Roasted Beet & Nectarine Salad {Cookbook Chat: Silk Road Vegetarian}

silk-road-vegetarian-9780804843379_lgCreative Cooking Gluten Free is now six years old! I can’t even believe it!! Over these last six years I have had the pleasure of sharing with all of you my creations, adaptations, giveaways, product and cookbook reviews. Thank you for allowing me to share with love of food with all of you. During this time it has been a privilege to work with so many great companies, organizations, and cookbook authors. Last year I was invited to join an online group called 37Cooks, you have heard me mention them a time or two on here for various cooking challenges I have participated in. However, recently a new type of challenge has been offered up to the 37Cooks called “Cookbook Chat”, where there are a limited number of certain cookbooks available to the bloggers and it is a first come first serve basis. The blogger receives a copy of the book and is asked to pick a recipe or two (depending on the challenge), then recreates the recipe, putting their own twist on it, and reviews it. The first cookbook offered up was one called “Silk Road Vegetarian: Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-free Recipes for the Mindful Cook” by Dahlia Abraham-Klein. Of course I signed up..it was gluten-free! Lately I have been eating quite a bit of plant-based dishes so this book seemed right up my alley.

The book is beautiful and filled with recipes from Central Asia, covering from China to India. It includes bases & condiments, appetizers, soups, salads, main dishes, side dishes, rice dishes, and desserts. In addition Abraham-Klein also includes a spice pantry section and information regarding basic preparation. As I flipped through this book I quickly realized it was going to be very difficult to pick one recipe to make. I finally decided on two recipes, a salad and a dessert. The salad I adapted per the 37Cooks Challenge and the dessert I followed the recipe exactly. I decided on two because I was having dinner with some dear friends and wanted to bring something to share. I chose the Roasted Beet and Nectarine Salad, which is perfect for the summer. Both the beets and nectarines are available this time of year, and it required few ingredients. Then I decided to make the Peach Cobbler, one because peaches are in season and readily available at a good price, and I had never had a peach cobbler before. Actually I don’t really eat peaches because I can’t get past the fuzz on the outside…I always opt for nectarines instead. Again, like the roasted beet and nectarine salad, this recipe also called for few ingredients. I sadly didn’t take a picture of it because we pretty much just dove right in and served it with some vanilla bean ice cream…needless to say this dessert was a HUGE hit. It asked for very little sugar, but it has the perfect sweetness with the fresh peaches. I will make this again for sure. Now on to the salad…get ready its beautiful and delicious!

I’m a huge believe in the “you eat with your eyes first” theory…its true. My photo did not quite capture the beauty of this salad as I had hoped that it would but I promise you if you were to serve this to guests, it will be a conversation piece. We talked about this salad quite a bit last night for several reasons, one none of us thought to ever put nectarines and beets together, and two its just stunning to look at – it is so vibrant and equally delicious. I followed the recipe quite closely but changed a thing or two up from her cooking methods and then added a few toppings myself. Below is my adaptation of DahliaAbraham-Klein’s beautiful salad.

37-Cooks-Roasted-Beet-Nectarine-Salad-Silk-Road-Jenny-Manseau-337-Cooks-Roasted-Beet-Nectarine-Salad-Silk-Road-Jenny-Manseau_1(Roasted Beet and Nectarine Salad – to serve top with toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese)

Roasted Beet and Nectarine Salad

Adapted from: Silk Road Vegetarian {Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten Free Recipes for the Mindful Cook} by Dahlia Abraham-Klein page 99

Salad

  • Beets               2 Bunches with the greens attached (about 4-6 beets, depending on their size), Red, Gold, or a mixture of them
  • Nectarines     4, peeled, pitted and then sliced thin (about 1/8-1/4 inch)
  • Red Onion     1/4 cup, finely diced
  • Olive Oil         1 Tablespoon
  • Garlic              2 cloves, minced or grated
  • Pine Nuts       1/4 cup toasted
  • Nutmeg          1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt                  To taste, kosher
  • Pepper            To taste, black – freshly ground
  • Feta Cheese  1/4 cup, crumbled

Dressing

  • Oil                   3 Tablespoons. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil or other neutral flavored oil
  • Garlic             2 cloves grated
  • Lime              1 Juice and zest
  • Sugar            3/4 Tablespoon Organic, Unrefined
  • Salt                1/2 teaspoon, kosher
  • Pepper         1/4 teaspoon, black – freshly ground

Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Rinse beets and beet greens very well to remove any dirt (you may need to do this several times, especially for the greens).
  3. Cut the beet greens from the stems and rinse in a colander, let drain
  4. Cut the stems from the beets and discard the stems.
  5. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place directly onto the oven rack.
  6. Roast for 1 hour, remove from oven and let cool
  7. Peel, pit and slice nectarines, place in a medium bowl and set aside.
  8. Peel and dice onion, place into bowl with nectarine slices and toss, set aside.
  9. While the beets are cooling, chiffonade the beet greens by placing them neatly on top of each other, then rolling them up tightly (into a cigar shape), next using a sharp knife cut across the “cigar” into 1/4 inch slices (you can go larger or smaller, depending on your preference)
  10. In a medium sauteé pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and sauteé garlic for 30 seconds before adding the beet greens – these will cook down similar to spinach. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  11. Once the beet greens have wilted, let them cool. Once cooled toss them into the bowl with the nectarine slices and red onion, toss to combine.
  12. When the beets have cooled, unwrap them one at a time, and peel the outer layer from the beet (I recommend wearing some plastic gloves!) and discard the foil and outer layer of the beets.
  13. Slice each beet in half, and then into 8 slices.
  14. Toss the beets in to the bowl with the nectarines, red onions, and beet greens.
  15. Next, prepare the dressing: simply add all ingredients in the order listed above to a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined.
  16. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to evenly coat.
  17. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  18. Prior to serving, in a small sauteé pan add the pine nuts, and nutmeg, and toast over medium heat until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
  19. To serve, place salad into a serving bowl, top with toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese.
  20. Enjoy!

Last night we served this alongside some baked salmon that had delicious herbs on it, brown rice with crumbled dulse, and of course the delicious peach cobbler for dessert. A light and delicious meal perfect for the summer time.

37-Cooks-Roasted-Beet-Nectarine_Salad-Silk-Road-Jenny-Manseau-2

The cookbook was provided to me from the publisher for this review. All comments and opinions are 100% my own.

 

Rawtella “Cheesecake” Brownies {37Cooks}

37-Cooks-Rawtella-Cheesecake-Brownies-Surprise-Food-Exchange-Jenny-Manseau-1

I love being a part of 37Cooks – even with my beyond busy schedule this year and turning a few submissions in late (sorry guys!), challenges like this help keep me on my toes and my creativity flowing. This challenge wasn’t for a sponsor but instead a fun little “Surprise Food Exchange” between the bloggers. We were asked to some something(s) from our state…I was chosen to send items from RI (or close by) to Donna of Cookistry. Sadly however her first box is M.I.A. so I sent her a second one which I hope was equally as good. I received some awesome gluten-free goodies from Linda…seriously these items were perfect and right up my alley. I received two bottles of Ginger People Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce and a jar of Rawtella.

Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce

(Image: ]http://gingerpeople.com/gluten-free-products/hot-ginger-jalapeno-spicy-dip.html)                                                        (Image:https://www.facebook.com/Rawtella/photos_stream)

Our challenge was to come up with a recipe using at least one of the products we received. At first I was pretty torn on which one to use. I had made a delicious burger with a bit of the Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce mixed into the meat, and topped with a Hot Ginger Jalapeno Aoli and avocado, and don’t get me wrong…it was delicious, however I forgot to actually get a good picture of it. Seeing as money is, lets say…tight right now I couldn’t actually recreate the recipe just yet so I went through my pantry to see what I had on hand. Turns out I had everything to make some delicious brownies…using a box mix of course. I have a great recipe for homemade brownies but I had a box of the Stonewall Kitchen Gluten-Free Brownie Mix, which I LOVE. It has such a great flavor (which is thanks to the coffee that is in it!). I’m not a huge chocolate person…I like it a lot better when it is mixed with something else, like nuts. I knew that I was going to use the Rawtella (obviously!) in this recipe but I was trying to think of something to break up all the chocolate. When walking through the grocery store this morning I saw some beautiful brownies with cream cheese swirls running through them and a light bulb went off, “I have that at home too!!”.

I have to say these are pretty easy and quick to make, especially if you are using a box mix. However, you do not have to…use whatever your favorite recipe is and even though the Rawtell is vegan, this recipe is not. I couldn’t afford to buy the alternative ingredients to make it that way so if you want to make it vegan, simply follow your favorite vegan brownie recipe, use the Rawtella and then use a vegan cream cheese. If anyone tries this…please let me know how it turns out.

Thank you Linda for the awesome, delicious ingredients to play around with. Hope you all enjoy the recipe!

Rawtella “Cheesecake” Brownies

37-Cooks-Rawtella-Cheesecake-Brownies-Surprise-Food-Exchange-Jenny-Manseau-2

Brownies

  • 1 package of gluten-free brownie mix, prepared according to package or your favorite homemade gluten-free brownie recipe

Topping

  • 4 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 large egg (separated)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup Rawtella

Method of Preparation

  1. Pre-heat oven according to package or recipe
  2. Prepare brownie mix according to package or recipe
  3. Pour prepared brownie batter into an 8×8 baking dish that has been lined with parchment paper or to make individual brownies use the Good Cook Dessert Bar Pan
  4. In a small bowl add the softened 1/3 fat cream cheese and the yolk from the egg.
  5. Mix with a spoon until completely incorporated and there are no lumps.
  6. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix well.
  7. In a second small bowl combine the Rawtella and egg white, mix until evenly incorporated.
  8. Place 1-2 teaspoons each of the cream cheese mixture and the Rawtella mixture of top of each brownie (if using the dessert pan) or evenly distribute globs of each on top of the brownie mixture in the 8×8 pan.
  9. With either a toothpick or knife, swirl the cream cheese and Rawtella mixtures together.
  10. Bake according to package or recipe.
  11. Cool completely, remove from pan and serve with fresh strawberries.