Posts tagged ‘cooking’

January 6, 2013

Curried Couscous with Roasted Cauliflower

Sometimes you just get bored with cooking with the same flavors… so I decided to spice things up a little and try something new. I made this dish as a side to Moroccan Lamb Sausages with Curried Lentil Dip (I like Ah!Zeefa brand). It turned out to be delish AND it’s pretty healthy!

What you’ll need

– 1 cup dried Whole Wheat Couscous

– 1 head Cauliflower, washed and chopped

– 1/2 Sweet Onion, diced

– 1/4 cup Dried Cranberries, chopped

– 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

– 1 tablespoon Curry Powder

– 1 teaspoon Honey

– 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

– 1 teaspoon Cumin

– 1 teaspoon Cayenne

– Sea salt and pepper to taste

 

Method

For Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 400. In a large baking dish, add cauliflower, onion, 1/4 tablespoon Curry Powder, 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne, 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, salt and pepper. Toss and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes or until Cauliflower is browned.

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For Couscous: While the Cauliflower is roasting, bring 1 cup of water & 1 dash of Olive Oil to boil. Remove from heat, add dried couscous and cover for 5-8 minutes. In a separate bowl, add dried cranberries, remaining olive oil, curry powder, cayenne, cumin, garlic powder, honey and 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well.

Add cooked couscous and roasted cauliflower, toss together and enjoy! 

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December 28, 2011

Gnashing Refined’s Seasonal Favorites

This Holiday season has flown by…. with baking, shopping, cleaning, and doing some holiday pampering…oy vey! But there are a few things that made this Holiday season most enjoyable. Each season brings a new set of favorites. Here are this season’s…..

  • Corn Pasta is quickly turning into my favorite pasta. It’s absolutely DELICIOUS (which is what’s most important), AND it’s GLUTEN FREE. I’ve eaten my fair share of brown rice pasta, and although it’s edible, it doesn’t always satisfy my pasta craving. I think corn pasta is going to be a popular food in the new year. This is a great pasta to whip up with some marinara and veggies, or oil and garlic with spinach. You can find corn pasta at Trader Joes.

  • Green Tea Latte’s are a great way to treat yourself to a delicious drink without having coffee. There is nothing more warming, or relaxing, than a warm green tea latte. Order yours with soy milk for a non-dairy treat! But beware, some places use melon syrups that add extra sweetness…. you can always order your drink with one (or no) pumps of syrup.

  • Amanda Skrip’s Creamy Black Bean Recipe is a great way to add some hearty, delicious beans to your diet. This recipe results in some seriously flavorful beans, that are mildly addicting. I plan on constantly having some in the fridge all winter long. (Check out Amanda’s blog, it has so much more deliciousness to offer.)

 

  • Mistos’ are an awesome way to flavor food with oil and vinegar without overdoing it. Releasing the perfect amount of oil for cooking, I use my olive oil Misto daily. Mistos’ are also great for cookouts and camping. Additionally, these make a great affordable gift for the fellow cook.

 

  • An order from Door-to-Door Organics makes my life sooo much easier, and  much more nutritious. If you have a hard time finding quality produce at your local grocery store, or if you’d like to begin to enjoy a wide variety of fruit and veggies, door-to-door is the way to go. During summer I love going to the farmer’s market, but often miss that freshness throughout winter. With weekly and bi-weekly subscription options, and a variety of size options, each week has a new menu of organic goodies to offer. If you don’t like something on the weekly menu, no worries, you can sub-out items for other fresh produce.

 

 

I hope you all continue to have a joyous, and relaxing holiday season. Happy New Year!!

September 22, 2011

Rick Bayless’s Pollo Pulquero (Slow- Cooked Chicken with Tomatillos, Potatoes, and Jalapenos) with Corn Salsa

As a chicagoan, anthropologist, and foodie, I have mad respect for Rick Bayless.  With his educational background in Anthropology, Rick Bayless really gets the importance of connecting ingredients with culture, incorporating new ideas, and making home-style Mexican cooking accessible. I got this recipe from Rick Bayless’s “Mexican Everyday”. This recipe for Pollo Pulquero stood out to me for a few reasons: Slow cooked meat is one of my favorite ways to have meat, the flavors sounded simple and delicious, and it was a recipe that I could easily make around my schedule. This is a great recipe to make before you leave for work, or prep the night before. And let me tell you, the aromatics from this will make your home smell amazing. Of course I had to add my own personality to the recipe, and decided to add some lime to the slow-cooker to bring a citrus flavor. I also decided to serve this with some corn salsa, as it adds a nice sweetness and texture to the meal. I promise if you give this a try, you will not be disappointed!

Pollo Pulquero:

1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4 inch think rounds

2 medium baking potatoes (Bayless calls for red skin, or yukon gold potatoes but I had some baking potatoes and they worked great, you could even use something like purple potatoes, which would work great as well)

4 (or around one pound) skinned chicken thighs*

1 cup cilantro leaves

8-12 Medium Tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and slices 1/4 inch thick

2 tablespoons jalapeno pickling juice

2 diced pickled jalapenos

Half of a lime

Sea salt

This slow-cooker recipe is all about layering. I started with the potatoes on the bottom, then chicken (skin down), cilantro, onions, and tomatillos. Once layered, I poured the pickling juice on top, squeezed lime juice and added the diced jalapenos on top. Be sure to salt between each layer, as this is the only salt in the dish. I set my slow-cooker on low for 8 hours, but Bayless calls for 6 hours on high. Once cooked, I spooned out the extra juice and decided to put it in a small pot and simmer it down a little. The juice is mostly the fat from the chicken skin, but adds some more flavor. Utilizing this juice is purely optional.

Ingredients layered in Slow Cooker

*Bayless’s recipe calls for skinless thighs but my store only had skinned and I thought it would add some great flavor. You can also use pork shoulder  or beef chuck, but Bayless suggests staying away from leaner cuts as they’ll dry out.

Cooked Pollo Pulquero (before excess juice has been removed)

Quick Corn Salsa:

3 ears fresh corn

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and diced

7 grape tomatoes, quartered

Fresh cilantro.

Fresh lime juice.

Sea salt.

Boil corn ears until tender but not too soft. While corn is boiling, chop jalapeno, tomatoes, and cilantro and place in bowl.  Once corn is cooked and cooled, cut corn off of the ear and add to bowl. Add lime juice and salt. Toss mixture.

Plate a chicken thigh and scoop of potato, onion, tomatillo. Add sauce reduction (optional). Top with fresh corn salsa.

Pollo Pulquero with Corn Salsa

The great thing about this recipe is that it’s flexible. If you only have sweet potatoes and chicken legs, you can still give this a try and it’d come out great! There is no easy way to fail at this. If you’re looking for more easy, delicious, flexible Mexican recipes, I encourage you to get some of Rick Bayless’s books and start testing things out.

Gnash On! 🙂

September 4, 2011

Browned Chicken Legs and Feta Orzo with Roasted Red Pepper Salsa

Hey All,

I have spent the last couple of weeks out of the kitchen and traveling around the U.S. The break from the kitchen has been nice, especially with the summer heat, but I am happy to be back! Within the last week or so, I have been trying to do a lot of brainstorming for recipes. This one, yet to be refined, is one of my recent creations. I started with the Roasted Red Pepper salsa and worked from there. Chicken legs are delicious and fairly inexpensive (even organic chicken legs), making for a great source of protein to add to your meal. I had some orzo and feta cheese in the house and I just thought I’d throw together a dish with light fresh flavors.

Browned Chicken Legs:

1-1.5 lb Organic chicken legs

Onion powder, garlic power, sea salt and pepper.

0.5 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup white wine

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Method: Cover chicken legs with spices.  Heat pan on high. Once pan is completely hot add chicken beasts. Brown each side. Add white wine and let simmer. Once wine has simmered add chicken broth and brush chicken with balsamic vinegar. Cook throughly until internal temp reaches 170.

Feta Orzo:

1 cup Orzo or Arborio Rice

1.5 cups water or chicken broth

1 tsp butter

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup crumbled feta

1/4 squeezed lemon

Chopped Fresh Basil.

pepper.

Method: Combine orzo, broth/water, and butter. Bring to a boil. After boiling turn down to simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Bring off of heat and add lemon, feta, salt and pepper. Top with fresh basil.

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa:

0.5 can Roasted Red Peppers

1 small roma tomato

2 garlic cloves

hand full of cilantro

sea salt

pepper

1 tbs olive oil

Blended Salsa

Method: Add half jar Roasted Red Pepper to small processor. Chop. Add roughly chopped tomato and garlic cloves. Chop. Add oil, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Chop.

Plate orzo on bottom, add greens if desired (I tried mustard greens with this but they were simply too bitter), place leg on top, spoon salsa over chicken. Enjoy!

Finished Product

July 20, 2011

Quinoa Turkey Meatloaf

I know I know, Meatloaf isn’t a very summery dish, but this recipe is sure to please your summer senses. Meatloaf tends to be dry and sort of bland, but all that has changed here. I decided to use turkey, as it’s a bit lighter than beef, but still stays moist. The real key in here is the quinoa. For those who are on a diet, staying away from carbs, or follow a gluten free diet, quinoa is a great supplement to the traditional breadcrumbs. Hope you’re ready for one satisfying meal!

 

What you’ll need:

1/4 cup Quinoa

1/2 cup water

1 tsp oil

1lb ground turkey

1 small carrot, shredded (I use my peeler and then cut the strips down)

1 small red onion chopped finely

1 tbs ketchup

2 tsp mustard

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste.

 

Preheat oven at 350 (if it’s too hot to heat the oven try a toaster oven or the microwave).

Bring quinoa, half cup water and teaspoon of oil to a boil. Turn to low simmer until quinoa is fluffy. In a large bowl mix turkey, carrot, onion, ketchup, mustard, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add cooked quinoa and mix. Place mixture into bread sized pan and add canned tomatoes to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temp of 165 degrees. Let cool for 5 minutes, plate and gnash!

I served mine with some fresh midwestern corn! So good!