Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins (Gluten Free!)

Plum explosion happened in the hood triggering a public meeting (ahem, me and my two neighbors) about what to do with all these purple beauties. Some signed up to get their jam on, other harvested more to form large piles, I infused vodka by night and made muffins by day.

Poppy seeds are the best, and they worked fabulously (say it out loud in your best Lynne Rossetto Kasper voice!) with the plums. I added almond flour to give a little of that almond-poppy seed memory. So good. 

Gluten free has been the theme of my summer (I think my allergies are getting better?) and Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose flour has been my trusted homeboy throughout this wheat-free journey. You could probably just add regular AP flour and these muffins would still turn out a-ok. 

BUT, I still have tons more plums. What to do with them? 

Plum and Poppy Seed Muffins

8 plums, pitted and chopped up
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup coconut flour
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 cups GF all purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoons sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix liquids and sugar together until well blended. Mix flours, baking powder, and salt together. Combine liquids with dry until just combined, then add diced plums. Pour into muffins cups and bake for about 18 minutes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Eggplant, Feta and Corn Salad

One of my favorite cool dishes of summer is a simple salad of roasted/grilled eggplant with feta. It was too boring to post back in 2011. Until now, thanks to America's favorite past-time: corn.

Yay, corn! 
Poor corn, getting a bad name for making people fat and miserable. 
Well, corn, I'm giving you another chance, and you have surely redeemed yourself. 
You add sweetness, texture and color. 
You make me nostalgic. 
Come back in my arms, corn.

There are hundreds of reason why I should love corn.
And why eggplant and feta should love corn. 

I'm celebrating corn like I'm celebrating the rest of Summer. It's hot and amazing while it lasts.
This salad hits the spot for a hot summer dinner. Throw in roasted red bells, olives, fresh chopped mint, lentils - maybe even some fancy nuts -  and you have really outdone yourself. Your face is sweating and it's time for you to drink something cold and eat this salad. 

Eggplant, Feta and Corn Salad

1 eggplant
2 ears of corn
Heap of greens - I used home-grown kale and butter lettuce
Fresh mint
Roasted red bell peppers
Extra - lentils/cooked beans, olives, capers, something spicy, nuts
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Slice eggplant into 2 bite discs, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast or grill until tender. Roast, cook or don't cook your corn. Slice it off on the ear. Prepare your greens in a big bowl, throw on your toppings. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Greek Fava Hummus with Saffron Flowers

Public Service Announcement: Greek fava isn't actually all that fancy. The asterisk at the bottom reveals: contains no actual fava beans. Nope. Just yellow split peas boiled down and served with raw red onion. Greeks call this fava and actual fava beans koukia. Fava is the paradosiako or traditional thing to order a meze at a classic Greek Taverna and usually served with crudely chopped red onion, which has always been a little daunting to me.

Sometimes, the fava can come out almost chalky like and sometimes it's like butta. But it's even better made into a creamy hummus. Greek fava blended down with tahini and olive oil turns this simple staple into something luxurious. Plus, Greek fava is SO easy to make. I've been really into turmeric these days, so added some as well as some saffron flowers not to be confused with expensive saffron stigmas. Raw onion always throws me off kilter but not when in the form of tiny little gems on a dip with fresh mint to counterbalance. If you like hummus, I hope you try this version! If you like Greek fava, I hope you try this hummus!

Greek Fava Hummus with Saffron Flowers

1 cup of Greek fava (make a batch of Greek fava for the week) 
2 tablespoon tahini
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
juice of 1 lemon (throw in some lemon zest if you like!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon saffron flowers
1 teaspoon finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped mint

In a food processor, blend all ingredients except for onions and mint until ultra smooth. Pour into a bowl, top with onions, mint and more olive oil!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Cherry Feta Summer Salad

Ah, there is nothing better than summer in the Pacific Northwest. It was these summers that made me decide to move to Portland in 1999 for college. It's these summers that always bring me back to this part of the United States and make me appreciate where I live (as if the coffee, wine, craft beer and flannel didn't already). Summer makes everything shine.
But really, every season in Portland boils down to the bigger question:
What's at the Farmers Market?

Cherries. So hot right now. Felon, criminal hot. 

Everywhere in Portland, people are talking about the cherries. Giving them out like a basket of candy at beer carts. Showing off their cherry bling upon entering a grocery store. Putting them on salad instead of tomatoes (they will have their day in due time).

The latest farmers market raid consisted of Chelan cherries from Hood River, Little Gem lettuce, goat feta, hazelnuts and a bouquet of basil. I celebrated this loot by mixing everything together in a bowl. The fleshy, sweet cherries stole the show of course, but played well with the tangy feta, aromatic basil and crunch from the hazelnuts (I prefer to roast em myself). This salad was so fabulous and easy to make - so delicious I can't wait to make it again. Hope you are enjoying the Summer and get your hands on some of those cherries while they last!

Cherry Feta Summer Salad

Handful of cherries (cut in half and pitted)

1 head of Little Gem lettuce
Small handful of basil leaves, sliced finely
handful of hazelnuts, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Extra virgin olive oil
sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Chop up the little gems into bite-sized pieces. Save the inner leaves for outside decor if you want. Throw in cherries, basil, feta and hazelnuts. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Vegan Coconut Matcha Swirl Pound Cake

This is my last week of Orthodox fasting from bleeding animal products, but this year I'm feeling really good and not missing my favorite dairy products (CHEESE) too badly. I really haven't felt any "struggle" fasting, in fact I feel pretty awesome. I want to keep this up and keep feeling great, however, will take a short break to help husband eat large wheel of recently purchased brie.

This pound cake came together like flow. It's texture was a tad crumbly, but the crumbs squeeze together effortlessly. The important part is that it was moist and very rich tasting.

Have you noticed swirl pound cake recipes use a stingy amount for the swirl/best part (half a cup or less!), I used more like a cup because swirl is like having more charms in your lucky. 

This cake baked up beautiful! Coconut and mactha are a match made in heaven. Perfume-y tea and tropical coconut, this does it for me! I love the basic recipe of this pound cake too just think of all the combinations - rhubarb vanilla bean, pandan coconut, almond and rose, marionberry and hazelnut...shall I continue? Happy green spring to you!

Vegan Coconut Matcha Swirl Pound Cake

2 cup AP flour (I used white whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup sugar (used unrefined sugar)
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup coconut milk ( used So Delicious brand)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/3 cup veganaise
2 tablespoons matcha powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in a small bowl.
In a large bowl beat coconut oil (slightly warm if your house in cold!) with sugar and vanilla until smooth. 
Take turns incorporating coconut milk, veganaise, flour mixture and coconut flakes.
Scoop out about 1/2 - 1 cup of batter and mix in matcha powder.
Pour non-matcha batter into a vegan-greased baking vessel then plop matcha batter on top to swirl to heart's content.
Sprinkle with more sugar if you want!
Bake for 50 minutes.