Wednesday, June 27, 2012


For my last time cooking at the artist's residency where I spent the last month cohabiting, co-creating and co-cooking (?) with 13 other people, I decided to make a healthy, vegan (shocker! I know!) fun, "fast food-inspired" meal. What came to mind? Burgers. Fries. Cookies. Done. 

The meal started off with a vegan caesar salad inspired by The Kind Diet, that I topped with gluten-free rosemary-polenta croutons 
For the dressing (serves 6-8 people):
2 Tbs almonds
3 Cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs Tamari soy sauce
1 Tbs tahini
3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs extra-vergin olive oil

2 or 3 large heads of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces 

For the croutons:
1 Cup polenta
2 Cups water
Rosemary, dried
Garlic powder
Sea salt

Bring the water to a boil, then slowly add the polenta whisking briskly to avoid any clumps from forming. Lower flame and allow to simmer, stirring continuously for about 5 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in salt and herbs and then pour into a square, heat-proof dish. Allow to cool completely while you make other components of the salad.
To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into a food processor; process until smooth and well blended. Add water if need. 

Sweet Potato Fries:
5 big sweet potatoes
Coconut oil
Cajun spice seasoning + a bit of salt to taste

Simply wash and slice the potatoes into french fry shape. Lay them down on a baking sheet (will need multiple if making a big batch) making sure they don't touch; this will allow them to crisp up. Coat them evenly in coconut oil (if the oil has turned to a solid, simply scoop some out and rub it between your hands) and then dowse them in cajun seasoning. Bake for approximately 40 minutes at 400 degrees, or unit they have reached desired crispiness!

Black Bean Burgers (via  GOOP curtesy of Candle 79) (Makes 6-8 burgers)
2 cans black beans
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
cumin to taste 
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds 
1 Tbs smoked paprika
sliced red onion, tomato and lettuce for serving
whole grain burger buns, toasted

Bring the water to a boil and add brown rice, lower to a simmer and cover until rice is tender and all the water is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Add the chopped onion and cover for 10 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the pumpkin seeds, paprika and 1tsp of salt and season with pepper. Cook the seeds, stirring and shaking the pan until they are lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Combine the drained beans, rice and pumpkin seeds in a large bowl, add the remaining spice and stir. Place half the mixture into the food processor until smooth. Return the processed mix to the big bowl and stir into the unprocessed mix. Form patties about 3 1/2 inch in diameter and 1 inch thick. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees until browned, about 20 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Alternatively, you can pan fry them in olive oil, about 4 minute per side. Slather in condiments as you desire and enjoy!

And finally...if you aren't already bursting at the seams...

Gluten-free and Sugar-free Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie (via Chocolate Covered Katie)
2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed well) (500g total, once drained)
1 cup quick oats (or certified-gf quick oats)
2 cups pitted dates 
4 stevia packs, or 1/8 tsp uncut 
3/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
3 tbsp oil (canola, veg, or coconut)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips 

Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a 10-in springform pan (or two 8-in round pans). Combine all dry ingredients (except chips) in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients. Place dry and then wet ingredients into a food processor and blend until super-smooth (where there are no date pieces to be seen). Stir in the chocolate chips, and pour into the pan or pans. Bake 35-40 minutes, then let cool at least 15 minutes before trying to remove it. Slice and devour! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chillin' & Grillin'

It was my turn to cook dinner for the group again and this time around I decided to utilize our grill. I originally planned to just throw some unadulterated vegetables straight on the grill, but woke up in the morning feeling inspired to try something a bit more challenging. Enter: marinated bbq tofu and veggie kabobs. I actually don't care for tofu, I find that it tastes like squishy nothing unless prepared really well, so I decided to make a marinade for it to sit in while we went off to a beautiful watering hole for the day. The house refrigerator had a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, which not only has a cult following but includes quite a few culprits on it's ingredient list (I'm talking high fructose corn syrup, artificial caramel coloring and nasty preservatives...not on MY food!) 

I was a bit rushed and spastic when mixing up this alternative concoction, so I completely failed at recording what went in it, let alone any particular measurements, but I'm pretty sure it went something like this:
1 Small can of tomato paste
1 Small can of unsweetened diced pineapple
3 Tbsp molasses 
1 bottle Tamari soy sauce 
1 Head of crushed fresh garlic
1 Nub freshly grated ginger
Mustard seed, chili powder, black pepper, to taste 

I drained and chopped up lots of tofu (oh this meal was meant to feed 13 people, by the way) and placed it in two large zip-lock bags, divided all the bbq sauce between the two bags and popped it in the fridge while I went swimming for the day. This made dinner prep sooo much more simple (which I was very grateful for in my sun-stricked state) All I had to do was chop the veggies and stick them on a skewers with the tofu, alternating colors in a preconceived pattern, obviously and drop them on the grill. Actually, I had a fabulous sous chef do all the grilling for me while I prepared the guacamole (see recipe bellow). I should mention that the remaining bbq sauce was dumped onto of the kebabs pre-grilling. 

Veggie Kebabs:
Marinated tofu (see bbq marinade recipe above)
White onion, chopped 
Red bell pepper
Green bell pepper

also on the grill...lots of corn! Because who doesn't like grilled corn?

The guacamole was kept simple and included:
Garlic, chopped, lots!
White onion, chopped (a good way to use up all the pieces that were too small for the kebabs!) 
Tomatos, diced
Lime juice
Sea salt
**Keep the pits of the avocados in the guacamole until ready to serve to prevent browning

Note: this meal is best enjoyed outside with friends!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Mildred's Lane

MILDRED’S LANE is a rustic, 96-acre site deep in the woods of rural northeastern Pennsylvania, in the upper Delaware River Valley, which borders New York state. It is an ongoing collaboration between J. Morgan Puett, Mark Dion, their son Grey Rabbit Puett, and their friends and colleagues. It is a home and an experiment in living. Mildred’s Lane attempts to  coevolve a rigorous pedagogical strategy, where a working-living-researching environment has been developed to foster engagement with every aspect of life.
This past weekend SMT was invited to the first Social Saturday of the season. We were taken on a tour of the beautiful house and historic property,  feasted on a pig roast and listened to a lecture by Bay-Area artists Allison Smith. I'll let the photos of the dreamy experience speak for themselves...




Sunday, June 17, 2012

Peach and blueberry crumble

Today we had brunch out on the patio. It was my turn to cook brunch so I decided to make my favorite breakfast/ dessert, peach crumble. I also made some sweet potato pancakes with apple sauce. The were both so good and tasted especially amazing eaten outside :)
For the filling:
12 cups fruit, enough to almost fill pan (6cups canned peaches, 6 cups frozen blueberries)
1/2 cup reserved pear juice from the canned peaches
1-3 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
1-3 tablespoons cornstarch, depending on juiciness of fruit
1 teaspoon spice, like cinnamon, ginger, or nutmeg (optional)
For the crumble topping:
2 cup flour (oat, quinoa, brown rice or all purpose)
5 cups rolled oats
1 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons coconut oil
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts, almonds etc.)
Heat oven to 375°F.
If necessary, dice the fruit into bite-sized pieces. Toss the fruit with, lemon juice, cornstarch, and any spices. Use more sugar and less lemon juice when cooking with tart fruits like rhubarb and blackberries, and less sugar but more lemon juice for sweet fruits like peaches and plums. Best is to taste a piece of fruit and adjust to taste. Use more cornstarch with very juicy fruits like plums and less with firm fruits like apples. But don't worry; no matter your ratio of these ingredients, your crumble will be delicious.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the flour, oats, nuts, maple syrup, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt for the crumble topping. Break the coconut oil (or butter) into a few large pieces and toss these in the dry ingredients. Using your fingers or a fork to mix the dry ingredients until all the ingredients are coated with oil and large heavy crumbs are formed. Then, pour the crumble topping evenly over the fruit.
Bake the crumblefor 30-35 minutes until the fruit juices are bubbling around the edges of the pan and the topping is firm to the touch.
Let the crumble cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. If transporting to a picnic or party, let the crumble cool completely to give the fruit filling time to set. Crumbles will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week. Serve cold, room temperature, or re-warmed in a low oven for 20 minutes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Zucchini wraps with cream sauce

Tonight I was the sous chef for Todd and we made this entirely raw meal. The cream sauce was very sweet with a tinge of spice. Lots of chopping but it was totally work it!

Spinach cream dressing:
3 Cups of almonds, ground to a powder in food processor
3 Cups coconut cream
1.5 Cups coconut water (liquid remaining in can)
6 Cups spinach
1.5 Cups Lemon juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of chipotle pepper (optional, but delicious :)

Lettuce wrap filling:
5 Carrots, grated
4 Cucumbers, cubed
5 Zucchini, cubed
5 Avocado, cubed
8 Tomatoes, cubed

Romane lettuce (for wrapping)

Simply place all the almonds (a few cups at a time) into the food processor until blended into a fine powder. Add the remainder of the dressing ingredients and process until smooth.

Chop filling ingredients into to small pieces. Place a few pinches of each filling ingredients and place on a a lettuce leaf with a dollop of dressing. Roll and munch!

our little D.I.Y station with the extras

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A sweet birthday and a sweet pie

Today is my birthday! Woo 22! I've never been a huge fan of birthdays I took it pretty easy for most of the day, which was a nice contrast to most birthdays, which tend to be filled with high expectations and too many activities for one's good. I started off the day with some restorative yoga and watercolored a card to send send to my dad for father's day. Then I just texted or spoke on the phone to all the people who are really important to me, which reminded me of all the amazing people I have in my life. I think because I didn't try to make a big deal out of the day, it ended up being one of the best birthdays I've had in a while.
Flowers my amazing mama sent me. Note the "Ms. Farth" on the card ha

I made a semi-raw pumpkin pie for my birthday cake (I know, but I really wanted to cook on the day of my birthday). Two other people cooked a delicious dinner for everyone. Here's what our table scape looked like:

Raisin-Walnut Crust:
3 Cups almond flour (almonds pulverized in a food processor)
2 cups walnuts (add these at the end so some remain whole)
2 cups raisins 
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1-4 Tbsp water (for blending, depending on how )

Pumpkin Chia Filling:
6 Cups canned pumpkin puree
2/3 Cup unsweetened almond milk
1 Cup pure maple syrup
6 Tbsp chia seeds
4 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
8 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice

Maple Whip:
3 Cans coconut milk (chilled in the fridge for at least one hour)
1/3 Maple syrup

1/2 Cup Vegan chocolate chips

Whisk all the filling ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Set in fridge to chill.

If making your own almond flour, place almonds in a food processor one cup at a time until ground to a powder. Add raisins and walnuts and pulse to combine. Add oil and drizzle maple syrup until a dough is formed. Add water if it seems too dry. 

Place dough into a pan and press down into edges to form a crust with your fingers. I greased the pan and my hands with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Place the crust in the freezer for a half hour.

Pour pudding into the crust. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and drizzle over the pie. Allow to chill for at least an hour before serving

To make the coconut maple whip cream, place the cans of coconut milk in the fridge and chill for an hour. Once chilled, remove the cans and scoop out only the solidified coconut milk, leave the liquid in the can and use for a smoothie or just drink it straight! 
Add maple syrup and whip with a hand mixture until it resembles whipped cream.

The pie wasn't the only sweet thing I enjoyed on my bday. After dinner, I was  blindfolded and lead up the stairs. Then I sat down in a chair and was lifted and spun around hava-nagila style before being placed down on the ground. All the musicians in the house played music and everyone else came around and whispered nice things in my ear. I felt so disoriented not only because I had no clue what was going on, but because I never expected anyone (let alone a group of people I've only known for a week and change) to surprise me with something so sweet and thoughtful. It was a truly magical day.