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I made this to use up stuff in my fridge. Primarily four green tomatoes that I couldn’t figure out what else to do with. It turned out well, a bit too hot at first, but mellowed when I let it sit. Don’t tell anyone, but the green curry paste I used had been (and still is) sitting in my fridge since 2007, or so. Yeah, I know. But I didn’t die from botulism, so whatever.

Recipe after the jump.

Green tomato, sweet potato coconut curry

(more…)

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So… haven’t posted in a while, but I have been cooking. Mostly I have been working on just getting through some of the stuff that had piled up in my freezer, as pictured previously and making a dent in the immense amount of CSA veggies I had gotten.
One of my “empty out the freezer” meals was this:

Seared green beans, Mexican millet and raw butternut squash salad

I had a few more chickpea cutlets to eat, so I stuck that in here. I had some old millet in my pantry, I paired that with some of my fresh tomatoes for Veganomicon “Mexican Millet”, then there was an opened, half-full pack of frozen green beans far back in my freezer that I’d totally forgotten about. Must have come from my winter share last year. Ehh… yeah, I know.
I seared the green beans with garlic and olive oil, inspired by Terry Bryant’s Vegan Soul Kitchen recipe. To round it all out I grated a butternut squash and tossed it in salt, olive oil, lemon juice, a dash of red wine vinegar and a dash of cayenne pepper.

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So, this morning I picked up my bi-weekly CSA share. I was expecting mostly winter squash and tubers at this point in the season, but was happily surprised by green peppers, tomatoes, spinach and some other “summery” stuff, as well as squash, sweet potatoes etc. (Those red things in the lower left corner are the sweet potatoes. The biggest sweet potatoes I have ever seen. More on that at some other point.)

Anyway, this is the haul (pre-sorting and washing):
CSA Haul

And because I live alone and am in the habit of freezing the fresh veggies I don’t have the time to eat when I get them from the CSA and cooking large batches and freezing what I don’t eat, this is what my freezer looks like:

Full Freezer

Which means I need to work onĀ  putting a dent in what I have and get creative with what I’ve got in the next few weeks. Not that I think that should be very difficult.

Also, some cooking for friends is an order to consume all this. Starting with brunch tomorrow.

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I only recently realized it is super easy to make your own almond milk (and much cheaper than buying). The reason I found out about this was that I bought myself a masticating juicer (the kind that grinds rather than shreds veggies) and one of the selling points was nut milk-making.

That said, it is really easy to do this in a blender too, the main difference is then you need to do the squeezing of the pulp by hand.

Here’s what the almonds look like post-soaking. (Mine are a mix of sliced and whole here, ’cause that’s what I had at the time.)

Soaked Almonds

Putting it through my (magnificent) Omega 8006 juicer:

Making Almond Milk in the Juicer

The finished product in all its glory: (The recipe makes more than 4 cups, but I used 1 cup for a matcha smoothie because I couldn’t resist.)

Almond Milk

Here’s what to do:

1 1/2 cup raw almonds (whole, slivered, sliced, peeled, unpeeled, whatever)
3-4 cups of filtered tap water
fine sea salt, to taste
2 dried medjool dates
Dash of vanilla extract
More filtered tap water, to taste

A note: The flavoring won’t make it sweet, it just enhances the natural flavors. You can drink it totally plain too, or make it sweeter, whatever floats you boat. Play around with it.

Method:

Put the almonds and the water in a container with an air tight lid. Put in fridge to soak for 8 hours, or over night.

Some recipes say to blanch and peel them first. I’ve tried both and find that leaving the peel on gives more flavor. You may feel differently. Experiment. Also, I like to sweeten with dried dates, but you could of course use agave, or whatever other sweetener you like.

After soaking, blender version:

Put the almonds and liquid in the blender. Blend until smooth, then strain through a fine mesh strainer, or cheese cloth, into a bowl. Squeeze out all the liquid until the pulp is as dry as you can get it.

Put the strained liquid back in the blender. If you want to jazz it up a bit, add the vanilla extract, salt and dates. Add some water if that suits your taste, blend. Done!

After soaking, masticating juicer version:

Spoon the soaked almonds (and some of the soaking water) down the chute until they’re all ground. Pour the pulp down the chute again with more soaking water, for a second grinding, you’ll get a lot more flavor and creaminess this way. You can either stop at two grindings, for a creamy and fairly un-pulpy almond milk. I like to put the pulp through a third time. You get way more out of the almonds doing this, but there will be a bit more pulp. Your call.
DON’T feed it through a fourth time. It will only clog up the juicer. Trust me on this.

Pour the almond milk in a blender with dates, salt, vanilla extract. Blend. Done!

Store in air tight container (if you can stop yourself from guzzling it all down on the spot).

You can use the almond pulp for all sorts of things, including, but not limited to pesto and salad dressings. More on that in a later post. If you want to save the pulp I recommend you either put it in a zip-loc bag and throw it in the freezer (it will spoil quickly as is). Or, you can dry it in the oven (be careful not to burn it) and store in a sealed container at room temperature.

A note:
It won’t be homogenized like store-bought milk, it separates over time. Not to worry. Just shake the jar (make sure the lid is screwed on tight) or blend in blender to make get it back to that store-bought consistency.

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I haven’t posted in a looong time. In fact I all but forgot about this blog. Busy with this and that. Life got in the way. Lately I’ve found myself in a bloggier mood, so I’m giving this food blogging thing another whirl.

I won’t make any promises about grand plans or updating often, as I’ve noticed that tends to be the best way to jinx any blog.

I do however have a few photos and recipes stored up to write about, and a few cooking plans in the near future that will hopefully make it on to here.

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