Meatless Monday: Vegan Pesto

I know what you’re going to say: Vegan Pesto?  You can’t make pesto without cheese!  I found it on POPSUGAR, which is a fun little site that I have been signed up to for about 2 months.  It’s fresh, it’s great for grilled veggies, meat or pasta salad.  Plus, I wouldn’t put a recipe on here that I don’t like so here it goes.

Vegan Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Place the basil, garlic, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor, and blend until combined but slightly coarse.
  2. Add the olive oil, and blend until smooth.
  3. Use it right away or store it in the fridge (one week) or freezer (up to three months).

Yields about 1 cup of pesto.

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Meatless Monday: Clean Blog Summer Salad

Oh how I love an interesting combination in a salad.  Though I love salads of all kinds, I tend to make the same things over and over again.  Novelty saves me.  This one popped up recently and I’m completely enamored, especially because this salad includes nectarines.  Fruit always entices the boys into trying something and this one is a hit.

Ingredients:
Dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoons finely minced shallots
1/4 cup white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Salad:
5 ounces arugula and spinach mix (or just arugula)
4 ounces snap peas
2 nectarines
1/2 cup radishes
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup mint

Ingredients:

  1. Toast the pine nuts. Place one teaspoon of olive oil in a saute pan over medium-low. Add the pine nuts and toast, constantly tossing until lightly browned (don’t step away from the pan as they burn easily).
  2. Make the dressing. Finely mince the shallots and shake or whisk with the other dressing ingredients.

  3. Prepare the vegetables. Wash and dry the arugula mix. Thinly slice the radishes (preferably with a mandoline slicer). Wash the snap peas. Thinly slice the nectarines. Pick mint leaves from stem and (optionally) chop.
  4. Add all ingredients to a large serving bowl.
  5. When you’re ready to serve, toss with the dressing (we recommend only adding 1/4 of the dressing at a time to prevent overdressing). Store remaining dressing in the fridge. Enjoy!

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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

INGREDIENTS

  • 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

DIRECTIONS

    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.

MAKE AHEAD

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.

NOTES

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: May’s Amazing Salad

We’re in Ketchum, ID again this summer for a respite from the 110 degree heat in Tucson.  Poor Ryan is in AZ and slowly melting.  I’ve been telling people for years to come here.  It is a hidden gem in the mountains!

Well, FINALLY, my dear friend May and her lovely family rented a house for a week AND brought some amazing friends from Denver. A big shout out to Alex and her hubby Matt!

While living in Santa Fe, May and I bonded during wine infused play dates, on design, all things Housewives and great food.  May is humble about her culinary acumen.  I think she has a great perspective.  Keeping things simple is not my strong suit.  I tend to go overboard on things.  Not surprised are you?

I stole May’s simple salad recipe and use it often.  Rice Vinegar + Maldon Salt + Fresh Cracked Black Pepper + Greens = simple, delicious salad.

While May, her husband Charlie and their two lovely kiddos were visiting we shared some dinners together at the house they rented and once again, she did her thing in a completely simple, amazingly delicious way.  I hope you don’t mind May, but I’m posting this one too.  I love this one because you can EASILY tailor it to the number of people who are going to be eating, translation: great for a potluck or last minute dinner gathering.

May’s Amazing Salad

Ingredients:

Arugula –  a handful or two per person. Rinsed and torn if needed

Pine nuts, 1/8 cup per person

EVOO

Lemons, 1 for every 2-3 people

Grated Parmesan, 1 Tbsp per person

Salt

Fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  1. Place arugula in salad bowl and Set aside
  2. Heat EVOO and toast pine nuts.  Once lightly toasted remove from heat and add to arugula
  3. Slice lemon and squeeze over greens
  4. Add Parmesan
  5. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  6. Toss and serve

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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

INGREDIENTS:

  • 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

DIRECTIONS:

  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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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: 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.

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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