Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Snacks, Quick Bites and Meals in Minutes

Nothing is simpler or more satisfying than the combination of toasted bread (here, whole wheat pita) and gooey, melted cheese.

Adding an acidic note only improves the almost-perfect; above, a 2-minute relish of chopped grape tomatoes, red onions, garlic, salt, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A canned chipotle pepper and drizzle of the accompanying, smokey and hot adobo sauce further magnifies flavor.

Grab Cafe Drake HRV's recipe for pan - not deep - fried Onion Pakoras. They go with everything!


When we make a batch of Cold Soba Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce it lasts for at least three meals. Above, with miso-butter braised edamame, stir-fried bok choy and pickled pattypan squash. Check out our foolproof miso-butter recipe for boosting the flavor of any sort of veggies right here. Cafe Drake HRV's Spicy Almond Sauce sounds good? Here's the recipe from our archives.

Sun-dried tomatoes soaking before being blitzed in to a vegan pate.

Almonds are also soaked - for 8 hours - before being pulverized in to our Almond and Sun-dried Tomato Pate (recipe below in this post). Soaking almonds overnight offers some of the same benefits of sprouting seeds including increased digestibility.

Another weeknight vegan feast at Cafe Drake HRV: Sun-dried Tomato and Almond Pate, Parsley and Caper Sauce, Brown Rice Pilaf, Toasted Pita Bread and Slow-Cooked Lentil and Veggie Stew.

Sun-dried Tomato & Almond Pate: The day before making the pate, soak 1 1/4 cups of raw almonds in water to cover, overnight or for at least 8 hours. You can soak the almonds for up to 12 hours if more convenient. Drain, rinse lightly and set aside. Don't bother to remove skins. Now soak 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not the oil-marinated variety) in 2 cups of very warm water for 20 or 30 minutes. Drain and reserve 2/3 cup or so of the soaking water. Place the almonds in a Magic Bullet or food processor and pulse until relatively smooth. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, the soaking water, a large handful of basil leaves (in a pinch, substitute 1 T. dried basil), the juice of 1/2 a lemon, 2-3 t. tamari or soy sauce, 1 minced clove of garlic, 2 T. olive oil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a dash of black pepper and salt to taste, at least 1/4 teaspoon. Process until very smooth and refrigerate for a couple of hours to allow flavors to develop. Serve with bread, crackers or crudites.

Sauce Verte, a piquant combo of peppers, parsley and capers, is multifunctional. Try it over plain rice or buttered egg noddles, with baked potatoes and steamed vegetables or simply as a dipping sauce for crusty, chewy bread. Our recipe can be found here in the 2013 archives.

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