Daikon Fries

Doing a 30 day cleanse is no joke. A couple of days ago, I surpassed the halfway mark, and thought to myself “I’m not done yet?!” Nope. I still have many many many days to go.

So, remember how I told you I wasn’t going to white-knuckle my way through this? Well, I started to feel my grip tightening this week. I felt my resolve shaking and the draw for a piece of cake grew larger. This was no longer an issue of commitment, it was the beginning of deprivation.

Deprivation is NOT okay. Deprivation sends me (and you, too) into really unhealthy mindsets and behaviors. So, how do I deal with my deprivation and still stay the course?

I compromise.

I add rice noodles to my chicken and veggie soup when I’m feeling white-knuckly. I make some healthy chocolates. I grill a burger, top it with tomatoes, homemade pickles, fresh cilantro, and then I wrap it in butter lettuce.

I found organic daikon radishes at the salvage grocery store last week for less than $1. I had no idea what to do with them. I knew they would be slightly spicy, an unusual texture and fun to play with. So, what’s a girl on a white-knuckle free cleanse to do?

I MADE FRIES.

Daikon Fries

Those nagging feelings of deprivation, the unhealthy beginnings of berating myself while feeling out of control while attempting to exert ALL the control evaporated.  I gave myself permission to eat, to enjoy a compliant treat. I just needed to think outside the box for a minute.

Full disclosure: These are oven fries. They don’t get super crispy. They are also naturally spicy on their own, which I love but my friend didn’t. But I thought they were damn tasty and I would eat them again, cleanse or not.

Daikon fries would also be great with some siracha mayo, especially if you’re a fan of spicy food. (Siracha mayo recipe: add siracha sauce to mayo and stir until combined. Rocket science, right?) The fries were plenty tasty on their own with just a little salt and paprika, though.

Ingredients

  • 2 large daikon radishes
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil
  • paprika
  • sea salt

Directions

  1. Peel daikon radishes like a carrot.
  2. Cut into matchsticks. (The skinner the cut, the crispier the fries will be.)
  3. Coat in melted coconut oil, and spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika, and bake at 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes, turning fries over halfway through the baking process.
  5. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a tiny bit of sea salt.  Eat immediately.

You could probably deep fry these as well, and they would taste super amazing.  I’ll probably try that sometime when I’m feeling like I need some deep fried goodness.  Until then, the oven is great, and the daikon might be my new favorite veggie.

Fries Forever,
Carrie

 

 

 

Crispy Quinoa with Chef Ricardo Zaraté

A couple of weeks ago, I met this fantastic chef.  His name is Ricardo Zarate.

Chef Zarate

He’s Peruvian, and is taking the culinary world by storm with his transformational, modern Peruvian fare. Jessica and I frequented his booth at the Natural Products Expo in Los Angeles embarrassingly often.  But we just couldn’t get enough of his exotic cuisine and mouth-watering cocktails.

It turns out, Chef Zarate has appeared on Knife Fight, has won numerous awards, and has been nominated for three James Beard Awards, which is kind of like an Oscar for chefs, but more prestigious.  Who knew?  He was such a down-to-earth guy and took time to talk to us about his food.

The common denominator in the deliciousness factor for my favorite bites was crispy quinoa. I loved the fish, I adored the ravioli. The cooked quinoa was wonderful on it’s own.  But there was something so satisfying about eating a slice of velvety sea bass sashimi with the satisfying, earthy crunch of quinoa. Chef Zarate was kind enough to give us a little tutorial in the middle of a trade show.  Here’s a quick tutorial on How To Make Crispy Quinoa:

In case you missed it, here’s the oven method.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa under running water until water runs clear.
  2. Put quinoa, water, coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt in a small pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook uncovered for about 15 min or until the water evaporates.
  3. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spread a thin layer of cooked quinoa as evenly as possible.
  4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, stirring and redistributing the quinoa EVERY 5 MINUTES.  (This is super important!)
  5. When quinoa turns just a shade darker and is slightly crunchy, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  6. Store in an airtight container and sprinkle on everything for the next two weeks.

WeanGreenQuinoa

It never occurred to me to use quinoa as a garnish or to add crunchy texture.  Now, I eat it on EVERYTHING.  My toddler loves dipping his finger in the crispy quinoa and licking it off.  Kind of like a Lick-a-Made, but healthy.

If you are interested in more of his cuisine, check out his cookbook, set for release on in October.

Thank you, Chef Zarate, for taking the time to teach us how to make perfect, crispy quinoa.  Your cocktails weren’t too shabby, either.

Still Crispy,
Carrie

 

Apple Quinoa Mini-Muffins

2AppleQMinimuffinsI love January.  I love new beginnings and how ready we all are for a change.  My husband woke up on January 2nd and thought it was the perfect day to start cleaning closets. I am a really great wife because I let him.  I didn’t get in his way or anything!  I just left him to it while I took a bath and watched old episodes of The Mindy Project on Hulu as our son napped for three hours.

I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year.  I feel like being a human is enough for now. So, stop trying to make me feel bad with all of your “I’m going to eat food regularly” and “I’m going to walk up the stairs instead of take the elevator more often” and “I’m going to learn how to knit” and “I’m going to shower at least four times a week” resolutions, okay?  I get it.  YOU HAVE AMBITION. And me?  I’ll have these vegan mini-muffins.  Because I’m fancy. And it’s also one of the few foods I can share with my FPIES toddler, who I try to include in meals and create balanced meals for, even though it’s stupid challenging. (For more on that, see my post on The Leaky Boob.)

Apple Quinoa Mini-Muffins*

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa flakes or quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (I use goat’s milk for E)
  • 1/2 cup organic apple sauce
  • 2 Tbsp organic dried apple, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or cardimon (0ptional)
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Put quinoa flakes in food processor or magic bullet and grind into flour. (Omit this step if you are using quinoa flour.)
  2. Combine dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spoon batter into greased mini muffin tin. (You can also line with paper baking cups instead of greasing the muffin tin.)
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until spongy to the touch.
  6. Let stand for five minutes, then remove muffins and allow to cool on a wire baking rack.

{Recipe yields 18 mini-muffins}

*You can make these in non-mini form but they’re tastier and seem to stretch farther in mini form.