Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Friday, August 29, 2008

Salad Dressing

It’s probably some sign of obsession, but there are not any bottles of salad dressing in the refrigerator.   I have made vinaigrette for years, but at some point (the point likely being the Italy trip), we just stopped using bottled salad dressing.  I finally tossed the ¼ full jars.    Most of the time I’m happy with oil and vinegar based dressing; it’s easy to alternate the oils and vinegar to keep it interesting. But every so often I am hungry for a creamy dressing.  And most creamy recipes either call for raw eggs (which I’m OK to eat, but not really willing to serve to anyone) or make 2+ cups of dressing and goes bad a few days.  But finally I have found a recipe that works for me, and the ingredients are things that often are in my house (OK, buttermilk may not be in your fridge, but around my house it goes into waffles, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and any muffin recipe that calls for milk).

Creamy Dressing:
1 small clove garlic, smashed and mashed to a paste with a bit of salt
Scant ¼ cup plain yogurt (I use Greek 2%)
Scant ¼ cup mayonnaise (Best Foods)
¼ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon white wine or Sherry vinegar
Fresh ground pepper
Whisk everything together in a small bowl.  Keep refrigerated and use within a few days.

Options:  Add 2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (I have some Maytag Blue cheese ready to try this!)

Vinaigrette Dressing

Adjust quantity as needed, I usually make about ½ this much in a 1 cup plastic container.

1/3 – 1/2 cup wine vinegar (red or white or balsamic or sherry)
2/3 cup olive or walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon or some fancy mustard you don’t know what else to do with
salt, pepper to taste

Put everything in a sealed container and shake well, or whisk together in a bowl.
Store indefinitely in the refrigerator.  If you use olive oil, it will get thick, just remember to get it out a little ahead of time.  Walnut oil (which is also good for you, maybe even better than olive oil) has good flavor – and – doesn’t solidify when cold.

A couple of notes:  you can use garlic in this as well, but use right away.  Garlic in olive oil is a good breeding ground for botulism.   This is tasty for a marinade if you use a 1:1 ratio of oil and vinegar,  lots of herbs, and maybe extra mustard.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Swimming makes you hungry

Swimming is certainly the rage this week with the Olympics, Michael Phelps, and the new world records with the new Speedo suits.  It's great motivation to keep me going.  Plus I keep  watching to figure out how out things like the body whip (the dolphin like swimming that the swimmers do as they come off the wall).  My main motivater has been my swim class leader Kymmie, who makes it fun.  She has a huge amount of positive energy that she brings to class, plus is really, really a good swimmer.  And Tuesday made us swim with cups on our head (the red plastic kind you would use at a keg party - I'm thinking there needs to be a drinking party game involved).  The other fun thing is that you need to eat more (assuming your goal is to not lose weight).  According to the press, Michael Phelps eats 12,000 calories per day.  The challenge is to not just starting eating a bunch of crap.  But Kymmie has helped here too, with several recipes on good for you foods to help keep you going. 

Disclaimer:  every recipe I have put on my web is something that I have cooked, usually many many times.  These are from Kymmie, and I have not tried them yet.   I have added my thoughts, and I will add comments when I make them to how they come out (and be suspicious if I make you chocolate pudding).   Enjoy!

Cowboy Caviar

Deb’s take:  This is real similar to my corn and bean salad (my salad has some olive oil but no acocados, I suspect this is a good trade).  Unless you are cooking for a crowd, I would suggest making just 1/3 of the recipe (using just black beans).  I would eat this straight up without the tortilla chips.

Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp hot sauce (Tobasco)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp salt
3 firm, ripe avocados, diced into cubes
1 (15oz) can each: white beans, black beans, kidney beans; rinsed and drained
3 cups frozen corn; thawed
1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro; chopped
1 lb pear tomatoes; halved
Tortilla chips; Scoops are best

Mix together lime juice, vinegar, hot sauce, oil, garlic, pepper and salt.  Add avocado; mix gently with lime juice mixture.  Add remaining ingredients, put in refridgerator for several hours.   Serve with Scoops

Cauliflower Lemon Antipasto Salad

This looks yummy.  There are couple of interesting techniques.  One is marinating the tofu in the dressing, which will give it great flavor.  The other is putting boiling water on the broccoli and cauliflower – which should help remove the “rawness” without really cooking.   I will definitely be trying this out.

4 oz  extra firm tofu
1 cup  broccoli florets
1 head cauliflower, cut in florets
1 small lemon, thinly sliced
2 cups  chick-peas
1 small sweet red, green, and yellow peppers, sliced
Half  seedless cucumber, chunks
2 cups  cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup  black Kalamata olives
3 oz   fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
2 tbsp  fresh parsley, chopped
2 oz  feta cheese, crumbled
¼ cup  olive oil
1/8 cup red wine or white balsamic vinegar
1  green onion, minced
2-3  cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp  Dijon mustard
2 tsp  each fresh basil, oregano, parsley
Pinch  sea salt and pepper

Dressing:  In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients, gradually adding oil.

Cut tofu into 1-1/2 inch long strips, about ¼ inch wide; add to dressing. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

In a bowl, pour boiling water over broccoli, cauliflower and lemon slices; let stand for 8 minutes. Drain well and place in salad bowl along with remaining ingredients. Add tofu and dressing; toss gently. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour or until chilled.

Nut Butter Protein Energy Balls

This looks like a way to make your own energy bars.  I’m not crazy about all of the added vitamins that most of the bars have (I think I taste them), plus they tend to be expensive.  
Update: There are a great alternative. I have made with chocolate chips, as well as chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  I have not used the protein powder, but Kymmie says the Ruth's is good and not highly processed, and available at Sprouts.

1 cup raw almond, cashew or peanut butter
3 cups organic old fashioned oats
1-2 Tblsp of protein powder (Ruth's Raw Hemp/Flax seed)
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey or agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional additions
1/2 cup raisins (or dried cranberries)
1/3-1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4-1/2 cup raw cacoa bits (or chocolate chips)
Combine all ingredients together; take a tablespoon and form into balls. Refrigerate.

Raw donut holes

These look good, I’m a huge fan of dates. However, I am not a big fan of coconut of the sweetened dried coconut (probably relating to those pink Hostess things), but sometimes I’m OK with the unsweetened coconut.

1 3/4 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight in water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 cups dried pineapples, chopped  (the mini ones at Trader Joe’s)
2 cups pitted dates
1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

Process first 3 ingredients in food processor until fine powder, slowly add pineapple and dates. Place in a large bowl and add 1/3c coconut. Form into small balls and roll in 1/4c remaining coconut.


This one I’m just going to have to try… 

~3-4 servings

2-3 ripe avocados
7 ½ Tbs unsweetened organic cocoa (chocolate) powder (Dagoba, etc.)
½ cup agave nectar OR pure maple syrup
splash vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
dash cinnamon

Peel the ripe avocados and blend them in a Cuisinart/food processor. Add chocolate/cocoa powder, vanilla, sea salt and cinnamon. Blend. Add agave or maple syrup and adjust the amount for sweetness. Keep blending in your Cuisinart until creamy with a pudding-like consistency.

Eat or refrigerate, serve w/ fresh berries.