"Good chefs, like artists, are visionaries. You have to have a vision of the taste, the look, the smell of your masterpiece; you hold it in your mind and make it materialize."

Onid Jatteri

Sunday, June 10, 2012


I don't always have a specific recipe in mind when I start thinking about the next meal. Sometimes I have to noodle on it for a bit, take a look in the frig, in the pantry, run my mind over flavor combination possibilities - and SOMETHING always says, "Choose me, choose ME!"

This evening the first to raise their hands and become the WINNERS, were the cherry tomatoes in the basket on the counter and the last zuchinni in the frig. Plus a surprise ingredient from the pantry...

So here's how the collaboration went: First the zuch went through the spiralizer (LOVE that gadget!). Into a broad "soup bowl" with some chopped scallions. They felt like a swim, so a quick marinade was poured on top for them to swish around .
Marinade: shake in small lidded container 1 T. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), 1/2 T. agave, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp. tamari, minced garlic.

Let the gang swim for a bit, maybe 20 minutes or so.  The noodles soften a bit, sorta 'al dente.

Then the 'maters were halved and placed around the pile of noodles.  A quarter of a cucumber was screaming, "I'm going to waste, USE me!".  So I did.  Another layer around the edges.  Starting to see a sort of mandala salad pattern forming...

Oh - those speckles?  NOT pepper - the garlic added enough zip.  Those mauvey-purpley specks are DULSE!  Soooo good sprinkled on all things veg!  And sooooo good for us!

Now the real fun begins!  Every bite becomes an artistic arrangement on the fork...

That pool of marinade in the bottom of the bowl is pure yummy goodness.  When the last noodle was slurped, the last cuc crunched - I tilted the bowl and drank the marinade!  I know, uncouth.  But who's watching!

"HEY!  WE are watching...CLOSELY!"
OK, so I had some friends over over dinner. Make that under for dinner.  Cutest bird placmats, from IKEA! 
The point of all this ~ don't wait for company to prettify your meal!  YOU are important!  Take the few extra moments to garnish, play and ENJOY! 

You'll have better digestion.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Zuchinni Pasta with Basil Shrimp

I'm sure I've mentioned, I endeavor to eat "mostly raw, most of the time". Which gives me leeway from time to time to include some of the sea bounty so available here on the coast. Like succulent sweet fresh shrimp meat.   

With fresh basil from my indoor potted garden ('cuz it isn't warm enough for my babies to make it outdoors yet - silly weather...) and my handy spiralizer, this dish comes together quickly with a zing!
one smallish zuchinni - about 7"
one tomato, about 3" diameter
1/2 lemon (smallish, not large)
1 garlic clove (large as you like)
4-5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 c. fresh shrimp meat (not the prawns)
Peel zuchinni.  Cut off ends, then spiralize for "noodles", or cut into thin strips with a veggie peeler. Put "noodles" into wide bowl.

Use the core and end off spiralizer (or about 2" of the zuchinni before making "noodles") plus some of "noodles" - enough to make about 1/3 c. total, and put into blender.
Add tomato, cut into quarters; peeled coarsely chopped garlic; juice from 1/2 smallish lemon; 2-3 basil leaves (keep 2 for garnish) and blitz until smooth.
Taste sauce - I added about 1/16 tsp. stevia to cut the heat from the garlic and acid tang of tomato and lemon.  This is strictly to YOUR taste, adjust as you want!  It's got zing, doesn't need salt.

Proclaiming "yummers!", pour sauce over noodles.  Top with rinsed shrimp, and  basil chiffonade from remaining leaves.  Let set for 5-10 minutes at room temp, to marry the flavors.

While this isn't a bright red tomato-y sauce, it carries the flavors well.  If you want a "creamier" type of sauce, add 1/4 soaked cashews to the blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients, whiz smooth.

To make chiffonade:  Roll several leaves into "cigar" shape.  Thinly slice across with sharp knife.  Use the thin shreds as a garnish, or add to sauces, etc.