Another carrot salad in time for Easter. Hmm…..maybe if this happens again next year, we’ll have a real pattern.
Anywho….got this bag of pretty carrots at TJ’s to cook with the brisket for Saint Pat’s. Only thing is, the red ones lose the red when cooked and just look normal. So, a cold recipe would keep the prettiness.
That was the first time we’ve had carrots in the house since himself had to change his diet – they are on the verbotten list, along with peas and bananas. But I digress.
Hey, Mikey! He liked it. I went easy on the hot pepper at first; when I added more Himself was disappointed that he could taste the curry less. Sigh. Your tongue can only process so much data at a time.
Give this a whirl. If you don’t have curry paste lying about, use powder. It’ll still be yummy.
For the salad
3 carrots, peeled then shaved in to strips
½ shallot, cut in to thin rings
¼ c. craisins or currants or sultanas
¼ c. pistachio meats
For the sauce
2 Tbsp. honey
1 tsp. dijon
1/2 tsp. freshly grated ginger root
1 tsp. curry paste
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. red or white wine vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
Use your veg peeler to shave the carrots. Cut the carrots in half across the middle first, or you will wind up with a papardelle like salad.
Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk together the sauce in another bowl.
Dress the salad right before serving.
Fat 5 g
Sodium 44 mg
Carbs 23 g
Protein 2 g
Froggy fantastic times continue at the Yum. Marcel Proust aside(ugh, shoot me now Aunty), this week Cuisine A-Z featured a bunch of madeleine recipes. I’ve had these pans for years, and never used them. Probably because of Proust. But, it is now time.
I know a sprinkling of powdered sugar is traditional, but I won’t be delivering these until the next day. So, a lemon juice glaze it is – that should keep them nice and moist until the grandladies get to take a bite. I think of them whenever I make something with lemon.
These take less than ten minutes to mix and then ten to bake. Twenty minutes to tea time temptation – not bad, ya’ll. Not bad.
for the pan
1 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
¼ c AP flour
for the batter
½ c sugar
heaping ¼ tsp salt
¾ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup AP flour
2 tsp lemon zest
6 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
for the glaze
½ tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c. powdered sugar
Thoroughly butter the pan with the 1Tb melted butter, then using a flour sifter dust with the ¼ flour, jostle the pans a bit to get the flour in every nook and cranny. Tap out the excess. THIS STEP IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Heat oven to 375*
Whip the eggs, sugar and salt on high in the mixer for about two minutes, until it is barely pale yellow and super fluffy. Sift in the flour, then pour on the butter, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix quickly for acouple seconds until it’s homogenous.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter in to your prepped pan. Go evenly to the top or just below – don’t overfill, you’ll have a mess.
Bake 10 minutes until just *barely* golden at the edge, and they spring back when touched. After cooling for just a minute or two, test the edges of the cookies to make sure they are not stuck, and invert the pan.
Glaze when cool.
You can skip the glaze and just dust these with powdered sugar.
If you do glaze and don’t eat them immediately, the glaze will melt in to the cookie making the top slighlty sticky but ridiculously delicious.
Fat 4 g
Sodium 34 mg
Carbs 13 g
Protein 1 g
So a couple Saturdays back, I needed to do something with some leftover bacon in the fridge. (I know, right?! How the HELL did THAT happen? I do not know), and that made me think of my mom’s potato soup when I was a kid. Only we don’t do potatoes now, but we do cauliflower and….wait! That’s it! And there you have it, another snap shot of the way my brain works.
Regardless of brain workings, this soup is delicious. And easy. And filling. And fast. Plus, bacon.
When I made this again for the blog, I had to cook the bacon. This added some time – so plan ahead and make extra bacon at breakfast, then hide it.
Ya’ll know we can’t do dairy so much, so I made this with cashew cream. And really, you should make it that way the first time because it is AMAZEBALLS. Or, wimp out and use heavy cream – because I am not your dairy police. That’s between you and your intestines.
Give this bad boy a whirl, and share your results!
For the cashew cream
½ c. raw cashew pieces
¾ c. warm water
½ tsp. corn starch
½ tsp. nutritional yeast
For the Soup
20 oz. pkg frozen cauliflower
6 slices thick-cut bacon (about 6 oz)
2 Tbsp. bacon fat
½ white onion, coarsely chopped
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1.5 qt. chicken stock
S&P to taste
If you are doing this with cashew cream: put cashews and water in your blender, set aside to soak the cashews.
For the soup
Cold pan fry up that bacon. Chop 5 of the slices and reserve the 6th to crumble as garnish. (Now, this is assuming you can control yourself around bacon. If you cannot, cook extra slices accordingly.)
Take 2 Tbsp of the bacon grease and use it to sweat the onions in a big soup pot.
Once they’re clear, add the thyme, nutmeg, cauliflower, chopped bacon and chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
Simmer about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is fall-apart soft.
At this point, if you are using the cashew cream, put the corn starch and the yeast in the blender and set it on high/liquefy for about two minutes. You may need to stop/scrape midway. You should end up with a super-smooth mixture that looks like cream. Rub a drop between your fingers – it should not feel grainy. If it does, give it another minute or so until it is super smooth.
Scoop the cooked cauliflower (and whatever onions and bacon make it along for the ride) in to the blender. Keep the lid open a crack (so you don’t have a soup explosion) and puree until smooth. You may need to add a little broth to make it work. Pour all that back in to the soup pot with the broth and simmer about ten or fifteen more minutes. (If you eschew the cashew, put enough liquid in the blender with the cauliflower to puree it; then you can add 1 c. heavy cream and simmer for the same amount of time.)
Serve it up, garnished with some of that bacon and a sprinkle of more nutmeg.
This reheats great – I have not tried freezing it, but the next day for lunch? Super deelish.
And – this is soup consistency soup. If you want a super-thick, stand up your spoon kinda purée, cut the liquid in half. And use the food processor to purée instead of the blender.
Fat 12 gg
Sodium 430 mg
Carbs 14 g
Protein 10 g
So, this week I’m making what every French child knows how to make by the age of 8. (Right before they start smoking and after they’ve been drinking wine, of course….)
Why do we all buy salad dressings? Sometimes when I’m on auto pilot at the grocery and find myself reaching for a bottle, I stop to think, “you idiot.”
Seriously – is there anything easier? Make it at home – control what’s in it.
Why not try making your own? Fresh, easy, delicious; and you probably already have all the ingredients and don’t even know it. Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and add parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns. Whatever. Just play with your food.
This is a big batch – fills a whole bottle from Cost Plus. Feel free to halve or quarter it, or double and give some to the neighbors…..
And, I whisked it – but of course later remembered this great tip from Cooks Illustrated – just put everything in a jar with a lid and shake it til it’s emulsified. Remember those Good Seasons italian dressing cruets when we were kids? Like that…..
Try it! Share how it turned out.
¾ c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
3 Tbsp. dijon mustard
½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. salt
1.5 – 2 c. good oil.
In a large bowl, or blender, or 4-cup measuring cup, whisk together everything but the oil.
While you’re still whisking, slowly drizzle in the oil until you get an emulsion. (It will thicken, and become dull instead of shiny.)
Keeps in the fridge for at least a week.
Play with the ingredients, too – leave out the shallot, add tarragon. Or leave in the shallot and parsley and thyme. Or cracked green peppercorns.
For the oil, I like to go half plain veg oil and half extra virgin olive oil. I think going all olive overpowers this. Save that for the balsamic vinaigrettes – they can handle it.
Serving size is 2Tbsp – or 1oz.
Fat 28 g
Sodium 47 mg
Carbs 0 g
Protein 0 g
“Hmmm….how do I photograph lentils to make them look appetizing?” Another item to file in the “shit I never thought I’d hear myself say” folder. But, seriously. How?
I guess you are going to have to take my word for it. In the winter I am often obsessed with an italian sausage and lentil soup created by that genius Beth at Budget Bytes. It was cold. Any rainy. And a hearty bowl sounded just perfect! Plus, I’ve been trying to find that “just right” bread recipe……it was destiny. (More on the bread next week…)
Billy bought some chorizo for our breakfast mini omelettes, and I started to think how good that would taste with lentils. (The chorizo, you guys, not the omelettes.) So, poof! Soup! Make some. It’s fairly quick and easy. Himself can’t have carrots anymore, so the base is stock, onion and celery only. Feel free to add two peeled carrots sliced for soup. And, this does work with Soyrizo – you just have to add it at the end with the spinach.
This is made with Mexican style chorizo, by the way, not the Spanish kind. Although that would also be very tasty. And, for chrissakes, get the pork. Unless you go the soyrizo route – but we’ve already talked about that. As a reformed vegetarian, I can’t bitch now.
This soup is awesome. And easily serves four very hungry people, add some good bread and salad and it’s show time.
½ # pork chorizo, cooked. Use the good kind that’s lean. It makes a difference. (or, use Soyrizo)
½ # lentils. I used green, but yellow or orange would be tasty if creamier.
½ white onion, in ½” dice
3 stalks of celery, sliced in soup chunk size
2 quarts chicken or pork stock
½ package frozen chopped spinach
S&P to taste
Wash and pick through the lentils. Rocks and bad bits are rare these days, but not impossible.
In a large stock pot, brown the meat. If you didn’t listen and got greasy chorizo, drain it. Toss in the veg and sauté with the meat for a couple minutes. Pour in the lentils and the stock. Simmer about an hour. (Or on low in the crock pot while you’re at work. If you use a crock pot, only use 1.5 qts stock). Ten minutes before serving, take the stick blender to half the pot. This breaks ups some of the lentils and thickens the soup. Then, add the spinach give it a stir and set the dinner table. (If you’re going the Soyrizo route, add it now.)
Serve with lime and hot sauce. Or a sprinkle of smoked paprika and sliced bitter olives. Or with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You get the idea. You are going to LOVE this.
Fat 9 g
Sodium 830 mg
Carbs 21 g
Protein 16 g
So, yeah. The holidays. Finally our season of overindulgence has ended. But, I still have stuff hanging about: blue cheese, cranberry sauce, glazed pecans. … …. Mmmm, that would be really yummy in a salad.
This is pretty simple stuff:
Toss the leftover cranberry, orange juice and zest, some dijon, cider vinegar and olive oil in the blender and away we go!
1/3 c. leftover orange cranberry sauce
Zest of half and orange
Juice of one orange
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/3 c. cider vinegar
2/3 c. olive oil
dash S & P
Sugar, to taste.
Put everything but the olive oil in the blender.
Purée until smooth.
Taste, add sugar if you’d like it sweeter. (or honey, or agave, etc.)
Leave the blender on, and drizzle in the olive oil until you have a gorgeous hot pink emulsion.
Stores in the fridge for a couple weeks.
Fat 18 g
Sodium 12 mg
Carbs 7 g
Protein 0 g
So, we all know about Billy’s diet restrictions. Coming up with a starch-resembling food item at dinner is a challenge. He can eat winter squash, so lately it’s been 101 ways to eat butternut. This is one we like. And it is literally three-ingredients and ten minutes.
The biggest pain to this is peeling the squash. Sometimes Sprouts will have it already peeled and cubed at essentially the same per-pound price, but not always. So, when I have to (gasp) prep my own, this is what I do: Slice the knob off the top and the bottom, so it will stand up on the cutting board. Then, I just take a veg peeler in long strokes down the length of the squash. (There is nothing pervy about this, unless your husband is watching you do it so make him leave the room.)
Once the peel’s off, it’s just a matter of slicing it in half longitudinally and then cubing.
So – to make it. For the two of us, I put half the cubes in a microwave-safe bowl. That’s about a pound of squash. Cover it with Saran, and microwave it. Do NOT add any liquid of any kind, or you will wind up with squash soup instead of puree. If you don’t have a microwave, roast it. Do not steam or boil because that will add too much moisture and again you’ll have soup.
Take it out, drain it if needed, add a tablespoon of butter and one half of a whole chipotle in adobo. Dump all that in the cuisinart and pulse til it’s gorgeous. Then it’s ready to go!
This is a new favorite at our house. It is fantastic with some grilled pork chops and collard greens, or a nice chicken breast and roasted broccoli.
Butternut Squash Purée with Chipotle
Tasty, easy, fast side dish with only three ingredients.
Put the squash in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high for 4-6 minutes until soft. Do not add any liquid or seasoning to the squash before cooking it.
Put the cooked squash, butter and hot pepper in the food processor and pulse til puréed.
We've tried this with Sriracha, and although it was delicious, my mouth was on fire for a long time. Wait until it is done to see if you need any salt or pepper - that chipotle adds all the seasoning we needed, but you may want some more.
Bill is full of catchy little sayings – “What’s the word, hummingbird?” and “Don’t let your meat loaf.” They make me groan and laugh at the same time. He also decided we should call these duchess potatoes, “tater titties”. Despite all this I love him, Pa. And I’d rather have duchess potatoes than tots any day.
That being said, meatloaf is a popular dish at our house. For dinner and then sandwiches the next day (With mayonnaise -something else Bill taught me. I always thought ketchup was best, but I was wrong!)
We’re partial to ground turkey in our house – the old beef/pork combo is just too rich for us.
Want to try it?
Meat Loaf, Don't Let Your
Easy turkey meatloaf with a spicy sweet tomato glaze, served with a chunky tomato sauce.
(Ok, ok - I just totally made up those glaze measurements because I just squirt them both on and then smear them about.)
For the sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes with onion, celery & bell pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1&1/2 tsp worsteshire sauce
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/8 tsp ginger powder (or better yet, a quarter-size piece of candied ginger slice)
Preheat oven to 375*. Line a small cookie sheet with silver foil and spritz it with non-stick spray.
Grate the onion in the mixing bowl. Chop the pepper, add to bowl along with the egg and bread crumbs. Mix with a fork. Add the ground turkey. Mix gently with your hands. In the bowl, form the mixture in to a general loaf shape. Invert the bowl on to the prepared cooking sheet and touch up the loaf shape.
Squeeze the ketchup and sriracha on to the loaf, and using your fingers since they're already dirty, mix the two sauces and spread them evenly on the top, ends and sides of the loaf. Slide a meat thermometer in to that bad boy and in to the oven he goes. Should be done (165* ) in about 35-40 minutes.
Let it rest for five minutes before serving.
For the sauce
Once the loaf is in the oven, put all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan on low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meatloaf is done. Serve with the slices.
You could cook this in a loaf pan, but cooking it "open style" on the cookie tray makes for that yummy crust and glaze on three sides of the loaf instead of just the top.
Be careful with your ground turkey selection - read those nutrition labels because some can be 80/20. If you're going that route, may as well do a ground beef meat loaf!