De Ma Cuisine

Friday

19

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

Written by , Posted in Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Lentils, Lunch, Main Dishes, Potatoes, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I wonder if you may have some sweet potatoes left over from Thanksgiving. Hiding in the dark pantry, waiting to be used. Purchased with the best of intentions… Sound familiar? I was out of town for Thanksgiving, so I didn’t get to use any of my sweet potatoes. I had quite a collection. They needed to be cooked.

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I thought that red lentils, with their slightly mushier texture, might be nice over top of some crispy sweet potatoes. I’ve done something similar with leftover chili served over crispy potatoes. Why not with lentils and sweet potatoes?!

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I like crispy potatoes (sweet or regular) with lots of seasoning. This time I went with salt, cayenne, coriander, ginger, and pepper. I also really like potatoes with paprika and chili powder. Uhh luuuk it uhh laaat.

Sorrynotsorry.

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Tossed with a bit of olive oil, onto a baking sheet, and into the oven.

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I’d never tried red lentils before. I think I usually use green. Use whatever you have on hand. Just vary the cooking time depending on your lentil. (Red lentils cook a bit faster, like closer to 10 minutes, green lentils take a bit longer.) Okay? Okay.

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Every once in a while it’s like the perfect storm and I have no garlic or onions in the house. Disaster!! Tim brought me some garlic yesterday. Relief! (Also, we aren’t completely out of onions, but are running low… if you were worried.)

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The garlic cooks for just a minute, then some dijon, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of coriander, ginger, and salt is added.

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They’d been added to the lentil pan, after the lentils were drained and set aside. Then added back in to mix it up with the other flavors.

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Sweet potatoes pop out of the oven. Crispy outside, tender inside.

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Sometimes I like to have cilantro with sweet potatoes. Like today. And like this time a few weeks ago.

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It’s chopped up and plomped on top of the Greek yogurt, on top of the lentils, on top of the sweet potatoes.

Food tower.

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This dish is best with a bit of each component in every bite.

I’ll show you what to do with any leftover lentils in January!

Happy Eating!

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2

Lentils on Crispy Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 T olive oil
  • to taste salt
  • 1/8 t cayenne
  • 3/4 t coriander
  • 1/4 t ginger
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1 C red lentils
  • 2 C water
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 t dijon mustard
  • to taste salt
  • pinch coriander
  • pinch ginger
  • Greek yogurt, for topping
  • cilantro, for topping

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes through pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes (or until they're done on the inside), flipping once halfway through.
  3. Add lentils and water to a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, or until lentils are cooked to desired tenderness. Drain lentils and rinse. Set aside.
  4. Add 1 t olive oil to the lentil pan. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute over medium-low. Add vinegar, mustard, salt, coriander, and ginger. Cook for 30 seconds. Add lentils and cook for 3-5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  5. Serve sweet potatoes topped with a scoop of lentils, a dollop of yogurt, and a sprinkle of cilantro.
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Thursday

18

December 2014

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COMMENTS

A Menu for Your Holiday Brunch

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Holiday, Menu Planning

It’s always been a tradition with my immediate family to eat brunch after we’ve opened our gifts on Christmas morning. When we were younger, the brunch took place at a much earlier hour. Now that we’re grown, it’s at a more traditional brunch time. Mainly because we’ve probably been up much too late on Christmas Eve catching up, wrapping gifts, and drinking hot chocolate.

No matter what time we brunch, for as long as I can remember, my mom has always made, what we call a Bread Wreath. It is what it sounds like. A wreath of sweet bread (think cinnamon bun-like dough), topped with frosting (icing in my family), pumpkin seeds, and cranberries. It’s delicious eaten plain or with some cream cheese that’s been mixed with a bit of jam. We also often enjoy scrambled eggs, bacon, fried potatoes, and some sort of fruit. Add some coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and orange juice, and that’s our breakfast. It’s the best. Partly because it just tastes good, mostly because of who it’s shared with.

When it’s just Tim and I for Christmas, or if we’re having our Christmas morning on a different day due to travel, we might change things up a bit. I like to leave the baking to the experts if at all possible (although I’ve successfully baked enough this past year that I think I need to stop saying that I don’t bake). So, our brunch might consist of something more along these lines.

The Main Dish

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I love to have something eggy as a main dish, so I tend to gravitate towards things like a Savory Baked French ToastSweet and Savory Cornmeal PancakesFresh Fruit and Basil Stuffed French Toast, or a Winter Frittata.

The Sides

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SimpleOrangeSalad

Any of those main dishes would go nicely with these sides. I like a Simple Orange Salad, because it’s an easy way to fancy up an orange. I love Paris Potatoes because they remind me of our time in Paris. I always want to remember those weeks, so incorporating Paris in as often as I can is a must.

The Drinks

Coffee, made in a French Press, is always my favorite breakfast drink. But, since I will have probably downed at least two cups during gift opening time, orange juice is a fun treat (especially if it’s freshly squeezed). If you wanted to make it extra extra fancy, you could add champagne or sparkling apple juice, to make mimosas. And of course there’s always tea and hot cocoa.

The Bread

If I’ve opted for something like a Frittata, and I’ve decided to bake something bready, I might like to serve Mom’s Cinnamon Buns. If it’s just the two of us, I might either share the extras with friends, or freeze them for another weekend brunch.

And now I’m hungry for all the foods.

Wishing you the best for this holiday season! And as always,

Happy Eating!

Monday

15

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

Cabbage Rolls with Bulgur Wheat and Italian Sausage

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Gluten Free, Grains, Herbs, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Sausage, Vegetables

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I had my menu all planned for this week, but I caught a cold and the fridge is full of leftovers from two Christmas events from this past weekend, plus there’s an enormous cabbage that’s taking up the space that this week’s box is going to need, like right now. So, I pushed today’s meal to tomorrow, and used up as much of the cabbage as I could.

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This is a take on cabbage rolls. I definitely love the more traditional cabbage rolls with rice and ground beef, smothered in tomato sauce. But, I had sausage and bulgur wheat on hand, so that’s what I used.

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I had an Italian herb blend that I made up during the summer. It’s amazing what a little bit of work ahead of time can do to save time in the now. I use those herbs a lot. So much so that they’re almost ready to be replenished. I also used the last of the tomato sauce from this summer. It served us well.

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After the onion, sausage, tomato, and herbs hang out in the skillet for a while, they’re ready to be wrapped in cabbage. To make the cabbage leaves easier to peel off, I cut out the core.

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Some like to par-cook (partially cook) the cabbage so they’re softer and easier to work with. I didn’t. I set them in hot water for a minute or so, which softened them a bit, but let them still stay kinda crisp. Tim and I liked the end result. I asked him if he wished they were softer and he did not. If you prefer them softer, just boil them for a minute or more (depending on how soft you’d like them to be) before filling them.

Or, if you want a super quick meal, serve these in the raw cabbage like you would lettuce wraps. Mmmm lettuce wraps…

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That tomato sauce that I mentioned, perfect with cabbage and sausage. I wish I had a crusty piece of bread to soak up all that was left in the pan.

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Other variations that might be good: Ground chicken or turkey with grated carrots and chopped tomatoes. Ground beef and cooked spaghetti squash with tomatoes. Or, for a vegan version, substitute the ground meat for tempeh.

I used a regular green cabbage, but you could try napa cabbage, swiss chard, or collard greens too.

We have leftovers and not much room in the fridge. I may chop it all up, add some stock, and make it into soup for dinner tomorrow night!

Happy Eating!

Cabbage Rolls with Bulgur Wheat and Italian Sausage

Cabbage Rolls with Bulgur Wheat and Italian Sausage

Ingredients

  • 2 C cold or room temperature water
  • 1 C uncooked coarse bulgur wheat
  • 2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 Italian sausage links (the fully cooked kind), removed from their casings
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 T dried Italian herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and rosemary)
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 6-8 large green cabbage leaves (or napa cabbage, swiss chard, or collard greens)
  • 2 1/2 - 3 C tomato sauce (see post for link to recipe)

Instructions

  1. Bring the water and bulgur to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until to desired tenderness.
  2. While bulgur cooks, heat a skillet, add 1 T olive oil. When oil is hot add onion and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sausage through pepper and cook for 5 minutes more (or if using not fully cooked sausage, cook until sausage is done). Add bulgur and stir to combine and remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 oven-proof dish with remaining oil.
  4. Submerge cabbage leaves in hot water for a minute or two (or par-boil until they reach desired tenderness). Remove from water and set on the countertop.
  5. Divide filling between leaves. Roll up, tucking ends in if possible. Secure ends with a toothpick and place seam side down. Pour tomato sauce over rolls. Bake for 20-30 minutes.
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Thursday

11

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

Spring Rolls with Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Written by , Posted in Appetizers, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fish, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Meat, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Sauces, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Today, I was inspired to try something new. Something I’ve never attempted before.

Spring Rolls.

What a fun idea!

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I felt like I was playing as I cut the avocado and veggies into matchsticks.

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And then as I whisked the dip and the emulsion came together, I knew I was on to something. Because honey and mustard compliment each other so well, lemon adds a bright note, and Sriracha brings the spice.

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I just followed the instructions on the back of the rice paper package, which instructed me to soak the paper in warm water for 5 seconds (if your package says something different, by all means, follow those instructions).

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A few long sticks (or many short sticks, depending on the type of radish used) are added to the center of the paper.

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Then the paper is folded in half, keeping the sticks in the center.

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Sides are folded in towards each other, then it’s all rolled up.

I don’t know if this is how an expert would make these. But, it’s how I did it, and they worked just fine.

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After rolling, slice in half on a bias (because it looks fancy).

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You could totally switch up the dip, if you have a favorite Asian dip to use. You could just dip in wasabi and soy sauce too. You could also play with the contents of the rolls. I think that the following would be wonderful additions (maybe not all at the same time though):

- cucumber

- cilantro

- green onions

- bean sprouts

- sugar snap peas

- napa cabbage

- sesame seeds

- almonds

- tofu

- fried tempeh

- salmon

- shrimp

- crab

Obviously, the seafood would make these not vegan. Also, I’d cook any meat I was planning to use as I prefer it that way. If you don’t, and know how to safely prepare sashimi, then go for it.

I served these raw. I liked the crisp veggies in the sticky rice paper with the sweet and spicy dip. But, maybe next time I will try cooking the filling (not the avocado though) and then pan frying for a minute or two. Could be fun. Hmmm… maybe tomorrow.

Happy Eating!

Spring Rolls with Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Spring Rolls with Spicy Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

  • Dip: 2 T lemon juice
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 1 T plus 1 t honey
  • 1 to 1 1/2 t Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • to taste salt
  • 3 T olive oil
  • Rolls: 1 small ripe but firm avocado, julienned/cut into 4" matchsticks
  • 1/2 carrot, julienned/cut into 4" matchsticks
  • 2 celery ribs, julienned/cut into 4" matchsticks
  • 4 small radishes, julienned/cut into 1"-4" matchsticks
  • (Other options could include: cucumber, cilantro, green onions, bean sprouts, napa cabbage, sugar snap peas, sesame seeds, almonds, crab, shrimp, salmon, tofu, and fried tempeh.)
  • 10-15 pieces of rice paper
  • warm water

Instructions

  1. Whisk together lemon juice through soy sauce. While whisking, stream in olive oil. Taste and adjust quantities if needed.
  2. Follow rice paper package's instructions for soaking. (Should be around 5 seconds in warm water.) After soaking (one at a time), set on a plate and place about 4 pieces of each: avocado, carrot, celery, and radish (you may need more radishes if they are shorter pieces). Fold the paper in half, keeping the filling in the middle, fold the ends in towards each other, then roll it up. Slice in half.
  3. Serve with sauce for dipping.
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Monday

8

December 2014

0

COMMENTS

Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta

Written by , Posted in Beans, Cheese, Dinner, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Soups, Vegetarian

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Let me tell you how my day was. It was fine. Nothing out of the ordinary happened. Nobody made me take a late lunch break. No one threw out the food I’d brought for lunch. I just waited too long to eat all on my own. When it came time to make the soup for this post, I was waaaaay too hungry to wait for it to finish cooking. So I ate a big pile of crackers with peanut butter and jam on them.

And then I made the soup.

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It’s a simple one, made with humble ingredients. Beginning with a mirepoix, which is just a fancy way of saying the traditional French flavor base for many dishes: carrot, celery, and onion. This soup included. Not because it’s a fussy soup. It’s just what I had on hand.

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Veggies sit for a bit in a hot pot (are you saying “hot pot hot pot hot pot hot pot” out loud now too? No? Ok.) with some salt and pepper. They are stirred occasionally. They get all tender and delicious. Garlic is added. Because it always should be. Then a bit of red wine vinegar is used to deglaze the pan.

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I made a zillion cups of veggie stock the other week. I wondered how I’d use it all before I had enough veggie scraps to make more. Then two of the jars cracked in the freezer (which I’d found as I prepared for this soup, oh yay) and I only had half a zillion to use.

I don’t know if the lesson is to not use glass containers for veggie stock in the freezer. It was cold, and I left plenty of room at the top, these ones just expanded sideways for some reason… Bummer.

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The stock was partially frozen still, even after defrosting in the fridge for a day. No big deal if it is. It’ll boil eventually.

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And the house will get all warm and cozy and soup smelling-y.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned yet, in this post, how much I love that it’s finally cold.

Cold being a relative term – I’m talking cold like it’s in the 50’s at night, not cold like my brother, Josh, is experiencing, where it’s -19C/-2F.

But, it still needs to be said.

I love this season.

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I love the root veggies that I’m totally craving. The warm comfort foods that don’t make me sweat while I’m eating. The oven that can be turned on without having the AC on full blast at all.

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This soup would actually work well in the summer months. It feels light, while being full of beany protein, subtle oregano, and bright beet greens. But, let’s forget about summer for now. I’m totally into this chilly, cloudy weather. It makes me want to skip with glee.

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The soup is finished off with a pat of butter. If you’re making this a vegan version, just drizzle some good quality olive oil onto each bowlful as you serve it (and skip the part later on where I talk about cheese… or use your favorite vegan cheeeeeese).

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Butter gives the soup a glossy, creamy feel.

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The last thing you must do before the soup can be eaten: top with a bit of feta. Trust me. This makes the soup. (Vegans, remember your instructions from before?)

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Of course, it might have also been great with a huge stack of crackers for dipping. But, I ate all the crackers at first lunch. It would be wonderful with a freshly made baguette, but we’re fresh out. So, it’s just good on its own, standing at the kitchen island, eating as if I hadn’t just eaten thirty five pb&j crackerwiches.

Happy Eating!

Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta

Cannellini and Beet Green Soup with Feta

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped (or mixture of carrot and radish)
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 4-5 C vegetable stock
  • 1-15 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 t dried oregano (or 1 T fresh), crushed (could substitute 1 T fresh dill, chopped)
  • 1 C (1 bunch) beet greens (washed well, including stems, to save for stock), chopped (or kale, spinach, or chard)
  • 1/2 T lemon juice
  • 1 t unsalted butter
  • feta, crumbled, for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat a soup pot. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion through pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for about 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vinegar and cook for another minute.
  2. Add the stock, beans, and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the beet greens and cook for 10 minutes more.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter and then lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  4. Serve topped with feta.
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