On yesterday’s segment of The Talk, vegan actress, producer, mother and talk show host Sara Gilbert divulged her excitement over her new book The Imperfect Environmentalist: A Practical Guide to Clearing Your Body, Detoxing Your Home, and Saving the Earth (Without Losing Your Mind). In her book, which will be available in stores on August 13th, 2013, Ms. Gilbert shares the basics on health and beauty, work and money, home and gardening, and family and fitness.
Since Ms. Gilbert doesn’t like to cook, she solicited the help of Chef Susan Feniger, the owner of Border Grill and STREET, to make a couple of vegan dishes. Ms. Gilbert expressed her passion for her healthy vegan diet. Eating vegan is one of the best things you can do for the environment too.
Chef Susan Feniger made two amazing vegan dishes, Artichokes With Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce and California Avocado Ceviche, and provided a couple of good tips about buying and preparing artichokes. These tips included buying heavy artichokes, and gently tugging on lower leaves to determine if an artichoke has been cooked long enough. The leaves should not be difficult to pull off the artichoke.
Chef Feniger’s two vegan recipes look excellent. We hope you enjoy them!
3 large artichokes, cleaned (see instructions below)
Cold water as needed
1 lemon, quartered
2 Tablespoons kosher salt, or as desired
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce (recipe follows)
To clean the artichokes, first cut off the bottom portion of the stem, leaving only 1 inch of the stem at the bottom.
Using a sharp knife (sometimes serrated knives work best for this task), cut off the top “tip” of the artichoke, approximately 2 inches down, straight across the top.
Using scissors, clip off the sharp spike of the remaining leaves. Repeat until all of the artichokes are cleaned.
Place the artichokes in a large pot with enough water to come three quarters of the way up the artichokes.
Squeeze the lemon quarters into the water and then throw the remaining shell of the lemon in as well.
Add the salt and olive oil into the water.
Cook on high heat, covered, until water comes to a boil (approximately 15 minutes), then reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes longer. To test: a gentle tug should pull off the lower leaves easily but there should still be resistance and the whole thing should pull out in one piece, not fall apart.
Turn off the heat. Remove each artichoke and place upside down on a plate to drain and let them cool to room temperature (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).
Discard the cooking liquid and all its ingredients.
Once cool, cut each artichoke in half.
With a spoon, gently scoop out and discard the fuzzy inner “choke” and the pointy purple leaves that line the inside.
Cut each half in half again, creating small portions that are more easily shared.
Place on a platter and serve with the Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce.
Lemon Za’atar Dipping Sauce
Makes 1 ¼ cups
1 cup veganaise
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ cup sesame seed, toasted
3 Tablespoons dried thyme
In a small mixing bowl, place all of the ingredients.
Stir well with a rubber spatula or spoon to combine.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
10 ounces avocado, diced
5 ounces jicama, diced
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 small red onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
½ cup tomato juice
2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
1 bunch oregano, leaves only, chopped (1/2 cup)
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup small green olives, pitted
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Lettuce leaves for garnish
Tortilla chips for garnish
Combine the avocado and jicama and ½ cup of the lime juice in a glass or ceramic dish and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Drain and discard the lime juice.
Transfer the avocado and jicama to a medium bowl. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice, the onion, tomatoes, orange juice, tomato juice, chiles, oregano, olive oil, olives, salt, and pepper. Toss well and chill for at least an hour, or as long as overnight. Serve cold in chilled glasses or on lettuce-lined plates, with tortilla chips as garnish.