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Monday, July 30, 2012

Noodles with Tofu Stir Fry


hello friends. it's quiet here. i've been hunkering down, falling back on tried & true dishes, as well as keeping things very modest. today starts the first day of a week long raw food cleanse. i might have a post in me this week, depending on my energy level. in the meanwhile, i guest posted at Savory Simple. Jen is a Baltimore Broad, actually one of the first i met back in 2006. 

i wrote about some weather issues we've been having, as well as seeing things on the bright side. for the recipe, please do head over to Jen's, but stay awhile, her recipes are simple, but lovely.

have a delightful week.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

black bean + pearl barley burgers

Black Bean Burger

it is just past midweek, midsummer (!!), the sweltering heat wave in maryland leaving much to desire. our days are punctuated by the mundane routine of waking right as the moon goes to slumber, returning home to simple meals of csa bounty. rinse, repeat.

to provide us with some relief from the cycle but still make use of our stash from the farmer's market, we made black bean burgers this week. still relatively light in fare, but packed with protein + fiber, they turned out well, filling and flavorful. initially inspired by food loves writing, this is my 2nd attempt at making these. the first time, i loosely followed shanna's recipe and this time, i used what was in the fridge, in the pantry, and what my taste buds wanted.

Black Bean Burger

black bean + pearl barley burgers
makes 4 patties

just like with any burgers, meat-filled or vegetarian, you can adjust seasonings + flavors according to taste. i kept it simple this time, tho i bet mexican (with chipotle seasoning, cilantro etc) or indian (fennel, cumin, curry) would be lovely.

admittedly, the dried black beans were a challenge. we don't buy canned stuff anymore. i started soaking the beans sunday night. monday evening, after work, we boiled them for what we thought was only going to be an hour or so. 4 hours later, they were still toothy. tuesday evening, after work, we boiled them some more, for 1.5 hours. they were finally done. we'll crock pot them next time. this did not discourage us, it only made us all the more appreciative when we were finally successful.

1/2 cup dried black beans, soaked over nite, boiled until soft (avg time 45 min - 5 hours, or by dw's estimation, 1.5 years)
1/4 cup dried pearl barley, soaked over nite, cooked according to package instructions
1/2 green bell pepper
1/4 cup green scallions, chopped
1/3 cup carrots, diced fine
1/2 cup kale, rough chopped
approx. 2 TBL bread crumbs
olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
dash of ceyenne
1 TBL cumin

it seems like a lot of work for such few ingredients, it's not, it's just a number of pots/pans. cook up the pearl barley according to package instructions. boil up black beans until soft. in a pan, saute green bell peppers, scallions, carrots, and kale in a bit of olive oil. season accordingly. when carrots are sufficiently soft, kale is wilted, turn off heat and set aside.

pre-heat oven to 350F.

first, process cooked black beans in food processor. add in the pearl barley, pulse until mixed thru. then add in the veggies, with bread crumbs and maybe a dash of oil. season again with salt/pepper. pulse until all is incorporated.

you should be able to form patties, it won't be sticky but it should hold shape. fry patties in pan of olive oil (or whatever oil), until both sides are browned but not burnt. finish heating thru in oven for about 15 minutes.

build your burgers. i sliced up half an avocado, lightly doused with lime juice to retain color. we had arugula handy, and we topped them with a generous spoonful of purple basil pesto.

basil pesto

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Lime Poppy Seed Scones ~ vegan


delightfully, our july has been quiet ~ not many plans in the calendar, nothing stretching us from one place to another. the only pressing standing date we have are saturdays, which is csa pick up day, but even that is nothing but a slight blip to our everyday living.

so, instead, we spend moments together in the kitchen, or doing the seemingly unending chore of unpacking: cleaning, organizing, discarding, merging. we promise ourselves movie date nights: i dress up, wash my face, comb my hair -- normal daily appearance chores i do for work but come the weekend, i seem to lose all motivation for grooming. if we're able and lucky, we might meet up with friends for lunch, a drink, or recently, a boat ride on the bay. what was supposed to be a simple afternoon spent on the water with chums ended up being a hilarious afternoon spent in the water, myself in my knickers, as i did not even think to bring a bathing suit.

thank god for friends who are more like siblings, unplanned days, lovely times spent in the company of the one we adore, and for these sweet treats. the day after our jaunt in the bay we found ourselves completely at the mercy of the weather. scorching hot and not at all nice outside, we turned the AC on full blast and then countered it by turning on the oven to bake these. they're wonderfully subtle, not at all sweet, unless you drizzle on the icing, which is completely optional, obviously, but more importantly, perfect to snack on while you do nothing during this perfect month.


Lime Poppy Seed Scones
adapted from Rosewater & Thyme

2 cups bread flour (you can use AP, or whole wheat)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 TBL baking powder
pinch of salt
1 stick soy margarine, cold
1/2 cup - 1 cup coconut milk, cold (or any other non-dairy milk)
2 TBL poppy seeds
zest + juice of one lime (use organic since you're using the zest)

powdered sugar
lime juice

preheat oven to 450F.

in a bowl, combine flour, sugar & baking powder. with your fingers cut the margarine into dry ingredients, until crumbly. add the juice, mix sparingly. add in the poppy seeds & again mix. then add in the coconut milk, you may not use all of it, it's all about the texture of the dough: it's supposed to come together but it's not overly wet. on a very well floured surface, shape dough into a round or square. cut into wedges or small squares. place onto cookie sheet, a few inches apart and bake for 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. you can brush them with remaining milk or egg wash. allow to cool.

for frosting, i did not measure. again, it was about the consistency. mix the lime juice with powdered sugar until dissolved, drizzle over scones.


Monday, July 9, 2012

beet & smashed avocado salad

beet sandwich salad

:sigh: we somehow managed to make it thru the week without losing power. there were others, friends & strangers alike, who were not so fortunate. maryland & surrounding areas suffered a massive storm last week. my thoughts go out to those who must make do without the comforts, but also with the workers who tirelessness toiled in the sun & heat to set things to rights.

in the aftermath we've been laying low, keeping our meals simple, quiet, with as little fanfare as possible. i will confess that sometimes i am overwhelmed with what to make for dinner, how to incorporate kale or turnips into a salad without repeating the same flavor profiles of, oh, last night's salad. this week's recipe for the food matters project provided me with the right kind of inspiration. for the full recipe, hit up Meg's of My Wholefood Romance.

i decided to make the dish vegan by using avocado instead, with parsley, as well as making use of some random almonds. for greens i used purslane, and for further layering, i added sliced white button mushrooms and cucumbers. to retain the pretty green color, i added the juice of one lime.

Friday, July 6, 2012

here, lately


hi hi!

happy independence week
don't you just despair when a one day holiday is smack dab in the middle of the work week?
we went berry picking, again
i attempted to tame pretzel dough
i lost
the abode is slowly shaping up:
the kitchen cupboards are clean
and already bursting at the seams with STUFF

we've been enjoying ice cream
csa pick ups
my new kicks

soon, hopefully, we'll try our hand at paddle boarding
we have a goal of finding the best ethnic restaurants in the city
i tried mac & cheese from here,
my first time since going dairy free
also, mantra
this has been streaming in my netflix

quick blog shout outs:
this blanket is so so so beautiful
this makes my heart rejoice
this blog that created this, flipping genius

happy weekend friends. stay hydrated, keep safe.