Today’s Menu (Friday Nov. 26 2010):
Breakfast – Honey-Nut Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
Snack1 – Matcha Shortbread
Lunch – Fresh Turkey Salad (from last night’s turkey)
Snack2 – Apple Maple Pecan Bread
Dinner – Baked Salmon & Spinach al Ajillo
Dessert – Tiramisu (a video ’cause you have to see this recipe)
Recipe of the Day:
Baked Salmon & Spinach al Ajillo
This is one of the healthiest, most practical and fastest meals you will see in my kitchen. I do this after a big feast to take a rest and also to bring the stomach back to normal. Plus it’s really tasty.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Fillets Salmons (6 oz each, based on the number of members in your family)
- 3 Lemons
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Peper
- 1 pound of washed spinach
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 C)
- Place the Salmon in an medium glass bowl, then brush the sazon and oil on both sides of the fillets
- Bake it for 30 minutes
- In the meantime, boil the spinach just for 5 minutes until it soften just a little
- chop the garlic
- Heat 5 spoons of olive oil in a pan and place the garlic for 2 minutes until it takes a gold color
- Pass the spinach by the oil for 5 minutes
- Add salt and pepper to your taste
- You can create all kinds of shapes with the Spinach on top of the Salmon for the kids to play (I always do a happy face with the Spinach mouth on top of the Salmon)
October’10 – Week 3
Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros
Morning Snack: Fresh Fruit and String Cheese
Lunch: Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo (made with last night’s leftovers.)
Afternoon Snack: Banana Bread and Mango Lassi
Dinner: Soba Noodle Bowls
Dessert: Chocolate No-Bake Cookies
Recipe of the Day:
Soba Noodle Bowls
It never fails, whenever I’m at any kind of noodle or Asian fusion place, from The Pasta Factory to Pei Wei back in Arizona, I always order a soba noodle bowl. The sugary soy, green onions and lime combine to create this masterful sauce that I could eat forever. Cabbage, tofu and buckwheat soba noodles make this dish as healthy as it is tasty.
1 Package Buckwheat Soba Noodles, (found in Asian supermarkets or the Ethnic aisle.)
1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
1 Wedge Bok Choy Cabbage, cut into shreds
3-4 Green Onions, whites and light greens sliced
1 qt Beef Stock
1 t Freshly Grated Ginger
1 Garlic Clove, crushed and minced
1/4 C Soy Sauce
2 T Sugar
Set a pot of water to boil for the soba noodles and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, pat the brick of tofu dry. In a small skillet, sear the brick of tofu on all sides, adding just a touch of oil if necessary to prevent sticking.
Whisk together ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, and the juice of one lime. Once tofu is browned, add half of this mixture to the skillet and continue cooking until tofu darkens and takes on those flavors.
Once Soba has finished cooking, drain it of the water and add the beef stock and remaining soy sauce mixture back into the pot of noodles, heating until very hot. Remove tofu from skillet and slice into thin slices, toss with what’s left in the skillet to coat every piece with sauce.
Assemble bowls with a serving of noodles, covered over in broth. Add several tofu slices, cabbage and green onions on top. Serve with an extra wedge of lime.
October ’10 – Week 2 – Snack (S, T, W, T, F, S.)
Hummus is another one of those super sneaky ways to get protein into your kids. Hummus (yum-mus!) is a Levantine Arabic dish made of ground chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini, olive oil and salt. That’s it! There are many ways to dress it up, however, including adding roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, or extra garlic to the pureeing process. Serve with pita chips (recipe as follows) or with sliced veggies. I like mine with pickled carrots or fresh cucumber! (*Orange text highlights easy steps that kids can do.)
1 16 oz Can of Chickpeas, 1/4 C Liquid reserved aside
4 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 T Tahini
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1/2 t Salt
2 T Olive Oil
Puree all ingredients together in a food processor or use an immersion blender. Taste for saltiness and adjust accordingly. Serve with Pita Chips, recipe below:
1 Package Pita Pockets, flavor of your choice
Preheat oven to 350°.
Using a sharp knife, slice pita up into triangles. Brush each with olive oil and scatter garlic powder and salt over the tops, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet in an even layer and bake until browned, about 18 minutes.
October ’10 – Week 1 – Sunday Lunch
I love spices. I love the smoky, exotic flavors, their ability to whisk you away to another world. This recipe is a favorite of mine, my good friend Amanda makes it every so often to have around because so many of our friends have allergies. Not only is this recipe vegan, but it’s also gluten free and nearly tree nut free- almonds being the least allergenic of all tree nuts (and able to be omitted from the recipe if need be!) It’s sweet and tangy, with textures of soft, crunchy and chewy, all complemented by the warmth of the spices. It’s actually FUN to eat!
This recipe calls for Garam Masala, which can be found in your local grocery store’s spice aisle. In Hindi, Garam Masala means ‘hot mixture’, though the ‘hot’ in question does not mean spicy, it means pungent, highlighting the depth and warmth of the flavors. It typically has coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and clove, among other flavors which vary based on region.
Another thing I love about this salad is that it requires no refrigeration when fresh, so it’s a fantastic choice for picnicking (though it should be stored in the ‘fridge after returning home.) September is my favorite time of year for picnicking, when the air is cool and fresh, but the sun is still warm, and all around you nature is enjoying this splendid shift in the seasons. (*Orange text highlights easy steps that kids can do.)
2C cooked Brown Rice
2 15oz cans Chickpeas (also called Garbanzo Beans)
1 15oz can Kidney Beans
3-4 Scallions, (whites and light greens, chopped finely)
2-3 Shallots, diced
1C Slivered Almonds
Combine in a large mixing bowl, and then whisk together the following dressing in a separate, smaller bowl.
1C Olive Oil
1/3 C Lemon Juice
1/4 C Honey
1t (heaping) Garam Masala
1T Fresh Mint, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dress salad, toss to coat, allow to sit in refrigeration for at least an hour to allow flavors to develop. So simple and great for putting together the night before!
September ’10 – Week 4 – Friday Snack
These tender, buttery cookies of Persian origin show up all around the Mediterranean. Sometimes graced with a dot of jam or an almond, sometimes spiced with cardamom or cinnamon, sometimes dredged in powdered sugar. But to make the kurabie cookie straight up with no accents is the best way to truly experience the beauty of a good butter. My absolute favorite butter is Kerry Gold, but for this cookie, use the very best you can find in your local market.
3 Sticks + 1 T Butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 C Confectioner’s Sugar
1 Large Egg White
4 C Pastry Flour
Almonds, Jam, or Confectioner’s Sugar, for decorating
With an electric mixer, combine the first three ingredients until fluffy. Gradually add the flour until a smooth, non-sticky, modeling dough-like dough is achieved. Use a cookie press, or simply roll balls by hand and press down with a thumb onto a greased and floured (or parchment lined) cookie sheet.
Dot with jam or add a nut on top before baking for about 10 minutes, or until barely starting to take color. Dredge in confectioner’s sugar after cooled, if desired.
September ’10 – Week 4 – Friday Snack
I will eat just about anything if you serve it in a lettuce cup. It’s fun and accessible, fresh, crunchy, and better for you than just slapping the filling du jour on a roll made of refined white flour! This crab salad recipe is a blend of a few of my favorites, and it eliminates the heavy mayonnaise, but it’s so good!
1 lb Lump Crabmeat (use Imitation if you’re so inclined!)
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2 C Vinegar (I like Rice Wine.)
Fresh Lemon Juice, to taste
1 T Fresh Parsley, chopped
Several Gherkin Pickles, diced
1/3 C Red Onion, diced finely
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Iceburg or Boston Lettuce leaves
Mix all ingredients except for the lettuce together in a bowl and refrigerate for no less than two hours, but as much as overnight, allowing flavors to develop. Serve scoops of salad on lettuce leaves. Fold up to eat, just like a taco!
September ’10 – Week 4 – Thursday Dinner/Dessert
Dulce de Naranja, literally sweetness of oranges, has roots all over the Latin community, but this particular recipe is Cuban. This dessert is what happens when you make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. This is a great way to use up orange rinds from oranges that have been juiced that day! Taking peeled orange halves after the insides have been eaten and the membranes removed, boil them in sugar water until candied and eat on toast, crackers, or with a delicious salty cheese. You could even dice them and use them in holiday baking in place of other candied fruits. If you like the dry sweetness and delicately bitter tang of marmalade, you’ll love these. Because they take up to 4 hours to make, I have adapted this recipe for the slow cooker.
10-12 Fresh oranges, peeled of JUST the orange part, leaving white pith behind, halved, with pulp and juice removed
A few peels, reserved
4 C Sugar
Place oranges and sugar, along with a few of the peels, in the slow cooker and fill with enough water to cover orange halves. Allow to cook for 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, or until oranges are yellowy-orange and translucent.
Slice and serve any way you like, save aside cooking syrup for use in cooking, drizzle over ice cream or sweeten tea with it.
Note that this can be done with any citrus fruit!
September ’10 – Week 3 – Saturday Dinner/Side
If this isn’t an easy way to sneak protein into your picky eaters, I don’t know what is. So they’ll eat mashed potatoes, but what about beans? No? Mash them! This recipe is so simple I don’t even need to write a recipe for it, but I’m going to do it anyway. Warning- these are addictive and will become an immediate go-to comfort food on those wintry afternoons. This recipe makes enough for one or two, so you will need to multiply it for a large family.
1 15oz can Cannelloni Beans
Drizzle Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, crushed
A bit of Salt
In a small sautee pan, heat oil, garlic and salt until garlic is golden and fragrant. Remove from heat and give a moment to cool before adding canned beans.
Using the back of a fork or spoon, mash beans up into a delicious garlicky, beany paste, almost indistinguishable to mashed potatoes to the untrained eye.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Friday Dinner/Entree
Cocido is a traditional chickpea stew from Spain. There’s a little something for everyone in this dish, and even the babies in the family can have a nourishing taste of the carrots and chickpeas mashed in some of the beautiful golden broth. For the sake of American families on the go, this recipe takes full advantage of the slow cooker, and omits a few of the much harder to find traditional ingredients, such as black pudding and pig’s trotters.
9 oz Dried Chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 lb Brisket, in one piece
9 oz Bacon, in one piece (ask butcher)
1 Whole Garlic Bulb
2 Bay Leaves
Several Black Peppercorns, crushed
1 small Onion, studded with 2 Cloves
1 1/2 lb Cabbage, quartered
2 Carrots, cut into large pieces
1 lb Small Potatoes, peeled
2 Chorizo Sausages
Drain and rinse chick peas. Put everything in the slow cooker, arranged neatly, and cover to the top with water. Cook on high 6-8 hours. Before serving, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve on separate platters (or courses, per tradition,) meats should be sliced and served with the chickpeas, sausages (again sliced) and vegetables together, and the broth alone, sometimes with noodles.
September ’10 – Week 3 – Tuesday Breakfast
Crepemaking doesn’t have to be rocket science, though I’m sure it feels that way for most people the first several times. Crepes are definitely on my list of things that intimidate me in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try, because the results are delicious enough to warrant the risk. Start these the night before to allow your batter plenty of time to rest so that your crepes don’t tear during cooking.
3/4 C Milk
1/2 C Water
1 C Flour
3 T Melted Butter
Cream Cheese (with or without chives)
Thinly Sliced Ham (or Smoked Salmon!)
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse to combine smoothly. Allow to sit in refrigeration overnight, or at least for an hour.
Heat a small-to-medium sized pan over medium heat. Grease well with butter. Pour about 1 oz of batter into the center and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan evenly. Cook for about half a minute before flipping and cooking 15 seconds more. Turn out onto a plate or cutting board to allow to cool flat. Repeat until all the batter is used.
Fill by spreading cream cheese (I prefer mine with chives) and thinly sliced ham, and roll up to eat. For a more adult-inclined version, try smoked salmon in place of the ham!