Tapas anyone?

tapas

I just love this time of year. The warm days and cool nights are a refreshing treat after some of those hot days of summer. However, what I really love about this time of year is the wonderful and abundant array of vegetables available at the farm and farmer’s markets. I get excited about canning some of those lovely vegetables and fruits in preparation for winter: Salsa …done, Peaches…done, Corn…done, applesauce…not yet! I also love experimenting in the kitchen with what’s in season and reminding myself of those recipes that I haven’t wanted to cook because it was just too hot. It is also a great time of year to share the abundance with friends. Picnics are great in the summer, but now it is time to change up the menu and do something different. Why not invite some friends over to enjoy the nice weather and do a tapas party. What are tapas? Tapas are the Spanish way of serving many small, flavorful courses to help satisfy your hunger while preventing overeating. Here are some recipes to get you started. The first two recipes are great served with cut-up vegetables or crackers. Easy finger foods to get the party started! The last recipe is a nice way to round out the meal with something sweet but healthy. The in between courses are left to your imagination. Bon Appétit!

hiziki

Hiziki Pate

I love this recipe. Cynthia Lair introduced this recipe in my Whole Foods Cooking Class when I was at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. It is a wonderful way to sneak seaweed into your friends diet. Adults and kids alike will love it. Just wait until the end of the party to tell them what is in it!

1 c. Hiziki

1 1/2 c. apple juice

1 tsp. tamari

1/4 c. sesame seeds, toasted, then ground

1/2 pound firm tofu, crumbled with a fork

2 Tbs. light or white miso

1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Soak hiziki in water for 5 minutes and chop fine. Put hiziki in a medium-sized pan and add 1 1/2 c. apple juice or less – just enough to completely cover the hiziki. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until all apple juice is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Toward end of cooking time, season hiziki with tamari.

While hiziki is cooking, prepare other ingredients. Sesame seeds can be toasted in a skillet on the stove for several minutes, then ground. Gently mix tofu, sesame seeds, miso, parsley, and scallions together in a bowl. Let the hiziki cool and then add to the mixture. Serve with whole grain crackers, bread, or as a side dish. Will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

From: Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair

lentil

Lentil-Walnut Spread

3/4 c. lentils, rinsed                                              1 c. finely minced arugula, spinach or watercress

1/4-c. walnut halves                                            3 Tbs. broth

1 Tbs. flax oil or olive                                         1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1 small clove garlic                                              1/8 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. salt

Combine lentils with 1 1/2-c. water and cook until tender and water is absorbed-35-40 minutes. Drain and transfer to a small bowl. In food processor, process walnuts and oil to a smooth paste. With a rubber spatula, scrape mixture into a bowl with lentils. Mash to paste with fork. Mash garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt together and add to lentil mixture along with arugula, broth, cumin, coriander and remaining salt. Cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.

carob

Carob Fudge

This is another recipe that I learned while at school. My friend was requested to bring this to all of our potlucks. People will never know that it is not chocolate.

1 c. honey or brown rice syrup

1 c. natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 c. carob powder

3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/2 c. coconut

1/2 c. walnuts

1/2 c. raisins

Greese an 8” square baking dish. In a large saucepan, heat honey and peanut butter; stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and mix in carob. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread in baking dish. Chill at least 3 hours.

Recipe modification: use 1/2 c. tahini and 1/2 c. peanut butter

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About acunut

Acupuncturist, Nutritionist and co-director of Wellspring Holistic Center with Anita Bondi