Sunday, September 25, 2016

Rosh Hashana Round Up 2016


Image result for pomegranate


Making a menu for a two day Chag is hard!! But lots of meals means lots of opportunities to incorporate all the simanim, the symbolic foods of Rosh Hashanah that represent the blessings we hope for the coming year. Here are a few great recipes to help your menu planning. Click on the dish which will give you the link to the recipe.

Appetizers:

Red Kubbe Soup


Coconut Zucchini Soup

Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

Roasted Cauliflower and Leek Soup


Mains:


Braised Red Cabbage with Apples

Curried Cauliflower and Kale Salad

Celery, Herb, and Date Salad

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweets and Beets

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Wild Rice Stuffed Butternut Squash

Curried Waldorf Wheatberry Salad

Black Lentil Couscous Salad with Pomegranate and Pistachios

Spiced Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Orange Balsamic Glazed Beets

Salt and Pepper Onion Kugel

Monday, July 25, 2016

Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Quinoa Salad with Pineapple Ginger Vinaigrette


This is the summer of salads! I've been making lots of main dish salads for lunch and dinners this summer because of the heat and because come summer time, I often find myself dreaming up new, interesting, and different salad concoctions that I love to try out. This one came from a craving for grilled pineapple. Grilling pineapple just makes a sweet pineapple that much sweeter, and with the addition of a little smokiness from the grill it adds a great sweet and smokey dimension to a grilled chicken salad. The chicken gets flavor from a delicious pineapple juice marinade and the pineapple ginger vinaigrette is different, delicious, and addictive. I found myself making it again and again and putting it on my plain old salads all week long to perk them up. Don't like chicken breast? you can easily make this with boneless chicken thighs or london broil instead- both would taste great with the marinade and go really well with the other components as well. Some cilantro and scallions for freshness and cashews for crunch and you've got yourself the perfect summer salad. Enjoy!


For the chicken and pineapple:
4 chicken breasts
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp fresh chopped ginger
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
------------------------------------
1/2 a fresh pineapple, cut into slices


Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a ziplock bag and add the chicken breasts. Let the chicken marinate for 3-4 hours. Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side until done. Grill the pineapple along side the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side.

For the salad:
1 1/2 cups quinoa (any color or a mix of colors is fine)
2 3/4 cups water
1/3 cup fresh chopped cilantro
3 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup salted and roasted cashews

Rinse the quinoa well under running water. Place in a pot with some salt and pepper and the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook about 15 minutes until the water is absorbed. Keep pot covered for 5 minutes then uncover and fluff the quinoa as you would with rice. Let the quinoa cool slightly.

Cut the grilled pineapple, and chicken and mix into quinoa. Add the cilantro and scallions and drizzle the vinaigrette over it all. Top with cashews and serve.


For the vinaigrette:
1/2 cup fresh diced pineapple
2 tsp fresh coarsely chopped ginger
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons canola or light olive oil
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients except the oil into a food processor. Once the ingredients are mostly smooth start drizzling in the oil until it emulsifies together. Taste to make sure there is enough salt and pepper and serve over the salad.





Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Southwestern Cobb Salad With Spicy Avocado Dressing

I get great satisfaction from re-purposing leftovers. Often when planning dinner I already know what I will be making for lunch and dinner the next day with the leftovers. When I was grilling the  chili cilantro lime chicken I made last week I was already dreaming up this yummy and gorgeous salad that would be dinner the next night. I went low carb with this salad (minus the fresh corn) but you could also add black beans to this salad which would be delicious. The best part of course is the dressing- a smooth, creamy, spicy and fresh avocado dressing that gets whipped up in the food processor in no time and is the perfect compliment to this salad.  Enjoy!


1 batch cilantro lime chicken or any other grilled chicken breast
1 large head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 ears grilled corn, kernels removed or 1 can of  corn
1 small red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 can black beans (optional)

Arrange all the ingredients into a big bowl, pour the dressing over, toss and serve.

For the dressing:
1 avocado, pitted and skin removed
1/4 to a whole jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed (depending on how spicy you want it, or omit completely)
3 large cloves of garlic
1/4 cup mayo 
zest and juice of one lime
juice of one lemon
1 loosely packed cup of fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper

Add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. 




Thursday, July 14, 2016

Grilled Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken

I'm backkkkkkkkkkkkkkk! 
But don't get too excited- between running after a toddler and running a catering business, finding time to recipe test and post on the blog has been scarce. For the next few weeks, however, I am on vacation (not from the toddler, just the catering) and I will be trying my hardest to fit this blog back in my life. First up is this yummy and juicy grilled chicken. My husband and I joined the no/low carb craze a few months ago (you know, the trend I use to make fun of and NEVER thought I would join) and so there has been lots of protein and veggies in our lives. Finding new and yummy ways to make chicken (our main protein) is often daunting but with the grill up and running I am loving experimenting with different chicken marinades. I know cilantro is controversial, I used to be on the "it tastes like shampoo" side too, but now I just love it- if you hate it you can just use all parsley instead. Lots of great lime flavor, some heat from the chili flakes and a little sweetness from some honey. All leftovers will be used for my southwestern cobb salad tomorrow- can't wait!



For the chicken:

5 boneless chicken breast (skin on or off)
3 cloves garlic
zest of one lime
juice of two limes
1/4 cup loosely packed parsley leaves
1 cup loosely packed cilantro
1/2-1 tsp red chili flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
1 Tablespoon honey (or maple or agave)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients except for the chicken into a food processor and pulse a few times until everything comes together and is chopped well.  Place the chicken and marinade into a ziplock bag making sure the marinade is coating the chicken well. Let the chicken marinate 3-4 hours. Grill over medium high heat for 5-6 minutes per side (depending on the thickness of the breast).








Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Mediterranean Fish Cakes with Avocado-Tahini Sauce


There has been a lot of hullabaloo about the Whole30 program, a "diet" that for 30 days limits all carbs, dairy, and legumes in order to get rid of cravings and "reset" your body. I have never been one for programs like this, but I have been feeling less energetic recently and with some extra baby weight I still need to shed I thought I would give it a try. So far so good considering the longest I've ever lasted without carbs is about 6 hours. The big challenge for me is to make my protein interesting and so I've been doing a lot of experimenting. These fish cakes were a big hit and a nice change from chicken and beef with tons of herbs, some warmth from cumin and turmeric and lots of lemon zest for zing. These cakes were inspired by a few Ottolenghi (read: amazing) recipes that I've come across as well as some fish kofta I had when I was as the Carmel spa last year that blew me away. I used a mixture of grouper and halibut but any good quality white fish like halibut or bass would work well too. The key is to hand chop the fish, not grind it to a paste, so the texture is flaky once cooked and not spongy.
Now for the sauce: Tahini and avocado might not seem like they go together but they work surprisingly well. When I make fish, I often serve it with an avocado crema, but since dairy is a no no here I used tahini in place of the sour cream I would normally use to make the sauce. The sauce definitely complements the fish but you could also use it as a yummy salad dressing or drizzled over some grains. Did I mention gluten free too? Enjoy!


For the fish: (makes 10 nice size cakes)
1 kilo (about 2 pounds) hand chopped grouper, halibut or any other good quality white fish
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
zest of one lemon
1 egg yolk
1 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1 ts granulated garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for pan frying


Put all ingredients into a bowl and mix very well, almost kneading the mixture so it holds together well. Refrigerate for half an hour. With wet hands make patties from the fish mixture. Heat enough light oil (light olive or canola) to lightly coat the bottom of a frying pan. Place fish patties down and do not touch them until they are ready to be flipped, about 4-5 minutes on one side (depending on the thickness of the patty) and 2 minutes on the other side.

For the sauce:
1/2 of a large ripe avocado or one small avocado
2 cloves garlic
3 Tbl lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini 
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 -1/2 cup water
salt and pepper to taste


Place all ingredients except the water into a food processor. Process to combine everything and puree the avocado. The mixture will be very thick. Add water a little at a time until you get your desired consistency, for a thicker sauce, more like a "crema" you will need about 1/4 of a cup, for more of a wet sauce you will need closet to 1/2 cup. Check for seasoning after adding water, adding salt and pepper as necessary.















Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Braised Red Cabbage with Apples (take 2)

A long time ago I made a warm braised red cabbage dish and posted it on this blog. It was good, even great, but not nearly as amazing as this version right here. I know the list of ingredients sound weird, and I too was hesitant to eat warm cabbage, but let me tell you, this is divine. A little sweet and a little tangy and the perfect way to eat lots of red cabbage when you are just sick of all those boring cabbage salads. This is a perfect side dish for turkey or chicken, (I actually think it tastes a bit like cranberry sauce) and will be a frequent addition to your winter side dish rotation. Enjoy!


3 Tablespoons oil
1 medium head red cabbage, shredded
3 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced thin
zest of one orange
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (optional)
1 1/4 cups apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup golden raisins
salt and pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a large and deep saucepan. Add half of the shredded cabbage to the pan and then add the onions and apples on top of the cabbage. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, orange zest and nutmeg and then add the rest of the cabbage on top, season with salt and pepper and top with the golden raisins. Pour the cider and cider vinegar over the whole mixture and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let the cabbage braise for about an hour and a half until tender.




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Curried Cauliflower and Kale Salad



Winter is notorious for packing on the pounds. Is it just me who feels like eating pasta makes one warm? Either way, this winter I have been trying to make a conscious effort to eat more salads to counteract the pasta that has been keeping me warm and this salad and different versions of it has been my go to. The cauliflower gives the salad bulk so it is super filling and the sweet golden raisins are the perfect compliment to the curry flavor. Toasted almonds (and I put loads in) are essential in most of my salads because to me the taste of deeply toasted almonds is unparalleled but any nut will do and I used kale because I found some magnificent kale but baby spinach or even Romaine lettuce will do. Enjoy!



For the Salad:
8 cups shredded Kale (or baby spinach or lettuce)
1/4 cup toasted almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 shallots, sliced

For the cauliflower:
1 large Cauliflower broken into florets or 800 grams frozen cauliflower, defrosted
2 Tablespoons oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 Tbl curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375. Place the cauliflower on a tray lined with parchment paper and toss with the oil and spices. Roast for 30-35 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and a little browned around the edges.

For the dressing:
Juice of one lemon
3 Tablespoons canola or light olive oil
3 Tbl Agave nectar or Maple Syrup
salt and pepper

To assemble: Place the kale, cauliflower, almonds, shallots and raisins in a large bowl. Dress with the dressing, toss and serve.