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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

Recipe: Kale Crisps And Toasted Almond

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

I ‘m on a 21 day detox and was looking for an alternative to chips for me to snack on when I get savoury cravings. I saw kale chips in the store, but they cost an arm and a leg, super expensive for a really tiny bag, so I decided to make my own.

I found a kale crisp recipe online and it called for a dehydrator sheet. I don’t have one; I didn’t have a few of the other ingredients listed either, but I did have a bunch of kale and a few tasty seasonings so I decided to whip up my own version and what a success it was!

Kale is a wonder vegetable. In plants there are over 100 different glucosinolates, Kale contains 10-15 glucosinolates, these are what cause the bitter flavour in the vegetable. They work to activate detoxifying enzymes in the liver and help neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances, enabling us to clear them from our bodies more quickly.

Kale is also chockfull of nutrients (over 80), including substantial amounts of Vitamins C and B, calcium and iron. It’s delicious boiled, stir-fried and steamed. I put a handful of it in a golden veggie soup the other day and it brought the soup a lovely astringent earthy flavour.

These crisps are delicious!

Great as a snack between meals, as a topping on salads, on pizza or sprinkled on hearty cream based soups. They’re also very easy to make.


Half a bunch of kale washed and chopped finely

2 cloves of garlic grated

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp of flax seeds

1/3 cup of blanched almonds

2 tbsp of sunflower seeds

1 pinch of sea salt

Sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Generous amount of black pepper


Pre-heat oven to 225°

Line a large baking tray with foil and place a wire baking rack over the foil.

In a big bowl mix the kale with olive oil and garlic, stir in flax seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper; make sure all the kale is coated with the oil.

Next pour the kale mixture onto the wire rack and gently spread evenly, don’t worry if the nuts and seeds fall through to the foil they will bake just fine where they fall.

Place tray in the oven, on the top rack and bake for 45mins – 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes to monitor how crispy the Kale is becoming as oven temperatures vary.

Once the Kale has fully dehydrated remove tray from oven and let cool for at least 20 mins. Then lift the wire rack and gently scrape the mixture (which will have greatly reduced in size) onto the foil. Once the Kale crisps have fully cooled you can fold the foil in half and slide them into an airtight container… Delish!

Leanda is a writer based in Toronto. For the past 13 years she has hosted & produced music radio shows, managed bands & worked in online music PR. She now runs a music site & also writes for music & culture magazine `Relevant BCN`. Read more of her writing here - http://www.bloggertronix.com

Recipe: Hushkoras–Onion Garlic Corn Cakes

Monday, March 15th, 2010

This one was an experiment that turned out to be pretty damn good. Hushkoras (I just came up with the name right now) taste like a cross between hushpuppies and traditional Indian pakoras. They’re fried, so if you don’t like greasy food this isn’t the recipe for you. Also, they take about an hour and a half to make so don’t start this unless you’ve got some time on your hands. But if you’ve got the time and patience and you can handle The Fried, let’s roll on these boys…

Two cups of polenta corn grits. I used Bob’s Red Mill
A half onion
A half bulb of garlic (six small cloves)
Curry powder
Onion powder
Sea salt
Vegetable oil

Make the polenta (two cups of grits to six cups of water) according to the directions on the package. (Just so you know, this step takes about 40 minutes and most of that is you stirring the pot, which’ll take some heavy elbow grease.)

Once the polenta’s done, add the onion and garlic (diced), a tablespoon of curry powder, a half tablespoon of oregano, a quarter tablespoon of sea salt, and a tablespoon of onion powder. Mix well.

Then pour the polenta into a glass casserole dish and set it in the fridge.

While the polenta’s cooling, start a frying pan with about two inches of vegetable oil. High heat.

Once the bottom of your polenta dish is cold to the touch (say, 30 minutes), turn it over onto a cutting board and slice it into 1″ by3″ strips. (Don’t go any thicker than, say, two inches or the inside will be raw and flavorless.)

Next, make sure your oil is crazy-hot and begin laying the strips of polenta into the grease using a metal spatula and a fork.

While the strips of polenta fry, you’re going to want to sprinkle them with more onion powder and curry. At this point it’s all left up to personal taste. I like mine heavily-seasoned so I use a lot of curry and a medium amount of onion powder. It’s all auxiliary seasoning by now, so it doesn’t matter all that much but I think it makes a difference in the end-result. But really, once you’re doing it it’s pretty intuitive; just use your best discretion and have faith in your judgment.

Now, every once in a while you’re going to want to turn the strips. No real rule on this. Just make sure they don’t stick.

All told, you’re going to want to keep them in the fry grease for about ten or 15 minutes. They need to be medium-dark brown and very crispy. I also like to break them up a little so they’re cooked a bit on the inside. What I do is use the spatula to slit them down the middle and press down on them with the flat side a couple times, just to let some grease mingle in and make things interesting. The more irregular-shaped the better it’ll taste.

When they look done to you (the whole procedure is actually super-intuitive) use your spatula and fork to take them out of the grease and set on a plate with paper towels or napkins to soak up the grease.

At this point you can either wait five minutes and eat them hot or, do like I do, and put them in the cooler and eat them later, cold.

As far as sauces I’d go with an Indian masala simmer sauce like the Trader Joe’s brand or, if you want to be really white trash about it, maple syrup. That’s basically what this dish is all about–the counter-intuitive clash of texture, culture, and flavor. Go with it.

Another thing, this recipe takes a lot of attention. I’ve done it alone both times and you can get pretty Zen with the endless stirring and the grease-watching. The first time I made them, our local public radio here in rural Kansas was playing a doubleheader of the space-music hour (which sounds just like you’d imagine) and their half-horrible, half-incredible new-agey instrumental composition show. After one such half-hour drone track I felt like I was cooking for myself on a far-off space station after the Earth had long-since gone cold and broken up into interstellar pebbles. I felt like a god; a force of nature. It was amazing.

Oh, and if you make ‘em, write me at adam@asthmatickitty.com and let me know how they came out. I just invented this one so I’m still working out the kinks. Still, any way I’ve made them, it’s about the best thing I’ve ever eaten. I’m sold, and I hope you will be too.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Recipe: Hotdog Tube

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

A few months ago I was on tour on the east coast and me and Chris were broke and hungry and kind of over it. After a long day of van trouble and dealing with mean bastards, we pulled into a chain grocery store parking lot, went inside and came out with the fixings for “Hotdog Tube.” There was nothing premeditated about this. I saw the bread, saw the hotdogs, and everything suddenly made sense.

Twenty minutes later we were lying on our backs in the dirty parking lot by our van, eating Hotdog Tube and drinking cans of Dr. Pepper and yelling at the stars in phony Cape Cod accents and everything was good.

Pack of hotdogs (I use vegan SmartDogs. You can do whatever.)
Large roll of rustic Italian bread (a good crust is important)
The trinity of hotdog condiments: ketchup, mustard, relish.

Tear bread in half. Hollow out bread guts and feed them to a dog (or snake, cat, vampire, etc.) Cook eight hotdogs (or don’t; it really doesn’t make a difference). While the hotdogs are cooking, squirt heavy amounts of mustard, relish, and ketchup into the tube and give the tube a good squeeze so they blend in together. This is very important; a dry Hotdog Tube is an awful thing.

Once the hotdogs are done, insert four of them into each half of the tube. Four may seem like a lot of hotdogs to eat in one sitting but once you start in on this monster you’re going to want the full ride.

Eat. Drink Dr. Pepper. Mellow out.

Feeds two.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Recipe: Tahini Shortbread

Friday, February 12th, 2010


about ½ cup sugar (or less)

¼ cup “butter”

1 cup tahini

½ teaspoon salt

about 2 cups flour (or more)

Makes one 8×8 pan.

Cream the “butter” with the tahini. Add the sugar and salt. Add flour in increments until the mixture is firm, but not all crumbly, using your hands at the end. Press into the pan (you can use a pie tin too), to about a ¼ or ½ inch thick. (I’ve discovered that the top of my pinky—from tip to first joint—is exactly one inch long, which is very useful in situations like this). Don’t worry if it doesn’t make it all the way to the edges of the pan.

Before getting this into your (preheated at 325°F) oven, mark the pieces by cutting about halfway down. This really does make it easier to get them out. Bake at 325°F for about 45 minutes, but be sure to check on the shortbread as early as 30 minutes in. If you wait for the thing to brown it will be overly hard, dry, and crumbly!

Some notes for making this shortbread how you like it:

Don’t worry about exact measurements here. Along with the simplicity of ingredients, this nut/seed butter shortbread is also surprisingly versatile. Make it vegan by just using a great butter substitute like Earth Balance. Not a fan of tahini? Use a fancy nut butter like cashew or almond; you can even mix in good ol’ peanut butter. I, however, prefer the delicate flavor that tahini imparts. It is also possible to make this without butter entirely by simply adding more tahini and using less flour. Also, try out using less sugar if you like or more flour if the consistency doesn’t seem right. The shortbread pictured was sprinkled with sugar after coming out of the oven.

And for the adventurous:

I like to add a few delicately sautéed slices of pear on top of the baked shortbread. So, get a pear, core it and slice it. Heat a pan to medium heat with a little butter or Earth Balance. Lay the slices in the pan and sauté for about five minutes, flipping the slices to get both sides. Throw on some sugar and spice if you like, cinnamon, nutmeg, even cardamom. Lay a few slices on top of each piece of shortbread for a delicious compliment to the tahini flavor, also making a lovely presentation.

This is my revision of a recipe from an old copy of the Tassajara Cookbook, my favorite cookbook ever.

Mia Ferm currently resides in Portland, Oregon where she is a collective member of Cinema Project. She is a writer, photographer, and videographer and holds an MA in Cinema Studies from NYU.

Recipe: All Day Power Tomato Soup

Friday, December 18th, 2009

I came up with All Day Power Tomato Soup during a weekend where me and my buddy Bart decided to co-write a three-day novel together. What I needed was something filling, full of energy, and–always important–cheap.

All Day Power Tomato Soup gets its name because you make it once and you can eat it all day, which is great when you’re stuck on a heavy deadline like a three-day novel.

What I did was I made it in the morning, left it on the stove, and came back to it whenever I was hungry. Distance was important. I was writing in the living room and the kitchen was only five or six steps away. Nothing to get in the way of work. Just quick fill ups.

Also, it was during a cold spell, and there’s nothing like tomato soup to warm you up and keep you moving.


It’s a pretty simple recipe but you might be surprised how good it is.


1 can of tomato soup

1 block of extra firm tofu

cost: $2ish

Hand crumble tofu into large pieces and fry in a pan with some vegetable oil.

When it starts to brown, dump it in a pot with your can of soup and cook until hot.

That’s pretty much all it takes, but it’s a heavy-hitter… protein, substance, warmth, you name it.

I guess there are plenty of ways you can fancy this one up but that’s not where my head was at when I came up with it.

For me, All Day Power Tomato Soup is strictly a workhorse but feel free to get crazy…

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Essay and Recipe: The Great Fall of the California Abalone Industry and How I Saved the World

Monday, August 10th, 2009

I grew up in the fishing industry. My dad owned seafood restaurants and fish markets and worked as a commercial diver, brine shrimper, and rock cod fisherman on an endless array of skiffs, dingies, bass-boats, cabin cruisers, Bayliners, and small charters. A full white-trash fleet. Boats rotting in the weeds. Boats on blocks like dead cars.

He finally hit his stride when he got out of the restaurant side of the business, hired a crew of abalone divers as independent contractors, and set up a processing plant that served as the midpoint between the divers and the restaurants. The company was called Ocean Floor Abalone.

photo from malibudivers.com

photo from malibudivers.com

In the plant, my dad, a small crew of Mexican men, and myself (on summer break) shucked the abalone from their shells, removed the gut sacks, cut off the lips, and ran the bodies through a meat slicer. Next step–a very physical but delicate step I was never allowed to take part in–was beating the steaks with custom-made pounding mallets until they were tender enough for the snooty chefs at the pricey French bistros and upscale Manhattan and San Francisco seafood joints we delivered to.

photo from abalonediving.com

photo from abalonediving.com

Then came the Withering Foot Syndrome (aka Withering Abalone Syndrome), a bacterial disease which hit local abalone and caused the senate to impose a moratorium on commercial harvesting along the California coast in the late ’90s.

In a 2004 retrospective, California Diving News’ Michael Doran wrote, “According to catch data available dating back to before World War I, the huge numbers of abalone being taken during the 1930s through the 1960s were dropping off precipitously starting in the 1970s. Withering Foot Syndrome in the 1980s and 1990s was like the straw on the camel’s back, in terms of decimating populations that were already dramatically reduced due to commercial fishing and sport diving.”

The supply choked off, abalone became a delicacy and priced itself out. With California out of the picture you could still get product imported from Mexico and Australia but no one could afford to eat it. At 70, 80, 90 bucks a plate abalone dropped off the map as pop-cuisine.

Compounding this were the Japanese corporate processors who got into the game, mariculture-farmed their abalone, and undersold the Americans with a smaller, inferior product freed up of commercial size restrictions. Abalone, at that point, was more or less done. At least for us, for my family.

For a while we experimented with a faux abalone steak my dad created called “Wavalone” (meat from the California Turban Snail or “wavy top shell”) but the jig was up. Within months we would sell our walk-in freezers and warehouse, give up our license, and close the doors on Ocean Floor Abalone.

I don’t think my parents were sad to see it go but, in a way, I was. Abalone was all I knew growing up. As a man you became an abalone diver and you were tough and you wore a big sun-bleached beard and hung out dockside all day drinking beer and talking about sharks and otters and guns with your pals. You lived off the sea and you took no BS from anyone and you earned your way honestly.

photo from latimes.com

photo from latimes.com

As lives went, it was better than most.

photo from thejohnharding.com

photo from thejohnharding.com

Of course everybody involved lost their livelihood after the moratorium. Some switched to sea urchins. A lot moved inland and disappeared.

photo from the thejohnharding.com

photo from thejohnharding.com

Now, I won’t romanticize California abalone divers as epic figures or heroes or even noble savages. There were a  lot of mean, misanthropic bastards in their number, real evil characters, but there were also a lot of good ones and I miss ‘em.

I’m sure my dad misses them more.

photo from fotothing.com

photo from fotothing.com

Coinciding with the basic time-line, but not at all related to the fall of the California abalone industry, I had a bit of a crisis of mortality and took a vow of self-described “unharm.” No more hunting, which I did a lot of, no fishing, and, most importantly, no eating animals. It was hard on my parents, since seafood was the nutritional cornerstone they’d raised me on, but they dealt with it okay and now things are cool.

But I’m getting away from myself. What I want to end with here is how I saved the world by accidentally synthesizing a vegan abalone recipe last week.

Long story short, I was cooking supper, I went into the basement for a sec, got distracted by a magazine, and came up later to the smoke alarm going off and a burning meal on the stove. And that’s where the whole thing blossomed. Spontaneous miracle. Vegan abalone. Stumbled into it. Tastes fantastic.

photo from biojobblog.com

photo from biojobblog

Okay, preparation. This is a weird one because there’s no real cooking here beyond basic heatin’ up. It’s just a little careful frying and then the placement of the proper proportion of ingredients to make the chemistry correct.

I don’t know what it is about the following ingredients but put ‘em together and you have the closest non-abalone abalone I’ve ever had. Oh, and don’t deviate from the ingredients and directions. I’ve varied the recipe and general preparation design a couple times and it doesn’t have the same magic. Stick with the S.O.P. Which is …


Traditional picnic-style hamburger buns (nothing fancy)
Annie’s Goddess Dressing (8oz bottle, original flavor)
Boca Original Chik’n Patties


Easy as it gets. Fry the bun and patty in a pan greased with vegetable oil (cheap stuff, not olive oil or anything good) until the bun is golden and the patty starts to blacken. This is important. Burn it for a second or two. The bun will only take a minute, but you need to cook the hell out of the patty to make it work. And it should be greasy. A dry patty might be healthier but the taste will be wrong.

When the patty is nice and fried up, serve with a couple pieces of spinach, a thin slice of tomato, a squeeze of lemon (onto the patty itself), and a generous dose of salad dressing.

photo from Uncle Henry's online

photo from Uncle Henry's online

Now, sure, that sounds like a faux-chicken sandwich–and it is. But it’s also abalone. The difference is in the chemistry. My theory is it’s the breading tanged up by the lemon and tahini in the salad dressing then offset by the spinach and tomato. Though the flavor of the bun helps for some reason. Whatever it is, it tastes like the real thing–and I grew up on the stuff . We were neck deep.

photo from esterobayabalone.com

photo from esterobayabalone.com

Maybe I’m off base. It’s been years since I’ve had real abalone but the taste stuck with me … mild, slightly buttery, almost tough but not, brightened up by the breading (Progresso), and usually served on sourdough with lettuce (which for whatever reason doesn’t work as well as the hamburger bun and spinach for this version.)

Oh, and drink recommendations. Very important. Domestic beer. Nothing fancy.

Post-script: This piece is dedicated to abalone diver Elwin O. “Win” Swint, killed off the coast of Santa Rose Island while diving. Banjo player, bronze artist, ex-Navy Sea (underwater demolitions), classical literature enthusiast, Win was a good man. He made a lot of enemies, but he also had friends and I am proud to count myself and my parents in the latter. This one’s for you, Win…

photo from the Santa Barbara Independent

photo from the Santa Barbara Independent

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com

Recipe: Bad-Day-Better Tomato-Fried-Rice Feast

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Last week I had a ridiculously bad day. Not much worth mentioning; just one of those stupid days when everything that can go wrong does and your head gets crazy with doubt and ill-temper and fatalism.

I get back to the house a few minutes before midnight after a full day of bloodthirsty mean bastards and surreal misadventures and I want nothing more than a decent meal to calm down with.

Of course there’s nothing in the icebox besides a dozen half-full condiment tubes (why is it always mustard?), half an onion, some leftover rice, and half a package of silken tofu. (The Great Depression #II rolls onward like Sherman to the sea.)

So, after a minute of bumming myself out, I dig around the cupboards and somehow come up with this great-tasting feast which fed me and my friends and kept us alive one more day while the bombs dropped outside.

As we say around these parts, “Gold has been achieved.”

Safflower oil
Half a purple onion, chopped
Half a can of stewed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 package silken tofu, firm
Salt and pepper
Soy sauce
Two cups cooked white rice

from Cafe Lynnylu online

from Cafe Lynnylu online

Prepare rice according to directions on bag. Start frying pan with quarter inch oil. Toss in onion and garlic. When onion begins to soften, add tomatoes and rice. Stir while they fry together. Add tofu and stir at high heat for three minutes until tofu is blended. Serve immediately with salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.

Drink recommendation: a 40.

BIO: Adam Gnade's (guh nah dee) work is released as a series of books and records that share characters and themes; the fiction writing continuing plot-lines left open by the self-described "talking songs" in an attempt to compile a vast, detailed, interconnected, personal history of contemporary American life. Check out recent writing here and songs here. Contact: adam@asthmatickitty.com