Summer time and the vegetables are going crazy! Perfect time for a Clean Eating challenge thanks to /52weeksofcooking. For the most part I try to avoid highly processed foods, including fake meats, but there is something to be said about the convenience that comes with those items. However, this week I wanted to go all out, so I decided to all incorporate elements of raw eating in my recipe which is what lead me to making a buddha bowl. A budha bowl is a (traditionally) vegan dish featuring raw fruits and veggies with a whole grain. I decided to use brown rice, but quinoa and barley were also debated.
I was lucky enough to have tomatoes from my garden, along with all the herbs, while the corn comes from the Eastern Shore. I tried to use all local ingredients but I couldn’t pass by the avocados at the store without grabbing a few. I could easily eat one, or more, of those each day – they are simply fantastic! At some point I want to try the fried egg in an avocado dish but a bit terrified of having raw egg and overcooked avocado. Anyone ever tried it before? Any tips???
In gardening news – I have no idea where I am tomato wise! Every day I go out I grab another handful and they are amazing. I’ve also harvested four jalapenos, with another 4 on the vine. However no eggplants yet – three stopped growing while a few more of showing some promise. They are a smaller variety so not expecting massive veggies but thought they would be a bit bigger than their current state. Fingers crossed the random chilly weather last week didn’t stunt them or something.
Mexican Corn Dip
It’s the first Monday of the month which means that once again it’s time for the Secret Recipe Club!!!! I was so excited to see that I had been partnered up with Jessie – aka The Vanderbilt Wife. After all, how can you not like a blog that sponsors so many amazing charities! For the longest time I was planning to make her delicious peach cake, which would have been perfect for my pit fruit entry but I couldn’t move past a certain dish with “magically delicious” in the title. I’m a sucker for a good dip, as evident from past secret recipe club posts, and since I was hosting a day of board gaming I just couldn’t pass up her Corn Dip. The only change I made was to up the spice level since everyone attending enjoys things on the hotter side.
Yes – this recipe is magically delicious and magically quick to put together! While most of it was killed the day of serving there was just enough left to serve on top of some chilaquiles the next evening. The corn dip added the perfect crunch along with a bit of heat which was perfect. I also took advantage of some local “early corn” at the market, instead of the canned corn – and while it’s a pain to cut the kernels off I’m a sucker for local produce. I also tossed in a green pepper for color and extra crunch, which worked perfectly with the corn and tomatoes. I served this dip hot and cold, and both ways was a hit!
Speaking of local produce I’ve now harvested three cherry tomatoes, with another 40+ on the horizon, and one jalapeno. At last check there were 10 (!!!) fairy eggplants growing and fingers crossed will be able to pick some this week! The cold snap we had the other day also brought some life back to my arugula so maybe that’ll give up another harvest? So far so good – just have to hope the weather continues to cooperate. Thanks again for stopping by for another awesome SRC!
Corn Bisque with Avocado
Good morning (evening???) and welcome to June’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!! I have to say being a member of Group A means that my blogging month always starts off with a bang in the flavor department – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This month I was partnered up with the Cookaholic Wife, and after reading her about page it turns out we have a lot in common. We were both married in 2010, we’re both on the verge of turning 30 (eeek!), and we both live in Baltimore 😀 For an added chill, you can switch our anniversary and birth months since we’re virgos that got married in April – so needless to say I think Nicole is rather awesome. Her blog is also stuffed to the rim with delicious recipes featuring ingredients that are easy to locate – but since we’re in the same city that does make a bit of sense. I first debated making her Onion Dip, as a tribute to the crap dip that got her started on the blogging path, but I could not get the idea of her Corn Bisque out of my head. Corn chowders are one of my favorite winter soups and the idea of a light and springy corn soup just spoke to my belly on a deep level. I did make a few in changes to the recipe to cut back on cholesterol (yes, sometimes I do listen to my doctor) but for a more authentic experience just switch the almond milk back to regular milk! Using the yogurt in place of the half-and-half also allowed me to leave out the cornstarch as the soup was plenty thick!
I did leave the crab out but I’m happy to report that my hubby added enough Old Bay to his to counter the lack of crab. The avocado provided the perfect contrast to the airy soup, and I’m now curious to see how I can include that in my winter chowder.
This soup was perfection and I can easily see myself making it time and time again – thanks Nicole!!!
Peruvian Corn Pie
Nothing like a cooking challenge to get me out of my funk, and in this case it’s a cooking challenge from /52weeksofcooking featuring Peruvian cuisine. My experience with Peruvian food is limited to one night back in middle school at the Girl Scout house Our Cabana. While the house is in Mexico, they do regional dishes to reflect the Girl Guides/Scouts staying there and for my visit that included a night filled with Peruvian treats! While most of them were not vegetarian friendly, something that mattered even then, there was this one corn dish that was fantastic: Pastel de Choclo. The closest translation I got was Corn Pie, and thanks to Google it was rather easy to find a few variations of this tasty treat! From there I just replaced the meat with some beans and increased the vegetables – which is about as easy as it gets.
The best part about this dish is that it changes every time I make it, primarily based on what’s in season. It can also be easily adapted for Gluten Free or Vegan dining by using a GF or Vegan friendly cornbread recipe. While this probably takes away from some of the authenticity of the dish, it always brings back some awesome memories – and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Second Secret Recipe Club entry! When I saw there was an orphaned blog from Group D I jumped at the chance to explore another delicious blog! Turns out delicious was the right word when it comes to Dororthy’s Shockingly Delicious blog, as it is full of “terrific, tried and true, scrumptious” recipes. Since this was an orphaned blog I only had a few days to find the perfect recipe to highlight everything that Dorothy has to offer. I debated her non-traditional arroz verde before figuring it was a bit too similar to my other Secret Recipe Club entry so was back to debating delicious treats before seeing her recipe for a Baked Polenta. I’ve always been a huge polenta fan, outside of the standing and stirring for 30 minutes over a hot oven, so a BAKED recipe was perfect!!! (husband also agreed as normally he is recruited for stirring duty)
Another awesome thing is how easily this recipe could be adapted by adding different cheeses or spices, such as fresh rosemary, thyme, or basil. I have a feeling that after adding this recipe to my collection polenta will become a frequent menu item in our house. I served mine with a squash and bean mixture, the full recipe for which will be up tomorrow!
The combination of rain and sun has resulted in a glorious garden, which is resulting in a large amount of delicious produce and with that meals filled with vegetables. Thanks to some coworkers I’ve had a steady supply of beets and swiss chard, and thanks to my garden I now have large amounts of tomatoes and carrots – a vegetarian paradise! When it came time to cook everything I relied on the Top Chef motto of “what grows together, goes together” and combined anything and everything to see what would happen. At the end of the week I had a little bit of everything but with the exception of the tomatoes I didn’t have enough of any of thing to make it a feature. So everything got tossed together with some quinoa in the ultimate tribute to summer vegetables.
I topped mine with some greek yogurt for dinner and had it “naked” for lunch the next day and both ways were amazing. This is one of those dishes that is guilt free, even if seconds are involved!
“I have to do a fusion dish this week for /r/52weeks of cooking. What should I do?”
“How about Mexican Thai?!?!”
“WTF is Mexican Thai??”
“I dunno, that’s for you to figure out”
So with that conversation I set out to figure out what Mexican Thai would be. Due to a crazy schedule I decided to go with a breakfast dish, figuring I would have plenty of time on Saturday morning to make the dish and get it posted. Well I was right regarding at least one of those things, but sometimes that happens. After much googling and searching in recipe books I decided that the best Mexican/Texan dish to cross with Thai cuisine was a breakfast dish known as migas. Similar to chilaquies, migas features fresh corn chips along with eggs, tomatoes, and seasonings. Since I was going the Thai route I also looked at various egg curries, to get an idea of what flavor profiles would work best for what I was looking to do. In order to go the extra mile I also made my own chips using some corn tortillas that were getting close to the end of their life.
This breakfast was a HUGE hit and extremely filling. The only down side was in the chip making process where I didn’t read the lines on the inside of my fryer correctly and wasn’t able to use the basket. Luckily gently dropping them in and fishing them out with a metal spatula worked just fine! To top it off I served Joe a Banana Lassi, which went perfectly with the heat of the dish. I left off the nuts and added 1/4 tsp of amchur powder to the dish as a nod to the more popular mango lassi. Perfection!