I’ve made this amazing “Chickpea Salad” from The Pioneer Woman twice in two weeks. Does that tell you something? I did make a few changes to her recipe, but nothing too drastic. It’s a great side dish, or even main dish, since there’s protein in the garbanzos and feta. So delish!
I made it yesterday, holding back on the avocadoes and dressing until just before tossing it and serving it today at a picnic. So you can easily make it ahead of time.
2 15-ounce cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed 6 oz. feta, cubed (omit for a vegan version) 4-5 baby cucumbers, (or 1 English cucumber), cut into half moons (about 1 1/2 cups) 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (optional – Kumy doesn’t like raw onions, so I didn’t add this.) 2 avocados, cubed 1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
FOR THE DRESSING: 1/3 cup olive oil 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice 1 Tbsp dried Basil 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
Mix all veggies, beans and feta in a large bowl. If making ahead, don’t add avocadoes.
Mix dressing ingredients in a mason jar, close lid and shake like crazy.
Drizzle dressing over and toss well.
Note for photo: my avocadoes were quite ripe, and were very creamy.
This is such a delicious dish – mushrooms sauteed in brown butter and sage, seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic with a little spinach and a dollop of Mascarpone cheese. These flavors always feel very woodsy to me and I love that it feels meaty and satisfying, but not heavy.
Ingredients 8 oz pasta, any kind 4 Tbsp butter 1 tsp dried Sage, crushed 1 ½ lbs mushrooms (Costco package), washed and halved ½ tsp kosher salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper ½ tsp garlic powder 2 cups baby spinach 2 Tbsp Mascarpone cheese (Cream cheese is fine, too.)
Start a pot of salted water boiling, and add Pasta. Cook until done – but not mushy.
Meanwhile, rinse the mushrooms well. I know you’re not “supposed” to do that, but rinsing is so much quicker and any little water that they absorb cooks off anyway. For washing larger quantities of mushrooms, a basket strainer like this works great:
In a large frying pan on medium heat, melt the butter and continue cooking and stirring until the butter gets a nice brown color and smells nutty. Takes about 5 minutes or so.
Add the Sage and stir for about 30 seconds.
Add the mushrooms and toss well. Continue cooking and stirring until the mushrooms release their water, and then add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Continue cooking and stir occasionally, until only about a half cup of liquid is left. Add the baby spinach and stir to wilt. Take off the heat and add the Mascarpone cheese, stirring gently to combine.
Taste a mushroom and add a little salt, pepper or garlic powder if needed. Sprinkle a good-sized pinch of rubbed sage over the top.
Poked through the veggie drawer this morning, hungry for something “brunchy” yet healthy. Fortunately I had some really nice mushrooms and a leek, perfect for scrambled eggs. I made up a recipe on the fly and to my delight, it was surprisingly delicious. Thought I’d have enough for leftovers, but nope – ate the whole thing!
1 Tbsp olive oil 2 cups sliced mushrooms 1 medium leek, halved and cut into 1″ pieces (be sure to wash really well) 1/4 cup diced onions 2 Tbsp diced peppers 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/4 kosher salt few grinds of freshly ground black pepper Pinch of dried basil leaves ½ tsp butter 2 eggs, beaten 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese (approximately) torn into smaller pieces
Heat olive oil on medium heat in a large frying pan and add mushroom, onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms have released their water and it has dried back up again. (7-8 minutes?) Add the butter, leeks and seasonings and saute for another 5 minutes.
Once leeks have softened up a bit, turn the heat way down. After a few minutes stir in the beaten eggs and start folding and gently stirring. Once eggs are mostly cooked, add cheese and continue folding and stirring until cheese is mostly melted. Check seasoning and serve immediately.
I bumped into Artisan Bread with Steve on Youtube when I was looking for new bread recipes, and have been pretty addicted ever since. I am especially crazy about his turbo loaf that you bake in a cast iron skillet – since it’s ready in about 3 hours from start to finish – and has wonderful texture and flavor.
I love Steve’s videos: they’re very helpful, to the point and not video extravaganzas. He’s just a real guy baking great bread. Just look for Artisan Bread with Steve on youtube. He actually has a website, too: nokneadbreadcentral.com and has published couple of cookbooks that would be agreat Christmas gift for anyone who is interested in easy homemade bread.
I am including basic bread with sesame seeds that we really like, but you can add anything you like to the bread: chopped olives and rosemary, chopped walnuts and honey, or Feta with dill or whatever you can imagine*. I add lighter items like herbs and sesame seeds right at the start, and heavier things like cheese and olives after the first rise.
I also use Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s trick of tossing in a handful of ice cubes on the bottom of the oven at the start of baking to add a little steam.
13 oz warm water 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt 1 1/4 tsp yeast 3 1/2 cups flour (Steve uses bread flour, but I’ve had great luck with AP flour, too) 1/4 cup sesame seeds divided (optional)
Warm a medium-sized metal bowl with fairly hot water for a few minutes. Then dump the water and add 13 oz. warm water, salt, yeast and about 1/2 the sesame seeds. Stir just a bit with the handle of a wooden spoon.
Add flour and stir with the handle of the wooden spoon until all the dry flour is gathered up in a nice shaggy mess. If you need to, add a spoon or so of water to help gather eveyrthing up.
Cover with a clean towel and put in the oven with the oven light on. Let rise for 90 minutes. Make sure your oven rack is in the middle.
Uncover and stir again with the wooden spoon handle to collapse the dough a little.
Once the dough is reduced, sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds over the dough and around the edges. Turn the dough around to get sesame seeds everwhere. Then do the same thing with a spoon of flour if desired.
Spray your cast iron skillet with cooking oil, and place the loaf in the skillet. Cover with a cloth and let it rise for 15 minutes on the counter. After 15 minutes, start preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Let rise 15 more minutes.
Put skillet in hot oven, toss a handlful of ice cubes to the bottom of the oven and let bake for 40 minutes. So good and so easy!
*If you’re adding other ingredients, add them after the first rise. Just flatten the dough in the bowl and evenly sprinkle 1/4 of whatever you’re adding over it. Then just fold the dough over and repeat the process until you’ve used everything up.
This is a tangy and delicious cabbage and noodle main dish salad, based on Hannah Che’s recipe from The Vegan Chinese Kitchen Cookbook. It’s perfect for a late summer evening supper, because it’s easy, super fast and has a dressing that is unbelievably good – plus it’s gluten-free and vegan. If you can’t get Napa cabbage, Romaine lettuce works, too.
INGREDIENTS 1/2 head Napa cabbage, cut in half lengthwise 1 small cucumber, seeds removed and julienned, or cut into little bite sizes 1 tsp kosher salt
1 medium carrot, julienned 1 scallion, cut into 1/8″ rounds (both white and green part) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro 1/4 chopped cashews or peanuts 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded, halved and cut into thin slices
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce 3 Tbsp rice vinegar (cider vinegar would also be fine, I think) 1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce (or Hoisin Sauce for a vegan version) 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar 2 1/2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
Cut cabbage lengthwise a few times, then cut very thin slices. Add cabbage and cucumber into a colander and toss with the salt. Leave to drain.
Start water boiling in a small saucepan, add noodles and cook 5-10 seconds. Drain and rinse with cool water. Cut noodles into smaller sections with a scissors. If you are using other noodles, cook as directed on the package, then drain and rinse with cool water. You want to end up with about 1 1/2 cups cooked noodles.
Mix dressing ingredients well in a small bowl. Taste and add more soy sauce if you think it needs it. Add dressing to noodles and toss to combine.
Gently press cabbage and cucumber to remove some of the water. You can also squeeze it gently in your hand. Place in a large bowl, and add noodles, carrots, scallions and cilantro. Toss in a large bowl and top with nuts.
With all the great fresh veggies available right now, we’ve been eating lots of salads. Having a warm element in a salad some how makes it feel like a main dish, and tonight it was Spinach and cheese Tortellini.
That contrast of temperatures, textures and colors takes an ordinary salad to something really quite amazing. I also had some lovely baby radishes from my friend Gene, so with a good drizzle of my favorite balsamic vinaigrette, it was a perfect summer supper!
1/2 lb. fresh Tortellini (any kind) 1 tsp olive oil Good pinch kosher salt Few grinds of freshly ground black pepper pinch of garlic powder
1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved sharp cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes (about 1/4 cup) 8-10 baby radishes, halved (if larger, quartered)
I am practicing making Vietnamese and Thai Spring Rolls and once I’ve got it truly mastered, I’ll add the recipe. But I have to share this Peanut Dipping Sauce now, because it is just so good.
We’ve been using it as a dipping sauce for baby cucumbers and carrot sticks and it is absolutely irresistible.
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled 2 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar (apple cider vinegar is fine, too) 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce 4 pieces of palm sugar (about 3 Tbsp) or 2 1/2 Tbsp brown sugar 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil 1/3 cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy – both are fine) Warm water as needed
In a large mortar and pestle, start by smashing the garlic cloves. Add vinegar, soy suce and palm sugar, and stir, crushing the palm sugar until it’s mostly broken down. Or just add the brown sugar.
Add sesame oil and peanut butter and mix in the mortar bowl, until smooth and creamy. Add warm water a teaspoon at a time until the consistency is a thick but smooth sauce. Check flavorings and add a little soy sauce or sesame oil if it’s tasting too sweet.
Can keep refrigerated for a week. You may need to add a little more warm water to loosen it up after it’s been in the fridge overnight.
If you don’t have a large mortar and pestle, you can always crush the garlic and just mix everything in a small bowl.
Palm sugar adds a wonderful flavor, but if you can’t get it, just use a little less brown sugar. (Brown sugar is sweeter than palm sugar.)
This is a delicious dish that looks gorgeous, but is very easy and really ticks all the boxes for me! The eggplant gets all creamy and the cheese gets all melty, and the pesto gets all… pesto-ey. Well, you get the point.
1 large eggplant, stem end removed and sliced lengthwise in 1/2″ slices (save end pieces for another use) 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper 2 Tbsp Pesto 4-5 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/2″ slices (Any tomato is actually fine.) 1/2 cup grated Mozzarella 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper the sliced eggplants and place in a bowl, leaning on the edge so the water can run off a bit from the eggplant. Let drain for at least 15 minutes.
Lay the first slice of eggplant in a 9×12 baking dish. Spread about 2 tsp of Pesto on the first slice. Top with a layer of tomatoes, and sprinkle on a spoonful each of Mozzarella and grated Romano. Slide the layer over until it is at an angle leaning on the side of the dish.
Repeat for the second layer, sliding eggplant over to partially overlap the first layer.
Continue with all remaining slices of eggplant. Sprinkle any remaining cheese on top.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Remove foil, and bake another 20 minutes.
I love French Toast. Don’t know why I don’t make it more often. Probably because Kumy is such a pancake guy. French Toast is honestly so easy that I’ve never written it down until now.
I also like using fruit with just a bit of of sugar, maple syrup or honey for sweetening. If the berries are really sweet, you may not need to add all the sugar. You can also substitute eggnog for the milk – it’s delicious – or you could just as easily use Oatmilk if you like.
Berries 1 Tbsp butter 2 tsp brown sugar or 1 tsp honey 1/2 cup blueberries or any other fresh berries
Mix eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a flat bowl or pie pan. Lay bread slices in the mixture, and flip them over. Let soak in for a few minutes, pushing down on them once in a while to make sure they soak up as much of the milk mixture as possible.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. You can add a little butter to the pan, but you really don’t need it with nonstick.
Place soaked bread in skillet, drizzling any leftover milk mix over. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it’s starting to get a bit golden underneath. Flip over and cook another 2 minutes, until it’s golden on the bottom and starting to get a little brown.
Remove French Toast to a serving plate.
Quickly add the butter and let it melt. Toss brown sugar over and stir for 10-15 seconds. Add blueberries and sauté blueberries in the sugar butter mixture for a minute. Pour berries and everything over the French Toast.