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!


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!


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.


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

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

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.


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!!!


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 ;)


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. 


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.


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

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

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.


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

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

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!


Meatless Monday: Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil

Do you need a reset from all the holiday eating you've been doing? Are you craving a bowl of soup that's creamy with a bit of texture and spice? Then you should definitely make my Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil.

Last week I saw Ellie Krieger's recipe for Creamy Cauliflower Soup With Mushroom and Hazelnut Topping, but did not have shallots, mushrooms, hazelnuts, parsley, or sherry vinegar. I KNOW!!!

I decided to use what I did have and make my own version of the soup.

Creamy Cauliflower & Potato Soup With Cashews & Chili Oil

olive oil enough to cover the bottom of a soup pot
1/2 red onion, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1 large red potato, peeled, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
salt to taste {you'll need WAY more than you think}
black pepper to taste
toasted cashews, chopped
fresh cilantro, chopped
chili oil to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion, cauliflower, and potatoes and saute for 10 minutes on medium heat.
2. Add vegetable broth, season with salt and pepper, increase the heat and bring to a boil.
3. Lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are fork tender.
4. Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup.
5. Taste and adjust for salt.
6. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with cashews, cilantro, and a drizzle of chili oil.

The soup reheats really well!

PS I made that bowl!!!