Macaroni and cheese with sautéed kale
Pasta! Since I’m vegan and gluten-free, I couldn’t go to a regular Italian or a noodle shop while I was in Japan. Believe or not, it was very challenging to find a gluten-free noodle in any form in a grocery store. It was even harder in a restaurant. So, the first thing that I made after I came back home in NYC was pesto spaghetti with sautéed broccoli rabe. I used gluten-free Barilla spaghetti. I think Barilla makes the best dried gluten-free pasta. It’s too bad, they don’t make organic versions.
I haven’t posted for a long time because I’ve been busy cooking, baking, and creating vegan cheese for the last few months. I took a few food-worthy photos, but I have not been posting them, thinking I would do it later when I had a moment. Then I kept going missing the moments. Here it is my new science (Not!) project. I’ve been making rejuvelac to use as a fermentation starter to make vegan cheeses. Rejuvelac is soaking water of sprouted grains. I tried sweet brown rice (because that is my favorite kind of grain), brown rice, raw buckwheat groats, millet, oat groats, white quinoa, red quinoa so far. I like the sweet smell of oat groats and sweet brown rice. But they take for ever to sprout. Millet is cheap and fairly quick one to sprout, but it’s very difficult for me to see the tails coming out or not. Buckwheat is easy one to see the tails because their tails are fat. Quinoa sprout fastest. They sprout within 1 day, but white quinoa’s tails are also difficult to see. Tails of red quinoa are easy to spot against the red grains. These have a burnt smell and rejuvelac from red quinoa doesn’t taste as sour as other rejuvelac, but it works fine as a vegan cheese culture. Thus I’ve settled to use buckwheat and red quinoa to make rejuvelac.
Ahhh, green falafel. These puppies are a bit more healthier than usual falafel, and pretty tasty. I couldn’t find a healthier (=less oily) way to fry them up yet, but I cooked them in a pan with oil half way up to the puppies and turned them around until they became golden. For now, this is the best way to cook falafel. I tried spraying oil onto them and baked in the oven, just baked in the oven without any oil, and they came out tasty alright, but not crispy outside texture that I wanted. They are green because collard greens were added. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
1 cup dry chickpeas or 2.5 cups soaked (soaked in plenty of water over night)
4-5 collard green leaves (stems removed, torn into bite size)
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 Table spoons tahini
3 Table spoons lemon juice
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon grind cumin
1/2 tea spoon grind black pepper
dash of cayenne
3-4 Table spoons GF flour (oat flour or rice flour will do)
Servings: 18 golf ball size falafel
To make falafel:
- Drain chickpeas. Grind them in Vitamix or food processor until smooth. Remove it from the food processor and set it aside.
- Put torn collard green leaves in the food processor. Process until they became finely minced.
- Add chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, black pepper, cayenne, and GF flour. Process until everything is incorporated.
- Place the falafel mixture in a stainless steel bowl or pan, and put it in freezer for 30 minutes.
- By using a 2-tablespoon, measure the mixture and roll it into a ball. Repeat until the mixture is gone.
- Heat vegetable oil of your choice in a sauce pan about 1/2″ depth.
- Fry up the puppies until they become golden all around. You have to turn them a few times since they are not entirely submerged in oil.
- Line up a big plate with paper towels. Rest the puppies on them.
A friend from the 4th Street Food Coop kept begging me to go to this restaurant right at the corner of E 4th Street, 00 (double zero). 00 does vegan and has option of gluten free pizza dough which is still hard to find. My friend is a foodie and a very good cook. So, I trusted him and finally I went taking 4 friends with me. The result is a mix bag. As you can see above, dishes look fantastic and staff were friendly and helpful. We ordered 3 gluten-free pizza, zucchini lasagna, tiramisu, and cheese cake accompanied by a bottle of white wine. Sadly we all agreed that the wine was most memorable among them all. I liked eggplant pizza best. Zucchini lasagna was nice and refreshing. Tiramisu was good, but it should not called tiramisu, cacao layered cake might be more appropriate. I know all vegan tiramisu get tough scrutiny due to the expectation of richness, sweetness and smoothness coming from the tiramisu cream made with real mascarpone. Cacao layered cake might not be an exciting title, but if I knew that was what I ordered, I wouldn’t be disappointed. Cheesecake was not cream cheesy enough either. It should have been called almond coconut cream cake or something. The price tag was rather high, too. $40+/person and we all left the restaurant thinking about what else to eat for the night when we get home. It is a cute nice place, but my purse cannot allow me to go back there anytime soon. I was looking for a place where I can go every week.