Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tzatziki dip

It seems to me that every Mediterranean country has their version of this. I have had lighter, more salad-like preparations. This one is thicker sauce to dip meat skewers or vegetable fritters.

1 seedless cucumber
3 cloves garlic
1 cup sour cream
lemon juice

Shred the washed cucumber and salt. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.

Peel and crush the garlic. Add to the sour cream.

Squeeze out the cucumber and mix into garlic sour cream. Season with salt. Serve or set aside for a few hours to allow the flavors to ripen together.

Broccoli fritters

My challenge for the year: find as many ways to make fiber delicious as possible. This is especially relevant in light of mounting evidence for fiber's life-prolonging properties. In 2018 scientists have even begun to dissect the mechanisms by which high fiber consumption results in a longer life expectancy.

4 cups of fresh broccoli florets
3 oz parmesan
2 eggs
0.25 cup breadcrumbs
black pepper
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F. Spread broccoli florets onto baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 minutes.

Cool broccoli and add to food processor to process into smaller chunks. Add the shredded cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs, crushed garlic. Mix together thoroughly.

Form into 0.5-inch thick discs and place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spray tops with vegetable oil.

Bake for 10 minutes, flip patties and spray with oil on this side as well. Bake until both sides are light brown. Cool on a cookie rack and serve with a dipping sauce.

Garlic sticks II.

A perfect side dish for spaghetti with marinara, or a simple snack food appropriate any time of the day. Quick and easy to prepare, and amazingly delicious!

1.5 tsp yeast
1 tsp honey
0.5 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 cups flour
0.5 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
3 cloves garlic

Bloom the yeast with the honey and a quarter cup of water in the Kitchenaid blender bowl. Crush garlic, salt lightly and add melted butter. Set aside.

Add the flour, oil, and salt. Mix and knead until sticky dough forms. Knead for 5 more minutes.

Allow to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes covered with foil.

Roll out into a half-inch-thick sheet. Cut into 12 strips. Place strips onto parchment-lined baking shape.
Preheat oven to 375F. Bake bread sticks until light brown. Brush with garlic butter and shred parmesan on top. Serve!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Avocado, kale, rice, and beans bowl

Turn rice and beans into a complete, hearty, colorful meal. With ripe avocados it is super simple!

1 cup rice
2 cans beans
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/3 cup yogurt
4 scallions
lime juice
1 bunch of kale
1 ripe avocado
olive oil

Cook the rice in a rice cooker.
Prepare the mashed beans by sauteeing the onions and garlic, then adding the paprika and cayenne. Heat the beans with these spices then mash.

Mix the yogurt with the chopped scallions, lime juice to taste, and some salt.

Wash and chop the kale into small shreds. Massage with 1 tbsp olive oil and a pinch of salt until tender. Sprinkle with lime juice. Add other veggies if desired.

Serve the rice and beans on two plates. Add the sliced avocado halves to each. Drizzle with yogurt sauce. Add the kale salad.

Mashed beans

A childhood staple, but season differently in my home country: mashed, seasoned beans are nutritious and filling, and burst with vegetarian protein. Served with rice, it an incredibly comfort food.

2 cans black beans
1/3 cup chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic
pinch of cayenne
pinch of paprika
0.5 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup broth

Drain the beans. Heat the oil in a small pot. Add the minced onions and sautee. Add the crushed garlic and stir in with the spices. 

Add the black beans and a small amount of broth. Simmer to heat for 10 minutes. Mash the beans to desired smoothness. Serve with rice or a tortilla.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Best eggplant dip

I had the most amazing eggplant dip in Princeton, NJ at Olive's. It's an incredible store that uses delicious ingredients. My tummy has been upset, and a delicious mediterranean salad topped with this eggplant dip and their homemade hummus fixed the issue. One of the best feeling meals of all my life.

1 medium eggplant
1 clove garlic
1 fresh lemon
2 tbsp tahini

Preheat broiler on high.

Slice the eggplant into quarter-inch rounds and salt. Set aside for 10 minutes, then pat dry and place onto a large baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Spray the tops of the rounds as well, then roast on the top rack for 5-10 minutes, until golden brown. Turn halfway.

Remove from pan and wrap slices into foil. Wait a few minutes, then peel off most of the skin.

Add to a food processor with lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and fresh herbs. Blend until smooth. Serve with pita bread on its own, or with a salad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Broccoli salad

My current vegetarian experiment is going strong, and this sweet and savory, filling salad assisted with it in no small way. A delightful, crunchy salad, filled with surprise pockets of sweet cranberries and salty seeds.

2 heads of broccoli
1/3 cup craisins
0.25 cup salted sunflower seeds
3 tbsp chopped red onion
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp mayo
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp honey
black pepper

Chop the broccoli into a rough cut. Don't leave any pieces that are too large.

Mix the chopped red onion, yogurt, mayo, vinegar, and honey.

Toss broccoli with dressing and mix in craisins and the sunflower seeds. Allow to sit for an hour before serving.