Fresh Veggie Spring Rolls

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My contribution to last nights dinner at my sisters.... Freshy fresh veggies spring rolls.I had about 30 minutes between work and getting over to my sisters house to throw something together so it needed to be something fast, easy, and something I could make without going to the store. She was making the main course (some teriyaki situation and rice) so I was doing up the veggies.

I had just bought a package of spring roll wrappers…. Bingo! The perfect and logical choice. I grab the wrappers, a variety of veggies and after spending 12 of my 30 minutes trying to scrub the oil based paint off of my face and hands, I still managed to completely prepare, construct, and take pictures of these lovely tasty spring rolls. and get over to my sisters in time for dinner.

Impressed?  

Damn right!

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The stuff. Carrot, beet, asparagus, red cabbage, and kohlrabi, which all (except asparagus, which I just cut into thirds) got cut into matchstick sized pieces with my mandoiln. Then there are the rice spring roll wrappers that we need to make the veggies into rolls. Also a bit of red wine vinegar to drizzle onto the veggies for a little extra zing. And lastly, soy, fresh ginger, and a couple cloves of garlic for a spicy salty dipping sauce.Start by having everything set out and ready to assemble. Fill a large shallow dish or baking sheet with really warm water. Working with one at a time,place a rice wrapper into water and let sit for about 10 seconds or until the paper starts to soften. Remove from water and place on a damp surface (just splash a little water on the counter) Take a little bit of everything and and place on the lower middle part of the paper. Fold in the sides first, then tuck and roll the wrapper as tightly as you can without ripping the wrapper.

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Repeat until you have used up all you veggies.For the dipping sauce. Finely grate ginger and garlic and add to soy sauce. Stir… and it's done.Freshy, pretty and fantastically delicious. And for real, took about 8 minutes to make. (I even had enough time to wash the dishes before we left!)

I am so awesome!

Hump Day Pow!!!!!

-C

Fresh Veggies Spring Rolls 

Makes 8-10 but can easily be increased or decreased to desired amount 

  • 8-1o rice spring roll papers
  • Splash of Red wine or rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • teaspoon  freshly grated ginger
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium beet
  • 1/4 head of purple cabbage
  • 10 thin fresh asparagus
  • 1 small kohlrabi

Note… I used the veggies that I had in the fridge at the moment. If you have a bunch of veggies but not these particular ones, use what you have. Pretty much all veggies taste good inside a spring roll!

Gather your veggies and prep by either using a mandolin, a grater, or some sick knife skills, and julienne, shred, or slice you veggies into thin match sticks. Once all the veggies are prepared, sprinkle a little vinegar over the top.

For the rolls...Grab a large shallow vessel  (a rimmed baking sheet works great) and add in warm water. Working  one at a time, place the wrapper into the water for about 10 seconds or until the wrapper starts to soften. Remove and spread onto a clean, damp work surface. Gather a bit of each veggie that you are adding and place towards the bottom  middle of the wrapper. Now fold the sides in over the pile of veggies. Then with the side closest to you, tuck and roll wrapper away from you, trying to keep it tight, but not to tight that it rips.. (Hopefully that makes since.) Place finished rolls onto a damp surface to keep from sticking and if not serving right away, drape with  a damp towel or paper towel to keep from drying out.

For the soy ginger dipping sauce. Add grated ginger,  minced garlic, and soy into a bowl and mix together.  Serve with spring rolls. 

Eat one, two, or a plateful. It's nice to share but not a necessity.

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

IMG_8806There is a joke about Vermonters, that all we talk about is the weather. Well, it's kind of true. But to our defense, we get a lot of weather, and it's always changing and intense and both lovely and crazy and all over. So yeah, we talk. A lot, about the weather. And on that topic, I am trying so hard not to complain, but honestly, I am getting a little sick, both physically and mentally from all of these  super, to freaking cold temperatures. Yesterday the high was 0 ( which was at like 2 in the morning)  and factor in the windchill, the temp stayed at like 25 below. It f**king sucks. I can't  stay outside for too long or else I will probably die. The dog  is having a hard time making it around the block before he gets ice paws, and the mister, well he even started wearing gloves (he wears a sweater all winter and never gets cold…..he is officially cold)

 And not only is the cold keeping us all indoors, but its making us all borderline sick. We both have been fighting something for the past few week. The headaches, stuffy nose, chest congestions. The puppy is getting super dry skin and gave himself a hot spot. BLAh!! Ok, enough! No more complaining

Because  I do really love the winter and all the pretty snow!!!!

But we are feeling kind of sick so to make us feel oh so much better, a fantastic, super tasty, healing, good for me, good for you, soup. Turmeric ginger carrot… oh man. Made with lots of ginger, turmeric and garlic and finished with a drizzle of raw honey. This soup is exactly what we need. All ingredients scream.. FEEL GOOD, BE WARM AND COZY! Almost everything in it has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The veggies are hearty and heathy and just eating soup helps to keep hydrated. And the best part..it tastes so freaking amazing. 

So whether  you are feeling a little mah, or just a little hungry.…this soup is where it's at!

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Lots of chopped up carrots, a small onion, a little bit of cauliflower I had left over and a small beet. If you don't have the cauliflower and or a beet, just use  ares pepper or another 2 carrots.. no biggy. 

Then we have the fresh ginger ( you can use powdered) turmeric and garlic.  All the good healthy spicy and yummy stuff. 

IMG_8747I accidentally spilled the turmeric on the counter..but it kind of looks like I might have done it on purpose… yeah, let's go with that.  Chop the garlic and he ginger into    chunksIMG_8761And toss into the pot to warm and activate. Just a little toasty toast. 

IMG_8765And the veggies are roasted and tender and smell so good.  It took a lot of will power to not eat the whole pan right there.

IMG_8798I added the roasted veggies and 3 cups water straight into my pot  with the spices because I used an emulsion blender. If you are using normal blender, add the veggies, the toasted spices and the water to the blender and blend until smooth. Then transfer to a pot.

IMG_8832Pretty much all blended together….(I left a few big chunks in there to snack on while I was waiting to eat serve…I was really hungry) and let to simmer for a little longer...

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And now ladle into a bowl and get ready for a fantastic finish… drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup…….so so good. You could add the honey before serving, but heating it kills all the good antibacterial stuff so that's why we wait. Then  I sprinkle some chopped kale and chives. (do it if you want, but not necessary)

Now enjoy. Let the warmth wash over you and feel all those good spices helping to fight the good fight to keep you well and all the yummy to satisfy your hunger.

And lets hope for some warm (above 0!!) weather!

-C

Turmeric Ginger Carrot Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 large carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small beet*
  • quarter head cabbage ( or a cup of frozen)*
  • 2-3 teaspoons  turmeric 
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh  ginger (1/2 teaspoon if using powdered)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • salt pepper
  • raw honey (omit if vegan)

* If you don't have or want to use beet and or the cauliflower, you can use a red pepper, a small sweet potato, or just use a few more carrots. 

Chop all veggies into similar sized chunks and toss into a lightly oiled pan or on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt.  Stick in oven at 425 for about 30 minutes or until all veggies are fork tender. 

In a large soup pot or dutch oven, toss chopped garlic, ginger and the turmeric and place on medium heat for a few minutes to activate the spices. Add the roasted veggies and 3 cups water to pot (if using emulsion blender) and blend until smooth. If using a blender, add the toasted spices, roasted veggie and 3 cups water and blend until smooth then transfer to a large pot or dutch oven. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat down to  simmer and let cook for an addition 10 minutes. 

When ready to serve, ladle soup into bowl and drizzle a spoonful of raw honey into soup. Garnish with fresh chopped kale, chives, cabbage or whatever you want. (or nothing is good too)

Blood Orange Ginger Lime Sparkler Pop

IMG_7737IMG_7582  IMG_7701  I have been meaning do a post on seltzer and syrups for a while now and this one is perfect… Everyone around me has been getting sick and I am trying my hardest to not get anything. 

Citrus and ginger…. Two of my favorite things, combined into one super refreshing, light and crisp, thirst quenching drink. Tasty and packed full of vitamin C from the citrus and blood warming, tummy healing ginger. Its kind of a feel better elixir, a good for you drink, a sparkler pop.  A drink everyone can get into       (the mister even liked it), And it has no added sugars or nasty coloring, it can't get much better.

Feeling Happy, feeling crappy, or just plain feeling, this drink is a good for it all.

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I made the ginger date simple syrup ahead of time.. All I did what chop 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger and  about 3 tablespoons pitted dates and added to a pot with a cup of water. Simmered the stuff until the dates were mostly dissolved, about 15 minutes, took off the  heat and pureed it. I let it steep for another 5 minutes and strained….no biggy.   This is a milder sweet simple syrup. If you like sweeter add more dates or even add a bit of honey… Do what tastes the best to you.

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Juice the lime and blood orange…..so much pretty!

I ended up with about 12 tablespoons of juice from a the lime and the orange.. If you need or want to, juice an additional orange and lime. 

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Add 2-3 tablespoons of the fresh juice per 12oz glass and add about 2-3 tablespoons of the ginger date syrup…(adjust amounts to you taste) Top off with cold plain seltzer water and maybe an ice-cube or two. ( I would have if I had thought to make ice)

IMG_7733So lovely…. so nice. I really got into these flavors. This drink has the ability to make you feel warm and cozy while being cold and fresh. It makes me happy.

Double thumbs up here!

Stay un-sick!

-C

Blood Orange Ginger Lime Sparkler Pop

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
  • 3 tablespoons chopped dates (more if you want sweeter)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lime
  • 1 blood orange
  • Plain Seltzer water
  • Ice (optional)

For the ginger date syrup

In a small pot on low heat, add chopped dates and ginger to a cup of water. Simmer until dates  have mostly dissolved, about 15 minutes. remove from heat and puree with either  a blender to a hand emulsifier. Let steep for another 5 minutes and strain, reserving the pulp (add it to soup or salad dressing). Let completely cool.

To assemble drink, juice blood orange, and lime. Add about 3 tablespoons of the ginger syrup and 2-3 tablespoons of the citrus juice per 12 0z cup. Top with plain seltzer water, give it a light swirl with a spoon or straw and add ice cube if you want. Now have at it!

Ginger Soy Tofu and Broccoli Soba Noodles

IMG_6852I usually base my meals on what I know I have for food in the house and what I know needs to be eaten. I was a little surprised when muling around in the freezer to find a block of extra firm tofu. (I don't remember buying). Maybe a tofu fairy left it in there for me, or maybe it has been in there for years and I just am now stumbling upon it. Either way, I found it and it had to be eaten. So I cooked it up, and I cooked it up nice and good. Tofu is a pretty vertical food, being that its basically a flavorless block of protein. It can go sweet or savory, mashed, chopped or blended. Add fresh garlic, any type of sauce  or even  peanut butter. (the possibilities are quite endless)  I was going for a dinner dish so I decided on a simple cubed tofu with lots of ginger and garlic (so good to ward of those winter sicko bugs out there) and baked it up nice and crispy with fresh bright green broccoli and soba noodle.  Quick, easy, tasty and healthy.. I did it again.  Thanks tofu fairy!

IMG_6719  This noodle dish is super easy to make and take only about a half hour. We start with extra firm tofu, a package of buckwheat soba noodle, a nice big broccoli crown, honey, fresh ginger, garlic and soy sauce. oil for pan and lime for a finish.  Nothing fancy.IMG_6753 Dice the tofu into small cubes and place onto a clean dish towel and pat dry…It really helps the tofu suck in more flavor and become nice a and crispy.

IMG_6772 Tofu get moved into a lightly oiled skillet,  ready to go into a hot oven. Why baked instead of sautéed on the stove? I find that the tofu keeps it shape and crisps up better when baked. But do whatever you want….. But just bake it.

IMG_6747While the tofu is baking, make up the sauce. Grate about 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger and4 large cloves of garlic into a bowl. Whisk together with 2 tablespoons honey, 1/3 cup  soy ( tamari or brags aminos works too) and 1/3 cup of warm water.  Taste it, and if you think it needs more anything, add it. I actually used 6 cloves of garlic, but I really wanted a garlic packed sauce.    

Oh and start a pot of water to boil noodles in.

IMG_6823 After 15 ish minutes, give tofu a flip, then after about 25 minutes, the tofu should be nearly done. Remove from the oven and toss in the chopped broccoli and 1/3 cup of the sauce. Its a little watery but thats what you want, it will cook down in the oven. Now stick the skillet goes back into the oven and boil the soba noodle.

IMG_6833   Another 10 minutes in the oven and the sauce starts to caramelize and the broccoli is cooked but still nice and crisp.  Remove skillets from oven and toss in the cooked noodles and the rest of the dressing. Toss and toss and place on a plate, or a bowl, or if your into it, just eat out of the pan. (it happens)IMG_6857

I added a small handful of fresh shopped cabbage to add a bit more crunchy bite.  I also added a squeeze of lime juice on top for a nice acidic finish. Lemon works and even a slash of vinegar would be nice, but plain is good too. What ever you do, just EAT! 

A quicky yummy, noodley dinner!  And leave a little extra for left overs because these noodles are fantastic cold… think lunch, or a later that night fridge snack. 

keep it in the reals!

-C

Ginger Soy Tofu and Broccoli Soba Noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • 1 package Soba noodle 
  • 1 large crown of fresh Broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar for vegan)
  • Lime wedges(Optional)
  • Chopped cabbage(optional)
  • coconut or oil for skillet

Preheat oven to 425

Remove tofu from package, cut into cubes and lay on a clean dish towel and pat dry. 

Tofu goes into a oiled skillet and placed in oven for 25 minutes. Give tofu a flip after about 15 minutes. While tofu is baking, make the dressing, chop the broccoli and boil water for soba noodles.

For dressing, grate fresh ginger and garlic into a bowl. Whisk together with soy, water and honey (or brown sugar).

When water is at a boil, add soba noodle and cook until done ( about 6-8 minutes..Follow instructions of package)

When tofu has baked for 20 minutes, remove skillet, toss in chopped broccoli and 1/2 cup of soy ginger dressing Return skillet to oven for another 10 minutes or until dressing just starts to caramelize.  Remove for oven and toss in cooked soba noodles and the rest of dressing. If you want a little more veggie bit, add in some fresh chopped cabbage. Plate and serve with a wedge of lime or lemon or even a sprinkle of red wine vinegar.

Now EAT!

Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

IMG_6198FA LA LA LA LA….. LA LA LA LA….Happy eve of Christmas! What better way to celebrate the holidays than with the sweet and spicy flavor of ginger…in donut form! There is nothing better.

This donut is ideal for Christmas morning(or any other morning)..Warm and sweet, bright and tangy….The perfect balance to make everyone happy! It's really fast and easy, so you can make a batch while the coffee is brewing, or you can even make them tonight and maybe leave a donut out for santa. Have guests over for the holidays…Dazzle them with a homemade donut. Hanging out at home by yourself…make some donuts…..traveling….well you are kind of screwed at the moment… but think about making donuts when you get where  your going. 

It all started a few Christmases back when the mister gifted me with a wonderful addition to my kitchen bakeware….a donut pan…. and it was a game changer. If you do not have a donut pan I suggest that you immediately go buy one.. No joke, it's so worth it. The pan elevates a simple cake recipe to something more… A round of frosted soft cakeness. Circles with holes…..happiness. Hopefully you already have a donut pan, but if not, I trust you will soon.(you can still make this recipe without the pan, just bake it in a 9x9 pan. Yes, it will still taste amazing, but it's that much better as a donut!)

IMG_6100 I am really excited to finally share a donut recipe with you all. I haven't made a batch yet that hasn't won a round of applause or at least a super double thumbs up. If you haven't made donuts yet, bookmark this recipe and make it  priority for your next baking adventure

.What I started with….flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt whisked together. A little bowl of fresh ginger, powdered ginger and cinnamon.  Molasses, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg, melted butter and milk. Not a bad line up

IMG_6107The spiced mixed in to the dry….I used fresh and powered ginger but if you don't have any fresh.. just add more powdered…but fresh adds that extra bit of gingery spiciness.

IMG_6111       IMG_6114                                            The wet ingredients all mix together. Molasses first, then the butter, vanilla, and the brown sugar, mix that then add the egg and the milk last.(avoid adding egg and melted butter together so it doesnt scramble)  Mix wet mixture with the dry until fully incorporated and smooth. 

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A beautiful donut batter….Scoop small spoonfuls of batter into very well greased donut pan …smooth tops with a spoon or spatial....I may have added just a little too much batter the first round, , which is totally cool, it's just the donuts came our with a bit of a spare tire around the bottom…a little more to eat I say.IMG_6133Out of the oven and turned onto a cooling rack…This beauties smell so very nice.

IMG_6124      IMG_6130While the donuts are cooling, prepare the icing. Mix  1/4 cup of cream cheese with 1/2 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Half of a lemons worth of juice with a teaspoon of lemon zest and mix…  add a splash or two of milk to get the desired consistency(this is a cream cheese glaze, it won't harden like a sugar glaze)IMG_6151When the donuts are full cooled, dip into glaze….

Flip and let drip……and admire. I had to beat a few hands away while taking these pictures..I am telling you, people will do crazy things for a donut…..CRAZY THINGS…IMG_6156Just look at these. And for real, they really don't take much time. You could totally whip these up in less than 30 minutes.. just make sure to have someone else do all the dishes!!!

 

Gingerbread Donuts with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Ingredients……Makes about 8

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon  powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter

Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • half a lemon worth of lemon juice
  • a splash or two of milk

Instructions Preheat oven 350

Grease  donut pan In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, powdered and fresh ginger. In a small bow mix molasses, vanilla, brown sugar and melted butter. Stir and add milk and egg last.

Mix the wet with dry ingredients and until just combined. Scoop small amounts of batter to each donut mold… fill to about 2/3 full. and level out with a spoon if spatula. Stick in oven and bake for  10 minutes or until edges just start to turn golden brown and a cake test comes out clean.

While donuts are cooling, stir together cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Add small splashes of milk until you reach the desired consistency(not to runny, think dish soap) Dip baked side of donuts into glaze, flip and return to wire rack.

And then you open your mouth…..EAT DONUT……..EAT!!!