Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl
Toasted Almonds, Red Oak Lettuce, Mint, Basil
Olive Oil, Balsamic Syrup, Edible Flowers
Lemon Verbena Iced Tea
Hey! How’s your summer going? Hot enough for ya? Try this Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl – it’s a bright, light, and simply delicious summertime meal. Perfect for these sweltering days…there is no recipe per se, just a combination of healthful ingredients that have a particular affinity for each other, all arranged in a bowl. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan too.
Enjoy the salad/grain bowl al fresco along with refreshing Lemon Verbena Iced Tea – the high levels of essential oil contribute to a delightful citrusy aroma and lovely lemony flavor.
Peach, Quinoa, and Almond Milk Ricotta Salad/Grain Bowl
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Mung Bean Rotini & Mung Bean Sprouts in a Coconut Curry
Here’s a zippy gluten-free vegan pasta dish that’s full of flavor and spice, made with two different forms of mung beans. Those small green oval-shaped legumes are nutrient-dense and high in plant-based protein and dietary fiber. They are milled and ground into flour to make rotini shaped pasta. Fresh mung bean sprouts add texture and have a somewhat nutty flavor. They add more fiber, and Vitamins K and C.
I use Trader Joe’s Curry Powder with its wonderful exotic spice blend of cumin, turmeric, chile pepper, mustard, cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, red pepper, cinnamon, black pepper, and saffron. Then I add more ground turmeric for the extra boost of flavor, color, and especially the curcumin. Curcumin is the chemical in turmeric that is responsible for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
A garnish of plenty of chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, and a drizzle of chili oil (or chili flakes) make this colorful pasta dish especially exciting and appealing!
Mung Beans Lovers’ Pasta Recipe
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Smashed Cucumber Salad with Garlic Scented Lima Beans
Fennel, Feta, Mint, Oregano, Lemon Juice, Olive Oil
Cool-crisp Persian cucumbers and creamy-buttery lima beans make a delightful summer duo. Fennel adds a bright crunch with a sweet, nutty anise flavor.
The large limas by Lompoc Beans are sold at our local Torrance Farmers Market. They are also available online. Grown in Santa Barbara County, the beans cook up beautifully smooth and tender.
Soak 2 cups of beans in water for 4 1/2 hours then drain. Place beans in a pot and add fresh cold water to cover by 2 inches. Add 4 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a boil then turn down to simmer, cook uncovered, for one hour. Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary. Cook al dente (soft but not mushy), taste a few beans for doneness. Drain. Set aside to serve at room temperature.
It’s a fun salad to compose. Put cucumber chunks in a roomy ziplock bag and smash with a mallet. Squeeze lemon juice and drizzle fruity olive oil into the bag. Add shaved fennel and toss the bag to coat the veggies with the dressing. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
Smashed Cucumber Salad Composition
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Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan
Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Bok Choy, Sesame Chili Oil
Have you received a copy of a food magazine in the mail with a cover photo that absolutely floors you? February 2018 Bon Appetit did that for me. There was no way that I wasn’t going to “Cook The Cover” and make that gorgeous Crispy Tofu in Shiitake Broth.
Alas, time passed and I didn’t make it. But, last Saturday’s trip to the Torrance Farmers Market gave me the inspiration…it came from a vegetarian Korean food booth called Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food with a sample of his hot “Vegee Broth.” It was amazing – complex flavors in a vegetarian broth made with fermented vegetable juice, sea salt, low sodium gluten-free soy sauce, and miso.
As I walked the market, watermelon radish and bok choy remembered from that February magazine cover ended up in my basket. I already had carrots and firm tofu at home.
One ingredient that is not in Bon Appetit’s recipe was beautiful Gai Lan, also known as Chinese broccoli. Slightly bitter and slightly sweet, with tasty broad leaves, petite buds, a few pretty white flowers, and tender stems – this had to be added to my version of the vegetable soup.
Here is the link to the original recipe by Bon Appetit, and my adaptations are listed below. Those in the Los Angeles area can find Dave’s Vegee Broth at various Farmers Markets across the county. If you are not in LA, simply follow the original broth recipe. It will take a little longer but be, no doubt, worth your time.
Veggie Broth, Crispy Tofu, Gai Lan Recipe
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Miso Aioli, Shiso, Carrot Cucumber Slaw
The complex herbal flavors of shiso (reminiscent of mint, lemon, anise, basil and curiously cinnamon) complement the sweet buttery taste of wild-caught Atlantic sea scallops. Miso aioli adds creamy, garlicky, umami characteristics. A refreshing crisp carrot cucumber slaw balances all those rich notes.
At the last minute, place a spoonful of slaw on top of each scallop, then serve one scallop per person for a palate-pleasing amuse-bouche. Big flavors, bold colors, eclectic textures create a stunning small bite to launch your next elegant dinner party.
Pan-Seared Scallops with Miso Aioli Recipe
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Arugula and Borage Salad
Feta, Pomegranate Arils, Pistachio Slivers
It’s April and the borage is blooming! These electric blue star-shaped flowers have a mild cucumber taste and a soft texture. They make a striking addition to any salad.
Here, peppery arugula is accented with borage, giving the salad a distinctive visual emphasis. Feta brings salty-tangy-creamy notes while sweet-sour pomegranate arils add another layer of jewel-like color and a crunchy texture. Pistachios add that distinctive nutty flavor.
Pomegranate vinaigrette ties it all together with sweet-savory-zippy characteristics. Serve the dressing on the side for better presentation. Pair this lovely spring salad with a glass of rosé, of course.
- olive oil
- pomegranate arils
- feta, crumbled
- pistachio slivers
- salt and pepper
Toss arugula lightly with olive oil. Gently toss in the flowers. Place salad on serving plates and top with pomegranate arils, feta, and pistachio slivers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few more flowers on top.
- 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T. pomegranate molasses
- 2 T. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
- 2 t. dijon mustard
- 1 t. garlic, minced
- 1 T. shallot, minced
- salt and pepper
Combine ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve vinaigrette in a small glass pitcher on the side.
How to Prepare Borage for Food
Unfortunately I see many photographs of borage flowers in food with the sepals still attached. The reddish-brown sepals are covered with bristly hairs, they are not something you would want to eat in a salad.
To separate the corolla from the sepals, simply pinch the middle of the star and pull. Rinse the flowers in a bowl of cool water to remove any dirt or little bugs.
Eat Flowers, Be Happy
Here is a link to all of my Edible Flower posts, photos, and recipes.
Passover and Vicki’s Beet Salad & Fresh Horseradish
Passover 2018 ends at sundown tonight. As I have for the past 17 years, I traveled to Chicago to celebrate the holiday and cook Passover dinner for my family and friends.
The Seder tells the story of how we were slaves in Egypt before God led us to freedom. Each year at Passover we go on a journey in our hearts from slavery to freedom, from sadness to joy. The 3000 year-old story never changes, and our menu doesn’t change very much either.
Over the years I have been sharing our Passover recipes, this year I am so excited to share my cousin Vicki’s fabulous Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel and Walnuts and her super-popular fiery Fresh Horseradish!
2018 Tables – White Linen with Rainbow Flowers
What does change? The decor. Every year we have a wildly different color scheme. Some of the color combinations from our past Seders include:
And the tables are covered with frogs! Read all about our whimsical Passover Frog Collection here.
The Passover Seder Table is not simply a place to tell the story of the Exodus and to eat dinner. The Table is symbolic in and of itself. It is a place where memories are made and traditions are taught.
It is where we gather with family and friends, and perhaps strangers too, to celebrate our freedoms.
The care with which my sister-in-law Kristy sets her Table reflects the solemnness and seriousness of this holiday. The vibrancy and beauty of the Table reflect our gratitude to God.
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