July 05, 2015

Hi, I’m back! After a full month of painting and unpacking and decorating and arranging and reorganizing and furniture shopping and assembling, I feel like my Sundays are back to being my day for cooking and blogging. ♥


Monday – Veggie burgers

I love veggie burgers — actually, I sometimes enjoy them more than actual beef burgers. Usually, I make them with bulgur, but I’m out. I found this recipe which looks amazing – I mixed together the  ingredients this afternoon and have refrigerated the mix, and I must say it smells divine. Plus, we bought a BBQ !! What a treat to have delicious veggie burgers fresh off the grill. This recipe makes 6 burgers.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add mushrooms, onion, and garlic to the hot oil and season with salt, black pepper, and oregano. Cook and stir mushroom mixture until mushrooms have given up their juice and the juice has almost evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer cooked mushrooms to a cutting board and chop into small chunks with a knife.
    2. Transfer mushrooms to a large bowl. Mix in rolled oats and bread crumbs; taste for salt and black pepper and add more to taste. Stir Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese into the mixture, followed by eggs. Let mixture stand for the crumbs to soak up excess liquid, about 15 minutes. (At this point you can refrigerate the mixture to cook later if desired.) Moisten hands with a little vegetable oil or water, pick up about 1/4 cup of mixture, and form into burgers.
    3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and pan-fry burgers until browned and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes.

Tuesday – Lemony lentil salad with salmon

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One of my favourite summer flavours is lemon, so I totally fell for this recipe. This original recipe suggests using canned fish, but we BBQ’d a big piece of salmon that we picked up fresh from the fish monger’s today, and we will flake it and incorporate it with the lentils when they are finished soaking.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup diced seedless cucumber
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 15-ounce cans lentils, rinsed, or 3 cups cooked brown or green lentils (see Tip)
  • 2 7-ounce cans salmon , drained and flaked, or 1 1/2 cups flaked cooked salmon

Instructions

  1. Whisk lemon juice, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add bell pepper, cucumber, onion, lentils and salmon; toss to coat.

Wednesday – Greek salad with chicken

I used this recipe as a template but really you could improvise — use the lettuce you like, the veggies you like, the dressing you like, and even the protein you like (e.g., replace chicken with grilled pork or canned fish).

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill, or oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, (about 12 ounces; see Tip)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe black olives
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  1. Whisk vinegar, oil, dill (or oregano), garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives and feta; toss to coat.

Thursday – Grilled steak and pepper salsa

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We almost never have red meat at home, but this recipe just looked too good. I have already marinated and grilled the veggies (the smell is unbelievable) and I can’t wait to taste it with a piece of freshly grilled sirloin.

Ingredients

  • 3 small red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 small onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound sirloin steak or strip steak (1-1 1/4 inches thick), trimmed and cut into 4 portions
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Combine bell peppers, onion, vinegar, oil, capers, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (or 3/4 teaspoon dried) and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  3. Stack two 30-inch-long pieces of foil. Arrange the pepper mixture on one half and fold the foil. Tightly seal the packet by crimping and folding the edges together.
  4. Sprinkle both sides of steak with garlic powder, the remaining thyme and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  5. Oil the grill rack. Place the steak and foil packet on the grill. Grill the steak about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, 5 minutes per side for medium. Grill the packet until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes. Serve the steak with the peppers.

Friday – Stuffed pasta with pesto & rapini

JW and I came upon a really tasty package of stuffed fresh pasta from Rowe Farms last year, and he has been talking about it ever since. It was mushroom and goat cheese, I think — I am going to swing by the shop where we found it later this week and improvise as follows.

Ingredients

  • 1 package preferred stuffed pasta (e.g., ravioli)
  • 1/8 cup pesto
  • 1/4 tsp garlic
  • 1 bunch rapini, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package instructions, until al dente.
  2. While pasta cooks, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large wok and sauté garlic 30 seconds. Add rapini and toss until coated in oil & garlic and just wilted, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Drain pasta and mix in pesto. Fold in rapini and serve warm.