This post has the final two recipes that complete my big Vegan dinner for March. At the bottom of the page, I describe how to plate your meal, in case your interested in serving up something extra special for a special someone. The first way we taste our food is with our eyes. When I take the time to assemble a beautiful plate of food, I get to enjoy my work with different senses than just my tastebuds.
Total Time: 1 hour + assembly
½ cup raw hulled pumpkin seeds
¼ cup raw unhulled sesame seeds
¼ cup raw, shelled peanuts
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
1-2 small green chiles, like jalapeno
1 tsp. dried epazote
1 tbsp minced fresh oregano
1-2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
sea salt to taste
1-2 fresh limes, squeezed
1. Fill a medium saucepan about two-thirds with water and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add tomatillos to water. Blanch until they turn bright green, then remove immediately from water.
2. In a blender, puree tomatillos until smooth. Pass tomatillo paste through a mesh strainer to extract the juice and remove the seeds and skins. Set juice aside.
3. Heat a medium dry skillet over high heat. Add pumpkin seeds and toast until lightly browned. Remove seeds from skillet and place in a bowl to cool. Toast sesame seeds and peanuts in the same way.
4. While the skillet is still hot, add the cloves of garlic and jalapeno. Roast until they are charred on the outside. Remove from heat and let cool. Once cool, de-stem the pepper. At this point, if you like a milder mole, you can remove the seeds and membrane from the pepper as well.
5. n the blender, combine nuts and seeds, tomatillo juice, garlic, pepper, herbs, an ample pinch of salt, several turns of freshly ground black pepper, and about 1 tbsp lime juice.
6. Start the blender on low and slowly increase the speed to high as the seeds are incorporated and start to release their oils. It will be slow moving at first, and you may need to use the tamper to help “move” the seeds around while the motor is running. (NOTE: Do not be tempted to stick anything spoon or otherwise into your blender while the motor is running. Only use the tamper that comes with your blender. If you do not have a high-speed blender, a food processor is a good alternative.)
7. Once the speed is high, continue to blend/process until a smooth texture is achieved. Taste for seasoning and consistency. You may add more oil to thin the mole, more lime juice for added zest, or simply adjust the salt/pepper to bring out the other flavors. This may be used right away, but the flavors become more pronounced as it rests. Store in the refrigerator, and be sure to mix well before serving.
Heirloom Squash Stacks
2 medium Heirloom summer squash, about 2-3 inches in diameter. Some varieties to look for include: zephyr (yellow with green tip); eight ball (dark green, round); bush baby (dark green with light green stripes); sunburst patty pan (yellow, looks like a flying saucer); costata romanesco (large, light green); raven (dark green standard zucchini)
1 large handful of lemon thyme, stems removed and discarded (regular thyme may be substituted)
a few tbsp. of olive oil
1. Slice the squash on the diagonal into ¾ inch thick rounds.
2. In a large bowl, toss the squash with the thyme, salt and just enough oil to lightly coat the vegetables.
3. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium high heat. Add about 1 tbsp of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay the squash rounds flat in the hot pan in a single layer, taking care that they do not touch one another.
4. Sear for about 2-3 minutes until the bottoms are blistered and starting to brown. Using tongs, flip the squash rounds over and sear the second side in the same way. Repeat with remaining squash.
To Assemble the Plate:
Verde MoleHeirloom Squash Stacks
Sweet and Sour Collards (click for recipe)Eggplant Bacon (click for recipe)
1. Using a spoon, place a large scoop of mole to the side of the plate in the shape of a comma.
2. Stack 3-4 pieces of differently sized squash on top of the mole.
3. Add a few pieces of eggplant bacon to the top of the tower.
4. With clean hands, grab a handful of collard greens and tightly pack into your hand. Place this mound of greens on another third of the plate.
5. On the last third, stack 4 chickpea fries, 2 by two, like pieces of Jenga.
+ Good for weight loss
+ Cancer protection
+ Good source of fiber
+ High in antioxidants
* Every single recipe on this website uses nature’s ingredients, only. Always choose organic, local and seasonal whenever possible.
This recipe was created by Chef Hannah Gruber.
Photo thanks to Roxxe NYC Photography.
This recipe is part of © 2014 The Earth Diet ™ All Rights Reserved
The Earth Diet
These March recipes are created by Chef Hannah Gruber who lives the lifestyle.