Monday, June 27, 2011

Quick saag paneer salad.

So, I have spinach from my CSA.   And its a little too tough for just plain salad, but I didn't want completely soggy spinach.   I was also in the mood for something vaguely Indian (been reading Madhur Jaffrey's cookbook for ideas).

I'd been to Trader Joe's and picked up some of their Frying Cheese earlier... (among other things)

So I washed the spinach.  And washed it again.  

Then I sauteed a little of the cheese in some oil, with some Maharajah Curry Powder from Trader Joes.

Turned off the heat, added the spinach and tossed it enough so that it wilted and picked up some of the spices, and had for dinner....

nice, healthy, simple.   Not real saag paneer, but good enough...

Spring Rolls with CSA produce...

So:  I wrote the previous blog post, then started my morning surfing of the 'net, and found a wonderful post on Spring Rolls.

And I have lettuce, and spinach, and chard, and peppers, and the base mix for turnip salad....  hmmmmm

And you could use smoked salmon or langoustines instead of the crispy shrimp.  

So I made them.  (and again, sorry, no pics, I was starving, but it was amazing how quickly they came together).

I had the rice paper wrappers, a bowl of water to soften them in, a plate to assemble them on.

I pulled out some miso from the fridge to use too.   You could also toss the turnip salad with a little bit of fish sauce, if you wanted, I didn't want to get another bowl dirty.

I used smoked salmon, lettuce and the turnip salad.  

Dip the wrapper, you don't want to soak it, but just make sure it is completely wet and just starts getting flexible...

Put it on a plate.  smear a little miso on.   stack lettuce, salmon and turnip salad on top (trial and error, and whatever you want to show through, on the bottom....)  and then start rolling it up, kind of like a package...

Make as many as you want.


Monday, June 20, 2011

CSA, hooray, hooray, AKA Turnips in Spring.

So.  My CSA just started, and I am DETERMINED to actually eat all the produce, have lots of lovely salads, etc.   I think item one on my list has to be a new food processor, unless anyone has tips on why the bowl of mine sticks so badly that I have to lay it on the floor and use my foot to get it off?   (and get your minds out of the gutter right now!)

But We got some lovely lovely little white turnips in our share, so I've grated them in the previously mentioned cuisinart.  Along with a sweet onion and a couple of carrots.  And then doused it all in white balsamic vinegar so it wouldn't turn brown.

 I'm making up a salad recipe because the only, only, ONLY recipes I've found in my go-to cookbooks all involve roasting or braising or some other preparation more suited to fall than late spring/early summer.   I don't want to turn the oven on more than I have to.  Nor the stove.

So anyway, back to the 'recipe', I'm actually going to use this as a base for a couple of variations.

Variation 1:

Morroccan/Middle Eastern:

Add some red pepper, some ginger, a little bit of cumin, and top with golden raisins or chopped dates...  You could also throw some parsley in there, if you so desired.... or replace the raisins/dates with some good feta cheese....

Variant 2:
Bacon and pecans:
Toast a few pecans, cook a strip of bacon per person.   Crumble the bacon, toss with a mustard vinaigrette....   put pecans on top....

Variant 3:
Light sour cream dressing, maybe with some cukes or radish added in.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Snack Balls of Goodness....

So I needed some kind of snack for work yesterday, but didn't feel like chocolate.   Otherwise I would have made THESE.

So I riffed off of the recipe.  Left out the cocoa powder, the chocolate chips...  and this is going to be more of an "Elizabeth David" type of recipe, because it has to do with humidity, ingredient moistness, etc.

Dollop of almond butter
Dollop of sunflower seed butter
gluten-free oatmeal
maple syrup
dried cherries
coconut "flour"
flaxseed meal (golden)

mix mix mix mix, add a little maple syrup to moisten. mix mix mix.    Taste.  You could add sugar if you wanted, they were sweet enough for me with just the maple syrup.

Roll into balls and toss in a little bit more of the coconut.

The one thing I would have added is something with a little bit of sourness...  It needed a little bit of acidity to counteract the texture, so if I had had it in the fridge, I would have used some lemon zest or orange zest to give it that brightness... (which would also work in a chocolate variation too).

It gave me that nice little pop of energy to get through the rest of the day...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Simple supper...

So I had a light, simple supper last night.   I have been reading Dorie Greenspan's cookbook, Around My French Table, and it inspired me.   I went to the "herb garden" and got some chives, sage flowers (less pungent than the sage itself) and thyme.   (herb garden is in air quotes because it isn't really an herb garden)

I defrosted some langoustine (from Trader Joes), and tossed it with the herbs and a dash of mayo, and threw it on top of some cold, precooked green beans.   (I'd gone to Costco, and gotten some beans which I steamed, and have been eating from because the CSA hasn't started yet.  The minute the CSA starts, you will be seeing beautiful produce from there).

Can you say "yum"?   I knew you could.   For me, I'm really trying to make this about being healthy, cooking for one, and also, right now, NOT heating up the house.