Tuesday, April 10, 2012

an excellent work lunch

I made a couple more recipes from Rawvolution before I returned it to Nurse Lu. She had encouraged me to try the 'famous onion bread,' so I made that along with some mock tuna salad (I'm a real tuna lover, and always looking for good vegan facsimiles). Both recipes required heavy modification--the bread looked like it would be far to oily and salty if I made it straight from the book, and the tuna had what looked like way too much mustard. They both turned out really well, though, and I will tell you how I made them for both our benefits (if I don't document it here I might forget what all I did). As you might guess from my remarks, I like this book but can only really recommend it to experienced cooks who will notice when something looks off about a recipe and can fix it to their tastes.

Onion Bread
makes 27 pieces

The amount of water is an approximation--if you use sweet onions, for instance, you will need less water than if you use storage onions. Start low so you don't end up with overly sloppy dough!

1kg onions
100g flax meal
100g sunflower seeds, chopped in your food processor till they're the size of polenta
1/4C soy sauce (nama shoyu if you want to be strictly raw, tamari if you you want your bread to be wheat-free)
3T olive oil
1/3C water

Peel the onions and halve or quarter them, depending on the size of your food processor feed tube. Slice them with the food processor (or cut them as thinly as you can by hand, wearing glasses to save yourself from onion tears).  Put in a big bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Squish with your hands to get the onions to release their juices.

 Divide the dough in three and spread each portion into a nine-inch square on a non-stick sheet. Put in your dehydrator and dry at 118° for about twenty-four hours. After at least ten hours, peel the breads off of the sheets and return to the dryer.

When they're done, cut each sheet of bread into nine squares. Store in an airtight tin.

Tuna-safe Salad
makes four generous servings

1/2C coconut water* or regular water
2 cloves garlic
1/3C lemon juice
1t kosher salt
1/2C each macadamia nuts and cashews
2t seedy mustard

2C sunflower seeds, soaked 2-6 hours and drained
3 stalks celery, diced
4 green onions, sliced
2-3T dulse flakes

Whiz the dressing ingredients in a blender till thoroughly smooth.

Chop the soaked sunflower seeds in your food processor till they resemble flaked tuna, then transfer to a bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients. Add the dressing. Let rest an hour before eating. See below for a serving suggestion!

*The coconut water makes the dressing a little sweet and Miracle Whippy. The sweetness dies down a little after a while, but if you really object to sweetness in your tuna you should opt for regular water. That way you won't have to open a young coconut either.

Monday, April 2, 2012

oh-so-easy cauliflower couscous

couscous ii

One of the things I fixed for dinner in Orland was cauliflower couscous. It's a tasty and super-quick side dish, as long as you have a food processor. I'm just going to give you a basic template, and you can add whatever tidbits you see fit. This is adapted from Rawvolution, a book with lots of good ideas but recipes that are far too oily and salty for my taste. In Orland I pretty much followed the recipe below, except that I added a handful of almonds, soaked and then chopped, and some pretty purple celery we got at the farmer's market. At the bottom of this post you can see a wild, hippie version I made for my work lunch: I used a mixture of white and purple cauliflower, which turns magenta when the lemon juice touches it, and added almonds, goji berries, hunza raisins, and minced fresh turmeric root.

Basic Cauliflower Couscous
Serves 2-4, depending on what else you're having. Enough for 3 work lunches!
A small cauliflower, leaves removed, roughly chopped
A bunch of parsley or half a bunch each of parsley, coriander, and mint (or other herbs you have and think would be good), stems included except for woody ones like on the mint, very roughly chopped
A big handful of green olives, seeded and torn apart
Juice of a lemon
2T olive oil
salt and pepper (be stingy with the salt till you've tasted it, as the olives will add salt)
Optional: nuts, dried fruit (unless it's really hard, don't soak it), zest from half of your lemon if it's organic (chop it, then add it to the food processor with the herbs), small amounts of spices you think would be good (Aleppo pepper, cumin, ground coriander), other seasonal vegetables....

Chop the cauliflower in your food processor till it looks like couscous. If you don't have a big one it would be better to do this in a couple of batches, so it gets chopped evenly. Scrape the cauliflower into a big bowl, then chop your herbs in the still-dirty processor. Scrape them into the bowl, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Let it rest for half an hour, then taste for seasoning. More salt? More lemon? Serve!

cauliflower couscous