In the Kitchen: Jicama

Daryl: Knarly, Dude! What is that thing? Sam: I dunno. I found it in the grocery store. I thought you might know what to do with it? Daryl: Ummm… Looks like a door stop to me! OK, enough fun. This thing is a Jicama! (And it actually is gnarly, as you’ll see in a bit.) Jicama, also called a Yam Bean or Mexican Turnip, is the tuberous root of a Mexican legume vine.

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On Tuesday, MIL came over for dinner. She is a dessert-a-holic, so I always try to make something special for after the meal when she is here. On the other hand, dinner was running late due to unforeseen circumstances, so I didn’t have time to make this as an ice cream. Instead I simplified the recipe, and turned the concept into a milk shake! Happily for everyone, it turned out great!

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I have always loved green beans. I will eat them hot or cold. In a soup, in a casserole, just plain… any way I can get them! When I was a kid, I used to grab a can from the cupboard, open it and drain the liquid, rinse the beans, and pour my favorite salad dressing over them in the can and eat them for snacks. Needless to say, canned green beans aren’t very good… but that shows you how much I love them.

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Do you buy canned refried beans? A lot of people do because they can’t figure out how to make a good, homemade version. But, if you make them yourself, you can control exactly what goes in them and make a healthier version. You’ll also save money, because dried beans are a lot less expensive than canned! I make all my beans in the crock pot. I find it much easier and they require minimal babysitting.

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Saturday night we had Vegan Veggie Burritos for dinner! We used a mixture of things we made, things we had leftover on hand and things we bought at the Whole Foods food bar earlier in the day. I had the avocados and lettuce and needed to use them that day. I had already decided the night before to soak the nuts to make taco mix. I made the nut mix before going out in the morning so it would be ready by dinner.

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This week, we got new golden potatoes, corn and leeks in our Bountiful Baskets! So I decided, since it was raining on Tuesday, to make a potato leek chowder for dinner. We roasted the corn on the grill and removed it from the cobs on Saturday. Then it was put into the freezer in 2-cup servings to use later. So for this recipe, I just pulled out and defrosted the amount I needed.

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How many of you think of sweet potatoes as that sweet, marshmallow topped dish served at Thanksgiving? Or, perhaps you’ve had them baked into a pie resembling pumpkin pie? If you’re lucky, you’ve had them baked just like a regular potato, or even better, made into air fries! They are really good for you, rich in fiber, beta carotene (the darker orange the flesh is, the more they have) and Vitamin B6.

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Note: The subtitle for this one should be “Why I need a Vitamix!” The combination of chocolate and raspberry is one of my all-time favorites. I love the sweet, tartness raspberries add to the chocolate. This is a dark, rich chocolate ganache, combined with a cranberry/raspberry juice, done vegan. Instead of the dairy cream used in a traditional ganache, we’re using cashew creme. The crust is the basic nut crust recipe that I published yesterday.

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We love tacos. So do most of our relatives. Being a vegan, though, presented me with a problem making a filling that gave the same flavor profile, texture and mouth feel as a ground meat filling. Then came Nourish Restaurant and the Gluten Free Foodie Tour! This recipe is my version. It’s been wildly popular around here. We’ve eaten it in traditional tacos, but DH likes it best in a taco salad.

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