Asparagus Fried Rice

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Today will be short and sweet so let’s start by jumping into a big bowl of fried rice. This dish is (almost) always a win in my book, but when we can load it with veggies and control the ingredients- even better!  Every so often I make some version of this using what produce I can find in my crisper and this time it was a lonely bunch of asparagus.  And an orange (??) bell pepper, some carrots and kale- a yummy combo which also make quite the enticing color palette.

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Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

Let’s just start by saying I absolutely adored this dish.  It’s hearty and filling and feels like a warm hug for your stomach.  Is that weird?  Didn’t think so.


Arborio rice is found in traditional risottos, but this isn’t your traditional risotto.  There’s no need to warm vegetable broth in a separate pot, ladle broth into the rice, stir and repeat.  Instead, pearled barley is used and this dish doesn’t require the the meticulous preparation and exact measurements as its Italian counterpart.  We just sauté the aromatics, add all the broth at once, toss in the barley, kale, tomatoes and seasonings and let the heat do it’s thing. Just a few stirs here and there. Done.  Easy peasy one pot dinner.

But! We can’t forget about the marinated feta.  Caraway seeds may not be something you have readily available in your pantry but I love them in here, so use them if you can!

I adapted this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem using what ingredients I had on hand.  The flavor profile remains in tact, though I added some kale for a pop of green, used leeks instead of celery and probably more tomatoes than originally called for.  Still tastes delicious.

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barley risotto with marinated feta

RECIPE

(serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1 tbs ghee/unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ¾ cup diced leeks
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 strips lemon peel
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes
  • ½-1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • scant 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I used Miur Glen’s fire roasted tomatoes- as always)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2-3 oz crumbly feta cheese

Rinse the pearl barley well under cold water and leave to drain.

Melt the butter and tablespoon on olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the leeks, shallot and garlic over gentle heat until soft, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the barley, kale, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chili flakes, salt, vegetable broth and tomatoes.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 45 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.  It is ready when the barley is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan for a couple of minutes.  Lightly crush them so that some whole seeds remain.  In a small bowl, combine the feta, crushed caraway seeds and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and gently mix to combine.

Once the risotto is ready, check the seasoning and add more salt if needed.  Divide into bowls and top each with the marinated feta, olive oil included.  To bulk up the protein, add some sliced chicken on top!  It’s delicious either way.

(adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem)

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Broccolette & Whipped Ricotta Pizza

I’m not sure if I can adequately profess my love for pizza.


Pizza in any form is pretty much irresistible, but how I adore those airy, crispy crusts that can only come from a wood-fired oven with just a smattering of the best ingredients.  A simple tomato, basil and olive oil pizza?  Yes, please.  Thinly sliced prosciutto, fresh mozzarella and a heap of peppery arugula on top?  Gimme gimme more.  There are only a few pizza places that have really captured my heart but unfortunately none of them are in my city.  So what do we do?  Naturally, we make our own.

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Soba Noodle Salad {with Kale, Brussels Sprouts & Tofu}

 

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These days, as most days since Noah arrived, getting things done takes much longer than usual.  Whether it be cleaning the kitchen (which is a NEVER-ending task), getting all the “fun” tasks around the house done or making dinner.  Or lunch.  And quite honestly I’ve just about given up on breakfast.  I thought the daily routine might get get a little easier as he got older, however a crawling, almost-walking, insanely curious toddler is a force to be reckoned with.  Yes, the day-to-day has gotten easier but simultaneously more difficult at the same time, if that even makes sense.

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Black Bean & Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Acorn Squash Sauce

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Right now I am loving this combination of black beans, sweet potatoes and kale in my enchiladas.  They’re filling without being over the top and the thick, silky smooth enchilada sauce makes them feel just a bit decadent.  Or maybe that’s the cheese.  Either way, these taste good and are good for you!

Enchilada sauce is normally red or green, using tomatoes or tomatillos, but I stumbled across this acorn squash recipe and fell in love.  It’s flavor is definitely different than what I’m used to but the change is certainly welcome and another way to sneak veggies into the dish.  Acorn squash is subtly sweet but the recipe calls for jalepenos and apple cider vinegar to round it out.

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