Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

Here is a great restaurant I went to with the boys on Friday as their "end of vacation" treat - The Lime Restaurant. W. as usual managed to find the smallest green bits to pick out of his food despite my asking for no salad!! However, to give him his due, he ate two carrots and a minute piece of broccoli yesterday. Today's menu is Moroccon; pitas with veggie burgers - complete with soy cheese! and rice salad. C, P and the children are coming for lunch but as my mom is due any time now, I have it all pre-prepared just in case I have to bail.

Here are a few of the recipes:

"I will not ever never eat a carrot" veggie burgers!

About 4 grated carrots
1 tin of pinto beans (or kidney beans) drained and rinsed
half an onion grated - this will make you cry big time - be warned!!
1 garlic clove chopped small
3oz of cheese (this can be substituted for soy cheese)
A generous squirt of tomato sauce or paste (slightly less if you use a concentrate)
enough breadcrumbs to form a stiff consistency
Salt and pepper to taste

If you have veggie eaters then go ahead with grating the veggies and mashing the beans. If, like me, you have a child who can syphon out the smallest smidgen of a veg, then I throw it all (minus the breadcrumbs) into my food processor to ensure it doesn't resemble that which it started out as!! I then mix in the breadcrumbs separately.

Take dollops of mixture and form them into patties. If you want to freeze them, put layers of greaseproof paper inbetween each one.

When you come to cook them, sprinkle a light coating of flour on each one and then gently fry the outside just to seal them. I then take them out of the frying pan and actually bake them.

They can be served however you want, in a bun, pita, alone, with homemade chunky potato chips or a baked spud.

The other part of today's recipe is a rice salad which I will serve with the burgers:

Boil brown and wild rice (less of the latter) until soft - not mushy however!!
Drain and allow to cool, stirring occasionally or it'll stick!

Cut into miniscule pieces (or use your processor for speed) three sticks of celery, a red pepper, either half a red onion OR about 4 spring onions.

When the rice is cool, mix the veg into the rice.

1 level dessert spoon of grainy mustard
1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika
1 teaspoon of honey
juice of one lemon
1 table spoon of cider vinegar
4 tablespoons of olive oil
A generous handful of corriander (cilantro if you are over here!)

Mix this vigourously and then pour onto the sald ensuring it is all coated. Refridgerate before serving.

Cucumber and mint salad also goes nicely with this and you can pad out the burger with avocado slices and I made a home made tomato sauce which is below:

Tomato sauce
2lbs of tomatos - I NEVER faff with de-seeding or skinning - life is too short!
3 tbs of a good quality vinegar I used orange and muscat
salt and pepper to taste.

This is so simple - just let it boil, then simmer so it reduces. Pulp it to within an inch of its life in a liquidiser and it becomes a thicker sauce. If you feel the need to thicken it still, make up a small amount of flour paste to add.

Finally to wrap up, this is a dairy free cheesecake which is low in cholesterol too!

Lime and gingernut cheescake

Crush a pack and a half of gingernut biscuits with around 4 oz of melted soy butter (put them in a ziplock, use a rolling pin, think of someone who drives you nuts, and beat the living bejeezus out of them - you will get small crumbs which are the best to use!)

Put this mix into a flan dish and press down firmly, then allow it time to harden in the fridge.


2 8oz tubs of Tofuti (which is a tofu based cream cheese)
About 4oz of powdered sugar (icing sugar) however, as always, my measurements are NOT set in stone and I believe in an ongoing quality control which determines if I need more or less sugar!
Juice of 2 limes
Grated rind of 1 lime
Either beat this with a fork (great for your arm muscles) or take a hand whisk to it. It gets runny, but don't worry it re-sets.
Pour it onto your now set base and re-fridgerate.

When you are about ready to serve, use a potato peeler to put curled chunks of 75%or more cocoa solid chocolate (ok, so not entirely without sin!) which doesn't contain any milk product and then I thinly slice a lime and put the slices around the edge - that is just purely pretentious! you can skip that bit if you want!

So that is it, enjoy. it can all be done in advance, hence the fact I am catching up with my writing! It should be pretty low fat and low cholesterol, there is no dairy or meat and should fit for most allergy groups, except wheat.

The tennis, I forgot to mention!
It was a great day.......started dull, but still perfectly good for watching. C and I were in seats in the Arthur Ashe stadium (equivalent of centre court!) and watched Lindsey Davenport wipe the floor with a Croatian, the number 2 seed (a Spaniard) whose name defeats me right now play an immensely fun match with a Peruvian called Luis Horna (yes, of course i remembered his name!) despite the critics saying he would be knocked out in 3 sets, the match played the full 5 and it was close! The final match was Serena Williams - unseeded against Daniella someoneorother from Slovakia, seeded 17th. Well, always the performer. Serena didn't fail to please and took out the Slovak!! What a match that left the whole stadium on a real high. C and I then headed over to Grand central and a mooch around. Although, anyone who knows NYC will know that you don't MOOCH in NYC. You need to know where you are going and get there fast! Everything is fast, spralling and BIG! We had no map and no clue where we wanted to go. However, we eventually ended up at Time Square and a great Sushi restaurant.
You know, there are some cities in the world where the best way to discover them is to just walk, then you find the hidden gems, Rome is like that, Hong Kong, Antwerp, Ghent and London to an extent. Brussels on the otherhand is similar to Paris I think, there is a lot in one place, then you have to physically get transport to go somewhere else to see the next bit, the in between part is not so interesting. New York is just so mammoth but not so much in terms of distance, more in terms of intensity. The problem with NY is that it is difficult to "see out". Buildings are so tall, streets look so similar. I am sure there are some hidden wonders in NYC off the beaten track and the tourist trail but I need to find a book that tells me where to find these places. I am sure you will have your own thoughts on this! Let me know!

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