Thursday, February 28, 2013

Darn hibernation....

Greetings friends~

It's been a couple of months again since I've posted. I blame the Wisconsin winters that I now live in and I'm surrendering to the ol' hibernation spell, haha. Yah, that's it! At any rate, I know I want and need to blog more, so here I am!

Sweet follow up to my last post from December- I WON! I didn't win the grand prize (wah-wahhhh), but for the 3rd year in a row now I have won in the Earth Balance Holiday Bake-Off. Thank you Earth Balance! My cheesecake, also from my last post, was the winner in the cake category. I'm so thankful to be a part of the winners circle again, it's such a fun contest and I sure do heart Earth Balance and all the beautiful people at Made Just Right.

Today I woke up on a mission for nutrition (hey I like that!). I woke up and made a pot of homemade chai tea, a fresh carrot-ginger-orange juice, a fat green smoothie,
and a pot of adzuki beans with yams. Damnit I eat well! :D Lastly, the recipe I will include on this blog today, is a Sunflower Seed Caesar dressing (Seedzar!). I had 2 big heads of romaine lettuce in my frig to use up, and I suddenly got the fierce appetite for some vegan caesar to drizzle onto said romaine.

Since the New Year I've been giving up various foods for a month at a time, just to see how my body feels about it. January was no gluten or coffee, this month no soy-GASP I know! A soyless vegan!? Now I'm REALLY only eating lawn trimmings. I also just finished a 2 week juice cleanse again, and I'm feeling quite refreshed amidst the otherwise fat laden hibernating period where us midwesterners have to pack on the fat to stay warm. No no, not this freshly transplanted San Diegan, vegan! haha What does this have to do with the Seedzar? Well, typically I would use silken tofu for my creamy vegan caesar, but not this time. I tossed in all the regular seasonings but used sunnies as the base, and might I say I'm immensely pleased with the texture, creaminess and flavor! No graininess or dominating flavor. I might even say, oh heck, I'll say it- I love it WAY more than tofu!

I'll have to admit, I have inspiration from Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco. I was a line cook there about 11 years ago for a hot minute, and the caesar there knocked me off my rocker. It's chuck full of capers in lieu of the dreaded anchovy (brilliant!) and nutritional yeast to give it a thick and cheesy flavor. This is close, but has my own additions. If I were to concoct a beautiful caesar salad right now with all the accoutrements, I would add tempeh croutons, ripe cherry tomatoes, and some garlic toast points. For today though, I just tossed it with some fresh crunchy romaine and went to town. Here she is:

Sunflower Seedzar Dressing
1 cup Sunflower Seeds
2 cups Water
1/3 cup Lemon Juice (juice of 2 lemons)
1/2 Nutritional Yeast
1/4 cup Capers
2 T. Miso (mellow white or chickpea)
2 cloves garlic
2 T. Dijon Mustard
1 T. Mustard Powder
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper, ground
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a blender, first combine only the sunflower seeds and water. Allow them to soak and get soft for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, blend the sunflower seeds. A thick cream should be achieved after about 30 seconds to a minute of blending on high speed.

Stop blender and add in everything else except for the olive oil. Start blending, and when everything is combined and creamy, start drizzling in the olive oil. Season with additional salt if needed and reblend.

Voila! Instant homemade Sunflower Seedzar dressing! This needn't be only for salads- drizzle some on your veggie burger, dip that gardein in there or simply dip some crudites in there for a snack on the go! I'm thinking this would be fab on some roasted cauliflower too. Have fun with it, and let me know how you like it!

Next week I'm off to the Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim, and I hope to have lots of great ideas and inspiration to take home. I'll be sure to post some fun news from the natural foods forefront!

Thanks for reading :)