Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

They Knew… April 17, 2013

Filed under: Random,Recipes — rabbit @ 4:10 pm
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So I was going through some photos, making myself feel old

When I stumbled across the first pets I ever had.

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I tried to feed them Trix cereal because I felt sorry for them.

(Does anyone else remember Trix before they were fruit shapes?!?)

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Anywho.

It occurred to me that Thumper and Snowball were the prophecy of my future rabbit food lifestyle.

Talk about a revelation :p

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This salad is not exactly a revelation.

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But I’d like to think it’s just as tasty.

At work last week we had our minds on arugula.  We like arugula…  So I started thinking of something light, yet rich.  Something with personality.  The peppery bite of arugula; buttery-smooth avocado; and the nerdy-looking, often ridiculed, asparagus.  But asparagus gets to be cool here.  Because it’s shining in it’s raw form: crisp, a little bitter, but sweet, and dressed in simple spices and lemon.  And this bunch was purple.  Yeah, purple!

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Arugula, Avocado & Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:

2 big handfuls of arugula

1 1/2 cups (more or less if you’d like) of chopped raw asparagus*

1 medium avocado

1 lemon

salt, pepper, and smoked paprika to taste

Optional: Nuts or seeds, dried fruit, sprouts, etc.

*If you’re really against eating asparagus raw, you can lightly steam it.  Pansy.

1) Dump that arugula in a medium bowl!  Good job!

2) Now toss in the asparagus!  Yeah!

3) Okay, for serious now…  Slice the avocado in half, remove the seed, and criss-cross the flesh with your knife.  Then just scoop the cubes out with a spoon into the salad.

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4) Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika onto the mixture.  I like to be generous with the paprika for its sweet and savory touch.  Zest the lemon onto the salad and toss the mixture to distribute the spices.  Add the juice of the lemon, and toss again.

The salad is good to go at this point.  But as indicated above, you can add other tidbits.

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Such as walnuts and dried figs…  Ooh

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For serious.  This salad.  Rabbit approved.

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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 Little Yin for the Yang November 20, 2011

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 10:24 am
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I know people are not very likely to serve salad on Thanksgiving.  And if they do, it’s most likely to be your typical toss of romaine or iceberg lettuce with some cucumber, tomato, maybe some onion and shredded carrots.  Pfft.

It’s okay, I get it.  Thanksgiving is all about carbs and fat.  Duh.  (Funny enough, after I made this dish, my dad said I “forgot the potatoes”, to which I replied flatly, “…no.”)

And as much as I like to indulge in all that (assuming there’s something vegetarian for me), I still think there should be some contrast on the plate.  Something light and juicy to offset the casseroles and stuffing, something fresh and tinged with herbs to complement the biscuits and butter.  I think if every other dish is gonna be special on Thanksgiving, there should be a special salad, too.

Tomatoes are special.  I think so anyway.  Nobody knows whether to call them fruit or vegetable.  They’re used in a variety of world cuisines.  They’re essential to some of our favorite foods– various sandwiches, pizza, pastas, salsa, chili, curries, barbecue sauce, and I guess I have to say it… ketchup.

So here’s a little special treatment for a special… vegefruit.  There, problem solved.

Herbed Roasted Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

approximately 2 lbs tomatoes, any variety

a few cloves of garlic

fresh or dried herbs/spices of your choice (suggestions: sage, thyme, basil, rosemary, oregano, dill, etc.)

olive oil

salt and pepper

I decided to splurge a bit and buy a few heirloom tomatoes since I’ve never had them.  Pretty good, but I don’t think there’s any reason not to go with whatever you favor or have on hand.  If I were to select cheaper varieties for this dish, I’d go with Campari, cherry, grape, or plum.  The sweeter, the better.

1) Cut your tomatoes in halves and wedges.  No need for precision.  Pack them together in an 8×8 inch baking dish.  Try to keep the skin facing up as much as possible.  Peel your garlic cloves and cut them in half.  Stick them randomly in between the tomatoes.

2) If using fresh herbs, chop them roughly and fit them in the same way you did with the garlic.  If you’re going with dried herbs, mix them together in a small bowl and crumble them with your fingers to release their maximum yum-factor.  Sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes.  Follow with salt and pepper, and a generous sprinkling of olive oil to coat all the tomatoes and garlic.

As you can see, this recipe is pretty free form.  As far as herbal quantity goes, just do what makes sense for you, as long as you use enough to keep all your tomatoes company.  My personal blend here was anise seed, basil, marjoram, rosemary and thyme.

3) Roast these babies at 400°F for about an hour or so, until the skins are wrinkled, slightly blistered, and they smell soooo gooood.  If you need to turn the oven temperature higher to accommodate another dish, no problem, they’ll survive (and cook faster, of course).  I actually had to raise the temperature to 475 for something else, and my tomatoes came out lovely.

So… yummy…

These can be served warm, but I like to let them chill so the herbs get all nice and mellow with the tomatoes and olive oil.  You don’t even need extra dressing– the tomatoes, mixed with their juice, olive oil and herbs are the dressing and main component in one.  They can be made a day ahead to save time.  Then you just toss them with lettuce or mixed greens, maybe some walnuts or cheese, and boom.  A salad worthy of the Thanksgiving spread.  Or, you know, whenever.