3/30/20

Everything But The Bagel And Herbaceous No Knead Bread


Guess what!? I baked another no knead loaf last week. Don't worry: I did not eat all of it. I sliced more than half and froze it.


Everything But The Bagel And Herbaceous No Knead Bread

This time, I used my standard Le Creuset recipe, but added two things:

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs: a combination of rosemary, thyme, and parsley
2 tablespoons everything but the bagel spice mix

I also increased the amount of salt to about 2 teaspoons in the dough itself.

The result looked and smelled amazing. I need to work on my lame skills, and actually ordered a professional lame tool to make the scoring of the unbaked bread easier and more precise.

This bread is best when toasted. 

For other flavor ideas, check out my za'atar and Parmesan loaf and turmeric and black pepper loaf

3/27/20

Friday Flower Love: Weekend Inspirations


Mood boosters:
a walk outside
a thoughtfully prepared meal
a spoon of Nutella
Facetime with friends and family
yoga
Fleabag

How are you all doing in this new temporary (I HOPE) reality?

Yesterday I picked up roses and tulips at the grocery store and paired them with yellow mums from a few weeks ago to arrange my birthday from-me-to-me flowers. 

I'm planning on celebrating on Sunday by making a mini brownie cake, a batch of Russian potato salad, and facetiming with my family.

TGIF.

3/23/20

Vegan Overnight Oats


Week 2 of telework. Decided to keep some sense of normalcy in the days of Corona isolation by setting up overnight oats Sunday night to eat for breakfast Monday through Thursday.

Given that I'm eating breakfasts at home now instead of in my cubicle, I thought using an actual bowl (I actually made this one in a pottery class years ago) was in order.

Vegan Overnight Oats
Serves 1
1/2 cup oats
3/4 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon chia seeds
1 kiwi, peeled, sliced
1 banana, peeled, sliced
handful blackberries

The night before, add oats, almond milk, and chia seeds into a container with a lid.

The morning of your breakfast, pour the oatmeal into a bowl and top with kiwis, bananas, and blackberries.

Clearly you can use any fruit or berries you like as well as nuts.

Feel free to drizzle syrup on top if you want something sweet.

3/16/20

No Knead Za'atar And Parmesan Bread


Oh what a time...things are closing down, we are told to stay away from others, grocery stores are running out of staples...what to do?

Netlix, plant care, facetime, but also, BAKE BREAD!!

If you have yeast and flour, you are basically a few hours away from a loaf of no knead bread!

Once again I used this recipe from Le Creuset, but added a few tablespoons of za'atar during the first step and about a cup of shredded Parmesan during the last step of the process.


I am still playing around with the amount of salt (it definitely needs more), but toasted, this loaf was awesome.

PRO TIP: instead of spraying or brushing the bottom and sides of the Le Creuset or whichever Dutch oven you are using with oil, I decided to use parchment paper. This way, you'll not have to clean caked on oil residue!

3/11/20

Chocolate Pecan Babka



For years I've wanted to make babka, a dessert made from an egg yolk rich yeasty dough with a chocolate filling, but every time I looked at a recipe, I decided it was too complicated.

It all changed this past weekend when I played a sous baker (is that a thing) and learned how to make a Chocolate Pecan Babka using Peter Reinhart's recipe in the Artisan Breads Every Day. You can see the recipe here

Yes, there were quite a few steps in this recipe and some waiting time, but overall it was pretty straight forward.

The one mishap involved going back to the grocery store to pick up all purpose flour because the accidentally purchased bread flour would not have worked.

I wish you could smell the dough! It had a sweet aroma even before the addition of the semisweet chocolate.

The recipe called for cinnamon, but if you know me, you know how I feel about it. Instead, I suggest using chopped pecans. You can of course use both.


The dough was incredibly easy to roll out. 

Don't skip the streusel topping made from flour, butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. It added an extra crunch to the final product (not pictured below).


I think the babka tasted better the next day after all the flavors had a chance to mingle together. It would be fun to add orange zest to either the dough or the filling because orange and chocolate play well together!

3/2/20

Meatless Monday: Aloo Gobi


This week's Meal Prep is entirely inspired by my friend Sangeetha who posted a picture of her aloo gobi on insta story.

Aloo Gobi is a combination of potatoes, cauliflower, and peas with Indian spices. After eating steak a few days in a row, I thought a bright and colorful vegetarian dish would be quite fitting for my meal prep.

I cooked "rice" made from lentils to go with this and packed lunches for the next 3 days.

NOTE: this is my version of the dish. After cooking potatoes and cauliflower directly in the pan, adding spices, and peas, I found my vegetables were under cooked and had to cook them further. The version of the recipe below is how I recommend you cook it instead.

Aloo Gobi
Ingredients
3 large Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, diced into bite-size pieces
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
olive oil
1-2" piece of ginger, peeled, finely chopped
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
salt to taste
2 cups defrosted peas

Directions
1. Parboil potatoes and cauliflower (in salted water) separately until each is nearly tender.
2. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet. Heat.
3. Add potatoes and cauliflower to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.
4. Add fresh ginger and all of the spices and saute until the spices become fragrant.
5. Add defrosted peas and heat through. Make sure potatoes and cauliflower are cooked through.

Optional: top with fresh chiles and cilantro.

2/24/20

Beans & Kale Toast Adapted From Joe Yonan's Cool Beans Cookbook


A few weeks ago I won a copy of Joe Yonan's latest cookbook with a super fun title: Cool Beans.

I grew up eating my mom's white bean, carrot, and beef soup as well as her split pea soup. I then fell in love with hummus, Indian red lentils, French black lentils, and crispy chickpeas.

A cookbook about beans, then, is a welcomed addition to my bookshelf for sure!

The recipe that stood out to me both for its simplicity and its beauty was Garlicky Great Northern Beans And Broccoli Rabe Over Toast.

But................I did not have broccoli rabe, nor did I have the right beans. I decided to reinterpret Joe's recipe using curly kale and the white'ish variety of beans I had in my cupboard.

I soaked the beans according to Joe's instructions and then cooked them in a pressure cooker using two ingredients I would have never paired with beans: whole cloves and kombu (dried seaweed). Special shout out to my friend Sylvie for buying kombu for me.

The cloves and kombu gave a deep earthy flavor to the beans, but you would not be able to identify them without knowing they were there (a good thing in my book).

The rest of the recipe came together quickly: saute the kale in olive oil, add garlic, salt and pepper, and cooked beans with some of the liquid. Top toasted sourdough bread with the kale/bean mixture, drizzle with chili oil, and top with grated Parmesan.

I added a squeeze of Meyer lemon and a sprinkle of Korean chili flakes to my toast to brighten the flavors. 

What a beauty! Leftovers are great as lunch with a baked sweet potato or turned into an omelet.

2/20/20

Challah With Hibiscus Poached Pears, Yogurt, Blueberries & Pistachios

 


If you are like me and love a big breakfast, Challah With Hibiscus Poached Pears, Yogurt, Blueberries & Pistachios should appear on your table this weekend.

By appear, I mean, MAKE it for yourself.

Last weekend I saw a picture of Hibiscus Poached Pears on my friend Laura's instagram and knew I'd want to make them. I followed the recipe from Diana Henry loosely and loved the gorgeous color of the syrup and the pears, but wish it wasn't as sweet.

I then used the pears to pair with toasted challah, Greek yogurt topped with blueberries and pistachios, and drizzled the entire plate with the syrup.

Add freshly squeezed orange juice and hot coffee, and you are set!

2/11/20

Taco Tuesday: Purple Cauliflower Tacos With Garlicky Yogurt Sauce


Welcome to Taco Tuesday! Let me tell you about these gorgeous (tooting my own horn) Purple Cauliflower Tacos With Garlicky Yogurt Sauce.

Last week I received my monthly gifted box of produce from Seasonal Roots which included striking purple cauliflower. Of course it's more about how produce tastes than how it looks, but why not choose a vibrant shade of purple when you get a chance? Even as a little girl I always asked my parents does it come in another color?

After doing a quick internet search for recipes to make with purple cauliflower that will keep the color intact, I found this gem from frieda's for Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower Tacos. I had to make them!

This was the first time I ever used fresh turmeric. It looks like ginger, but has a bright deep orange inside. Because I used frieda's recipe pretty closely, I'm not going to retype it here. Follow the link instead and give them some love!

Instead of flour tortillas I used corn ones and gave them a quick little char directly on my gas stove.

Also, I added a salad of diced fennel and red peppers to the roasted purple cauliflower and a bit of fresh cilantro.

I love anything that has red pickled onions because they brighten up the flavor of any dish, add a deep pink color, and a bit of a crunch.

The only reason I served the garlicky yogurt sauce on the side is for the visual effect. I spooned it over the tacos before eating them and added a squeeze of a fresh lime.

These were stellar and quite filling. 

Note: if you are the first time subscriber to Seasonal Roots, use mangotomato to receive a discount. I'll then receive a bit of credit ;) Thanks for supporting me. This a non sponsored post. As always, all opinions are my own!

2/4/20

Chicken Dip Recipe


A very long time ago, I met one of my best friends: Jenny. Jenny was known for her chicken dip. The what!? Yes, CHICKEN DIP. The dip is a combination of chicken, mayonnaise, cheese, red peppers, salsa, and a few other ingredients. This dip, according to Jenny, is best served with Scoops. I loved that dip and made it several times, and even posted about it on this very blog 11 years ago.

LOOK AT THIS PHOTO!!!!


Luckily, my photography skills have improved, while the dip continues to be stellar!

Last weekend I made the dip again and took new photos. Below is an updated version of the recipe.

Jenny's Chicken Dip

Ingredients
1 poached chicken breast, shredded {or use rotisserie chicken}
2 scallions, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 mayonnaise
1/2 cup salsa
2/3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
zest and juice of 1 lime
chili powder to taste

to serve
Tostitos Scoops

Directions
1. Combine the dip ingredients in a bowl. Taste and add more mayonnaise or salsa or chili powder as needed.
2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Serve with Scoops.


What I learned:
Garnishes make all the difference!!
White shiny plates are hard to photograph.
Backgrounds matter.
Improvement is possible.

1/27/20

Meatless Monday: Rice With Plantains, Fried Egg, And Avocado


I love leftovers (imagine Oprah's I love bread). One of the best things about not eating an entire meal at once is that you have a second meal to look forward to. 

If you don't have enough leftovers to make an entire meal, you can add a few ingredients and turn the leftovers into an entirely new dish.


Over the weekend, my friend Jenn came and brought Peruvian chicken with yucca fries, rice, and plantains. 

I turned the leftovers into a big breakfast, but you can easily eat it for lunch or dinner.


Meatless Monday: Rice With Plantains, Fried Egg, And Avocado

1. In a cast iron skillet, crisp up leftover rice in a bit of olive oil. Add defrosted peas.
2. Reheat plantains.
3. Add a fried egg.
4. Add a sliced avocado.
5. Drizzle with Peruvian green sauce and add a few spoons of salsa.

This was so satisfying!!!

1/23/20

Pomegranate & DIY Leather Earrings


For something a little different, I wanted to share with you my new hobby: making leather jewelry! It all started when my friend Kate bought a pair, and then my twin bought a pair, and then I thought about buying one, but instead made my own!!

Here are a few other examples:



The ones above are made from recycled leather from a wallet! All the earrings have sterling silver hardware and are very light in weight, but big in their presence.

I've had a lot of fun making these and sold a few to friends and a boss's boss's boss!! If you want your own, check out my Etsy page ;)

1/13/20

Turmeric & Black Pepper No Knead Bread


Oh hi first baking project of the year! If you've been somewhere without internet for the last few years, you may have missed the craze of no knead bread. It's a method of baking bread where the stand mixer does most of the work, and you then bake the bread in a cast iron Dutch oven with stunning results.

Last Friday I thought I should make the no knead bread again, but with a twist!

What twist may you ask? Turmeric and black pepper!

I followed this Le Creuset recipe, but added a few pinches of turmeric and about 2 teaspoons of black pepper to my dough.


You should have smelled the aroma of the bread as it was baking. The crust was incredible! The inside of the bread was a gorgeous sunflower yellow color, and I definitely tasted both the turmeric and the black pepper.

The loaf sliced beautifully for toast, and I froze about 2/3 of the slices to avoid eating the entire loaf all at once. 


1/9/20

Chili With Cornbread Croutons


Want to simplify your life? Meal prep will help you with that task. For example, this past Sunday I made a large amount of chili and a cast iron skillet cornbread.

The chili had onions, celery, green pepper, ground beef, cumin, chili, salt & pepper, chickpeas, cannellini beans, pinto beans, defrosted corn, and canned tomatoes. The cornbread started with a Jiffy mix, but I added defrosted corn, sliced jalapeno, and sliced scallions.

I made enough for dinner that night and enough leftovers for 4 lunches. I highly recommend you immediately divide the leftovers into their containers and stack them in the fridge. Each morning it's so easy to grab a container of chili and a small bag with a piece of cornbread to take to work.

Top yours with sour cream and cheese, sliced scallions, and if you want to be extra, diced avocado and fresh salsa.

To make leftovers a bit more fun, if lets say you are working from home, cut the cornbread into bite-size pieces and brown in oil in a cast iron skillet. I slightly burned mine. It happens.

1/7/20

Quick & Easy: Salmon Shakshuka


I debated posting a recipe for Quick & Easy: Salmon Shakshuka because the photo turned out somewhat fugly, but then decided to just go ahead and write about it because the flavor was phenomenal. Yes, I'm not exaggerating.

It all started Saturday morning when I was watching The Kitchen on The Food Network. Michael Symon was the guest and showed his version of shakshuka. Instead of poaching eggs in the tomato sauce, however, he poached white fish!

I thought it was a brilliant idea, and thought I can do something similar with a piece of salmon I had in the refrigerator. I gave my recipe a Mediterranean flavor profile. 


Quick & Easy: Salmon Shakshuka
Serves 1

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Serrano pepper, sliced
14-15 ounce can crushed tomatoes
salt & pepper
4-6 ounce salmon filet, skin removed
1-2 tablespoons capers

Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onions, pepper, garlic, and Serrano pepper, and saute for 7 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
2. Add crushed tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 5 minutes.
3. Nestle in the salmon filet, and continue to simmer, with a cover on, for 5 minutes.
4. Add capers. Serve.

This dish was fresh and spicy and so satisfying, but without making me feel heavy. I highly recommend you give it a try!

Options: you can add olives instead of capers. You can also add other vegetables such as zucchini.

1/2/20

Open Face Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich With Pineapple & Sriracha


Happy 2020! I'm excited to share with you a recipe for Open Face Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich With Pineapple & Sriracha, but first, I need to tell you about the turkey meatloaf.

Back in 2019, lol, I bought a pound of ground turkey and decided to make Gina's, aka Skinnytaste meatloaf. Alas, I was out of Worcestershire sauce, did not have marjoram, and had only 1 pound instead of 1.3 pounds of ground turkey.

I added celery and chiles in adobo sauce, and used low sodium soy sauce in the glaze. The results were great!

Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients
for the meatloaf
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup ketchup
2 chiles in adobo, minced
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

for the glaze
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce

for the topping
black sesame seeds
chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a skillet, heat olive oil, then add onion and celery and saute for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine cooled sauteed onions and celery with the rest of the meatloaf ingredients.
4. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and form a loaf on top of it.
5. In a small bowl, mix ketchup with soy sauce and brush on top of the meatloaf. Bake for 55 minutes.
6. Allow the meatloaf to rest and sprinkle with black sesame seeds and fresh cilantro.



This was such an easy recipe!!! I divided the meatloaf into 4 portions. The first 3 I had with roasted cauliflower and chickpeas.



The last one, I turned into an Open Face Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich With Pineapple & Sriracha.

1) Slice pineapple and meatloaf and saute in olive oil until golden brown. You may sprinkle a bit of sugar onto pineapple to help it caramelize.
2) Toast a slice of whole wheat bread. Spread the toast with mayonnaise and top with thinly sliced white onion.
3) Top with meatloaf, pineapples, sriracha, and cilantro.
4) Serve with a few pickles

This sandwich requires a fork and a knife and a napkin!