appetizer

Chewy's Salsa

Note: 

Boyfriend has a new hobby: salsa making!  He has been fine-tuning this recipe for a couple of months now, so we've been eating a lot of salsa! 

He's ready for me to share the following version with you, along with the disclaimer that there's no way that you can make it exactly the same way twice, considering the variation of heat and flavor in pasilla and habanero peppers.  So consider this a starting point from which to do your own tweaking!

Tools needed: 
food processor, non-stick frying pan (preferably cast iron)
Time: 
30-45 minutes
Chewy's Salsa
Ingredients: 
2-4 tomatoes, depending on size (we used two rather large tomatoes), roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped (yellow or red, depending on your taste)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (leaves and stems)
1 tbs lime juice
2 jalapenos, seeds and stem removed, roughly chopped
1/2 pasilla pepper, seeds and stem removed, roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and pepper to taste
sesame oil, for sauteeing
Directions: 
  1. Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan to until medium-hot.  Add 1/2 onion, 1/2 garlic, and chopped peppers.  Lightly saute until soft, but not browned.  Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Put all other ingredients in food processor, pulse until consistency you like.
  3. Add cooked ingredients and pulse thoroughly mixed, and consistency you like.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.  Tweak cayenne pepper if needed.  Make sure to taste test - if too spicy, you may need to add more tomatoes.
Serves: 
4-6
Contributed by: 
Boyfriend

Best Hummus Ever

Note: 

I've made (and eaten!) a lot of hummus, but this is the best recipe I've tried so far.  I recently came across this version on another favorite blogger's website.  Rebecca Woolf, of Girls Gone Child just started adding her mother's (WWW, or Wendy) vegetarian recipes, in a new section on her website, aptly titled "Eat Well".

I tweaked it a little for my taste by adding the parsley, but it's true to Wendy's version otherwise.

Rebecca's mother also wrote this very interesting and informative article on the hows and whys of cooking/eating vegetarian.  Thought I'd share with my fellow hummus-eaters!

Tools needed: 
food processor
Raw Hummus
Ingredients: 
2 15-oz cans garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed and drained
1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of 2 or 3 lemons
2 cloves garlic (more if you LOVE raw garlic!)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
Good quality olive oil
2 tsp freshly chopped (or dried) parsley
warm water
Other variations: Add basil, roasted peppers, red onion (my fave!), or cilantro! Experiement until you make your favorite!
Directions: 
  1. Put all ingredients in the food processor except the olive oil and the water.  Turn on processor and add about 1/4 cup water and a few tablespoons of oil or until you get the consistency you like.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Taste and correct seasoning if needed.
  4. I like to serve garnished with a little paprika (a little color never hurt anybody!) and parsley.
  5. Serve with veggies or pita bread or chips.  Or use in your favorite wrap or sandwich instead of cheese and condiments!
Serves: 
4-6

Raw Tomatillo Salsa

Note: 

When we came across tomatillos at the farmer's markets this fall, we thought, "well, what do we do with these?"  Yummy green salsa, of course!  The red onion, garlic, and serrano chiles, agave give this salsa a tangy kick!

Tools needed: 
food processor
Time: 
20 minutes
Tomatillo Salsa
Ingredients: 
3/4 pound tomatillos
3 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeds removed
2 cloves, garlic, chopped
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup cilantro
1/8 cup scallions, white and green parts
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tbs agave (or desired sweetner)
Serve with chopped or sliced avocado (to stay raw) or tortilla chips!
Directions: 
  1. Put all ingredients in food processor, blend until desired consistency.
  2. Serve with avocado slices or tortilla chips.
Serves: 
4-6

Raw Hummus

Note: 

Since moving to mostly raw foods, I've been missing this Mediteranean treat something FIERCE, so I was thrilled to find this delicious, raw version (adapted to my tastes, of course!) on the Crazy Sexy Cancer website

We've also shared this with some friends who gave it a serious thumbs up, so call that a win for raw foods!

Tools needed: 
food processor
Time: 
20 minutes
Raw Hummus
Ingredients: 
1 cup soaked rinsed, soaked raw almonds (soaking water has been poured off, almonds patted dry) or raw almond pulp leftover from making nutmilk
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup water
1/4 cup raw tahini
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
juice from 1 lemon
1 tbs fresh minced parsley
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground cumin (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
Directions: 
  1. Whiz the almonds in the food processor until they're finely ground.
  2. Add the water and make it a pretty smooth.
  3. Add in the remaining ingredients (and more water if you like, hummus may thicken up).
  4. Blend until smooth and adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Spoon into a serving bowl, sprinkle with paprika and chopped parsley to garnish.  Serve with your favorite raw crackers and veggies.  Enjoy!
Serves: 
2-4

Mock Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

Note: 

I had been missing tuna salad, but not anymore!  Ever since I learned there was raw, vegan, mercury and cruelty-free version of one of my favorite foods ever, I've been experimenting and tweaking to get it just the way I like it, and there's no turning back!

Tools needed: 
food processor or blender
Time: 
30 minutes
Mock Tuna Wraps
Ingredients: 
The salad base:
1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked in filtered water for 2-4 hours)
4 stalks celery, diced
2 scallions, diced, white and green parts
2 tbs dill (fresh or dried)
For the dressing:
juice of half a lemon
1-2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup almond pulp
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbs stone ground mustard
1/3 red bell pepper
For the wrap:
Romaine lettuce leaves
tomato slices
Directions: 
  1.  Drain the water and pat the sunflower seeds dry.  Pulse them in a food processor until mostly ground, leave some chunks for texture.  Mix in a bowl with the remaining salad base ingredients.
  2. Combine dressing ingredients in the food processor or blender.  Whizz until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add dressing to the sunflower seed base.
  4. Spoon into lettuce leaves and top with tomato slices.

Save any extra salad in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

Serves: 
2-4

Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Note: 

I had read about stuffing squash blossoms from the farmer's market, so when I came across some at the produce stand in Santa Ynez the other day, I couldn't WAIT to try it!  But most recipes I came across involved frying them, so I decided to make my own recipe for baking them, and they were DELICIOUS!

Serve over greens or salad for a delicious meal, or serve alone as finger-friendly, healthy appetizers or snacks.

Tools needed: 
baking pan or sheet
Time: 
30 minutes
Baked Stuffed Squash Blossoms on Salad
Ingredients: 
12 squash blossoms, stamens removed, rinsed gently and patted dry
1/8 cup shredded parmesan, goat or feta cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tbs finely chopped shallot
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
olive oil
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil pan or baking sheet. 
  3. Mix herbs, cheese, shallot and garlic together in a small bowl.
  4. Scoop cheese mixture into squash blossoms (1/2 to 1 tbs each) .  Arrange on pan or baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  6. Arrange on salad or mixed greens.  Serve while warm.
Serves: 
2 for dinner, more for appetizer

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Note: 

My wonderful friend Jenny made me these fries during my visit to Colorado.  I've struggled to make sweet potato chips in the past, but these are way less trouble for a very similiar result.

Tools needed: 
baking sheet
Time: 
45 minutes to 1 hour
Sweet Potato Fries
Ingredients: 
1 sweet potato per person, peeled (if desired) cut into pieces 2-3 inches long, and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick
1 tsp olive oil per sweet potato
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped, per sweet potato (person)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place sweet potato slices in a bowl big enough to toss with olive oil.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Toss until well-coated.
  3. Arrange sweet potatoes in a single lay on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, rosemary and other desired spices.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until crispy, 30-45 minutes, depending on thickness of slices.  Serve warm!
Serves: 
1 (per sweet potato)
Contributed by: 
Jenny Rukavina!

Parmesan Arugula Salad

Note: 

This extremely simple salad is a variation of a salad from the fabulous Trattoria Grappolo in Santa Ynez, CA.  I remember the amazement I felt that the a few simple flavors could bring such a rich experience to my taste buds.

Tools needed: 
big salad bowl
Time: 
15 minutes
Arugula Parmesan Salad
Ingredients: 
7 oz washed arugula
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 cup chopped roma or halved cherry tomatoes (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Place dried or spun arugula in salad bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.  Toss to coat arugula evenly.
  2. Use fingers to sprinkle with salt.  Toss again.
  3. Sprinkle with parmesan and tomatoes.  Toss again before serving. 
  4. Grind pepper over to taste.

 

Serves: 
4-6

Broccoli-Arugula Soup

Note: 

I've been sampling some of the recipes from the detox menu on Gwyneth Paltrow's site.   This soup is light, but filling and so delicious!  I'm looking forward to more refreshing recipes now that summer seems to have arrived to stay.

Tools needed: 
food processor or blender
Time: 
20 minutes
Broccoli-Arugula Soup
Ingredients: 
1 tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 2/3 pound)
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp each coarse salt and coarse ground black pepper
3/4 cup arugula
1/2 lime
Directions: 
  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium non-stick saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and onion and saute for just a minute or until fragrant.
  2. Add the broccoli and cook for four minutes or until bright green.
  3. Add the water, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover.  Cook for eight minutes or until the broccoli is just tender.
  4. Pour the soup into a blender or food processor and puree with the arugula until quite smooth.  Be very careful not to overflow, you may have to blend in two batches.
  5. Serve the soup with a bit of fresh lime juice squeezed on top.
Serves: 
2
Source: 
http://goop.com

Guacamole

Note: 

It's Margarita season, and nothing goes better with a Margarita than chips and fresh guacamole!  Enjoy with tortilla chips or your favorite Mexican or southwest dish.

Time: 
15 minutes
Guacamole
Ingredients: 
2 ripe, soft avacados
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
2 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
1 tbs packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
pepper to taste
1/4 lime
1 tbs enchilada sauce of choice (optional)
Directions: 
  1. Quarter avacados.  Discard pits and skin.  In a bowl, mash with a fork until desired consistency.
  2. Sprinkle salt, pepper and garlic powder evenly on the mashed avocado and mix in with the fork.  If using enchilada sauce, mix in as well.
  3. Mix in the tomatoes, onions and cilantro.
  4. Squeeze the quarter lime over the top to preserve color. 
  5. Serve immediately.  If refrigerating, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole, eliminating as much air space as possible.

  

Serves: 
2-4
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