Posts Tagged 'lime'

Red Quinoa Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

After spending the weekend eating, drinking, and socializing in San Francisco, my to-do list was not looking very fun…

but I was REALLY excited to get back into the kitchen. Unfortunately for me, the cupboards were a little bare, so I knew a big shop was in order. I made my meal plan for the week, wrote up a grocery list, and grabbed tons of washed and ready-to-re-use jars and containers and headed to the co-op. I ADORE this place!

Bulk bins full of any grain, legume, and flour you could possibly want, an entire wall of different spices, and a great selection of soap and beauty products. Plus you can bring all your own containers and really cut down on your packaging consumption (Mike and I are obsessed with this concept right now).

The pantry staples I bought this week:
– Red Lentils
– Red Quinoa (for the first time ever!)
– Garbanzo beans
– Garbanzo flour
– Whole spelt flour
– Agave syrup
– Pumpkin seeds
– Nutritional yeast
– Millet

I was excited to try red quinoa for the very first time, and this recipe from Sassy Radish looked like a winner. I was a little dubious about the dried fruit, but it ended up being a subtle sweetness that played perfectly off the vinaigrette. I subbed pumpkin seeds for pine nuts and absolutely LOVED it. I think I’ll be buying a lot more red quinoa (which I probably couldn’t tell apart from regular quinoa in a blind taste test, but it’s really pretty!)

For a little extra protein, I heated up some black beans with onions, chipotle, and baby spinach and served it on the side.

Recipe:
(adapted from Sassy Radish)

1 1/2 cups red quinoa
3 cups water
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
3/4 cup dried fruit, diced (I used a mix of dried apricots and cherries)
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1 clove garlic, finely minced
zest of 2 limes
3 tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp finely minced shallot
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the quinoa and boil for about 15 minutes, or until the water is almost completely absorbed. Turn the heat off and cover with the lid for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients.

Toss the quinoa, bell pepper, dried fruit, and pumpkin seeds together, then mix in the dressing.

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Lemon-Lime Bars with Gingersnap Crust

The guys who put together the awesome dessert book Baked are completely right when they say “curd is an ugly word for a delicious dessert.” Why is this magical, velvety, citrusy better-than-pudding substance called something that sounds so gross?

The guys who put together Baked are also not afraid of EXTREMELY rich desserts, and while I admire that, I also get a tiny bit panicked when I see that a recipe calls for eleven egg yolks. ELEVEN! I am not afraid of butter or sugar, and I will happily use cream, but for some reason eleven egg yolks seemed excessive, so I scaled it down a bit and I don’t think anyone missed those 5 extra yolks.

After last week’s gingerbread cupcakes with lemon cream cheese frosting I decided the lemon-ginger combination doesn’t occur enough in my life, so instead of the graham crackers called for in the crust, I used gingersnaps and I definitely think that was the right decision! These are incredibly rich, but sometimes life just calls for incredibly rich dessert.

Recipe:
(adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

crust
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
2 cups gingersnap crumbs (pulse about 20 gingersnaps in the food processor)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

lemon-lime curd
6 egg yolks
5 large eggs
1 3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp grated lime zest
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened and sliced 1″ thick
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 300 F. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and toast for about 8 minutes or until golden.

Stir together the gingersnap crumbs, coconut, sugar, and butter, and pat evenly into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9″ baking dish. Bake for about 12 minutes, then remove and let cool completely before adding filling.

To make the filling, turn the oven up to 325 F. Combine the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lime juice, lemon zest, and lime zest in a large, clean saucepan. Whisk to combine, then set over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is 180 F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened butter and cream until smooth. Pour through a mesh sieve into the cooled crust, then gently tilt the pan so the curd covers the crust evenly. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Put the pan on a wire rack to cool to room temperature, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours before cutting into squares to serve.

Lime Cilantro Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans

This is kind of a random dish, but it’s beautifully simple and adaptable. I could see using it in a burrito or taco or sprinkling the cold leftovers over salad greens, and of course it’s divine eaten warm, just after it’s been made. My mom emailed me the link to the original recipe, because she’s living in New Zealand, where apparently they eat lots of sweet potatoes. The black beans are my addition, because I think they’re such a perfect match for sweet potatoes, and they elevate this from side dish status to light main course.

It may not exactly be the perfect dish for summer because it requires a hot oven, but it still tastes nice and fresh, and with so few ingredients and minimal prep work, it’s a good dish to keep in the rotation. It’s also really healthy! Black beans are a great source of fiber, sweet potatoes provide Vitamin A, and lime juice keeps you from getting scurvy. Awesome.

Recipe:
(adapted from Epicurious)

3 tbsp olive oil
3 medium sweet potatoes (I guess they’re actually yams? The ones that are orange inside…), diced
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 cans), rinsed and drained
juice of 2 limes
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp salt, divided
pinch or two cayenne
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silpats.
Toss the diced sweet potatoes with oil and 1/2 tsp of salt and spread evenly on the prepared baking sheets.
Bake about 20 minutes (time will depend on the size of the sweet potato pieces), or until tender. Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, whisk the lime zest, lime juice, remaining salt, and cayenne together in a large bowl. Add the black beans and sweet potatoes (after cooling slightly) and toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro, toss again, and serve.

Broccoli-Avocado Pasta

Pasta normally just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t particularly care for Italian restaurants, and I’ve never been that into creamy Alfredop-type sauces. This recipe, however, won me over for two reasons: avocado and lime.

It seems like far too often, pasta dishes rely on the same basic flavors (tomato, basil, parmesan) over and over. But this recipe is a little different. Lots of garlic, white wine, red pepper flakes, lime juice and zest, and avocado. It’s awesome. It’s also pretty simple to put together – just have the pasta boiling on one burner while you mix up the sauce on another, then combine it all in the end and toss with big pieces of avocado. I cut a big zucchini up into pasta-like ribbons to increase the vegetable content, but that’s definitely optional if you don’t like zucchini or don’t have any on hand.

Recipe:
(adapted from Veganomicon)

8 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
3 cups broccoli florets
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp lime zest
juice of one lime (1-2 tbsp)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 large zucchini, cut into long, thin ribbons
2 avocados, cut into bite-sized pices

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go.
Once the water is boiling, add the pasta. When the pasta has one minute of cooking time left, you’ll be adding the broccoli.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, garlic, lime zest, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the broth, lime juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir in the zucchini and cook, stirring, until it is soft. Turn the heat down to a simmer.

Add the broccoli to the pasta, cook for one minute, then drain. Toss the pasta and broccoli in with the zucchini and sauce, and cook for about 3 minutes (make sure everything is well-coated). Transfer to a serving bowl and toss with the zucchini and some more black pepper.

Papaya Salad (Som Tam)

I’m a fraud. I tell people I’m vegetarian but I still eat fish sauce, and I probably always will. I just can’t imagine the rest of my life without eating things like this salad, and they would NOT be the same without that pungent liquid that so many people can’t stand.

I wasn’t always so into fish sauce. The first time we went to Thailand, the smell was so overpowering I swore I’d never eat anything that contained it. But then I realized that the flavor it adds just can’t be matched. Yes, it stinks and it is pretty in-your-face fishy, but in small doses it’s downright close to perfection.

Besides, I gave up meat because I hate all the hormones and drugs and inhumane factory farming practices that seem to be rampant in this country. I realize fish products aren’t entirely without controversy, but I’m okay with being 99% vegetarian. If I ever find vegetarian fish sauce (I know it’s out there) I’ll probably try it, but in the mean time, I’m just going to stick to my slightly fraudulent proclamation of vegetarianism. (And no, I won’t call myself pescatarian because I don’t eat fish. Just fish sauce.)

I think I ate this stuff just about every day when we were in Thailand. There’s just something so alluring about the fresh crunch of the green papaya, the hot-salty-sour-sweet dressing, and the cool smoothness of tomato that I will never get tired of. I like to make it so spicy it brings tears to my eyes, but you can definitely scale way back on the chiles. This is one of those recipes that can be tweaked so it’s just how you like it – taste as you go and adjust the fish sauce, lime, and sugar accordingly.

I make mine in a large wooden mortar and pestle that we brought back from Thailand, and I definitely think that’s the best way to do it, but I’ve given directions for people who don’t have one, because they aren’t exactly a common sight in most American kitchens (and they take up a ridiculous amount of counter space). I think palm sugar (which you can find in little round cakes in Asian grocery stores) is best – just whack away at the little cake with a cleaver til you have about 1 tbsp – but of course white sugar is an acceptable substitute.

If you have a box grater, that should work to shred the green papaya. If you want to be just like the lady that made the best papaya salad I ever had (in Bangkok), use a cleaver in your right hand while holding the papaya in your left (I don’t know how she still has all her fingers). If you can find one of these, buy it immediately; it’s my favorite way to create long, even pieces:

Recipe:
2 cloves garlic
as many Thai chiles as you like (substitue: a serrano or two)
1 tbsp palm sugar (substitute: granulated sugar)
1/2 lime
10 green beans, cut into 1″ lenghts
1 roma tomato, diced
3 cups shredded green papaya
1-2 tbsp fish sauce (essential!)
2 tbsp chopped peanuts

If you have a large wood mortar and pestle: Cut the 1/2 lime into about eight pieces. Mash the garlic, chiles, lime, and sugar together until nicely mixed. Add the green beans and tomatoes, and mash a few more times. Stir in the green papaya and fish sauce, and pound about a dozen more times, stirring in between so everything is mixed well. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve topped with chopped peanuts. (You can remove the lime peels if you want, or people can just eat around them)

If you don’t have a large wood mortar and pestle: Juice the 1/2 lime. Finely chop the chiles and garlic and mix with the sugar. Stir in the lime juice and fish sauce and set aside. Toss the shredded papaya with the green beans and tomatoes, then add the lime juice mixture and toss well. Taste and adjust seasonings, then serve topped with chopped peanuts.



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