Wild Rice Stuffing

IMG_2152This is one of my favorite meals!  I make this vegetarian family recipe every Thanksgiving- each year, a little different!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Wild Rice (~4 cups cooked)
  • 1 medium yellow Onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Wild Mushrooms (I prefer chanterelles)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
  • 1 red or yellow pepper diced
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrots diced
  • 1/2 cup parsley (or you can use the tops of the celery)
  • 1 cup baked tofu cubed (optional)
  • Olive Oil, sage, salt & pepper to tasteImage

Rice:  Cook the wild rice in a separate pot- 2 cups of water to every cup of rice.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to low until done.

Tofu:

  • Cube tofu into 1cm cubes.  Marinate in lots of Olive oil and powdered sage, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread out on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (makes it not stick!) and bake at 350 degrees- flip them every 5-10 min until crispy.  Add to the stir fried vegetables at the end.

Veggies: 

  • While the rice is cooking, stir fry the onions, spices, and mushrooms first, then add the dried fruit and nuts.
  • Once the wild mushrooms are done (Chanterelles need about 15 min) add the other veggies and cook until tender and to your liking.

Here is mine in the pan:

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Once the rice is done, combine the tofu, veggies, and rice with more olive oil and spices to taste.

Serve with cranberry sauce and all your other Thanksgiving favorites!  Yum!

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Cool Cucumber Cocktail

Cool Cucumber Cocktail

This deliciously refreshing drink goes perfectly with spicy food or on a hot day!  The one trick is you need a juicer and some yummy organic cucumbers to juice fresh for it.  Some people do more of a Martini style drink with cucumber infused vodka instead, but this concoction is something unique!

For 2 Martini glasses:
4 oz. Vodka (high quality)
3 oz. Cucumber Juice (freshly juiced!)
1/2 oz. Lime Juice
1/2 oz. Simple Syrup (or dissolve raw sugar into the vodka)

Serve in a sugar rimmed Martini glass with thinly sliced cucumber and mint.

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Golden Tomato & Chanterelle Sauce over Ravioli

Golden Tomato & Chanterelle Sauce over Ravioli

My mom gave me a bunch of delicious GOLDEN tomatoes from her garden this summer! This is what I did with some of the super ripe ones! The color of the meal is just beautiful!

Ingredients:
3 large Golden Tomatoes (heirloom!)
1 cup Wild Chanterelle Mushrooms
Olive Oil
2 teaspoons White Balsamic Vinegar or white wine (don’t want to mess up the color!)
Salt, Pepper
Pasta of choice- I like some yummy cheese or pumpkin ravioli)
Parmesan, Feta, or Chèvre

Heat a deep pan with a generous amount of Olive Oil.
Fry up the mushrooms until they are golden brown (they need about 15 min)
Add the golden tomatoes and cook them down to sauce.
Add splashes of White Balsamic and Olive Oil for liquid to the pan and for flavor.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Serve over pasta with cheese! A truly GOLDEN meal!

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Almond New York Cheesecake

This cheesecake recipe is a deliciously dangerous.   I fell in love with cheesecake when I lived in Germany.  I would sit in a cafe and split a slice with a friend over a cup of hot espresso!   This is my adaptation for my almond obsession!

INGREDIENTS:exps441_CM2406672B06_29_6b

  • ~ 15 graham crackers or German spice cookies, ground/crushed
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups raw cane sugar
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon almond extract (or for a twist, substitute your favorite flavor!)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1/4 cup finely sliced blanched almonds

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker/spice cookie crumbs with melted butter. Press firmly onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with raw cane sugar until smooth. Blend in milk, and then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. Mix in sour cream, almond extract and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours; this prevents cracking.
  5. Sprinkle top with blanched almonds and chill in refrigerator until serving.
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Obatzda- Bavarian Cheese Spread

This is a delicious and fat-filled delight usually served with fresh veggies and warm pretzels (Brez’n). For a party, do the whole recipe, otherwise you can half it! :)

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of Camembert
  • 8 oz of Brie
  • 6 oz of Cream Cheese
  • 1/4 cup sweet yellow onion minced finely
  • 2-3 Teaspoons Paprika (add enough until it is a nice orange)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Caraway seeds
  • 4-6 Tablespoons dark Weissebier (wheat beer)
  • 1 bunch of chives/green onion tops finely chopped

Mash cheeses, butter, and beer together in a large bowl. When thoroughly mixed together, add in the onion, then slowly add in the caraway seeds and paprika until it is a light orange/pink.  At the end, mix in the majority of the chives.  Chill.  Serve with garnish of fresh chives on top and fresh pretzels and veggies.   Yum!

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Daal (Indian red lentil soup)

This is a simple and delicious addition to any Indian meal you are making. Great accompaniment to a Masala dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups red lentils (well rinsed & soaked)
  • 2-4 cups of water (depending on desired consistency)
  • Olive oil/Untoasted Sesame oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion (minced)
  • 1-2 tsp Cumin
  • 1-2 tsp Coriander powder/seeds
  • 1 tsp Ginger- powder or fresh
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 clove of garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 large russet or 2 yellow fin potatoes (1 cm cubes)
  • 1 large tomato (1/2 inch cubes)
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 small bunch of Cilantro (finely chopped with stems and leaves separate)
  • 1 small tomato chopped for garnish
  • cilantro tops chopped for garnish

First rinse and soak the red lentils in a bowl while preparing all your other ingredients.

In a medium pot, put a generous amount of oil into the pan.  When hot, fry the onion, garlic, Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Turmeric, and Garam Masala.  When the onions begin to caramalize, add the potatoes and continue to fry for a few minutes, adding more oil as necessary.

Add the lentils and enough water to generously cover the potatoes and lentils.  Allow to boil, stirring often.  When the lentils begin to break down, creating a thicker texture, add the finely chopped stems of the fresh cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and chopped large tomato. Continue to cook, adding water if necessary until you have a thick soup.

Serve with jasmine rice and topped with fresh cilantro and tomato.  I enjoy putting in a tsp of Tumaric into the water when the rice is cooking, creating a bright yellow rice.  Another nice variation is to put 1 tsp – 1 Tbsp of Cumin into the cooking rice for a different flavor!

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Orange-Fennel Glazed Beet Salad

This zesty, flavorful dish makes a great side salad to accompany a wide range of dishes!  It is particularly eye-catching if you use a mixture of chioggia (striped),  golden, and red beets.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 Beets peeled and cubed (1- 1  1/2″)
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp White Balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2-2/3 cup Orange or Tangerine Juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chevre (Blue cheese or another cheese of your choice works too)
  • Walnuts (finely chopped)
  • Sprigs of fresh Fennel (chopped or finely torn

First preheat your oven to 400 F.

In a glass casserole dish: marinade your beets in the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and pepper.  Leave at least a 1/4-1/2 inch of liquid in the bottom of the pan and continue to baste/stir the beets as they bake.  Remove from the heat when a fork can easily push into the beets.

When the beets are cool, mix in the walnuts, fennel, and chevre.  When serving top with more fresh chevre and fennel.

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