Mindy’s Pistachio Halva Bites

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Pistachio Halva Bitess
From Mindy Miner

The recipe is from a book by Douglas McNish called Raw, Quick & Delicious. I made one modification because I can’t find bulk sesame seeds anywhere close by and it’s too expensive to use the bottled version. Also, I doubled the recipe for last night’s crowd. Here goes…

1/2 cup whole raw pistachios (I bought shelled ones)
1 cup raw sesame seeds, divided (I used 3/4 cup raw, sliced almonds and enough sesame seeds to roll the balls in)
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Process pistachios (and almonds, if using) in a food processor until roughly chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
2. In food processor process tahini, agave and vanilla until smooth. Add to nut mixture and stir until it forms a large smooth ball.
3. Using a tablespoon, scoop up about 15 equal portions. Roll each portions in the palm of your hand and then in raw sesame seeds.
4. Place balls on plate or baking sheet covered with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Serve immediately or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 7 days.



Vegan Gruyere and Beet Carpaccio

Below, find the fun sort of things I do in my classes

Oh, Miyoko! Our supper club guests were swooning over your version of vegan gruyere… I demoed it, but all the credit goes to you. I will add that if you want to make this exactly like what you tasted at Thought-Design, folks, use 2 T of South River Chickpea miso and you’ll need to learn to make rejuvelac, too. It’s not so pretty, but it is tasty!


So if you want something really pretty and really delicious, try the roasted beet carpaccio I brought. I garnished it with beluga lentils (you can use du puy!) and an almond ricotta. I put the overlapping flower shapes on squares of wax paper and then composed the salad on site. Voila!

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Here’s how you do it…
Salt-roasted Beet Carpaccio with horseradish ricotta and French lentils
(serves 4-6)

1 box Kosher salt
3 medium beets, rinsed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Put a layer of salt, ¼ inch deep in a loaf pan. Place clean beets on salt. Do not let them touch.
Pour salt over beets until covered.
Roast in oven for about an hour. Remove pan from oven and let sit until cool.
Peel off skins and slice beets thin with a mandoline. Place them in an overlapping flower pattern on wax paper to keep until ready to assemble.

2 cups water
1 cup du puy lentils, rinsed and drained
1 veggie
bouillon cube (preferably no MSG)

Put all ingredients into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and quickly lower to barely a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat. Let cool 15 minutes.

Horseradish Ricotta
1 cup whole, blanched almonds, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
2 T lemon juice
1 tsp. horseradish, or to taste
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp. sea salt
Several grinds fresh pepper

Place all ingredients in food processor and run until it has reached a consistency you like. You will probably have to stop and clean the sides with a spatula a few times.

To assemble:
Lay each beet ‘flower’ on a salad plate. Spread ¼ cup ricotta in the center and sprinkle with drained lentils. Garnish with sunflower shoots of flat-leaf Italian parsley.

Laura Johnson’s Mushroom Potstickers

At our last supper club, we had some wonderful demos to expand our cooking repertoire. Laura Johnson, a plant-based chef from Impact Health in Holland, demonstrated how to make mushroom potstickers.

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Here’s the method for folding them:
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Thank you, Laura, for the great demo!

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Mushroom Potstickers

Mushroom filling:
2 Tbsp oil
1 8 oz container shiitake mushrooms
1 8 oz container white mushrooms
1 container portobello mushrooms (about 4 large)
1 glove garlic, pressed and let rest 10 minutes (Note: will also need an additional 1 glove for dipping sauce)
1 inch ginger root, peeled and finely minced (Note: will also need an additional 1 tsp for dipping sauce)
4 green onions (scallion) white and green separated, sliced thin
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp cornstarch or arrow root
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1 package vegan wonton wrappers
2 cups mushroom broth (see below)

Slice green onion, separating white from green.
Remove stems, finely chop mushrooms and place in large bowl.
Press garlic and let rest.
Mince ginger.
Mix soy sauce, corn starch and five spice powder in small bowl.
In a large pan heat oil and add garlic, ginger and white parts of scallion.
Stir immediately to prevent burning and cook for 1 minute.
Add mushrooms, stir and cook until most of liquid is gone.
Once mushrooms are cooked, clear a space in the middle of the mushroom and add the soy sauce mixture.
Add 2 Tbsp of hot broth and allow to boiled for a few seconds before stirring mushrooms back in.
Add green parts of scallion, stir and heat for a few sends.
Remove mushroom mixture from heat and place in large bowl to cool.

Mushroom stock (from mushroom stems):
Bring 2 cups water and mushrooms stems to boil. Simmer for 30 minutes. Filter mushroom broth through coffee filter or fine sieve.

Dipping sauce:
8 Tbsp soy sauce
6 tsp rice vinegar
4 Tbsp honey
4 tsp sesame oil
4 Tbsp mushroom broth or water
1 glove garlic pressed
1 tsp ginger minced

Place all ingredients in a small pot and heat until barely simmering. Serve in small individual bowls.

Assembling Potstickers:
Get a small bowl of water to wet wrappers.
Keep wonton wrappers that you are not using covered with a damp pager towel to prevent them from drying out.
Lay one wrapper on a clean plate and dip finger in water and wet edges of wrapper. Place about 2 tsp of mushroom filling in the middle of each wrapper. Fold two opposite corners to make a triangle. Seal edges by gently pressing them together. Cover finished dumplings with a damp paper towel as you work.

Cooking Potstickers:
In a large pan add a small amount of oil, heat and arrange potstickers in a single layer.
Cook until golden brown on each side. If cooking multiple batches use a little oil between each batch to help prevent sticking.
Once golden brown on both sides, add 1/4 cup mushroom broth to pan, cover with lid and steam for several minutes until most of the broth is gone.
Carefully remove potstickers from pan (they may stick a little, hence the name) and place on a decorative plate and serve immediately.

Note: May skip browning part and just steam. May use other mushroom combinations of choice!

Recipe adapted from: http://foodiesarsenal.com/mushroom-potstickers-recipe/

Pepita Pesto Dip

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You asked for it, you got it! This rather unassuming looking dip was a major hit at our supper club and many of you asked for the recipe. The pesto recipe is mine, developed for my class on pumpkin and squash at Meijer Gardens. It becomes swoon-worthy when paired with Miyoko Schinner’s Cashew Cream Cheese, which I found the recipe for here. Miyoko is one of my favorite plant-based cheesemakers. She’s brilliant. Please buy her book “Artisan Vegan Cheese.” If you like, you could also pair this with goat cheese or cream cheese.

Pepita Pesto
1 cup pepita pumpkin seeds (these are hulled seeds)
10 fresh sage leaves (big ones if you can)
1 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
1 head roasted garlic
¼ cup almond parmesan (this is a decent recipe, but do yourself a favor and use almond meal and maybe 1/2 the amount of nutritional yeast)
1/4 tsp salt to taste
1 cup cashew cream cheese

Roast the pumpkin seeds in a cast iron pan over medium heat. Continue to stir the seeds until they start to pop. You want to smell a nutty aroma and see the seeds begin to brown. Keep shaking and stirring while this is happening. You will get a feel for this. You do not want smoking and burning. Move seeds to a food processor. Add the sage, parsley, roasted garlic, parmesan and salt to taste. Process until it is a coarse puree, and all ingredients are evenly distributed, stopping the processor and scraping the ingredients back toward the blades if you need to.

Mix pesto with 6-8 ounces of your choice of cheese until fully combined. Serve with crackers. Practice humility when people swoon over it.

More Good Eats from January’s Supper Club

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Every month we have an embarrassment of riches at our plant-based dinners and some dishes are truly unforgettable. January was an inspired month. Below, find your requested recipes for Medha’s Sabudana Kichadi and Theresa’s lovely beet appetizer.

Medha thoughtfully photographed each stage in the process for all you Indian cooking neophytes. This makes her popular dish look so easy! You have to give it a whirl.


Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls) Khichadi
from Medha Kosalge

3 cups Tapioca Pearls
2 ½ Cups Coarsely Ground Unsalted Roasted Peanuts
7 to 8 Green Chilies
1/4 Lime
½ tsp. cumin Seeds
¼ Bunch Cilantro
7 or 8 curry leaves(Optional)
2 Potatoes, Boiled and Cubed(Optional)
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oil
Flat Microwave-safe Glass Container/Bowl

Fasting is part of Indian diet. Some may fast every fortnight, some may fast every week. Fasting is not necessarily not-eating-anything. It is about letting your digestive system deal with altogether different food group for a day. Some people eat only fruits for a day, some people only take juices, and people like Parag and I eat Sabudana khichadi. There are other fasting food recipes too, but we’ll come to that later.

Meanwhile let’s make and eat Sabudana Khichadi.

(1) Wash Sabudana two to three times in cold water so that most of the starch goes away.
(2) Most crucial part in the recipe: Soak Sabudana Pearls for about 2 to 3 hours. No, not that simple. Here’s how to do it: Soak Sabudana with “Warm” (Not Hot) water, filling the water until it is about 1 inch above sabudana level. Cover the bowl. Set a timer for 30 minutes.

(3) After 30 minutes, drain off all the water. Cover the bowl and set aside for 2-3 hours.
(4) After soaking, the pearls should still feel dry and separate, and yet soft and hydrated too.

5_c_Each_Pearl_Hydrated_and_yet_Dry(5) In a large bowl mix Sabudana, ground roasted peanuts, boiled and cubed potatoes (optional), salt, and sugar. Make sure that it tastes a little bit salty.


8_Add_Red_Chili_Powder_OptionalNow sprinkle lime juice and mix well. Ideally you should cover the mixture for a few minutes, but it is okay if you don’t.

(6) Spread oil in a flat microwave-safe glass bowl and add over that cumin seeds, chopped chilies, and chopped curry leaves.10_Take Oil_in_Microwave_safe_Flat_Glass_Container

11_Add_Cumin Seeds




(7) Layer prepared Sabudana mixture over it. Cover with a paper napkin and microwave for one minute. Stir a bit using a fork so that Sabudana at the center is also cooked and not just at the sides of the container. Don’t let the chili layer come to the top. Not yet.14_b_Ready _to_Microwave


(8) Repeat this four to five times. You’ll see that Sabudana is changing color a bit after cooked.16_Stir_with_Fork


(9) Now mix everything well including chilies and cumin seeds. And microwave for two mote minutes.18_Stir_Well


(10) Add chopped Cilantro and enjoy!20_Remove_Chili_pieces_Add_Chopped_Cilantro

Thank you, Medha, for that tutorial!

Theresa’s Lovely Cooked Beet Appetizer

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Beet Appetizer: Slice cooked beets and spread nut cheese between the slices. Drizzle with Michigan-based Hotel Kitchen Brand Citrette Dressing (available at the Amway Grand Hotel, Russo’s, Kingma’s and Art of the Table) and sprinkle with crushed (roasted and salted) pistachios. Easy Peasy.


Easy Vegan Nut Cheese
1. Soak 1/2 cup of raw almonds and 1/2 cup of raw cashews in water for about four hours. Rinse and drain them.
2. Combine the nuts, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, and 1/4 cup of filtered water in the Vitamix. (Add more water if necessary, but I have found this to be the right amount.) Mix it up using the tamperer to push them down into the blades.
3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper to the mix and reblend to a lovely paste.
4. Enjoy!!

Happy Healthy 2013

Our supper club kicked off the new year with a big healthy bang! Below, find some of your most-requested recipes from our creative cooks. In addition to amazing food, we welcomed Jennifer Pohlmann and her husband, Tom. Jennifer is the owner of Sip Organic Juice Bar and was on hand to answer questions about juicing, detoxing, Sip’s new locations in Eastown and more.

Our fellow supper club attendee, Medha Rode, has launched an Etsy site, featuring her beautiful new jewelry line. You must check it out. Medha brought necklaces for us to model. Below, see how perfectly Morgan’s necklace fits her outfit.

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The food was delicious, of course. I only got a few pictures up close, but you can see the table is loaded with offerings; the crockpots with soup and chili lined the kitchen counters.

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So, here are the recipes you coveted:

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Massaged Kale Salad with Sweet and Sour Dressing
Adapted from Bon Appetit, this one was a winner at my Meijer Garden “Healthy New Year, Healthy You” cooking class. The true winner, of course, was the Tuscan baby kale, from my friend Tim Sharer of Vertical Paradise Farms. If you visit the website or facebook page, you can find out how you can enjoy this local-fresh-delicious-nutritious green.

2 T dried cranberries
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 T toasted pine nuts
3 T white balsamic vinegar, divided
1 T unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T honey
1 T olive oil
½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
2 bunches kale (preferably baby kale or Tuscan or dinosaur kale)

Remove leaves from stems and chop into ribbons. Place in salad bowl. Drizzle olive oil, 1 T balsamic vinegar and salt over kale and work the ingredients in with your hands. Think of kneading someone’s shoulders. Set aside.

Place cranberries in a small dish with orange juice. Microwave for 40 seconds at half power. Set aside. Toast pine nuts in a dry, heavy-bottomed pan. Don’t walk away! This should only take a few minutes and you don’t want to burn them. Toss them in the pan over medium-high heat until browned and aromatic.

Whisk together remaining liquid ingredients and toss with kale. After they are fully incorporated, toss nuts and cranberries into mix.

This salad is best made an hour or two ahead to let flavors meld and kale break down.

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When Kathy Harwood arrived with this dish, I thought I was going to have to give her a primer on the ‘rules’ as they looked so much like deviled eggs. However, she was just having one over on me. The creamy, chickpea puree centers of this appetizer, do remind me of deviled eggs. But the red potatoes are what give them their new name:

Red-Devil ‘Eggs’

Dash of black salt (I don’t have black salt. Just used a dash of sea salt)
¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ cup hummus
6 small red potatoes
dash of paprika
dash of hot pepper sauce (optional)
¼ tsp. Dijon mustard

Boil potatoes until fork-tender, then let cool completely. Meanwhile, mix hummus, mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt together (and hot pepper sauce, if using). Taste and add more of any of these to suit your taste. I pressed a small clove of fresh garlic into the mix when I did it, I love fresh garlic! Once potatoes are cool, slice in half and use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out a small circle of potato. Mix the scooped out bits into your hummus mixture, mashing it all together well. Spoon mixture into the scooped out holes and garnish with paprika. These taste best when allowed to chill awhile before serving.

There’s more to come…. Check back for one of Medha’s popular dishes!

The food is just one reason we come together, of course. In this picture, you see the ski lodge fireplaces and Roger’s amazing music mix make the evening pleasurable. There’s good wine and good company.

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New people come every week and so there is always someone interesting to meet. I would be remiss if I didn’t add how touching it was for Roger and me to get so much help with the clean-up. Because we try to make our party a zero waste affair, there are a lot of dishes to wash. A team of organized people–Kathy Harwood, Diane Cisler and Trish English–came early last Wednesday to come up with a plan for getting all the dishes clean. Roger and I would not have initiated it. As it turned out, Trish volunteered to oversee the clean-up that evening. Yes, she looks sweet, but she has nerves of steel and she informed the group if she didn’t get volunteers, she would volunteer individuals herself.

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Fortunately, that wasn’t necessary. The boys took over their own kitchen and raced the girls to the clean-up finish line. Yes, that’s another of our famous cooks, Geoff Fields, proving he is equally adept at wielding a nozzle sprayer.

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Dave and I got caught up during this period–not everyone can fit in the kitchen! Notice my mobile necklace. You have to visit Medha’s shop. Thank you, one and all, for another great evening. Special thanks to Melissa Koski for the pictures!

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