Pascale's Kitchen: Clean eating

Soba noodle stir-fry with seitan (photo credit: SHIRA BE’ER)
Soba noodle stir-fry with seitan
(photo credit: SHIRA BE’ER)
The new trend from America is “clean eating.” This week, chef Einat Mazor will explain how to cook clean food – i.e., food that is as close to nature as possible.
“Clean eating is using ingredients that have not been altered significantly from their natural state,” explains Mazor. “No white flour, rice, sugar or milk. Instead, we use complex carbohydrates that are rich in nutrients, organic vegetable proteins, organic fruit and vegetables and top-quality olive and coconut oil.”
Mazor is a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute in Manhattan and gives lectures about clean eating all over the world. I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest one day to her kitchen, where I watched her prepare soba noodles with seitan, red lentil crepes with pesto, kale salad with avocado, and vegan black bean brownies.
The following is a list of ingredients widely used in clean-eating cooking.
• Coconut oil. Although it contains saturated fat, its fatty acids hold properties similar to breast milk. Cold-pressed coconut oil is a great substitute for butter or margarine, especially for frying.
• Lentil flour. Ground-up lentils are a great source of vegetable protein. Orange lentils are a great source of iron, calcium, dietary fiber and minerals – including folic acid. One cup of cooked orange lentils provides close to 100% of the recommended daily allowance of protein.
• Miso. Made from fermented soy beans, miso is a rich and creamy paste that can be added to soups and stews. It has a slightly smoky taste and contains bacteria that help with digestion.
• Kale. Kale is a cruciferous vegetable, as are cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. It is an excellent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
• Seitan. Also known as wheat gluten, seitan is a great beef substitute for vegans to use in stir-fry recipes and stews. It retains its shape during cooking, and you almost feel like you’re eating meat.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.
Soba noodle stir-fry with seitan
Makes 4 servings
■ 1 cup (200 gr.) dried shiitake mushrooms (remove stems)
■ 1 package soba noodles
■ 350 gr. seitan, cut into medium cubes
■ 2 zucchini, cut into strips
■ 2 Tbsp. agave syrup
■ ½ cup soy sauce
■ ½ cup rice vinegar
■ 2 Tbsp. ginger, freshly ground
■ 2 cloves garlic, crushed
■ 1 tsp. sesame oil, roasted
■ 3 scallions, sliced thinly (green parts only)
■ 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, roasted
Marinate the mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes.
Drain and slice thinly.
Fry seitan and zucchini on a greased roasting pan with ridges until broil marks appear. Set aside. In a small pot, pour in syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, ginger and garlic and bring to a boil.
Cook over low flame for 4-5 minutes until sauce thickens.
Boil the noodles according to directions on packaging.
Drain and rinse with a little cold water to prevent noodles from sticking to one another.
Mix the noodles with the vegetables, seitan and warm sauce. Drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with scallion pieces. Serve in individual bowls.
Orange lentil crepes with pesto, spinach and beets
Makes 5-6 servings
■ ½ cup lentil flour
■ ½ cup gluten-free flour or rye flour
■ ½ cup + 2 Tbsp. water
■ ½ cup soy or almond milk
Serving suggestions:
■ 2 beets, boiled or roasted, cut into large pieces
■ 2 Tbsp. walnuts, roasted and chopped coarsely
■ Walnut oil for drizzling
For pesto sauce:
■ ¾ cup walnuts, roasted
■ 2 cups fresh basil leaves
■ ½ cup fresh spinach leaves or 3 medallions frozen spinach, thawed and drained
■ 1 clove garlic
■ 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
■ ¹⁄3 cup virgin olive oil
■ 1 Tbsp. miso paste (optional)
■ ½ tsp. salt
■ Freshly ground pepper
To prepare crepes, grease a nonstick pan with a little oil. In a bowl, add both of the flours, water, milk and salt. Mix until well blended. Let mixture rest for five minutes before continuing to next step.
Using a ladle or a large spoon, pour some of the mixture onto the hot pan and spread it out into a uniform circle.
When bubbles begin to form, flip crepe onto the other side and fry until golden brown. Prepare the rest of the crepes in the same way.
To prepare the pesto sauce, put the walnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth.
Spread a layer of pesto on the crepe and fold in half and then in quarters.
Serve with beets and walnuts. Just before serving, drizzle with walnut oil.
Kale salad with avocado sauce
Makes 4-6 servings
For avocado sauce:
■ 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
■ ¾ tsp. salt
■ ¼ cup white wine or apple vinegar
■ 2 Tbsp. soft avocado
■ 1 tsp. shallot, chopped finely
■ 1 clove garlic, chopped finely
■ 1½ Tbsp. unsweetened silan (date syrup)
■ 4 Tbsp. virgin olive oil
For salad:
■ 2 red onions, sliced
■ 1-2 endives, sliced
■ 1 small red or yellow bell pepper, sliced
■ 2 carrots, sliced thinly
■ 5-6 radishes, sliced thinly
■ 1 package kale (leaves only), cut into small pieces
■ 1 package “baby leaves” (mixed greens)
In a bowl, add all the sauce ingredients except the olive oil and mix well. Slowly, add the oil and mix until creamy and mixed well.
Sprinkle salt, pepper and olive oil on onion slices and roast in oven for 20 minutes at a high temperature.
Put all of the salad ingredients in a bowl. Add the roasted onion and pour on sauce. You can add a little more olive oil, salt and pepper, if desired.
Gluten-free black bean brownies
Makes 16 servings
■ 1½ cups (360 gr.) black beans, cooked and drained, or canned beans without sauce
■ 5 organic eggs
■ 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
■ 90 gr. liquid coconut oil
■ 1 cup (200 gr.) coconut sugar
■ 6 Tbsp. (60 gr.) cocoa powder
■ 1 tsp. baking powder
■ ½ tsp. baking soda
■ 1 Tbsp. almond oil
■ Pinch salt
■ 100 gr. non-roasted nuts (pecans or walnuts)
■ 100 gr. roasted nuts
Grease a 20 cm. x 20 cm. pan or line with baking paper, and preheat oven to 170°.
In a food processor or blender, add the beans, milk, eggs, vanilla, salt and sugar. Blend well. Gradually add the coconut oil and mix. Add the cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Mix. Gradually add roasted nuts. Mix well.
Pour mixture into greased pan and spread out. Bake for 35 minutes. Sprinkle remaining nuts on top and continue baking for another 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Lift cake up out of pan by holding onto sides of baking paper.
Place on a work surface and cut into squares using a serrated knife.