Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Flax Crackers & Homemade Almond Butter

I have had guests for the past couple of days.  When friends visit me here, in San Francisco, I like to join them in their vacation activities and feel like I'm on vacation too. My friend S. and I cooked  dinner together the night of their arrival.  We prepared bionaturae whole wheat spaghetti with swiss chard, onion, garlic, butter and romano cheese. The bionaturae pasta is the best whole grain pasta I've tasted. It is smooth with no grainy texture.  It's a bit more pricey than the trader joe's whole wheat pasta but I'll take taste over bargain any day.  I served some chimichuri with oven-toasted bread. I have been in love with chimichurri since I prepared it for an Argentinian themed dinner last weekend. The flavor of chimichurri is much more than the sum of its parts, which are parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil. My guests have been putting the leftover sauce on everything.
My guests brought along their own juicer and we had fresh veggie juice every morning of their visit.  This morning i decided to put the vegetable pulp to good use along with an excess of flax seeds I discovered in my freezer.  I used this recipe from Choosing Raw.  The pulp looked so pretty in the dehydrator, the beets contributing the most color. I will report on their flavor after the crackers are completely dry.

I had left my food processor out after using it to prepare the chimichurri, so I turned my frozen almonds into lovely, creamy almond butter.  After processing the almonds for a few minutes they looked a bit dry, so I added hazelnut oil to the mix. Have I created something new? Maybe so.  I'm thinking of adding sesame seeds to my next batch. Has anyone ever heard of almond sesame butter? If not, you will soon.

I had the privilege of being taken to dinner by my guests last night.  They took me to Be My Guest Thai bistro, on Clement and 11th. With a name like that I wasn't sure what to expect, but the food was spectacular.  My guests are vegetarians so we stayed away from anything with meat, eggs or even a hint of fish sauce.We had samosas, summer rolls with tamarind sauce, a trio sampler of green, yellow and red curry.

 The red curry was my favorite, with a nice level of spiciness.  It was creamy but not overly rich from coconut milk. We also ate a pumpkin curry, which ended up being our least favorite.

  The pad thai was topped with cooked snap peas and green beans and the glass noodles were not at all  mushy.  They were cooked to a perfect firm consistency.I have never had Thai food that radiated freshness before. Our waitress accommodated our every dietary restriction with a smile.  I will definitely be returning.


Faberuna said...

We had a wonderful time sharing our vacation with you! That food was so good & I loved our stay at your artist retreat.

Renee said...

Faberuna & company- You are always welcome here.