Vegetarian Times (May 2013)
Our friend Rachel, of Buffalo Chicken Dip fame, recently sent us a decidedly un-Buffalo-Chicken-Dip-like email:
I know you probably get suggestions like this all the time, but if you're looking for a food magazine to fill the EDF-shaped hole in your life, may I suggest Vegetarian Times. I bought a subscription a few months ago. I'm one issue in and totally hooked. Great classic vegetarian options plus if you want to get crazy, there are vegan and raw recipes as well. I made a veggie burger from lentils that was amazing (and oddly the consistency of ground beef. It also froze really well. I could go on.)
Rachel wasn't the first person to suggest we check out Vegetarian Times. Many readers have recommended it to us over the years. So we picked up a copy of the April/May issue when we were in a bookstore recently. (Kids, ask your parents what a bookstore was.)
What we found was a very enjoyable cooking magazine that just happens to not have any meat in it. Maybe it's partly because of the time of year -- it's full-on spring, and we've got fresh veggies on the brain -- but there are actually a host of dishes we'd be eager to make from the current issue. There's a feature on spring cooking in Ireland (from the Ballymaloe Cookery School in County Cork), with a gorgeous-looking Pea and Coriander Soup and a simple Cabbage, Sultana and Fennel Salad that looks delicious.
There's a feature on cooking with fresh herbs that's truly packed with tips ("10 more ways to use basil...," "10 more ways to use rosemary...").
And there's a vegan-cooking piece from Mark Bittman (who is literally everywhere -- we have a working theory that he's some sort of vegan vampire), which has a vegan burger recipe we might even consider trying -- no small statement after our last attempt at homemade meatless burgers.
But for our inaugural recipe from Vegetarian Times, we decided to go whole hog (er, uh, whole tofu?). We picked something from the feature on raw foods.
It's safe to say the raw foods movement has pretty much passed the two of us by. We're no strangers to raw food, obviously. We like uncooked veggies as much as the next guys -- maybe more. But we've never really gotten the appeal of raw cooking. (Or is that an oxymoron?) What's so wrong with a little boiling water? That's what we'd like to know.
Anyway, beyond salads, our raw cooking experience is pretty limited. We made a pretty decent Raw Corn and Cashew Soup back in our first six months of The Bitten Word. Aaaaaand that about catches us up.
But we wanted to dive head first into Vegetarian Times, so raw it was. The Miso-Glazed Cauliflower and Kale Salad sounded really delicious to us.
Imagine our surprise when we read the first step of this raw recipe: "Preheat oven to 250°F." Huh?
Turns out, raw cooking allows foods to reach a max of 118°F. Hotter than that, the raw wisdom goes, and the natural enzymes and nutrients in plants begin to break down and become less useful to the body. Okay!
"Roasting" the cauliflower for such a short time on a low temperature essentially has the effect of dehydrating it. (Indeed, the recipe suggests a dehydrator as an alternative to the oven.) It also helps turn the miso-oil-vinegar mixture into a thick glaze.
The kale salad is really basic, but good. We love the technique of massaging the dressing into the kale. Raw kale can be really raw (putting the "rough" in "roughage") and massaging it helps break down the texture a bit.
The dish as a whole? Really delicious. We're suckers for miso, and the glaze here gives the cauliflower a nice umami kick. It pairs really nicely with the kale and the sweet raisins and crunchy pine nuts.
We're not about to ditch our oven or surrender our stove top. But we'd like to experiment more with raw cooking -- especially as we move into summer, and simpler, cooler dishes (that don't require heating up the kitchen) sound like an awfully good idea.
Miso-Glazed Cauliflower and Kale Salad
Vegetarian Times (April/May 2013)
Subscribe to Vegetarian Times
Nutritional Information available at VegetarianTimes.com
30 minutes or fewer
1 large head cauliflower (1 lb.)
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. white miso paste
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 Tbs. agave nectar, coconut nectar, or date paste
¼ tsp. sea salt
1 12-oz. bunch kale, sliced into thin ribbons (8 cups)
¼ cup raisins, chopped, plus more for garnish, optional
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
¼ cup pine nuts, optional
Coarse sea salt, for garnish, optional
1. To make Miso-Glazed Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 250°F, or prepare dehydrator. Vertically slice 4 pieces of cauliflower into 1/2-inch-thick slabs.
2. Whisk together oil, miso paste, lemon juice, agave nectar, and salt in large bowl. Add cauliflower, and stir to coat. Arrange cauliflower on baking sheet, and place in oven or set cauliflower on dehydrator rack. Bake or dehydrate cauliflower 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, to make Kale Salad: Place kale in large bowl, and add raisins, oil, and vinegar; use hands to massage oil and vinegar into kale, until leaves turn bright green and begin to soften.
4. To serve: Set cauliflower on serving plates. Arrange Kale Salad around cauliflower, drizzling any remaining dressing or miso marinade over top. Garnish with pine nuts, sea salt, and raisins (if using).