Im always trying to perfect my pizza dough. While in NY last weekend, I came across Jim Lahey’s new book, My Pizza while sitting in Red’s apartment. The pie on the cover immediately caught my eye and soon enough was quickly impressed with 1)his creative pizza topping variations and 2)by the look of his dough and crust. I took a couple notes in my pad and experimented with the recipe this week. It turned out to be a really nice combination of a doughy, yet crusty base. Ill have to try again soon.
makes 2 large pizza doughs
3 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose or whole wheat or half/half)
1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup water, warm
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water with a wooden spoon and mix thoroughly.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and let it rise for 18 hours (or until it doubles in size).
Next, flour a surface and scrape out the dough. Be careful in handling the dough though, you don’t want to mess with it too much – as little as possible. Divide the dough into 2 parts and shape into a ball by pulling the outer parts toward the center, folding inward. Then, turn the seam side down into a small mound.
If you are using the dough right away, begin to spread the dough working from the center.
If you plan to use it later, store in the fridge in plastic wrap and then leave on the counter for 3 hours or so prior to using.
Combine oats, almonds and coconut in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl. If you have kitchen gloves or plastic baggies, cover your hands with them and for about 10 minutes (or until the oil is completely saturated into the sugar) massage the wet mixture. It should form into a molasses-type sugar mixture.
Add the wet mixture to the oat mixture and continue to coat the oats until completed covered.
Spray 2-3 cookie sheets with cooking spray and divide oat mixture evenly. Bake in the oven for 60 minutes total, but turning the oats every 20 minutes (so you will turn them 3 times).
Once they are browned and cool, add cranberries and store in an air-tight container.
I’ve really been enjoying peaches this summer and thankfully there has been a wonderful abundance at the markets. I’ve also been working on incorporating Ayurdevic healing spices* into my diet as much as possible because, especially for Vata-types like me, these spices get the digestive juices flowing and aids in better digestion. I also just love sweet + spicy as a combo. So this morning, I decided to try something thats got it all: a spicy peach smoothie. My almost-rottening peaches needed to be eaten, so in went the peaches with the usual banana base. Then added cardamom and a touch of cayenne. It was the perfect start to a wonderful hump-day.
1 local peach
1/2 cup regular soy milk
1/4 cup ice
1/2 tsp cardamom
dash of cayenne, to taste
Blend all ingredients in bullet or blender and drink up!
*More on this to come, but for now the spices I take include tumeric, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, cloves and coriander. I make a spice blend using these spices and use in meals when possible. If I cant get it into a meal, Ill take a tsp, like a pill or vitamin, and wash it down with a drink.
Im making brunch for a friend this morning. A friend who just got her dream job and so its time to celebrate! A sweet occasion calls for a sweet summer brunch, so on the menu includes Berry Pancakes, a virgin-attempt at a vegan French Toast (recipe not ready for a post, but stay tuned!), Apple Pie Muffins and a side of fresh, local berries. I concocted this sauce to serve with the pancakes. It started as a Lemon-Mint Sauce, but I didn’t like its chalky white color, so to offer a more aestectically-pleasing sauce I add some blueberries, which ended up being a good move because now its pretty and tastes better too.
3 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp cornstarch or gravy-thickener
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
2-3 sprigs of mint
1/4 – 1/2 cup water, as needed
a handful of frozen blueberries
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and mint. Slowly add the water until a creamy, semi-thick sauce forms. Turn heat to low and stir until blended. Be careful not to have the heat too high, as it will bubble and evaporate. Add the blueberries and stir until blended. Remove from heat and serve with pancakes, as an ice cream sauce or over fresh bread with butter.
A yogi student served me a version of this tea one day when I went to her for a much needed hair cut. Arriving exhausted and sweaty from the DC summer heat, it was the perfect refreshing beverage to cool me down. I experimented with different black teas and found that darjeeling works well. You can also opt for cranberry juice instead of cherry, but they are both de-lish.
yields approx. 1 pitcher
5 cups of water, boiled
appropriate amount of black tea for water (3-4 bags or 3-4 tbsp of looseleaf)
1-2 cups of tart cherry juice
2-3 sprigs of mint
Prepare tea in pitcher and cool off in refrigerator. Once its cold (prior to serving), add cherry juice and mint leaves.
In a small skillet, heat the ghee on medium heat and lightly saute (toast) the peanuts. Set aside and repeat with the coconut.
In a medium bowl, combine the chopped cucumber, chile, cilantro and add toasted coconut and peanuts. Just before serving, toss with lemon juice, oil, sugar and spices to taste. Salad is best served cold, so place in fridge for 1-2 hrs if you have the time!