01 November 2013

Mushroom & Kale Stroganoff

This was dinner was prompted by my spotting of whole wheat egg noodles at the store.  I would have made this a lot sooner if I had known how easy it was to find them.  I try to keep a stash of shitake mushrooms at all times, and the kale was just outside in the garden waiting for a job!  A Pretty quick dinner to throw together.

In one pan, sautee mushrooms, garlic, kale, onions.  In another, make a simple roux based cream sauce. In a third, boil the egg noodles.  Combine vegetables and sauce and pour over the top of noodles and serve.  Easy!

01 June 2013

Raw Nori Rolls

 There are very few places in town where you can grab some real food on the run.  OR Juice and Smoothie is one of them.  The owner is one of the crankiest and most brisk women I've ever met, and either she has a twin, or she can bi-locate because she is always there to take my order, no matter which location I go to.  The one in the CWE is way nicer and even has it's own bathroom!  The one near the Richmond Heights Schnucks is way more hilarious, but you have to go to the bar and grill next door if you want to wash your hands.  Both locations offer entertainment in the form of hand-written notes instructing you on how to behave in the establishment.  There is a special location for straw wrappers and you will get in trouble if you use your cell phone near the food.  You can't make this stuff up!
 But the food is great!  My favourite order is a beet and carrot juice and a large order of raw nori rolls.  The problem is that comes out to almost $13.  I've always told myself to just going to start making them at home, but it didn't happen until now.  Seems like rabbit food, but I swear you will be full if you eat 6 of these.
Prep is pretty self explanatory.  Layer the ingredients at one end of the nori strips and roll them up!  The tomatoes are temporarily down at the other end to 1) hold it down and 2) moisten the end so the rolls can be sealed.  OR J&S serves them with a yummy Braggs vinagrette, but I don't know what magic is in it, so I made a miso vinagrette with low sodium miso, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil.

Ingredients clockwise from left: greens (any kind you have-here you see baby kale,) shaved carrots, tomato, onion, avocado, sushi nori.

After I posted this, I wanted them immediately,
so I made them again.  This time with red cabbage
 instead of kale, and the addition of yellow peppers.
  And I made the sauce out of Braggs, apple cider  vinegar, sesame oil and red pepper flakes. 
Even tastier!

21 February 2013

My take on a Frontera salad

The next time you have a layover or are stranded in Chicago's O'Hare airport, or hell, even if you only have a few minutes, plan on eating at Rik Bayless Tortas Fronteras in Terminal 1 and 3.  This place puts all other airport food to complete shame.  The food is local, free range and organic for goodness sake!  What other airport restaurant can say that?  Seriously, if you know of one, tell me, and I will fly to there. 

So I've been there twice this year.  The first time it was still morning, so I got a breadless breakfast torta.  That is actually something they offer on the menu, so I wasn't being too awkward, that is until I requested they add mushrooms to it.  But they don't mind at all!  So the employees are awesome too!  So I had arugula, scrambled eggs, rajas, mushrooms, avocado and 2 kinds of Mexican cheese all served in a cute paper cup with a wooden fork.  Bonus points again for the minimal packaging! 

The second time I was too late for eggs, so I opted for the Taqueria Salad, to which once again I added the mushrooms from a different sandwich on the menu.  It was one of the best salads I've ever had. 

So I normally don't crave salads when it is freezing cold outside, but yesterday I did, so for lunch I headed on over to Crazy Bowls and Wraps for a Fajita Salad.  That consists of romaine, chickpeas, avocado, pepperoncinis, tortilla strips and subbed grilled tofu.  That comes with a bag of tortilla chips and way too much dressing, so the chips and dressing came home with me.  Yes the dressing is that good, and I suck at Mexican style salad dressings.  

ANYWAY, I finally had all the fixens to try my hand at the Frontera salad, so I made it for dinner. 

Of course I can't leave a recipe alone, so mine is a bit different from the original.

Romaine - torn
Baby Spinach
Red Cabbage - shredded
Red Pepper - strips
Avocado - strips
Green Onion - sliced
Goat Cheese - crumbled
Shitake Mushrooms - strips sauteed
Tortilla Chips - smashed
CBW dressing, or something similar

13 February 2013

My favorite breakfast, time allowing

Brussels sprouts, halved and cooked face down in coconut oil in a cast iron skillet.  It is all I want to eat lately.  I have been known to have this for breakfast lunch and dinner on the same day.  If you cover the skillet while they are cooking, they will steam and cook faster.  If you want them to caramelize without getting soft, only cover for final min of cooking time.

Cauliflower Risotto

I got a fancy new blender with a shredding blade, which worked pretty well to turn a head of cauliflower into the consistency of rice.  Other than the lack of rice, this is pretty much a basic risotto.  Oh, and I was low on stock, so I used white wine to make up the difference.  The result was kind of boozy, but for me it worked. 


I first had this soup years ago at Ernesto's, a little wine bar in Benton Park.  Then I forgot all about it until Sauce Magazine posted a recipe early this winter.  I love this soup because it is traditionally vegetarian.  The name translates to "cooked water."  Want it vegan?  Leave out the poached egg.  Below is my own adaptation of the Sauce recipe.

1 yellow onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
5 bay leaves
1∕2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Olive oil as needed
4 carrots, sliced
1 T tomato paste
1 carton Pomi tomatoes
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
8 cups water
Salt to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 parmesan rind
1 lb. fresh greens, rinsed and chopped - I used collards on this occasion
2 cups cooked cannellini beans
Crusty bread
Parmesan cheese, optional
Eggs, optional

• Purée the onions, celery and parsley in a blender.  You could skip this step, but it makes for a nicer texture.
 • Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add the purée and cook for 1-2 mins.  Add the carrots and cook until they seem dry and sticky.
• Add the red pepper flakes and toast 1 min.
• Add the tomato paste and tomatoes and simmer for 1 min.
• Add the water, salt and black pepper to taste. Add the greens, parmesan rind and beans and bring to a boil.
• Once the soup reaches a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
• Top each serving with a poached egg and serve with garlic rubbed toasty bread.