Mango, Jicama and Grilled Corn Tacos

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June 28th, 2015

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Paloma and I made it to my hometown in the Southwest of Russia, where we are thoroughly enjoying our stay at grandma’s house. Because I don’t get to visit here very often, my days are completely packed with family, friends, daily trips to the market, nature walks, and all sorts of leftover business. This time, we added a kitchen renovation to the mix, along with piano and swimming lessons for Paloma. The days fly by, and I’m always caught by surprise when the night falls and it’s time for bed.

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As usual, we’re indulging in my mom’s home cooked delicacies and consume the local berry harvest by the kilo. The most abundant crops right now, which we have no access to in Florida, are sour cherries, black, red and white currants, wild strawberries and mulberries. We walk around with berry-stained hands and wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I prepared this recipe in Florida, right before we left, where a very hot summer was in full swing, making me want to stay away from the oven as much as possible. I craved crunchy raw vegetables like kohlrabi and jicama, along with chilled watermelon and ripe mango, which often replaced my lunch. I came up with this easy salad – a combination of jicama, mango, avocado and grilled corn with loads of cilantro and lime juice. It’s a quick and refreshing dish on its own and even more filling and delicious when served in a taco shell.
Lastly, I have a bit of housekeeping to discuss. If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, you can do so here. We recently changed the format to a better looking one, and along with recipe updates, the newsletters will include seasonal ingredient highlights and any other Golubka Kitchen related news.
And for the French readers, the translation for the Rhubarb Raspberry Fizz from Sarah Kieffer’s guest post is up here.

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Mango, Jicama and Grilled Corn Tacos
serves 4-6

2 ears of corn – grilled
1 medium jicama – sliced into cubes or small matchsticks
2 ripe, sweet mangos – cut into small cubes
ground chipotle – to taste (optional)
1-2 limes
1 bunch cilantro
1-2 ripe but firm avocados – cubed
your favorite taco shells
hot sauce of choice

Cut kernels off grilled corn ears. Combine corn kernels,  jicama and mango in a large bowl, add chipotle, if using. Squeeze lime juice over. Add cilantro leaves and mix gently. Distrribute the salad between taco shells, top with abocado slices, sprinkle with more lime juice, cilantro leaves and your favorite hot sauce. Serve right away.

Tags: avocado, cilantro, corn, jicama, lime, mango, taco

Welcome Summer Multigrain Salad with Strawberries and Asparagus

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June 14th, 2015

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By the time this post goes up, Paloma and I will be in Russia spending some much anticipated time with grandma. I will try to keep Instagram updated with some snaps from our travels.
I leave you with this salad, made with plenty of nutritious grains, herbs, and two stars of the spring/summer farmer’s market – asparagus and strawberries. It’s a variation on one my all time favorite salads, from our book (Fava Bean, Quinoa, and Mint Salad on pg. 89) – simple, rich in textures, filling and very fresh. Mint is essential to the flavor here, so try not to skip it.
Enjoy the beginning of summer!

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Multigrain Summer Salad with Strawberries and Asparagus
for the salad

1 bunch asparagus
2 cups strawberries – sliced
handful fresh mint leaves – chopped
handful basil leaves – chopped (optional)
2 cups cooked grains (I used a combination of sorghum, red rice and spelt, but any grains like quinoa, faro, frekkeh, any type of rice, or even buckwheat would work fine here)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

for the dressing
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of sea salt

1. Cut tough ends off the asparagus. Cook it your preferred way – blanch, steam or grill. I like to blanch asparagus in salted water for 3 minutes, then shock it in an ice bath, so it stays bright green and crispy. Slice into bite sized pieces.
2. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and set aside.
2. Place cooked grains into a large mixing bowl. Add asparagus, strawberries and herbs. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if desired. This salad tastes best when eaten within a day.

Tags: asparagus, basil, grain, mint, red rice, rice, salad, sorghum, spelt, strawberry

Matcha Lime Bars

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May 29th, 2015

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To this day, the recipe for the gluten free Lemon Bars with Pistachio Crust from our book gets brought up most often by my family and friends. During the beginning stages of work on the book, Paloma liked to play a game of flipping through our working binder with recipe photos, much like through a menu in a restaurant, pointing out what she would like to eat that day. The Lemon Bars were pointed out by her little fingers time and time again. A friend of mine, who has been devotedly cooking through the book, has made many variations of these bars, once even turning them into a chocolate-citrus birthday cake. Needless to say, they are a hit.

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With so many new amazing cookbooks coming out, it’s been a while since I’ve cooked from my own book. Recently I began craving this dessert, with the tart silkiness of lemon mousse against the tender pistachio shortbread, and decided to make a variation on the original recipe. I substituted lime for lemon and added matcha for its beautiful color and lovely, mild flavor and undeniable health benefits. Since I haven’t cooked from my own finished, written recipes in a while, I was pleasantly reassured by how smoothly the process went, thanks to my editor and many hours of meticulous work and recipe testing.
I like to use whole leaf Irish moss or vegan gelatin for the mousse, both work great. The amazing translator for the French edition of the book was kind enough to adapt the recipe using agar-agar for our French readers as well, since the aforementioned thickeners are not easily accessible in France.

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Paloma and I are getting ready to travel to Russia for the summer. We are both very excited to see family and friends, drive to the mountains, take a few train rides, and spend a some time swimming in the Black Sea. I’m thinking about sneaking a few of these bars with us on the plane to brighten up the long flight to Moscow.

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Gluten Free Matcha Lime Bars

(adapted from The Vibrant Table)
makes 18 large or 36 small bars

for the pistachio and millet shortbread
1/2 cup (80g) raw pistachio nuts or other nuts – walnuts, pecans, etc.
6 tablespoons almond butter or other nut/seed butter (pumpkin seed butter would work great here)
2 tablespoons ghee at room temperature or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup (90 g) brown rice flour
1/4 cup (45 g) millet flour
3 tablespoons tapioca starch
pinch of sea salt

for the matcha lime mousse
3/4 cup (135g) white chocolate chips (I use these vegan ones) or chopped white chocolate
2 teaspoons vegan gelatin or 1 ounce (30g) dried Irish moss
1/2 cup (75g) raw cashews – soaked for 4 hours
3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, preferably homemade
zest of 2 limes or lemons
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons matcha powder, plus more for dusting on top
2 strawberries – thinly sliced, optional

to prepare and bake the shortbread
1. Place pistachios in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Mix almond butter, ghee/coconut oil with honey and vanilla until creamy. In a food processor, grind the pistachios into a meal, taking care to not turn them into butter. Combine the ground pistachios, flours, tapioca starch, and salt in a large bowl, then add the cream. Mix with a spoon until just mixed, then knead the mixture into a sticky dough with your hands.
2. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with a piece of parchment paper, extending it up all sides. Press dough into the bottom of the pan in an even layer, pricking the finished layer several times with a fork. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F (180C).
4. Remove the pan from refrigerator and bake crust for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are slightly golden. Remove from the oven and let cool.

to make the matcha lime mousse
1. Slowly melt white chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Drain and rinse cashews.
2. This step varies according to the thickener you are using:
Vegan gelatin – Bring the almond milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Add vegan gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Pour into a high-speed blender, add melted chocolate, cashews, lime or lemon zest and juice, honey, coconut oil and matcha powder. Blend until very smooth.
Irish moss – Rinse Irish moss under cool water to remove as much salt and debris as you can. Place in a large bowl and soak in plenty of hot water for at least 10 minutes. Irish moss will expand significantly, so make sure that it’s completely covered with water, add more throughout if needed. Drain and rinse Irish moss again, making sure it’s completely clean. Place into a high-speed blender together with melted white chocolate, cashews, almond milk, lime zest and juice, honey, coconut oil and matcha powder. Blend until very smooth.
3. For both thickeners:
Pour the mixture into a medium bowl. Let sit in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally, until the mousse begins to thicken but is still pourable.

to assemble
1. Pour or spoon the mousse over the cooled shortbread, still in the pan. Smooth the surface with a spoon if needed. Optionally, decorate with sliced strawberries. Refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove the pan from the refrigerator. Holding the ends of the parchment paper, lift the matcha bars out of the pan and carefully transfer the whole bars onto a large cutting board. Using a very sharp knife, cut into desired shape and size pieces. Wipe the knife clean after each cut. Dust with more matcha powder through a fine mesh strainer. Keep refrigerated in an air-tight container, layer parchment paper between the bars if you’re storing them on top of each other to keep from sticking.

Tags: dessert, gluten free, lime, matcha