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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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!

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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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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Tortilla Pizza– How to make Pizza with a Tortilla crust

 

Tortilla Pizza

Tortilla Pizza

 

A friend of mine has been espousing the virtues of the Baking Steel for over a year and half now.  We don’t make very many pizza’s in this house, so I put it on my list of things that I want to buy in the future, but really can wait. Then I read all about the virtues of this steel plate in Modernist Cuisine, and I knew that I needed one sooner rather than later.  Aside from being a great way to make brick oven style pizza’s, the baking steel works as a plancha, an anti-griddle, and a teppanyaki.  A multi-purpose gadget always excites me, so I  ordered one.  I came across a great article on Serious eats about a reversible version of the Baking Steel, and right next to it was a recipe for Extra-Crispy Bar-Style Tortilla Pizza and I knew that I had to try it. Leave it to me to buy a gadget made for making pizza only to put it aside to make a pizza in a cast iron skillet.  After making this, I don’t know why I never thought to try making pizza with a tortilla as a base before.  I’ve used naan, pita, and a middle eastern bread to make pizza before, so you would think it would have occurred to me to try one with a tortilla.  This pizza is super-duper easy, takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and it’s the best thin crust pizza that I’ve ever eaten.   For my gluten free friends, this pizza is easily adapted to become gluten free by switching out the flour tortilla, with a gluten free tortilla, Whole Food’s sells a host of different varieties. You can add additional toppings to this, but I kept it simple.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 7-10 minutes

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Ingredients:

3 tablespoons of Organic Tomato sauce (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)

1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup of organic mozzarella cheese (grated)

3 fresh basil leaves sliced thinly

1 large organic flour tortilla

1/2 teaspoon coconut oil or grape seed oil

Directions: Pre-heat oven to broil.  Add the oil to the cast iron pan and bring to temperature over high heat.

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Once the oil is hot, wipe out any excess with a paper towel–be careful not to burn yourself.

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Add the tortilla to the pan, turn the heat down to medium-low.

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Add the 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce,

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spread the sauce out evenly over the tortilla, all the way out to the edges.

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Add the mozzarella.

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Then add the parmesan around the edges–you are giving your pizza a parmesean crust.

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Add the basil:

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Transfer the pizza to the oven,

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Allow the pizza to cook for 3-4 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns.

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Remove the pan from the oven.  The pizza should be nice and crisp–if it is not, place the cast iron pan over a burner, turn on the fire and allow to  cook for another 30-60 seconds until it’s nice and crisp. Remove the pizza from the pan slice, serve and enjoy! This recipe is only for one pizza, so if you need more adjust accordingly.  My daughter enjoyed this so much, that she begged me to make her one for breakfast the next morning.

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If you like this recipe you will probably like my recipe for Artisan Prosciutto Tomato and Basil Pizza.

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Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

Mango Ice Cream

My husband loves mango’s and is especially fond of mango kulfi–an Indian ice cream.  It’s a special treat that he likes to enjoy whenever we go out to eat at an Indian restaurant. Although Kulfi is delicious, most recipes call for corn flour as a thickening agent.  I prefer the use of egg yolks to thicken my ice cream.   This ice cream is ultra creamy, not as rich as a Kulfi, but delicious none the less.

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Prep time: 30-45 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

3 cups of organic mango puree

1.5 cups of organic milk

2 cups of organic heavy cream

4 egg yolks

1 vanilla bean

1/4 cup-1/2 cup of maple syrup more if you like it ultra sweet or if your mango’s are not sweet

Directions:

In a medium bowl, beat together the yolks, and your sweetener of choice.

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You can beat by hand using a whisk, or use a hand mixer. Beat until thoroughly smooth and creamy. (A couple of minutes by hand.) If you’re using maple syrup, or agave, the mixture comes together quite quickly.

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Put 1 cup of the cream, and all of the milk, into a medium saucepan over medium heat.
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Scrape the vanilla seeds from the bean with the tip of a small knife, and place into the pan; add the pod too. Heat the mixture until just before it starts to simmer (DO NOT LET IT SIMMER). Remove mixture from heat.Strain the hot mixture, reserving the milk and discarding thevanilla bean pod.
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Add half of the hot mixture to the egg-yolk mixture, and whisk until blended. Be careful when adding the hot mixture to the egg mixture, go slowly you don’t want scrambled eggs.  Stir this mixture into remaining hot mixture in the sauce pan,add the last cup of heavy cream and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, add in the mango puree,and cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

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Remove from heat.  Quickly cool the mixture by pouring the hot mixture into a bowl over an ice bath, or let it cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Once the cream has cooled sufficiently, freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

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If you don’t have an ice cream maker, check out this Link to see how make ice cream without one.

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You could also freeze the cream in popsicle molds, or make a instant pop in a Zoku Quick Pop Maker–like I did below!

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DIY BBQ Rub–Lazy Girl All Purpose Barbecue Seasoning

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

Lazy Girl BBQ Spice Rub

By now you know that I love to make my own dry rubs and seasonings. I am a particular fan of the Trader Joe’s brand BBQ rub, but it’s not organic, and it contains sugar.  So of course I had to make my own version–without the sugar. I find that most things that call for sugar, either need less than the recipe calls for, or  don’t need it at all.  If you want to add sugar to this, then by all means add it, 1 teaspoon of maple sugar won’t kill you, but it really isn’t necessary for this recipe, this seasoning is fantastic all own its own. Also a bit of spice is nice in the recipe but I have made it optional.  My daughter isn’t a fan of spicy foods, so I often leave the spice as a later addition for the grown ups.  This truly is an all purpose seasoning, it taste great on chicken, pork, tofu, or steak.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 teaspoon of onion flakes (can sub onion powder)

1 teaspoon of satsuma powder (can sub 2 teaspoons of orange zest)

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of ground coffee

1 teaspoon of himilayan sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Directions: Add all ingredients to a small bowl,

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Mix well:

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This is such a great seasoning, and it’s not just something to use on grilled meats.  I used it to make oven roasted barbecue chicken the other night, and it was a huge hit!

 

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DIY Yogurt–How to Make Yogurt

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I have been wanting to make my own yogurt for a long while now. I have put off making it because I rarely buy milk, unless I want to make ice cream.  The truth is that we don’t drink milk, so there is rarely a need for it in our home.  I was in Whole Food’s the other day and went to pick up a jar of my favorite Bulgarian yogurt, when I thought–now is the time to make my own.  The process is super simple.  I did it with my Sous-vide machine, but you could do this in your slow cooker on low,  in a dehydrator set to 110F, or with just the light of your oven door.

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Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes Plus 6 hours of non cook time

Ingredients:

4 cups of full fat organic milk

4 tablespoons of full fat organic yogurt–make sure the yogurt that you choose has active live cultures.

Directions: Heat the milk in a stainless steel sauce pan,

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When the temperature reaches 110F turn off the fire and whisk in the yogurt.

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Transfer the mixture to a glass jar,

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Lightly cap it,

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If you aren’t using a slow cooker or a immersion circulator, place the jar in the oven and turn on the oven light and allow to culture over night.  If using a slow cooker, fill the cooker with water, place the jar inside and set the cooker to low–or 110F.

If using a circulator, fill a pan with enough water to cover the sides of the jar, set the circulator to 110F and add the jar–let sit for 4-6 hour’s or until the yogurt thickens to the consistency of store bought yogurt–the longer you let the yogurt sit the more tart and thick it becomes–so if you find that you like the consistency and taste at 4 hours then remove it from the heat then–if you like it more tart then let it go for longer–even over night–it’s really up to you, and your preference.

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Remove from circulator and refrigerate.  Once refrigerated, the yogurt will thicken a bit more, and the whey will separate from the yogurt, you can pour it off or mix it back into the yogurt.

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The yogurt will keep for up to 2 weeks.  If you plan on making another batch you can use this yogurt as a starter.

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imageHow easy was that?! I can’t believe I didn’t try this sooner!  The yogurt is delicious!

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Green Bean Chicken

Green beans with Chicken

Green beans with Chicken

We are having a rough week here. Page is finding adjusting to school harder than any of us had hoped. She was fine initially, but has had a delayed reaction to being separated from me.  Yesterday was an especially hard day for us all.  She cried all day at school, and when I picked her up from school my heart just broke.  She looked like she had been crying all day, and the way she fell into my arms…let’s just say that I was reduced to one giant puddle! Needless to say, I never got around to posting my blog yesterday.

A few weeks ago we were out running the last of our Christmas errands, and stopped to eat a Chinese restaurant.  As we browsed the menu, I asked Page what she wanted to eat.  She quickly removed the menu from my hands, took a few seconds and said “I want the green beans mom!”  With her tiny finger she pointed to a picture of a plate of glimmering green beans and said ” I want this one!” Under normal circumstances I would ignore her, and get her what I think she might eat, but she was so confident in her choice that I ordered the green bean chicken for us to share. I’m so glad I did!  I don’t know who enjoyed the dish more, me or Page.  The beans were crisp and fresh, and Page devoured almost all of them!  The moment I tasted this dish, I knew that I had to try to recreate it at home.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of fresh  organic green beans, ends trimmed

1 tablespoon of garlic paste

1 teaspoon of ginger paste

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

3 tablespoons of rice vinegar

1 chicken breast. cubed

sea salt to taste

Directions: Heat the oil, garlic and ginger paste in a saute pan just until the garlic and ginger become fragrant (about 30 seconds).

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Season the chicken with sea salt and add it to the hot pan.  Toss well, and allow the chicken to cook through about (5-7 minutes).

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Once chicken has cooked through, add in the soy sauce, rice vinegar and green beans.

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Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes–the green beans should still be crisp, remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

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