Monday, October 13, 2014

Out of Hibernation? Renaissance? Resurrection? I'm back!

Hi friends!

So here's the deal... I have not written since February. I hate quitting. It is the sort of thing that makes me go "mrrhhmmggghhhh." 

With this being my only attempt at blogdom that has come even close to being successful (thank you, friends, family, and readers in other countries that leave nice messages!), I feel a little sad that my poor little site has sat idle for months.

In said months, many wonderful things have happened in my life. Moving to Inwood, a neighborhood in NYC that I adore; a summer job that took most of my free time but helped me extend my skills to a new setting; a trip to Panama; and most excitingly, getting engaged! My cup runneth over, and I could not be happier! It feels only natural to return to blogging, yet another part of life that makes me happy!

I have thought about it and developed a plan… my new take on becoming a Walking Cookbook.

I have never been a creative visionary when it comes to… well, anything! But taking someone else’s idea and making it happen? Now THAT I can handle! Drawing inspiration from the brilliant minds of the restaurant world, I will be turning menu items from interesting restaurants into recipes for anyone to make at home.

A quick disclaimer: these are not copycat recipes… absolutely not. In fact, many of these dishes will not be from restaurants I have ever tried (just dreamt about while buying lottery tickets). However, if you want to elevate your cooking to a new and interesting level, follow my lead! I will only know the basic ingredients, do some research to help with core techniques (reducing sauces, making a coulis), and figure out the rest on my own to share with you!


I hope that you join me in my new cooking adventures… this week's inspiration will be coming from Pisticci, a lovely Italian restaurant off the beaten path in Morningside Heights, NYC. Check you inboxes or click on "Subscribe" (to the right) to receive alerts for all new posts!

I am taking comments on menu items that look tempting, intimidating, mouth-watering, or intriguing to try at home, so please fire away!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Imprecise Perfection: Roast Chicken Basics

New to the world of eating meat, I am not very good at eating meat off the bone. But the real question is: can I cook something on the bone and carve it so it does not look like a National Geographic cover story on lions' feeding habits? That was what I set out to answer this week with a roast chicken.

Now, after extensive research on a topic that involves more new vocabulary for me than a physiology course (trussing and innards, anyone?),  I realized that I could save that lesson for another day. I found a number of far more important similarities between a variety of trusted roast chicken recipes. The "recipe" I used drew inspiration from Alton Brown, Jamie Oliver, the Pioneer Woman, and the Kitchn. I found the imprecision to be refreshing, and the results to be mouth watering.

Here are your basic steps:

1. Clean it (aka: take out the bag of giblets from the cavity)
2. Dry it.
3. Rub it down with yummy stuff: herbs, citrus, salt/pepper, and fat (above and below the skin).



          Make a slit in the skin to get underneath as well.
4. Stuff it with yummy stuff (see #3, plus alliums).
5. Put it on top of hunks of root veggies.



         The goal is to have the chicken sit an inch or so 
      above the pan so it doesn't drown in its own juices.
6. Put in the oven at 400° for a little over an hour (for 4 lbs), until the skin is crispy and the inside is 165° (safe chicken temp).
7. Let rest, covered, for 15 minutes.
8. Serve or save roasted veggies.

             Let some of the fat drain on a paper towel 
                so the veggies still count as veggies.
9. Mix pan drippings with wine and stock to make a sauce. Cook in a pan until reduced to the thickness you like. Whisk in flour to make it gravy.

                          Looks like modern art.
10. Figure out how to carve it and serve!

            Nobody needs to know the struggle 
                       that went into this.

There it is-- imprecise, messy (you are literally massaging a raw bird with butter), and versatile.

Below I will share the ingredients I used for each step, but feel free to play around with different flavor combinations to make your roast chicken your own.

Step #3: Yummy stuff rub-down
  • 1 stick butter, softened with the following mixed in (this is called a compound butter and makes life better in all ways)
  • lemon zest
  • lemon juice (1/2 lemon worth)
  • rosemary, savory (the store was out of thyme), and sage (finely chopped)
  • salt & pepper
(Other nice pairings: orange with cinnamon and cloves, lime with coriander and cayenne)

Step #4: Yummy stuff stuffing
  • 2-3 lemons, quartered and peels scored for extra flavor emission
  • rosemary, thyme, and sage (still in their sprig/leaf form)
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
Step #5: Hunks of root veggies (to raise the chicken an inch above the pan)
  • onions/shallots (peeled)
  • carrots
  • celery
  • potatoes
Step #10: Carving Inspiration

For the dramatic version, watch this:

For a much more peaceful version, watch this:

As a disclaimer, both of these make the process look much easier than it is. Don't worry-- it still tastes amazing.

That's all, folks. Serve with salad to make it lighter or biscuits to go crazy. Or both to feel a yin and yang balance. Now that's a new spin on a balanced meal.


Monday, January 20, 2014

2014: Year of the Horse... and pig, and cow, and chicken, and lamb

Happy 2014! Following an inexcusable hibernation, I am back with a special announcement to make: After 5 years as a pescatarian, 2 years as a vegan, and an additional 7 or 8 years without red meat, I have decided to go whole hog back into the omnivorous world.

That's right-- I am now eating and cooking meat. Don't get me wrong... I have never been and will probably never be a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl. I adore my veggies, crave fish, and don't see that changing any time soon. However, I was beginning to realize that my love for all things food and cooking related was being stifled by my non-meat diet. If my goal is to become a truly proficient cook, I need to know how to cook meat. And if I am going to cook meat, I need to taste it and check the quality. So there we have it. Being my prudent self, I began with a couple bites of chicken breast. I ordered a seafood chowder at DBGB this weekend with little bits of bacon in it. I have not had an entire serving of meat yet, which is probably good. After all, I have my whole life ahead of me!

It has been pretty cold in New York, and it's the post-Christmas winter that gets to me the most. However, I have been thrilled with my winter farm share through the Corbin Hill Food Project and have actually been enjoying winter through its produce. I wanted to kick off the new year (and new dietary horizons) with a lean but quintessential cold-weather dish: Maple Glazed Pork Tenderloin. It just oozes wintery sentiments, doesn't it?

America's Test Kitchen is always a fantastic bet for recipes that thrive on precision and science, and I felt that as a first time pork cooker, I could use that security. So this week I made their version of a Maple Roasted Pork Tenderloin.



About Pork Tenderloin
I used to hear Tenderloin and think of the San Francisco neighborhood. It has a bad reputation, which I always tend to confront with cynicism (just because it is a low-income area doesn't mean it is a dangerous one). But I remember taking a bus through there on a recent visit, having to transfer, and the second I stood up to walk off the bus I heard a gun shot. Needless to say, I did not transfer! So THIS is what used to come to mind when I heard "tenderloin." Time for some re-imaging.

In the meat world, pork tenderloin is considered the most tender of the cuts of pork because it is a lower side/back muscle that is used for posture, not motion. Fascinating! You can see its long, narrow shape in this handy diagram:
Not only can you see the cuts of meat, but you can learn the terms in Swedish too... va ballt! 

Since the tenderloin is so... tender, it can easily cook through and dry up on the stovetop, so most recipes recommend searing the edges and finishing it in the oven.

Alton Brown ran an episode of Good Eats dedicated to pork tenderloin: "Tender is the Pork." It's available on Amazon (for free if you have Prime!) and definitely worth a watch. My key takeaway from the video: Remove the "silverskin," which is the tough, thin, almost iridescent little skin that covers part of the tenderloin. Once you do that, it is ready to go!

Nutrition-wise, pork tenderloin and boneless, skinless chicken breast find themselves the subjects of many comparisons. With a difference of only 20 calories for a 3 ounce portion, pork tenderloin is a little bit leaner. Men's Health (a weird source for me to consult, but men's websites are what come up when searching for meat comparisons) identifies chicken as an excellent source of niacin, leucine, and omega-3s, while pork takes the cake on zinc, B vitamins, and selenium

In sum, these are both lean and healthy cuts of meat. Next time you are walking down the vitamin aisle at Whole Foods, take a stroll over to the butcher and see if you can get your nutrients there!

The Recipe:
You all know that I am an America's Test Kitchen devotee. I love their recipes, watch their shows, listen to their podcast, and can't seem to go shopping for a kitchen device without looking up their product reviews first.

What I liked about ATK's pork tenderloin recipe is that it recognized the issues that arise when trying to glaze a piece of meat-- namely, that the glaze does not stick. They solved that in three ways, which I feel can be applied to any glazed item:

  1. Coat in a corn starch, sugar, and salt mixture that will dry out and caramelize into a nook-filled surface before the glaze is applied (a drier surface keeps the glaze on, while nooks and crannies keep the glaze trapped inside)
  2. Reduce the glaze. Thicker is better, and it can always be softened up in the microwave. In this recipe, 2 cups was reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  3. Layer after layer. First glaze before putting the meat in the oven, second glaze when the meat is almost done, third glaze just before the resting period, and final glaze/sauce right before serving.


Once I felt confident that the glaze would actually stick, I proceeded...

Maple-Glazed Pork Tenderloin
Memorized from America's Test Kitchen
Yield: 6 servings (4 if you are really hungry)

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins (1.25 lbs each), trimmed and silver skin removed
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • a few cracks of black pepper
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup (not the fake stuff)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp bourbon
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard


Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Mix the cornstarch, salt, sugar, and pepper in a bowl, then spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Blot excess moisture from the tenderloins and roll in the cornstarch mixture. Bang against a hard surface so any extra cornstarch falls off (I placed a cutting board vertically in the sink) and discard extra cornstarch.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan and place the tenderloins in the oil, side by side. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side on medium-high, until all sides are nice and browned.
  • Meanwhile, you can quickly assemble the glaze by pouring the maple syrup, molasses, cinnamon, cayenne, and bourbon into a measuring cup.
  • When the tenderloins are browned on all sides (about 8 minutes), transfer them to a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. 
  • Lower the heat under the pan, and pour the maple mixture (all but 1/4 cup) into the pan. Stir frequently as it bubbles and boils, eventually reducing to 1/2 cup. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Brush a healthy dose of the reduced maple glaze on top of each piece of the pork tenderloin. You will be doing this three times, so ration accordingly.
  • After the first glaze, place the tenderloins into the oven (middle rack). Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 130°F.
  • Add another layer of glaze and return to the oven until the internal temperature of the pork hovers around 140°F (2-4 minutes)
  • Remove and glaze one more time (you may need to microwave the glaze for 20 seconds if it is too sticky). Let sit, uncovered, to rest.
  • Add mustard to the 1/4 cup of reserved glaze and mix well.
  • Cut into 1/4 inch pieces with a serrated knife. Drizzle with the mustardy glaze and serve with the sides of your choice.



The Results:
This was a huge success! Glazing is obviously more work-intensive than just marinading and baking, but it was well worth the effort. The glaze stuck to the meat, clinging on in luscious layers of sweet maple flavor. It was just a little bit pink inside, keeping it tender (I only used my knife a couple of times) and juicy (not bloody, which has always been and will always be gross in my book).

My roommate and I have a winter farm share, and the pork tenderloin was the perfect protein to accompany our curried parsnip and carrot puree. The dish exuded wintery comfort, and it opened my eyes to the healthy meat possibilities out there. 

Here's to more delicious recipes in 2014. Send me a comment with recommendations for my now omnivorous walking cookbook repertoire! 

The beauty of glaze: 1st layer vs 3rd layer makes a huge difference!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Whole Roasted Cauliflower: From Drab to Fab

Throughout my teenage years I had a tendency to read teen magazines that encouraged girls to take their look "from drab to fab!" Of course, my love for denim shorts and my oversized Rancho Bernardo High School hoodie proved more powerful than the influence of Seventeen's rhyming headlines, and my "look" remained about the same until I moved to New York (though if the high school where I now work made a hoodie, I know I would sport it day in and day out).

I'm not a huge fan of trying to get people to change their personal style to meet an arbitrary societal expectation, but in the world of foods there are definitely some ingredients that tend to be "drab" without a little accessorizing. Cauliflower ranks among the most notorious yawn-worthy foods, in my opinion. Sauteed, it never gets quite tender enough. Steamed, it just tastes watery. Even the color is boring. But there is hope for the poor, boring stepsister to broccoli.



My first glimmer of excitement came in the form of a comically enormous head of cauliflower served as a main course at The Fat Radish in the Lower East Side. It was nothing but cauliflower, and it was fabulous! The next ray of hope was a cauliflower sandwich at The Crown Inn in Brooklyn. A tender, roasted, seasoned slab of the crucifer made for a hearty filling. Finally, Num Pang's roasted cauliflower Cambodian sandwich brought new life to the veggie, sealing the deal and creating love at third sight. In fact, I made a version of that sandwich over the summer.

After my love for cauliflower was kindled, Food 52 seduced me further into the world of cauli-cooking by running a recipe for a tender, toasty, and flavorful Whole Roasted Head of Cauliflower. It had always seemed like something that could only be done in restaurants, but after memorizing and trying the recipe I now know the secret. A 15 minute poach provides the flavor and tenderizes the inside, while a nice hot 40 minute roast guarantees the crackly exterior and charred taste without fear of burning. The overall preparation time is long, but the hands-on part is minimal. Plus, it leaves so much leftover broth that I am already planning round two.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Memorized and modified from Food 52
Yield: 4 side servings or 2 entree servings

Ingredients:


  • 8 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 heaping tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 heaping tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 head cauliflower, leaves and stems trimmed

Preparation:


  • Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  • Combine the first eight ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Carefully place the head of cauliflower into the liquid. Reduce the heat to a low flame and simmer for 15-20 minutes, spooning the liquid onto the exposed cauliflower every once in a while. Halfway through the simmer time, carefully turn the cauliflower over (I used a spoon and tongs).
  • Turn off the heat and lift the cauliflower out of the pot. Place in a colander to drain for a couple of minutes.
  • Transfer the cauliflower to a baking dish and put in the oven (middle rack) for 40-50 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through.
  • Remove from the oven, slice into wedges, and enjoy!


Each step is simple yet valuable in the creation of this beautiful vegetable dish.

The results of this recipe were fabulous. Not only did the cauliflower take on the multiple flavors of the poaching broth, but it also caramelized those flavors around the edges during the roasting process. The single head of cauliflower made four servings, technically, but I wouldn't put it past myself to eat the whole thing. It had the slightest hint of spice, lots of flavor from the wine, and the perfect amount of fat to round out the texture. I served my cauliflower with a kale and split-pea salad and some bread and cheese. Delicious, simple goodness.

The key components of the broth were basic enough that I bet they would transfer to other flavor profiles as well:

  • Water
  • Alcohol for flavor: wine/ sake/ mirin
  • Something salty: salt/ soy sauce/ mustard
  • Fat: olive oil/ vegetable oil mixed with a little sesame oil/ butter only
  • Acid: lemon juice/ lime juice/ orange juice/ grapefruit juice/ vinegar
  • Sweet: sugar/honey/maple syrup
  • Spicy: red pepper flakes/ cayenne/ sriracha


The options are endless, and the flavors end up complex. Play around with it and leave a comment if you try a version of this easy and unique recipe.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Move over hummus... there's a new high-protein dip in town



Greetings, cooks! In case you think I have disappeared, I have not! But the school year has begun, redirecting my memorizing efforts to new student names, seating charts, and who has mastered the difference between ser and estar (I am a Spanish teacher, and here's the answer in case you are feeling curious). I continue to cook, however, and once I get back into my teaching groove, my recipe memorization groove will follow close after. Until then, I will try to keep up blogging with some fun little recipes that I either encounter or invent.

Today I bring you my new favorite high-protein snack: Eggamole. OK... that is the only time I am going to call it that, because it sounds kind of gross. But what is a girl to do when she craves guacamole and opens both avocados to find out that they are not good? First, she puts the bad avo in her new favorite place: the food scrap bin!* Then, she stares at the hard-boiled egg sitting in her fridge and says, "I can make guacamole out of you." Fortunately nobody is home to hear this conversation.

After my pep talk with the egg, I got out all of my quick guac fixins (I have a number of guacamole styles) and mashed them all together with the egg. The end result was definitely not guacamole, but I was really excited about how delicious it was. The lime juice cut through a lot of the sulfuric egg flavor and the cilantro kept it fresh. A little sprinkle of salt, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper provided just enough zest to round out the flavor without that lingering garlic taste.

Nutritionally speaking, it is quite healthy: 72 calories, 5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein for one egg's worth of the dip (2 WW points for you, Mom!). Pair it with tortilla chips to negate all of that information, or enjoy it with some cruditĂ©s and be truly nutritious! 

Here's the less-than-scientific recipe. Modify as you see fit, and remember that you can always add more seasoning, but it is really hard to take away.



Cilantro-Lime Healthy Egg Salad
By The Walking Cookbook
Yield: about 1/2 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 hard boiled egg (this is a good recipe, though I usually only let them sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of garlic powder
  • dusting of cayenne pepper
  • For dipping: tortilla chips or crunchy veggie slices
Preparation:
  • Put the egg in a bowl and add all the other ingredients.
  • With the back of a fork, mash the egg until the yolk is scattered and the egg whites are broken into little bits. The mixture should be mildly spreadable.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Dip away!
Let me know if you discover any extra mix-ins for this recipe, and happy cooking!



*I recently learned that food scraps can be saved in the freezer (no smell or bugs!) and taken to a variety of GreenMarkets in the NYC area. It is a new effort on my part, and in one month I have already rerouted over 5 pounds of vegetable peels, banana skins, egg shells, pistachio shells, and coffee grounds to the city's compost heaps rather than the landfill. Of course, the goal is to reduce even that number by making use of every part of a plant and not letting things go bad, but it's an improvement nevertheless! Here's where I collect my scraps to freeze until drop-off day: 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Salad & Sandwich Summer: Farmer's Sandwich and Green Bean Tomato Salad

In my little world of blogdom, fame comes from one or two people saying, "Hey, I noticed you haven't written anything recently." And ladies and gentlemen, I have reached that level of fame! Thanks to some fans (well... fams may be the more honest term) asking me about the Walking Cookbook, it is time to do my last installation of Salad & Sandwich Summer. It all came about quite serendipitously, actually. To lead up to it, here's a recap of my summer:

School ended, I went to a wedding, and then I visited California... fabulous start to the vacay, but no cooking involved.
The Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. Beautiful!

I taught summer school. My evenings were spent packing and frantically searching for a new apartment. Read this for some insight on the worst task in the world... finding an NYC apartment. Very little cooking involved.

I moved. No cooking involved. But I do have a nice big living room and a pretty city view!
New living room. So big!
City view at night. That little purple thing towards the right
is the Empire State Building honoring the
Women's Tennis Association tonight
.

I started to settle into my new kitchen (always an adjustment). No pots, pans, or cutlery at first, but I am now equipped and in love with my set of Victorinox knives. Best deal in town, folks. Now there gets to be some cooking involved.


I have enjoyed playing tourist in my own urban backyard... I was at Battery Park, the southernmost point of Manhattan, one day and Inwood Hill Park, the northernmost point of Manhattan, the next. I went on food tours with Sidewalks of NY, exploring the culinary delights of the Lower East Side and Greenwich Village. I walked the Brooklyn Bridge and stopped right in other people's way to get the perfect picture. I hosted my brother's visit, got 18th place in a city scavenger hunt, rented a rowboat from the Central Park Boathouse, went to Coney Island, and watched a Mets game. I love this city.
A goose in the Central Park lake
Economy Candy, and jam-packed old school candy store in the LES
Mets game at Citi Field 

My plan for this evening was to make a nice picnic and enjoy it in Central Park for their free film festival screening of West Side Story (did I mention how much I love this city?). It poured rain most of the day, though, and soggy grass isn't really my thing. So Central Park became my living room floor, West Side Story became Mary Poppins, and my picnic became an indoor affair. Thus emerged my last summer salad and sandwich set... perfect for any picnic, whether outdoors or in.
Next time I am bringing my projector from school!


Farmer's Sandwich
From The Kitchn
Yield: 4 sandwiches

This sandwich was perfect as detailed in the recipe from The Kitchn, so I feel no need to repeat it here. Follow the link, and take the time to make the Onion-Thyme Jam. It is absolutely worth it. This sandwich, if you can find delicious, quality ingredients, will not let you down. I used Shelburne Two Year Cheddar that I bought at Saxelby Cheesemongers in the Essex Street Market (yet another exploration) and fresh Ciabatta from Fairway Market

Since I did not have to transport my sandwiches, I set up a sort of buffet and added a few extra toppings than are in the recipe: thinly sliced turkey breast, avocado, and mayo. Once all the ingredients are prepped, just layer, layer, layer, and the sandwich will be ready to go.

Green Bean and Tomato Salad with Tarragon Dressing
From Food & Wine
Yield: 12 servings (I cut this recipe into fourths for my purposes)

Like the sandwich, there is nothing about this recipe that needed to be changed to share with you. I don't really think about tarragon too often, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to use it and learn a little more about it. It tastes a bit like anise/fennel/licorice, though much milder, and many websites recommend pairing it with shallots, which this recipe does. I was surprised how tasty this simple salad was, but with nice, fresh ingredients I was pleased with the turnout. I used baby heirloom tomatoes to get some colorful variety in the salad since I was not able to find yellow green beans (oxymoron?). I recommend letting the shallots and tarragon hang out in the oil for a little while. That way when you toss the beans in it the flavors will be all throughout the salad.

I hope that summer has been as good to you as it has been to me. I look forward to memorizing more recipes and continuing my quest to become a Walking Cookbook. As all teachers will understand, happy new year to you!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Salad & Sandwich Summer: BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches and Elote & Sweet Potato Salad

When people find out I don't eat meat (even after I tell them that I do, because fish is a meat), they always ask if I like tofu. My answer is always shockingly specific. I like the ultra-firm kind that does not have any juiciness to it, and I like the ultra-soft, almost custard-like, melt-in-your-mouth fresh tofu that is served warm. I had this recently on a food tour of Chinatown in Flushing, Queens. The woman selling the homemade tofu had a shop set up within a flower store, and her product was phenomenal. Anything that is not completely solid or sold at a florist's, however, I'm not a huge fan of.

Tempeh, tofu's overlooked fermented soy bean brother, is a completely different story. It is firm, crumbly, and nutty. It sometimes has a slightly tangy flavor, which is an acquired taste, but its texture makes it a great ingredient to use in dishes that can contain meat. Don't get me wrong--it's not a substitute-- but it does bear some resemblance to meat. A nice chart on the differences between tofu and tempeh can be found at FitSugar.


This week I made BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches topped with sprouts, avocado, tomato, and a cumin honey-mustard spread. To accompany it, I made an Elote & Sweet Potato Salad. Elote is the name for corn on the cob served in Mexico with mayo, chile powder, lime, and crumbly fresh cheese. I adapted this delicious and indulgent dish into a healthier but still hearty salad with a lime-yogurt dressing and sauteed sweet potatoes. It's perfect served room temperature or slightly cooler.



BBQ Tempeh Sandwiches with Cumin Honey Mustard Spread
From The Walking Cookbook
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Ingredients:
  • 1 pack tempeh
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup BBQ sauce
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
Preparation:
  • Cut each rectangle of tempeh in half. Then slice down the middle of each piece to make four thin rectangular slices.
  • Steam the pieces of tempeh for 3-4 minutes each, then place in a preheated pan with 1 tbsp oil.
  • Cook on each side until browned, about 1 minute per side. Remove and place on a plate.
  • Brush the tempeh on both sides with BBQ sauce and return to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and brush again with BBQ sauce.

Cut and steam

Cook, then add more sauce
  • Slice the avocados and tomatoes and place on a serving platter. Place the sprouts in a bowl (or if you are like me, keep them in a container to save a dish!)
  • In a bowl, combine the spread ingredients (dijon mustard through salt) and mix well.
  • Assemble the sandwich: Spread the toasted bun with cumin honey mustard. Place a slice of tempeh, avocado, tomato, and sprouts on top. Add more BBQ sauce if desired. Enjoy!

Elote & Sweet Potato Salad
From The Walking Cookbook
Yield: 6 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 large ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • zest and juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled (another crumbly, fresh, salty cheese like feta will work too)
Preparation:
  • Peel the sweet potato and cut into small cubes (just smaller than a board game die). Place in a bowl and toss with oil.
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium-high flame and put one layer of sweet potato cubes in the pan (I did this in three batches). Cook for 4 minutes, flip, cook for another 4 minutes, pour in 1/4 cup of water, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. Remove the lid and test the largest cube to make sure the sweet potato is cooked through. Once cooked, place on a plate to cool off a bit.
  • Repeat with the remaining sweet potatoes.

Slice and organize by size

Cut each stack into strips then into cubes
They will probably fall. That's ok. Just coat them in some oil and cook.
  • Simultaneously heat a separate pan over a medium-high flame and place the husked ears of corn inside. Cook for 2-3 minutes, and rotate once the corn kernels begin to char a bit. Continue until all sides of the corn have a browned exterior.
  • Once the corn has cooled a bit, cut the kernels off the cob and place in a bowl.
A grill pan would work beautifully for this corn.
  • Add the cooled sweet potatoes to the bowl of corn.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dressing ingredients (greek yogurt through cayenne pepper) and mix well. Taste, and add more yogurt and/or lime juice if the dressing is too spicy.
  • Dress the salad and mix well.
  • Crumble in the cheese and mix well. Serve room temperature or slightly chilled.