Olive Curing Update

YAY! It’s time! The olives are ready to be brined. I tasted a bit and the bitterness seems to be gone.

All in all, it seems they only took 2 weeks of soaking in water to get rid of the bitterness, not too bad.

So after reading several ways to brine olives, I decided to just come up with my own combination.

I covered the olives in filtered water, then added

2 Tbs. of real salt,

half of a lemon chopped into cubes,

several bay leaves,

about 4 cloves of garlic cut in half

a dash of organic red wine vinigar

and covered the top with some extra virgin olive oil.

it’s supposed to sit like this for about 2 weeks.

will report back!

Here’s a picture for all you visual types 🙂

Brined Olives

Brined Olives

 

 

Bekbka (Bakbaka)

My Cousin Niky makes this killer Libyan dish called Bekbka, we say Bakbaka.

it’s very popular at our potlucks, in fact we usually fight over.  Today I called her and asked for the recipe.  Knowing me, you know I had to make it a bit my own, so here it is:

This dish is a high starch/carb dish, so in order to cut that down a bit, I used red fingerling potatoes instead of regular potatoes, I used a gluten free pasta instead of regular and I used red onions instead of brown or yellow to give it extra nutrition. Niky thank you for the inspirations. I hope I did this dish justice, I know my husband gave it a thumbs up 🙂 and I had 2 bowls, now it’s time to burn it off 🙂

BakBaka (Pictures below)

1 package pasta (I used Tinkyada fusilli)
7-8 red fingerling potatoes
2 cans chickpeas
1 large onion (I used red onion)
3 jalapenos (I used 4 because my husband loves jalapenos!)
2 Tbs. of Safflower oil
1 small can of tomato paste
1 Tbs. Paprika
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1 Tbs. Turmeric
2 Tbs. Real Salt (brand name)
approx. 1.2-1.5 liters of water

I heated a large pot and on high heat, added about 2 Tbs. of safflower oil, then sauteed the onions and Jalapenos for about 1 or 2 minutes, then I added the spices, tomato paste, potatoes and the water and brought it to boil.  I waited til the potatoes got slightly soft then added the pasta.  Once you add the pasta stir it often to prevent it sticking on the bottom. I did this for about 20 minutes then covered it and turned the stove off.  I waited for about 5 minutes then served it. See pictures below.

Gathering the Ingredients


Sautéing the onions and the Jalapeño

Adding the spices and tomato paste

Adding the chickpeas and potatoes

All put together, now start stirring.

All put together, now start stirring.

Finished product

Kelp Noodle Salad

Cutting down on our intake of grains is not always easy as most of us are so addicted to it.  Here is a no starch, low carb noodle dish that promises to satisfy. Kelp noodles are 0 calorie food that is very versatile.  It will absorb the flavor of whatever you mix it with.  This recipe is also nut free, gluten free and other than a little bit of honey, it’s also vegan and mostly raw. This is a great salad to make ahead as the longer it sits in the sauce the better the flavor.

You can play around with the sauce ingredients if you want to make it sweeter or spicier etc.

This makes enough sauce for 2 packages of kelp noodles and will serve 2 or 3 depending on how hungry you are 🙂

SAUCE

1/4 cup seasame tahini

1 Tbs. toasted sesame oil

3 Tbs. rice vinigar

2 Tbs. low sodium tamari sauce

2 tsp. chili garlic sauce (you can find this at any asian market (huy fong foods inc.)

2 tsp. raw honey or sweetner of your choice.

SALAD

2  7 oz packages  of Kelp Noodles (also found at asian markets or health food stores)

1 sm. persian cucumber, grated

1 sm. carrot, grated

handful of chopped cilantro or mint

1 green onion

toasted sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Put all the sauce ingredients into a small bowl or a measuring cup and mix well. Rinse and drain the noodles in a fine mesh colander.  Make sure it’s not too wet before you toss it with the sauce. Toss the noodles with sauce and the rest of the ingredients and you are done! Enjoy!

Asian Style Noodle Soup

My kids were really craving Asian noodle soup today, so I made a small pot for them, it was such a hit, they begged me to make some more, so second time around, I measured and wrote stuff out and took pictures so that if nothing else I can duplicate it next time I want to make it again.

Ingredients:

6 cups purified water

juice of one small lime

1/4 c. soy sauce

a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (you don’t want to put too much as it will overpower the taste) about 1/2 tsp.

2 cloves of crushed garlic

fresh ginger (about the size of a large garlic clove, either grated or pushed through the garlic press)

Cabbage (shredded fine)

1/4 of a brown onion (thinly sliced)

1/2 of a carrot (julienne with the mandolin)

1/3 of a zucchini (julienne with the mandolin)

bunch fresh cilantro

1 spring onion (green)

1 veggie bouillon cube

1 tsp. sea salt

1 bundle of rice noodles or mung bean threads there’s 3 in a package. (picture below)

Rice Noodles, Mung Bean Noodles, sesame oil, veggie bullion cubes.

Julienne Carrots and Zucchini

Directions:

Drop the bouillon cube in 6 cups of water, add the lime juice, the soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and bring it to boil, meanwhile prepare the rest of the ingredients. Whisk the broth to make sure the bouillon cube has completely dissolved then add the veggies as you finish slicing and cutting them. once the water boils, turn off the stove, add noodles, the green onions and cilantro, cover the pot and let it sit for 10 minutes. Once the noodles have expanded after about 10 minutes you may serve the soup.

boiling soup after adding the veggies

Cilantro and greeen onions

Finished Product

Alice’s Tomatoe Rice Soup

With the cold weather, soups just hit the spot! I hope you enjoy this one.

4 large tomatoes (Chopped)

6 c. water

1 onion (chopped fine)

1/2 c. frozen peas

1/2 c. rice of your choice

1 zucchini (chopped)

1 vegan bullion cube (this is what I use) (you can find it at Whole Foods)

1 clove garlic

1 tsp dried basil

1 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs. Olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the soup pot, when very hot add the olive oil then saute the onions, zucchini, garlic and the tomatoes, add the water and the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil, once boiling, lower heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for 1 hour.

Alice’s Potatoe Masala Soup

Picture coming soon!

4 Potatoes (peeled and cut into little cubes)

6-7c. of water (start with 6, then add more as needed)

1/2 c. frozen peas

1 med. onion (finely chopped)

2 celery stalks (finely chopped)

2 tsp. Amchur (dried mango powder found in Indian markets) (mix the poweder in some warm water first then add it to the soup so it doesn’t clump).

1 clove garlic

1/2 tsp. dried sage

1 chili pepper (if you don’t like it too spicy, remove the seeds)

handful fresh cilantro (chopped)

handful fresh mint (chopped)

salt and pepper to taste

About 2 Tbs. of Olive oil as garnish at the end.

Dry saute’ the onions, stirring occasionally, once lightly brown, add the water and the rest of the ingredients excluding the fresh herbs and olive oil. Once you bring it to a boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro, mint and olive oil, stir and serve.

Raw/Vegan Veggie Quiche

Crust

1 1/2 c. soaked picans or any nut or seed of your choice

1 Tbs. Braggs Aminos

1 Tbs. Psyllium Husk

1 Tbs. Water to combine

1 tsp sea salt

Process until crumbly and press into the bottom of a spring form pan.


Filling

1 bag baby spinach

1 red bell pepper

handful of parsley and dill

2 leeks chopped (white and lite green parts)

1 c. soaked cashews

3 Tbs. phsyllium husk

1-2  Tbs. Lemon Juice

1 tbs. nutritional yeast

1 tsp nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

Process all ingredients in food processor till smooth and creamy. Pour on top of the crust and chill until set. Can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Mexican ground “meat”

I was really in the mood for Mexican food lately so I got my creative juices flowing and came up with a ground “meat” that you can use in Lettuce wraps, tacos, nachos, or get creative like I did below with the cucumber appetizers.

1 c. pumpkin seeds (soaked overnight or at least 4 hours)

1 c. brazil nuts (soaked overnight or at least 4 hours)

1/2 onion (chopped)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp. chipotle pepper fakes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 Tbs. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs. tomato paste (omit if you want to keep it raw)

1/8 tsp garlic pwdr or 1 garlic clove

Grind the soaked nuts and seeds in the food processor until it has the texture of ground meat. Transfer it to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix it well and use it as is or place in a dehydrator for an hour or two to marinade and blend the flavors together.

I also have dehydrated it all the way 6-8 hours til crunchy for longer storage or to eat as a snack.

Raw Cookies and Milk

Santa would be jealous!

I created these cookies because after making the almond milk I didn’t want to throw away the pulp, so I got creative…

So I used the pulp of 1 1/2 cup almonds leftover from the almond milk then added to it…

8-10 (I used the skinny pitted dates) dates chopped in the food processor

1/2 dropper of vanilla stevia

1/4c currants

1 apple chopped fine in the food processor

2-3 Tbs.  ground chia seeds

1/4 c. shreaded coconut

1 tsp orange zest

Mixed it all up, scooped it with an small ice cream scooper and placed it on the dehydrator sheet for about 6 hours on 115

I then mixed coconut butter, agave, and raw cacao to make the frosting.

Makes about 15-20 cookies.

P.S. You can also eat the cookie mixture like oatmeal without dehydrating it. It’s really yummy.

Spinache Salad with Steamed Beets

This is one of the recipes I made for my last cooking class. I made it again for thanksgiving and it was a big hit. I hope you will try it and give me some feedback.

Tahini Dressing

¼ c. tahini

2 Tbs. raw honey

2-3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar

1 small clove of garlic

About 1 to 2 Tbs. of water for consistency

Salt and pepper to taste.

Salad

1 Bag of organic baby spinach

Handful of chopped parsley

About two red beets steamed, cooled and cubed