Daring Cooks: Sri Lankan Beef Curry and Carrots with Tropical Flavors

Mary, who writes the delicious blog, Mary Mary Culinary was our August Daring Cooks’ host. Mary chose to show us how delicious South Indian cuisine is! She challenged us to make Appam and another South Indian/Sri Lankan dish to go with the warm flat bread.

I won’t go too much into Appam, as I didn’t make it. Right now, I am not eating grains or yeast, so I figured making a yeasted rice flatbread wasn’t in the cards. However, if you want to read about how to make these (and they look like the perfect accompaniment to a saucy curry!), check them out over at Mary Mary Culinary.

I did, however, jump right on some Sri Lankan curry! I love curries made with coconut milk. Spices + coconut milk = comfort food. (I’ve already mentioned this in my previous post about a Thai-inspired curry, but it’s really true!) This curry was different than most I’ve made; it used fresh curry leaves and tamarind pulp. Lucky for me, there is an Indian grocery not far from our house, and I was able to pick up the necessary ingredients.

As this curry simmered on the stove, the intoxicating aroma of spices filled the house. I could hardly wait until it was ready. I served it with spaghetti squash for me, brown rice for the hubby, and some amazing carrots with lime, peppers, shallots, and cilantro that was bright, fresh, and lightened up the heavier curry. It was a lovely meal. Next time, I think I might opt for a lower temperature when cooking the meat, and perhaps swap out the beef for a lamb or goat. The London Broil I used was a bit too lean, and ended up a tad dry for the dish. However, the flavors were sensuous and won me over.

Sri Lankan Beef Curry, adapted from Mangoes & Curry Leaves

1 lb boneless beef (I used London Broil)

1 T coconut oil

10 fresh or frozen curry leaves

1 green cayenne chili, finely chopped

generous 1 c  finely chopped onion

1 t turmeric

1 t salt

½ c coconut milk

1 T tamarind pulp (I had a jarred tamarind pulp with no seeds)

3 c water

1 T arrowroot powder

Dry Spice Mixture:

1 T coriander seeds

1 t cumin seeds

one 1-inch piece cinnamon or cassia stick

seeds from 2 pods of green cardamom

1. Cut the beef into ½ inch cubes. Set aside.

2. In a small heavy skillet, roast the dry spice mixture over medium to medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously, until it smells amazing!

3. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind/pound to a powder. Set aside.

4. In a large, wide pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the curry leaves, green chile, onion and turmeric and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add the meat and salt and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally so all surfaces of the meat get browned.

5. Add the reserved spice mixture and the coconut milk and stir to coat the meat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6.  Add the tamarind pulp to the 2 cups of water. Whisk in the arrowroot powder.

7. Add the tamarind/water mixture to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook uncovered at a strong simmer for about an hour, until the meat is tender and the flavors are well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot.

Carrots with Tropical Flavors, adapted from Mangoes & Curry Leaves

1 lb carrots, about 5 medium, peeled

1 T coconut oil

about 8 fresh curry leaves

2 T minced seeded green cayenne chiles

3 T minced shallots

2 t rice vinegar (I used lime juice)

1 t salt

¼ t honey

½ c coconut milk

¼ c water

coarse salt, optional

cilantro (coriander) leaves to garnish

1. Julienne or coarsely grate the carrots. Set aside.

2. Place a deep skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then add half of the curry leaves, the chiles and the shallots. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring.

3. Add the carrots, stir, and add the vinegar/lime juice, salt, honey and mix well. Increase the heat and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until they give off a bit of liquid.

4. Add the water and half of the coconut milk and bring to a fast boil. Stir, cover tightly and cook until just tender, 5 minutes or so, depending on size. Check to ensure the liquid has not boiled away and add a little more water if it is almost dry.

5. Add the remaining coconut milk and curry leaves. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired, and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

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Filed under Beef, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Side Dishes, Vegetables

Raw Zucchini Noodles and a Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

Do you know what this is?

It’s zucchini noodles!

What are zucchini noodles? Well, they’re not really noodles, but rather, they are very thin strips of raw zucchini. I have a spiral slicer, and thought I’d put it to use making noodles. I wanted something grain-free to eat with a chicken curry, and this was just the thing.

The spiral slicer does make this super-easy, but if you don’t have one, you can use a vegetable peeler to make wide, flat noodles. Just peel the zucchini lengthwise into long strips, rotating as you go, until you get to the seeds. If you want, you can saute the noodles really briefly (like for a minute, tops), but I even enjoy them totally raw. They make the perfect base for any saucy dish. While I enjoy spaghetti squash as well, zucchini is a lovely change. (and since zucchini is in season, why not?)

So how about that curry?

This is definitely an easy weeknight curry. I didn’t make the curry paste from scratch. (shocker, I know) I used Thai Kitchen red curry paste. This made the whole dish come together much more quickly. While it’s not a traditional Thai curry (I haven’t seen many Thai curries with red cabbage and yellow squash…I just threw them in there because I had a ton of vegetables in the house that needed to be eaten, and it sounded tasty to me.), the flavors still worked well together. It was warm, slightly spicy, and comforting – all great attributes in a curry. (Aren’t saucy curries like, the ultimate comfort food? They are to me – and it doesn’t matter if it’s an Indian curry, a Thai curry, a Jamaican curry, or a totally-new-invention curry. They all make my belly happy.) And those zucchini noodles? They kept it from feeling heavy. In the summer, that’s a definite plus.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Curry

2 T coconut oil, divided

1 T Thai Kitchen red curry paste

1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 c coconut milk

1 5-inch piece lemongrass, smashed with side of knife (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or omit)

3 Kaffir lime leaves (you can find this at Whole Foods or an Asian grocery, or sub a bit of lime zest)

1 medium yellow squash, sliced

1 ½ c sliced red cabbage

1 tomato, chopped

2-3 T cilantro, chopped

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Swirl to heat, and add curry paste. Stir the paste around for a few seconds to get it sizzling. Season the chicken with a bit of salt and pepper, and add to the skillet. Stir until the paste is evenly coating the chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lemongrass, and Kaffir lime leaves. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened well and flavors have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste.

While the curry is simmering, heat another skillet to medium heat. Add the remaining coconut oil and swirl. Add the squash and cabbage and saute, stirring occasionally, for 2-3 minutes or until the squash is lightly browned and the cabbage is starting to wilt. Add the tomatoes and stir for a moment. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the vegetables to the curry and stir. Serve on top of zucchini noodles, spaghetti squash, or steamed rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Serves 3-4.

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Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetables

Easy Canvas Prints – It’s Time to Decorate!

I have a problem. I take a lot of photos. Mostly of food (duh), but I also have lots of photos of family. Where do I keep them all? On my hard drive. Where no one can see them. Sure, sometimes, they’re uploaded on Facebook, but that’s not exactly the best use of some of my favorite photos.  So when I recently received a complimentary canvas print for review from EasyCanvasPrints.com, I was pretty excited. I opted to have one of my photos printed on canvas to decorate our kitchen. (I chose the photo used for these Lemon Earl Grey Cookies I made earlier this year.) I’ve been meaning to hang some of my photos around the house, and this gave me the kick-start I needed.

Just check out this canvas. It has wonderful quality – it looks so professional, and you can choose to have the photo wrapped around the sides of the canvas, or have a solid edging in any color you wish. I was so impressed with this canvas. It’s now hanging on a small wall in my kitchen, so every time I walk in, I can admire it.

My canvas on my wall!

I also love that this company is (somewhat) local to me – they’re based out of Austin, Texas. Texans gotta stick together!

 
This would be a great opportunity for you to clean out that hard drive (c’mon, I know you have more than a few photos just knocking around on there) and be proud of your favorite photos. It’s easy to do. It’s also a great idea for a gift. Have photos of your children? Grandma would LOVE to have them on a canvas print! The possibilities are endless. Me? I’m contemplating taking some amazing photos the next time we travel, and blowing up my favorite one to hang on our wall. That way, we can be reminded of a great time every day.
 
 

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Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger: Life As A Plate (Rosemary Olive Oil Bread, Crockpot Chili)

grain-free primal bread

Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is one of my favorite blog events. I’ve said it time and time again, but I love the opportunity to really get to know another blogger – test their recipes, read a lot of their posts, and the best part – taste their food. This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger is being hosted by Sea over at Book of Yum. (She’s also the creator of this great event.) I was excited to adopt one of my new favorite bloggers – AndreAnna at Life As A Plate.

AndreAnna is inspirational to me. She struggled with weight issues (her story is here), but finally has found a new life through eating primally (via the Primal Blueprint – check it out over at Mark’s Daily Apple) and through Crossfit. She’s completed a Warrior Dash. Her blogs are definitely entertaining – one minute, you’re laughing at her wit, and the next, she will bring you close to tears as she shares deep, emotional, inspirational streams of thought. She cooks amazing meals that make me drool. In short, she is a badass. (I do believe that’s the first time I’ve ever used that term on this blog, but it’s by far the best descriptor I have for her.)

So what does little Tasty Eats At Home do when adopting AndreAnna? Try to keep up! I love primal/paleo eating. I have dabbled in and out of this for a while, finding that I feel better with fewer grains, fewer starches, and much less sugar (even natural sugars). So I knew her recipes would jive with my body. But what to make? Surprisingly, I made foods that aren’t normally associated with this time of year – rosemary olive oil bread and crockpot chili. Why? Well, the bread was just calling my name – and I had rosemary in the garden – and the crockpot chili didn’t involve any heating of my kitchen at the way-too-hot-to-think hour of 6pm. (I avoided that issue with the bread by baking it early in the day on Saturday.) Both were amazing.

The bread was soft. Pliable. Moist. Brittany enjoyed it at dinner (in fact, she had 4 slices!) with butter. I enjoyed it unadorned, restraining myself from matching Brittany slice-for-slice. I omitted the parmesan cheese, but threw in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes for a punch of flavor.

The chili was just as satisfying. In spite of the heat, I had a generous bowl (plus a tiny bit of a second helping) for dinner, and then portioned myself out some more for lunch the following day. It was even better the second day, and was a hearty meal I looked forward to eating. I didn’t put the ingredients in the crockpot in stages, as I wasn’t home to do so, but dumping everything in together and leaving it to simmer for hours worked just fine. I enjoyed it with onions and cilantro. Yum.

There are many, many more delicious recipes I could devour from AndreAnna’s blog. Collard greens? Yes, ma’am! And she and I must think alike, because she posted a kohlrabi slaw recipe too (looks SO good). And just in case you think there isn’t room for dessert on a primal diet, AndreAnna has desserts covered too.

After reading her latest post, I am further inspired. AndreAnna has the drive to push herself hard, encourage others to do so, but also has an incredible amount of grace. I think that I’ll also sign up for Warrior Dash next year- even if I finish last, I know I’ll finish. Thanks AndreAnna!

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Filed under Baked goods, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Soups

Menu Plan: Week of Aug 1 – Aug 5

photo courtesy of dreamstime.com

Yep, it’s that hot in Dallas this week. It’s been hot for a while. We have had 30 days in a row of 100+ degree weather. Today will be the 31st. No relief in sight, according to the weather forecast:

Yikes. Needless to say, there will not be any turning on of my oven for a few days. Dinners will be prepared on the stove, the grill, and in the crockpot. So even though we’re eating chili in August, I figure it works, since the crockpot puts out virtually no heat. (And chili is delicious any time of year!) Every little bit helps.

Monday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” – chopped zucchini and turkey chorizo with scrambled eggs, baked in a muffin tin (made these this weekend when the sun went down, so the house wasn’t too hot); steamed kale

Lunch: garden salad with leftover grilled chicken

Dinner: crockpot chili, spinach, slice of rosemary olive oil bread (from Life As A Plate – more info on this soon, as I’ve adopted AndreAnna this month for Adopt-A-Gluten-Free-Blogger!)

Snacks: bites of leftover grilled chicken, handful of hazelnuts

Tuesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, sauteed spinach

Lunch: crockpot chili, rosemary olive oil bread

Dinner: garden salad with grilled chicken (or alternatively, dinner out. I have a soccer game at 5:30. It’s indoor, thankfully.)

Snacks: homemade beef jerky, baby carrots

Wednesday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, rosemary olive oil bread, sauteed spinach

Lunch: salad with grilled chicken or steak slices

Dinner: liver and onions, steamed spaghetti squash, steamed broccoli

Snacks: celery with almond butter, beef jerky

Thursday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins” and spinach

Lunch: leftover liver and onions and broccoli, or if no leftovers, tuna salad with celery sticks and baby carrots

Dinner: picadillo (making this again – gotta share this recipe soon!), guacamole, fresh homemade salsa, spaghetti squash

Snack: handful of hazelnuts, baby carrots

Friday:

Breakfast: egg “muffins”, spinach or yellow squash

Lunch: leftover picadillo and guacamole

Dinner: paleo chicken strips (from Everyday Paleo – cooked in skillet), roasted potatoes, sauteed okra

Snacks: celery with almond butter

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Filed under Meal Plans

Winners of Lindsay Olives and Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen Giveaways!

Alright, I know you’ve been dying to know who the winners of the Lindsay Olives giveaway and the Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen giveaway were!

The winner of the Lindsay Olives giveaway is Iris of The Daily Dietribe! Congrats Iris!

And the winners of the two copies of Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen are:

Jeanie of Allergy Free and Gluten Free

J Craiker of My Mommy Blogs

Congratulations to the winners! Winners, please email me at alta2924 at hotmail dot com with your mailing address.

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Roasted Chicken, Stuffed with Pistachios and Green Olives

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, they say. Okay, perhaps that’s not such a great cliche for a food blog. Don’t want any negative mental images in your minds, dear readers! So scrap that. Instead, how about this:

There’s more than one way to stuff a chicken.

Yeah, that doesn’t have the same ring to it. Oh well.

The point of my saying this is that when I was testing out recipes for the Gluten-Free Summer Cooking Event with Lindsay Olives, I actually made this recipe first. Why? Well, honestly, because I didn’t completely read the part where “summer cooking” was involved. Roasting a chicken? Not exactly summer cooking. But I love roasted chicken so much, that I immediately gravitate towards it at any given opportunity. That includes incorporating green olives into a recipe.

So the pistachio, green olive, and raisin stuffing I made for these curried chicken breasts? It works perfectly stuffed inside a whole chicken as well. The curry seasoning works too, and rubbed all over, makes for a deliciously flavored chicken skin. (Our favorite part of the chicken in the Tasty Eats At Home household.) Normally, I dislike stuffing whole chickens. Stuffing, in the traditional sense, is some bready concoction that ends up drawing juices from the bird. This makes for dry meat that you can barely choke down. But a stuffing made from pistachios, olives, and raisins? Not the same. The stuffing and the chicken work synergistically – the stuffing is more intensely flavored from the juices, and the bird gains some flavor from the stuffing. Yes, it has to cook longer (so if you wish to wait until the weather cools to crank up the oven, I don’t blame you), but it’s so worth it.

Here’s how to do it. Not hardly any different than those chicken breasts. Don’t have any Lindsay green olives? Check out my giveaway here!

Roasted Curried Chicken with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing

1 chicken, 3-4 lbs, patted dry (smaller is better here)

1 ½ T Madras curry powder

1 t salt

½ c roasted unsalted pistachios

2 medium garlic cloves

1 c Lindsay Naturals green olives

½ c raisins

1 T olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix curry powder and salt together in a small bowl. Rub spice mix inside and out of the chicken, including between the skin and the breast meat.

Pulse pistachios in food processor until coarsely chopped and place in small bowl. Pulse garlic and olives in food processor until chopped (not finely). Stir in pistachios along with the raisins and olive oil.

Stuff the chicken with the stuffing. Secure legs with twine and tuck wings under the body, and place on a roasting pan.

Roast for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 and continue to roast until juices run clear when a thigh is pierced, 40-60 minutes more. Transfer  to a carving board and tent with foil. Allow to rest 10 minutes and serve.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes

Curried Grilled Chicken Breast with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing (and a Giveaway!)

This summer has been hot. If you live in just about anywhere in the U.S. (Pacific Northwest excluded), you’d agree with me. We’ve been hitting 100 degrees or more for nearly a month straight here in North Texas, but we’re not alone – the heat seems to be causing us all quite a bit of discomfort across the country. The last thing a great many of us want to do when it’s so hot is turn the oven on, so we head out to the grill. I’ve definitely been taking advantage of our grill this summer – it seems that most every night I’m firing it up. In addition to keeping the kitchen cool, it’s definitely easier for cleanup. So when Wendy of Celiacs In The House invited me to participate in a Gluten-Free Summer Cooking Event with Lindsay Olives, I jumped at the chance.

I was inspired by the opportunity. I was to create a recipe using Lindsay Olives that involved summer grilling. I love olives. Not everyone in the house agrees – Brandan and I are the only ones that are interested in olives. But the Lindsay olives were different. They were less briny, and more buttery than the typical green olives. These olives would pair perfectly with some unlikely companions, I decided – madras curry, pistachios, and raisins.

I opted to make a stuffing with the olives, combining pistachios, garlic, and raisins, and rolling chicken breasts seasoned with the curry around the stuffing. Secured with a toothpick, the rolled chicken breasts held the stuffing quite well, even through turning on the grill. The presentation on the plate was quite a bit “fancier” than what is typically served at our house, but the beauty of the dish was that it was simple to make. I could find many an excuse to make this again and again over the coming months. It’s a great dish for company (or even for making your family feel special). A bonus? Even my husband and my sister (she was visiting one night when I trialed the stuffing), who both typically snub olives, enjoyed the stuffing.

Because I enjoyed these olives so much (Thank you, Lindsay Olives, for sending them to me!), and because Lindsay Olives must be in a particularly generous mood, I’m also giving away a sampler of Lindsay Olives Naturals and Re-closeables to a lucky winner! To enter, leave me a comment telling me what you’d like to make with Lindsay Olives. The giveaway will end Saturday, July 30, 2011, so hurry!

And now, onto the recipe:

Curried Grilled Chicken Breast with Pistachio-Green Olive Stuffing

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 ½ T Madras curry powder

1 t salt

½ c roasted unsalted pistachios

2 medium garlic cloves

1 c Lindsay Naturals green olives

½ c raisins

1 T olive oil

Place a chicken breast under a piece of plastic wrap and pound until about ½ – ¾ inch thick with the bottom of a heavy skillet or saucepan. Repeat with each breast.

Pulse pistachios in food processor until coarsely chopped and place in small bowl. Pulse garlic and olives in food processor until chopped (not finely). Stir in pistachios along with the raisins and olive oil.

Mix curry powder and salt together in a small bowl. Season each chicken breast with a generous amount of the spice mix. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the pistachio-olive mixture into the center of each breast. Carefully roll up the breast to encase the stuffing, and secure with a toothpick or two.

Prepare grill for indirect heat – if gas grill, turn all burners to high and close the lid. When the temperature reaches 400 degrees, lift the lid and turn off half of the burners. The area over the turned-off burners is the indirect heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light briquettes and let burn until covered with ash. Mound them on one side of the grill. The area over the section with no coals is the indirect heat area.

Brush the grates in the indirect heat area with oil. Place chicken down on the oiled grates. Close lid on gas grill. Cook for 10 minutes. Turn chicken, close lid and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Check for doneness, and if necessary, turn again grill until chicken is cooked through and the stuffing is hot. Remove and cover loosely with foil to allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve.

This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.

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Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes

Menu Plan – Week of July 25-29

The above picture has nothing to do with the menu plan for this week. This is a peanut butter brownie. I’ve been working on the recipe for a while now for my upcoming book, and after what feels like the 1,234,766 try (in actuality, it’s probably near a dozen), I think it’s ready to go. It’s dense, fudgy, and chock full of chocolatey and peanut buttery goodness. And they are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free. (This is the plan for all of the recipes in the book – no gluten, no dairy, little or no refined sugar.) My coworkers are simultaneously cursing my name and cheering for my brownies today as they snack. I think I will be the one to blame for ruining their waistlines, unfortunately.

Meanwhile, I’m trying to balance these decadent treats coming from my kitchen with a lot of lighter, healthier fare in my menu. Lots of lean protein and veggies. It’s a good thing it’s summer and the fresh produce is plentiful, because every week, I stuff enough veggies into my fridge to completely fill the two veggie drawers, plus some of one of the shelves. The difference in the fridge between Saturday morning post-market visit and Friday night is astounding. I love it though – there’s nothing as delightful as cooking and eating a bounty of fresh vegetables.

Monday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites with salsa, spinach, tomato, and chia seeds sprinkled over

Morning snack: honey peanut butter

Lunch: leftovers – bison meatballs with peach-ginger chutney sauce (another recipe test for the book!), sauteed eggplant, green beans, and red pepper, and spaghetti squash

Snack: beef jerky, carrots

Dinner: grilled teriyaki chicken over a garden salad

Tuesday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, leftover sauteed mixed veggies

Morning snack: frozen blueberries, Tanka bar

Lunch: grilled chicken over garden salad

Afternoon snack: pistachios

Dinner: venison picadillo, stuffed zucchini with beans, onion, and jalapeno, collard greens

Wednesday:

Breakfast: smoothie with banana, blueberries, spinach, Sunwarrior protein powder

Morning snack: peanut butter with celery sticks

Lunch: out at business luncheon (hooray for uninventive gluten-free dairy-free lunch at a hotel…)

Afternoon snack: Tanka bar, plus there are single-serving Justin’s nut butters in my desk, in case lunch is not safe to eat and I’m still hungry

Dinner: Liver and onions (yes, we love liver!), roasted potatoes, roasted beets, and steamed green beans

Thursday:

Breakfast: smoothie with blueberries, cherries, coconut milk kefir and Sunwarrior protein powder

Morning snack: handful of almonds

Lunch: leftover picadillo, stuffed zucchini, and collard greens

Afternoon snack: baby carrots, celery, and a Tanka bar

Dinner: slow-roasted salmon, mashed sweet potatoes, and broccoli

Friday:

Breakfast: scrambled egg whites, spinach, tomato, and salsa with chia seeds sprinkled on top

Morning snack: handful of almonds

Lunch: leftovers (if available) or sardine salad

Afternoon snack: frozen blueberries, Tanka bar

Dinner: honey-mustard grilled chicken breast, grilled yellow squash, brown rice (tenative – depends on what time my soccer game is!)

Don’t forget – I’m giving away two copies of  The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen! Check out the giveaway here.

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Easy Sardine Salad – The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen (Giveaway!)

A while back, Skyhorse Publishing contacted me about a book to review. The publicist told me that a great majority of the recipes in the book were naturally gluten-free, but were also approachable to any guest at the dinner table. Her recommendation and the title of the book drew me in. The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen – Glorious Meals Pure and Simple, by Levana Kirschenbaum. The majority of my cooking is 100% whole foods, so this sounded like a perfect addition to my cookbook collection (which currently has outgrown all available bookshelf space, and is now occupying some pantry shelf space, as well as space above my kitchen cabinets, and there are more without a home right now. I may have a problem…). I readily agreed to review the book, and asked for some additional copies to share with you all in a giveaway. Of course, they agreed!  

This book was just as was described to me. There are countless delicious, mouth-watering, healthy recipes made from real, whole food ingredients in this book. Homemade harissa? Curried apple kale soup? Moroccan turkey patties in lemon sauce? Just hearing those recipes makes me hungry. I currently have about a dozen recipes bookmarked in this book to make. But late one evening, when I was on my own for dinner, I decided to whip up a super-easy recipe for sardine salad.

Sardines, you ask? Aren’t those the gross little canned whole fishes? Okay, before you click away, hear me out. To many, sardines are a bit off-putting. I understand that. But they sure pack a nutritional punch. For people like me who can’t consume dairy, there aren’t many calcium-rich foods out there. But sardines are an exception. They pack nearly half of the daily requirement of calcium, thanks to those tiny edible bones. They’re also a great source of protein and omega-3s. For the price (a can of sardines costs about a dollar), they are one of those “must-have” budget foods in your pantry. If you’re skeptical about the taste, this salad is a great way to start. The tahini, lemon, and greens cut the “pungent” flavor of the fish, and when you’re mixing the ingredients together, you won’t see the skin and bones of the sardines. If you try it, you just might find these little fishes to be to your liking. While I’ve long adored sardines (particularly in another salad recipe I found over at City|Life|Eats), this recipe further established my love for them. It definitely was the perfect light meal.

Sardine Salad, from The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen, reprinted with permission

2 cans sardines, skin and bones on, oil and all

1/4 c tahini (sesame paste)

4 scallions, sliced very thin

Juice of 2 lemons, or a little more to taste

Ground pepper to taste

Splash of bottled hot sauce

4 cups very finely chopped romaine, watercress, or sprouts, or a combination (I used spinach)

Mash the sardines with their oil and the tahini with a fork in a bowl. Add the scallions, lemon juice, pepper, and hot sauce and combine thoroughly. Fold in the greens and mix. Makes 8 servings. (of course, I ate more than 1 serving as a main meal…)

And now, the giveaway. I am giving away two copies of The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen by Levana Kirschenbaum, courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing. To enter, leave me a comment.

To gain additional entries, post about this giveaway on Twitter or Facebook, and come back and leave me a comment telling me you did so.

The giveaway will end Sunday, July 31, 2011.

Good luck!

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Filed under Appetizers, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Salads, Seafood