Blueberry Banana Chunk Muffins

Adapted from Allrecipes.com

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or more all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (these are less sweet than typical muffins – add 1/4 cup more to make them sweeter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup any type of oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2 bananas, cut into chunks

Crumb Topping (optional)
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1.5 teaspoons cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and grease muffin tins or line with muffin liners.
  2. In a small bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl make the topping: Mix all the ingredients together and use a fork to smash and incorporate the butter or use your fingers to smash it all together.
  4. In a measuring cup for wet ingredients — First add the oil and then add the egg. Next, add only enough milk to fill the cup, (approximately 1/3 cup milk – the idea is to add only one cup of liquid to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  5. Fold in the blueberries and bananas. Pour into the muffin tins all the way to the top.
  6. Sprinkle with topping.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. If they appear to be done, insert a toothpick into the center. If it doesn’t come out clean, check again in 5 minutes.
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3 Bean Salad

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces (canned works too)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 white or red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños
Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Directions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Set up a large bowl of ice water. Add the green beans to the pot and cook until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain and plunge the green beans into ice water. Drain again.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss well. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes or overnight (the longer it sits the better); and toss again before serving.


Summer Gazpacho

Photo from lavenderandmacarons.com

Adapted from lavanderandmacarons

Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe tomatoes
  • 2 slices slightly stale bread (optional)
  • 1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bell pepper (or Anaheim Chile)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for a richer soup, use up to 1/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, apple cider, sherry vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, cucumber, red bell pepper.
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth and creamy but still with some texture.
  3. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
  4. Chill Gazpacho in a refrigerator for 30 minutes or serve at room temperature topped with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, chives and a drizzle of olive oil.


Swiss Bircher Muesli

My new favorite breakfast! Delicious Bircher Muesli is a Swiss recipe that precedes overnight oats. It’s basically the same thing, but almost always includes yogurt and grated apples. Traditionally, the oats are soaked overnight in apple juice, but I prefer to soak them in milk, along with all the other ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice
  • 1/4 cup apple, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 tablespoons golden r aisins
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds for topping.
  • Drizzle with honey (optional)

Mix all the ingredients in a jar or bowl. Top with pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. Allow to soak overnight or at least 3 hours.

Nutrition Facts (not including honey)
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 380 
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11 g18 %
Saturated Fat 3 g16 %
Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg2 %
Sodium 119 mg5 %
Potassium 481 mg14 %
Total Carbohydrate 58 g19 %
Dietary Fiber 8 g33 %
Sugars 30 g
Protein 20 g41 %
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 20 %
Calcium 32 %
Iron 22 %


Egyptian Barley Salad

Original recipe by Americas Test Kitchen.

When I made this I found it needed additional dressing than the recipe called for.

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups pearl barley (do not substitute hulled barley or hull-less barley)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • ¼ cup shelled pistachios, toasted and chopped coarse
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, cut into ½-inch cubes (¾ cup)
  • 6 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cook barley according to package instructions, as brands may differ; or try ATK’s instructions: Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Add barley and 1 tablespoon salt, return to boil, and cook until tender, 20 to 40 minutes. Drain barley, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

2. Whisk oil, molasses, cinnamon, cumin, and ½ teaspoon salt together in large bowl. Add barley, raisins, cilantro, and pistachios and gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread barley salad evenly on serving platter and arrange feta, scallions, and pomegranate seeds in separate diagonal rows on top. Drizzle with extra oil and serve.

Nutrition Facts: 280 calories, 10g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 41g carbohydrates, 7g protein, 7g fiber, 320mg sodium


Horseradish Coleslaw

Light, crisp, tangy horseradish coleslaw. My mom had a salad like this while visiting Prague recently and it’s become a new family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of Trader Joe’s Shredded Green and Red Cabbage with Orange Carrots
  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly grated black pepper, to taste

Directions

Add all the ingredients for the dressing into a jar and shake well; taste. If it’s too tart, add a teaspoon of mayonnaise, or a little more olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss.


Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Za’atar Oil

Recipe adapted from Milk Street’s Turkish Red Lentil Soup with Aleppo Pepper Oil

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoon salted butter (I use 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 medium yellow onion cut into 1/2 inch-dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils (picked over and rinsed)
  • 2 tablespoons long-grain white rice
  • 5 cups water
  • kosher salt

For Serving

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper (I use za’atar)
  • Chopped fresh mint leaves, to serve (optional)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve (optional)

Directions

  1. In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. I like to use an immersion blender to puree the soup. I also like to boil it down until it is thickened a bit.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper or Za’atar and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  4. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper or za’atar oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.

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DIRECTIONS

In a large saucepan over medium, melt the butter. Once it has stopped foaming, add the onion then sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste, paprika and cumin, then sauté for 1 minute.

Add the lentils, rice, water and 2 teaspoons salt, then bring to a boil. Adjust heat to maintain a lively simmer, cover and cook until the lentils and rice are tender and broken down, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the olive oil, swirling to coat the pan. Add the Aleppo pepper and cook until a few bubbles appear and the oil is bright red. Remove from heat and set aside. Serve the soup with Aleppo pepper oil drizzled over each serving. Serve with mint and lemon wedges.


White Beans in Tomato Sauce

This is a very simple dish that comes together in 10 minutes. It’s my son’s absolute favorite meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (3/4 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce (preferably Hunts)
  • 2 cans cannellini, great northern, or navy beans (or 1.5 cups dried beans soaked overnight in a brine of 1.5 tablespoons kosher salt to 3 quarts water)

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium pot, Dutch oven or stovetop pressure cooker.
  2. Add onions, salt, and pepper and cook, partially covered, until the onions are completely soft, about 7 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add tomato sauce and beans and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you prefer the sauce to be thicker, uncover and simmer until desired consistency is reached. We like ours pretty saucy.
  5. Pressure cooker instructions: Sometimes, rather than using a regular pot, I’ll prepare this in my stovetop pressure cooker. I let it come to pressure for about 5 seconds and do a quick release. It’s amazing how much of an impact that makes on the final result.

Serve over rice.


Hearts of Palm & Avocado Salad

Somehow, without even trying, I ended up with a new family favorite salad. This clean-out-my-crisper-salad turned out so delicious, it deserves a recipe of its own.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red curly leaf lettuce (or endive)
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 1 Reed or Haas Avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 sweet onion, thinly shaved
  • 1 cup hearts of palm, thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Dressing

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Place ingredients for dressing in a mason jar and shake to combine, or whisk in a bowl.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the dressing.

Strawberry Salad with Shallot-Honey Vinaigrette

Recipe from All Recipes.

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz package baby spinach or mixed greens
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, quartered or sliced
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Place almonds, sugar and a pinch of salt in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar caramelizes, approximately 3 minutes.
  2. Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing.
  3. Add candied almonds and strawberries to lettuce and toss with dressing.