Posts made in March, 2014

Pita Chips Ahoy

Posted by on Mar 31, 2014 in Side Dishes | 0 comments

 

Look, what I made from leftover pita bread—chips!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut the loaves into wedges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Separate the wedges in half and scatter on two lined sheet trays.  I used silpat-baking mats but parchment or foil would work as well.  Spray the triangles with olive oil spray. (I use a Misto pump sprayer).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a small dish, combine kosher salt and a pinch each of pepper, cayenne and other savory seasonings of your choice.  I chose curry and my Moroccan Spice Blend

Sprinkle the spices liberally over the bread and bake at 350 Degrees F.  for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.  Watch them carefully-- the thinner pieces toast up quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool and begin munching with hummus!

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Winter Squash for Spring

Posted by on Mar 28, 2014 in Asian and Vegetarian | 1 comment

It is no secret; I adore butternut squash.  It is not just for Thanksgiving-- Yes, it is a pain to peel and prep. Yes, you can buy it already manicured and cut into perfect little cubes. However, you miss the deep dense nutty richness found in a vine-ripened gourd.  It can be grilled, roasted, mashed, sautéed, pureed for soups or layered in casseroles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have matched it up with black beans for tasty tacos with avocado, goat cheese, and micro greens and now made it the deep orange star in a barley risotto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by  Real Simple, I sought the same creamy texture that comes from the ritual of stirring Arborio rice in a traditional risotto.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know you need to see one more picture of an onion and garlic in seasoned sauté mode.  I used olive oil instead of butter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add the barley and stir to coat the grains before stirring in the white wine to sizzle away. I used hot vegetable broth, which reinforced the orange of the squash; chicken stock would work equally well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When 3 of the 6 cups of stock has been added over the course of about 20 minutes or so;

 

 

 

 

 

 

add the cubed squash and repeat the process until all the stock has been lovingly absorbed and the barley is cooked and the squash is tender (another 20 minutes or so).

 

 

 

 

 

 

True to tradition, a knob of butter could be introduced here

 

 

 

 

 

 

as you finish it with Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh sage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the cozy bowl of comfort eaten as a prize for patient attention to stirring detail; or as a side dish to a Sunday supper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The little glass dish of leftovers is pretty darn good eaten cold by the light of the refrigerator too.

 

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Moroccan Spiced Vegetables

Posted by on Mar 26, 2014 in Side Dishes | 0 comments

We love roasted vegetables.  Singeing squash, and caramelizing root vegetables with a myriad of jewelike florets is like unlocking the gate to a secret garden.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MP cleaned up our winter plot to make room for the spring and summer planting and turned up one last creamy beige cauliflower with a hint of lavender running through the stalks.  In addition, golden beets, turnips, carrots, and red yams were summoned to the blasting hot oven.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While good olive oil and salt begin the transformation, I felt called to create a Moroccan spice blend to move the vegetables into a fragrant ‘spin zone’; but gentle enough to perfume quinoa, rice or baked goods too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The whole seed elements (cumin, anise, and coriander) toast for about 2 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let them stand for a few minutes before zipping them up in a spice blender or by hand; the oils will re-gather. Meanwhile, slide the spices together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I slightly steam broccoli and cauliflower before roasting because they drink up all the oil when they are raw.

Line a sheet pan with foil for easy clean up.  Roasted vegetables need lots of surface area.  If you crowd the pan they steam (better to use two).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I put the vegetables in a zip top bag and add the oil and crushed garlic if desired; then slide them onto the oiled foil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liberally dust the vegetables with the spice blend and roast at 425 degrees F. for 20 minutes. Turn them over and roast for another 20 minutes or so; checking now and again until tender.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gobble up these sweetly scented nuggets garnished with lemon zest and parsley year around--but save some for a platter salad too!

 

Moroccan Spice Blend

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon each: coriander and cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon anise or fennel seed
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon each:
  • Allspice
  • Zaatar
  • ½ teaspoon each:
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ( to taste)

Instructions

  1. Toast coriander, cumin and anise seeds in a skillet for two minutes until fragrant. Cool slightly. Blend seeds in a spice blender or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Combine with remaining spices; store in a jar.
  2. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  3. All Rights Reserved
  4. http://cococooks.net/
http://cococooks.net/moroccan-spiced-vegetables/

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Spring Treasures

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in New | 2 comments

 

God has given us a spirit, the part of us that unites with the Spirit of God.  Our ‘flesh’ or soul is where our emotions, mind, and character collide with bits and pieces of what we collect from the world. The physical body wraps it all together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Along the seashore, I dump the burden of concerns I carry to reflect and trust in the promise of peace in my soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, He sets gleaming tumbled treasure at my feet like a memorial to prayers polished by time—and I determine on with all the power He offers.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest   Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 11:28-29 --NIV

 

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A Little of This and a Little of That

Posted by on Mar 21, 2014 in Salad | 3 comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing springtime means building salad platters. For MP and me, salad is not a starter or a tossed side dish—here it becomes the star of the show.  Colorful, crunchy greens mingle with sliced fruit, roasted vegetables, healthy  beans, legumes or grains, and polka dots of cheese and berries.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My approach begins with what I have on hand remaining from the Farmer’s Market. Two beets, one carrot, an apple, tomato, avocado half, and lettuces remained in the drawer.  On this occasion, I ogled these jolly baby eggplants, the size of chicken eggs. I scanned for an uncommon vegetable to my roasting repertoire—Belgium Endive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roast the vegetables on a foil-lined platter for easy clean up.  Spray or lightly coat the veggies with good olive oil and kosher salt and pepper.  I also drizzled a stream of honey over the endive to offset the bitterness.  The beets were wrapped in their own aluminum envelope with a couple spoons of water to steam.

While the vegetables roast; prepare the dressing and other vegetables and choose a grain.  I mixed half red with half white quinoa.  The seeds cook quickly and have a delicate façade with a hearty protein punch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin with a white platter of any shape.  Toss the greens in a bowl with some of the dressing and place them on the platter.  Then, begin piling the vegetables in a pattern according to colors and textures.  The fun part is decorating the bounty with roasted nuts, hard cooked eggs, blueberries, and crumbled feta or clumps of goat cheese.  The remaining dressing (Blood Orange Vinaigrette) is blissfully dribbled here and there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One platter of choreographed deliciousness!

 

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