De Ma Cuisine

lunch Archive

Friday

3

July 2020

0

COMMENTS

Simple Garden Salad

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gardening, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, Nuts, Quick and Easy, Salads, Thoughts, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I have so much to say that I feel as though I might burst. My thoughts seem to tumble about and get muddied because there are too many to organize. I don’t know where to start.

I guess I’ll begin here. In the garden.

I feel like I should be talking about something other than plants and seeds and watering schedules. But, right now the world is showing me that there’s not a lot of joy out there. So, I’m going to share something that brings me a bit of happiness in the midst of turmoil.

I’ve been growing vegetables for years. My first garden was planted in hard-packed sandy dirt. It was at the top of the driveway of the second Central California house that Tim and I lived in during our second year of marriage. It resulted in five foot tall tomato plants with more fruit than we could eat. It was glorious.

The next garden was in raised beds set on a cement patio in our third house. That garden’s potato yield was incredible. A year or so later we moved again. This time to an apartment in Southern California. We brought a few of the garden boxes along with us and tried to grow herbs and tomatoes. They were always covered by a thin layer of soot from the nearby freeway. But, the real thwarmp that killed them was when the landlord renovated the unit above us and blew tiny paint droplets out the window and all over the garden. I was furious. I demanded to be compensated for the loss. I was. But, it didn’t fix the ruined garden. A couple of years later we moved into a house with a small front yard that served as our outdoor space. We put the garden boxes on the tiny cement patio. I was able to coax some tomatoes and basil to grow, but not much else. The next year I grew one acorn squash and some basil, but the tomatoes got blight.

We finally gave up on Burbank’s insane cost of living and moved to the East coast. Going from an almost year round growing season to one that’s about four months long has been a challenge. Last year I got three tomatoes. Total. And they were green when I picked them the day before the first frost. Green beans have grown well for me in this climate. My hope this summer is for jars and jars of dilly beans. I made some last year and they were delicious. I’d wanted to make pickles again too, but something has eaten all of my cucumber plants. Last year’s pickling cucumbers produced enough to can two quart sized jars. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am that that probably won’t happen this year.

Of all the gardens we’ve had, this one is my favorite. Last summer Tim worked so hard to build it. He cemented eight foot posts to keep the fence strong and the deer out, buried the coated chicken wire a foot deep to deter pests, and made it as perfect as I could have hoped for. This summer we’ve added solar powered lights, an umbrella that Tim found at the dump, and mulch to cover the weed mat that lined our pathways. We’ve planted sunflowers, nasturtiums, and morning glories around the perimeter of the garden. Some hanging in pots, some in the ground. I had great hopes that the English peas would grow up the sunflowers. But, the sunflowers have had a rough spring. The same thing that’s eaten my cucumbers seems to like them too.

Whether or not the cucumbers survive, the sunflowers grow, or the tomatoes produce, in the garden is one of my favorite places to be. Nature is great, from a distance. I don’t like to hike or be outdoorsy. So this little space is just perfect for me.

I don’t know if this is where we will stay for years and years. It’s been a tough place to fit in and feel like we belong. That doesn’t mean we should leave. I love lots of things about where we are. The main thing being my home with Tim and Brando. They are not specific to this place. Home is where we are together. For now, this little piece of the East coast is it. And we’ve built a glorious garden to play in during the warm months.

Yesterday I picked some greens to use in a salad for lunch. It’s so simple that it doesn’t require a recipe. Here are the basics:

Simple Garden Salad

Ingredients

  • greens (arugula, spinach, beet, baby kale)
  • fresh herbs (basil) (parsley and chives could be great too)
  • seeds (pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds) (chopped nuts would be great too)
  • homemade dressing (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a splash of maple syrup, dijon mustard, and salt)
  • fried eggs or crispy tofu
  • Burlap & Barrel Black Urfa Chili*
  • Maldon salt

Directions

  1. Wash the greens well. Tear into bite sized pieces.
  2. Sprinkle the greens with seeds and drizzle with dressing. Top with fried eggs or crispy tofu. I like my eggs over medium: whites cooked, yolks still runny so that they become a second dressing. Sprinkle some Black Urfa Chili* and Maldon salt on the eggs or tofu.
  3. Serve alongside last night’s reheated leftovers.

*Black Urfa Chili is an affiliate link, which means that I get a small commission for any sales generated from referrals.

Friday

8

November 2019

0

COMMENTS

Breakfast Burritos

Written by , Posted in Beans, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Gluten Free, Herbs, Kid-Friendly, Low Carb, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Monday was a very bad day. Tuesday morning started out kinda the same. Remnants of the crappy yesterday had stuck around. I hadn’t been this angry about something in a while.

My response to crisis is usually food. Food is comfort. That can lead to mindless eating. But, sometimes it leads to a really good breakfast that makes for a better start to the day.

I had cereal for lunch with zero plans for dinner. But, at least breakfast was good.

I started it simply, with chopped bell pepper and some minced cayenne pepper from the garden. I don’t know why they didn’t turn red. But, the seed pack said cayenne, so that’s what they are.

You could add a million other things in there too. Leftover potatoes, chopped onions, broccoli, leftovers from last night’s dinner… pretty much any veggies you think would be great probably will be.

After the peppers cooked in some oil for a few minutes I added some beans. I had pinto on hand. Yum. Black beans would also be great. And if all you have are kidney, or cannellini, use them! Why not?!

After the beans got hot, I added some whisked eggs. To keep it vegan, add in some crumbled tofu. Easy.

I took a pic of the tortilla being topped. It looked not amazing. The eggs had turned a bit grey from being cooked with everything else. If you want them to look amazing and yellow, scramble them separately. And then wash that extra dish. Yeah. No thank you. Less dishes is always the best option.

I laid out the tortillas, topped them with a handful of cheese, then the bean mixture. I used a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack, but if you’re going vegan, my favorite is Violife (just like cheddar or just like mozzarella shreds are great!). They got rolled up and then, the best part. A clean skillet with hot oil, cook that burrito on all sides until it’s shatteringly crisp. Yes please!

For topping or dipping, I like avocado with a bit of salt, and some sour cream. Tim likes salsa. Some people might like cilantro or some diced tomatoes.

However you serve them, they’re pretty quick and easy and make for a great start to the day.

Happy Eating!

Breakfast Burritos

Yields 3 burritos

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1/2 of a medium-sized bell pepper, diced (could also use: onion, cooked potatoes, cubanelle pepper, broccoli… whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/2 of a small hot pepper (I used cayenne), ribs and seeds removed, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 1-14 ounce can of beans (pinto or black), drained
  • 4 eggs or half a brick of firm tofu
  • a little more salt
  • sprinkle of chili powder
  • handful of shredded cheese for each burrito, vegan (I like Violife) or conventional (I like a mixture of cheddar and monterey jack)
  • 3 burrito-sized tortillas (whole wheat, white, or gluten-free)
  • topping options: salsa, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, Sir Kensington’s Chipotle or Sriracha Mayo
  • a bit more oil, for crisping

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, hot pepper, and any other veggies, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies are tender, about 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and cook until the beans are heated through, about 4 minutes.
  2. Whisk the eggs, or crumble the tofu, in either case, with a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of chili powder. Add to the skillet with the beans and cook until eggs are set or tofu is hot (or you can cook the eggs separately if you want them to stay yellow – have fun washing that extra pan). Taste for seasoning.
  3. Top each tortilla with some cheese. Divide the bean filling between the tortillas and roll them up.
  4. In a clean skillet, add a bit of oil and crisp up the burritos, turning until they’re golden brown and delicious.
  5. Serve burritos cut in half with desired toppings.

Friday

1

November 2019

0

COMMENTS

Avocado Toast

Written by , Posted in Bread, Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Fruit, Herbs, Lunch, Quick and Easy, Sandwiches, Snacks, Toasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I was kinda slow to get on the avocado toast bandwagon. It was so trendy that it got annoying. But, now, I love it. Ugh. It’s probably not trendy anymore. Kinda like skinny jeans. I was late there too. Now I wear them and have no idea if they’re still in style.

You know the part in You’ve Got Mail where they’re stuck in the elevator and Parker Posey says “Arghh! Where are my Tic Tacs?!?!” I feel like her when I say “ugh”.

I usually top avocado toast with a fried egg. But, it didn’t sound good today. I’m trying to get better at listening to myself. Not just eating things because I want them or because they’re there. I’m also trying to be better at having grace for the times when I do. It’s ok. All things in moderation, including moderation… I think Julia Child said that. Gosh I like her!

I had a bruised avocado and a tomato with a bad spot. Perfect. They go well together. I try to keep lots of seeds on hand. They are perfect for topping things like oatmeal, salads, and to put in granola. They also go well on avocado toast.

Today I went for chia, sunflower, sesame, and flax. Plus I added some hemp hearts that have been in the freezer since the last house, but are somehow just fine.

I mixed everything together with a bit of olive oil, some omega 3 oil (Brando and I have started taking it daily), salt, pepper, and Italian hot salt. I had micro greens from a sample at work that went under the avocado mixture. Maldon salt that went over top. Perfect. Done.

Happy Eating!

Avocado Toast

Serves 2

You don’t really need a recipe. Use this as a loose guideline.

Ingredients

  • 2 slices bread, toasted
  • 1-2 avocados, mashed (I can eat a whole one myself)
  • 1 plum tomato (or whatever you have on hand), diced (seeded if it’s super juicy)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon roasted and salted sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • pinch salt
  • pinch Italian Hot Salt (or cayenne)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Omega 3 oil (optional)
  • a handful of microgreens
  • Maldon salt, for topping

Directions

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Mix together the avocado through omega 3 oil.
  3. Top the toasted bread with sprouts and the avocado mixture. Top with a pinch of Maldon salt.

Wednesday

2

October 2019

0

COMMENTS

Roasted Grain Bowls

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Condiments, Dinner, Eggs, Grains, Herbs, Leftovers, Lunch, Main Dishes, Quinoa, Rice, Roasting, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

I’m sitting here shoveling this food into my face hole and I keep wondering what that B.O. smell is… Oh. It’s the unused scallions. Why even do they smell like that?! It’s kinda gross.

Not quite as yucky as dog toots, rotten stuff, or humidity. But, off-putting none-the-less.

Speaking of humidity, it’s kinda warm and rainy and humid today. Buuuuuut, tomorrow it’s gonna be in the 50s, Friday night it could freeze, and that, plus the blanket of leaves on our lawn, is making it feel like fall. Which makes me want to eat all the soup and bake all the things.

Today I baked an apple cake and some sandwich bread. I also roasted cauliflower for my lunch, even though what I really wanted were the Red and Green Enchiladas that I made a few weeks ago. But, I don’t have any tortillas and I didn’t want to go to the store or make them. I had the oven on and a bit of time before while the bread rose. I figured I should do something with the very old cauliflower that I’d forgotten about in the crisper. I tossed it with olive oil and salt and let it roast for a while.

I had frozen the leftover farro from the Kale and Farro salad that I made at the beginning of September. It was thawed and in the fridge, ready to be used. I added it to the baking sheet when the cauliflower was browned and delicious. Plus the stinky scallions, a smidge more salt, some Italian Hot Salt, and a grind of black pepper. It just needed to get warm and a bit crispy.

I’m sorry I said “stinky scallions”. That doesn’t make things sound delicious.

I wanted one more element, so I fried an egg in butter and popped it on top. Over-medium, so the yolk could run through the farro. Everything got topped with some local Sriracha and a bit of Maldon salt.

You could skip the egg and top it with a plomp of Fabanaise, to make it vegan. You could use brown rice, barley, or bulgur wheat instead of farro (maybe quinoa?? not sure how it would do – it could end up as tiny crispy bits… nope, that still sounds delicious). Just adjust your baking time accordingly. If you have broccoli, that would be perfect, carrots might be great, you could even use those green beans that are still growing in your garden. Treat this recipe as a starting point. Remember, you’re the boss of your meal. Make it how you want.

Happy Eating!

Roasted Grain Bowls

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 small head cauliflower, core removed, chopped into medium-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t salt, divided
  • 2 C cooked farro (can sub: brown rice, barley, or bulgur wheat)
  • 1/2 T chopped scallions
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • Italian Hot Salt (or a pinch of cayenne)
  • 1/2 T unsalted butter or olive oil (optional)
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • Sriracha, for serving
  • Maldon salt, for serving

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Roast, turning once, until cauliflower is tender and browned, about 30 minutes (time may vary depending on your oven).
  3. Add the farro, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the scallions, black pepper, and Italian Hot Salt or cayenne. Toss with the cauliflower. Bake until the farro is hot and a bit crispy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Fry the eggs in hot butter to desired doneness.
  5. Divide the farro and cauliflower mixture between two plates and top each with a fried egg, some Sriracha, and some Maldon salt.

Tuesday

10

September 2019

0

COMMENTS

Kale and Farro Salad with Bacon

Written by , Posted in Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fruit, Grains, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Pork, Quick and Easy, Salads, Vegetables

I have eighteen kale plants in my garden. That’s a lot for a family where only one of us likes kale. I’ve got everything from huge three foot wide plants, to a couple that I transplanted later in the season that are still pretty small. It was definitely the most successful thing I planted this summer.

I have plenty of uses for kale on here. Some of my favorites are: Massaged Kale and Tuna Salad, Hearty Kale and White Bean Quesadillas, and turning it into pesto to go alongside Spicy Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes. I prefer it when it’s smaller, tender, baby kale. Tim, I believe, prefers it when it’s not served at all.

Today, I’m craving bacon, but feel a bit guilty about how much kale I have grown and not eaten. So, I’m gonna use them together. They’ll go alongside farro and some apples from our tree to make a quick lunch.

The dog is reverse hiccuping. Anyone else have a dog that does this? It freaks me out, even though our vet says it’s not dangerous.

I got advice for farro cooking from Bon Appètit. Their technique treats it like pasta. I can do that. I started with six cups of water, added a good amount of salt, and brought it to a boil. I toasted the farro in a dry skillet while the water heated. It ended up taking five minutes. Oh, and I rinsed the farro, before I toasted it (just gonna work backwards for a sec). I’m not sure if I was supposed to. But, I think that’s a thing with other grains, so I did it. I’m quite the authority on food.

I may not know a lot about farro, but when it comes to bacon, I know what I like: Mazzeo’s Danish bacon, cut pretty thick. Prefect for BLTs or cutting into lardons, like I did today. I totally didn’t cook enough though. I made two slices. I should have done six. What even was I thinking?!

I cooked the bacon and left about a tablespoon of the grease for the kale. I know that kale will wilt down considerably, but still I second guess myself when I add the whole salad spinner’s worth of kale to the pan. It will work. Right?!

Yes. It will.

Here’s what I like about this salad: the kale is bitter. Wait, I don’t like that. But, bitter kale, when accompanied by sweet apples, nutty farro, and salty, crispy bacon, mellows. And then I do like it.

If I’m honest, I mostly just want to eat the bacon. But, the rest of it is pretty good too. Ok, really good.

Top it all with Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette and, well, you’re golden… (are puns still allowed?). If you can get your hands on Sir Kensington’s products, I’d strongly recommend them. If you can’t, I’d whisk together some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. I’d add a splash of maple syrup, a plomp of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt. That’s my go-to dressing and I think it would taste great here too.

Sometimes after I eat a meal like this I feel so healthy that it makes me want to eat a huge pizza. You know, for balance.

Happy Eating!

Kale and Farro Salad with Bacon

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 C rinsed farro
  • 6 C water
  • 1-2 T salt
  • 2-4 bacon slices, cut into lardons
  • 6-8 C kale, stems removed, leaves washed and torn
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 C Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette
  • (Or whisk together some lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil. Add a splash of maple syrup, a plomp of dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt.)
  • 1 chopped apple, for topping

Directions

  1. Bring the 6 cups of water and 1-2 tablespoons salt to a boil. While it’s heating, toast the farro in a dry skillet until it gets a bit nutty smelling, about 3-5 minutes. Add the farro to the boiling water and cook until it tastes good, about 15-30 minutes (yeah, it can vary a lot – for me, 15 minutes was perfect). Drain the farro and set it aside.
  2. While the farro cooks, cook the bacon. Then drain on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 T of the bacon grease and leave it in the pan.
  3. To the grease add the kale and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Toss it until it wilts down (it will, I promise) and gets darker green and tender.
  4. Toss the kale with the farro and 1/4 cup of dressing. Top with bacon and apple slices.