Coconut Matcha Tea Ice Cream

I’ve been on a matcha kick lately. Traditionally introduced in Japan as part of meditation, it is an incredible source for antioxidants, detoxification, enhances mood/concentration, and boosts metabolism. Additionally, it helps fight cancer, calms the mind/relaxes the body, and is an excellent source of vitamins. I typically enjoy matcha as a warm beverage, but decided to try it as a dessert component today. Subtly sweet, this creamy treat needs nothing but your smile.

Ingredients (yield: 1 1/4 quart)

32 oz. unsweetened coconut milk

1-14 oz. can of unsweetened coconut creme

1/3 cup unsalted roasted cashews

1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp. maple syrup

2 Tbsp. unsweetened matcha powder

1/4 tsp. almond extract

5 medjool dates, pitted

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients into a blender, and blend until completely smooth.  Add to an already frozen ice cream maker, and turn on until thoroughly frozen.  Enjoy with a smile.

 

Image

Bolo De Laranja- Orange and Olive Oil Bundt Cake with Candied Orange

Last August after moving from Southern California to Washington State, I was eager to find some new recipes and crept into my wordpress feed to see an inspiring recipe by nutmegandwhiskey.wordpress.com

The recipe she put up called for 5 eggs; quite a challenge to make vegan.  Strapped for cash, I put this recipe aside to make later, not realizing it has been almost a year.  Yikes.  Alas, today was that day.  I am sitting beside it with the wafting aroma of orange. Having made the alterations to it that I desired, I cannot wait to take a bite. It looks absolutely incredible.  It smells even better.

This cake is a dessert that is served in Portugal.  Thank you nutmegandwhiskey for such an incredible recipe to work off of.  I enjoy reading your blog.

 

Extracts

I have to say, without sounding like a braggart, that I am surrounded by some pretty amazing people. So many people I surround myself with, lend such a delightful presence and are filled with such talent.

I’ve mentioned these extracts before in some of my food blogs, but my friends Edwin and Lesha has harnessed flavor combinations in their extracts that make the foodie in me completely satisfied. These extracts only emphasize a great recipe, lending more depth and character!

It’d be a shame if I ever run out!

Image

Apple-Kuzu Drink

1999 served me well.  It was the year I left Cal State Long Beach where I was attending college to major in Audiology/Speech Pathology.  Sign language and interpreting were part of my minor that really interested me. But, I left all that behind to pursue a passion instead; culinary school.  It was also the year I gained a best friend, the one I feel is the sister I never had; Dawn Sandoval.  She and I roomed together across from Gramercy Park in Manhattan in an extremely quaint women’s dorm.  So strict were they with the male race that it was like the soup nazi from Seinfeld.  NO MEN! So, it was something hysterical when my friend Myra snuck her boyfriend up 9 floors.  I have such amazingly fond memories of Natural Gourmet Cookery School run by Anne Marie Colban, the friends I met, and the experience/culture I was able to embrace. This was truly a highlight in my life.

Dawn and I had a close-knit group of friends that we acquired there along with our cooking skills. Together Mafalda Pinto Leite, Tracy Horwitz-Milenkovik, Myra Jane Church, Dawn, and I would spend days at school developing recipes to our hearts content, and race home to weave our way through the city partaking of fine food and spending afternoons in the warm glow of a community garden filled with stuffed animals as decor, roller skating in Central Park, or catching the underground to go see shows.  It was incredible. So much to see. So much to do. I am still friends with these wonderful gals to this day. We all still enjoy cooking whether professionally of personally.  I  also still have a permanent burn from breaking the dorm rules and extending my alotted 30 minutes in the gated park adjacent to the front lounge. It was sunny, and I was missing green grass and Dawn and I finagled the keys for a whole hour, piggy backing our time there.

It was at culinary school where I first tasted Apple-Kuzu Drink; a beverage containing the root starch.  It was something I stumbled upon.  It was a normal morning, rushing about the kitchens locating ingredients to create splendid meals for our instructors to grade.  I recall the school was fixing a broken refrigerator and it was mentioned to stay aware of the wires.  I happened to glance back as I was reaching in, and changed my glance to face the fridge while extending my reach, only to have a wire go straight into my eye.  It was so sudden, and so painful, that I stumbled backwards dropping the food from my grasp and crying aloud. I was instantly anxious because I had lasik surgery the year before and was in a panic that I had ruined it.

My instructor came to my aid, and instructed her assistant to prepare some apple-kuzu; for a relaxant. Truly, this combination worked on my nerves within 10 minutes.  It is something I use for my children when they have tummy aches, on myself when I feel stressed, or for treating colds.  It’s remedies include treatment of minor indigestion, treating colds, and minor aches and pains.  It’s also said to aid in treating headaches, colitis, sinus issues, tonsillitis, etc. Paired with ginger and umeboshi paste, it’s especially potent. The ginger aids in digestion while the umeboshi neutralizes lactic acid and eliminates it.

I have enjoyed mine several ways, but really love the following recipe:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup filtered water

1 rounded tsp. kuzu (crush with back of spoon before measuring)

1-2 Tbsp. water for dissolving kuzu

1 Tbsp. minced ginger

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Heat the apple juice, ginger, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to bubble around the edges. Remove from heat.  Thoroughly dissolve the kudzu in water in water, add it to the juice while stirring, then return the pot to the burner.  Stir constantly until the kudzu thickens and becomes translucent. Simmer a bit longer, then remove from heat and pour 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice into mixture. Allow to cool for a minute before serving.

IMG_5597 IMG_5601

 

Image

Whispers!

Butterscotch horizons accompany
Whispers of sagebrush
Whilst toes delight in dampness with
Sugar cookie coating

The salty air tingles hearts galore
Passionate embraces, one explores
Calling from dawn till dusk
With lofty sea kisses soaking deeply

Sun kissed skies
Battle bruises
Laughter fills the air
Light hearted relaxation

A golden hue dyes till Fall
When crisp air takes form
Ringside dusk, flames dance loudly
Strokes of lyrical genius

Touches my soul
Glory abound
Fourty years, rooted deeply
Lost, not yet found

Confusing paths
Silent nights
Grass is greener, in images anew
But memories hold tight

Can’t shake the wonder
Left so much behind
Where God leads
Twilst sure to find

Beachy dreams amongst mountaintops
Where bathing suits lay tucked away
Golden skies call my name
The sea whispers loudly!

 

Image

Split Pea Soup

The weather got down to 33 degrees here in WA  a couple of days ago, with expected snow on Thursday.  Nothing sounded better after a family soccer scrimmage then a hot bowl of Split Pea soup.  Split Peas are high in protein and fiber. Simple, yet satisfying alongside oven roasted garden grown potatoes, a green salad and cranberry-pumpkin loaf.  Absolutely loving experiencing seasons. In southern CA, we never got to completely grasp true weather fluctuations.  It’s truly fun.

* Un-soaked peas take from 1 to 2 hours of simmering; soaked peas take about 40 minutes. Also, the only difference between yellow and green split peas is color. Split peas absorb lots of water as they cook, so check the soup often and add liquid as needed. The peas only need to be cooked until they are tender.(yields: 6-8 servings)

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of split peas

1/2 white onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced thin

1 1/2 stalks of celery, diced

1 large garlic clove, minced

2 cubes of bouillon

8 cups water

salt and pepper

olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

In a soup pot saute onion, carrot, and celery along with garlic in a splash of olive oil (roughly 2 Tbsp. of olive oil). Allow the vegetables to soften for 5-7 minutes.  Add the split peas to the vegetable mix and stir in for 2 minutes coated well.  Add the water and bouillon cubes and bring to boil for 8 minutes. Then place on simmer for up 1-2 hours (depends on if you soaked the peas beforehand) Check your water often. If you like a thicker soup, then 8 cups should be fine. If you like a looser soup, alter the water as you cook.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

Image

No-Knead Sourdough Loaf

Sometimes my recipes derive from requests.  Thanks Kerri Kiran for this recipe development.  Without failure this go, this recipe turned out quite nice.  I love making it into a nice loaf of sliced sourdough bread. My sourdough starter is 3 months old right now; just a baby. But I intend to continue to nurture it, so it will be around for a while.

SOURDOUGH STARTER:

1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active-dry yeast

2 cups warm water (105 degrees-115)

2 cups unbleached organic all-purpose

To Create Starter: In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water.  Add remaining water and flour and mix well.  Place the bowl, uncovered, in a warm place overnight.  In the morning, put the 1/2 cup of starter in a sterilized pint jar, cover it, and store it in the refrigerator or a cool place for future use.  Leave lots of room for expansion in the container, or set the lid without tightening it.  The remaining 3 1/2 cups of starter can be used immediately.

Set the Sponge: Place the 1/2 cup of starter in a medium bowl. Add 2 cups warm water and 2 cups of flour. Beat well, and set in a warm, draft free place to develop overnight.  In the morning, the sponge will have risen and wil be covered with air bubbles and smell yeasty.  It’s now ready to use.

To Store the Starter: It will keep almost indefinitely if covered in a clean glass container in the refrigerator.  Never use a metal container or leave a metal spoon in the starter. If unused for several weeks, the starter might need to sit out an extra night before adding the flour and water to rejuvenate it.

Feeding your Starter: To feed, means to continue to allow the starter to grow for future uses.  Each time I use my starter, I add 2 cups of flour, and 2 cups of water.  I allow this to sit out overnight in a warm spot, covered. If I am not going to use it right away, I refrigerate it.

SOURDOUGH LOAF:

1 cup sourdough starter

5 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups warm water

1 Tbsp. organic cane sugar

1 1/2 tsp. sea salt

2 tsp. active-dry yeast

Directions:

Mix  sourdough starter in a bowl with warm water, cane sugar, and dry yeast. In a separate bowl, mix flour and sea salt.  Combine wet to dry and mix well.  Place the mix in a parchment lined bread loaf. Allow to ferment overnight.  This will allow the mix to rise also. When you are prepared to bake the loaf, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Drizzle olive oil over the loaf, and sprinkle it with filtered water.  This allows for a nice golden loaf and crusty top.  Bake for 35 minutes.

IMG_2762

IMG_2761

 

 

 

 

Image

Tempeh Tacos with Candied Yams

This is such a fulfilling meal.  I made it years ago, and it has become part of cycle of regular meals.  Full of flavor and packed with nutrients; it’s a family favorite.

INGREDIENTS:

TEMPEH MARINADE:

1 cup water

1/4 soy sauce

8 oz. tempeh

1 clove garlic

1/2 Tbsp. minced ginger

TEMPEH FLOUR DREDGE:

1 cup unbleached all purpose flour

1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. sea salt

1 heaping teaspoon of cornmeal

CANDIED YAMS:

1 yam, diced

1 tsp. brown sugar

1/3 cup coconut milk

pinch of sea salt

SALSA:

3 cups tomatoes, diced

1/4 onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 jalepeno, diced

1 cup cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. lime juice

BLACK BEANS:

2 cups cooked back beans

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. onion powder

sea salt to taste

RICE:

1 cup brown rice

3 cups of vegetable broth or 3 cups water with 1 bouillon cubes

GUACOMOLE:

1 avocado

2 Tbsp. lime juice

sea salt to taste

CORN TORTILLAS/ CHOPPED LETTUCE

6-8 and 1/2 head of lettuce

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the marinade for the tempeh. Slice the tempeh into strips.  Refrigerate the tempeh in the marinade for 3 hours. Doing this the night before helps with the rest of the preparation OR during that time, prep the other items.

For the yam: Dice, steam, and mash with coconut, sea salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.

For the salsa: Find a mixing bowl to combine all ingredients.  Combine the diced tomatoes, diced onions, minced garlic, minced jalepeno, chopped cilantro, sea salt, and lime juice. Set aside in a refrigerator.

For the beans: I like to soak my beans overnight, then cook them on a stovetop.  Canned beans will work too.  Just flavor the cooked beans with onion powder, cumin, and sea salt. Set aside.

For the rice: I like to soak my grain overnight. Cook the rice in either vegetable broth of water with a bouillon cube for 35-40 minutes. Set aside.

For the Guacomole: Mash one avocado, lime juice and sea salt. Refrigerate.

*** If you marinated the tempeh overnight, the other items that have been cooked: yams, beans, and rice, can be kept on low heat until ready to fill your taco. If you are preparing the tempeh the day of, it’s best to to the rest of the items during marination prep.

When you are ready to Grill the tempeh:

Oil a saute pan, and then coat the tempeh in the flour dredge noted in the ingredients list above.  Then saute each side of the tempeh for 5-7 minutes.

To fill the tacos: Warm the tortillas, and layer with candied yams, tempeh, chopped lettuce. Garnish with guacomole and salsa.  Serve the beans and rice alongside.

 

 

Image

Plant Based Power Smoothie

IMG_2843

Sometimes all I want in the morning is a power packed smoothie.  Sometimes it’s a mid-day snack or a evening dessert.  Either way, this smoothie I concocted is packed full of greatness!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 cups pre-made from scratch cinnamon flavored oatmeal

1 banana

1 cup of power greens (spinach, mizuna, kale, and chard)

2 Tbsp. almond butter

3 Tbsp. organic dutch processed unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. of chia seeds

1 Tbsp. raw local honey

8-10 ice cubes

DIRECTIONS:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

* almond butter for protein, oatmeal for fiber, banana for potassium, power greens for vitamins, cocoa for antioxidants, chia seeds for calcium, almond milk & honey for the vitamins and natural sweetener.