A couple of days ago, Jon and I drove down the mountain into another town to visit Henry’s for our big grocery run. I was fresh out of ideas for what to put together for our weekly dinner and Jamie Oliver TV night with our neighbor’s, Pat and Anne. So as Jon and I were sitting down over tea discussing out shopping list, I quickly got up and ran to the kitchen to pull out a cook book and thumb through it.
The Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook is written by Tanya Petrovna, co-owner and head chef of four of the six Native Foods Restaurants located around Southern California. Its a great restaurant that features amazing Vegan cuisine. The book was a gift from my friend Sani, and I have often enjoyed using it for inspiration. The recipes are easy, flavorful and for some reason, for me at least, reminiscent of my days living by the Ocean.
Last night I made the Gandhi Bowl which is on page 214. Its a super easy recipe, and although I will include the recipe here, remember that I tend to alter things, and so I will post what I did differently after the recipe.
2/3 cups cooked brown rice
2/3 cups cooked basmati rice
2 cups steamed mixed veggies
1/4 cup Gandhi’s Curry Sauce (page 117)
1 sauteed tempeh patty, blackened (see page 44)
2 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp chopped green onions
Combine rice in a bowl, and top with steamed mixed veggies and sauce. Chop tempeh patty into cubes and put over veggies. garnish with dried cranberries and green onions.
*I made Lundberg’s Gluten Free White Jasmine Rice and doubled these amounts as I was cooking for 4 people. I also used 2 cups of the curry sauce as I wanted the vegetables to be almost in a soup of the sauce. I cook for a crowd that likes to pour goodness over their rice!
::Gandhi’s Curry Sauce::
1 1/2 cups canned coconut milk
1 cup fresh cilantro leaes, loosely packed
1/2 cup of water
1/4 cup of safflower or sunflower oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp crushed red chili (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree.
*I actually used more then a cup of cilantro. I am a cilantro fiend, and always throw in a little extra. I also substituted Bragg’s Liquid Aminos in for the soy sauce as the aminos are gluten free and soy sauce is not. And I used Olive Oil instead of safflower or sunflower because we just didn’t have any.
Now for the tempeh. Admittedly I had never had tempeh before. I usually just use tofu. Here is what it looked like out of the package:
Unappetizing huh? I thought so too, and wasn’t convinced from the get go. But its gluten free and its made out of soy protein, organic and non GMO. So I decided to try it. The recipe called for lightly sauteeing the tempeh in some oil until it became slightly golden. When that was done the tempeh was to be pressed into a blackening mix and then seared. Here is the recipe for the spice:
:: Ray’s Good Home Blackening Spice::
1/4 cup cayenne
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup chili powder
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground mace
In a small mixing bowl, combine all the spices well. Store in a tightly sealed jar to keep fresh, and store in refrigerator to keep fresh longer.
*This is a potent blackening spice! But everyone loved it. I could only eat the tempeh cubes if I also included some rice in the fork full. Over the years I’ve grown increasingly sensitive to spiciness. Not sure why, but its what it is.
So the dish was wonderful. I didn’t care to much for the tempeh texture and next time might try it with tofu instead. But the entire meal was a hit and after we all finished eating, we moved on to the living room and turned on Jamie’s tv show. You can watch it on Hulu.com if you missed it last night. And because I’m a link happy girl…. here is the embedded video!
Last night’s episode wasn’t as drama laden as the first two episodes, which is completely fine with me. But I must say that the level of negativity displayed by the cook he has to deal with over at the elementary school was just gross to me. I have to wonder about people that are so committed to nay saying. Particularly when what she is arguing for is easy or little work as oppose to you, you know, whats best for the health of a population of children who are going to die 10-20 years earlier then the previous generation because of their dietary induced illnesses. I mean, seriously? Jon thinks that because its a reality show for tv, that there always has to be a level of drama to make it sell-able to the networks, but I just say this woman should be fired.
With that said, I found it so inspiring that he gathered a group of high schoolers and in a matter of days had them cooking a meal for over 80 people. Not only where they able to experience such a great accomplishment, which is so important for their sense of self, but they also got a taste for a possible vocation and that is priceless to me. But more then that, the fact that he had in his group a young teenage woman so obese that the doctor had given her 7 years to live, broke my heart. And reinforced for me the reason why we as an entire nation need to reevaluate how we produce food, what we buy as food, and how we vote out the invasion of processed foods poisoning this country with our spent dollars. Our food culture in this country is in serious crisis.
I’m going to end this crazy long post with a seed of encouragement. See if you can find others to get together with next Friday night. Cook up a great fresh meal made up of whole organic foods and then watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC together. Talk about it, see what comes up and then, please share your thoughts here.