Turkey Lettuce Wraps + Cabbage Slaw

Here's a healthy, gluten free, dinner.  We've been eating it all week.  It's full of flavor and texture. Perfect combination of tender meaty turkey, earthy mushrooms, and crunchy veggies. Serve with brown rice for a more substantial meal.  

serves 4.

Turkey + Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with Cabbage Slaw

for the wraps

2 tablespoons low sodium tamari soy sauce

2 teaspoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon  rice vinegar

1 lb ground turkey breast

s + p

spritz of grape seed oil 

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 cup shelled edamame

2 head of boston or gem lettuce leaves

for the slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green)

2 cup thinly sliced carrots

1 cup thinly sliced jicama

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon togarashi

1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds

salt, to taste

Whisk tamari soy sauce, hoisin and rice vinegar, set aside.

Season turkey with salt and pepper.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  In a couple sprays of grape seed oil, brown turkey.  Once mostly cooked, push to side of pan.  Add a few more sprays of oil to bare side of pan.  Add minced garlic, mushrooms and edamame.  Cook, stirring, one minute.  Add previously whisked sauce, cover and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir and serve with lettuce leaves and slaw. 

To make the slaw: toss cabbage, carrots, jicama, olive oil, rice vinegar, togarashi, sesame seeds and salt together.   

Steak + Broccoli Stir Fry

Skirt steak might be my favorite kind of steak.  It has a great beefy flavor and not so much connective tissue that it get tough from high heat stir frying. When it comes to stir fries, a wok is great but I don't have one so I like to use a large iron skillet.  

A high heat, neutrally flavored oil is another thing you're going to need.  Grape seed oil is my favorite but canola, peanut, soy or corn are other options.  To keep things light, I like to keep it in a spritz bottle.  This way a couple squirts easily coat the pan.  I like this bottle from amazon.

serves 4.

Steak + Broccoli Stir Fry

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1/4 cup reduced sodium tamari soy sauce

1/4 cup water

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

grape seed oil, as needed

1 lb broccoli, peeled, sliced

1 lb skirt steak, bite sized pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1" ginger, peeled, minced

4 scallions, whites only, minced

2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, stems + seeds removed, minced

Whisk together oyster sauce, soy sauce, water, rice vinegar and sesame oil.  Set aside. 

In a large cast iron skillet, heat a small splash of grape seed oil over medium high heat and brown broccoli, about 4 minutes.  Cover and cook until al dente, about 2 minutes. Set aside. 

Oil pan, as needed.  Add steak to pan.  Cook until pieces are well browned on all sides.  Set aside with broccoli.    

Oil pan.  Saute garlic, scallions, ginger, carrots and chiles until carrots are softened, about 3 minutes.  Add broccoli, steak and reserved sauce.  Cook, stirring until sauce has thickened and coats beef and veggies. Serve hot with rice. 

Steak Sandwich

This is a great quick dinner.  Takes about 30 minutes to whip up.  I picked up the steak already shaved from Trader Joe's but you can ask your butcher to give you a 50:50 mix of rib and round. Serves 4.

Steak Sandwiches

dash grape seed oil

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, very thinly sliced

s + p

1 lb shaved steak

1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary 

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

sliced or grated cheese

mustard of choice

4 buns

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Warm oil and melt butter.  Add onions and peppers.  Cook, stirring frequently, until soft and a bit caramelized.  Transfer to bowl and set aside.

Turn heat up to medium high.  Add steak to pan, season with salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme. Give it a good sear before stirring or flipping.  Once cooked to your liking, stir in onions, peppers and Worcestershire sauce.  Assemble 4 sandwiches.  Wrap in foil and warm in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.      

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

Another slow cooker recipe!  I really like the idea of coming home from work to a pot of this stewy chicken ready to be stuffed into taco shells, wrapped in tortillas or served over cilantro brown rice and topped with grated cheese, chopped lettuce, sour cream and sliced avocado.  

Serves 4-6.

Slow Cooker Chicken for Tacos, burritos...

dash olive oil

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno chile, seeded, minced

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 cup chicken stock

1 14oz tin black beans, rinsed, drained

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

s + p

lime juice, to taste

In a bowl, stir together onion, garlic, chile, tomatoes, cumin, chile powders, sugar, oregano and stock, season with salt and pepper.  Add drizzle a bit of olive oil in bottom of slow cooker.  Place chicken in bottom of slow cooker. Pour seasoned tomato mixture over chicken.  Cook Low for 6-7 hours.  Chicken will be very tender and shred easily with a fork.  Stir in beans and corn, the stirring will break up chicken into bite sized pieces.  Cook until heated through, about 10 minutes. Drain off excess liquid.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and lime juice. 

Quinoa + Cauliflower Kosheri

Here's a weird one for you.  I had never used the middle eastern herb and spice blend za'atar before and was surprised by it's herbal earthiness.  It's the main flavor in this dish which I'm loosely calling a Quinoa Kosheri.  Kosheri is an vegetarian Egyptian dish made of grains and lentils.  

Roasted cauliflower is tossed with cooked quinoa, lentils, brown onions and a long chile pepper for a spicy healthy vegetarian, gluten free dinner.  

Serves 4.

Quinoa + Cauliflower Kosheri

1 tablespoon olive oil

s + p

zest of half a lemon

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces

1/3 cup red quinoa  (any color is ok)

1/2 cup green lentils

1 yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon za'atar

1 long hot chile pepper, thinly sliced

lemon juice, to taste

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest.  Arrange on baking tray.  Roast 20 minutes, toss and roast 15 minutes more or until cauliflower is tender. 

Combine quinoa with 2/3 cup water.  Boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until water has evaporated and quinoa is tender, about 15 minutes. 

Combine lentils in a pot of water. Boil, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered until lentils are tender but not falling apart.  Strain.

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add onions, cook until nicely browned.  Stir occasionally to prevent burning and promote even cooking.  Stir in garlic. Cook about 1 minutes, stirring.  Stir in za'atar, chile pepper, cooked cauliflower, cooked quinoa and cooked lentils.  Cook until hot throughout.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

Slow Cooker Almost Cochinita Pibil (a.ka. Pork Tacos)

I'm saying it: I just don't eat enough pork.  It almost always comes in taco form and this recipe does not disappoint.  The pork is citrusy, flavorful, a little spicy and prefect for tacos, enchiladas or bowls over rice.  It's my slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish, Cochinita Pibil.  It's traditionally pork marinated in achiote paste and citrus, slowly roasted in banana leaves.  This one is a little more simple and doesn't require anything more than a slow cooker. 

Achiote is a spice made from ground annatto seeds.  It's what gives orange american cheddar cheese it's color if you were wondering.  It's flavor is quite mild, paprika may be used as a substitute.

Serve as tacos on corn tortillas with minced onions and cilantro leaves. And hot sauce.  I like to whip up a pickled onion by marinating a thinly sliced red onion in red wine vinegar and salt about 30 minutes.  

Serves 4-6.

Slow Cooker Cochinita Pibil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon achiote powder

2 1/2 pork loin roast, fat trimmed, 2" pieces

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup diced white onion

1 chopped jalapeno, stemmed, chopped

1 bay leaf

about 3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

juice of 1 lime

Mix salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, chile powder, garlic powder, onion powder and ground achiote in a large bowl.  Toss pork pieces in spice blend until evenly coated.  Set aside. 

Place garlic cloves, onion, jalapeno, bay leaf and seasoned pork in bowl of slow cooker.  Pour in enough orange juice to come up 2/3's way up the pork.  Add lime juice. (more oj or even water can be added.)  Cook on High until pork is fork tender, about 4 hours.  Shred meat, cover and cook about 20 minutes more.  Serve hot.    

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

I got a SLOW COOKER!  I'm pretty excited about this one.  Mostly because my favorite meals are stewy, one pot affairs; best eaten over rice.  I think this puts us in slow cooker territory.  This thing's not going into the cupboard but staying on the counter all season.  I'm really looking forward to prepping meals in the am hours and coming home to a hot dinner. 

Slow Cooker Chicken Curry

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, 1" pieces

8 oz potatoes, 1" pieces

8 oz carrots, peeled, 1" pieces

2 tablespoons minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

1 cup light coconut milk

1 cup water

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 teaspoon garam marsala

1 tablespoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon fennel powder

1/2 teaspoon fenugreek

s + p

1 cup chopped green beans

Stir everything, except the green beans, together in the bowl of a slow cooker.  Make sure it's all evenly mixed.  Cover and set to high.  Cook about 4 hours undisturbed: chicken will be cooked through and potatoes tender. Stir in green beans, recover and cook 30 more minutes.  Serve with rice, if desired.    

Fall Farro Salad with Fennel + Pear

I'm not really into grain salads but this one has so many foods I do like.  Like fennel - I just don't use Fennel enough.  Eat this on it's own or serve it tossed with the kale.  

Hot chile sesame oil and tamari soy sauce, together, have become my new favorite condiment.  They make everything taste so perfect.  So, of course I drizzles both over this and it did not disappoint.  Give it a try!

Serves 4.

Fall Farro Salad with Fennel + Pear

2/3 cups uncooked farro

1/2 a fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced

1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced

1 pear, cored, chopped

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

1/2 cup feta cheese

olive oil

s + p  (easy on the S - there's a bit of salt from the cheese and seeds already)

lemon juice

1 bunch kale leaves, chopped (optional)

1 clove garlic, minced (optional)

Combine farro with about 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and cook until farro is tender but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Drain.  

Toss farro with fennel, onion, pear, sunflower seeds, feta and a drizzle of olive oil.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. 

If using kale, steam kale in 1/4 cup water in a covered pan until tender, about 2 minutes.  Drain, return pan to stove, push kale to side of pan. On empty side, cook garlic in dash of oil, about 1 minute.  Stir together with kale.  Season with a squeeze of lemon and a small pinch salt. Toss with farro salad.

 

Roasted Pepper + Sausage Pasta

A nice alternative to a tomato sauce pasta night.  Roasted bell peppers, red onion and pork sausage make this perfect on a chillier night.  And isn't roasting peppers fun?  I love rubbing off the charred skin and seeing how their texture has totally changed.  Here's a tip:  yellow and orange peppers are almost impossible to tell the difference between once they have been roasted.  

Use any type of sausage that sounds good to you.  I recommend italian or herbed styles.

Serves 6.

Roasted Pepper + Sausage Pasta

8 oz pasta (your choice, I like spaghetti)

3 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced

10 oz pork sausage, casing discarded

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

s + p

grated parmesan cheese

Boil pasta until al dente.  Drain, set aside.  Turn gas range onto high.  Place whole bell peppers directly onto range. Blacken completely on all sides.  Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.  Rub off skins, discard stem and seeds.  Slice into strips.  Set aside. 

In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add onions, cook until soft.  Add sausage, cook completely.  Add garlic, oregano and chile flakes, cook, stirring, about 1 minute.  Add cooked pasta and roasted pepper slices.  Cook until all is hot. Transfer to bowl and toss with cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 

 

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

This is a one pot meal.  Minimal prep, mostly unattended cooking.  Like everything on this blog, we're going to eat it in a bowl with sautéed kale.  This would also be a great burrito filling.  I like burritos.  

Serves 4.

Mexican Turkey + Quinoa Skillet

1 lb ground lean turkey breast

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

1 15 oz tin diced tomatoes

15 oz water

1 15oz tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

In a large skillet, over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft.  Add turkey and spices, breaking it up meat with spoon, cook until no longer pink.  Stir in quinoa, corn, tomatoes and water.  Bring to a simmer and cover.  Cook until thick and most of the water is evaporated, about 20 minutes.  Stir in beans to until warmed thru.  

Serve with tortillas, chips, avocado, sour cream, grated cheese, picked jalapeños... whatever you got.

 

Greek Chicken Wraps + Marinade

I know, you just saw the greek chicken burgers a couple weeks ago.  But I did mention that I'm obsessed with that medley of flavors.  It's so summery.  Perfect of the grill and eating outside. I'm not ready to let go of summer.  If you're one of the many who are declaring "I'm ready for Fall!" I'm not with you on this.  You can keep your sweater weather, your layering of clothing, your sand free lives, your pumpkin spice, your pork recipes, your sensibly stored patio furniture cushions, your apple picking and your beautiful changing foliage - OK, maybe Fall is great.  I'm won over by the pumpkin stuff, the pork recipes and the fact that apple picking is usually followed by candy apple making and eating.  

Anyway... since it's still summer, let's marinate some chicken in my still favorite flavors and fire up the grill while wearing some cutoff shorts while we still can, yes?

Serves 4.

Mediterranean Chicken Marinade + Wraps

for the marinade

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

for serving

flat bread wraps or pita

chopped lettuce

feta cheese

tzatziki sauce

thinly sliced red onion tossed in red wine vinegar + salt

Whisk together all marinade ingredients. 

Pound chicken breasts so they are of even thickness.  (I just pound the top of the breast as thin as the thinner bottom. You can do this in a plastic bag or in plastic wrap for easier clean up.)

Toss chicken breast in marinade.  Cover and place in fridge.  Let marinate about 30 minutes.  

Remove chicken and cook.  In a pan or on a grill, about 5 minutes on each side over medium high heat.  Let rest 5 minutes and slice.  Make sandwich wraps with pita, lettuce, feta, tzatziki and pickled onions. 

 

 

 

Greek Chicken Burgers

I'm open to all types of burgers but at home I mostly make them with poultry.  Chicken and turkey burgers can be a little boring and very dry so it's helpful to spice them up a bit.  I recently discovered a popular greek place in our new neighborhood that I am now obsessed with.  The gyros are soooo dreamy.  (Yes, a sandwich can be dreamy!)  Because I'm too embarrassed to order from them every single night, I've been cooking up a lot of greek inspired foods for dinner here at home.  Think feta, red onion, olive oil, sea salt, spinach, garlic, lemon, parsley and oregano.  If you like what you're reading - this non-boring burger recipe is for you. 

Makes 4 burgers.

Greek Chicken Burgers

2 BIG handfuls of spinach leaves

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1/2 a lemon

s + p

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/3 - 1/2 cup feta

1 lb ground chicken

Cook spinach in a pan with a splash of water until it begins to wilt.  Remove from pan and squeeze out as much water as you can with your hands.  Chop.  

Combine spinach with all remaining ingredients except of chicken.  Add chicken, mix.  Form into 4 burger patties.  

Heat a skillet oven medium high heat.  Lightly oil skillet.  (I like to use a spray bottle filled with grape seed oil for things like this.)  Cook patties until browned, about 5 minutes, flip, cook until browned.  

 

 

Zucchini Pizzas

It's not pizza, but it is a gluten free, vegetable thing that will remind you of pizza.  This is perfect if you have any zucchini-zillas growing in your garden.  The wider the zucchini, the better.  I think this would also be great using portobello mushroom caps instead.  (Or in addition, you could mix and match your veggies!)

Serves 2-4.

Zucchini Pizza Bites

1 large, mega zucchini, cut into 3/4" slices

 olive oil

s + p

1 cup tomato sauce

1 - 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Toppings:  olives, onion, pepperoni...

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush both sides of zucchini slices with olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Arrange on baking tray.  Place in oven and cook 12 minutes.  

Remove from oven and top with sauce, cheese and desired toppings.  Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more.  

Vegan Bowl + Dill Mustard Sauce

Vegan bowls!  I love these.  Perfect for lunch because it has a little bit of everything.  This one has flavors of dill, mustard and caraway seed.  This recipe came about after visiting the Ithaca Farmer's Market and tasting several sauerkrauts by Crooked Carrot.  They make raw, live culture products using local produce.  I picked up their Original Kraut and immediately began working on a 'bowl' recipe suitable for this pristine, classic sauerkraut.  And here you have it.  

Also, if you haven't had tempeh - try it!  It has a firm chewy texture and an earthy taste.  It's made of fermented soy beans and has more protein and fiber than tofu.  

Serves 4.

Tempeh Vegan Bowl + Dill Mustard Sauce

for the bowl

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

8oz tempeh

4 large handfuls of chopped kale

small splash olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

pinch red chile flakes

lemon juice, to taste

1 cup quinoa

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

3 carrots, peeled into ribbons

1 cup sauerkraut

for the sauce

2 teaspoon olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 cups vegetable or chicken stock

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

s + p

fresh dill, finely chopped

Cook the tempeh: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice tempeh into 1/4 inch slices and drizzle with tamari.  Arrange on tray and bake 8 minutes or until golden brown.  

Cook kale:  Add about 1/4 cup water to a large saute pan.  Bring to a boil.  Add kale.  Cover and cook until kale wilts, about 1 minute.  Drain.  Return to medium high heat.  Push kale to one side of pan.  On the bare side, heat splash olive oil with minced garlic and chile flakes.  Cook until garlic softens and toss with kale.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  

Cook quinoa:  Combine quinoa and 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan.  Cover, bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat and simmer 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft.  Stir in poppy seeds.  

Cook mustard dill sauce:  In a saute pan, over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add shallots and caraway seeds.  Saute until shallots are soft and mixture is fragrant.  Turn up heat to high and add stock.  Boil until liquid is reduced by half.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Liberally, toss with quinoa and stir in as much dill as you like.  Save extra sauce of drizzling over finished bowls.  

Assemble the bowls:  Spoon dressed quinoa into bowl. Top with sautéed kale, tempeh, raw carrot ribbons and sauerkraut.  Drizzle with extra mustard sauce if you like. 

 

 

Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

IMG_9014.JPG

This was one of those 'I don't have a thing to make dinner with' situation.  (Also, an 'I do not want to go to the grocery store nor do I want to order in but I am very hungry for dinner' situation.  What can I say?  I can be difficult.)  I realized, I had, and just about always have, all the things I needed to make risotto.  Risotto is great.  It's so easy, just requires a bit of patience for stirring.  This one is punched up with tastes of lemon and fresh thyme.  

We ate this as a main course - remember?  Low fridge inventory/laziness - but It would be great served with grilled chicken or sautéed vegetables. 

Makes 2-4 servings. 

Lemon + Parmesan Risotto

1 tablespoon butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 cup aborio rice

1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup white vinegar

1 quart chicken stock (or vegetable, for all you veggies), kept hot on the stove

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

zest of 1/2 lemon

s + p

In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic thyme leaves and rice, stir to coat in butter and cook until rice is glossy and edges become translucent, about 2 minutes.  Add water and vinegar.  Cook, stirring until almost all evaporated.  

Add hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously until absorbed before the next 1/2 cup addition.  Continue adding stock, stirring, absorbing until rice is creamy and soft but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese and lemon zest.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.   

Lemongrass Beef Stew + Cabbage "Noodles"

Want to spend 3 hours making dinner?  Who doesn't!  Don't worry, this recipe has easy and minimal prep, otherwise simmering on the stove unattended.  This stew is full of south east asian flavors, rich and spicy.  

When browning the meat, start with a hot pan that is not too full.  If there are too many pieces of meat in the pan they will end up steaming without color.  We are looking for a deep brown, crust to form.  This adds a ton of flavor to the meat.  

We used cabbage instead of my usual preference of rice or noodles to keep the recipe healthier and gluten free.  A quick dip in boiling water milds the flavor and creates a chewy, tender texture making it perfect as a noodle substitute.  

I used a fresno chile but you could use a long green chile, hot cherry or jalapeno.   If you use anything spicier, think about decreasing the sambal oelek which is a popular spicy chile paste, found in grocery stores near the siracha.  

Serves 4.

Lemongrass Beef Stew + Cabbage Noodles

3 tablespoons high heat oil

2 lbs stew beef chunks, 2 " pieces

s + p

4 stalks lemongrass, outer leaves removed, chopped

2" ginger root, peeled, chopped

1 fresno chile, seeded, chopped

5 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped, divided

2 star anise pods

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons sambal oelek

3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

2 tablespoons fish sauce

32 oz beef stock

1 lb daikon radish, peeled, halved lengthwise, 1/2" slices

8oz carrots, peeled, 1 1/2" slices

lime juice, to taste

1/2 head cabbage, cored, thinly sliced

Heat a heavy pot, like a dutch oven, over medium high heat.  Add oil.  Season beef with salt and pepper.  Add to pot in 3 or 4 batches, careful not to over crowd the pan or the meat will not brown, only steam.  Brown meat well on all sides.  Transfer to plate, set aside.  

Add a splash more oil to the pot, if needed.  Add lemongrass, ginger, chile, garlic, 1/4 of the onion, star anise and cinnamon.  Cook until lightly browned, stirring often to avoid burning.  Add browned beef and all juices, tomato paste, sambal oelek, tamari, fish sauce and beef stock plus 1 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer.  Let simmer, covered, 2 1/2 hours.  

Remove beef.  Strain cooking liquid.  Discard solids.  Return beef and stained liquid to pot.  Add daikon, carrots and remaining 3/4 of onion.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer partially covered until daikon is tender, about 45 minutes.  

While stew is simmering, blanche cabbage:  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add cabbage.  Cook about 1 minute or until cabbage is crisp tender.  Strain.  When stew is done, ladle over portions of cabbage.  

 

 

 

bean burgers

It's nice to take a break from meat sometimes.  These happened because the other day I over cooked three batches of dried beans in a row.  What do you do with over cooked or extra beans?  This recipe is a good base and could be used with other beans.  Other spices or herbs could be used as well.

White Bean Burgers

8oz dried white beans, cooked until just breaking

1 small shallot, diced

1 clove garlic, diced

drizzle olive oil

1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped

3/4 cup corm meal

finely grated parmesan

1 egg, beaten

In a pan, saute shallot and garlic in olive oil about 5 minutes.  set aside.

In a bowl, lightly and unevenly mash beans keeping some in pieces and some smashed closer to a puree.  Add shallots and garlic.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until evenly combined.  Chill bean mixture in fridge about 20 minutes, this will help them form and stay together.  Remove from fridge.  Heat a griddle or pan to medium heat.  Form beans into burgers and cook evenly on each side until cooked through and light golden brown.

Eggplant Parm

I've been on the fence about eggplants for awhile but recently heard someone refer to it as a 'poor persons meat'  and for some reason found this appealing.  This is a traditional, straight forward recipe that requires no frying in oil.  When the eggplant comes out of the oven it should have a surprisingly light and pillowy quality.

Use any tomato sauce of your liking.  The one feature here is bright tasting and very quick.  (it's my new favorite for pizza as well.)

Eggplant Parmesan

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced

salt and pepper

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup bread crumbs, purchased or homemade

1/4 cup parmesan, grated

1/2 portion fresh mozzarella

few sprigs fresh basil

about 1 cup tomato sauce, purchased or homemade (see below)

Begin by salting the eggplant to release its water and tame its bitterness.  Do this by sprinkling/rubbing eggplant slices with salt, placing in a colander and weighing down.  (heavy pot with a bag of rice or cookbook in it always works well.)  Leave for 45 minutes.  Dry slices with a towel.

Heat oven to 475 degrees.  Set up an assembly line for yourself with the beaten egg in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper combined in another.  (easy on the salt as the eggplant slices are already salted.) Dip eggplant slices one by one into egg and then into bread crumb/parm mix coating well.  Place onto baking sheet.  Repeat with all slices and bake 15-20 minutes, until golden.

Remove from oven and turn on broiler, moving rack to highest position in oven.  On each slice, place a leaf or two of fresh basil, a spoonful of tomato sauce and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese.  Return to oven and broil, until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Quick  and Bright Tomato Sauce

1 tin whole peeled tomatoes

drizzle olive oil

2 cloves garlic, diced

salt and pepper

In a blender, puree tomatoes and all juices from can.  Set aside.  In a small pot, saute garlic in a small pan about 2 minutes.  Add tomato puree cook until warm.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Stuffed Peppers

These are a childhood favorite.  They were always pretty and delicious.  This recipe makes 4 large servings but peppers could be cut in half and served like little bell pepper boats, serving 6.

StuffedBell Peppers

4 red bell peppers, washed, seeded with tops cut off

1 1lb ground lean turkey

1 1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1 small yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

few springs fresh basil and parsley

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

generous grating of parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

tomato sauce 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine turkey, rice, onion, garlic, herbs, pepper flakes, s&p, parmesan cheese and worcestershire sauce.  In each pepper, add a spoonful of tomato sauce.  Fill peppers with turkey mixture and bake uncovered until meat thermometer inserted into the middle of each pepper reads 165 degrees, about 1 hour.  Serve warm and with tomato sauce.

Farro Summer Salad

Farro isn't the quickest thing to make.  It often requires soaking and then takes about an hour to cook but it's worth it.  The grain's firm, chewy texture and nutty profile make it a lovely substitute for rice or quinoa.

Farro Summer Salad

5 ears corn, kernels cut from cob

1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced

drizzle of olive oil

1 tin pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 red onion, diced

1 cup dried farro, cooked  (will be about 2 cups once prepared)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

handful fresh cilantro, chopped

smaller handful fresh chives and basil

1 avocado, peeled, cored and diced

4 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

fresh ground black pepper

2 dashed worcestershire sauce

Over medium high heat, saute corn and poblano pepper in a small drizzle of olive oil.  Cook about 5 minutes until corn is bright, sweet and no longer starchy.  Set aside to cool.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix farro, onion, tomato, pinto beans and fresh herbs.  Add corn, poblano peppers and avocado.  In a small bowl whisk olive oil, lime juice, vinegar, s&p and worcestershire.  Combine salad and dressing.