Thursday, April 10, 2014

Vegan Chocolate Truffles

There's no better place to post this recipe from than Bali. We're staying in Ubud (yes, where Elizabeth Gilbert stayed). This little city is basically heaven for me. It's a haven for hippie expats who are into yoga, veganism, and overall green living. We (Nick + Cate + me) have been detoxing from our weeks of overeating in Vietnam. My 200 cousins trying to feed us as much as possible was pretty great but similar to a marathon of eating every single day. I almost cried when I ate my first green salad in months (beet, mung beans, goji berries, sprouted sunflower seeds, and cashew parmesan flakes with a raw dressing). We've been drinking a lot of fresh smoothies and juices and doing yoga in between vegan meals.

We're renting a little villa amidst rice paddies and farmhouses. Being surrounded by the jungle is such a relief from the stark landscape of Saigon. In fact, we're so close to nature that there was a little rat (from the rice paddies) on Cate's bed one night. After that, we all crammed onto one bed for the rest of the nights she was staying. Her cousin is an expat here and he has been showing us around Ubud. We rented a little scooter, and we can actually go above 20 km/hr here!

Bali is predominantly Hindu and intensely spiritual. There are daily offerings and ceremonies that we get to witness daily. We were fortunate to be here during the Balinese New Year. Basically all the villages build monsters and demons out of paper mache to be paraded around. The kids send off firecrackers and make lots of noise to attract the demons. Then on the day of Nyepi, everyone is silent. No lights or electronics are used. It is illegal to go out into the roads. For Nick and I, this meant hiding in our hotel room (with blacked out windows) and watching a marathon of Gilmore Girls.

This recipe is appropriate to post now since we've mostly been consuming raw, vegan desserts. This means so much delicious raw chocolate (cacao grows in Bali). Also, this makes a lot of truffles so be prepared!

1 pound good quality chocolate (70%)
1 3/4 cups coconut cream
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp garam masala
cacao powder for rolling

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Citrus Habanero Salad

My birthday was last Tuesday! Certain friends of mine told me I had to do something, so I made dinner. I picked out some Ecuadorian recipes from Laylita's amazing food blog, including a spicy citrus salad.

From Laylita's Recipes

5-6 citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, blood oranges, kumquats. mandarins, tangerines)
1/2 onion (white or red), sliced or diced
2-3 habanero peppers, seeded and veins removed (use gloves), finely diced
juice from 1 lime
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp cumin
salt to taste
salad greens (optional)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Mustard Maple Chicken

I'm a pretty big mustard fan. It shows up in a lot of my go-to meals - I mix it into salad dressings, I spread it on pizza dough along with olive oil and garlic on sauce-less pizzas (I did that for the first time on this one), and I add some to most grilled cheeses. Check out what my food heroine Dorie Greenspan says about mustardit "is to the French what ketchup is to [Americans]." (Speaking of ketchup, have you tried the Heinz limited edition flavors, like jalapeƱo? Interesting.)

That said, I would have thought this mustard maple sauce would be too mustardy even for me - about half of the sauce is pure mustard. But it works, and now I've made this a few times. The sauce is amazing! Evidently the recipe came to Table for Two via the I Love Trader Joe's Cookbook, and Table for Two calls it "Holy Yum Chicken," which I think is kind of a stupid name but I guess it deserves it.

"Holy Yum" Mustard Maple Chicken
From Table for Two

1½ – 2 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (most of the fat cut and discarded)
½ cup Dijon mustard (must be Dijon mustard, no substitutes)
¼ cup pure maple syrup (again, no substitutes. No fake Aunt Jemima stuff)
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (seasoned or unseasoned)
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. fresh rosemary for garnish


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