Sunday, April 22, 2012

Recipes for Vegan Hors D'oeuvres at Green Festival

Cucumber Cups with Avocado Cilantro White Bean Dip

Here are the two recipes from my Vegan Hors D'oeuvres Class on the Good Food Stage at the NYC Green Festival. I am so excited to share them with you!

I created these two recipes because they are perfect for Spring, featuring ingredients and cooking styles that are in harmony with the season. The raw cucumbers are crisp and refreshing, the sour flavors of lemon and lime help to cleanse your liver and gall bladder, and the steaming and quick saute cooking methods are perfect to keep you feeling light and relaxed.

If you couldn't make it out to this year's festival, there are more coming up, so keep your eyes on the Green festival website,  I hope you enjoy the recipes.

Cucumber Cups with Avocado Cilantro White Bean Dip
1 cup Great Northern Beans
3-4 cups water
1 stamp sized piece kombu seaweed
1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 large avocado
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 pinch sea salt
6 stalks finely shredded fresh cilantro leaves

1 small red bell pepper
1 Tablespoon umeboshi vinegar

2 hothouse cucumbers

  1. Sort through the Great Northern beans to take out any dirt or pebbles. Rinse the beans in cool water 2 times. Then soak overnight or for 8 hours in a bowl with fresh water.
  2. Drain the soaked beans and transfer them to a pot. Add fresh cool water (approx. 3-4 cups) to the beans and cover them with about 1 inch of water. (You can measure by sticking your thumb into the pot. Let your thumb touch the top of the beans and make sure the water goes up to you thumb knuckle.)
  3. Bring the beans to a boil. Skim the beans if any foam arises. Rinse off the piece of kombu in cool water and add it to the boiling beans. Then turn the beans to low and let simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Taste the beans after 1 hour, if they are pretty much done, then add 1 teaspoon of sea salt. If not, let the beans cook longer until they are done and then add the salt. Let cook for 10 more minutes.
  5. Take the beans off of the stove and let cool.
Bean Dip:
  1. Once the beans have cooled, drain them. Then transfer them to a bowl and mash them by hand with a  potato masher or with the back of a fork. Mash until almost all beans are mashed. I like to keep some in whole form to give the dip a little more texture.
  2. Add the avocado, fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon umeboshi vinegar, garlic powder, and sea salt into the beans and mix. Then fold in the cilantro. Feel free to add more seasoning if you like.
  1. Slice the red bell pepper into 1/2 inch strips. Then thinly slice the strips.
  2. Heat a saute pan on medium heat. Add the strips of pepper and then add 1 Tablespoon of umeboshi vinegar. Saute for 3-4 minutes.
  1. Slice the cucumber lengthwise down the center. Then slice each half into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  2. Take the small end of a melon baller and scoop out the center of a cucumber slice. Repeat this until you have many cucumber sliced with hollowed out centers. Place the scooped out cucumber pieces into a bowl and set them aside. (You can use them in making a salad later. I used mine in a spinach salad with leftover red bell pepper garnish and shredded carrot, tossed with olive oil, salt and a little balsamic vinegar).
  3. Take a teaspoon and spoon in the white bean dip into the center of each cucumber cup. Garnish with red pepper slices. Serve and enjoy!

Sweet 'N Tangy Lime Seitan Skewers

Sweet 'N Tangy Lime Seitan Skewers
8 ounces seitan
zest 2 limes
juice 1 lime
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 large cloves fresh garlic, pushed through garlic press

1 stalk broccoli
1 yellow zucchini squash
6 inch bamboo skewers

Seitan and Marinade:
  1. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the pieces of seitan. Then cut into approximately 1 1/2 inch chunks.
  2. For the marinade, whisk together in a mixing bowl the lime zest, lime juice, brown rice syrup, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and garlic.
  3. Put the pieces of seitan into the marinade and mix together so that each piece of seitan is coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Transfer the seitan and marinade into a glass Pyrex baking dish and cover with a piece of tin foil.
  5. Cook the seitan for 10 minutes at 425 degrees. Then turn each piece of seitan over, so the opposite side is in the marinade. Cook for another 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and let cool.
  1. Slice the broccoli into medium sized florets. Cut the yellow zucchini squash lengthwise and then lengthwise again. Then slice into 1 inch pieces. (Try to make the size of the florets and zucchini squash a similar size as the seitan pieces.)
  2. Put a steamer basket in a pot with about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil, put the zucchini into the pot and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove cooked zucchini from the pot and set on a plate to cool.
  4. Put the broccoli into the pot and steam it, covered, for 3-4 minutes.
  1. Take a piece of yellow zucchini squash and put on the skewer. Next, put a piece of broccoli (piercing through the stem of the broccoli). Last, put a piece of seitan.
  2. Take the leftover marinade from cooking the seitan and dilute it with a little water. Mix together and pour into a dipping cup and serve on the side. (Optional: To season the steamed vegetables and serve without a sauce, brush the diluted marinade directly onto the vegetables on the skewer.) Enjoy!

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