vegan

The World’s Easiest Cauliflower Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on May 31, 2012

The Accidental Locavore’s friend Cozy had this as an appetizer in New Orleans and fell in love! You will, too, as it’s super-simple to make and roasting brings out the sweetness of the cauliflower (not to mention how cool it looks when you present it). One smallish head of cauliflower feeds 4 and the whole thing takes about an hour, mostly roasting time.

The World’s Easiest Cauliflower Recipe

Serves 4
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 50 minutes
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower (can be as big as you'd like. This is based on a medium-small head))
  • olive oil (use a good quality oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used Maldon sea salt)

Directions

Step 1
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Wash the cauliflower, cut the leaves off, leaving the core intact. In a pot big enough to hold the cauliflower, put the cauliflower and about 2” of water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove the cauliflower and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over it and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until it is dark golden-brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Serve whole or cut into wedges and enjoy!

The verdict: this is one of those no-fail dishes! That being said, the better your ingredients, the tastier this will be. While it’s delicious on its own, a sprinkle of lemon and some cumin, or a dash of hot sauce might be interesting. The Locavore dehydrated some sriracha recently (more about that later) and that sprinkled on top would be worth a shot. Since it’s grilling season, par-boiling it and roasting on the grill seems like a no-brainer. What do you think?

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Organic Restaurants: What Top Three Traits do They Share?

by Anne Maxfield on January 16, 2012

Accidental Locavore Carrots Close-up

Is the Accidental Locavore  the only one who finds that “organic” restaurants all have some unfortunate traits in common? Granted, there are places (Candle 79 comes to mind) where you might never know you were eating organic, vegan, vegetarian or (so trendy) gluten-free. However, most of them seem intent on making you painfully aware that you’re eating healthy.

Let’s start with one of the Locavore’s pet peeves, room temperature water. What is wrong with adding ice to water? After all, ice is a form of water, occurring naturally more often than hot water (generally more accepted — think soup, tea, coffee).

Unfortunate trait number two: an extraordinarily casual wait staff. Where is it written that to work in a natural food restaurant you have to look and act like the last refugees from (pick one) Woodstock or Sedona? Is it because “Organic fruits and vegetables are not always the best looking,” so your staff needs to match the carrots?Accidental Locavore Ice And if your bartender can’t even put together a drinkable Bloody Mary, hire someone who can! When the concept behind these restaurants is to champion local, organic food, why insult the farmers who took the time and energy to raise the food by having it tossed on the table by someone who looks like they might have showered and shaved at least once this year?

Third issue: not to sound like a broken record, if the food is good enough to be certified organic  could you please not torture it into something it was never meant to be? Hemp empanadas? Quinoa linguini? Please…

So how did this all come about? A friend of the Locavore’s wanted us to try Gustorganics, the first certified organic restaurant in New York. After you wade through all the foolishness, (and spare me: what on earth is an “organic reservation”?), the food was fine. Grilled pizza had a nice, thin, crispy crust and tasty sauce. The pallid tomato added nothing but a reminder that it is still January. A Tuesday special of lemon chicken was delicious, mostly because it had been doused in (organic) butter. Desserts were forgettable, especially a carrot cake made with quinoa (see above) and frosted with a coconut & soy cream.

Would I go back?

 

 

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Black Bean Soup: Something Easy to do in the Snow and Cold

by Anne Maxfield on January 17, 2011

Accidental Locavore Black Bean SoupBlack bean or any other kind of soup, there’s nothing better in the winter than a big bowl of soup, right?  The Accidental Locavore loves soup, thick and chunky, however almost anything hot will do when the temperature drops. And while there are soups like French onion, that take a long time, there are a lot of great quick soups like this black bean soup, that will really hit the spot in no time. The corn and bacon chowder on the site is quick, I just made a batch for a friend that doesn’t eat pork, using a small chipotle and some sauce for that smoky flavor (and an little heat), so it was vegetarian, if not vegan (milk and some butter but you could use olive oil) and really delicious.

Today I did a super easy black bean soup that is vegan, but don’t hold that against it! It’s from John Hagianis, who had a local restaurant and relocated to the midwest. He left us the recipe to remember them by. This will make 4 generous servings. It’s a pretty free-form recipe, so feel free to add or subtract according to taste.

  • Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Use good but not great oil.
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 red pepper seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno or serrano chile, minced and seeded if you don’t want too much heat
  • 4 15 ounce cans black beans
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped, plus more for garnish
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Cumin, oregano, salt and pepper

Heat the oil in the bottom of a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic, and let it cook for a minute or two to flavor the oil. Add the red pepper, the jalapeno, the beans and the liquid from the cans, the cilantro, and a splash of red wine vinegar. Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper, stir, taste for seasonings and adjust to suit your taste. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

I stuck an immersion blender in the soup for about 30 seconds to puree it a bit to thicken it, but you certainly don’t need to. You can serve it with a dollop of sour cream, some cilantro, and croutons for embellishments.

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