Hearts of Palm Cakes

Hearts of Palm Crab Cakes

When I received Crazy Sexy Kitchen, this recipe was one of the first I wanted to try. It took me a while to get there but here it is.  In her book, she offers them with a remoulade sauce which I made, but for me the cakes are fine just as they are, with a dollop of greek yogurt or a side of something yummy. I served them alongside a good salad such as her Crazy Sexy Salad or  my Sugar Snap and Garden Pea salad. I’ve included the remoulade sauce recipe at the end of the post for those of you who want to try it out. Enjoy!

Hearts of Palm Cakes
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 sheet of nori, or 2 teaspoons toasted nori flakes
  • Two 14-ounce cans hearts of palm
  • 2-4 Tbsp oil, more as needed
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • ¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Vegenaise or other vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot or cornstarch
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Toast nori sheet by holding it with tongs and fanning it over a low gas flame or electric burner. Be careful not to let it burn. Turn the sheet frequently, so that it toasts evenly.
  2. Grind the nori using a spice grinder or a coffee grinder that can be used for spices. Break the nori into pieces, place it in the grinder, and pulse until powdered. Alternatively, crumble it as finely as you can with your hands or pulverize it with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Drain the hearts of palm and press in a towel to dry them. In a food processor, pulse gently until it looks like the consistency of crabmeat.
  4. Place a small sauté pan on medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. Sauté the onion and bell pepper until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the hearts of palm, onion, bell pepper, Vegenaise, 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning, nori flakes, nutritional yeast flakes, arrowroot or cornstarch, and salt and pepper. Mix until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  6. Scoop with an ice cream scoop or a large tablespoon to portion into small cakes. Combine breadcrumbs with 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning. Coat the small cakes with breadcrumbs. Form and let sit in the refrigerator until firm (30 – 60 min).
  7. Place a sauté pan on medium-high heat. Add some oil and heat for 2 minutes. Working in batches, sauté the cakes until browned on both sides and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
  8. Remove the cakes to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in a warm oven until you finish all of the cakes.
  9. Place the cakes on a plate and garnish.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with homemade chimichurri or another one of my dips, sauces and spreads!

Photo courtesy of Kris Carr.

Roasted Baby Artichokes

Roasted Baby ArtichokesI got some feedback from a friend and colleague of mine that my Stuffed Artichokes didn’t work for her…I got to the bottom of it and realized it is important that you used homemade breadcrumbs. Also, you  should be able to stick a knife easily through and the outer leaves should be almost falling off (as you should have removed the firm outer leaves prior to cooking). I have made the update but just wanted you all to know that all feedback is welcome.

Anyway, if that all sounds like too much for you, this is a much simpler and easier way to cook artichokes but you’ve got to use those adorable little ones that are all over the place right now. These are delicious and crispy and remind me almost of artichoke chips, yum!!!!

Roasted Baby Artichokes
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 9 baby artichokes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (omit for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare artichokes. Cut stem and remove the tough outer leaves of the artichokes (until it starts to look a lighter green). Cut off the top third of the head to remove the tough ends of the leaves, then split it down the middle. Rub with lemon as you work so they don’t turn brown.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Lay the artichoke halves cut-side up in a roasting dish and drizzle or brush with the olive oil mixture. Roast in the oven until the artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Top with the cheese and garnish with the parsley.

Serving Suggestion: Throw in some sweet potatoes and roast together for double yum!

Photo Credit: My Man’s Belly

 

Mostly Veggie Potato Salad

Mostly Veggie Potato SaladFrom the recipes on this site, you guys know I love sweet potatoes but I received some red potatoes in my Full Circle box last week so needed to get creative. Aside from the fact that you get fresh local veggies delivered to your doorstep (which is awesome!), I also love getting these CSA boxes because they present me with challenges. I knew I didn’t just want to roast the potatoes so I searched around and came across this recipe in Super Natural Everyday, Heidi Swanson’s cookbook. It is a very easy dish and a different take on the traditional potato salad. Scott and I have been using the leftovers on top of salad all week for lunch and I imagine this would be a great additional to a summer potluck!

Mostly Veggie Potato Salad
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 4 small pink or red skinned potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
  • 2 cups of green beans, trimmed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup whole grain mustard
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup EVOO
  • Sea salt
  • ¼ cup chopped dill
  • 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 small cucumber, unpeeled and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped chives
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt generously, add the potatoes and cook until tender but not falling apart (approx 10 minutes). One minute before potatoes are done, add in the green beans. Drain potatoes and beans and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, sautee the dill in a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add a couple of pinches of salt, stir in the leek and saute until golden and slightly crispy (about 4-5 minutes).
  3. In the meantime, make the dressing by whisking together mustard, vinegar, oil and salt. Taste and adjust as needed.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss the potatoes, green beans, celery, cucumber, chives and leek with the dressing. Salt to taste. Serve room temperature or chilled.

Photo credit: Hello There Home.

Top 7 Summer Salads

As we move from Spring towards Summer, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Summer salads. These are a perfect starter or a side dish for those hot summer nights. Click on the link below the photo to take you to the recipe.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Tabbouleh (cracked wheat salad)

Arugula Salad with Peaches

Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad

I hope you cannot overdose on peas because I have literally been making this non stop! I went to the farmer’s market the other weekend and there were fresh snap peas, fresh peas, fresh kale and fresh arugula…so obviously, I went to town :). My friend Alli had made a rendition of this at our Supper Club but I modified it to make it my own. It is a light, crisp goodness of greens. Be sure to check out my new site The Simple Kitchen. Oh and don’t forget you can find the guide to making lemon vinaigrette here

Sugar Snap and Garden Pea Salad
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 2 cups garden peas
  • 5 cups arugula
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • ½ cup mint leaves, chopped – can do more depending on your taste
  • 1½ -2 avocados, cubed
  • ¼ cup lemon vinagrette
  • Pepitas and coarse sea salt for garnish
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice bath.
  2. Wash the sugar snap peas and de-string them if necessary, snapping the tip and removing the fibrous strand running lengthwise. If the snap peas are young, you won’t have to do this. Drop the sugar snap peas into the pot of boiling water. Cook for 2 minutes, then strain out and drop them into an ice bath. Once cooled, strain.
  3. Combine arugula, kale and mint to a serving bowl.
  4. Add peas, avocado and dressing and mix well.
  5. Top with pepitas, salt and any additional toppings (chopped cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, etc.)

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine

Root Vegetable Tagine

I made this dish for Scott and I a few weeks back and we loved it. This week we were bringing dinner to a friend and his wife and I had to come up with something I could cook earlier in the day and then reheat as I was coming straight from the studio and this was the first thing that popped into my mind. This dish can easily be made earlier or even the night before and then just reheated prior to serving as it allows the flavors to really soak in. A few of the comments I got that night included: “This is exactly what they serve in Morocco” & “This might be the best dinner ever”, so I would say it was a success. I got this from the fabulous Kris Carr and her amazing book Crazy, Sexy Kitchen, but modified a bit to fit my tastes.

For new and improved recipes, please visit my new site The Simple Kitchen!

Chickpea and Root Vegetable Tagine
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ⅔ tsp ground cumin
  • ⅔ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes [adjust based on desired spiciness]
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I prefer red or yellow)
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 6 ounces artichoke hearts, rinsed and quartered
  • 1½ cups peas
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped mint
  • Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy-bottom shallow pot or deep skillet [cast iron works best] on medium heat, add oil, onions, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and golden, stirring continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the spices, tomato paste, vegetable stock, carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnip. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes, or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of chopped veggies.
  3. When the root veggies are tender, add the bell pepper, chickpeas, artichokes, and raisins. Continue simmering for about 5 to 8 minutes. Liquid should be reduced and thicker at this point.
  4. Add parsley, cilantro, mint and sea salt, folding in all of the herbs. Cover and remove from the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  5. Garnish with lemon zest, red sliced chili and any leftover parsley, cilantro or mint if desired.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over cauliflower mash, quinoa or grain of choice.

Tofu Lime Ceviche

Tofu CevicheThe weather here is SF has just been fabulous lately and there is nothing more refreshing that a crisp cool meal or snack when the weather is nice. I loved this idea of a vegetarian ceviche when I saw this recipe on the Whole Foods website and I have recently started to get avocados and tomatoes in my CSA box, so I thought it was the perfect time to try it out… and this will be a great addition to your cinco de mayo menu (don’t forget to serve with some yummy Guacamole as well). I love the fresh flavor combo’s of the avocado, lime, cilantro, coconut and ginger.

Tofu Lime Ceviche
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium avocado, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat tofu dry with paper towels, then transfer to a bowl and toss gently with Worcestershire sauce. Spread tofu out evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes. Set aside to let cool to room temperature.
  2. Put tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, onions, avocado, ginger, garlic and coconut milk into a large bowl. Add tofu and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight, before serving. *If marinating for a long time or overnight, you can add avocado in prior to serving in order to avoid browning.

Photo Credit: Whole Foods

Thai Red Curry with Pumpkin

Red Pumpkin Curry

Scott and I hosted a dinner party last week as part of a reunion for some friends that went to Turkey together and also as a birthday celebration for my friend Brittany. We decided that it was the perfect opportunity to test our our recently learned Thai cooking skills :). The real standout of the dinner party was the red curry. We had to modify from what we made in Thailand because we simply couldn’t find all the right ingredients here so this is the version that will likely work for most of you and it was oh so tasty. Serve over rice or with some noodles (or both!) and you are set. Lucky for us, we hosted 7 but made enough food for almost twice that… and the leftovers were just as tasty.

Thai Red Curry with Pumpkin
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup coconut cream – we were told in Thailand that coconut cream is a must in curries… I will test it out with other types of coconut milk and report back.
  • 1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (can find a vegetarian version if you would like)
  • 1 lb pumpkin, cut into 1 in cubes – any yellow flesh squash will work
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 red bell pepper, even thinly sliced
  • 2 cups or 1 can baby corn, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs basil – thai basil if you can find it
Instructions
  1. Pour half of the coconut cream into a pot, over medium heat. Add the red curry paste and mix well. If your mixture starts to splatter too much, turn down the heat. Stir continuously to prevent the bottom from sticking and burning. When the reddish oil starts to form, stir until fragrant.
  2. Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with curry sauce. Add the rest of the coconut cream and water. Season with salt; start at ½ tablespoon and taste. Each curry paste has a different salt content so you really need to taste it. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add sliced red pepper, corn and basil. Turn off the heat. Stir to submerge the basil in hot curry to keep the leaves bright green. The leaves will stay bright green for 10 minutes or so. Serve while hot.

 

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed ArtichokesI have shared recipes and/or inspirations from this Classy Broad before but this simple dish is worth yet another shout out. She hosted our monthly Supper Club last week – this is where four of us get together once a month to experiment with our cooking and entertaining skills. We generally have a key ingredient or a theme of sorts and I just loved Alli’s answer when she told us how she came up with her menu. She said she was at the farmers market and everything just looked so good and fresh that instead of having an idea and shopping for the ingredients, she bought what looked good and then looked for recipes around that. Talk about seasonal cooking, I just love it! This was our main course (we always do somewhere between 4-5 courses to really make it classy!) and let’s just say I was shocked when I heard how few ingredients were in this – it definitely tasted like it should have been a bit more naughty than it actually is.  My mouth is watering as I post this….

Stuffed Artichokes
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large, full-size artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1½ cups home made bread crumbs – may not need to use them all depending on your preference
  • 1 cup grated pecorino – can use a dairy free cheese as a vegan option
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems to create a flat bottom. Cut top thirds off artichokes, pull off tough outermost leaves, and trim tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Rub cut parts with lemon halves. Open artichoke leaves with your thumbs to make room for stuffing; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, ¾ cup pecorino, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Working with one artichoke at a time over bowl, sprinkle one-quarter of bread crumb mixture over the artichoke and work it in between leaves. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 tbsp. oil. Pour in boiling water to a depth of 1″. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil on a sheet of aluminum foil, cover artichokes with foil (oiled side down), and secure foil tightly around dish with kitchen twine.
  3. Bake until a knife easily slides into the base of an artichoke, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and switch oven to broil. Broil until tops of artichokes are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Throw any finely chopped veggies of your choice in the stuffing mixture to add an extra punch!

The recipe and photo are courtesy of Saveur.

Traditional Pad Thai

I apologize for the hiatus, I was doing some research abroad… I traveled all the way to Thailand to seek out some Thai recipes to share with you all :)! We took an incredible cooking class that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. It is called Siam Rice Thai Cookery and Pot, the founder takes you to the local market, then welcomes you into his home which is also a cooking school. These were some of the best dishes I ate the whole time we were out there. I’ll start with the classic Thai dish, Pad Thai… but don’t worry there will be plenty more to come.

IMG_1056

Visiting the local market

Traditional Pad Thai
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp cooking oil of your choice (we used palm oil due to the high heat of the cooking – you can use canola, sunflower or peanut oil as well)
  • 3 Tbsp garlic, smashed
  • 1 (12oz) package tofu, diced into ¼ inch cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce (oyster flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 3 Tbsp fish sauce (fish flavored sauce for vegetarian)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (palm sugar is what is used in traditional Thai cooking)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp black soy sauce (just use additional soy sauce if you cannot find this version)
  • 1 package (12 oz) rice noodles – if they are dried instead of fresh, you may have to soak in cold water for about 30 min
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup green beans
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • Ground peanuts, chili powder and lime (preferably kaffir lime) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Add the cooking oil to wok, keeping high heat. Add garlic and tofu and cook until fragrant.
  2. Crack in eggs and cook until egg is fully cooked.
  3. Add water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and soy sauces.
  4. Add noodles. Stir until the noodles are soft and then add bean sprouts, green beans and chives. Cook for one more minute and then remove from heat.
  5. Garnish with ground peanuts, chili powder and lime.

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The finished product – and a well deserved Chang beer!