Week of March 30, 2015

Last weekend I had the best weekend with my best friend Elizabeth who was visiting from out of town. I had the privilege of having her guest lecture in my class on Tuesday. We had a blast!

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 Monday – Grilled fish with cucumber clementine salsa

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From my It’s All Good cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 4 clementines, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 fresh red chili, finely diced
  • 1/4 small red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 mint leaves, finely sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning

From Gwyneth

Instructions

  1. In a bowl, stir together clementines, cucumber, chili, onion, cilantro, mint, juice and salt. Serve salsa with a piece of grilled salmon.

Tuesday – Avocado-beet salad

From my It’s All Good cookbook.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp white white vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound steamed or roasted beets, peeled and roughly diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced
  • 3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the beets to the dressing and gently stir to combine. Transfer the beets to a serving platter and scatter the avocado and scallions over the top. Serve with protein of your choice.

Wednesday – Chopped Vietnamese salad

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Another recipe adapted from It’s All Good.

Ingredients

  • 4 large bok choy leaves or lettuce, roughly shredded
  • 4 big leaves Napa cabbage, shredded
  • Leaves from about 8 stems each basil, mint, cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/8 cup roasted, salted peanuts or cashews, roughly chopped

Vietnamese Dressing

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sesame oil
  • 1/4 chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp finely diced red onion or shallot

Instructions

  1. Toss the bok choy, cabbage, herbs, cucumber, and nuts together. In a small bowl whisk together ingredients for dressing and drizzle over the salad. Serve with a piece of white fish.

Thursday – Cream of celery soup

I threw together this recipe with ingredients I had on hand this week.

Ingredients

  • 5 cups celery, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup milk or water

Instructions

  1. Sauté the celery and onion in a bit of butter or olive oil, until just sweating. Add salt & pepper to taste, and the broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and milk until completely smooth. Gradually pour into simmering broth, whisking throughout. Let simmer for a few more minutes. Pulse in a blender until smooth and creamy.

Friday – Spicy roasted cauliflower with Sriracha and sesame

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Adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Bountiful.

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into 3/4″ florets
  • Minced cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a rimmed baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and Sriracha. Whisk well. Gently add cauliflower and coat with marinade. Arrange cauliflower on baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes. Turn cauliflower over and roast for another 10 minutes, or until tender. Garnish with cilantro and serve. Serve with protein of your choice.

Week of March 16, 2015

It was my first week at the new job, and although it was uncomfortably busy, I am so excited!! My weekend was also insanely productive. JW and I trekked out to Ikea on Saturday and got a few really cute pieces of furniture that are really nice additions to our little space.

I also managed to make all the meals for the week, which is a huge relief to me because I have a feeling I will be spending most evenings in my (new!) office. I’m slowly adjusting to my new job, but for now I am not as quick as I’d like to be in completing my daily activities, which means I have to do a bit of “after hours” work. At least I will have tasty meals! 🙂


Monday – Curry-roasted cauliflower, kale & farro salad

I’ve (purposely) planned to have no meat at all this week. I’m so excited to taste this totally veggie recipe from the most recent edition of Food & Drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 4 cups torn kale leaves
  • 1 tbsp curry paste
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring water and a pinch of salt and pepper to a rolling boil. Add farro and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until farro is tender and liquid is absorbed. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  2. Combine a drizzle of olive oil and 2 tbsps lime juice. Add to cooled farro and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
  3. Combine kale, a drizzle of olive oil, 2 tbsps of lime juice and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Toss to evenly coat. Set aside.
  4. Preheat over to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchement paper, and place cauliflower on the baking sheet. Whisk together a drizzle of olive oil and the curry paste and pour over the cauliflower. Use your hands to coat the florets evenly. Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway.
  5. Add kale to the baking sheet with the cauliflower and roast for 10 more minutes.
  6. Combine veggies and farro, and serve warm.

Tuesday– Salmon & lentil croquettes

I love fish burgers, so when I spotted this recipe in Longo’s Experience magazine, I got really excited. The patties started to fall apart a bit while cooking, so it may be helpful to add a handful of breadcrumbs or an egg to hold everything together.

Ingredients

  • 300 g cooked or canned salmon
  • 1 cup cooked green or brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 glove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix together salmon, lentils, mayo, cilantro and onions in food processor until combined. Stir in garlic and pepper. Shape mixture into 4 croquettes and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  2. Spray a skillet with oil and pan-fry burgers on both sides until golden (about 10 minutes).

Wednesday–Chickpea salad

This is one of my favorite vegetarian meals that I turn to regularly. It’s from my beloved All-natual everyday cookbook from Heidi Swanson.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 x 15 oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more if needed, and a bit of grated zest
  • 4 pieces lavash flatbread or whole wheat tortillas (12 inch)
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the mustard, yogurt and salt. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the yogurt sauce across each piece of lavash.
  2. Pulse 2/3 of the chickpeas in a food processor a few times, just enough to break them up. Transfer them to the mixing bowl with the remaining yogurt sauce, along with the remaining chickpeas, shallots, celery and dill. Gently toss to combine then add the lemon juice and zest and toss again. Taste and add more salt or lemon juice, if needed.
  3. Sprinkle each piece of lavash with 1/4 of the mixed greens (the yogurt will help hold the greens in place), top each of the four wraps with 1/4 of the chickpea mixture. Fold or roll into a wrap and serve.

Thursday – Curry noodle and fish bowl

I stumbled across this recipe in Longo’s Experience magazine and was seduced by the Asian flavors. Be forewarned — the original recipe is supposed to turn out to be a soup, but the noodles soaked up most of my broth and it ended up as more of a stew. Add more broth as you see fit.

Ingredients

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled & minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 pkg mushrooms
  • 200 g rice noodles
  • 2 tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tbsps cilantro
  • 4 white fish fillets

Instructions

  1. Whisk together coconut milk, broth and curry paste in saucepan. Add ginger, garlic, mushrooms and carrot and heat until steaming.
  2. Add noodles, soy sauce and cilantro. When noodles become tender, add fish and simmer until cooked through. Ladle into bowls to serve.

Friday – Grilled tilapia with Israeli couscous salad

Pearl couscous (or Israeli couscous) is actually not couscous at all but rather pasta. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not the biggest fan of pasta, but this type really appeals to me. Its shape and size makes it pretty and also very tasty – it gets all coated in whatever dressing you pour on, making it perfect for warm or cold salads. I found this tasty recipe in Longo’s Experience magazine, and plan to grill a piece of tilapa to serve with it.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • Juice and zest from 1 emon
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1/4 tsp crushed chili pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine pearl couscous and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat; cover and let stand for about 15 minutes or until couscous is tender.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and toss to combine. Serve warm with grilled tilapia.

Week of March 02, 2015

Happy March! I can’t believe how quickly February flew by… Granted, it’s the shortest month — but still! I suppose this only means we are closer to summer. Yay!

I spent most of the week training at my new job. I am so excited to start! T minus 8 days..


Monday – Crispy Brussels sprouts

Photo cred: Minimalist Baker
Photo cred: Minimalist Baker

I recently discovered the Minimalist Baker, a wonderful food blog with healthful, delicious recipes like this one. I will serve this with a piece of pan-fried fresh fish.

Ingredients

Sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, rinsed and dried
  • 3-4 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
Sriracha aioli
  • 3/4 cup hummus
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • pinch each sea salt + garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat a large skillet to medium high heat and cut any large Brussels sprouts in half.
  2. Add to a mixing bowl and toss with a generous amount of oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Once the pan is hot, add a bit more oil to the pan and only as many sprouts as will fit without crowding the pan. Cover and cook for 1 minute, then use tongs to toss and turn over halved sprouts to cook both sides evenly. Cover once more and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Shake the pan once more to toss the sprouts and then cover for another 30 seconds.
  4. Remove from heat and immediately add back to the (empty) mixing bowl and top with minced garlic and season again with salt and pepper. Continue cooking other batches until all of the sprouts are sautéed. Serve hot with the Sriracha aioli, and Parmesan cheese or fresh herbs if desired.


Tuesday – White beans and charred broccoli

Photo cred: Bon Appetit
Photo cred: Bon Appetit

This recipe came in my veggie basket this week, and I thought it would be a tasty, filling vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

  •  2 cups dried white beans
  • 3 oz. Parmesan with rind
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, halved crosswise
  • 1 1/2 lb. broccoli, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 4 anchovy fillets packed in oil
  • 2 strips lemon zest, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Soak beans overnight. The next day, drain and place in a large heavy pot. Remove rind from Parmesan and add rind along with onion and garlic to beans. Pour in water to cover and season with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, adding water as needed to keep beans submerged, until beans are tender, about 2 hours. Let cool.
  2. Discard vegetables and Parmesan rind, then drain. Preheat oven to 450°. Toss broccoli with ¼ cup oil on a baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, 15–20 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Finely chop half of broccoli and toss in a large bowl with drained and finely chopped anchovies, lemon zest, lemon juice, and beans. Shave half of Parmesan over and add remaining broccoli and ¼ cup oil; toss and season with salt, pepper, and more lemon juice. Shave remaining Parmesan over.

Wednesday – Seared fish with tomato and dill sauce

Photo cred: Ricardo
Photo cred: Ricardo

Saturday night was date night, and JW cooked the most amazing dinner for me. It was exactly the kind of meal I love, and we enjoyed it with a bottle of tart white wine. I plan on making it again Wednesday — it was just so good!!! The original recipe is (unsurprisingly) from Ricardo.

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 5 plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  • 4 white fish fillets (we used cod)
  • 1/4 cup unbleached all­ purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan, heat a drizzle of olive oil and cook the shallot and garlic until soft. Add the tomatoes, water, herbs, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and hot sauce, and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Season the fish with salt and pepper. In a plate, coat the fish in flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large non­stick skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil and brown the fish for 2 to 4 minutes per side or until the desired doneness (depending on the selected fish, cooking time may vary). Serve the fish hot, topped with the tomato sauce.

Thursday – Sicilian sausage stew

Photo cred: All Recipes
Photo cred: All Recipes

It’s not spring just yet! We’ve had a cold front recently and I have been craving some good comfort food exactly like this.

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/8 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup small pasta (e.g., farfalle, penne)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Stir in sausage, onion and fennel seeds and cook until sausage is brown, 10 minutes. Stir in carrots and celery and continue to cook and stir until vegetables begin to color, 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, parsley, basil and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
  2. Stir in pasta, salt and pepper, cook until pasta is tender, 10 minutes more. Serve topped with grated Parmesan.

Friday – Roasted beet and fennel salad

Photo cred: Food & Wine
Photo cred: Food & Wine

Beets and fennel are in season and are, again, in my basket this week. I will combine them in this tasty salad which I will serve with grilled chicken or fish.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large fennel bulb with fronds—bulb cut into 1/2-inch wedges, 1 tablespoon chopped fronds
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 oz goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium baking dish, toss the beets with the thyme, the water and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and cook for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Discard the thyme.
  2. In a small baking dish, drizzle the fennel wedges with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until tender and lightly browned.
  3. Pour the beet juices into a bowl and whisk in the vinegar. Add the beets, fennel wedges and fronds and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with goat cheese crumbled on top.