Friday, June 28, 2013
Cherry season is an anxiously awaited event in my household. Even though the price is dear, I can't resist stocking my refrigerator with the luscious ruby-red orbs, and keep a bowl on the counter for popping in my mouth every time I pass by. In addition to being delicious, they're a nutrition powerhouse, fiber rich and full of antioxidants. Way better than bon-bons for you, but with the same "curb appeal."
This summer rice salad showcases both sweet (fresh) and tart (dried) cherries. I don't even know where to start describing it. Saffron and curry scented rice, tangy and sweet cherries, crunchy pistachios and cashews, bursts of celery and chives, citrus and ginger dressing- it all comes together perfectly to make a mouthwatering bite. It pairs perfectly with grilled chicken or pork, but will easily stand alone as a delightful vegan (and gluten free!) main dish.
Jeweled Golden Rice with Cherries
from Eating Well, June/July 2006
1 cup brown basmati rice
1 can (14 oz.) reduced-sodium chicken (or vegetable)broth
1/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon curry powder (your favorite)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 generous pinch crumbled saffron threads
3 Tablespoons canola oil (I used walnut oil)
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon freshly grated orange zest (I used dried)
1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger (I grated the ginger)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped celery
3/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup chopped scallions or chives, divided
1 cup fresh dark sweet cherries, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup unsalted nuts, chopped -pistachios, almonds and cashews recommended- divided
1. Combine rice, broth, water, curry powder, turmeric and saffron in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil,stir once, cover with a lid. Reduce heat to low (simmer) and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
2. Combine oil, lemon juice, honey, orange zest, ginger and salt in a large non-reactive bowl. Stir in the cooked rice, celery, dried cherries and 1/4 cup chives or scallions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (up to 2 days)
3. To serve, fold fresh cherries and 1/2 cup nuts into the rice mixture. Serve at room temperature, garnished with the remaining 1/4 cup scallions/chives and nuts.
Friday, March 22, 2013
I have no idea why this is called a Camper's Special, but I do know it's pretty special and I'm a happy camper when I eat it. It's my favorite thing to order at one of my favorite restaurants, Sammy T.'s, and I've been ordering it for years. What makes it special? Well there's the bean and grain burger smothered with grilled peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions. And then there's the Chi-Chi dip (AKA hummus) hiding inside the cheese (mozzarella and cheddar) covered wrap. But really what I love is the Lemon Tahini Dressing that's served on the side. I wish they'd bring it in a vat.
I looked far and wide for a Lemon Tahini good enough to enjoy with my Camper's Special at home, and made countless batches from countless recipes. None were what I was looking for. But then I had dinner with a dear friend and there it was, hiding in plain sight on her salad- the elusive, delicious Lemon Tahini Dressing. Just what I needed to go with my homemade Camper's Special.
Even if you don't have a Camper's Special to eat with it, this Lemon Tahini is fabulous for pouring over your salads or drizzling on your stuffed pita sandwiches or for dunking your veggies. Please excuse me while I go make a vat of it.
Arthur Gordon, Irregardless Cafe, Raleigh N.C.
1/4 c. tahini
1/4 c. tamari
1/4 c. onion, minced
2 Tbs. green pepper, minced (My dressing looks a little pink in the photo- I used a red pepper)
1 stalk celery, minced
1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 c. light olive or grapeseed oil
2 Tablespoons water (I omit this, because I prefer a thicker dressing)
Blend (or process) the tahini, tamari, onion, bell pepper, and celery. Puree well if you want a smooth texture. Process in lemon juice and white pepper. With motor running, add oil and then enough water to get desired consistency. I prefer it a little on the thick side but that's just a matter of taste.
Camper's Special Top your Bean and Grain Burger (recipe follows) with hummus, sauteed onions, green pepper, tomato and mushrooms. Wrap it in a grilled flour tortilla and top it with mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Heat at 350F until cheese is melted. Serve warm with lemon tahini dressing. Yum.
Bean and Grain Burgers
Recipe adapted from Sammy T's Published in The Best in the World: Fast, Healthful Recipes from Exclusive and Out-of-the-Way Restaurants
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1tablespoon olive oil
1 (19 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed and ground or coarsely chopped
3 slices whole wheat bread, blended in food processor
1/4 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup tamari or low sodium soy sauce
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup raw wheat germ
Gently saute onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are slightly browned. Mix onions together with remainder of ingredients EXCEPT the wheat germ. Form mixture into 8-10 patties. Coat each patty in raw wheat germ and grill on a non-stick surface until heated through and gently browned.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Ever since I saw these cute little squares on How Sweet It Is, they've been on my mind. They may look like your run of the mill crispy rice treats, but these have a little extra "oomph" from the addition of sprinkles and your favorite cake mix. They're easy to put together, a great project to make with kids, and perfect for those times when you find out that somebody needs a treat for a class party or a bake sale and you have exactly thirty minutes (give or take a few) to get it out of the door.
And what's more, they're just plain fun. Don't sprinkles put a smile on your face? They do mine. (So do cute little chirping chicks wearing bunny ears for that matter.) Cut these little treats into cute shapes if you want to watch the smiles appear!
And speaking of smiles, here's something else that has put a smile on my face. My sister thinks they look like Shrek feet.
These are what came from my quest to find shoes that don't hurt my feet when I'm working out at the gym. They mimic barefoot walking (or running) and are supposed to:
- strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs
- improve range of motion in ankles, feet and toes
- stimulate neural function important to balance and agility
- eliminate heel lift to align the spine and improve posture and
- allow the body to move naturally.
Cake Batter Krispie Treats
recipe from Jessica at How Sweet It Is
1 (10 oz.) bag of miniature marshmallows
3 Tblsp. butter
6 cups Crispy Rice cereal
1/4 cup dry cake mix (I used yellow)
1 (1.75 oz) jar of sprinkles
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until they began to melt. Add in cake mix one spoonful at a time, stirring until combined. Stir in cereal until it is completely coated with the marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and gently mix. Press into a lightly greased baking dish (I used 9x13) and top with remaining sprinkles. Let sit for about 30 minutes before cutting. Jessica recommends cutting them with a knife sprayed with nonstick spray.
This post is linked to Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Not a totally traditional shrimp fried rice...more of a shrimp fried rice stir fry born from a new goal of mine. I'm trying to use ingredients that I already have in my freezer in an attempt to get a little more control over my grocery spending. Freezer ingredients? 1 pound of raw easy peel shrimp and 1 quart size bag of frozen asparagus pieces. Everything else was in my cupboard or freezer, so I'm happy to say I didn't have to buy anything extra!
I usually put frozen peas in my stir fried rice, but with asparagus beginning to come in and several bags of asparagus I froze last season still in my freezer, I thought it would be a delicious (if not traditional) alternative. Use whatever vegetables you have handy. It's a good way to use up the bits and pieces of things you have in your vegetable bin.
Shrimp Fried Rice with Asparagus
2-3 cups cooked brown rice
1 Tblsp. peanut or olive oil
dash of sesame oil (optional)
1 lb. raw shrimp (I used frozen "easy peel.")
1 red pepper, diced
5- green onions, sliced (use part of the green along with the white part)
2 carrots, chopped (or a handful of shredded carrots)
1/2 lb. asparagus cut into pieces, (fresh or frozen)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
2 Tablespoons Oyster sauce (optional)
2 eggs, beaten
- If your shrimp is frozen, thaw under cold running water. Peel.
- Heat the oils in a large nonstick skillet or wok. Stir fry shrimp until cooked through. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside.
- Add carrots, garlic, red pepper and onions to the pan and stir fry until crisp-tender. (4-5 minutes) If you are using fresh asparagus, add it with the rest of the vegetables to stir fry.
- Remove vegetables (or push them aside) and add the eggs to the center of the skillet. Cook eggs until set. Break into small pieces.
- To the eggs add the rice, the vegetables (if you removed them), the soy sauce and the oyster sauce, and mix until the rice is hot.
- Add the reserved shrimp (and semi-thawed asparagus pieces if you're using frozen)
- Stir for a minute or so until everything is heated through.
- Depending on your taste, you may want to add more soy sauce before serving.