Archive for June, 2013

Mayan Harvest Bake

June 30, 2013

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I came across some copycat recipes for Kashi’s Mayan Harvest Bake frozen dinners. I have never had the original dinner, but it sounded good: roast sweet potatoes, steamed kale and a tomato black bean sauce over a creamy pilaf. I changed things around a bit, using butternut squash instead of sweet potato and whole wheat couscous instead of quinoa pilaf. You can change things back, if you like, it will be good either way.

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Reverse Engineered Soft Baked Chocolate Squares

June 27, 2013

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This is the result of my attempt to reverse engineer Kashi’s Soft Baked Chocolate Squares. The texture is very similar to the Kashi squares: cakey but dense, much drier than brownies and more compact than cake. I like them this way, but if you prefer a moister, fudgier bar, I have a variation that creates that texture, too.

I tweaked my recipe to mostly match the Kashi ingredient list and to even more closely hew to the nutritional data. They are vegan, with about 4 g. of fiber and 4 g. of protein per 160 calorie serving from black beans, sweet potato, ground nuts, flax seed meal, whole grain wheat, spelt and oats.

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Cold Soups: Smoky Moroccan Red Pepper Soup and Israeli Salad Soup (June Kosher Connection Link-Up)

June 17, 2013

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Here are two different cold soups: a smoky red pepper soup with Moroccan spices and a tangy yogurt soup with finely chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.

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Spinach Quinoa Tabbouleh

June 9, 2013

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Did you know that you can sometimes substitute spinach, kale or Swiss chard for parsley? Well, apparently, you can.

I tried making kale pesto a while back and loved it (though I have yet to post about it). This week’s Shabbos salad was a tabbouleh-like mix of tomatoes, cucumbers, quinoa and finely minced baby spinach. Right before serving, I tossed in some diced avocado.

The original recipe was a cilantro chickpea salad from Heather’s Dish that was spotted on Oh She Glows by Arielle of The Diva Dish who added in quinoa, avocado, lemon juice and cherry tomatoes to make Lemon Quinoa Cilantro Chickpea Salad. I went back to lime juice, added in cucumbers, and removed the cilantro to make a kind of tabbouleh.

Last week, my husband said the farro salad was the best salad ever, and now his vote is for the tabbouleh. So light, so refreshing, so perfect for summer.

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Five Grain Three Seed Gluten-Free Sesame Sticks

June 9, 2013

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These sesame sticks started out as a copycat version of Mary’s Gone Crackers. I found the cracker shaping process tedious, so I took Hindy’s lead and made pretzel sticks instead. Much, much easier.

I looked at quite a few copycat recipes and and decided to  simplify the ingredient list and cooking method. Most recipes call for cooking quinoa and brown rice in separate pots. I cooked the grains in one pot. Instead of adding lots of different seeds, I used just poppy seeds and sesame seeds (two seeds I almost always have on hand for challah baking).

I added in a little twist that has nothing to do with the original cracker. My grandmother, A”H, used to make onion poppy seeds crackers. I added in some minced shallot because I love the flavor combination of onion or shallot with poppy seeds.

The flavor of these pretzels remind me of the sesame sticks that come in some bags of mixed nuts. Of course, these are more nutritious.

Wholesome, tasty and easy to make–these addictive sesame sticks have got it all.

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Farro Salad with Mushrooms and Green Beans

June 2, 2013

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I have been wanting to experiment with farro for quite some time. Of course, when I finally found some farro in the supermarket, I couldn’t remember where I had seen interesting recipes using it.

I wanted a cold farro salad for Shabbos, preferably using the green beans and cremini mushrooms I already had on hand.  A little googling yielded not one, but two Green Bean and Mushroom Farro salad recipes (Closet Cooking and Melissa Kelley in Food and Wine). I went with the recipe that called for roasting the green beans and mushrooms and made a few changes (doubling the amount of mushrooms and roasting the vegetable with balsamic vinaigrette instead of just oil, salt and pepper).

The final salad was intensely savory, with a satisfyingly hearty chewiness from the farro, string beans and mushrooms. The bitterness and crunch of walnuts added a nice counterpoint, but the salad works without the nuts, too.

This is meant to be served cold, but it would also be lovely as a warm pilaf. If you don’t have farro, I think that barley would make a decent substitute, as it has a similar texture. This is something I would definitely consider making for Thanksgiving, as the flavor combination makes me think of the classic green bean casserole.

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