Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Wholly plant-based and whole grain, with no oils-salt-sugar-gluten-dairy
Here is a pretty dish to awaken your culinary talents and encourage more playing with our food. These simple, healthy, botanical cups can be filled with whatever you like. They're an excellent way to repurpose yesterday's chili, curry, or chunky veggie pasta sauce. In my mind, food is always more fun when it's wrapped in a bit of dough, don't you find? Floral whimsies make eye-catching, elegant appetizers but they are filling enough as an entrée.
Slender French beans are blanched to keep them bright and tooth-tender. The free-form floral cups are made from buckwheat and chickpea flours and sweet potato. Baked in a popover tin, I filled them here with a creamy, garlicy bean purée and a zesty veggie summery sauté. I outline the bean purée and vegetable sauté below, but if you use leftovers, it becomes an easy matter of just mixing up a batch of dough in your food processor, a quick 10-minute bake in the oven, and filling them as you like. Easy!
Like playing with clay, these pretty flowers are therapeutic to make and just plain fun to eat!
And here's something extra fun to do! Inspired by my floral whimsies, the Elegantly Raw Show on the JaneUnchained Network is holding a free cooking challenge through the end of the year. We'll be offering prizes for the best raw-foods interpretation. How fun is that?! Get creative, have at it, make it a party, and have fun!
Recipe for Floral Whimsies
Prep time 90 minutes (plus 90 minutes if using dried beans)
Baking time 10 minutes
1 pound fresh French beans (haricots verts), blanched
2 15-oz cans beans, no sodium, any variety, drained and rinsed or 1 cup dry beans, cooked and drained.
1 head garlic, roasted, peeled
1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
½ teaspoon freshly ground chipotle chilis or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoon aka (red) miso •, or to taste
Squirt liquid smoke
1 small bunch cilantro, well washed, crudely chopped
1/3 cup water, if needed
1 medium onion or large shallot, medium dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried
Splash of dry vermouth, white wine or no-sodium veggie broth to deglaze pan
1 baby eggplant, small dice
1 small zucchini, small dice
1 small summer squash, small dice
3 cups fresh multicolored cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cup mini bell peppers, cored, dry roasted, cut in ¼” slices
2 sprigs fresh basil
A few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon aka (red) miso •, or to taste
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup chickpea flour a.k.a. besan
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons freshly ground golden flaxseed
3 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon granulated or powdered onion
1 teaspoon granulated or powdered garlic
2 tablespoon fresh rosemary needles
Pinch white pepper
1 tablespoon shiro (white) miso •
1 cup sweet potato from one medium-large sweet potato, any variety
• Miso is a good salt alternative that lowers heart rate and does not elevate blood pressure (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).
A food processor
Rolling pin or dowel
Spray water bottle