Mediterranean Spiced Hash

This deeply-spiced potato hash is great for a quick weeknight dinner – or as the centerpiece of a nice brunch. Serve with eggs, chicken, sausages, or leftover shawarma meat for a nice protein boost.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan

Mediterranean Spiced Hash

3 small yellow potatoes, chopped fine

2 big hand fulls okra (or asparagus, or green beans – whichever you can find), sliced into rounds

Big hand full cherry tomatoes, halved

1 small cucumber, chopped fine

Big hand parsley, chopped fine

1 red onion, diced (about 1/3 c)

Neutral oil

Stock or water + chicken flavoring (I used Magic Sarap)

4 Tbsp zaatar

2 tsp sumac or lemon powder

2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp smoked or sweet paprika

1 Tbsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper

Squeeze lemon juice

In a large pan over medium/medium-high, heat a couple turns oil. Add the potatoes and onion once chopped and sauté until beginning to soften, cutting the heat down if things start to get too brown.

Add the okra (or other veg) and stir a minute or so.

Add 1/4 c of the stock or seasoned water. Stir.

Add all the spices + generous lashes of salt and pepper.

Stir frequently, adding more water if your mix dries out and starts to burn, until the potatoes are cooked through and your okra de-slimes. Your potatoes will look super spiced and a sort of gravy will form. This is what you want.

To finish, toss with the cucumber, parsley and tomato. Taste and hit with a little lemon juice, salt or pepper if needed.

Serves 3 – 4, depending upon what you pair it with

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

This is a fresh, crunchy and satisfying salad perfect for when the mercury is hovering in the punishing zone and you don’t want to be bothered with having to face a hot dinner.

gluten-free, pescatarian

Salsa Shrimp Pasta Salad

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp, boiled and chopped

2 cucumbers, chopped

1 jalapeño, deseeded if desired and minced

1 smallish red onion, chopped

1/2 c. your favorite salsa – fresh or jarred; I went jarred

1 avocado, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1/2 box chickpea pasta, cooked to al dente and drained

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 tsp. chili powder (or chipotle powder)

Generous sprinkle salt, pepper & red pepper flakes

Cherry tomatoes and chopped scallions for garnish if you’ve got either

Boil your pasta to al dente and drain. Set in a large bowl.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp; boil to cook. Drain and set to cool.

Chop the veggies and add to the pasta bowl.

Chop the shrimp into thirds when cool. Add to the bowl.

Add the salsa, spices, avocado, lime juice. Toss well. Taste for seasoning and add a little more if necessary.

Top with the garnishes and serve. I ended up sprinkling all but the first serving with a little more pepper and flaky finishing salt and that was about perfect.

Serves 4

Hot Honey Chicken Bowl

This is a great one to keep in your back pocket. This chicken is [fire] and would be fantastic in a cold summer salad (I’m thinking a mandarin affair), or a quick stir fry. Yum.

gluten-free

Hot Honey Chicken Bowl

Chicken:

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

2 tsp. garlic powder

2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot powder

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Generous salt & pepper

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. honey

2 Tbsp. sambal olek

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos

More salt, pepper, cayenne & red pepper flakes

Bowl:

1-2 zucchini, cut into moons & air fried until nice and brown with a little salt, pepper & oil

2 carrots, shredded

1 avocado, chopped

2c. quinoa or cous cous cooked in broth with salt & pepper

Juice & zest of 2 limes

Sauce:

1/4 c. your favorite yogurt (I used a thick Skyr-style soy)

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning powder

Hand full of chopped chives or scallions to garnish

Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces and toss with the garlic powder, cornstarch/arrowroot powder, cayenne & a generous sprinkle salt & pepper. Blast with a little spray oil and air fry on 400 15 mins or until crispy and done (shaking and re-spraying a couple times through the cook time).

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, honey, sambal, minced garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce/coconut aminos and a generous sprinkle each of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. Toss the chicken with the sauce and set aside.

Prep the grain bowl bottom and veggies.

Assemble as you wish.

Combine the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, thinning out with a little water if you want a more pourable sauce.

Top with the scallions or chives.

Serves 4

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

This is a fantastically versatile couscous dish popular at Eid (fortuitous since I made it on what turned out to be the first day of the holiday celebration).

My version is vegetarian and much simpler than the original – a version of which can be found here. I served mine topped with last week’s tfaya dressing as written the first night and added a splash of lemon zest the next for an even brighter taste.

vegetarian, vegan

A Riff On Moroccan Bidaoui Couscous

The Cous

1 cup couscous

2 cups good broth (I used a nice veggie broth)

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp ghee or butter

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

2 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 cup chopped parsley

The Veggies

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

4 Roma tomatoes, quartered

2 large carrots, chopped

1/2 small butternut squash

4 small zucchini, chopped

Spice Mix

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground cayenne

Topper

Tfaya dressing

Slivered almonds

Preheat your oven to 400C/345F and prepare a baking sheet.

Chop your veggies into large pieces and set on the sheet. For the butternut, scoop the seeds and slice into thick half moons.

Sprinkle the spice mix over all, hit with generous salt & pepper and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.

Bake 25 – 35 minutes or until your desired brownness is reached.

Scoop the butternut out of the peels and chop. Set all aside while you make the couscous.

Put the couscous in a large bowl, add the turmeric and butter and pour the boiling stock over top. Let sit, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and toss with salt, pepper, olive oil, and parsley.

To serve, top the couscous with the roasted veggies and sprinkle all with slivered almonds & last week’s Tfaya dressing.

Serves 4 – 6

Tunisian Spiced Salad

This is a nice little salad that can be bulked up for a good dinner or served light for a refreshing lunch.

gluten-free, paleo

Tunisian Spiced Salad

Dressing:

1 shallot, minced

2 Tbsp fruity vinegar (I used plum)

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp Ras el Hanout

2 tsp honey

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

4 Tbsp oil (olive or neutral)

Large pinches Salt & pepper

Salad:

1 large carrot, ribboned

1 package baby spinach

1/4 c slivered almonds

1 large mango, skinned and cut into bite sized cubes

Protein of choice (I used rotisserie chicken)

Whisk all dressing ingredients in the bottom of a large bowl. Toss the salad ingredients into the bowl as you prep and mix well.

Serve with protein of your choice, or to bulk out – add your favorite grain (Cous cous, bulgur or farro would be great).

Serves 4

Carrot Salad with Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

This dressing tastes surprisingly just like that served at hibachi restaurants.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Hibachi-Style Ginger Dressing

2 large carrots

5 Tbsp your favorite oil

2 scallions

1 date

3 Tbsp your favorite fruity vinegar (I used ume plum)

2 Tbsp pineapple juice (I suspect orange would work well, too)

1/3 c Kewpie mayo

1 inch ginger

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Generous pinch salt & pepper

Water to thin if needed

Blitz all dressing ingredients together, thinning out with a little water if necessary.

A Salad To Go With It

1 – 2 carrots, ribboned

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 huge hand full green beans, chopped

3 smallish Persian cucumbers, diced

2 scallions, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Toppers: sesame seeds, flaky salt, pepper, sambal or other spice

The dressing serves 6 or so; the salad makes enough for 3 – 4 dinners when supplemented with a protein

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

This is an addictive little hit of Summer sun in a bowl; perfect for those mid-Winter blues.

gluten-free, paleo, pescatarian

Sunshine Shrimp Chopped Salad

Protein

1 – 1.5 lb peeled and deveined shrimp

Juice of 2 oranges

3 Tbsp salt

1/2 yellow onion, chopped rough

2 cloves garlic, chopped rough

Hand full cilantro

3 c water

First, poach your shrimp in the mix above a couple minutes or until cooked through. Remove. If your shrimp were frozen and pre-cooked like mine, heat till warmed through. You’ll still get a bit of that delicious poaching liquid taste. It’s fine.

Dressing

4 Tbsp cashew butter

1 tsp your favorite sweetener (I used date molasses)

1 tsp rice vinegar

1 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp sambal olek

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

Sprinkle salt & pepper

Salad Base

Couple hand fulls green beans per serving, cut in thirds and poached in the shrimp liquid until crisp-tender

1/2 avocado per serving

1/2 – whole segmented and chopped orange per serving

6-10 cherry tomatoes, halved, per serving

Sprinkle soy

Sprinkle sesame seeds

Sprinkle flaky salt

How many this serves depends on how starving you are – this *could* serve 2 for lunch as written, or just a really hungry me. You do you

Mango Chive Salad

Although it is not, regrettably, high mango season where I live – I just couldn’t resist some particularly tantalizing ruby red beauties in the grocery last week. Here, we are starting to dread the summer heat – while hanging on to every last shred of cool weather (and the winds they bring). I thought a nice, refreshing salad was just the thing to combat those spring ‘I’m not ready for surface of the sun temps’ blues.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Mango Chive Salad

1 large mango (if you’ve got a big boy, or 2 smaller), skinned and chopped

3 small Persian cucumbers or 1 large English variety

1/4 c chives, snipped

1 jalapeño, seeded

1/4 c pepitas

2 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 Tbsp your favorite mustard (I used Dijon, but my love – grainy Maille – would also be great here)

2 tsp honey, agave or date molasses

2 Tbsp your favorite neutral oil (or neutral-ish; I used olive)

2 tsp any fruit vinegar (I used ume plum)

1 red bell pepper

Optional add-ins for bulk: Hand full simply stir-fried snow peas, 1/4 – 1/2 avocado per serving

Optional add-ins for protein: rotisserie chicken, shrimp or sesame tofu

Chop the cucumber into bite-sized pieces and add to a large bowl.

Chop and add the red pepper & half the jalapeño and add to the bowl.

Snip the chives into small bits and add.

Add half the mango (I had a big boy so I added about a cup and a half, reserving about half a cup of mango for the dressing).

Toss all and set aside.

In the carafe of your blender, add: the other 1/2 cup or so of mango, the second half of the jalapeño, garlic, pepitas, lemon juice, mustard, sweetener, oil, and vinegar. Whiz to combine. Salt to taste.

Toss the salad with the dressing and any add-ins. Whack with a sprinkle flaky salt & black pepper to finish.

Serves 2 as a big meal-sized salad; 4 if you’re adding in the proteins & bulk items

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

Yaaaaaaas. I love fried eggplant cubes but hate actually frying things. The air fryer makes quick work of eggplant, turning it into crisp little nuggets in 10 minutes. Delicious!

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Air Fryer Eggplant with Vegan Yogurt Sauce

1 large purple eggplant

Salt

Curry powder

Spritz or spray oil

2 Tbsp Skyr-style soy yogurt

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp pomegranate molasses

1 Tbsp tahini

Generous sprinkle salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Cube your eggplant into 1/4-inch pieces. Add to a large bowl and toss with a generous sprinkle salt. Let sit 5-10 minutes.

Preheat your air fryer to 200C/400F for 3 minutes.

Mix the yogurt, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, tahini and garlic powder in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning and add salt as necessary.

Toss your salted eggplant with a generous amount of curry powder, add to the basket of your air fryer, and hit with a spritz or two of oil. Fry, shaking occasionally, 10 minutes or until your desired level of crispness is achieved.

Serve with the yogurt sauce and your protein of choice.

Serves 2

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

This is a satisfying side to pretty much any protein. It’s sweet, rich, a little sticky, with a nice warm flavor.

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, paleo

Sweet & Sticky Carrot Sticks

2-3 large carrots

Generous sprinkle cumin

Generous sprinkle curry powder

Generous sprinkle salt & pepper

1 tsp. oil

1 Tbsp. tahini

2 Tbsp. yogurt (I used a Skyr-style vegan variety)

1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses

1 tsp. date molasses or other sweetener

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat your air fryer for 3 minutes.

While the air fryer is warming, cut your carrots into roughly fry shape.

Toss in a large bowl with the cumin, curry, salt, pepper & oil.

Air fry on 200C for 7-10 minutes or until your desired level of brown and crispness, pulling to toss every couple minutes.

Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to form a sauce. Thin with water if desired.

To serve, toss the carrot fries with the sauce.

Serves 4