Wednesday, November 23, 2011

How to Sprout Your Own Beans

Please go to this website and view the slideshow on how to sprout your own beans. It's surprisingly easy and your body will appreciate your efforts, as this method makes them more easily digestible. Although I do want to give a disclaimer because sprouting beans have become all the rage nowadays, but keep in mind that every person is different. This is probably the best way to have beans, however not everyone is well suited for beans. For example, my yoga instructor is an unfavorable candidate. According to Chinese medicine, she's recommended to stay away from beans due to some internal state. I can't remember what the details anymore. My point is that if you try them and find that your body doesn't agree to it, don't eat it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Roasted Cauliflowers

I enjoy cauliflowers but for some reason it's not something I eat regularly. When I came across one, I wanted to roast it because roasting vegetables is probably my favorite way to enjoy many of them. Plus I've never tried them roasted before. It's delightfully delicious. It tastes like cauliflower but better. And this recipe was beautifully lemony. It's a great addition to many dishes but I ate them by itself. Since it's insanely easy to make, it's a recipe I think everyone should know. It's the ideal go to side dish.

1 head cauliflower
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh lemon juice to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place it in a single layer in an oven proof baking dish. I mince garlic effortlessly by grating peeled garlic right over the dish. It works wonders! Drizzle extra-virgin olive and lemon juice over cauliflower. Salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. It tastes better when it's slightly darkened. Test with a fork for desired doneness. It should pierce the skin easily.

The original recipe called for parmesan cheese which I didn't have and I'm personally glad I didn't because I feel like that would've distracted from the beautifully harmonious lemon flavor infuse in the cauliflower. Actually the key to make this amazing is to add lemon juice again right before serving. And of course it should be served warm. I ate it up so quickly that I have no idea how it would taste the next day, but I really recommend squeezing a little more lemon juice at the end. The amount of lemon juice used while roasting wasn't satisfying enough for me. But this is obviously a very versatile recipe, so make it your own!

Americanized Tabbouleh (off the Food Network)

My friend had weekly potlucks and many of them had very specific diets (no dairy, no meat, no fish, vegans, vegetarians, etc). I suppose that financially-detrimental work experience at that vegan company became more than my realization of how gullible I can be around con artists (not exactly uncommon but still....) and became training for foodies with diets I was never able to relate to before. I became really good at making crowd pleaser meals beginning with Americanized tabbouleh. I feel inclined to make that clear because my friend fbed me that my tabbouleh was so unauthentic that it's an entirely new dish. True but then again we're American. So maybe it's American authentic? I uonno...I also don't care.

I got this off of the Food Network from Barefoot Contessa. I know I deviated from the proportions slightly but I'm not exactly sure by how much. The original recipe is all that I can reference and a good template to follow. You can always experiment, deviate, or harness your culinary intuition if you feel fit.

1 cup bulghur wheat (I wanna say I added a little more than specified cuz it seemed like way too much whatever leftover)
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used more lemon juice right before serving)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used wayyyyyyyyy less)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup fresh mint, chopped
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
Persian cucumbers, enough until it appeared colorful and appropriate proportioned aka I don't remember LOL
Same thing for cherry tomatoes, but I cut them in half

Boil water in a pot. Pour in the bulghur wheat. Stir, then leave it to "cook" at room temperature for about 1 hour. Add the mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well. I added a little extra virgin olive oil until the texture seemed appropriate.

Since I was already running ridiculously behind, I transferred this into those clear plastic bags that you use to fill produce at the supermarkets and dashed off. I didn't add lemon until I arrived to the potluck many many hours later and everyone absolutely loved it!

The original recipe also called for scallions but I hate them, so I didn't include them. The order was slightly off, too. You're supposed to add the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil into the boiling water but that seems weird to me. Water and oil don't mix. Eventually the bulghur wheat will absorb the water but I really had no idea how it would respond to the water and oil, so I chose to leave that task to the end. I also used far less extra virgin olive oil than the recipe called for which I enjoyed, as well as everyone else! Someone even asked me if I had training or cooked professionally. :D

Bulghur and Red Lentil Soup (Vegetarian)

I've been looking at my red lentils which takes far less time to cook and bulghur wheat which only requires water for quite some time now. I decided it's no longer acceptable to look at such easy ingredients to work with and feel overwhelmed and uninterested at the notion of using them as my hunger churns my stomach. So I finally went online and found a recipe that I modified to a heartier version because once I began cooking, I just wanted to add more and more. I got the original recipe from You should check the site out. There's some great recipes and the blogger's quirky which I appreciate it.

Since I was still in my lazy mood and wanted the cooking to be done as quickly as possible, I used a lot of canned goods for this recipe. I still found it to be yummy. You can, of course, use fresh ingredients and alter the cooking time. But this is a great choice for those cold winter nights when you'd rather not do anything, yet crave the benefits of something warm and satisfying.

1 cup of rinsed lentils
1/2 cup bulghur wheat
I used however much water I felt was right and my soup came out thicker than thinner but experiment!
1 can of stewed tomatoes, undrained
Salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and whatever other spices I felt like adding (can't remember exactly)
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
A few garlic cloves, minced
Rosemary sprig
Grated some ginger in
Can of carrots, drained
Can of peas, drained

I believe I heated extra-virgin olive oil in a pot and coated the red lentils with it. Then I added water into it. I wanna say enough to slightly cover the lentils but not insanely. I'm sorry I barely remember the recipe. I hope anyone reading this is already familiar with how to cook red lentils. It takes far less time to cook which is why I chose to buy the red ones, anywhere from 20-25 minutes. You want it to boil and then keep it at a simmer.

Once they seemed "ready" or neared ready, I added the tomatoes, seasoning, and the bulghur wheat. When the bulghur wheat puffed and looked different, I threw in the carrots and peas which was near the end. Basically enough to heat it threw. It was during that time that I added garlic and ginger. I just grate it which is beautifully effortless! I also threw in the rosemary sprig. I let it simmer for a bit. Then I adjusted the seasoning to taste. The lemon finished it off beautifully. I did that at the end and added an extra squeeze to every bowl I enjoyed. At the end I removed the intact rosemary sprig for easy clean up. I get to enjoy the flavor of rosemary without the woodsy texture I dislike. Yay!

And this entry is reminding me exactly why I need to post my recipes much much sooner than I actually do! Oh and one more thing - I added more water as it seemed fit. The original recipe called for vegetable stock. I was both lazy, cheap, and out of vegetable stock. I never have any on hand and find that when you season your water insanely and strategically, the flavor will be adequate. :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Shame On Me and My Posting Negligence!

It's unacceptable that I haven't found the time to post any new recipes for over two years!!!! I'm taking the time to apologize and to assure you that while I can't do it today, I'm going to return very soon to post many recipes I've made! Luckily my cooking habits haven't been as neglectful. I've been on a total salad frenzy since I've moved into a bachelor which is essentially a studio without a kitchen. I purchased a toaster oven and a portable stove top. The limitation and my budget has encouraged me to become more creative and experimental. I find it satisfying and eye-opening. With the summer coming up and all sorts of great produce, I've gravitated towards elaborate salads which I'll be more than happy to post.