Steamed Vegetable Potstickers (Lunar New Year)

In this week’s cooking class, we made vegetable potstickers to celebrate Lunar New Year! If you’re gluten-free, then I highly suggest referring to my previous post about homemade gluten-free vegan wonton wrappers. They were my favorite wrapper so far — way better than store bought. Since we do not have a gluten allergy this year, I was able to find egg-free and dairy-free wrappers at Lion, our local Asian Supermarket. We used a very simple vegetable filling, and when the students asked for the recipe, I told them to make it up as they go! All they needed was the wrappers.

Steamed Vegetable Potstickers

Ingredients

For the filling

  • potsticker, wonton, or dumpling wrappers
  • shredded veggies of choice — we used cabbage and carrots from this week’s CSA box, but you can also use scallions, mushrooms, sprouts, or any local in-season veggies!

For the dipping sauce

  • 1/2 cup organic soy sauce, coconut aminos, or liquid aminos
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

Directions

1. Shred veggies in your hand shredder or pulse in your food processor until small pieces are cut. Set aside.

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Shredded Carrots

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Shredded Cabbage

2. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients and mix well.

3. Place a wrapper on a flat surface, and fill the center with 1-2 tsp of shredded veggies. Top the veggies with 1 tsp of dipping sauce.

4. Dip your finger in water, and rub around the edge of the wrapper to help it seal.

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Adding the filling to the wrapper.

5. Seal the wrapper by folding it in half and pressing down on the edges with the sharp edges of a fork on both sides. Or, you can purchase an inexpensive tool from Daiso, the Japanese Dollar Store, and use it to press the edges of your wrapper together tightly.

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Wrapper folder from Daiso.

6. Place in a steamer basket, and steam for 5-7 minutes, depending on how full the steamer basket is. I use a regular pot and place a colander on top, then use a plate over the colander to keep the steam inside. Tip: lightly brush a layer of oil on the bottom and sides of the colander/steamer basket and between and in between each potsticker to prevent them from sticking together.

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Raw potstickers in the steamer basket with a light layer of oil in between to prevent sticking.

7. When potstickers are translucent and the edges are cooked throughout, remove them from the steamer. Briefly allow to cool, dip in dipping sauce, and enjoy!

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Steamed potstickers are ready when translucent and edges are cooked throughout.

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Salad for Breakfast?! Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing (vegan, raw, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free)

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids get tired of the same old breakfast. I admit that I buy and prepare the simplest things — oatmeal or cereal — because it’s so easy, it dirties the kitchen the least, and it takes no early preparation. My kids are very good eaters, but my 4-year old loves to keep me on my toes.

This morning, he asked for corn. Yep, just a big bowl of corn. Surprisingly, he wasn’t satisfied, so I threw together his favorite salad dressing since I happened to have all the ingredients on hand. Then I served up a little bowl of chopped lettuce with his salad dressing. He gobbled it up and wanted more. His second bowl was the same, and he wanted more. The third bowl I had run out of lettuce, so I gave him some chopped baby kale and dressing. He wanted a fourth bowl! This boy LOVES him some raw dressing! Without further ado, I am reposting this salad dressing with its own dedicated post that is a hit in our household, it makes a huge quantity that I am able to refrigerate for later use, and because I frequently search my own blog for my favorite recipes, and this is one of the regulars in my searches.

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Tait’s third bowl of breakfast salad.

Red Pepper and Ginger Salad Dressing by Cookie & Kate
Ingredients
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped into big pieces
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey
  • ¾ inch piece of ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Optional: a dash of toasted sesame oil

Directions

Place all ingredients in the order listed above and process in a high speed blender until combined. Enjoy!

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Tait’s tiny bowl of breakfast baby kale with his favorite salad dressing.

 

Tandoori Roasted (or BBQ) Vegetables

Last night’s dinner yielded a fun and delicious spin on roasted veggies for dinner. Not that I don’t love roasted veggies with fresh herbs and olive oil, but why don’t I ever think about marinating the veggies first? This recipe calls for a yogurt-based marinade (I used coconut milk yogurt to keep it vegan) with Indian spices, then smothered all over blanched veggies. Yes, blanched veggies! Why didn’t I ever think of doing that to get the broccoli and cauliflower more evenly cooked? Brilliant.

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Tandoori Roasted (or BBQ) Vegetables

Tandoori Roasted Vegetable Skewers adapted from Veggie Belly

Note: I tripled the ingredients from the original recipe to feed our family of five since the original recipe only fed two. See the link above for smaller portions.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into large florets
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets
  • 4 tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 onion, quartered

Marinade Ingredients

  • 9 Tbsp chickpea or garbanzo flour
  • 1 1/2 cups yogurt (I used two 6 oz containers of So Delicious brand plain coconut yogurt)
  • 6 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 6 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tsp garlic paste (I used garlic powder)
  • 3 tsp ginger paste (I used ginger powder)
  • 3 tsp garam masala (I used curry powder)
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • salt, to taste

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. In the meantime, chop the veggies.

2. Once the water is boiling, add half of the cauliflower and broccoli florets to the boiling water. After 30 seconds, remove the florets and let them cool. Run cold water over them, if needed, to prevent from further cooking. Repeat with the other half of the florets.

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Blanching the cauliflower and broccoli florets

3. Combine the marinade ingredients into a medium sized bowl, and mix well.

4. Add all of the chopped raw veggies (onions, tomatoes) and the blanched veggies (cauliflower, broccoli) to a large bowl. Cover the veggies with the marinade and mix until all of the veggies are well coated. Let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

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Adding the marinade to the raw and blanched vegetables.

5. In the meantime, turn on the oven to Hi Broil, and line a baking sheet with foil, spray with non-stick cooking spray.

6. Once the veggies have marinated, place the veggies on the baking sheet with a bit of space in between each row for easy turning during cooking. (In the alternate, you can put them on skewers and BBQ the veggies.) If you have any leftover marinade, save it to slather on the cooked veggies or use it as a dipping sauce for lunches.

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Marinated vegetables on a lined baking sheet before they go in the oven.

7. Place the baking sheet on the second to top rack, and let cook for 15 minutes or until the veggies begin to blacken.

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Broiling the vegetables on Hi.

8. Turn the veggies over using a fork or prongs to brown the other side for approximately 5 minutes or until the veggies blacken.

9. Gently lift each veggie off the plate and place in one layer on a serving platter.

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Dinnertime! Tandoori Roasted/Broiled Vegetables

Quick Tip: Chop the veggies in the morning or the night before, and make the marinade in advance! It will save you a ton of time in the kitchen, and you’ll only have to broil or BBQ your veggies for dinner!

My favorite part about this dish is that my youngest child thought the cauliflower was chicken, and about an hour after dinner, I found my daughter at the kitchen table eating the leftovers because she loved the veggies that much. Definitely a keeper.

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Round 2!

Pineapple Fried Rice with Eggy Tofu

After years of not being able to eat at Chinese restaurants due to my son’s nut allergy, I finally attempted a vegan, nut-free fried rice recipe at home. I was interested in this recipe because it called for “eggy” tofu. I had no idea what that meant, but I do have a special spice sitting in my cabinet that is seaweed based and used as a salt substitute (aka kala namak or black salt) in Indian cuisine. After reading through this recipe, I realized that’s exactly what I needed for the eggy tofu! (P.S. I still have a ton of the spice left in case anyone wants me to send them some to try!)

Pineapple Fried Rice with Eggy Tofu

Pineapple Fried Rice with Eggy Tofu

I followed the recipe exactly, but the tofu I used was water packed, and I should have squeezed out all the moisture before I began cooking it. The author’s eggy tofu was in chunks of tofu, but mine looked more like pieces of scrambled egg, and therefore more similar to the look I was going for. I also added some turmeric for color and to trick my kids into thinking they were really eating eggs. My kids don’t like pineapple for some reason (seriously?), so next time I will substitute with a different fruit or vegetable, although I liked the sweetness of the pineapple. It might also be tasty with quinoa instead…

Pineapple Fried Rice with Eggy Tofu by Cadry’s Kitchen (featured on The Sweet Life)

Pineapple Fried Rice Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon sweet soy sauce (I use the Healthy Boy brand)
  • 1 teaspoon refined coconut oil, divided
  • 1 small to medium sized onion, chopped small to medium
  • ½ orange, red, or yellow bell pepper, chopped small (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium sized carrot, diced medium (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked long grain brown rice, cold
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped medium (I used frozen)
  • Cilantro, garnish

Eggy Tofu Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon to 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or other neutral cooking oil
  • 10 ounce vacuum-packed package of organic super firm tofu (I use Wildwood SprouTofu), diced in even small to medium squares
  • ¼ – ½ teaspoon black salt (a.k.a. kala namak), or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (for egg-like color)

For the Pineapple Fried Rice

  1. In a small bowl, combine the tamari and sweet soy sauce with a fork until blended. Set aside for later use.
  2. Bring a large skillet to a medium heat and put ½ teaspoon refined coconut oil into the pan and let it melt.
  3. Add onion to the skillet and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onion is softened and translucent.
  4. Add the bell pepper and carrot to the pan and sauté for 5 to ten minutes more, until the carrot has softened but still has some bite.
  5. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of coconut oil to the pan in a corner of the pan and sauté the garlic in that small area for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant.
  6. Add the cold cooked rice to the pan and lower heat if necessary, so that the rice doesn’t stick. Combine the rice with the vegetables until it is spread evenly across the pan.
  7. Add the tamari/sweet soy sauce mixture to the skillet, using a spatula to make sure it’s evenly coated throughout the rice.
  8. Add the pineapple to the rice and continue cooking on a low heat until pineapple is warmed through, stirring occasionally.
  9. Spoon the fried rice onto plates and top with the cilantro garnish and a helping of eggy tofu.

For the Eggy Tofu

  1. If using vacuum-packed tofu, skip to step 2. If using water-packed tofu, drain excess water by lining a baking sheet with with paper towels and placing the tofu on top. Place more paper towels on top of the tofu, and place another baking sheet on top of the tofu and add canned goods to the top to create weight that pushes down on the tofu to eliminate the extra moisture.
  2. In a medium-sized non-stick skillet, add enough organic canola oil to the pan, so that it lightly covers the bottom. Bring the skillet to a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the diced tofu to the skillet and brown for five minutes, flipping the tofu occasionally, so that all of the sides and pieces brown evenly.
  4. Once all sides are brown, add black salt to the tofu and toss, so that it salts all sides. Start with ¼ teaspoon and add more to taste. (If you like a very eggy fried rice, feel free to add a sprinkling of black salt to the fried rice itself just before serving.) Add turmeric for color, if desired.

Dairy-Free Roasted Corn Chowder

Over the weekend, my siblings, mom, and I got together to make a bazillion tamales for Easter Sunday. Okay, not a bazillion, but more like 150. We overestimated how many we would actually make because we still have corn husks coming out of our ears. Literally. So I took the extra supplies and decided to bring them to cooking in my son’s K/1 class this week.

The focus was making corn husk dolls,

Easy Corn Husk Dolls

Easy Corn Husk Dolls

but because we only had 30 minutes to make the soup and the dolls, I decided to make the soup while my husband worked on the dolls with the students.

The dolls weren’t anything fancy like you find in all the online tutorials, but it was a learning opportunity to show them pictures of corn stalks, corn husks, how corn is grown, and how you can recycle the old husks by making dolls, quick flowers, fancy flowers, tamales, etc. And, of course, talking about always buying organic corn in order to avoid GMO’s is a highlight of the conversation for me!

While Arun was talking about the dolls, I began sauteing the vegetables for the gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, Roasted Corn Chowder soup.

Sauteing vegetables for corn chowder

Sauteing vegetables for corn chowder

Due to time limitations, I was unable to roast the corn in advance like I usually do at home, and WOW does that make all the difference! Do not skimp on that one detail of the recipe because it’s what makes it amazing.

I usually use coconut or almond milk at home, but we used rice milk in class, and it was a little on the thinner side, so you may want to add extra flour to the veggies during the saute process. Also be sure to buy unsweetened non dairy milk because the corn already makes it so sweet.

This is one of our go-to dinner recipes because it’s so quick, easy, and delicious!

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Corn Chowder

The Art of Fermentation: Sauerkraut & Kim-Chi

Last week I attended an All About Fermenting class where I learned about the health benefits of fermentation plus how to make sauerkraut, kim-chi, kombucha, and water kefir from Adrienne Cox of Non Toxic U, a fellow Mountain School mom who offers classes teaching you how to remove toxic chemicals from your home, one product at a time. She offers many different types of classes, as you can see on her website, and the one I attended focused mostly on Sauerkraut and Kim-Chi.

Look at these beautiful bottles of fermented yumminess! I recently read that red cabbage is also an amazing cancer fighting vegetable from the cruciferous family.

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Photo on Left: Kim-Chi / Photo on Right: Sauerkraut

Last night we opened our bottles after patiently waiting for them to mature after five long days. I had to eliminate any gas bubbles from the jars three times a day, so they really did become my babies! When I opened them up, my husband looked at me oddly and said, “That’s gross, they’ve been on the counter all week.” Then, he tried it. WOW, he was in love! I personally have never been a fan of commercial Kim-Chi, and I made my husband stop buying it years ago. Well, this batch significantly changed things because we consumed half the jar of Kim-Chi over our rice and lentil dinner last night, and I realized I need to start making a new batch ASAP so it’s ready as soon as we’re out. The only change I would make is to add more heat to the batch because he likes his garnishes super spicy.

Are you dying to try them? Here are the two recipes I used, so you can get started making your own batches — thanks again to Adrienne for sharing the recipes and the class! I can’t wait for her upcoming Kombucha & Water Kefir classes!

Sauerkraut:

1 sead of green or red cabbage

1 1/2 Tbsp. salt (sea salt or kosher only)

1 qt. mason jar w/lid, cleaned

Optional Ingredients:

– Vegetables/fruits: onion, garlic, broccoli, radish, fennel, apple, beets, jicama, turnips, Brussels sprouts, fresh ginger, etc.

– Spices: Caraway seed, fennel seed, anise seed, dried onion, dried garlic, cayenne pepper, etc.

Directions:

  1. Core and slice the head of cabbage into uniform bite sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Wash and slice all other optional ingredients into uniform bite sized pieces and add to bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pound or massage for 5-10 minutes until a fair amount of liquid has been released from the cabbage. As Adrienne said, “Put your back into it!” Use all your strength to get the liquid released!
  4. Pack the cabbage into a jar, pressing and compacting it along the way, until it reaches the base of the collar. Make sure to leave some headspace between the collar and the top. If there is not enough liquid to cover cabbage mixture, you can top it off off with a 2% salt water solution.
  5. Loosely close the lid (stop turning the lid as soon as you start to feel tension).
  6. Keep the jar at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for 3-5 days, pressing the gas out of the kraut 3 times each day, or until it reaches desired flavor (i.e. longer than 5 days if desired).

 

Kimchi-ish:

1 Head of napa or savoy cabbage (note: savoy cabbage runs on the small side so maybe use two depending on how much you want to make)

3-5 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Medium daikon radish, grated

1 Large carrot, grated

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

5 green onions, sliced

1 ½ Tbsp. salt (sea salt or kosher only)

1 Tbsp. Gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)

1 Tbsp. fish sauce (omit if making vegan)

1 Tsp. toasted sesame oil

1 Clean Qt. Mason Jar w/lid

Directions:

  1. Core and slice the cabbage into uniform bite sized pieces and place into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the garlic, radish, carrot, ginger, and green onions to the bowl.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pound or massage for 5-10 minutes until a fair amount of liquid has been released from the cabbage. As Adrienne said, “Put your back into it!” Use all your strength to get the liquid released!
  4. Pack the cabbage into a jar, pressing and compacting it along the way, until it reaches the base of the collar. Make sure to leave some headspace between the collar and the top. If there is not enough liquid to cover cabbage mixture, you can top it off off with a 2% salt water solution.
  5. Loosely close the lid (stop turning the lid as soon as you start to feel tension).
  6. Keep the jar at room temperature and out of direct sunlight for 3-5 days, pressing the gas out of the kraut 3 times each day, or until it reaches desired flavor (i.e. longer than 5 days if desired).

Post pictures of your ‘kraut and kim-chi and tell me how it turned out!

Dairy-Free Alfredo Sauce

Tuesday night I experienced an amazing moment. I put together a Cauli-Power Alfredo Sauce in the Vitamix, and I took my first taste test. HEAVEN.

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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Alfredo Sauce

I have never tasted anything so similar to the rich, full flavor of dairy, cream, and cheese since eating the real thing. It was crazy because my first taste actually made my brain think “Uh oh, you’re going to pay for this tomorrow” but then I realized there is NO dairy in this full flavor sauce! So I proudly strolled over to my daughter and asked her to try it. She looked at me with caution (as usual), and tasted it. Immediately her face lit up, and she exclaimed how good it was! My allergy-ridden son has never tasted anything like this, and he was overwhelmed. Even the youngest ate it! I was so excited about it that I even made it with my K/1 cooking class the following day and served it over fettuccine, and the students had 3-5 servings each! Good thing I bought two pounds of pasta! The best part is that I had all the ingredients on hand, and it was so fast. I think the most important part is sauteing the garlic in olive oil and adding that to the blender, so be sure not to skip that part — it made the house smell amazing and tasted so good. Be sure to serve it warm, and a little goes a long way. I looked back to find out where I originally found this recipe, and of course, it’s from Angela Liddon — my favorite blogger from Oh She Glows. Be sure to check out her Oh She Glows Cookbook if you haven’t already!

chocolatechipblondies

Chocolate Chip Blondies

I was also in the mood to try a new Chocolate Chip Blondie recipe, but I didn’t love it. The kids enjoyed it, and they put the rest in their lunches for the following day, but I’m still looking for recipe I adore…

On another note, Stanford University’s SAFAR (Stanford Alliance for Food Allergy Research) Program hosts a cutting edge allergy research program that has been extremely successful helping children eliminate the most severe allergies, and they are hosting an upcoming talk entitled All About Food Allergies in Palo Alto on May 22, 2014 at 7pm. Register if you’d like to attend this free informative event about the latest in allergy research and clinical trials.  You can also find out more about screenings for upcoming clinical trials on their website. I have worked closely with the SAFAR  Community Council for the last year, and I do all of the t-shirt printing for their annual Summer Scamper Kids Fun Run/5k/10k  fsummerscamperlogoundraiser on June 22, 2014. Support their allergy-research efforts and donate or walk/run in the scamper and enter code FRIENDS to receive $5 off your registration before April 18th. Hope to see you there!