Jul 9, 2013

4th of July Vegan Style, with Sushi Bowls of course

fresh to the table
There's something very therapeutic about making food for loved ones.
Every step deserves close attention.
From the planning of the perfect dish,
to the care taken choosing each ingredient,
to the prepping of the produce - chop? scallop? julienne? grate?
to the cooking of each component
and to the presentation.

farmer's market treasures
I understand that this much attention to each stage of cooking is not everyone's cup of tea. Different people are drawn to different activities like gardening, crafting, hiking, knitting or running. But for me, when I cook for people I care for, it's not work, it's not a drag, it's a joy. For me it's about fully immersing myself in the moment.  Giving myself a break from the regrets and fears that fill my head. Taking the opportunity to create and put on a grand performance.

I remember a cloudy stretch between sunny days when I decided I didn't want to cook anymore.
Being in a kitchen had become too tied to memories best forgotten. Fortunately, I was blessed with friends that helped to bring me out of that place.

Clean up is the step that I would be happy to do without. Other than that, having people over for dinner is such a win win for everyone. I like eating out for new culinary adventures but there's no place home.


How about this for a non-traditional 4th of July diner?

I thought it would be fun for people have a sushi bowl.
The base of the bowl was 2 parts jasmine rice and 1 part forbidden rice. Black/purple rice, reserved for royalty in the past, has the same nutrition as brown rice plus extra antioxidants. I prefer the texture too, less of a husky chew. The forbidden rice, serving for 6, was seasoned with 4 sheets of finely shredded roasted nori and 1/4 cup of soy sauce - using a gluten free shoyu easily makes the bowl gluten free. 

The grand selection of fine topping included black bean nori, sauteed shitake mushrooom, crispy ginger, minced soy beef, hass avocado, cherry tomato and seasoned nori snacks.

Black Bean Nori
1 cup of organic black beans - canned or soaked and cooked
1 tsp fresh grated ginger or 1/4 tsp ginger powder
1 sheet of roasted nori, finely shredded with kitchen scissors
1 tbsp shoyu or tamari sauce
heat all in a pot on medium heat til bubbly, stirring occasionally

Sauteed Shitake
1 cup of fresh shitake, sliced in strips or soaked and drained from dried mushrooms
2 tsp refined coconut oil - neutral taste and aroma
1 tbsp shoyu/tamari sauce
1 tsp coconut sugar or agave
heat oil in a pan on medium
cook mushrooms til slightly browned
lower heat, add sauce and sugar, heat another 2 min

Ginger Crisps
4 oz fresh ginger, thinly sliced
1 tsp refined coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
heat oil in a pan on med/high
place ginger in a single layer in pan
heat til slightly browned, turn over once, brown

There was also a salad that turned into an interesting tell of people's personalities. Some had the salad as a starter while others mixed the salad with the rice in varying proportions. The salad had romaine lettuce, dinosaur kale and parsley. The dressing was a tangy pecan ranch.

Tangy Pecan Ranch Dressing
massaged kale salad
1/2 cup raw cashew
1/4 cup raw pecan
1 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice or juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt or 1/8 to1/4 if less desired 
1 tbsp yellow miso
1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 fresh clove
2 tsp coconut sugar or agave
Combine all in high speed blender til creamy

2 tbsp of nutritional yeast in place of miso
2 tsp unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in place of lemon juice
just pecan or just cashew
make it nut free with sunflower seeds

The dressing is fun on any salad. Use it in a wrap or in a sandwich. Flavor punch a pasta by leaving out the lemon and combining it with marinara sauce.

The raw dressing also helps fight inflammation and has a low glycemic index.
One serving boasts significant amounts of the minerals magnesium and manganese ( magnesium benefits, manganese for your health). 

For dessert we had organic fair trade chocolate chip brownie cupcakes with choc icing and a peanut butter cream. Curious about why fair trade, jump to older post.
If cupcakes are your thing check out this magic book of goodness.
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World
or order some up from this Wizard of sweet delights
Clara Cakes

And now a dance break!
Just in case you haven't visited yet, here's a new restaurant in LA Rawsheed Fusion Chef.

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