DDD #92 – Vegan Shaved Fennel, Green Apple & Arugula Salad with Toasted Walnuts & Lemon Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Vegan Shaved Fennel, Green Apple & Arugula Salad with Toasted Walnuts & Lemon Vinaigrette

serves 4

for the vinaigrette

2 lemons

olive oil

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

S&P

for the salad

1 cup walnut pieces

2 fennel bulbs – sliced as thinly as possible

2 large granny smith apples – cored & sliced as thinly as possible

2 or more cups arugula

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Squeeze the two lemons – getting as much juice as possible.  Whatever you get there – add an equal amount (or a tad less) of olive oil.  Season with S&P.  Add a splash of balsamic, if you like.

In a dry pan, toast the walnut pieces until they become aromatic & just begin to brown.  A minute or 2.  Set aside off of heat.

Toss the sliced apples, fennel & arugula & nuts.

Serve with dressing.

 

 

 

DDD #55 – Vegan Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Candied Walnuts

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Click the image above to watch the video.

These are so easy & so delicious – I bet even folks that hate Brussels sprouts will like them.  Sweet & salty & crunchy & warm & soft.  They are ready in 15 minutes.  YUM!

Vegan Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Candied Walnuts

Serves 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

for the spicy candied walnuts

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup white sugar

1 TBS vegan butter

1 tsp (or more) cayenne

for the caramelized Brussels sprouts

2 dozen small Brussels sprouts (6 cups or so)

2 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS olive oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS

for the spicy candied walnuts

Heat everything in a pan for 3-5 minutes – stirring constantly being really careful not to burn the sugar.  When it is thick & gooey & fragrant – put the nuts on a piece of parchment paper & – using a fork so you do not burn yourself – separate the nuts so they do not clump together.

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for the caramelized Brussels sprouts

Either slice the sprouts in a food processor or slice them very thin so you are left with mainly ribbons.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the sugar & stir.  Add the sprouts & saute until soft – maybe 5 minutes.  Taste to see if maybe you need another generous pinch of sugar.  When a minute from being ready – add the garlic & saute another minute.  Season with salt & pepper.

Serve with the candied walnuts on top.

See?  Crazy easy!

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Vegan Creamy Polenta Bowl with Roasted Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Once again, I created a dish out of an effort to use what I had on hand and, I must admit, I am quite delighted.  I had a bag of polenta from the bulk section at Lassen’s (a store that is a wonderland of healthy foods but 1) mixes meat & vegan items in the same cases & it can get confusing and 2) is SO FUCKING claustrophobic that I am in a mild panic the whole time I am there).  I also had some roasted beets I needed to use.  Voila!

I am a huge fan of both polenta & grits (grits being the same thing, really, but just not as finely ground).  I especially like them creamy & soft – like a porridge.  Most polenta & grits recipes have cheese in them & you can certainly add cheese but this didn’t need it.  AND – I cooked the polenta in my slow cooker while I went spinning this morning!  I came home, exhausted, to a vat of steaming, creamy polenta.  Win win!

If you are not vegan, some crumbled goat cheese on this would be divine!  Actually – they make lots of vegan cheeses that are like goat cheese or Boursin & a little bit of one of those might be a nice addition to this dish.   If you don’t like or don’t have walnuts – I think pistachios would be better, anyway – I just didn’t have any.  Oh – and polenta is naturally gluten-free.  This is a very low fat recipe but is warm & hearty & great for winter weather.  If you really want to get all cold-weather crazy – stir a small can of pumpkin puree into the polenta.   Yuuuum!

I used this balsamic glaze (below) but a balsamic reduction is VERY easy to make.

BALSAMIC REDUCTION

Simply boil a nice balsamic until it reduces by about 50-75% and has a thick syrupy texture.  It really does reduce a LOT so – if it reduces to too little for your pizza – just boil down some more.  Be careful not to burn it! I used about a tablespoon of the reduction on this polenta.

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Vegan Creamy Polenta Bowl with Roasted Beets, Toasted Walnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Glaze

This makes enough polenta to feed 4 easily.  The quantity of the toppings is up to you.

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry polenta

8 cups vegetable stock

Beets

Walnuts (or pistachios)

Fresh thyme removed from stems

Balsamic glaze (see recipe above if you want to make it yourself)

(Adding vegan goat cheese – or any other very soft cheese) at the end with the beets & nuts would take this to the next level.  Fried sage – in place of the thyme – might also be nice.)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

I cooked my polenta in a slow cooker by simply putting the polenta & stock in there, setting it on high (cover on) and two hours later – I had a lot of creamy goodness.  If it gets too thick, add more water or stock.  If it is too thin – cook a bit longer (taking the top off accelerates this process).

OR – cook your polenta according to the package (using stock rather than water).  Stove top – this should take 30-40 minutes.

Wrap beets well in foil. You might want to drizzle a bit of olive oil in there but that is not necessary.  Place on a baking sheet and bake until beets are slightly soft to the touch, 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on their size. Cool beets and then rub off skins (use a paring knife for tough spots).

Toast the nuts in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes – stirring frequently so they do not burn.  Set aside.

Now – assemble your bowls.  Spoon in the polenta, top with beets & nuts & a drizzle of balsamic glaze & some thyme leaves.  Add cheese – if you are using some.  I did not.

Eat’m up!

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Vegan Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Candied Walnuts

1 Comment

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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9-10-15 (67)

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These are so easy & so delicious – I bet even folks that hate Brussels sprouts will like them.  Sweet & salty & crunchy & warm & soft.  They are ready in 15 minutes.  YUM!

Vegan Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Candied Walnuts

Serves 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

for the spicy candied walnuts

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 cup white sugar

1 TBS vegan butter

1 tsp (or more) cayenne

for the caramelized Brussels sprouts

2 dozen Brussels sprouts

2 garlic cloves – chopped

2 TBS olive oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

salt to taste

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DIRECTIONS

for the spicy candied walnuts

Heat everything in a pan for 3-5 minutes – stirring constantly being really careful not to burn the sugar.  When it is thick & gooey & fragrant – put the nuts on a piece of parchment paper & – using a fork so you do not burn yourself – separate the nuts so they do not clump together.

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for the caramelized Brussels sprouts

Either slice the sprouts in a food processor or slice them very thin so you are left with mainly ribbons.

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the sugar & stir.  Add the sprouts & saute until soft – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & saute another minute.  Season with salt.

Serve with the candied walnuts on top.

See?  Crazy easy!

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Grilled Fig & Watercress Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts & Balsamic Glaze

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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First of all – an update on the gorgeous Piglet.  Here she is about three weeks ago – fresh out of the shelter with epic mange.  (First two images stolen from her rescuer – Fairy Dogfather.)

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Here she is about a week later after some meds & one mange dip.  All pink & ALL bald.

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And here she is – yesterday.

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All we have been doing is steeping supermarket jarred garlic in warm water & giving her a sponge bath in it two times a day (plus a little antibiotic medication) and her fur is coming in so fast you can almost watch it grow!  She is the most incredible little girl!  I am so honored to know her.

In other news – by boyfriend (Miles) lives in Little Rock.  Sometimes, he shares some Arkansas flavor with me.  Lots of bars with great names.  Lots of bars that look like you could find trouble if you wanted it.  Maybe even a mullet or two.  Certainly a few gun racks in the parking lot.  Definitely some misplaced anti-Obamacare sentiment from a lotta folks who probably need it the most.  God bless America!  (Photos by Miles Miller.)

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And even cooler – authentic southern BBQ joynts like Bubba’s here.

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It reminds me a LOT of True Blood’s Merlotte’s!!!

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And looky what they serve up at Bubba’s!

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Looks like cold beer, fries & the charred forearm of an adult human.  Yum!

Speaking of yum – this salad is outrageous!  Easy & bursting with different flavors & lots of different textures.  Pretty, too – no?

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I have a grill on my stove & I love it enough to consider marrying it.  If you do not have one – but you like grilling things – maybe invest in a grill pan.  You don’t have to marry it.  I use my grill pan a lot, too, even though I have the real grill.   I won’t let anyone grill MEAT on my stove because it just gets disgusting fat everywhere & I don’t want that.  I have enough disgusting fat on ME – I don’t need it in the catch pan of my Viking, too.  So – if folks want to grill meat on my stove – they use a grill pan.  It also makes for pretty quesadillas – see!

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That’s my Squash Blossom Quesadilla.  As enjoyable to eat as it was to look at.

Anyway – the figs don’t HAVE to be grilled but it adds a nice look & a subtle flavor.

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These are green figs.  The ones that are purply-red inside are prettier but the green ones were all that were available so I grabbed them.  You can eat the outer skin of figs, too, so these guys can be eaten like giant grapes.

The toasting of the walnuts is a bizarrely important step in this recipe.  It changes their flavor significantly – so do not skip it.  Quantity here is really up to you so I am only going to list the ingredients I used.  You can use more or less of each to suit your taste.  Also – I used watercress but arugula or baby mixed greens would do very well, too.

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Grilled Fig & Watercress Salad with Goat Cheese, Toasted Walnuts & Balsamic Glaze

INGREDIENTS

Lots of balsamic vinegar

Watercress (or arugula or other mixed greens)

Walnuts – chopped

Figs

Goat Cheese

Olive oil

Fresh ground pepper

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DIRECTIONS

To make the balsamic glaze, boil some balsamic & then reduce it to a simmer.  Cook it down until it thickens.  It reduces quickly & 1/4 cup of balsamic produces about 2 tsps of glaze – so – keep that in mind when deciding how much balsamic to add to the pan.  If it gets too thick – add more balsamic or some water.  Set aside.  Here it is on my Grilled Watermelon & Feta Salad with Mint, Arugula & Balsamic Glaze.

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Halve the figs & brush with olive oil.  Grill for about 1 minute or until grill marks appear.

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Wash the watercress & remove any large stems.

Toast the chopped walnuts in a dry pan for 2-3 minutes (or until they become fragrant & just begin to brown a bit) being very careful not to burn them.  Set aside.

Now, simply assemble the salad with the watercress, figs, goat cheese & walnuts.  Drizzle a little olive oil over it & drizzle some balsamic glaze.  Grind fresh pepper over it liberally. Taste it & then lose all semblance of control and eat it with your hands whilst standing up. Grunting might happen.  Pleasure definitely will.

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Fig, Fennel, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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If you live even remotely near Glendale, California – you simply MUST check out Super King – the grocery store near there on San Fernando Road by the 2 freeway.  It is so friggin’ CHEAP to buy produce there AND they have lots of unusual seasonal items like squash blossoms & sour grapes & grape leaves etc.  I bought kale there this week – 3 for .99 cents.  Kale costs $2.50 a bunch at my local Gelson’s.

Anyway – on my last trip to Super King – I got a litle container of blackberries for about .79 cents and I bought a container of green figs.  I wasn’t sure what I would do with either (as I find blackberries always to be disappointingly sour and I have never purchased a fig before) but they were practically free & offered new culinary avenues to explore.  As it turned but, I didn’t explore very far – in that – I just made another pizza but it was a delicious & uniquely flavored pizza with a lot going on.  As it turned out, I again found all but a few of the blackberries to be sour & I found myself picking them off of this pizza as I ate it.  And I did eat it.  ALL of it.  But not the blackberries.  So – if you make this pizza – be sure to use very ripe berries or eighty-six them entirely.  They add a pretty color but there are so many other flavors vying for attention here – you won’t miss the berries.

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Fig, Fennel, Blackberry & Goat Cheese Pizza

INGREDIENTS

(I won’t list quantities here because that is a matter of taste)

Pizza dough of choice (mine is HERE)

1 fennel bulb – shaved very thinly

Blackberries

Goat cheese

Walnuts – crushed a bit

Figs – cut thin

Honey

Fresh rosemary – chopped finely

olive oil

S&P to taste

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat your oven to 450-500 degrees & be sure it reaches temperature before putting your pizza in there.

Roll out your dough & put it on the cooking sheet.  Brush some olive oil on there & maybe lightly salt it.  (I went a little heavy with the olive oil.  Oops!)

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Set the walnuts aside for now.  Then, simply layer the fennel & some rosemary & figs & berries & goat cheese & on your crust.  Top with more rosemary.

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Bake the pizza for 12-18 minutes or until the crust is browned & the cheese melted a bit.   When you think the pizza is about 3 minutes from being done – add the walnuts.  Finish baking.

When the pizza is done – drizzle all over with honey.

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Slice it up & eat it.  I added some crushed red pepper because that is how I roll.  Enjoy!

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Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Salads are very forgiving.  I sometimes feel like a cheat or a fraud when posting recipes for them but then I remember that lots of folks are intimidated by cooking at all and that they like the security of instruction.  So – I post this delicious salad today.  But – except for the vinaigrette – I won’t really post quantities.  I trust you to use the ratio of beet to arugula to fennel to cheese to suit your own tastes.

I used pomegranate wine vinegar & hazelnut oil because I have them & I want to use them before they spoil.  Plus it makes my recipe sound really fancy.  You could use olive oil & any nice wine vinegar – flavored or not.  I used walnuts but you could use almonds or pecans – or whatever.  Even hazelnuts!  Maybe add pomegranate seeds or a squeeze of fresh orange juice to the dressing.  The sky is the limit.  Hate fennel?  Lose it.  Use another fancy green other than arugula.  Get it?  Got it.  Good.

Oh!  And now all my posts have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Golden Beet Carpaccio & Shaved Fennel Salad with Pomegranate & Hazelnut Vinaigrette

INGREDIENTS

Beets – I used golden AND red.  You can use one or the other or both.

Fennel

Walnuts – or other nut

Arugula – other green

Feta cheese – or goat or cotija or other flavorful cheese

2 TBS pomegranate wine vinegar – or other nice wine vinegar

4 TBS hazelnut oil – or other nice oil (even olive oil)

1 tsp honey

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Wrap your beets in foil & roast at 450 for about 30-45 minutes, depending on their size.  When tender, cool & peel them.

Toast your nuts in a dry pan for about 3 minutes.

Blend your oil, vinegar, honey & some S&P for the vinaigrette.

Slice the beets & fennel very thin with a mandolin or by hand – the thinner the better.

LIGHTLY dress the arugula with a small amount of vinaigrette.

Create a fan on a plate with the sliced beets.  Top with some shaved fennel.  Put some dressed arugula in the center & top with the toasted nuts & cheese & maybe some fresh ground pepper. I added a little garnish of red beets.  You could do a fan of red beets & top with golden – or use one color for all of it.

Shove it in your face while watching The Voice & scream, scandalized, every time the Swon Brothers get saved by America.  🙂

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