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Cashew Okra

2 cups Okra [no longer than 2″, ends trimmed]
2 Garlic Cloves [sliced thinly]
1/4 cup Cashews [raw, unsalted]
1.5 tsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Rice Vinegar [seasoned]

Heat a bit of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Saute okra for about 3 minutes, until bright green. Add sliced garlic, soy sauce + rice vinegar + cook for a minute more until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in cashews + serve

Red Bean Cashew Pasta

Here’s a riff on a cold bar salad that Wheatsville makes.

1/2 cup Cashews [raw]
2 tsp Tamari
2 Garlic Cloves [roughly chopped]
1-1/2 cups Kidney Beans [cooked]
2 servings Spaghetti
1 Tbs Olive Oil
handful of Basil + Parsley [chopped]
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2 Lemon [juice only]

Cook spaghetti in a pot of salted water till al dente. Meanwhile, pulse cashews in a food processor. When they are ground finely, add tamari and garlic and pulse until well mixed.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add cashew paste + red beans, stirring till heated through. Add pasta and 1/2 cup+ of the pasta cooking water to moisten to desired consistency. Top with fresh herbs, lemon juice + ground black pepper.

Serves 2 generously.

Ethiopian Spiced Collard Greens


1 bunch Collard Greens [chopped, about 4 cups]
1 cup Red Onion [chopped finely]
1 Tbs Niter Kibbeh [spiced clarified butter*]
1 Tbs Ginger [fresh, grated finely]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 tsp Berbere*
Sea Salt

Heat niter kibbeh in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute onion for about 5 minutes. Add ginger, garlic, berbere + saute for a minute more, stirring frequently. Turn the heat up a bit, add the collard greens and a splash of water. Steam saute until the green are tender, about 5 minutes. Serve seasoned with sea salt.

*Niter Kibbeh is an Ethiopian spiced, clarified butter made with cinnamon, cardamom and other spices. It is pretty simple to make, tastes incredible, and lasts for several months. I used the recipe in Moosewood Sunday Suppers + there are plenty of others online. It is a great base for lentil dishes, or even on toast. You could substitute butter if desired.

Berbere is an Ethiopian roasted spice mixture with plenty of sweet spices, Hungarian paprika, and dried red chilies. Again, I made the very simple recipe out of Moosewood, but this could certainly be purchased at a good specialty store or local Ethiopian restaurant.  It keeps well and can be used to season a great deal of dishes like sweet potato oven fries, lentils, chili…. I think a good sweet + spicy creole seasoning would made a good substitute.

Simple Split Pea Soup


1 cup Green Split Peas
1 Onion [chopped]
3 Garlic Cloves [chopped]
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 cups Vegetable Broth
dash Turmeric
1/4 cup Flat Leaf Parsley [fresh, chopped]
2 Tbs Meyer Lemon Juice

Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan.  Saute onion for about 5 minutes, add garlic + saute 1 minute more.  Add split peas + veggie broth.  Simmer till peas are very tender, about 1 hour.  Mash a few of the split peas with a fork until soup reaches a thicker consistency. Stir in parsley + lemon juice.

Serves 2 for dinner with a tasty salad + some crusty bread.

Allium Pale Ale Mussels

3 lbs Mussels [beards removed, scrubbed well]
2 Garlic Cloves [minced]
1 Onion [small, sliced]
1 Leek [sliced into 1/4″ rounds + washed well]
1-1/2 Lemons [juice only]
1 Tbs Herbs [fresh thyme, parsley]
1 Tbs Olive Oil
2 Tbs Butter
16 oz Pale Ale
Salt + Freshly Ground Pepper [to taste]

Heat oil + 1 Tbs of butter in a very large pot. Add onion, garlic + leeks and saute for about 5 minutes or until wilted. Add mussels, lemon juice + beer. Cover + cook over medium high for 5 minutes. All mussels should be open; Remove cooked mussels from liquid + place in a large bowl. Discard any that have not opened after 7-10 minutes. Add the last Tbs of butter to beer + allium mixture + simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced.

Pour beer sauce over mussels + serve very hot with thick slices of crusty ciabatta.

Serves 6, family style.

Photo + freshly baked bread thanks to Jane Middleton.

Mango Black Beans

1 cup Black Beans [dried, soaked over night]
1/4 tsp Marjoram [dried]
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 cup Onion [finely chopped]
3 Garlic Cloves [minced]
2 Mangoes [minced/smashed into a chunky puree]
dash White Pepper
1/4 tsp Allspice [ground]
1/2 tsp Thyme [fresh]
Salt

Rinse soaked beans well. Cook in a pot, just covered by water with marjoram until tender, about 20+ minutes.

Heat olive oil to medium then saute onions and garlic till translucent. Add mango, pepper, thyme + allspice. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat.

Drain beans leaving a little bit behind + reserve their liquid. Stir mango + onion mixture into beans. Simmer 5 minutes more, adding additional cooking liquid if necessary.

Serves 4 over brown rice + well sauteed cabbage.

Curly Kale Salad


3 cups Curly Green Kale [finely sliced]
1 Carrot [shredded]

Dressing:
2 Tbs Tahini [raw]
2 Tbs Water
1 Lemon [juice only]
1 Garlic Clove
Sea Salt

Blend dressing ingredients with a blender until smooth + thickened. Toss with kale + carrots.

An individual lunch size serving.

Pumpkin Buckwheat Risotto


1 cup Onion [chopped]
4 Garlic Cloves [minced]
8 oz Crimini Mushrooms [sliced]
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Butter
1 cup Kasha [roasted]
2 cups Vegetable Broth
Sea Salt + Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs Oregano [fresh, chopped]
2 cups Pumpkin [roasted, chopped into 1″ cubes]

Roast pumpkin till tender, but not mushy. [A whole pumpkin will take 30-60 minutes, at 400 degrees F, depending on its size.] Chop.

Heat oil + butter in a large pan with a lid. Saute onion until translucent, about 10 minutes, seasoned lightly with salt + black pepper. Add garlic + mushrooms and saute until the moisture from the mushrooms has released and evaporated, about 10 minutes. Stir in kasha, making sure to mix well so groats are covered with oil. Add vegetable broth, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed + kasha is tender.

Stir in pumpkin and oregano, reserving a small amount for garnish.

Ginger Peanut Noodles

8-12 oz Soba Noodles
1 Carrot [medium, grated]
1/2 cup Cucumber [sliced]
1/2 cup Sweet Red Pepper [sliced]
Several Slices of Chili Lemon Tofu
handful Cilantro Leaves

Dressing:
1/3 cup Peanut Butter [natural]
1 tsp Red Jalapeño Pepper [minced]
1/2″ Ginger Root [chopped or grated]
1 Garlic Clove
1-1/2 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Water [more as desired]
Tamari [to taste]

Blend all the dressing ingredients with a blender, seasoning with a little tamari if you use unsalted peanut butter. Add more water if the sauce is too thick.

Cook soba noodles + drain. Feel free to toss the noodles with a pinch of sesame oil to prevent them from clumping together.  Mix noodles with the ginger peanut dressing to taste [you may have left over dressing].  Top with veggies + tofu.

Chili Lemon Tofu

1 lb Extra Firm Tofu [high protein if available, sliced into 1/2″ thick slices]
1 Garlic Clove [minced]
1/2″ Ginger Root [grated]
1/2 Red Jalapeño Pepper [seeded if you like, minced]
1/2 Lemon [juice + zest]
dash Tamari
1 Tbs Olive Oil

Remove excess water from tofu by arranging slices on a kitchen towel and allowing them to dry for about 15 minutes. Combine, garlic, ginger, jalapeño, tamari, oil + lemon juice. Toss with tofu slices and allow to marinate for 1/2 an hour or longer.

Preheat broiler. Arrange tofu slices on a baking sheet + pour marinade over top. Move slices around to coat with lemon juice mixture. Broil for 10 to 15 minutes, or until garlic + tofu begin to brown, flipping once.

Serves 3 – 4. Great as a topping for Ginger Peanut Noodles.

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