De Ma Cuisine

Mint Archive

Friday

26

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Written by , Posted in Baking, Beans, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

OnionRings-3

I’m not a sweets person. I don’t often crave chocolate, I can go without candy, and if given the option, I’d take potato chips over a donut. I do really love ice cream, but I think that’s because Tim is so good at making it. But, even then, I might take onion rings over ice cream. Because I really really love crunchy deep fried foods. French fries, tempura, onion rings… They’re so tasty.

We don’t need to talk about the dangers of fried foods. I’m well aware. You’re well aware. We’ve got that covered. It’s a treat, not an everyday thing.

OnionRings-1

When it comes to guilty pleasures, these onion rings seem like they’d fit in. But, they’re actually pretty innocent. They’re dipped in eggs (you could use coconut or almond milk if you want to keep them vegan), then coated in flour. I double dipped some (you know, egg, flour, egg, flour). I’m not sure which turned out better. They all tasted great.

All.

I ate them all.

OnionRings-2

The first secret to this delicious treat is baking them at a high temperature for a short amount of time. We’re talking 425F for 18-20 minutes total. The second secret is the dip. It’s made up of things like yogurt or silken tofu or mayo or avocado (or ALL!) blended up with some blanched greens, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. I fully submerged each onion ring in the dip before devouring.

If you wanted to make a huge platter and call this dinner, you might also do some green beans, par-cooked potatoes or root veggies (and in a few months summer squash), and add the beans to the dip. Serve it with a big salad and some other fun finger foods (like nachos with refried bean dip) and you’ve got a winner. In fact you’ll most likely find us eating this for dinner sometime this weekend.

Happy Eating!

 

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 C greens (any: kale, chard, arugula, mizuna, spinach, etc...) (or, use leftover sautéed greens)
  • 1 C yogurt/silken tofu/crème fraîche
  • 1/2 C mayo/yogurt/silken tofu/avocado
  • 1 T dijon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t lemon zest, chopped
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch cayenne (optional) (for extra spicy: 1/2 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced)
  • herb options: sorrel+basil+thyme, savory+basil+rosemary+sage+thyme, parsley+basil+thyme+rosemary+oregano, marjoram+basil+thyme+rosemary, mint+dill+basil, dill+parsley+basil; chopped
  • (optional) 1/2 to 1 C beans (garbanzo beans or white beans)/lentils, cooked
  • 1-2 onions/1 lb. green beans/par-cooked root veggies (steam them, any: beet, carrot, radish, sweet potato/1 lg summer squash, sliced if warranted
  • 2 (or more) eggs, whisked (or coconut, almond, or cow's milk)
  • 2 C flour (AP or GF)
  • to taste salt*
  • to taste pepper
  • *may add extra seasonings (like chili powder) if desired, use seasonings that will compliment the veggies and herbs you've chosen

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Blanch greens in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to an ice bath to cool. (Or, use leftover sautéed greens.)
  3. Whisk yogurt through cayenne. Add herbs and blanched or leftover greens. Blend. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Mix flour with salt and pepper. Taste (for real). Separate onion into rings. Dip veggies in egg/milk then flour. Repeat if desired. Tap off excess flour. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Do not let the veggies touch. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip, bake about 8-10 minutes more (or until crispy and browned).
  5. Serve with dip.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/baked-onion-rings-with-herb-dip/

Friday

19

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Savory Crêpes

Written by , Posted in Beans, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Herbs, Leftovers, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SavoryCrepes-3

Right now my thoughts are flipping between crêpes and the onion rings I ate right before I made the crêpes. Of both, I couldn’t wait to eat more. But, let’s talk about the crêpes today (those onion rings can wait until next week). When I was a kid, mom made crêpes every once in a while. If she made them for supper, we usually had to eat a savory crêpe or two before we were allowed to eat one covered with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or honey. I may have turned my nose up at it then, but now I see the merit in the savory crêpe.

Crêpes are what I’d imagine would result if a tortilla and a pancake had a baby. A delicious baby… This is getting weird… They’re light, soft, and a bit crispy around the edges. They’re great with butter and maple syrup, of course, but also the perfect vessel for some savory goodies.

SavoryCrepes-1

I like the idea of a multifaceted filling. It starts with a purée. I had some pumpkin in the freezer that I reheated and seasoned with salt and cayenne. Simple. You could also try cauliflower, sweet potato, or beets.

I topped the purée with some sautéed broccoli rabe, peas, and radishes. You might substitute with roasted or raw garlic, broccoli, any greens that you have on hand, apples, cabbage, summer or winter squash, carrots, or even white beans. If you have some fresh herbs on hand, things like basil, thyme, rosemary, or mint would be great. Just use whatever herbs would go well with the veggies that you’re using.

If you wanted to add a little more protein, throw in some leftover shredded chicken or chopped up crispy tofu.

And then, to top it all, I like a spoonful of plain or Greek yogurt, some walnuts, parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon. You might substitute with silken tofu or coconut milk, browned butter or cream, ricotta or cream cheese.

SavoryCrepes-2

If you’ve got any left, they will make the perfect dessert (Nutella crêpes anyone?!), or can be reheated the next day for a quick and easy breakfast. You could do simple, just maple syrup, or maybe top them with some ricotta, cottage cheese, or silken tofu, and some chopped apples sprinkled with cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon. Two meals, one dish.

Happy Eating!

Savory Crêpes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 2 crêpes

Savory Crêpes

Ingredients

  • 1 C purée (any: winter squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, beet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C any mix ins: broccoli rabe, peas, roasted or raw garlic, kale, radishes, apples, cabbage, white beans, summer squash, carrots; chopped if warranted
  • 1 C any proteins (optional): cooked chicken, crispy tofu
  • 1 t to 1 T any: thyme, rosemary, basil, mint; chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 8 crêpes
  • 1 C any toppings: ricotta, cream cheese, yogurt, silken tofu, parmesan cheese, browned butter, cream, coconut milk, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest; chopped if warranted
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. (Prepare crêpe batter if it needs to sit for an hour in the fridge.)
  2. Make your purée (roast or steam veggies, blend, season with salt and, if desired, cayenne).
  3. Heat skillet, add olive oil. Sauté mix ins until tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the veggies) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add things like greens and garlic near the end. Re-heat protein, if using. Add to mix ins. Add herbs. Taste for seasoning.
  4. While mix ins are cooking, prepare your crêpes (keep them warm in a 200F oven on a baking sheet).
  5. To assemble, spoon some purée down the center of the crêpes. Top with mix ins. Roll up (the easiest way to do this is to hook a fork inside the edge of the crêpe and roll it in on itself). Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/savory-crepes/

Monday

12

October 2015

0

COMMENTS

How to Make Herbal Teas

Written by , Posted in Herbs, How To

HerbsForTea-3

We see a lot of herbs come through our kitchen. Most from the weekly Abundant Harvest Organics box, a few from my garden. Many of them are the perfect compliment to soups, pastas, or pizza. Some stand on their own as the star in dishes like pesto. Last summer I tackled cold drinks using some of our favorite herbs. Now that we’re in the full swing of fall, let’s sip some tea together.

HerbsForTea-1

I will admit that I’m not a big tea drinker, although I like it a lot more than I used to. In the past, I only drank tea when I was sick, giving it a negative connotation. I have now found some teas that I really enjoy, no matter how sick or healthy I’m feeling.

HerbsForTea-2

One of my favorite uses for tea is as a stress reliever. Just the act of sipping a hot beverage is soothing. But, even more than that, many herbs are known to be relieve stress. Some that are more commonly known are lavender and chamomile. But, basil and lemon balm can be added to that category too.

Here are a few things that some of my favorite herbs are known for:

Lavender

A part of the mint family, lavender is said to aid with sleep and relaxation and to be anti-inflammatory.

Basil

I love it for its taste and smell. It’s a big part of some of my favorite dishes. But, basil is also known to be a digestive aid, to help with headaches, and poor circulation. It’s also said to be an antioxidant, anti-viral, antimicrobial, and a stress reliever.

Chamomile

My go-to tea when I’m not feeling well, chamomile is known to aid digestion, relieve hay fever, anxiety, inflammation, muscle spasms, insomnia, ulcers, menstrual cramps, and gastrointestinal disorder.

Lemon Balm

Another member of the mint family, lemon balm is said to soothe jittery nerves, improve mood and mental performance, relieve stress, and contain antioxidants. (It’s also used by some as a mosquito repellant.)

Rosemary

I haven’t tried rosemary in a tea, but it’s supposed to help relieve gas and colic (although too many cups/day could irritate the stomach).

Thyme

Another favorite of mine when cooking, thyme is said to help alleviate lung congestion. It’s also said to be helpful for gastrointestinal problems.

Mint

One of my favorite herbs to grow, because of how easy it is and how much I use it, mint is known to stimulate digestion, help alleviate hay fever, nausea, stomach ache, and irritable bowel syndrome, and it is also said to be an antioxidant.

HerbsForTea-4

Tea Parings 

I’ve come up with a few ideas for herbs that I think might taste good together in a tea.* I’ve added a few extras, like honey and citrus, where I think they’d be especially nice.

To Soothe

basil + mint + lavender + chamomile + honey

basil + mint + lavender + chamomile + lemon balm

lavender + basil + lemongrass

lavender + orange zest + cinnamon

For the Tummy

lavender + thyme + mint

basil + chamomile + mint

mint + ginger + lemon zest

basil + ginger + thyme + lemon

mint + ginger + lemon zest

Under the Weather 

lemongrass + ginger + cayenne + honey

rosemary + lemon balm + thyme + honey + cayenne

thyme + cayenne + honey + lemon zest + lemon juice

chamomile + thyme + mint + honey + lemon juice

thyme + basil + lemon balm

Just Because

rosemary + lemon balm + mint

mint + lemon zest + honey

Tea can be made tea with fresh and dried leaves. It can be hot, cold, or somewhere in-between. Tea can be comforting, invigorating, and healing… Now I think I’ll go make myself a cup.

Happy Sipping

*If you are pregnant (or trying to conceive), nursing, have health conditions, or take medication that may be interfered with, please consult your health care professional before using. Possible health benefits of herbs are my opinions and ideas, based on the research that I’ve done, but are in no way intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.
Sources:
The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, N.D., and Joseph Pizzorno, N.D., with Lara Pizzorno, M.A., L.M.T., Atria Books 2005
Reader’s Digest Foods That Harm Foods That Heal, The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. 1997
Wikipedia

Thursday

24

September 2015

0

COMMENTS

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Written by , Posted in Beans, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Lentils, Lunch, Main Dishes, Pasta, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

CarrotPasta-5

If I told you that this was another dish where versatility is key, would you be surprised? It’s the way that I cook, so as often as possible, I will offer alternatives. Just in case it’s a different season when you read this post, in case you have something else in your fridge, in case you don’t care for something that I’ve used.

CarrotPasta-1

I wanted to do a pasta dish of sorts, using veggies as the pasta. Here’s where you can pull out that spiralizer, if you’ve already jumped on the veggie pasta bandwagon. I have far too many tools in my kitchen, so I opted to use a knife to cut carrots and summer squash into long, thin, pasta-like sticks (kinda like a long julienne). Other veggies that would be great: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, and fennel. Just mix and match based on what will go with the fresh herbs that you have on hand (for help with parings The Vegetarian Flavor Bible is a great kitchen tool).

CarrotPasta-2

I cooked the “pasta” in boiling salted water. I cooked for just three minutes – quick and easy.

CarrotPasta-3

To top the “pasta” I made a simple sauce of sorts. I used butter today, but for a vegan option, or just because it’s yummy, olive oil would be fabulous. I chopped up some small radishes, a shallot, and some garlic. Other veggies that would be great: peas, greens, cabbage, and green beans – again, mix and match based on the other veggies and herbs that you have on hand. Today’s herbs were tarragon and parsley. Other herbs to consider (these all go with carrots, if you want to keep them as the main veg): basil, Thai basil, chives, cilantro, dill, mint, and thyme.

CarrotPasta-4

You could leave things as they are. That’d make for a great dish. But, I wanted to bump up the protein, so I added some lentils. I’m kinda obsessed with green lentils right now. They hold their shape well and taste great. I want to eat them all the time. Garbanzo beans or black beans would be fun too, if you’re not as in to lentils as I am.

CarrotPasta-6

The lentils and tarragon, along with the dijon mustard that I added to the sauce, resulted in a dish that felt kinda French inspired. Topped with fresh tomatoes, this was a fabulous lunch. By the time I got to it, it was more room temperature than hot, but it was delicious. So, serve it either way. You could also top with more fresh herbs or nuts, even cheese, if you’re feeling cheesy. It would be great with some garlic bread or cornbread alongside, and a hearty spinach salad… But, just on its own is wonderful too.

Happy Eating!

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2

Carrot Pasta with Tarragon

Ingredients

  • 2 T butter or olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 C radish, diced
  • 1 shallot or small onion, diced
  • to taste salt
  • (could also add: peas, greens, cabbage, green beans)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 C lentils (or garbanzo or black beans), cooked
  • 1 to 1 1/2 t dijon mustard
  • 1 C carrot, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
  • 1/2 C summer squash, thinly sliced into strips and then into long noodle-like sticks
  • (could also use or substitute: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, or fennel)
  • 1-2 T fresh tarragon, chopped (with other veggies could substitute basil, dill, mint, or thyme)
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped, for topping
  • splash white vinegar, for topping

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. While it comes to a boil, heat a skillet over medium-low. Add 1 1/2 T butter or oil. When it's hot, add radish through salt. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, lentils (or beans), and dijon, and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in remaining 1/2 T butter/oil, tarragon, and parsley. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. While sauce cooks, drop carrots and squash (and any other veggie "noodles") into the boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes. Drain.
  4. Top "pasta" with lentil sauce, some tomatoes, and a splash of vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/carrot-pasta-with-tarragon/

Thursday

20

August 2015

0

COMMENTS

Tofu and Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-5

Lettuce is one of those oft neglected veggies. I fall into the trap of thinking that lettuce is meant for sandwiches and salads alone. Never mind the fact that I’ve made it into Caesar Soup, which is at the other end of the spectrum for sure. You know, I think that soup would taste great with a sandwich. Double whammy on the lettuce.

But, if we can get away from tradition, here’s another way to use lettuce. As a wrap. Ok, I know, it’s been done before. In fact, one of our favorite Asian restaurants has the most amazing lettuce wraps. I hadn’t ever tried a lettuce wrap until we tasted them. They were a bit of the inspiration for this recipe. However, the main inspiration was that I need to be more creative with lettuce.

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-1

We normally have red leaf lettuce on hand. It’s a bit more delicate, so I thought that it might be best to double up on the layers. In the end, doubling up was fine, but they were messy no matter what (and I think they’d be messy no matter the variety of lettuce used). So, fair warning: be ready to eat with your hands, and have a big napkin ready to catch falling food and wipe sticky fingers. 😉

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-2

Here’s where things get so simple. This is a quick and easy meal. Perfect for a working lunch break on a busy day, as an appetizer before dinner, as a mid-day snack… Whenever you eat them, they’re a cinch.

I used eggplant, tofu, hot pepper, and onion. But, you could also add: mushrooms, bell pepper, summer squash, and julienned carrots. They’d be fabulous! I wanted to include some fresh herbs, so I used Thai basil and mint. The mint can be added to suit your tastes and what you have on hand. I have some in my garden, which is just outside the door, so I didn’t want to miss out on the freshness that mint adds to a dish.

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-3

I cooked everything in some coconut oil, because coconut lends well to Asian flavors. The chiles added a hint of heat, the tofu got a bit crispy, and the veggies softened and browned just a bit.

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-4

Each wrap was topped with some diced cucumbers for a bit of cool crunch, then I added a splash of rice vinegar and a few flakes of sea salt. I find that a variety of textures is important in wraps, so the cucumber met that need. And the salt and vinegar both help to bring out the flavors of the other ingredients.

TofuEggplantLettuceWraps-6

I decided to go vegan today and didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. But, if you wanted to add meat, some beef, chicken, or pork would be great. However you decide to cook it up, it might pair nicely with a Sweet and Spicy Lemongrass Stir Fry… maybe for dinner tonight?!

Happy Eating!

Tofu and Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 minutes

Total Time: 24 minutes

Yield: 2

Serving Size: 2 lettuce wraps

Tofu and Eggplant Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 small to medium eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • salt
  • 2 T coconut oil (or olive or canola)
  • 1 C tofu, excess water squeezed out, chopped
  • 1 chile pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 C onion or shallot, chopped
  • could also add: mushrooms, bell pepper, summer squash, and julienned carrots
  • to taste salt
  • big pinch ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 1 T mint, chopped
  • 1 T Thai basil, chopped
  • 1-2 lettuce leaves per serving (1 if sturdy, 2 if more flimsy)
  • 1/2 C cucumber, diced, for serving
  • rice vinegar, for serving
  • pinch salt, for serving

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 15 to 30 minutes to draw out some of the moisture. Rinse and pat dry. Chop as directed.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium or medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add eggplant, tofu, chile, onion/shallot, and salt. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often. Add ginger, garlic, and soy sauce/liquid aminos and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and toss with herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  3. Take 1-2 lettuce leaves (layering 2 if desired) and lay them flat. Spoon tofu mixture in the center. Top with cucumber, a splash of vinegar, and a pinch of salt. Roll up and serve immediately.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/tofu-and-eggplant-lettuce-wraps/