Good morning! Why is it that a holiday week such as this one goes by way faster than an ordinary week? I don’t think I accomplished half of the fun (or productive) things I wanted to do, but I guess that’s just the way it goes. I did manage to at least open the new reference software that I’m going to be using for my independent study research project I’m doing next semester for my master’s degree. This project is going to run through July and I’m really excited (and nervous) about it. I will tell you more as it unfolds. Back to the software…ugh! I consider myself fairly analytical and organized, but managing citations and learning a new software program devoted to that just crushes every ounce of creative spirit in my body. I am the same way with anything related to finance. In other words, I can do it, but it hurts. Thanks for letting me vent.
I went to the farmers’ market on Wednesday and got some awesome sunflower sprouts that I incorporated into my usual lunch salad. I also made a new black bean salsa dressing that was pretty yum:
Black Bean Salsa Dressing
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well and roughly chopped
1 bunch green onions, white parts only
1 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic
1/3 cup no-salt salsa (I use Trader Joe’s brand)
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
Combine ingredients in a high-speed blender and process until smooth.
This is a simple dressing at its finest. I just love that the beans are incorporated into the dressing and yet the addition of nuts keeps it creamy and satisfying. I served my regular salad greens with the dressing, plus some avocado, radishes, the sunflower sprouts, more chopped green onion, broccoli and celery.
Because I love you so much, I am including another recipe today. I had a giant cauliflower also from the farmers’ market, but this one I got almost 10 days ago and I was feeling really guilty yesterday for not using it. Usually when I cook cauliflower, I blanch it according to this recipe from The Chef & The Dietitian where I first developed my love for cooked cauliflower (love that it tastes like potato!).
Anywho, since I’ve been on my pressure cooker kick lately, I decided to try cooking it that way instead of going to the trouble of boiling water, blanching, draining, etc. Guess what? It worked awesome!
I chopped up my ginormous cauliflower and put the florets into the pressure cooker with a cup of water:
Three minutes on high pressure (using the quick release) and it was cooked to perfection. At that point, I added a bunch of fresh kale and chopped mushrooms and cooked it on the stovetop for an additional five minutes:
What made this meal amazing was the cheesy sauce I put on top and that fact that the cauliflower totally fell apart into a risotto-like texture as I stirred it:
Such a fantastic dinner with a lot of flavor and richness:
I had two bowls of this plus I have enough for dinner tonight.
Here is that recipe:
Cauliflower “Cheesy” Risotto
Makes 6 servings
1 large cauliflower, broken into florets
1 bunch kale, stems removed
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup water
chopped red onion (optional, for topping)
3/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened soy milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon no-salt seasoning
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon dried mustard
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
In at least a 5.5 quart-sized pressure cooker, combine the cauliflower florets and 1 cup of water. Lock the lid in place and heat to high pressure for 3 minutes. Use the quick-release and carefully remove the lid. Add the kale leaves and mushrooms and cook over medium heat for an additional 5 minutes or until the kale is wilted.
Combine the cashews, vinegar, soy milk, nutritional yeast and seasonings in a high-speed blender and process on high until smooth. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and use a large spoon to stir together, breaking apart the cauliflower into a risotto-like texture. Serve hot with chopped onion, if desired.
Before I forget, today is Healthy Vegan Friday and I just love co-hosting this link-up party. The top 3 most popular recipes from last week were these:
1. easy vegan christmas fudge from tessa @ tessa the domestic diva
2. fudgy guilt-free brownies from lauren @ oatmeal with a fork
3. mediterranean crustless chickpea flour quiche from janet @ the taste space:
Add your recipe to the link below this post.
I said on Wednesday that I would be presenting my 2012 wrap-up post today, but I didn’t realize that I have a few more days for that. So, I’ll wait and do it on Monday. Even just thinking about everything that has happened in this last year kind of boggles my mind. After all, this was the year that my dad died and I got cancer. Those would be the sucky things. On the other hand, this was also the year that I released my recipe app (you can buy it here), grew my activism and got to meet Dr. Fuhrman (twice!). Those were just the highlights. I also made a lot of new friends and enjoyed seeing my blog increase its readership 4-fold in the past 12 months. Okay, I need a nap now, ha ha. Enjoy the rest of the holiday week and weekend and I’ll see you back here on Monday.