Heather's Recipe, July 2012 - Dr. Weil
Dr. Weil is a natural health guru that has written many books on healthy living. I enjoy his recipes immensely because they are simple, clean, and delicious. His banana bread is one of my favorites with 3-4 bananas and no eggs. I make it a lot in the fall and winter as a nutritious treat to take to work when I have over-ripe bananas. I decided to experiment with a few other recipes of his from his book Eating Well for Optimum Health and loved them all.
Mike and I have a crazy sweet-tooth, so when I can make a healthier indulgence I do. Dr. Weil's Carrot Cake is packed with nutritious ingredients like 2 cups carrots, fresh orange juice, pineapple, olive oil, and spices. I substituted the orange for a lemon and the walnuts for cashews because that's what I had on hand. I also threw in a handful of raisins.
That's what I love about his recipes, substitutions are easy. His recipe beckons creative twists and I even added fresh ginger to this cake. To make it a more decadent dessert, I made a sweet lemony glaze with the zest and juice of a lemon, greek yogurt, and powdered sugar. Tart and yummy! Later in the week, this cake even made for a good breakfast!
I then tweaked his Fragrant Spinach Puree recipe by adding a little more water to the nut milk to create a curry sauce. When I looked at this recipe, I thought of the green curries I like from our favorite lunch place in Rochester, Thali of India. So it was easy to use this as a sauce for our abundant garden squash and serve it over a grain, in this case our new favorite, farro.
At first glance, this recipe may seem complicated but with my new favorite kitchen tool, the immersion blender, it's super easy. I blended the raw cashews with 1 cup of water (instead of ?) while my garlic, ginger, spinach, and curry powder are getting happy. Then the cashew milk is added to the spinach mixture, simmered and pureed with the same blender in the same pyrex.
Again creativity takes over and I can't help but add some greek yogurt! In the same pan, I sauteed the zucchini and yellow squash and the sauce gets added back. This was served over-top farro and garnished with baby cucumber slices.
This dish has wonderful "Thali of India" flavors that I've never experience in my home kitchen before. Not to mention this is super healthy with all that spinach! I will no doubt be making this again, maybe with fresh homegrown tomatoes for some mouthwatering acidity!
Last recipe I want to boast about is this super easy, yummy blueberry pie that truly honors the fresh farmers' market berry. I followed/altered his Easy Pie Crust recipe and his Blueberry Pie recipe. His Easy Pie Crust is a graham cracker crust made with maple syrup, tahini, and water. I don't buy usually tahini because I tend to waste it for some reason so I opted for the more pantry friendly peanut butter. It gave this pie a wonderful PB and J flavor. All the crust ingredients went into my vintage food processor, were pressed into a pie pan, and baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.
While that cooled, blueberries, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cinnamon simmered and then were thickened with arrowroot powder or in my case, potato starch. Both thickeners work great. I also added some fresh blueberries to the cooked down mixture so that you would get both textures. The pie was cooled and served with plain greek yogurt. You could use this recipe as a base for tons of different fruit pies... cherry, strawberry-rhubarb, peach, you name it. You'll want to keep making different combinations, it's that good!
That's what I like about his recipes, I feel like I'm learning something simple to transform the way we cook, eat, and share food with our families. Check out his extensive list of recipes on his website.
You just read one of Upstate Crumbs' monthly New Recipe posts. Every month, Mike and Heather will each make a post about a new recipe. For Mike, it will usually be an adventure in trying to learn to cook. For Heather, she'll pick something that is outside of her comfort zone in some way.