Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lavender-Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan)

Farmer Jim suggested this week's lavender would be excellent in a chocolate chip cookie, so I went looking for the best recipe I could find. Doesn't this sound truly amazing? 

Pretty Parcel

Vegan Lavender-Chocolate Chip Cookies (Chewy)

1 ½ - 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (use the extra ½ if batter is too wet)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt (I used coarse pink Himalayan salt)
3/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread, melted (I used about 1 Tbsp less than this) 
1 1/2 cups of raw sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 1/2 tablespoon EnerG Egg Replacer + 3 Tbsp water, combined
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 
2 tablespoon+ dried lavender 

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper. Sift together the flour and baking soda. Add the salt separately if it is coarse, otherwise sift it too. Set aside.

2. Combine the melted Earth Balance with the sugar, molasses and agave in a mixing bowl. I don't have a mixer and so I make sure to beat this well, doing it by hand. There should be no separation between the sugar and melted margarine or you will get oily cookies.
3. Add the vanilla, cinnamon and EnerG mixture and give them a good beating, again, if you're doing this by hand.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined (don't overmix, flour doesn't like that.)
5. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and the dried lavender. Taste the dough (which you can do because there are no eggs!) and add more lavender if you like.
6. Measure 1/4 cup per cookie and give them a few inches to expand on the tray. Bake for approx 15 minutes and then remove and allow to sit on the pan another 10 minutes or so. These cookies are crisp on the outside, dense and chewy on the inside: a perfect chocolate chip cookie with a twist. The sweetness makes the lavender taste amazing, and no one will know they're vegan.

Check this recipe out if you're not up for vegan baking.

Lavender is also fantastic in tea. The dried flowers soothe digestive upsets and contain constituents beneficial in hypertension, cardiac disorders, insomnia, melancholy, dizziness and asthma. For sufferers of headaches, anxiety attacks, rheumatic pain and distension, try a cup of hot lavender tea (1tsp per cup of boiled water) or put several drops of the essential oil on your pillow at night.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Kohlrabi Slaw

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts - gluten-free + vegan
from Tasty-Yummies

Kohlrabi Slaw with Dried Cranberries and Walnuts – gluten-free + veganserves 4-6
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 small green or purple kohlrabi, cleaned, peeled and cut into matchsticks, about 2 cups
1/4 head of savoy cabbage, sliced as thinly as possible, about 1 cup
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
2 garlic scapes, very thinly sliced (you could also use green onions)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
In a small bowl, mix together the vinaigrette ingredients with a whisk until well combined. Set aside. In a large serving bowl, add all of the salad ingredients except the cranberries and walnuts. Toss gently to combine, the pour over some of the vinaigrette, you may not need it all, go conservative to start, you can always add more. Toss well to coat the entire salad with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle the cranberries and walnuts on top, salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Strawberry and Sorrel Smoothie

Smoothie Recipes: Strawberry Sorrel Smoothie
This will surely cool you down on a hot day. Plus it uses two of this week's shares in this easy to digest smoothie of strawberries and sorrel from Green Lemonade.

1/2 cup sorrel leaves
1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
3/4 cup strawberries, frozen (or fresh but add more ice cubes)
1/2 banana, frozen
1/4 cup coconut or almond milk
1 cup filtered water
a few drops of stevia (or a little honey)
1-2 ice cubes, to thicken
Blend and love it!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Salmon Bulgogi with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

Salmon "Bulgogi" with Bok Choy and Mushrooms

2 large garlic cloves, peeled, divided
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry Sherry
1 3/4-inch cube peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce*
4 6-ounce center-cut skinless salmon fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large bok choy, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (about 7 cups)
4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps sliced

* Available in the Asian foods section of many supermarkets and at Asian markets.

Blend 1 garlic clove and next 7 ingredients in mini processor. Arrange salmon in 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon marinade over. Let marinate 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500°F. Arrange fish, with some marinade still clinging, on rimmed baking sheet. Transfer any marinade in dish to small saucepan. Roast fish until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes. Bring marinade in saucepan to boil; set aside and reserve for glaze.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add bok choy and mushrooms; using garlic press, press in 1 garlic clove. Stir-fry until mushrooms are tender and bok choy is wilted, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide vegetables among plates. Top with salmon. Brush fish with glaze.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dandelion is not just a weed

Dandelion Greens
Dandelion roots and leaves have been long-used as a medical remedy for their incredible cleansing and nourishing abilities. They have roots sometimes three feet long, which draw up minerals and vitamins from deep within the soil. They are rich iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and in vitamins A, B, D, C and E; in fact, just two leaves, when eaten raw, provide a full day's supply of C.

Fresh leaves are excellent in salads or juiced or they can be chopped and sauteed for a hot meal. According to master herbalist, Susun Weed, "regular consumption of dandelion leaves will reportedly improve tooth enamel (likely due to dandelion’s high calcium content)."

"Emeril Lagasse is a fan of dandelion greens sautéed in olive oil with onion, garlic and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. The French say that greens and bacon are a match made in heaven. Greek-style greens may be stewed with lamb; the Spanish favor them in soups with smoky sausage; the Chinese give them a quick stir-fry; the Indians add them to curries; and creative salad chefs combine them with a variety of raw vegetables and fresh herbs." (1)

In Rome, this is the typical way bitter greens are prepared, according to Epicurious:

2 lb dandelion greens, tough stems removed and leaves cut crosswise into 4-inch pieces
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cook greens in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until ribs are tender, 4 to 5 minutes, then drain in a colander. Rinse under cold water to stop cooking and drain well, gently pressing out excess water.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden, about 30 seconds. Increase heat to moderately high, then add greens, red pepper flakes, and salt and sauté, stirring, until liquid greens give off is evaporated, about 4 minutes