My mouth is watering just writing about making this spinachy goodness!
600g clean spinach
60ml peanut butter (I prefer natural PB, but just use what you have (smooth, chunky))
30-45ml rice vinegar (or mirin) (depending on how vinegary you like things)
30ml soy sauce or tamari (tamari for gluten-free)
15-20ml sugar (white sugar, brown sugar, honey, etc., but no artificial sugar)
15-45ml warm water
45g toasted sesame seeds for topping
Wilt the spinach in a steamer or add a couple of centimetres of water to a pot. Stuff that spinach in. It will wilt in only a couple of minutes, so watch it carefully so it doesn't get mushy. (No one likes mushy vegetables.)
Tip into a colander and let it cool.
In a blender, hand-held blender or food processor, blend together the peanut butter, tahini, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and a bit of the water (add more if needed for a pourable, but thick consistency). Taste. Adjust.
Keep at room temperature until your spinach is ready to wear the glorious sauce.
Drain. Drain. Squish and drain. Use a colander, time and your hands. Get squishy with it. Trust me…you'll want this to be as un-watery as possible.
Then form it into balls about the size of an orange and set them in little bowls. I love little bowls!
Pop them into the fridge to set for about 30-60 minutes.
Pour over the sauce and top with the toasted sesame seeds.
Devour. You can most certainly try to eat this with chopsticks, but I bet you can't get it in your mouth fast enough…just fork it!
*I forgot to take a photo the last time...I was too busy inhaling the gomae. I'll add one some other time.
Nutrition information - click on image to enlarge.
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch ((if necessary, to thicken the gravy))
1 1/2 tablespoon hot water ((with the cornstarch, if necessary, to thicken the gravy))
This recipe was inspired by my favourite vegetarian restaurant in Calgary (I think it's probably the ONLY vegetarian restaurant), The Coup. I've been telling friends for quite some time that I'd post my version of the miso gravy that we have all so hastily devoured when I lived in Calgary. So, enjoy…
Melt butter on low to medium heat.
Chop onion. Later, we'll blend everything, so it doesn't matter the size here unless you don't have an immersion blender. If you do not have one, then mince the onions.
Add to butter, let cook for about three minutes or less, then add the garlic (also minced, if you're not using an immersion blender).
Cook until the onion is translucent. Do not let the onion and garlic brown.
Add flour, whisk or stir. Cook for another minute.
Add veg stock, miso and soy sauce. Bring to low boil. Turn heat to simmer.
Add nutritional yeast flakes, (salt) + pepper and taste. Stir and adjust as necessary.
If the gravy is not thick enough for you, whisk together the cornstarch and hot water in separate bowl: add a bit at a time to the gravy and stir until desired consistency.
If you have an immersion blender, whir up the gravy. Taste again and adjust flavour.
Nutrition information. Click on the image and it will be easier to read. Magic.
Split butternut squash in half —lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and squash guts. Lay cut side down in baking dish.
Place whole head of garlic or break into cloves —leaving the skin on. Put that in the baking dish.
Seed the pepper and cut in half or into quarters. Pop that in the same pan.
Cut onion into quarters and it goes in the pan too.
Add water (optional) to the pan or line with baking paper. I find adding the water speeds up the baking time and helps steam the squash. Some people don't like adding water and prefer baking paper or covering the bottom of the baking dish with olive oil.
Bake at 225°C for about 35-40 minutes. Poke the squash with a fork, if it's done, the fork will glide into the flesh easily.
Skin the squash and garlic. Add all ingredients to a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add the rest of the ingredients. Add enough broth according to how thin/thick you want the soup —you can add a bit at a time and check consistency after the next step and add more if needed.
Let your soup come to a low boil, then put heat to a simmer for about 20 minutes.
Get your immersion blender* out and whir up your soup. I don't make a complete puree, I usually leave a few chunky bits.
*You can use a countertop blender, but be very careful. Using this method you should allow the soup to cool down considerably before blending as the heat under the lid produces steam which could pop the lid off, make a mess and possibly scald you. Not pretty or fun. Then you have to heat the soup up again if you make it past this stage successfully.
Taste. Alter flavour and/or alter consistency.
Serve with a red pepper coulis and Greek yoghurt swirl, homemade chunky croutons, zest of lime and swirl of Greek yoghurt, pumpkin seeds or a combination of any or all of these suggestions or none at all.
This recipe for fresh blueberry compote is easy to make and very versatile. You can add it hot or cold to pie, spongecake, ice cream, yoghurt, French toast, pancakes, waffles, crepes.
3 tablespoons water
2 cups fresh blueberries (Keep a few separate to add in later.)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
1 stick vanilla bean
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ((optional))
This is a borrowed recipe (see above), which I have merely added a couple of extra ingredients that I love to make this a lovely, spice-infused compote.
Pick some fresh blueberries (or buy them or take some frozen guys out of the freezer).
Pour the fresh blueberries (minus the few) into a medium sauce pan. Add all the other ingredients (minus the lemon juice) and cook over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, gently smash the blueberries against the pan using a wooden or plastic spatula. Add the remaining blueberries and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes to heat through.
Add lemon juice, if you choose — to taste. It gives the compote a bit of a tangy kick. Use it or don't use it, but only use a fresh lemon if you do.
Pour onto something equally delicious, then have a taste-gasm within the first bite.
25-30 fresh cayenne chili peppers (depending on size)
6-8 cloves garlic (depending on size)
450ml white vinegar
This is a slightly different version of this recipe. I've added more peppers and garlic and offer alternative puree methods. It is easier to buy it, I know. But I can't get it here in the Netherlands. I have received numerous care packages from home containing –among other Canadian delights– bottles of Frank's. Then, my super, awesome friend started supplying me from the UK. Thanks everyone!
Demand over supply had me always trying to find replacements and then I stumbled upon a recipe (above) and have now perfected it.
Wash and cut stems from the cayenne peppers. Cut off the tips too, if they're gnarly; otherwise, toss them in too!
Roughly cut the peppers in 2.5 cm | 1 in chunks (yes, seeds too...they are the magic part!)
Roughly chop the garlic in a blender or by hand.
Add everything to a pot and let it come to a light boil, then reduce heat enough to keep a slight boil. Continue cooking (and salivating) for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. The pepper flesh should be softer. Then, it blends easier.
Remove from heat.
Here you have two options:
1) Whir it all up with an immersion blender until you have a fairly smooth mixture.
2) Allow mixture to cool...and I don't mean cool-to-warm, I mean no heat. Pour into the blender and whir it up until you have a fairly smooth mixture. Do NOT try to puree in the blender while the mixture is still hot/warm. The steam created within the blender will pop the top off once the blender starts. And then...mayhem and possibly pain.
Return mixture to the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and mash the mixture to get the most sauce out. Don't waste a precious drop!
Let it cool and then pour into a bottle. Store in the fridge. I believe it will keep for several weeks, but we use it so fast I have no idea how long it will last.
4-6 knobs ginger (you want to yield about 2 cups of shredded/grated ginger per litre of vodka)
2 vanilla bean (two beans per litre)
2/3 white sugar
Grate or finely shred the peeled ginger.
Then, add the ginger to a rubber-sealed bottle or mason jar.
Pour in vodka. Here, I have used two bottles because I didn't have any bottles big enough to fit everything in. *In hindsight, it is easier and more efficient to use mason jars —bottles don't allow easy removal of the ginger. 😉
Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the deliciousness. Add to bottle.
Give it all a good shake and store the mixture in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks.
After the infusion period, strain the mixture through a coffee filter, cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer. Then, add the liquid back into the bottle.
Make the simple syrup by adding the water and sugar to a saucepan over low heat. Whisk it until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Pour the simple syrup into the bottle. Shake, shake, shake and pop it back into the same cool, dark place for another two to three weeks.
Drink as is for a light sipping drink or search the internets for recipes using ginger liqueur. Enjoy!