Author Archives: davidkater@mac.com

Quinoa and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

 

Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • ¾  cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • ¾  cup red quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups apple juice or cider
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 5 tablespoons vegan margarine, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery rib, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apples, diced
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Method:
Toast quinoa without liquid in rice cooker for about 3 minutes. Add orange juice, apple juice, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Let rice cooker do it’s thing. (Or, simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.)

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each acorn squash in half and steam in veg. steamer pot. (Or, place cut-side down in a baking dish filled with 1/2 inch of water. Bake 40 minutes.) While squash steams (or bakes) and quinoa cooks, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and sauté onion, carrot, and celery over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Add sautéed vegetables to the simmering quinoa, along with the dried cranberries, apples and maple syrup.

Simmer the aromatic mixture for 10 more minutes, at which point the quinoa should be fully cooked and hold together like sticky rice. Remove from heat and stir in sliced almonds and parsley.

Turn the squash cut-side up and brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Fill each half with 1/4 of the quinoa mixture and return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork.

This has been a huge hit every time we’ve made it. From Liz Gary cooking class 11-19-13

Stir Fry

 

 

 

Stir fry is one of our favorite ways to prepare our vegetables. The dish tends to be different every time – a unique combination of vegetables, spices, herbs, oils, and occasional fruit and nuts. The general process is described below and in the slide show above.
1. sautee onions in the wok using water or grape seed oil.
2. meanwhile, steam sweet potatoes in the microwave
3. in a separate skillet, sautee the mock chick’n (chick’n strips or chick’n scallopini)
4. when the onions are caramelized, add in vegetables with the toughest first (potatoes, carrots, peppers) and the fast cooking veggies last (basil, greens, mushrooms, pineapple, nuts).
5. add spices and cooking sauces.
6. add the mock meat or tofu.
7. mix together and let simmer a bit to let the flavors mingle.
8. serve over quinoa or rice – use a spoon to get some of the juices from the wok to flavor the quinoa
Sauces & spices:
grapeseed oil or water-  to start the onions
sweet cooking rice wine (kotteri mirin or Aji-mirin)
stir fry sauce
worchestershire sauce
soy sauce or Bragg amino acids
chinese five spices (our favorite)
thai seasoning
Vegetables:
onion
sweet potato
carrots
celery
bell peppers – green, red, yellow, orange
yellow crook necked squash
zucchini or other green squash
mushrooms
cabbage or bok choy – optional
leafy greens – kale, swiss chard, collard greens
basil and morning leaves
Optional:
water chestnuts
pineapple – for a bit of sweet
cashews or sliced almonds
Serve with:
quinoa
rice

Heavenly Salad

Inspired by the Heavenly Salad at Loving Hut

 Ingredients:

1 regular cabbage or 1 large daikon (about 3 cups), shredded
5 large carrots, shredded (2 cups)
Red Cabbage, shredded (1 cup)
Red and green bell pepper, thin slices
Shredded jicama (optional)
Include bits of mint and basil leaves

Use Walden Farms Pear & Balsamic, or try this Sauce:
5 tbsp rice vinegar, unsweetened and no sodium
3 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp miso paste
¼ cup minced onions

Agave to taste

1. Mix all the shredded veggies in a large bowl.
2. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Mix the two together and there you have it.

Optional:
½-1 cup chopped peanuts
Baked tofu, sliced or some chick’n

 

Three Potato Salad

From Kate Woodward
All Organic ingredients –
The potatoes, celery, onion, parsley and dill were fresh from the farmer’s market.
The vegenaise and vinegar were from People’s Coop Market on Voltaire Street in Ocean Beach.
3 Medium to Large Purple Potatoes
3 Medium to Large Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 Medium to Large Red Potatoes
1/4 cup Celery chopped finely or minced in food processor
1/4 cup Onion chopped finely or minced in food processor
2 Tablespoons of  fresh Parsley chopped finely
2 Tablespoons of  fresh Dill chopped finely
1 and 1/4 Cup Vegenaise or Amazin Mayo
Vinegar (Bragg’s Cider Vinegar) to taste
Steam potatoes to fork tender, remove from heat and cool. Peel and cut into bit size pieces.
Mix all other ingredients together and add to potatoes. Stir and serve or refrigerate up to two days.

Marinade for Grilled Vegetables

This make a mouth watering marinade. Double or triple the recipe for more veggies.

1 cup marinade

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Optional: 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients and mix well
Marinade veggies for 3 to 4 hours

Hammock and Hanging Chair

 

 

 

Donna has been talking about a hammock for years. Finally, a location suggested itself – underneath the olive tree. the olive tree would supply one sturdy anchor, and I could erect a pole about 13′ away to anchor the other end of the hammock. Using that area would require clearing out all the junk stored there, as well as leveling the steep slope. So, I set about removing all the bags of rocks, compost, and plant pots. Then got to work on installing rock cages as retaining walls to provide support for a level area under the hammock. Once the cages were in place, I dug out the rocks, brought in some fill dirt, and leveled the area. I decided to run drip lines into the area and plant dymondia and irish moss as ground covers.

Erecting the pole turned out to be a bit of a challenge. I started with a previously used pole that had a big ball of concrete at the bottom. It seemed like the concrete would make a nice heavy anchor. I dug a large hole, set the pole, and added a bunch of concrete on top. After letting it set for 24 hours, I was eager to try it out. So, I hung the hammock, and set on it. Imagine my surprise when the pole tilted about 30 degrees, the hammock sagged, and my rear end nearly touched the ground. Not quite what I had in mind. So, I got out my sledge hammer and removed all the concrete from the pole. Then I burried at stack of planter pots in the large hole as space holders and packed the dirt around it. I used a tamper every few inches to make sure the dirt was firmly packed around the planter pots. When the dirt was in place, I removed the planter pots to reveal a narrow deep hole. The rest was easy. I inserted the pole and poured in concrete. When the concrete was set, the pole was firmly anchored. Success! That pole is not going anywhere.

We paid a couple of visits to swings ‘n things in Seaport Village and selected a rope hammock with spreader bars. We also decided to get a hanging chair to hang upslope on the other side of the olive tree.

The hammock and chair are great additions to our yard – colorful, great conversation pieces, and extremely comfortable.

Pergola

 

 

We returned from a trip to the bay area with a “volunteer” wisteria plant from our friends Rich and Jamie. Then, we won a couple of kiwi vines from a raffle during a seminar on fruit trees at Brother Steve’s school. So, we needed to build or obtain a structure to support these vines. Then, I chanced upon an small archway at an estate sale. It would make a nice entryway to a pergola. Looking around the yard, Donna and I decided to locate the vines and support structure on the East side of the house, following our curvy pathway.

Although many pergolas are made with wood, I decided to go with metal. It doesn’t rot like wood, and proper paint and sealing would minimize the chances of rust. I had quite a few 2′ by 8′ very sturdy art grids that would make a perfect platform for hanging vines. To support them, I went with 10′ galvanized EMT metal poles sunk 2′ into concrete. I also used some pvc connectors and large pvc pipe for lateral support.

Since the pathway curves, I overlapped the grids at slight angles so that the 30′ long pergola followed the pathway in a polygonal fashion. The resulting structure is strong and sexy. Now, it is just a matter of encouraging the growth of the vines up the poles and keeping them trimmed as they fill in on top of the grids.

The Best Shredded Kale Salad

KaleSalad

Yield: 4 small bowls
Soak time: 1 hour
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

FOR THE SALAD & DRESSING:
  • 2 medium bunches destemmed Lacinato/dinosaur kale, finely chopped (8 cups chopped)
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (just eyeball it)
  • 1-2 handfuls dried sweetened cranberries, for garnish
FOR THE PECAN PARMESAN:
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted
  • 1.5 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches fine grain sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and discard (you can save for smoothies if you are hard core!). Finely chop the kale leaves (the smaller, the better!).
  3. Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl.
  4. For the dressing: In a mini food processor, process the garlic until minced. Now add the lemon, oil, salt, and pepper and process until combined. Adjust to taste, if desired. Pour the dressing onto the kale and mix it into the kale with your hands or toss with spoons. Keep mixing for about 1 minute to ensure everything is coated perfectly.
  5. For the pecan parm: Rinse out the mini processor and pat dry. Add the pecans into the processor and process until the pecans are the size of peas or a bit larger. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process again until it’s a coarse crumb. Be sure not to over-process – we still want a nice crunchy texture here, not powder.
  6. Sprinkle the pecan Parmesan all over the salad. Toss on a handful or two of dried cranberries. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to soften. I tried letting this salad sit overnight in the fridge and I greatly preferred the flavour of the salad served the day of, so I don’t recommend making this salad the day before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
Note: 1) Instead of a mini processor, you can chop/whisk the dressing and pecan “parmesan” by hand. 2) For a nut-free version, try using breadcrumbs instead of pecans.

Simple Seasoned Mushrooms

Contributed by Jeanie Anderson

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tamari
2 cups shitake, crimini, baby bella, or white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil and tamaril. Add the mushrroms and toss to coat thoroughly. Dehydrate for 15 minutes or set aside at room temperature for 1 hour, to allow the mushrooms to marinate. Drain any excess liquid off the mushrooms before eating or utilizing in another recipe
Per serving: 74 calories, 6.9g fat (1g sat), 1.9g cargs, trace fiber, 2g protein
Substitution for tamari: soy sauce, nama shoyu, or liquid aminos

 

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25-30 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

A shortbread that is gluten-free and oil-free and complimented with fresh flavors of lemon and rosemary. It makes a beautiful dessert and is also incredibly easy to make.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (Bob’s Red Mill is gluten-free)
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (grind 1 cup quick-cooking oats into a flour and measure out 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (mixed with 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (do not use dried spice)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional lemon icing: but highly recommended!
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (or if you want just a sweet icing, omit the lemon juice and use water)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (use gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup erythritol

Instructions

Pre-heat an oven to 300 degrees and spray an 8 inch cake pan with nonstick spray.

Add 1 cup quick cooking oats to a food processor and grind for a couple of minutes until a fine flour forms. Measure out 3/4 cup and use any extra in a smoothie.

In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt. Whisk well until thoroughly combined or use your hands. Slide the rosemary leaves off the stems and finely chop them. Stir into the dry ingredients.

In a coffee mug, add the water and warm for 15 seconds in the microwave. Add the flaxseed and whisk well for 30 seconds with a fork, set aside for 5 minutes at least, to thicken and become gel-like. Then add the syrup, almond butter, lemon juice, vanilla and whisk well.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula. Once it all comes together in a ball, pour it into the pan and press down flat and evenly, pressing the dough out to the edges with the rubber spatula. Bake 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges and pulling away from the pan. Mine took about 26 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the lemon icing ingredients, whisk well with a fork until thick and set aside.

Allow the shortbread to cool completely in the pan (about an hour). Turn out the shortbread onto a plate, tapping the back to release it. Use a very sharp knife to gently slice into 8 slices. Drizzle reserved lemon icing over the top and let it dry for a few minutes. Store in the fridge or room temperature. I prefer mine cold, straight out of the fridge with coffee in the morning!