Amelia prepared these cupcakes for our Veggie Passport Party last Saturday. She adapted it from the Veggie Desserts blog from the UK. Amelia recommends using the original measurements and not the weird and inaccurate Americanized options. (You should really just buy a digital kitchen scale and your life will be all the more glorious for it, she editorializes.) Also, she switched up the ingredients some and swapped the wheaty-glutinous flour with equal parts millet, rice, and tapioca.
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.
(This and all over blog recipes can also be found on our recipe archive page, "Here's Linkin' at You, Kid.")
Kiwi is one of those items that have rarely made their way into my kitchen, and I'm not sure why. Their taste, fragrance and texture reminds me of nothing so much as strawberries, which I do love, but which can be difficult to find truly ripe and intensely-flavored. The fragrance is in fact a bit more subtle than strawberries with floral as well as fruity top-notes. So why have I ignored them for so long? Is it their year-round ubiquity at the co-op, unlike red starkrimson pears, cherries, blueberries, persimmons, etc: items whose season and availability always ends too soon? Is it their thoroughly unprepossessing exterior appearance - a hairy fruit? Those dark, follicle-coated little ovals don't exactly pop out and scream at you, as they sit in the produce section, "BUY ME!" the way more brightly-colored oranges and berries and apples do. And yet, we do have them at the co-op year round, so apparently - a lot of our customers have heard the siren call and discovered the pleasures under those ugly surfaces, so I've got some catching up to do. To that end I bought a couple of kiwi at the co-op the other day, along with blueberries, bosc pears and mandarins, with no particular plan in mind. I can't stop myself from buying up fat handfuls of blueberries and several bosc pears every time I'm in the store lately; unlike the kiwi, they are not avaiable year-round.
This is so easy you don't need a strict recipe, but let's give it a crack anyway. You can change ingredients around to suit your liking as well as seasonal availability. With both the kiwi and the pears, select ripe fruit that yields slightly to the touch with gentle pressure but are not mushy or soft; with the bosc pears, look for skins that are more brown rather than green. As there are several types of oranges and citrus at the co-op right now, you could try a hamlin orange, a blood orange, or a tangelo in place of the mandarin; you want a variety that is juicy, sweet and intensely flavored. (If you try limes or lemons instead, be sure to adjust the sweetener or the blueberries in the sauce to balance the sourness.)
Kiwi, Blueberry and Pear Fruit Salad, with Blueberry-Orange Sauce
2 ripe kiwi, peeled, cut in half lengthwise then sliced
1 cup (approx) ripe (or thawed frozen) blueberries, divided into halves
1 ripe (but not overripe) bosc pear, cut into bite-size chunks, skin left on
1-2 small mandarin oranges or other juicy, sweet orange (such as blood orange or red cara cara), tangelo or tangerine, cut in half, plus grated zest
2 T - 1/8 cup dark (Grade B preferable) maple syrup and/or agave nectar (I used blue agave but any variety should work, esp if combined with the maple syrup)
powdered coriander to taste (optional)
pecans or walnuts, toasted, whole or broken in to pieces, for topping (optional)
Put prepared kiwi slices into a bowl with half of the blueberries and the pear chunks. Squeeze the juice from 1/2 of the mandarin orange over the fruit and lightly sprinkle ground coriander on top, as well as some freshly grated orange zest if desired; toss all ingredients gently. Drizzle with Blueberry-Orange Sauce (below); if desired, top with toasted pecans or walnuts just before serving. Serves 2 as a dessert or side-dish (or breakfast, lunch, etc...) You can substitute or add other fruits according to availability and preference, such as strawberries, bananas, etc.
In a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl smash approximately 1/2 cup of the remaining blueberries with a fork, then squeeze juice and pulp from other half of the orange into cup, and some fresh orange zest. Add a couple of tablespoons of the maple syrup and/or agave, and a dash of coriander if desired, and mix thoroughly, continuing to smash blueberries if they are not already soft and broken-down. (Show them no mercy, my friend, no matter how much it hurts.)
Put the cup or bowl with the sauce in the microwave and heat on low 1-2 minutes, stirring as necessary. Sauce should be not overly-sweet or gummy, and have a rich, deep blue-ish ruby-red color. You can strain out the blueberry skins but I prefer to leave them in; they add to flavor and color. The sauce thickens very quickly as it cools into an almost jelly-like consistency; if you want it to be a little thinner, simply squeeze in a bit more of the orange juice and stir. There will be more sauce than you need for the fruit salad, so store any left over in refrigerator.
Note: If you don’t wish to make the sauce from scratch, try adding orange zest and juice to blueberry jam, instead.
If you never roasted pineapple in the oven, you owe it to yourself to give it a try, especially now that we have organic pineapple coming into the co-op once again. It's super-simple (once you get past prepping the fruit) and ridiculously addictive. This is really more of a suggestion than a recipe, as there is no hard science here; basically you're popping fresh pineapple spears in the oven until they are tender, then glazing with a mixture of honey and ground coriander until it starts to brown and carmelize. The result is something akin to candy (if candy were warm and juicy) but much, much better.
Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees F, depending on how hot it runs. Peel and core 1 fresh (preferably organic, of course) pineapple; this is not hard, but it's time-consuming and requires a bit of attention if you want to keep all your fingertips intact. (I've become rather fond of mine, thank you.) The method I use is essentially Betty Crocker's, as that was the cookbook I grew up with: "Twist top from pineapple. Cut pineapple into fourths. Holding pineapple securely, cut fruit from rind. Cut off pineapple core and remove "eye". A different method has you remove the outer peel before you quarter and core it; Sandy Smith shows how it's done with simple instructions and clear photos at Eat Real.
Once you've got the basic prep done, cut the pineapple quarters in half, then half again to get thin strips. (If you'd rather have larger spears, only halve the quarters once; or if you prefer, cut the spears into large chunks.) Lay them down on a lightly oiled baking tray, and put in the middle of the oven. In the meantime stir together enough honey and ground coriander to taste; you want enough to glaze the pineapple spears but not drown them. Check the pineapple after 5-8 minutes; if starting to become tender, flip spears over to the other side, cook until thoroughly tender but not falling apart. Pull tray from oven and drizzle or spoon the honey glaze over both sides of the pineapple to coat thoroughly, return to oven 3-5 minutes until honey starts to carmelize. Turn spears over if necessary and repeat.
And that's it. If you can wait until it cools a bit the honey gets stickier in contrast with the fruit inside; but I doubt it will make it that long, unless you are far more disciplined than I am. You'll be eating it right out of the oven, it's that good. It's delicious as-is, of course, but I couldn't resist gilding the lily and topping it with a dessert sauce I had made from thick coconut milk kefer combined with toasted coconut flakes and vanilla bean, grated fresh ginger, mandarin orange juice and a bit of orange zest. The tropical notes of the sauce seemed an appropriate pairing for the fruit. Another lovely idea would be scoops of vanilla bean or coconut ice cream, sprinkled again with toasted coconut.
Last Saturday at Fiddleheads, the day before Christmas, was a festive day - genuinely festive, not the fake-festive we've become depressingly accustomed to this time of year. After the expected opening rush, business was steady but not overwhelming. Lacy and Monica both brought homemade cookies for staff to enjoy, and I put out jars of homemade jelly; the raspberry-ginger-lime variation was snapped up quickly. (I have no idea why it took me so long to realize that sharing the jelly with friends at the co-op is the perfect answer to the dilemma: "What am I supposed to do with all of this stuff? I hardly even eat bread anymore!") At closing time there was eggnog and more treats, plus several volunteers on hand to make the usual tasks more enjoyable - and get everyone the heck home in a reasonable amount of time. (FYI: I had to leave about then and didn't imbibe, so I have no idea if the eggnog was "spiked" or not.)
Ellen Anthony, the co-op's Bulk Dept manager (a.k.a. "Dr Bulk", a.k.a. "Goddess of Bulk") presented me with a substantial bundle that filled my hand, wrapped in wax paper. "It looks like a muffin but it's fruitcake," she said, as if that was all the explanation needed. Then she smiled her cheshire-cat smile and turned away without another word, like the Cheshire Cat himself. I looked down at the gift in my hand and thought "But, it does look like a muffin. How can it be fruitcake? Maybe she's teasing me."
In her usual way, and not for the first time, the Goddess had turned the most mundane thing into a source of fabulous mystery.
I waited until the next day to fully investigate that mystery: The muffin-fruitcake was very dense, a bit dry, pale yellow in color, not soaked in rum or sugar syrup. There were no pecans, no glace cherries, no citron; nothing in a frightening or unnatural shade of red or green. There were sunflower seeds, sunflower seeds, and chopped, dried fruits such as papaya and pineapple and cranberries - perhaps blueberries, as well? Treasures all found in the Bulk department, of course. And just enough batter to hold all those goodies together.
Ellen wrote: "I got the recipe from Laurie's friend Roland in 1999, and adapted to suit."
Ellen Anthony's Fruitcake with Dried Fruit, Almonds and Pumpkin Seeds
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Cream these in this order as usual:
1 lb room-temp. butter
2 c. sugar
6 egg yolks
1 T. warm water
1/4 c. Grand Marnier or cream or milk
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
Mix dry stuff into wet, then fold in:
6 egg whites, beaten stiff
Mix into the batter with strong, clean hands:
1 lb. mixed cut up dried fruits (papaya, pineapple, blueberries, cranberries, currants, etc.)
1/2 lb. pumpkin seeds (See Note)
1/2 lb. slivered almonds
Spoon into a buttered baking pan: tube pan, jumbo muffin tins, whatever.
Smooth the top with wet hands or a spoon.The bigger the pan, the longer it will take to bake. Muffin size might be 1/2 hour or so; big tube pan an hour and a half.
Cool completely and then store in an airtight container. It's pretty dry, so within a few days recipe. Or soak with liquor and store in a tin.
Note (1/2/2012): Ellen wrote me back after the original post that the recipe should read "pumpkin seeds" not sunflower; the correction has been made. She also added, however that if she were to put in "sunnies" she would probably toast them first.
A) What is the correct pronunciation of the word "Quinoa"?
3) "All I know is that when I tried to say it at the Christmas party,
everyone laughed at me. Since then I prefer to keep to myself."
4) "I have no idea what you're talking about. Is that some Native
American rock band?"
B) Well, what exactly IS quinoa?
1) "A seed of a plant that is a member of the goosefoot family, native
to South America. Humans have cultivated it as a food source for
over 3000 years. Did you know it's a great source of vegetable
protein and that the Aztecs....."
2) "Some sort of fluffy stuff my health-crazy spouse/significant other
keeps foisting on me. *sigh* The things I do for love."
3) "Enya's latest album?"
4) "If it's not a Native American rock band then I still have no idea
what the heck you're talking about."
If you're looking for the answers, go to the bottom of this article - or try Hari Krishna. (Yes, that was a shameless theft.)
Most of the references to quinoa I've seen refer to it as a grain. But according to this article(and if it's on Wikipedia you know it's got to be true, right?), quinoa is "a species of goosefoot...grown for it's edible grain-like seeds. It is a pseudocereal rather than a true cereal or grain, as it is not a member of the grass family." *end horticulture lesson*
I'd never heard of it myself until just a few years ago; now it seems nearly everyone has heard of it, and for good reason. It's a source of vegetable protein (just how much, exactly, is under debate), gluten-free and easily digestible, making it a boon to the veganarian menu, and to anyone suffering celiac's disease (or related allergies). It's also quick and easy to make, ready in about 10-15 minutes on the stovetop compared to 30-45 minutes needed for brown rice or wheatberries. Even though it's not a "true grain" it can take the place of rice, etc at any meal. And it's extremely versatile: it's soft texture and bland flavor let the stronger ingredients shine in any dish. (I've had it for breakfast in place of oatmeal, which is carb-heavy and makes me a bit sleepy by lunchtime.)
If you're new to it and trying to find out how to make the most of it, the recipes available online are literally, countless; the problem is not finding a recipe, but choosing one. A few ideas to get you started:
Lemon Quinoa with Asparagus and Feta from the Cookthink website caught my eye almost immediately because of it's "sunny" quality and balance of flavors. Substitute 1/2 tea. dried in place of the 1 tea. fresh herb called for. Substituting fresh cilantro, flatleaf parsley or basil would give it a different character, I should think, but might be worth a try anyway.
Cooking Quinoa, as you might imagine from the name, has so many recipes I didn't know where to begin - until this recipe for Quinoa Chocolate Bars stopped me dead in my tracks. Yes, chocolate - real chocolate - plus coconut butter, almonds, a bit of salt. Some of the dried cherries or blueberries from our Bulk section would be amazing in these. A very informative website, hundreds of recipes, but lots of images and can be slow to load. (It seems to work better with Safari than Foxfire.)
What Would Cathy Eat? is one of my favorite go-to websites for recipes that are veganarian AND heart-healthy, which are not always the same things, as well as plain delicious. A few that are perfect for what it's in season and available at the co-op right now: Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower and Stuffed Kabocha Squash with Quinoa and Chickpeas. I've seen a lot of recipes online that use quinoa as a stuffing for all varieties of hard squash, so you can really give your imagination free play here.
Quinoa can also be sprouted as a microgreen; here's some instructions from yet another quinoa-dedicated website called (what else?) Quinoa Health Tips. (At this point, quinoa just might be more famous than the Beatles.)
Hopefully that will get you off and running if you're new to quinoa; if you were ahead of the curve and it's already a part of your menu, what are your favorite ways to use it? Share in the comments section here or drop me an email.
Answers To "The Quinoa Quiz":
A) #1. If you answered #2-4, do come to the Bulk Section of Fiddleheads where we will answer all your questions, and then some. And hopefully save you from embarrassment at your next party - just don't attempt to say "tumeric".
B) Also #1. If you said #3 or 4, then see answer to A (above) and get thyself down to the co-op. If you said #2 - we admire your dedication to your partner and your willingness to try new things. (That said, you probably deserve a little payback. Five words: Last Thanksgiving. Your Uncle Jack. 'nuff said.)
(Photographs courtesy of Nancy Whitmarsh and used with permission.)
If Nancy Whitmarsh had sent me these photos and recipe for a vegan chocolate mousse using butternut squash (submitted to the Whole Foods website by "Laurie B") a year ago or even two months ago, I would have thought, "Weird, but interesting." Never mind that I've been making a vegan chocolate cake for quite some time using pureed summer squash (from a past year's garden). I had exactly that reaction two months ago when Carol Monnat told me that pumpkin and chocolate go together splendidly in desserts - which she then proved to me with her seasonal dark chocolate-pumpkin truffle.
So when I received this from Nancy last night, the pump was already primed, and all hesitation on my part vanished. I'll let Nancy tell the tale:
"My brother sent me this recipe for vegan chocolate mousse. It is from the Whole Foods Market website. It is vegan, no sugar, gluten free and super yummy! I made it for the first time today and can't believe that these ingredients made such a satisfyingly sweet dessert. I had a hard time finding canned pureed organic butternut squash, so I just bought a butternut squash, baked it and pureed it in my vitamix. Seems to have worked perfectly."
Note: If you haven't a Vitamix, any old blender will do.
That's actually rapadura sugar pictured above, not sand, but fair enough.
The other day on the co-op FB page, Ellen Anthony, our Bulk Dept buyer and a core, founding member of FH (anything she doesn't know about the co-op is a thing not worth knowing) made the observation that the "regular" (ie, white, or white-ish) granulated sugar far outsold all the other sugar varieties she has on offer in her department. My first thought (right after, "More for me!") was "Too bad, people don't realize what they're missing out on." Last year I made a batch of Rosa Jackson's green tomato jam with ginger and vanilla but knew I wanted to use something more complex and flavorful than the white sugar called for in the recipe, or the standard brown sugar. I wanted a sweetener that would lend richness but not be overpowering or "too sweet". I perused the Bulk section and chose the rapadura, which is dried sugarcane juice which has been heated at low temperatures, and from which the molasses component has not been removed. Jo Whitten's article on her blog Quirky Food explains some of the difference between rapadura, sucanant, and so-called "raw sugar" (which really isn't raw); according to her rapadura is the least processed of all the currently marketed "natural" sugars, and contains the most minerals and nutrients. Standard brown sugar, btw, is sugar that has been stripped of its molasses component to make white sugar, to which the molasses has then been added back to make brown sugar. (Got that?) I doubt that either M.C. Escher or Rube Goldberg could top that little mind-bend.
Not that I'm fooling myself that any sort of sugar, no matter how minimally processed, is truly "healthy". But in terms of the jam recipe, rapadura worked more beautifully than I could have imagined, complimenting the other ingredients, and balancing the tartness of the unripe tomatoes and lemon juice with the heat of fresh ginger and the sweetness of the vanilla bean. The result looked like this:
And the taste? Let me go through those ingredients again: green tomatoes from my garden with fresh ginger, whole vanilla bean, a splash of lemon juice, and a complex natural sugar possessing subtle molasses top notes. And still not as good as you're imagining it right now. Better. Ridiculously good on a piece of whole-grain crusty bread (from Fiddleheads, natch), slathered with homemade coconut-milk keifer, which had the consistency of whipped cream cheese and tasted like coconut-infused sour cream:
Although my favorite way to consume it tended to be straight out of the jar. (Heaven forgive my gluttony but...mercy, that was delicious.)
In any case, the moral of the story is that you can get some really wonderful, tasty, beautiful results with stuff that looks like beach sand. I've since used rapadura in a variety of baked goods or any recipe that calls for brown sugar; in cakes, quickbreads, etc it not only lends it's complex flavor but also produces a pleasingly moist crumb. This summer I made my first batch of Regan Burn's recipe for homemade root beer, and I stuck to the recipe's white sugar and molasses, as it was my first time brewing soda; however I have a bag of rapadura in the kitchen at the ready for the next batch.
Other recipes I think rapadura would be perfectly suited include Cathy Elton's vegan chocolate banana muffins, which are also low-fat; and this black sticky gingerbread from 101 Cookbooks, which is definitely NOT vegan or low-fat. (Just sayin'.)
I have not tried all the sugars on offer at the co-op, but am curious about how some of the others compare to the rapadura, or indeed to the wet sweeteners maple syrup, honey, and agave (a whole 'nother discussion by itself) in terms of flavor and characteristics. Has anyone tried coconut sugar, for instance? What's your favorite sweetener, if you still use any? (And if not - how did you wean yourself from the addiction?)
Correction 12/17/11: I had forgotten to put up the hyperlink to the root beer recipe I used (third paragraph from bottom), or credit Regan Burns for it. That has been corrected.
/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.