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Latin food can be local too! This recipe is for a very simple salad using black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics near Ithaca, New York. Thanks to them, we have access to a great vegetarian source of protein from a regional organic farm. The dish was inspired by a wonderful dish made for us by Autumn Stoscheck of Eve's Cidery , who used as many fresh vegetables she could tossed with cooked black beans. The result was a juicy salad of September bliss.

This is a simplified version with just a few ingredients. There are no exact quantities for this recipe, because it is up to you to judge the amounts you want to use. The idea is to have the same proportions of onions, tomato, and peaches, and just make the dish as colorful and diverse as possible. Who needs mango when we have ripe, juicy peaches?!

Cooked black beans (see below)
Red onion
Heirloom tomatoes(of any color and shape)
Small red or green Chile peppers
Herbs: mint, cilantro, parsley
Vinegar (and lime if not on a local diet)
Collard greens or kale (about 3 cups chopped)

Dice the red onions, tomatoes, and peaches to about a medium size, not much bigger than the beans. For 1 cup of cooked beans you will need about 1/2 a peach, 1 medium tomato, 1/4 of a red onion, and about 1" of the chile pepper.
Mince the chiles finely and toss them in along with the herbs for extra flavor. Dress with vinegar, season with salt, and toss thoroughly.
Steam the collard greens and kale, and place them on the bottom of two dishes. Spoon the bean salad on top of the greens and serve.
Buen Provecho!
Makes enough for 2 healthy portions.

How To Cook Dried Black Beans:

Take 1 cup dried beans, place in a bowl, and cover with about double their amount in water. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Drain the beans of their soaking liquid and transfer to a pot. Cover again with at least 2-4 inches of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer covered on very low heat until the beans are cooked through and soft (about 1 hour). You can add cumin, ginger, or garlic to the cooking liquid to add flavor. Ginger and cumin both help with the digestibility of the beans, reducing gas.

Who says that Latin food can't be Local too? This past week we went upstate and got our hands on some dried black beans from Cayuga Pure Organics. Now with the addition of the abundant fresh herbs and juicy fruits, we can have local Latin flavors sourced locally.

In order to make a moffle, you need a waffle press, as it is what transforms the mochi into the chewy, delectable waffle (moffle) that is so unique.

1 package mochi
1/2 cup soft silken tofu
1 T agave nectar
1/2 tsp. matcha green tea powder

Cut two squares of mochi paste with a sharp knife, and place inside a waffle press. Don't press down with the press, just let the lid rest gently over the mochi until it gets hot and malleable. Then you can close the lid completely.

Whip together the tofu, agave, and matcha powder.

The moffles will come out with a crispy edge, and delicious chewy interior. Do not let them touch, as they will stick together and form a mass.
You can top them with savory things like ham and cheese, as well as sweets like ice cream and powdered sugar.

June 11, 2008   |   11 comments
Tags: Breakfasts, Desserts, East Asia, Vegan

1 cup flour
¾ cup cold water
½ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups roasted acorn squash
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
3 scallions, chopped, white and pale green parts
Some oil for frying.

Place the flour and salt in a bowl, and pour in the water, whisking to combine and remove lumps. Let sit for half and hour.
Stir in the roasted acorn squash, sesame seeds, and scallions.
Heat up a frying pan with 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the pancake on both sides for about 2 minutes, until cooked through.
Makes 8 pancakes.

Serve with seasoned soy sauce.

March 6, 2008   |   1 comments
Tags: Appetizers, East Asia, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter

1 cup dry garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
¾ cup sesame seeds
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup lemon juice
A few lugs of olive oil
1 T cumin seeds

Rinse the chickpeas and soak them overnight, covered with ample water.
Drain them of their soaking liquid.
Place them in a pot and cover with fresh water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the chickpeas until they are cooked through and soft, about 1½ hours.
Drain them, place in a bowl, and cover with cold water. Remove as many of the skins that have come loose during cooking as possible.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over low heat. Cool them off on a plate, and then grind them up in a mini blender for about 5 minutes, or until they form a smooth paste (tahini). This will be more tahini than you will use, but it is better to make a lot and save the rest for other uses.
Toast the cumin seeds and grind them to a powder.
Mash up some garlic with salt in a food processor.
Add in the chickpeas and pour in some olive oil to get the paste started. Continue blending, adding some more olive oil and the lemon juice. Season with salt, and add in the cumin.
If you feel that you are adding too much oil, you can alternate with some cold water.
Serve in a bowl, with a slight concave meniscus filled with olive oil and loose chickpeas.
Makes about 2 cups.

Add in paprika for a smoky flavor.
Add in cilantro or jalapenos for a spicier version.


3 cups packed basil leaves
½ cup mint leaves
2 cups + 1 cup water
¼ cup agave nectar
1 T turbinado sugar (for additional sweetness)
Juice of two limes (1/4 cup)
Zest of one lime
4 T agar flakes
3 nectarines

Spray the bottom of a rectangular terrine dish with some cooking oil.

Rinse and dry the nectarines. Slice the fruit into thin slivers around the pit, and using a knife to help you, pull them off of the pit. Line the dish with slices of nectarines decoratively.

Rinse the herbs very well.

Bring a pot with water (not measured above) to a boil. Drop the basil in the boiling water for about 5-10 seconds, then strain and shock in a bowl full of ice water.

Drain the basil and dry it well.

In a blender combine the basil, mint, agave nectar, zest, and lime juice, along with two cups of the water. Puree the mixture, and strain into a clean bowl.

In order to dissolve the agar, bring the 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan, and add in the agar flakes. Stir to dissolve them completely.

Pour the agar water into the bowl with the herb water, and then transfer all of the ingredients into the tin. Rearrange the nectarines if necessary, and place the dish into the fridge. The dessert should set within the hour.

To serve: Flip the tin over onto a cutting board, and slice into thick pieces. Garnish with some fresh nectarine slices if you have any left over.

September 17, 2007   |   6 comments
Tags: Desserts, high-fiber, North America, Sea Vegetables, Summer, Vegan

4 slices multi-grain sandwich bread
2 T mayonnaise (Spectrum Organics is the best)
1 tomato
½ avocado
1 handful of dulse

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Bake the dulse for about 8-10 minutes, until it is dried out and crispy.

Toast the bread slices.

Slice the tomatoes horizontally.

Slice the avocado half into thin pieces horizontally as well.

Spread the mayonnaise on one slice of the bread.

Arrange the tomatoes in one even layer on the bread, and do the same with the avocados.

Place an even amount of dulse on top of the avocados.
Cover with the other slice of bread, slice in half for easy handling, and enjoy!