Friday, June 29, 2012

Persian Mushroom Salad - Borani Garch

It's going to be a little difficult for me to write about today's recipe without babbling incessantly, using run-on phrases like; Soooogood, Ohmygodwhatisthisamazingness, Ican'tbelievethisishappening!
In a nut shell this Persian Mushroom Salad (also called Borani Garch) is hands down my new favorite food. Traditional Borani is gently seasoned and sauteed veggies combined with yogurt dressing -- super simple! So while I knew it would be easy to convert Joyce's recipe to a raw food version, I had NO idea what kind of insane deliciousness I was in store for.
This is my first time delving into Persian cuisine, but thanks to Mediterranean Fresh I now have plans to learn more about this gorgeous food. If any of you can recommend me a good Persian cookbook (or two, or three) please let me know!
AtV Persian Mushroom Salad
Yields enough for up to four people if your serving it as an appetizer 
Step 1.
Tender Seasoned Mushrooms
In the original non-raw recipe for this dish the Mushrooms are sauteed in butter with onions. I've used a simple technique that brings out the full flavor of the Mushrooms while still keeping them raw -- you won't believe how wonderful and rich they taste!
3/4 lb of Crimini Mushrooms coarsely chopped = 3 cups packed
- Set your Mushrooms aside in a bowl - 
1/4 c minced Shallot //or// White Onion
- Set your Shallots aside in a bowl - 
In a small mixing bowl combine:
2 Tbsp Grape seed Oil
1 Tbsp Water
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp unpasteurized Mellow White Miso //or// Nutritional yeast flakes
Salt to taste
Whisk the above ingredients together for 2 to three minutes
Add the Shallot to your Oil mixture:
Mix your oil/shallots into your mushrooms...
Now that you've "buttered" your Mushrooms you can move on to tenderizing them:
Tenderizing your Mushrooms:
Get ready to have your kitchen smelling like heaven...
  • Choose from one of the following Raw food Warming Methods noted here
  • Evenly spread your Mushrooms out on to either a parchment lined baking sheet or dehydrator tray
  • Let your Mushrooms warm/dry for 1 hour
  • When you've finished tenderizing your Mushrooms set them aside and move on to the final step below

Finished tender mushrooms and shallow - so good and so full of flavor!
Step 2.
Mediterranean Yogurt Dressing and Finishing your Persian Mushroom Salad
Make 1 batch of my raw vegan Yogurt Dressing found in this post
Fold the yogurt dressing to your tender Mushrooms 
Eee! (Sorry, I can't seem to contain myself) You're finished with the Persian Mushroom Salad! 
The only thing left to do is decide how you want to eat it. Traditional Borani is usually served with some sort of bread or cracker (like Pita) for dipping. Since I wanted to stay as close to traditional as possible I decided to whip up a batch of my Tart Crusts(click for recipe):
This was a perfect raw/gluten free substitute for pita bread, and it really complemented the Mushroom Salad.  Here's some other Nut-free pairing options:
If you don't feel like doing anything super labor intensive try pairing this salad with: fresh Chard Leaves, or even Cucumber rounds!
taking pictures of dinner outside in the very humid and overcast weather...
This recipe is my version of a "hug" -- so once you've had your first bite consider yourself hugged by me! 

Have a wonderful and tasty weekend!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mediterranean Yogurt Dressing with Cucumber & Carrot Ribbons

On page 302 of Joyce Goldsein's Mediterranean Fresh she features some wonderful Creamy Dressings that double as dips -- basically my favorite kind of food! Today's specific recipe peaked my curiosity not only because of the herbs it calls for, but also because there are so many recipes in her book that it can be can paired with. You can expect to see this versatile dressing in my raw food versions of Joyce's recipes -- Greek, Turkish, and who knows what else. 
Today brought the perfect weather to enjoy a light refreshing salad out in the sunshine of my backyard... Summertime, is that you? 
If you're looking to add a salad to your entertaining menu this Summer but you don't want to go with the typical  "tossed leafy greens" I recommend giving this one a try. Ribbon peeling veggies is simple, visually stunning and a wonderful way to reintroduce a salad course to friends and family. I'd also like to think of it as a kid friendly veggie dish - especially if you get the little ones involved in the prep! 
Step 1.
Mediterranean (raw vegan) Yogurt Dressing
This recipe yields roughly a little more than a half cup of dressing
In a small mixing bowl combine the following:
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp minced Garlic
1 tsp minced fresh Mint 
1 tsp minced fresh Cilantro (optional)
Salt to Taste
Whisk/mix together all of the above for a few minutes until your oil and lemon juice have married together with the Sour Cream.
Place this dip in your fridge and let it chill for and hour or so, this way the flavors can build and intensify.
Step 2.
How to Ribbon Peel Veggies
This is so simple - all you need is a good quality veggie peeler and a little bit of time and patience.
This technique applies to the following veggies:
Or any other oblong firm veggie 
If your veggie has skin that you'd like to remove, proceed to peel it off like you normally would
Grabbing one end of the veggies (preferably the end with a stem that you would otherwise cut off - this will act as a convenient "handle" while you rotate it)
Proceed to peel downwards on your veg, rotating it as you go 
Continue peeling the veggie until you've reached the core or until you can no longer get ribbons
Note About Cucumbers:
When ribbon peeling Cucumbers you will want to stop once you've peeled down to the seeds
(see photos below for example):
Step 3.
Making your Salad
The below measurements yields enough for one large salad or two generous sides
1 large Cucumber - ribbon peeled
1 large Carrot - ribbon peeled 
1 c packed Spinach leaves Chiffonade:
Everything into a bowl, and mix it up...
Garnish with Green Onion or Chive
It was way too easy for me to eat this entire plate of food without any guilt...
Happy eating and happy belated Summer!


Monday, June 25, 2012

Cauliflower, Green Grape, raw vegan Cheese & Herb Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette

I don't exactly know when my love for Cauliflower happened, but it's sneakiness has definitely caught me off guard -- I can't seem to get away from it! If you're not a fan of this crunchy white cruciferous veggie, you may want to think twice and give it one more try. This week I'm still on the subject of Mediterranean recipes, and since Summer is officially upon us I can think of no better time to eat bright colorful zesty meals! This dish would also be a great addition to any fourth of July get-together. The ingredients might make some guests raise an eyebrow, but after the first bite you won't need to do any more convincing -- I promise!
Cauliflower, Green Grape, Cheese & Herb Salad with Sun-dried Tomato Vinaigrette
This dish yields roughly 4 to 6 side servings
Step 1. 
Cauliflower Prep
First you're going to need 1 batch of the Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette found here (click)
In a large bowl combine:
 5 cups Cauliflower florets 
1 batch of 
1 Tbsp Spanish Smoked Paprika
Salt & Cracked Black Pepper to taste
  • Mix together everything evenly
  • Transfer everything to a ziplock bag and remove as much of the air from the ziplock bag as you can
  • Place your marinated Cauliflower in the fridge and let it sit/chill for at least 2 hours - over night is even better
Step 2
Salad Components 
*notes garnish
All of your Cauliflower from Step 1
1 c Red Bell Pepper thinly sliced
1/2 c flat leaf Italian Parsley chopped
1/2 c Green Onion chopped
*3/4 c Green Grapes sliced in half
*AtV Sour Cream on the side for additional flavor depth
In a bowl mix together:
Cauliflower, Pepper, Green Onion, Parsley
*Garnish the Salad with the sliced Green Grapes and Parm Cheese
*Serve the AtV Sour Cream on the side for those who'd like additional creamy flavor depth -- or you can also opt to mix in 1/2 cup of AtV Sour Cream to the Salad itself.


Friday, June 22, 2012

After these raw food messages I'll be right back...

Yummy Raw Vegan Strawberry Yogurt
My breakfast this morning, featuring the above Raw Vegan Strawberry Yogurt, topped with ground almonds, coconut flour and cinnamon
This week has thrown a me a few curve balls, keeping me out of the kitchen and busy with other areas of my not-so-exciting life. I hope you'll excuse the lack of a new recipe today, but please stick around...
Enjoying some leftovers for dinner: Wilted/tender Broccolette with Sun-dried Vinaigrette and raw vegan cheese
 ...I'm still focused on Mediterranean food, and I totally plan on continuing with that theme when I get back into the kitchen next Monday.
In the mean time, have a wonderful weekend!