Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Practicing Safe... Salad and other yumminess

Today I'm hosting a family potluck and play date for my MOMS Club. We have a boat load of tomatoes and basil in the garden right now and it's 1000* so making a caprese pasta salad seemed like a no brainer. Yesterday I picked up some fresh mozzarella from Trader Joes and although I had farfalle (bowtie pasta) at home I bought some orcecchiette because of it's cute round shape. I thought it would be a super cute dish to serve but instead I got this:

MMMMMMMM.... Condom salad, my favorite!!! The al dente texture does not help. Oh well, I figure I'll add some fresh spinach leaves and the green might break up the condommy look. Can't win them all.

I have made some meals that were a bit more successful and some were even out of my comfort zone. In the last few months I've been in a bit of a food rut making the same oatmeal, turkey sandwiches and bbq chicken salad over and over and over.

First, I made some cashew cream that was incredible. I've found that I probably have a lactose intolerance so cashew cream is my savior.

I just rinse about a 1/2 cup of raw cashews and soak them for a few hours. I drain them and then throw them in the blender and add a tbsp of water at a time until the the mixture is nice and creamy and then I season as I would alfredo or whatever. Maybe some garlic, nutmeg, a pinch of nutritional yeast. Super tasty. For the pasta above I just blended in some random leftover marinara and the result was rich, creamy, deep. I would eat this stuff alone, it was that great.

Then there is wild rice with steamed veggies and mmmm sauce. The mmmm sauce came about because I had some leftover homemade hummus that needed to be used and I just threw in the other ingredients she suggested and it was awesome sauce, literally. And yellow peppers, my favorite veggie ever. For this week.

OKRA! Breaded and baked. So very good. Weirdish dinner, Music Man called it "a meal of cubes", but it was so good and now I need more okra in my life. I trimmed and cut up the fresh okra in bite sized pieces. I dredged in rice flour, then egg, then an unmeasured mix of corn meal, rice flour, a little coconut flour, s&p,  garlic powder, onion powder and a dash of cayenne. Served with corn and bbq tofu.

And lastly, is cashew cheese pizza with my beloved peppers. Served with 3 berry salad with goat cheese, pecans and balsamic. For the cheese I made it a bit grainier, like ricotta by doing what I did with the cream, just blending less. I added a bit of salt, pepper, nutritional yeast and garlic powder to make it more savory and it was pretty great. The crust is a homemade multi-grain with wheat flour, almond meal and flax meal. I used a basic dough recipe of 2 cups flour/meal combo, 1 t salt, 1 cup water, 2 1/4 t yeast and 1 t sugar. just warm the water, put in sugar or honey and yeast and let proof. Mix flour with salt and then mix everything together in stand mixer, food processor or by hand. let rise for an hour, punch down, let rise again, roll out and let rest. Heat oven to 400 while dough is resting and bake for 8 minutes. remove from oven, top the pizza and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes.


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