Posts Tagged ‘salad’

If you have never had wheat berries this is a great recipe to start with. Wheat berries are chewy, a bit nutty, and super yummy.

1 cup wheat berries
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
Juice of one orange
1 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup dried figs, chopped
2 large stalks celery, diced
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest, from 2 lemons
1/4 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Sea salt, and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

Put the wheat berries in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then turn the heat down to low and partially cover the pot. Cook for 45 minutes, or until the wheat berries are soft yet still chewy.

While the wheat berries are cooking, whisk the rice vinegar, orange juice, and honey together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and add the raisins and chopped figs. Turn off the heat and let the fruit steep in the juice and vinegar mixture.

When the wheat berries are tender enough to be chewed easily, drain them, then pour them into a large bowl with the celery. Toss with the olive oil and lemon zest. Add the vinegar and juice mixture, and all the fruit, and mix. Toss with the almonds, chopped parsley, and with the salt. Add pepper to taste.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Pesto Chicken

This recipe is adapted from what might be my new favorite cookbook. It’s called High Flavor, Low Labor by J.M. Hirsch. It’s full of mouth-watering recipes that were created for those time crunched weekday meals, but don’t mistake this for your typical “quick and easy” cookbook. You won’t find any processed foods in these recipes, he makes good use of super flavorful “real” ingredients, and some unique techniques to make super yummy meals a reality for the weekday dinner. This particular recipe simply requires some planning ahead.

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

red pepper flakes

1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts (about 1 full breast  – 2 halves)

about 1/2 cup flour

2-3 Tablespoons butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil

In a food processor, combine the garlic, olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, vinegar, Parmesan, and red pepper flakes. Pulse until well combined (but not completely smooth).

Transfer about half of the pesto to a glass baking dish. Cover the remaining pesto and refrigerate until ready to use.

One at a time, lay each chicken breast on the counter and carefully slice across the center horizontally to create 2 thin halves (you want them to be about 1/4 inch thick – if not then place them between sheets of plastic wrap and whack’em with a heavy skillet until they are about 1/4 inch thick).

Place the chicken in the baking dish with the pesto, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours.

When you’re ready to make dinner, place the flour in a wide shallow bowl (or on a plate). Lightly dredge each piece of pesto chicken through the flour, lightly coating both sides.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, combine the butter and olive oil, and heat until sizzling.  Fry the chicken a few pieces at a time until lightly browned on both sides.

I chose to serve this yummy pesto chicken on top of a salad dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. YUM!

It is also really good over pasta that has been mixed with some of the leftover pesto.

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This was one of my favorite meals this week, and my new favorite soup.  The night started off rough when I realized I didn’t get everything I needed for the recipe, so I started substituting and winged it. It turned out very good! The recipe is adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, which is a great “real food” type cookbook (plus it’s all gluten-free, and dairy- free).

2-3 pound turkey breast, skin on, bone in

1 large onion, quartered

1 large carrot, cut into large chunks

3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks

1/2 bunch parsley

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 springs fresh thyme

5 whole peppercorns

1 Tbsp salt

8 cups water

Place all ingredients into a large 8-quart stockpot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 hours. Once turkey is done, remove and chop into bite size pieces. Saving the broth for the soup.

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 large carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

2-3 cups chopped cabbage

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped

In another 6 or 8- quart pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the carrots and celery about 5 minutes, add the cabbage, thyme and sage. Saute about 1 minute.  Strain the turkey broth into the pot and bring to a simmer, add the turkey and stir in the parsley.

Spinach Salad with Pecans and Dried Cherries

1 cup pecans

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp Dijon mustard

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375F. In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together then place on a baking sheet or pie plate. Bake for about 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and then remove from baking sheet and place on a plate to cool.

8 ounces baby spinach

1/2 cup dried cherries

3 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Place salad into a large bowl, add pecan and cherries.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup and Dijon mustard, pour over salad and season with salt and pepper, toss well.

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Bean and Pasta Soup

This recipe is typically called pasta e fagioli, one of Italy’s most popular soups,  it is adapted from The Art of Simple Food.

1 cup dried cannellini beans, soaked overnight

olive oil

1/2 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

pinch of red pepper flakes

4 fresh sage leaves, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

one can whole tomatoes, chopped

2 cups cooked pasta (I used rotini)

Put the beans in a large pot and cover with water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until beans are tender but not falling apart.

In the meantime, heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Saute the onions, carrot, celery, pepper flakes, and sage for about 15 minutes.  Add the garlic, cook for a few minutes, then add the tomatoes. Cook for another 5- 10 minutes, then add the beans with enough of the  bean liquid to cover. Cook until the beans are very tender.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve over the cooked pasta. 

I served this with a simple mixed green salad.

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I love pizza, well, I love my pizza. I haven’t had one out that I liked as much.  I like a thick chewy crust with lots of tomato sauce and not too much cheese.  Most places are skimpy with the sauce, put way too much cheese on top and serve thin crust. Some of my favorite toppings include sautéed mushrooms and bell peppers, broccoli, and seasoned tofu (a co-op that I used to work for in AZ made the BEST vegan pizza). Tonight we had a simple pizza, just mozzarella, local pork sausage and goat cheese(local as well).  The crust recipe is a compliation of many recipes I’ve tried over the years. The sauce recipe comes from Table for Two by Joanne Stepaniak, it is simple and yummy!

The Crust

1/2 c whole wheat flour

1 tsp sugar

1 packet active yeast

1/2 cup warm water (read the yeast packet if you’ve never done this)

Combine in a large mixing bowl, and let stand for 15 minutes.

In the meantime…..

1 cup unbleached flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp salt

Combine in another smaller bowl.  After the 15 minutes, add this to the yeast mixture along with…

1/2 cup warm water

1 tsp olive oil

You can knead this right in the bowl, adding more flour (either kind) as needed.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot for about an hour.

The Sauce

1 14 oz can diced or whole tomatoes (Muir Glen Fire Roasted are great!)

5 Tbsp tomato paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp olive oil

2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp basil

Place everything in a medium-large sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes (while the dough is rising), stirring occasionally.

The Pizza

Gather your toppings (shred your cheese, cook the sausage, chop the veggies-whatever you plan to put on top).

Turn the dough out onto a clean board or clean counter top and roll out to desired thickness. Sprinkle some cornmeal onto the baking sheet and place the dough on top. Spread the sauce evenly all over the pizza. Top with cheese then the rest of the toppings.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese starts to brown.


I served this with a simple salad of mixed greens and tomatoes.

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