Cooking with a Purpose Continued

Lots of new recipes and very happy with the results.  I broke down and bought Gwyneth Paltrow’s cook book – it includes  gluten free and vegan recipes.  I also am using the Gourmet Prescription cookbook which has been a staple in the kitchen for years.  Julia Child Master Volumes are on the sidelines at the moment.020

Eggplant (from my garden) and Red Pepper Ragu over Polenta. No recipe, just made it up.  In lieu of the normal  polenta additions of butter, pepper, parmesan, milk, I added olive oil, herbs, cayenne pepper  instead and it was still delicious.  These changes give me hope that recipes can be tweaked from their classic state and still be delicious.025

Seared Salmon over Sauteed Spinach with Cumin Scented Quinoa and Black Rice.  This was absolutely satisfying and delicious.  Easy to make as well005

007I made Mojo Rojo last week, so I made Mojo Verde this week.  Lots of cilantro and I accidently over salted so I added another bunch of cilantro to over compensate the error.  I am currently a little heavy handed with the salt these days because the pepper has been removed from my diet.  NO more Ying and Yang— just Ying!  I have been using the Mojo Verde on everything!  Tortillas, Rice, eggs, sandwiches .  Yum yum- another home run.003

006Veggie Burger???  How can they call this a veggie burger when it is a black bean and rice burger? 005 There are no veggies in it?  In spite of the title it is delicious and I have decided to continue my search to make the best veggie burger ever–with veggies.! 017 I paired the veggie (black bean) burger with a Fried Egg, Spinach, Tortilla and  Mojo Verde Sauce and Romesco sauce. (recipe follows)007  Breakfast on the Patio with Steve and Bernadette after a Spin Class and Swim was the perfect Sunday morning.004

023Back in the day when I catered, I made so many Paella Valenciana’s for party’s along with Romesco Sauce and Roasted Potatoes.  I always used my trustee recipe from Cesar in  Berkeley which is mind blowing delicious, but with not as much time I tried a new recipe and it wasn’t as good, but still worthy of the table. 003 I remember when I catered for Elevations in Menlo Park a favorite sandwich I made was Grilled Eggplant, Mozzarella and Romesco on Francese Roll.  Never were there leftovers!

Shaved Asparagus- Good but I would never make again.  Vegetable Peeler and lots of  time!008  I paired it with two dishes:

Roast Chicken w/Kimchi Smashed Potatoes.  I normally don’t roast chicken or cut up a whole chicken but here we go with both tasks!  The chicken came out delicious, tender and juicy.   Kimchi is fermented cabbage with spices and apparently on the hot list of healthy upcoming must have  ingredients. It was so tasty and added a punch to the potatoes.  Smashing the potatoes and letting the chicken, and kimchi juices absorb in the potatoes made it hard not to have seconds.  My husband could not stop saying how great it was!010

024Brown Rice Pasta with Shaved Asparagus, Peas ,Endive, Parsley, with Goat Cheese and Prosciutto. (made it up)  First time having a Gluten free pasta and it was hard to tell the difference.  What a relief since I love pasta.  The dish was great!  This Gluten Free Diet isn’t so bad after all.014


Cooking with a new purpose

Many hours  of The Sole of Ten Outfits  (moi)  is spent in the kitchen!  When I was a child I watched Julia Child every Saturday morning on KQED and I told myself I was going to cook like her someday.  I attended  Home Chef Cooking School in Palo Alto , ended up working there as a Kitchen Manager, and an Instructor. I also worked at Sunset Magazine in Menlo Park  thus hours and hours of being in the kitchen, resulted in being a good chef! Repetition is what makes perfection and to this day I owe all those hours and still counting to being the cook I am today.  A damn good one!  I always say to my clients at Ten Outfits you have to know the rules first before you can break them.  This is the same with cooking; understand the basics then start tweeking and evolving in the kitchen in the direction you want to head.

My direction these days is in healthy, gluten free, dairy free cooking. I was tested for   food allergies and my list of restrictions was loud and clear.  I had to change a few habits. Unfortunately I have had digestive issues my entire life and two weeks ago I decided to investigate and then resolve my problem areas.

On that note my blog post is going to concentrate on my love for cooking for today, and sharing recipes,

I always have a strategic force behind cooking and the first step is going thru all my torn out recipes from Gourmet, Food and Wine, and Bon Appetit and then all my cooking books and tag what I want to try.  Second I write out the “wish list” and ingredients so I am prepared for the grocery shopping trip.003

This particular trip consists of Lee’s International Market , Whole Foods, and Trader Joes in Tucson.  So far 2 out of 3, I will go to the fabulous Whole Foods on Tuesday.  It is so new and fresh it feels “cool to be there and of course I will be meeting a friend for lunch. So many choices from the prepared food section how can I go wrong?020

Lee’s International Market is so fun I give myself an hour to walk down every aisle.  I see food products that are mysterious and can’t imagine what I would do with them. Such as the picture below :Jackfruit”018 I am glad I have a specific list, otherwise it would be like an Ikea visit without a purpose – Fun but if you don’t go home with anything you feel disappointed.021

I feel a surge of excitement trying new recipes, I always try to challenge myself with something out of my comfort zone.  This week it consisted of Chickpea Panelles, 014 Mojo Rojo Sauce,Banana Ice Cream with Salty Almonds

016 012and a Simple Syrup for my Vodka. Yes all Wine, Beer and Spirits are off the list with the exception of Vodka. Vodka has never  been my favorite, but I am one to try anything at least once. I wasn’t pleased with the Lemon, Rosemary Infused Vodka Martini, It tasted like a cough drop. I also didn’t like the Chickpea Panelles, the texture was odd,and the taste bland, The Mojo Rojo Sauce is to die for and so is the Banana Ice Cream with Nuts.  Until the next recipe unfolds…005