Browsed by
Tag: vegetarian

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Whit Bean Avocado Wrap

Sometimes it’s good to have a quick lunch recipe on hand, like this white bean avocado wrap.  Looking at my calendar, I already know it’s going to be a very busy week, with just two days when I’ll have time for lunch at my desk.  As I was thinking about food prep this week, I also thought it might be a good time to do a little cupboard clean out.  We have plenty of rice, several cans of Great Northern White Beans, and a couple of avocados that are just ripe.  Toss in some cilantro and lime and throw it all in a tortilla and lunch comes together in a short period of time.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

I love jasmine rice.  It’s the perfect filler for my white bean avocado wrap.  It’s so light and fluffy and pretty.  You could definitely make these with brown rice as well, though I have to confess brown rice is not my favorite grain.  It’s so…grainy.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White beans get gently mashed and get spread on the tortilla first.  Avocado goes next and then rice covers it all. then it gets wrapped up and either wrapped in parchment paper or foil and goes into the fridge for the next day’s lunch.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

The Great Northern White Beans add a great non-meaty, meaty texture to the white bean avocado wrap.  Serve with a spinach salad and a few mandarin oranges and you’ll be set for the day.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Ingredients

  • 4 white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cans Great Northern White Beans or cannellini beans
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Gently mash with a fork, leaving some beans whole.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the beans on each tortilla in the middle. Split open the avocados and scoop out the avocado, 1/2 of each avocado spread on each tortilla.
  3. Add the chopped cilantro, the juice from the lime, and the salt to the rice and stir to incorporate. Heap 1/2 cup of the rice over the avocado and beans on each tortilla. Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla toward the middle, over the rice/avocado/bean mix. Fold each side in and roll so that you have a tight wrap.
  4. Enjoy! Serves 4 and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/white-bean-avocado-wrap/

This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Monday.  Check it out!

It’s also linked up to Meatless Monday, co-hosted by Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands.

 

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple mushroom and truffle risotto is my contribution to Final FantaFeast February, being hosted by Pixelated Provisions.  This month’s Fandom Foodies theme is all about the Final Fantasy video game.  So full disclosure here – I haven’t actually played Final Fantasy.  However, my husband is hooked on Final Fantasy XV, which is the most recent of the Final Fantasy series.  I watch sometimes as he plays, peeking over my I-Pad as I watch the latest episode of Top Chef, and have thought it looks interesting.  But not interesting enough for me to put down the I-Pad or the latest book I’m reading.

I am, however, fascinated by the role food plays in the game.  One of the characters, Ignis, is the chef for the group and throughout the game, players can unlock various recipes, as well as go to the market, and forage for food.  Uh yeah – that’s an awesome part of the game as far as I’m concerned. When Fandom Foodies put out the schedule of themes for this year and I saw Final FantaFeast February, I immediately started looking for the foods that Ignis cooks in the game.  And when I saw Triple Truffle Risotto, there was no going back.

So the top image is from the game and the bottom is my triple mushroom and truffle recipe.  Since I didn’t have access to funguar, alstrooms, and Saxham rice (all the ingredients to make the dish in the game), I opted to go with a mix of mushrooms for the triple part, as well as some truffle oil and truffle cheese.  I would have gone full out triple truffle, but $21 for truffle salt at Trader Joe’s was a bit out of even my this-food-is-for-my-blog-cost comfort zone.  I love the combination of mushrooms though – some maitakes, some oyster mushrooms, and some creminis.  Feel free to substitute out any combination of mushrooms here – this would be lovely with chanterelles when they are in season, as well as morels, and so on.

Risotto takes a bit of time to make – I usually schedule about an hour from start to finish, as I like to baby it along.  A long slow simmer of the rice and stock is the key to a lush creamy risotto.  I also tossed in a cipollini onion – and honestly, if you can find these in your market, I encourage you to use one to make this dish.  Cipollinis become caramel rich when they are cooked (and even better – when they are cooked in butter), making them a perfect complement to the mushrooms.

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

I think my triple mushroom and truffle recipe would do Ignis proud.

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Ingredients

    For the mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 types of mushrooms, chopped. (About 2 cups of mushrooms, total)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • For the risotto
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup truffle cheese, grated (or Parmesan or Asiago cheese)
  • Truffle oil to finish

Instructions

    For the mushrooms
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for a minute. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and salt, and saute until all the liquid has cooked off. Set aside.
  2. For the risotto
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable or chicken stock to a simmer. Leave simmering.
  4. Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the Arborio rice and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and stir until it is incorporated in the rice/onion mixture.
  5. Add the simmering stock, 1 cup at a time. Cook on a low simmer between each addition until the stock is mostly absorbed. This will take anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes. Continue to do this until all the stock is used and the risotto is al dente. Take off the heat and add the cheese and salt. Stir to incorporate. Add a dash of truffle oil.
  6. Portion into bowls and top each bowl with the mushroom mix. Enjoy!
  7. Serves 4
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/triple-mushroom-truffle-risotto/

This recipe is linked to Meatless Monday, hosted by Deborah (Confessions of a Mother Runner) and Sarah (A Whisk and Two Wands).  Take a look at the great recipes being linked!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also hanging out with some other really wonderful recipes on #CookBlogShare at EasyPeasieFoodie.

Hijacked By Twins
Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Adobo Sweet Potato soup is my answer to the in-between time of winter and spring.  The end of January and the start of February are such awkward times of the year.  In the PNW in particular, it’s not quite winter, but it’s not quite spring, either – it’s still raining, but there are those occasional days of sunshine that suggest that maybe, just maybe, spring is around the corner.  In terms of seasonal foods, it’s a good time to do some pantry and fridge clearing, as well as explore what root veggies have been hanging out for too long underneath the onions.  It’s definitely the time of year when sweet potatoes and potatoes get some love.

I tend not to cook sweet potatoes around the traditional times of year, like Thanksgiving.  I wait, instead, until I’m back to work post-holiday, and looking for lunches that can be frozen easily.  I never know quite what each week is going to bring, so it’s good to have a guaranteed good lunch waiting for me in the freezer.  This adobo sweet potato soup definitely fits the bill.  It’s easy to make, so didn’t consume my entire Sunday to prep.  It freezes beautifully, and I’m already looking forward to eating it at lunch this week.

Canned adobo chilies lend the adobo sweet potato soup a super smokey flavor.  I also used some smoked paprika, which is arguably one of my all time favorite spices.  As part of the fridge/pantry clean up effort, I gathered up all the celery I could find, leaves and all, and tossed those in too.  The end result is a silky, smokey, soup with a bit of sweet and just the slightest kick from the peppers.

If you checked out my post from last week with the black lentil and poached egg bowls, you know that I’m a bit mirepoix obsessed here of late.  The adobo sweet potato soup has a modified mirepoix: adobo chili, celery, and onion.  It’s just so colorful in the pan:

Once the smoked paprika and salt go in, the mirepoix takes on a deep red shade

And then the sweet potatoes go in.

adobo sweet potato soup

All of this beauty becomes a gorgeous adobo sweet potato soup (after the addition of some veggie stock and some pureeing).

adobo sweet potato soup

I added a dollop of Greek yogurt to cut the heat a bit.  Greek yogurt, sour cream, or creme fraiche would all be a lovely addition to this soup.

adobo sweet potato soup

Adobo Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 adobo chili, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, preferably with leaves, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water
  • Greek yogurt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan. Add the adobo chili, the celery, and the onion and saute until the celery and onion become soft. Add the sweet potatoes, smoked paprika, and salt and stir a few times. Add the veggie stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 - 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
  2. Use an immersion blender or blender and puree to desired smoothness. Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
  3. Serves 4
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/adobo-sweet-potato-soup/

This recipe is getting around.  It’s linked up this week to

Souper Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen

and at Meatless Monday on Confessions of a Mother Runner (co-hosted by Sarah at A Whisk and Two Wands).

Confessions of a Mother Runner

 

 

 

 

and at Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Mondays where it was featured for the week of February 6 (check out the great menu ideas for the week!).

Hijacked By Twins
Hijacked By Twins

 

 

 

 

 

 

and at #CookBlogShare hosted by Hijacked by Twins as well as at #SimplySeasonal hosted by Hijacked by Twins. 

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

I’m at that stage of winter when a black lentil bowl with a poached egg sounds like a perfectly light lunch for the week.  I’m also at the point at which I’m itching to do some spring cleaning, including making an effort to use up what’s been lurking at the back of the pantry.  It helps motivate me that we might be moving and I really don’t want to drag a half-eaten bag of black lentils with me.  As it is, I still have jars of home canned jam and pickles that we moved last year that will need to be packaged and moved again (because I’m not letting those pickles go to waste).

Black lentils just lend themselves to a simple meal.  The black lentil bowl with a poached egg takes just seven ingredients (counting salt and olive oil).  This recipe took so little time to make – I prepped my mirepoix first, cooked that and the lentils and then poached the eggs.  I’ve been obsessing a bit about mirepoix here of late.  The combination of onion, celery, and carrot adds such a deep flavor to dishes and it’s so, so simple.  With this dish, I understood the full complexity of the flavor – initially, I thought that the black lentil bowl with a poached egg would need a dressing of some sort, but when I tasted the lentils, that idea went out the window.

A note on the poached eggs: back in December, I tried my hand at poaching an egg in the traditional way in a saucepan.  It came out a flimsy mess.  Recently, I ran across a video of a chef poaching eggs in the oven, so that’s what I did.  The eggs came out beautifully!  The best part was I didn’t have to swirl the water, baby the eggs, watch the temperature, etc.  Eggs went into muffin cups with a tablespoon of water each, hung out in the oven for 9 minutes, and came out perfectly poached.

The full technique is included in the recipe below.  The best part is that poached eggs can be prepped in advance, so I poached my eggs on Sunday and will have an egg a day each day at lunch with my lentils.  I love super easy lunch prep!

black lentil bowl with poached egg

black lentil bowl with poached egg

Black Lentil Bowl with a Poached Egg

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup black beluga lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Chop the onion, celery, and carrots finely. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and saute the onion, celery, and carrot mix until the vegetables start to soften (about 10 minutes). Add the salt and the dried lentils. Stir a few times and then add the water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 20 - 25 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
  2. To oven poach the eggs: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In each muffin cup, add one tablespoon water. Break each egg directly into the muffin cup. Sprinkle with pepper and salt. Bake for 9 minutes or until the white is set and the yolk is still runny. Use a slotted spoon to remove each poached egg and drain on a paper towel. Eggs can be prepared up to five days in advance.
  3. Recipe makes 4 servings. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/black-lentil-bowl-with-a-poached-egg/

This post is linked to My Legume Love Affair #103, hosted by The Big Sweet Tooth (conceptualized by Susan and hosted by Lisa at Lisa’s Kitchen).  I’ll be hosting in April – can’t wait!

It’s also linked up to #CookBlogShare, which is hosted this week by Sneaky Veg.  Check out all the great posts!

Hijacked By Twins

 

 

 

 

 

 

And you can find it linked up on Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Monday.

This recipe is getting around!

 

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

The first week back to work after a long break feels like the perfect time for a blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad.  I think about food a lot (no surprise from a food blogger).  I thought about food a lot before I started blogging.  One of the things that I’m always curious about is the first time a human being thought to eat something.  This always comes to mind for me, for example, when I eat an artichoke or some other food that seems otherwise inedible until it is transformed into something we eat.  I also think a lot about food trends and how some foods aren’t regularly eaten anymore.

One of those foods features prominently in my blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad.  The bitter greens category includes arugula, chard, and endive, but also includes dandelion greens.  When I was growing up, dandelions were a weed.  My grandparents, my mother, neighbors all spent a lot of gardening time trying to eradicate dandelions from the lawn and the garden.  I did the same with my first house, digging them up and tossing them into the trash.  At some point along the way, however, I learned that dandelions are edible.  I would occasionally cultivate a few plants in my garden, harvesting the greens and sautéing them to toss over pasta.  As it turns out, all the parts of a dandelion are edible, but that’s a story for another blog post.

Knowing that dandelions are edible and were, in fact, first brought to the US as a food and that dandelions evolved 30 million years ago (Wikipedia), makes me sad to think that we have relegated them to the status of a noxious weed in our gardens.  Dandelion greens can be eaten raw in salads. The taste is a bit bitter, but also has a hint of taste that reminds me of the smell of a dandelion flower in the sun.  The greens evoke some pretty serious nostalgia for me of lying in the grass as a kid in the summer.  That memory makes this a perfect salad for a frigidly cold January day here in the PNW.  It raises my hope level that spring really is right around the corner.

For now, dandelion greens feature prominently in this blood orange, walnut, and bitter greens salad. I found my dandelion greens at Whole Foods.  Many natural grocers carry these greens in the winter.  You can also substitute other bitter greens for this salad – finely chopped chard would be lovely, as would arugula.  I also threw in a few strips of preserved lemon to brighten the salad and to add a bit of salt to cut the bitterness.

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

I prepared my salads for the week ahead of time.  Instead of drizzling the dressing over the whole salad, I put a couple of tablespoons at the bottom of each jar and then added the salad on top.  All I have to do is pour the salad out into a bowl once I’m at work.

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Bitter Greens Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 peeled and segmented blood oranges
  • 1 bunch bitter greens (dandelion greens, kale, or arugula or some combination of some or all)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 10 thin slices of preserved lemon
  • Blood Orange Dressing
  • Juice of one blood orange
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss gently. Combine the ingredients for the dressing in a small jar and close tightly. Shake to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/blood-orange-walnut-and-bitter-greens-salad/

This post is linked up to No Croutons Required.  Check out the hosts’ pages at Tinned Tomatoes and Lisa’s Kitchen.

And is also linked to Kahakai Kitchen: Souper Sunday.  Check out all the great soups, sandwiches and salads!

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

I had a lovely and very foodie indulgent vacation, so it’s definitely time to go back to healthy little lunches, including Kale Spinach Saag Paneer.  Saag Paneer is one of my favorite dishes.  I love using a blend of both spinach and kale.  I found a beautiful bunch of Redbor kale, which is a spectacular shade of purple and threw that in with a large handful of spinach.  The result is a spicy, fragrant mixture of greens.  I’m also feeling ahead of the game on the 2017 food trend for purple vegetables, since I cooked this on New Year’s Day.

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer is a fairly quick dish to put together.  The kale and spinach can be cooked while the rice is cooking.

Making Paneer

You can definitely substitute store bought paneer for the home made paneer in this recipe.  Fresh paneer takes just two ingredients, but is best made the day before and refrigerated overnight, so takes a little bit of planning.  That said, how impressive is it to be able to tell your workmates that you made your own cheese?

Homemade Paneer

I love how the paneer takes on the waffled texture of the cheesecloth.  I also am a big fan of the transformation of milk into whey and curds when an acid is added.  In this case, I use white vinegar to make my paneer.  I’ve tried lemon juice, but haven’t had the same success.  I also don’t salt it when I’m making this recipe, as the kale and spinach saag paneer is well salted from the kale and spinach.  I do, however, take the extra time to lightly brown the paneer.

The lightly browned paneer goes right into the kale and spinach.  This recipe freezes really well, so it’s a great candidate for lunch.  Kale spinach saag paneer is also a light meal and pairs well with a salad or some naan bread.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!  Hope everyone is having a great start to 2017!

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

 

Kale Saag Paneer

 

Kale Spinach Saag Paneer

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • Paneer cheese, chopped into squares
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • For the Paneer
  • 1/2 gallon milk - whole milk works best, but you can also make this with 1% or 2%
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar

Instructions

  1. If you are making paneer, start with this first. Bring the milk to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir constantly so that the milk doesn't burn. When the milk reaches a full boil, take it off the heat and pour in the vinegar. Let the milk sit for 10 minutes so that the whey and curds have time to separate.
  2. When the curds and whey have separated, strain out the curds into a cheesecloth lined strainer. You can keep the whey and use it in place of water for other recipes. Let the curds drain for at least an hour, pressing them by putting a bowl over them with a heavy can in the bowl. Refrigerate the paneer overnight.
  3. Making the Kale Spinach Saag Paneer
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick saute pan or a cast iron skillet. Add the onions, and cook until they are soft and fragrant. Add in the kale and cook for 7 minutes. Add the spinach and cook for another 7 - 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are wilted. Add the spices from the turmeric to the salt and stir well. Add the half and half and simmer for 7 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in another non-stick skillet. Add the paneer and cook for a few minute on each side until it is browned.
  6. Serve the kale spinach saag paneer over the rice, with the paneer evenly divided between each serving.
  7. Serves 3 - 4
  8. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/kale-spinach-saag-paneer/

This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out each week’s list of great recipes!

Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

winter-squash-stuffed-shells

I am a huge fan of all things winter squash (as you’ve probably figured out), making this recipe, a winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto, one of my absolute favorite December lunches.  This has everything I most love about the fall and winter: the slightly sweet squash, salty cheese, pasta, and pesto made with kale, spinach and walnuts.  Since there is a small chance that there might be a little bit of snow in this part of the PNW tomorrow, this comfort food just seems perfect.

I used a combination of red kuri (my favorite) and the rest of the pumpkin puree I’d frozen earlier in the fall.  Fortunately, I still have one more pie pumpkin in the garage – I figure we still have a few more months of cold weather and might need to make some more pumpkin bread.  I also used a bit of the sage that is still growing out in the herb bed.

The pesto consists of both kale and spinach – really, you could use just about any combination of greens.  I also used walnuts, because it’s what I had on hand.  Pesto can be made out of any combination of herb or green, nuts, garlic, and Parmesan or other hard cheese.  I love to try out different combinations.  I also have started hand chopping my pesto – I think it helps the herbs or greens retain their integrity and not get mushy like they might in a food processor.  The taste is a lot closer to pesto I had in Rome many years ago, so I enjoy it for the nostalgic value, as well.

All together, the winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto takes about forty minutes to make, and most of that time is hands off while it bakes.  It’s well worth the time.  It also makes a great freezer meal – making it very appealing for lunch.  Since it’s vegetarian, it would also make a great main dish for the holiday festivities for vegetarian friends and family.

winter squash stuffed shells with greens pesto

Winter Squash Stuffed Shells with Greens Pesto

Ingredients

    For the shells:
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree or similar winter squash puree
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 + 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 box of large pasta shells
  • For the pesto
  • 1 cup tightly packed greens (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bring a pot of water in a medium saucepan to a boil. Add the shells and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.
  3. In the meantime, combine the squash puree, the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the parmesan cheese, the sage, and the pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Drain the shells in a colander and rinse under cold water. When the shells are cool enough to handle, stuff each with about 2 tablespoons of the squash and cheese mixture. Place the shells in a single layer in a 9 X 13 baking pan. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese gets lightly browned on top.
  5. While the shells are baking, prepare the pesto. Put the greens, the walnuts, the garlic, and the parmesan in the middle of a cutting board and gently chop until the ingredients are finely diced and combined. Put the pesto in a small bowl and add the olive oil, gently combining.
  6. Serve the stuffed shells with the pesto and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/winter-squash-stuffed-shells-greens-pesto/

This post has been linked to Tinned Tomatoes: Meatless Monday.  Check out her great posts!

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

After days of indulging in holiday foods for Thanksgiving, it’s time for me to get back to salads for lunch, like this Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing.  One of the many great things about living in this part of the PNW is that the climate is mild enough a winter garden is possible.  This year, we have a small pot of winter lettuce, some spinach, a few cauliflower, and some lacinato kale growing.  I have to say though, I much prefer lacinato kale’s alternative name: dinosaur kale.  I can completely see this leafy green with its bumpy foliage being munched on by dinosaurs in prehistoric times.

Here’s what mine is looking like right now:

lacinato-kale

I’ll admit that the winter garden veggies don’t grow as fast as their summer counterparts, but there’s still something lovely about going out this close to December and harvesting greens for a salad, which is exactly what I did to make this kale persimmon salad with black garlic dressing.

I’m also still mildly obsessed with black garlic, so couldn’t resist seeing how it would pair with some balsamic vinegar in a dressing.  The combination is absolutely yummy, especially with the sweet counterpart of the persimmon and the crunch of the chopped almonds.

kale-persimmon-salad-with-stacked-persimmons

Kale Persimmon Salad with Black Garlic Dressing

Ingredients

    For the Salad
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale
  • 2 fuyu persimmons
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • For the Dressing
  • 1 large black garlic clove (or 3 small ones)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Smash the black garlic into a paste. Add the black garlic paste, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper into a jar and close with a lid. Shake until combined.
  2. Tear or cut the kale into ribbons. Dress with two to three tablespoons of the dressing and work the dressing into the kale with your hands. This softens up the kale considerably. Chop the persimmon into a small dice and add to the kale/dressing mixture. Top with the almonds and enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://fixmealittlelunch.com/kale-persimmon-salad-with-black-garlic-dressing/

Squash Blossom Quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche

I planted one summer squash plant this year for one purpose alone: to have access to squash blossoms for this squash blossom quiche.  Squash blossoms seem like they have become a thing, like kale and bacon.  I suspect I was first introduced to the fact you could eat squash blossoms through reading Martha Stewart’s magazine, but I think the first time I actually tried one was at a coastal restaurant that served them stuffed with shrimp and cheese and deep fried them.  At the same time, we had a farmer at our local market that would come to market each weekend with trays and trays of both baby zucchini and squash blossoms, so I decided to experiment and see what I could make of them. 

The simplest preparation for these that I cook is to throw several into a quesadilla.  The blossoms add a mildly peppery taste.  The most complex preparation that I cook with these is this quiche.  I really like the combination of egg and blossom, and this is a recipe that freezes up nicely, so is great for lunch with a simple salad to accompany it.  It also makes a great weekend brunch recipe.

squash blossoms 2

quiche pre-bake

squash blossom quiche baked

plated squash blossom quiche

Squash Blossom Quiche
Serves 4

4 small potatoes (or 1 large)
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup Swiss cheese (or other mild cheese)
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 or 5 squash blossoms, stamens removed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice the potatoes to ¼ inch thickness.  Layer them on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper and drizzle with the olive oil.  Bake for 25 minutes or until both sides are slightly crispy.

Drop the temperature on the oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, combine the eggs and milk and beat until combined.  Add the Swiss cheese, salt and black pepper and stir until combined. 

In a non-stick cake pan or pie pan, layer the potato rounds so that they overlap a bit and cover the bottom of the pan.  Gently pour the egg, milk, and cheese mixture over the potatoes.  The potatoes may float – they’ll settle into the bottom as the quiche cooks.  Lay the squash blossoms on top.  Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until the egg is fully set (check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick into the middle of the quiche – if it comes out clean, the quiche is done). 

Veggie Spring Rolls

Veggie Spring Rolls

These veggie spring rolls are a great antidote to the lethargic days of late summer (even though summer can be very late in arriving in the PNW.)  Now that the days are creeping into the high eighties and nineties and the dog and I both decide it’s time to lay in the grass and become solar charged, I have little interest in spending too much time in the kitchen.  I’m also faced with the abundance of the season: the basil is on hyper-drive to produce, I have two bags of cucumbers in the fridge (read why here), and carrots and radishes are readily available in the farmer’s market.  Spring rolls are a quick and easy solution.

Some tips: you’ll often read that spring rolls really need to be eaten the day they are made.  I have had good experience, however, making up a few spring rolls the night before and taking them for my lunch.  One trick I learned in most recent spring roll making venture is that you can separate each roll with a little bit of parchment paper so they don’t stick together.  The rice wrapper does not adhere to the parchment paper, making it very easy to pull off each without tearing the wrapper.

The other tip is that while many spring roll recipes call for Thai Basil, if you don’t happen to have Thai Basil on hand, regular basil will do fine as a substitute.  I made one batch with purple basil, which tasted great, but made for a slightly peculiar looking spring roll.

Feel free to experiment with what you put into your rolls.  You could also add lettuce, jicama, asparagus, snap peas, and rice noodles.  These can definitely be a catch all for whatever produce you have laying around.

spring rollsspring roll purple basil

Veggie Spring Rolls
Serves 2 – 3

1 or 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into matchstick sized pieces
1 cucumber, peeled, and sliced into matchstick sized pieces
3 radishes, sliced into matchstick sized pieces
1 package of baked tofu, sliced into pieces the size of the vegetables
1 bunch cilantro or basil
8 – 10 rice skin wrappers
Soy Sauce, Sesame Oil and Siracha for dipping sauce

Fill a pie pan or similar shallow dish with hot water (hot tap water is fine).  Dip a rice skin wrapper in the water and let sit for thirty seconds or until the rice wrapper becomes pliable.

Place the wrapper on a plate and place several leaves of cilantro or basil in the middle.  Place three or four of each of the vegetable sticks on top of the cilantro and basil.  Place three or four of the baked tofu on top of the veggies.  Take the bottom of the rice wrapper and fold up.  Do the same with the top.  Roll the remainder of the wrapper from one side to the other, making sure all the filling is tucked in.

Complete the above steps for the remaining rice wrappers, veggies, and tofu.

Serve with a mixture of soy sauce, sesame oil, siracha to dip.

Show
Hide