Friday, 24 May 2019

Couscous.  Not only is it fun to say but I absolutely love the flavor and texture of this tiny little pasta.  Couscous is amazingly light and fluffy and this salad is just that.  It’s got a simple and refreshing dressing and the bits of sun dried tomato and lightly sautéed asparagus make this the perfect spring or summer salad.  You can serve this dish cold so it’s perfect for a potluck or get together.  Enjoy!

I call this Lazy Fried Rice Salad because it’s like fried rice only not fried because I was in a hurry to get lunch made and threw the ingredients together to make a chilled salad instead. Or else it’s because I was just feeling lazy and had all the ingredients assembled but didn’t want to get out a pan and make fried rice. Whatever the reason I’m glad I did. I like the chewy texture of the rice with the crunchy freshness of the vegetables and the Tamari Roasted Almonds are like tasty little treasures hidden throughout the salad. Perfect for a fast lunch or side dish at dinner. Go ahead be a little lazy today too but still enjoy a delicious meal.

I recently read an article in Bon Appetit magazine about the nutritional benefits of parsley. Actually, the article was about a chef with rheumatoid arthritis who has written a cookbook called Hero Food  and relates how he found that parsley as well as some other of his favorite foods improved his health. I really love parsley and it got to me wondering why I don’t use it more. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties it helps boost the immune system as well. One of my favorite ways of eating potatoes are Parsleyed New Potatoes. I’m definitely going to be adding some parsley to my garden, right beside the potatoes. What a perfect pairing.

While I’ve definitely been showing the blueberry some love lately, I’ve actually been going through a phase with other fruits as well.  Strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas – I’ve been craving them all.  Years ago when my husband and I were on our honeymoon we had brunch at a small little cafe in downtown Waikiki.  I had the most amazing french toast but even better was a fruit salsa they served with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips.  They used fresh, in season fruits from the island and it was so unbelievably delicious that I licked the bowl clean!  So what better way to indulge my fruit craving than with some homemade fruit salsa?

While working on a recipe recently I needed lima beans and was having a hard time finding them. I looked at 3 different stores and finally decided that I was going to have to make a substitution. I settled on fava beans. I don’t think I had ever had fava beans before but I ended up loving them. They are plump and nutty tasting. I was so taken with them that I started looking for other recipes to make with them. I came across Ful Medames, a traditional Egyptian dish and thought it looked good since many of the ingredients were nearly identical to one of my favorite dressings. For Ful Medames you mash the beans into a spread but I didn’t want to mash the beans  so I added a few additional veggies and made a bean salad. Fava-licious.

I could talk about how I like this recipe because of the nice balance of flavors with the bite of arugula, the sweet oranges combined with the creamy millet. Or I could talk about how eating this makes me smile to think I’m eating bird seed and how I’ve become a Euell Gibbons of sorts (for those of you too young to know who I’m talking about he was a naturalist that appeared in Grape Nuts commercials in the 70′s eating anything from pine trees to cat tails). But really, it’s much simpler than that. I like it because it just tastes good. If you are looking for something new that’s clean and refreshing and has a delicious variety of flavors give it a try yourself. Who knows what you might find yourself eating next?

Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner and that means the official start of summer. Grilling, picnics, reunions and festivals will fill the days ahead and so will all the delicious foods that are found there. Burgers, potato salad, baked beans, corn and sweet juicy watermelon are some of my favorite summertime foods but it’s always good to add a little change to the menu. Baked BBQ Lentils make a fun switch up to the usual baked beans. You can make them the classic way or dress them up with some colorful additions like red peppers and corn. Whichever way you go they will be delicious.

Yup, I’m still on a pea kick!  I just can’t get enough of them right now.  This time I bought a bunch of snow peas at the grocery store and decided to whip up this fresh and crisp asian inspired salad.  I had this salad as a main dish but it would work great as a side too.  It was quick to throw together and so refreshing after a day out in the sun.  Perfect for summer!!!

Black rice, sometimes called forbidden rice is so dramatic looking. It showcases other colors so well that when I found the most beautiful apricots in the market the other day I immediately thought of putting the two together. I could be happy with just those two things, a pool of black rice with a little apricot half nestled on top but I can’t settle for that, can I? No, I want something exotic and bursting with flavor but not so exotic that it’s difficult to make. This dish is just that, easy but so different and flavorful it will wow your tastebuds with the first bite. This dressing is great with chicken too so if you are a meat eater you can add some cooked chicken to make this dish a meal.

I love handbags.  Some women like shoes – I like handbags.  I have enough handbags that I could probably open a store and easily have enough inventory for a year.  I also collect stamps and little wooden boxes – weird, I know.  Apparently I collect cauliflower too.  Last week I opened my vegetable drawers and found I had 3 heads of cauliflower – that’s A LOT of cauliflower.  I used a bunch in my salads, shredded a whole head and made Crispy Fried Rice and even steamed a bunch for dinner one night.  Even after all that I still had a good amount of cauliflower left.  I Googled around for some recipes and got inspired after seeing a few for cauliflower couscous.  I love the way it turned out – perfect for summertime!  Enjoy.