Monthly Archives: May 2010

shoots r us meal

I find myself falling more, and more, in love with the Placer County Real Food cookbook. Nothing compares to the feeling of preparing and eating fresh food from the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s market has turned into a bit of a scavenger hunt experience. I now enjoy going there with a list in hand excited to get started on whatever adventure the book will bring me to cook for the evening. Yesterday, I even found myself shopping side by side with the author herself.

Last week I shared every recipe with you..but since I want you to buy the book, this week I will only be sharing the menu and the recipe for my vegetarian option.

So now onto last nights meal…

Pea Shoot Salad with Citrus Vingarette

Shoot's R Us 1

Pan Seared Butterfish with Cherry Compote

cherry compote

The Cherry Compote was amazing. You would never think that caramelizing cherries and garlic together would  breed pure sweet tofu topping bliss.

Tofu Butterfish

( Vegetarian Version  of Butterfish usingTofu )

1 package Extra Firm Tofu cut into 4-5 slices

Canola Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

The book calls for you to pan sear the Butterfish, the great part about substituting it with tofu is that you can follow the same cooking directions given for the fish. Just take a bit of canola oil, heat it in a large skillet and sear until golden brown on each side. Serve with Cherry compote over the tofu.

Cauliflower Gratin

Cauliflower Gratin

Unfortunately cauliflower gratin is not the most photogenic side dish, but it tastes a lot better than it looks, I promise. The best part about this recipe is that I got to try sheep’s milk cheese for the first time. I was a bit skeptical at first..was I going to find bits of wool in my cheese? Do sheep have utters? I am still unsure about the utters but I definitely didn’t find any wool in my cheese.

sheeps cheese

Yep, this is sheep’s milk cheese. It has a mild salty flavor and is quite delicious. There were two different types of Sheep’s milk cheese to choose from; which were France or Spain. The cheese man said that the Sheep’s cheese from Spain was served more often times with something sweet, and the French was more for serving on crackers. I opted for France and have no regrets.

I also topped off the gratin with my own homemade wheat bread for the breadcrumbs. Worked like a charm.

Bread close

Sautéed Kale with Mirin ( Sweet rice wine )

Shoot's R Us 1

Bad picture once again…but Sautéed Kale is delicious ( and nutritious ). It is one of the master’s of the dark leafy green vegetables.

And of course, last but not least…


Peach and Blueberry Cobbler



I encourage you to pick up a copy of Placer County Real Food Cookbook. Still not convinced? Tune in for next weeks Meal. I will be posting up some more tasty fresh food from the Farmer’s Market every Saturday.


Closer Cherry Salad

I tested out one of my newest collections of Cookbooks yesterday called Placer County Real Food. It is a cookbook written by a local lady named Joanne Neft. She wrote the cookbook in hopes to help people put a meal together out of their farmer’s market purchases. The cookbook goes week, by week, revolving around what is in season and easily found at the farmers market. This week the ingredients revolved around cherries, cauliflower, fingerling potatoes and mushrooms. She was spot on and I found everything I needed for dinner. The recipes are great, I only had to make a few modifications and not because of taste, but because I am a vegetarian. I also ended up halving the recipes because there is only 3 of us. Her recipes are meant to serve about 6. Here was what was for dinner..

Red Leaf Lettuce Salad With Cherries and Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

2 heads red leave lettuce, torn into peices

1 Pint cherries, pitted

1/2 cup toasted almonds ( I used walnuts because it is all I had )

Cherry Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/4 cup cherry balsamic Vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine lettuce and cherries. Whisk vinaigrette ingredients together. Dress with vinaigrette just before serving and garnish with almonds.

The next recipe is the one that I had to modify. It was supposed to be Grilled Flank Steak with Sautéed Mushrooms and Chimichuri but instead, It became..

Pan Fried Tofu with Sautéed Mushrooms and Chimichuri

Tofu Flank Steak

For the tofu: ( Double this recipe if serving 6 )

1 pkg of Firm Tofu drained and pressed

canola oil



Cut tofu into 4 large peaces then cut in half to make into a total of 8 triangles.

Heat canola oil in large pan and fry tofu until golden brown on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Top with sauteed mushrooms and chimishuri sauce.

Sauteed Mushrooms

2 pounds of crimini mushrooms, quartered

2 Tbs. olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

1 tsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbs. sake ( I omitted this because I didn’t have any )

Combine mushrooms, oil, salt, and pepper. Saute on high heat, about 4 minutes then add vinegar and sake. Add more salt and pepper if desired.


1 bunch flat leaf parsley ( italian parsley )

8 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 lemon, juiced

1 Tbs. diced red onion

1 Tsp. dried oregano

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a food processor combine all ingredients and pulse until mixture is at sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sautéed Cauliflower with Onions

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. garlic, minced

1 sweet onion, sliced

2 to 3 heads cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat oil and butter. Add garlic and onion, cook until fragrant. Add cauliflower, searing on one side before stirring. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

3 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss potatoes in oil, then season with salt and pepper. Put on sheet tray, evenly spread out, and roast for 30 minutes.

Serve with fresh homemade bread …

Bread close

and enjoy!

Whole Plate

Michael Pollan’s Food Rules

#24 “Eating what stands on one leg [ mushrooms and pant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [ fowl ], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [ cows, pigs, and other mammals ].”

#57 “Don’t get your fuel the same place your car does.”

Margharita Pizza
There is nothing like homemade pizza. Sure it takes more time and effort than going to a pizza place, or having it delivered but you truly can’t appreciate the taste of pizza until you make it yourself.
I made a Margherita pizza tonight. One of the most simple, yet delicious pizza’s to make. Here is the recipe.
The Toppings
Mozzarella Cheese- sliced
1 –2  tomatoes- sliced
Fresh Basil
1/2 cup Pizza sauce ( jarred or homemade is fine )
For the crust:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour ( may need another 1/4 cup depending on your experience with handling wet dough )
1 and 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 cup of warm water
1 packet of instant yeast a.k.a. rapid rise yeast
2 Tbs. Olive Oil or other vegetable oil
place flours in a mixing bowl with salt, and sugar. Mix until combined.
Create a well and place yeast in the center of the well.
Pour water into well over yeast and let sit 1 minute.
Add the olive oil and mix until combined.
If using a mixer kneed with the dough hook until smooth. Or kneed by hand until dough is smooth.
I have found that when using whole wheat flour in pizza dough that the trick is working with a wet dough in order to create a light chewy crust. It will be a hard dough to kneed by hand, but it can be done. Don’t be afraid to add flour if you need to but not too much! A little trick- Oil your hands so that the dough does not stick to your hands.
Once the dough has been kneeded place in a well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or towl and place in a warm dark place. Let rise until doubled. ( usually about 45 mins to 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit
After the dough has doubled in size lightly punch down dough and transfer to a greased cooking sheet or pizza peel if using a pizza stone. Stretch dough to desired shape and size.( or attempt the magical pizza toss and let the dogs clean up the mess ) and top with pizza sauce, mozerella cheese, tomato, and fresh basil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes
let sit for 5 minutes, cut, serve, enjoy.

Margharita pizza finished
Food Rules
Rule #69 Cook.
Rule #7 Avoid Food Products containing ingredients a third-grader cannot pronounce.

blonde brownies uncut

I originally adapted this recipe from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. . I had to healthify a regular full fat, low nutrient recipe and turn it into something that won’t affect your health as negatively for one of my nutrition classes. So here it is…a once full fat non-vegan, full of gluten recipe turned into an allergy free friendly treat. Sounds disgusting right? You haven’t even read the ingredients yet. It get’s even more strange.



1. Mash kidney beans well until smooth. ( you can use a food processor or just use the paddle attachment on a kitchen aide. ) and combine with almond butter. Mix well until smooth.
2. Add in sugar, applesauce and vanilla and mix until creamy.
3. stir in salt, xanthum gum, flour, garbanzo bean flour, and baking powder until combined.
4. Mix in chocolate chips.
Pour into a 8 or 9 inch greased baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (mine took about 28 minutes ) at 375 degrees F.
Let cool before cutting ( unless you are like me and can’t wait )serve and enjoy!

single brownie

Yes I know. This recipe has beans in it. How strange. However, you won’t taste them I promise, and the almond butter gives it a great texture and slight buttery taste. You won’t miss the butter..or the egg. The rice flour gives it a nice light texture and the garbanzo bean flour ups the protein and fiber. 

So which Food Rules does this recipe Follow?

Well if you read the book it kind of breaks one. Michael Pollan lists xanthum gum as one of those products you probably wouldn’t cook with yourself, but he obviously doesn’t do much gluten free baking because it is used in many gluten free recipes, and any gluten intolerant person would carry it in their pantry. BUT on that note he also has a rule that states:

“Break the rules once in awhile.” and…

“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

Happy Baking!