eleven madison park granola

Granola

it’s the point in the
season/life/year where i spend less time
in front of the computer,
even less time behind the camera,
and practically no time in the kitchen.
initially i fight it,
because what else is there to do,
and most importantly,
what will we eat??

simultaneously though,
i can’t force it,
if i’m not feeling it,
i’m not feeling it.
anything more than that
rings kinda like a farce,
and if there is one thing
i sound vaguely very pretentious about,
it’s the authenticity of whatever.

today’s recipe requires minimal kitchen time,
and it’s perfect to have for breakfast with milk,
or smother in kefir for dinner.
cus sometimes you just gotta go with it.

Granola

eleven madison park granola
adapted from eleven madison park

*note: dw & i dined at eleven madison park for his birthday a few months ago and they gave us their granola as a parting gift. short of going back there to dine, i had to make it at home. their version is sweeter, and initially i would halve the sugar amount, and now i just nix it completely. i think the key is the olive oil and low temp. it is so good, it’s well worth forcing myself into the kitchen to put together. my office sidekick cj swears by it, tells me i need to quit my day job and become a crunchy granola hustler. don’t tempt me.

**note: this recipe is for 1 batch, but we typically double it.

***note: depending on what we have available and what we buy, we’ve bought nuts and coconut chips already roasted (or salted) and we would adjust the seasoning accordingly, or omit the stuff that wasn’t raw until the end. use your best judgement

2 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup shelled pistachios (ideally, raw and unsalted)
1 cup unsweetened coconut chips (ideally untoasted)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, raw
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, raw
sprinkle of kosher salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup dried sour cherries or raisins

preheat oven to 300F.

in a large bowl, mix together the raw ingredients.

in a small saucepan, warm the maple syrup and olive oil on low.

pour the warmed liquid on the raw ingredients and mix through, making sure all the dry ingredients are coated well.

on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, dump the granola on it and spread it out. bake until dry, about 40 minutes. be sure at the half way mark to stir granola around.

when the time is up, stir the granola one last time and allow to cool in the oven with the door open.

when it’s at room temp add in the cherries or raisins and whatever remaining ingredients that were not raw and mix through.

store in air tight containers, will keep for a week or two. we’ve managed to consume within that time frame, so i’m unsure if it’ll keep freshness beyond that.

BAM!

4 years ago: dutch oven bread
3 years ago: miso ramen
2 years ago: grass jelly with chia seeds
1 year ago: chia tea

vegan mapo tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu

every four years,
i’m surprised when election time arrives,
the level of vitriol increasing incrementally,
this latest season reaching obscene heights.
i became a citizen just in time
to vote in a historical president,
and it seems like we’re on the cusp of
voting in another historical president.
(at the time i wrote this post,
we did not know who the new president would be.)
mayhap with the passing of this season
things will settle,
be less contentious,
our facebook feed will go back to
cat postings
and finally,
i’ll catch up on the Brange drama;
though i wonder in the aftermath
of such hate,
and the tacit permission to be so unkind,
i wonder what the consequences will look like?

growing up tofu was consumed fairly often,
it’s nutritious and cheap.
lentils is a relatively new addition to my repertoire,
it’s also nutritious and cheap.
combining the two,
a western ingredient in an asian dish,
seems about right in this climate.

if only we could be so kind
in the blending of our cultures.

Vegan Mapo Tofu

Vegan Mapo Tofu
drawn from these sources: lady&pups, lucky peach, and burp! appetite.

note: you won’t use all the chili bean paste oil, it can be stored in fridge for a long time, used to top other dishes, like ramen or dandan noodles.
it’s spicy AF, dw was like, WHY IS THIS DISH SO ANGRY?!
note**: i’ve made this a few times, with/out the chili oil, with meat or with lentils, it changes depending on what we have in the pantry. what is the always the same is the tofu, i’m a firm tofu lover, the silken/soft stuff makes me mad. another thing, i always use the french lentils because they hold their shape better.

chili bean paste oil
1 cup of grapeseed oil
1 – 2 TBL of douban paste, i use lee kum brand
2 TBL chili pepper flakes

combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat at medium. with a spoon break the paste as best you can and fry for about 5 minutes, until the flakes turn brown. take off heat and cool completely. strain into a clean jar/container. keep in fridge until use.

the main event
1 package of firm tofu, wrapped in kitchen towel & pressed down with something heavy to draw out excess water
1/2 cup of lentils, i used black/french, cooked (cooked in water for about 30 minutes)
splash of oil
a knob of ginger, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup sliced/minced dried wood ear mushrooms, reconstituted in hot water
2 TBL of douban paste, i use lee kum brand
splash of chinese shao-xing wine, rice wine is fine
splash of dark soy sauce
1 tsp of ground sichuan peppercorn, i use penzeys
1 – 2 cups of veg stock
1 TBL cornstarch + 2 TBL cold water

after tofu’s been pressed of excess liquid, cube it and set aside.

heat up a large skillet with some oil and the ginger and garlic, take care to not burn. add in the lentils, along with the mushroom and douban paste. stir it through so that the lentils are fully mixed with the paste. add in the shao-xing wine, dark sauce and ground peppercorn. cook it through for a minute or so and then add the stock and tofu cubes. lower the heat and allow to simmer until reduced by half. (i like my chinese dishes liquidy cus i enjoy pouring the sauce over rice). add in the cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce. gently mix everything and the liquid is fully thickened, and transfer to serving bowl.

top with a tablespoon or so of the chili oil, heated in a small pan. serve with hot rice.

BAM!

Vegan Mapo Tofu

3 years ago: chicken pho
2 years ago: za’atar socca + middle eastern smashed avocado
1 year ago: only one thing last year, vegan carrot cake

Miso Hummus topped with Seaweed Furikake

Miso Hummus topped with seaweed furikake

a few great things that have happened recently:

i finally saw heart in concert
seeing as how the sisters are Wilsons,
there being that very slim chance of us being related,
i had to see them live.
alas after seeing their performance,
in my scientific opinion
we do not have the same talent genes,
they’re effing amazing.

i actually don’t despise podcasts, it came down to finding the right ones
a few of my fave:
Dear Sugar,
mortified,
& unqualified
i like the 2nd one so much,
we’re going to see them later this week when they’re in town
(if you’re local, let’s meet up!)
(just don’t be weird/creepy)

inspired by the Great British Bake Off,
i entered a chicken soup cookoff.
i spent part of the weekend making the stock
and then a large portion of sunday evening
making the first batch of Experiment Soup.
that’s lunch this week.
the cycle starts again this weekend,
up until Contest Day.
i will post the recipe after the contest.

Miso Hummus topped with seaweed furikake

Miso Hummus topped with Seaweed Furikake
makes about 2 cups

note: dw & i are on the never ending searching for smooth homemade hummus. we’ve made our fair share, with varying results of smoothness. what’s great about hummus is that it’s a very blank slate and it’s entirely up to you how you want to flavor and season. we’ve had the very very basic garlic version to herby to now this: miso flavored. all i know is, it’s a dish that brings people together, correction: brings different people together, a sentiment that lina of the lebanese plate is most passionate about. in today’s political climate, domestic and aboard, it’s scary times. let’s stop being assholes and share some great food. #SpreadHummusNotHate
*note: local/baltimore folk: Great Sage is having a family style Middle East Peace Dinner. get on that.

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
healthy pinch of baking soda
2 TBL miso (i used brown rice)
generous 1/3 cup tahini
1/4 – 1/3 cup cold water
1 tsp sesame oil, at the end, and to top

seaweed furikake, as previously seen in Somen Noodle Bowl
2 sheets of nori/seaweed, shredded by hand
2-3 TBL toasted sesame seeds, very important to toast!
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
pinch of salt

in a bowl, mix the furikake together. set aside.

soak chickpeas with pinch of baking soda, leave on counter overnight. they will double in size, it’s quite alarming.

next morning, drain and rinse. in a big saucepan add the beans with more than you think you’ll need water, about 4-5″ above the beans. bring to a boil, lower temp and simmer for about 1 hour. test for done-ness and then boil for a bit longer. i usually aim for about 1.5 – 2 hours boil time.

drain and add the cooked beans into a food processor. lina (along with other people, dw included) says to skin the beans for extra smoothness but my lazy ass was not gonna bother. add in the miso and tahini. blitz until smooth. then blitz some more. very slowly and carefully, add in the cold water until it reaches the loose consistency you’re aiming for. i like to aim for slightly runny, because as the hummus cools, it’ll thicken up.

top with the seaweed furiake and serve with chips/rice crackers/vegs.

it tastes better the next day as the flavors have had time to meld.

BAM!

Miso Hummus topped with seaweed furikake

3 years ago: diy watercolor wedding invites (!!!)
2 years ago: homemade lactose free ricotta cheese
1 year ago: bún riêu – vietnamese seafood noodle soup

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Miso Tahini Dressing

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

i’ve been doing yoga consistently for 2 months
which is to say,
i go once a week.
that’s a big deal.
it’s part of my
I’m Getting Old AF concession
so i do the crusty bendy breathing stuff
and my dr doesn’t give me shit for being lazy.
speaking of lazy though,
i have been lax this summer with cooking.
i tend to make a big pile of food
and call it lunch for the week.

when Friends of Great Kids Farm reached out to me
to participate in a back to school healthy lunch challenge
i was going to decline.
i sat on it for a day and decided to join after all.
i pack a lunch for dw + me everyday,
it’s hard sometimes when i’m uninspired or tired.
i’m assuming it’s like that for everyone,
whether you’re a parent,
or just feeding yourself.
this particular week’s lunch is a repeat,
i make it often because
it’s easy
affordable
nutritious
delicious.
what do you usually have for lunch?

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

Friends of Great Kids Farm is a 501(c)3 foundation partner to Baltimore City Public Schools’ Great Kids Farm. Friends financially supports, enhances, and promotes the Farm’s experiential gardening and nutrition education and career training programs to benefit as many of Baltimore City Schools’ 85,000 students as possible. In 2008, an overgrown, unused property owned by City Schools was transformed into a working farm and dynamic outdoor classroom. This unique facility now provides: a working farm where students connect with healthy foods through cross-curricular, hands-on learning activities; fresh produce for school cafeterias and nutrition education programs; a professional kitchen where students cook and taste Farm produce guided by a chef educator; classrooms for healthy food demonstrations and tastings linked to core instruction; internships for high school students in agriculture and the culinary arts; and support for the development of schoolyard gardens throughout the district. The Back to School Healthy Lunch Campaign seeks to bring attention to healthy eating and support innovative education with local creativity.

for more information, hit up
Back to School Healthy Lunch Challenge

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

Crunchy Quinoa Salad with Miso-Tahini Dressing

*note: this salad is never the same every time, it’s usually whatever is available at the markets and offered from our csa and the season. you’re aiming for a balance of freshness, tart & salty & sweet, and most important: your preference. if you’re feeling fancy, add some kind of protein, ranging from grilled chicken to chickpeas to tofu. sometimes, time allowing, i add a hard boiled egg. if you’re super fancy, cook the quinoa in stock for even more flavor.
**note: any miso paste is fine, i have the mellow brown rice miso but i’ve used red, yellow or white before, it’s according to your flavor preferences.
***note: this dish is best as a leftover and at room temp, which makes it a perfect lunch. the flavors meld and you’re not having to worry about heating it up. if making for a picnic or potluck, make it the day before, so it makes for a stress free dish.

INGREDIENTS
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 red cabbage, shredded
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced fine
1/4 small red onion or shallot, diced
1 carrot, shredded
bunch chopped cilantro
3 stalks scallions, diced
sunflower seeds, optional
cashews or peanuts, very optional
lime wedges, to garnish at the end
toasted sesame seeds

DRESSING
1/2 cup tahini
1 2″ knob of ginger, freshly grated
3 TBL tamari or coconut nectar (or soy sauce)
1 TBL maple syrup
2 TBL rice vinegar
1 TBL miso paste
1 tsp sesame oil
salt/pepper to taste
water to thin

rinse quinoa in a mesh sieve under cool water for a few minutes.

cook quinoa + amaranth according to quinoa package instructions. adding the amaranth doesn’t change cooking time. fluff, set aside to cool.

mise en place everything that you’re wanting to add to the salad.

to make the dressing, use a big bowl to mix everything, or use a vitamix to do the heavy mixing. add in the tahini & miso paste with a splash of water. blitz it up until well incorporated, the aim is to break down the miso. add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, with splash of water if needed. i shoot for 3/4 cup to a full cup of dressing, season to taste.

in a big mixing bowl, add in the quinoa with the vegs. drizzle the dressing in, starting off with just half of it and mix through. you can add as much as you want, keeping in mind that the quinoa will absorb it. you don’t want soup though. you may not use up all the dressing, and it makes for great dipping or regular salad dressing.

top with diced scallions, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds or cashews/peanuts if using. spritz with lime juice.

serve cold or room temp.

BAM!

Crunchy Quinoa Salad + Miso Tahini Dressing

3 years ago: chicken masala
2 years ago: spice poached pears
1 year ago: steamed egg loaf

zucchini ravioli

Zucchini Ravioli

we had a massive storm here in MD over the weekend
mayhap you saw the headline in your fb feed
or you’re local and you were hunkered down in your abode
like we were in the city,
the lightning and thunder really close.
at one point,
i turned to dw to ask him if he even
knew where the flashlights were.
like the lazy asses that we are
we decided that our phones can suffice
as torches.
meanwhile, with Stranger Things on tv
the kitchen was slowly flooding.
the deluge of water falling from the sky
could not be contained by the fancy gutters
we bought when we fixed the roof last year.
just kidding.
it wasn’t slowly flooding,
it was fucking gushing,
from the back door and onto my new tile floors.
and so, with winona ryder crying in the background
dw & i spent our saturday night
catching water and wringing out towels.
we’re such party animals.

prior to the storm
we picked up our csa and
it’s full on zucchini season,
this week’s recipe really makes good use of this summer veg.
for more inspiration,
hit up maria’s space.

zuch ravioli gif

zucchini ravioli
inspired and adapted from delish
makes about 12-13 raviolis,

*note: i made a full on dairy version with mozz & ricotta cheese for a friend returning from vacation, and i made a completely vegan version for us. click the link for the cheese.
*note**: i doctored up a jar of marinara sauce: sauteed onions + diced garlic scape, chunky over-ripe csa tomatoes and a few TBL of tomato paste.

3-4 zucchinis, sliced thin, with a knife, peeler (which is what i used) or mandolin
1 package of firm tofu, pressed of excess water
2-3 garlic scapes, rough chopped
healthy/generous bunch of parsley
salt&pepper to taste
1 cup of shredded vegan mozzarella, i used daiya
marinara sauce, jarred or doctored or homemade
shredded basil, to garnish

preheat oven to 350F.

slice the zucchinis as described. any nubby bits leftover can be added to the filling, or used for baking, or added to soup.

to make the filling: in a food processor add the pressed tofu. pulse it a few times to break it down. add the garlic scapes and parsley, pulse to incorporate. add in salt & pepper to taste and pulse a few times more. you’re aiming for a well combined ricotta-like mixture.

assemble the raviolis: lay two zucchini slices one way and another two across it, you’re aiming for a lower case T. spoon/scoop about 1.5-2 TBL worth of the tofu mixture in the middle (i used an ice cream scoop). fold the legs over, alternating, until a package is made. continue with the rest of the slices and remaining filling.

in a casserole dish, have a thin layer of marinara sauce. lay out the raviolis, seam side down. spoon sauce over and around the raviolis. they don’t need to be covered, but the amount is entirely up to you. finish with the shredded cheese.

depending on the size of the casserole dish you used, bake for 30-35 minutes (for the smaller batch, i baked for 20 min). the zucchinis came out just at done which dw loved, but i would’ve liked it to go a smidge longer.

garnish with shredded basil.

BAM!

zuch ravioli casserole

3 years ago: chocolate + coconut macarons
2 years ago: banh cuon chay
1 year ago: popcorn