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.

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Zen Hummus September 5, 2011

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 10:14 am
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Sometimes, I feel an impending need to make hummus.  If you keep up here, that may come as no surprise.  If it does, you’re missing out.

I think my hummus urges are a sign that I need more beans in my life.

I was looking at my list of hummus ideas, thinking about what crazy flavor I would make.  It had to be quick and easy, because I reeaaallllly needed some hummus. 

Matcha.  Yes.  Matcha would be fun.  I hope you know what matcha is.  If not, it’s a very high grade of powdered Japanese green tea.  Traditionally, it is drank during tea ceremonies, and great care is taken in its preparation.  Nowadays, matcha has a place in mainstream cuisine, being used to flavor noodles, ice cream, cakes, and all sorts of delights.  Maybe you’ve seen Starbucks’ green tea latte and Frappuccino.  But of course, like everything else Starschmucks sells, their matcha powder is loaded with sugar.  I’m pretty sure it’s mostly sugar, actually.  I’m allowed to criticize them because I used to work at one.  I used to work at one because I’m an English major.  I’m an English major because I don’t intend to use my degree.

…And that’s what matcha is all about.  I also remembered a Japanese spice blend that I bought a while ago from The Spice and Tea Exchange.  That means it was expensive.  No, wait, I think I got it as a bonus.  The other thing I bought was expensive.  Anyway, the spice blend is called Togarashi Pepper.  It includes sesame seeds, orange zest, ginger, seaweed, and of course, chili pepper.  After Googling togarashi, I found the blend, in Japan, is known as shichimi togarashi, which means “seven flavor chili pepper”.  Although the recipe can have variations, the ingredients I mentioned are pretty typical.  The blend is often used for soups, noodles, and rice products.  But it’s quite delicious and I believe you can use it in just about anything.  Except your eye.  That would probably hurt.

Pretty, yes?  Pretty and spicy.

You should be able to find shichimi at any Asian or Japanese grocery store.  While you’re there, you may also find matcha powder.  And lots of cute candy packages because that’s how the Japanese roll.

I used 3 teaspoons of shichimi, and 1 teaspoon of matcha.  Matcha’s pretty strong, so be careful if you decide to add more.

If you’re not too good with spicy stuff, use less shichimi.  You won’t be as cool though.

Then you just blend with a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, a couple tablespoons of tahini, about a third of a cup of lemon juice, a squirt of honey or agave, and salt to taste.  Adjust ingredients to your preferred taste and texture.

How does it taste?  Refreshing.  Zesty.  A lingering sensation of heat.  The matcha is unintrusive, and provides a bit of smooth, herbal undertone.  It makes me happy.  I ate half the batch.  Enjoy with rice crackers next to a koi pond.

 

Free Fancy Salt for Me! August 17, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:46 am
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I think you all need a recipe.  You’ll like this one.

But first…

See, I have a pile of clothing scraps that I need to get rid of.  I’m not gonna donate scraps to Goodwill, but I sure as hell don’t want to just throw them in the garbage.  Many bag or shirt or dress can be made with these scraps.  So I went to the Yellow & Green Farmer’s Market.  The last time I was there, a couple of the vendors were clothing designers who worked with recycled material.  So I thought they could use my odds and ends.  But the last time I had been to the market was also a while ago.  I found that things had changed around the market– new vendors, new lunch stations, a mini bar… and of course, the designers I was looking for weren’t there.  Aaaaw.  Sad.  Whatever.  I wandered around anyway.  Ate some samples.  And I made friends with a Salt Dude!  (That’s what he’s listed as on my phone.)  Salt Dude sells salt.  Nice salt.  Really delicious salt.  Like Toasted Onion, Chipotle, Thai Ginger, Merlot, Roasted Garlic… so much yum.

Salt Dude took a liking to me because I could identify the smell of Truffle Sea Salt.  So I told him what I do, and now I’m developing recipes with his salts.  And then I put them here.  Of course, you can also read about them here.  But if you want yerselves some great sea salt, you can check out Sierra’s Sea Salts (and taste them!) at the Yellow & Green Farmer’s Market, located in Hollywood, Flo’da, or you can shop online.  They really are wonderful (I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t think so), and the beauty with such potent and flavorful salts is that you don’t need much, so if you want to cook with reduced sodium, this is one way to do it.

Okay, so here’s the recipe:

Caramelized Onion Hummus with Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt

Ingredients for the caramelized onion:

1 large red sweet onion
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

To caramelize the onion: Slice the onion very thinly; if you have a mandolin slicer, this would yield the best and quickest results, and hopefully the least pain and tears.  Pour the olive oil in a saucepan.  Add the sliced onion and toss to coat with the oil.  Cover and bring to medium heat.  Stir the onion occasionally as it wilts and deepens in color.  Don’t worry about the browning on the bottom of the pan.  As the onion cooks down, lower the heat so that it does not burn.  The onion is done when it is reduced to less than a cup in volume and is mildly sweet and soft.  Pour in the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan and stir, mixing the browned bits with the rest of the onion.  Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Now THAT is a caramelized onion.  You might want to use two or three onions, so you have extra for other uses.  Like sammiches, salads, omelets, pizza, quiche… eating it with a spoon, etc.

Ingredients for the hummus:

The caramelized onion, cooled (about a scant cup, or to your taste)
1 15-oz can of butter beans (chickpeas, or any white bean are also fine)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp Sierra’s Alderwood Smoked Sea Salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp coriander
Fresh cracker pepper to taste

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly combined.  Adjust seasonings to your taste.

  I like this hummus because it’s a nice departure from the usual tangy and garlicky types (not that there’s anything wrong with that!  I love traditional hummus!).  It’s more mellow, and has a bit of sweet and smokey going on.  Just for looks, I topped it with a drizzle of olive oil and extra smoked sea salt.  I think it would also be great topped with creme fraiche if you wanna be fancy-pantsy about it.  I mean, we’re already using fancy salt, right?  Mmmm, fancy…

 

Mean Green Hummus July 21, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 1:13 pm
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I’m going on a journey this weekend.  A journey to see familiar faces in a faraway place.  A journey to see two lovers smooch it up in front of others, and then probably get drunk.  Yaaay.

And because it will be quite a journey– about seven to eight hours long– I’m bringin’ schnacks.  Yes, schnacks, indeed.

Here’s how you can make one of the schnacks that me, my best friend, and my boyfriend will be enjoying along our journey.

Start with 2 cups of frozen sweet peas, thawed;

half a lemon; half an avocado;

and a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Then we’re gonna get a little fancy with the basil:

First you’re gonna layer the leaves together.  They look cute, no?

Roll them up.

Then slice your little basil burrito thinly.

And that’s how you chiffonade.  Fyi.

Anywho, throw everything into the food processor.  Except the lemon… just squeeze the juice from it.  Duh, right?  Start blending.  Add a little water to smooth out the consistency.  If you like, you can drizzle a little tahini (aka sesame paste), like I did.  Or olive oil.  Or both.  Whatever.

Salt and pepper too, of course.  I thought about adding other spices, but really, this stuff doesn’t need anything else.  It’s like you can feel the love the four main ingredients have for each other.  Mmmm.

And there you have my Mean Green Hummus.  Suuuuuper healthy, suuuuuper yum.

Good for dipping raw veggies, pita, crackers, fingers, toes, etc.

See you next week!

 

Garbanzos travel to Thailand June 4, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 8:35 am
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In my documents folder, I have a Hummus Archival.  I know.  Weirdo.  It makes sense though, I swear… It’s a list of all my crazy hummus ideas separated into which ones I’ve done, and which ones I still need to make.  Because hummus is not just for the middle east.  It’s flexible.  Hummus likes tangy, spicy, sweet, earthy, pungent, and all sorts of other flavors.  I mean, it’s bean dip.  And beans can go anywhere, do anything.  And they provide so much protein, vitamins, and minerals… They’re like superheroes.

So yesterday I experimented with Red Curry Hummus.

Here are the travel guides.

1/4 cup of creamed coconut; red curry paste; lime juice; soy sauce

I used the coconut cream and water in the absence of coconut milk.  I would prefer to try that next time I have it.  And perhaps some coconut oil.  Traditionally, Thai curries have fish sauce.  But soy sauce will make a sufficient vegetarian substitute.

  So I started with a Tbsp of curry paste, a Tbsp of soy sauce, 2 Tbsp of lime juice, the coconut cream, and of course, a 16 oz can of garbanzo beans.  Or chickpeas, whatever you wanna call them.

After the first whirlwind, I tasted it.  Needed more curry paste, so I put an extra tablespoon.  And more coconut flavor, so I threw in a couple tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes.  Also a little hot water to smooth things out.

  Round 2.  Still needed more coconut.  I added two more tablespoons.  And another 1-2 teaspoons of soy sauce.

That was better.

First you get a hit with a tang of lime juice and lemongrass from the curry paste.  Then the other flavors of curry play out– garlic, ginger, and a mellow coconut flavor.  There’s some texture from the shredded coconut as well.  The heat emerges last, and lingers at the back of your throat, but it’s not intense.  It’s niiice.  You can of course adjust all these quantities if you make it yourself.  I like my curries native-style in terms of heat, which means that I’m insane.  But y’know, what’re you gonna do?

As you can see, this recipe is in progress.  When I get some coconut milk, and hopefully coconut oil, I will make it more awesome.  And you’ll be like, “Aaaaahhhh”.