Crunchy summer salad

Sorry to say that I forgot you take a picture once everything in this crispy, crunchy cabbage dis that requires no cooking. It does require you to be patient as you slice the brussel sprouts either with a paring knife or on your mandolins. You could also use the slicing blade on your food processor. Simply slice them as thin as possible


Toss the sprouts with olive oil, lemon juice, shredded cheese, salt and pepper.


Lastly, a final toss with some walnut halves! Trust me, you’ll love it!

Tapenade Promenade

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I found this recipe on Pinterest, under the category of puff pastry appetizers and it came together in a snap and was unbelievably delicious! And it portions itself!

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Start by processing sundries tomatoes in oil with capers, kalamata olives and a little extra olive oil (about a tablespoon). You don’t want it too wet…

Take a sheet of thawed puff pastry dough and roll it out until you can place a 12″ dinner plate on it. Trim the excess dough so you have a round of dough and place on a baking sheet with silicone mat or parchment to prevent sticking. Top with the tapenade mixture up to 1″ of the edge and sprinkle on a teeny bit of shredded cheese.

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Repeat with a second sheet of pastry dough an press the two together to form a filled pie.

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Lightly press the edges together and place a glass in the middle of the pie. Press down lightly on the dough with the glass to mark the guide. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter ( which I found easier) to cut rays in the dough starting from the circle. Mark 12,3,6 and 9 on the circle first and then cut each of the quarters in half and then half again, so you have 16 cuts all together. Cut the rays all the way through both layers of dough/tapenade, but leave the middle circle intact.

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Beginning with the section closest to you, twist the section once or twice and lay flat. Continue by turning the pan. Bake in a 400° oven for about 20 to 25 minutes depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on it. I put a 12 minute reminder on the timer to check it and then finished it for an additional 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, whip some no fat or lo fat cream cheese with some crumbled feta, a drizzle of olive oil, and juice of half a lemon and zest from same. Season to your liking, I added a little crushed red pepper and some ground black pepper, the feta gives you enough salt. Set this aside as dip for the pull apart of the pastry.img_1860

I cut some stars out of the leftover dough for garnish. Just break off a section to eat and dip in the whipped feta. This works up quickly and easily and really can be used for sweet or savory applications. Enjoy!

Just Another Meatless Monday…

We had really fallen off “ye olde healthy option wagon” while I was home for the two week yoga pant vacation, so in an effort to right the ship, or should I say wagon, I did some cooking over the weekend to get ready for the work week. 

 
Carrots, onions, red lentils, curry, turmeric, cardamom and veggie broth turn into curried lentil soup. Once cooked down, I hit it with my trusty mix stick and add about a tablespoon of cream right before service. You can make as spicy, or not, as you want.

  
I had half of a bag of French green beans, that were about a second away from getting schlammy, so I threw them into another pan with lashings of lemon, red pepper flakes and some olive oil. The Hubs was snacking on them off and on, the ultimate compliment… Would be great with some crumbled feta cheese.

 

  
Lastly, the darling of the “but it could be steak” delusional hoax, currently front and center on every cooking site and recipe list…behold the roasted cauliflower. I’ve made it hundreds of times, and have never had a leftover, but I was inspired by a half hour with Lidia Bastianich, on Saturday afternoon, and ginned together this “bagna cauda” or “hot bath” of a sauce for the cauliflower featuring lemon, olive oil, capers, bottled artichokes, some onions, garlic and basil. I wasn’t  too sure on Saturday, but a couple of days in the fridge got the flavors to settle in nicely.

   
   
 
The little bit of leftover sauce might just get tossed with some rigatoni, arugula salad, Parmesan strips and maybe a few cannelini beans! “Hmmmmm, tastes like steak…”

 

Just Another Meatless Monday…

  
Ok, these are really, really good, peeps!

Especially when you take a nice fresh flatbread…

  
And you spread some lemony hummus all over…sort of like the mayonnaise on a regular sandwich.

  
Then you add the chickpea burgers with some arugula that was tossed with olive oil and lemon juice…

  
Then you top it with a salad of diced cukes, diced summer tomatoes, some feta, and olive oil, lemon juice splash, salt and pepper…

  
Then you fold it over and try to tighten the ends against the middle, so you can keep it together in order to consume it…

  
Makes a huge and satisfying sammie for a hot summer nite! Keep it together!

Thought I forgot, didn’t you….?

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I did not forget that I needed to provide you with the lemon aioli recipe, but I did forget to take an “after shot” of it.

Easy, peasy…mix 1/2 cup of mayo with juice of 1/2 lemon and some chopped fresh parsley. Great on fish, french fries, even asparagus!

Green and yellow makes….

  

Really yummy soup! I found this recipe in my in box the other day, courtesy of Food and Wine Daily.

I thought it would be good to make it over the weekend and serve it some night for a light supper later on in the week, especially after overindulging during the holiday weekend. In the spirit of transparency in cooking, I did not include the mushrooms…I was not going back to the  grocery store again…

   
 

I’ll let you read the recipe for yourself, but basically you cut up and boil the heck out of a bunch of asparagus, 2 pounds to be exact. I saved some of the tips  for garnish.

   
 

I added a couple of carrots for sweetness, you know just in case.

   
   

Once cooked the recipe recommends using a blender to purée, however I DO NOT have a good track record with hot liquids in blenders, so I used my handy mix stick with the same results. Actually after pureeing it looks kinda dangerous in a pea soup kind of way. Then you strain the liquid and press everything against the sieve to smooth it out. You wind up, as noted in the recipe with asparagus broth.

   
 

You whisk lemon juice and egg yolks together and then trickle in the hot broth so the eggs don’t curdle. Once stable, you can add the remaining broth and bring back to a simmer.

  
I stored in the fridge and then reheated and topped with the roasted asparagus tips and dill and little crumbles of feta cheese. Parmesan would be a good choice also.

  
Very creamy and lemony and satisfying !