Thursday, June 30, 2011

Dinner for the teachers

Last night I made dinner for the teachers involved in the Waldorf Music Conference here in San Diego Of course it was gluten and casein free, as well as vegetarian, but completely healthy and diverse. I made dinner for them last year as well, which was a 4 course meal with two dessert options.
I love fresh produce that summer brings! it isn't so hot here in Southern California so we are still enjoying some cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage; we also have cucumbers, corn, radish, onion, fava beans, and of course watermelon!
Let's also say that I was away all day and only had a tiny bit of time to pull this off - so I hit my library...
I pulled out a few of my favourite things...and created their menu...we also had some of the dishes here for dinner and I even ate the broccoli salad today for lunch - it is really amazing the next day after the flavors marinate.
The Menu:

Watermelon Gazpacho (Adapted from Lousia Shapia’s Lucid Food)
Fava Bean and Corn Salad (From Williams-Sonoma's  Eat Wellby Charity Ferreira)
Broccoli, Chickpea and Tomato Salad (From Martha Stewart, Everyday Food, Great Food Fast)
Cucumber and Kraut Tea Sandwiches on Chia and Millet and White Sandwich bread from Udi's and Bubbies Sauerkraut
Citrus with Honey and Mint
Chocolate Brownie (Gluten, Casein and Egg free) - adapted from Mayumi's Kitchen: Macrobiotic Cooking for Body and Soul by Mayumi Nishimura 

Here are the recipes and with the adaptations...
Watermelon Gazpacho (6 as a starter)
In a  blender until smooth
6 cups watermelon, coarsely chopped and seeded (use a small seedless)
2 ripe tomatoes, cored & quartered (her recipe calls for 5)
1 rounded tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 whole toasted almonds (I use almond meal)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I use balsamic glaze)
1 teaspoon chipotle sauce (I use medium salsa)
1 tsp Maldon sea salt

Serve in bowls or glasses and top with
1/4 red onion, finely diced
1 cucumber seeded, diced

1 radish chopped

Fava bean and corn salad with mint (6 as a salad)

  • Ingredients
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (used fresh)1 1/2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 1 1/2 lb.)2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil1 1/2 Tbs. cider vinegar8 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves


Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the corn and cook for 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and set aside.
Add the fava beans to the pot and cook until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Slip the fava beans from their skins.
In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Stir in the corn, fava beans, radishes, mint, 1/2 tsp salt and a few grindings of pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Serves 4.

Broccoli, Chickpea and Tomato Salad (6 as a salad)Ingredients:
1 pound broccoli, separated into florets (4 cups)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed


  1. In a large saucepan with a steamer insert, bring 1 inch of water to a boil. Add broccoli, cover, and steam until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together mustard, red-wine vinegar, olive oil, and onion; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and broccoli. Toss to coat with dressing. Let cool 5 minutes. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Cucumber and Kraut Tea Sandwiches (serves 6)
6 slices of Chia and Millet sandwich bread, crusts removed
6 slices of white sandwich bread, crusts removed
Your choice of butter or butter substitute spread - I like olive oil spread - but you can make your own with coconut oil or any other emulsion.
your choice of mayonnaise or salad dressing
36 thin slices of cucumber
6 tbs kraut

Assemble the sandwiches with thin layer of spread, mayo/dressing, 1 tbs kraut and 6 cucumber slices, cut in half and serve.

Chocolate Brownies

1 c. gluten free flour blend (1/3 garbanzo, 1/3 rice, 1/6 tapioca, 1/6 potato - tsp xanthan gum)1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 c. maple sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. sugarless chocolate chip
2 Tbs. unsweetened "milk" (you can use whatever "milk" you want - cow, goat, soy, almond)
1/2 c. oil - you can use whatever you want (I like to mix sunflower and flax)
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Pinch Sea salt
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 ovenproof pan. (For easier clean-up, line pan with parchment paper.) i actually use 6 inch cake pans - then I can cut into triangles...
Place first five ingredients in one bowl and the remaining wet ingredients in another. Mix both bowls separately, then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix just enough to blend, using a spatula to prevent lumps. Transfer batter to pan. Place on the middle rack of the oven; bake for about 20 minutes. When a toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven.
Happy cooking!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Where am I going to get my Macro or Juicing box now?

Diamond Organics is no more.
I was thinking to myself - hey - let's see if Kathleen can get me some gooseberries for a Midsummer cake I want to make this Friday...I wanted to make little ones and drop them off at my son's school for his teachers along with a spiral sun-catcher - which is a little craft the boys and I will be working on Friday. i didn't want to use grapes from Chile and our grapes don't come until September...although I might be able to find some early ones...

Anyhow - I go to the website and guess what I see?

Diamond Organics was the largest organic online retailer in the nation. Products included organic prepared foods, organic gift baskets and sampler and a full line of organic food items including fresh organic produce cut to order shipped overnight to arrive the next day.

When I traveled, I always had a box of Diamond Organics goodies shipped to my destination, this way I was guaranteed to have food with the standard I'm used to feeding my family.

Of course I'm heartbroken.  I wrote Kathleen and she in turn wrote me back...
What happened? Well - California happened.
This is a super expensive place to live. She sold organic food - which already had an associated cost, but also shipped it across the USA - shipping rates are astronomical.

What I do want to share is who Kathleen Hamilton is...
  • She has been in the organic food business for 30 years and knows that California is where you can produce food on a year round basis.
  • She cooked macrobiotic at home for 15 years.
  • Her soups were GLORIOUS.She sold her own line of ready-to-eat food and packs for lunch and dinner to her customers. 
  • She's a mother, she feeds her family whole foods and fresh organic ingredients. 
  • She didn't have health care for many years being self employed. (don't we know that situation!)
  • She does have a little cookbook and I'm looking forward to getting it!

She's in Moss Landing, CA and will continue to support her local delivery business to her area. thank you Kathleen for the many years you kept this family healthy.

I wish you luck in your next venture - you're an inspiration!