The lovely ladies of our Produce Team: Amelia Lord, Sue Guida & Wendy Jakobski at the Mystic Marriott, 04/16/12. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Jakobski.)
On Monday Chef Paul Krawic invited Fiddleheads to do a tasting at the Marriott in New London to sample the Produce Dept's wares. Richard Virgin, Wendy Jakobski, Sue Guida and Amelia Lord were the "prep chefs" for the evening. Dishes sampled included a vegetarian stiry fry done by Richard, Sue's wheatberry salad, and sweet potato-lentil stew from Alicia's Silverstone's book The Kind Diet, brought to us by Alison La Bella.
Sue told us her recipe for wheatberry & fruit salad came from Cooking Light Magazine, April 2010**; she has made it with and without the goat cheese listed, and each versions has it's devoted partisans here at the co-op. In other words, it's delicious either way, and the folks who got to taste it Wednesday night at the hotel certainly agreed.
Amelia, Sue and Richard Virgin "represent" Fiddleheads at the Marriott, with humor and style to spare. (Photo courtesy of Wendy Jakobski.)
We had a lot of requests for the sweet potato and lentil stew recipe from folks who sampled it that night, and we promised to share it here:
Alicia Silverstone's Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew
From The Kind Diet (Rodale Books, 2009)
1/4 cup safflower oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 small tomatoes, diced, or 2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 1/2 tsps. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cayenne
fine sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes,peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
7 cups vegetable broth
1 cup lentils, brown or multi-colored
Heat the oil over medium in a large, deep pot. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the tomatoes or paste and ginger and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and a small pinch of salt. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then taste for seasonings; try to use only enough salt to heighten the flavors.
Add the sweet potatoes, broth, and lentils. Stir well, and bring to a boil over high heat. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 - 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. Serve on its own, or over rice or couscous.
**Earlier today I listed Women's Day Magazine as the source of the wheatberry salad recipe; Sue corrected me and that has been fixed. -J-
This week we finally brought plantain into the co-op, and the most I could offer in the way of what to do with them was "fried plantain". A friend from El Salvador had introduced them to me that way years ago, pan-fried until golden brown on each side and light sprinkled with powdered sugar, if I remember correctly. (That was also the night I had my first taste of properly-made guacamole - no sour cream, thank you very much.) Fried plantain is a comfort-food dessert or snack par excellence, lightly crisp on the outside, soft inside, warm and naturally sweet (I make it without the sugar at home). But I had never bothered to go beyond that and find out what else could be done with it beyond one failed attempt at eating it raw, not realizing that what I'd call "ripe" in a standard banana is still "underripe" in a plantain.
Fortunately my friend and co-op'er Gina Lissette White came to the rescue with some suggestions on the FH Facebook page this week that are too good not to share here as well, with her kind permission (text below courtesy on Gina; any errors however are to be blamed on my editing).
Ripe plantains are delicious raw - "ripe" as in very yellow, so ripe that the outside is nice and spotted. What is "perfect" in a standard banana is underripe in a plantain because of their increased starch content. (The same is true of red bananas.)
Fried plantain: Be careful when frying the very ripe ones because they start caramelizing and can fall apart if they're cut too thin. For a less sweet version, peel and slice green (underripe) plantain to about an inch and a half thickness, fry once on the outside, drain on paper towels, then "smash down" with the flat side of the knife or paddle, or glass bottom.
Mix a little cilantro, sour cream, lime juice, and season to taste as a dip for those green plantains.
You can also shred the green ones using a grater, season with a little salt and garlic and fry in clumps; in spanish they're called arañitas or "little spiders".
Grill them with a chili pepper and honey baste.
Or you can make mofongo out of it. (Janice's note: There are countless versions found online, no two exactly alike.) I don't have an exact recipe, but I have a list of ingredients that I use: mix some green plantain with yellow for a sweet/savory texture; add bacon or pancetta, throw in sauteed garlic, salt, pepper. I like to keep it simple and let the ingredients speak for themselves. -Gina White
Variation: The contributor of the Chowhound version of mofongo (see link above) says that "if you don't use bacon stop at step 2" - that is, fry the ingredients together but don't smash them together in a mortar and pestle, "you have tostones". -Janice
Corinne Patton Rossi (Fiddleheads member, owner of Better Bodyworks in Pawcatuck, and provocateur extraordinaire) adapted this dessert from "GreenChef" Vanessa Sherwood's recipe for this past Easter weekend. I confess I'm a complete stranger to "raw foodism" but I've been on a bit of a coconut kick lately, thanks to the organic coconuts, coconut milk and oil we have at the co-op right now. So this goodie seems the perfect enticement to check out raw "cooking". ("Raw" as in a consciously-chosen diet consisting mostly or entirely of food that has not been cooked in any way; not, "Oops, I forgot to put this in the oven; oh well, they'll all eat it anyway." Could it be possible that a random kitchen goof was what originally inspired the raw food movement?)
Corinne's version is very similar to Vanessa's except for a few adjustments in the amount of several ingredients; Corinne used 2 cups of macadamia nuts instead of 1/2 for the crust, for instance. "The pie was so yummy," she confessed, "that I had it for breakfast [the next day]!" Breakfast of champions, indeed.
2 cups macadamia nuts
1/4 of the meat from a small mature coconut
pinch of salt
2 Tblsp coconut oil
4 Tblsp agave syrup
First layer of filling:
2 cups young coconut meat (approx 2 thai coconuts)
3/4 of the meat from the mature coconut mentioned above
1/2 cup coconut oil
6 Tblsp. agave syrup
2 Tblsp fresh lime jiuce
1/4 - 1/2 cup coconut water (as needed)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 bananas, sliced
Second layer of filling:
the meat of 1 small mature coconut
3 Tblsp coconut oil
2 Tblsp agave syrup
Line a small springform pan with plastic wrap.
For crust: Place all ingredients in food processor and blend to a small crumb. Press into bottom of pan. Place in freezer to set while preparing filling.
For filling #1: Place all ingredients, except bananas, into food processor and blend until smooth, carefully adding just enough coconut water to creat a "flowing vortex" (Vanessa Sherwood's term) in the center of the processor. Slice 1or 2 bananas 3/8" inch thick and layer over crust. Spread filling over banana slices.
For filling #2: Place all ingredients in processor and blend until smooth. Spread over filling #1.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Serve with chcocolate garnish and non-dairy whipped cream if desired.
For Easter: Jacqueline, the "Dusty Baker" has a recipe for beautiful pastel-dyed tea eggs, achieving beautiful tones with an assortment of teas and herbs such as raspberry earl grey and chamomile. Caveat: this recipe dyes peeled, hardboiled eggs, rather than shells; no doubt the same ingredients could be used for natural dyes, however, just like more traditional sources such as onion peels, beets, etc. If you try it, share your results here with us. (Photograph courtesy of The Dusty Baker.com.)
And while we're on the subject of naturally-colored easter eggs, Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. tells us how to how to do it naturally with this easy recipe. Her handy chart offers several coloring options, most of which are found readily at the co-op or are already in your cupboard.
So you're a veganista, or vegan-curious, and looking for some fresh Easter recipes? Take a look at some of these at at VegKitchen. The crustless tofu quiche with mushroom and herbs is hitting my sweet spot; while the spring greens salad with endive and oranges (I would use blood oranges, myself) would be a great way to use the red endive we have at FH right now. I would use blood oranges for this recipe.
Because not all of us will be able to sit down to an easter feast (and that's an increasing number of us): Check out the Neighboring Food Co-op Association's (NFCA) "Food Co-ops and Healthy Food Project". The project focuses on ways that co-ops can serve the needs of all community members but especially those at low-income levels, who often have the least access to fresh, healthy food.
Our recent member survey tells us that FH customers tend to be more highly-education than the general population as a whole, which may also indicate but does not guarantee higher income levels. The survey also reminds us that we still have a lot of work to do in the community at all income and education levels. How can we best achieve that goal? (Thank you Ellen Anthony for sharing the link):
"In the U.S. 23.5 million Americans (including 6.5 million children) live in areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and communities. The recent recession and its aftermath have had a dramatic impact on communities across our region, affecting people’s ability to provide themselves and their families with healthy food...
"Food co-ops would appear to be an effective tool for supporting healthy food access, locally rooted economic infrastructure and ownership opportunities due to the values and principles of the movement...For many food co-ops, there is the central challenge of being affordable to all sectors of the community while also facilitating economic support of food systems that provide high nutrition, protect human and ecological health, and promote fair relationships with producers and farmworkers."
/recipe-archive.htmlPrintable pdf files of the recipes on this blog can be found on our Recipe Archive Page.
Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.