Create Food Art with Sprouted Spelt Arizona Winter Veggie FlatbreadDec 30, 2020 08:45AM ● By Melanie Albert
Three Essential Steps to Create Beautiful Plant-Based Food Art
What is “Plant-Based Food Art” and what are the simple steps to create eye-appealing food?
Plant-Based Food Art is beautiful food that we mindfully create with fresh, local produce, herbs and edible flowers in a way to enhance the beauty of our meals.
Embrace the Plant-Based Food Art steps to have fun creating attractive dishes with our local Arizona farmers' produce, herbs and edible flowers:
1. Local Arizona Farmers’ Food.
2. Simple Plant-Based Culinary Techniques.
3. Food Art.
Step 1: Local Arizona Farmers’ Food. The first tip to create eye-catching food art is to cook with beautiful, fresh food. In Arizona, we really are so fortunate with many dedicated, hard-working, passionate farmers growing incredible food for our community. To purchase from local farmers:
· Shop at farmers' markets and farms convenient for you.
· Visit the markets and notice what the farmers are growing seasonally.
· Pause and pay attention to the colors, textures, and even aromas of the produce, herbs and edible flowers you are intuitively attracted to.
Step 2: Simple Plant-Based Culinary Techniques. Enjoy the cooking process by learning simple culinary techniques, including raw, steamed, sautéed, roasted and grilled. Once we learn a few simple ways to cook plants, we can confidently and intuitively cook whatever our local farmers are growing.
Step 3: Food Art. We’ve heard the saying, “We eat with our eyes first.” This is so true. Pause and think about the pleasing dishes you eat at your favorite restaurants. When we eat at upscale, gourmet restaurants or many plant-based restaurants, we notice that the food is often plated beautifully, with care and mindfulness to showcase the food.
With mindfully plating and food art, you can create your own appetizing dishes. With plating, we start with our local farmers’ food and then take our time mindfully to place the food onto our plates in a creative way. Practice mindfully plating when you cook to create your own style of beautiful food art.
Sprouted Spelt Arizona WINTER Veggie Flatbread
Sprouted Spelt Arizona Winter Veggie Flatbread is a perfect way to enjoy cooking a simple, beautiful, nutritious and tasty food art meal. The flatbread recipe features a wide variety of veggies grown by our local Arizona farmers, a simple dill cashew cream, and a quick-to-prepare no-yeast flatbread.
Local Arizona Farmers’ Food. The Sprouted Spelt Arizona Winter Veggie Flatbread features a range of veggies with various colors, shapes, tastes and textures. The tasty flatbread highlights our local Arizona winter broccoli, purple cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, yellow string beans, watermelon radish, yellow and orange carrots, tomatoes, along with a few aromatics, including green onions and elephant garlic. The flatbread also features a plant-based raw cashew cream with cheese-tasting nutritional yeast, with an added herb (dill) and aromatic (green onion) for extra taste.
Simple Plant-Based Culinary Techniques. While cooking the flatbread, we focus on the culinary techniques of roasting (veggies) and raw (cashew cream). The very-easy-to-prepare yeast-free flatbread crust is a quick recipe when your time is limited, as we do not need to wait hours for the dough to rise.
Food Art. With the Sprouted Spelt Arizona Winter Veggie Flatbread, the food art experience really comes to life when we are mindfully placing the veggies and cashew cream onto the flatbread crust, right before we put it into the oven for its final baking. After the flatbread has been baked, the striking, colorful calendula edible flowers bring extra food art beauty to the dish.
The beauty of local Arizona farmers
produce, herbs and edible flowers.
Sprouted Spelt Arizona Winter Veggie Flatbread Recipe
To create a beautiful, delicious, fun food art Arizona winter meal, use this recipe as a guide to create flatbread with your favorite locally grown veggies.
Simple and Mindful Cooking Steps
While making your flatbread, first roast the veggies, process the cashew cream, bake the flatbread crust, and then have fun creating your food art flatbread with these eight steps:
1. Roast the veggies with the quick-roasting culinary method.
2. Make the simple raw cashew cream.
3. Prepare the flatbread crust.
4. Prebake the flatbread crust.
5. Mindfully create your food art flatbread with the veggies and cashew cream.
6. Bake the flatbread.
7. Mindfully garnish with edible flowers and fresh herbs (such as dill).
8. Pause and enjoy!
Step 1. Quick and Simple Roasted Veggies
Choose a few of your favorite winter veggies from your local farmers' markets and farmers and prepare them with the quick-roast culinary method. With this technique, the veggies are roasted close together in a pan with organic extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. With quick roasting, veggies stay very moist, and colors bright and vibrant.
For this recipe, I shopped with several Arizona farmers at the Downtown Phoenix Farmers’ Market and farms. Intuitively, I purchased veggies at the farmers' market that caught my eye: vibrant purple cauliflower, yellow string beans, and Brussels sprouts. I had fun harvesting tomatoes at Abby Lee Farm and purchased beautiful watermelon radishes at the Pinnacle Farm honor system farm stand.
· 1 broccoli stem (Blue Sky Organic Farms)
· 1 purple cauliflower slice (Blue Sky Organic Farms)
· 4-5 dill stems (Blue Sky Organic Farms)
· 3-4 green onions (Blue Sky Organic Farms)
· 12-15 yellow string beans (Blue Sky Organic Farms)
· 5-6 orange and yellow carrots (Blue Sky Organic Farms, Steadfast Farms)
· 5-6 small tomatoes (Abby Lee Farms)
· 1 elephant garlic, sliced (Crooked Sky Farms)
· 1 watermelon radish (Phoenix Pinnacle Farms)
· 5-6 Brussels sprouts (Horny Toad Farm)
· 1-2 calendula flowers (The Farm at South Mountain)
· 2-3 Tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil
· Pinch sea salt
· Preheat oven to 425° F.
· Chop all veggies into bite-size interesting shapes.
· Place all veggies into roasting pans.
· Drizzle veggies with organic extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and minced dill.
· Gently toss the veggies to coat them with organic extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt and dill.
· Cook for 12 minutes.
· Stir the veggies.
· Cook another 12-15 minutes.
Use the veggies to top
Step 2: Simple Raw Dill Cashew Cream
Use this recipe as a guide to create a quick and simple cashew cream for your flatbread. The key is to presoak raw cashews in water for a few hours before making the cream. For added flavor, add a fresh herb (such as dill, parsley or basil) and green onions.
• 1 cup raw cashews, presoaked in water for 2-4 hours, then rinsed and drained
• ¼ cup fresh dill
• 2 green onions, sliced
• 2 Tbsp lemon or key lime juice
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• Pinch sea salt
• Place all ingredients into a blender.
• Blend (about a minute or 2) to your desired
level of creaminess.
Step 3: Sprouted Spelt Flatbread Crust
The Sprouted Spelt Flatbread Crust is a simple-to-prepare crust when we crave flatbread or do not have a few hours to wait for yeast dough to rise. Sprouted spelt flour is milled from the ancient whole grain spelt, and sprouted to enhance taste and nutrients.
· 1 ¼ cups sprouted spelt flour
· 1 ½ tsp baking powder
· ¼ tsp sea salt
· 1 ½ Tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil (dough)
· ½ cup water
· 1 Tbsp organic extra-virgin olive oil (spread on dough prior to baking)
· Preheat Pizza Stone
- Place pizza stone into the oven.
- Preheat oven at 390° F.
- Preheat the stone for about 5 minutes.
- Pour the flour, baking powder, and sea salt into a large glass bowl.
- Mix the dry ingredients with a fork to combine.
- To the bowl, add 3/8 cup water and organic extra-virgin olive oil.
- Gently knead with hands for 3-4 minutes until the dough forms a ball. Add additional water or flour, as needed.
- With hands, flatten out the dough on floured parchment paper.
- With parchment paper on top of the dough, roll thinly (about ¼ inch) with a rolling pin.
Step 4: Prebake the Flatbread Crust
· With fingers, gently spread 1 Tbsp of organic extra-virgin olive oil onto the flatbread.
· Carefully move flatbread crust to the preheated pizza stone.
· Bake flatbread crust for 5 minutes.
· Remove pizza stone from oven.
Step 5: Create Food Art by Mindfully Topping the Flatbread Crust
· Mise en place: All ingredients in place for food art.
· Spread cashew cream on the top of the flatbread.
· Add roasted veggies on top of the cashew cream.
Step 6: Bake the Flatbread
· Place flatbread back onto the pizza stone and place it into the oven.
· Bake for about 8 minutes.
· Remove flatbread from the oven.
Step 7: Garnish the Flatbread
· To garnish the flatbread, mindfully add fresh, aromatic dill and edible flowers to the top of the flatbread.
Step 8: Enjoy the Flatbread Creation
· Slice the flatbread.
· Enjoy the flatbread creation with your family!
Have fun creating your own version of food art with our beautiful local Arizona produce, herbs and edible flowers!
Melanie Albert, founder and CEO of Experience Nutrition, in Phoenix, is the author of the award-winning cookbook, A New View of Healthy Eating; creator of the Plant-Based Food Art Movement and plant-based recipe blog at ExperienceNutrition.com; and offers plant-based farm-to-table food art culinary experiences virtually and in-person with corporate wellness programs; team-building culinary events; online workshops and courses; and retreats. Albert has step-by-step cooking videos and photos of these recipes on her blog for those who are interested. Recipes and photos courtesy of Albert. For more information, visit ExperienceNutrition.com.