I’ve been busy becoming a grandmother of two! Grandson was born July 2nd and everyone is healthy and happy. Hubby and I took Granddaughter camping over the holiday weekend so the expectant parents could go to the hospital to deliver. I will be writing a section in my memoirs about that weekend: Camping with a Toddler or Whatever Happened to Naptime?
So I have been cooking and taking pictures but have not had time to write. Here is a recipe I found in Rachael Ray’s Magazine as I was treading upon the treadmill one lunchtime at work. I have also found the on-line version here: Fried Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad.
I altered the recipe due to not having the exact ingredients. The magazine was two or three years old. I did not check the on-line version to see if it was exactly like the magazine but a cursory reading seems like it is. The magazine had this in a two page spread of Mediterranean Cooking. There are many and varied countries situated around the Mediterranean Sea so that Cuisine includes many different dishes and flavor combinations. No doubt much like American Cuisine which is a combination of many ethnic and regional foods across this vast country.
As the name of the recipe indicates this is a salad so first make the dressing. Whisk this all together and set aside. I used the following ingredients:
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup Olive Oil
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (I did not have sherry vinegar)
1 clove garlic, minced fine
a touch of salt and pepper, to taste
This recipe calls for fresh vegetables so I used what I had on hand. I did not have any tomatoes so I left them out.
1 English cucumber, sliced and quartered
5 large radishes, trimmed and sliced
6 mini peppers, red, yellow,and orange, sliced into rings
3 green onions, whites and greens, sliced
handful of fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced
The chickpeas, one 15 ounce can, drained, are now to be “fried” in spice. I used 1 tablespoon Baharat (middle eastern spice mix) because who has cardamom? (Well, I was gifted some but after I had made this recipe!). Toss the drained chickpeas with the spice and “fry” in a skillet with a bit of olive oil until warmed through. Be prepared for a most tantalizing aroma to fill your kitchen!
To assemble, toss the fresh vegetables with the dressing in a large bowl. I added 1 ounce crumbled feta cheese and 1/2 of a 2.2 ounce can of slice black olives. I figured that was very Mediterranean of me. Pile the chickpeas in the center. Dollop with Greek (or plain)yogurt to serve.
So Hubby had to bring appetizers to a work function so went to Stew Leonard’s and bought ready made dip and their wonderful corn tortilla chips. While there he saw a Mango Salsa and bought that too. He left that behind in the fridge the day of his work function. Why?
He had this brilliant idea for a salad based on something that was made in one of the restaurants where he used to work many years ago. He described it to me and it sounded tasty. He did most of this, I just toasted the coconut.
romaine lettuce, torn
red pepper slices
mandarin oranges, drained
He thinned the salsa with yogurt and added garlic and scallions And this was the dressing.
Now for homemade croutons:
Made with a three day old baguette, olive oil, and oregano (and garlic powder). These get toasted in the oven and then assemble the salad.
This was a nice flavored salad with different textures and nice color.
I bought broccoli and needed to do something with it. Hubby does not like broccoli. But while at the market a woman next to me said she had bought some the week before and it was fabulous. It is locally-ish grown so what more could one ask for? What am I to do? I just saw a blog on broccoli salad with bacon and remembered that I always liked it when it was brought to potlucks by some industrious woman. It is a very tasty salad and when I saw it on https://lynnesrecipetrails.com/2016/04/19/broccoli-salad-with-bacon/ I thought I would try to make it myself. I’ve always thought it was too time consuming and difficult but bacon makes everything better so I went for it. I looked to see if this recipe was in any of my standard cookbooks but it is not. It is, however, in all of the self-published, fund-raiser type collections put together by churches, day cares, and the like. I went internet-ting for the origin but found that there are many variations by different home cooks. Fascinating since there are only five basic ingredients!
This is the sweet salad since there is a bit of sugar in the dressing and of course the raisins add a natural sweetness as well. My recipe said I could use mayonnaise and/or yogurt. I used yogurt and found I needed to add an extra splash of vinegar. I used golden raisins and spring onions. The salad I remember from church potlucks used red onion. While chopping up my ingredients I decided to make only half of the dressing called for and only half the amount of raisins and seeds because 1 cup each seemed like overdoing it for the one bunch of broccoli.
Now for the savory:
I found this broccoli salad recipe in my Soulard Market cookbook. This one has a vinaigrette type dressing. And I had all those ingredients too. Wow, two broccoli salads in one day. I figured that broccoli is a sturdy vegetable and can keep in a salad over a few days so I could have healthy lunches during the week.
Unlike the sweeter salad, this one does not have the broccoli completely raw. It is steamed for about 5 minutes and then plunged into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking and to set the color.
Then everything is tossed together with the dressing which is a garlicky Dijon vinaigrette. Looks savory to me!
Which would you choose? For modifications I think a handful of grated carrots could be an appropriate addition to the savory salad. Hubby tried the first one when I told him it had bacon in it. I think that a handful of grated cheddar cheese would be a fabulous addition to that salad. But even with bacon and cheese I do not believe it will make a broccoli lover out of Hubby. He will eat these to be polite and because he loves me!
Trying to be healthy I found a fascinating bag of produce at the Walmart. Yes, I did my little bit of grocery shopping at the Walmart. I am not always impressed with the produce section but looking carefully, there are some good choices. I call this “prepared” and not “processed” food.
This is cool. I also buy this brand’s broccoli slaw mix to add to salads. Hubby is not a fan of broccoli so I have to sneak it into the meals. This blend is probably for making smoothies but I prefer to eat my vegetables instead of drinking them. I figure this can go in a soup, chili, or just throw on top of a salad. There was a mix of butternut squash but I only bought this one this time. Hubby calls and says he is rather full so don’t fix a lot for dinner. Okay, well a big salad will do. I’ll use the opportunity to try out the making hard boiled eggs in the oven recipe.
I bake/boil 6 eggs in a muffin tin, whole, for 30 minutes in a 320 F degree oven. Plunge them in a bowl of cold water and cool. Then peel. I found the recipe on Alton Brown, and allrecipes, and one of you lovely bloggers. It works. And what was wonderful was that Hubby came home in time to shell the eggs.
Here’s the vegetables:
And now for the protein parts:
I make a batch of whole wheat popovers:
Hubby makes the dressing and we put it all together:
I am sort of determined to eat better because I can lose weight, reduce cholesterol, and better manage hypertension. So there is all my protected health information in one fell swoop. Oops! Hubby is on board with this as long as he can keep his cheese and chips. Speaking of which, we had one supper this weekend which consisted of tortilla chips covered with melted shredded cheese with jalapeno pepper slices scattered on top. And we had planned on making a hearty salad! So on the next day when I suggested that I could make a Beef Bourguignon, he said, “what about that salad?” Party pooper!
At our last grocery shopping I had bought a lot of produce with the intent of eating healthier than not. So I get out all of the produce from my fridge:romaine, spinach, fennel, carrots, green onions, celery, colorful mini peppers, mushrooms, cilantro, parsley, dill, cucumber, and some coleslaw mix. I also have tomatoes but these are not stored in the fridge. We don’t put all of this in our big salad tonight but most of it.
It is nice to have Hubby help with the meal prep. I don’t often give him the chance but I’m working on it. I set the vegetables before him and he wields the knife.
I am in charge of the dressing. Hubby’s favorite is my version of a buttermilk ranch. I take the cruet and pour red wine vinegar to the “V” mark. (I usually use lemon juice but did not have any.) I pour olive oil to the next mark even though it is “W”. I chop a bit of fresh parsley and fresh cilantro and one clove of garlic. I put that in the cruet and shake that up in the vinegar and oil. Then I pour in buttermilk to the next mark, “O”. Shake vigorously. Then add a dollop or two of plain yogurt to thicken it up a bit. Add just a few shakes of salt and pepper. Voila!
To serve, tomato is added along with a sprinkling of Romano cheese, grated cheddar, and freshly ground pepper. I had bought a store-bakery baguette earlier in the day. This is one good looking salad even if I say so myself!
Now this is no guarantee that this will stop us from having chocolate ice cream for dessert!