Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's About Sprouts

It seems I've been obsessed with sprouting things lately both in the garden and in the kitchen. I love the typical bean sprouts that you can buy in the grocery but I love even more to eat seeds that have just sprouted. I use them raw in salads or sauté them with all kinds of dishes. On the plate above are some sprouted seeds that are just a few days old. From left to right we have sprouted green peas, sprouted mung beans and sprouted brown lentils. As they get bigger they grow shoots and will grow their first leaves. I simply soak the dried seeds overnight, drain and then rinse them two to three times a day.

I used these sprouts to make an egg white scramble recently.

I cooked the sprouts with some shredded carrots, a thai chili and some dried chipotle pepper for a bit of smokiness.

After a few minutes in the hot pan I added beaten egg whites and scrambled them all up together. It was a wonderful quick and easy dinner.

You can sprout all kinds of things including many grains. In addition to those depicted above, I also love to sprout radish and kamut.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Four Courses

I was inspired reading food blogs to make a light and healthy multi-course dinner that would please the palate but not pack on the pounds. I think I succeeded.

First up: Tomato and Rhubarb Salad with Taragon

This salad exceeded all my expectations. For two servings I used one half of a tomato, chopped, and two thin stalks of celery. To this was added a couple tablespoons of fresh French tarragon - the kind that has that nice anisey bite to it. A couple tablespoons of olive oil, a splash of rice vinegar, a sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper and that was all it took to create this salad. I served it on a bed of shredded romaine lettuce. The tarragon married beautifully with the tomato and rhubarb.

Second course: Eggplant and Tomato over Shiratake Tofu Noodles

I have fallen in love with Shiratake noodles. They are made from soybeans, have very low carbs and essentially no calories (20 per serving). I took one Asian eggplant and the other half of that tomato and stewed it up with salt, pepper and garlic. I added a splash of balsamic vinegar and finished the dish with fresh oregano.

Third course: Chicken and Herb Sausage with Sprouted Peas and Carrots

I have been experimenting with sprouts lately. One of the things I have discovered are the dried green and yellow whole peas from my local Indian market sprout beautifully. I just soak them overnight in water, drain them and then rinse the peas two or three times a day. After a few days the start to show their roots. I love them at this stage. They are not quite as sweet as a fresh pea but not as starchy as the dried peas. They are alive and the starches are being acted upon by enzymes to convert the starch to the plants food, sugar. They cook up nicely. This dish was a simple sauté of the peas, carrots and sausage. What really made the dish was the addition of dried chipotle pepper. It provided a wonderful spicy smokiness that tied it all together.

Last but not least: Spicy Garlic Shrimp and Soba

I just threw together some shrimp, garlic, commercial chili flakes in oil, salt and pepper and flash sautéed them. Just as the shrimp were about done I threw in cooked soba noodles and tossed them all together in the pan. YUMMY!

Hope you enjoyed this. You CAN make great tasting food without the fat and calories.