So a few weeks ago, I talked about broccoli being an edible flower, and that there are many others. I know, I know, I was surprised by the idea too, but in fact, there are many edible flowers such as Gladiolus, Fuschia, Impatien, Pansies and Sunflowers to name a few. To see a longer list of edible flowers, click here.
Edible flowers add color, flavor and aroma to salads. The salad pictured above uses Nasturtium and Cilantro blossoms. Nasturtium has a great orange color and a black pepper taste. The dainty white Cilantro blossoms taste like cilantro leaves and look kind of like the flower: Gypsophilia AKA: “Baby’s Breath.”
It’s a little uncommon in America to find flowers on your food, but other cultures have used them for many years in cooking and why not? Be mindful of allergies and such and keep to the list of known safe-to-eat flowers, but have some fun with artful and tasty flowers in your salads.
I just did not want another salad today. 😀 My Asian heritage and and abundance of vegetables led me to this:
Raw Veggie Sushi With A Side of Cauliflower “Rice”
Gluten free, Dairy Free, Grain Free and Raw Vegan
– Gather up your favorite raw veggies: carrots, cauliflower, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers, scallions, spinach, etc. You name it.
– You will also need:
Gluten Free Tamari (soy sauce)
1. Rinse your veggies well in cold water then julienne them into thin strips about 3″ long, as narrow as you can get them. (If you need help with julienne, check out this video) Put a couple crowns of cauliflower into the food processor and pulse until it looks like rice. (Careful not to over pulse.)
2. Put a tablespoon of wasabi powder in a small bowl. Add a few drops of water and mash it around with a spoon. Add a few more drops of water and mash again, until you get a thick, play-doh consistency. Then mash some more. (The more you mash, the hotter it gets…)
3. cut the nori sheets into strips 2″ wide and 8 or 9″ long. Put a few tablespoons of water in a small bowl and keep nearby.
4. Lay a strip of nori on a wooden cutting board or other smooth flat surface, lengthwise away from you and place a few pieces of each veggie in the sheet about 2″ from the closest end. Let some veggie pieces stick out further than others for better presentation. Dip your finger in the water bowl and wet the far end of the nori sheet, all the way from the top, down to the veggies.
5. Carefully roll the nori away from you, while pulling the veggies toward you, trying to keep the roll as tight as you can without tearing the nori.
6. Press the “riced” cauliflower into a small bowl and quickly put it upside down on your serving board to make the mound.
7. Serve on a sushi board with a small bowl of tamari, the wasabi paste and ginger.
This gluten-free, dairy-free Mediterranean inspired vegan salad is a delicious way to fill up on vitamin, mineral and fiber-packed healthy plant-based foods:
• 6 to 8 ounces raw organic baby spinach leaves
• 7 ounces prepared artichoke hearts, sliced 1/2 inch thick
• 7 ounces black olives squished in half
• 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
• 8 or 10 straws of fresh lemon zest
• Juice of one lemon
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, peeled, crushed
• dash of salt
• dash of ground black pepper
Serves two people for lunch or as an appetizer
Place spinach equally into 2 separate bowls. Top with olives, tomato, artichoke.
Scrub lemon with warm water and dry with a towel. Remove the zest by peeling small strings of the yellow lemon rind using a zester or peeler. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a strainer over a bowl. Place a few pieces of the lemon zest over the salads.
Add to the juice the crushed garlic, the olive oil, salt and black pepper to taste. Blend and, while stirring to keep evenly constituted, evenly drizzle it over the two salads.
τώρα τρώνε και να απολαύσετε!
(That’s Greek for: “now eat & enjoy!”)
Here on the farm, we’re always on the lookout for healthy alternatives to our favorite, old-world comfort foods. This Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan recipe comes from a friend online who loves avocados. We love them too! Along with pesto and pasta. We find that vegan recipes include a lot of avocados and for good reason: Avocados are a great way to get “good” fats, with no cholesterol. Avocados are loaded with protein, potassium, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A and a whole lot of other vitamins and minerals in their natural form. Read more about avocados here. This dish is an amazingly rich and satisfying meal containing many of our favorite high flavor and highly nutritious foods, without the foods we wish to avoid for health reasons. Hard to believe how delicious and creamy this is!
Avocado Pesto Pasta Recipe
1 medium Avocado – peeled and pitted
3 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, minced
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
8 ounces uncooked gluten free pasta
Put water on to boil for the pasta, according to supplier’s directions. Put avocado, garlic, basil leaves, olive oil, salt into a blender and blend until smooth. Cook your pasta.
Put the avocado mixture into a large mixing bowl. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the bowl. Mix the avocado mixture through the pasta and serve. Goes great with a green salad or gluten free bread. We like to go for garlic and pesto overload! just double up on the garlic and basil.. mmm.
What other great avocado vegan recipes do you like?
One of my favorite meals does not have a recipe. I guess you could call it a mashup. We think about all the basic colors of plant foods: Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Purple and then think about what flavors and textures we want. Then we start taking inventory in the vegetable bin and get to work slicing things into shapes and sizes that will mix well together.
It’s funny, but this kind of food preparation will undoubtedly appeal to a few, but will also drive some people nuts. Well, if you like recipes, here are a few favorites. Meanwhile if you like to walk on the wild side now and again, try this! Just start thinking about colors and tastes and shapes. Use what you know from other recipes and mashup some veggie coolness! What have you got to lose? You might just find a new favorite dish.
Here’s another health conscious make-over of an old comfort food favorite. This recipe is vegan, dairy free, gluten free and very, very good. You have to try it to believe it. The “cheese” sauce is also great on nachos, as a topping on broccoli or baked potatoes.
Vegan Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
8 ounces dry Macaroni noodles
4 slices of bread
2 tbspns + 1/3 cup margarine
3 tbspns shallots, peeled and chopped
1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 tspn fresh garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 tspn prepared dijon mustard
1 tbspn fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tspn ground black pepper
1/4 tspn ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tspn ground paprika
In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a collander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
In a food processor, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and add 2 tbspns margarine to a medium-fine texture. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, water and bring to a boil. Cover pan and simmer for 15 minuts, or until vegetables are very soft.
In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to blender and process until perfectly smooth.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9×12 baking dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs and dust with paprika. Bake 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.