Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

marinadeIt’s like a six-year-old girl dressing herself: I am going to put together all of the fabulous things I like and it will work.

Sometimes six-year-olds are surprisingly stylish.  This marinade of everything-I-like would be one of those kids, I like to think.

Finally having a full day to play in the kitchen, I went a little nuts.  I coated peas in wasabi and buckwheat flour and fried them, I homemade sushi, crackers, and chicken liver mousse.  I made a lemon meringue pie from scratch.  I sang while doing all of this, just to make sure that if the neighbors weren’t already disturbed from the sound of blenders and smells of garlic that they had a sure idea of my presence.

I also discovered a marinade.  It’s easy, gluten-free, and has a really nice tang with the combination of wasabi with honey and oregano.  I used it on pork, but it would work on chicken or beef or tofu or seitan.

marinating pork<–after a few hours tenderizing

dinner<–wasabi buckwheat peas, marinated farmer’s pork, watercress pesto, avocado maki

Happy Spring!  Let’s eat!

Honey Oregano Basil Ginger Wasabi Marinade

Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, minced, 1/2 shallot, finely diced, 1 tbs. fresh basil, chopped (chiffonade is ideal), 1 cm cubed fresh ginger, wasabi powdergrated, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 3 tsp. tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbs. honey (agave nectar or maple syrup for vegan), 1/8 tsp. wasabi powder (available at most grocery stores and all Asian food markets)

Method: combine all ingredients in medium bowl.  Marinade your protein of choice in sauce for up to overnight, minimum 2 hours, covered.  Turn protein half way through marinating to disperse flavors equally.  Marinade keeps by itself about a week.  Enough to soak enough protein to serve about 3-4.

 

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Lo Mein vs. Ho Fun

It’s been so long!  Where did we go?  What did we learn?

New York and Brooklyn and Philly and Charlotte, oh my!

bluegrass<–we even saw bluegrass.  Suuuuthern.

Yep, it was time for a Stateside visit.  A baby was had (my brother and his wife) and her aunt (me) found an excuse to cross the pond, visit with family, and show her French boyfriend the states from the Eastern angle.  While ze Frenchie may have learned a bit more than I did (perhaps!  who knows!) I learned a lot during our stay in Chinatown NYC.

ho fun duckI know that I am constantly preaching in a certain way about how meat needs to be pure to eat it and that hormones and antibiotics are nearly blasphemous in meats, because they are horrible for you, for the animal, and for the taste.  However, there are those tiny moments of “when in Rome”, and staying in Chinatown and eating a meat dish was just one of those.

The menu was replete with a chart detailing ingredients and the restaurant was owned by some of the friendliest Chinese I have met who were delighted and shocked when my man started speaking a bit of Cantonese with them.  The more languages, the merrier, why not.

Anyways, this is a fun little tidbit I picked up on how to know if your noodles are wheat or rice in Chinese restaurants or grocery stores. If you’re gonna eat meat in Chinatown, at least do it gluten-free.

Chinese ingredients<–Anything that has “Fun” in the title is rice derived, and anything that has “Mein” in the title is from wheat.

WhataCheatSheet.

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Filed under Buy Me., Explore NYC, Gluten Bubble, Smarty Pants, Uncategorized

Avocado Banana Bread

avocado banana bread<–the $5 plating

avocado banana bread strawberries<–the $12 plating (No, I have not left my apartment for 2 days.  Gremlin flu.)

I still remember the day after homecoming.  Senior year, me working in a scrapbook shop, me being sent home.  Nay, not a sending home because of frivolous amounts of partying the night before (the angel I was didn’t really drink in high school), but because I almost fainted from being sick.  I thought it was strep throat. Which I guess can easily be construed for mono.

Homecoming 2005(Me and pops von Trapp at right 2005, Homecoming Ceremony.  Woot woot.)–>

I can’t compare what I have right now to mono, aside from the throat that won’t sit still, the ample plugging and then releasing of the nasal region, and the impressive head pressure.  Also the fact that I am horrible at being sick.  I really am:

The week of homecoming my extracurricular jargon kept me at an average of 5 hours of sleep a night (I was notably sick then, too).  Once discovering it was mono and being quarantined to protect my peers,  I gained weight instead of lose it because if I’m stuck at home, what better way to pass the time than the prepare food?  Nothing has changed.  This octopus flu has me cooped up like an unwilling chicken and I am unexpectedly active in the hen house.

Sitting still was never my thing.  Guess that’s why it’s a good thing for me to be a chef. And here’s an experiment gone right in my days of sunny cabin fever.

Avocado Banana Bread

Gluten, nut, dairy, soy, and corn-free.  Vegan option.

1 avocado

2 bananas

1/4 cup honey (or agave nectar for vegan)

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. sea salt

3/4 cup buckwheat flour

1/4 cup + 2 tbs. potato starch

1/2 tsp. baking powder

blenderPreparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 15-20 minutes

Serves 4-6

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celcius).  Slice avocado and banana into small pieces.  Purée these pieces in blender with honey (or agave), vanilla, and sea salt.

2. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl.  Combine with wet ingredients until batter is formed.  Bake for 15-20 minutes in standard ovens (or until inserted toothpick comes out clean).

It’s a healthy cake.  Still tasty, but gotta say it.  To make it slightly less healthy, cover it with frosting.  (I whipped some kefir with powdered sugar for an icing.)

baked cake

 

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Homemade Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bars

oat bar with creamy seed butter<–It’s almost like I just want to slide down the middle of this bar.  You know… imagine it.

Food can inspire strange behavior.  No food inspires even stranger, so let’s carry on now.

wrapped oat barsI find caramel made from honey to be a delightful little composition.  Especially if there is some form of sea salt added to it.  Perhaps a little oil.  Oh, lookey here, there’s both!  This recipe for a healthy and gluten-free granola bar has no refined sugar at all and is high in fiber (good for your arteries, yeah!).  A really nice natural energy boost by itself if you’re pragmatic, a healthy way to get that sweet fix after a meal if you’re a touch more hedonistic.  Like, a touch.

-

Caramelized Honey Oat Bran Bar

-gluten, nut, soy, corn, egg-free.  Vegan with substitutions-

1/4 cup neutral oil

1/2 cup honey (or 1/3 cup agave nectar for vegan)

1/8 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla (optional but good)

1 1/8 cup gluten-free oat bran (available at health food stores or online here, also known as “son d’avoine”)

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cook time: about 4-5 minutes

Serves about 10-12 easily (makes a plaque of bars)

honey caramel1. Heat oil, honey, salt and optional vanilla in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  If you have a thermometer, insert it and bring mixture to 135 degrees F (270 degrees C) or until it bubbles like shown at left and starts to turn a little darker in color.  Immediately remove from heat.

oat bars2. Add oats to pot and stir with spatula until coated.  Let sit, stirring every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes to cook the oats to make them more digestible.

silpat granola3. Spread on a silicon baking sheet (or an oiled baking sheet or parchment paper) to desired thickness.  With spatula, or a dull knife, outline the shape you want to cut.  Let cool then cut and wrap individually to be all precious.

Since you cooked your sugar to a “soft-crack” phase, meaning it will be a harder caramel, let it cool to solidify a bit so it’s not just a gooey mess.  I’ve been storing my bars in the fridge, as it’s warmer out now, but you can store them room temperature if you want to keep them more taffy-like with the heat.  Ah, that sounds nice, too.

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It’s my birthday!!!

extravagant child birthdaySomething very strange has happened.  Firstly, as you can tell from the header of this post, I am happy it’s my birthday, and am a declared lover of birthdays.  I find it lovely to have the reason and universally acknowledged imperative to maximize your day.  Birthdays are such things–a time to contemplate who you want to share them with, what you love doing, and then hopefully be able to couple the two into a celebration of your life so far and present.

Secondly, I think I’m finally growing up.  While, yes, I did wake up this morning with that little happy place in my belly of “Weeee, it’s my day today,” it was infinitely less intense than years prior.  It was a continued joy of my days that have been coming, exist as well today, and will hopefully have a nice span of existence in the future.  It was a knowledge that I am thrilled to spend it with someone I love, and that I am going to take the day minute by minute, feeling the beauty of whatever comes.  I guess today was the first birthday I woke up without expectations, and it’s feeling really beautiful.

Crisped Rice Treats

So, I did not expect to post anything today.  However, after waking up with that calm sharing feeling, here’s a little sneak peak of the Peanot Butter Crisped Rice Treats from the upcoming Bubble Child cookbook.  Enjoy my allergenically accelerated hooligans.

crisped rice treats<–no nuts, marshmallows (aka vegan), dairy, soy, corn, or eggs in this oven-free dessert… which given my current oven status of broken and my current allergy-list of not-changing is a thing of ideal

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Filed under Bubble Child The Cookbook, Buy Me., Dairy Bubble, Gluten Bubble, Nut Bubble, Recipes, Vegan

Inspiration: SHREDDED MANGO

I don’t know if we can use the term “Indian Spring” like “Indian Summer”, but if there is such a thing, that is this in Paris.  It’s sunny out.  The gray sides of the buildings must be terribly confused, the flowers on my balcony are either wilting or reaching up to the rays depending on their shredded mangoseasonality, and I got tan today.  Never, ever, did I envision a bronzing skin in March.  I suppose it’s an early birthday present (2 days, 2 days!  March 12!!)

Anyways, I found a new toy, and the very kind lady who sold me this toy brought up a dynamic idea that serves as today’s inspiration: Shredded Mango.  It goes well with sunshine.  And rice.

kiwiThis little Kiwi brand professional cutting tool functions as a mini handheld French mandolin.  You run it down the side of your fruit or vegetable and it makes very thin juliennes… it’s ridiculous easy and I am not grating all of my vegetables into tiny pieces.  I hope it stops soon.  We do have teeth for a reason, but I just can’t get enough of this texture!

Anyways, for those who have carrot allergies, and cannot have that delightful salad normally served with dim sum of carrots and green papaya grated, try getting an under-ripe mango, peeling it, and then turning it into thin batons.  Toss it with some sesame oil, a splash of lemon juice, pinch salt, and sesame seeds for something fun.

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No Oven Gluten-Free Bread

steamed buckwheat loafToday was an odd day in technology for me, in turn spawning some very odd human behavior.  First of all, you may notice that these photos are less than subpar quality.  That is because for some reason my camera decided to eat the “lock” switch on my memory card, guarding the camera decidedly in “memory card locked” mode like an unfair coma.  Given that I spend all of my money on food, I have not updated my cellular device for several many years, and this is what is providing the images today.

RIP OvenFurthermore, my oven died.  It’s really not a huge shame, as you can see from the picture on the right, it was a bit abysmal to begin with.  I suppose churning out breads and desserts and braising meats for hours on end is not what this little guy was originally designed for.  Boo hoo.  This all happened, however, after I had prepared the dough for my favorite Buckwheat Herb Loaf and it had already risen to well over two times its original volume.  I really wanted a sandwich today.  This just wouldn’t do.

Thus, I started thinking how I could possibly make this uncooked loaf a slab of bread.  Only one thing came to mind: steam it like a vegetable.  The world is strange, and this is stranger: it tasted better than when I cooked it in the oven.  Steaming it provided a perfectly even cooking and guarded the moisture inside the bread without having it remotely undercooked.  Its air bubbles stood up taller.  It’s even more spongey.  Whaaaat a weird way to finally get my sandwich.  I had to torch my lactose-free cheese with a creme bruler burner to have it melt.  Alright.

torching cheese<–not like pudding

sandwich at last<–victory is mine

Anyways, this necessitated the use of my unintelligent smart phone to share this knowledge with you.

Steamed Bread: (!)

steaming bread1. Take your favorite gluten-free bread recipe (try Home Sweet Honey Buns or Herb Buckwheat Loaf from this site) and put it in a greased and floured mold that will fit into a large pot with a vegetable steaming basket underneath (see photo at right.)  Prepare recipe and let rise indicated time.

2. Boil enough water that it won’t evaporate during 20 minutes cooking but will not overflow into the bread.  Bring to a boil, then put your loaf in the steaming device.  Cover the pot, let cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, replacing water if dry.  You will be able to tell it’s cooked through because the top will be solid and when you tap the crust of the dough it will feel solid throughout, as well.

3. Remove from steamer, let cool about 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen from mold.  Feel free to toast it afterward if you have a functioning oven.

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Filed under Bubble Child The Cookbook, Buy Me., Dairy Bubble, Gluten Bubble, Nut Bubble, Recipes, Smarty Pants, Uncategorized, Vegan