Friday, July 2, 2010

Summoning Summer

I should be making web sites and designing stuff but it is Canada day and every other person with the day off is probably doing something un-work related so I decided to un-cook. (Dear Valued Clients, the wheels are in motion - I swear).

July 1st... Canada Day... it IS summer, right? Cool, I'll make food with summer vegetables then. I think they came from California (ssssshhhhh don't tell), where things grow because it IS summer there. The fruit truck visits Banff once a week on Wednesdays in the summer and is supposed to bring fresh fruit and vegetables from the Okanagan. I saw dole and green giant stickers last week on a few items... gross! I didn't purchase those items, but I did purchase green peas, green beans, red beets and yellow zucchini. Lately I have been obsessed with fresh vegetables chopped up and tossed together with a little bit of pink sea salt (massaged in) and good quality organic olive oil. That is all you need if your produce is at its best - yum.

Ok so here is the menu for this evening:
Fresh Green Pea + Cashew Cream stuffed Coconut Purses with Flat Leaf Parsley Pesto, wilted Green Beans and Red Beet Salad.

This is the shopping list:
*a couple of young thai coconuts
*green onions
*red beets or any other deep coloured vegetable you want to juice for colouring
*a medium yellow zucchini
*a few handfuls of green beans
*a bunch of green peas
*chia seeds (optional)
*raw cashews
*a lemon
*pine nuts
*small bunch of basil
*large bunch of flat leaf parsley
*small bunch of cilantro
*olive oil

*vita mix
*food Processor

I would like to say that although the visual idea for the coconut purses was not my brain child, I made up my own recipe for these little guys. If I was to make these again I would double the recipe for the purses. Most of my coconuts had no meat inside so I had to make do with one cup.

Coconut Purses:
1 cup young coconut meat
2 green onions (white part only)
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Blend until smooth and creamy then add:

1/2 medium yellow zucchini, peeled (save peel)

Blend again until smooth and creamy

OK - I was experimenting so bear with me..

I took 1/3 cup of this mixture out and put it aside, and another 1/4 cup out and put in separate bowl and mixed a few dashes of spirulina powder in it (for green colour. I didn't have any spinach to juice, otherwise I think I would have done that instead, nicer flavour).

I then juiced one small red beet to get approx. 1/8 cup juice. Look at the crema on top of that beat juice - beauty! I am now officially a home juice barista. That's right.

I put this beet juice into the vita mix with the remaining coconut/zucchini puree. Then I took another 1/4 cup of the puree out and added 1 tsp. ground chia seeds to the remaining mixture in the blender. Just wanted to see what turned out better, chia infused wrappers or regular wrappers (they both turned out good).

Anyway, you must be bored by now... skip to the end...

Spread each different puree out pretty thin on a teflex sheet and dehydrate at 105 for about 3-4 hours, until you can peel them off with no residue left on the teflex. Trim the outer crustier edges away and slice into large rectangles or squares. Squares are probably best but who is judging.

Put in fridge until you are ready to use. Don't let any water get on these delicate little guys.

Fresh Pea + Cashew Cream:
1 cup cashews, soaked for a bunch of hours (like 4 or more)
1/2 cup fresh shucked peas
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from one lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4-1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 cup water
1 small piece of celery from the inside of the bunch, you know, those really light green guys that look quite young

Blend all in vita mix and use the plunger to force the cream into the blades until smooth. Place in fridge until you need it.

Flat Leaf Parsley Pesto:
2 cups packed parsley
4 large basil leaves
small handful cilantro
1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon pink sea salt
pinch fresh black pepper

Place all in food processor until it looks like the very top image above on the far right.

Ok now take some fresh green beans, slice lengthwise down the seam, coat in olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and throw in the dehydrator for a few hours at 105 to "wilt".

Now take 2 small beets or one med red beet and shave it with a veg peeler until you can't shave any more off. Now slice those shavings lengthwise in half. Thin strips.
Toss in olive oil and sea salt. Mince 1 green onion and toss with beets.

If you actually did all this, wow good for you! If you actually understood all this, you are a champ.

Now fill the coconut wrappers with green pea puree, folding the sides in to create a pocket

and tie them up with the outside of the zucchini shavings (may need to cut shavings in half and make sure they are dry). You will want to do this right before you serve them because the coconut wrappers have about a half hour/hour max shelf life before they start to turn to mush where they are in contact with the pea puree.

Take a look at the pictures, that is easier than me trying to tell you how I assembled everything.

Well... cheers to summer!

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