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Spinach gomae

Spinach gomae

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 40 minutes
Allergy Soy, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Dips, Lunch, Salad, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
My mouth is watering just writing about making this spinachy goodness!

Ingredients

  • 600g clean spinach
  • 60ml peanut butter (I prefer natural PB, but just use what you have (smooth, chunky))
  • 15ml tahini
  • 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

Directions

Step 1 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.
Step 2 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.
Step 3
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.
Step 4 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.
Step 5
Nutrition information - click on image to enlarge.

Homemade Frank’s hot sauce

Homemade Frank’s hot sauce

Serves 8
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Breakfast, Dips, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
Website food

Ingredients

  • 25-30 fresh cayenne chili peppers (depending on size)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (depending on size)
  • 450ml white vinegar
  • 3.5ml salt

Note

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.

Directions

Step 1
Wash and cut stems from the cayenne peppers. Cut off the tips too, if they're gnarly; otherwise, toss them in too!
Step 2 Roughly cut the peppers in 2.5 cm | 1 in chunks (yes, seeds too...they are the magic part!)
Step 3 Roughly chop the garlic in a blender or by hand.
Step 4
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.
Step 5 Remove from heat.
Step 6 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.
Step 7 Return mixture to the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 8
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and mash the mixture to get the most sauce out. Don't waste a precious drop!
Step 9
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.

Now, what do YOU put hot sauce on?

Ginger liqueur

Ginger liqueur

Serves 30
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Beverage
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 4-6 knobs ginger (you want to yield about 2 cups of shredded/grated ginger per litre of vodka)
  • 1l vodka
  • 2 vanilla bean (two beans per litre)

Simple syrup

  • 2/3 white sugar
  • 2/3 water

Directions

Step 1
Grate or finely shred the peeled ginger.
Step 2
Then, add the ginger to a rubber-sealed bottle or mason jar.
Step 3
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. 😉
Step 4
Split the vanilla beans and scrape out the deliciousness. Add to bottle.
Step 5 Give it all a good shake and store the mixture in a cool, dark place for two to three weeks.
Step 6 After the infusion period, strain the mixture through a coffee filter, cheesecloth or fine-mesh strainer. Then, add the liquid back into the bottle.
Simple syrup
Step 7 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.
Step 8 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.
Step 9 Drink as is for a light sipping drink or search the internets for recipes using ginger liqueur. Enjoy!

Vegan, cheesy, spicy popcorn

Vegan, cheesy, spicy popcorn

Serves 2
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time 8 minutes
Total time 10 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Snack, Starter
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot

Ingredients

Freshly popped popcorn

  • Popcorn kernels
  • 2-4 tablespoons Sunflower oil

Adding ingredients

  • Frank's Red Hot Original hot sauce
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Salt + pepper

Note

This combination of ingredients was from an old roommate of mine.  It makes a great snack that everyone loves and isn't high in calories.

_______________________________

Nutritional yeast is a light deactivated yeast that has a delicious, nutty, cheesy flavor. This is not the yeast used in baking!

Here is a great article to read more about nutritional yeast.

Directions

Freshly popped popcorn
Step 1 To a heavy, cast-iron pot add the oil and three popcorn kernels on a medium-high heat.
Step 2 After all three kernels have popped, add a couple of handfuls of popcorn kernels and cover the pot. Don't leave a gap with the lid, make sure it's on properly to keep the heat and steam in.
Step 3 As soon as you hear popping noises, give the pot a good shake and put it back on the heat. Repeat until you don't hear popping noise anymore.
Adding ingredients
Step 4
With the freshly-popped popcorn in a bowl, add the Frank's. Or try this homemade spicy sauce: http://spellitwithpeas.com/homemade-franks-hot-sauce/
Step 5
Add the nutritional yeast and S+P. Toss or stir to coat the popcorn. Then, devour.

Tahini [put-it-on-everything] dressing

This incredible dressing and dip can go on or with pretty much anything.

Tahini dressing + dip

Serves 8
Prep time 15 minutes
Allergy Soy, Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Dips, Lunch, Salad
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
Half or quarter the recipe for less, but I bet you'll wish you didn't!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1-2 clove garlic ((or to taste))
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil (TOASTED sesame oil is preferred)
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (can also use red wine vinegar)
  • 5-6 stalks green onions ((to taste))
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce ((to taste))
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • salt + pepper ((to taste))

Note

We use this dressing on all kinds of salads and it is also delicious as a dip. You can drizzle it on a falafel sandwich, dip some spanikopita in it, dress a fresh spinach salad with it or add it to a rice /veggie bowl!

Directions

Step 1 Add all ingredients to a blender, hand blender or food processor.
Step 2 Mix until smooth...remember you have green onion and garlic in there!
Step 3 Taste. Add water/vinegar/lemon juice or soy sauce if it's too thick or to perk up the flavour. Add more tahini if it's too thin...but only a bit at a time.
Step 4 Pour into mason jars or recycled salad dressing bottles and store in the fridge.

Scrumptious chickpea salad sandwich

Scrumptious chickpea salad sandwich

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Soy
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
* You can partially mash them in a food processor, then finish with a fork. If you use the food processor completely, the chickpeas get too mashed up. But since the food processor was then already used for the peas, I used it to chop the rest of the ingredients. Time saver!

Ingredients

  • 475ml cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 medium carrot (peeled and grated)
  • 1 1/2 rib celery (finely chopped)
  • 30ml red onion (finely chopped)
  • 15-30ml mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)
  • 15ml oregano (finely chopped (always use fresh if you have it!))
  • 5ml parsley (finely chopped)
  • 10ml green onions (finely chopped)
  • 5ml soy sauce or tamari
  • salt + pepper (to taste)

Optional

  • grated cheese (top with (or use a soy/vegan alternative or none at all))
  • lettuce, spinach (top with)

Note

No tuna or chickens were harmed in the preparation or consumption of this sandwich.

I like this in-between two slices of toasted whole wheat bread (or similar healthy bread) or you can use tortillas, pita bread or anything else sandwich-capable.

Directions

Step 1 In a mixing bowl, mash the chickpeas with a fork*.
Step 2 Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.
Step 3 Spread on fresh buns or toast.
Step 4
Top with cheese, lettuce, spinach or whatever suits your fancy.