Meatless Monday: Sundal, A Special Chickpea Salad

My friend Amy recommended several years ago that I start a food blog.  At the time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to jump IMG_0871in, so I filed the idea away.  Now that I have been posting food porn, among other things for more than 4 years, I am finally taking the opportunity to thank her and recognize her for planting the seed that has become ATWTTL.  Amy’s food postings have always inspired me and recently she posted a picture of a delicious dish. I asked her to send me the recipe. It is a chickpea salad that is a spin on an Indian snack called “sundal”. The idea is basically to mix chickpeas with the veggies of your choice and make a ghee and spice sauce. The picture she posted looked delicious and I asked her to share the recipe with me.  And, by the way, Andrew took it for lunch two days in a row. I’ll make it again and remember to snap a picture.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained

1 small onion cut in a large dice

1 cup quarter cherry tomatoes

Black or Kosher salt

Juice of one lemon

1 small green chile, diced (Serrano, jalapeño, Anaheim, etc)

Sauce

2 Tbsp Ghee

2 tsp brown mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin

Mix Ins:

Grated coconut

Diced pineapple, mango, jicama, radishes, avocado, chopped mint or cilantro.

Directions:

1. Combine the first six ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.

2. Warm the ghee in a small bowl.  To this warm ghee add brown mustard seeds, cumin and, hing/asafoetida. Mix well and add to the chick pea mixture.

3. Finally, add your mix-in ingredients, combine and serve.

A Note from Amy: You can find asafoetida in indian stores or amazon. You can omit it, if you like. Most Indians add asafoetida or fennel to bean dishes to prevent the side effects of eating beans(I am not sure if there is any scientific evidence for this, but I always did it).

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Meatless Monday: Roasted Root Veggies with Turmeric-Tahini Sauce

My in-laws live here in Tucson.  They followed us here about a year after we moved from Santa Fe, NM.  They live

Picture from Dishing Up The Dirt

Picture from Dishing Up The Dirt

10 minutes away and we have family dinners on a regular basis.  They watch Sara Belle we watch their yellow lab Henry.  Whenever they go out of town, they clean out their refrigerator and bring it all over to our house.  So, right now I have a large amount of fresh veggies that need to be used!  Sweet potatoes are the focus of this post so I went to one of my favorite sites for interesting veggies: Dishing up the Dirt.

Roasted Root Veggies with Turmeric-Tahini Sauce

PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 30-40 MINUTES    SERVES: 4

Veggies

  • 1 cup chopped sweet potato
  • 1 cup chopped rutabaga
  • 1 cup chopped parsnip
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped turnips
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh minced thyme for serving (optional)

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium tamari (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 3 teaspoons freshly grated turmeric (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup water

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Toss the chopped veggies with the oil, salt and pepper. Place on two rimmed baking sheets and roast in the oven until lightly browned and tender, about 30-35 minutes. Rotate the pans and toss the veggies halfway through cooking.
  3. While veggies roast prepare the sauce. With an immersion blender or small food processor combine all the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary.
  4. To serve sprinkle the roasted veggies with a little fresh thyme and drizzle with the sauce.

Notes

*If you’re veggies are fresh from the market no need to peel them *Cooking times will vary *Taste test as you go *Store extra sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days

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Meatless Monday: Sautéed Asparagus and Snap Peas

I know it sounds embarrassingly easy but it has become one of Andrew’s favorite side dishes.  After a long love affair with green beans, Andrew is branching out into the vegetable world.  I wasn’t sure about the success of asparagus but if you try and find the really thin stalks of it, the flavor is delicate.

Ina Garten, a master in cooking, brings us this recipe.  It is simple, yet very satisfying.  I even let Chase jump in and stir this easy sauté.  With golf and soccer practices back to back on some days, this is an easy side dish to pull together after getting home at 6:45pm.

Sauteed Asparagus and Snap Peas

Ingredients:

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Meatless Monday: French Potato Salad

I am a Francofile at heart.  Though I love all cultures, The French truly have my heart.  Perfume, Rose, and now my new favorite potato salad.  This is Ina Garten’s version and it is delicious.  As I was making it, Andrew asked to assist…mainly by tasting each of the herbs I put in.  When we tested it…he sighed and said: “Finally, a potato dish I can like.”  I call that a win.  Here’s a note.  The recipe makes a lot of dressing.  When I make this again, I will definitely add another pound of potatoes.

Ingredients

Directions:

  1. Drop the white and red potatoes into a large pot of boiling salted water and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are just cooked through. Drain in a colander and place a towel over the potatoes to allow them to steam for 10 more minutes. As soon as you can handle them, cut in 1/2 (quarters if the potatoes are larger) and place in a medium bowl. Toss gently with the wine and chicken stock. Allow the liquids to soak into the warm potatoes before proceeding.
  2. Combine the vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Add the vinaigrette to the potatoes. Add the scallions, dill, parsley, basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature.

A Weekend Dinner

Ryan had a vasectomy last week, it’s ok, insert jokes here.  So I decided to make a big dinner
IMG_0678for the family while watching the Final Four Basketball games.  Chase has been requesting an olive oil cake so I made that too.  Actually, I made two of them…but during the first one, someone turned the oven up to 500 and I ended up with an oversized hockey puck instead of a cake.  No pictures of that will be featured in this post.

The coordination of the recipes in this post is the key to its success.  All of the flavors are delicious.  The boys literally scarfed every bit of it down!  I am planning on making the cauliflower a regular item on the menu.  It is so easy, how could I not?

 

Potato and Wild Salmon Cakes with Ginger and Scallions

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds medium red-skinned potatoes, scrubbed
Sea salt
1 pound skinless wild salmon fillet
Safflower or sunflower oil, for greasing and frying
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch scallions (about 6 scallions), coarsely chopped
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs

Dill Sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup chopped dill

sea salt

mix in a bowl to combine.  serve with salmon and potato cakes

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with water. Add a large pinch of sea salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately high heat until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly, then peel. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl and mash.
  2. Meanwhile, put the salmon on a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the salmon is medium-rare inside.
  3. Gently flake the salmon and add it to the potatoes along with the scallions, eggs, garlic, ginger, onion, tamari and sesame oil. Mix well, then fold in the bread crumbs. Season with salt. Form the potato mixture into fourteen 1/2-cup patties.
  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 inch of safflower or sunflower oil until shimmering. Working in batches, fry the potato cakes over moderately high heat until browned and crisp, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining potato cakes, adding more oil and adjusting the heat as necessary. Bake the salmon cakes for about 15 minutes, until heated through. Serve with the Dill Sauce.

MAKE AHEAD
The uncooked salmon cakes can be refrigerated overnight.

SUGGESTED PAIRING
Citrusy, herbal Sauvignon Blanc is an expert pairing for fish—especially when the dish has an herbal component itself, like the creamy dill sauce here. Try one from France.

Roasted Cauliflower with Turmeric and Cumin

Coconut Jasmine Rice

Red Cabbage Salad with Fennel, Orange and Pepitas

Mario Batali’s Orange Olive Oil Cake

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Meatless Monday: No-Knead Brioche Buns

It Sounds Crazy But I Made My Own Hamburger Buns!  If I’m going to eat bread, I want it to be worth it!  I want the bun to not just be a vehicle for itsIMG_0656 contents but part of the experience.  So, the other day, Chase asked for sliders and remembering that there aren’t very many good options for buns in this town, I decided to make my own.  I know its crazy but I did and they were delicious!  The recipe is a “no-knead” brioche bread.  It makes 10 large buns but you can make them smaller for sliders.  Just watch your baking time.  In addition, start this the day before you want to eat them.  The recipe requires that you allow the dough to rest for 16-24 hours.

Brioche is normally a long laborious process, thanks to Cook’s Illustrated, they have made Brioche an attainable outcome without a lot of guesswork.

According to Cook’s Illustrated, King Arthur Bread Flour works best with this recipe.  However, other high protein bread flours work as well.

No Knead Brioche Buns

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups bread flour

2 1/4 tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

7 large eggs (1 lightly beaten with a pinch of salt added)

1/2 cup water, room temperature

1/3 cup sugar

16 Tbsp unsalted melted and cooled slightly

 

Directions:

  1.  Whisk flour, yeast , and salt together in a large bowl.  Whisk 6 eggs, water, and sugar has dissolved.  Whisk in butter until smooth.  Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir with wood spoon until a uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute.  Cover blown with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Holding the edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward middle.  Turn bowl 45 degrees; fold again.  Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times for a total of 8 folds.  Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes.  Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 3 more times.  After the fourth set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 24 hours.
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking mats.  Transfer the dough to well-floured counter and divide into 10 equal pieces.  Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, pat dough into a disk.  Working around circumference of the dough, fold edges of the dough toward the center until a ball forms.  Flip dough over and, without applying pressure, move your hands in small circular motions to form dough into a smooth, taut round.  Add flour if needed. Dough can be tacky.  Repeat with remaining dough.
  4. Arrange buns on prepared sheets, 5 per sheet.  Cover loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost double in size. 1 to 1.5 hours.  Thirty minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Remove the plastic and brush rolls gently with remaining egg beaten with salt.  Bake until golden brown and internal temperature registers 190 degrees, 15-20 minutes, rotating and switching sheets halfway through baking.  Transfer sheets to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.  Transfer buns to wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Meatless Monday: Elote – Mexican Grilled Corn

Elote is something I dream about.  Elote is Mexican Grilled Corn.  Being from the Midwest, I am a lover of 20130621-mexican-street-corn-10-thumb-625xauto-334991sweet corn.  As a young kid, corn on the cob with a simple slathering of butter, salt and pepper was sufficient. When I lived in DC, Maryland Blue Crabs (because that’s what they do!) and corn with Old Bay seasoning was standard.

Now that I have lived in the Southwest and Arizona specifically, pungent lime and floral cilantro are the norm.  My favorite place to get Elote is at Reforma, a great restaurant nearby.  They also make perfect calabacitas, which to us Midwesterners is squash.  But, I’m not going out tonight and I feel like eating Elote!  When you mix the bright Mexican flavors of lime, cotija cheese chili powder and cilantro, a whole new world opens.

My other problem is that its not corn season yet so frozen sautéed corn will have to do but I’m using this recipe that I found below as my inspiration.  We often eat grilled corn with just a salad.  But, tonight we have left over pork ribs that I will turn into tacos.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 tsp)
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems
4 ears shucked corn
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate.
  2. While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until homogenous and set aside.
  3. When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
  4. Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.

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Meatless Monday: Citrus Salad with Arugula, Walnuts and Golden Raisins

I get into salad ruts so when I saw this recipe I jumped for joy!  I’ve made it several times and let me tell you, the citrus possibilities are endless!  The recipe calls for red grapefruit, which I cannot eat because it interferes with my birth control pill.  Check your labels friends!  Did you know that grapefruit and pomegranate can interfere with certain drugs?  So, I used blood oranges and naval oranges and upped the amount to 6 total.  You could also use Valencia or Cara Cara oranges.

The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated.  You know how I feel about Cook’s.  It’s pretty darn wonderful.

Citrus Salad with Arugula, Walnuts and Golden Raisins

Ingredients:

2 red grapefruit
3 navel oranges
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
1 tsp unsalted butter
½ cup walnuts, chopped coarse
3 Tbsp EVOO
1 small shallot, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard

4ounces (4 cups) arugula
½ cup golden raisins

Directions:

  1. Cut away peel and pith from grapefruits and oranges. Cut each fruit in half from pole to pole, then slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Transfer fruit to bowl and toss with sugar and ½ teaspoon salt. Set aside for 15 minutes.
  2.  Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium heat. Add walnuts and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer walnuts to paper towel–lined plate.
  3. Drain fruit in colander, reserving 2 tablespoons juice. Transfer fruit to platter, arrange in even layer, and drizzle with oil. Whisk reserved juice, shallot, and mustard in medium bowl. Add arugula, ¼ cup raisins, and ¼ cup reserved walnuts and toss to coat. Arrange arugula mixture over fruit, leaving 1-inch border around edges. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup raisins and remaining 1/4 cup reserved walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Gratin

I had a beautiful butternut squash sitting on my counter…all alone.  Every time I passed by it, I couldimg_0225 feel it say to me: “What’s wrong?”

And then Culture Club popped into my head…”Do you really want to hurt me? Do you really want to make me cry?”  No.  I don’t want to hurt you beautiful butternut squash!  I want to do right by you and use the right recipe to make you shine!  I’m not sure where that one came from but it could have to do with the fact that Boy George has made an appearance this season on the Housewives of Beverly Hills.

We had dinner at my in-laws’ house and short ribs were on the menu courtesy of my father in law img_0226(FIL).  He is the meat master.  Our meal could have been a vegetarian meal though as far as I was concerned.  We had corn, green beans, the gratin and salad.  I ate all of that first so that I could attempt to suck the marrow out of the bones.  Enjoy!  I was looking for just the right recipe and the rest of the website looks promising too.  Cook’s note: I didn’t have any fresh thyme so I used dried thyme, just halve the amount.  There were a few things that I did differently from the original recipe.  I have made those changes below.  However, if you want to see the original recipe, click here.

Butternut Squash Gratin

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 pound (1 large) butternut squash, peeled
½ cup 2% reduced fat milk
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small shallot, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (1/2 Tbsp dried thyme)
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
¾ tsp kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup whole wheat or gluten-free panko

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    Slice butternut squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. You can do this with a knife, or a mandolin slicer.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the milk, garlic, shallot, thyme, ½ of the parmesan, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the squash and toss to coat. Spray a medium oven-safe casserole dish with cooking spray. Place squash mixture overlapping layers in a 9×13 dish and set aside.
  3. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt butter. Add breadcrumbs, remaining parmesan, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Evenly spread breadcrumb mixture over squash, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover for 5 minutes to brown the top.

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Meatless Monday: Classic Minestrone

For the ultimate reset, make this soup and feel healthy and satisfied.  My meat loving boys loved this soup!  I made it one afternoon prior to a date night and it was a hit.  I forgot to take a picture of it but trust me, it is delish!  It is a Cook’s Illustrated classic recipe.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 small leeks or one large, white and light green parts sliced thin crosswise (about 3/4 cup) and washed thoroughly

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into a small dice (about 3/4 cup)

2 small onions, peeled and cut into a small dice (about 3/4 cup)

2 medium celery ribs, tried and cut into a small dice (about 3/4 cup)

1 medium russet potato, washed and cut into a medium dice (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 medium zucchini, trimmed and cut into a medium dice (about 1 1/4 cups)

3 cups stemmed spinach leaf, cut into thin strips

1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, packed in juice (open the can and use your kitchen shears to cut the tomatoes into small pieces

8 cups water

1 parmesan cheese rind, about 5×2

sea salt

fresh ground pepper

1 15 oz can cannelloni beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup basil pesto or 1/4 cup mixture of EVOO three garlic cloves and herb mixture (fresh or dried) of rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano, basil.

Directions:

  1. Bring vegetables, (except for spinach) tomatoes, water, cheese rind and 1 teaspoon salt to boil in a soup kettle or pot.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender but still hold their shape, about 1 hour. (soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.  Defrost if necessary and reheat before proceeding with recipe).
  2. Add beans and spinach and cook just until heated through, about 5 minutes.  Remove pot from heat.  Remove and discard cheese rind.  Stir in pesto (or herb mixture).  Adjust seasonings, adding pepper and more salt if necessary.  Ladle soup into bowls and serve immediately.

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