Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Garlicky Kale and Avocado Dip

This past Sunday I didn't really feel like making a meal. I just wanted to snack. The problem was, I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It was sunny, 75º and a slight breeze ... gorgeous! I had two avocados, but we already had guacamole twice in the past 4 days. Usually never a problem for Paul and I, but I wanted something different.

I had some great garlic bulbs from our CSA so I decided to make Avocado Garlic Cream Sauce, but just make it more of a dip and less of a sauce. I checked on the family, as they were in the back yard enjoying their shenanigans in the hammock and I saw the kale. Perfect! That will make it more of a dip. Since I didn't want to have the oven going for awhile roasting a garlic bulb, I simply cooked it with the kale.

The outcome was amazing. A little too amazing. I ate almost the whole thing, sharing a touch with Paul, and didn't want to eat anything else I made that day because I was too full! Oh well, my taste buds were happy.

Garlicky Kale and Avocado Dip

Garlicky Kale and Avocado Dip

Makes 1 1/2 cup

1 T olive oil
2 avocados
5 stalks of kale
2-3 garlic cloves, depending on your garlic likeness, minced
1/2 t lemon juice
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

Remove stems and chop kale into smaller pieces. Heat up olive oil in a pan and add the garlic and cook for a minute until it starts to brown. Add in kale and cook until it is nicely wilted.

Add all ingredients into your food processor and puree until smooth. Serve immediately or cover tightly and put in the refrigerator until ready.

Garlicky Kale and Avocado Dip

Garlicky Kale and Avocado Dip

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

Today, August 6th, is National IPA Day. I can usually find a reason to celebrate with an IPA and today is just way too easy! In my book, a good IPA paired with good french fries is a little taste of heaven on earth.

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

I've been trying to make a good sea salt and vinegar french fry for quite some time and I can never quite get the vinegar flavor that I want. I want my jowls to tighten and pucker! I figured it was time for another go at it. Not very optimistic, I opened my fridge and saw a Leinenkugel's IPL ... not my favorite beer to have since I am not a pilsner fan, but I figured it would be excellent to cook with. I get all that good hop flavor and I'm not wasting a beer that I would want to drink! So, I started soaking the fries in that instead. Sorry sea salt and vinegar fries ... your perfection is getting put off again!

I don't know if the stars were aligned in my favor or what, but the flavor was great. You could totally taste the hoppy beer on the fries and the little bit of spice that I added paired great (However, this makes me annoyed at the same time that the vinegar doesn't give me this flavor!). I made a little basil garlic aioli and brought out a horseradish mustard to dip them in. As good as they were with the fries, I actually didn't want to dip them in anything! I know ... me, the self-proclaimed dipping queen, wanted naked fries!

I made them the first time the other night, but since they were such a hit (yes, the kids even loved the flavor of them) and it's IPA Day, I think I'll be planning tonight's dinner completely around these fries.

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

1 lb potatoes, sliced
12 oz beer, or enough to cover your cut fries (use a gluten-free beer to keep the recipe gluten-free)

1/4 cup grapeseed oil (organic canola oil works good too)
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

In a bowl, place your cut fries. Top with beer so that they are completely submerged. Place in the refrigerator and let sit for at least two hours or up to twelve.

Once you're ready to cook them, preheat the oven for 425º. I like a high heat so they get real crispy! Next, drain the potatoes and let lay them out on a towel and pat them dry.

In a bowl, mix together the oil, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes in the mixtures so that they are all evenly covered.

Lay the potatoes in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and sprayed with a little coconut oil. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip them around, turn the pan and bake for another 20 minutes.

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

Once they're crispy to your liking, serve them right away with your favorite dipping sauce. I can't resist a horseradish mustard and a garlic basil aioli! Top with fresh parsley and diced scallions to an extra delicious flavor.

Drunken Oven Baked French Fries

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Hello!!!! So, summer break has been a crazy one. I'm guessing I'm not the only one. The kids and I have been busier than ever with play dates, working in the garden, biking around and just being silly. I also took this great brew class which has been what has been eating up most of my spare time (before the kids get up and during naps, however, we're ready to step up our brewing game so it's all worth it). I knew it was going to be a busy summer, but I never expected Practiganic to take the summer off too! I'm sad because some recipes are already out of season! I guess the garlic scapes pull apart bread is just going to have to wait until next year ... it was good too!

I have way to many recipes 'in the queue' right now that I just haven't had time to finish up. I'm making it a goal to at least get to one a week until school starts and then try to get back into the swing of things. I miss chatting, but I have to say it's been a lot of fun playing around in the kitchen without my notepad attached to my hip!

So ... How's everyones CSA going? I've started a little bit of my canning, just a few jams so far. I'm still waiting on the pickles in the garden to make a full batch (I may have to use the farmer's market this year to stock me up. Only one of my pickle plant seeds survived!). My ten tomato plants are all looking fantastic and my mustard greens and kale have been being picked almost daily.

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Last night, we had Pineapple Wasabi Tempeh Wraps and it made me thing about a few weeks ago when I made this Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad. As my mouth was watering a bit for that spicy zing (good thing I had the wasabi to help with that craving), I knew it was time to finally write a blog post to share the zing! I would love to tell you what was going on in my head when I was making this recipe ... what the day was like ... but I have no idea. All I remember is that I ate my share of dinner as soon as it was mixed and I didn't wait for Paul and I to sit and have dinner together. Once I had one bite, I just couldn't stop myself!

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Buffalo Tempeh Quinoa Salad

Serves 3-4

8 oz tempeh, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1/2 c hot sauce, divided
3 T butter, vegan or regular
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t worsteshire sauce

1/2 c quinoa (I use red because it's more firm with a nutty taste ... adds an extra element of yummy)
1 c water

2 1/2 c cabbage, julienned
1 med carrot, shredded (about 1 cup)
1/4 c scallions, diced
1/3 c veganaise
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 c blue cheese, crumbled (optional)

Melt butter and mix with hot sauce, garlic and worsteshire. Marinade the tempeh in buffalo sauce for at least 2 hours.

Meanwhile, in a pot, combine water and quinoa. Bring to boil. Once it is boiling, lower heat all the way and cover. Once water is soaked up, the quinoa is done. It should be nice and fluffy. Cool.

Slice your cabbage, carrots, scallions, veganaise, salt and pepper and mix in a bowl. Once the quinoa is cooled, add that in too.

Now, it's finally time to cook the tempeh! Heat up a little oil in a pan. Fry each side of tempeh for 4-5 minutes on medium heat until it is lightly browned on both sides. Once done, through them back in the marinade for a last coat. Mix in with the cabbage quinoa salad. Add the blue cheese, if you're going to and serve!

I loved that the tempeh was still a little warm. I think that's why I couldn't stop myself from eating my dinner at 3 o'clock! However, by the time Paul got home and it was completely cooled, it was still scrumptious.

Buffalo Tempeh Salad