Garbanzo Bean Salad with Lime Herb Vinaigrette

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Garbanzo Bean Salad with Lime Herb Vinaigrette

 

Salads are the perfect lazy meal. Add a little of this and a little of that and you have a great meal that didn’t involve 1 minute of cooking. It’s no wonder I love them so much.  When I’m in the mood for a hearty and filling salad, I always use legumes as base and build out from there. This salad makes the perfect lunch, or lazy dinner.

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Ingredients:

10 ounce can of organic garbanzo beans–drained and rinsed

1/2 cup of  organic persian cucumbers, diced

1/2 cup of organic radish, diced

1/2 cup of organic bell pepper, diced

3-4 oz of Feta cheese–crumbled

Sea salt to taste

Lime Herb Vinaigrette

1/4 cup of fresh organic lime juice

3 tablespoons of olive oil

3 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh mint

1 medium clove of garlic, grated

1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin

Sea salt to taste

Directions:  Add all of the ingredients for the Lime herb vinaigrette to a bowl,  whisk together and set aside.  To a large bowl add the ingredients for the salad, season with sea salt and toss gently.

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Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss once more and enjoy!

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Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Before I had my own child, I spent countless hours in the kitchen with my nieces and nephews baking cookies.  It was a tradition actually. A tradition that my  now 22-year-old niece looks back on fondly.  Great considering the fact that I do not consider myself a baker.  This particular recipe is a chocolate chip recipe from Serious eats, but with my spin on it.  By spin, I mean I used the listed ingredients, mostly–and a little extra chocolate, but I did not follow the directions as written.  I sort of did things my way.  If you want to make these cookies exactly as Kenji over at Serious eats intended, then by all means follow this recipe.  In either case, this recipe is tried and true. The brown butter in this recipe lends a nice toffee flavor to these cookies.  I let the dough rest before cooking these.  My intent was to let it rest over night, but the dough smelled so good that Page insisted that we bake a few right away, so we did, after it rested for about 8 hours.  To be honest there was not really a noticeable difference between the cookies we baked early and the ones that were baked the next day.  Good cookies are just good cookies. But that could have been a result of me not following the directions word for word.  But that aside, these cookies were amazing!!!  If you were lucky enough to have one of these at a bake sale–you’d be a lucky duck indeed!

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Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

10 ounces of all purpose flour (about 2 cups)

8 ounces of cooled brown butter (2 sticks) see directions for browning butter here

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

5 ounces  of granulated sugar or 3/4  cup

5 ounces of  tightly packed brown sugar or 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (go to my Instagram account to see how to make your own)

10 ounces of chocolate chips

2 teaspoons of kosher salt–I used Pink Sea Salt

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Directions: Add  flour, salt and baking powder to a bowl, mix and set aside.  Add cooled brown butter and sugars to a bowl with the whisk attachment.  On medium speed, cream together, for about 5 minutes. Kenji’s recipe calls for using brown butter that has not fully solidified, but I am a busy woman, I put my brown butter in the refrigerator, and came back for it 3 hours later, so I decided to cream it with the sugars.

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After butter and sugar mixture has creamed, change to the paddle attachment and add in the eggs and vanilla mix on medium speed until the mixture comes together.

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Add in the flour mixture and mix on low speed until dough  is just barely combined , about 15 seconds.

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There should still be some dry flour remaining.

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Turn off mixer, add in chocolate chips, using a silicon spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the dough,

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Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate.  I rolled the dough out onto parchment and then sealed it in a Ziploc bag.  Then separated it into 3 equal sized cookie logsso that I could freeze them for later–that didn’t really happen–I gave one roll away, and we ate the rest:

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Allow the dough to rest overnight, or as long as you can–up to 3 days in the refrigerator, then cut or scoop dough out into tablespoon sized  portions on to a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet.

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Bake on 325F for 13-16 minutes.  The cookies should be brown on the edges but soft in the middle.  Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool, then enjoy!

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How to Brown Butter

How to Brown Butter

How to Brown Butter

It has been said that butter makes everything better.  In my opinion  brown butter is butter in it’s best form.  The nutty, butterscotch notes butter has once it has been browned are heavenly!  I love to use brown butter in everything from sauces to baked goods.  In fact, the other day, Page and I were baking with browned butter, and even she–in all of her 3-year-old astuteness–could not stop saying how good the brown butter smelled.  The aroma had us both in a euphoric trance–I’m not exaggerating–we were both giddy over the smell–and the cookies…the cookies were AMAZING!!!  I’ll share that post another day.  You can make as much, or as little, of this as you’d like.  Once the butter has browned, you can place it in the refrigerator to use for later.  A good brown butter sauce can liven up everything –even veggies.

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Prep time: none

Cook time: 5-7 minutes

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter

Directions: Place the butter in a stainless steel or clear bottom sauce pan

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and melt over medium low heat.

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Once the butter has completely melted, things move along pretty quickly, the solids have already begun to separate for me and it’s been about two minutes:

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At about 5 minutes in the butter will start to bubble and and splatter, stir, stir, and stir some more:

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Now is the time to watch the butter like a hawk, because then this happens:

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Foam, a lot of foam, which makes it hard to see if the butter has browned underneath, so move the foam to the side with a spoon to see if the butter has browned. image

You’ll be able to tell the butter has browned because you’ll start to see brown bits of milk solids on the spoon and in the pan.

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The butter will also start to smell AMAZING!! It takes on a sweet, nutty almost butterscotch aroma.  I was happy with the color at this point, but you could go a little longer–just be careful not to go too much longer, because the butter continues to brown even after you remove it from the heat. After you’re happy with the color,  remove it from heat and transfer to a heatproof container.  Make sure to transfer all of the butter milk solids–the milk solids are the best part.  They don’t look appetizing but they are.  I added them after I took this picture, just so you guys could see what they look like.:

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Continue to stir for a  few minutes to help cool it down.

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Use it right away or allow the brown butter to cool to room temperature before transferring to an air tight container and then the refrigerator for later use.

 

Persian Spiced Salmon Kabobs

Persian Spiced Salmon Kabob's

Persian Spiced Salmon Kabob’s

 

I love a good kabob and lately I’ve been craving them.  Salmon is such a hearty fish, and there are many great ways to prepare salmon, but when you want to switch things up a bit–grilled salmon is the way to go.  I made a paste to adorn this salmon, and it’s rich in Mediterranean flavors.  I used sumac, which can be found in any middle eastern store, or in your local Trader Joe’s–it’s where I got mine.  Sumac is tart,  sour and is often used in place of lemon in middle eastern recipes.   If you can’t find sumac, then by all means feel free to substitute with the zest of a lemon.  The flavor is this dish is fantastic.  The fresh thyme was amazing! I felt like I was eating at one of my favorite Persian restaurants.  Page really loved it, and my husband could not stop with the compliments.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

cook time: 7 minutes

Total time: 12 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1lb of salmon– dried with paper towels, de-skinned, and cubed into 1 inch pieces

1 teaspoon of sumac powder– can substitute with lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme-stems removed

1 teaspoon of olive oil–or oil of your choice

sea salt to taste

Directions: To a small bowl add the garlic powder, cumin powder, fresh thyme and oil, mix well and set aside.

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Rub the spice mixture on the salmon,

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then add the salmon to skewers,

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Grill the salmon for 3-4 minutes on each side, remove from grill, serve and enjoy!

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Pineapple Rings–How to make dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

Dehydrated Pineapple Rings

One of my go to snacks is dehydrated fruit.  I’m a particular fan of pineapple rings.  But, if you’ve ever purchased organic dehydrated pineapple rings, then you probably know that pineapple rings are a snack that can be out right expensive! I mean outlandishly expensive! On top of the expense, it’s pretty hard to find pineapple rings that haven’t been soaked in baths of sugar.  I’m not a fan of adding sugar to dehydrated fruit.  It’s sort of an oxymoron to me that sugar is added to dehydrated fruit at all, because if you know anything about dehydration–then you know that the sugar in fruits concentrate when dehydrated, so there really isn’t a need to add sugar–unless you’re dehydrating something really tart like cranberries then I could see the purpose of adding sugar. Last week I purchased a pineapple, I fully intended to eat it fresh. However,when I cut, and tasted it– it was pretty tasteless. Disappointing for sure. The pineapple clearly needed to ferment more.  Rather than chuck it, I sliced it and put it in the dehydrator and made pineapple rings. The resulting pineapple rings were not only flavorful, but they were sweet–everything you want would want in a fresh bite of pineapple–minus the juice of course.  The pineapple rings lasted all of 2 minutes, my sister in-law, my niece and Page, gobbled them right up–I’m pretty sure they would’ve passed on the fresh slices.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time 6-8 hrs 10-12hr for thicker slices

Ingredients:

2 whole fair trade organic pineapple

Directions: Remove the stem from the pineapple, then slice off the top and bottom.  Slice off the skin, making sure to remove all the eyelets.

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Now slice the pineapple thinly.

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Keep in mind that the thicker you slice it, the longer it will take to dry.  If it’s too thin your pineapple rings will turn out crisp, if they are a bit thicker, they’ll be more leathery, so it’ just a matter of what you’re seeking in consistency.  After slicing, cut out the center core by carving a circular cut in the middle of the pineapple.

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Remove the core and discard it.

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Place the pineapple rings on your dehydrator sheet,

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Set the dehydrator to 135F.  If you’re doing this in the oven, set the oven to 150F or the lowest possible setting.  Dehydrate for 6-8 hours, 10-12hrs if you cut thicker slices.

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Once dry let cool, then enjoy!

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Page could not wait for me to take a picture, she loves these so much!

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if you like this recipe, try the recipe for my pineapple fruit roll-ups!

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

Spice rubbed Salmon with lemon cream sauce

Spice Rubbed Salmon with Lemon Cream Sauce

I love salmon, especially perfectly cooked salmon. When cooked correctly salmon is moist, tender, and oh so satisfying.  Most recipes for salmon include dill, lemon, garlic or some variation of those three ingredients. I’m a big fan of garlic and lemon, but dill is just not a flavor I’m in love with.  Besides, salmon is not a fragile fish, it can hold up to more bold flavor profiles.This particular salmon recipe is proof of that.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 8 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb salmon fillet

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1/4 teaspoon of granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon of onion powder

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1/2-1 teaspoon of avocado oil or coconut oil

sea salt & black pepper to taste

Lemon cream sauce (optional)

2 Tablespoons of sour cream –can sub with yogurt

1/4 teaspoon of tabasco

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

sea salt to taste

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 425F. Mix the ingredients for the lemon sauce in a small bowl and set aside. Dry salmon fillet with paper towels, drizzle with oil on both sides, then salt, place on a foil lined bake sheet and set aside. In a small bowl mix together the paprika, garlic, onion, and cumin.

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Sprinkle the spice mixture over the salmon,

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Place the salmon in the oven for 8-10 minutes depending on how thick your fillet is.  My fillet was about 1/2 inch thick and it was done in 8 minutes.  Remove from oven, drizzle with lemon sauce and enjoy!

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Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing--DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing–DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

My latest obsession is salad.  Crispy and crunchy vegetables with a drizzle of oil, and a splash of citrus or vinegar–what’s not to love?  Salads are a great way to get in a few servings of fresh vegetables in their raw state.  As much as I love salads, they can become a bit boring if you don’t mix things up a bit.  The easiest way to do that is to switch out the vegetables and the dressing.  I often make caesar salads with romaine lettuce, but sometimes I switch out the romaine and replace it with baby kale, or lacinto kale.  It makes for a hearty salad and an especially delicious twist to the standard caesar  salad, we are all used to.  I’ll post the recipe I use for the kale caesar another day, but today, I’m sharing my recipe for my favorite creamy caesar salad dressing.  It’s my go to dressing, when I crave a creamy salad dressing.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic pasted

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of anchovy paste

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup grape seed oil

5 teaspoons of olive oil

3/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

black pepper to taste

Directions:  To a small bowl add the grated garlic and lemon juice, allow to sit for 10 minutes.  If you have a hand mixer like I do, add the lemon garlic mixture, (after it sits for 10 minutes), and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until the mixture thickens–about 1-2 minutes.

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Transfer to an air tight container and chill until ready to use.

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If you don’t have a hand mixer,  whisk worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture.



While whisking, drizzle grape seed oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified.


 Add 3/4 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated:

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust–How to make Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

 

I’m trying to find different ways to serve vegetables to Page.  She has a new found love for pizza–before she wasn’t at all impressed.  Recently, I’ve started to get her involved in helping me to make the meals we’re eating.  I saw a food documentary about food, and kids.  In it the narrator said that the best way to get kids to eat vegetables is to have them take part in cooking. Page is at that age where she’s very eager to help, so I thought why not take advantage of that.   I’ve also really wanted to try out a cauliflower pizza crust on our new baking steel.  I have to say that I was more than impressed with the results–so was Page.   Now for those of you wondering if this will taste anything like that delicious yeasty bread that you’re used to with pizza–the short answer is no.  Bread is bread–this is an alternative to bread.  Although it’s not bread–it mimics bread in form, and it is so delicious that it stands on it’s own.  The reason cauliflower is most often used by people as a substitution for grains is because it has such a mild flavor.  It also has great texture. This recipe requires that you add cheese.  I used parmesan, but you could use mozzarella, or pecorino, or a combination of your favorite Italian cheeses.  I also used fresh basil, but you can use rosemary, or another herb of your choosing, dried or fresh–totally up to you.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon of truffle salt

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil

1 cup of freshly grated parmesan–or cheese of your choice

1 egg

Directions: Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone or baking steel  to 450F for 45 minutes. Steam the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes–or until fork tender.

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Transfer cauliflower to a processor and process until cauliflower looks like grains of rice.

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Transfer processed cauliflower to a clean kitchen towel, or a nut milk bag, and squeeze until the cauliflower becomes dry.  You want to squeeze out as much water as you can.

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Transfer the cauliflower to a medium size bowl, and add garlic powder, salt, basil, and cheese–mix together into a ball.

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Spray a sheet of parchment paper with oil.  Add the cauliflower mixture to the center of the parchment paper, and with your hands begin to flatten and form it into the shape of a pizza.

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Once you have the shape you want, place it in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Once it’s golden brown and bubbly like this:  remove it from the oven.

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Now you can top it with your favorite tomato sauce, cheese and toppings.

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Once you have it topped, place it in the oven to cook until the cheese and topping melt.  Remove from oven, cut serve and enjoy!

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This made a 10-12 inch pizza, not a crumb was left over.  Everyone enjoyed it–my husband didn’t even know that the crust was made from cauliflower until Page told him! If you like this try my recipe for Tortilla Pizza!

Lemon Infused Oil-How to Make Infused Cooking oil with a Slow cooker or Sous Vide circulator

 

Sous Vide/Slow cooker Lemon  Infused Oil

Sous Vide/Slow cooker Lemon Infused Oil

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making infused oils.  I buy them all the time, but they are a little on the expensive side, so making my own seems like the better value.  Infused oils are a great way to layer flavor in almost anything, be it  a salad, warm or cold, or as a highlight to fish,  potatoes or a finish to a hummus.  The process is super simple–especially if you use a slow cooker or a immersion circulator.  I had originally planned to make this with my immersion circulator, but I didn’t want to exclude a lot of you from making it.  So I borrowed my mom’s crock pot, so that I could adapt this recipe to fit the needs of a slow cooker.  Sous vide and slower cookers have a lot in common, both cook food at low temperatures.  Immersion circulators offer the option of cooking at even lower temperatures than slow cookers.  If you have a slow cooker that has the option of allowing you to set exact temperatures then you’re ahead of the game.  If your slow cooker only has a low, medium, high, or warming settings, don’t fret, you can make this.  My mom’s slow cooker has a high, low and warm setting.  I went online and did some research on what exactly those setting are and found out that the low temperature setting on slow cookers is 200F, the high is 300F and warm is 145-165F.  I planned to set my circulator to 131F for 3 hours for this recipe, so the warm setting on my mom’s slow cooker was more than sufficient to match that. In fact it was sufficient enough to allow me to shave off a few minutes from the 3 hour cook time.  I did not, because I was busy doing other things while the oil was in the slow cooker, but if you’re anxious, you could take 15 minutes off of the cook time.  I made this lemon infused oil in both my immersion circulator and my moms slow cooker–set a timer for 3 hours for both.  The results were identical.  The lemon was nicely infused in both oils.  I used avocado oil, but this can be done with olive oil, grape seed oil, or any oil that you choose.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

1 cup of avocado oil–or oil of your choice

peel of 2 medium sized lemons

Directions for slow cooker:  fill slow cooker with water and set to 131F,–if your slow cooker has an exact temperature setting– or set it on the warm setting–low if your pot doesn’t have a keep warm setting. Place oil in a bag, then add lemon peels–making sure to bend and twist them to release oils.

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If you’re using a ziploc bag place the bag in the slow cooker and seal using the water displacement method, then cook for 3 hours.  If you have a vacuum chamber sealer that allows you to seal liquids like I do, then seal the oil and lemon mixture in a bag for 10 seconds with a 1.5 second seal.

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Directions for Sous vide:  Fill a pot or container with water, then set the circulator to 131F and wait for the water to come to temperature. Meanwhile add the oil and lemon peels to a bag–making sure to bend and twist them to release oils.

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If you’re using a ziploc bag place the bag in the water bath and seal using the water displacement method, then cook for 3 hours.  If you have a vacuum chamber sealer that allows you to seal liquids like I do, then seal the oil and lemon mixture in a bag for 10 seconds with a 1.5 second seal.

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At the 3 hour mark, carefully remove the oil from the water–remembering that even at 131F-165F water is very hot.

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Transfer the oil to a clean container–removing all of the peels–you can leave one or two for decoration if you’d like.

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The lemon oil is ready to use. There are so many uses for this oil.  Drizzle a little on avocado toast, or on roast chicken–the uses are endless and always delicious!

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Rosemary, Garlic, & Lemon Pototoes

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Rosemary, Garlic, and Lemon Potatoes

 

One of my husbands favorite side dishes.  He is a lover of all things potato, so I’m constantly trying to switch up the way that I cook them. The easiest way for me to do that is to switch up the herbs.  In this case fresh is best! The fresh rosemary really makes these potatoes sing! The pungent and earthy flavor of fresh rosemary paired with the lemon and garlic, make for a delicious potato dish!

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

4 medium organic potatoes (cubed skin on)

1 Tablespoon of fresh organic rosemary finely chopped

1 teaspoon of garlic finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of lemon powder (can sub the zest of one small lemon)

4-5 Tablespoons of grape seed oil

Sea salt to taste

Directions: Heat olive oil in a frying pan. Place cubed potatoes in,

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Cook potatoes until they start to brown, tip, cook for 5 minutes on one side, brown and then flip to the other side to brown.  Once potatoes are brown and fork tender, add the rosemary, lemon powder, and garlic, toss for ten to twenty seconds, just until you can smell the garlic, turn the fire off.

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Transfer to a plate season with sea salt toss and enjoy!

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If you like these potatoes then you’ll love my recipe for Lemon and Garlic Potatoes! You might also like these Ranch Potatoes!