Grains and greens bowl

Once you get a rice cooker, you may want to not stop exploring the universe of rice varieties (not to mention yummy steel-cut oats for breakfast). For such an exploration, here’s a recipe that combines farro and black forbidden rice, cooked separately and cooled on a sheet pan. Mix in roasted cauliflower, steamed dandelion greens with a champagne vinegar dijon vinaigrette, and it’s stick-to-the-ribs delicious! Gilding the lily with some sweet on-hand cherry tomatoes and pepitas. Roasted butternut squash and/or other winter squash in lieu of cauliflower is Chef Thomas Keller’s recipe.

Ingredients:
Farro, 1 c
Black forbidden rice, 1 c
1/2 onion, chopped
Dandelion greens, 1/2 bunch, rinsed well and cut off tough bottom stems — steam in rice cooker for 10 minutes at end of one grain’s cycle
Cauliflower florets, roasted w/ olive oil, S&P
Vinaigrette made with champagne vinegar & mustard

Optional: cherry tomatoes
Pepitas
roasted butternut squash, sautéed first in butter in sauté pan

Directions:

Cook two separate batches of farro and rice. When each is done, remove to sheet pan, spread out and cool.
At end of second cycle, lay in cleaned dandelion greens on steamer dish to steam during last 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put sturdy sheet pan in oven to heat up.
Roast cauliflower florets with olive oil, S&P for 10-15 minutes, turning once or twice so they don’t burn.
Prepare vinaigrette: Put 3 T vinegar into Pyrex measuring copy and whisk in 1/2 t Dijon mustard. Add S&P, and whisk in olive oil. Taste with dandelion green and adjust to your taste.

Assemble:
Rice and faro in large bowl.
Mix greens in separate bowl with vinaigrette.
Put cauliflower on rice/farro, top with greens and vinaigrette. Add tomatoes and pepitas.

Serving the greens and cauliflower while still warm is nice. And the room temp rice/farro is a lovely contrast.

source/inspiration: https://www.jamesbeard.org/recipes/farro-and-black-rice-with-roasted-autumn-squash

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Fish stew with tomatoes and garlic

When you want a change of pace from sautéed or oven roasted plain fish, this is an easy stew flavorful with onions and tomatoes.

Cod or other thick, white-fleshed fish (12 oz for 2 people), cut into large pieces, seasoned with S&P
Potatoes — small, best tasting (Yukon Gold okay in a pinch), 5-8 small
Onion, 1/2, sliced into thin half moons
garlic, 4 cloves, sliced thin
Vegetable stock, 1 c
Canned tomatoes — 28 oz, or can use less and add more stock
Lemon — for zest and wedges for serving

Optional:
Tomato paste (add with garlic if using fewer tomatoes), < 1 T
Thyme
Saffron
Parsley — chopped for serving

Crusty fresh bread is a good idea for an accompaniment
A bracing salad such as escarole and citrus and citrus vinaigrette would also be good following meal
Green beans would go well with this

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 T olive oil and add sliced onions, S&P and thyme, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, zest and tomato paste and cook for a minute.
  2. Add stock, tomatoes and saffron, breaking up tomatoes as you add them in. Add potatoes, S&P, cover and cook about 12 minutes until potatoes are just tender.
  3. Add in fish, cover and cook about 5 minutes, until fish is opaque and cooked through.

Serve in wide, shallow bowls, topping with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.

 

Source: Garlic and Tomato Fish Stew, Washington Post 3/27/18

Healthy foods — list

Periodically I research healthy foods — to take a list to the market to remind me to buy vegetables from around the color wheel, and as a guidepost for planning recipes. Then I misplace it and have to re-create it.

Here’s my latest list:

Fiber: 25+ grams/day

Low GI — <55 GI
Servings:
Low <10
Intemediate 11-19

Vegetables
Cruciferous:
broccoli
Brussels sprouts
cabbage
cauliflower
collard greens
kale
kohlrabi
mustard
rutabaga
turnips
bok choy
Chinese cabbage

Radish
watercress
swiss chard

 

Peanuts
Cashews
almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts

Barley

Legumes — weekly intake of six servings (3 cups) of legumes
Legumes are inexpensive, nutrient-dense sources of protein that can be substituted for dietary animal protein

Beans
Peas
Lentils
Soybeans
Peanuts

 

Fruits & vegetables — recommend eating a variety of fruit and vegetables daily;

Carrots
apple
blueberries
Lemons
Grapes
Mango
Pear
Orange
NOT potatoes — they don’t count!
Peppers — hot and sweet
Raspberries
Pumpkin
Purslane
Strawberries
Turnips

Daily consumption of 2 cups (4 servings) of fruit and 2½ cups (5 servings) of vegetables are recommended for people who consume 2,000 kcal/d, while 1.5 cups of fruit and (3 servings) and 2 cups (4 servings) of vegetables are recommended for people who consume 1,600 kcal/d. In both cases, consumption of a variety of different fruit and vegetables is recommended, including dark green, red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple fruit and vegetables, as well as legumes (peas and beans), onions, and garlic.

Dark green
broccoli
broccoli rabe
collard greens
Dandelion
✩Spinach
✩Kale


Watercress

 

Green
Arugula
Asparagus
avocado
bok choy; Chinese cabbage
Celery
Broccoli rabe
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Endive
Escarole
Fennel
Green beans
Peas (a bean, but still)
Snow peas
Swiss chard

Red — peppers
Tomatoes
Beets
Orange
Sweet potatoes
carrots (eat with fat)
Purple
Eggplant
White — Onions
Garlic
Cauliflower
Parsnip
Rutababas
Mushrooms
Especially: Maitake, Shitake and Cremini

Alliums:
Onions, garlic, shallots, leeks

Others:
Squash — winter and summer
Horseradish
Jicama
Jerusalem artichokes
Kohlrabi

 

Limit brown rice to 1/2 c cooked

Grains:
Oatmeal
Quinoa

Fish:
tuna
salmon (Omega-3’s)
Cod
Herring

Beans
red beans, kidney, pinto
Garbanzo
Lentils

Umeboshi plum paste
Whey protein powder — isolate
Paleomeal by Designs for health, is one recommended brand

Tea

Brussels sprouts hash

I recently learned a good way to use Brussels sprouts as an ingredient is to blanch them for three minutes (after cutting in half) and then refrigerate for a day or two.

I did this to roast Brussels sprouts for dinner (watch carefully! They are burn quickly!)
Then I had some left over and thought they could reappear as breakfast.

To do this:
Mince brussels sprouts.

Other ingredients:
Jalapeno pepper (or sweet peppers with dried red pepper flakes)
Mushrooms
Scallions (or onions)
Pancetta

Sauté in butter and a bit of olive oil or other oil (to prevent burning), adding salt and pepper along with way to layer the flavor.
Try cooking in this order: (for next time, know: cook first the items you least want to see raw!)
Mushrooms
Pancetta
Jalapeno
brussels sprouts
Scallions

Serve under fried eggs with toast.
Or poached eggs would not be an unwelcome partner to the hash either!

Roast chicken on a winter eve

Is it hygge or is it. . . . sloth? Whatever. Dinner hour approaches and we’re going to want to feed ourselves. If you have picked up a nice little chicken, and have around some storage vegetables, you are on your way to a delicious, no fuss hearty meal.

Take the chicken out and put on the counter for an hour to come to room temp. Leave there. Or take the extra step and put the naked bird on a plate, pat dry with paper towels and salt liberally. (If you’ve planned ahead you can strip the bird from its packaging a day before and salt and put in refrigerator uncovered. This amps up a crisp skin on the bird.)

Preheat the oven to 375.

I put S&P in a small bowl to use later on the bird after my hands get chicken-yucky. Get out:
Thyme sprigs and/or sage leaves
1/2 lemon
Garlic cloves, a few
Shallot, sliced in half
S&P in a bowl
olive oil in a little bowl
cooking twine for trussing (very optional)

Put the chicken in a roasting pan. Dry inside and out with paper towels. Try to minimize your contamination zone — the small bowls help that way.
Rub some salt and pepper into cavity of bird. Stuff with: thyme, garlic cloves, shallot and stuff the half lemon in last.
Rub the bird with olive oil all over and rub on some S&P.
Get out your twine, turn the bird breast side down and bring string across wings. Turn over and bring string across indentation between legs and breast, crossing string. Bring up and over tips of legs, crossing to draw in taut. Tie a knot and clip excess.
Dab on more olive oil & reapply S&P as needed.

Put into center of oven uncovered and bake 1-1/4 hours, perhaps basting and turning the pan mid-way. The bird is done when thermometer reads 165 in dark meat, or if you stab into leg or thigh with knife and it doesn’t look very pink. Take out, tent loosely and let sit 10 or so minutes before cutting up or carving.

Vegetables:
This is the best part!
Get out:
Carrots, 2-3
Turnips, peeled and cut into wedges or large cubes
fennel, cut into 1/6ths or 1/8ths depending on size of bulb
Potatoes, 2-3, scrubbed and cut into wedges
Red onion, 1, cut into LARGE wedges (otherwise they will disintegrate in roasting pan among sturdier root vegetables)

Garlic — Put a couple heads on a sheet of aluminum foil. Pour a little olive oil in top, cover up, making a little package, and put in oven on the rack to roast of 50+ minutes. Take out and it will sit nicely while everything else is getting finished cooking.
Put vegetables on a nice, heavy baking sheet in a little mound, and pour on some olive oil and some S&P. Rub in and give the veggies some space on the pan.
Put in oven and roast for about 45+ minutes, turning occasionally to prevent anything burning, and it’s nice to turn potatoes so they get a crust on different cut edges.

Serving:
Cut chicken into pieces with shears, cutting away back bone. And/or slice breast meat.
Put vegetables into a bowl with a big spoon.
Put garlic on a plate and pass to eat with potatoes and perhaps chicken.
Yum!

My mother’s Brisket

Not my mother, someone’s mother, or maybe just the title of the recipe.

Ingredients:

4 to 6 # Beef Brisket (or Bottom Round Rump Roast, butterflied — not a great substitute since it has a different, perhaps dryer, texture, but it works)

4-5 Onions, cut into 1/2″ pieces (cut in half, then 1/2″+ slices each way, cut side down)

3 Garlic cloves, minced

2-4 portobello mushroom caps

Paprika, preferably Hungarian, but Spanish works a-ok

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put 2 T oil into Dutch oven or heavy pan and heat in oven for 10 mins.
  2. Dry meat with paper towels, and season w/ S&P.  Place meat in pan in oven and cook uncovered for 30 mins
  3. While meat is doing its browning/searing thing, cut up onions. Heat large sauté pan, add 2 T olive oil, and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally until onions start to brown. During this time, season with S&P. Reduce heat and cook about 20 minutes until very soft and caramelized, uncovered..  Add garlic, paprika, S&P and cook one minute.  Add 4 c water and heat.
  4. When meat is done roasting, pour onion mixture over it, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees, and return to oven, covered. Check occasionally that liquid has not evaporated and if low, add more water. Turn meat over after a while to cook on other side.
  5. Cook 3-1/2 hours or until not quite tender. Remove from oven and slice.  Add sliced portobellos, mixing into liquid and return all to oven, and cook another hour, covered.
  6. When done, separate meat from onions and store in refrigerator separately.
  7. Next day, remove fat and heat in oven together. Some purée the onions to make a thick gravy. Not necessary to my mind and taste!
  8. Serve with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and perhaps a nice winter salad of watercress, pears, blue cheese and walnuts.

Kale, sausage winter pasta

Greens get to slim pickings in the middle of winter, but kale is hardy and generally available. Especially for pasta dishes I prefer lacinato aka dinosaur kale, that has long tender leaves. Ready in under half an hour!

Ingredients:

Kale, 1 bunch lacinato, soaked, rinsed and shredded by hand
1 andouille sausage — optional
1 onion, large dice
1-2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced
Dash crushed red pepper
toasted walnuts
grated parmesan
Oriechette pasta

Directions:
Toast walnuts and set aside.
Heat water for pasta
Prepare kale; cut onion and garlic; sausage

Sauté: onion in olive oil; S&P; add garlic and cook for one minute. Add kale and salt and toss; add good splash of water, cover and cook about 8 minutes. During that time, add in sausage on top to warm up.
Grate parmesan

Serve:
Pasta w/ olive oil
Greens mixture
Parmesan
Walnuts on top
Drizzle of olive oil