buckwheat crepes with creamy string bean slaw

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Here’s another recipe out of our comfort zone: buckwheat crepes with creamy string bean slaw. I’ve never made a crepe before. I’m not even sure if I’ve ever had one. Whipping up the batter — buckwheat flour, egg, milk, and salt — was incredibly easy. Things got a bit trickier, however, when it came time to cook them.

But we did make it work in the end, and the crepes certainly served their purpose as a convenient carrier of our slaw, made mostly with green string beans, shredded green and red cabbage, and sliced red onion. The dressing was a particularly lovely mixture of Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, and a tiny bit of pure maple syrup.

All in all, I love buckwheat. I love slaw. And I have much to learn if I’m going to continue along the crepe-making path. This marks our 8th recipe from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots.

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caramelized onion, olive, and kale calzones; garlic scape soup

IMG_6663 (2)These caramelized onion, olive, and kale calzones were somewhat out of our comfort zone. Experiments though they were, however, Britton pulled through for us once more. The classic ingredients went exceptionally well together, and the fresh oregano leaves and feta cheese brought everything together.

IMG_6650Admittedly, I somehow ended up with too much dough. And rather than trimming the dough (as might seem quite rational), I rolled the ends up to make ginormous, too-large crusts. But, at least they were sealed well. :)

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We paired these calzones with Heidi Swanson’s garlic scape soup from Super Natural Cooking — a good soup, although perhaps a bit too potato-forward for me. If I make this again, I think I would replace the potatoes with cauliflower. Yes, that is what I would do.

So, this marks 7 completed recipes from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots and 6 completed recipes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking.

sushi bowl with toasted nori, avocado, and brown rice

IMG_6643I’m excited about this dish from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking because it adds an interesting flair to a combination I’m very familiar with: rice, beans, and vegetables. Swanson describes this bowl as a “deconstructed sushi roll” for those who want sushi without having to roll a thing.

We adapted Swanson’s dressing here, stirring into the rice a mixture of tamari, rice vinegar, raw honey, and the zests of an orange and half a lemon. We then topped the rice with a great many very good things. In addition to Swanson’s suggested toppings of crushed nori, green onions, avocado, and tofu, we also included some sauteed lacinato kale (the best kind of kale) and Swiss chard.

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My experiences with tofu have gone through both highs and lows. Sometimes I love it, and sometimes I’d rather just eat a bean (or tempeh – tempeh!). But I seem to like it best when it’s cooked as Swanson cooks it here: pan-fried until golden and a bit bouncy. This represents our fifth completed dish from Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking

cucumber spelt salad

IMG_6628Sarah Britton is right when she suggests in the introduction to her recipe for this cucumber spelt salad that cutting a familiar vegetable — in this case, the cucumber — in a new way transforms the vegetable. I had never thought to slice a cucumber with a vegetable peeler in order to form ribbons so thin they become transparent.

IMG_6631But it was a very cool technique for a very cool vegetable, and I’m sure I’ll be doing it again soon. We very much enjoyed this salad of whole spelt berries, cucumber ribbons, red onion, fresh dill, and plenty of feta cheese. The dressing is an incredibly simple emulsion of white balsamic vinegar, lemon zest, and extra-virgin olive oil. We added some cannellini beans near the end to make it a full meal. This represents our sixth completed dish from Sarah Britton’s My New Roots.

bok choy and sweet sesame salad, saffron cauliflower

IMG_6588We adapted a recipe from Ottolenghi’s Plenty for this dish, which features bok choy instead of the broccolini Ottolenghi uses. We were unable to find broccolini, however, and so bok choy it was. In my last post, I mentioned that Swiss chard is one of the best vegetables, but bok choy is definitely up there as well. (Have I mentioned that I like dark greens?)

IMG_6594After quickly blanching some green beans and snow peas, we tossed them together in some oil with the very lightly sauteed bok choy. We piled all three vegetables on a serving dish before pouring a tahini-based sauce over the top. I really like the effect of the sauce oozing down and over the vegetables. 
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The saffron cauliflower above is the second dish we have to report from Ottolenghi’s Plenty. It was nice to use saffron again, and the combination of ingredients—cauliflower, saffron, red onion, raisins, green olives, bay leaves, and parsley—was a good one. The cauliflower did get overdone, however. In fact, we took it out of the oven after about half of the prescribed roasting time. I’m not really sure what happened there . . .

Anyway, we’ve now completed four recipes from Ottolenghi’s book of Plenty.

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