Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father Knows Best

Today's dish was inspired by my father, who sent me a recipe a few months ago for a sweet potato hash. It involved sweet corn, black beans, bell peppers, onions, sliced avocado, cilantro, and sour cream... all things I love, except for the sweet potato. I initially blew it off as a recipe I would never try, despite the fact that he assured me I would like it. My only prior experience with sweet potatoes was the mushy thanksgiving side dish, complete with baby marshmallows and a year's supply of brown sugar. When I finally tried the recipe, my opinion on sweet potatoes changed instantly. I immediately incorporated the bright orange monster into my weekly menu and started experimenting with different spices and cooking methods. I quickly realized that sweet potatoes pair perfectly with the spicy flavors I adore, and can easily be incorporated into more recipes than I ever imagined. Today's adaptation was a throw back to the original inspiration dish and was a saute of chick peas, cherry tomatoes, garlic scapes, green onions, cilantro, and avocado. Seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin, and red pepper flake this sweet potato hash was absolutely delicious. Served on a bed of quinoa, it's easily my new favorite meal... looks like father does know best.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Delicately Indulgent

I have been anxiously awaiting a harvest in my garden. After a slow start, things are now ramping up and the mesclun lettuce has finally arrived. A wonderful mix of spicy and bitter, these greens are a salad lover's dream. Their crisp texture and bright flavor make them amazing on their own, but today I embellished them by filling individual leaves with a mixture of crumbled goat cheese and tangy currant jam. The combination of crisp, cold lettuce with the sweet and savory filling was absolutely indulgent. Who knew a delicate little lettuce could be so naughty?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bananas for Ice Cream

I love ice cream. I also like fitting into my clothes. Since large amounts of heavy cream and sugar have an adverse effect on my waistline, I began a search for a healthier alternative that would satiate my ice cream desires. I tried several different faux ice creams but they all were icy and lacked that creamy texture I was craving. Then I stumbled across a vegan ice cream recipe that involved 2 ingredients - frozen bananas and almond milk. I was intrigued but skeptical. No ice cream machine needed. No sugar needed. How on earth this was going to be good? To my surprise, it was simply delicious. It was as easy as slicing bananas, freezing them on a cookie sheet, and then pulsing them in the food processor with a splash of almond milk. Granted, you have to like the taste of banana, but with a little creativity the flavor can be adjusted to suit your taste buds. My favorite addition was a swirl of whipped peanut butter. The possibilities are endless... go bananas!