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.   

Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

So, are you thinking I should just change the blog name to Soups and Sweets?  Or just Soups and Soups?  That would be a little more accurate, wouldn't it?  What can I say?  We make a big pot of soup every Sunday to eat throughout the week and they're too good not to share.  So here's one more:

Makes about 8 servings.

Spicy Lentil + Vegetable Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 carrots, peeled, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

1 cup french green lentils

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

1 bay leaf

about 2" x 2" piece parmesan rind

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon chile powder

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes (omit if you prefer low spice)

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced

4 cups chopped collard greens, stems discarded

salt, to taste

juice of half a lemon

In a large pot, over low heat, sweat onions and garlic over low heat until soft and sticky, about 10 minutes.  Raise heat to medium.  Add carrots, celery, lentils, tomatoes, bay leaf, parmesan rind, cumin, pepper, chile powder, thyme leaves and chile flakes.  Give it a good stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms and reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Skim off and discard any foam that occurs on the surface.  Stir in collard greens, season with salt and lemon juice.  Remove parmesan rind and bay leaf before serving. 

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Happy 2016!  I hope everyone had a fun and indulgent holiday season.  I know I did.  Lots of food and family time.  Now I'm back to gym and staying busy, working on healthy recipes for this month.  You can look forward to lots of veggies, lean proteins and nutritious snacks. 

But for now, here's an easy soup you can throw into the slow cooker and enjoy on a cold night.  It's so yummy and easy to make!  I think it took me about 10 minutes to get all this prepped and into the slow cooker.  Then it's hands off for four hours and then dinner is served.  The only problem being that I have to deal with smelling something delicious all day that is not yet ready for eating.  

Serves 6.

Green Split Pea Soup in a Slow Cooker

1 pound dried green split peas, rinsed, checked for debris

4 oz ham, diced

1 yellow onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 bay leaf

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1/2 teaspoon cumin

6 cups chicken or veggie stock 

s + p

chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Combine all ingredients, except fresh parsley, in slow cooker.  Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours until peas are super tender with some even falling apart.  Season with salt and pepper.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with fresh parsley. 

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. 

Turkey Chili

Another easy dinner idea.  This is a meatier chili than I normally make.  It has lots of protein and little fat because of the lean ground turkey.  Serve over brown rice and kale.  Everything's instantly better with a bit of kale, isn't it?  

Serves 6.

Turkey Chili

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, finely diced

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb lean ground turkey breast

s + p

1 14 oz tin diced tomatoes

14oz chicken stock

1 14oz tin black beans, drained, rinsed

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 14oz tin kidney beans, drained, rinsed

2 tablespoons cumin

1-2 tablespoon chile powder, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Warm oil in a pot, over medium heat.  Add onions, jalapeños and garlic.  Cook until soft, about 8 minutes.  Season turkey with salt, pepper and add to pot.  Cook until browned.  Break meat up with a spoon while it cooks.  Stir in tomatoes, stock, beans, cumin, chile powder and cinnamon.  

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 15 minutes.  Adjust seasoning as desired.  Serve hot.

 

Korean Beef Jerky

Guess who finally got herself a food dehydrator?! (It's me.)  I love it.  The lowest setting on the oven worked fine but now I don't have that space monopolized for hours and hours.  

And what better food for my new dehydrator's maiden voyage than beef jerky?  Nothing.  This recipe is gingery, spicy, garlicky and a pinch sweet. 

Use grass fed/pastured local, super lean beef.  I like top round, the london broil cut.  Ask your butcher to slice it into very thin strips.  Or put it in the freezer for 20 minutes and slice it yourself.  Just don't freeze it solid, it'll be impossible to slice right. 

makes about 6oz.

Korean Beef Jerky

1 tablespoon honey

4 tablespoons tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon sambal oelek

2 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, grated

1/2 inch round of ginger, peeled, grated

1.5 lb grass fed top round / london broil steak, in thin strips

sesame seeds, optional

Whisk together honey, tamari, sambal oelek, water, garlic and ginger.  Combine with steak strips, coating evenly.  Place in fridge and let marinate overnight, stirring once of twice.  

Arrange marinated strips on dehydrator screens, sprinkle with optional sesame seeds and dehydrate at 160 degrees for about 4-8 hours.  (Ours took 6 but the amount of time varies with thickness of your slices, humidity, moisture content of the beef... lots of things so check it occasionally.)  Once dry, store in airtight container. 

 

Thai Noodle Salad

Crunchy romaine and veggies contrasted with soft rice noodles dressed in a thai lime dressing. Sweet, sour, tangy and a pinch spicy.  So much flavor. I think this would be great for lunch on a hot day. 

Serves 4.

Thai Noodle Salad + Lime Dressing

for the dressing

1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)

2-3 teaspoons minced fresno chile

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon tamari

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon grated ginger

s + p, to taste

for the salad

3 oz super thin rice noodles (vermicelli)

1 cucumber, julienned

2 carrots, peeled, julienned

1 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, julienned

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup crushed roasted peanuts

chopped fresh cilantro (or mint or thai basil)

Whisk together lime juice, chile, fish sauce, tamari, brown sugar and ginger.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.  

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Turn off heat and add rice noodles.  Let sit about 8 minutes, noodles will be softened.  Drain and rinse with cold water to cool. 

Divide noodles, cucumber, carrots and bell pepper into 4 bowls.  Spoon over lime dressing as desired and garnish with crushed peanuts and fresh herbs.  

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Tomato Sauce + Zucchini

Not your typical tomato sauce.  Full of veggies and lean ground turkey.  It's perfect over roasted spaghetti squash, zoodles, pasta or used for stuffed zucchini.  

To make the stuffed zucchini: Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Cut zucchini lengthwise and scoop out seeds, making a well for the sauce and arrange on a baking dish.  Spoon prepared sauce into zucchini.  Place in oven and roast 20 minutes.  Top with grated cheese while it's still hot. 

Makes about 1 quart.

Turkey Tomato Sauce 

small splash olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced

2 stalk celery, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground turkey

28 oz canned tomato puree

2 bay leaves

4 thyme sprigs, stems discarded

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder

Heat oil in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion.  Cook until soft, 5 minutes.  Add bell pepper, celery and garlic, cook 5 minutes.  Add turkey: cook, breaking up meat, until cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Stir in tomato puree, bay leaves, thyme, worcestershire sauce and cayenne powder.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  

 

Thai Hot + Sour Soup

Are you sick of reading posts for soup, yet?  WELL, TOO BAD! 

What can I say?  I really like soup.  This one is spicy, sour, full of vegetables, chicken and all those thai flavors of lemongrass, ginger and lime.  Yum!  It's also super healthy.  

If you can't find thai bird chiles, use a serrano pepper.  Remove the stem, halve lengthwise and slice, keeping the membranes and seeds.  Soup might need to be seasoned with additional siracha or sambal oelek at the end for more spice.  Whichever chile you use, wear gloves when handling.  

Makes 2 quarts.   

Thai Hot + Sour Soup

8 cups water

3 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves remove, cut in half, bruised

2 inches ginger root, peeled

4 kaffir lime leaves, bruised

stems of 1 bunch cilantro

3 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, fat trimmed

1 teaspoon grape seed oil

3 carrots, peeled, sliced

2 Thai bird chiles, seeded, minced

5 oz broccoli, chopped  

4 oz snow peas, trimmed, sliced

s + p

1 tablespoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Place water, lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, cilantro stems, garlic, peppercorns and soy sauce in a pot.  Bring to a boil, add chicken.  Reduce to a simmer.  Simmer, partially covered until chicken is tender, about 15-20 minutes.   

Remove chicken.  Once cool enough to touch, shred.  Set aside.  Strain stock, discarding solids.  Set aside.  

Wipe out the pot, return to stove over medium heat, add oil.  Add shallots, cook until clear and soft.  Add carrots and chiles.  Sauté 3 minutes.  Add stock, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer 5 minutes and add broccoli.  Simmer until tender, 5 minutes.  Add snow peas and chicken.  Heat through.  

Season with salt  pepper, fish sauce, lime juice.  Garnish with cilantro leaves.  

Simple Chickpea Soup with Lemon + Dill

A very simple soup.  Chickpeas and vegetables perked up with plenty of lemon and fresh dill.  It's super bright and flavorful.  Most of the ingredients are probably in your fridge and pantry right now.  I served it over brown rice for dinner.  Vegetable stock maybe used to keep things vegetarian.      

Grab a pound of kirby cucumbers while you're at it and use the rest of the dill to make pickles. 

Serves 4.

Chickpea Vegetable Soup with Lemon + Dill

1 tsp olive oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 carrot, peeled, diced

2 celery stalk, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced

1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 quart chicken stock

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

 juice of 1 lemon

s + p

In a pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, chile flakes.  Cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are aromatic and glossy, about 5 minutes.  Add stock. Simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add chickpeas, kale, dill and lemon juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot. 

Kale Sprouts / Kalettes

Kalettes.  Have you hear of them?  They're a new vegetable: a hybrid of brussels sprouts and kale.  That's just what they taste like.  Nutty with a vegetal sweetness.  Also called Kale Sprouts.

Tomato vinegar can be hard to find but I strongly suggest you find some.  I ordered a bottle from amazon and I use it on lots of things.  It makes a great vinaigrette or adds an tomato punch of acid to any dish.  

To toast the sesame seeds:  place pan over high heat.  Add sesame seeds.  Toast until light golden brown, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.  Takes 1-2 minutes.

Makes 2 large servings. 

Sautéed Kale Sprouts 

1/2 tablespoon neutral high heat oil

6oz kale sprouts, halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce

1 tablespoon tomato vinegar

black pepper

1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Heat a 10 inch saute pan over medium high heat.  Once hot, add oil, tilting pan to coat with oil. Add kale sprouts and saute 3 (al dente) to 5 (softer) minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir together soy sauce and tomato vinegar.  Remove kale pan from heat and carefully pour in soy/vinegar.  It will bubble and sizzle.  Toss kale sprouts to coat evenly.  Transfer to serving plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.  

 

Gluten Free Almond + Chocolate Chip Cookies

So long gluten!  We don't need you for our cookie making.  Gluten free or not, these are tasty cookies, soft and cakey with nice texture from the almond flour.  

I'm planning on working on more GF and possibly vegan cookie recipes.  Looking forward to sharing (and eating) the results!

About 12 cookies.

Gluten Free Almond + chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup almond flour

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch nutmeg

 pinch salt

1 egg

1/4 cup oil (your choice, I used grape seed)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk almond flour, brown sugar, baking powder, nutmeg and salt.  Add egg, oil and vanilla extract.  Mix until well combined.  Mix in chocolate chips/nibs.  Chill dough 10 minutes to firm it up. (You can skip this but you're cookies will spread a bit more.)  

Use a tablespoon to portion dough onto a silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake 12 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on pan, 5 minutes.  Carefully remove from silpat by sweeping an off set spatula underneath each cookie.  

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Yum!  Pretty simple to make and so many possible applications like snacking with veggie sticks or crackers, hummus and vegetable wraps, smeared on toast or tossed with pasta... you have some options.  I'm going to use it as a cheese substitute of vegan quesadillas - i'll let you know how it goes.  

I prefer to use dried beans when I have the forethought (although, I almost never do.)  3/4 cup dried chickpeas ends up being about 1 1/2 cup cooked which is equal to one 14oz tin of chickpeas.  If you use canned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them.  

Makes about 2 cups.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

3/4 cup dried chickpeas or 1 14oz tin chickpeas

1 red bell pepper

1/4 cup tahini

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon cumin

1 garlic clove, peeled

juice of 1 lemon

salt

dash olive oil

Place dried beans in a bowl, cover with 3 inches of water.  Let soak 8 hours.  Drain water.  Place chickpeas in a pot, cover with plenty of water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Strain.  

Roast red pepper by placing it directly on a gas burner set on high.  Rotate occasionally to cook each side.  Once all of pepper is charred black and flaky with the pepper itself softened, remove from flame.  Immediately place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand about 10 minutes or more.  Remove charred skin, stem and seeds.  

Place cooked chickpeas, roasted red pepper, tahini, parsley, cumin, garlic clove, lemon juice and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Process to desired consistency, adding olive oil to loosen things up as needed.  Season with more salt and lemon juice, to taste. 

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.  

 

 

 

Siracha Honey Roasted Cashews

I'm nuts for these!  (Haha - sorry.)  Sweet, spicy, salty.  The perfect snack that couldn't be easier and quicker to make.  Just toss the nuts with the marinade ingredients, pop them in the oven and try not to eat the entire tray while they're cooling.  For only a hint of spice, use 3 teaspoons of siracha.  

Siracha Honey Roasted Cashews

2 tablespoons honey

5 teaspoons siracha

1 teaspoon grape seed oil

1 teaspoon tamari

10 oz raw cashews

salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together honey, siracha, oil and tamari.  Toss with cashews until evenly coated.  Arrange on a parchment paper or silpat lined tray.  Roast 5 minutes, stir nuts, roast 5 minutes more.  Remove from oven and cool.  

 

Chocolate Socca

A socca is a thin pancake crepe type thing from italy, made from chickpea flour, olive oil and water.  Easy, dairy and gluten free.  I decided to make a slightly sweet chocolate socca that could be eaten for breakfast or dessert.  I don't have a name for it yet.  Suggestions?  

These aren't very sweet.  You can add more sugar if you like but I think these are really all about the fillings.  Fruit and plain yogurt (pictured) if you're being good.  Whipped cream, chocolate shavings and nutella if you're being bad.  It really depends if you're having these as dessert or breakfast.  I suspect nutella, banana, strawberries and whipped cream would be a winning combination.    

Makes 4.

Chocolate Socca 

1/2 cup chickpea flour

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon agave

1/2 cup water

pinch salt

Whisk together all ingredients.   Set aside for a few minutes while you get your fillings together.  Heat a lightly oiled 8 inch non stick skillet over medium low heat.  Pour 1/4 of the batter onto skillet, tilting skillet so batter evenly coats the surface.  Cook about 3 minutes on each side. Turn down heat as needed.  Repeat 3 more times with remaining batter.  Serve warm with fillings.  

Some filling ideas:  jam, chocolate syrup, fresh fruit, stewed fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, nutella, whipped cream, yogurt, banana...

 

 

Healthy Kale + White Bean Soup

I know, I know.  My last post was a soup too.  I don't know about you, but I really enjoyed eating everything and anything I wanted to over the holidays.  But it's 2015 and time to get back to healthier habits.   On my agenda for January are getting back to the gym, maybe a run here or there, avoiding alcohol and treats that are obviously bad for me (sorry french fries), getting enough rest, generally being a healthy person and eating lots and lots of vegetables.  And I'm starting with this soup!  I served it over red quinoa and it was great.  Nothing like a little kale and quinoa.  

Makes about 8 servings.  

Kale + White Bean Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 bulb fennel, quartered, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped

leaves of several sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

2 quarts vegetable stock

28 oz tim cannellini beans 

4 cups chopped kale (curly or lacinato)

S + p, to taste

lemon juice, to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium low heat.  Add onion, carrot and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.  Add fennel, tomato, thyme and chile powder, cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.  Add stock.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.  Stir in beans and kale.  Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, additional chile powder and lemon juice.  (We used a whole lemon.)  

 

 

Basic Indian Curry

I love curry when it's cold.  Warm, aromatic and full of flavorful spices:  it really is the best thing.  Here's a simple one you can whip up for a delicious vegetarian dinner on the fly.  

Garam masala is an indian spice blend.  I use one from Simply Organics brand.  It's a blend of peppers, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves...  

Ghee is a nutty, aromatic clarified butter commonly used in indian cooking.  It's great for cooking because of its high smoke point and buttery taste.  It can be found in well stocked grocery stores or substituted with a high heat oil.  

serves 2.

Basic Indian Curry

 bit of ghee or splash high heat oil, like grape seed, safflower, canola

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 cup water

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

10 oz diced, canned tomatoes

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Heat a saute pan over medium to medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add onion and saute until browned.  Add ginger, garlic, toasted cumin seeds and garam masala.  Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add water and cook off.  Add chickpeas and tomatoes.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and lime before serving.  

 

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

I have a go to method for making green bean sides:  blanche, shock, dry and saute in olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes.  Season with s + p.  It's simple and goes with a lot of main courses.  

I decided to shake things up a bit and try something new.  This follows the same method but with new, more unusual ingredients.  Enjoy!

Castelvetrano olives are sicilian olives with a beautiful green color, mildly brined, buttery flavor.  I have had a hard time finding them pitted, so you'll probably have to remove the pits yourself.  The flesh on these likes to hold onto the pit so you're best bet is to just slice it off on each side.  

Serves 2-3.

Green Beans with Olives + Almonds

3/4 lb green beans, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

10 castelvetrano olives, pits removed

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

s + p

Boil a pot of water, add a pinch of salt to season.  Add green beans, blanch about 60 to 90 seconds, until crisp tender.  Transfer green beans to ice bath to shock.  Once cold, dry green beans.  

Heat a 10" pan over medium heat.  Once hot, add olive oil, when oil is hot, add beans.  Cook until hot, stirring and moving beans around pan.  Remove from heat and toss with sherry vinegar.  Set aside. Salt lightly and pepper.  

Return pan to medium heat, adding a small amount of oil if needed.  Add almonds and olives, cook, stirring until warm, about 2 minutes.  Toss with green beans.