Sesame Ginger Blistered Shoshito Peppers
6 ounces Shoshito Peppers, washed
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon of chili oil (optional)
pinch of salt
Wash the peppers and heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
While the oil heats, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, maple syrup, ginger and garlic in a small bowl. Toss the peppers into the skillet, then pour in the sauce. Sauté for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently to coat the peppers in sauce. Continue stirring until peppers become evenly blistered (lightly browned and covered in small air pockets). Remove from heat, and serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lime and soy sauce or spicy Chinese mustard. Enjoy!
This was a super quick + easy lunch I was inspired to make after first trying shoshitos at sushi place in Seal Beach a while back. They were salty, a bit crunchy, and had just a touch of spiciness. So good! I wanted to do a little spin of my own and included fresh ginger and garlic- 'cause they're my favorite. The sesame ginger sauce was AMAZING and a perfect pair with these sweet peppers! My only addition would be sprinkle of sesame seeds for texture. (I was in a bit of a time crunch, so excuse the not-as-fancy iPhone photos on this one.) They're great as a snack or alongside a dinner with rice and kung pao cauliflower. We found our shoshito peppers at Trader Joe's, but you should be able to find them at any nicer grocery stores or Asian markets. You're gonna love 'em- especially since they're just about 10 minutes, start to finish. Let's eat!
Sumptuous Spinach Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing
When the gals over at PETA Living talked to me about doing a recipe makeover on their site, I was thrilled. PETA is an organization I've respected for a long time. They do the dirty work on the side of veganism- fighting for the helpless, the voiceless, and the forgotten animals of the world. It can be easy to think of veganism as a trendy, slimming health fad, but for those of us who are committed it is a LIFESTYLE. Veganism is about saving the planet, saving the animals, AND being happy & healthy. Did you know that going vegan can potentially save nearly 200 animals each year?! If you're not already a committed vegan, its something to consider. (Even #MeatlessMondays are a GREAT start!)
With that said, I give you this Sumptuous Spinach Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing; Spinach is loaded with phytonutrients and vitamins like A, K, and C. The citrus works as an anti-inflammatory and ups the vitamin C content even higher. Plus, NO animals were harmed in the making of this (delicious) salad! This salad is best enjoyed on a warm afternoon with a squeeze of fresh orange and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Enjoy!
1 bunch fresh spinach (about 6 cups of leaves)
2 medium-sized sweet peppers, sliced & deseeded
1/2 of a red onion, thinly sliced
half of an orange, sliced into rounds or halves
sesame seeds (for serving)
Orange Sesame Dressing:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Wash spinach and drain completely. Chop into bite-sized pieces, if desired. Chop peppers, onion, and orange slices and set aside.
To make dressing combine olive oil, rice vinegar, orange juice, sesame oil, agave nectar, garlic, & smoked paprika in a food processor or high-speed blender. Blend until combined, and taste test. Set aside.
In a large bowl, or on individual plates, arrange spinach. Toss or arrange peppers, onions, and orange slices and drizzle with the orange sesame dressing. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds & enjoy! Serves 4-6.
***Check out the post over on PETA.org HERE***
Kung Pao Cauliflower
As I'm sure you've heard, 2014 is shaping up to be the 'Year of the Cauliflower'- which basically means its the trendy veggie this year, as decided by the blogosphere. I'm sure we'll see some cauliflower craziness, but I couldn't not jump on this train, because I am a serious fan of this member of the cabbage family. (Did anyone catch last weeks Parks and Rec? Cauliflower is more than just a dead tree, people.)
I've been working with a cauliflower buffalo wings recipe intermittently since summer, but haven't made one worth sharing yet. I have, however, learned a lot about cooking and eating cauliflower. For instance, I like a little crunch to my tiny trees, and prefer them without a breading so I can still taste the cauliflower itself. After a few solid tries, we got this recipe perfect. I measure my recipe success by meal leftovers, and they were none to be found after we whipped this one up. I'm so excited about this recipe because its healthy, crazy rich in flavor, and makes a great shared meal (or leftovers!).
KUNG PAO SAUCE:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup braggs liquid amoinos or soy sauce
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon wasabi powder (optional)
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, juilienned
1 bell pepper, chopped OR about 1/2 cup julienned peppers
1/2 large head cauliflower (about two cups of florets)
Cook cauliflower & garlic together in a wok or large frying pan on medium-high heat until cauliflower is slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add onions & peppers and sauteé another 3 minutes, until onions are just becoming glassy. Add sauce and cook until sauce thickens, another 3-5 minutes or so. Remove from heat, serve over brown rice with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and green onions, and enjoy! Serves 2, saves well in the fridge for up to a week.
Raw Parmesan Cheeze
I've been trying to find a nice replacement for store-bought Parmesan for a while now. Its pretty expensive, and while it can be surprisingly realistic in flavor, its also got some pretty wonky ingredients. Tricalcium Phosphate, anyone? So I started down the "make your own" route. One of the questions I'm most often asked is how to replace the nuts in a recipe. Turns out a lot of people are allergic! And we vegans really love our cashews for creaminess, almonds for smoothness, and macademia nuts for flavor. So no nuts here, because we want everyone to enjoy this.
After much trial and error, we finally found a texture we liked to match the salty, tangy flavor of parmesan we've all come to love...and miss. We hope you like it, too.
1/4 cup miso*
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp black truffle sea salt (or 1/4 tsp extra garlic salt)
1/4 tsp dried oregano**
1/4 tsp dried thyme**
*You can use light or dark here. Light will have a slightly sweeter flavor, dark saltier. If you DO use dark miso, reduce the salt amount by half.
**Get creative. Try adding different herbs to suit you, or something funky like a little curry powder or smoked paprika.
Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and use a fork to mix everything together until completely combined. Mixture will be a little sticky.Taste-test to make sure its to your standard of tangy, salty parmesan. Eat!
Can be sprinkled on pasta, over soups, and even on pizza! Makes about a cup of cheeze. Stores well in a sealed container in the fridge for about 2 weeks.