Asian Slaw with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds

Around Easter a friend of mine brought an Asian Slaw with crunchy almonds and ramen noodles on top to a potluck, and I remembered I too have a great Asian Slaw recipe! My husband is not keen on the raw ramen noodles, so we just do toasted almonds and sesame seeds as the topping, and the salad itself is a rainbow of pretty colored veggies!

My Asian Slaw from yesterday’s BBQ is not looking so pretty after sitting in the fridge all night, so here’s a photo of the Serious Eats version minus the almonds, with a slightly different dressing. Check out their recipe for Asian Slaw with Ginger Peanut Dressing here.

Asian Slaw

This fresh alternative to mayonnaise-based coleslaw will be a big hit at all your summer parties and potlucks!

Asian Slaw with Toasted Almonds and Sesame Seeds

Ingredients:

Sesame-Soy Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger (or grated, frozen ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4c soy sauce
  • 1/4c mirin, or apple juice, or fresh-squeezed orange juice (1 Clementine)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4c olive oil

Whisk together all ingredients except the olive oil. Taste, and add more sugar or soy if desired. Whisk in the olive oil. Set aside.

Salad

  • 1 small head white or purple cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 2-3 green onions, white AND green parts, chopped
  • 1 sweet bell pepper, any color, sliced into matchsticks
  • 2 fresh or canned Mandarin oranges or Clementines, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4c fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1c frozen shelled edamame (optional)
  • 1/2c sliced almonds
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds

Combine the cabbage, carrots, peppers, onions, oranges, edamame (if using), and cilantro. Toss with the dressing and allow to chill for at least an hour. Right before serving, toast the almonds and sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, tossing frequently, until light brown and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Sprinkle the topping over the salad in the serving bowl, or serve the topping in a separate bowl with a spoon.

Depending on what I have around the house I’ll swap in pineapple for the oranges, or add some fresh basil as well!

 

 

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Italian Stuffed Summer Squash

Yellow summer squash is starting to show up at our farmers market, and we wont see the last of it until November! Best to have a range of recipes ready to accommodate this summer staple. This week I made Italian Stuffed Summer Squash, with white beans and brown rice in the filling to add protein and fiber. You could make this recipe vegan by substituting toasted breadcrumbs on top instead of the cheese (or use vegan cheese).

Italian Stuffed Squash

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Kitchen Sink Bubble and Squeak (Potato Croquettes)

Kitchen Sink Bubble and Squeak

These make a great lunch or quick dinner when you have leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge! Mine were mashed potatoes with parsnips, and I had some leftover peas I threw in, along with a handful of arugula, parsley, and a cube of frozen turnip greens, but you can use almost anything. I’ll give some more suggestions at the bottom.

Kitchen Sink Bubble and Squeak (potato croquettes)

  • 2c mashed potatoes
  • 1 handful of assorted greens (arugula, kale, spinach, cooked cabbage etc) chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh parsley and or green onion, chopped
  • 1/2 of a small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2-3/4c leftover cooked veggies, I used peas
  • 1 heaping TBSP flour
  • 1 egg (optional, but it holds together better) You could substitute Chia gel here*
  • 1/3c feta cheese, grated cheddar, or parmesan (optional)
  • 1c panko or dry breadcrumbs, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • oil for frying, or cooking spray for baking

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Amazing Mushroom Strudel

Amazing Mushroom Strudel

Amazing Mushroom Strudel

It’s Fall! Just in the last week the nights have been cooler and the air has been dryer, and even though it’s still in the 80’s during the day the season is definitely changing! I’m a very seasonal cook; I don’t eat fresh peaches in January, and I don’t cook winter squash in June, so it’s a big deal for me when the new fall produce starts showing up at the farmers market! Mushrooms aren’t really a fall thing necessarily, but the hearty, warm dishes I cook with them, brimming with sage and rosemary, definitely make you think of sweater-weather.

I got the idea for this recipe from a recipe on Pinterest, but on closer inspection I did not like the original filling, so I made my own. It was fabulous! Definitely could be a great option as a vegan entree for Thanksgiving guests (or your own celebration, of course), or it would make a great appetizer if you sliced it more thinly. My husband thought it could use a sauce, but we couldn’t really think of what would be appropriate with the texture, so if you think of something, please let me know in the comments!

Don’t let the Phyllo dough scare you, it’s not really that hard to work with as long as you don’t let it dry out!

Mushroom Strudel cooktime: about an hour, serves 3-4

Filling:

  • 8oz mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 of a globe eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 1 small onion, or the white off one leek
  • 1/4 tsp thyme (I used whole dried thyme, but you could use 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 2-3 leaves of fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 TBSP Braggs Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 1/2c fresh bread crumbs (I put two slices of stale white bread in the food processor. Not strictly necessary, but it helps the texture)
  • 1/2c pecans or walnuts. I soaked these in warm water while I made the rest of the filling
  • generous, frequent pinches of salt and pepper
  • olive oil for sauteing

Crust:

  • 10 sheets of Phyllo dough, defrosted. Don’t unwrap them until you are prepared to fill the strudel.
  • melted butter/spread (about 3 TBSP), and or cooking spray
  • dry breadcrumbs

In a large saute pan, heat some olive oil then add your eggplant and a few pinches of salt. Start chopping you onion, add that next, followed by the mushrooms and another pinch of salt. When the veggies are softening and starting to brown, add your garlic and herbs and Liquid Aminos. Cook another 2 minutes until fragrant then, scoop into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade. Add your fresh breadcrumbs and pecans. Pulse the mixture a few times until everything is chopped and it is just starting to clump, but not too much! You don’t want a paste. Taste the filing and add more salt, pepper, or Liquid Aminos if desired.

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Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F

Open your Phyllo dough and unroll it onto a baking sheet, but don’t remove the plastic liner. Use it to cover as much of the flat dough as you can. Damped a clean, lint-free tea towel and drape it over the whole baking pan to keep the dough from drying out.

Melt your butter/spread, and lay out a sheet of dough onto a large baking sheet. Using a pastry brush, gently dot and brush a light layer of butter over the dough. You can also use cooking spray for this, but it’s not as tasty. I use a combo if I only have a little spread or I’m in a hurry. After you brush the button on, sprinkle the dough with dried breadcrumbs. Lift up another sheet of dough and layer it over the first and repeat the butter and breadcrumbs routine. Repeat until you have 4 sheets.

Spoon your filling onto the dough creating a long stripe about an inch or two in from the edge of your dough. I made my filling about an inch and a half thick. Roll your dough over the filling and across the rest of the dough, creating a log. Position it with the seam down, and flatten the edges. Brush it with butter and sprinkle it with breadcrumbs. Repeat.

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For the last bit of filling I used two sheets of dough and rolled my strudel shortways instead of longways.

Score your serving sizes with a sharp knife. It’s easier to cut without shattering the dough if you do this.

Bake your strudel for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Balsamic Mushroom Quinoa Cakes

Balsamic Onions Quinoa Patties

Not my picture, but mine looked just like this and the recipe is very similar. Click the picture to view her original recipe.

Cooking from scratch often leads to the experience of looking in your fridge or pantry and, despite a wealth of raw ingredients, feeling like there’s “nothing to eat”! This recipe is a great weeknight meal that can come together with very few ingredients you probably have in your pantry already, and very little time. You could even save on effort by baking them in the oven instead of pan frying them, but they don’t get as nice and crispy of a crust. Quinoa cakes are one of those great blank slates that you can add almost anything to and they’ll be delicious. You can do them Southwestern, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, even Asian, by changing just a few ingredients! I’ll post some suggestions at the bottom of the page on how to change the flavors. I served mine with caramelized carrots and garlic spinach.

Balsamic Mushroom Quinoa Cakes

Serves 4, takes about 1 hour including cooking the quinoa and frying them in 3 batches. If you already have cooked quinoa, and bake them in the oven, you will save about half an hour at least.

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, any color, plus 2 cups of water or broth (or about 2.5-3c cooked)
  • 8oz button mushrooms, or mushrooms of your choice, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, pressed (optional)
  • 1 TBSP fresh sage, chopped, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast or Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TBSP Chia seed plus 1/2 cup warm water, or 2 eggs.
  • olive oil for sauteeing the veggies and vegetable oil for frying
  • salt and pepper to taste

To cook the quinoa, put the one cup of quinoa in a heavy-bottomed pot and cover with two cups of water or broth. Bring it to a boil and boil covered for 5 minutes. Turn off the burner and leave it to steam, covered, for 15 minutes.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine your Chia seed and warm water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add a few turns of olive oil and then saute your mushrooms and onions (add a pinch of salt) until they are lightly browned and have released their moisture. Add your garlic, if using, and the sage and balsamic vinegar to the pan and cook another minute or two. Add to your quinoa.

Combine the remaining ingredients: breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, chia gel, and a bit of salt and pepper, with your quinoa and veggie mixture. Pack it into a lump and allow it to chill in the fridge while you prepare your side dishes for cooking and or preheat your oven. You can skip the chilling, but they will hold together better if you do it. Preheat your oven to 250 degrees if you are pan frying (to keep the cooked ones warm) or 400 degrees if you are baking them.

To pan fry: Heat some vegetable oil in a large skillet, then add 3 or 4 1/4c balls of quinoa mixture to the pan, flattening them with a spatula. Let them cook without turning them, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes or until browned on the edges. Flip them over gently and cook for another 5 minutes or until brown and crispy. Transfer cooked cakes to a plate in the oven to keep warm while you finish the rest.

To bake: generously grease a baking sheet and flatten your cakes onto it using about 1/4c of mixture per cake. Spray or brush a layer of oil into the tops of the cakes as well. Bake for 7-10 minutes per side until crispy.

Flavor options for quinoa cakes! these options are instead of the mushrooms, onions, sage and balsamic.

  • Roasted red peppers and kalamata olives
  • sundried tomatoes and goat cheese
  • mint, parsley, and feta cheese
  • corn, bell pepper, and onion, with chili powder
  • sweet chili sauce, shredded carrot, green onion, soy sauce

 

Jalapeno Cornbread with fresh white corn

By popular demand! We got a bunch of lovely organic fresh sweet corn from the Farmers Market last week, and so I’ve been throwing corn into this and that for the last few days. My favorite use of fresh corn (besides just eating it!) is the Avocado and Grilled Corn Salad I posted a while back, but I think my husband likes this one better. I started with a homemade cornbread mix I found recently (recipe below) then added my jalapenos and fresh corn to it.

cornbread

This sweet cornbread base is adapted from this one at Unsophisticook.com

Mix makes about 8 one-cup batches. (6 muffins or a small pan)

Cornbread Mix

For the cornbread mix
    • 4 cups flour
    • 3 cups yellow cornmeal (Organic and or stone ground, if you can get it! much more nutritious!)
    • 1  cup sugar
    • 6 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make plain cornbread
  • 1 cup cornbread mix
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or liquid/melted fat of your choice)
  • 1 egg (or egg replacer)
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)

For the cornbread mix: Measure all cornbread mix ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to combine. Store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Jalapeno Cornbread

  • 1 cup cornbread mix
  • 2-3 ears worth (about 2 cups) of of sweet corn kernels. Stand the ear up in a flat-bottomed bowl or casserole dish, and use a sharp serrated knife to remove the kernels.
  • 1 large jalapeno, seeded and diced
  • 2-3 green onions, diced
  • 1 egg or egg replacer
  • 3 TBSP sunflower oil or melted butter.
  • 1/3 cup milk or almond milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a small (I used a 7″ round) pan, or use 6-8 muffin cups. Mix all ingredients together and allow it to sit while the oven preheats to develop the flavor a bit. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes (for a pan) or 15 for muffins, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

We had this with Purple Hull Peas simmered in onion, garlic, and veggie broth. YUM!

 

Vegetable Gyoza (pot-stickers)

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Gyoza, Japanese Pot-Stickers, are one of my husband’s favorite foods. We fell in love with them while living in Japan, and we try them every time we see them on a menu.  Just because we’re not eating meat now doesn’t mean we have to go without gyoza! Mushrooms take the place of pork in these to add that “meaty” texture and Umami flavor. This recipe makes 48 (one whole package of gyoza wrappers) but next time I think I will add marinated, crumbled tofu to add protein and double the recipe. I served them as a main dish with sauteed bok choy and a Japanese “quick-pickle” cucumber salad.

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