Friday, October 21, 2011

Nourishing Scrambled Tofu

It appears the leaves have reached their peak here in Vermont. What a spectrum of colors our eyes feasted on. From yellow to orange, gold and crimson, it was amazing! So with the landscape fading I have decided to do a Post Peak Brunch this coming weekend. I am planning to serve, Polenta with kernels of Corn and Leeks, Sautéed Greens, Apple Cinnamon Muffins and the star of the show, my savory Scrambled Tofu!

To make things simple, upon rising I will measure out and dry roast the Polenta, setting it aside to cook later. Wash and cut all of the vegetables, measure out the ingredients for the Muffins and crumble the Tofu. Then it's off to the Park with our dog Jack, returning home for a shower and begin to orchestrate my symphony of aromas and flavors!

Scrambled Tofu
Serves Six
2 lb of Nasoya Extra Firm Tofu or any good quality non GMO Organic Tofu that you favor
1 Red Pepper small dice
1/2 Cup of Carrot matchsticks
1 Small Red or Yellow Onion small dice
2 Clove of Garlic crushed and minced fine
2 Handfuls of Baby Spinach
2Tbl Toasted Sesame Oil
2Tbl Wheat Free Low SodiumTamari
1Tbl Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1Tbl Ginger peeled and grated
1 Tbl Kuzu or Arrowroot diluted in 3 Tbl of cold water
Carrot Matchsticks
Heat a Large Skillet, add Sesame Oil when hot, toss in Red Pepper, Onion and Garlic
Saute for 2 minutes and add the Carrot Matchsticks sauteing for an additional 2 minutes 
Add Crumbled Tofu, Turmeric and Tamari mixing together to create a golden color
Add in Nutritional Yeast  and Ginger,  mix in
Add Baby Spinach to your Skillet stir and Saute for an additional minute
Add Diluted Arrowroot or Kuzu and stir and cook for 2 minutes

Baby Spinach
I am so looking forward to sitting down with friends this weekend and relaxing into heady conversation, catching up on any missed Summer adventures and laughing up a storm over countless cups of Japanese Twig Tea.
I wish you a lovely Weekend! 


Monday, October 17, 2011

Nourishing Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Ah... Autumn in Vermont and an abundence of Apples right off our trees! As I stand here in my Kitchen amazed by these baskets of Apples my mind begins to spin a web of Apple Pies, Apple Scones, Apple Bread Pudding, Apple Sauce and Baked Apples. But one of my favorites needs to be made tout de suite! Apple Cinnamon Muffins laced with Vermont Maple Syrup! 

Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups Organic Unbleached White Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1½ tsp Cinnamon
Local Apples
Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup Soy, Rice , Almond or Coconut Milk.
1/2 cup Rice, Maple, or Agave Syrup
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar 
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup Sunflower, Safflower, or Coconut Oil
1½  Cup Diced Apple
Diced Apples
In one bowl whisk together dry ingredients to be sure they are thoroughly blended
In a Second bowl add all wet ingredients including the diced Apple and whisk together to ensure blending
Spray Muffin Tin or Spring Form Pan with Oil Spray
I love to using Muffin Liners and always line my Cake Pans with Parchment to ensure easy removal
Then pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients using a stir/fold type movement mix 
DO NOT over mix, a few little lumps will give the muffins character
Spoon into Muffin Tin or a seven or eight inch Spring Form Pan (this will make a lovely Breakfast Cake)
Then dot with a few Chunks of Apples these will add texture too the Muffins or Cake
Place in the oven on middle rack
Bake muffins for 30 minutes and cake for 40 to 45 
Test with skewer for doneness or tap with fingers and they should feel firm.
Remove cool and enjoy!

Now a few ideas on Ingredients:
I like Eden Brand Soy/Rice Beverage. Should you choose Coconut Milk I would not use canned, instead try So Delicious Brand. Vanilla flavored is divine and usually found in the Dairy Case at most Natural Food Stores. It's only drawback is that it contains Cane Sugar and not everyone wants that in their diet.
I use Rice Syrup for a mild sweetening experience. Rice Syrup will also enters the  bloodstream much slower then simple sugars so you will not have a blood sugar level crash thirty minutes after eating. Rice Syrup along with the addition of Cinnamon will keep your blood sugar levels balanced.
When considering Maple Syrup as an ingredient in any recipe remember it does add another dimension to the flavor. This can be favorable depending on the other ingredients. 
Try Toasted Walnuts, Apple and MapleSyrup, or Maple, Pecan and Peach! Oh! Raspberry, Coconut with Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil is a great combo as well! The beauty of this recipe is that you can have fun being creative. 
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please post comments and questions. I look forward to hearing from you!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Red Kuri Squash Risotto

Whenever Autumn arrives I feel a wave of sentimentality envelope me. My life in Italy so many years ago pulls at my heart strings. One of the first dishes my then, Fidanzato (boyfriend) taught me to make was his superb Risotto. We would make Risotto con Funghi (mushroom), Risotto con Bietole (swiss chard) and Risotto con Zucca (pumpkin). He would go through the steps with the same care he gave to his Son and all that he loved, so precious in his attentiveness. I dedicate this recipe to you Tino and to all you taught me!         

I have an abundance of Red Kuri Squash in my Garden. So this week I have decided to conjure up a Risotto using my Squash and fresh Sage from the Garden! I have made some adjustments omitting the Dairy and using South River Chickpea Miso for a golden cheesy flavor. I hope you enjoy this recipe, it comes from my Heart!


2 Cups of Carnaroli, Arborio or Short Grain Brown Rice
1 Large Yellow Onion small dice 
2 Garlic Cloves crushed and minced
3 Cups of  Red Kuri Squash cut in ½ inch cubes
1 Cup White Wine, choose a Wine you would serve with the meal
4 Cups of Homemade Vegetable Stock
3 Tbl Organic First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
8 Fresh Sage Leaves finely minced
¼ tsp Red Chili Pepper Flakes
¼ tsp Fresh Grated Nutmeg
2 Tbl of South River Chickpea Miso

Instructions for Vegetable Stock:

To make the stock add 5 Cups Spring Water into a stock pot with 1 inch of Kombu Sea Vegetable and 1 Bay Leaf
Add diced Sweet Vegetables like Cabbage, Carrots, Onions, Squash and 2 stalks of Celery
Bring to a boil and simmer covered for 15 minutes
Remove from heat and strain
Place back in a pot and keep on a low simmer


Saute Onion and Garlic in a Large Skillet with 2 Tbl of Olive Oil until the Onion is translucent
Now add the Rice and saute for a few minutes with the Onion so the rice is coated in Oil
Now add the White Wine and gently stir till the Wine is absorbed
Next using a Ladle add 2 Ladles of Vegetable Stock to pan and stir
As Broth is absorbed add a Ladle at a time and continue 
When only ¼  of the stock is remaining add the cubed Squash, Chili Flakes and ½ of the minced Sage
Taste the Rice as it is cooking it should be rice is firm not crunchy
If you need to add more Vegetable Stock or Hot Water
Reduce heat to low and add the last Tbl of Olive Oil and Miso
Remove from heat, the Risotto should be Rich, Creamy and Fragrant
Serve immediately with a sprinkle of the remaining minced Sage 

So in Italy we would serve this with a great bottle of Barbera direct from the local Farmer and finish with a Salad of Wild Greens usually collected by a family member, dressed with Olive oil and Lemon and Crusty Bread from the local Panificio! Mi manca l'Italia e la mia dolce vita lì! (I miss Italy and my sweet life there!)