Back to the food thing…
This week I was asked if I’d be interested in catering the Teacher Training Course at Puro Yoga. I had done it over a year ago for the previous course and completely fell in love with cooking. I get a little frantic and anxious when I have to meet deadlines, but I absolutely love finding recipes and sometimes making alternatives. Vegetarian food has a sort of bad reputation in a lot of countries. You know, people sort of think that once you stop eating meat, food becomes absolutely boring.
NOT AT ALL.
People ask me how I learned how to cook. This is a strange question for me. I guess its like any other hobby; you learn by doing. I love doing things with my hands though, so if I could create a career involving yoga, salsa dancing, cooking, writing, talking and serving others, I might just find my life’s work!
Anyway, I think with all the searching of recipes, purchasing of food, prepping the food, preparing the food, serving and cleaning up, I believe this week will be fully fulfilling on a multitude of levels. My boyfriend is also helping me a lot as well and its really nice to work on a big project like this together.
I was asked by many of the students to post the recipes made this week, so I’ll be documenting food for the next few posts. Though my writing my be a little bland this week and my photography a little sketchy, I hope you can somehow still feast with your eyes.
Honey Tossed Mung Beans, Asparagus, Rhubarb, and Bulgar Salad
adapted from Green Kitchen Stories
1 cup/2 1/2 mung beans (or any lentil)
2 fresh thin rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced
1 box strawberries, sliced
1 box of pearl tomatoes, halved
10 stalks asparagus, chopped into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
15 fresh basil leaves
1.5 cups bulgar (or any other grain)
3 tablespoon honey (the original recipe called for maple syrup, but I somehow screwed it up and put in honey)
3 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
sea salt and black pepper, seasoning
Cooking lentils: Rinse the lentils under running water and cook in 2 cups water. Bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes before reducing the heat to medium. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender. When done, add a pinch of salt and set aside to cool. We add the salt at the end, otherwise it will toughen them during cooking.
Making the salad: Prepare all salad ingredients. If you’re worried the rhubarb will be too sour, you can toss it with a little bit of brown sugar and then place in a large bowl. To avoid the salad from being completely raw, saute asparagus in a little oil. This will also give the salad more depth of flavor. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing, add to the salad and toss with your hands. Top with basil leaves. You could use bread or any other grain if you wanted, or completely eliminate it altogether. I’m just serving hungry yoga students so I have to make sure they get enough energy!!
Fruit in salad is also a new concept in Norway, so its always fun to surprise the students with new food ideas that I find ordinary.
Grilled Zucchini Roll Ups
adapted from Food network.com
3 zucchini (about 1/2 pound each), sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ounces goat’s cheese (we couldn’t find goat’s cheese that day, so we combined feta and paneer. Paneer is a very light tasting cheese, often without much flavor. Feta, on the other hand, can be a bit more stronger in flavor. So, combining the two turned into a really nice mixture of smooth and tangy).
1 tablespoon freshly minced basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup basil leaves
Throw out the outermost slices of zucchini and slice lengthwise. Brush the slices with oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated grill or grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side, or until tender. We actually didn’t have a grill, so we just put it into the oven at around 350F/180C for a few minutes to soften them.
In a small bowl combine the goat cheese, basil leaves and lemon juice, mashing with a fork.
Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2-inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Top with a few leaves and 1 small, or half of a large basil leaf. Roll up and place seam side down on a platter. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini slices.
Well, it’s 9:15 pm and I’m going to bed. A morning yoga practice and preparing and serving lunch for 20 people is a lot to accomplish before 1pm. However, this has to be one of the most enjoyable things I can do. Not only is it fun to create food, it’s fulfilling to see people’s reactions…when they’re good, obviously.
I’ll post dessert recipes soon.