Friday, February 18, 2011

Kitchen Fun and Crackers

Good afternoon lovely friends! I have been blessed with a relaxing 4 day weekend, because a workshop I was planning to go to was rescheduled. Okay, so in a way, that's not a blessing because I was really excited to go!! ...But on the plus side, that meant I got to stay home, relax, and have fun playing in the kitchen.

An online friend of mine posted a recipe for a healthy remake of a Southern Gumbo recipe, so I was all excited to try making that! So, before I did that, I wanted to prep a few things ahead of time, since there are soaking and dehydration times involved.

I mixed her Cajun seasoning:

I prepped the "rice" so it could marinate:
Processed Parsnips make for a good rice substitute!
I prepped tomato sauce:

And I prepped dehydrated "sausage" from nuts and sage base:
I just made flat "sausage" this time.
Next time, I think I'll actually roll it into balls first!

And I wanted to make some carrot-based crackers to go with it, so that required juicing carrots so I could work with the pulp:

Mmmm, nothing like sweet fresh carrot juice!!
Some extra to take to Dave!
So that's what I spent some time doing today!

The crackers were quite easy once I had pulp. And I had fun purchasing little food-grade stencils so I could decorate things like crackers and more!

Traditional gumbo normally has shrimp, but my friend's recipe instead called for sea vegetables. But I omitted the sea vegetables (I am working on sea foods... I still have an aversion to all things sea flavored) and so instead I used the raw kelp flakes to decorate some of the crackers, while adding a hint of sea salt flavor, and used paprika as a beautiful burnt red color for others!

Those will dehydrate over night, and tomorrow Dave and I can enjoy some gumbo!

This is a half batch.
A full batch would probably fill one full Dehydrator tray.

Carrot Sesame Crackers:
1 cup carrot pulp
1 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds, rinsed
2/3 cup golden flax seeds, soaked 1 hour to make thickened liquid
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs honey (or to taste)
1 Tbs cashew butter (as needed, to help all mix)
Optional: can add sea salt, but since I was decorating with salty flavored kelp, I skipped the salt

Mix all by hand, or process in food processor. Spread on Teflex sheet or parchment paper. Score into desired sizes, decorate if desired, and dehydrate at 105-110 until crispy.

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