Leek and Potato Quiche

I’m breaking my own rule by not posting a photo, but I don’t want to write out the recipe by hand only to misplace it. So, I intend to rectify the situation next time I make this and squeeze the photo in here. In the meantime, here’s the recipe.

Note: The milk and cheese can be omitted to produce a dairy-free quiche, which would still be tasty.

Recipe from: me

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 leek, sliced, rinsed, and strained
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. terragon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 6 eggs

Directions:

Thinly slice the unpeeled potatoes using a mandolin. Lightly salt the potatoes and the leeks and saute briefly in a cast iron skillet in a tsp. of butter. Mince the garlic and stir it in, allowing to cook for an additional minute. The potatoes should be just a tiny bit firm (ere on the side of caution–it’s better to overcook them than undercook them). Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the tarrgon, salt, pepper, and parmesan. Stir briefly. Add the eggs and milk, then lightly beat until the whites and yolks are fully combined. Pour on top of the potatoes and leeks. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Secret-Ingredient Chocolate Pudding

IMG_3126

Recipe from: me

This is one of my all-time favorite recipes. It makes a decadent breakfast or a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up, and it’s easy. It tastes creamy and luxurious and indulgent, and yet… it’s actually healthy for you as well as low-glycemic.

There is one little catch though, and that’s the secret ingredient. I wish I could make you taste it before I unveil this ingredient to avoid bias. See, the first time I made this I was doing it as a favor for my mom, and I was certain it would be absolutely nasty. But I tasted a little bite, and the rest is history.

So what is this mystery ingredient? Avocado. Seriously, just try it.

Ingredients: (all measurements approximate)

  • 1 just-ripe avocado, chilled in the refrigerator for several hours (you don’t want it firm, but if you wait until it is too soft the flavor tends to be more potent)
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk, chilled (for 100% raw, make your own by blending coconut meat and coconut water in a high-power blender)
  • 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 c. coconut sugar (can use agave nectar instead, or xylitol for the yeast cleanse diet)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • fresh berries for garnish

Directions:

Slice the avocado in half and carefully remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh into a blender. Add a little of the coconut milk– just enough to cover the blade of the blender. Puree the avocado until smooth and creamy with no lumps (this will take longer the less ripe the avocado). Add additional coconut milk as needed to help the blender run smoothly. However, adding too much at once can make it much more difficult for the blender to catch all the lumps in the avocado.

Now, spoon in the cocoa powder and coconut sugar, the vanilla, and the remainder of the coconut milk. (I sometimes add more coconut milk to make the consistency more milkshake-like instead of pudding-like. I recommend doing this the first time if you’re squeamish about the avocado, since the flavor of the coconut helps to conceal the flavor of the avocado.)

Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust cocoa powder and sweetner to desired chocolateyness and sweetness. Spoon into a glass or bowl and chill for 1/2 hour to an hour. (I skip that step, teehee)

I like to garnish mine with fresh berries and mint leaves if I have them. Bon appetite!

Butternut and Caulflower Soup

Butternut Squash Soup 2

Recipe from: me

This soup is so buttery and smooth, yet extremely low in fat. A rare find indeed! I loved it exactly as it came out, yet I still intend to play around with it and find other tasty versions. I’d like to omit the rosemary (which I overuse with squash and sweet potato recipes) and try some other things. Leeks? Red pepper flakes? Thyme? Sage? Oregano? Curry powder? Coriander seeds? And maybe add some more veggies in addition to the cauliflower, like peas or chunks of zucchini or other squash or parsnips or turnips. I love messing around with things.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp. Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
  • 2 1/2 cups water, more or less

Directions:

Rinse, cut, and steam cauliflower. Set aside.

Saute the onion in a small saucepan. When it starts to become translucent, squeeze the garlic through a press and cook for one additional minute. Add the onion and garlic along with 1/2 cup water to a blender and puree. Return the the saucepan. Add the butternut squash and seasonings, along with water until the desired thickness is obtained. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to low and add the cauliflower. Taste to check seasonings; refine if necessary. Simmer for several minutes or as long as is convenient.

Serve and enjoy.

Pumpkin Soup

This one is weird, because it was strange and exotic at the same time as tricking you into thinking it was comforting and familiar. I wasn’t sure I truly liked it, though. I think it was the cream. Maybe next time I can use almond milk instead, or just leave it out altogether.

Here is the basic flavor palette I worked with:

  • canned pumpkin
  • Rachel Ray chicken stock
  • onion
  • garlic
  • thyme
  • bay leaf
  • salt & pepper
  • cream
  • pepitas

Gives me something to work with and refine next pumpkin season.

Smoky Lentil Soup

This soup is really yummy, but it definitely needs time for the flavors to meld so it’s better to make ahead and save for the next day.

Recipe from: William’s Sonoma

Ingredients: (Measurements modified to serve 8)

  • 1 pkg. bacon, cut into small chunks and cooked
  • 2 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, rinsed and sliced
  • 2 medium stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 c. canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c. red lentils, sorted and soaked for 5-8 hours
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. salt + more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • sour cream for garnish

Directions:

see Williams Sonoma link above

A Japanese Tea ~ Fruit Sushi

Japanese

My friends Alicia, Marie, and Katie and I had a Japanese inspired tea party together this past Saturday. I made cherry scones, chocolate-dipped cherry fortune cookies with Bible verses inside which came out very sloppily but were an interesting experience to make–and they smelled really good–, asian lettuce wraps, and sesame crackers topped with cream cheese, ham (because I didn’t think people would like salmon), and cucumber rolls tied with chives, and, what probably ended up being the star, fruit sushi, which is what I’m sharing today.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

Fruit Sushi

Recipe from: Tea Time Magazine, March/April 2009 issue

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. short grain white rice
  • 1 (13. oz) can coconut milk
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 4 strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 kiwi, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 mango, peeled and thinly sliced

Directions:

Heat the rice, coconut milk, water, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, cover reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is sticky. Allow to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the fruit and cut the mango slices into 1/2 in. wide strips. When the rice is cooled, spoon half of it onto a large sheet of plastic wrap and press into a 4″ x 8″ rectangle. Lay half of the strawberry slices in a row across the center (lengthwise), then lay half the kiwi slices on top of the strawberries. Now, grab the ends of the plastic wrap and fold one side of the rice rectangle over on top of the fruit. Roll into a log, being careful to keep the plastic wrap out of the roll. Wrap the log in the plastic wrap with the ends tucked in. Repeat with the other half of the rice, strawberries, and kiwi, then allow both logs to chill for a few hours. After this time, remove the plastic and slice into 1/2 in. thick rounds. Place the rounds on a serving tray and drape with two mango slices each. Enjoy the fruity, coconutty yumminess!

Roast Potato Salad with Rosemary and Garlic

Recipe from: Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch, by Nigel Slater

There are three reasons I like this recipe. Reason number one: it’s vegan (or can be by substituting olive oil for butter, which, as it so happens, is actually the original recipe), and so many of the really good potato recipes are decidedly not vegan. They’re swimming in cream and milk and oozy cheese. Reason number two: it’s different. The mustard and red wine vinegar really wake up the potatoes and make them exciting, and then you have these potent little bites of garlic thrown in, too. And reason number three–it’s just really, really yummy. It’s also relatively simple to make. The hardest part is wrestling all of those garlic cloves out of their skins.

Ingredients:

  • 24 new potatoes, or 12 small russets, halved
  • a bulb of garlic
  • 1/3 c. melted butter
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • optional–chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the new potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl (If using regular russets, slice them in half). Peel each individual garlic clove from the bulb and add to the potatoes. Rinse and chop the rosemary and add that. Finally, drizzle the melted butter over the potatoes and give them several good tosses until thoroughly coated.

Spread the potatoes and garlic onto a baking dish or cookie sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until soft and creamy in texture.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients in a jar or salad dressing container and shake well. When the potatoes come out of the oven, press them with the back of a large spoon until they pop open, then drizzle with the vinegrette. Bon appetite.