March 30, 2012

Old Food- Peach Raspberry Cherry Pie

I was recently going through some old pictures I found on a portable harddrive, and came across some delicious looking food from 2 years ago. And I came across this gem of a photo:

Ignore the man in the Sundowner shirt for now, and focus on my Reebok sporting friend Pak Kei, who is holding what appears to be a raspberry peach cherry pie.  Matthew informs me we were having a dinner party in the summer that consisted of only eating pies, and these were my contributions.

But think about that pie description for a second. Raspberry Peach Cherry Pie. How divine does that sound? Here's a closeup:
One of the raspberries appears to be still frozen, so I think that it was pre-baking. Here's how I imagine it went down:

Peach Raspberry Cherry Pie
1 Pie crust of your choice
some frozen peaches
Frozen raspberries
1 can of cherry pie filling
A bit of sugar (if it's not sweet enough)

Preheat oven to 350
Take some whole raspberries and peaches, and pull out a few of the cherries, and set aside for some decorative fun.
Take the remaining pie filling, some peaches, and some raspberries, and chuck it all in the food processor, processing until it's smoothish, but still has chunks. Taste. If it's not sweet enough, add a bit of sugar.
Roll our your pie crust and stick it in a pan. Add in the pie filling. Make a decorative pattern on top.
Bake your pie until bubbly and crust is browned. It'll look like this:

Nom nom nom! I think I need to remake this soon! :) Also, how awesome was our painting in our old kitchen? When we move in July to our new place we def needs to do more funky painting!

March 18, 2012

Creamy Cashew Pasta

I used to love fettucini alfredo. Love it. I think my prom date even made some for me before the prom, because I used to eat it like it was going out of style.

Since finding out that most of my health problems were caused by what I was eating, I could no longer indulge in the sweetness that is Fettucini Alfredo. This, however, does not mean that I can't have a similar, delicious foodstuff! BEHOLD!

Cashew Cream and White Wine Pasta
1 Serving of pasta of your choice, cooked (I used rice vermicelli) 
5 stalks of asparagus, chopped into pieces, very ends discarded
a handful of sliced mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp tamari
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp onion powder
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup white wine
Salt, Pepper, Basil
1/2-2 tsp cornstarch, depending on how thick you want it.

In a blender, blend together all of the sauce ingredients, adding a bit of water at a time, until it is smooth, thick, and creamy (the texture of heavy cream). Taste, and feel free to adjust the various ingredients to your liking.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan or wok, and add the mushrooms, sauteing for a few minutes until browned. Add in the asperagus, and cook for about a minute, until they start to get bright and green.
Very quickly add in the sauce, mixing together with the veggies. Stir constantly (or it will stick to the pan and burn) until the sauce is bubbly and thickened.
Toss the sauce with the pasta, and serve, enjoying the tastesplosion of happiness!

March 15, 2012

Massaman Curry

Mini Natalia shopping at a market in Thailand
When I was very little, we spent a year living in other places around the world. The place we stayed the longest at (long enough for me to attend school, and then refuse to go back to school in a temper tantrum) was Songkla, Thailand. We lived in a little house attached to other little houses, and hung out with the neighborhood children, and met people who were very different from us.

I think that this time I spent in Asia really shaped my tastebuds, as I grew up not really enjoying traditional "american" style food like meatloaf, and hamburgers (mac and cheese being my big exception) and instead loving the Thai food my mother would make, like fried wontons (called golden bags in her little cookbook) and curries.

The curry type that my mother loved to make more than all the others was called Massaman Curry. I don't make it very often, because in order to get Massaman Curry paste I have to go to Chinatown, and search through the little shops, which, while fun, can be time consuming, and in the winter it's so cold I like to stay inside rather than going to Chinatown. However, last weekend Matthew and I decided to go to lunch and get some bubble tea, and we stopped into a grocery store to pick up some bok choy. I saw little cans of Massaman curry paste, and decided "Yes... I'm getting this."

And I made a curry. A delicious, nostalgic curry.
Tofu Massaman Curry
2 Tbsp Massaman Curry Paste
1 Cup coconut milk
1 Cup vegetable stock

1/2 Block tofu, cubed
1 can straw mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped peppers
1/2 diced sweet potato
1 medium sized onion, diced
1 tbsp peanut oil (or another mild oil)
Vermicelli noodles or rice to serve

Mix together all of the sauce ingredients until smooth. What I then did was add the cubed tofu, and let it sit in the fridge overnight, but this is optional, I just like the flavor to soak into the tofu.
Heat a wok on med-high, and add the oil and onion. Saute until the onions are softened, and add in the mushrooms, peppers, and sweet potato. Saute for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
Pour in the sauce and tofu, and check consistency of liquid. If it's thick, add in a bit of water or stock, until it's sort of thick, but also soupy. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to low, and allow to simmer.
Continue simmering until the sauce reduces and thickens.I simmered mine for about half an hour, but it might take longer, or shorter. Keep an eye on it, stirring every few minutes.
Serve over noodles or rice, and enjoy the magic.

March 2, 2012

Afternoon Asparagus Pasta

I love pasta. I love easy. I love delicious. So without Further Ado:

Mushroom Asparagus Spaghetti 
Enough Spaghetti to fill you up :) (I used Quinoa Pasta meself)
A few stalks of asparagus, chopped into pieces
a handful of mushrooms, chopped into pieces
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
Basil, Salt, and Pepper (To taste)
A splash of white wine (no need to get good quality, I used a bottle I found on top of my fridge that was half empty.)

Cook the pasta. In the last minute, toss in the asparagus to cook it up. Drain in a colander.
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until the mushrooms are browned.
Add in the pasta and asparagus, and begin to toss. Add the wine to deglaze, and sprinkle with the spices. Toss around to coat everything.
Then Eat. It's delicious. And That easy!

March 1, 2012

Asperagus and Mushroom Cashew Pizza

It was an absolutely disgusting day in Montreal today. The weatherman said light snow... the reality was less than light, It was pretty rough.

So I decided to make a springish pizza to cheer myself up! (Snow not being my favorite thing on the planet... actually it's one of my least favorite things, which begs the question why I live in Canada)

Asperagus and Mushroom Cashew Pizza
Pizza dough for 1 pizza
Cashew Cheese (I used the recipe linked!) Grated
Stalks of Asparagus
Tomato Sauce
Mushrooms , sliced
Basil, Salt, Pepper, Oregano

Preheat the oven to 425.
Roll out your dough on a pizza tray, with a bit of cornstarch if you want. Bake for 5 minutes to sort of firm it up. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Take your stalks of asparagus, and cut off the bottom inch. Chop into little chunks, and leave the tops a few inches long, to put on the top as decoration :)
Spread the pasta sauce over the dough, and top with the mushrooms, and asperagus. Then top with the cheese and spices.
Arrange the asparagus tops on top, and return the pizza to the oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until cheese is browning. Take it out, cut it, and enjoy!