Archive for October, 2011

October 3, 2011

Baked Moroccan Lamb Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

I don’t even know if I can really call this Moroccan ’cause I just made it up. But it’s got all the right spices! As with all my experiments, I dont have exact measurements for spices (especially if there’s a “~” next to the ingredient.) Feel free to season as you go. I like to put all the spices and salt in a small bowl and premix before adding it to the meat. This way I can adjust before I dump everything in. (:

Anyway, this was a big hit with R. Then again he just got back from his second round of tennis of the day and looked rather famished…

Also, I served the meatballs with some steamed broccoli. Just to get some greens in. Feel free to add whatever sides/starch/veggies you’d like. I try to keep it low carb for dinner.

Meatballs: 

  • 1.65lb ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • ~2 tsp cumin
  • ~2 tsp cinnamon
  • ~1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • ~2 tsp kosher salt (less if using table salt)

Tomato Sauce: 

  • 1 15oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ~1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix ingredients for meatballs in a large bowl. Don’t over do it or the meatballs will be tough. Shape into the size of a pingpong ball. Bake in oven on a greased aluminum lined tray for 15-20 min. While baking, saute onions in a small 3.5qt dutch oven in a bit of olive oil, until transparent ~5-10min. Add garlic. Saute until fragrant ~2 min. Add tomatoes and reduce heat to a simmer. When meatballs are almost done, blend half of the tomato sauce until mostly smooth. Add meatballs to pot and simmer on low for 5-10min.

October 2, 2011

Sobe Noodle Salad w/ Asparagus and Salmon

Super healthy dinner. Not sure how I feel about asian fusion dishes. It tasted a little strange to me. Asparagus and sobe? Not sure what to make of it.

Adapted from Bon Appetit:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 tbs sesame oil
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs light soy sauce
  • 2 tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 2 servings japanese soba noodles
  • 12 ounces fresh salmon
  • 1 handful of thick asparagus spears, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
  • several handfuls of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Mix first 6 ingredients for the dressing in small bowl. Set aside.
  • Cook soba noodles in large saucepan of boiling salted water, al dente. Drain into colander and toss in ice cubes to cool. Set in bowl and mix with some dressing. Toss to coat.
  • Salt/pepper salmon. Pan sear or bake in oven on 375F, tented in aluminum foil, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
  • Blanch asparagus: boil water in medium sized pot. Add asparagus and boil for 3 minutes. Remove and place in ice bath. Drain.
  • Add spinach and asparagus to noodles; toss to incorporate evenly. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Divide noodle salad among plates.
  • Break salmon into bite-size pieces. Tuck salmon and avocado into noodles on plates. Sprinkle sesame seeds over and serve.
October 2, 2011

Spiced Zucchini Bread

Adapted from allrecipes.com

Zucchini bread

I’ve discovered turbinado sugar! Similar to brown sugar, turbinado sugar is less processed and ‘healthier’ than refined white sugar. It’s commonly seen in restaurants in packages under the name of “Sugar in the Raw”.  It’s a very course grain, so you’ll actually be using less sugar compared to an equal serving of refined white.  Another interesting fact about turbinado sugar is that it tends to retain more water, so baked goods come out super moist. For this recipe, make sure you drain your zucchini gratings to prevent sogginess! Also, if I was using normal brown sugar for this recipe, I’d cut it by half a cup, ’cause even with turbinado, this bread came out plenty sweet!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cups grated unpeeled zucchini, drained
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups turbinado sugar*
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole clove, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce (2 4oz cups)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup crushed walnuts

*feel free to use 2 cups of brown sugar instead!

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease one 9×13 inch pan, or two bread pans.
  2. Place grated zucchini in a colander and set aside to drain. Press to get as much water out as you can!! You don’t want soggy zucchini bread.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until well blended.
  4. Beat the eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla in a separate bowl until smooth.
  5. Fold in the flour mixture, then stir in the zucchini and walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. It’ll be pretty liquid-y. That’s ok. It’s a very moist cake.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, ~50 minutes, 1 hour if using bread pans. Allow to cool completely before cutting!

mmm… tastes like carrot cake.

October 1, 2011

Cajun Rice and Beans

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1lb kidney beans
  • 1 med onion, diced
  • 1 med green bell papper, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced (I omitted this because I ran out.)
  • 4 fat cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 1-2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • salt
  • butter
  • ~6-7 cups water (or half chicken stock)
  • 4 big links or 1lb andouille sausage, sliced*
  • cooked rice
  • Optional: tabasco sauce and or vinegar to serve. Note on vinegar: makes beans cook slower! Don’t add it until you serve.

*Feel free to use vegetarian substitute! Just make sure you get the right flavor. I actually used a chicken and turkey andouille.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Soak beans overnight in enough water to fully submerge them by 2 inches+. The next day: rinse and set aside.
  2. In a 5 qt dutch oven, heat a pat of butter over med high heat. Saute onions until just soft (~3min) then add bell peppers and celery. Continue to saute (~3 min).
  3. Add garlic and seasonings. Mix.
  4. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low.
  5. Add beans, a pinch more salt, then cover and simmer for 2.5 hours.
  6. Add sausage, mash up some beans up against the side of the pot, then continue to simmer for 30 min.
  7. Serve over rice and top with parsley.