Posts made in May, 2014

Why, Yes I Do

Posted by on May 19, 2014 in Asian and Vegetarian | 2 comments

The small Asian woman peered up at me grinning from the box of baby bok choy and said,







“You know how to cook Chinese vegetables?”








I stepped back and keenly responded, Why yes, yes I do.”







Every Monday













I heat up the wok.







Every Monday







bok choy is the star.








"Monday, Monday"




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Green Loser?

Posted by on May 16, 2014 in Pasta | 1 comment


Was this a stinker?








Nearly everything in the drawer was green.  Tomatillos and cilantro that never became salsa, a ripe avocado and a handful of frozen peas made the cut when I cleaned out the vegetable drawer.   There is always Parmesan.  Then, there were a few ounces of Greek yogurt, some ricotta too.  Once I lined up the unlikely characters, they became a pasta sauce (in my mind that is).








The tomatillos and the shallot roasted together for about 20 minutes.








I piled the cilantro into the processor along with garlic—shoulda roasted the garlic with the veggies.








After pulsing the cilantro with the garlic, the peas, lemon zest, a splash of juice, ricotta, yogurt, salt and pepper boarded the bowl.














Creaming them together before adding the roasted tomatillos and shallots seemed right.








I tossed the pasta with the Salsa Verde Ricotta Sauce.







It landed on the plate garnished with avocado, and pistachios (I nixed the pepitas because they remind be of cockroaches).

For me, the raw garlic was a mistake.  It needed a jalapeno kicker and the ratio of sauce and pasta was off—too much sauce.  However, it was reminiscent of soft Mac n Cheese with a creamy cilantro, tomatillo detour— worth revisiting. Suggestions?









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Turkey Burger Travels

Posted by on May 14, 2014 in Chicken and Turkey | 0 comments

I never said there would be twelve weeks of turkey burgers, did I?    If you have been following along, number four rolls out today when I explored the food and spices of Tunisia.








I mixed up a  North African-style blend of toasted seeds and combined them with additional ground spices.


















The mix included fresh cilantro too. Of course, I wanted to use crumbled camel cheese but settled for what I had in the cheese box--a mix of feta and soft goat cheese.








I cooked a taster patty and was feeling –all proud.









I stowed the burgers in the refrigerator and made a fiery Harissa Lime Yogurt Sauce that is so tasty it needs a sacred place in the refrigerator forever.







California is having record-breaking heat with searing fire conditions.  Because of the furnace like weather and gusting hot winds the doors and windows remain closed.  So what do I do?  I decide to make traditional Tunisian bread called Smida.

Using the ingredients from the flatbread recipe (linked above), I substituted  2 tablespoons coconut oil for vegetable oil and Italian 'OO' flour including my procedure for pizza dough.








Combine equal parts of semolina and flour with salt








while the yeast mixture proofs.








Stir the oil into the yeast; begin pouring the liquid around the edge of the mixer on a low speed until








the dough clings to the hook, adding more water if necessary.  Let this rest for five minutes; turn the mixer on low speed and mix again for 5 minutes.  If you like to knead—knead on--.







Let the dough rise in a greased and covered bowl until doubled.







It was 98 degrees in my kitchen so it took only 20-25 minutes. 








I pulled the dough from the bowl and shaped it into 3-ounce portions; placed them on a baking sheet sprinkled with course ground semolina. 








Cover with a light tea towel.  After another twenty-minute rise,








I baked them at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes with a full water bath on the bottom of the oven.  The result was a soft chewy textured roll with a fine crust. 







Later, MP grilled our burgers and we loaded the rolls up with tomato, lettuce and a blast of flaming yogurt sauce --to cool off-- just as the Tunisians do on Turkey Burger Tuesday.

Tunisian Turkey Burgers


  • 1 ¼ pounds ground turkey
  • North African spice blend*
  • 1 Tablespoon reduced-sodium Tamari sauce
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jumbo egg white
  • 1 ounce crumbled feta (about ½ cup)
  • 1 ounce crumbled soft goat cheese
  • ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Crumble turkey meat into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients in the order given. Using a large meat fork combine the mixture well without overworking. Divide the turkey mixture into 5 equal burgers. Wrap and chill several hours or overnight. Cook the burgers in a hot cast iron skillet brushed with canola oil until browned on one side. Turn the burgers over and cook the burgers until completely cooked in the center.
  2. Serve on soft whole-wheat buns with Harissa Lime Yogurt Sauce, fresh sliced tomatoes, and butter lettuce.
  3. Makes 5 burgers
  4. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  5. All Rights Reserved

*North African Spice Blend


  • ½ teaspoon each; cumin, anise and coriander seeds, toasted, cooled and ground fine
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon each; allspice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and turmeric.


  1. Combine spices well.
  2. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  3. All Rights Reserved

Harissa Lime Yogurt Sauce


  • 3 ounces Greek-style plain 2 % yogurt (Fage)
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced fine
  • ¼ - ½ teaspoon Harissa (to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Combine the ingredients in a small bowl; stir to combine. Adjust seasonings; cover and refrigerate.
  2. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  3. All Rights Reserved

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Posted by on May 12, 2014 in New | 2 comments

I nearly had to sit on my hands all day. It isn’t easy to stay out of the kitchen. On Mother’s Day, the boys cook—








Ty made a Cesar Salad;








a beautiful Tabbouleh with a perfect balance of lemon, mint and parsley hanging out with the bulgur.








Cole roasted potatoes and peppers with rosemary and garlic. MP spun two chickens on the rotisserie.















Izzy delivered her homemade card








along with one her friend, Madison made for me too.








In the morning, I reread the treasured notes swathed in the pocket of my Bible.  As I grow older my Bible grows too…

A vintage note from Cole sums up the love planted deep within this Mother’s heart.










We loved; we laughed and we feasted on Mother's Day ♥

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Dinner Ensued

Posted by on May 9, 2014 in Pasta | 1 comment



While I was emptying and reloading the rice cooker to build a fiesta sized salad for an event last Saturday, MP did the farmers’ market foraging alone.









He brought home the first of the season’s white peaches and  ruby-like cherries and handed me a sun-burned Romanesco saying, “I think this is the last one”.









We said good-bye with a floret studded pasta dish befitting my much-loved monarch of the spring marketplace.















Slice and








slowly caramelize two cups of shallots in olive oil with fresh thyme, salt and pepper.  Set the shallots aside but for heaven's sake don't wash the pan; there's flavor in the brown.








Steaming the florets for 5-6 minutes or until fork tender gets the dish on the way.








While all this happens, combine fresh breadcrumbs with Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and crushed red pepper with enough olive oil to moisten.  (All of this can be done before hand).








Cook pasta (this is orecchiette, or ‘little ears’) according to the package directions.  Use any short pasta.   Add the florets into the skillet with reserved pasta water and cook until the water creates a light sauce.  Add more if the pasta seems dry;















toss with the shallots and the breadcrumb mixture.








Serve with a drizzle of good quality olive oil and more cheese please.








After we gobbled up the pasta , I grimaced and said to MP, “Oh, a little lemon zest and toasted pine nuts would have been a nice adornment.”

Next year.

Orecchiette with Romanesco and Caramelized Shallots


  • 1 large Romanesco, stemmed and separated into small florets (about 5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat (approximately I slice)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large shallots (about 2 cups), thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 pound orecchiette or any short tube pasta
  • Lemon zest
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts


  1. Trim Romanesco into florets. Steam until just fork tender about 5-6 minutes; set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile combine the breadcrumbs with the cheese, parsley and red pepper and 1 tablespoon of oil until moistened.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add shallots, seasonings, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally until lightly browned (about 10-15 minutes), adding more oil if necessary; reserve shallots.
  4. Meanwhile add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Combine pasta and 3/4 cup pasta water to the skillet (no need to wash it), along with the cauliflower. Toss together and heat through adding more pasta water if pasta seems dry. Stir in the reserved breadcrumbs and shallots to combine.
  5. Serve the pasta with a drizzle of olive oil, more cheese, lemon zest, and pine nuts.
  6. Serves 4
  7. Note: Broccoli, cauliflower, or a combination may be substituted for the romanesco.
  8. © Copyright 2014 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  9. All Rights Reserved









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