I really didn’t know what to do…

I’ve had a few long days and nights if you will.  Mostly work-related, but I’m simply exhausted.  I was up at 5:45 this morning and out the door at 6:00.  By the time I got home this evening, the last thing I wanted to do was cook. Truly, even cracking an egg seemed bothersome.  However, something happened to me as I stood in front of my refrigerator gazing inside–inspiration came!

I haven’t made this in a long time, but I decided to make my Broccoli Veggie Slaw with Pistachio Vinaigrette Dressing, Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce over Brown Rice Pilaf and a large Steamed Artichoke with Aioli Dipping Sauce.

It was spectacular!

Broccoli Veggie Slaw with Pistachio Vinaigrette (V)

Ingredients:

8 ounces cherry tomatoes cut in half (I often use the multi-colored variety)
1 zucchini, sliced in thin strips (I use the Spirooli 3-in-one vegetable slicer)
1/4 cup roasted pistachios
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
1/2 bag Trader Joe’s Broccoli Slaw
Rainbow Black Pepper (to taste)
Pinch Celtic Sea Salt

Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss with Pistachio Vinaigrette Dressing (below)

Pistachio Vinaigrette (V)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup pistachios, shelled, roughly chopped
1/4 shallot, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + 1 tablespoon
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stem removed, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh basil, stem removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon honey
Celtic Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Sauté shallot, rosemary, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, dash of sea salt and pepper into a skillet until just fragrant and onion is soft. Toss in pistachios and sauté for an additional minute. Toss ingredients into a food processor or good blender. Add remaining olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, basil and honey. In a food processor, pulse until well combined. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Thin with water if desired.

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Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce (V)

1 cup of cleaned sliced Portabella mushrooms (3-4)
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 medium shallots sliced thin
½ cup of red wine
2-3 tablespoons of butter (or Earth Balance)
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
Celtic Salt & Pepper to taste

In a hot sauté pan add oil and mushrooms allow to cook 2 minutes before adding the shallots and garlic. Continue to cook until mushrooms are soft; add red wine. Reduce the wine by half and stir in butter and add thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

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Brown Rice Pilaf

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter or Earth Balance
3 tablespoons angel hair pasta pieces
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 cup long grain brown rice
2 1/2 cups water, or vegetable broth
Celtic Sea Salt & Rainbow Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter (Earth Balance).  Add the onions and saute. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Heat the water or vegetable broth and add to rice, bringing it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until all the water has been absorbed by the rice, about 45 minutes. Please don’t lift the lid to give a peek or stir or the rice will not cook evenly.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper and serve.

NOW, take the Portobello Mushrooms and serve them over the Rice Pilaf, and voila!  It’s so darn good!

Steamed Artichoke with Aioli Dipping Sauce

Clean (cutting off pointed edges & stem) the artichoke and then steam in a pan of water with 1 tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of salt and 2 crushed cloves of garlic, until done. While steaming, make the Aioli Dipping Sauce.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup mayonnaise (Veganiese)
3-4 sun-dried tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced

Blend in food processor or blender until creamy and serve with the Artichoke.

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Buon Appetito!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: Portobello Mushrooms in Wine Sauce

TASTE…and See

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Always In The Mood For Thai!

One of my favorite foods to eat is Thai Curry.  Truthfully, Thai food is among my top 3 favorite types of foods to eat. When I’m not visiting my favorite Thai restaurant here in Santa Barbara, I make the following recipe at home.  This is not an original recipe, but one I discovered in the New York Times Dining & Wine Section last year, and it’s fabulous! The article is interesting too.  Sometimes, you’ve just got to share other people’s wonderful discoveries!

VEGAN THAI CURRY VEGETABLES

By ELAINE LOUIE

Drew Spangler Faulkner, a 54-year-old cooking teacher at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Md., makes a Thai green curry that is a kind of Asian comfort food.

The sauce, made creamy with coconut milk, and gently spicy with the curry paste, is flavorful yet soothing. The vegetables, which are simply dropped into the sauce, and gently simmered for about 12 minutes, turn out tender, not soggy. The vegetables blend slightly, but when you bite into the eggplant, or the sweet red pepper, the vegetable — and its identity — are intact. As Ms. Faulkner has conceived this popular dish, it is startlingly simple.

It is a recipe that she distilled after traveling in Thailand in the late ‘80s, and also working with Thai chefs at the CIA Greystone campus in St. Helena, Calif, in the mid ’90s. She makes her own green curry paste, but the recipe calls for any one of three store bought pastes. Although some green curry pastes contain fish or shrimp paste, she has found three which do not: Thai Taste, Maesri, and Thai Kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

  • One 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (do not shake can)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar (Stevia or Agave works well too)
  • 6 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, like Thai Taste, Maesri, and Thai Kitchen, none of which have shrimp or fish paste
  • 1/2 cup diced (1/2 inch) onion
  • 2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) zucchini or other summer squash
  • 2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) peeled sweet potato
  • 2/3 cup sliced bamboo shoots, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 2/3 cup diced (1/2 inch) Asian eggplant
  • 1 lime
  • 8 large basil leaves, cut into thin chiffonade
Method
  • 1. Open the can of coconut milk without shaking it. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the coconut cream from the top of the can into a medium saucepan. Pour remaining contents of can into a medium bowl, and mix well. In a medium bowl, combine vegetable stock, soy sauce, and palm or brown sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • 2. Place saucepan of coconut cream over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble. Add curry paste and reduce heat to medium-low. Stir constantly until very fragrant, about 3 minutes; adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. Add onion, red pepper, zucchini, sweet potato, bamboo shoots, green beans, and eggplant. Stir until vegetables are hot, 2-3 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
  • 3. Add the soy sauce mixture and a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice to taste; you may use the juice of an entire lime. Stir and mix well. Add up to 1/4 cup water if the curry seems too thick.
  • 4. To serve, place the curry in a warm serving bowl and garnish with the basil chiffonade. If desired, serve over jasmine rice.

Yield 4 servings

Time 1 hour

Enjoy!  I always do!

Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See