Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

August 25, 2014

Craveable 3-Piece Salad (No Dressing Required)

The juice from the grapefruit is all the dressing you'll need (or want). 

Girl, you know it's true. Ooo, ooo, ooo. I love you. 
This salad is so quick & easy to make, and is extremely satisfying. 
Crunchy jicama, creamy avocado, and bright & juicy grapefruit are a match made in heaven. 
Even better? With no dressing needed, it's really good for you.

The 1-2-3...
1 ruby grapefruit
1/2 of a small jicama root
1 small, or 1/2 a large avocado 

The A-B-C...
Peel the jicama with a vegetable peeler or paring knife. Slice into bite-sized pieces about 1/8" thick. Add the slices to a medium/large serving bowl. (Avoid serving in a metal bowl. The acid from the grapefruit can react to the metal, leaving a bad aftertaste.)

Segment the grapefruit. Using a sharp knife, remove the peel and pith. Start by slicing off the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Then slice down the sides, using the shape of the grapefruit to guide you. Tear the peeled grapefruit in half at the core. The skins should peel off the grapefruit segments quite easily. Work over the bowl of jicama so any juice drains into the salad. Add the segments to the jicama. Squeeze the grapefruit peels to extract any remaining juice, and drain the juice from the cutting board into the bowl as well. Toss the grapefruit and jicama in the juice to coat. 

Cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Using a large spoon, remove the flesh by moving the spoon closely between the flesh and the skin of the avocado. Place the avocado flat-side down on the cutting board, and slice with a thin, sharp knife. Add the avocado to the jicama and grapefruit, and serve immediately. 

To add a bit more nutrient value, serve the salad on a bed of baby kale or supergreens. 


Roasted Cauliflower with Dates, Pine Nuts, & Garbanzo Beans

For everyday eating, I subscribe to the E.N.D. mantra - Easy, Nutritious, Delicious. Fortunately for my tiny pocketbook, this also usually means "super cheap". Shopping for produce at local markets with high turnover, you should be able to find a wide variety of seasonal ingredients at good prices, ensuring a well-balanced diet, and highly-entertained palate. Taste and texture are paramount for me. I am not about to wear a bland-vegetable hairshirt in order to live a long, healthy life. Luckily, that's not necessary. Vegetables are delicious. And I can prove it.

Without further ado, here's the latest (and my recent favorite -  seriously, I make it at least once a week), roasted cauliflower with dates, pine nuts, and garbanzo beans.

Serves 3-4 as an Entree
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 1/2t cumin seeds 
1/2C raw pine nuts
1/2C medjool dates, pitted & finely chopped
1T coconut oil 

1 large cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets (flat sides help browning) 
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed 
juice from 1 lemon 
olive oil
freshly chopped parsley for garnish 

Preheat oven to 350'. Oil a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. 
In a medium skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, heat about 30 seconds. Add garlic, pine nuts, and dates. Gently stir for about 1-2 minutes, just until the pine nuts turn golden. Remove pan from heat and set aside. 

In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, garbanzo beans, and date mixture. Squeeze in lemon juice, stir, and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, and roast for about 30-35 minutes, until the cauliflower begins to brown. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, and serve immediately. Reheat leftovers in a skillet or microwave. 


Adapted from the Kripalu School of Ayurveda