Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Favorite Meal Ever

Hello Everyone.

I thought it was about time to post some more savory dishes.  When I get as busy/tired as I am it is just easier to cook up some greens, rice and beans and call it good.  I promise I will do better and become as adventurous in my dinners as I am in my desserts.

This next recipe is really one of my favorites.  I love it.  There is something so simple and flavorful about it.  Plus, it is really easy to make.  If you use canned beans this really only takes 12 minutes, enough time to cook quinoa.

White Beans and Escarole
Courtesy: "Clean Food"

You might be asking what escarole is.  I had no idea when I first saw this recipe.  When I went to the store it was mushed between all kind of lettuce and you couldn't tell the difference, they all look the same.

After some checking on the internet I have found that escarole is related to endive and is often called chicory.  Escarole has very few calories, 20 or so per serving, and has a large amount of vitamin A and C.  All around this is a great alternative to other leafy greens.

Add beans, garlic and rice or quinoa and you have a nutritious, flavorful dinner.

6 Garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 1/2 Cups cooked great northern or navy beans ( I used an heirloom bean called arikara )
2 Large heads escarole, chopped
2 Tablespoons flax oil (I have never used it because I can't find it)
5 Dashes ume plum vinegar (essential!)

In dutch oven over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil until soft.  Add beans and escarole and stir until escarole starts to wilt.  Continue cooking 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, drizzle with flax oil and vinegar and toss to combine.  Sprinkle with gomasio and serve.  

I always add more ume plum vinegar because I love the taste of it.  

These are gomasio and ume plum vinegar.  Gomasio is simply sea salt and sesame seeds.  You could make it on your own.  And the vinegar?  I have no idea how to explain it.  It is a vinegar made out of ume plums and is bitter and tart and compliments greens really well.

Dijon Curry Vinaigrette
Courtesy: "Cafe Flora Cookbook"

Cafe Flora is a delightful little restaurant in Seattle.  It serves the vegetarian, vegan and gluten free community.  I enjoy going because I feel safe eating out.  I know that the servers understand allergies and food sensitivities and are willing to help me make good food decisions.  I don't have to worry about something getting into my food that I can't eat.  The last time that I was there I picked up their cookbook.  To be really honest, most of their recipes are really complex and I haven't used it much, but they do have really yummy salad dressings.

I usually don't like eating salads at home because they are really boring, but I have been trying to eat a nice salad before dinner instead of tortilla chips or other snacks.  While flipping through the Cafe Flora cookbook I came across this recipe and it was intriguing.  I decided I would try it, and guess what?!  It is awesome.

2 Teaspoons dijon mustard
2 Teaspoons curry powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tablespoon honey, brown rice syrup or brown sugar
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3/4 Cup olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except the oil.  Dribble in the olive oil, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thoroughly blended.

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