Here in Florida, we are blessed to be at the height of our Farmers Market season. My Saturday ritual involves getting up as early as possible (but never early enough) and heading downtown to visit my favorite organic farmers. Every week I vow to arrive earlier when I hear that I missed out on the strawberries or the last of the Lacinato kale. But come Saturday, sleep always wins. When I finally make it to my favorite booth, I’m always on the hunt for something exotic. Sometimes I can find rare tropical fruits (more often in the summer) and unique citrus varieties. Last week I scored the last of the pink tangelos and WOW–what a treat.
This week I was late. Kale, a major staple for me–gone. So I fumbled around trying to figure out what else to get. I’m a total list maker. I have to be, while shopping for me, my hubby and a handful of clients. Though, in keeping with fresh and seasonal ingredients, my favorite list entry is often “stuff for salad”. Walking around the booth, it was impossible to miss the gorgeous display of Romanesco (a broccoli & cauliflower relative). This is seriously the most beautiful food I have ever seen. It’s bright, lime green and full of spiraling florets. Even better, as much as I love broccoli and cauliflower, Romanesco is a bit more subtle in flavor. I grabbed a perfect looking piece, a ton of fresh herbs and knew I was in for a treat this week. This salad is so light, delicious and absolutely full of fresh herby flavor. If you can’t get your hands on Romanesco, feel free to substitute broccoli or cauliflower.
This sparkling jewel of a drink was the perfect finishing touch for our dinner the other night. The combination of chilled Prosecco and raspberries was so good. Try this recipe next time you have someone special over. It’s very…mmmm.
This recipe was sprung out of one of my many Martha Stewart inspired moments.
She called for straight up butter, of course, and so I wanted to see if I could use coconut butter instead. The batter was a little dry so I added nut milk and used chestnut flour instead of hazelnuts cause that’s what I had on hand and wow! They came out crunchy, delicately sweet and the perfect biscuit to serve along side some warm beverages.
If your following Bite This, you know recently we escaped the frigid cold of the East Coast and spent some weeks soaking up a little California sun. We spent our nights in a cabin right on the Pacific Coastline, enjoying many outdoor picnics, while we stared out at the beautiful ocean. This recipe came to life as I was preparing one of those outdoor late Sunday lunches. I was determined to find as many ways as possible to use the overflow of tangerines and lemons hanging from the trees around our cabin. I think I did good with this one. Well, the Monkie thought so.
The idea behind this post is quite simple. During my childhood back home, street vendors sold all kinds of snacks in small paper cones – toasted sunflower seeds, berries, nuts, candy, and other homemade treats. The food varied depending on the season and the part of the country. The cone is an inexpensive, simple container that was usually rolled and filled right on the spot.
During recess at school, we would often run across the street to a small market and buy whichever snacks were sold that day. Then we would proceed to sit in the schoolyard with our paper cones, gossiping and munching away.
Inspired by those memories, we had the idea to serve salad in an edible cone, just like ice-cream. We wanted to create a cone that would reflect the colours and flavours of the salad and add a nice crunch to the overall effect.
Oh my goodness, it is time to breathe. I spent the last 6 weeks working 15 hours a day without a taking a single day off and completed the greatest accomplishment of my life thus far…my book.Pure Pleasures: Luscious Live Food Recipes from the Glowing Temple Kitchen (link http://www.glowingtemple.com/purepleasures.php) is published! Wow, that feels good.
So now I’m trying to get back into some sort of “normal” rhythm, whatever that means. There’s actual dinners rather than downing a quick smoothie and yes, I’ve taken a few hours off here and there for time at the beach and visits with friends. Though, I’m having trouble not working because I guess I really created some pretty deep habits. It’s amazing how quickly something truly begins to feel natural. So I’m still up until midnight every night, but now it’s more with promotion rather than production and there’s a lot less pressure if I feel I need to put something off until tomorrow.
These last 6 weeks focused on design, writing and editing, so I’ve really been missing being able to get in the kitchen and create. Like really create. You know, something delicious, beautiful and gourmet, not just tossing together a salad. Now that I’m back to breathing, it’s time to play a little and here’s my first post-book creation that I wanted to share.
What do you think, time for a follow up to my Double Down Spicy Cashew Cheese post. I know, I am a one recipe skipping record kind of guy. This time, its Juli Novotny’s (kookie karma) famous spicy cheese kale chips. I made them the sameday I made the first patch of cheese, but I never got around to posting the photos or the how to instructions for the kale chips, so today is your lucky day or maybe not.
If you have never had a Kale Chip and think the whole idea of turning a green leafy lettuce into a chip is a bit odd, I am right there with you. The first time I heard about Kale Chips, I thought… what come on. A dried up leaf? But when I got my first bag of Juli’s chips, I was sold. WOW… I mean.. they were just great, but maybe they shouldn’t be called Chips. They are nothing like a corn or potato chip. They are more like a dried leaf or if you don’t fully dry them, they have a texture of a light jerky. Anyways… they are great in their own way. I would eat them any day over potato chips. Especially the cheesy version.
They are more like a dried leaf or if you don’t fully dry them, they have a texture of a light jerky
Now lets get into the how to make them part. The batch I made was enough for 8 people at a party or one hungry Monkie. The hungry monkie being me. I didn’t share any of them. In fact I ate them all within a day I think. I know… what a piggy monkie. But that is okay, it was my first batch and I earned the right to suck them all down and hey I live alone, so who am I going to share them with anyways? Basil the dog? I don’t think Cheese Kale Chips are something that should be on a dogs menu anyways. Carrots, definitely, heavy cashew cheese… hell no.
This Halloween is not only the first one that Paloma (now a 2 year old) can understand as a holiday, but, in a way, the first one for me. Although I’ve been living in the U.S. for twelve years, not having a young child and growing up without this tradition left me somehow indifferent to all the festivities. This year, everything’s changed.
Paloma is in daycare now, and is very curios about all the Halloween decorations and pumpkins that they’ve acquired. It’s funny how having a little kid can bring back the long gone excitement of the holidays.
I loved the challenge of making these raw cookies, playing with the shapes and colours. As for the flavours, I wanted to evoke true autumn tastes like pumpkin spice, carrot cake, nutmeg and clove, as well as include some new additions like matcha, mango, and black sesame. I was thrilled when everyone who tried the cookies loved the result.
I wanted to evoke true autumn tastes like pumpkin spice, carrot cake, nutmeg and cloves
This was a chance for me to experiment with sprouted oat flour, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. I started with making a basic dry mix, and then added different ingredients for various cookie flavours.
Matcha powder (green tea powder) is another ingredient that I just started using. It’s been getting lots of good great publicity, as I always see tempting matcha recipes on food blogs and in magazines. Delicious! The multi-coloured oak leaves are also edible. Made of fresh coconut meat, flax seeds, and various fruits and vegetables – the recipe is coming soon!
Since summer is actually over, and I’m starting to eat things like mushroom stuffed pumpkin, it’s about time I posted my lemonade recipe. This post is long overdue, as my schedule seems to be more and more insane as the hours pass (but no excuses!). Regardless, this recipe was a special one I concocted for my trip to the gluten-free potluck in honor of Shauna and Danny’s new book, The Gluten-free Girl & The Chef.
I think this was my first official blog outing, which made me incredibly anxious, but I knew I would be safe in an environment based around Shauna. Hers was the first blog I ever read, after becoming gluten-intolerant (or…finding out). I read her book and cried, laughed, and sat in amazement at her writing and ability to share herself. I so admire that, being an incredibly private and possibly paranoid person myself. I’ve followed her ever since, and was excited by the idea to not only meet her, but make something to bring. I knew it had to stand out from the potluck crowd, and as my concord grape obsession was led by the summer season, I made a lemonade. I previously made a blueberry lemonade, which I still love, but this is a more unique combination of flavors that luckily went over very well with all the attendees.
I read her book and cried, laughed, and sat in amazement at her writing and ability to share herself.
(The Gluten-free Girl & The Chef Book Promo – Not A Vegan or Raw Recipe Book)
I am ever-captivated by the creativity and extravagance of Japanese cuisine. I could stare at this set of photos for hours on end, mesmerised and intrigued by the mysterious ingredients and the form they take. Only the Japanese can make food so aesthetic, vibrant, and unique – all at the same time. The combination of ancient traditions and brave modernism bring their food culture to untouched heights.
Here, we combined maki-sushi rolling techniques with our favourite spicy Thai wrap recipe. The result was exactly what I’ve imagined and dreamed of making – a flavourful and striking dish. This particular rolling technique is called Rokusha or colour wheel, a very appropriate title. The colourful wrappers alone can be eaten as a snack, kid-approved by Paloma. (The same recipe was used to make the edible leaves that accompanied our Halloween cookies).
I am always in a state of excitement when cooking, but preparing this dish left me especially exhilarated – so much visual stimulation!
I am not a raw foodist, vegan or any one thing, but I have to say, preparing raw recipes is definitely one of my most favorite things to do in my kitchen! For me, raw recipes seem to be especially easy to make and nearly impossible to ruin. Well, not fatally at least. For example this Raw Jerusalem Artichoke Pasta was planned a little bit differently than you see it here in this post. My original idea was to make a raw version of a traditional pasta with a basic italian tomato red sauce. Which should have been easy, right? But unfortunately, when I finished making the sauce, and tasted it, I was a bit shocked. Something important was definitely missing, the flavor! Yeah, not good. I think the problem started with the tomatoes I used. I live here in Bulgaria and the super markets are completely out of stock of local in season tomatoes and the only veggies on the shelves seem come from far far away. Maybe picked before they had a chance to ripen. Whatever happen to them, the result wasn’t a good one. They are completely dull and for the most part, tasteless. They reminded me a little of wet paper. Not very exciting.
They are completely dull and for the most part, tasteless.
This means I had to improvise and come up with a new sauce on the spot. I had already prepared my Jerusalem Artichoke pasta, and now I just need to sauce it. I know what your thinking, I should do a Pesto. So was I, but for some reason that too sounded a bit boring to me. Thats when I decided to wing it and came up with my own creation. We will call this new sauce, Nadia’s Mixed Winter Green Sauce. The recipe is below. I used a little chicory, radicchio, spinach, arugula and little olive oil with salt. Mmmmmm