Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Salad Nicoise

A salad that is worthy of being called a meal. Include potatoes, eggs, some source of protein, and some fresh vegetables. Serve with a zingy salad dressing.

8 oz mixed greens
0.5 lb asparagus
10 small potatoes
a handful of cherry tomatoes
4 eggs
6 oz salmon fillet

3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp minced onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp basil
0.5 tbsp capers
2-3 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard

Distribute the washed greens onto two plates. Make sure they are in bite-size pieces. Chop the tomatoes on top and place in one corner of the plate.

Bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water and simmer for 15 minutes. Pour off water, remove from heat, and set aside for another 15 minutes well-covered. Cut into bite-size pieces and add to salad plate.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Distribute the asparagus spears onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 10 minutes. Chop into 2-inch pieces. Add to salad plates.

Add the eggs to water, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes. Move eggs into cold water. Then peel gently. Slice into quarters and add to salad plate.

Season the salmon with salt and black pepper and sear on all sides for 3 minutes in a skillet. Add to salad plate.

Blend the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, mustard, syrup and minced herbs and capers. Season with salt and pepper. Top salad with this dressing.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Asian-style chicken salad

This was an easy alternative to an earlier spicy chicken salad I posted. The cucumber makes this so fresh and delicious.

1/2 curly-leaf lettuce
1 medium greenhouse cucumber
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves
3 rotisserie chicken breasts
1 scallion

1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
1.5 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp peanut butter
1.5 tbsp chili bean sauce
1.5 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp vinegar

Wash the cucumber and scrape out seeds. Cut into quarters lengthwise, then slice into 2-mm slices.

Mince the cilantro and mint leaves.

Clean the lettuce leaves and set in a large bowl. Slice the scallion and to the cucumber along with the herbs. Stir.

Remove the meat from the chicken and dice. Mix all ingredients for the sauce. Toss chicken pieces with the cucumber mix and with a third of the sauce.

Mix the leaves with another third of the sauce. Top the leaves with the chicken and drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Serve!

Easy pumpkin waffles

Pumpkin waffles in summer, it's not exactly a seasonal breakfast. But, I have an explanation: leftover canned pumpkin. Since I got a kitty who needs some pumpkin in her food once a day for fiber, I'm regularly left with canned pumpkin. And I hate to waste food. So, pumpkin waffles for breakfast it is!

1.25 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
0.5 tsp ginger
0.25 tsp cloves
0.25 tsp salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
0.5 cup pumpkin
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat the waffle iron. Meanwhile, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl mix pumpkin with the eggs, then stir in the butter and the milk. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients until just combined. Cook immediately in the waffle iron, adding about 3/4 cup at a time.

Serve hot, or cool for a moment on a cookie rack before serving. Putting the slices in a toaster adds an extra amazing crunch to the outside.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Mango salsa

First off, you must be aware that all mangoes are not created equal. The most easily accessible mangoes in the US are the Tommy Atkins least in the Northeast. It so turns out, that the Alphonso mangoes (which are yellow/orange) are lower in fiber and sweeter. I also find them generally more flavorful. So, if you can find it, I recommend locating this type for any mango recipe.

2 Alphonso mangoes
1 cup black beans
1 cup yellow tomatoes
3 jalapenos
1 lime
1 medium red onion
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Dice the onion into small pieces. Seed two of the jalapenos, and dice into small pieces. Dice the third one with the seeds in (I like my salsa spicy!). Mix the onions and jalapenos with a pinch of salt and the olive oil. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Chop the cilantro leaves. Peel the mangoes and cut off from pit. There are very easy strategies to accomplish this. Dice the mangoes into small pieces.

Mix all the ingredients into the onion and pepper mix. Squeeze in the lime juice. Season with salt and a tiny bit of sugar, if necessary. 

Chickpeas with cilantro

A delicious side dish and great for digestion. So fresh and summery, and one of the few dishes I make in which chickpeas get to play the central role.

0.5 lb chickpeas
1.5 tbsp salt
2 quarts water

3 oz cilantro
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp sugar
0.25 tsp turmeric
0.25 tsp salt
black pepper
1 large red onion

Soak the chickpeas in the salty water overnight. Then rinse off the brine and add water. Simmer until soft. Drain.

Dice the red onion into small pieces.

Add all the remaining ingredients into a food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Mix the chickpeas with the onions and the dressing. Store for an hour for optimal outcome. They can be refrigerated for much longer.

Bean curry

This was super delicious with a piece of naan bread, piping hot with some cold yogurt on the side.

0.25 cup extra virgin olive oil
0.25 cup ginger
1 onion
1 plum tomato
3 cloves of garlic
2 jalapeno peppers
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
0.5 tsp turmeric
0.25 tsp cayenne
8 oz tomato sauce
3 cups of red kidney beans
0.5 cup cilantro leaves

Add the onion, ginger, and garlic to a food processor. Process until pureed.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion puree. Cook for a minute. 

Mince the jalapenos and add to the pan. Cook for another minute.

Dice the tomato and add the spices and the tomato to the pan. Cook for five minutes.

Add the cooked beans and enough water to cover them. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve topped with fresh minced cilantro.

Ginger scallion noodles

This recipe is so fresh and energizing, a burst of zing through a humid summer day. I topped it with rolled-up omlette roses and some sriracha for spiciness. If you're sweating anyway, you might as well make it worth it!

1 large bunch of scallions
0.25 cup minced ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp soy sauce
0.5 tsp lemon juice
0.5 tsp kosher salt
1 lb asparagus
12 oz noodles

Peel the ginger and mince finely. I did this by first slicing across the fibers, then mincing the slices. It was pretty easy this way. 
Clean the scallions and slice into super-thin slices.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Boil 12 oz of noodles and toss with dressing. Distribute into four servings.

Clean the asparagus and spread out onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray the asparagus with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, then cut into pieces and mix in with the noodles.

Take some eggs and turn them into skinny onlettes. Roll them up and cut into slices. Top the noodles with this. Serve!