This is a blind stab at recreating the show-stopping salad served at Heenat Salma Farm last month during the yoga/Pilates day retreat I went to.
It’s not perfect – by far – and I meant to “fix” the issues the original had (too sweet dressing – needed acid and/or heat), but I’m not sure this hit the mark. It’s been like a month since I’ve tasted the original, and all those ingredients were organic farm fresh – so I did what I could.
This rendition is fantastic. Not the same as the other, but definitely craveable.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan
2 nectarines, chopped
8 dates, seeded and chopped
200g feta (I used vegan feta from Sheese), cubed
~2c kale, chopped
~4c red lettuce, chopped
~1/4c red onion, sliced into wafer thin moons
~1/2c walnuts, chopped
~1/2c (roughly 20) black olives, chopped
~1/4c cilantro, chopped
3Tbsp date syrup
2tsp cardamom (ground)
3Tbsp lime juice
6Tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika
Salt & pepper
Whisk dressing ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the salad ingredients (minus the feta) and massage in. Add the feta, generous salt & pepper and toss to combine.
I tried every which way from Sunday to screw this dish up. I let the meat thaw too long, wrapped it halfway and let it sit for a day, took little care in the actual cooking, and then added insult to injury by not eating it for a day after.
And it was still damn delicious, despite the disrespect.
(Nearly) Weeknight Wellington
3-ish pound beef tenderloin
Package filo or puff pastry dough
250g mixed mushrooms
2 tsp beef stock starter
1/2 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp soy sauce
Salt & pepper
1 package proscuitto
Chinese hot mustard
Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
Rub your tenderloin with oil, salt & pepper generously. Put on a roasting pan and bake 10 minutes to brown a bit.
While the beef is working, chop the mushrooms very fine.
Sauté in 1 Tbsp olive oil until softened. Add 2 tsp beef stock starter, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp soy sauce, a splash of bourbon and 1/3 cup water. Let cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.
When the beef is finished, remove and let cool completely.
Remove the mushrooms from the heat and let cool as well.
Lay some Saran Wrap down (or a layer of aluminum foil + a layer of baking paper if you, like me, didn’t get your ish together). Layer the prosciutto over top in a single layer with no gaps showing.
Spread the mushrooms over top in a thinish layer to almost the edges.
Slater the top of the beef generously with the mustard and lay down over the mushrooms mustard side down.
Roll the ham around the beef, using the wrapping to do so, tightly. Chill at least :30 (I let mine go overnight and it was fine).
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven again to 400F/200C.
Prepare a baking sheet. Roll the dough over the sheet into a flat rectangle.
Unwrap the beef roll and place onto the edge of the dough. Wrap the beef in the dough, ending up seam side down.
Brush the seam with the egg (beaten) to seal. Tuck the ends under as well to make a package.
Make some small slashes in the top to let steam escape. Brush with beaten egg.
Bake :30 for rare-mid rare; longer for more doneness.
Serves 4? 5? 6? You decide how far you want to stretch it
This week, I was really attracted to the Buddha bowl pics scattered throughout my Pinterest feed and didn’t want to make 9,000 ingredients – so I worked to combine a list (albeit a large list) of simple ingredients in a variety of ways to make the best of a simple mixture of quinoa + rice.
My week 100% could have been more cost-effective, but it gave me a good dose of the ingredients combining kind of Chopped Kitchen kind of life I’ve been missing.
Quinoa & Rice Base
3/4 c. quinoa (rinse if you’re not lazy like me)
3/4 c. sushi rice (rinse if you aren’t lazy like me)
2 Tbsp. mushroom-based umami powder
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I usually use rice vinegar but only had black vinegar on hand)
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Big sprinkle salt
Combine all and set your rice cooker to cook. Alternately, sushi rice & quinoa both take about 25 minutes to cook on the stove.
Now for the mix-ins to transform this simple added-protein base into a few different dishes.
Day 1: Sesame Crusted Salmon Bowl
Sesame crusted salmon (take 1 salmon steak, skin and de-bone. Pat dry. Brush with a little soy sauce and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds. Press the sesame seeds into the fish to adhere. Shallow fry over medium-high in a pan until cooked to your desired doneness. Drain on paper towels until ready to use.)
Quinoa + sushi rice base (see recipe above)
Avocado, sliced or cubed
Lemon sesame pickled cucumbers , diced
Pickled ginger, minced
Roasted butternut squash (Mix 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. sesame oil, 1/2 tsp. date molasses & 1/2 tsp. white miso into a sauce – drizzle over a halved and seeded butternut squash and bake @ 400F for 25 mins or until soft and browned)
1 Tbsp. peanut butter (tahini would also be great)
1 tsp. white miso
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. Bulldog sauce (or Worcestershire)
2 tsp. black vinegar (or sushi vinegar)
1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. your favorite hot sauce (I used a habanero mix)
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and sprinkle with thinly sliced nori. Dust with more sesame if desired.
Day 2: Spicy Fiesta(ish) Bowl
1/2 c. frozen corn
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Sauté the above in olive oil; season with salt, pepper & Tony’s Creole seasoning or your favorite spicy mix
1/2 c. quinoa
1 hand full cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Add the water to the quinoa and zap to warm. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.
2 Tbsp. your favorite plain yogurt (mine is a plain coconut milk)
2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. your favorite hot sauce (mine is a habanero garlic mix)
Stir to combine.
Butternut squash leftover from the first bowl
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and top with avocado & squash.
Day 3: Spiced Chickpea Veggie Bowl
1.5 c. chopped kale
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 lg. zucchini, diced
1 Tbsp. oil
Salt & pepper
1/4 c. yogurt
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. sumac
2 tsp. lemon juice
Leftover Bowl Components
Quinoa rice mix
Roasted chickpeas (I usually buy mine and have an Indian spiced variety that’s amazing)
To make your bowl, assemble about half a cup of the quinoa mix and later the desired amount of the rest of the ingredients. Drizzle sauce over top and add avocado & chickpeas.
This green sauce makes a fantastic all-around dressing to keep on hand as a meat seasoning, salad dressing, dip, and little add-in to something like a nice grain bowl for a flavor punch.
A note on spice: I used 1 Tbsp. Fiery Fool hot sauce. This stuff is hot, and it made my sauce nice and spicy. I lean toward spice so I would totally suggest going in that direction. If you do not, a de-seeded jalapeño would be fine.
gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian
Great Green Sauce Salad
10 cloves garlic
4 scallions (reserve 2 + 2 of the dark green parts for the salad body)
1/4 c. cilantro
1 Tbsp. your favorite pretty dang hot hot sauce (see head note)
1 Tbsp. vinegar (I used black vinegar)
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sweetener (I used brown sugar)
1/3 c. olive oil
10 radishes, sliced into thin moons
3 – 4 small cucumbers, sliced into thin moons
2 scallions (whole), sliced thin + 2 green parts of scallions, also sliced thin
1/2 c. snap peas, sliced thin on the bias
5 – 10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Optional: Chicken that’s been marinated and sauteed in some sauce
Topper: Finishing salt & fresh cracked black pepper
To make the dressing, blitz all the sauce ingredients, incorporating the oil in a steady stream to make an emulsification. Set aside.
Assemble the salad by tossing all salad ingredients together. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of the sauce to dress and top with some finishing salt & freshly cracked black pepper before serving.
Serves 2 for dinner beefed up with a protein (I had mine with leftover chicken, but steak bites, salmon or tofu chunks would also be great)
I don’t know about you, but it’s boiling hot where I live – aaaaand I ate so much on my vacation to the States that pretty much all I want is a crisp, refreshing salad. With no lettuce, because it’s not my favorite way to do salad.
This recipe is a riff on a Vietnamese version I read in a magazine on the plane – if I remember correctly, that version had less in the way of heat and less in the way of vinegar. I had leftovers of this salad for days (yay, a salad that gets even better as it ages) and liked the days I remembered to add a little extra lime juice kick the most.
gluten-free (check your labels), paleo, pescatarian, low carb
Tomato Salad Goes To Asia
1/4 c. sugar (I used brown)
1/4 c. fish sauce
1/4 c. lime juice + more for serving
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Big pinch red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds (optional)
Generous bit freshly cracked pepper
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 fennel bulb, sliced into thin moons
3 small or 1 large cucumber, sliced into thin moons
1 long pepper (your fav variety – I used something red akin to a Cubanele)
2 c. mixed herbs (I used cilantro, mint & dill)
Toppers: Roasted, salted peanuts, French fried onions, green onion slices, finishing salt, extra squeeze lime juice, extra cracks black pepper
Combine all ingredients listed before the tomatoes in a jar and shake until we’ll combined and the sugar has dissolved.
Chuck the rest of the non-topper ingredients in a large bowl. Toss with the dressing.
Serve with your desired toppers and enjoy for a few meals.
This is a great riff on a classic Middle Eastern sauce (kinda like the ME version of chimichurri) with a nice, light salad.
This sauce can also be used as a meat marinade, as a topper for crispy potatoes, as a sauce in a sandwich, mixed with zucchini, avocado & peas in pasta, and as a mix-in for rice. I’m sure there are 999999 other ways to use it, but I ran out before I could try more. Which I will. I suspect this would be bomb with a Kewpie mayo egg salad sandwich.
I think next time I make this sauce, I’ll use a mortar & pestle instead of a blender – my favorite version from a local restaurant has a thicker mince and even punchier garlic.
gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo, low-carb
Cucumber Salad with Zhoug Sauce
6 cloves garlic
3 jalapeños (or a mix of jalapeños and other peppers – seed if you need to)
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1 cup cilantro
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 c. olive oil
Blend to combine in your food processor or blender until your desired consistency is reached.
2-3 small cucumbers or 1 large English cucumber, sliced thinly or diced
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. fresh dill, chopped
1 small red onion, sliced wafer thin
Generous amount flake salt & black pepper
1/2 c. zhoug sauce
Combine and let sit 1/2 an hour or more to let the flavors meld.
Serves a few as a simple side with a protein. Would also make a fantastic bbq side in place of a Southern-style cucumber salad.
Finally. A curry with taste! I have been crap at making truly flavorful curries in general – I find recipes either too light in the spice for my taste, or just generally falling flat of the kind of deeply layered taste thing I love when enjoying my favorite delivery curries.
This is a step in that direction. It’s complex, flavorful, and wholly satisfying.
A word of caution for this recipe: I served mine with just a side of basmati rice, and I was still hungry. Either the carb ratio was off, or the meal needed some protein or fat to be truly filling.
Note: This recipe uses some of the Good Standard Curry I posted last week. That curry is a fantastic base for all number of other curries – I’m hoping I’ll get one more shot at transforming it into something else before I run out. Luckily, it freezes beautifully in batches.
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 green chili of your choice
400-500g can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1.5 c. chopped okra
1 bell pepper
1 c. of the Good Standard Curry I posted a recipe for last week
Your favorite cooking oil
Salt & pepper
Chop your onion and garlic. Mince the chili. Fry in a little oil until just beginning to brown.
Add about a quarter cup of water, let simmer about 5 minutes while you are prepping the next step.
While the aromatics are softening, in another pan, fry the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and tomato paste in a little oil about a minute, or until fragrant.
Add the canned tomatoes, stir well, and simmer 10 minutes.
While the tomatoes are simmering, Whiz the onion mixture to form a paste. Chop the okra and bell pepper.
Add the onion mix, okra, bell pepper and curry base. Simmer 20 minutes, season well with salt and pepper and serve.
I served mine with basmati rice cooked with a little butter – you do you.
This version of shakshouka makes a great topper for crusty bread, uses a good blend of fresh + pantry ingredients – and makes a bonus second meal if you swirl some of your leftover sauce in with noodles.
It’s also DH approved, and he’s not a fan of skin-on tomatoes. He could live without the spinach, but we had greens and needed chlorophyll.
This would also be great with chickpeas for added protein and either scrambled or poached eggs/substitute cooked in the sauce. I wanted to keep my eggs separate to maximize leftovers. Scrambled soft tofu would be fantastic.
gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, halal
1 small jar fire roasted peppers in oil
2 hands cherry tomatoes
1 large onion
4 Tbsp. zaatar
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 c. tinned tomatoes (I used crushed but use what you have)
3 – 4 cloves garlic – 2-3 minced and 1 or 2 whole with the end sliced off
Thinly slice the onion and sauté on medium in 1 Tbsp. of the oil that comes from the jar of peppers until soft and lightly brown in spots.
Add the sambal and 2 – 3 cloves minced garlic. Sauté a minute or two more to meld together.
While that is working, remove the peppers from the oil and roughly chop.
Add the tomatoes and peppers and sauté until the tomatoes burst.
While the tomatoes are doing their thing, roughly chop the parsley, slice the bread into thick slices and drizzle with some of the pepper oil.
Broil the bread until your desired toast level has been reached. Remove from the oven and rub with the cut end of the reserved garlic clove. Set aside.
When the tomatoes have burst (with or without a little help), add the Zaatar, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Stir to combine and let sauté a minute or so to meld.
Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and half a cup of water. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat, add the spinach + half the parsley on top, and simmer 7 – 8 minutes. As soon as that spinach wilts and can be thoroughly mixed in is the time to add eggs if you are cooking them like a traditional Shakshouka.
If you are not, fry your eggs separately in a little of the pepper oil to your desired doneness.
Serves 2 for a light dinner + makes enough sauce to be used for another night’s pasta
I make this – or a variation on this – quite often for lunch later in the week, when I’ve got leftovers kicking around in the fridge, am out of my main protein, and still have some of this week’s spinach hanging around that is quickly going to age itself right out of my fridge.
For this version, I resisted the temptation to go Southeast Asian like usual (this dish 99.9% of the time turns out vaguely Japanese), and went Indian instead. I’m glad I broke out of my comfort zone a little and I think I’ll make this again on purpose for dinner some night.
To reheat your rice – any rice – without it drying out, add a Tablespoon or two of water, put the lid back on really loosely and zap in the microwave for :45 to 1:00. Boom. Steamed and refreshed rice.
Fry the eggs to your liking in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding a liberal sprinkle of turmeric when you flip. Add the spinach on top of that to wilt a couple seconds while the yolks finish setting to your desired doneness (I love a good runny yolk, so I separated my whites from yolks, scooted them to the side and added the spinach more to that side so I could see to yank the yolks when they were just barely set).
Grate the ginger and garlic into the rice.
Mince the chili (de-seeding if necessary) and add to the rice.
Add the eggs on top, along with a small hand of the crispy chickpeas.
This is a dead simple dinner that’s quick to prepare and easy to make in bulk for meal prepping.
It’s also healthy – according to my DH, *too* healthy, and can’t be classified as ‘pizza’. 😆 Call it a flatbread, then.
I was a big fan, and ended up eating the leftover hummus & veggies in a bunch of different ways throughout the week.
Roasted Veggie Pizza
Mixed veggies: I used a combo of zucchini, eggplant, peppers, carrots and onions
Some sort of pizza base: I used bran pita, but naan would be great here, as would tortillas or pizza dough flats
Edamame, cooked and shelled
Sun dried tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
Oil, salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 200C/400F. Chop your veggies into bite-sized pieces, and arrange on a prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
Drizzle some oil over and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Toss to coat and spread back out in a single layer.
Bake 15 minutes, flip, and bake an additional 10 – 15 minutes or until your desired brownness is reached. Remove and set aside.
The rest is simple. Prep your edamame if it came shelled like mine did. Set aside.
To assemble, spread hummus out in a thin-ish layer on your flatbread like you would marinara on a pizza. Arrange your roasted veggies on top, adding a sprinkle of edamame, olives and sun dried tomato to Zhuzh up your pizza a bit.
Sprinkle spices over top.
Bake on a cookie sheet 10 minutes or until crisp. Pull and slice.