Kicking off the long weekend used to involve a whole lot of liquid refreshments, a little grilled meat, a campfire and staying awake until the wee hours of Saturday morning. While that is still fun, from time to time, it is not how we start our weekends anymore, (long or otherwise).
My husband and I have joined the ranks of other 40+ year olds who have come before us. At least the ones that have turned to a more restful and relaxing weekend practice. Nothing like needing a vacation after the weekend has finished. That is a young person’s game. At least, that is my story and I’m sticking to it.
Instead, we kicked off the weekend in style. Some great food, served over the course of the evening. Early to bed feeling satisfied but not stuffed. Peace. (Why can’t we find these kind of food choices in most restaurants? It was so full of flavour!)
Here is what we enjoyed: (even my husband and daughter, who have very discerning palates)
Minted Pea and Cashew Cheese Crostini
For the minted peas:
- 10 oz. frozen green peas
- 1/4 cup mint, loosely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
For the cashew cheese:
- 1 heaping cup cashews, soaked for several hours and drained of soak water
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons minced chives, (sprinkled on top)
For the crostini:
- 2 long, thin sweet potatoes
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash sweet potatoes, trim ends and slice 1/4″ thick. Place on sheet and brush with olive oil on both sides. Sprinkle with Herbamare. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, gently turn and bake another 5 minutes.
- Bring a small pot of water to boil. Boil the peas until they’re bright, sweet, and tender (3-5 minutes). Drain them and immediately plunge them into a bowl of ice water to arrest the cooking and keep the color bold. Drain them and transfer them to a food processor. Pulse in the mint, salt, and lemon juice. With the motor running, pour the oil into the food processor in a thin stream. Stop the motor and mix everything up. You want a mixture that’s not quite pureed, but also fairly uniform. Continue to pulse as needed, until you’re pleased with how it looks. Set the minted peas aside.
- To prepare the cashew cheese, place the cashews in a food processor or high-speed blender along with the lemon, garlic, sea salt, and pepper. Blend the cashews until they’ve taken on the texture of a spreadable cheese/thick hummus. Add water as needed (a third cup or half cup is normal). Continue blending, stopping occasionally to scrape the machine down, till the cashew cheese is very smooth.
- Once the potato rings are cool, top with a small spoon of each pea puree and cashew cheese, garnish with chives.
Yam Veggie Patties with Cilantro Tahini Sauce
Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free
Recipe is inspired by Angela Liddon’s Moroccan Yam veggie burgers from the Oh She Glows blog.
For the patties:
- 1.5 cups grated yam
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 small piece of fresh ginger (1 cm cube), peeled
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (about 1.5 cups)
- 2 tablespoons ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons water
- 3/4 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour
- 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
For the cilantro tahini sauce:
- 1 small garlic clove, peeled
- 2/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
- Peel the yam and grate until you have 1 1/2 lightly packed cups.
- In a food processor, using the “s” blade process the oats into a flour, set oat flour aside in a large-sized bowl
- Mince the garlic, cilantro, and ginger in the food processor. Add drained chickpeas and process again until finely chopped, but leave some texture. Scoop this mixture into the oat flour bowl.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flax and water mixture.
- Add the oil, tamari, salt/pepper, and spices to the oat flour and mix everything until well combined.
- Shape 6-8 patties, packing the mixture firmly together. Place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then carefully flip, and bake for another 18-23 minutes until golden and firm. Cool on pan.
- For the cilantro tahini sauce: Mince garlic in a food processor, followed by the cilantro. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Serve the patties over a bed of greens with a generous dollop of sauce.
Along with this meal, I enjoyed my version of a Hugo.
- British Columbia Moscato Frizzante
- Canadian sparkling water
- Mint from my garden
- Lime cordial
- Chive blossom for fun!