Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sattvic Veggie Pâté

Sattvic Pate

The last time I made veggie pâté, I ended up with a very tasty final product, but a ridiculous mess in the kitchen; sauté pan, cutting board, blender, sauce pan, loaf pan.  It was a lot of work for one little loaf, and it was also, for you yoga nerds out there, rather tamasic, being loaded with mushrooms, garlic, and onions.  The idea behind this pâté was to make something a little lighter, brighter, more nutritious, with a good deal of protein, not too much fat, and not too much cooking.  In essence, I wanted to make a sattvic pâté.  

Feel free to make substitutions to suit your taste or your pantry.  The one specialty item involved is agar agar, a brilliant vegan gelatin substitute that holds the loaf together.  It's pretty easy to come by, especially in health food or asian markets.  Quinoa would work well in place of the millet, but millet IS a great protein source, and is about a third of the price of quinoa.  Just sayin.  Quinoa, lentil, or mung sprouts would be nice substitutions as well.  So many possibilities!  You'll find this is especially quick to make if you have a cup of the cooked grain you're going to use on hand.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dutch Oven Bread

This is not so much a recipe as it is a bit of inspiration, some pointers, and a whole bunch of encouragement to experiment.  Experiment!  I was out to lunch with a friend the other day and the topic of bread and baking came up.  She started talking about this bread and when I asked her for a recipe, she said that she didn't have one, but could try to come up with measurements the next time around.  Bah!  I said.  Recipe schmecipe.  The key, we agreed, is to just go for it and not be afraid.  A sound philosophy for both bread baking and life.

To make this bread you will need: 
  • A dutch oven
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Yeast
  • Optional fun add in's such as nuts, seeds, and fresh herbs
  • A bit of semolina or brown rice flower to prevent the dough from sticking to the dutch oven

Monday, May 7, 2012

Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream with Asparagus

Vegan Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream

A good friend of ours makes a disgustingly delicious dish comprised of nothing more than asparagus, goat cheese, salt and pepper, and a bit of high quality olive oil.  He absolutely smothers the spears in loads of creamy goat cheese and then puts them in the oven until the cheese browns and the asparagus becomes a vibrant green.  It's decadent, delicious, a total crowd pleaser, and way too guilty for regular consumption.  Cholesterol anyone?  My wheels started turning yesterday about what I could make as a alternative creamy accompaniment to asparagus spears, and after an afternoon of thinking and walking, the cashew finally came to mind.

Nutritionally, cashews are high in phytosterols, which lower LDL cholesterol, and they're also a good source of magnesium, phosphorus, copper and manganese.   And as if that's not enough, they're full of antioxidants and protein.  And if THAT's not enough, they're rich and delicious and super creamy when pureed.  You may remember Cashew Cream Frosting?  
This is a savory cashew cream, prepared at room temperature in a matter of minutes.  It would be a great accompaniment to any roasted vegetable dish, pilaf, or even thinned down to use as a salad dressing.   I served it here with asparagus (preparation method follows), over a pile of quinoa with parsley, spring onion, and a bit of the cashew cream stirred into it.

Energy Bars

Raw Choco Energy Bars

This is basically a bigger, badder, work-out version of the previously posted Choco Date Balls recipe from a few months ago.   It's still raw, versatile, and easy to make, but this time it has the addition of oats and nut butter to help make it a slower burning energy sustainer, rather than a energy spiking sugar bomb.  I've been making these for Shakti and they've been a hit among Montréal climbers.