Archive for the ‘Salads’ Category

Quinoa and Broccoli(ni)
March 22, 2011

Salad? Side dish? Lunch? Check, check and check. Also easy, nutritious and scrumptious. And seeing Ivy finally loving broccoli was worth it at twice the effort. Broccolini was a bit of a revelation at our house, we adore it and eat it often.

1 small bunch broccolini or 1-2 stalks broccoli
1 small onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup quinoa (I used organic red and white this time)
2 cups chicken or veggie stock or water (or 1 cup of each)
small handful chopped fresh parsley
juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Steam the broccoli until tender, (the time will depend on the vegetable – I cook broccolini whole and chop it before adding it to the quinoa, whereas I divide the broccoli into florettes and peel and chop the upper part of the stem before putting it in the steamer. Just don’t overcook it – you lose nutrients and texture)

Rinse the quinoa well. Add it to the stock or water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 10 Р13 minutes, stirring occasionally  or until the liquid is absorbed and the grain is fluffy. When the quinoa is ready, transfer it into a large mixing bowl to cool.

Meanwhile chop the onion finely and sautée it gently in the olive oil in a small pan. When it smells good and sweet and has a bit of colour, add it, along with the parsley and the lemon to the quinoa. Mix and serve, garnished with the almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan. May I stress lightly toasted? They do not appear in this picture because they were uncooperative. Twice. Hence the lemon curl. But do you use them, they are a great finish for this lovely dish.

Keen Wha?

Yours will be even prettier.


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Soba Noodles with Anything Recipe
March 13, 2011

This one is a true family favorite. I make it when my mum comes, and otherwise, at least once a month. Once again folks, anything goes. I’ll give you the outline and you colour and whoever goes outside the lines the most is the winner. This can be as simple or as complex as you like. I called for chicken in the recipe, but use whatever protein you have kicking around, shrimp are excellent, pork, beef and/or tofu. This is also a perfect time to use up veggie odds and ends – anything you would normally use in a stir fry, which this is. Mine are green, white and orange just in time for St. Patties day, but that’s just because I’m a wee bit mad. Serves 2 1/2, with lots of left overs. Don’t be surprised to find members of the family standing before the fridge with a fork at all hours.

Prep time: 30 minutes top to tail, or more, depending on how fancy-pants you get.

3/4 cup frozen edamame 500 grams
(17 1/2 oz) soba noodles, approximately
2 tbs olive oil 2 tsp sesame oil
1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1/2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated finely
2-3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp water
1 large carrot, chopped
1 stalk broccoli, divided into small florets
1/2 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Boil up a very large pot of water. I immerse the edamame into the water in my metal colander or you can just dump them in and then take them off the heat and fish them out with a wire spider or slotted spoon when they’re done. Which is only a couple of minutes after they hit the water – if they are overdone they get mushy and gross – just think of bringing them from frozen to warm or, best idea (as always) TASTE them! Set aside.

Now add the soba to the boiling water. Again, you really don’t want to overcook them. So follow package directions and test them often. I don’t know if the ‘sticks to the ceiling’ test works for buckwheat pasta, but it’s fun for the kids. You however, must test with your teeth – al dente!

As soon as they are done drain them and rinse them with cold, cold water. Get those little fingers in there.

If you want to toast the sesame seeds, now’s the time, in a dry frying pan and keep them moving over medium heat until lightly browned.

In a wok or similar big pan, get the two oils good and hot. Toss in the chicken to brown, then remove and set aside. Now put the garlic and ginger in and once you can smell them, put in the soy sauce, water and the veggies. Stir-fry for a few moments before adding in the edamame and the chicken. When everything’s all nice and hot add in the stock and the soba. Use a couple of forks or spaghetti tongs to get everything all mixed together and piping hot. Squeeze in your lime juice and serve, garnished with sesame seeds.

Be sure to put the Sri racha (aka Rooster Sauce) or other hot sauce on the table (along with some lime wedges and chopped cilantro, you fancy pants) and enjoy.

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