Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mix and match recipes

The simplest and most economical way to conquer a variety of recipes from a new uncookbook at once is to mix and match. Select the flavors that appeal to you the most and serve them up to suit your tastes and needs.

For instance, I mentioned in my last post that I recently picked up a copy of Sarma's "Living Raw Food." Rather than being overwhelmed with the more complicated dishes in the second half of the book, I selected one that was easier than it looked and used elements from it to plan more menus.

For some reason, I found myself drawn to the King Oyster Mushroom "Calamari," which reminded me of the "fried" zucchini and onion rings I have made in the past. Although impressive looking, they are really quite easy.

The ingredients are found in most grocery stores, such as the EVOO, lemon juice, sea salt, flaxseed, herbs and spices. And, if you can't find the oyster mushrooms, you can always substitute with another mushroom.

The recipe only appears to be difficult due to its three parts. Once you've made the "calamari," you'll need to make the two dipping sauces, as well. They include tarter sauce and cocktail sauce, but I'm sure they'd be great with just the your favorite of the two.

If you have to pick just one, cocktail sauce is probably the way to go, since it, too, contains basic grocery store finds. Also, if you make more than you need, it can be transformed into a yummy salsa or marinara. Just make sure you add the horseradish last and only to the amount you've designated as cocktail sauce.

I hope to use my extra sauce to top some zucchini noodles (yes, I've dusted off my spiral slicer again), or perhaps, if I'm feeling rather adventurous, I might try making the ravioli pasta from the book's Chanterelle and Kalamata Olive Ravioli recipe. I'd probably stuff them with a mix of pesto and leftover mushroom pieces (from making the "calamari," of course) and serve them with a tomato-based sauce (the extra cocktail sauce based, sweetened with a little agave and Italianized with some added garlic, basil and oregano). Yum!

Lucky for me, I had some raw macadamia nuts for the base of the tarter sauce, which is similar to the dill mayo used in the book's cole slaw. The slaw is usually served alongside the BBQ Skewers, but since I had some shredded cabbage and carrot, I opted to make some anyway. I thought it would go well with the "calamari," and boy, was I right :-)