Midsummer Munching (Meatless, Almost Vegan and Some Really Raw Moments)

 Cheese, like meat, is more of a special treat than an everyday occurrence at Cafe Drake HRV. Buying only meat and dairy from farms that we trust humanely raise their animals is costly but effective in reducing consumption! Conscious Food Purchasing isn't punitive to us but it's always a smiley face day when we discover a great substitute for animal products like Adams' Farms' own Rice Cheese. Creamy, salty and most akin to classic Monterrey Jack, hence its recent apperances in enchiladas and quesadillas at CDHRV. PLUS, we can save that Point Reyes Bleu for an upcoming celebration!

Leftover roasted veggies (broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, chilies and onions) and rice cheese make exceptional VEGAN quesadillas. Skip the sour cream like we did and top instead with fresh salsa and hot sauce (or guacamole).

Red quinoa tastes the same as the more familiar tan-colored variety, boasts the same nutritional values and adds a dramatic flair to any plate with its deep burgundy tones.

Cold-brew iced coffee has found a semi-permanent place in the Cafe Drake HRV refrigerator. We like it with vanilla soymilk.

Slow-cooked dried pinto beans, Southern cornbread, pico de gallo and a green salad is a perennial favorite Summer Supper at Cafe Drake HRV. Short on time, energy or enthusiasm? A sure-fire, go to cornbread recipe: pour 3 T. vegetable oil in an iron skillet and place in oven. Preheat oven - with skillet inside - to 425 degrees F. In a bowl mix together one cup each of self-rising cornmeal and buttermilk. Now stir in one beaten egg just until all is combined. When the oven is 425 degrees, carefully, with a heavy oven mitt, remove skillet and pour hot oil into the cornmeal mixture. Stir a few times and pour the entire contents back into the hot skillet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cornbread is browned and firm.

Waaay too committed to hot food in these parts to even consider a raw foods diet, the occasional foray into such seems a healthy dalliance, yes? So let's get raw. You're gonna start with a powerful blender on steroids OR a Magic Bullet or food processor. Add to the blender 1/3 cup tahini, 3 T. water, 3 T. lemon juice, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 cup chopped dill. If you don't have fresh dill, use 1 or 2 t. dried. Blend on high speed until thick and smooth. Set aside to allow flavors to develop while you mix 1/2 cup grated green bell pepper with 1 t. salt. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes. Drain any accumulated/released water and mix in the tahini puree. You can enjoy immediately as a dip with pita chips or whole grain crackers, sandwich spread etc. but the taste will improve greatly if refrigerated for a few hours. Store in fridge for up to 4 or 5 days.

It may not plate beautifully but this Sunflower Seed Hummus, thicker and darker than when made with chickpeas, has a surprising richness and serious umami credentials. Put all of this into a Magic Bullet or mini processor and whir until smooth: 1 1/2 cups raw sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup lime juice, 1-2 T. raw honey, 3 T. tamari or soy sauce, 3 T. tahini or peanut butter, 1 small clove of chopped garlic and 1-2 small hot green chilies. Refrigerate until chilled. Cafe Drake HRV adapted this recipe  - and the one above - from Raw, Quick and Delicious by Douglas McNish.

Lunch of Leftovers: Chickpea Salad, Bell Pepper & Tahini Dip, Brown Rice, Sunflower Seed Hummus, Grape Tomatoes and Cilantro

Provencal Veggie Stir-Fry (yellow squash, zucchini, onions, eggplant, thyme, savory and basil leaves) with Chickpea Flour Crepes and Romaine Salad with Buttermilk Dressing. Grab our foolproof recipe for the crepes from the Cafe Drake HRV archives right here. While you're at it, add our buttermilk salad dressing as well to your own recipe index - find it HERE.


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