Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Italian Rice Salad

I finally made this for dinner last night and it was way more delicious than it sounded. And I already thought it sounded good! A good summery recipe, too.

Everyday Italian Rice Salad
from The Nourishing Gourmet

2 cups of brown long grain rice (soaked 7 hrs before hand in water and 2 T. of whey/lemon juice/buttermilk is preferable)
4 carrots, washed, peeled and shredded
4 celery, thinly sliced
1 cup of frozen peas
4 eggs
1/3 cup of raw apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
1 teaspoon sea salt
plenty of freshly ground pepper

1-Make rice according to the package’s instructions. I use 4 cups of homemade chicken stock to 2 cups of rice. After the soaking period add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil, cover and turn down heat to the lowest setting. Cook for about 50 minutes.
2-Meanwhile, put together the dressing. Simply pour and toss everything into a mason jar and put on a lid and shake, or whisk it in a small bowl. Then prepare the vegetables.
3-When the rice is done, take off of the heat and remove the lid. You will want to combine the rice and dressing while the rice is still warm so that the flavor permeates it, but I don’t like to do it when the rice is too hot, otherwise it starts to cook the vegetables, which you want nice and crisp. If you don’t have time to let it cool a bit, I will sometimes dump it onto a large plate or jellyroll pan and flip the rice mixture every few minutes to let it cool faster.
4-When the rice is still warm, but not hot. Scramble your eggs. In a small saucepan, add a little olive oil and place over medium heat. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, and pour in the pan. I like to stir my eggs with a fork as it prevents the eggs from clumping into large pieces. Cook until the eggs are still moist, but cooked through and remove from heat.
5-Put it all together! Add the rice, peas, and eggs to a large bowl. For the frozen peas, simply rinse with hot water in a sieve until they are room temperature and add to the warm rice, which will heat them slightly. Pour in about 3/4’s of your dressing and gently stir. Then stir in the carrots and celery. Taste test, you may need to add the rest of the dressing now, or some more salt and pepper. As the salad sits, it will absorb more of the dressing, so you may need to refresh it with a bit of vinegar and olive oil.
Enjoy this salad, warm, room temperature, or cold.

Roasted Vegetable Torte

Is the Barefoot Contessa going to need to sue me because I keep retyping all of the recipes from her book on this blog?

This is such a fun recipe because so much of the recipe is just approximations and there are so many things you could layer into the torte (pesto, goat cheese, fresh mozzerella, oh my!), but it's just as good on its own.

I halved the recipe because we had a small group for lunch today, and it involves much less layering :)

Roasted Vegetable Torte
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook

2 zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices I grated mine
1 red onion, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 t minced garlic
Good olive oil I ended up using about 1/4 cup total
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 red bell peppers, halved, cored, and seeded
2 yellow bell peppers, halved, cored, and seeded
1 eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/4 inch slices (1 1/2 pounds)
1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the zucchini, onions, garlic, and 2 T olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat for 10 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Season with salt and pepper.

Brush the red and yellow peppers and eggplant with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast on a baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes, until soft but not browned.

In a 6 inch round cake pan, place each vegetable in a single overlapping layer, sprinkling Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste between each of the layers of vegetables I didn't do this, I figured I had salted and peppered enough while I cooked the vegetables.

Begin with half of the eggplant, then layer half of the zucchini and onions, then all of the red peppers, then all of the yellow peppers, then the rest of the zucchini and onions, and finally the rest of the eggplant.

Cover the top of the vegetables with a 6 inch round of parchment paper or waxed paper. Place a 6 inch flat disk (another cake pan or the bottom of the false bottom tart pan) on top and weight it with a heavy jar. Place on a plate or baking sheet (it will leak) and chill completely. Drain the liquids, place on a platter, and serve at room temperature.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ann Arbor's Finest Molasses Crinkles

I made these tonight, and even though they are more likely enjoyed in the fall I am sure they will disappear quickly from the cookie jar.

Quick notes: grass-fed butter gives you vitamin k2, sprouted flour reduces phytic acid, rapadura is whole cane sugar with all the vitamins and minerals found in the plant.

Ann Arbor’s Finest Molasses Crinkles
from The M Den in Ann Arbor

¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened (I used Kerrygold, it is grass-fed)
1 cup packed brown sugar (I used rapadura)
¼ cup molasses (I used unsulphured)
1 egg
2¼ cup sifted flour (I used sprouted flour)
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
½ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup granulated sugar, for dipping (I used rapadura)

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add molasses and egg; combine. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to the mixing bowl and blend well. Remove bowl and chill for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. (I skipped the chilling, and just scooped directly onto the cookie sheet with a small ice cream scoop.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove dough from fridge and roll into 1-inch balls. Put sugar into a shallow bowl and dips the tops of the balls in. (I just sprinkled the rapadura on top.) Place on parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy! Go Blue!

Simple Kid-Friendly Spaghetti Squash

In our quest to reduce our meat intake and include more vegetables in our diet, I found a delicious recipe that is really kid friendly.

First, you start by taking your kids to the produce market. "I heard there is a squash that looks like a watermelon, but it's yellow, and when it's cooked, the inside is like spaghetti!" Then they can help you find it. Pick the most yellow squash without any soft spots or bruises.

I didn't know how easy it is to cook a spaghetti squash. Just prick it with a fork and bake it at 350 for an hour. (You're supposed to put it in a baking dish, I guess to catch any drips, but I forgot this step)

  • 1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup Butter or Olive Oil (I used olive oil)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
After you bake the squash for 1 hr, let it cool until you can touch it. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Use a fork to shred the rest of it into a bowl. Add the other ingredients.

Tonight I served this with Caesar salad, and a marinara sauce (a little pasta noodles for the kids in case they didn't like it). I used the Cherry Tomato sauce from Fresh and Easy.

I liked the sauce on top of the squash. It's way better than I expected.

I will definately be using this recipe again. It's one of the few that's, delicious, easy, and cheap. (It's also low prep.)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Curried Couscous

I'm not usually a huge fan of couscous, but I love this recipe and was so excited to have a new summer recipe. This with the Indonesian Ginger chicken grilled will be a mainstay for us this summer.

1 1/2 cups couscous
1 T unsalted butter I used olive oil
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt I think full fat Greek yogurt made this dish
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 t white wine vinegar
1 t curry powder
1/4 t ground turmeric I left this out
1 1/2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated carrots I was missing this, so I used 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currents I used craisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup small-diced red onion I dropped this and used a bunch of scallions instead

Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly I used Saran Wrap and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onion. Mix well and tase for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.

Indonesian Ginger Chicken/Tofu

I kept putting off trying this recipe because it asks for 1 cup of honey (expensive!) and 1/2 cup of peeled and grated ginger (time intensive!), but really, it's worth it, especially if you half the recipe. The recipe has the chicken baked, which I did, but I think it'll be equally tasty grilled (I'd reserve the marinade and boil it for 5-10 minutes and serve over the chicken). I also can't wait to try this with tofu!

Indonesian Ginger Chicken
Barefoot Contessa

1 cup honey
3/4 c soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8-12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
2 chickens (3 1/2 pounds each), quartered with backs removed

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in a large, shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 1/2 hour. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees (oops, I forgot to do this, but it turned out fine). Continue baking for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when you cut between the leg and the thigh and the sauce is a rich dark brown.

Try this with Curried Couscous.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Broccoli and Cheddar Soup

So, we Arizonans are living up the last days of soup weather (because, you know, it's only in the low 80's). Nate isn't a soup fan, but he loved this one. I'm sure a big part of this recipe is because it's a tried and true one from my lovely friend, Kate, but I think homemade chicken stock played a big part in its success.

Kate Holbrook

1/2 lb fresh broccoli
3 Tbs butter
1/4 c onion (1/2 small)
3 Tbs flour
1 (14-oz) can chicken broth (or vegetable broth, Swansons either way)
2 c milk or half and half
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 c cheddar cheese, grated

Cook broccoli in microwave. Meanwhile, melt butter in saucepan and sauté onion until just translucent. Add flour and stir for 2-3 minutes.

Slowly add broth. Slowly add milk, whisking constantly. Add salt and broccoli. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, garnish with cheese.


Goodness Gracious! How have I not posted this recipe yet? We make this at least once a month. When Asher was on his very limited allergen-free diet, we made it once or twice a week.

This hummus looks lovely if you take the time to toast the pine nuts and cumin seeds and make the parsley oil, but I never do. This hummus is delightful on its own with pita bread or tortilla chips.

Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts, Cumin Seeds, and Parsley Oil
Gourmet Cookbook

1/4 c packed fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
3 T pine nuts
1 t cumin seeds
2 (19 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 garlic cloves
2/3 C well-stirred tahini
2/3 C water
5 T fresh lemon juice or to taste
1 t salt

Put rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Puree 1/4 C parsley with 1/4 C oil in a blender or small food processor. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on solids; discard solids.

Toast pine nuts and cumin seeds in small baking pan in oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 10 min. Let cool.

Combine 1/2 c chickpeas with garlic in a food processor and process until garlic is finely minced. Add tahini, water, lemon juice, salt, remaining chickpeas, and remaining 1/2 c olive oil and puree until smooth.

Strip leaves from remaining parsley sprigs. Divide hummus between two shallow dishes and smooth opts. Drizzle with parsley oil and scatter parsley, pine nuts, and cumin seeds. Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chicken Sausage, Broccoli, Parmesan, and Brown Rice dinner

A wonderfully easy dinner (especially if you already have the rice cooked) from Picky Palate. I added a red onion when I sauteed the bell pepper just because and added a little chicken stock I had left over (like 1/2 cup) with the water when I cooked the rice. With dairy-free chicken sausage and leaving off the cheese, this makes a handy Top-8 allergy free dinner.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Leslie's Cornbread

1 C flour
1 C cornmeal
1/2 C sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t salt

Mix together then combine with the next ingredients (mixed together as well).

1 egg
1 C milk
3 T oil

Pour into an 8 x 8 pan. Bake at 375 for 20-25 min.

I'm serving this with pinto beans this week.