Meatless Monday: Moroccan Carrot Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing

It’s hot.  And there are days when I don’t want to turn on anything that emits heat.  Luckily fresh fruits and vegetables can come to the rescue for a healthy and fulfilling meal.  I made this one recently while I was in Idaho.  And, though I couldn’t find Harissa in Ketchum and I only had cranberries, it was a total hit and I found Chase eating it with tortilla chips the next day after he got back from camp.  Go figure!  Make this a day ahead for even better flavor.

Moroccan Carrot Salad with Spicy Lemon Dressing


  • 1/4 cup harissa (see Note)
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 pounds carrots, julienned on a mandoline or coarsely shredded in a food processor (about 12 cups)
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 4 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 pound feta, crumbled


    1. In a large bowl, whisk the harissa with the lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    2. Add the carrots, raisins, parsley and feta to the dressing and toss well. Serve lightly chilled or at room temperature.


The carrot salad can be made without the feta and parsley and refrigerated for up to 6 hours; add the feta and parsley just before serving. The lemon dressing can be refrigerated overnight.


Harissa is a chile paste used in Tunisia and Morocco. It is available in jars and tubes from specialty food shops.

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Meatless Monday: Jicama-and-Citrus Salad

Taco Tuesday can become…well, like: listening to a once favorite song on repeat.  You still like it, but you want a new twist.  Since the boys refuse to give up Taco Tuesday, I have to take it upon myself to keep things fresh and novel.  This salad does the trick.  And, if I don’t feel like making the actual tacos for myself, I pair this with a small bowl of rice and beans and I’m good to go!  I found this recipe in Food and Wine and think it is a great addition for your summer salad list.  And, because tomorrow is the birth of our Nation, you can enjoy it with the other seasonal and celebratory foods you have been planning for this our most important national holiday! Enjoy!

Jicama-and-Citrus Salad


  • 2 Ruby Red grapefruits
  • 2 navel oranges
  • One 1-pound jicama, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed cilantro, chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Using a very sharp knife, peel the grapefruits and oranges, being sure to remove any bitter white pith. Working over a large bowl to catch the juices, cut in between the membranes to release the sections into the bowl. Cut the citrus into pieces. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss well. Serve the salad right away.

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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


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



  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.

The uncooked salmon cakes can be refrigerated overnight.

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: Confetti Giardinera

I’ve never made anything like this before now.  I saw the recipe paired with a IMG_0377sandwich called a Brat Reuben…a what? You say?  Yes, a brat nestled in a bed of corned beef.  What could be better?  While Ryan heard brat Reuben and fell in love, I saw the picture of the relish that goes on top and said WOW!!!  It is called Confetti Giardinera and I couldn’t wait to take on the challenge of making it.  I found it on Food and Wine

Confetti Giardinera


3 jalapeño peppers, cut into 1/4-inch diceIMG_0365
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 medium carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/2 small cauliflower, cut into 1/4-inch florets
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. In a bowl, toss the jalapeños, bell peppers, onion, celery, carrot and IMG_0375cauliflower with the salt. Add cold water to cover and refrigerate for 12 hours.
    Drain the vegetables and rinse well; pat dry. Transfer the vegetables to a 2-quart jar.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the vinegar with all of the remaining ingredients. Add the vinegar mixture to the jar and stir well. Cover and refrigerate the giardiniera for 1 to 2 weeks before serving.

I completed the first step on below on April 1st.  I chopped and added all of the veggies to the bowl and covered it with salt and water.  Note: Instead of the green bell pepper I used a yellow bell pepper.

The next day, after going to Barre 3, a birthday party at Pump It Up (our 5th in a IMG_0376matter of three weeks at Pump It Up) and Costco with the boys, I came home and proceeded with the next steps.  After a good drain, I turned the veggies on to a jelly roll pan lined with paper towel and dried them.

I then mixed the pickling mixture and set it aside while I filled the jars with the veggies.  NOTE: I used large wide mouth jars and used the ENTIRE pickling mixture recommended for the entire recipe, in one jar.  So, make sure you have plenty of all of the ingredients.

After pouring the pickling mixture into the jars, I placed the lids on and put them in the fridge for two weeks.

Two weeks later we had our house warming party.  Following an afternoon of St. Germain cocktails and Shandys, a brat Reuben sounded good…with my Confetti Giardinera on top of course.

Assessment of the final product:

Delicious!  Ryan has eaten the majority of the 3 jars and I will have to make more to share with our friends.  Ryan has also requested an entire jar of pickled jalapeños.  I’ll share that recipe when I make it too.  If there are any other pickled vegetable recipes you’d like to divulge please add links to the comments section below.


Eat this Now! Lamb Skewers with Salsa Verde

Just say yes please!  I’ll pass the platter over and you can dig into this little gem of a recipe!  Easy, grilled, flavorful.  Those are the buzz words for the summer!  This is for when you just want dinner to be on the table so you can watch your kiddos play in the late afternoon and not worry about it.  Make some tabouleh and slice some watermelon and feta and be done with it!

Lamb Skewers with Salsa Verde


1/4 cup packed mint leaves
1/4 cup packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup snipped chives
2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 pounds leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. In a food processor, combine the mint, parsley and chives with the shallot, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and process until finely chopped. Add the olive oil and process the salsa verde until smooth.
  2. Transfer half of the salsa verde to a small bowl.
  3. Transfer the remaining salsa verde to another bowl and stir in the paprika and cumin. Add the lamb pieces and turn to coat thoroughly. Thread the lamb onto 8 long skewers and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
  4. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Grill the lamb skewers over high heat, turning them occasionally, until the lamb is lightly charred in spots, about 6 minutes for medium meat. Serve the lamb skewers with the salsa verde.

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Meatless Monday: Spring Vegetable Soup with Tarragon

So, the 4th Ave Street Fair happened yesterday and after a lunch of grilled corn, trip-tip sandwich, lemonade, and funnel IMG_0380cakes, I need a light dinner that will reset my body.  As you know, each month, I pull out my copies of Food and Wine and flip through them for recipes.  I found this one this morning and thought it was the perfect solution to my problem of food overload.  I haven’t made it yet, so I’ll add a picture tonight.


Spring Vegetable Soup with Tarragon


7 cups water
10 small red potatoes, quartered
2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large leek, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pound green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths, or frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large pot, combine the water with the red potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and leek. Bring to a boil. Add the salt and simmer over moderately low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans and simmer until tender, 3 minutes. Stir in the parsley and tarragon. Season with pepper and serve.
    One Serving 163 cal, 0.5 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 36 gm carb, 6.8 gm fiber.

Crisp Chardonnay, such as one from Carneros in Northern California.


Meatless Monday: Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette

One of the things I love about cooking is that when I see something that looks good to me, I make it.   That was my immediate thought when I opened the March 2016 issue of Food and Wine.  This recipe accompanies a delicious chicken recipe, which is how I served it.  But you can incorporate this little gem into a fully vegetarian meal if that suits you.

Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Sesame Vinaigrette

1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 pound brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
1 Pink Lady apple—halved, cored and thinly sliced
1 medium shallot, halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1 serrano chile—stemmed, seeded and very thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped mint
Black sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a small skillet, toast the white sesame seeds over moderately low heat, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a blender and let cool. Add the lemon zest and juice, then add the vinegar, garlic and honey and puree until a chunky paste forms, about 1 minute. With the machine on, gradually add the olive oil and puree until nearly smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the vinaigrette into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the brussels sprouts, apple, shallot, chile and mint to the dressing and toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Garnish with black sesame seeds, if using, and serve right away.

MAKE AHEAD:  The sesame vinaigrette can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before using.

NOTES:When toasting sesame seeds, stop when they become fragrant; don’t worry about the color.


Meatless Monday: All Kale Caesar Salad: Two Options


Photograph by Eva Kolenko from Food and

I know I have posted about Kale Caesars before…here’s the link, Here are a couple of variations to breathe new life into your meal planning.  One option is an actual recipe from Food and Wine and the other is a mommy failure when I was distracted from the kitchen.  Both are delicious and will prove to be a welcome change from the single track all kale caesar.  Enjoy!

Chickpea-Kale Caesar


canola oil

1 15 oz can drained and dried chickpeas



1/2 cup mayonaise

2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp Dijon

1 grated garlic clove

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan

1 1/4 lbs chopped curly kale


1. In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch canola oil. Add chickpeas and fry until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels; season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic clove, shredded Parmesan. Toss with kale and the chickpeas. Serve.

Apple-Almond All Kale Caesar

Andrew actually created this recipe through my distraction.  One evening while preparing dinner I was distracted from the kitchen for a few minutes and when I returned, I found Andrew singing to himself and adding slice pink lady apples and Marcona almonds to the Caesar salad I had been in the middle of preparing.  I decided to just leave Andrew’s additions in the salad and what a happy accident it turned out to be.  It was delicious!


1/2 – 1 whole pink lady apple sliced

1/2 cup Marcona almonds

1 recipe of All Kale Caesar (see above link)


1. In a skillet, heat 1/4 inch canola oil. Add chickpeas and fry until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels; season with salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic clove and Parmesan. Toss with curly kale and the chickpeas. Serve.


Meatless Monday: Cauliflower and Gruyere Soufflé 

I’ve eaten soufflés. I’ve heard stories of ruined dinner parties because of “fallen” soufflés. Until recently, I had never attempted to make a soufflé. After making one, I really don’t know what all of the fuss is about.

Now, before you say: “But Quin, you like to cook and are good at it…what about the rest of us?”

First of all, thanks for the compliment! And, really, there is nothing to it!  I did have to buy a soufflé dish, because I didn’t have one and I figured it would be a a good dish to have even if I didn’t see any additional soufflés in my future.  I found the recipe in Food and Wine and it is by Claudine Pépin, daughter of THE Jacque Pépin, a master in the food world. I’ve been eyeing his updated techniques and really want to pull the trigger and buy it.  I think you’ll enjoy the recipe. I loved it. The boys weren’t impressed but I’m sure it would garner some oohs and ash at your next dinner party.

Cauliflower and Gruyere Soufflé 



1/2 pound cauliflower florets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 stick unsalted butter

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups whole milk

Kosher salt


6 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded (2 lightly packed cups)

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

6 large eggs



1. In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the cauliflower until very tender, about 7 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. In a medium bowl, puree the cauliflower with a potato masher or fork. Transfer the cauliflower to a colander and let drain until cooled completely.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 6-cup soufflé dish with 1 tablespoon of the butter and set it on a rimmed baking sheet. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 7 tablespoons of butter. Add the flour and whisk over moderate heat until bubbling, about 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, whisking, until thickened and no floury taste remains, about 7 minutes. Season the béchamel with salt and pepper. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool, stirring occasionally.

3. Stir the cauliflower puree into the béchamel, then fold in the cheese and chives. In 
a medium bowl, beat the eggs until frothy, then gently fold them into the cauliflower béchamel. Scrape the soufflé base into the prepared dish and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until puffed and browned; serve right away.


Fluffy soufflés are fantastic with dry, frothy sparkling wines. Serve this one with a juicy cava, like the NV Castelroig Brut or the NV Avinyó Brut Reserva.


Meatless Monday: Crunchy Baked Fennel

I love holiday recipes.  I love Fennel.  Most of the time I shave it thin and add it to a salad with dried cherries and toasted nuts.  It is one of my favorite salad combinations.  When I first saw this recipe I wasn’t excited about it but then…warm crunch breadcrumbs and the softly scented anise of fennel started calling my name.  I found it in Food and Wine.









I was not disappointed.  I could not get enough of the lovely contrasts among the ingredients.  The night I made it, it was a meatless meal, but I think it would go well with lamb.  Make the recipe and leave a comment below telling me what your pairing was.


10 medium fennel bulbs—halved, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc and then drank the rest of the bottle)


1. Preheat the oven to 375°. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, drizzle the fennel with 1/2 cup of the olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Bake for 45 minutes, until softened. Let cool for 30 minutes.
In a skillet, toast the panko over moderate heat until golden, 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in the cheese and flour.
2. In the same skillet, melt the butter. Add the garlic, shallots and thyme and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is softened, 5 minutes; add to the panko. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spread half of the fennel in a 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour the wine over the fennel, then sprinkle half of the panko on top. Repeat with the remaining fennel and panko. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the topping is browned and crisp. Serve hot.
The unbaked gratin can be wrapped in foil and frozen for up to a week. Bake the foil-wrapped dish straight from the freezer for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 15 minutes longer.


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