Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Sweets and Beets and Tahini Silan Dressing

It's that time of year, the annual 9 day pot luck luncheon when a whole bunch of us women get together to eat, shmooze and try out out each others dairy dishes. Every year I agonize about what to make and inevitably I almost always end up making some form of a salad. Now, I know quinoa is overdone, or at least I feel it is overdone, but I had lots of it, it is super healthy and I find it a challenge to come up with new ways to use it. This is the salad I made. Roasted ruby red beets and sweet potatoes fresh from the Farmer's market, a little fresh herbs and a delicious tahini and silan dressing. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Silan is date honey, a sweetener made from dates that is readily available in Israel and starting to find its way to America as well. It has a distinctively different taste than honey or maple syrup and a beautiful dark color but in a pinch if you can't find it then substitute maple syrup or agave nectar to sweeten the dressing. Enjoy!

2 Tbl oil
2 cups quinoa
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
2 medium beets, peeled and cut into cubes
3 Tablespoons oil
3 scallions, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Rinse the quinoa very well under running water for at least a minute. Heat the two tablespoons of oil in a pot and add the quinoa. Stir for a minute to toast the quinoa slightly. Add the stock or if you are using water add the water and season it with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer and simmer the quinoa for about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed close the flame and leave the pot covered to let the quinoa steam. Uncover after 5 minutes, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let it cool.

Meanwhile, while the quinoa is cooking, preheat your oven to 375. On a baking tray place the cubed beets and sweet potatoes. Drizzle on the 3 Tablespoons oil, season with salt and pepper, mix and place in the oven. Roast the vegetables until they are easily pierced with a knife (the beets will be a bit firmer than the sweet potatoes).

To assemble, place the quinoa in a bowl. Top with the scallions, roasted beets and sweets. Drizzle the dressing over it all and garnish with the sesame seeds and chopped parsley.

For the Dressing:
1/2 cup tahini paste
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1 large clove garlic
4 Tablespoons Silan (or maple syrup or agave nectar)
1/3-1/2 cup warm water as needed

Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic and silan. The mixture will be thick and a little hard to mix. Slowly mix in the water adding as much as needed until you achieve the desired consistency (you should be able to drizzle it over the salad.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

9 Days Recipes 2015

Back by popular demand it's the 9 days recipe collection! Every year I get lots of feedback about how helpful my 9 days recipe round up is, so here we go again! Though we may make dairy meals often during the year, many of us find menu planning for 9 days worth of them daunting. So here are a whole bunch of awesome recipes to help you out! Enjoy!

Soups and Salads:
Asparagus Soup (Pareve or Dairy)

Roasted Tomato Soup

Corn Chowder
Summer's Bounty Soup
Blooming Onion and Cheese Bread
Edamame Quinoa Salad
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Halloumi Cheese
Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad
Tortellini Salad

Greek Salad with Lemony Garlic Dressing
Summer Wheatberry Salad
Caprese Wheatberry Salad
Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Beets and Feta Cheese
Tuna Croquettes with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Fish Tacos
Kani Avocado Salad

Halibut Piccata
Maple Sesame Salmon
Pesto Halibut with Roasted Tomatoes
Panko Parmesan Crusted Salmon

Wasabi Ginger Salmon
Pan Fried Halibut with Lemon Cream Sauce
Sun Dried Tomato, Basil and Pine nut Crusted Salmon
Crispy Golden Fish Sticks

Quiches and Tarts:
Rustic Salmon Tart
Zucchini Galette

Tomato Basil and Goat Cheese Quiche
Asparagus and Leek Quiche
Potato Leek "Soup" Quiche
French Onion Quiche
Swiss Chard and Leek Tart
Spanakopita Strudel

Red Lentil Veggie Burgers

Mexican Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

Crispy Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

Black Bean and Rice Enchiladas
Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers
Cherry Cheese Knish

Cheesey Cheddar Zucchini Bread
Eggplant Meatball Subs
Savory Cheese and Onion Noodle Kugel
Baked Blintzes

Eggplant Involtini
Not Your Grandmother's Tuna Noodle Casserole

Penne ala vodka
Asparagus and Rigatoni with Boursin Cream Sauce
Fettuccine Portabella

Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi

Baked Spinach and Artichoke Pasta
Cheese Latcakes
Broccoli and Cheese Stromboli
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Veggie Chili
Salmon Pasta Pesto
Salmon Papardelle with Lemon Cream sauce

Baked Eggplant Spaghetti
Baked Butternut Squash and Cheese Polenta
Chickpea Burgers with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Broccoli Potato and Cheese Latkes

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes
Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes
Banana Buttermilk Pancakes
Zucchini Blueberry Bread

Monday, May 18, 2015

Crispy Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa Cakes

Spring is here and summer is around the corner and you know what that means, right? It means I am once again faced with an overabundance of beautiful zucchini and need to come up with lots of new ways to use it up. Enter these cute little babies. With Shavuot coming up I wanted to make something dairy but also light as I tend to eat lighter as the weather warms up. These are the perfect little bites of spring- hints of lemon and basil that I think go beautifully with zucchini, some Parmesan cheese because everything is better with cheese, and the exceptionally crispy crust made by crisped quinoa. Delish! Serve with some sour cream mixed with a little lemon and basil and you are good to go. Enjoy!

2 cups shredded zucchini (preferably the dark zucchini not the lighter squash)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
2 Tbl minced fresh basil
1/2  tsp dried oregano
1 egg
1 cup bread crumbs (or up to 1/2 cup more as needed)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
oil for shallow frying

Place the zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Let the zucchini drain for about half an hour. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa in the vegetable stock or water- rinse the quinoa well, place in a small pot, pour in the water, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed. Turn off the flame and keep the pot covered for another 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
In a frying pan (the same one you will use to fry the cakes) heat the 2 Tbl of olive oil and saute the onion and garlic.
Mix together the drained zucchini, quinoa and the rest of the ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper. Form mixture into cakes, pressing them together well so they won't fall apart and fry them in a little bit of oil until crispy on both sides.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pretzel Crusted Triple Peanut Cheesecake Bars

You're gonna want to sit down for this one. And by sit down I mean get up and make it immediately. This is THE dessert you need to make this Shavuot. Four layers of chocolate and peanut butter goodness with a salty pretzel and peanut crust, a creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling and an over the top chocolate peanut butter ganache. Sweet and salty, creamy and crunchy and with the winning combo of chocolate and peanut butter you CANNOT go wrong serving this dessert. It is the ultimate Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in cheesecake form and you'e going to have to trust me on this one that it is worth every calorie. The good news is that because it is so rich and decadent you only need a small square to get your fill. You're welcome!

For the crust:
1 cup finely crushed salted pretzels
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
8 Tbl butter
2 Tbl brown sugar
1 cup chocolate chips

For the filling:
450 grams (16oz) of cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

For the ganache:
1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 350.
Line a 9x9 inch pan with baking paper and spray it well.
Melt the butter and mix in the crushed pretzels, peanuts and brown sugar. Press it well into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes until set. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate chips on top. Return to oven for one minute. Remove from oven and quickly spread the melted chocolate over the crust. Let the crust cool.
Meanwhile make the filling- In a mixer combine the cream cheese and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla, peanut butter and salt and mix well. Once the crust has cooled, pour the filling over crust and bake for about 30 minutes until the edges are light golden brown and the cheesecake has set. Let cool completely and refrigerate a few hours to set. Once the cheesecake has cooled you can make the ganache.
In a saucepan heat the cream, chocolate chips and peanut butter together and mix constantly with a spatula until completely smooth and uniform in color. Pour over the cheesecake and refrigerate up to 3 days before serving.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Asian Red Cabbage Salad

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to make cabbage salad. Cabbage is cheap and healthy and my go to veggie for salad when I'm too lazy to deal with lettuce. Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against sweet cabbage salads, you know, the ones that call for craisins, and mandarin oranges etc. but I was kind of getting sick of those and wanted something new and interesting. Well, I recently had a burger that came with a side cabbage salad that was delicious and refreshing and I had to go home and recreate it. This is what I came up with. Lots of ginger, hints of sesame and lots of crunch from the cabbage, kholrabi, and peanuts. It's a keeper!

1 small red cabbage, shredded
2 Persian or Israeli cucumbers, skin on, sliced
1 large kholrabi, cut into matchsticks
4 scallions, sliced
1/3 cup roughly chopped salted peanuts
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Place the cabbage, cucumbers, kholrabi and scallions in the bowl. Dress the salad with the dressing and top with the peanuts and sesame seeds.

1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 Tbl toasted sesame oil
2 Tbl honey
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

 Whisk together and pour over salad.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Red Lentil-Veggie Burgers

Chock full of goodness these burgers are! I am a sucker for a good veggie burger and unlike in the States where you can buy pre-packaged good quality veggie burgers to keep on hand for lazy meal emergencies, I have yet to find good ones here. I wanted to make a big batch of veggie burgers to keep in the freezer and pull out on a whim but had a hard time committing to what kind of veggie burger to make. There are so many options, so many delicious combinations, but I settled on using red lentils and chickpeas as my base and then adding lots of yummy and healthy additions- carrot, zucchini, kale, herbs, onion, oats for texture and sunflower seeds for crunch. The truth is though, you can customize these burgers however you want- use black or white beans instead of chickpeas, green or brown lentils instead of red and though I used cumin here because I love the earthiness of cumin with lentils you could go a different route and use oregano or basil etc. Have other veggies lying around? Throw those in as well! Though these burgers are super healthy, they are also really really tasty- I served them on toasted buns slathered with some Sriracha Garlic Mayo, lettuce and tomato and was in veggie burger heaven! Enjoy!

3 cups cooked red lentils ( 1 1/2 cups raw should make 3 cups cooked), divided.
2 Tbl oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 cups chopped kale or your favorite green
1 15 oz can (about 1 1/2 cups) chickpeas
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup of your favorite chopped herbs, I used a mix of parsley and cilantro
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1 medium carrot, grated
1 medium zucchini, grated
3 eggs
1/2- 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (depending on how moist the mixture is)
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cumin
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
Canola or light olive oil for frying

In a saute pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic until the onions start to be translucent. Add the kale until it starts to wilt. To your food processor add half of the cooked lentils, the onion, garlic and kale mixture, the chickpeas, oats, herbs and sunflower seeds. Pulse 2-3 times just to start breaking up the chickpeas and oats, you don't want the mixture to be mushy. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the rest of the lentils, carrot, zucchini,eggs and spices, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Add bread crumbs, enough for the mixture to come together well but not be dry. Form into traditional bun size patties that are about 1/2 an inch thick. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry on each side until crisp, about 3 minutes on each side.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Who doesn't love a great potato salad? I find myself gravitating often to the basic kind that I grew up with, white potato, mayo, pickles and onions but every once and a while it is fun to change it up, ditch the mayo and try something new and this sweet potato salad hit the spot. Roasted sweet potatoes are my go to addition to salads. I like to roast a bunch of them at a time and then add them to different salads throughout the week. They add sweetness, texture, heartiness and make you feel like you are really eating something substantial. The best thing about sweet potatoes is that they are great with lots of different flavors- you can make them sweet and cinnamony, or go totally savory and they hold up just as well. This is a savory salad which makes a great and colorful side dish to any meal and is great cold, warm or room temperature.The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes is contrasted beautifully by the warmth of the cumin and is perked up by the lime juice while the black beans add color, texture and earthiness.  Enjoy!

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1 inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into medium chunks
2 Tbl oil
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/2  tsp cumin
1 red pepper, diced
3 scallions, sliced
1 15 oz (425 gram) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a sheet tray place the chunked sweet potatoes and red onion. Drizzle on the oil, season with the garlic, cumin, salt and pepper and roast until the sweet potatoes are just tender, about half an hour. Remove from the oven and let them cool. Once cool, place the sweet potatoes into a bowl and add the diced red pepper, scallions, black beans and cilantro or parsley. Dress with the vinaigrette and toss gently so as not to crush the potatoes and beans.

For the dressing:
1/3 cup lime juice
1/2- 2/3 cup light olive or canola oil (depending on your preference-less oil will make it more acidic)
1 tsp cumin
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk all together and pour over salad.

recipe adapted from Mark Bittman