I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet

Healthy Cooking

Sikarni

 

This recipe comes via Janet Sawyer, who got the recipe from Lalu Mahato, head chef at Nepal’s Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, which was opened by Edmund Hilary.  A long journey, but a lovely way to enjoy yogurt as a breakfast or dessert. If you’re serving it as a dessert, it would match well with our Cardamom, Pistachio and Vanilla Shortbread.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

If you are unfamiliar with lassis, they are a traditional Indian yogurt-based beverage designed to refresh and to cool you down. They can be served any time of day or in the evening.  This is a sweet lassi which also contains rose water an ingredient used in beverages and desserts in India. If you don’t have rose water, don’t worry; it’s not essential.

Caprese Salad

IMG_2899

 The summer tomatoes are in – the small, intensely flavored dry-farmed ones, heirlooms of all sizes, colors and stripes and the tiny little cherry tomatoes— all soooo delicious! It’s hard to beat a combination of really ripe tomatoes, fresh, soft mozzarella, lots of basil and maybe a bed of crispy Romaine or tender butter lettuces to soak up the juices. Simple and delicious.

Vanilla in Savory Foods — Really??

7-Game-Hens-with-Pancakes-2-IMG_2960

Really.  In 1985, when I wrote The Vanilla Cookbook, my editors asked me what vanilla could be used in besides ice cream, dessert and beverages. Quite honestly, the idea had never crossed my mind. However, they threw down the gauntlet next to my half-written  manuscript.  Experiment or give back the advance — what would you do?

Avocado and Green Peppercorn Cream

 

Avocado and Green Peppercorn Cream
Courtesy of Michele Anna Jordan; Vinaigrettes; Harvard Common Press

Michele says about this recipe: Early one morning in the mid 1980s, I accompanied some friends while they took their VW bus to be repaired at a dealership on the outskirts of La Paz, in central Baja California. As we left to walk into town to wait, we spotted a young boy, possibly in his early teens, wheeling a cart under a tree across from the shop. He quickly unfolded the equipment and before long was serving carnitas tacos that couldn’t have been simpler or more delicious. Two very small corn tortillas, heated on a propane-fired grill, were topped with chunks of succulent meat and then slathered with the most extraordinary avocado sauce I’d ever tasted. I stood there in the morning sun and devoured five tacos, stopping only for the sake of decorum. I’ve been making a version of that sauce ever since, and this one is my current favorite.

Herbed Asparagus, Spring Onions, Peas and Arugula with Penne

2015-03-04-15.54.01

 As fresh asparagus and English peas are only available for a month or so, if you enjoy them, eat them as often as possible. Here’s one delicious way to do just that. Feel free, however, to substitute fava beans, baby artichokes or any other favorite early vegetables to this fresh pasta dish. Peas are frozen as soon as they’re harvested and hold their flavor well so don’t worry if you can’t find fresh ones. Finally, baby arugula isn’t bitter like its more mature counterparts, but if you can’t find it or don’t like it, substitute baby spinach leaves or a different vegetable.

Couscous Waldorf Salad

 

CousCous-Waldorf-Salad-2

Several years ago I created this spin on Waldorf Salad for a natural foods market. It was an immediate hit. What I like about it is that you can easily adapt it. Instead of blue cheese, use chevre or feta. Substitute dried cranberries or apricots for dates. You can turn it into an entrée by sauteing chicken breast, tofu or tempe then adding some of the salad dressing to the saute pan to intensify the flavor. If you want this recipe gluten-free, I suggest using quinoa as a substitute.

Haute or Hot Vanilla and Almond Lace Cookies

Almond Oat Lace Cookies IMG_1019

What a strange winter this has been. I live in Santa Cruz, not far from the beach. We’re used to having occasional sunny interludes between winter storms but this year we’ve had an occasional stormy interlude between sunny, warm days. When I say warm days I mean as warm as 70 degrees in December and January, our chilliest months of the year!

Even stranger, we had the foggiest summer in decades. The kind of damp weather that gets to your bones. And we had no spring whatsoever as it rained right up until the end of June when the fog started. Weird.

Tomatoes, Preserved Lemons, and Sweet Red Peppers

 

tomatoes-preserved-lemons-and-sweet-red-peppers

Adapted from The Food of Morocco, by Paula Wolfert

In Morocco as in many Mediterranean countries, the salad course includes a variety of salads, and this lovely salad is a classic in that respect. It’s simple and delicious. However, as I was making this as a stand-alone salad, I added Greek olives. Olives, almonds or pistachios, cheeses, hummus and other salads would be included in a Moroccan spread, so adding a goat or sheep’s milk feta to this salad would be in keeping with Moroccan food. The vanilla? Not so much, but as it’s the theme of our site and because it actually does add a subtle boost to the cumin and red peppers in the salad, I’ve included it in this recipe. Feel free to use it or not.

Edible Squash Bowls

I admit it — I love to look at Martha Stewart magazines and marvel at the brilliantly clever holiday magic, the perfectly decorated cookies, the floral displays, the beautiful food.  But, that’s the extent of it — just looking.  After all, who has time?  And if I had the time, is that how I’d spend it?  Probably not.

However, for quite a while I’ve been intrigued about using squash as edible containers for serving food.  They’re quirky, fun,  add to the decor and, at the end of the day they’re off to the compost.  Sweet.

I decided that the customers at New Leaf Market provided the opportunity for  indulging my fantasy — certainly they’d be interested to see them live in 3-D even if they never actually make them at home.  I was further invested as the head of produce asked me to come up with a way to move the little decorative-but-edible squash that poured into the market in October.

Brown and Wild Rice Pilaf

IMG_4659_Fotor

At the risk of being stoned to death for blasphemy, I admit that I have never liked bread stuffing! From the time I was very young, I always helped my mother tear the pieces of stale bread into a big bowl (without the crusts, of course) and mix the bread, onions, celery and herbs as she blended in the butter. I wasn’t crazy about the sage, but mostly I didn’t like the mushy texture or how it made me feel after eating it. In fact, I’ve been allergic to wheat my entire life though we didn’t know this when I was a child.

Two Fresh Appetizer Recipes Using Ricotta Cheese

06-Ricotta-AppetizerIMG_2904

 The following two recipes make light, healthy and delicious  appetizers for warm spring and summer brunches, lunches and suppers.

Ricotta cheese naturally has a slight graininess to it. You can leave it as it is for a nice rustic texture or you can place it in a bowl and use an immersion blender or put it in a food processor and blend it briefly to homogenize it and make it very light. This is especially nice for the sweetened version for fruits.

Feel free to play with the recipes, adding different or additional herbs or spices.

Rice with Coconut, Vanilla, Dates and Lemon

This is really good! Although it isn’t sweet, except for the dates, it’s like a savory dessert.  That said, it goes very well with meats, poultry, fish or vegetarian entrees and is especially nice with Southeast Asian and Pacific Islands foods. Kids who aren’t put off by dates would really enjoy it. You could substitute raisins if you prefer.

Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • You get MORE FLAVOR because we use 20% more beans in our extracts than is required by law!
  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is ORGANICALLY grown.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

Thank you for supporting The Vanilla Company and our farmers! BUY HERE now.

For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

Newsletter Signup


The Vanilla Company