Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Appetizers & Salads Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

I posted this recipe over a year ago, but it wasn’t under a typical recipe heading. So, I’m reposting it. I created this as a tasty Summer/Spring salad, but it’s great for during any warm weather spell.

Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired,

  • 1 bunch cilantro
, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
, loose
  • 1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon

Mix with the following:

  • 2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
  • small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • generous handful of arugula, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
  • feta, optional

If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.

Enjoy!

 

Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad

Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad

Appetizers & Salads Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

This is a vibrant vegetable salad that’s full of texture and a great pairing with many proteins or cold noodle dishes. (Try with the Mint, Cilantro and Green Onion Soba Noodles.) It tastes great fresh or the next day. Keep in mind that the next-day vegetables will taste pickled with the dressing combined. I like this salad with a bigger sour and astringent taste of vinegar. If you’re sensitive to vinegar, try adding half of the quantity first and adjust to taste.

  • ­­­­1 medium cucumber
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 1/3 lb snap peas
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 Tbs rice wine vinegar*
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Lightly toast sesame seeds on low to medium heat stovetop, tossing often, until golden. Set aside to cool.

Trim peas as needed. In a medium saucepan, cook peas in boiling salted water for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop peas from cooking.

Peel and deseed cucumber. Halve cucumber and radishes and cut unto ¼-inch thick slices. Cut the larger peas in half.

Combine vinegars, salt and sugar in small bowl. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.

Toss vegetables, vinegar mixture and sesame seeds in a bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.

*If using seasoned vinegar, the additional salt and sugar may not be needed.

xo,

Julie

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

Soba Noodles with Mint, Cilantro & Green Onions

With the recent heat wave we had, I looked for recipes that were easy with minimal cooking. I found a soba noodles recipe and modified it below to my liking. Mint and cilantro are two favorite herbs that add a stimulating and cooling, respectively, effect to meals. They worked perfectly with this cold dish.

I paired this with the Cucumber, Radish and Snap Pea Salad (shown in photo.) If I were to pair the noodles with something less sour and astringent, I would add rice vinegar to the noodles. I’d start with a tablespoon and adjust from there.

  • ­­­­10 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles
  • 2 Tbs avocado oil
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup fresh mint, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Cook noodles in boiling water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain immediately in colander under cold water to stop noodles from cooking. Drain well and place in refrigerator.

For dressing, whisk together avocado oil, soy sauce, sugar and salt until sugar and salt are dissolved. Taste and adjust as needed.

Toss noodles with dressing, mint, cilantro and green onions. Add pepper to taste.

xo,

Julie

Cretan Dakos

Cretan Dakos

Appetizers & Salads Nourish Recipe

The first time I made this recipe I used a baguette. This time I got my hands on dakos (barley rusks.) It tasted like…more…

A friend from Greece sent me the original recipe. It’s simple to make and will look familiar – the Italian’s variation is bruschetta.

However, what makes this special is the flavor combination of the dako with flavorful tomatoes, along with grating the tomatoes. I wrote this recipe using Early Girl tomatoes, which are juicy and have the right touch of sweetness and don’t necessarily need added honey. If using other tomatoes, you many want the honey to balance the acidity along with the salt. You could add capers, olives or other herbs, and sometimes I’ll add green onion.

  • ­­­­6 small dakos (or 6 baguette slices)
  • 6 Early Girl tomatoes
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • fresh basil, finely chopped
  • fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • olive oil
  • ¼ fresh onion, finely chopped
  • soft cheese (optional)

Place the dako pieces onto a plate.

Cut 3 of the tomatoes in half and grate into a bowl. (If the skin doesn’t break down, pop those extra antioxidants in your mouth.) Dice the remaining 3 tomatoes and set aside.

In the bowl, add the vinegar, honey (if using), salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Toss. Adjust seasoning and herbs to taste.

Pour the mixture over the dako. Drizzle with olive oil. Top the dako pieces with the diced tomatoes along with the juices. Sprinkle with onion.

I do recommend trying this with the barley rusks. However, if you can’t find them you can make them or use a day-old baguette instead.

Enjoy!

xo,

Julie

Shown with dako pieces
Shown with baguette pieces

Tomatoes

Health Wellness

There are different philosophies on tomatoes. Here is a brief summary. Ayurveda (but not all Ayurvedic nutritionists) advises not eating them, since the cause toxic build-up and stimulate heat and desire. Chinese medicine claims tomatoes can cool the blood on hot days. Those in the Mediterranean embrace the tomato, where apparently in the northern part of Europe the tomato is considered by some to be poisonous. Take your pick.

 

Tomatoes are acidic, meaning they are stimulating and sour. To some, tomatoes can irritate the digestive tract and are recommended to avoid if you have GI tract inflammation. These irritating qualities can be enhanced when cooked or sun-dried, since the flavors become more pungent and hot. The tomato flesh in general is easy to digest, and the seeds and skins can be irritating for some.

As for nutritional value, tomatoes have a high concentration of the antioxidant lycopene. It also has high levels of potassium and vitamins C, K and A, along with others.

I personally embrace them, but also eat them in balanced quantities. Tomatoes can aggravatePitta in the digestive tract. However, their cooling properties are refreshing on warm days. My personal favorite is the Early Girl tomato. I don’t have a problem grabbing and taking a bite in Early Girl tomatoes. They are juicy and have a sweetness that makes my mouth water.

Fresh Corn Polenta

Fresh Corn Polenta

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

There’s something about exciting about corn season. It takes me to a happy place where I was born and lived until almost 6 years old. We lived by a Pennsylvania dairy farm surrounded by cornfields and rolling hills, where the scenery was lush and the smells in the air were plenty. It was long ago; however, the smell of fresh corn still sparks those childhood memories of walking through cornfields and swinging on a creekside tree swing.

Inspired by farmer’s market corn freshly picked that morning and selecting the vendor’sfavorite, bi-color corn*, I searched for a recipe that was new and refreshing. I found a recipe for polenta from fresh corn from Yotam Ottolenghi. Polenta made from fresh corn seems obvious, but I’ve never thought to make it. It was different than polenta made from cornmeal, and I loved it.

This is a slight variation of the recipe (proportions and my cooking time) and I would even try different or no cheeses in the dish, depending on with what I paired it. The photo shown here is with Ottelenghi’s eggplant tomato sauce he used with the polenta. I’m already planning on trying this again with the last of the corn harvest, making with a mushroom sauce.

Serves 3-4

  • 4 ear of corn
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 5 oz feta, crumbled
  • salt & pepper

Remove the husk and silk from each ear and shave off the kernels.

Put the kernels in a medium saucepan and cover them with the water. Bring to a boil then cook for 12 minutes on a low simmer. Using a slotted spoon, remove the kernels from the water into a food processor. Reserve the cooking liquid. Process the corn for several minutes to breakdown as much of the kernel case as possible. Add some of the cooking liquid if the mixture becomes to dry to process. (I didn’t have this problem.)

Return the corn paste to the pan with the cooking liquid and cook, while stirring, on low heat for 15-20 minutes. As the mixture thickens toward a mashed potato consistency, stir more frequently. Fold in the butter, feta, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add more seasoning as desired.

Enjoy!

xo,

Julie

*The farmer’s market vendor gave me a reminder of the differences of the corn: yellow is more buttery, white is sweeter and bi-color is the wonderful combination of buttery and sweet.

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Dessert Nourish Recipe

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a recipe. Lots of life happening…all are growth experiences. I hope I won’t be so silent for the second half of this year. While there are still berries at the farmers markets, this cake is quick and simple to make. And, it’s perfect for your summer meal.

I found this in one of my Gourmet magazines, which in my opinion was the best cooking magazine of all time. Not only did the magazine share amazing recipes and meals, but also its stories and photos mentally took you on a journey from where the recipes came. There are other publications that do the same, but this one remains my favorite. Unfortunately the magazine no longer exists, but many of the recipes can be found online. I’ve kept a couple handfuls of hard copies, and I still often browse through them for inspiration.

The original recipe was with raspberries, but my go to berry is strawberry. I’ve added lemon zest or spices (vanilla bean and/or cinnamon,) slightly reduced the sugar and made it with blueberries too. If you try it, let me know what you think!

  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
  • scant 2/3 cup sugar plus 1 Tbs sugar, divided
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ½ cup shaken buttermilk
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.

Whisk together

flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and scant 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well.

At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 to 4 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.

Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Slice strawberries and scatter evenly over top of batter, leaving space between the berries. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Hope you enjoy!

xo,

Julie

 

Stew for a Foggy Summer

Stew for a Foggy Summer

Mains & Sides Nourish Recipe

If you live in San Francisco, you know that the summer weather is not the same as what most of the country is experiencing. It can be cold, windy and many times foggy. Living here for about 7 years, my mind still craves the raw, crisp and coolness of Summer’s harvest while my body (covered in layers rather than a sundress) needs a warmed, cooked meal.  To balance my wants and needs during this season, I typically eat more raw foods at lunch and a cooked dish with big flavor or lots of spice or fresh herbs that’s filling yet not too heavy. Although typically cooked more in winter, one type of meal that brings me comfort is stew. This is a stew I recently made. A couple things to note: rather than making fresh adobo I used leftovers from a small can of chipotles in adobo, so you may want to use your favorite adobo recipe. Also, you may want to add the chipotle in small quantities to adjust for your heat preference.

Linguiça and Lentil Stew

  • 1 cup puy lentils
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 small to medium red potatoes, cubed
  • 1 lb linguiça, casing removed and sliced
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch kale, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4-1 chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped
  • smoky paprika or spicy smoky paprika, depending on preference.
  • stock or water
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Vinegar (optional)

Cook lentils in 2 cups of water, adding water as need, until cooked slightly al dente. Set aside.

In a large pot, sauté onion in 1 Tbs olive oil until translucent and tender. Add garlic and ¼ tsp of the paprika and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove ingredients with a slotted utensil and set aside. Leave the remaining oil in the pot. Add another 1 Tbs of olive oil and sauté potatoes until golden brown. Add some paprika, salt and pepper to lightly coat the potatoes and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove potatoes from the pot and set aside. Add linguiça to pot, cooking approximately 3 minutes, and then add the tomatoes, onions and garlic, 1 tsp paprika and 1 cup stock (or water). Once tomatoes start to break down, add the chipotle and adobo. (I used ½ chipotle and 1 Tbs adobo.) Next, add kale to wilt. Then, add the lentils and potatoes. Cook for 20-30 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. More liquid can be added if a more soupy texture desired. Salt and pepper to taste. When serving, add a splash of white vinegar to the dish.

If you have less cooking time, you can continue to add the ingredients to the pot. I chose sauté the potatoes in the onion and garlic oil for texture and to adhere more flavors onto the potatoes.

Let me know what you think!

xo,

Julie

Yogi Likes to Cook

Yogi Likes to Cook

Inspiration Nourish Recipe

I like to cook. When I get or make the time, cooking is a cathartic experience for me. When I’m motivated or inspired, I look in the fridge to see what I have, or think about for what I’m in the mood. Sometimes I follow straight from the recipe; sometimes I change ingredients or steps based on experience; and sometimes I follow a desirable color palette. Grazing through cookbooks or magazines of various cuisines and diets, and even online, I begin to anticipate what may be created next. I also love excursions to the grocery store or farmers market, seeing what’s fresh and in season to determine what colorful dish can be prepared.

I think my cooking interest really began in my early 30’s while living in Seattle. I had a group of friends, some who cooked and some who just enjoyed food. When I met my husband he worked in the service industry and also enjoyed cooking, and the foodie adventures continued. Including the major holidays, dinner parties, barbeques, restaurant excursions and take-away gatherings were the norm. My favorite experiences, and most of the time the dishes, were prepared at each other’s homes. I loved having themes and searching for new things to cook. I even enjoyed the challenge of meeting everyone’s dietary restrictions and preferences. Well, almost always…

Some of my more recent curiosities were inspired by a vegetarian cookbook full of international recipes, which was referenced in a book about Ayurveda. That led me to dig deeper with Sachi Doctor, an Ayurvedic practitioner based in San Francisco. Sachi has taught me to understand how to eat (and live) in a way that is more aligned with my mind-body constitution (dosha) and with the seasons. Thinking about reviving the group meal experience and combining it with my passions for teaching and cooking, Sachi and I collaborated to teach workshops that applied Ayurvedic principles on the mat and in the kitchen. Our next endeavors are in the works, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, I plan to share my own experiences in the kitchen. Here’s a tasty salad idea that I created for Summer/Spring.

 

Vibrant Quinoa Salad

Combine the following chopped herbs in food processor with 1/3 cup or more olive oil. Add lemon or vinegar if desired,

  • 1 bunch cilantro
, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley
, loose
  • 1/4 cup each dill, mint & tarragon

Mix with the following:

  • 2 cups (more/less as desired) cooked quinoa
  • small sautéed onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 to 1 serrano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced
  • generous handful of arugula, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste; I also added cumin
  • feta, optional

If you don’t like the taste of tarragon, you could skip it or experiment with another herb…basil, sorrel, lemon thyme.

Enjoy!

xo,

Julie