Sunday, July 10, 2016

Recipes from the Princeton Farmer's Market Demo Day

Recently I presented a food demo at the Princeton Public Library in conjunction with the Thursday Farmer's Market held in Hines Plaza.  At the demo I made three dishes:
1) Cucumber, Tomato and Vegan Feta Salad
2) Green Tacos with Lentil-Walnut
3) Superfood, Superfast Healthy Bowl

Here are the recipes:

1) Cucumber, Tomato and Vegan Feta Salad
○ 1 large or 2 medium cucumbers cut into cubes (peel if not using organic)
○ 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved and quartered
○ 1-lb block of firm or extra firm tofu
○ 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
○ 1.5 tbsp fresh or 1.5 tsp dried oregano
○ 1 tsp dried cumin powder
○ Juice and zest of two lemons
○ Salt to taste

Press the tofu by wrapping it in a towel, place in a shallow bowl to catch the water and put a heavy object on top of the tofu.  Allow tofu to sit like this for 15-min up to one hour and then pour off water.  Break up and crumble the tofu with your hands into a large bowl so that it resembles the texture of feta cheese.  Add the spices, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and zest to the bowl and combine well.  You can let the mixture marinade for 30-min to an hour at room temperature or place in fridge to marinade overnight.  Finally add the cucumber and tomato, season with salt to taste.

2) Green Tacos with Lentil-Walnut
 Green taco wraps with lentil-walnut tacos meat
○ Iceberg or butter letuce, or collard wrap
○ Chopped tomatoes or salsa
○ Cashew sour cream (1-cup soaked cashews, drained, blended with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar and juice of one lemon, dash of salt)
○ Green onion and lime
○ Cashew sour cream
○ Sweet peppers and onions (sliced thin and sautéed in water or vegetable stock)
○ Lentil-walnut taco meat (makes 2 1/2 cups):
     ○ 1 3/4 cups cooked lentils
     ○ 1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
     ○ 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
     ○ 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
     ○ 2 tablespoons water or veg stock


Add all ingredients for the Lentil-walnut "meat" to a food processor and pulse until the texture is blended but still chunky.  Place lettuce leaf on plate, layer on lentil-walnut meat, vegetables and toppings and finish with a squeeze of lime. 

3) Whole Food Superfood, Superfast Healthy Bowl
This recipe is purposefully not specific.  The idea of the vegan "bowl" is to make a meal in a bowl using whatever ingredients you have on hand.  Here is the basic framework for the bowl:

A) Pick a base by selecting a whole grain, starch or salad blend.
You could use sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa, farro or any other whole grain that you have prepared.  If you're short on time, Trader Joe's and Whole Foods both sell precooked bags of whole grains.  One my favorites is TJ's organic brown rice blend.
Optionally, you could use a salad as your base

B) Pick a bean, legume, tofu or tempeh.
I like to batch cook on the weekends so that I have a ready to eat bean that I can use for my bowls.  If you're short on time you can go for canned beans but look for no/low sodium.  You could also use tofu or tempeh or even crumble a premade veggie burger.  Be creative!

C) Pick your vegetables.
You can use any combination of vegetables that you enjoy.  To maximize nutrition I always incorporate a dark leafy green like kale, collard, baby spinach or beet greens ( a personal favorite ).  Salad greens like arugula and lettuce work great too.  For the other vegetables I try to use whatever is local and seasonal.  At the demo I used some fresh organic corn, zucchini, onions and kale.  When I don't have a lot of other fresh ingredients around I will thaw a bag of organic mixed vegetables.  Trader Joe's and Whole Foods again both have wonderful blends of frozen vegetables with no added salt or ingredients.

D) Pick your sauce and or condiments.
Most bowls are going to be relatively plain before the step, so pick your "flavor bomb."  You can use any sauce, salsa, or dressing that you enjoy.  Of course I try to use homemade oil-free sauces whenever possible.  It can be hard to find healthy sauces that are SOS (sugar, oil, salt)-free but there are many you can buy.  Two favorites are oil-free garlic or black bean hummus from Whole Foods or the Lemon or Herbed Tahini sauce from Trader Joe's.  A spoonful or two of these sauces will go a long way to add flavor to your bowls.  Finally pick any other additional whole food toppings like toasted seeds, nuts, or fruit.  Be mindful if you use dried fruits because while technically a whole food, they've had their water removed and can be a concentrated source of calories.

Here are some great vegan bowl ideas to get you started.

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