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.
Photo: Martin Lane Cochran A friend asked if we could do a cooking class for her kids and some of their friends. She said, "they do not want to decorate cupcakes they want to de-bone a chicken." We found a mutually free day and de-boned a few chickens, made some pasta, made chicken stock, turned that plus some veg into a chicken noodle soup and then made a quick batch of chocolate cake with chocolate ganache. Thanks Sophie, Dylan, Julien and Ethan–– great day... looking forward to the next.
Chicken Stock, After de-boning place chicken carcass in a 400 degree oven and cook until deep brown. Remove from oven, place in a pot, cover with water, bring to a simmer and cook over very low heat, being careful not to boil, for 6 hours. Drain, discard the chicken and keep the broth.
Chicken Soup, Place broth in a pot and add vegetables of your choice, we used chopped carrots, celery and onion. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Roasted Chicken, Heat a heavy bottom skillet over high heat. Once hot add just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Place chicken skin side down into the pan and cook until deep golden brown. Flip the chicken so the skin is facing up and place in a 375 degree oven until just cooked through, about 7 minutes.
Pasta, In a bowl combine 1 cup all purpose unbleached flour, ½ cup durum flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 egg, ¼ cup water and a pinch of salt. Mix with your fingers until the ingredients are combined and you can make the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour. After resting shape into noodles of your choice using a pasta machine or with a roller. Cook the pasta in boiling water being very careful not to overcook, time will vary depending on the thickness of your noodles but it will take approximately 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Drain pasta, rinse under cold water and drizzle with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.
Chicken Noodle Soup, Assemble soup by placing pasta in a bowl, sliced roasted chicken and top with hot soup.
Chocolate Cake, In a bowl or mixer combine 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar,3/4 teaspoons baking soda, 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup olive oil, seeds from 1 vanilla bean, 1 cup flour, 1/3 cup cocoa and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix until just thoroughly combined. These can be made into about 8-12 individual small cakes or 1 10" cake. Cook at 350 degrees until a toothpick in the middle tests clean, the time will vary depending on the size of the cake and your oven. Test doneness with a toothpick stuck in the middle, once it comes out of the cake clean it is done, approximately 15-25 minutes. Take care not to over cook. Top cake with the ganache recipe below.
Chocolate Ganache, Bring ¼ cup water to a boil, turn off the heat and wisk in 4 ounces bittersweet chopped chocolate, wisk in 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Let cool slightly before using to top chocolate cake.