Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Things: Salad and Baking


This week I tried stretching in a couple new directions: salad and baking. Specifically a kale salad and vegan "buttermilk" biscuits. Actually I've thrown together many random salads before, but I want to get more ideas on what can be put together, and decided to start trying salad recipes. I haven't really used kale before, so I picked up a bunch and looked up a salad recipe for it. This particular one was a "Massaged Kale Salad" by Aarti Sequeira. I did not know about Food Network's Next Star competition, but apparently she won Season 6. May be something to check out. The salad recipe can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/massaged-kale-salad-recipe/index.html.

Destemmed and cut into strips. Massaged with salt.


Kale has a nice kinda firm, chewy texture to it, once softened by the salt massage. I subbed apple in for the mango since I didn't have any mango. It's a good salad! I just need to be careful not to add too much salt in the massage process and oil in the dressing making part. Sequeira's rather vague in her recipe regarding amounts.

On to the biscuits, my first foray into baking! Vegan "buttermilk" biscuits. Now, I'm not vegan, or even vegetarian. But I have several food allergies, most notably dairy products. As such, the "vegan" label can be a helpful indicator at least that there's no dairy in something. I have to say that I'm appreciative of our greater awareness of food issues and substitutes in our day and age. It will make things easier for me to work around dairy when I eventually start exploring Western cuisine more. Not in restaurants, as they love--LOVE--their butter. And cheese, and cream, and milk, and yogurt, etc. [I did, too, once upon a time.]

As for the baking part, I've never baked anything (unless we're talking meats and vegetables) before, so I definitely don't have special mixers or mashers, and just did everything by hand.

Ready to bake

Baked

I think they turned out well! They were nice and crumbly and just a touch moist inside. Probably could have been a little more moist, but I waited for the browning on the edges, hmm. Not so buttery as real buttermilk biscuits, but whaddaya gonna do. Still good. I deem it a success.

And the recipe for these is here: http://www.food.com/recipe/vegan-buttermilk-southern-style-biscuits-315437

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