Monday, February 10, 2020

My Cookbook, Divine Chinese Cuisine, written with my son, Stephe Lesefko, has finally been published! There are 100 authentic Chinese recipes, 70 of which can be made Vegan. And, all recipes are free of Gluten, Dairy, Seafood, Nut, Dye and MSG! You can order it here:

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Creamy Lentil Soup with Sausage and Greens

It's soup weather here, cold and rainy, and I decided to make a creamy Lentil Soup. I started out by making the Lentil Soup with Chicken Broth, but you could easily substitute a good Vegetable Broth and it was seasoned simply with Onions, Carrots, Celery (Mirepoix), minced Garlic, a Bay Leaf and some Pepper. When the Lentils were soft, I pureed it all to make it creamy. And since I wanted to have a one-bowl-meal, I added in some Sausage pieces, some Sautéed Greens - in this case, Collard Greens, and some Onions that caramelize as you are cooking the Sausage and Greens. It was exactly what I wanted and it was so good!

Creamy Lentil Soup with Sausage and Greens

3/4 cup Brown Lentils
1 large or 2 small Carrots, cut into small pieces
1 large or 2 small Celery Stalks, cut into small pieces (
1 large, Onion cut into small pieces, reserving half
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon Salt
a pinch of fresh ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil or Butter
4 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup Water
1 Bay Leaf
Optional: a pinch of Cayenne Pepper or a teaspoonful of Hot Sauce

In a soup pot, put in the Olive Oil or Butter and then add in the Carrots, Celery, Onions and Garlic. Sprinkle with the Salt and Pepper.  Cook until the vegetables are wilted. Then add in the Chicken or Vegetable Broth and Water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 40 minutes or until the Lentils are completely tender. Season with Cayenne or Chili Sauce, if desired. Using a stick blender or a blender (in batches), puree the soup until smooth. Then make the Sausage and Greens mixture to add in.

To Make the Sausage and Greens

1/2 of a Kielbasa Sausage, Smoked Sausage or Spanish Chorizo Sausage diced
2 cups of chopped Greens - Collard, Kale or Chard
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil or Butter

In a frying pan, heat the Olive Oil or Butter and add in the other half of the Onion from above. Cook until light golden brown, stirring often. Then add in the Sausage pieces and cook until they are lightly browned. Finally add in the Greens and cook until they are wilted. Add to the Soup and bring back to a boil before serving.

Five Element Analysis

Brown Lentils are clearly an Earth Element food and the Carrots add even more Earth. The Celery and Greens contribute the Wood Element and the Olive Oil, if you use it adds a little more. The Onions and Garlic bring in the Metal Element and if you use Butter, that's also more Metal. The Sausage, as cured salted Meat, brings in the Water Element. Only the Fire Element is missing, so you can add in the Cayenne or Chili Sauce or use a spicy Chorizo Sausage. I just made Tea my beverage to bring in the Fire Element. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Hawaiian Style Butter Mochi Cake

I made a Butter Mochi Cake for my Master Face Reading Program students last November and I promised I would post the recipe. Clearly, you can see that I forgot to do that until I made it again yesterday.  So here, finally, is the recipe!  For those of you who don't know, Butter Mochi Cake is a Gluten Free Cake made with Sticky Rice Flour or Mochiko. This cake has Butter in it as you can see from the name, but also full fat Coconut Milk. It's a bit like a chewy pudding and it's so good!  It puffs up a lot while cooking and then sinks back down when it cools. 

I got my recipe years ago from a Hawaiian friend I worked with and it's a pretty standard recipe. I weigh the Mochiko instead of measuring it, as it's much more accurate, and I use a little less Vanilla Extract, as I like that flavor to be subtler.  You can also add ingredients like Matcha if you like. It keeps for up to 4 days and freezes well too. t's the cake I often make for family birthdays these days and if you haven't had it yet, you need to make this unusually delicious Hawaiian cake!

Hawaiian Style Butter Mochi Cake

8 ounces of Mochiko (Sticky Rice Flour) 

2 teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ teaspoon Salt
2 large Eggs

1 cup Sugar

1 can full fat Coconut Milk
4 Tablespoons Melted Butter

1 - 1-1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 inch square pan with cooking spray.  
In a mixing bowl, stir together the Mochiko, Baking Powder and Salt. Set aside. 

In a Food Processor or Stand Mixer, mix together the Butter and Sugar until it is creamy. Then add in the Coconut Milk, Eggs and Vanilla until fully combined.

Add the Mochiko mixture, scraping down the bowl several times. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 60 - 65 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown and springs back very lightly when you press it. Let cool and cut into 12 squares

Five Element Analysis

Because it's a sweet Cake, you know that it's an Earthy food, but surprisingly, there is a lot of Metal in this dessert!.  It comes from the Coconut Milk, the Butter, the Sticky Rice Flour and the Vanilla Extract so it's a great dessert to add to a meal that is missing the Metal Element.