Showing posts from July, 2016

Spicy Celery and Parsley Pesto

Celery is a very versatile vegetable. It seamlessly goes from a crunchy raw snack to a brilliant stock ingredient to the star of a delicious puree. Parsley and celery are from the same family and complement each other really well. That's the magic behind this particular pesto. The acid from white vinegar helps everything to pop. Oregano and sage work well with the celery and parsley to add more depth. As usual, there's some heat to round things out. Try this pesto as a salad dressing, a sandwich enhancer, over pasta, rice,  or use it as a condiment on any dishl that needs a little more moisture, flavor or kick. It's got a gorgeous green color and an assertive punch of flavor. The blender does all the work. You just enjoy the results. 2 cups celery chopped with at least 1/2 cup leaves 1 cup fresh parsley chopped 1/4 cup red onion sliced or chopped 3 cloves garlic peeled 2-3 jalapeno pepper ribs with seeds 1/3 cup white vinegar 1/4 cup pickle brine 1 tbl

Red Wine Lentil and Barley Stew

When foods are of a similar color it can indicate that they contain similar compounds which account for that color. Foods of a like nature often complement each other when paired in recipes. Celery and parsley for instance. They are from the same family and work well in combination. Also red onion and red wine. Together they amp up each other's flavor potential. This red wine lentil and barley stew makes use of these nature food pairings to create a lot of flavor without a lot of fuss. Ingredients Skins and ends from one medium red onion Flesh from 1/2 same onion 1/3 cup dry red wine 2/3 cup celery, equal parts flesh and leaves 1/2 cup fresh parsley 7 cloves garlic 1 tbl butter 1/2 cup dry lentils 1/2 cup dry pearl barley 2-3 cups water Salt and pepper 2 tsps hot sauce Red pepper flakes, sage, oregano, garlic powder, chili powder Add water, wine, butter, onions, half the celery, half the garlic, salt and pepper to a large sauce pot. Uncovered bring to a boil and

Curried Chickpea Salad (Vegan)

I was inspired by a recipe I saw on Yahoo that was a chickpea based salad. It was mostly full of ingredients that I don't really like, but basing an entree around one of my favorite beans sounded great. I also had a lime in my fridge which I was hoping to utilizie. My first thought was olives. I used to eat a Campbell's product that was basically chickpeas and olives in a tomato curry. I really like it a lot. Apparently no one else did. Because after about 4 months it was nowhere to be found. So olives and chickpeas. From there the wheels turned effortlessly. Ingredients 1 can Chickpeas rinsed 1 cup cooked rice 1 can sliced Black Olives drained 5-7 Cloves Garlic thinly sliced 1/2 medium Red Onion in small slices Jalapeno and or Serrano minced Zest and juice from 2 limes 2 tbls  Hot sauce 2 tsp Olive Oil 2 tbls pickle brine Cumin, Coridander, Turmeric, Paprika, Cayenne, Garlic Powder, Basil, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 2 tbls Sesame Seeds (Toasted are better)

Aldi Black Bean Burgers (Season's Choice)

I tried Aldi's own brand of veggie burger. I opted for the chipotle black bean variety. For $2.49 I figured why the hell not give it a chance. It's in the frozen section near the real meats. It has 150 calories, which seems a little high, but not terribly so. The ingredients aren't too bad. First two are black beans and brown rice. So that's good. The rest are mostly unoffensive. It didn't appear to contain eggs for those who are trying to avoid chicken abortions. It is processed in a plant where eggs, milk and fish are also processed. It was a little greasy. Nothing off putting, but it was noticeable. I think the extra fat actually enhanced the flavor a lot because it did taste really good. I had mine mixed in with my salad. While pre-made veggie patties aren't the ideal food, sometimes you just want something easy and tasty. As a fan of heat and spice, I didn't find them spicy at all. But I've come to expect that from all commercial foods claimin

Mashed Potato Salad Dressing

Mashed potatoes are usually conceived of in terms of the side dish. They go next to the main dish as an accompaniment. Which is all well and good,  but they are more versatile than that. Mashed potatoes make a great salad dressing. No seriously. They really do. Now, I'm lazy and use the packets, but this could be adapted to real potatoes. I use Idahoan garlic mashed potatoes as my base. The packet directions call for 2 cups of water brought to a boil. For the dressing I use 3 1/2 cups of water instead. Add the water, 3 cloves slice garlic, a few ribs from a jalapeno and a serrano and 1 tbl or so of the flesh. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Let sit for about a minute and then carefully stir in the packet powder. Add fresh cracked black pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp ground garlic, a little more jalapeno and serrano flesh. Stir to combine. Let cool on the counter. Once mostly cool, relax in the fridge for at least 2 hours. When fully chilled, use as you would

Rustic Lentil and Barley Stew

I love lentils. If there's such a thing as lentil addiction, I may have it. I eat lentils as much as 5 days a week. They're almost a complete protein, so a few more aminos and done. They're also quick cooking compared to their legumey bretheren. 20 minutes and done. Which beautifully syncs up with the cooking times for both rice and pearl barley. Score! This barley and lentil dish is pretty basic, but very flavorful. It utilizes my go to method for cooking lentils... broth. Broths are the ideal way to incorporate tons of flavor into humble foods like rice, barley, beans and lentils. We use layers of aromatics, vegetation, alcohol, fat and spices to create a complex liquid in which to cook the dry grains and legumes infusing them with all that intense flavor that we developed. Ingredients 2 1/2 cups chopped celery including leaves 1 cup chopped white onion 2 cups chopped kale The skin, plus the top and bottom from one medium white onion 5 cloves roasted garlic ribs

Simple Guac

I'm not a big guacamole or avocado fan, but every once in the while it really hits the spot. I've never really read a guac recipe or even had a restaurant version. I may have had some wholly guacamole once. I'm not sure. This guac recipe is just my personal preference. I think it tastes great. I use it mostly as a salad dressing, but I'm sure it's more versatile than that. 1 avocado mashed 1 lime, zested and juiced 3 cloves roasted garlic 1-2 chipotles and 1 tbl adobo sauce 1 jalapeno, flesh only salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne, cumin Mix it all up together. Chill for a while. Awesome. I roasted my garlic on a charcoal grill. I didn't setup and run a charcoal grill just to roast garlic, I was grilling some ears of corn. If you're not grilling, you can roast your garlic in the oven or a skillet. I don't give measurements for the spices since it's so personal. Add a bit, taste, decide if you want more.