Pickled Ginger and California Roll Bowl

I’ve found that it’s hard to be very imaginative when using imitation crab meat, so I went looking for some recipes and found one for a California Roll Bowl. It called for pickled ginger, and I being a pickling virgin and having so much fresh stuff sitting on the counter,  decided to make my own.

Pickled Ginger

Pickled Ginger

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of fresh ginger root, peeled
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt,
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar

Instructions

  1. You can cut the ginger into chunks and wait until after they’re pickled  to slice them, but I prefer cutting them fairly thin before pickling them, so I used a mandoline (and ended up cutting my finger : ( ). Sprinkle with sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar(s).
  2. In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then carefully pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar(s), splitting up equally if using more than one jar.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least one week.

Source: Adapted from AllRecipes.com

 California Roll Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1/2 cup imitation crab meat, chopped
  • 2/3 cup cucumber, peeled, sliced, and cut into approximately matchstick-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado, diced
  • About 1 tsp pickled ginger, chopped
  • 3 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • a bit of wasabi paste (optional)
  • Garnishes: sesame seeds, nori and/or furikake seasoning

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, adding avocado last so it does not turn to mush when mixed. Sprinkle garnishes on top and serve.

Source: Adapted from SparkRecipes

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Spiced Carrot Muffins

It’s been a busy weekend, so I wanted to make something that was quick, easy, and that allowed me to skip a trip to the grocery store. Voila! Muffins.

Spiced Carrot Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole grain pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large carrot, shredded

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray muffin tin or paper liners. I HIGHLY recommend using paper liners, and spraying them with cooking spray, as it makes it SO much easier to peel them off the muffins later.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. Add the sugar, applesauce, vanilla, and carrot, stirring until everything is just combined.
  4. Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 full and bake for 18 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy with a little cinnamon, sugar, and butter or vegan alternative.

Source: Slightly adapted from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

I’m Nuts About Almonds!

I’ve been maintaining a (mostly) dairy-free diet for a number of months now. I’m eating some yogurt, and the occasional dairy ingredient in something I eat outside of my home, but that’s pretty much it. I do like milk, and need the calcium, so I’ve tried to keep some sort of milk in my diet, trying lactose-free, almond, almond/coconut, soy, and flax. Nothing tastes quite like regular milk, but I’ve come to appreciate other qualities, like the awesome taste of almond milk with chocolate syrup – much richer tasting than regular milk because of the nutty almond flavor. I saw this recipe in Thursday’s Pioneer Press “Eat” section and decided to give it a shot, with adaptations to fit ingredient availability and the like

Homemade Almond Milk

Yield: 4 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups raw almonds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of  ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Place the almonds in a large bowl and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Soak the almonds for 8 to 12 hours.
  2. After the almonds are good and soaked, bring a kettle of of water to boil.
  3. Drain the almonds and transfer to a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of room temperature water to the almonds, and process for 1 or 2 minutes, until you have a thick paste. You can add a bit more water if the mixture seems really dry or isn’t moving around in the processor/blender very well.
  4. Transfer the almond paste to a medium bowl and add 2 cups of boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes.
  5.  Working in batches, ladle almond milk  into a medium- to fine-mesh metal strainer over a bowl. I HIGHLY recommend lining whatever strainer you use with a few layers of cheesecloth, because I found that using only a strainer resulted in bits of almond in my milk. You can use the back of a spoon to press out most of the liquid, then gather up the cheesecloth and squeeze out whatever is left. If you’re going to be making your own nut/seed milks on a regular basis, it’s probably worth investing in a sprouting bag (here’s a recipe that uses a sprouting bag, complete with pictures).
  6. Add vanilla, honey, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Other suggestions I’ve seen: a vanilla bean instead of the vanilla, dates…
  7. Store milk in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, stirring or shaking before each use. Store ground almonds in refrigerator or freezer for future use. I used some of the ground almonds in the recipe below.

Note: At the end I had a bit more than 2 cups of almond milk.
 

Almond Crescents 

Almond Crescents


Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup Earth Balance (vegan buttery goodness), softened slightly
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup ground almonds

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer (handheld or standing will work), beat the Earth Balance, gradually adding sugar until everything is light and fluffy. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts and mix for one more minute.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour and ground almonds. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Spoon about one tablespoon of dough onto a baking sheet. Shape into a log and bend into crescent shape. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Cool slightly;  roll in confectioner’s sugar while still warm.

Source: Recipe adapted from Cooks.com