Recipe: Vegetable Latkes

shredded veg

Oooo I was on FIRE yesterday! I am optimistic(very very cautiously) that perhaps a touch of inspiration has returned. At least in the kitchen! The day started with some cookies, banana walnut chocolate chunk to be specific(thank you Martha Stewart Cookies). Then DINNER inspiration hit, mid afternoon! These veggie latkes were a family hit, probably because the beets turn them a pretty color. They were a one bowl mess, 5 minutes to prep, 15 minutes to cook. As I was eating them, it crossed my mind that they would be perfectly adorable for Valentine’s Day, shaped into hearts with the help of cookie cutters. Try it!

Vegetable Latkes

2 medium potatoes, skin on

3 medium beets

1/2 sweet onion

1 cup spinach

2 eggs, lightly beaten

salt and pepper to taste

grapeseed oil, or other oil for light frying

Directions: In a food processor, shred the potatoes, beets, onion, spinach.  Stir in eggs and salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet, heat a couple tbs of oil over medium high heat. Scoop dollops of mix into hot oil, pat with a spatula to flatten into circles, no more than an inch thick. Fry until golden on one side, about 5 minutes, flip and fry on the other for 5 minutes. Do in batches, keep hot in a warm oven. I garnished with a bit of crumbled goat cheese for a perfect bit of tang!

final product!

Recipe: Barley Lentil Salad

Curried Barley Lentil Salad

Usually, the simpler the food, the better. The Standard American Diet is built on foods that are as far removed from their natural state as possible. Food that is highly processed, taking natural products, refining them, coating them in fats/sugars/salts/additives/preservatives and then packaging them pretty. We all inherently know that this isn’t a healthy way to eat. How can these products compare with food as close to its natural state as possible, blueberries off the bush, carrots out of the dirt…

It can take a bit of getting used to, but once you’ve re-trained your taste buds to enjoy the taste of natural food, you will soon discover that fresh food is naturally healthy AND delicious. You will start to notice the slightly offensive sweetness of processed salad dressings, the saltiness in store-bought cookies…

This salad came up today in my experimenting. I wanted to see if I could use food, as natural as possible to make something delicious for dinner. I just sampled it, warm and it’s so yummy. So you can eat it warm or cold. We’ll be eating it as an entree, but would make a great side dish as well!

Barley Lentil Salad

1 cup dried green lentils

1 cup pot barley

2 cups raw chopped cauliflower

1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

2 tbs almond oil(or olive oil)

dash of sea salt

1 tsp curry spices(I used 1/2 tsp Turkish Baharat and 1/2 tsp Tandoori Masala)

Directions: Prepare the lentils and barley. I simmered mine separately until just tender. It actually took almost the exact same amount of time so I don’t see any reason not to simmer them together. Drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Serve!

tip – make sure to rinse the dust off the barley well. If you use pearl barley(which is more refined) it cooks quite quickly so don’t combine to simmer with lentils.

Think Fresh: Sushi

Mmmmm Sushi! We love sushi with a capital L-O-V-E. Foodie Baby and Picky Princess can out-sashimi Sexy Husband any day. I’m a vegetable only sushi kind of girl, which I know isn’t technically real sushi, but nevertheless, sushi is an easy, healthy, vegetarian(my way) meal. I have some friends who lived in Nashville for a while and they said they could both binge on great sushi in Nashville for $12. That’s pretty incredible. I think of it as a pretty cheap night out because we can feed our family of 4 sushi lovers for under $40.

BUT…Sushi is a really fun and easy thing to make at home! It seems intimidating and involved, but it’s really not and I am going to show you how. It is so delicious fresh, you can fill it with all sorts of things, and you will definitely impress your guests. This is also a really easy meal to have your kids help you with!

Here is your step by step how to:

make the rice

1. Make the Rice – I use a rice cooker, but of course you can do it in a pot. In these pictures, I used white sushi rice. You can buy brown sushi rice which also tastes great. You cannot use regular rice because it doesn’t stick. I did just see a recipe for quinoa sushi somewhere, so give that a try too! You want to make the rice and then put it in a bowl so that it cools down enough that you can touch it without burning your fingers.

prep the veg

2. Prep the vegetables – thinly slice long pieces of cucumber, red pepper, and avocado, or any other things you’d like to put in the middle. Shredded carrots are nice in vegetarian rolls as well. Set aside.

set it up

3. Set it up. Place a bamboo sushi roller(super cheap from almost any grocery or kitchen store) on the counter and place one sheet of seaweed on the roller. With your hands sprinkle some rice on the sushi wrapper and press it down. You want to not make it very thick but you do want to cover most of the seaweed. If you make it too thick, the pieces are hard to eat in one bite. I like to leave a little spare space of seaweed at the end because it makes it easier to seal. At the bottom of the sushi roll, line up the vegetables. Using the roller, tightly roll up the seaweed. Set aside the roll. Repeat with all your ingredients.

rolls

4. Once you have rolls, use a serrated knife and GENTLY saw back and forth through the sushi. Each roll should be cut into about 10 pieces. This makes them bite-size. Place them on a platter. You can eat the ugly end pieces as a snack.

voila

Tip: Usually I make 2 cups of sushi rice. This equals about 10 rolls which is a LOT, but usually I make it as a snack for a group of people. Yesterday I made 1.5 cups of sushi rice and it was about 6 rolls which was an entire dinner for the 4 of us.

There you have it. How to Make Sushi!

Recipe: Coconut Curry

coconut curry

I was SO fascinated by all the ingredients you mentioned you would like recipes for during last weeks giveaway! I will do my best to address each and everyone one! A few of them are ingredients I don’t use much or ever (pomegranate molasses?) and a few of them are ingredients I use all the time! Todays recipe includes a number of different ingredients that were mentioned: chickpeas, squash, coconut milk. Hopefully you like it!

This is a super easy one dish meal: vegetarian, high fibre, easy to make, versatile, curry dish. I feel like most recipes involving butternut squash end up being curryish. I do have this recipe as well in case you aren’t a big fan of the curry taste. But this can be as mild or spicy as you like! Some flavors just go so nicely together.

Coconut Curry

Serves about 4

2 cups of cooked chickpeas (approx)

1 medium butternut squash

1 cup coconut milk

1 tbs tandoori masala spices(or curry powder)

4 cups swiss chard, spine cut out and coarsely chopped

1/2 cup chopped almonds

2 tomatoes chopped

sea salt to taste

Directions:

Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Microwave for about 7 minutes until starting to soften. Remove skin of squash and chop squash into 1 inch cubes. In a large pot, combine all ingredients and simmer for about 30 mins or until you want to eat(I think mine simmered for about an hour!) Easy, healthy and delicious!

Recipe: Roasted Pepper Hummus Stuffed Potatoes

hummus stuffed potatoes, braised cabbage and apples, fried cauliflower

Because Sexy Husband is a gracious foodie who is willing to try anything, it has been an easy evolution to becoming a “vegetarian” family. I put vegetarian in quotes because we do eat meat every once in a while and I feel like the “v” word sets you up for scrutiny. No thanks. So we eat vegetarian probably 6 out of 7 days a week. And when we do eat meat, it’s fine, we like it, whatever.

This weekend Sexy Husband and I were away for a couple of days and found a FABULOUS restaurant called Nuba. It was described as Lebanese food in the tradition of the 1940s when Lebanon was considered the Paris of the Middle East. Even the description sounds fabulous. We went with another lovely couple and pretty much ordered one of everything on the menu and shared it all. Such a fun way to eat. Highlights included but are not limited to the following: apple lime sangria, tomato feta confit, fried cauliflower, lentils, hummus, tabouleh, baba ganoush, falafels. Seriously it was SO good. So I came home and promptly wanted to incorporate some of those tastes into my week. Here is something I whipped up that is a delicious and nutritious vegetarian entree. Give it a try!

Roasted Pepper Hummus Stuffed Potatoes

Serves 4

4 russet potatoes

2 sweet peppers (I used one orange, one yellow)

2 cups cooked chickpeas

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

juice from 1/2 lemon

sea salt to taste

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Directions: Preheat oven to 400. Roast peppers in a baking dish. At the same time wrap potatoes in foil and bake until soft approx 45 mins(you can do this in a microwave if you want it to be faster). Peppers are done when they are soft and turning golden, 30-45mins. This could definitely be done ahead.

When potatoes are done, cut them in half and scoop out most of the potato, reserving it for the hummus. Leave enough potato in the skin that it retains its shape. In a food processor combine all the ingredients including the scooped out potato and the peppers. Process until combined and becoming smooth(keep it as chunky as you like!). Scoop hummus into potato skins and return to the oven to keep warm until you serve.

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