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Friday, May 3, 2013

Jae Steele's Ripe From Around Here

Not having internet at home has forced me to rely on my cookbooks more often. When I can’t spend all day surfing the ‘net looking at recipes I’ll never make anyway, I find myself with a lot of free time and so I’m renewing my love of cooking and preparing food, and browsing cookbooks. One I've been going through a lot recently is Ripe From Around Here, as witnessed by the Pecan-Ginger cookies and that RIDICULOUS cooking show of last week.
Chai Pumpkin Seed Cookies. Had a couple and brought the rest in to work. They were very good. People really raved about em, even the day after. Despite all the spices, the flavor is delicate but the crunch from the pumpkin seeds is nice. The one problem I had with the recipe is that it calls for “softened coconut oil or sunflower seed oil.” Sunflower seed oil is always liquid; coconut oil solidifies when cool. Even softened (not melted), the coconut oil I used was more of a shortening consistency and I had to add about 1/3 c. of almond milk to get the dough to anywhere near a consistency I could work with. It didn’t seem to harm them any, though.
Last week, I made this beautiful dish, Spring Sesame Noodles:

Jae says the sauce would be equally delicious on spiralized noodles for a totally raw dish and I don’t doubt that. I don’t think it would work as well on shirataki noodles because they are more slippery, and you want this sauce to cling to the noodles. I’ll probably try the raw version soon but I’ve been craving soba noodles for a while now, so this was perfect. Luckily the recipe makes extra sauce. I used asparagus rather than fiddlehead ferns, and added shiitakes and served it over spinach because, well, why not?
Also, the Dragon Bowl:

Spinach + romaine, red cabbage, marinated and cooked tempeh, carrot, spiralized beets, sprouts, and a sweet noochy sauce! I've made it before. It always rules.
And holy crap, the raw Pad Thai:

 SO BEAUTIFUL!!!! SO TASTY!!!!!
 With the amazing sauce on top
All stirred up and garnished with cilantro and tomatoes.
A friend asked me what I was gonna eat for lunch and I basically was like THANK YOU FOR ASKING SO I CAN RAVE ABOUT THIS PAD THAI. It was incredible. I always liked traditional pad thai in pregan days (not sure I've had a noodle version post-vegan) but it is a million times better raw because the vegetables abound and it is a fantastic, crunchy counterpoint to the creamy, sweet, sour, salty, DELICIOUS sauce.
Jae is so damn cute. Her cheer pervades the book and that makes you excited to prepare the recipes, if the beautiful pictures and clear layout weren’t enough. Definitely a keeper of a book. There’s a great mix of raw and cooked dishes, both decadent and healthy but always with an eye towards whole, local foods. So great. I want to continue working through Jae’s books, and others. Maybe I’ll try to review a new cookbook each month? That said, there are a couple in my collection that I’m pretty certain I’ll never use; I just liked the idea of having them in my personal library. A giveaway should be in the near future.

21 comments:

  1. I've never heard of this chef, or the cookbook; who am I? I LOVE the photo of your noodles in the sunlight, and thank you for identifying the problem with the shiritaki noodles; I couldn't put my finger on it. I really shouldn't read your blog when I'm hungry and have no produce in the house.

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    1. I don't even know you anymore! She doesn't have too much of a blog presence but she's on facebook etc.

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  2. ooh yum! what delicious meals! Sometimes I like being disconnected from the internet...it's refreshing!

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  3. Oh no. Don't tell me there's another cookbook I should have.

    Last week I was obsessed with noodles and ate them every night. I thought I was finally recovered and now I want pad thai and spiralized noodles.

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    1. How many do you have?? I do recommend hers...maybe look at the library.
      Never enough noodles!

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  4. Continue the review of cookbooks, but get the internet. I need more Maud in my day. ;) In the meantime, well done on the recipes! Cookies, dragon bowl, pad thai - yes!

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    1. I have no self control! If I get the internet I will never leave my house.

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  5. Amazing array of yumminess. I have Jae's first book and need to refamiliarize myself with it.

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    1. Definitely! I like them both a lot.

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  6. Why can't you get the internet? What's that about?

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    1. THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH. Nah, I dunno. I like to do other things with my time than stare at a screen all the time.

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    2. It's 2013. People stare at screens all the time. Get with the times.

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  7. I always see that book and think that I should buy it. Everything looks delicious. Maybe try the coconut oil melted next time? Anyways, I want to eat everything on this page.

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    1. I will melt the coconut oil but I think adding almond milk was a good way of liquefying without adding more fat.

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  8. Oh yum, these all look like delicious recipes. :)

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  9. Oh man, I wish you were one of those people who naughtily reprinted recipes from cookbooks so that you'd give us the pad thai sauce recipe. ;)

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  10. OMG everything looks amazing!! That pad thai is absolutely gorgeous. I can imagine that being a perfect summer staple. It looks so fresh and delicious! The sesame noodles look delicious too! I love the picture of the noodles on the fork. Mmm.

    I love the idea of you reviewing your cookbooks! can't wait to read more! I had the idea of doing giveaways for the cookbooks I'd never use too ;)

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