Posts Tagged 'shallot'

Mashed Potato Cakes with Broccoli and Shallots


I was planning on blogging a healthy dinner yesterday, but what I ended up making was kind of boring. There was nothing wrong with it…it just wasn’t exciting.

I think lime juice and cilantro would have helped it tremendously, but I didn’t have either of those things in the fridge. I roasted some butternut squash with smoked paprika, cooked some farro, and sauteed onions, bell peppers, and celery, then added black beans. Lots of healthy stuff, but not enough in the flavor department.

This on the other hand, was a lot better. I mashed up a bunch of red potatoes (with the skins still on) with a few white beans, added an egg, and baked it in little cakes. Then I topped them with roasted broccoli and shallots, cooked in butter with a little balsamic.

I’m SO glad I’m not the girl who avoids butter anymore. I don’t need to pull a Paula Deen and add a stick and a half to everything I make, but I’ve come to appreciate it so much more than a few years ago, when I was convinced eating it would instantly make me fat (but for some reason I didn’t worry about what the beer and late-night Taco Bell runs were doing to my figure. Logic fail.)

Hanging out with Ellie all day, every day this week is pretty awesome, but I’ve gotta say, I don’t know how stay-at-home moms do it. I love her, but the hours sort of dragged today (especially when she was fussy). I need to work on appreciating these moments though, because she is growing so fast. She has a whole new range of sounds and is trying so hard to talk! It’s pretty adorable.

I’m almost done with her stocking, and I’m glad I went for the tougher pattern. I was totally intimidated by wrapping and turning, and almost made a pattern that just used two regular needles, but I figured I should try and push myself to do something new, and it’s working out well. I only had to watch three different YouTube videos to make sure I was W&T-ing correctly…

I found the pattern on Ravelry and I love it!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:26]

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Bulgur and White Bean Salad with Tarragon

Once again the weekend went by WAY too fast, but at least it was a good one and I don’t feel like I wasted a moment of it! Here’s a little re-cap (which I promise WILL tie in with this recipe).

Saturday started VERY early at the National Science Teachers Association conference.

I went to a bunch of different presentations which all (obviously) revolved around teaching science. It was really inspiring and convinced me even more than I already was, that I’m in the PERFECT profession for me. That’s a good feeling.

After that Mike came into the city and we did some shopping. I am nowhere near ready to shop the maternity section yet, but I definitely need tops with a little more room. I’m still at that awkward “is it a beer belly or a baby?” stage, so I’d like to disguise it as much as I can. Mike had been talking all week about surprising me on Saturday night. He had a restaurant picked out but wouldn’t give me any clues about it until we arrived. He picked a winner!

Gracias Madre is a vegan, organic Mexican restaurant and it is AWESOME! I tried to take pictures of the food but it was dark inside, and nobody wants to see overly grainy, yellow pictures of unidentifiable food, so I’ll spare you. Their vegan Caesar was INSANE. Romaine in a perfect, creamy dressing with chunks of avocado and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. I kind of wanted to go stalk the open kitchen until I figured out the dressing, because it was so good. I also got mushroom enchiladas (good, but the mushrooms were over-salted and the tortillas were under the filling and sauce instead of wrapped around them, which was kind of weird). The mole was superb though… just the right amount of sweetness. They came with black beans and the BEST kale I’ve ever had. Ever. And I’ve eaten a fair amount of kale in my life. It was crisp but not undercooked, slightly spicy, and really garlicky. LOVE.

Usually after Mexican food I just feel bloated and gross, but even though I ate until I was pretty full, it was a satisfied and good full, not an I-need-to-put-on-sweatpants-immediately-or-I-will-pass-out full. It definitely helped that they didn’t bring chips to the table…

The time change kind of messed with me like it always does and I didn’t get started on my 18 mile run until 8:30 (SUPER late for a long run!) The highlight of the run? I saw some buffalo!

I have no idea why Golden Gate park has buffalo, but they do…enclosed in an electric fence AND a tall chain-link fence. The run was pretty awesome until about 15 miles. Then I started feeling kind of dizzy and weak, so I chugged a bunch of water and walked for a few minutes. I felt a lot better after my walk break, and my knee held up pretty well, so that was a plus. Boston is only 5 weeks away!

Between the run and the amazing vegan dinner, I realized I’ve been relying WAY too much on bread and cheese as staples lately, and I know I can do better for myself and my little parasite/fetus. So I need to make a lot more things like this. I mean, I still have a brownie recipe I’ll share later this week, and I made some pretty fabulous (but not so healthy) pizza on Friday night, but I’m going to try to get back to focusing on healthy, whole food vegetarian and vegan meals. Lets see how that goes…

This was the first time I think I’ve ever had fresh tarragon, and if you like fennel, you will love it! It has a slightly licorice-like flavor, and it really mixes nicely with the vinegar and shallots here. I love fine bulgur, because you don’t even need to cook it! Just give it about 15 minutes to soak and it’s ready. The recipe originally called for green lentils, but I really liked it with white beans instead. And the toasted walnuts are a must for both crunch and flavor! Mike made lettuce wraps with it, which looked pretty tasty.

Recipe:
(adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

2 cups cooked and drained white beans
1 cup fine bulgur
1 1/2 cups water
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted until fragrant
romaine leaves (optional)

Combine the bulgur and water in a medium bowl and set aside to soak for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Stir the vinegar and chopped shallot together in a small bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes.

Put the celery, carrot, and beans in a large bowl. Stir in the bulgur, shallot mixture, and tarragon and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over romaine if desired, topped with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts.

Nem Khao (Lao Crispy Rice Salad)

For some reason I’ve been feeling incredibly nostalgic about our Southeast Asia travels lately, so I’ve been cooking a lot of our favorites from there. I first had this salad in Chiang Mai, and wrote about it here.

Although I’ve read that it’s a Lao dish, I don’t remember seeing it in Laos, but it was pretty common in Chiang Mai and I also had it a few times in Bangkok. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to making it at home, because I adore it, and it’s actually pretty simple. You just mash up some spices, mix them with rice and form patties, fry them, then crumble them up.

Then you add these ingredients, toss with lime juice and fish sauce, and you’re ready to eat!

A well-stocked Asian grocery store should have everything you need. If you can only find dreid galangal, soak it in very hot water until it is soft before proceeding with the recipe.

Recipe:
(adapted from Chez Pim)

crispy rice patties
1 tbsp galangal, finely chopped
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped
3 tbsp lemongrass, finely chopped
3 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
2 cups cooked jasmine rice
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil

salad
3 tbsp finely sliced shallots
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp julienned fresh ginger
1/3 cup lime juice
4 cup of peanuts
6 dried red chiles (I used chiles de arbol) – use fewer if you don’t like spicy food
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
1 lime, cut into wedges

To make the rice patties:
Combine the galangal, chile, lemongrass, shallots, and garlic, and pound to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle.
Put the rice in a medium bowl, add the paste, egg, and fish sauce and mix well. Form the rice into 2″ wide, 3/4″ thick patties.
Heat the oil in a wide skillet over medium-high, and test a little bit of rice. As soon as you put the rice in the oil, it should begin to bubble right away. When the oil is ready, put in about half the patties, and fry for about 10 minutes, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a clean towel while you fry the remaining patties.

To make the salad:
Fry the chiles in the oil you used to cook the rice for about 15 seconds, making sure they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.
Break up the rice patties and place them in a bowl. Add about half the lime juice and the fish sauce. Crumble the fried chiles and add them. Toss in the ginger, shallots, cilantro, and peanuts. Mix well, then taste and add more lime juice and/or fish sauce if needed. Serve in bowls garnished with lime wedges

Gado Gado (Indonesian Rice Salad)

I know spring has really started when my allergies go crazy, and this week, the fun began. I never had any allergy issues until I moved here, but now they show up right around my birthday every year, giving me really attractive red eyes and an awesome nasal-y voice. After about a week, I usually have so much congestion that I can’t really taste my food. And of course, nothing really works (I’ve tried pretty much every allergy drug there is).

So since I know that’s coming, I wanted to make something really flavorful and healthy, with lots of different textures. This is not only beautiful to look at thanks to all the different colors, it’s also loaded with nutrients. I am sure this peanut sauce isn’t totally authentic, because I looked up an Indonesian recipe and the real stuff has tamarind, lime, and coconut. But authentic or not, I love all the raw vegetables and the fragrant turmeric rice. The most crucial part is the crispy shallots on top. I know frying isn’t healthy, but it’s just a little bit, and the flavor and little crunch is absolutely worth it.

I diced up some of Trader Joe’s High Protein Tofu (extra firm) for protein, but if you eat meat, I think shredded or diced chicken would work well. The recipe also suggests diced hard-boiled eggs, which I could see being pretty good too.

Recipe:
(adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen)

serves 4-6

2 cups brown rice
3 1/2 cups water
1 tsp turmeric

6-8 cups washed, roughly chopped spinach
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
3 carrots, shredded
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 block high protein tofu, diced

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp sugar or evaporated cane juice
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/3 cup warm water

2 tbsp oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced and separated into rings

First make the rice, by combining the water, rice and turmeric in a rice cooker or by cooking on the stove.

Once the rice is cooked, fluff with a fork.

To make the peanut dressing, combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside

To make the crispy shallots, heat the oil in your smallest frying pan. When hot, add the shallots and stir occasionally until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.

To assemble each salad: Put down a bed of spinach (1-1 1/2 cups). Top with about 1/2 a cup of rice. Top the rice with some cabbage, carrot, tomato, and tofu, then pour some dressing over that and sprinkle with the shallots.



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