Posts filed under ‘Lunch’
I’ve been making lots of “goodies” and “treats” these days, and I’ve been slacking on posts that involve real food.
Thank goodness for this month’s Secret Recipe Club’s assignment, Kristy’s blog Gastronomical Sovereignty pulled me out of my sweets coma! I love Kristy’s blog, her writing and her passion and love for food (“…and wine…of course”, as she states.) The way she describes herself “as a pure, unadulterated, excitable, passionate, mad-lover of food and wine” appears to fit her to a T from the posts I’ve read!
I chose a delicious summery salad to make this month; the original recipe was a Dandelion Green, Bresaola & Grilled Peach Salad and I tweaked it just a bit based on the ingredients available. I searched multiple stores for both bresaola and dandelion greens without any luck (bummer!), so I substituted mixed greens with arugula, spinach and frisee for the dandelion greens and nitrate-free prosciutto for the bresaola. I added a small handful of chopped walnuts for a little texture and also sprinkled crushed red pepper for a little kick.
What an easy and yummy salad! The grilled peaches and mozzarella pair really well with the salty prosciutto and tang from the balsamic reduction. I could have reduced the homemade balsamic reduction further but I was getting hungry and I didn’t want to wait…oh but still delicious! While prosciutto isn’t my favorite to begin with (this was my fault for subbing), I would opt to leave this out altogether next time or substitute a few slices of well-cooked, crunchy turkey bacon for the salty addition…you might even make this a vegetarian salad by using julienned sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil for a different take! Mmmm, the combination options are plenty!
Overall, this was a summery success!
Grilled Peach, Mozzarella and Prosciutto Salad with Mixed Greens (adapted from Gastronomical Sovereignty)
2 Large Handfuls of Mixed Greens (or Dandelion Greens from Original Recipe)
100g Prosciutto (or Bresaola), paper thin
1 Ball Fresh Mozzarella (or Buffalo Mozzarella), cut or torn into pieces or cubes
2 Peaches, ripe, halved & pitted
Good Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
crushed red pepper flakes
chopped walnuts (optional)
4 Tbsp Kristy’s Balsamic Reduction
1. Drain the mozzarella cheese. Place ball(s) in a colander to strain. Once most of the liquid has seeped out, cut into cubes (or tear into slightly larger than bite size pieces if you don’t want to use a knife). Set aside.
2. As your cheese drains, grill the peaches. Preheat your grill pan or BBQ grill to medium-high. As it heats, toss the peaches in a little olive oil and then place on hot grill. (Close the lid if using outdoor BBQ). Sear for about 3 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly. Chop into 1″ pieces. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, gently mix together the greens with mozzarella, chopped sweet Summer peaches, a small glug of good quality olive oil, and a pinch of coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper with your hands.
4. Lay a 2-3 pieces of the prosciutto on a plate and gently scoop a handful of the salad mixture on top. Finish off the salad with a drizzle of acidic balsamic reduction, a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes and chopped walnuts. Enjoy!
I’ve missed blogging so much…I am really overdue for a post. Not only do I feel I have a responsibility to my you all, my fabulous and inspiring readers, to come up with recipes and accompanying photos, I have to admit there’s a selfish motivation backing this blog as well. Cooking/baking + photography is a stress reliever as well as a creative outlet for me. At the same time, the actual writing part has been more difficult these past few weeks yet I’ve missed all of you dearly in addition to being in the kitchen.
There are many changes going on in my personal life right now…I am an emotional roller coaster to say the least and I am taking one day at a time as I am experiencing a level of sadness and grieving that I’ve never had to before. At the same time, I feel stronger every day as my crying outbursts diminish and my negative feelings are turning into more positive ones. I realize I am being vague but please bear with me as I find myself and my strength with each day that passes, I will eventually be back in full swing again!
Not to mention, I’ve been without internet for the past 11 days so I am happy to report that issue has been remedied this evening…one thing to mark off on my check list. Things are looking up
While this might not be a crazy creative recipe, it’s very fitting for where I am right now: simple ingredients, good carbs, healthy fats and light summer flavors…this translates into a serotonin rush and a full, happy tummy. Eaten alongside a few of my salted millionaire shortbread bars, I am momentarily transported to my happy place
This easy grain salad can be made with your favorite gluten free grains, I chose quinoa, millet and amaranth but brown rice, buckwheat or sorghum could also do the trick! If you prefer one grain in particular, feel free to use 1 full cup for an even simpler dish. This recipe is an easy side, quick make-ahead lunch or a filling vegetarian entree…it’s up to you!
Mixed Grain Salad with Avocado and Black Beans
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (red or white)
1/2 cup uncooked amaranth grain or millet or 1/4 cup of each (I used 1/4 cup both)
2 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, grapeseed oil or Earth Balance, divided
3/4 cup onion, diced (or even 4 scallions, diced for a variation)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15 oz can rinsed and drained)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped + more for garnish
juice from 1 lime
1 avocado, pit removed and diced into chunks
1/4 cup walnuts (sunflower seeds, pepitas, almonds or your favorite nut can be substituted)
sea salt and pepper to taste
Optional: nutritional yeast or dairy free shredded cheddar cheese for serving
1. To a medium pot, add quinoa, amaranth/millet, vegetable broth and 1 tsp oil. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and grains are cooked through. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
2. In a small skillet, heat 2 tsp oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for about 3-4 minutes until onions are translucent and tender. Toss in the black beans, garlic and ground cumin, cooking for one minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
3. Transfer grains to a large mixing bowl. Add onion-bean mixture and toss to combine. Stir in remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with additional cilantro and nutritional yeast or cheese if desired and enjoy!
I ‘ll leave you with a quote that has resonated with me recently:
“When your heart speaks, take good notes.”
This recipe is way, WAY overdue. I made these veggies burgers back in December and completely forgot about them…better late then never I guess! It’s one of those that slipped through the cracks but I couldn’t help but share.
Also, I want apologize to the fabulous Cara for making her wait so long for this one. She mentioned veggie burgers were one of her favorite things and I’ve since deprived her for 5 months…shame on me! I hope it was worth the wait
This recipe was born out of desperation. I was without a car for a week after first moving to Montana and I was too much of a baby to walk to the store in the middle of a winter storm. Instead of being lazy and snacking on brownies + chips and salsa, I decided
to be creative on a healthier approach while using up a few leftover veggies and canned beans. Thank goodness I did, these were delicious!
I had just made my orange-scented cranberry sauce the day before and this was the perfect topping for these veggie burgers. Along with a generous smear of Vegenaise, fresh spinach leaves and sprouts, this burger was a hearty and satisfying meal. These patties are actually on my to-cook list this week…it’s about time I whipped up another batch!
Kitchen Sink Veggie Burgers
1 egg or flax egg for vegan (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water, let sit for a few minutes)
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1/2 cup small diced onion
1/3 cup green or red bell pepper, small diced
1/4 cup celery, small diced (can omit or increase the bell pepper if desired)
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil, butter, ghee, or Earth Balance, melted
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (I used roasted for extra flavor but raw is ok too)
1 Tbsp gluten free soy sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos or tamari
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 to 1 tsp paprika
3/4 to 1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp celery salt
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats, ground into a flour
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal
coconut oil/butter/ghee/Earth Balance/olive oil for pan-sauteing
Flax bun below OR your favorite gluten free bun or sandwich bread
Vegenaise or mayo
Orange-Scented Cranberry Sauce (this completed the meal! or use a sweet and tart chutney)
Fresh spinach leaves or leaf lettuce
1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the spice mixture.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg/flax egg and beans. Mash beans with a fork until chunky (I left some whole beans but this helps keep the patty together).
3. Add in remaining patty ingredients and stir to incorporate well.
4. Sprinkle in the spice-binding mixture and stir again to combine and evenly distribute until the batter comes together.
5. Divide into 6 balls and flatten into patties about 2/3 inch thick and lay on the baking sheet. Refrigerate for 10-15 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, preheat large skillet (preferred) over medium heat or oven to 350F.
For Skillet Method: heat a small amount of oil/butter in pan and saute for 5-6 minutes on each side until slightly crispy and lightly browned
For Oven Method: Bake patties at 350F for 14-16 minutes on each side until lightly browned (this method results in a slightly drier patty but is lower fat)
7. Assemble the burger by spreading Vegenaise or mayo on bun/sandwich bread. Top with spinach leaves, patty, sprouts, cranberry sauce and enjoy!
As for the flax bun, this was an experiment that needs a little tweaking. This bun is a little crumbly…ok, a lot crumbly due to the lack of eggs or gums. While very yummy, this one is a work in progress if you are looking for a “typical” bread that holds up well. I wound up eating this burger with a fork and knife but I enjoyed every last bit!
Vegan, Grain-Free Flax Bun
1/3 cup + 2 tsp flaxseed meal
dash of sea salt
1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp seasoning to taste (italian, cajun, southwest, etc)
1 Tbsp chia seed meal (I ground white chia seeds)
1 rounded Tbsp chickpea flour (could sub oat flour)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp + 3-4 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp olive oil/coconut oil/ grapeseed or Earth Balance melted
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a small mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir in wet ingredients until incorporated.
3. Spread mixture into a circle onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes, cut in half horizontally carefully, top/fill and enjoy!
Makes 1 bun
This is a must-try recipe. If you are a quinoa fan, you might want to run (not walk) to get these ingredients for your next meal!
To conclude pizza week here at Natural Noshing, I have a Pizza Quinoa Casserole to share that was slightly adapted from the lovely Heidi over at Food Doodles. The moment this recipe was posted, I printed it out to cook at my earliest opportunity. This recipe is a sure-fire winner, even with the few tweaks I made from the items I had on hand. This casserole may or may not be on my weekly menu for a while…I highly recommend you make this dish!
I ate my pizza quinoa for lunch as a main dish two days in a row and served it as a side to grilled chicken for dinner….DELISH! You can easily make this vegan and dairy free by eliminating the cheese on top or using dairy-free cheese shreds. A variety of cheeses would work well here in place of the Italian blend I used– goat cheese, mozzarella, feta etc based on your personal preference.
Pizza Quinoa Casserole (adapted from Food Doodles)
1 cup uncooked quinoa cooked in 2 C water or about 3 1/2 cups cooked quinoa* – rice or millet would make nice substitutes too
4 oz can tomato paste (I had a barely used open can, feel free to use the whole 6 oz)
3-4 large cloves garlic, finely minced, grated or pressed
1 small onion, diced (if you aren’t a big onion fan, use 1/2 onion and finely dice)
2 tbsp water
1 1/2 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, Earth Balance or butter/ghee
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 tsp marjoram
1 tsp basil or 2 Tbsp fresh basil
1 tbsp dried parsley
pinch of stevia (or 1/4 tsp granulated sweetener)
3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
3 tbsp nutritional yeast(optional but I used for a cheesy flavor)
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend cheese, optional (or goat cheese, mozzarella or feta)
1. Rinse quinoa well and combine with water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed, the quinoa is tender and completely cooked. Remove from the heat and leave covered in the pot for 5 minutes while assembling other ingredients.*
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 4 – 1 cup ramekins, 2 – 2 cup dishes or a larger casserole dish, depending on how you want to bake and serve this.
3. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste with the garlic and onion, water and olive oil. Mix well. Add tomatoes and all the seasonings including the nutritional yeast if using. Mix well again before adding the quinoa. Once the mixture is completely mixed, taste for seasonings and add more salt as needed. Then divide evenly among the dishes for baking, sprinkle with cheese if desired and place in the oven. I baked mine in two gratin dishes and one loaf pan, but this could easily be done in smaller ramekins for individual servings, or in one larger dish.
4. Bake 30-35 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly or until the quinoa on top is golden and crispy. If desired, sprinkle with more nutritional yeast and fresh basil or parsley and serve.
*For a quicker prep, cook the quinoa the night before and refrigerate to easily assemble the next evening.