Davina Sandground and I taught a class on alkaline food last week. I cooked and Davina explained health benefits, myths and truths about eating alkaline.
This is what we ate––
I encourage substitutions. Use produce that is at its best and incorporate your favorite ingredients. The “cheese” works well with almonds also and you can substitute another fresh herb for oregano if you would like. The key to a delicious tasting casserole is making sure that each ingredient is seasoned very well. I use 1 bowl to season each ingredient and I do not wash it in between to help cut down on the clean up!
4 large tomatoes sliced, ½ onion sliced thin, 2 cloves roasted garlic peeled and chopped, ½ pound spinach, 1 cup cooked white beans, 2 Asian eggplant sliced thin, 1 cup cashew soaked in warm water for 10 minutes – overnight and drained, ½ teaspoon fresh oregano, olive oil, Celtic sea salt, pepper
Combine tomatoes, onion and garlic season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover the bottom of a baking pan approximately 9” x 13” with half of the tomato mixture.
Place the spinach in a bowl and season with olive oil salt and pepper to taste. Top tomatoes with the spinach.
Place the white beans in the spinach and season with olive oil salt and pepper. Top the spinach with the white beans.
Place the eggplant in the white bean bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top the white beans with the eggplant.
In a food processor combine the cashews, oregano, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon water. Process until you have a slightly chunky paste and distribute as evenly as possibly over the eggplant. It will be a little clumpy but that is fine.
Top with the remaining tomatoes and bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour.
The dough should be wet and sticky. If you are accustomed to making traditional bread it will be stickier dough than you are accustomed to.
1 ¼ cup water, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 ½ tablespoons fresh compressed yeast or 1 tablespoon dry active yeast mixed with 1 teaspoon water, 2 ½ cups buckwheat flour, Celtic sea salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
In a large bowl thoroughly combine water olive oil and yeast. Add buckwheat flour and salt and mix thoroughly.
Place in a bowl and sit aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.
While bread is resting heat oven to 375 degrees.
After bread has rested coat a sheet pan with olive oil and gently put bread dough onto the sheet pan, gently pat until it is about 1 inch thick.
Place in oven and cook until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Salt and Vinegar Almonds:
Add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy version.
1 cup almonds, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar, Celtic sea salt to taste
Turn oven to 110 degrees if your oven goes that low, if not 200 will work. Toss the nuts with the vinegar and salt. Spread in a single layer on a sheet tray and place in oven until crispy, about 6-8 hours.
Raw and Cooked Salad:
Again feel free to substitute seasonal ingredients and personal favorites. Fresh fava beans are only available in the spring so substitute them for dried beans or other fresh beans when they are available such as black eyed peas, lima beans…
3 broccoli stems peeled and sliced, 1 cucumber sliced, ¼ cup parsley chopped, 1 bulb fennel diced, ½ cup fava beans peeled blanched and peeled again, 1 tablespoon diced chive, 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or more to taste), 1 tablespoon olive oil (or more to taste), pink Himalayan salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375. Place broccoli stems on a sheet tray and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook until tender about 7 minutes. Set aside and cool.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Taste and adjust vinegar, oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Chilled Summer Squash Soup:
This would work well with carrots or Jerusalem artichokes as well.
1 leek sliced, 3 cups summer squash sliced, olive oil, 2 teaspoons thyme leaves, 1 lemon, Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Season leek and summer squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap in parchment paper and place on a sheet tray. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes.
In a blender puree until smooth squash mixture, thyme, ¼ cup salt and pepper. Taste to check consistency and add more water if necessary. Chill and just before serving season with fresh squeezed lemon juice and additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Coconut Ginger Soup:
Feel free to mix up the vegetables or substitute edamame or black beans for the tofu.
2 cloves of garlic grated, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated, 1 cup coconut milk, turmeric to taste about ½ teaspoon, cayenne pepper to taste, Celtic sea salt, 1 cup tofu cut into cubes, ¼ cabbage shredded, 2 cups green beans or French beans (since it is hard to measure in cups since they do not fit in a cup you can eyeball it)
In a soup pot combine the garlic, ginger, coconut milk, 3 cups water, turmeric and cayenne. Bring to a boil and reduce to as simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Add the tofu, cabbage and green beans, return to a boil and serve hot. Before serving adjust the seasoning and add more turmeric, cayenne and salt if necessary.
Sweetbreads with Mustard and Leeks, Foie Gras on Cauliflower, French Breakfast Radish with Black Truffle Salt, Scallop with Celery, Olive Oil Egg Salad on Cucumber with Chive, Flat Iron Steak and Shallot
Vodka Thyme and Lemon Cocktail, Chateau Les Valentines Cotes du Provence ROSE 2015
Halibut with Avocado, Frisse and Girasol- Buckwheat Olive Oil Bread
Lucien Jacob Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Beaune Rouge 2012
Asparagus, Fava Beans, Fiddle Head Ferns, Sorrel, Watercress and Arugula- Sesame Seed Roll
Muller-Grossman Gruner Veltliner Grosser Satz 2015
Wood Grilled Chicken with Morels, Pea Shoots and Ramps- 48 Hour Bread
Alain Chabanon Coteaux du Languedoc “Campredon” Rouge 2014
Appalachian Cheese and Walnut Cracker
Frozen Coconut, Vanilla Cake with Rhubarb Compote, Caramel Sauce and Candied Pecan
Jacques Lassaigne Blanc de Blancs Brut “Les Vignes de Montgueux” NV
Bites: Chocolate Cake, Macadamia Coconut Macaroon, Matcha and Sesame Drop, Bay and Vanilla Wafer
Lavender Shortbread Cookies: ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh lavender leaves, 4 ounces earth balance,½ cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup flour, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon water.
In a food processor combine sugar and lavender and process until lavender is very finely chopped. In a mixer cream together the lavender sugar and the earth balance. Add the flours, salt, baking powder and water. Mix until thoroughly combined. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll to about 1/8" thickness and cut with a cookie cutter of your choice. Bake in a 350 degree oven until light golden brown. Serve 2 cookies with a slice or slices of fig in between.