Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

She Thought It Was Chocolate Pudding… March 9, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 11:54 am
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I can’t believe I used to dislike olives.

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I wonder when I first had a Kalamata olive…?

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Pitting olives is meditative.

Not really.

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I must tell you…  I brought the end result of this recipe to work.  I was about to dip some broccoli into it when I saw my co-worker staring over.  She looked concerned.  She’s often concerned for my sanity.

“What is that?”, she asked, like a deer in headlights.

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She thought I was about to dip my broccoli in chocolate pudding.

Hmm…  Don’t put ideas in my head now…

Kalamata Olive & Walnut Hummus

Initially I thought about doing a tapenade with the olives and walnuts.  But then I remembered some black-eyed peas waiting to be used.  Oookaaaay, I said.  Olive lovers, this hummus is for you.  If you like, but not love, olives, you can dial back the amount of olives and see how you feel with the result.  I like the walnuts in place of tahini because their rich, yet mellow flavor pairs nicely with the briny olive, but I imagine tahini would be just as awesome.

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked black-eyed peas, garbanzos, or a combination

1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

1/2 cup walnuts

some fresh or dried herbs of your choice– rosemary, thyme, sage, etc.

red wine vinegar– enough to achieve the desired consistency

salt & pepper to taste

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In a food processor, combine the beans, olives, walnuts, and herbs.  Pulse everything together, then add enough red wine vinegar to smooth out the consistency.  You can also use a bit of olive oil or water to adjust the consistency so you don’t use too much vinegar.  Add salt and pepper (remember to go easy on the salt since the olives add brininess).  If the olive taste is too intense, you can drizzle in a bit of honey or agave.

 

Because Hello Kitty is a Fame Whore… January 29, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 5:46 pm
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One of the most difficult aspects of being super awesome and hardcore in the kitchen…

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Is storing chives in your Chococat mug while you think about cool ways to use them.

Yeah, that’s right.  I have a Chococat mug.  Suck on it.

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Suck on some garlic while you’re at it…

And cashews, salt, pepper, garbanzo beans, white wine vinegar…

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It’s hummus time.

(Hmm…  That would be a good name for my own brand of hummus…  I call it!)

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See, I was thinking about what to do with leftover chives

from this DELICIOUS Shepherd’s Pie I recently made…

Y’know, kinda like when I was all like,

“What-am-I-gonna-do-with-this-leftover-cilantro?!#%^$”

It happens.

That’s okay.  Fine by me.

Good for YOU.

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Chive Jive Hummus

Ingredients:

1/4 cup raw cashews

1-2 cloves of garlic

small bunch of fresh chives (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped)

1 15-oz can garbanzos (or 2 cups home-cooked)

a few Tbsp of white wine vinegar, to taste and to adjust consistency

salt and pepper to taste

1) Combine the cashews, garlic and chives in your food processor.  Chop and mix until the cashews are pretty much ground up, scraping the sides down one or two times.

2) Add the garbanzos and puree.  Stream in the vinegar until smooth.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.

3) Give yourself a pat on the back and grab some crackers, pita chips, or fresh bread…

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Make a sammich…

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Or something.

Some notes…  If you’re not so much into garlic as I am, you should stick with one clove, and go from there.  I used 4 garlic cloves for no sane reason, and that’s a good idea if you’re trying to avoid the flu or venereal disease…  Yeah.  As far as chives, it’s difficult to go overboard with them, because they’re so much more mild than their relative, the onion.  In place of white wine vinegar, you can use lemon juice, as well as some zest if you like.  And you can use nuts other than cashews, but I like their buttery sweetness to help carry the onion-y flavor of the chives.  I imagine pistachios would be great as well, and add to the lovely green color.  Green is pretty awesome.

That is all.  Carry on.  Chococat 4 lyfe.

 

How Hard Can It Be? January 15, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 9:29 am
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I consider myself lucky.

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I enjoy fruits and veggies.  And herbs and spices.  All sorts.

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And I know how to use them.

I know what they do for me.

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I know for a lot of people the sheer thought of a broccoli floret, a carrot, beans, or even a plate of spinach sauteed with garlic– is traumatizing.  Whereas to me, they’re beautiful.  Raw, cooked, paired with dressing or dips, I just love my plant food.  At work I’m offered pasta, eggs, bread.  I have cookies and cakes and icing and chocolate at my immediate disposal.  I taste some things, but that is it.  Not because I dislike these items, but because A) I don’t like to take too much food from work, and B) I know how these foods make me feel physically, as opposed to the fresh fruits and veggies I bring from home.  My biggest indulgence on the clock is spinach gnocchi when the Miss sneaks over a couple pieces.  She’s lovely.  I sometimes take home with me her sweet potato salad or jalapeno corn muffins.  But she knows the best things to give me are celery, broccoli, tomatoes, arugula in lemon dressing, or even a spoonfull of chipotle pepper!  And yes, I eat the chipotle pepper straight up (while co-workers stare in amazement).  One time she brought me all the vegetable scraps from a crudite platter she was doing.  Cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, cauliflower… Best day at work.  Ever.

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      I know.  Issues.  I have them.

Well, mental issues, yes.

Health issues?  Haven’t seen one in many moons…  Haven’t had a “real” cold in years– I swat them with chili peppers, garlic and onion.  The flu and I are complete strangers.  Headaches are rare, as is indigestion.  My digestive system and I have very clear communication…  take that as you will.

But.

I wasn’t always this way.  As a kid, I pretty much despised salad.  I was down with some fruit.  Apple juice was my beverage of choice.  But it ain’t an American childhood (especially in the 90’s) if you’re not eating garbage of some sort.  Pop Tarts, sugary cereals, hydrogenated oils, Handi-Snacks, Dunkaroos… y’all know what I’m talkin’ ’bout!  My immunity wasn’t bad, but it could’ve been better.  I remember horrible stomach pains at night, asking Dad to rub my back so I could try to fall asleep.  Mom did her best to feed us a healthy diet, but when so many crappy non-foods are marketed as “health food”… it’s not easy.  You have to educate yourself.  You have to research.  You have to learn and experiment and taste and do the whole trial-and-error.  Over and over and over.

Which is what I did, starting in my late teens and early twenties.

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Mmmmm, glad I did.

So, yes, I know.  It’s not easy.  You’re not born liking carrots and beets and greens.  But just like when we’re babies, we have to try foods several times, and in different preparations, to see if those foods are really not our thang.  I hope, if you’re one of those who’s afraid of plants, that this salad piques your interest, and that you try your hand at it, or at least one of the components, or another one of my recipes.  Personally, just the roasted beets and carrots are wonderful on their own.  I ate some for breakfast… But then again, of  course I would.

Rabbit’s Delight

This salad is a winner.  Crisp, creamy, a bit of tang, natural sweetness, and nutritionally packed.  Other great additions would be some cooked chickpeas, sprouts, some teriyaki baked tempeh…  If you want to go all raw, you can just peel and grate the beet and carrots.  Now go be healthy!

Ingredients:

for the dressing-

1 cup raw cashews

a few handfuls of cilantro leaves

zest and juice of two limes

salt and pepper to taste

water to adjust consistency

for the salad-

1 medium beet, sliced (peeling is optional)

a couple of large carrots, sliced into coins (or a few medium/small carrots)

a bunch of salad greens (I used chicory, but you can use romaine, spring mix, butter lettuce, etc.)

1 avocado, sliced

1) For the dressing, combine all the ingredients, except water, in a food processor and blend, blend, blend, until you have a smooth, creamy consistency.  Add water to thin it out to your liking.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

2) Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Toss the beet and carrot slices with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake until tender.  Around half an hour should do.  I think…. :)

3) When the beets and carrots are cooled, combine them with the remaining salad ingredients in a bowl.  Toss with the dressing, and serve.  Yaaaay.

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A Cilantro Solution December 3, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 6:40 pm
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Hi.

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Before I start going nuts about posting recipes for the holidays, I wanted to show yous guys this little impromptu project.

You know that dilemma when you buy fresh herbs… and they come in huge bunches…

and you only need a few stems for the reason you bought them?

Yep.

Cilantro.

Cilantro happens to me a lot.  Because it’s used quite a bit in some of my favorite cuisines: Mexican, Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern…

And my co-worker asked me to make salsa.  So I did… And you can only put so much cilantro in salsa.

I mean, come on.

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So.

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Red lentils, sweet bell pepper…

red onion, lime, jalapeño, a bit of unsweetened dried coconut…

Oh yeah, garlic, salt and pepper.  Essentials, y’know.

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Red Lentil, Sweet Pepper & Cilantro Salad

This is a do-as-you-please recipe.  Because that’s what salads are about.  Adjust quantities to your liking.

Here’s the approximation of what I did:

Cooked red lentils.  About 1 cup.

1 sweet bell pepper.  Yellow or orange would be best.

Half a small red onion.

A bunch of cilantro leaves (to suit your taste).

Two to three cloves of garlic.

1 jalapeño

1 lime

1/4 to 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional, but adds a touch of sweetness)

salt and pepper

Dice your bell pepper and onion.  Finely chop your cilantro, garlic and jalapeño.  Mix everything together in a bowl, and grate some lime zest in there.  Salt, pepper, and the juice of the lime to taste.  You can also drizzle in some olive or sesame oil.  Want more seasoning?  Try cumin, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon.  But tread lightly.  Don’t want to overwhelm these bright and sprightly ingredients.

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Cookies.  Soon.

I promise.

But I think you’ll like this too.

 

Beetwood Mac October 27, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 2:27 pm
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Have mercy baby, on a poor girl like me.

You know I’m falling, falling, falling at your feet.

I’m tingling right from my head to my toes

So help me, help me, help me make the feeling grow…

‘Cause when the loving starts and the lights go down,
And there’s not another living soul around,
You woo me until the sun comes up,
And you saa-aay that you love me.

Pity, baby, just when I thought it was over

Now you got me runnin’, runnin’ runnin’ for cover

I’m begging you for a bit of sympathy

And if you use me again it’ll be be the end of me…

‘Cause when the loving starts and the lights go down,
And there’s not another living soul around,
You woo me until the sun comes up,
And you saa-aaay that you love me.

Baby, baby. hope you’re gonna stay away,
‘Cause I’m getting weaker, weaker every day.

I guess I’m not as strong as I used to be,
If you use me again,
It’ll be the end of me.

Beet Carpaccio Salad

1 medium beet, peeled

about 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill weed, more or less to your liking

1 garlic clove, minced

juice of 1 lemon

a schtickle of red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Thinly slice the beet on a mandolin, or finely shred it into a bowl.  Combine with the remaining ingredients and toss well.  Done.

This dish is wonderfully crunchy, juicy, peppery and sweet.  I think thinly sliced is the best way to go, but whatever floats your boat.  You can eat this on its own, or over mixed greens, in a sandwich, as part of an antipasto plate, etc.  Above, I served it with sauteed fava beans, a cucumber-yogurt dip, yellow sweet pepper and pita.  Feel free to toy around with other fresh herbs, or different vinegars.  You can add a bit of olive oil, nuts, dried fruit, other vegetables, etc.  Have fun with it and eat your beets.  And listen to Fleetwood Mac.  Duh.

 

If I Don’t, Who Will? April 23, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 4:20 pm
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I donated blood last week.  I started doing this regularly last summer when I was unemployed and had nothing better to do, and thought it might improve my karma, at least slightly.  (Whether or not it did is up for debate.)  When December rolled around, my schedule started to get a little whacked out– like, not knowing if I had to work a particular day until the night before kinda whacked out– and I simply neglected the Blood Center calls.  I felt bad because I know my blood type is the second most needed for donation, but it was hard for me to figure out when I could make an appointment and keep it.  Now finally, I have stability and can make such appointments (which reminds me, I haven’t seen a doctor in two years…).

My veins have always been a little hard to get a hold of.  (Take that sentence as you will.)  My left arm is useless, but my right has one particular “magic vein”, as I like to call it.  It’s just large and clear enough to consistently provide an outlet when I gotta give blood, and this is the one nurses have used since I started donating.  Last Tuesday though, the nurse (one I’d never met at the center before) decided to use a different vein.  I didn’t quite see why she chose that one because it was less visible and smaller.  But I have no issue with needles, and figured if she wants to go through the trouble of sticking me over and over, be my guest.  Well, she got it in.  After some wiggling.  Kinda painful, but whatever.  Then my arm started to give out.  I’m pretty sure if it could talk, it would’ve said, “I see the light…”.  I asked for the blood pressure cuff to be loosened, and my arm came back to me.  After that, the experience was fairly usual, except for a little pain, both during and after.

Almost a week later, I still have this.

From now on, only the magic vein.

Now, the question is, what kind of story do I make up when I tell people my boyfriend did this to me? >:}

I figure better me than someone else.  Like I said, I have no issue with needles, so this won’t stop me from donating.  And I already have a few oven burn scars on my arms, as well as one from a window sill (Chris…).  So really, a temporary bruise is just adding to the collection.  These are the tattoos of life.  It’s all about sacrifice.

Other things I don’t mind taking a chance with?  Cookies.

With…

Fresh Rosemary.

Shut.  Up.

Chocolate chunk cookies with rosemary, so what?  You know, I was going  to make this, but I didn’t have enough olive oil.  So I said, Okay, something smaller.  And faster.  And you know, I make chocolate chip cookies at work constantly, but I so rarely make them for me.  And sometimes, you gotta have some cookie dough.

I know the rosemary sounds odd, but let’s face it– dark chocolate goes with almost anything, and if we can pair it with mint, why not try other herbs?  Rosemary has an earthy sweetness to it, and adds a bit of sophistication.  And since I had enough olive oil for this recipe, I used that instead of Earth Balance or palm oil shortening.  And whole wheat flour.  So this cookie has a rustic look and taste– a rich brown color, the herbal aroma of olive oil and rosemary, and the comfort of bittersweet chocolate.

This is good if you don’t feel like something too sweet, but still need something Cookie Monster would approve of.  And I dare say, you could have this cookie with a glass of wine.  You’d be so Euro.

Rosemary Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sugar (brown or white will do)*

1 Tbsp almond or flax meal

4 Tbsp non-dairy milk

4 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt, plus a little extra to sprinkle on top before baking, if you’re into that

1/2 tsp vanilla

a few sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped (about 1-2 Tbsp, depending on how much rosemary flavor you want)

1 cup plus 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose or whole wheat pastry flour as well)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup bittersweet chocolate chunks (it’s best to get a block of some good quality stuff, with a cocoa content of 60-70%, and chop it yourself.  Having a mix of the flecks and chunks makes for a better cookie, in my opinion.)

*Accidentally, this quantity of sugar was less than I was supposed to use, but I didn’t notice at all.  You can increase the amount by up to 1/4 cup if your sweet tooth is more voracious.

1) Preheat oven to 375°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the sugar through rosemary, and whisk until all is thoroughly incorporated.

2) With a wooden spoon, start mixing in the flour and baking soda.  Before it all gets combined, throw in the chocolate chunks, and continue mixing until everything is evenly incorporated.

3) Scoop or spoon out the dough onto your baking sheet, leaving a couple inches of space in between, and slightly flatten the cookies.  I used a heaping tablespoon of dough per cookie, but you can make them whatever size you’d like.  You’ll just have to adjust the baking time.  I baked mine for 8 minutes, so depending on the size of your cookies and how fast your oven bakes, use that as a guideline.

This is a pretty small batch.  How many cookies you get out of it will depend on a) the size you form them, and, more importantly, b) how much cookie dough you tend to eat.  I got thirteen.  I really liked the dough.