Here’s another recipe from Passionate Vegetarian. Again, with a few changes. Terribly delicious, this salad is a whole meal, and a very substantial one at that. Cheese and beans and vegetables, served in endive or romaine leaves. It’s called “Ebony and Ivory” because it is made with white and black beans, but it can be made with an equal amount of any bean or combination of beans and it will be just as good.
The dressing is a strong, sharp vinaigrette, strong enough to flavor the beans without drowning them. And it makes a lot, but it is a great dressing to have on hand for any bean/grain/vegetable mixed salad you might wish to make up.
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C good, grainy mustard
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
5-6 grinds black pepper
3-6 leaves of basil
1 1/4 C good olive oil
Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Then, drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running until it is all combined. Refrigerate.
1 (15oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained very well(if the beans lave any of the canning liquid still clinging to them their colors will blend and the salad will look muddy)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained very well
1/4 C of the dressing above
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, minced
3 oz grated strong flavored cheese(I used extra sharp cheddar)
salt and black pepper. to taste
Combine all ingredients together and let sit for at least an hour. Serve in romaine leaves or endive spears.
Serves 4-6 as a main course, 6-10 as a side
Recently, I stumbled on this bread recipe.
How brilliant is that? a loaf of bread stuffed with cheese and green onions, laced with poppyseeds and baked to awesomeness. The only problem-half a stick of butter plus a pound of cheese. Way too much indulgence.
My version is lighter on cheese, with more onions, seeds and spices, and less butter. It’s still plenty indulgent, just more reasonably so. Proof that you don’t have to rely on whole sticks of butter to make things delicious!
I also used half a loaf of presliced sourdough bread instead of preparing an unsliced loaf like she did. It was more convenient, and super simple. You can use whatever bread you want, you just want it to be a sturdier loaf, not light and airy. Stale works just fine.
1/2 loaf of presliced bread, about 8-12 slices.
6 oz swiss cheese, shredded
1 tsp smoked paprika
pinch cayenne, or more to taste(I like things on the milder side, a pinch is not spicy at all)
2 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp poppyseeds
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 375. Melt the butter and mix in the poppy and sesame seeds. Set aside
In a medium bowl, mix together the cheese, onion, paprika and cayenne. Layer this mixture in between the slices of bread (doing this on the tinfoil you will later wrap the bread in is the easiest way).
Drizzle the seed and butter mixture over the top and wrap the whole thing tightly in tinfoil. Place it on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Unwrap the top of the loaf and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy on top. Transfer to a plate and serve as soon as it has cooled enough to be handled.
Sometimes you just need something fast, and resorting to junk food isn’t an option. This is my latest emergency healthy food creation-between a dog rescue event that went longer than planned, and my sister’s dance recital I had 20 minutes in which to have dinner. Oops! Throw a can of beans and some other things in the food processor. Cut up some veggies. Dinner is served!
I love hummus of any type, really, but this is a particularly nice version. Green and bright and very tasty, I bet this would be a fantastic sandwich spread, as well as a dip.
Maybe I should make some more tomorrow!
1 can cannelini or navy beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tahini
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 green onions, sliced
juice of 1 lemon
1 C spinach leaves, loosely packed
4 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Put all ingredients in the food processor. Process until smooth. Done!
Makes about 1.5 C
The first time I tried it, a couple of weeks ago, it was a revelation. The dark, sweet earthy flavor of the beets, the cool, creamy avocado, and those colors!! Wow.
I’m posting a recipe, but really the magic here is between the avocado and beets. Put them with any salad fixings, in a wrap or a sandwich, or just eat them by themselves. They lend themselves to all kinds of options.
Try it. It’s addictive.
1 bunch beets,4 medium
4oz goat cheese
4 handfuls baby arugula, or another strong flavored green
4tbsp white balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Roast the beets. Just wrap them in tinfoil, and put them in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Set them aside to cool. Once they are cool, their skins will slip right off. Slice them and set them aside. Slice the Avocados and set them aside, too.
To assemble the salad, take 4 plates and put a generous handful of greens on each one. Top that with the slices of beet(one per plate) and avocado slices(half an avocado per plate), crumbled goat cheese and a few candied nuts. Drizzle each plate with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, and top with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.
If this is to be a main course salad, divide the ingredients over two plates instead of four.
It’s big, bright, full of veggies, it works equally well as a side or a main dish, and is tasty enough to keep everyone happy!
Feel free to substitute equal amounts of whatever vegetables and fresh herbs happen to be in season and easily available–it will be equally good. Green veggies start to lose their color after a bit-the vinegar saps it out of them-but they will still taste good.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white basalmic vinegar(red wine vinegar, or any good salad vinegar, is a fine substitute)
1/4 cup each fresh basil and parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small red onion, minced
1 lb baby potatoes, halved, or regular(waxy, not russet type) potatoes in bite size pieces
1 lb baby carrots, halved
1 lb snow peas
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into bite size pieces
1lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. cook the potatoes until they’re tender-about 15 minutes- and fish them out with a slotted spoon. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
Now add the carrots to the boiling water-cook them until they are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes, and remove them with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the potatoes.
Next, add the asparagus, which will need to cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove that to the bowl and add the snow peas. They only need to blanch, so take them out after barely a minute. Dump the pot of boiling water, you’re done with it. And add the cherry tomatoes and the chickpeas to the vegetables in the bowl.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Allow it to marinate 2-24 hours, and serve.
Serves a crowd.
Potatoes and broccoli-a match made in heaven if there ever was one. Add some cheese and it’s pretty much the best thing ever! There’s not really much to say about this. It’s pretty straighforward. Broccoli and two cheeses, a few spices, and a bit of oven time and you have something delicious and healthy for dinner.
Leftovers are just as good. I had one for breakfast!!
6 large potatoes, scrubbed
1.5 C ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Bakr the potatoes for one hour.
While the potatoes are baking, chop the broccoli and blanch it in the microwave-put it in a bowl with 1/4 C water and a bit of salt and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes(depending on your microwave), until they get a bright, cooked color but are still crisp and raw inside. Drain and place in a bowl.
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to become limp. Add to the bowl with the broccoli.
Add the mustard and ricotta to the broccoli and onions and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is your potato filling.
Once the potatoes are done, cut them in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a layer of potato flesh 1/4-ish inch thick(save the insides! Recipes for those coming later this week! ). Lay them on a baking sheet and fill them with the broccoli mixture and top with the cheddar. Bake in the oven which is conveniently already at 350 for 20-30 minutes-until the tops are bubbly and beginning to brown. Eat with enthusiasm!
Have you ever tried ramps? You should. If you’ve never heard of them, they’re a wild variety of onion, with a strong, fresh flavor. Little, thin roots and big, broad leaves. You can pick them wild, if you know your plants, but they’re also becoming common in farmer’s markets and even grocery stores. Both the leaves and stems are edible.
To me, their flavor just screams spring. Strong, oniony. A little bitter, a little grassy, completely delicious. They are wonderful tossed in any type of spring vegetable dish, though I prefer to use them in something where their flavor takes a starring role, like these potatoes.
I used tiny marble sized potatoes, but you can use big potatoes cut into bite size piece, just make sure they’re the waxy type. Russets will crumble when cooked like this.
2 tbsp minced parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Slice the ramps crosswise, the leaves down to the roots.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the ramps and saute for a few moments, until the leaves wilt. Add the potatoes, and cook another few moments. Add the butter and parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaming hot.
With some steamed asparagus, this is the essence of spring.
This is Eric’s favorite bread. I’ve always loved baking bread, and Eric isn’t a huge fan of bread in general, so I took it as a personal challenge to find and adapt a bread recipe he would love. He calls it “Saturday Bread” because it takes all day, so i usually only make it on weekends.
It is a fantastic bread. Light and soft and slightly chewy. Wonderful for serving alongside soups or making rustic sandwiches-it’s now my favorite bread, too! As an added bonus it’s one of the easiest breads I’ve made, very suitable for a first time bread baker.
It’s based on a method for french bread, letting dough sit around and stirring it every so often. As long as you’re around the house all day, it’s a very easy bread recipe. No
kneading involved. You do have to weigh the flour and water, though. I have tried converting it to cups and it never comes out right. You also must use bread flour. All purpose flour will not produce a very good bread with this recipe, though there are plenty of other bread recipes all purpose flour works great in.
500G bread flour
365G warm water(it’s the right temperature when you run it over your wrist and it doesn’t feel hot or cold)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp dry yeast
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. It won’t look like very good bread dough at this point, it will be lumpy and shaggy looking. That’s fine. Cover it and let it be for three hours.
Uncover and stir the dough, folding it over on itself each time. You want to get all the air bubbles out so the yeast have to start over again. Cover the bowl again and leave it for half an hour, then stir again. Repeat twice, until you have stirred the dough 4 times total.
Cut the dough in half and (with wet hands! The dough is soft and sticky, and will be difficult to handle with dry hands)shape each piece into an oval loaf. Put both loaves on a baking sheet that has been greased or lined with a silpat. Cover and let rise for an hour.
Half an hour into the rise, preheat the oven to 460. Once the bread has risen, uncover it. It may look a little flat. that’s OK. It’s a soft dough, it’s going to ooze sideways a bit. Once the bottom sets in the first few minutes of baking it will rise up some more. Put the baking sheet with the dough in the oven on a rack close to the middle, and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are lovely and golden.
Take them out of the oven and let them rest 15-20 minutes before slicing. the crusts will come out rock hard, but soften as it cools. If you want a crisp, hard crust, put a pan of water in the oven before you turn it on, and leave it in while the bread it baking. The steam makes a crisper crust.
makes 2 loaves.
However, it does mean I get an excuse to make my favorite summer recipes. I love traditional pasta salad (hold the eggs, please and thank you) but it is decidedly not a healthy meal. Instead, I make this veggie-packed, yogurt dressed pasta salad, and feel good about myself doing it! I love foods like that I’m generally not a fan of foods turned low fat, so I have made this an “inspired by” dish, instead. It’s not trying to be traditional pasta salad, it’s a new thing that’s delicious in its own way. The yogurt-ness is muted by mayonnaise, and fresh herbs make it pop. Its got more vegetables than pasta. The whole thing is just clean and fresh tasting. Yum!
For the salad-
1C dry pasta, any bite size shape
1/2 C carrots, in bite size pieces
1/2 C asparagus, in bite size pieces
1/2 C snow peas, in bite size pieces
1/2C cucumber, in bite size pieces
1/2 C tomato, in bite size pieces
1/2 C sprouts
For the dressing-
2/3 C greek yogurt
1/2 C mayo (Or you can use all yogurt, if you prefer)
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp minced fresh dill(or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley(or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, traditional or vegan
salt and pepper, to taste
Whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook and drain it, and put it in a bowl. refill the pot with salted water, and bring it to a boil again. When it is boiling, add the carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and snow peas and boil 1 minute more. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking, and add to the bowl with the pasta.
To the bowl with the cooked veggies and pasta, add the rest of the vegetables and stir in the dressing. Let it sit in the refrigerator a few hours to let the flavors meld, and then enjoy!
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side. Multiples beautifully for taking to picnics!
Here in America, we usually think of colcannon as made with cabbage, but in Ireland it was made with the three easiest things to grow-potatoes, kale, and onions, incidentally providing almost all of the essential nutrients in one cheap and easy meal. Once the Irish immigrants came to the US, they adapted to the more readily available cabbage. While cabbage has a great many delicious uses, I’m not sure mixing it with potatoes was ever one of them: it’s too bland and white. As for kale, well, ruffly kale is certainly better to mix with potatoes, but it’s still not a fantastic meal option. Enter Brussels sprouts. I’ve never been a fan of leafy greens-I can’t get past the texture, but Brussels sprouts lack the slimy texture of most cooked greens, and their strong flavor makes them the perfect foil for the creamy potatoes and mild leeks.
You can leave the peels on your potatoes if you wish, but i prefer my mashed potatoes without skins.
1lb potatoes, peeled or scrubbed and sliced
1/2 cup of milk
4 tbsp(1/2 stick) of butter, divided use
1/2 lb leeks, white and light green parts sliced and rinsed of grit
1/2 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced into ribbons
salt and pepper, to taste
Put the potatoes in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Heat the milk and 2 tbsp of the butter together. Adding cold dairy to hot potatoes with make the potatoes gluey. Mash the potatoes with the milk and melted butter, and set aside.
In a large skillet, melt the remaining 2tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute for two minutes. Add the brussels sprouts and continue cooking until they are tender. Add the mashed potatoes and mix it all together with salt and pepper to taste.
You can also use leftover mashed potatoes for this-just use half the amount of leeks and brussels sprouts as you have potatoes, and make sure the potatoes are heated through before you take the pan off the stove.
Serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side