowl and set them aside.
In a separate bowl add:
4 Tbsp Canola Oil //or// any kind of Oil that is mild in flavor - just not Olive Oil
3 Tsp Lemon Juice
1 heaping tsp Date Paste
3/4 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Whisk! 
It'll be a little lumpy, but that's okay...
Now add 
All of your Fluffy Grated Macadamia Nuts
and
3 Tbsp Water
As you whisk in your Grated Macadamia fluff (and water) you will notice it dissolve into the liquid.
-
Step 3.
Putting it all together:
Add your Lemon Butter Sauce to your Bowl of Beans and Veggies, and mix it all together!
Proceed to Warm and/or Tenderize your Salad by using the methods noted at the top of this recipe.
Plate it up, garnish with a Lemon wedge, Sea Salt and Pepper to taste...
Out of sheer impulse I decided to add a side of Deviled Eggless Eggs to this dish, because it just seemed right...
This is seriously my new favorite salad! 
One more thing...
Did you know that the curly ends of green beans are called "Elf Shoes"? 
Lucy and Elmer are certainly fans of Purple Green beans too...
Wishing you all a very happy and very yummy weekend!

xoxo,
Sarahfae - AtV