Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter Update and Malloreddus Tutorial

Knowing lunch would be heavier than normal we opted for smoothies for breakfast on Sunday.  Dan’s breakfast was a green smoothie with the usual ingredients: 2 frozen bananas, 1 handful of walnuts, 3 large stalks kale (at least 3 cups), 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, water and pinch of stevia.  My breakfast was also a smoothie which consisted of: 3 large stalks kale, 1 cup frozen wild blueberries, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons wheat germ, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 2 tablespoon macadamia nuts (to add body and creaminess) ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger, water, ice and pinch of stevia (which it needed).

The mid-day meal with my parents consisted of whole wheat and semolina malloreddus with thinly sliced asparagus, peas, tarragon, lemon and walnuts.

We started the meal with a simple salad of mesclun, orange, pickled red onion, raisins and sherry vinegar.

I also made my favorite artichokes with dill (thank you Ian for the inspiration) that I added red onion to for color.

Since I like to include mushrooms whenever I can, for their immune system boosting impact, I also made marinated mushrooms. I roasted the mushrooms briefly to help them absorb the flavor and to deactivate the low level toxin found in raw mushrooms. While the mushrooms were still hot I tossed them in a simple marinate of vegan Worcestershire sauce, nutritional yeast, paprika and garlic powder. The earlier in the day you prepare this dish the more flavor the mushrooms will absorb.

Additionally I made a dish of agro dolce carrots that is similar to Ian’s Tuscan carrot dish. I sliced my carrots on the diagonal (which is quicker than batons), and cooked them in a little red wine vinegar, finely minced garlic, fennel seeds, hot crushed peppers (wet hots), water and touch of stevia. Next I added some roasted red onion which I cooked earlier in the day, golden and Thompson raisins and finished the dish with a little finely minced fresh herb for color.

Directions for making malloreddus:

I started with Mario Batali’s dough recipe (cut in half) and I used ½ sprouted whole wheat flour and ½ semolina. I omitted the salt and used saffron threads rather than powder. The dough was a little on the sticky side before I wrapped it in plastic cling wrap and allowed it to sit on the counter to rest.

After the dough has rested at least 30 minutes pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a ping pong ball and roll it into a snake. Be sure to keep your board floured or the dough will stick. The snake should be approximately the diameter of your thumb.  That is the handle of paring knife next to the dough to give you an idea of scale.

Cut the dough into little pillows and toss with more flour.

Take your gnocchi board (or a fork) and flour it so the dough won’t stick to it. Place the pillow of dough on the board and press to make an indentation.

Now roll the dough so the indentation is on the inside and the exterior has ridges. Both the indentation and ridges will help the pasta to grab hold of the sauce. I make the pasta directly over a floured surface (either a platter or baking sheet) where I hold them until I am ready to cook.

To cook your malloreddus bring water to a boil and submerge the pasta. When it starts to float taste it to see if it is done. I found that I needed to cook mine for about 2 minutes after it started to float which was approximately 8 minutes total cooking time.

That is all there is to making fresh pasta and you don’t need a pasta machine.  You can use a floured fork in place of the gnocchi board and that works just as well.

Recent Topics on my Facebook page:

For those of you that aren’t yet fans of my Facebook page I wanted to give you an idea of the most recent things there. Currently I am mostly using my Facebook page to share links to interesting articles that I read. I think of it as a summary of the clipping services I subscribe too. Most of these articles are health related since that is very important to me but some are links to recipes. Also please use the link I provided above since there are two pages (one that I can’t delete which has no activity). Over the last 24 hours or so I have linked to the following:

• Cucumbers being recalled for Salmonella
• Eating adequate macronutrients can still result in vitamin deficiency
• National Cancer Institute Trends in Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
• Satiety claims on food are misleading
• Coca-cola being urged by shareholders to address BPA
• Another food safety scare in China leads to more regulation
• Consumers are fooled by healthy sounding food names
• Adding geraniol to food will make the consumer smell like roses – no I didn’t make that up
• Consumers gravitate toward vitamin fortified sport and energy drinks
• Three different links to healthy recipes that with a little tweaking can be a delicious and healthy addition to your recipe file
• Omega 3 fatty acids may be linked to an increase in prostate cancer
• People get their health information from unexpected sources: friends, family and celebrities ?
• Newer birth control pills increase the risk of blood clots more than the older formulations
• Scar creams don’t work but keeping wounds moist while they heal does
• How to make shitake tea

Happy thoughts:

Monday was a good day for me even though I did bump my toe again and I swear that I saw stars. If anyone knows how long a broken toe takes to heal I would love to hear. Here are my happy thoughts today:

• Who isn’t thankful for a great night of sleep? I didn’t wake up once last night and felt completely refreshed this morning. It was a wonderful way to start my day particularly since I am not a morning person.

• Monday and Tuesday were both good days for me. The weather was absolutely phenomenal both days. The only thing that could have been better was if my toe would stop hurting when I tried to put on shoes. I know I tend to be a bit impatient but this is getting old … I have things to do. Looking on the bright side I was able to read two books in the last two days with time left over to start a third book. ;-) It is nice to be plowing through my backlog of library books. I guess injuries are good for something. :-/

• I am enjoying the warm weather and the return of blueberry green tea. I will share the details of that tomorrow or you can see it on the Facebook page where I posted it recently.

• Jackie and Walid are joining us for Ottmar Liebert in Annapolis next month. *woo hoo* I had no idea Jackie was also an Ottmar fan until today. We will have a great time with them as always.  :-)

• Dan and I have a date planned for Wednesday (tomorrow) which I am excited about. Keep your fingers crossed that I don’t have to walk far otherwise that may put a damper on the evening. I will tell you all about it very soon. I will give you a hint it is health related but in a fun way. *woo hoo*  I can't wait. 

• I can’t believe how much I am enjoying working through the “21-Day Consciousness Cleanse”. This is not the sort of thing that typically appealed to me but as much as I had been dreading some of the daily exercises they have been remarkably healing. I may have to rethink my position on all this “woo-woo” stuff as I have referred to it in the past. ;-)

Signing out:

It is a late evening here for some reason. I suppose that is mostly because Dan ran errands for me tonight (the library and Wegman’s) since I am still not fully functional. He is so sweet to do that after working late. My husband is a prince in case you hadn’t noticed. ;-)

I hope you week is going well and that you weather is as gorgeous as ours has been. Please get out and enjoy it for me too. Talk to you tomorrow….good night!


  1. Awesome tutorial - as soon as I get a free weekend, I'm going for it!

  2. Always happy to see tasty vegan meals showcased. This is what we need to show people that the vegan diet is fun and tasteful.

    There is better than stevia. It's called "fruit sweetness" or "Monk Fruit sugar" (from China). I believe it's not available yet in retail outlets but we'll use it in our new superfruit juice-based vegan jello. Amazing taste for less than 100 cal per cup.

    Keep up your good work!

  3. I love adding cocoa powder to my vita mix creations too--it is so good!

    I have tried to see your Facebook page but you need to have a Facebook account to see it :-( It sounds interesting, though!


  4. Yummy! Love the tutorial, Ali.

    Question....what kind of cup/container do you use for smoothies when you are not drinking them at home?



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