Mango quasi-lassi with cucumber, mint, and almond milk

November 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm (Beverage, breakfast, B_, Derek's faves, My brain, Summer recipes)

It’s really too cold here for smoothies, but I bought some almond milk that I don’t care for in coffee, and was trying to figure out ways to use it up.  I also had some mint that needed to get eaten (from the escarole, sweet pea, and mint dish) and some homemade yogurt that was becoming rather sour.  I thought I’d try making a smoothie kind of reminiscent of the “Vitality” smoothie they serve here at Dean and David, which has cucumber, yogurt, basil, mango, honey, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.  But the container of frozen orange juice that I pulled out of the freezer turned out not to be orange juice, but rather mango puree.  So this quasi-lassi was born. Read the rest of this entry »

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Truffled celery root and potato gratin

October 5, 2008 at 7:06 am (101 cookbooks, Beverage, B_minus, My brain, Root vegetables, Starches, Vegetable dishes)

I was trying to figure out what to do with a big piece of celery root in the fridge, and Derek suggested roasting it in the oven.  I had already julienned it, so I decided to make a casserole of sorts with potatoes and onions.  I was inspired by the Spanish omelet recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance, and tried to make a kind of creamy sauce to fill in the cracks between the vegetables, and hold the whole thing together.  I was also inspired by the Greek lemon and garlic potatoes from Cook’s Illustrated, and seasoned the dish with garlic, lemon, and fresh oregano. The final dish ended up sort of like a cross between a gratin and a frittata.

  • 1.5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 3/4 pound celery root, julienned
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 1 small onion, sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 3 Tbs. fresh oregano, minced
  • 1.5 ounces feta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup lowfat milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Heat the olive oil on medium-high in a 12-inch oven-proof skillet.  Add the potatoes, celery root, leek, onions and salt and pepper, and cook until the potatoes start to soften.  Add the garlic and oregano and cook on medium for another 3 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and zest and feta and off heat.
  3. Beat the eggs with the milk, then pour over the vegetables.  Stir to distribute the egg mixture evenly.
  4. Place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 10-15 minutes, until the eggs are set.  Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes.

Derek liked this casserole quite a bit, although he said he wished there was more celery root and fewer potatoes (which were undercooked in his opinion). He also thought there was too much lemon juice. I also found it too acidic from the lemon juice, although I liked the lemon zest a lot. I couldn’t taste the oregano very much, and I thought it was a tad too salty.  The celery root was julienned so finely that it cooked much faster than the potatoes.

I think if I try this again I’ll use 1 pound each of potatoes and celery root and onion, and I’ll cut the celery root into a thicker julienne.  I’ll use half as much lemon juice and twice as much zest, and substitute thyme for the oregano, and an Italian pecorino-style cheese instead of feta.  I’d also like to add something with a bit of color, as this dish is very white.

When we were in Burgundy last month we had a celery root tart that Derek really liked.  It had a buttery crust, and the filling was a mix of gorgonzola, eggs, grated celery root and pear (or maybe apple).  This dish reminded me of that tart a bit, although the cheese was milder.  Celery root goes so wonderfully with fruit, another option would be to add in some pear or apple and use a sharp cheddar cheese.

Rating: B-

Derek: between a B and a B+

Update October 30, 2008:

I tried to make another version of this recipe, using some ideas from this recipe for truffled chantarelle, celery root, and potato gratin. I sliced potatoes and celeriac thinly on my mandoline.  I added a small pat of butter to a casserole pan, and cooked up a big bag of white mushrooms (sliced), adding white wine and truffle salt as well.  I added fresh nutmeg and thyme to the dish, but apparently not enough to taste them in the final casserole.  Once the mushrooms were starting to cook I added in the potatoes and celery root, and about a cup of water.  I let the vegetables simmer while I made the cashew cream sauce given in Heidi’s recipe.  I added about 1 cup of the cashew cream sauce to the vegetables, and grated a bit of gruyere over the top of the casserole.  I baked it at 375 until the cheese was melted and browned on top.

Derek really liked the final dish.  It was rich tasting and homey and he said there was a deep, roasted flavor he couldn’t identify (the truffle salt I think).  The celery root didn’t add a strong celery flavor. I’m not even sure I would have noticed that there was celery root in the dish if I hadn’t been paying close attention. I liked the taste of the cashew sauce (pretty simple, tasting of cashews), but found the texture a bit gritty.  It’s definitely something I’d like to play with in the future.

I enjoyed the casserole as leftovers, but Derek didn’t like it as much as he had the first night.

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Light Homemade Soy Mocha Frappucino

July 3, 2008 at 11:03 am (Beverage, From a friend, Quick weeknight recipe, Soymilk, unrated)

My little sister made this refreshing beverage for me this morning.  It’s her vegan homemade version of Starbucks’s mocha frappucino light.

  • rounded tsp. instant coffee into half mug of boiling water
  • 7 large ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup homemade, light, unsweetened soymilk or soymilk from an asian market
  • 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa
  • 3-4 tsp. sugar, to taste

Blend, and enjoy.

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Hot chocolate: theme and variations

January 13, 2008 at 9:49 pm (Beverage, Cook's Illustrated, Dessert, My brain, Other, Soymilk, unrated)

If you love chocolate, get cold easily, and live in Montreal (in January), then there’s nothing better than a steaming cup of hot chocolate before bed. But a word of warning: don’t buy any prepared hot cocoa mixes. Even the “upscale” sounding ones like Ghiradelli list sugar as the first ingredient.  I understand that sugar is much cheaper than cocoa, but these mixes are just wrong. The “chocolate” tastes more like dirty sugar water than hot cocoa. Make your own mix to keep in the pantry, or just whip together a cup when you happen to get a hankering (or when you’ve just walked home in -10 weather). Hot cocoa seems like such a simple thing to make, and yet there are a surprising number of bad recipes out there.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Smoothies and “Milkshakes”

January 21, 2007 at 7:35 am (Beverage, breakfast, Derek's faves, My brain, Quick weeknight recipe, Soymilk, The Vegan Gourmet, unrated, Website / blog)

When I was growing up my mom called any thick beverage made with fruit juice a “smoothie” and anything made with soymilk a “milkshake.” Derek, however, insists that milkshakes must include cow’s milk and ice cream. Whatever you call them, there are a million variations out there, and I’m on a quest to find my favorite combinations. So far I’ve only taken a few steps. But don’t worry, give me time. I’ll get there eventually! Read the rest of this entry »

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Mango Lassi

December 10, 2006 at 11:41 pm (Beverage, B_, Indian, Other, Quick weeknight recipe, Soymilk)

This recipe is from Jamie Oliver. I found it online at the food network page when looking for a mango lassi recipe.

  • 9 ounces plain yogurt
  • 4.5 ounces milk
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 4.5 ounces canned mango pulp or 7 ounces from 3 fresh mangos, stoned and sliced

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes, then pour into individual glasses, and serve. The lassi can be kept refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Serves four.

I didn’t quite have the ingredients so this is what I ended up making:

  • 9 ounces organic Stonyfield nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 4.5 ounces unsweetened soy milk
  • 7 ounces frozen mango pieces from Trader Joe’s
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

I’ve never had a mango lassi so I’m not sure what it was supposed to taste like, but I thought it was tasty. My friend’s said it tasted right, but was thicker than usual (probably because I used the frozen mango). Personally, I couldn’t taste the soy milk or the cardomom, and I thought it could have used more mango.

Rating: B

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